She was grateful she did not bump into him the following few days but then she was informed there was a meeting with him along with the team she was heading to review the projects they were handling. She knew about this meeting a day ahead which gave her a chance to choose her outfit carefully. She wore a dark olive ensemble with thin light grey lines that matched the silk white shirt beneath. A pair of small pearl earrings lit her face up and added an ethereal touch to her outfit. Her high-heel white shoes gave her some confidence. There was an exotic air of natural elegance mixed with charming spontaneity around her.
She threw away all her anxiety and bewildered feelings and put on a professional mask before entering the room just in time to find him facing her in the meeting table. He raised a pair of icy grey eyes. For a moment, she was taken aback by the contradiction of the memory of warmth she felt in his arms at the party and that motionless face in front of her. She did her best not to reveal her thoughts and succeeded in smiling brightly at everyone but she was conscious of his fixed gaze upon her.
They started the meeting by everyone introducing themselves, for how long they had been working for the company. Then they moved to the projects her team was handling. He suggested a few remarks that her assistant recorded. She silently admired his broad vision and long experience. She even asked for his advice regarding a problem they are facing with a client. He was generous in his help and she could see in everybody’s eyes how they admired him.
The meeting lasted for almost two hours before everybody thanked him and was about to leave when he called while looking at a file in his hands: “Adams, stay.” All the relaxation she felt during the meeting due to the professional way they both dealt with each others vanished in a second. The room was empty when he said without raising his eyes off the papers before him: “I can see you are doing a very good job with your team. You have the highest retention rate among all the other teams.” She replied with a smile: “They are an outstanding group of people.” He slowly raised his eyes to her while saying: “Specially Dave, I assume.” Her smile vanished at the look he threw at her direction. She kept silent for a while under his gaze. He stood up and turned around the desk to face her. He put both hands in his trousers. He was wearing a grey suit that made his eyes look darker. “I heard you talking with your Liz yesterday,” he started while examining the beautiful lines of her face, “that you wanted to attend the Eugene Onegin opera the day after tomorrow but there are no more tickets available.” She felt tense inside and knew that what he was about to say was not going to be appealing to her. “There is one free ticket for you but you have to pay for it.” She looked relieved before saying: “Oh, of course. How much?” An amused smile started to lighten his hard features while saying: “You’ll have to endure my presence, Adams,” he said while heading towards the door. She could swear he was smiling. “But I have plans this day,” she lied. “I’ll pass by you at 7 sharp. Be ready,” he said ignoring her objection while closing the door behind him. She froze in her place blinking not believing what has just happened and how easily she was trapped. What about faking an illness? No, he would discover she was lying. He left her no option but to accompany him. Oh, what an evening she would have to endure!