By the end of Farren’s second week, she had just about gotten the hang of things. She’d had some opportunities to show Rayner a little of what she was capable of, and from what she could tell, he liked what he saw.
She got the impression that he hadn’t thought she would know what she was doing, and had been surprised to discover she was quite capable.
“You surprise me, Miss Fields,” he told her that Friday evening as she was packing her things to leave for the night.
“I do?” she asked, stopping what she was doing to look up at him. She noticed he had taken his glasses off, and she had an unobstructed view of his eyes, which was a rare occurrence. The scar that divided his left eyebrow caught her eye again, and she vowed someday to ask him how he’d gotten it.
“You do. I had my doubts, but you’ve exceeded my expectations and proven yourself at every turn so far.”
He stood in her doorway leading to the hall, waiting for her to follow so they could walk out together. They had stayed late that evening putting the finishing touches on a program design.
“I don’t get why it’s so surprising. I’ve been studying computer technology since before I was even in high school. It’s just what I’ve always done, what I’ve always known.” My escape, she added silently.
“Maybe. You just don’t strike me as the typical computer geek,” he admitted.
“What does that mean?” she cried defensively. She thought she knew what, but part of her wanted to hear him say it.
He stopped at the front exit with his hand on the door handle, but didn’t push it open yet. Instead, he angled around to face her and replied, “You’re much prettier than any computer geek I’ve ever met.”
That shut her up for a moment. She stood, frozen in his glare, surprised by the candid response. Was he just being nice? She wasn’t sure, but the way he was looking at her wasn’t helping.
She lowered her gaze from his eyes to his lips, and she wanted to reach up and brush her fingers across the barely noticeable scar there. She was close enough to, and something in the way he looked at her acted as a magnet, an invisible pull that called to her, beckoned her to come closer, to touch him.
“I… guess I could say the same for you.”
Shit! She just admitted he was much prettier than any computer geek she had ever met.
“That you don’t strike me as the typical computer geek, I mean,” she corrected.
He smiled. His arm lifted to touch the smooth, bare skin of her neck, and his thumb brushed the line of her jaw. His hand was so warm, it soothed her, and her instinct was to lean into it.
Was he about to kiss her?
She could feel the quickening of her heart at the very prospect of it. What would it be like to kiss him? Maybe the more pertinent question should have been, what would it be like after kissing him? Did she really want to?
She knew she didn’t not want to, which admittedly scared the hell out of her. She couldn’t kiss her boss! Could she?
She could feel her tongue dart out to moisten her lower lip, the flesh of which she scraped her top teeth across in a nervous motion. She swallowed. She was frozen in place, unable to move, unsure of what to do next.
And then, the moment was over. Rayner’s hand was gone from her skin, and his eyes broke their connection from hers.
“I suppose you’ve got me there,” he said. “Well, goodnight, Miss Fields. Enjoy your weekend.”
He opened the door and allowed her to walk through it, but stayed behind to lock up.
“Goodnight,” she said as she passed him going out the door. “See you on Monday.”