Evan was seated on a comfortable sofa in his office. With a glass of whiskey in hand, he was thinking about the situations he’d been through the past days.
When Evan planned to marry Chloe he didn’t think he would be attracted by her in ways he couldn’t even know how to explain.
He had never felt the necessity to explain himself to another woman but his mother. He had never felt fear by losing control on a situation. And that was happening now.
Chloe left his office angrily once he ordered her to leave without further explanations.
That question was hammering in his head. What would be the need of that contract if he didn’t want to use her?
That comparison with Victor was a low blow for sure. Evan squeezed the glass harder. Chloe already knew what she needed to say to make him out of mind. His thoughts were interrupted by the phone.
“What’s up, Ryan?” Evan answered rudely. After a few seconds he just said: “Ok, come to my office and we talk about it here.”
Chloe was at the reception, covering for Brianna while her friend went to deliver orders on the third floor.
She had her thoughts far away when the elevator opened its doors. A very tall, good-looking man came walking in Chloe’s direction. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, just like Mr. Bailey’s eyes.
Chloe shook her head imagining how lunatic that sounded. With an angel from Heaven in front of her, she was thinking about him, the devil!
“Chloe?” the blonde-haired man asked when he was in front of her.
She narrowed her eyes and stared at his face. He looked familiar somehow.
“No way!” Chloe found out who he was. “Ryan?”
“In person! I can’t believe it’s you!” Ryan opened a huge surprised smile. “Come on, give me a hug!”
“Oh Gosh, long time no see! Where have you been?” Chloe got up and hugged him tightly. “I missed my High School friend!”
“Me too, scholarship girl!” They broke free from the embrace and Ryan kept his hands on Chloe’s shoulders. “Look what you’ve become! You look prettier than ever!”
“Thank you.” She said shamefully. “You’re not that bad too!”
“Come on, I’m a Greek God!” they laughed about the joke. “What are you doing here?”
“I work here. You?” she simply replied.
“Really? How come I’ve never seen you before?” Ryan asked more to himself. “I’m here to talk to Evan. He is my cousin!”
Chloe couldn’t be more surprised. She widened her eyes and he realized how shocked she was.
“Don’t worry, I’m the good side of the family, you know.” Ryan joked. “I really need to solve some issues with Evan now, but I would like to talk to you more. Let’s have a drink tonight?”
“Sorry, but I’ll be busy tonight.” after that terrible situation in the restaurant with Evan and Jill, she was not in the mood to hang out that night. But Ryan was a really good friend and she missed him. “What about lunch tomorrow?”
“Sounds perfect to me.” he smiled gently. “Give me your number! We cannot lose touch again!”
Chloe wrote down her number in a paper and gave it to him.
“Thanks. Can’t wait until tomorrow!” Ryan was excited. He turned his back at Chloe and made his way to Mr. Bailey’s office.
She smiled truly. Ryan was an easy-going person and he used to cheer her up when she was feeling down. He was always there for her during High School. Unfortunately, they lost touch when Chloe went to a random college and he went to Columbia.
Chloe would never associate Ryan and Evan as relatives. It was like hell and heaven. How two cousins could be so different from each other?
In the next morning, Chloe woke up earlier and spent more time to get dressed. Her intention was to show Ryan that she had done well on her own during all that time.
She finished college, built a stable career and despite her family’s issues, Chloe was independent as she always dreamed.
As Mr. Bailey didn’t show up that morning, Chloe was busy rescheduling his appointments and updating reports.
At 1pm Ryan sent a message saying he was in front of the building, waiting for her. She straightened her clothes and checked her lipstick. Why was she so nervous? That was Ryan, the same as before!
“Where do you wanna go?” he asked after the compliments.
“Somewhere nearby, please. Unfortunately I don’t have much time for lunch.” she apologized.
“It’s fine. I know a place in the end of the street. Let’s go walking so we have more time to talk.” Ryan suggested and Chloe nodded.
It was a very cozy place, nothing compared to the fancy restaurants Evan took her to. Chloe felt instantly comfortable when they sat at a table by the window.
Ryan was chatty and made her laugh once a while with some bad joke. It felt like they were two friends back in High School.
“I only regret one thing from that time.” he said with a different glow in his eyes.
“Come on! Just one?” Chloe was still joking and she didn’t realize he was not.
“Yes.” Ryan sighed. “I should had asked you on a date.”
“What?” Chloe stopped laughing suddenly.
“Have you never realized I had a crush on you?” Ryan asked while he glanced at her with such intensity.
He grabbed her hand that was on the table. Chloe didn’t see it coming so she was paralyzed, just looking at him.
“What the hell is going on here?” asked that thick and well known voice.
If Ryan didn’t break eye contact to look at him, Chloe would think she was dreaming when she heard the voice that made her breathless.
Mr. Bailey was standing there with intimidating eyes.
“So who’s going to answer my question?”