My nerves are still high, but I feel a slight sense of relief. I did it. It’s over, and other than that hiccup it went just as I planned. No thanks to Mr. CEO. I start to look his way but then stop. I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. He almost ruined my presentation.
I make my way back to my seat as the announcer walks up to introduce the next speaker, being careful again not to trip in my heels. That would be embarrassing as fuck.
I wiggle my way through the row and back to my seat next to Eva. She’s looking at me with admiration as I sit down.
“See, what did I tell you?” she squeals in a hushed voice, pulling me into a soft embrace. “You did fantastic!”
“Thank you,” I whisper back. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Eva waves her hand as she releases me from our hug. “Nonsense. You had that in the bag before you even stepped foot on the stage. Hell, I wish I could speak like that in front of a large crowd. You’re a natural.”
“Job well done, Charlotte,” my new boss, Charles Hastings, chips in from behind me. I turn to face him with a grateful smile as he places a hand on my shoulder. Charles’s an older man in his forties with dark hair, greying at the temples, and a chiseled jawline that is beginning to lose its strength. He’s the type of man I’d be attracted to if I were into older guys. Or if I was about five years older, he definitely could get it. Except he doesn’t hold a candle to...
I try to push Mr. CEO out of my thoughts, but it doesn’t work. All I can see is his handsome face in my mind’s eye, his piercing gaze, his crisp suit and his full lips. All I can think about is how much I want to kiss them. Good God.
“Thank you, sir,” I say, trying to shake the man from my mind.
“No, thank you, Charlotte,” Charles tells me, patting me on the shoulder. “That was a wonderful presentation. You made our company look good.”
Seeing as how I was about to pass out from anxiety before taking the stage, I should be overjoyed that I’m getting such praise from my boss. But I can’t fight the urge to look over for the stranger.
My heart does a little jolt. His seat is empty. He’s gone.
I settle back in my seat feeling a pang of disappointment.
I try to focus on the next speaker as the slides change on the screen in front of us. But I can’t concentrate. I can’t shake the hold he has over me. And why? Why does he have such a strong effect on me?
I can’t tame the urge to look back over my shoulder. He’s not there. I swallow thickly and try to ignore all thoughts of him. I don’t even know his name.
But I want to. I’m woman enough to admit that I’m at least curious.
“Why this one?” Trent asks me again. He’s been eyeing me since we sat down in the meeting room.
I settle back in the seat although it’s extremely uncomfortable and try to relax. I can’t wait to get out of here and take this damn jacket off. I feel restless now that I’ve made my decision. I have to wait and that’s something I’m not fond of. Patience has never been my strong suit. And I need this deal. I never need anything, but right now I do. Armcorp had better take my offer.
“It’s the best choice,” I answer simply, not giving anything away. He gives me a look laced with suspicion but closes his mouth and looks back down at the papers in front of him.
I take a long look around the plain hotel meeting room with distaste as I wait for the heads of Armcorp to arrive.