Gray stared at the building in front of him and looked down at his phone to make sure he had the right address. Looking up again, he saw the address and it matched the one in his phone. Getting out of his car, he walked to the entrance. A note on the door instructed him to ring the buzzer so he did. The metal curtain moved and he saw Olivia’s smile on the other side.
“Well, you’re a nice surprise,” she said as she opened the door. “Come in.”
Pulling a bouquet of flowers from behind his back, he smiled at her. “These are for you,” he said as he stepped in.
Olivia leaned over the flowers and kissed him. “They’re beautiful,” she said and took them from him. Closing and locking the door behind him, she watched him glance around her new and barren office space. “Welcome to Madison Designs. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I do have this great open area that looks onto the street and it’s close to my favorite coffee spot. I have two other rooms for whatever I need them for and a small kitchen and bathroom.” She walked toward the back of the room and sat down on the one piece of furniture that was in it. She held the bouquet of flowers to her nose and inhaled their scent. “I figured for now, that this spot was the perfect place for my desk,” she said. “I can see the street, people passing by, and anyone who comes in. I am going to put a table near the window where I can sit with clients to discuss their web designs and such.”
Gray walked over to where she sat and stood in front of her. “It’s a great space, and when your business grows, you can always knock down walls and expand the space.”
Olivia smiled. “I love that you’re so supportive,” she said, putting the flowers down next to her.
“Of course I’m supportive,” he said as she wrapped her legs around him and pulled him closer to her. “I love you.” Gray swallowed and felt the air in the room tightening around him. He hadn’t expected to hear those three words from his mouth. He hadn’t even thought of using those three words.
Olivia’s heart beat rapidly in her chest. Taking his hand, she put it palm down above where her heart was. Sliding her hand free hand around his neck, she pulled his face closer to her and kissed him. Leaning back on the desk, she brought Gray with her. “Can we break in my new office space?” she asked.
“I would be honored to help you break in your new place,” he said as she slid her arms under his jacket and then his shirt. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he stood and pulled her up with him.
Holding on to him, Olivia stared into his eyes. “I love you too,” she whispered.
Olivia watched as Gray slid into his jacket and then looked down at the hem of her dress. She smoothed the hem across her knees and then repeated it. Smoothing the hem again, she let both hands rest on her knees.
Gray adjusted the collar of his jacket and looked at Olivia who was staring intensely at her hands. “Are you ready?” he asked, dropping his keys into the pocket of his jacket.
“Yeah,” she answered without looking up at him. Taking a deep breath, she tried to get up but couldn’t.
“Is everything okay,” he asked, kneeling down in front of her. She nodded, but he knew it was a lie. “What’s up?” he asked, putting his hand under her chin and lifting her head so he could look into her eyes.
“Did you mean it?” she asked and bit her lower lip.
“Mean what?” Gray asked.
“What you said to me in my office today? The ‘I love you part’,” she stammered.
Caressing her face with his thumb, he leaned in closer to her. “Of course I did,” he answered “I don’t throw those three words out to just anyone. Why do you ask?”
Olivia shrugged her shoulders, feeling her insecurity trample up her spine. “You just left so quickly afterwards.” Sighing, she pulled away from his touch and looked down at her hands.
“I was in the middle of a big ad. I shouldn’t even have left the office,” Gray admitted, taking both her hands into his. “Look at me.”
Raising her head slowly, Olivia looked at him and tried to hide the tears that were slowly filling her eyes.
“But I did leave the office because I knew today was your first day moving into your office space. I knew you were doing it alone and I wanted to stop by and show you my support. Bring you flowers to brighten your day.”
“I know I’m over analyzing things,” she muttered. “I’m sorry.”
“Did you mean it when you said you loved me?”
Olivia nodded. “Yeah, and I know you had the ad.”
“I didn’t rush out of there in fear or because I regretted saying I love you. I do love you. If I hadn’t come to see you, I wouldn’t have gotten to break in your new office with you and I wouldn’t have gotten to say I love you.”
Olivia smiled. “It wasn’t planned was it?”
Gray shook his head. “Not at all. I surprised myself as much as I probably surprised you.”
“It was a great surprise,” she said, cupping his face in her hands and then kissing him. “I’m very happy that you came by to be supportive.”
“It was better than being stuck in the office. So anytime you need support, please call me. I’ll be there in a flash.”
Olivia smiled. “Speaking of supporting,” she said, “Kyle called and said I got the job. His bosses loved my designs. They want me to redesign their entire website and then their sister companies.”
Gray pulled her into his arms and hugged her. “That’s fantastic. I knew you were going to wow them.”
“Do you think we have time to quickly celebrate?”
Pulling away from her, Gray looked at her and saw the desire burning in her eyes. “I love the way you think,” he said as he removed his jacket, “but I love you more.”
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is a rough draft and not the final version
Categories: The Dumbing Down of Love