I started to gather up the papers; Wes obviously had another meeting. He looked genuinely regretful as he nodded at Mrs. Jensen, who turned and left to resume her post at her desk.
“Time got away from me,” he said. I felt a little thrill that he looked genuinely disappointed about having to end our meeting. “If I could cancel this, I would- this is much more enjoyable.”
Even now, after working with him for a few weeks, when he said certain words, like “enjoyable,” I felt my cheeks flush. If he ever lost his billions, he’d have a job in the voiceover industry, that was for sure. “Oh, it’s no problem- we’ve been working for a while.” I stuffed the rest of the papers into the folder and slid it into my backpack. I could feel him looking at me. “I’ve gotta get back to campus anyway.”
“This is great stuff,” he said as I stood and he stood with me, running a hand through his dark hair. It looked cute ruffled. “Do you have any plans tonight? I should be done by six.”
Meeting in the evening, after work, when everyone had gone home. I swallowed as the flutters that kept recurring in my stomach started up again. I was being silly. When would I get a grip around this guy? He was proposing a dinner meeting. We worked plenty over lunch: working over dinner wouldn’t be any different, right?
“Sure, I can work over dinner.” I grinned to hide the effort it took me to keep my voice casual. “Do you want me to meet me here?”
I didn’t know if it was just something weird about the lighting in his office or what, but for the first time, it was like the glow that seemed to warm up his deep brown eyes dimmed a bit. What was up with that?
Then he smiled at me, and I blinked: his rich brown eyes looked normal again. “A working dinner: that’s good. Meeting here is fine: I’ll figure out if we should order in or grab dinner nearby.”
I nodded and picked up my backpack. It felt heavier than usual. I felt as if I’d missed something, like an opportunity had been lost, but what? I’d agreed to meet to work over dinner. “If you want me to bring something, just, you know, send me a text or whatever.” He probably wouldn’t leave this office between now and six.
He nodded and gave me a little wave, which I returned before heading out the door. I still had the feeling something weird had just gone down. I needed to run this conversation by Lena and Talen. I got out my cell to text them to see if either was going to be in the apartment as I stepped in the elevator.
A text came through before I could finish typing my own text. It was from Wes.
Leave the laptop and printouts at home. Put on a nice dress. I’ll pick u up at ur place @ 7; I’m taking u out to dinner. Think of it as further validation of the model.
My stomach dipped, and I knew it wasn’t from the elevator’s descent. No laptop. No printouts. Just us, going out to dinner. I didn’t need Talen and Lena to tell me what this meant.
My cell beeped again as the doors to the elevator slid open, revealing the lobby. The beep told me I had another text, also from Wes.
Is that OK?
Forget the flutters: it was like a force lit up inside me. I felt my cheeks tighten as I grinned. I glanced around as I walked through the lobby, but no one was paying me any attention, thank God. I texted back:
OK. C u @ 7.
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Ends- 22nd July
Ends- 22nd July
Missy Marciassa loved getting lost in novels from the time she could read, so it’s no surprise she wanted to write. Her very first “novels” were re-writing the books she read to get the endings she wanted in second grade. Missy continued to read and write through grade school and high school.
After becoming rather disillusioned with fiction after writing literary criticism as an English major in college, however, Missy focused on her enjoyment of learning about people and studied psychology. Reading fiction fell to the wayside with all the reading and writing required for college and graduate school, but once Missy became a doctoral candidate, she rediscovered her love of fiction. Then she started getting the urge to write, an urge that wouldn’t go away (she refuses to diagnose it as a compulsion). Covert Assignment is the end result of that urge.