My Dad's Boss(7)By: Mia Madison
Mom looked at me, her eyes shining, but I smiled and shook my head. Still, since all eyes were on me, I moved away from my position by the door and walked toward them. “I’ve got something prepared—but it’s for after dinner.”
Mom hugged me. “She’s been working on whatever it is for over a month,” she told her guests. “Please, can we see it now, honey?”
“Nope. You’ll just have to wait a bit long—” and then my breath caught in my throat. The front door had just opened, and a man had walked in. A tall man, with tousled brown hair and riveting hazel eyes that sparkled even at this distance. A man I’d last seen a few days ago. He was here, at my parent’s anniversary party. In our house.
A few people called out greetings, but I just stared at him in shock. What was he doing here? He was holding a small present wrapped in silver paper which he deposited on the table by the door. When he moved into the living room, I could tell the exact moment he saw me, because he stopped dead, freezing mid step.
Mom put her arm around me as she called out to him. “Nick, come on in. You’re just in time—we’re about to eat. Make yourself at home.”
Nick. As in Nick Conner, the new principal of Sago Palm High School.
Holy crap. The devastatingly hot stranger from the other day was my dad’s boss.
I STOOD ON the wrap-around deck, out of sight of the guests, wondering if he’d follow me out here. If he didn’t, then I didn’t have anything to worry about. Perhaps he didn’t even think our earlier meeting was worthy of mention. But somehow I hoped that wasn’t the case. Even if all we said was that it would be best to ignore what happened in the coffeehouse, I still hoped to talk to him in private. So I waited, sipping my drink and watching the sunset.
Finally, I heard footsteps behind me, turning the corner from the main part of the deck behind the house. Too late, I realized that he—or whoever this was—would see my backside first, since I was leaning over the railing, looking out. But maybe that was okay. When I closed my eyes, I could still feel his large, strong hand on my ass, caressing, squeezing. That one touch had been hotter than any I’d received in months of dating.
I could feel eyes on my back, so I straightened and turned. It was him. Seeing him up close made my heart skip a beat. He was even better-looking than I remembered, especially now that he was dressed up. He wore a black suit coat over a crisp white button-down shirt that was open at the collar. He had on black jeans and boots, not dress shoes. Except for the boots, he was dressed like half the men here tonight, but on him, it was sexy. And hot as hell.
He was holding a long-neck beer, and there was a gleam in his blue eyes as he raised it, gesturing toward my glass. “Let me guess,” he said. “Thin Mint Frappuccino.”
I laughed, but part of me was absurdly pleased that he’d remembered. Raising my glass up the same way he did, I smiled and then took a sip. “White wine,” I said. “My parents said I could have one glass.”
Then I groaned inwardly. Why had I mentioned my parents? In one sentence, I’d managed to make myself sound like a complete baby—too young to drink and talking about mommy and daddy.
He smiled, but it looked like he was little uncomfortable at my mentioning them, too. How stupid of me.
“So… you used to be a Sago Palm student?” He tilted his head at me in a way I couldn’t quite interpret.
“Yep. And you’re the principal now. I gotta say, you’re a definite improvement over old Mrs. Wrong.” Yes, her name had been Mrs. Wright, but that’s not what students had called her. They’d had a lot of creative names for her. ‘Mrs. Wrong’ was the least offensive.
“How do you know? I can’t imagine you’ve gotten glowing reviews from your father.”
So he knew how my dad felt about him. Interesting. It hadn’t stopped him from coming here or treating my father like a valued employee tonight. He’d brought a gift and been a gracious guest.
“Well, first off, anyone would be. But secondly, I just have a hunch.”
“Well, I’d like to think that your hunch is correct. But it’s been a bit of a tough year. How was your first year at the university?”
“Second,” I said. “I’ll be a junior this fall.”
“That makes me feel a little better,” he said, almost under his breath.
“About what?” I took a step closer to him, suddenly curious about why he was avoiding my gaze.
“About that day at the coffee shop.”
“But we didn’t do anything. Just a little flirting.” Mostly.