“Then you’ll have to take my word for it, ace. I just . . . I want to make sure she’s all right.”
“My lawyer’s standing right here, but I don’t have to ask him about the legality of giving you the information you’re asking for via the means you’ve suggested. Call Raúl. He’ll find her.”
“Really?” An image of the dark-haired, dark-eyed security specialist ran through my mind. “Is he going to be okay with that?”
“Angel, he’s paid to be okay with everything.”
“Oh.” I fiddled with my pen. I knew I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable using Gideon’s resources, but it made me feel as if our relationship were unbalanced in his favor. While I didn’t believe he would ever hold that over me, I didn’t think he’d see me as equal to him, either, and that was really important to me.
He had already taken care of issues on his own that I should’ve been a part of. Like Sam Yimara’s horrid sex tape of Brett and me. And Nathan.
Still, I asked, “How do I reach him?”
“I’ll text you his number.”
“I want either myself, Angus, or Raúl with you when you go see her.”
“And that wouldn’t be awkward at all.” I glanced at Mark’s office to make sure my boss didn’t need me for anything. I tried not to make personal calls at work, but Megumi had been out for four days straight without a single returned call or text the whole time.
“Don’t throw me that ‘chicks before dicks’ line, Eva. You need to give me something here.”
I got the subtext. He was worried about me going to San Diego and was letting that issue slide. I had to bend a little somewhere else in return. “Okay, okay. If she’s not back in the office on Monday, we’ll figure out how to handle it.”
“Good. Anything else?”
“No. That’s it.” My gaze returned to a photo of him and my heart hurt just a little, the way it always did when I looked at him. “Thank you. I hope you have an amazing day. I love you madly, you know. And no, I don’t expect you to say it back while your lawyer’s hanging around.”
“Eva.” There was an aching note in his voice that moved me more than words ever could. “Come see me when you get off work.”
“Sure. Don’t forget to call Cary about taking your jet.”
“Consider it done.”
I hung up and sat back in my chair.
“Good morning, Eva.”
I swiveled to face Christine Field, the executive chairman. “Good morning.”
“I wanted to congratulate you again on your engagement.” Her gaze went past my shoulder to the framed photos behind me. “I’m sorry, I hadn’t realized you and Gideon Cross were dating.”
“That’s okay. I try not to talk about my personal life at work.”
I made the statement casually, because I didn’t want to antagonize one of the partners. Still, I hoped she got the hint. Gideon was the center of my life, but I needed some parts of it to belong only to me.
She laughed. “That’s good! But just goes to show that I’m not keeping my ear close enough to the ground.”
“I doubt you’re missing anything important.”
“Are you the reason Cross approached us with the Kingsman campaign?”
I winced inwardly. Of course she’d think I would recommend my employer to my boyfriend, because she’d assume Gideon and I had been dating at least long enough to make an engagement plausible. Telling her I had been with Waters Field & Leaman longer than I’d been with Gideon, when I had been employed there only a couple of months, would open up speculation I didn’t want floating around.
Worse, I was pretty certain Gideon had used the vodka campaign as an excuse to draw me into his world on his terms. That didn’t mean Mark hadn’t done a phenomenal job on the request for proposal. I didn’t want my relationship with Gideon to shift any of the focus away from my boss and his accomplishments.
“Mr. Cross approached the agency on his own,” I replied, sticking to the truth. “Which was a great decision. Mark rocked that RFP.”
Christine nodded. “He did. All right. I’ll let you get back to work. Mark’s been singing your praises, too, by the way. We’re glad to have you on our team.”
I managed a smile, but my day was off to a rocky start. First, Gideon knocked me sideways with his Corinne bullshit. Then, finding Megumi still out sick. Now, I’d rolled into being treated differently at work because my name was connected to Gideon’s in a significant way.
Opening my inbox, I started going through the morning’s e-mail. I understood that Gideon wanted to make me feel what he was feeling, so he’d leveraged Corinne against me. I’d known talking about Brett was going to be a problem, which was why I’d put it off, but I hadn’t had an ulterior motive in bringing it up or when I’d kissed Brett, either. I had hurt Gideon, yes, but could sincerely say I hadn’t consciously intended to do so.
On the flip side, Gideon had deliberately set out to hurt me. I hadn’t realized he was capable of that or willing to do it. Something important had shifted between us that morning. I felt as if a core column of trust had been shaken.
Did he know that? Did he understand how big a problem that was?
My desk phone rang and I answered with my usual greeting.
“How long were you going to wait to tell me about your engagement?”