“Finding Dixon is the best thing we can do to run Tucker Transportation.”
“I disagree,” she said.
“Bully for you.”
“The best thing you can do to run Tucker Transportation is to run Tucker Transportation.”
Tuck was silent while he moved the mouse and typed a few keys. “You should have told me.”
“Told you what?” She found herself moving around the desk, curious to see what he would find on the computer.
“What he was planning,” said Tuck as he scrolled through Dixon’s email. “That he was secretly leaving.”
She recognized the headers on the email messages, since they automatically copied to her account. “I’m Dixon’s confidential assistant. I don’t share his personal information with anyone else.”
“There’s nothing here but corporate business,” said Tuck.
Amber knew that would be the case. Dixon was always careful to keep his personal email out of the corporate system. And he’d been doubly careful with the details of his secret vacation.
Tuck swiveled the chair to face her. “What would you do if you were mine?”
The question caught her off guard while her brain zipped off on a disorienting, romantic tangent. To be Tuck’s. In his arms. In his life. In his bed.
He rose in front of her. “Amber?”
“Sorry?” She scrambled to bring her thoughts back to the real world.
His voice was rich and deep, laced with an intimacy she knew she had to be imagining. “If you were my confidential assistant, what would you do?”
“I’m not.” She wasn’t his anything, and she had to remember that.
“But if you were?”
If she was Tuck’s assistant, she’d be in the middle of making one colossal mistake. Because that would mean she was sexually attracted to her boss. She’d want to kiss her boss. Eventually, she would kiss her boss. She was thinking about it right now. And if the dusky smoke in his eyes was anything to go by, he was thinking about it, too.
She plunged right in with the truth. “I would probably make a huge and horrible mistake.”
The lift of his brows told her he understood her meaning. And he slowly raised his hand to brush his fingertips across her cheek. “Would it be so horrible?”
“We can’t,” she managed to respond.
He gave a very small smile. “We won’t.”
But he was easing closer, leaning in.
“Tuck,” she warned.
He used his other hand to take hold of hers, twining their fingers together. “Professionally. On a professional level, given the current circumstances, what would you do if your loyalty was to me?”
She called on every single ounce of her fortitude to focus. “I’d tell you to go to the New York trade show. It’s the smart thing to do and the best thing to do for the company.”
His easy answer took her aback.
She wasn’t sure she’d understood correctly. “You’ll go?”
“We’ll both go. I’m still going to find Dixon. But until I do, I’m the only owner this company has got. You’re right to tell me to step up.”
Amber moved a pace back and he released her hand.
New York? Together? With Tuck?
She struggled for a way to state her position. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m definitely not going to—”
“Sleep with me?” he said, finishing her thought.
“Well. Okay. Yes. That’s what I meant.” She hadn’t planned on being that blunt, but that was it.
“That’s disappointing. But it’s not the reason I want you in New York. And I promise, there’ll be no pressure on that front.” He smoothly closed the space between them and leaned down.
She waited, her senses on alert for the kiss that seemed inevitable.
But he stopped, his lips inches away from hers, his voice a whisper. “I really like your shoes.”
She reflexively glanced to her feet, seeing the jazzy, swirling gold-and-red pattern of her high-heel pumps.
“They’ll look good in New York.” He backed off, his voice returning to normal as he took his place in front of the computer screen. “Let’s stay at the Neapolitan. Book us on a flight.”
Once again, she fought to regain her emotional equilibrium. She swallowed. “Do you want an airline ticket or should I book a company plane?”
“What would Dixon do?”
“Dixon never flies commercial.”