“It was a great party, Amber. Against all odds, we got our pavilion up and running in time. The crowds have been super. And the party came off without a hitch. We even had a good sound system. Thank you for that, by the way. Can we not let our guard down and enjoy the achievement for just a few minutes?”
“I work for you.”
She needed to nip his playboy behavior in the bud. It didn’t matter that he was a charming flirt. And it didn’t matter that he was sharp and funny and killer handsome. This wasn’t a date. It was a corporate function, and she wasn’t going to let either of them forget it.
“So what?” His question seemed sincere.
“So you can’t hit on me.”
“Is that a rule?”
“Yes, it’s a rule. It’s a law. It’s called sexual harassment.”
“I’m not seriously asking you to sleep with me. I mean, I wouldn’t say no to an offer, obviously. But I’m not making the suggestion myself. Except, well, you know, in the most oblique and joking way possible.”
Amber was stupefied. She had no idea what to say.
The elevator door opened, but neither of them moved.
“You’re my boss,” she tried.
“Dixon is your boss.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Are you saying I can’t even ask you on a date? That’s ridiculous. People date their bosses all the time. Some of them marry their bosses, for goodness’ sake.”
The door slid closed again.
She couldn’t seem to stop herself from joking. “Are we getting married, Tuck?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “I don’t know. We haven’t even had our first date.”
She blew out a sigh of frustration. “What I’m saying, what the law says, is that you can’t in any way, shape or form hint that my agreement or lack of agreement to something sexual or romantic will impact my job.”
“I’m not doing that. I’d never do that. How do I prove it? Is there something I can sign?”
She pressed the call button again. “Tuck, you have got to spend more time in the real world.”
“I spend all my time in the real world.”
The door slid back open and they walked inside the elevator.
She turned to face the front. “If you did, you’d know what I was talking about.”
“I do know what you’re talking about. All I wanted to do was dance.”
The door slid shut and they were alone in the car.
He was right. She didn’t know how the conversation had gotten so far off track.
“We don’t have time to dance,” she told him. “You need to focus on tomorrow’s meetings. You have the list, right? Did you study the files?”
“I looked at them.”
“What does that mean?”
“I scanned them. I know the basics. Besides, you agreed to be there with me.”
“You can’t defer to your assistant when you’re meeting with owners and executives of billion-dollar companies.”
“I’ve been busy. I had to work some things out with Lucas. And then I took your advice and interviewed Hope.”
“You did?” Amber was glad to hear that.
“Yes. I liked her. I’m going to give her more responsibility.”
“So forgive me if I didn’t find time to memorize the details of thirty client files.”
Amber was tired, but she shook her brain back to life. Thank goodness she’d said no to the second glass of champagne.
“We’ll go over them tonight,” she told him.
He glanced at his watch.
“Unless you want to get up at 4:00 a.m. and go over them in the morning.”
“Four a.m. is a late night, not an early morning.”
“You’re starting with a breakfast meeting.”
“I know. Who set that up? Breakfast meetings are evil. They should be banned.”
The elevator came to a stop on the top floor.
“Let’s get this over with,” Amber said with resignation.
Together, they walked the length of the hall to Tuck’s suite. She’d been in it yesterday, so she knew it wasn’t a typically intimate hotel room.
The main floor was a living area, powder room and kitchenette. You had to climb a spiral staircase to even get to the bedroom. According to the floor plan sketched on the door, there was a whirlpool tub on the bedroom terrace, but she had no intention of finding out in person.