“That’s bullshit and you know it.”
“I’m not your saving grace.”
“I’m just asking for a good employee. Maybe one who can show me a little more respect.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t trust me so easily.”
I closed my eyes for second, grunting in frustration, because he had a serious problem letting me win this argument. He was pushing me, almost as if he wanted to see how far he could take this before I had no choice but to fire his ungrateful ass. I rubbed at my still tender hand and opened my eyes, ready to continue my verbal showdown with Joe.
But he surprised me when I noticed a tenderness in his eyes that wasn’t there before. “Let me see your hand.” I realized I was clutching the one that hurt in the palm of my good hand.
He stepped closer to me.
My heart went off like a wild animal. His nearness had way too much of an effect over me. I didn’t know if it was wise to let him get so close to me, especially when he smelled so good. It wasn’t cologne, just his natural manly scent.
He gestured again for my hand.
I was holding it captive, but I cautiously moved it in his direction. He took it in his warm and—surprisingly—gentle hands. The tips of his fingers massaged and squeezed over my knuckles and fingers as if he knew what he was doing, checking to see if all was okay. “Does any of this hurt?”
I felt numb and breathless as I answered, “Not really.”
“I don’t think anything’s broken, then.”
His fingers stopped moving, but he didn’t drop my hand, and I didn’t pull it from him, either. We both just stood there, trapped in each other’s gaze, technically holding hands, with neither of us making a move to break away.