“Is that a promise?” Isa’s quiet voice made him turn in his seat.
Emerald green eyes frosty, her expression was just as icy. All her muscles were pulled taut and her shoulders were stiff as she stepped through the open doorway.
Guess she wasn’t the only one who needed to increase their spatial awareness.
He met her gaze, aware of the way his heart pounded. “Work with me one week, once this contract starts. And if it’s too much I promise never to bother you again.” Liar, liar, the little voice in his head said. He wasn’t sure he could walk away from her.
She didn’t say anything to him, just looked at Harrison in confusion and a little hurt.
The hurt clawed at Graysen. Suddenly his big plan seemed stupid.
“Shut the door,” Harrison said quietly.
Once Isa did, he motioned to the seat next to Graysen.
She glided toward him and sat ramrod straight. She’d pulled her long, dark hair into a twist at her neck. Not one perfect hair was out of place. Petite with the right amount of curves, Isa was the only woman who’d ever gotten to him. And then he’d broken her trust and her heart and screwed everything up completely.
“I should have told you Mr. West was going to be your new partner.” Harrison’s voice was sincere as he looked at Isa. “I’m sorry for ambushing you.”
“So you know…about our history?”
Harrison nodded once. “I used to work with Graysen and he recently approached me about a new job.”
“Oh.” She bit her bottom lip, looking vulnerable.
Graysen had the sudden urge to take that bottom lip between his teeth, nibble on it and her. God he missed her. Had missed her every day and night since she’d left him. Even if it was his own fault.
“Graysen is our newest employee.”
Those beautiful green eyes widened just a bit as she finally turned to face him. “You’re not with the CIA anymore?”
He shook his head, not trusting his voice and not trusting himself not to say something else stupid.
“He brought a big contract with him as part of his hiring, but it’s been top secret until this morning. Still is, if you want to get technical,” Harrison said. “It’s why I couldn’t say anything to you. Not until you’d been approved by the CEO for the job. You’ve got the clearance for it and so does Graysen, but the CEO still had final approval, and he needed to finish reviewing your file and work history. Hands down, I think you’re the best fit for this job. It’s a huge deal for Red Stone. I just need to know that you’ll be able to work with him.”
She was quiet for a long moment and Graysen could practically see the gears turning in her sexy head. Before Red Stone she’d worked for a company that had analyzed other companies’ work effectiveness. Often for government facilities. She’d always had a high level of clearance and she was one of the most capable women he knew. It was one of the reasons he liked her so much.
Once things had blown up between them, however, she’d quit her job in DC and moved to Miami to start fresh, away from him and her memories.
“I will be a professional,” she finally said.
Graysen noticed the way she subtly flexed her fingers, and handed her the small pack of ice.
It seemed as if she wanted to protest but she took it and murmured, “Thank you.”
As long as she wasn’t punching him, he’d take it.
Standing, Harrison cleared his throat. “I need to grab a few more items for this meeting. I’ll be back in a couple minutes.”
Graysen knew that was utter bullshit but figured Harrison wanted to give them time alone.
When the door closed behind him Isa turned toward Graysen. “How’s your nose?” Her tone was pointed, her expression making it clear she thought he deserved the pain.
“Not broken.” He drank in the sight of her, unable to get enough. Looking at a picture of her wasn’t the same as seeing her in person. The elegant line of her neck, the sweet curves of her breasts under her dress—which he shouldn’t be noticing right now.
“I…should probably apologize, but I’m not exactly sorry.” Guilt flickered in her eyes.
Which made him adore her even more. She felt bad for not being sorry. “I deserved it.”
She rubbed an unsteady hand over her face. “Jeez, Graysen, what the heck are you doing here? Did you…” She cleared her throat. “I thought you loved your job.” There was a hint of bitterness in the last few words and he understood it.
She thought he’d chosen his job over her, over his love for her. He loved her a lot more than a job, but he held back. That definitely wasn’t the way to get to her and she wouldn’t believe him now anyway. “I’d never planned to stay with the Agency forever. Red Stone is a good company.”
“I…hope you didn’t get this job in a misguided effort to, uh, win me back.” Her cheeks flushed slightly. “Because that’s never happening. We’re done.”
He decided to ignore her words for now. Because he didn’t want to lie to her. He’d lied to her enough. Telling her the flat-out truth probably wasn’t the way to go either. Telling her that hell yeah, he’d gotten this job for her wouldn’t do him any favors at the moment. “I go way back with Harrison. Keith Caldwell too. I’d always talked about working here once I retired.” Of course he’d been a couple decades away from retiring. “Some stuff happened at work recently and that timeline got moved up.”
“Oh.” She seemed relieved by that. “Well…it’s a shock seeing you.” She let out a nervous laugh and gestured to her iced hand. “Obviously. But I promise no more outbursts of violence. Unless provoked.”
He’d have given anything to be able to take her hand in his, stroke his thumb over it, try to ease her pain. Pain he’d caused her yet again. “How’s your hand?”
“Okay. I’ve never punched anyone before.” She let out another one of those nervous laughs as her cheeks flushed again.
He hated being the cause of her discomfort. “Well, you’re good at it.”
She gave him a real laugh and rolled her eyes. “That’s a strange compliment.”
Before he could respond Harrison strode back in, his expression all business. Time to get down to work.
Even if that was the last thing he wanted to do. But he had to play this right, to be professional and show Isa how good things could be between them. Show her that he still loved her—and that he would never hurt her again.