She sipped her coffee before silently offering it to him. He shook his head even though he was in desperate need of a caffeine fix. Bianca had him so tied in knots that he couldn’t think straight, and he was starting to wonder if she was doing it on purpose.
They spoke at the same time.
“Are you mad I let you fall asleep last night?”
“Promise me you won’t do that again.”
They laughed, and the awkward tension eased. His laughter was abrupt and ended quicker than hers. He was still shaken over the endless possibilities for trouble she could have gotten herself into. It was tempting to lash out at her for scaring him. He wanted to make her swear she wouldn’t do it again, but his emotions were too raw for him to calmly explain the situation. She’d probably see it as him trying to control her. That would only make her do the exact opposite of what he wanted.
So instead, he turned to a safer subject. “Did I imagine it last night or did you say someone is trying to sabotage you at work?”
“That’s right. I thought you fell asleep and missed it.”
“The details are fuzzy. Enlighten me. What’s going on at the magazine?”
She swallowed, and he saw a flash of fear in her eyes. “First, things started disappearing. Then a couple of important meetings were cancelled, and someone told the printers we weren’t doing an issue this month.”
“Sully hasn’t said a word.”
“He doesn’t think it’s a big deal.” She shrugged. “Just a competitor trying to mess us up, he says, but I can see it escalating. They have someone on the inside. A traitor is working in my office. How else would they know about the appointments or be able to grab stuff off our desks?”
Who would care enough aboutLove Lifeto want to sabotage Bianca? “If anything else happens, I want to hear about it straight away,” he said. “Then I’ll handle it.”
For a second he thought she’d argue over who should deal with the saboteur. He understood she was a strong, independent woman, but that didn’t mean she had to do everything by herself. After a moment of silence she simply nodded at him. They headed for the elevator together, both eager to get to their office.
On the way down he asked, “Do you want to have that dinner tonight?”
Her cheeks turned pink. “If you want.”
Bianca hated how her heart thundered in her chest at the thought of dinner with Christian. She hated it that her mouth went dry and her pulse quickened at the sight of him. Feeling like a silly schoolgirl getting ready for her first real date with a boy, she put on a stunning evening gown, one of the items the stylist had chosen for her. The black and silver beaded dress had a plunging V neckline, a back that dropped dangerously low, and a slit that reached all the way to her upper thigh. The thing fit like a dream. Linc Foster wasn’t a nice man by any stretch of the imagination, but he definitely knew how to dress a woman.
Anya left after making their dinner. The housekeeper smiled knowingly on her way out as if she expected something romantic to transpire between her boss and Bianca, which was ridiculous. Bianca had seen the type of woman Christian Sabatino dated. If Ava was the sort of woman he wanted, then he definitely did not want her.
Besides, she didn’t want him. She didn’t want any man at the moment. Her main focus was making Love Life a success and starting over in New York. Maybe later she might give marriage a second chance, providing she didn’t marry a ruthless businessman who thought he could buy the world.
When she stepped into the formal dining room, she gasped. Anya had set up a romantic dinner date atmosphere complete with champagne and candlelight. The overhead lights had been dimmed. Bianca blew out the candles. She didn’t want Christian getting the wrong idea about her intentions. Tonight she would set him straight, repeating her earlier mantra about not getting involved with each other. She worked for him, and they were faking an engagement neither of them wanted. They didn’t need to complicate things by adding sex.
Christian rounded the corner, freezing in place the moment he saw her in the stunning dress. His jaw dropped, and his eyes widened. One word tumbled from his lips. “Wow.”
It was enough. Although she felt out of place in the designer gown, the appreciation glowing in his eyes gave her confidence to stand tall. She waved a hand at the table like Vanna White showing off newly turned letters. “Anya prepared a delicious meal for us.”
Christian pulled a chair out for her, placing her on his right. Once she was seated, he took the time to relight the candles and dim the main lights just a fraction. He didn’t ask her why she’d blown them out, but he must have known. Anyone with a nose could smell the smoke lingering in the room. After he took his seat he poured them each a glass of champagne.
“I am starving,” he said. “Back to back business meetings kept me from eating lunch today.”
“Let’s dig in then.”
Instead of eating, he raised his glass. “Shall I make a toast?” he asked.
“To more evenings like this and more opportunities to gaze into your beautiful eyes.”
“You shouldn’t say such things.”