I shoved another bite in my mouth so I didn’t have to answer. I didn’t know. My other cases were in Boston. I didn’t have any other reason to come here for the next few months. I didn’t want to say that out loud.
“I don’t know.” I took a sip of coffee.
“Are you going to leave tonight or tomorrow after the decision comes out?”
“I’m not sure, I need to get to New York by Wednesday. The other partners want to celebrate two wins we’ve had.”
“Are you okay, Katie?”
“Yeah. Sorry, I’m preoccupied with what’s going on today. I’m normally more prepared than I feel right now.”
“Okay,” he drawled studying my face.
I flushed, he knew I was lying. I was uncomfortable about us. I was unsure what to tell him. I didn’t want to be in love with him. I didn’t want the pain associated with love. It was too hard to be the kind of lawyer I needed to be. I was justified in my thoughts. I stood up and grabbed my plate. He immediately took it from me.
“I’ve got it. Do you want to take a coffee to go?”
I shook my head. “No, thank you. I’m fine.”
Perseus looked at me with accusing eyes. He knew that I was going to dump Jordan right now. He glared at me with his green eyes.
I ignored him, but then guilt hit me. I liked Perseus. I reached down to pet him and he leaned into my touch.
* * *
We rode down the elevator in silence. Jordan held my hand, but it was like a vice squeezing me. He wasn’t holding it hard yet, I’m sure that if I tried to get away, he would hold tight.
We were down the elevator and in front of the back door to my hotel in minutes.
Jordan looked down at me. His green eyes twinkling in the light of dawn. He didn’t seem sad or upset at all. Was this all in my head?
“I had a great time this weekend. Thank you for saying yes on Friday.” His hand moved my hair again and tucked it behind my ear. He moved close to me and leaned down to kiss me. His lips were warm and soft. He lingered for a moment, waiting for a reaction from me. I held back. I kissed him, but the emotions I had from this weekend were reserved. I didn’t let my kiss show my passion, my love I had thrust aside because I was afraid.
He let me go and smiled his dazzling smile. I love you! I screamed in my head. His eyes narrowed at me for a split second, then he said, “Goodbye Katie. I’ll see when you’re in town next?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I’ll see you then.”
He turned to leave and started walking back towards his building.
“Jordan, wait,” I said, almost in a whisper. I took the four steps to where he stopped and turned to look at me. I reached up to his neck and pulled his lips towards mine. I kissed him with all the passion and love that I had in me. If I wasn’t going to be with him, I would at least show him how I truly felt about him.
We stayed in our passionate embrace for a few minutes. I was the first to pull away.
“I’m sorry,” I breathed. “I just…”
He cut me off. “I know.” He leaned down and kissed me again. It was soft and heated. If I had shown any desire in this kiss, we would be up in my room in seconds. I mustered up the courage to let him go. This was it. This was all I could give to him right now. I wouldn’t have that pain again. I wouldn’t let myself feel that way.
He released me, his eyes locking onto mine as if to tell me he was okay. He wasn’t asking for anything more. Just my friendship.
I squeezed his arm and turned around, commanding my feet to put one in front of the other. Keep walking and don’t turn around. I walked until I was in front of the hotel and used my key to get in. I turned to watch Jordan, and he waved to me as I got into the hotel back entrance. I took the old elevator up to my room, its old gears cranking loudly covering the sound of my sobbing.
Next to my desk was a large package wrapped in brown paper with a note attached to it.
“You never said which one you wanted. I figured I’d give you Perseus because he was so proud of himself. Nothing says confidence like a four foot tall painted cat. Good luck on the opinion. I’ll be rooting for you. ~Jordan.”
I set the note on the table and sat at the desk. I opened my computer and got to work on the two speeches.