“Come in,” Fletcher heard from the other side of the door. Doing what he was asked and closing the door behind him, Fletcher took a few tentative steps and stopped in the middle of the expansive office that was tastefully decorated with a streamlined modern flair. His back to Fletcher, Erik was dressed in a gray suit that showcased his lean but still muscular six-foot-one frame.
“Take a seat,” Erik said, gazing out the window onto the small park behind the building that was dedicated to the memory of Erik’s grandfather who started the company over sixty years ago.
Fletcher had chosen to eat his lunch on a vacant bench, there, yesterday, instead of facing the inquisitive stares and hushed whispers of the employee cafeteria. He hated being the center of attention, unlike the man he was staring at at the moment.
Selecting one of the two seats in front of Erik’s oversized mahogany desk—the only piece of furniture that appeared to be an antique in the room—he sat with perfect posture and waited, dropping his book bag onto the floor beside him.
“Did you have a good night—” Erik began as he turned around to face Fletcher. He stopped midsentence and an unexpected laugh escaped him. “At ease, Private,” he joked. “This isn’t a court-martial. I called you in here to help me out with a something of a delicate nature.”
Fletcher relaxed but only slightly, easing against the back of the chair. “Couldn’t you ask Miss Trible?”
A slow smile spread across his lips. He appeared seductive and downright sexy, his blue eyes breathtaking. Erik shook his head ever so slightly. “I believe you to be a much better candidate.”
“Okay,” Fletcher said, hesitating.
Fletcher watched, as Erik extracted a black velour bag no bigger than the size of his open hand from the top drawer of his desk. Walking around the desk, Erik tugged the silk rope-like cord of the bag open. “Do you mind standing?”
“No,” Fletcher said, almost in a daze. As he stood, he kicked his knapsack.
Erik noticed. “Haven’t seen one of those in a long time. Brings back memories.”
“I thought I would get a more appropriate briefcase after I get paid. You know how it is.” Fletcher attempted to explain his lack of funds,but he doubted that Erik ever felt the pinch of poverty. The man had never been poor a day in his gilded life.
“Mm,” he responded, focusing on the contents of the mysterious velvet bag. “I have something to share, but you have to promise that this will stay between us. If you can’t, I’ll have to ask you to leave and we will forget all about me asking you in here.”
“Is it a wedding gift?” His curiosity piqued, Erik attempted to peek in the bag, but Erik covered the opening.
“You have to promise me.” His voice was a throaty growl.
Swallowing away a lump of lust that had formed in his throat, Fletcher nodded before he even knew he was nodding. “Promise,” he croaked.
Erik’s face relaxed and his eyes glinted with mischief. “I bought this gift for a special friend, but I’m worried I got the wrong size. That’s where you come in.”