Just What the Truth [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Cardeno C.
eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he's convinced himself he's actually straight. But his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, and determined... and he just assumes Ben's gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time he can remember, Ben doesn't have the willpower to resist. Still, life isn't all rainbows and happily-ever-afters. Ben loves his family, but his parents have been estranged from his brother, Noah, since he came out of the closet. Ben doesn't want to lose them, but Micah won't be his dirty little secret forever. Suddenly Ben's hold on his happiness and his sense of self seems to be slipping. If he's going to survive with his heart intact, he'll have to own up to the truth of what he wants and who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.
eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2011
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45 Reader Ratings:
I'm not gay. I'm not gay. I'm not gay.
I know you're thinking that's a weird chant for a straight guy to have as his mantra. But I figure maybe if I think it over and over again, it'll actually be true. I mean, I don't look gay or anything. I'm six feet three inches tall, muscular, and have broad shoulders. That's not small or girly. And I'm athletic. I played varsity sports all through high school, intramurals in college, and I still play in a men's baseball league. I have a deep, strong voice. No lisp in sight. Plus, women like me. I always have a girlfriend. Always.
So I'm not gay, right? There must be some other logical explanation for why I'm standing in the bathroom with my hard dick in my hand fantasizing about the new guy at work. For the third time today. And it isn't even lunchtime yet.
Or maybe being gay has nothing to do with all those stereotypes. Maybe being gay just means that no matter how much I wish I could, I'll never react to any woman in the heart-pounding, sweat-inducing, breath-stealing, dick-filling way I react when Micah Trains so much as runs his fingers through his close-cut brown hair.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Maybe I really am gay.
"Ben, are you in here?"
I quickly stuffed my dick back into my pants.
"Yeah. Be out in a sec."
My voice sounded sort of breathless, and I wondered whether it was noticeable to anyone other than me. My hands were shaking when I got to the sink and turned the handle. I know, I know. It's pathetic.
Okay, stop acting like a teenager whose mom just caught him wanking. Nobody knows what you were doing in here. And even if they suspect, they can't know who you were thinking about, so calm down and act normal.
But I knew it wasn't normal to give myself a pep talk in the bathroom while a work colleague was standing at the door waiting for me. I also knew it wasn't normal to think what I had been thinking about the new lawyer in the office. It had to stop. The fantasies, the daydreams, the images. Okay, those were all the same thing, but they had to stop.
I pulled a couple of paper towels from the dispenser and dried my hands slowly. When I was sure my pants were laying flat, all evidence of my earlier arousal hidden away, I walked to the door. Tucker Jones, one of the associates in my practice group, was waiting for me, and I instinctively averted my eyes and walked right past him.
"What's going on, Tucker? You need something?"
I heard him sigh from behind me and knew he noticed that I hadn't looked him in the eye. Again. I realized the guy probably thought I was mental because I always acted sketchy around him, but I didn't see an alternative. I was worried that if I said too much or got to know him too well, he would figure it out.
You see, Tucker's gay. And my brother, Noah, says he can tell when other guys are gay. My taller-than-me, stronger-than-me, more-athletic-than-me, hell, more-masculine-than-me brother, who's as queer as a three-dollar bill and thinks nothing of shouting it from the rooftop. While he's holding hands with my old roommate. Even if everyone can see them.
Funny, I hadn't thought of Clark as my roommate for a long time. Not since I started spending time with him and Noah after being estranged from them for years. Seeing Clark and Noah as a couple changed Clark's status, in my mind, from being my old friend to being my brother's boyfriend. Or is it partner?
Whatever they call one another, there can be no doubt about who they are to each other. One look at the way they gaze at one another, take care of each other, and a blind man would know they're in love. Ten years. That's how long Noah and Clark have been together. Longer if you count the years they spent as friends, biding their time until Noah finished high school.
And I had spent those same years wondering why I couldn't suppress the urge to see Clark naked, touch him, taste him. No matter how many women I dated or even slept with in my life, I never could suppress that urge. Nothing worked. Well, that is until I started spending time with him and my brother. As soon as I did that, it became very clear to me that Clark and Noah were the real deal. I didn't stand a chance, and hell, I didn't even want a chance anymore. Who would want to get in the way of that kind of connection?
So the naked Clark fantasies stopped, and I thought maybe I would be okay. Maybe I would finally be able to make something with a woman last longer than, as Noah so eloquently once put it, a tube of toothpaste. (Just between you and me, that was a generous description, because my tube of Crest has been with me longer than any girlfriend, even without counting the thing where you roll it into a tight little circle to get every last ounce of paste out of it.)
But then Micah Trains walked into the office, wearing a crisp white dress shirt, red and blue striped tie, pressed chinos, and a navy blazer, I was lost. Completely and totally lost. My old Clark fantasies had nothing on what Micah inspired in my mind. Hence the ridiculously frequent masturbation sessions that barely took the edge off my need.
Anyway, since Tucker Jones, the associate who'd been waiting for me outside the bathroom, was gay, I figured he might be able to do the same thing as Noah with that gaydar, and then he would figure it out about me. I mean, probably not, because I acted perfectly normal. But I didn't see any need to test fate, so I had made it a point to avoid Tucker as much as possible.
"I have a conference call scheduled with a new client in a few minutes." Tucker sounded frustrated. "Randy said he'd sit in on it with me, but his meeting's running late, so he won't be able to make it."
Tucker followed me to my office. I sat down at my desk and shuffled some papers around, pretending like I had something to do, while he shifted from foot to foot. I could tell, because I wouldn't let my eyes go any higher than the man's knees. I didn't say anything, so he kept talking.
"I'd take it on my own, but it's a big client and a pretty complicated deal, and I'd feel a lot more comfortable if a partner was involved too. So can you do it? It shouldn't take too much of your time, and it's all billable."
I didn't see any way out of it, so I forced myself to nod and look up at him. "Sure. I'm happy to help out with the call. Should we do it in your office or mine?"
I blushed as soon as the words left my mouth. Did it sound like I was propositioning him? It wasn't my intention. I mean, Tucker Jones was a good-looking guy, but he had a serious boyfriend, and besides, he wasn't my type. I preferred somebody older than me, not younger. Somebody with a lot of confidence and a big presence. Somebody a little rough around the edges. Somebody like... women. I preferred women.
Yeah, right. Are you buying that? Because it was getting harder and harder to convince myself that it could ever be true.
I was working late on Friday, not because there was something time-sensitive that I had to get out, but because I didn't have anything else to do. My girlfriend had tried to get me to go to a dinner party at her friend's house, but I had politely declined. It had been a long week, and the last thing I wanted was the stress of being "on" all night.
I decided to go get a soda and then put the finishing touches on a Purchase and Sale Agreement. As I walked down the hallway, my mind was completely focused on indemnity clauses and whether mandatory arbitration would make sense in the context of the particular deal. (Look, I never claimed to be interesting. I'm a corporate lawyer. That's not exactly hanging-from-the-chandeliers type of stuff, but it pays the bills.) Anyway, when I got to the office kitchen and saw the man standing there, all work-related thoughts flew from my head and my blood flowed decidedly south.
Micah Trains was leaning against the counter in front of the microwave, reading a document. His nose was bigger than average and a little crooked, like it had been broken a time or two. His short brown hair came together in a widow's peak in front, probably because the sides were receding a bit, and a beard covered much of his face. His jacket and tie were gone, his shirt was crumpled and rolled up to the elbows, and there were little wrinkles on the sides of his blue eyes because he was squinting in the low light. And every single one of those things added up to make an incredibly sexy package. I hated myself for thinking it, but there it was: Micah Trains was sexy as hell.
I didn't realize that I had stopped moving until Micah looked up from the papers in his hand and locked his steel-blue gaze on me. After that, it was all I could do to stay upright. I felt like my knees were buckling, and I was getting light-headed.
What was wrong with me? Maybe I was coming down with something, like a cold or the flu. Or repressed homosexuality. I could hear my brother's voice in my head, sarcastic tone and all, but I shook it off. I couldn't be gay; it would absolutely devastate my parents. One gay son was bad enough, but two? Well, I might as well call the funeral parlors to see if we could get a group discount rate, because it would kill both of them.
Micah cleared his throat and licked his lips. It was an innocent, subconscious action on his part, but I couldn't take my eyes away from his mouth. What would it be like to have that tongue licking my lips? I hoped the sound of the microwave was loud enough to drown out the groan that reflexively left my body.
"Ben Forman, right?" Micah asked as he walked toward me with his hand outstretched. I couldn't move a muscle. "We met last month when I came in to interview with all the partners, but I think Randy Desai monopolized that particular meeting, so we didn't get to talk much. I've been meaning to come say hello and introduce myself more properly, but between transitioning my files over here, getting to know the new computer system, and preparing for a trial set to start in a couple of months, I've been swamped. So it's taken me a little longer than I'd hoped to make the rounds."
I heard his words. I even understood them. But I still couldn't figure out how to make my mouth work so that I could respond. Micah was bowlegged. I hadn't noticed that before, probably because he had been sitting or standing still every time I had seen him, but now I was fixated on the way he walked. Damn, was that ever hot.
I sighed internally. It had gotten to the point where I was finding the way a man walked attractive. I needed help.
Thankfully, my internal struggle snapped me out of my Micah-induced stupor, and I managed to take his hand and shake it without falling over or drooling. I had graduated Order of the Coif, summa cum laude from a top-ten law school, and I was giving myself an internal pat on the back for accomplishing basic bodily function control. Just great.
"Hi, Micah. Nice to see you again. So you're settling in okay?"
Three sentences, and I got them all out without stammering. Well, not too badly, anyway. I was pretty sure Micah hadn't noticed.
The microwave beeped.
Micah raised one eyebrow, and the side of his mouth tilted up in stomach-flipping grin. "I'm going to need to ask for my hand back so I can get that popcorn out of the microwave."
"Oh, uh, yeah. Sorry."
I let go of his hand and walked over the fridge, keeping my face inside it under the guise of searching for a soda, but I was actually just waiting for the blush to subside. Had I held onto his hand too long? I didn't think so, but then everything seemed to be sort of hazy and moving in slow motion.
"Can I get you a soda, Micah?"
There. That sounded just fine. Even voice, not shaking, complete sentence. Yeah, I know you're impressed.
"That'd be great. Thanks."
I got the drinks out of the fridge and turned back toward Micah, feeling a bit more in control of my body and my emotions. He was sitting at the table, munching on popcorn and making some notes on the document he was reading. It would have been rude not to sit down and talk to him for a little while. He was new to the firm and one of my partners now. I should make an effort to get to know him.
I didn't know why I felt the need to justify my behavior to myself. There was nothing unusual about taking a break at work with another lawyer. Of course, there was definitely something unusual about the way I reacted to Micah Trains. Okay, fine, maybe I did know the reason for the internal justifications.
"So tell me about yourself, Ben. I know you're in the transactional group, that you recently made partner, and that blue's your favorite color, but that's about it."
My jaw dropped. "How do you know my favorite color?"
"Because I've seen you around the office and I noticed that about 70 percent of your shirts are some shade of blue or a close variation, like blue checkers or stripes."
"You're remarkably observant," I said.
He shrugged. "I can be when it matters."
He pushed the popcorn bag toward me. Then he opened his soda, tilted his head back, stretching his long neck, and took a few gulps. I watched his throat work as he swallowed down his beverage.
I wanted him. There was no denying it. My entire body was tight and thrumming with need.
Why couldn't I have that feeling with a woman? I dreaded the nights when I couldn't come up with a decent excuse and I had to go to bed with whatever woman I was dating at the time. I was getting older and it was getting more and more difficult for me to be able to fake an interest, and I was sick of trying.
Maybe I needed to take a break from dating for a little while. Nobody would think anything of it if I was single for a few months. That's not a red flag or anything. Lots of guys go for months at a time without a girlfriend.
A piece of popcorn hit my forehead and startled me.
"Earth to Ben." Micah was grinning like a loon.
"Did you just throw popcorn at me?" I tried not to laugh.
The move was so incongruous with Micah Trains's cutthroat litigator reputation. The man was supposed to be type A, a brilliant strategist, and vicious in the court room. And here he was fooling around like a teenager.
"Hey, I had to do something to get your attention."
Oh, he had my attention. That wasn't an issue. The problem was just how much of my attention was fixated on the man. Emphasis on the "man" part of that sentence.
* * * *
"Alright, you've got my attention and an A for creativity. What can I do for you, Micah?"
A single eyebrow went up again, and this time when Micah's lips curved upward, I could have sworn he was leering more than smiling. I shook off the thought. That was impossible.
Micah Trains was one of the top litigators in Emile City. That wasn't just my personal opinion. He had actually been listed as one of the top fifty litigators in a survey of all state bar members two years running. Considering the fact that he wasn't even forty years old yet, that was quite an achievement. Anyway, the point is that a guy like that couldn't be gay, so there was no way he would leer at me.
"I assume you're not trying to meet a deadline, since business hours are over until Monday morning. Is that right, or do you have some pain in the ass client expecting you to get something done by Saturday morning?" he asked.
I laughed. "I have a lot of pain in the ass clients, but none of them have any pressing deadlines right now."
Micah smiled broadly. He got up from the table and tossed the popcorn bag across the room and into the trash can. Clark and I used to play games like that in high school, and I smiled at the memory. "Two points. Well done." I said.
"Two points? No fuckin' way. That was a three-point shot. Come on, let's go."
I laughed in spite of myself. Hotshot lawyer with a potty mouth. Of course, I found that attractive too. Maybe he could pick his nose or something equally disgusting so I could kick the unwelcome attraction plaguing me. I was following him out of the kitchen before I realized it.
"Wait. Where're we going?"
He just kept walking down the hallway toward his office. It was on the opposite side of the floor from mine. I knew because it had been a stretch for me to keep coming up with excuses to walk by and look at him out of the corner of my eye at least once--okay, fine, three times--a day since he started.
"We're going to dinner. I'm starving and popcorn won't do. Since you don't have a deadline, I figure you can join me."
We had gotten to his office, and he slid into his chair and shut down his computer. Then he picked up his wallet and cell phone and stuffed them into his pocket.
"Do you need to log off?" he asked me.
I didn't remember agreeing to have dinner with him, but I supposed it made sense. We were both working late, it was Friday night.... No, actually, it didn't make sense. I had never spontaneously made weekend dinner plans with one of my partners. Well, most of them had families waiting for them at home or plans with friends.
I was pretty sure Micah Trains was single. I didn't know anything about his personal life, but he wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and there weren't any wedding or kid photos in his office. As successful as he was, I figured he was one of those guys who was married to his career. He probably had an ex-wife or two who'd vouch for that.
"Yeah. Give me a minute and I'll meet you at the elevator bank," I said.
I turned around and started walking out of Micah's office and heard his footsteps behind me. I looked over my shoulder. He was right there with his suit jacket and tie draped over his arm.
"I'll walk with you. Give me a chance to see how the other half lives. I've never been to the transactional side of the floor."
"It's nothing exciting," I told him as we walked through the quiet, dark hallways. "Just a mirror image of the litigation side. We tend to have less shouting during the day, but that's about it as far as differences go."
And I should know exactly what was and wasn't different between the litigation and transactional wings, considering my bordering-on-stalking routine visits to his side of the floor, which had not coincidentally started on the day he joined the firm.
When we got to my office, Micah immediately started looking at the pictures on my credenza. I only had a few: one of my parents all dressed up for a charity event a few years prior, one of the four of us--me, my parents, and my brother--from when I was a kid. And a fairly recent picture that Clark had snapped of me and Noah.
The picture's nothing special. We're just sitting on the couch in his living room wearing jeans and T-shirts. But there were a lot of years when I didn't think I would ever have even that level of relationship with my brother, so I cherished it. Even more so because Clark had not only taken the picture, but he had printed it, framed it, and given it to me. I had made a lot of mistakes over the years when it came to Clark, so that picture felt like forgiveness to me.
"Hey, I know this guy. Noah, right? Noah Forman." Micah paused for a heartbeat, and I saw his eyes flicker as the light bulb went on. "You're Noah Forman's brother?"
I was surprised that Micah knew Noah. They weren't the same age--Noah was twenty-seven, which made him about a decade younger than Micah. And they weren't in the same line of work--Noah owned a kickboxing gym.
"Yeah, I am. How do you know Noah?"
"We have a mutual friend, so I end up running into Noah and his partner, Clark, every so often. They're great guys. Even though your brother can be a little, ehm, intense about Clark."
I laughed at that diplomatic description of Noah's possessive streak when it came to Clark.
"Yeah, he can be pretty intense. But Clark doesn't seem to mind, so...." I shrugged and let the thought trail off. There had been a time when just thinking of my brother and Clark together would have made me angry. I had wanted to save Noah from what I was sure would be a hollow life. I thought if he got away from Clark, he would meet a nice girl, settle down, and be happy. That's how it's supposed to work, right? Well, as it turned out, Noah was settled and very happy already. With Clark. I, on the other hand, had met lots of nice girls, and I was neither settled nor happy.
I had finished shutting down my computer, so I started walking out of my office. I was in front of Micah, which turned out to be a good thing, because it stopped him from seeing me almost swallow my tongue when I heard his next sentence.
"Gay brothers, huh? Have you ever looked into the odds on that? I'd bet it's pretty unusual."
I wanted to deny it. I wanted to tell him that I wasn't like Noah. I wanted to say that I was straight. But I was so busy concentrating on walking and breathing that I couldn't manage to say a word, and then he moved on from the conversation, so the moment passed, and it was too late to correct him.
"How do you feel about Indian? Bombay Palace is pretty good, and it's down the street, so we can walk. I feel like over the past week or so it's finally gotten warm enough that I can go outside even after the sun's gone down."
"Oh, uh, sure. Sounds good."
My head was swimming. Why did Micah think I was gay?
"So did you grow up here in Emile City?" Micah asked as if the world weren't crashing down around us. Actually, the mundane normalness of the question calmed me down a little. At least enough to make conversation.
"Yes, I did, in EC North. I still live there, actually."
It helped that we were walking and talking, because I didn't have to look at his face and see what he really thought of me. His voice was perfectly even, like it didn't bother him at all to be walking to dinner with a gay guy. No, not a gay guy, a guy he thought was gay but actually wasn't. Yeah, right.
Anyway, Micah Trains hadn't accidentally tripped into his reputation as a top-notch attorney. He probably had a knack for hiding his real opinions and making people feel comfortable talking. Of course, I wasn't a hostile witness, so there was no reason for him to try to get me to open up. "That's quite a commute every day," he said.
I shrugged. "Just under an hour. It's not terrible. I've thought about getting a place closer to the office, but my parents like having me out there."
There wasn't really anything else to say about it. I owned a pretty basic one-bedroom condo in a nothing-to-write-home-about complex. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either, and I could get to my parents' house in less than ten minutes, which was useful because my mother liked having me over for dinner often. Too often, really, but I always went when she asked. I felt like I had to go often enough to count as two sons worth of visits, because Noah refused to grace them with his presence.
"I grew up in LA, and when I moved away, I swore I'd never have to deal with traffic again," Micah said. "My drive is about fifteen minutes during rush hour, less than ten if I'm driving in early or going home late."
"Oh, now you're just being cruel and rubbing my face in it. I'll just have to spend this evening's commute thinking of creative payback ideas." I tried to sound menacing, but I think I probably fell a little short. I'm not really the scary type.
Micah just laughed. "Alright, pretty boy. Give it your best shot."
* * * *
Dinner turned out to be really fun.
We talked about work.
Micah had a few different cases going, but the one taking most of his time had a trial date scheduled for September. I had a few purchase and sale transactions and some corporate formations on my desk.
"The thing I like about corporate work is that we're all striving for the same goal. I mean, I still have to deal with opposing counsel, and we're each trying to get the best terms we can for our clients. But at the end of the day, we both want to get the deal done, so we have a strong incentive to play nice and make things work," I explained.
"It's not always like that with litigation," he said. "People play a lot of games. They try to stretch things out and waste the other guy's time and money. Take when I moved to the firm, for example. One asshole opposing counsel tried to file a motion to remove me from the Jones case saying there was suddenly some conflict, even though we cleared conflicts checks before I came over. It was a total bullshit delay tactic because the trial date's coming up and he thinks if he strings it out further, my guy will settle."
I didn't understand half of that because litigation was completely outside the scope of what I did, but I got the general idea. "So what'd you do? You're still working on the case, right?"
He grabbed some naan, tore off a piece, and popped it in his mouth. "Oh, hell yeah, I'm still on it. I just wrote opposing counsel back and told him to go fuck himself, fuck his mom, fuck his dog, and fuck his mom's dog."
I raised my eyebrows in surprise. "That worked?"
He smirked. "Well, I phrased it more delicately, but the message was the same. And, yeah, it worked. I can be extremely persuasive."
Yeah, I bet. I had a feeling Micah Trains could persuade me to do just about anything. It wouldn't take much, really, just him asking in that sexy-as-hell raspy voice. Damn it, there I went again. My mind was completely out of control.
We talked about family.
Micah had a younger sister who lived in LA, along with his parents. My parents and younger brother all lived in Emile City.
"Are you close with your family?" I asked him.
"Absolutely. I get out there to visit them at least every couple of months or my mother starts calling and leaving progressively more annoying voicemails." He made a funny face and started talking in a high, nasally voice. "Micah, this is your mother, Deborah Stern Trains, calling. I thought I should use my full name in case you've forgotten. After all, I know how busy you are and how many different people you talk to every day. I don't mean to bother you, but I thought you should know that your nephew misses you. I've tried telling him that his uncle is a very important man and very important men don't always have time to call their families, even their only nephew who thinks they hung the moon. But he's only five, so he doesn't understand. Don't worry. I'll keep explaining it to him."
I was laughing so hard by the time he was done with the impression that I had to wipe tears away from the corners of my eyes. "You're exaggerating!" I gasped out.
He shook his head. "I wish. That was practically verbatim. And that's if I don't call for a week. If I go any longer, she'll call again and lay it on even thicker."
He cleared his throat and did the impression voice again. "Micah, this is your mother calling. Again. I just want to let you know that my telephone number hasn't changed and I still live in the same place. I know you must be worried about that because I can't sleep at night for worrying about you. Your father keeps telling me to take an Ambien, but you know how upset my stomach gets when I take pharmaceuticals. Don't worry, I'm used to not getting much sleep. When I was pregnant with you, you kept me up all night. But just in case my body can't take it anymore now that I'm old, please make sure your father doesn't break the bank on the funeral. I'm not the Queen of England. Hopefully, you'll make time to come to my funeral, but I'll understand if you're too busy. I'll talk to your father now, so he'll understand too. We miss you. You can call anytime you're free. I'll stop whatever I'm doing, because I know how valuable your time is and that mine isn't as important."
We talked about religion.
He was Jewish and belonged to a small synagogue that he really liked. I was raised in a nondenominational Christian church, but I only went when my parents asked me to join them.
"I don't really know what I believe or if I believe anything." I shrugged. "I don't really give it much thought, I guess."
"It's really more of a cultural thing than a God thing for me," he explained. "It's important to me to carry on the traditions. I like the ritual of it, you know? I like knowing that my grandparents and their grandparents all read those same prayers and celebrated those same holidays, and that my niece and nephew and future generations will do the same thing. Whether or not there's a higher power out there, being part of that tradition makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself."
We talked about hobbies.
I was right about his work ethic. It sounded like Micah worked exceptionally long hours. When he had free time, he liked to hike and bike. I told him about the men's baseball league I played with, my fantasy baseball league, and my obsession with Emile City's Major League Baseball team, the Glory.
"So are you a Glory season ticket holder?" he asked.
I shook my head and gulped down some water. The tikka masala was seriously spicy. "I wish. I can't afford to buy an entire season, not that I'd have the time to go to eighty-one games even if I could. And getting into a share with good seats is almost impossible. Once someone gets a lock on those, he has to move away or die before he'll give them up."
"Yeah, that's true. Their luck needs to turn around soon, though, or that might change. If the Glory are gonna win a game, those boys need to learn how to close it out."
* * * *
When the bill came, I reached for my wallet, but Micah waved me off, put his credit card on the tray, and handed it to the waiter.
"You don't have to do that, Micah. We can split it."
"Nope. I invited you to dinner, so it's my treat."
His voice was softer than it had been all night. He was smiling, and there was something in his eyes that tugged at my chest. I had the strangest feeling at that moment that I was on a date instead of having a casual dinner with a work colleague.
I knew it wasn't true. I knew that wasn't how Micah saw the evening. But my deranged mind couldn't stop itself from running on that track, and I hated myself for it.