Stacy arched her back and rolled her shoulders. She’d been at the computer most of the day and was beat. She was hungry, too. Glancing at the clock, she pulled herself up out of her desk chair and headed to Ryan’s office.
Ryan Sanders was owner of Blue Ridge Realty. Stacy had worked there for just about three years. There were a couple of other realtors in the office, but she and Ryan spent the most time there. Besides being a realtor, she’d also become an assistant to Ryan and pretty much ran the entire business. She loved every minute of it.
“Hey, Ryan. I just finished up the Hopkins offer. I think I’m going to head out. It’s been a long day,” Stacy said as she leaned on the doorjamb into his office.
“Okay. I’ll head out with you. I just finished uploading some pictures for the Walton listing.” Ryan shut his laptop and stood, stretching. “It has been a long day,” he said as he grabbed his keys and rounded his desk.
“Yep. Let me get my purse and I’ll meet you at the door,” Stacy said as she turned and headed back to her office.
Stacy met Ryan at the office entrance, and he held the door open for her to walk through ahead of him. She couldn’t help but sigh. She was certain he’d think nothing of it and assume it was because she was tired. He had no idea the sigh was because she was half in love with him, and he looked so damn good standing there in his dress pants with his sleeves rolled up and his tie now draped around his neck. And even this late in the day he smelled so fucking good.
Ryan, however, was oblivious to her attraction. So, like many evenings before, he would walk her to her car, kiss her on the cheek and be on his way. His way often led him to whoever was the flavor of the month or even week. Her way was home. Alone.
Ryan followed her to her car, and right as she was switching her key fob from one hand to the other to open the door, it slipped from her fingers. That one little variation to their routine had her turning slightly as he leaned in to kiss her on the cheek.
Their lips met, and she could instantly tell he was just as shocked as she was. He pulled back slowly and looked at her with brows drawn. Then he stepped up, cupping her face, and Stacy’s eyes widened as he covered her mouth with his and really kissed her.
She immediately responded and opened to him to deepen the kiss. She ran her tongue along his and sucked slightly on his bottom lip. She was totally taking advantage of this. She had waited at least a year and a half. She’d be crazy not to take advantage of it.
They stumbled slightly, but the kiss didn’t break. He backed her up against the car, and she grabbed the front of his shirt, pulling him closer. And then, just like that, he pulled back. The kiss was over. Damn it.
Ryan took a giant step back, causing her to lose her grasp on his shirt and stumble forward.
“Oh shit, Stacy. I am so sorry. I’m not sure what came over me. I swear that will never happen again,” Ryan said, shaking his head.
“Excuse me?” Stacy was proud she hadn’t said “what the fuck”.
“Really, I’m sorry. That was totally unexpected and unprofessional. I promise I’ll never do that again,” Ryan said with a shaky smile. “I feel like such a jackass.”
“Yep. You got that right. You are a jackass,” Stacy said as she bent down to get her keys. She was shocked he hadn’t picked them up for her. That wasn’t like him. No matter what the circumstances, he was always a gentleman, but it appeared he was trying to keep a safe distance. Did he think she was going to slap him or something? Hmmm, really not a bad idea. The jerk.
“I know. I mean, it’s not even like we’re each other’s type. I wasn’t thinking. I’m really sorry,” Ryan said as he side-stepped, putting more distance between them.
“Yes, Ryan. I get it. You’re sorry.” Stacy turned and opened her car door. She needed to get the hell out of there before she either punched him or cried.
“Everything is okay with us, right? This isn’t going to make things…weird, is it?” Ryan asked.
“No, Ryan. Everything is fine,” Stacy said as she slid into her car.
Ryan stepped up and stopped her from closing the door. “Don’t forget I’m doing the job fair at the middle school tomorrow and I’m heading over to the Wilson place for an open house all day Friday. So it will be Monday before I see you again.”
“Okay,” Stacy said as she tried to pull the door shut.
“Call me if you need anything,” Ryan said, not releasing the door. “Damn, Stacy. I’m really sorry,”
“I know, Ryan. You’re really sorry. It will never happen again. Got it.” With that, Stacy jerked the door shut and got the hell out of that parking lot as fast as she could.
As soon as Stacy had put some distance between her and the realty office, she grabbed her phone and hit the speed dial for her mom. The wanting to punch him was winning out over the crying. She was pissed. Not only at Ryan, but herself as well. She could have made the first move more than a year ago. The fear of rejection, however, had had her continuing to play the best friend role, keeping to the status quo in the hopes that he would make the first move. And when he had, he’d fucking apologized! Jackass indeed.
“Mom. You know that job you were telling me about in Baltimore? How soon can I start?”