In Love With My Personal Assistant

By: Audrey Tolhouse

“I mean, you’ve seen at my lowest and at my highest, right?” He paused, searching Jennifer’s face. “With this company and then personally.”

Finally, Jennifer could answer. Instead of saying anything, however, she only nodded in agreement.

“Good,” James’s smile grew. “Then you know that I don’t handle emotions very well,” he chuckled something deep. It was a weird expression, however. Nothing light, but genuine. His was the true James Melone.

“I want you to know something, Jennifer,” he spoke calmly, assuredly, “I meant every single word of what I said to you Friday afternoon.” Her stomach flipped.

“But I was wrong for telling you like I did,” James lowered his eyes and paused. Jennifer felt her heart beginning to speed. It was racing, against what? Her thoughts or logic? She didn’t really know, but it was starting to hurt now. It felt like it could be doing summersaults in her chest cavity and gymnastics against her rib cage. A hand flew to her heart. She was thankful James had kept his head down.

“It was completely unprofessional,” James sighed hard, “childish, arrogant,” he chuckled then. “You know, all the things that people think about a tycoon.” James lifted his head and smiled genially at Jennifer. “I honesty just want to see you happy. And if Andrew is the man you want to be with, I’m glad. I already told you, he’s a great guy.”

Jennifer blinked repeatedly. She felt a wave of something crash over her. It could have been happiness, but she wasn’t so sure. Her hand was still on her heart and her mouth was suddenly parched and dry. She cleared her throat before she attempted to speak.

“You mean that?” Her voice was like broken shards of glass against the calm persona of James. He nodded.

“Every word,” his voice stopped abruptly and he paused and looked down. Jennifer waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. Before the silence around them could grow anymore, she decided to speak.

“So now what?” She suddenly remembered why she had barged into his office in the first place. What emergency could really require Andrew to be in Colorado for two weeks?

“You sent Andrew to Colorado. What is that about?”

James snapped from the awkward turn of silence. “Yes, Colorado! It was an emergency. Everything happened so fast and I didn’t want to bring up work to you before I had a chance to straighten everything out.”

Jennifer nodded and relaxed into the seat. “Okay, well, what’s going on? Is there anything I can do to help?”

James smiled at her warmly. “You see this,” he pointed a finger at her, “this is why I love you so much,” he chuckled, shaking his head incredulously, “you’re always on.”

“Excuse me?” Jennifer had lost her breath again. Her mind reeled at the only words she had managed to hear “This is why I love you so much.”

“You’re always on,” James repeated with a sure nod.

Jennifer shook her head crazily. “You just said you loved me.”

James face fell with confusion. “I said that?”

She nodded eagerly, “Yes,” she said in a breath.

Shaking his head, James ran a hand over his face. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that,” he put the other hand on his face and rubbed hard. When he dropped the palms from his cheeks, he smiled kindly and sheepishly shrugged his shoulders.

“This just might take some getting used to, that’s all,” he paused for a moment, and then let out a loud bark of laughter, “on the other hand, I think it’s nice to finally not have to hold anything back, don’t you?”

Jennifer said nothing. She stared at him blankly, unsure of what to say. He had to have known how she felt about him all of the years that they had worked side by side. She had hoped he would have known that she didn’t work so hard for him out of unparalleled dedication to his cause, but because she had loved him too.

“So—Jerry,” James said at length, he turned to his computer and began to tap at the keyboard. “I’ve been conversing with this man all weekend. I didn’t involve you because of the Friday fiasco, but,” he paused and looked up from the computer. “Can you come here? I need to show you this stuff. I haven’t had the time to compile the information.”

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