Flirting. Laney would have never thought she would have been so brazen to flirt openly with Ben, especially since they were both in relationships with other people. And working together. But here she was, calling him for no particular reason. Asking work questions that she clearly knew the answers to already. Anything just to make contact. Hear his voice. Be close to him. This was not Laney. She has always been reserved. Guarded. Even a bit withdrawn. But something was changing within her, and she liked it. A lot. She had no intentions of turning back now.
Of course, it helped that Ben was just as flirtatious toward Laney as she was to him. Truth be told, the way Laney remembers it, Ben started flirting with her years before now. Commenting on her perfume. Noticing the speckles of gold in her green eyes. Insisting that she sit next to him during meetings. And the way he would run one finger down her spine when he walked by her. This was Ben. Flirting. His way. And he may not have been consciously aware of it, but it was flirting nonetheless.
Today was Friday, the end of the work week, and Laney wouldn’t see Ben for two days. She would, however, have to deal with Xander and his increasing demands on her. She was not looking forward to it. In fact, she had come to dread weekends now.
“Hey Laney, so what plans do you have for the weekend? Anything exciting?” Ben asked in passing as he made his way back to his office. Then he continued, saying, “Can’t believe it’s Friday already…I have so much work to do I feel as though I should come in tomorrow just to try and get caught up. Know what I mean?”
“Weekend plans? You’re looking at it. I actually am coming in tomorrow too, maybe the afternoon, to get some of this writing tightened up to the design. Can’t believe how busy we’ve been!” Laney replied. “So that’s my weekend.”
“Well, if you don’t mind, since we both have to work tomorrow, I’ll come in tomorrow afternoon as well. We can work together. What do you say?”
“I think that is a great idea, Ben. Working on the copy with your creative direction on the designs that everyone has submitted will really speed this process up.”
Laney was excited to be able to not only work with Ben on Saturday, but to be alone with him. That never happens. They are always surrounded by team members, or in meetings with other department members. But working alone…never. For a brief second, Laney was worried about what she would say to Xander, but just as quickly she decided she didn’t care. After all, this was her job. He would just have to deal.
Ben on the other hand hadn’t given any thought about what Alessandra would think. As long as he got home in time to take her out, she’d be happy. That’s really all she cared about: spending Ben’s money. It will be nice to spend the afternoon collaborating with Laney. Ben loved the way her mind worked, the way she could craft just the right words to go with the designs his team created. She made his job easier.
“Get out of here Laney. It’s 6:30 on a Friday night. Go home. Relax. Have a drink or something.” But Ben didn’t want Laney to go. He loved being alone with her. She was so easy to be around, and he could relax and just be himself.
“Okay Ben, you’re right. It’s getting late, and I don’t think I have anything else to give tonight. A drink does sound good…haven’t done that in ages! What about you? When are you leaving? Plans for tonight?”
“No, no plans. Just heading home. And I am definitely going to have a drink. It’s been one hell of a long week, don’t you think?”
“Oh God, yes.” Laney replied. And there was something about the way she said it that caused some kind of trigger in Ben. As Laney was gathering up her tings to go home, Ben walked up to her and grabbed her arm, slowly spinning her around.
“Laney, wait. Quick question. Will you be online tonight?”
“Hmmmm. Yea, I think so. I mean, I have some research to do for this ridiculous assignment that my taskmaster of a boss has given me,” Laney said with a sly smile.
And with that, Ben quickly gathered up his work and followed Laney out to her car, watching the way she walked the entire time. And Laney was very aware of this.