Courage (Billionaire Secrets Series, #3)(9)

By: Lexy Timms

“If this is what Heather wants, then it’s the best idea moving forward.”

Her eyes met his, and something in them softened. Like she was grateful that he was willing to go along with what she wanted. Of course, he would honor her wishes. What other choice was there?

When Everett had first explained Heather’s transfer, Simon had been convinced it had been the board’s idea. The thought of the transfer being Heather’s idea hadn’t even occurred to him. Now he knew just how badly she wanted to get away from him. His lack of trust in her had pushed her further away than he’d ever expected.

How could he possibly make it up to her if she wasn’t even going to be around anymore?

Simon gazed back at her, keeping his face blank. There was no use in letting her see how much this was getting to him. If she wanted to get away from him so badly, nothing was going to convince her otherwise. Not that he blamed her. After the shabby way he’d treated her, she had every right to want to work away from him.

Once the board meeting was adjourned Simon headed to his office, unsure of how he was going to tackle the rest of the day now that he knew Heather would be gone soon.

Sinking into the chair at his desk, Simon opened one of the desk drawers and took out a bottle of painkillers. His head was throbbing.

“Do you need a glass of water?” Heather’s voice drifted quietly over to him.

He looked up. She was standing in the office doorway, looking at him with concern on her face.

Without responding he opened the bottle and downed two pills, wincing at the bitter taste and hoping it didn’t show. “No. Don’t you have to start working for Linda right away?”

“I do. But I have to clear out my office, and I realize that you won’t have an assistant once I leave.” She frowned and walked towards him. “How are you going to get by?”

“I’ll get on just fine without you.” That came out far more harshly than he’d wanted it to. The pain in his head intensified. “That’s not what I meant—”

“You have a habit of saying things you supposedly don’t mean,” she bit out. There was a silence that was near unbearable. “Well, since you don’t need me, I’ll be in my office clearing out my things.”

“Heather, wait.” He let out a breath, trying to gather his thoughts through the haze of his migraine. “That came out wrong. What I meant to say is that I have no idea how I’ll get by without you.”

“You’ll manage,” she said. “I’m sure you’ll hire someone great to replace me.”

“That’s just it,” he said. “I don’t want to hire someone to replace you. Heather, you’re the best assistant I’ve ever had. Nobody can do this job the way you can. Trust me, I know. You’re a great assistant.”

He meant every word, but it wasn’t all that he wanted to say to her. There was so much more he was leaving unsaid. Heather was more than a good assistant. His feelings for her were more than professional. And far more than the friendship they had started as children. The truth was, he had no idea how to cope without her presence. Without her generosity and her courage to constantly push back against him. She didn’t treat him like someone she wanted to get something out of.

She stared, holding his gaze a moment too long. Then she blinked in surprise and backed away towards the door. “That’s nice of you to say, but this is goodbye. I’ve enjoyed our time together.”

“I want to make it up to you,” he said desperately. “Those things I said—”

“Don’t make this harder than it has to be, Simon,” she said sharply. “I’ll make sure to leave anything you might need.”

Clearly, he wasn’t going to be able to get through to her now. Too much anger and distrust had grown between them.

As she walked out of his office, he knew that it was wrong to still want her. Wrong to wish she’d change her mind and come running back.

But it didn’t matter how wrong it was. Determination set in. Simon was going to get her back. He just didn’t know how.

HEATHER METHODICALLY cleared out her desk, putting everything she was going to need in her new office into cardboard boxes. She planned to leave everything else, so Simon could figure out a way to move on without her. He could find a new assistant.