‘How much time do we have?’ I ask.
‘Is that all?’ We should have longer. Life is so unfair. A one-hour lunch break twice a week isn’t really enough anymore.
He nods. His arms are holding me. Tight. Close. ‘Should get moving then. Probably at least leave the bed.’
‘Where’d you park?’ If it’s nearby, then perhaps…
But he’s already getting up. Dressing.
‘Sam? Can’t we do better than this?’
He turns, the light from the window glimmers behind him; he’s lit up like an angel. ‘Sheryl, we’ve talked about this.’
I take a deep breath. ‘But I feel like we’re changing.’
‘You might be.’
‘What the hell does that mean?’ Immediately defensive, hackles raised.
‘I don’t want to sound glib, Sheryl, but you have a clingy side. You’re needy. Never used to be.’
My mouth flaps open, but I’m incapable of making a response.
His hazel eyes are searching my face. He rubs the stubble on his chin. ‘Our arrangement was working. And now it’s not.’
For someone who didn’t want to sound glib, he’s sure sounding that way to me.
I check my watch. 1.25pm. Shit. He says I’m clingy? Needy? That utter bastard. Why is it when men shirk commitment they immediately lay blame at the woman’s feet. I’m the least needy woman. I’ll show him.
‘Well, I guess our time’s up, Sam.’ I quickly slide into my dress, stuff my knickers and bra into my handbag. Pull on my boots, and tie my hair into a loose bun. ‘You’re right, this isn’t working anymore. Let’s just forget about these lunchtime shags, yeah?’
And I close the door to the hotel behind me. Return to my office, where the view from the window looks out over the ocean. I swivel in my chair and watch as the waves crash onto the shore, over and over again. I’m lost in its timelessness.
A knock on my door startles me back to the present. I turn to my desk. ‘Come in.’ It’ll be my PA. The only staff member who’s allowed to disturb me when I’m not to be disturbed.
‘Sheryl? Your two o’clock meeting is here. In in the boardroom. There’s coffee, tea, water and juice. Danishes, biscuits.’
‘Ah, yes. That’s in the folder to your left. Everything you need is in there.’
‘Thank you, Sam. What would I do without you.’
He nods, then backs away. At the door to my office he pauses, ‘Sheryl? One more thing…your underwear? Is it still in your handbag?’ He winks. Closes the door.