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“Good Morning, Ms. Vasu. I trust that you slept well?” Sterling says as he opens the door to let her in the SUV.

“Yes, very well!” She says with an enlightened tone. He glances at her. Though she isn’t smiling, he knows her mood has changed. Sterling heads down W. Center Road to the building site. The representatives from Davidson and Davidson are already there along with Joshua.

“Am I late?” She lifts her wrist. It’s only 8:30. “I’m early.” When the SUV parks Joshua emerges quickly to open the door.

“I’ll get that, Sterling, if you don’t mind,” he says softly taking her hand to help her exit the vehicle. “Good morning, Ms. Vasu.”

“Morning, Joshua,” she utters. One of the gentlemen comes over to greet her.

“Thank you for coming to meet with us personally. The integrity of the company has always been admired. We are so delighted you have taken up your father’s business sense.”

“Thank you. You are too kind. I am just doing what my father wanted for this company and what he worked so hard for,” she returns humbly. They take a narrated tour hosted by Joshua. He rolls out the plans as he points and describes where things will be. Rayen eyes Joshua as he walks ahead of her. He looks very good in the khaki slacks and tan Polo. He looks simply delicious. Just as her eyes reach his face, he turns and meets her gaze.

“What do you think, Ms. Vasu?” Her face is suddenly flushed.

“Perfect,” she says almost too harshly. “What is wrong with me? This is not me. It is like I’m not myself,” she thinks.

“Okay. We will see you guys May 13th for the ground breaking.” Joshua smiles.

She can’t help but get lost in his innocent farm boy grin. She imagines him sitting on a hill of hay with a string of wheat between his teeth, revealing his manly chin. Simply gorgeous is all she can think. “Angela is rubbing her childish fantasies off on me!” she says to herself.

“Are you okay, Rayen?” he asks.

“I’m fine,” she snaps.

“Okay.” He laughs. “I have a favor I must ask you, since I haven’t met anyone else.” She stares at him secretly hoping he stops smiling.

“What might that be?” She raises her brow. “I need to go apartment hunting, and I would love a woman’s opinion. Please accompany me.” She looks away to gather her thoughts. “If it’s an inconvenience I could just hire someone,” he responds to her silence.

“No, no, I will. When are you going?”

“I was thinking we could start today. The agent sent me some places, and I don’t like staying in hotels. I’m ready to go now, since it is still early. Do you have other plans today?”

Rayen feels very uncomfortable. She has never felt anything but rage. She needs to have rage to deal with things properly. If she does not have it, how will she protect herself?

“I don’t have any plans. Let’s go. We can have Sterling drive us, or I could grab my car.”

She tries to hide her reluctance.

“Let’s drive your car!”

Sterling drives them to her condo. “Come in while I get out of my business attire,” she says a little shaky. They enter the condo, and she invites Joshua to sit on the sofa in the living room. 

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