Her thick lashes draped over her downcast eyes. He looked at her, trying to figure out what exactly was wrong.
Nandi’s lower lip quivered ever so slightly and she quickly caught it in between her teeth. Her shoulders seemed to droop even lower. Nandi never cried. She always had it all together.
Not in front of him, anyway.
Denjei felt like wrapping his arms round her and holding her to his chest. But that would probably be awkward since he’d never as much as taken her hand even in a handshake. Not that he hadn’t wanted to. Several times. Especially when she wore that aqua blue dress with the lacey, plunging neckline. That seemed to be the only dress she had that wasn’t black, brown or grey. There was something about that shade of blue against her chocolatey brown skin that made him feel the air conditioning in the room had been shut down.
But, she was his boss. Thinking about her in this way was just…just…somehow.
Another awkward ten minutes passed before he spoke again.
“Maybe you should take the day off, ma’am. I’ll handle everything here and call you later to report….”
She raised her head and looked at him, her eyes wide with fear.
“He’s going to kill me.” No emotion and matter-of-factly.
What? Who? Where? Why? And half a dozen other questions tumbled over each other in his head, each one wanting to be the first to get out of his mouth.
“Who’s he?” It was more of an exclamation than a question.
I had no idea there was a ‘he’ in her life. She didn’t seem like a woman who needed anyone…any man. Heck, he was even scared of her most times.
In response to my question, she turned her back to me. I thought she was wringing her hands in front of her until with an almost imperceptible shrug; her black dress fell off her shoulders. I swallowed hard, anticipating seeing more of the skin that had been the object of my secret fantasies. I threw a quick glance at the office door, trying to remember if it was locked or not, hoping no one would come in and spoil the moment for me.
I turned back to look at her bare shoulders, totally unprepared for the sight that met me. Her back was riddled with long wounds in different stages of healing. One particularly long welt was still fresh, obviously administered the day before, judging from its redness.
A string of expletives left Denjei’s mouth in rapid succession. She turned round to face him. The tears fell fast and free, disappearing the moment they landed on the front of her black dress.
“Take me home, Denjei.”
“I….I…I’m so sorry. I’ll call your driver immediately.”
“No!” She said firmly, grabbing his arm. “You drive. Take me to your house. Take me anywhere. Faraway from Sarema…and his father.