Bossy Fiance Mistake

By: Roxy Reid

I close my eyes, so tired I feel like crying.

“Sloane,” Sam says from the doorway.

I immediately sit up straight, half expecting to hear our project has been cancelled, or I’m being fired. It’s that kind of day.

Instead, Sam frowns and says, “We need to talk.”

I follow him to his office and sit down.

Sam sits across from me and studies me. “I don’t need to tell you that was highly inappropriate and has potentially jeopardized our project.”

“I swear, I didn’t know—”

Sam holds up a hand. “I know you didn’t. You’re a good worker, Sloane, with a good head on your shoulders. Normally I’d say your personal life is your business.”

I swallow, hot with shame.

“But this Nathan business has gotten out of control. You need to make him understand it’s over. Or get back together. Whatever will make you happy. Just stop this drama from coming to work with you.”

I grit my teeth and look away, blinking rapidly to keep from crying. “I don’t know how to get through to him. I divorced him, and he still …” I clamp my mouth shut, swallowing the complaints. “I’ll fix it, Sam.”

Sam’s expression shifts to worry. “Sloane, if it’s that bad, should you go to the police? I can go with you.” He looks horrifically uncomfortable, like most middle-aged male managers the world over when faced with the reality of their young female employees’ personal lives. I appreciate the offer, even though I’m mortified he’s having to make it.

“That’s not necessary,” I say, forcing a smile. “He’s not dangerous. Just … Nathan. I’ll fix it.”

Sam nods, relieved. “Good. I’d never fire you over something Nathan did. But working in government involves a certain level of public scrutiny. If something like today’s event happened in front of the wrong person, it wouldn’t be my call anymore.”

His words land in me like heavy rocks, and I begin to sink with the fear of losing the career I’ve worked so hard for, all because of Nathan and his inability to just let go. The irony being that I’m now the one who’s going to be let go if I don’t sort this out.

Sam’s phone rings. He answers it and waves me out.

As I’m leaving, he mouths, Fix it, and gives me a thumbs up.

I smile wanly until I’m in the hallway. Then my smile drops. I pull out my phone and text Nathan. I’m too angry to actually talk to him. My fingers shake as I type.

Leave me the fuck alone. Stop sending me “gifts.” It’s over. All you’re doing is pissing me off and getting me in trouble with my boss.

A second later my phone’s ringing. It’s Nathan.

I answer, ready to yell at him, but he starts talking right away, calm and reasonable.

“I’m sorry I got you in trouble with your boss. But you know it’s not over until you’re over me.”

“I assure you, I’m over you.”

“Then why aren’t you dating anyone else?” Nathan says smugly. He says it like this is some sort of gotcha moment.

I don’t know how to tell him that I could be single until the day I die, and it wouldn’t give him the right to act like we’re together. Or how to tell him that I might have more luck dating if he stopped showing up on the few dates I do have and sighing longingly about how he’s never going to get over me, but he’s glad I’ve found someone who will treat me better.

“Face it. I know you too well,” Nathan says. “Until I see some other man’s ring on your finger, I’ll know that, in your heart, you’re mine.”

The entitlement in his voice is so thick I hang up. And then I turn off my phone for good measure.

How the hell am I supposed to fix someone else’s delusion?

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