âYouâre game for anything, right?â
Devi compressed her lips and studied Omar through a narrow gaze, taking in the way his overly bright eyes concentrated on her face as if memorizing every pore. Her gaze traveled south to the non-existent rise and fall of his chest and how he pushed his suit jacket aside as he placed his hands low on his hips. Heâd stopped breathing while he waited for her reply. That made her more nervous than anything. âNormally I am game for anything, but considering the man asking the question, Iâm a little nervous.â She licked her lips.
Omar shook his head, swallowing her hands in the warmth of his. âNo. This is a great idea. I canât believe I didnât see it before.â
âIâll hold back on saying Iâm glad I could help until I know what youâve got pinging around your brain.â She tried to pull free of his grip, but he only grasped her fingers tighter. Her inner voice told her whatever plan heâd cooked up included her and she wouldnât be thrilled with the role.
âBartow wants a family-first firm. He wants a planner who is married, blah, blah blah.â He dismissed his unfinished words with the thrust of his chin.
Devi nodded, her mouth going dry. Was he planning to hire a wife, or about to propose?
âI might not be married, but what if I were engaged?â
She didnât want to jump to conclusions about the proposal so she pasted on a tight smile. âDo you have a serious girlfriend hidden away I donât know about?â The thought unsettled her, but she pushed aside the heaviness in her gut. Omar and relationships mixed like fire and ice. Not that women didnât find him attractive and vice versa, but his true love would always be work. Most sane women wanted something more than a workaholic commitment-phobe.
He shook his head a bit too vigorously. âNo. No.â His grip tightened, and she flexed her fingers so heâd loosen his hold. âHear me out before you shoot me down.â
âIâm more curious than ever.â Again, she threw sand over that niggling feeling in her belly. She never jumped to conclusions. Living by the seat of your pants didnât allow it, butâ¦
Why start now? She rolled her shoulders in an effort to relax. Omar pulled her off to the side and out of the crowd moving past them on the sidewalk. His hands shook with excitement, and he swallowed hard before clearing his throat. Always calm and collected, his buildup unsettled Devi, and she tugged one hand from his grip and pressed it against the gurgle growing in her stomach.
âHow about we announce our engagement? I could pull in some favors and have it in the press Monday morning. Thatâd still give Bartow enough time to invite us to the meet and greet. Andââ
âWhoa, whoa, whoa.â Deviâs stomach did a nosedive, and she yanked her other hand from his death grip and stepped back. She twisted one of the bangle bracelets on her wrist. âOur engagement? First off, I didnât even know we were dating. And second, I am not going to help you get ahead by lying.â