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Just To Be With You (Page 29)

Good thing the director and producer weren’t asking her to do a read-through right now, because it would be a total mess.

She didn’t realize her private emotions were spilling out of her until Brian, the owner of the warehousing company, turned to her and said, “Is everything okay? You didn’t step on something sharp, did you?” He looked around the concrete floor, clearly worried.

Belatedly realizing the little frustrated scream hadn’t remained in her head, she forced her lips up into what she hoped looked like a real smile. “No, I’m fine.”

When Ian looked concerned as well, she said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt. Please, just forget I’m here.”

“Actually,” Brian said, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I’m pretty sure my employees would love a chance to get a few autographs, if it would be okay with you.”

“Of course I don’t mind. I just don’t want to get in your way.”

Ian’s eyes went dark as he looked at her. “You’ve never been in anyone’s way, Tatiana.” He nodded over to the group of workers who were sitting in the nearby break room. “We have plenty of time for you to go and make everyone’s day.”

Brian took her over and she signed autographs and took pictures and just plain had a great time chatting with everyone. It was so nice to get out of her head for a little while that she was shocked when she looked up at the clock on the wall and realized just how long she’d been at it.

“Ian, I’m sorry,” she said as she pushed back from the plastic table. “I’ve thrown off your schedule.”

“Like I said before, we’re fine.” He gestured behind him to a little girl and her mother who were walking toward them from the parking lot. “Besides, I think you’ve got a couple more people to say hello to before we head out.”

Did he have any idea how sweet he was? She wanted so badly to reach out to him and feel again what she’d felt so strongly yesterday when they’d had their arms around each other in her kitchen.

Instead, she walked toward the little girl with big brown eyes and knelt in front of her. “Hi, what’s your name?”

“Keely.”

“Oooh, I love your name, Keely.”

“I was watching you on TV last night. You’re famous.”

Tatiana laughed. “I guess so. But you’re the one with the awesome shoes that light up. Can you make them sparkle again?”

As the little girl danced around, though Tatiana wasn’t anywhere close to having kids yet, she couldn’t deny the little tug in her heart.

“If it wouldn’t be too much to ask,” her mother said, “could I take a picture of you together?”

“Absolutely, but only if you take one for me on my phone, too.” Tatiana reached into her bag for it, but by the time she came up empty, Ian was already holding his out.

“I’ll take it with mine, Tatiana,” he said, having clearly guessed that she’d forgotten it somewhere.

Because he knew her.

Tatiana and Keely posed for pictures, first with big smiles, and then making silly faces. After hugging both the little girl and her mother, Tatiana waved good-bye to everyone, then headed for Ian’s town car.

“We’ll need to head to my place rather than my office for my next meeting,” Ian explained, “because I need my video conferencing software. Given the way traffic is looking right now, my home office is at least fifteen minutes closer. And,” he said, holding up a hand before she could apologize for making them so late, “I would have asked you to leave your fans if I’d wanted to. But you were making them happy—and they were making you happy, too. So I didn’t want to ask you to leave.”

Seeing Ian’s house would be another window into the man she’d fallen head over heels for. And maybe, she thought with renewed hope after what he’d just said to her about liking to see her happy, it would give her new clues into how to get closer to the heart he always made sure to guard so carefully.

The building he lived in was cool and polished, everything classy and top-of-the-line, from the high-tech elevator controls to the crisply pressed uniform on the doorman who called Ian sir and her miss.

She could tell Ian was preoccupied with what he was missing in the meeting that had started without him, so when he let them inside and offered to get her a drink, she waved him away. “Go dial in. I’ll come find you once I’ve found drinks for both of us.”

He looked undecided for a moment, and she had to wonder if it was because he was afraid she was going to find something he’d kept hidden from everyone else. But then, when his cell phone rang again, he said, “My home office is the door just beyond the living room.”

She’d joked about snooping in his office the day she’d come to ask if she could shadow him, but she hadn’t actually done it. Now, however, she couldn’t stop herself from looking all around his penthouse condo with great curiosity.

Last Friday, Ian Sullivan had been an attractive man she’d been hoping to get to know better, and to set off some sparks with. One week later, though he was still impossibly gorgeous, he was so much more to her than just a sexy man who made her tingly all over.

She’d known he was committed to his family, but until she’d seen him interact closely with his sister, his parents, and his brothers at dinner, she hadn’t realized just how much they meant to him. Everything. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them. Plus, his company had great maternity and paternity benefits, and then there was all the time and effort he was putting into the Seattle Family Foundation fundraising event, when she knew firsthand that time was precisely what he didn’t have, and it would have been so much easier just to write a check.

Why had he lived in London for so many years when he’d obviously missed his family as much as they’d missed him?

What’s more, instead of ruthlessly directing an executive staff from on high, Ian got right in there with them and was hands-on with each part of the massive business he ran. Somehow, he always managed to find the time, and the energy, for everything he did. How did he make it all look so easy?

As for his ex-wife, Tatiana wasn’t surprised that he’d been drawn to the other woman’s beauty. But, given how horribly Chelsea behaved toward him, why did he obviously blame himself for the marriage not holding together?

Ian was a mystery that she couldn’t stop wanting to solve.

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