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The conference room door opens then and Janine, one of the main receptionists stands in the doorway.

“Alex Carrol and Jonathon Maynard for you,” she says.

“Thanks Janine, please show them in,” Tyler says. Janine nods and scurries away and Tyler flashes me a smile. “Show time.”

My nerves are shot at this point. My palms are sweating, and my throat is dry. The conference room door opens again and this time, Janine stands back and allows the clients to enter. Tyler and I both stand, and I quickly wipe my hands down my skirt and then I shake their hands in turn as does Tyler.

I offer the two men refreshments. They both decline a hot drink and ask for water. I go to the fridge at the back of the conference room and take four cold bottles of water. I tuck them under my arm and get four glasses from the cupboard above the fridge. I return to the table and hand out the drinks.

Once the pleasantries are out of the way, we are ready to get started. I grab my bottle of water, open it, and pour some into my glass. I take a few sips then I move to the front of the room and begin my presentation. I haven’t gotten through the first slide when all of my nerves fall away, and I begin to enjoy showcasing our design.

The presentation flies by and when I finish, both Alex and Jonathon are smiling. They look impressed and I know then we have done good. Even if they request anything to be changed, it’s going to be minimal. I beam at them.

“Do either of you have any questions?” I ask them.

It’s Tyler’s turn to talk now. That was what we agreed. I would do the initial presentation and Tyler would handle any questions the client had. They ask a few questions, nothing that Tyler can’t handle and nothing that makes me change my mind about us having nailed this.

After a few questions, Alex and Jonathon look at each other and nod. They turn their attention back to us and Jonathon speaks up.

“Thank you, guys, this is great,” he says. “You’ve done a fine job and you’ve answered all our questions. We’re going to go back to our office and have a chat to discuss it all, but I have to say that your work is good, and I’m impressed.”

“Me too,” Alex agrees. “We’ll get back to you by close of business today.”

“That’s perfect, thank you,” Tyler smiles.

I smile and nod my agreement and Alex and Jonathon stand up. We all shake each other’s hands and then Alex and Jonathon leave the conference room and Tyler and I beam at each other.

“That went exceptionally well,” Tyler says.

I nod my head.

“Yes, it did,” I agree. “Way better than I expected it to if I’m being totally honest.”

I get up and roll the screen back up and disconnect my laptop from the projector. Tyler is up too and we both head for the door.

“Let me know as soon as you hear from them,” I say.

“I will,” Tyler says.

We reach the door and we both reach out for the handle at the same time. My hand comes down on the handle with Tyler’s hand over mine. My hand tingles and I have to catch my breath. Tyler doesn’t move his hand immediately and for a second, I debate turning to him and kissing him. I know it would be a bad idea, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to do it. Tyler moves his hand.

“Sorry,” he says, and the moment is gone.

I shake my head and open the door.

“It’s ok,” I say.

We leave the conference room and hurry away, both of us, I think, knowing how close we came to crossing that line once more. I don’t relax again until I’m tucked back away in my office, sitting in my chair with my laptop back on my desk.

I don’t really know how I feel about this project being as good as completed. From a professional point of view, I’m more than happy about it. We did a great job, providing a design the client loves and we did it within the promised time frame. On a personal level though, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

On the one hand, I have to admit it will be easier not having to work so closely with Tyler. Not seeing him up close and personal at least once every few days will make moving on from him a hell of a lot easier. But on the other hand, the truth is, I don’t want to move on from him, and it’s hurting me to know that after today, we won’t be working so closely together.

* * *

To saythe day has dragged by would be an understatement. Fridays always seem to drag because of the promise of two days off work, but this one is even worse than usual waiting to hear back from Alex and Jonathon. Two or three times I’ve almost gone to Tyler’s office just to check in and make sure that he hasn’t heard from them and just forgotten to come and tell me. I’ve resisted the urge though. I’m sure he won’t forget to tell me considering how much work I’ve put into this project.

I check my watch again. It’s half past four and they said we would hear by the close of business today. Many times, I’m in the office until nine, ten o’clock, and I have no doubt that as a fairly new start up, Alex and Jonathon could say the same thing, but it’s a universal thing that when you say close of business, you mean five pm not the time you leave the office for the day. Which means we will be hearing something any time now. Oh God what if they forget to get in touch and go home and we have to wait until Monday to hear from them? I tell myself they won’t do that. They are professionals and they want to get this moving every bit as much as we do.

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