Damn him, ooooooh, damn him and that highly amused grin that he gave me in answer. That’s what made it so much worse. Garrett Calder was handsome. He was tall and muscled with broad shoulders that looked (I could only admit this in my head, because I’d likely choke on the words if they came out of my mouth) incredible in a suit. Oh, I’d have liked it so much better if he was a hunchback with two teeth and pockmarks covering the left side of his body.
You know, have the outside match the inside.
“But my old man does?”
With brisk movements, I straightened my blue cotton blouse and sniffed. “Yes.”
Garrett leaned up against the door behind him, clearly not planning on going anywhere. Ass.
“You realize that I don’t have to answer you, right? It’s my prerogative who gets to call me a nickname and who doesn’t.”
When he snorted, I risked a look at him under my lashes. Still smiling that stupid smile. It was one of the non-professional things that I envied about him. The ease with which he smiled and joked, making the people around him happy in turn. The people who I reported to and the people who worked under me all respected me and liked me. But we weren’t exactly friends. We didn’t swap jokes or secrets.
But I’d take respect any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. So I straightened and faced him, giving him the full weight of my annoyed expression. “What?”
“Nothing.” He shook his head, completely amused by my snippy response.
“You are so aggravating.”
“And you are so defensive, Rory.”
I narrowed my eyes and he smothered a laugh. “I’m not defensive. I’m simply explaining to you that it’s my right to recognize that certain people are deserving of informalities over others.”
He clutched a hand to his heart. “So many big words. Stop.”
When I lifted an eyebrow, he gave me a mildly apologetic look. “Okay, fine. I’ll stick to Aurora.”
“Thank you,” I conceded. “Can I leave now? This kind of proximity to you gives me hives.”