trying to concentrate on her work was proving to be completely futile. god, she hadn't been this nervous around someone since high school, since snow, never mind that she hadn't really gotten back into the romantic scene after their relationship ended. of course, she had been intent on carrying on as normal, to continue sketching her ideas as she saw fit, and it had worked for a bit. with fallon's focus on her now, though, serah found herself resisting the urge to squirm in her seat, which probably wasn't the best idea. they'd been sitting together for a while, and with serah already moving and adjusting herself in the chair before now, her skirt definitely was not in the same position it had been in when she first sat down. serah also didn't want to come off as fidgety in front of her boss, which she decidedly wasn't in normal circumstances. having only one sweetheart in her life, one who had treated her like a princess while he was around, serah was definitely not used to feeling so hot under the collar with just a look. she had sex with snow more than one, had felt desire burn her out from the inside before, but it was never like this, like it was trying years for her to just come out and say it and being in agony under someone else's gaze the entire time. "no thank you
," serah replied. she could do do this. she could endure
. she had to. the last thing she needed on her plate now was the thought of having to look for another job before she even lost this one. fallon had been kind to her over the length of her employment, yes, but serah didn't believe that kindness would keep her from not being fired if she did something very
wrong. "i'm fine for right now
." she could make it until they both had to go home for the night. although, serah wasn't too sure she'd be free from her wondering thoughts even at home, not if the growing knot in the pit of her stomach was anything to go by.
being praised didn't help very much to get her back on track with her work, but she pushed through regardless, taking the time to thicken up some of her sketched lines that were more like chicken scratch at the moment. normally she tried to be more pristine with her sketches, and she could go back and erase everything that was off later, but she wasn't really in that kind of mindset at the moment. honestly, serah was having trouble remembering what she was even supposed to be working on, which was. bad. very bad. "i want to thank you again for giving me such an opportunity, though," she said. even if she couldn't completely focus on her work, serah could at least keep track of the conversation as best as she was able. "i know you must be tired of hearing it, but it really means a lot to me, and i can't thank you enough for this." the fashion world could be very cutthroat when it wanted to be. serah hadn't experienced it firsthand just yet, but she was determined to not let it change her, determined to remember where she came from and how she got here in the first place. she didn't want to turn into someone who was ugly, someone who had forgotten themselves along the way due to fame. she wanted to look back in five, ten years from now and know that she had stuck true to herself and not let it all get to her head. "i," she began, knowing what she was going to say until she felt the tips of fallon's fingers touch her, brushing some of her hair back, and it took everything serah had to not shiver in her seat right there. had the tension in the room been this thick the whole time, or was it just her? serah really didn't know anymore, but her heart was still pounding away in her chest all the same. clearing her throat, serah went on, "i will work hard for you, you don't have to worry about that. but i do have to remember my limits, too. i want to know that i did my best even if i failed." she let out a breath, mostly to try and calm herself. "i don't want to get ahead of myself. i have to be careful, even when i am working my hardest." serah didn't want to lose this job, lose this chance to make something of herself, lose any respect she might have from fallon.
and serah was happy to just leave it at that: respect. she wasn't expecting fallon to return her feelings, even if fallon did like her just a little bit. maybe if the circumstances were different, maybe if fallon was just someone she met one day and became friends with, serah might have been able to let herself go a little bit, to be a bit more obvious on purpose. she was the type who wanted things to be out on the table, so to speak. she wasn't the type to play games or only sleep with someone just because she could. she didn't have it in her to be that way, as emotional and sentimental as she could be at times. all of her relationships were very important to her, and she wanted to treat every single one with the seriousness they deserved. obviously, this applied to fallon as well, and as much as she wanted to put it out on the table, to say what she really felt about fallon, she just couldn't. not while fallon was still her boss, not while she still had a job to do, a job that really needed her full concentration that she hadn't been giving in throughout almost the entire span of this conversation. which was why she was taken aback once more to feel fallon closer to her against, to feel her touch once more against the hot brand of her skin. it was soon overtaken as what fallon said finally sunk in, and serah wished she could have some control over her own reactions, or at least how much her face was heating up. "miss, please," serah said, loosing control over her voice for a moment, coming out just as shaky as she felt, and she was sure she actually had let a shudder loose this time. she wanted to be touched so badly it almost hurt. her teeth sank into her bottom lip once more. they definitely didn't teach you how to handle this kind of situation, when you were pretty sure your boss was hitting on you, where you wanted to let her know that it was okay and you wanted it, but were unable to fully ask the question or state the obvious, too nervous and strung up to get the words out there. swallowing down courage she wasn't sure she had, serah said, "are you," before stopping. she tried again with, "can we," but kept herself from finishing the sentence. how was she supposed to say it? she had no right to feel so turned on from just a touch, yet here she was, metaphorically tripping over herself to try and complete a sentence. taking a deep breath through her nose, serah hesitantly blurted out, "is there anything else you like about me?" she couldn't look at fallon as she said it, her eyes darting off to the side and her teeth worrying her lip again. she felt like she was going to explode any second now, and - honestly - part of her kind of wished for it, if only to take back what might be a damaging statement to her entire future career in the fashion industry.