Chapter 26

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I shut the door to the main room, surprised with how large the room looks without the tables and stage. It's completely empty. I hold out my keys, locking the door. Tristan looks over at me, raising his brow suspiciously.

I can't help but smile. "I have to do this... Protocol... These are million dollar paintings."

"I don't mind being locked in a room with you."

He walks forward, leaving me staring after him. I can't ignore the fact that I'm crazy about him. I can't. I force my feet forward, hearing my stilettos clicking against the marble tile.

"I'm still not over how you managed to set that exhibit up the other day."

I stand next to him, staring up at a painting by a man named Alexander Slavorte. "You really liked it?"

"Very much."

"Thanks... I had tons of help but I was happy with how it turned out."

"Who painted this one?"

I grin, looking at him. "Am I your tour guide now?"

"Seems like it. I sure as hell don't know anything about this."

"Well, I'll enlighten you then... Alexander Slavorte, painted this in 1968. His wife committed suicide right before he painted it. He used the dark hues to represent her sadness... and in some ways, his sadness."

I move on, giving short, but sweet snippets of the works as if I were his actual tour guide. Fully intrigued, he follows me, asking questions here and there. I find myself actually relaxing as we laugh and chat among the art. I don't know if possibly it's because this is my natural habitat or that i'm simply happy with Tristan but I decide not to look into it.

I exuberantly gesture to one of the pieces from Monet's Impression Sunrise.

"And I bet that was your favorite of the night," he states, staring down at me fondly. I smile nervously as he comes up behind me, so close his face is nuzzling my hair.

"Uh, you are correct... It- It was hell getting this here. It's one of his most well-know paintings. It was made in the..." My voice trails off as his hands settle softly on my arms, his body flush against my back. "... The Impressionist Era. It's of..."

I shiver violently as his hand curls around my hair, moving it to the side.

"... Of his hometown..."

His lips are soft on my neck, his teeth grazing the curve of skin. My eyes close involuntarily as his hand reaches up to cup my face. Nervously, I turn with a movement of his hand and look straight into his eyes.

I stare back at him, completely terrified. I'm on dangerous ground and I don't want to leave.

"Tristan..." I breathe, shaking my head. "Don't- Don't do this."

"Why?"

"Because I'm- I'm scared... I'm scared i'm falling in love with you."

His mouth turns up warmly and he moves, cupping my face with both of his hands.

"Let's be scared together, Genevieve."

A breath of relief escapes my quivering lips as I nod, meeting his mouth. I curl my hands into his hair, gasping as I give in to this... Whatever this is.

Detaching from him, I grab his hand, pulling him towards the door. He walks behind me, head down as we make our way back towards my office. My face is heated and my knees are shaking but I'm on a mission. I sigh as I reach my door, pulling it open.

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