He wanted to hold her hand. Tell her she was beautiful and witty. She always seemed to make him laugh in that unexpected way we always hope to be entertained. A thousand words and phrases ran through his head.

Instead, he sat quietly in his pew within his cathedral. Although not a holy place by any stretch of the imagination, this was where his work was done. There were plenty of consequences for him if he reached out. Fear was the perfect enforcement mechanism here.

There was nothing against admiring though. He would watch her smile with her friends. Her laughter cutting through the room. It would be hard getting those notes out of his head. Her walk was effortless, and yet carried the weight of somebody who knew what they were doing. She was motivated. His weakness. He knew this from working with her.

“hey, are you alright?” her question snapped him from his calculations. Weighing the pros and cons like an ice fisher trying to get on a lake after the first snow.

“Yes, just had my mind elsewhere.” He recovered quickly to try and hide his feelings. Don’t let them see you sweat, he reminded himself. Women liked men of mystery. Forbidden mystery could only be better.

“ok, just making sure. I love your shirt by the way.” She smiled and her hand grazed his in that slow, intentional way that makes you hesitate. She noticed the passing euphoria on his face. He had held it just a second too long.

There was no “after-work” hangouts with her. It was fine. It helped him treasure his time in the office more.

“due to the weather, we will cancel evening training.” Their boss announced.

Back to my solitude, he thought. He could hear her laugh echoing through his mind already.

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