Amelia had hardened her heart toward Robert intentionally. She wasn’t sure what his purpose for signing on with Café Latte was, but she was sure it wasn’t good. If he thought he was hiding, he was greatly mistaken. He stood out like a sore thumb. He was too refined, elegant, posh and educated to be working in any capacity for a coffee company. Then again, he’d been hired without consultation which had shocked and surprised her. Normally the bosses invited her into their confidence but on this occasion, they’d passed her by completely, and hadn’t informed her they were bringing in someone new or why. They were well within their right to do as they pleased but it was unsettling and bothered and irked her as well though she knew it shouldn’t.
Robert Jason seemed amenable enough, friendly, ready and willing to help with a delightful (sexy if truth be told) smile that did things she wished it wouldn’t. She didn’t want to feel anything for him, but she did. He was growing on her and she liked his wit, that delicious sense of humour and the compassion that flared in his eyes when he stood for someone that was being mistreated.
One of the staff had inadvertently spilled froth on a man as he’d reached across to grab his coffee before Brian had finished filling it and he’d gone ballistic and poor Brian stood there, completely stunned. Amelia was up and out of her seat but before she could do more than that, Robert had speedily intervened. When the man continued to rand and rave calling Brian every name he could think of, Robert kicked him out of the shop and told him he need not bother returning unless his attitude changed. Brian had looked on with stunned appreciation.
Because Robert was about 6 ‘1 and well built, muscled and toned, and the look on his face bespoke a hint of latent anger beneath determination, the man had scurried out like the bully he was. Brian had turned to look at her and she’d winked, and he’d breathed a sigh of relief.
All-day she’d puzzled over why Robert had been hired. The store was one of the best in the chain making above average profits, due in part to its great location, excellent staff and (in her mind) pleasantly decorated core in which to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Their service was next to none both speedy and efficient.
Therefore, after watching Robert interact with staff and customers alike for nearly a month, she was still left in a quandary as to what he was really doing here.
He’d felt her questioning glances on several occasions and noticed them as well. Her reputation preceded her as she was friendly, incredibly intelligent, knew the company and clientele well and had been involved with the company for five years in a stellar capacity as bookkeeper, manager, and she wasn’t above getting her hands dirty. She pitched in whenever her services were required, whether it be taking care of customers or washing floors.
Robert liked her and although the present circumstances made it impossible to move on his interest, he wanted to. He wished he could let her in on why he was truly here. Not only because she knew the players, but because she had an incredible business sense as well as dedication.
That’s why they’d struck her name off the list immediately. She wasn’t the raider they were looking for, but they knew it was someone in one of four stores and this was the third on the list he’d visited. Robert had visited two other locations and watched closely, the interactions of the staff, the manager and the patrons. Nothing seemed out of place. So far, he hadn’t witnessed anything unusual here either, in fact, he wished the other stores had such dedicated staff.
If he hadn’t found any indication within the next few weeks, he’d have to move on to the next store and continue his search. Whoever it was, they were very good at hiding their tracks. The company wouldn’t have known about him at all if it hadn’t been for a minor slip-up and a staff member at one of the other stores hadn’t asked about the upcoming changes that no one was privy to. When asked, she’d told them a customer had mentioned it and she’d been concerned about losing her job thinking they might be replacing her. That had resulted in the manhunt and his ongoing quest to find out who was responsible for the leak and who was taking advantage of it.
She’d given them a complete description of the man, and how often he visited the location and times of day. Therefore, Robert watched and waited hoping he’d return, but he hadn’t. He’d tracked him to another location in their chain and figured he was making the rounds. It was a calculated guess that this was the next location on the list. Robert truly hoped so, because he wanted answers.