"Thank you, Mr. Falcone." Atlas shook the old man's hand after they finished their meeting.
Mr. Falcone laughed and turned to look at Meredith, "If you really want to thank me you should let your secretary meet my grandson."
Atlas turned to look at her, "I will leave her to make her own decisions" He replied, something bitter dripping from his tone.
Meredith said nothing, she just stared at Atlas blankly while chewing the inside of her mouth. The man seemed nice and she was finding it hard to reject him.
It was just a date, right? She had to meet his grandson and make his grandfather happy. After that, she would tell him, it didn't work out.
Meredith had always longed for a grandfather figure in her life and now she couldn't bear to let the old man down.
"Fine, I will meet your grandson." Meredith let out a nervous chuckle while rubbing the back of her neck.
Atlas shot her a venomous look, darkness brewing in his eyes.
"Really? Oh, thank you Miss Rossi. I will arrange the blind date then. Is Saturday okay for you?"
Meredith nodded, "Yes."
Atlas held her gaze for a moment before looking away without a word.
"Alright, you send me a message. I will send you the location."
Mr. Falcone said, holding out his hand. Meredith took it happily as he said genuinely, I'm glad you decided to meet him. He is such a nice guy."
Meredith gave him a soft smile. She could see how much he really loved his grandson.
"It's just a blind date, I'm not agreeing to marry your grandson." Meredith let out a nervous chuckle.
"I know but still, thank you." He responded while he covered their shaking hands with his free hands.
"Even if you don't work out, I hope you can be friends. The boy has been lonely since his mother died."
Meredith was pleasantly surprised. Now she knew why he was adamant on setting up a blind date for his grandson. She had no idea what the old man saw in her for him to warm up to her so quickly that he was giving his grandson to her.
She was now curious about his grandson. Meredith hoped he was at least nice like his grandfather and not some spoiled brat.
Releasing her hand, he nodded at Atlas.
"Okay, thank you for your time. I will see you soon." Mr. Falcone said and walked out of the office.
"I didn't realize you were looking for a husband, Miss Rossi." Atlas said so coldly causing a shiver to run along her spine.
Meredith spun around to look to him. She looked him in the eyes and he looked straight back into hers.
The air round them thickened. "Well, there is a lot of things you don't know about me, Mr. Martini."
Her lips curled into a challenging smile even though panic swelled up inside her. She had no idea why his eyes were stormy. He had no right to be angry or act jealous.
It was him who told her that he didn't want to mix pleasure with business so why did he look so mad because she agreed to go on a blind date?
"Hmm." He just commented. His face shut down. Frustration bubbled on her face. She really didn't know if he was now behaving like Mr. Martini or Atlas. A smudge of guilt coursed through her. she had accepted to go out with another man in front of him. But they weren't dating right? She could date whoever she wanted.
'You are the only woman I will be fucking until we both agree to end all of this.' His words echoed in her head making her stiffened.
"You're dismissed, Miss Rossi." He said calmly, too calmly that scared her. He has seen the possessive, dominant side of her boss but this calmness was so new that made a cold worm of fear gnawed at her spine. His coldness frightened her.
"I couldn't bear to turn him down. He looked so warm and nice. I didn't have the heart to reject him. I will just go on the blind date then after I will tell him, we didn't click or something."
Meredith explained to him even though she didn't owe him an explanation.
"You're a grown woman, Miss Rossi. You can do whatever you want."
Meredith's gut knotted. She felt this was like the calm before the storm.
"So you're okay with me going out with another man?"
Atlas nodded, "Why wouldn't I be? I have no right to dictate what you should do with your personal life. Maybe Dr. Falcone might be your future husband. I can't block you from having your happily ever after." He responded his voice laced with mockery.
"You're right. Maybe he is handsome and I might fall for him at first sight. Then I will kiss him to see if I will get butterflies and then we might have a one-night stand. I'm sure as a doctor he knows the female anatomy well. He will know the right places to tou-"
Meredith gasped when she found herself pinned to the table. Atlas's face was completely dark while he stared at her, "I don't think you want to finish that sentence, Miss Rossi."
Meredith swallowed the lump in her throat. She had intentionally provoked him, but the darkness fleeting in his eyes told her it was a bad idea.
"Take your hands off me, Mr. Martini. We are at the office and you're overstepping your boundaries."
Atlas gripped her chin and brought her gaze to his, "What did I tell you? You're mine, Angel. No man is touching you unless you want blood on your hands."
Meredith froze, eyes wide as a scream sliced through the fog in her brain.
'Blood on your hands.' Her chest rose and fell with rapid breaths as his words echoed in her head bringing back the memories she had buried down inside. Flashes of images assaulted her mind.
'You have blood on your hands sorella, what did you do?' Her brother's pale face flashed across her eyes while she remained frozen at the spot. Meredith stared at the blood on her hands, she could do nothing but watch, paralyzed with fright.
"Meredith!" She heard the harsh voice laced with panic which snapped her from the abyss of her memories. Meredith looked up to see Atlas's brows etched with concern.
"Are you okay?" He asked softly, searching her eyes.
Meredith nodded, the lump in her throat made it difficult for her to speak.
She pulled away from him, avoiding his gaze.
"I-I have to go to the washroom." Without waiting for his respond, she bolted out of the room.