Ethan was surprised at Lorie's refusal. She was a sweet, complaint woman. Exceptionally bright, but shy. Overly so. She did not like to stand in the spotlight and would do anything to avoid attention, but she had held his attention for quite a while already nevertheless.
Lorie's refusal cemented his conviction something was very wrong. He needed to step in and take control. She might refuse to talk to him at this moment, but that was going to change. Soon.
She might be under the impression she was just his employee. She wasn't.
She was his.
He stepped back and leaned against his desk, giving her some space.
"This is how it's going to be. You are going to report directly to me so I can keep a close watch on your work."