The Corporate Raider part 13
by Denise Mayes
Taylor went through her share of the mail and then after over two hours she was finally able to get back to her own work. By then Alex had finished work for the day and was ready to head out.
"Okay, lets go."
"Um...well...I need to stay just for a while longer to get some things sorted out. But Ill be home as soon as Im finished. I just want to get some of these things filed, organized, and entered in the computer, so that I will be able to start right in on them come tomorrow, if thats all right with you?"
Alex studied her for a few moments and then nodded her head. "All right, then Ill make dinner and see you when you get home."
"Well..." Taylor started.
Alex turned back and sighed somewhat frustrately. " What?"
"I dont want you to go to any trouble with dinner for me, I might be pretty late, and I would hate for the food to go to waste. Just make yourself something and I will pick up something on my way home if I get hungry." Taylor said somewhat in a rush.
Alexs eyes narrowed in suspicion as she once again gave a nod of her head. "Ill wait up for you." She said, testing the girl.
"Um..." Taylor started, but when she saw the woman cock her head and raise a brow at her, she shook off her previous thought. "Thats fine! I'll try not to be too late." She said, trying to be convincing that everything was all right.
"All right, Ill see you later then." Alex turned and went to get her coat and purse. Just before she went out the door she called back over her shoulder. "Remember what I said, dont let this interfere." She looked over her shoulder and leveled a knowing gaze on the girl.
Taylor chewed her lips, but nodded her understanding. The woman gave an approving nod of her own, then turned and went out the door, closing it behind her. Taylor sat back in her chair and let out the breath she was holding.
"Now what do I do?" She asked herself. After a bit she let the thought slip to the back of her mind as she went to work on her project. One of the first things she did before getting bogged down with the paperwork was make a phone call to her friends direct line. The phone rang for a few moments, and then a woman picked it up.
"Yes, oh, hi, how is it going?"
"Okay, how about you?"
"Oh, all right, just some interesting things happening."
"Well...Its just that there are some other eyes looking at my company, ever since I went International, and I may be in for a fight to keep it."
"Well thats why Im calling, maybe I can help you?"
"How are you going to help me? You're an Admin Assistant."
"Well, actually, Im now the Personal Assistant to the owner of the company."
"Really?? When did this happen?"
"Just a while ago. Its been so long since weve talked to each other, it's not right that we only see each other a few times a month. I understand with both our busy schedules, but you are one of my best friends, and I would like to help if I can?"
"Thats why I love you, you're always there for me, and your other friends. But your bosss company is one of those many eyes."
"I know, but if I can come up with a feasible plan to satisfy both of you, I think we can keep your company from being taken."
"I dont know, its sort of a conflict of interest for you. I mean I dont know if its a good idea to mix business with friendships? This could get very ugly, and I would hate to lose you over something like this."
"Dont worry, if you work with me, Im sure we can come up with something?"
"Okay, but only because I trust you, and you are a dear friend. But you have to promise me you wont let our friendship get in the way of our business dealings. It would really complicate things, deal?" Zadria asked.
"Great, how about if we meet for dinner and talk about this some more?"
"Tonight, Ill meet you halfway, since you're on one side of town and I'm on the other?"
"Okay, Ill see you around 8:30, 9:00?"
"Okay, see you then. Bye."
"Bye Zadria, see you in a while."
The two hung up. Taylor looked at her watch and saw that it was 6:30p.m., so she immediately went to work on her files for the deal, reading them while she put them in her computer. She got most of them in before she saw that she had to get going to make it by 8:45p.m. Taylor met her friend and they greeted each other with a hug and then were shown to their table. The waitress came over and asked them for their drink orders. When she had left, the two talked about personal things for a bit, but then after a while they dove into business. By the time they had finished with their dinner meeting it was almost 1 in the morning. They walked out to their cars and talked for a few minutes more. They hugged each other, then got into their cars and left the restaurant. Taylor headed home to Alex's house. The closer she got, the more nervous she became. She realized how late it was, and was worried because she remembered that Alex had said she would wait up for her.
Taylor parked her car and walked to the front door of the residence. She started to open the door, but thought about the woman and how upset she would possibly be at the lateness of the hour. Then another thought came to her. Maybe Alex would be asleep and possibly not hear her. She opened the lock, eased the door open and eased inside, hoping that the woman was asleep. Taylor knew she would be in for an earful for coming in so late when she was expected earlier.
The house was dark so she couldnt see much, but she knew where the stairs were by habit. She removed her heels and headed for the stairs to go up to her bedroom. She made it to the stairs and looked up them, squinting her eyes to see if Alex was waiting at the top. She headed up, and was startled by the woman's voice from behind her.
"So....you finally made it home."
"OH!!! Goodness!! You startled me. I thought....."
"No. Well talk tomorrow." Alex said, as she walked past Taylor on the stairs and went on to her own room to go to bed.
The girl stood on the stairs for a few minutes just watching her go, and remembering the look in her eyes as she looked at her. The girl looked around at the darkened foyer, feeling guilty. She thought about going to Alexs room to apologize, but then she thought better of it, she was really not up to a scolding by Alex tonight, so she walked up the stairs slowly and went to her room. She changed into her night clothes and climbed in bed. She thought about Alex in the room down the hall and how hurt she looked, behind those angry eyes. Eventually she drifted off. Taylor woke up a few hours later completely awake, and her mind immediately went to the confrontation that was in store for her when the woman woke up. She immediately decided she didnt want to be there. She went into her bathroom and cleaned up. Then she dressed and eased out the door. Putting her car in neutral, she backed it out and then once she was a little distance from the residence, she put it in drive and headed into the office. Taylor arrived at the office and went to get the mail. She then went up to the office and sorted 3/4's of it for herself and the other 1/4 for Alex to work on. She went to her desk and took out the rest of her files from the night before, and began putting them in her computer. She finished it after about an hour and the sun was just starting to come up. Looking at her watch she saw that it was five thirty. She saved all of her information in the computer and picked up the files and her part of Alexs mail. She straightened her desk up and left. Taylor went to Marcus Shearers office where she used his computer to pull up her information, and began dealing with the mail. Alex arrived at the office in a foul mood, and everyone who saw her stayed out of her way. She got on the elevator and everyone who was waiting, continued to wait. She arrived on her floor and stormed towards her office with the intent of laying into Taylor for sneaking off without telling her where she was and causing her to worry about her. When she went into the office and saw the lights were off, she began to wonder if the girl had come in to the office. Once again her concern for Taylor came to the forefront. She walked into her office and finding it unlocked, her heartbeat slowed a bit. When she saw the mail in the holders, it slowed to it's normal rate.
"Okay, now I know you're here and safe, all I have to do is wait." Alex sat down behind her desk and went to work on her mail. Salina arrived a few minutes later and was immediately put to work.
The two of them worked throughout the morning on different things and Alex held meetings with different people. In different places, throughout the morning she also had not seen or heard from Taylor, and now she was sure of what was happening; the girl was avoiding her. "Well you have good reason to, because I have an earful for you." She thought to herself when she realized thats what the girl was doing.
Both Alex and Taylor held meetings for different reasons, with different people, in separate places. Alex would glance over at the empty desk from time to time when she was alone working, thinking about where the girl was. She looked at her watch and realized that no matter how much Taylor wanted to avoid her, she wouldnt be able to. She still had to bring the mail, which was due within the next few minutes. Sure enough the girl, after much hesitation, realized she had no choice but to take the mail to Alex, especially since there was a red envelope in the pile.
She stepped into the elevator and hit the express button. During the minute it took the elevator to get to the top, Taylor went through all sorts of fear. "Okay, just take a few breaths, get a grip and go in. Take your chewing out, you deserve it, you were wrong all the way around. All she wants is to love you, and you act like a confused school girl. Man! This is going to be so hard to face her. But then again, Salina isnt making this any easier, I hope shes not there." Taylor said wistfully, at the end of scolding herself for her appalling behavior towards Alex.
The elevator came to a stop on the top floor, and when the doors opened she stepped out and walked slowly towards the office. Salina saw her coming, and she leveled a surly gaze on her. Taylor knitted her brows at the young woman, but went past her to the door of the office. After a few moments to calm down as much as she could, she opened the door and walked in. Alex looked up from her writing, and leaning back in her chair to watch her, saying nothing. Taylors eyes were locked on the womans and she was unable to break the contact due to Alexs sheer will.
"I...I..." Taylor tried to come up with something to say that would explain her behavior, but she could not, because there was no excuse. Alex simply cocked her head as she brought her fist to her chin and rested her elbow on the armrest of the chair and just waited. "I have the mail, theres a red envelope with it." Taylor finally managed as she handed half of the mail to the woman along with the red piece. Alex didnt change her position except to hold up her other hand for Taylor to put the specific envelope in her hand. The girl walked up to the desk and with a shaky hand, placed it in her hand. Taylor then put the rest of the mail on the table, and stepped back. Alex continued to command the girls eyes for a long moments, then she broke it and casually looked down at the red envelope.
She leaned forward, picked up the letter opener and with an efficient swipe of it, she pulled out the letter. She picked up the phone and hit the speed dial.
"I...I, think Ill go..." Taylor suggested, before the woman started to speak to the person on the other end of the phone.
"Youll leave when I say you can leave." Alex stated sternly, as she glared at the girl. Taylor swallowed hard, but stood where she was and waited for the woman to handle the phone call.
After a few minutes she hung up the phone and went about dealing with her other mail, as if the girl were not standing there trembling. Taylor was waiting to be dismissed, reprimanded, yelled at or whatever the woman felt like doing. Alex kept her standing there for over an hour without speaking to her, only glaring at her from time to time. Finally, she spoke to the teary eyed girl. "Get to work! There!" Alex ordered, as she pointed to the girls desk.
Taylor moved to the desk quickly, and eased into the chair. She looked back over at Alex, then lowered her eyes, distressed at the look she was giving her. The girl bought her hands to her head to give the appearance of moving her hair out of her face, but ended up turning her chair around and crying quietly. Alex listened to her as she went about dealing with the mail. Finally she tired of hearing the girl crying. "Are you going to do any work today, or not?!" She inquired angrily.
Taylor sniffed a few times, then turned back around and not lifting her eyes up to look at the woman, she picked up an envelope, and diligently opened it as she chewed on her lips. Her brows showed her distress, but she finished all of her paperwork after a few hours. Her phone rang, and it was one of Zadrias Senior V.P.'s wanting to talk to her about a few things. He wanted to meet her for a business dinner. "What time?"
"7:30, um...that...Can you hold on for a moment?" Taylor said, and then put the man on hold as she picked up her planner to see if she had any other meetings for dinner.
"Who are you meeting with?" Alex asked, startling the girl with her harsh tone.
"I...just someone Im dealing with on the Zadria deal?"
"I thought we would talk this evening, we have a lot to discuss." She said, reminding the girl.
"I...I know, and you're right, but I know you will be very disappointed with me if I presented a sloppy report?" Taylor tried to lighten the mood, but Alex only scowled more, as her eyes narrowed. "Okay, I wont go, Ill set it up for another day?" The girl said, submitting to the womans indirect wishes.
She went to hit the hold button to tell the man her answer, but Alex stopped her. "No. Go to your meeting. Ill see you when you get home."
"I wont be late."
"Make sure you're not. Otherwise Im going to be a royal bitch." Alex warned, and gave her a hard look.
"I wont." Taylor took the man off hold and told him she would meet with him.
She left the office a few times to go and meet, or talk with members of her team, but she always went back to the office where she organized her thoughts and papers. When 6:30 came, Alex stood up and stretched her long limbs.
"Well Im calling it an evening, Ill see you at home BEFORE 11."
"All right, have a nice dinner."
"Ill bring you something back if you like?."
"No, just bring yourself back before 11." Alex warned. She then picked up her things and headed out the door. Taylor watched her go, then picked up the phone to call her grandmother.
"Yes child, what is it?"
"Nothing, Im just a little confused, well actually Im even more confused about some things, and Im scared."
"Scared, of what?"
"I..." Taylor went into the whole story of what was happening with her. She swore her grandmother to secrecy that she would not tell Alex anything about the conversation, or about Salinas threats to her.
Taylors grandmother tried to talk her into telling the woman, but she was adamant that Alex not find out about it. She told her grandmother that she was handling it for the time being, but if things got too much for her then she would tell Alex herself. The grandmother reluctantly agreed. After the girl hung up the phone, she cleaned her desk up and then headed out the office to go and meet with the V.P from Zadrias company. She arrived at the meeting place and they talked for a while about what things Zadria was looking to keep, and what she was willing to compromise on. Taylors and Mr. Turrells meeting looked as though it was going to go past the 11 oclock time that Alex had asked her to arrive home by, so that they could talk.
The girl looked at her watch, and the man asked her if she had to go. He was hoping not, due to having many other things to talk about.
"Um...excuse me for a moment Frederick, I need to go make a phone call, but I will be right back, just something I have to check on."
"Certainly, shall I order you something else to drink?"
"Hm...yes tea please."
Taylor stood and left the table and went to one of the private rooms to make her phone call. She could either just use the phone itself, the speaker phone, or the video, and not have to worry about anyone interrupting. She locked the door, sat down on the sofa bench and dialed the number to the house.
"Hello." Came the smooth voice of Alex.
"Hello, Alex its me."
"Are you on your way?" Alex asked, casually.
"Well...Um...Thats what Im calling about...its seems like my meeting will be going longer than I thought. I didnt want you to worry or anything, I think I will be able to make it around 1 or at the latest two..." She paused for a moment due to Alex not having said anything so far. "Alex?"
"Im here. Are you through?" She asked calmly.
" Are you calling from a phone with a video?"
"Turn on the video phone." Alex said nonchalantly, as she put the phone she had in her hand down, and hit the video of her phone as well.
Taylor took a few deep breaths, then set the phone she had in her hand down on the stand and hit the video button.
When the picture came up she was sitting with her hands in her lap, nervously playing with her blouse. Alex was sitting in her study, in her large leather chair with her long legs crossed leaning back.
"Taylor, I told you we needed to talk, I dont appreciate being ignored, or put off. I have absolutely NO tolerance for it!"
"Alex I know we need to talk, and we will, its just that..."
"Be quiet. Im only going to say this once. Either you are here at 11 SHARP, or I will come there to talk to you."
"Eleven! One minute after, and I will be on my way there." Alex then hit the button, and hung up the phone.
Taylor hit the button on her end, then just sat in the room just trying to compose herself enough to go back out to face the man who was waiting for her. She eventually did compose herself and headed back out to tell the man.
"Frederick, Im sorry, I really have to leave."
"I will call tomorrow to set up another meeting with you. There's something I have to do tonight, and I cant miss it, otherwise there will be all kinds of problems."
"Well, if you cant miss it, then I guess I will have to wait?"
"I apologize, if I could do anything about it, I would, but I cant. Ill call your office tomorrow." Taylor looked at her watch and saw that it was 10:15p.m. The house was around forty minutes away, if there was no traffic.
"All right, well Ill talk to you tomorrow then." He said, standing to walk out with the girl.
"Oh, no, you stay and finish eating, Ill be all right." She picked up her purse and coat, and rapidly left the restaurant. She jumped in her car, drove out of the parking lot and was on her way to the house at 10:20pm. She watched the time tick away as she drove. She was lucky to be able to catch a lot of the lights. She checked her watch at the lights that caught her, and by the time she drove into the driveway, it was one minute to eleven. Taylor jumped out the car, quickly walked to the door and put her key in to open it, but it was pulled open by the woman.
"You do like living dangerously, I think I told you that once before."
"Yes, you have." Taylor answered, as she walked inside.
Alex licked her lips as she watched the girl remove her coat and purse and place them in the visitors closet. The woman closed the door and then giving Taylor a final glance,she turned and headed to the den. The girl followed after her, and they both went to sit down. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, and the girl fidgeting with her clothing, Alex finally let her off the hook with the silent treatment.
"Whats going on with you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Dont give me that, its obvious, something is bothering you, and I want to know what it is."
"Its nothing, I just have a lot on my mind."
"Then tell me."
"Its nothing, really."
"Dont tell me its nothing. I can see there is something. How do you expect for us to have any type of relationship with you holding back on me?"
"Please Alex, I really dont want to talk about this right now?" Taylor said, putting her head in her hands and sighing with frustration, confusion and guilt.
"So when do you want to talk about this?! I want to know whats going on with you. Are you having second thoughts about us? Did I do something? Did I not do something? What is it?! Did you meet a man you prefer to be with? What?!"
"Alex...its nothing, Im just tired. I just have to get used to the longer hours, Ill be fine." Taylor said, as she glanced up at Alex, who was watching her.
"So thats it huh? Theres nothing going on? You're telling me that youve been acting like this because you're tired? Is that what you want me to believe?"
The girl gave a slight shrug of her shoulders when she tried to answer, but found she couldnt actually bring herself to lie. Alex let her gaze look away for a moment as she thought about the girl and her behavior, and the lame excuse she had given her. Finally she decided to just give Taylor the proverbial rope and see what she did with it. She would just watch her for the next week or so to see what happened, she wouldnt say anything, just watch.
"Fine, since you dont want to tell me whats going on, and you actually believe I am going to buy the "you're tired" excuse, then I will just not say anything else about it. Im going to bed, good night Taylor." Alex stood up and walked out of the den, leaving the girl to her thoughts, and
her guilt about how she had been behaving towards the woman.
"Im sorry Alex." She whispered, after the woman left the room. She had seen the hurt in the womans eyes despite her stoic behavior.
alt fic index <> homepage