The Corporate Raider part 18
by Denise Mayes
The first few weeks of work were spent on getting back into things, and catching up, but she called Taylor every night to check on her. Meanwhile, Alex appeared to be going on with her life. She and D'Angelo once again were seen about town and overseas, on business trips or just social events. Yasmeia watched them whenever they happened to make an appearance together. One day Yasmeia happened to have a need to go to the top floor because her Admin had gone on another errand for her, and some analysis needed to be taken to Alex's office. Yasmeia arrived on the top floor and headed into the office. She expected to see Salina, and to just be able to give the reports to her, but instead Salina had also gone on an errand. The only person there was Alex. She saw Yasmeia get off the elevator and come into the outer office with a folder in her hands. Yasmeia knocked on the door of the inner office and Alex looked up at her and beckoned for her to come in.
"Ms. Sains, what is it?" She asked flatly. Sounding like The Raider of old.
Yasmeia raised a brow at the formal recognition, and knew what it meant. "Dont worry Ms. Madison, I just came to drop these analysises off. I would have left them with your PA, but she wasnt in, so here you go. If you have any problems which I doubt, but one never knows, anyway, you know where to find me, not that you would. Have a nice day Ms. Madison." Yasmeia turned to leave, and Alex watched her until she made it to the door of her office, then she spoke.
"How is she?"
Yasmeia stopped and thought about whether she should say anything, then she decided she would. She turned to face the woman. "Not good, but between myself and those who care about her, were looking out for her."
"And you think I dont care about her?"
"Oh, I didnt say that, by the way, Im glad you could pull yourself away for a moment to pay your respect to her grandmother. I know Ms. Young appreciated it. Well I have to get back to work. Is there anything else Ms. Madison?"
Alexs eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared. "No thats not all! Close the door and sit down Ms. Sains!" She ordered.
Yasmeia turned and casually closed the door, although her heart was racing due to the anger she was seeing and hearing in the womans eyes and voice. She walked over to one of the chairs, sat down and leveled her gaze on the woman.
"Now you listen Ms. Sains, I dont appreciate your attitude, and I wont tolerate it."
"Ms. Madison, I have worked at this company for many years and while I enjoy what I do, I have no concern about being fired, demoted or whatever you decide to do to be vindictive. My only concern is how you have treated Taylor, and for that Ms. Madison, I cannot and will not pretend that I have respect for you. You have treated that child horribly, and she doesnt deserve such treatment."
"You dont know what you're talking about!"
"Oh, I know, Taylor told me about your relationship, months ago. She hurts at the loss of you, at your cold shoulder treatment towards her, at your relationship with Mr. DAngelo, and everything else that has anything to do with you."
"Shell get over it." Alex said flatly.
"No, shell never get over it, and you know that, you know her, her rape was not as painful, or scarring to her as the way you have behaved towards her. You're wrong, and if Taylor hadnt asked me not to quit, I would have done so a long time ago. That child loves you, but she sees that you're moving on with your life and she doesnt want to be in your way. Ive told her she needed to move on with her own life, and you know what she told me just recently?"
The woman cocked her head and leaned back in her chair with a sneer on her face, waiting for the answer. "She told me and I quote, "My Grammy and Alex were my life. I now have neither, and its my own fault. If I hadnt let Salina blackmail me, I would at least have Alex in my life."
"Yes Ms. Madison, it seems like your new P.A. has been very busy interfering in your life. She told Taylor that if she didnt back away from you, then she would tell all of Taylors friends and the people in her church that Taylor was in a relationship with another woman. We both know how uncomfortable Taylor was about that, it actually scared her. You know she is very timid, and for something like that to be told about her and then the consequences of that revelation with people looking at her as if she were strange, was a very heavy load for such narrow shoulders as that child has. You knew when you went into the relationship that she was scared and inexperienced in such a relationship. Her grandmother's concern about the relationship was also a factor, but it was Salina who pushed her back. Ms. Madison I will tell you this, IT HURT that child to pull away from you, it hurt her deeply, but she thought she would be able to handle it, as long as you didnt hate her. But when you stopped talking to her, and acted as if she were invisible to you, the hurt was profound." Yasmeia stood up and walked up to the desk. "Alex, I know you still care for Taylor, and I would even venture to guess you still love her. The only reason you are out and about with your friend is because you're just trying not to have time to think about her. You're selfish! There was no one in this whole building except for myself, who cared anything about you, and then this warm, adorably shy, young girl comes to my office and tells me she was told to report to me, and that she was my new Admin. She used to ask me about you, just out of curiosity. She would tell me that she had everything there was written about you. She use to say that you and her grandmother were the inspirations for her to get into business. But she always said she would die if you ever walked into our office. She had both admiration and fear for and of you. Alex, Taylor has done so much for you, and you dont even realize it, but a lot of people in this company do, including your little P.A. Taylor would have continued to try to get past her insecurities with the relationship, because she loved you. But Salina was too much for her. Im sorry I laid all of this on you, but you asked. Alex, I dont hate you or anything near that, I just feel bad for you and Taylor. I know the two of you would have made a wonderful team together, both in public life and private."
Alex studied the woman for long silent moments and then she finally spoke again. "First of all Ms. Sains, I do care for DAngelo, and with the way things are going he has ideas about something more permanent."
"Well Alex, if thats your choice, then I truly do hope you will be happy with that choice." Yasmeia turned to leave, figuring there was nothing further to be said.
"Yasmeia sit down."
Yasmeia turned and looked at the woman. After a moment she returned to her seat. "Okay?"
"Yasmeia, I do still love Taylor, very much, but I cant trust her."
"What do you mean you cant trust her?? She is the most trustworthy person there is!"
"Not in a relationship shes not. I didnt want to get into this with you, but I wont allow you or anyone else to make assumptions about me, my motives, or my handling of Taylor. I will admit I am shocked to learn about the blackmail, and I will deal with Salina appropriately for interfering in my life. But looking past that, Taylor wronged me twice before I ever thought about moving on, and whats worse is she just up and left."
"Alex how could she stay? You werent talking to her, you were barely speaking to me, or anyone else who spoke about Taylor."
"Why should I have spoken to her?!! She wasnt telling me anything. She didnt trust me enough to come to me and tell me what was happening!! I gave her every chance to tell me, I asked, I pleaded, I scolded...nothing worked. I decided to just sit and watch her, and try to give her the time she needed. I thought she would realize that I had been there for her through everything else and the odds were I would be there for her in whatever it was that was bothering her. But instead of realizing I was waiting for her to come to me, she chose to use that to pull further away, and Yasmeia...it hurt! So despite how badly I feel about Taylor's loss of her Grandmother, it changes nothing. Taylor and I are history. I hope she is able to move on, but if shes not, then I am sorry for that, but I did not create this situation. I never hurt her, all I wanted to do was to love and take care of her, but she didnt want to, or couldnt handle it. I know its as a result of her insecurities about our relationship, and you know, it may actually be better that things didnt work out, because now I see that she could never be in a relationship with any woman, including me."
Yasmeia leaned back in her chair, then shaking her head, she stood up, looked Alex in the eyes and spoke sincerely to her. "You have every right to be upset with her. But I will make a suggestion to you, and it is up to you to do what you want to do."
"If she ever comes to you, at least grant her a moment of your time?"
"Ill think about it."
"Fair enough. " Yasmeia turned to leave, but she stopped at the door and turned back around. "Alex...Im sorry you're both hurting, I hope one day it will stop." Yasmeia then turned back around and left the office, closing the door behind her.
Yasmeia felt both relieved and frustrated at the conversation. Alex, in the interim, sat back in her chair and turned it to look out over the skyline of the city as tears rolled down her face. The next few weeks of that month ended somewhat quietly, except for the call that the SEC was going to make an arrest in the insider trading scam come March. It made Alex uncomfortable with it being so close to the date of her Business party.
"Well DAngelo, I cant do anything about when they move, Im just happy that theyre about to arrest the people involved."
"Yes, well I understand. Let me change the subject a little. What about Salina, is she still going to be at the party acting as your P.A., or what?"
"I have my plans, and yes she will still be here. Oh, by the way, did I tell you?"
"I made a royal fortune in the sale of my stocks in The Wellington company, and off of the stocks I have in the Zadria company."
"You sold your Zadria stock?!"
"Of course not, if I did that, it would look as though I was a part of the insider trading. No, I just held on to my stock."
"Oh, okay, you had me worried there for a moment."
"No, Ive been distracted, but not to that point."
"Well Im happy to hear that Rose."
DAngelo then laid a kiss on Alex. She pulled him in and turned it around on him so that by the time she allowed him to breathe he was gasping for air.
"Wow Rose! What was that for?"
"Hmm...no reason, I just didnt want you to think you were in control of anything." She said casually, as she stood and walked over to the fire place, and straightened a photograph.
"Always have to be the dominant one huh?"
"Always, and you lose points with me when you question me." She said with a serious tone.
The man chuckled and then said in the same tone.
"I dont mind allowing you to have the power."
"Allowing?" Alex said, turning around to look at the man, with knitted brows in surprise.
"Yes Rose, allow, do you think you really are superior to me?"
"Ha! Its not that I think it, because I KNOW IT, its how others see us, and I am considered to be the superior one even to them."
"Okay Rose, I think we better change the subject?"
"Oh....why, are you afraid of the truth DAngelo?" The woman said, challenging him.
"Okay Rose, Im going to leave before we get into it about whos who in the relationship." He stood and walked over to place a kiss on the womans lips. Then he turned and called over his shoulder as he went out the door.
"Ill see you tomorrow Rose."
Alex stood watching the man leave and then once he was gone, she walked thoughtfully towards the sofa chair and sat down. She thought about DAngelos words, and how he felt he actually believed he was the dominant one in the relationship.
"Hmm...Im going to have to watch you DAngelo."
Meanwhile back at Taylors, Taylor had received a call her grandmothers attorney. She wanted to see her, so she went to see what she wanted.
"Ahh...Taylor, come in, we have a lot to discuss."
"Ms. Leta is it possible to do this later, Im really not up to this right now."
"I know Taylor, but its important, and I know your grandmother would be very put off by us if we were derelict in our duties. We've put this off for as long as we could, but we have to settle her estate."
"Okay, but wheres the rest of the family?"
"Oh, weve already dealt with them, this is now just about you."
"Oh...all right." She said apprehensively.
"Great! Come on in the boardroom, I want to introduce you to everyone."
Taylor allowed the woman to lead her into the large room where several men and women in business attire sat. She was dressed in a business suit also. "Nice suit." One woman complimented, as the girl was led to her seat.
They smiled at the girl once she was seated and Ms. Leta, the primary attorney, began the introductions.
"Ms. Taylor Young, this is Mr. Payne, he was your grandmothers broker, and this is Ms. Temens, she was your grandmothers accountant. This is Mrs. Olin, your grandmothers business partner years ago. This is Mr. Lev your grandmothers investment attorney, and this is his partner Mr. Reese. And of course you know me, I am your grandmothers personal attorney, and I will be doing the majority of talking, they are all here just in case you have questions about something, okay?"
"Okay." Taylor said, still in the dark.
"All right, lets get down to it. First of all I assume you know your grandmother had invested in the stock market?"
"Yes. I helped her with the stocks I thought would be good investments."
"Right, she said that, but did she ever tell you about how well or poorly they were doing?"
"No, except to say they were good choices, and then we would drop it there." Everyone began smiling, and Taylors brows knitted at all of the curious reactions. "Ms. Leta, I dont mean to sound impatient, but I really do want to get back to my grandmothers house."
"No, actually, you want to get back to your house. Your grandmother left it for you in her will."
"Really?" She asked quietly, as tears ran down her face at the love she felt for her departed grandmother. "Well thank you all for letting me know, I appreciate that."
"Thats not all Taylor. She left you everything within the house, everything on the land, and all that made up the home."
Taylor smiled slightly in an appreciative way, but then lowered her eyes out of sadness.
"We realize this is hard, but it was out of love that your grandmother took the time to make sure her final wishes were carried out to the letter. She loved you, and I will honor her memory by doing my job."
"Thank you, this next thing basically says she left all of her worldly belongings to you, the cars and everything. Any questions so far?"
"Okay, now...we come to the 2nd to the last thing." The woman passed a folder down to the girl. "The folder that is coming to you contains a list of all of the stocks, bonds and other municipals that she held, as well as her checking and savings accounts that she used for daily things. The checkbook is in there also, with her insurance policies, social security, IRA accounts, and all of those things."
Taylor took the folder, opened it and saw list after list of stocks that her grandmother had. "She owned all of these?"
"Yes, she used to, now you own them."
"Yes, and I must say, its a pleasure to tell you that you are now a multi-millionaire."
"Yes, with those stocks and things alone, your grandmother was worth millions, and now its all yours."
The people in the room smiled warmly at her. She however, sat in shock, but after a few minutes to take it all in, she said in an unsure voice. "If Grammy left me all of this, what did the other family members get?"
"Ten thousand dollars each and tuition money for their children's education. They've signed a waiver against any further desires from the estate. It was pocket change to what massive amount that your grandmother had accumulated over the 80 years, plus, the inheritance her own mother and father left her."
"If I may ask..."
"60 million give or take a few thousand."
"60??!!" Oh my goodness gracious. Lord have mercy on me. I never knew! I mean I figured she had a few million, but nowhere near 60...wow! So...what do I do now?"
"Well, the first thing you need to do is determine who you want to handle your finances. You need to get attorneys, and other such people to handle things."
"Well, I think the smart thing to do is find out if all of you would be willing to stay on as my new attorneys, accountants and all the rest?"
"YES!!" Came the combined voices of all at the table.
Taylor smiled slightly at the response, then she told the woman she had a lot of thinking to do, and would be in touch with her very soon. Taylor was about to stand to leave, but the attorney once again stopped her. "Wait! one more thing."
"This envelope, its for a Ms. Madison, the note on it says that you know who she is?"
"Good, this is for her." The woman then passed the large envelope down to the young girl who took it, and her hand trembled slightly as a result.
The next week Taylor gave thanks for her grandmothers love. One day Yasmeia called her to tell her that she had a conversation with Alex a while back, and Yasmeia purposely added words to the womans own. "She said she will never forgive you for not apologizing for walking out of her life. Her coming to your grandmothers funeral was simply her way of showing her respect for a woman she respected, because of her honesty."
"Yasmeia I apologized to her, she didnt accept it!"
"Well, you know her, she expected for you to stick around and give her a chance to calm down, but instead you just left. At least thats how she feels about it."
"Really?! Well well just see about that."
"What are you talking about Taylor?" Yasmeia asked, feigning innocence.
"Im planning on coming there to talk to her...shell probably eat me alive and then spit out my bones, but at least Ill know Ive tried."
"You ARE still in love with her, arent you?!"
"Yes, I cant help how I feel. I tried to put her and anything that reminded me of her out of my mind, because it hurt too much to think about how badly I screwed up. I was only able to bury them superficially. When I saw her standing across that cemetery, all of the feelings I had for her came flooding over me. Yasmeia I do love her, and I know I am being a foolish young woman, for still having such strong feelings for her. But I would just die if I didnt try and she ended up marrying DAngelo...Gods Yasmeia, I cant lose her."
"But Taylor, her party is going to be taking place in the next few days. With that and the SEC thing looming, she will more than likely not be in the talking mood, plus, what reason will you give her for just showing up?"
"I have a few gifts for her."
"Yes, I bought her a birthday gift and card, and a Christmas gift, and a Valentines day gift, its the most special, because of the meaning behind it."
"Taylor you bought her gifts, even though you two were no longer together?"
"Yes. I still care, and even if they never got to her, at least I would have the memory." The girl said sadly.
"Well I think its a great idea, and I think you should catch her either the day before the party, or of the party."
"Yes, I can go to the house, the maid will remember me and let me in, and then I can talk to her."
"During the party?"
"Hmmm...I dont know yet, but I know if I do go on that day I had better dress the part to fit in."
"No, that would only tell her that you had been talking to me, and she may not appreciate the fact that I told you."
"Okay, then I will dress normal."
"Okay, well I have to go Taylor, but I will talk to you later."
"Okay Yasmeia, thanks for calling and checking on me."
"You're my friend and you were hurting."
"Thank you, Ill talk to you later."
"All right Taylor, bye."
The two hung up and Taylor picked up the paper that was laying near the phone and looked at the picture of Alex and DAngelo. Above the picture it read, "The CEO of Madison Inc., will be giving her annual Business Social. She will be escorted by her long time friend and companion D Angelo Marazzda". Taylor balled the paper up and threw it to the floor. She picked the telephone back up and called her new attorney.
"Hello, this is Ms. Letas office, may I help you?"
"Yes, I would like to speak with Ms. Leta, tell her its Taylor."
After a few minutes Leta got on the phone. "Taylor, what can I do for you?"
"I need a three million dollar cashiers check, within three days."
"May I ask why?"
"I owe it to someone, and I told her if I ever struck it rich, then I would pay her back. Well...its happened, and I plan on paying her every cent I owe her."
"How is it that you could afford to even borrow that amount? If you don't mind my asking?"
"I didnt borrow it. I used to work for this person and she had told me specifically about something and what the results of my not following through could mean. Well I didnt follow through one day, although it was an accident, anyway, she lost 3 three million dollars that day. Of course she told me I didnt have to pay her back, she was adamant about that, but I have to pay her back, especially now that I am able to."
"But she said you didnt owe her."
"Thats not the point! This is a woman who is moving on with her life, and I dont want her to have to waste her time thinking about me. Especially seeing how she wants to move on. So please have it made and sent to me?"
"All right Ms. Young, itll be sent out to you tomorrow."
"Thank you Ms. Leta, and I will be leaving town for a while. One of my grandmothers friends will be staying here."
"You're welcome Ms. Young."
Taylor hung up the phone and ran upstairs to pack a few clothes. The next day the cashiers check arrived and the girl got in her car and drove to the airport. She arrived back in the town where her life would forever change, one way or the other. She rented a car and drove to one of the hotels that was near Alex's home. After she settled in, she called Yasmeia and told her she was in town and where she was staying. Yasmeia told her that the party was going to take place tomorrow, and asked if she was going there today or tomorrow.
"I dont know, now that Im here, I think either way is foolish. I mean just showing up out of no where, and going to her party to try and talk to her is really, now that I think about it, way out there."
"Dont back out now Taylor, you're going to have to face her sooner or later. If its later you will always wonder if she would have forgiven you and if you two would have been together. You need to tell her everything." Yasmeia stressed.
"Yasmeia, I feel like Im going to be sick. I feel the same way I did that first day she told me to bring those reports to her personally. I don't know if I can do it, Im feeling extremely...well, scared!"
"I know, but youll be fine."
"Okay, I think I am going to get some rest, but I'll talk to you after tomorrow."
"Okay Taylor Ill talk to you later. Maybe Ill stop by the hotel tomorrow. Good luck."
Taylor hung around her hotel room for the day, listening to the news about Alexs party, and who would be attending. Meanwhile, Alex was talking with agents who had come out to the house to secure the area. She had given them a list of all of the guests who were scheduled to arrive along with their escorts. She also gave them a list of all of the servants and staff that would be there. All care was being taken to assure the safety of not only the special guest, but also those overseas business men and women who had come into town specifically to attend this business function.
"Is that all you need?" Alex asked of the head agent.
"Yes Ma'am, the security sweep has been done and the place is secure. There will be agents left here for tonight up until the event ends, so as to be assured security is maintained."
"Everyones ID badges will be given to them once their identification is verified upon arrival, and then they will be required to wear it at all times. No one will be allowed in who is not on this list."
"I understand. I will send over the servants for you to go over what will be expected of them."
"Thank you Ma'am, and thank you for your cooperation Ms Madison. It really does make it easier to do our jobs when we have people working with us."
"I understand the need for the added security." She turned and gestured to the head servant to gather all of the other servants and go over and listen to what the agent had to say about what was going to take place.
The whole day was spent on getting final things done for the party that was going to start at 2 p.m. and go long into the night. Everyone who had come for the last minute instructions, mainly those who would be serving or greeting or cooking, were required to be there. The residence was decorated in spring fashion. The sliding doors that made up the wall of the living room on one side were now open to reveal a very large ballroom area. That night when the woman went to bed, DAngelo stayed over with her. He slept in one of the guest bedrooms. The next morning the woman woke up somewhat anxious, and for the life of her she couldn't figure out why. She knew it wasn't because of the party later, she had been giving this same party every year since she took over her first international company.
"What is it Rose?"
"Nothing, Im just a little off balance at the moment, Ill be fine after I work out." She headed for the gym.
"Good morning Ma'am." One of the agents called to her as she passed.
"Morning." The woman returned, as she continued to her gym.
Once there she stretched and then called up her trainer. She worked out for over an hour, then went to go and get cleaned up. She found that the feeling was still with her. "Damnit! Whats going on?" She cursed to herself, not liking the feeling at all.
She finished dressing and went to have breakfast with DAngelo.
"Well morning again, do you feel better?"
"No!" She growled, as she made herself a plate from the food that had been spread out on the table.
"Wow! You're in a bear of a mood this morning."
"If you have a problem with it DAngelo, you can leave." Alex said sarcastically.
"I know that tone. I guess Im going to have to walk on eggshells around you today, as is everyone else."
"Theyre too noisy when theyre stepped on." The woman said, with a hint of a tease.
DAngelo heard it and a smile curled the corners of his mouth as he proceeded to eat. Alex glanced up at him over her brows, and then lowered her own eyes to her plate as she thought about the two of them.
As the day went on, Taylor woke up anxious and feeling sick. She ran to the bathroom and proceeded to get sick. She cleaned up and got dressed. At first she was going to go to the restaurant to eat breakfast, but since she was feeling extremely anxious and shaky, she decided to order room service. She sat down on the chair at the small desk and tried to calm her nerves.
Shes going to be so angry, and she has the right to be."
Taylor covered her face with her hands and let her tears soothe her. After calming herself, she wiped her eyes and then she picked up a little jewelry box out of a box that held a few other gifts, and opened it to look at it for the umpteenth time. It was a gold chain with a silver and gold, heart shaped, pendant hanging from it. The pendant had two silver and gold clasps on the back of it and they were in the open position. It made the pendant look like it was an accordion. She had seen it at a jewelry store and the woman behind the counter told her it could represent many things, but most people used it to represent the loss of love ones, thereby the broken heart. Taylor, on the other hand, saw a different meaning behind it, and it brought tears to her eyes just to think about that meaning. By the time the party came around, the girl was nauseated again. She decided she couldnt face the woman at that moment, so instead she laid down on the bed in her hotel room and fell asleep, hoping the nausea would pass. Meanwhile Alex was in her element, despite the feeling she still had.
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