2412 Words
Six years later Jolie was listening to music while she typed up a report for her employer. Mordecai Dreyfus was the CFO of a large real estate company in Boston Massachusetts and as far as she was concerned the closest thing to a saint to exist on the human plane. He was also bloody brilliant. Yet, for as much as he was a genius with numbers, his spelling was atrocious. The report he’d asked her to provide him was rife with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. She looked up as he wordlessly came tearing out of the office and frowned at his departing back. She looked to the woman in the desk immediately opposite hers and raised an eyebrow while pulling out one of her earbuds. “Wonder what that was about?” “I don’t know,” Opal grinned, “but I haven’t seen him move so fast since the fifteenth floor had a party and brought a cake from the bakery, he likes so much downtown.” They both giggled at their boss’ expense. One of the girls, Celia, from down the hall in HR raced into their space, “Macey,” she named the head of HR, “took off upstairs mumbling about a surprise hostile takeover. All the upper management were called upstairs all at once.” “Holy s**t!” Opal made wide eyes. “No way!” Both women now were out of their seats and moving into the open area of cubicles to see if anyone else had heard anything. While their offices were off in the far corner of the floor, tucked away behind a glassed off partition, the rest of the area was open concept and cubicles. The floor was divided half in accounting-and-payroll and half in human resources. The accounting department was typically quiet, working on assignments which came from Mordecai through Jolie’s desk but they were all buzzing by the way the two senior managers had torn through the office. “What’s going on?” “A takeover,” Celia huffed the word out as if struggling for breath. “We don’t know this for certain,” Opal commented waving her hands as if trying to shush the entire department. “Enough. Go back to work. If there is an announcement, I’m sure we’ll know before anyone else. These two departments are the most important ones in the entire company.” “Apart from the top floor where the CEO and the rest of the bigwigs live,” Jolie commented dryly. Anders and Fitch were one of the biggest real estate companies in the state. There had been rumors for a while now surrounding the CEOs getting into trouble. Jolie and Opal had both seen the numbers and knew the rumors were based on more than a hint of fact. Solomon Anders and Elaine Fitch were going through a messy divorce and at stake was their company. While they had made multiple public statements how their personal lives were not going to influence the running of their company, behind closed doors, Solomon Anders was doing everything he could to destroy his wife and all because she had the audacity to get caught with their pool boy by a tabloid. His image was everything and she had essentially pissed on it with a twenty-two-year-old. It was an all-out war behind closed doors. “What if it is, though?” one of the men poked his head up over the wall of his cubicle. “Then the best way to keep your job is to do what you’ve been doing all along. Put your nose down. Stay out of trouble and make sure nothing leaves this office unless it’s perfect.” Opal rested her hands against her ample hips and cast her eyes around the room. “As the junior manager to this department, I’m telling you all now to get your s**t together and get back to work.” She looked to Celia, “I would suggest you instruct your team to do the same otherwise if it’s true and they come looking to cut costs, the first people they’re going to cut are the ones who don’t seem to have any work to do.” Jolie almost laughed as the entire floor went silent at Opals words and then immediately and frantically went back to work. Jolie was about to go back to her desk when she paused, “I’d also suggest not using the company’s messaging system. If there’s any truth to the rumor then they could be monitoring everything from emails to messages. Keep your heads down and stay out of trouble.” She and Opal made their way back to their desks and made wide eyes at each other as Celia gave a dramatic speech the minute, they walked away about the value of the human resources department. “She’s going to be the first one they fire. She never shuts up,” Opal complained as she took a swig of her coffee. “We don’t even know it’s real.” Jolie complained as she rubbed the back of her neck. “Oh, come on,” Opal hissed back. “Solomon blew fourteen million dollars of company money last weekend at a casino in Vegas. You saw the expense report. There’s no way the company can write off fourteen million dollars as a business expenditure. He messed up.” “What does one even do with so much money?” Jolie leaned back in her seat resting her hands on her belly. “I get nervous buying a decent pair of shoes for work. What are you doing to spend so much?” “Hookers? Gambling? Drugs?” Opal touched her nose and sniffed exaggeratedly. “Solomon?” Jolie wrinkled her nose up. “He’s too shiny to use drugs. He paid way too much money on his nose to put anything up there.” Solomon was a man whose appearance meant everything and, in his sixties, had more plastic in his face than a porn star did her chest. “True,” Opal agreed. “He does really like his face.” They both started back to work when Opal asked quietly, “do you ever miss it?” “Nope.” “Not the bright lights, the loads of people or the thrill of the shows?” “It smells of urine because people are always drunk and pissing themselves, even on the strip. The crime rate is stupid high and you have a one in a two hundred chance to be involved in a violent crime simply stepping outside your door. The city is full of people who are so desperate to chase the high of winning they would risk it all for a small taste of the buzz.” “Um, statistically speaking Boston’s crime rate is worse.” “Maybe but I am far less likely to run into a mob family member here in Boston than I am in Vegas.” She hissed back. “Is it really so prevalent?” “I didn’t think so growing up but it was because my dad kept me sheltered from it.” “How is he? Have you talked to him lately?” “About a month ago,” she shrugged. “Its always hard. I can’t say too much because I won’t let him know where I am. I don’t want him around me.” “Do you think you’ll ever get over your anger?” “Nope. I get why he stole the money. I get he took it to pay mom’s medical bills but he could have gone and pleaded with the old man directly to get me back. For eight months after Val took me, he kept working for them. He still works for them, Opal. Says he’s paying off his debt. I paid off his debt. I paid it off in blood, sweat and tears. Each time he calls he gives me the song and dance how the Don wants to offer his condolences and apologies in person. f**k that. f**k them all,” Jolie felt the bitter rage brewing up in her chest. “Val easily had twenty or thirty men around all the time who knew what he was like, what he was doing, how he was doing it. He himself lived four floors up from where I was tortured day in and out. You can’t make me believe the old man didn’t know what his son was doing in the building he owned.” “You don’t think they know where you are?” “No because I change my burner phone with every call. I also called him once from Yosemite.” “Why do you still call him?” She paused as she studied her fingernails, “I keep waiting for the time I call and someone else answers to tell me they killed him. I’m angry and I’ll never forgive him but he’s still my dad and I need to know he’s still alive.” She sighed, “I’m not a good person, Opal, and most of the things I feel don’t make sense to anyone else but me. But in here,” she tapped her temple, “I know as long as my dad continues to work for Cacciola family, Val’s legacy of my abuse lives on.” “What if his choices are a bullet to the head or to keep working?” Opal questioned curiously. “Maybe he doesn’t have a choice?” “He is working for the family who raped and nearly murdered me on so many occasions I lost track of the number. You have a kid. What would you do to protect him? What are the lengths you would go to get him back if someone took him?” Opal swallowed and made big eyes at her, “I would tear the world apart.” “And would you work for the men who brutalized him?” “I’d take the bullet,” Opal nodded and then grimaced, “but I’d take as many of those mother fuckers out with me as I could.” “He had the chance to. When the cops asked him if he knew I was being held captive and against my will, he told them I had gone willingly with Val. He said he had no proof any of my injuries were caused by anyone of the Cacciola family. What a load of horseshit.” Opal giggled at her phrasing. “We need more coffee. It’s got to be almost time for break.” “Are you kidding? If the company is being taken over, if we go to break, we might come back to locked doors. At the very least, I want to have a chance to fight for my last paycheque.” She waved at Opal, “get back to work. I need to finish this report so I make Mordecai look as good as he is.” “Fine but I hope he comes back soon. All this speculation is killing me.” “You literally have been guessing for five minutes and most of this time was me talking about Vegas and crime lords,” Jolie mocked her. “There’s a reason your kid is excelling in the drama program at school.” Opal rolled her eyes, “he definitely gets it from his mama.” “He sure does.” Jolie agreed as she turned her attention back to her report. Fifteen minutes later, she was deeply engrossed in her work, her fingers flying as she used the keyboard to the best of her abilities when Opal piped up again whispering frantically. “I had a message pop up on my screen from Stanley in the realty office. We’ve been taken over.” “Don’t answer him.” “I’m not going to. I don’t want to be caught gossiping.” “Did he say who?” “No. I want to ask but I don’t want to answer.” “Close out the screen. It’s not worth it,” Jolie whispered frantically. They both looked up in surprise as Mordecai walked into their office wordlessly and went straight to his office and closed the door. “Should I go in?” Jolie asked. “No. He didn’t ask you to follow him.” “I have the report finished,” she held up her thumb drive. “You usually email it to him first.” “I know but –” whatever she was going to say was cut short when Mordecai opened his office door, shrugging into his coat and waving at the two women. “Come on, come on. You two have to come.” “Where are we going?” “Senior management meeting. I need my admin assistant and my junior manager with me. Tell me you got the report done?” he met Jolie’s eyes beseechingly. Jolie considered her boss appeared to have aged a decade in the last thirty minutes. “Right here, actually.” She passed him the thumb drive he’d given her earlier. “I replaced your version with mine.” “Thank god,” he pressed the button for the elevator and when they were safely inside, he exhaled slowly. “Solomon lost the company last weekend in Vegas. He didn’t only gamble fourteen million dollars. He put the entire company up for collateral in a high stakes poker game and lost. The new owner wants to see the first quarter profits,” he shook the device in his hand, “and we better be able to explain every single figure on here or he’s bringing in his own team and sending us all packing. I have thirty-eight years in with this company and I’m six years off retirement. I’m not losing my pension and everything else I’ve worked so hard to gather because some guy got his knickers twisted over his wife banging the pool boy.” As the doors opened on the top floor and they headed in the direction of the conference room, Opal whispered to Mordecai, “who is the new owner.” They stepped into the room and Jolie felt her heart sink at the four men standing at the head of the table, her eyes immediately going to the clear commander of the quartet. Brixton Beckwith. The Cacciola family.
Free reading for new users
Scan code to download app
  • author-avatar
  • chap_listContents
  • likeADD