1- You leave me no choice
I am angry, no scratch that, I am enraged!
I stormed into Harrison Corp. Headquarters, looking for blood. I even hoped that their security or the reception would prevent me from going inside, just so that I could unleash my fury. But dammit, they were welcoming and accommodating!
I barged in, demanding to see their Group CEO, without an appointment, and yet, they let me in! Admittedly, I mentioned that I was here to finish the discussion he had with Ms. Chloe Brown, which may have swayed their decision. But still, I was hoping for some smug and condescending remarks, an eye roll, or anything that would justify a dramatic confrontation.
Hell, even his personal assistant is incredibly considerate. She looks like a model, with an amazing body and an absolutely stunning face, yet she lacks any smugness whatsoever. She was so nice and welcoming. She guided me to a meeting room and told me that Ethan had back-to-back meetings but that he would meet me as soon as he was free.
Every five to ten minutes, she comes in offering me a beverage and delicious canapes. Seriously, who has such fancy snacks in their office?!
If it were up to me, I would have hunted that pig’s ass yesterday evening, when Chloe came home from her meeting with swollen eyes and a flushed face. But she would not let me. She made me promise not to retaliate by going after him last night. She did not mention anything about this morning though.
I admit, I have a knack for finding loopholes.
Chloe wanted to have a face-to-face conversation with Trevor, the deadbeat father of her child. But being the coward that he is, he hid behind his brother, the mighty CEO of Harrison Corp. She went to the meeting last night with all the good intentions in the world, extending an olive branch. She was met with the Harrison’s conceit. They should trademark that!
I check my smartphone for the nth time, frustration creeping in. I have been waiting for over three hours now, and patience is not my strongest suit. I get up and approach his personal assistant’s desk.
“Excuse me, miss. I've been waiting for three hours now.”
“I am deeply sorry, Ms. Wilson. But Mr. Harrison has …”
“I know, I know Mr. Harrison has back-to-back meetings. But my discussion with him will be brief and to the point. Can’t you just squeeze me in between meetings?”
She seems to be giving it some thought before she says.
“Let me see what I can do.”
She heads to his office's imposing door and goes in.
I pace around anxiously waiting for her. When she comes out, she hands me a large brown envelope. Seeing the confusion in my eyes, she explains:
“Mr. Harrison said to give you this. You can fill it out and give it back to me, and he will make sure the first monthly transfer is completed within forty-eight hours, the latest.”
Her explanation only serves to confuse me even further. What am I supposed to fill out? What first month? Then it hit me.
No, he did not. Please tell me he didn't. If he did, I swear I'll kill him.
I open the envelope, almost tearing it down, and extract a large pile of papers. I skim through them. Yep. He f*****g did!
I tilt my head, looking at his PA.
“Miss, you seem like a nice person. So, I am going to give you a friendly advice: do not try to hold me back. Actually, it'd be best if you leave this f*****g floor altogether.”
I stomp towards his office, slamming the door open with a loud bang.
“Miss Wilson! No, please come outside.” his personal assistant screams while trying to grab my arm.
“What the hell... “ Ethan shouts, putting his phone on mute.
“Do not 'what the hell' me, Mr. Harrison. You have crossed the line.” I yell at him, waving the "contract" in his face.
My pupils are dilated, my eyes are red with anger and I am pretty sure I look like a crazy person right now.
He looks at me, then at the papers before telling his assistant:
“I've got this, Pam. You can leave now.”
She hesitates for a few seconds before exiting and shutting the door behind her.
“I’m sorry M. Dominguez, I have an emergency at the office. Can I call you back this evening?” he pauses for a moment, probably listening to the man’s response. Finally, she says “Thank you for your understanding. Have a good day” and he hangs up the phone.
“Ms. Wilson, I see your manners have not improved in seven years” he sneers arrogantly as he leans back in his chair, trying to be intimidating.
This man radiates power. Although he is seated, he is tall and imposing with his muscular frame barely contained by his undoubtedly expensive suit. His five-o’clock shadow and jet-black hair give him a mysterious sexy air, but it is his piercing obsidian eyes that are truly imposing. They scrutinize me as though he wants to penetrate my soul and uncover my darkest secrets... to use them against me!.
But I know better now than to be intimidated by him. He did not scare me back then, he does not scare me now.
“I am not here on a social visit. What the hell is that!” I retort, throwing the contract onto his desk.
“This is a contract to be signed by your friend for child support.”
“She already told you yesterday evening that she does not want your money.”
“This is the only thing she will get.”
“So, let me get this straight. Chloe comes to see Trevor. Being the ever-cowardly excuse of a man, he declines and sends you instead. And when she tells you that your niece needs her father and her father’s family in her life, that your niece is asking for her father relentlessly, your only logical response is to throw money at her face! I see that YOUR manners have not improved, Mr. Harrison!”
“Listen, Ms. Wilson, I am busy, and I don’t have time for your acting performance. What is the problem? The amount is not to your liking? I can increase it by a 150,000$ per year.”
“I will tell you today what I told you seven years ago. You can shove your money up your ass. We do not need your money and we will never take it. Believe me, if Stella did not need her father in her life, we would have kept you all out of our lives. We have no interest in socializing with your kind. But Stella needs her father, she needs a complete family structure.”
“I’m going to stop you right there, Ms. Wilson, this child will not be officially recognized as a Harrison.”
“This child is your niece! And she has a name!” I yell, clenching my fists.
I close my eyes and breathe in and out to calm myself. When I open my eyes, my determination is tenfold.
“What do you want? A paternity test? We offered to do it back then and we can do it now.”
“No need. We already know that she is my brother’s offspring.”
“He knows without a shadow of a doubt that she is his flesh and blood, and yet he never cared to meet her?” I murmur, shaking my head in disbelief.
“Her mother forced this child onto my brother. She tried to trick my brother by getting pregnant. She is after our money, fame, and social stature.”
I laugh bitterly.
“If she were after your “money”, she would have filed a paternity lawsuit against him to get child support. If she were after your money, she would have accepted the deal yesterday evening. How can you be so absurd and not see that, because of your stupidity, you are depriving an innocent child of her dad and extended family?”
He stands up and moves towards me. He eyes me up and down and pitches his nose in disgust before saying “Women like you two are vile. You play this innocent role to get access to our entire fortune, not just child support.”
“you son of a b***h!” I raise my hand to slap him, but he swiftly grips my wrist and blocks my hand in the air.
“Don’t you dare raise your voice or your hand at me! You are nothing, Ms. Wilson. I am merely tolerating you because you are raising my niece, and I want us to reach an agreement on the amount of money you need.”
“f**k you!” I shout, wrenching my hand free.
I continued with venom in my voice:
“We don’t need your money. We did not need your money back then and we do not need your money now. Don’t you see? Stella needs a father! She deserves to spend her birthday with her dad. She needs him to celebrate Father’s Day with him. She needed him when Timmy pushed her and she broke…”
He lifts his hand to silence me mid-sentence.
“Yes, I know. I know that she broke her hand, and I know she was bullied for not having a father, and I know she asks about her dad every time there is a school recital. And since her maternal grandparents passed away, she is also asking to see my parents, her paternal grandparents as well. I know everything “
I furrow my brows.
“How do you know that? Did Chloe tell you yesterday?”
“The child…” he pauses, then continues “Stella is our blood. Therefore, we naturally keep tabs on her, and we receive regular updates, including pictures and videos.”
I cannot believe my ears. I am so shocked I need to place my hand on his deck to steady myself and keep my balance.
“You knew? You saw her? You saw her angelic face, her big, beautiful eyes, and you never felt the desire to meet her? He saw her and never tried to get in contact with his own daughter!? I cannot fathom how heartless all of you are!”
He moves closer, towering over me with his six-foot-tall frame. I have to tilt my head back to look him in the eyes.
“Ms. Wilson, I have work to return to. Take the contract and leave.”
“Oh, we are just getting begun, Mr. Harrison,” I say while reaching for the contract on his desk.
“First of all, this offer is rejected.” I tear the papers in half and throw them on the floor.
“Don’t you dare make such an offer ever again, because next time I will physically harm you and Stella’s deadbeat father?
Secondly, this is how it is going to go,” I continue, glaring at him.
“Tomorrow, your brother and your parents will visit us and meet Stella."
He wants to object but I raise my finger and add:
“Nope, you don’t get to talk. They will visit Stella and shower her with love and affection. Your family excels at showing off at social events, so I expect an Oscar-worthy performance. Failure to do so will result in me going with this story to the paparazzi. With all the juicy details. ALL! Your family abhors being the subject of gossip, correct? When was the last time your family made the yellow paper headlines? Ah yes! It was when you were caught fornicating with the ambassador of Switzerland’s wife at a fundraising gala. It was like what five years ago? …You could not get rid of the scandal that easily. It even damaged your business. I recall this vividly because at the time I was frustrated that Karma slapped you in the face before I got that chance.”
He is livid. He grabs my wrist and yells at me with blazing eyes.
“Don’t you dare threaten me, Sawyer!”
“I just did. And I meant every word. Now get your filthy hands off me and make sure your brother and parents clear their schedule tomorrow afternoon.”
He takes a few steps back and glares at me.
I glare back for a few moments before turning to leave this cold office. When I grab the doorknob, I turn and look him in the eyes, adding,
“And I expect them to come empty-handed. We do not want anything from you, Harrisons. Any gift they bring will be burned right in front of them.”