The Contract(5)

By: Melanie Moreland

I stormed out of my office.

David tapped the glass-topped table. “Your attention. I have some good news and some bad. I’ll start with the good. I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Tyler Hunter to the role of partner.”

I schooled my face, keeping it blank. I could feel the sidelong glances, and I refused to let anyone know how pissed off I was with the situation. Instead, to mess with them, I rapped the glass with my knuckles. “Good on you, Tyler. Best of luck.”

The room was silent. Internally, I smirked. I could act like a decent person. It didn’t change the fact I loathed the deceitful bastard or resented David for doing this to me.

David cleared his throat. “So, the bad news. As of today, Alan Summers is no longer with the company.”

My eyebrows shot up. Alan was one of the heavy-hitters at Anderson Inc. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. “Why?”

David shot me a look. “I beg your pardon?”

“Why is he gone? Did he leave on his own?”

“No. He . . .” David curled his lips in a twisted grimace. “It was brought to my attention he was seeing one of the assistants.” He glowered. “You know there is a strict policy about dating within the company. Let this be a lesson to all of you.”

Anderson Inc. was firm on their rules. You followed them, or you were gone. They’d figuratively rip off your balls, leaving you floundering. Fraternizing within the company was a stringent no-no. David believed romance in the office clouded your mind. Anything that took your focus off work or his bottom line, he frowned upon. I assumed he was against his employees having any sort of life outside Anderson Inc. Glancing around the table, I realized every executive was either single or divorced. I had never noticed, or cared about the marital status of my co-workers.

“On a side note, Emily has left us, as well.”

It didn’t take a genius to know which assistant Alan had been seeing. Emily was his PA. What an idiot. You never got involved with someone at work, especially your PA. Luckily, I wasn’t even remotely tempted.

David droned on a bit, and I tuned him out, going back to my own problem. When others started to stand, I jumped to my feet, leaving the boardroom, not wanting the see all the handshakes and slaps on the back Tyler would receive.


I strode into my office; stopping at the sight of Brian perched on the edge of Miss Elliott’s desk, his wide shoulders shaking with laughter. They both looked up when I came in, two very different expressions on their faces: Brian looked amused and Miss Elliott looked guilty.

“What are you doing here?” I demanded. I turned to Miss Elliott. “Why didn’t you let me know someone was waiting?”

Brian held up his hand. “I got here a few minutes ago, Richard. Katy offered me coffee, and to let you know I was here, but I was enjoying her company far more than I ever do yours, so I wasn’t in a hurry.” He winked at me. “She is more entertaining, not to mention prettier than you. I always like spending time with her.”

Pretty and entertaining? Miss Elliott? And what was this Katy shit?

I barked out a laugh at those descriptions.

“In my office,” I ordered.

He followed me in, and I shut the door. “What are you doing here? If David saw you . . .”

He shook his head. “Relax. It’s not as if I’ve never been here before today. And what if he does see me and suspects something? Make him sweat a little.”

I paused. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. He knew Brian was the biggest headhunter in Victoria. Maybe if he saw Brian wander around Anderson Inc. it would make him a little nervous.

“Lay off charming my assistant. It’s a waste of time, and I thought you had a girlfriend.”

“I do, and I wasn’t charming her. She’s great. I enjoy talking to Katy.”

I snorted. “Yeah, she’s great—if you like doormats who masquerade as emaciated scarecrows.”

Brian frowned. “You don’t like her? Really? What’s not to like?”

“She’s fucking perfect,” I stated, my sarcasm thick. “She does everything I tell her. Now, drop the subject and tell me why you’re here.”

He lowered his voice. “I had coffee with Adrian Davis this morning.”

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