I sighed and slammed the phone on the table. “Damn it!”
Tom entered the room and looked worriedly at me. “What’s wrong?”
I shook my head. “Nothing.” I mumbled and returned to writing the next report that I missed this morning. The chief decided to give me another chance to present.
“Oh, by the way, are you sure you’re alright?” He asked and I nodded.
“Yeah I’m alright.” I said and he smiled at me.
“Good, just making sure.”
He sat down on the chair and looked at me. “Have you heard about the new CEO of Altrees?” He asked and I shook my head. I was busy computing the withdrawals of the customers last month.
“No, why?” I asked still not looking up at Tom.
“Nothing. Everyone was hysteric when they saw him.” Tom said but I was only listening half-heartedly.
“Oh, really? Why?” I asked again but the numbers in my head was occupying it so I really can’t hear what he’s saying.
The phone rang and I quickly answered it. “What?”
“Sir, the boss wants to talk to you in his office.” Liza said and I nodded.
“Okay, I’ll be there in a moment…”
“Now.” Liza snapped and I grunted. I put the phone back on the table and stood up to look at Tom.
“Sorry but I need to go. Old man wants to see me.” I said and Tom nodded.
“Okay, I’ll see you then?” He asked and I nodded. He was about to kiss me in the cheeks but I stopped him.
“Ah, I’m sorry, I really need to go!” I ran out of the office and cursed myself for acting like an idiot. Ever since that night with Matthias, I can’t look straight in Tom’s eyes. It feels like a knife was plunging my heart every time I do.
I quickly walked in the long corridor leading to the Executive office. I finally arrived in front of the boss’ door. I knocked and opened the door. “Hey boss, you said you wanted to talk to me?”
Sir Fred stood up and smiled at me. I looked at the person who was sitting on the sofa and gasped when I saw who it was.
“There you are, Harrison.” He said in his Italian accent.
I was still staring at him in disbelief. No freaking way.
“Earl Harrison, this is Matthias Blaise. He’s the one in charge of the public relations department. ” I blinked. What? I thought Matthias was the new CEO?
Matthias stood up from where he was sitting and smirked at me. Fred nudged me on the shoulder. I shook my head and cleared my throat.
“It’s nice meeting you.” I mumbled while looking down. Damn, I feel so infuriated right now. I glanced up at him and shivered when I saw that dangerous gleam under his smiling eyes.
He held out his hand to shake mine. We shook hands like it’s the first time we actually met.
Seriously, what the hell’s he doing here? In my company no less! He’s stalker skills really has no boundaries. I was ready to bury the thing that happened to us a few nights ago and forget him but damn, he just crawled back again of the ground and managed to find me.
Matthias, what the hell are you planning?!
“Harrison? Earl!” I snapped out of my inner thoughts and looked at Fred. He shook his head in disappointment and looked at Matthias. “I’m so sorry, si – I mean, Mr Blaise.”
Matthias kind smile immediately blinded me. “No, it’s alright, Mr Fred. I’m sure Mr Harrison’s just tired.” Fred looked at him in awe and grinned.
I gripped my fist and glared at him. How come you can smile like that?! Weren’t you supposed to be the smug, cold-hearted man who beams of arrogance everywhere?! Who the hell are you?!
“As expected from a professional.” Fred praised. “I hope you can teach Harrison here a two or three.” Fred glared at me with eyes saying I’ll-kill-you-if-you-humiliate-us.
I gulped and forced a smile. “I-indeed. Welcome to Altrees, Mr Blaise.” I spat his name bitterly and Matthias just chuckled.
“I’m looking forward to being your colleague, Earl.” His eyes revealed the malice it was hiding before switching to Fred and smiling brightly. “Well then, boss, I’ll have to start my work soon.”
Fred nodded and stared at me. I sighed and nodded. Fine, I’ll just do my job and won’t bring my personal feelings into doing my work.
When we left the room, I quickly turned around to push a finger on his chest. “What are you doing here?”
Matthias smirked. “I’m working here.”
I bit my lips. “There’s a lot of bank company here in Italy, why Altrees?! Why choose this bank?”
“I don’t know.” He smiled and winked at me. “Maybe it’s a coincidence?”
I blushed. C-coincidence? Don’t tell me…its fate’s fault?!
Damn you fate!
Matthias grinned at me. “Well then, Mr Chief of Finance.” His grin turned into an evil smile. “Tell me everything I need to know.”
“I-Idiot!” I turned my back against him so that he wouldn’t notice that I was blushing hard. Calm down, heart. Don’t worry, it’s just Matthias. No need to be so uptight. It’s not like he can do anything when we’re in public. That’s right. I just have to act normal as usual.
He won’t break my façade.
I walked away but stopped when he talked.
“Wait.” He mumbled and I looked at him.
“What?” I asked. “I need to go back and work.”
“Be careful. Someone’s hiding here in the company.”
“He wants to kill the executive president.” Matthias explained and I paled.
No way. “So the reason you’re here because…?”
Matthias smirked. “Is to catch that fucker. And after that, I’m gonna exploit the executive president.”
“What?! Are you crazy?! Why will you do that for?!” I asked him.
He walked away as he put both of his hands inside his pockets. “Let’s just say he’s been corrupting the money of the people in this bank.”
So that’s the reason why a lot of people were quitting work. Because their salary was being cut off. I should have known it but I never suspected the executive president’s the one behind it all.
Lunch arrived and all the employees were in the cafeteria. I grabbed a tray and scanned the menu. What to eat? Italian chicken risotto, steamed beef with broccoli, grilled eggplant sandwiches, or the Boston baked beans?
“Hey.” Tom greeted me and I smiled at him. “What’ll you eat for lunch babe?”
I scowled at what he called me but he didn’t see it. “Ah, that Sicilian meatballs.” I pointed and he nodded.
“Let me get that for you.” He said but I stopped him.
“I’ll do it.” I said and he raised his brows.
“Buongiorno signore, qual è il tuo ordine [ Good morning sir, what is your order ]?” I blinked at the chef who was taking our order. Oh damn, I forgot that we’re in Italy and not in America, dammit.
Tom looked puzzled. “Ah, can I have those meatballs over there?”
“Lo vuoi fritto [ You want it fried ]?” The chef asked again and I paled.
“Ah, what the hell’s he saying?” I asked Tom but he only shook his head.
“I dunno, I don’t speak Italian.”
“Egli avrà esso fritta. [ He’ll have it fried ]” Matthias’ voice from behind said and the chef grinned and nodded. He quickly took the order and gave it to us.
“Godere! [ Enjoy]” The chef finally said with a smile and I forced a smile as well.
Matthias looked at me. “He was asking you if you want it fried or not.”
“What the…? He was asking me that?” I said and he nodded.
We finally found a table and sat down. Everyone was speaking in Italian and I can’t help but to be out of placed.
“You’re from public relations department. The new guy?” Tom asked while looking at Matthias.
Matthias nodded and smiled. “And you are?”
“Tom Hackinson. Nice to meet you.” He smiled at him.
“Matthias Blaise.” Matthias shortly said. Tom held out a hand to shake his but Matthias ignored it. He put his hand down and smiled. “So, Matthias, are you a friend of Earl?”
I mentally smacked myself. Stop asking questions Tom!
Matthias stared at me for a second before looking at Tom. “Yeah.”
Tom looked confused but decided to let it go. “Oh wait, I’m going to order mine.” He left us and I finally sighed in relief.
Matthias took my fork and stabbed a piece of meatball before propping it inside his mouth. “What’re you doing?”
“Eating your balls.” He snorted at what he said and covered his face to hide his laughter. I sneered and burst into laughter as well.
“Was that supposed to be a joke?” I asked still laughing and he shrugged his shoulders. “Seriously, what’re you doing?”
“I’m eating.” He casually answered and I gave him a dead look.
“I can see that for myself. What I meant is what’re you doing here?”
He leaned closer to my face and I can smell his branded cologne. “Is that piece of shit your boyfriend?”
I blushed. “Y-yes?”
“Man, you replaced me, for someone like him?” He asked and I glared.
“Hey, he’s nice.”
“Yeah, really? I can’t tell.”
I pouted and continued to eat my meatballs. “As you can see, I already have someone…”
Matthias cut me off when I saw him glared at me. “I told you, you’re mine.”
I blushed even more and sunk into my seat. That menacing look that can leave me breathless. Damn, he’s sweeping me away again with his charms.
“Pricks like him don’t stand a chance.” He said and I glared even more.
“Stop saying that. He’s not a prick.”
“By the end of the week, you’re mine again.” He threatened and smirked at me.
“You wish.” I stuck my tongue out at him. Tom finally came back with a tray of that chicken risotto. He smiled at me and squeezed my hand before eating.
I can hear Matthias growling but Tom can’t. I grinned inside. I was actually enjoying what was happening. What’s wrong with me? This was bad.
“Oh, you’re not gonna eat?” Tom asked but Matthias was still glaring at me. I shrugged my shoulders at him. He finally stood up.
“I lost my appetite.” He shortly answered. He kicked Tom’s chair to make him choke on his chicken. I gasped and patted his back to ease him.
Matthias smirked and walked away. “Sorry, my bad.”
“Bastard.” I thought and continued to help Tom who was still choking.
I sighed and tried to forget everything that happened this day. Matthias, of course, still made my life like shit. The moment we entered the office, everyone practically greeted him in glee. Damn, I know he’s good looking, cool, etc. but still.
Oh well, it’s not like I can do anything about it. I hate to admit it but his cool factor already tripled by now.
I closed the door and noticed that almost everyone already left home. I smiled and decided that maybe I should stop by for some dinner before going home as well.
I was about to enter the elevator when my phone suddenly vibrated. I fished it out of my pocket and saw the incoming call was coming from none other than Matthias himself.
What does he want now?
I answered it. “What?”
“A little moody, aren’t we?” I heard him smirk and I only shook my head before entering the lift. I pushed the ground button and watched the doors closed.
“What do you want?” I asked him.
“Wanna go out to eat dinner with me?” I blushed at how he could me something like this so casually.
“No, thanks. Bye.” I was about to end the call when I heard him groan. Sexily. That’s a good reason for me to stop what I was about to do, right?
“Come on Earl.” He purred and my hand immediately twitched. Don’t be tempted, Earl. Don’t be tempted.
“Sorry, not interested.” I gathered all my strength and pressed the end button. I sighed in relief and hid my phone back in my pocket when it suddenly vibrated again.
I growled and took it out again before taking the battery out. Now that the phone’s dead, he won’t bother me again, right?
The elevator doors opened and I stared when I saw Matthias waiting for me. He smirked at me in triumph.
“Go out with me?” He asked again and I rolled my eyes, silently praying for mercy.
Matthias put the menu down and looked at me. “You know that the food is down there, not here.” He said sarcastically.
I am not amused by what he was doing. He dragged me out of the office, pushed me inside his car and taking me down here to a really nice Italian restaurant against my will.
“I know. I’m just so pissed at you I don’t want to eat anymore.” I snarled back and he shrugged his shoulders.
“Hey, it’s not like we’re new to this. We eat dinner right before we go home after school, right?” He asked and I twitched again.
No Earl, don’t let the bittersweet memories corrupt you. “Really? I don’t remember.”
“That’s cold for someone who just had sex with me days ago.” He said in a fake dramatic voice.
I slammed my hand on the table and glared at him in spite of my blushing face. “I-I was drunk that time!!”
Matthias smirked. “I can still remember how you hold on to me while I thrust deep inside you.”
My blush became even more visible. “S-shut up!!”
“Matthais, faster!” He mimicked my voice and I watched him embarrassment.
Everyone near us was already looking.
“You idiot! Just shut up!” I covered his mouth with my hand and smiled at the people who were eyeing us. “Sorry for the trouble guys!”
They went back to eating their dinner. I glared at Matthias who was just looking at me with those predatory eyes. His hand slowly reached up to the arm I was holding him and he caressed it. I watched him, mesmerized by his actions.
No Earl, pull away. Like, right now.
He moved my hand on his cheek and leaned on it. “I really missed you, Earl. I won’t ever leave you again.” He opened his eyes and I gulped when I saw the way he was looking at me.
I snatched my hand away from him and grabbed my bag on the floor. “I’m going now.” I ran away from him, bumping into some waiters. I need to get out of here. I don’t want to remember those feelings I had on him. I can’t do that again. I don’t want to torture myself anymore.
I don’t want to fall in love with him again.
For the past few days, I tried to ignore Matthias’ attempt to woo me. Yes, he’s been calling me non-stop, annoying me whenever we had breaks (too bad because our office was just a few steps away from each other), asking me out to dinner every single damn night and oh, what else, ah, he’s been ruining every moment I had with Tom!
I put the folders down on the table and massaged my aching temples. “Damn it.” I muttered and sighed.
I looked at the door and raised my brows. Come to think of it, Matthias never appeared today. That’s weird
Oh well, it’s not like he cares.
I sighed when I finally finished my work. I can finally report tomorrow and this time, I won’t fail my superior. I leaned down on my chair and stared the screen of the mac. Should I go home? I still need to find a place. I can’t stay in a hotel for this whole transfer. I still have six months to stay here.
After some minutes of relaxing, I finally stood up and fixed my things. I was about to leave when the phone in my office rang. I walked back to answer it.
“Yes?” I asked when I saw that it the call was from the executive department.
“Come here in my office.” Matthias’ commanded and I sighed.
“Matthias, I’m going home already. I’m tired.”
“Just come here.” He hanged the phone down and I resisted the urge to throw it on the floor. I locked my office and proceeded to the elevator to get to the executive’s floor. When I arrived, I trotted towards his office. Not even bothering to knock, I opened it and saw Matthias sitting on the table with a woman in front of him.
I blinked and blushed. “Sorry, I didn’t knock.”
Matthias shook his head. “Wait.” He was holding a pen and a folder in both of his hands. The woman looked at me and I smiled at her. She must be one of the employees.
“Damn it, I still can’t track the bastard.” Matthias said. I stared at his face. He was wearing glasses and I can’t help but to think he looks good with it.
“Non preoccuparti [ Do not worry ], Matthias.” The woman said. Oh great, another Italian who I still can’t understand. Damn, I’m starting to hate people here.
“Cazzo[ Fuck ].” Matthias said. He looked at the woman. “Go, I’ll deal with this later.”
The woman stood up and neared Matthias. “Okay, see you later.” I froze when I saw her kissed Matthias on the lips. She waved goodbye and smiled at me before leaving the room.
I felt my heart crumble when I saw what happened. I closed the door. “Do you need something, sir?”
“Yeah, I need you to give me the annual salary of everyone here.”
He rubbed his temples and sighed. He took his tie off and unbuttoned a couple in his shirt. He looked at me. “Let’s go.”
We arrived in front of my office and I walked towards my computer. I turned it on and logged in. He stood behind me, so close that I can hear his breath.
“Here.” I opened the folder containing the organized names of the employees and their salary. I silently gasped when Matthias leaned closer, both his arms trapping me between his body and the table he was leaning at. His chin rested on my shoulder as he read the files.
“I see.” He took the mouse and I watched him open more folders. “He’s been taking salaries from certain people only. And he’s taking 70% of it.”
“Those people were the ones who quit the company. I wanted to see their files but my assistant said that it was private.”
“Of course it’ll be. The executive bastard president doesn’t want anyone finding out his shady dealings.” He said. He straightened up and leaned on the wall.
“What’re you going to do?” I asked him.
“I don’t have to deal with him now. I still have to find the assassin who wants to kill him.” Matthias answered and I paled. I forgot about that one.
“How’re you going to find him?” I asked again.
“Lure him out.”
He smirked at me. “Why do you think I came here anyway?”
“To follow me?” I asked with a smile.
“Don’t be so full of yourself.” He said smirking and somehow that made my heart hurt. “The reason I came here is to deal with the assassin and the president.”
I lowered my head. “Oh. Okay. Well, I need to go now.” I turned the mac off and grabbed my bag. I want to get out of here. My heart hurts and I don’t even know why.
No, I perfectly know why.
Because of Matthias.
“See you.” I ran towards the elevator and quickly pushed the down button. I was lost in thoughts. I knew it. For some reason, I knew that I’m not the reason why
Matthias came here. It was all in my head. I really have to forget about him. All those things that he said about wanting me and owning me, it’s just a whim of his. A selfish whim.
I exited the elevator and walked straight outside the building. The guards bid me goodbye but I ignored them. I still need to look for an apartment but I don’t have the mood for it anymore.
I sighed and sat on the bench. I combed the whole place to search for an apartment but I still can’t find one. It’s already 11 pm and I need to get ready for my report tomorrow.
It’ll be a waste of money if I continued to stay in the hotel. I don’t want to call Tom. I don’t want to see anyone right now.
What’ll I do?
I slammed the door opened and all the executives looked at me with impatient eyes. Matthias was sitting on the middle and smirked at me when he saw me.
I apologized and walked towards the center to ready my report. Liza helped me to the LCD.
“Sorry if I was late.” I started and they all shook their heads at me. I smiled sheepishly. “Here’s the annual report for the customers who have been loyal to our company.”
The screen flashes a bar graph. Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the white screen. “As you can see, our stockholders dropped down at the start of the year 2010. It continues to go down until 2012. The reason for this is easy. Because a lot of new banks opened the same time as well. They offered different kinds of promos for the people and that easily captured their attention so…”
“Can you just please skip to the details. I want to know statistics of this year.” I looked at the executive president and he was eyeing me in arrogance.
I cleared my throat. Shit, I forgot what I was about to say. I broke into cold sweat. “O-okay, I’m sorry sir.” I looked at Liza and she was looking worried at me.
Liza clicked the next slide and I looked at it. “T-this is the…”
“Oh, look what we have here. It’s the nerd.” I heard someone from behind called. Laughter followed and I ignored them. “Going home already? Oh right, you still have lots of things to do, right? Like…doing assignments for us?!”
I closed my eyes trying to erase the voices inside my mind.
Focus Earl, you gotta do this.
“Hey, Mr Mascot, will you please entertain us tonight?!” Justin asked and the crowd laughed again. “How about going for a swim?!!”
I need to finish this report. I looked at the white screen and I can’t even see what it was about.
“I forgot that he’s even here. You’re so creepy.”
“What? We’re all waiting.” The executive president taunted again and I gave him a forced smile.
“Sorry, I just need to…”
I can hear them whispering, just like what the people from my high school did to me. They were all looking at me like I’m some kind of an idiot.
“Shut up.” Everyone immediately stopped their whispering and all looked at Matthias. “He’s doing his report so shut the fuck up.” They all paled and nodded. “If you have complaints, save it later.” He glared at the executive president and he only lowered his head.
Matthias looked at me. “Go on.”
I stared at him for a second and nodded.
I entered the rooftop and lean on the wall. I slid down and tried to fight back the tears. Matthias ended up saving my ass again. Why? Every time he appears in my life, everything feels so right yet so wrong.
I clutched my head and felt dizzy. I haven’t had breakfast yet and I was sleep deprived. I need to rest for a moment and get my feet back on the floor.
I pulled out my cig and lighted it. I felt relax all of a sudden thanks to the smoke.
The door opened and Tom appeared beside me. He looked worried. “Hey.”
I smiled but it didn’t reach my ears. “Hi.”
“I heard what happened.”
“Yeah?” I snorted. “You heard how I flunked the report?”
“Kind of.” He sat beside me.
“Sorry.” I mumbled.
“Because I’m a loser.”
This time, it was Tom’s turn to snort. “ I don’t think so.”
I smiled. He leaned down to kiss me.
It wasn’t the kind of kiss Matthias gives me. The kiss was soft, tender. It was wonderful but it feels so empty.
I hugged him and nuzzled his neck. “I missed you.”
“Yeah, I missed you too.” He said.
I kissed him again and we giggled. “We’re like teenage girls.”
“Yeah, I prefer that.” He said and I laughed.