“It was tough, but I received the security footage you asked for.” Garrett handed me a flash drive, sitting down in front of my desk. “Like you guessed the footage was earased, but it was still stored in the cloud.” I smirked twirling the thumb drive around my middle and index finger.
“Thank you, Garrett. I have the jurisdiction to remove them, correct?”
“Yes, sir, you just need to get your father’s sign of approval, and the majority of the board to vote in your favor.” I nodded.
“You’re dismissed Garrett.”
“Goodnight sir.” I waved Garrett off as he exited my office. I’ve been glued to this seat since the ending of the board meeting, trying to get any important assignments completed, faxed and answered. I haven’t even had a proper meal.
The red flash on my office phone began blinking, as it rang. Pressing the white button to put the call through, and the one above it to put it on speaker, I answered the familiar extension.
-Board security is asking what time you’re leaving to in sure your safety as you leave the building.
Looking at the bottom corner of my computer, I checked the time.
-Give me fifteen minutes.
-Okay, have a good night.
-Sue, has Katherine left for the day?
I could hear the clicking from her keyboard, as Sue went silent on the other end of the phone.
-She hasn’t clocked out yet, so I would assume no.
-Okay, thank you. Goodnight.
Ending the call, I stood up from my desk, walking out the door in the direction of Katherine’s office. As I approached her closed office door, there was a small light still on, so I took that as an invitation to walk in.
“Katherine-” There she was, curled up under her long jacket, asleep on her couch. Walking over to the empty space on the imported leather, I sat down by Katherine’s head running the backs of my fingers against her exposed cheek. “Mon amour, wake up.” Katherine, began to stir in her light, as her eyes started to flutter open.
“Mmm, Liam?” Katherine sat up, flipping the part of her hair to the correct side, as she turned to face me. “Is something wrong?”
“Besides it being a quarter to six, no not at all.” Katherine’s eyes widened, as she playfully pushed my shoulder.
“You’re not funny, I’ve been late picking up Cove all week.” I gave Katherine a light smile, as I stared into her eyes, the eyes I could drown in for the rest of my life, and die a happy man.
“Can we talk?”
“I know I said I would give you all the time you needed, but I hate this Katherine. I’m taking full responsibility for things getting so unruly between us.” I brought my hand to rest on Katherine’s thigh, so she could hopefully feel my sincerity. “My father has no problem keeping Cove for the weekend, so we can figure this out. I want you back baby.” Katherine's plump lips curled into a small smile.
“It’s so hard to be mad at you, when you’re being so romantic and sweet.”
“You are my Achilles heel woman.” Katherine smiled, getting up from the couch, to stretch her limbs and smooth down her dress. My eyes fell to her stomach, her tumid belly that was now obvious in her tighter fitting dress. “Are you okay?” I looked up to Katherine. “Pregnancy wise, I haven’t even asked.”
“I’m okay, stress during pregnancy isn’t a new experience for me.” Katherine spoke as she gathered her work materials into her bag.
“You shouldn’t be stress mon amour, for that I apologize.” I stood up, walking over to her coat rack, helping Katherine slip her arms into the thick cotton material.
“You don’t have to apologize, I have blame to share too.” Katherine cut the light out to her office, locking the door behind us, as we walked down the hall to my office. I didn’t need to bring much home with me this weekend, since I would be on “suspension” for the rest of this month. “That’s all you’re bringing?” Katherine, pointed to my rather empty work bag that was usually overflowing with documents and folders.
“I’m on a two-week suspension.” Once, my office door was closed, I laced my free hand into Katherine’s embrace, as we entered the elevator.
“A suspension, for what?” I watched, as the light switched onto each descending button of the elevator until we were on the first floor.
“We’ll talk about that when we get home.” The elevator door opened to my security detail waiting to escort me home.
“President Harrington.” Marshall looked at Katherine, panning his gaze down to our intertwined hands, clearing his throat at the sight. “We are here to ensure your safety while you exit the building.”
“What’s going on?” Katherine whispered to me.
“Thank you, I’m heading to the parking garage.” Marshall nodded leading at the front, as we walked towards the parking garage. Due to the intense gazing I felt on the back of my head, I let go of Katherine’s hand, to hold her ass, since that was the object of the trailing security guards intense staring.
“What about my car-”
“Terrance will take care of it.” Once, we arrived at my car, Terrance and Hank got out of the security truck parked next to it.
“Terrance, drive Katherine’s truck to her apartment, Hank trail him.” They both nodded, taking Katherine's key fob from her hand.
“Thank you, Marshall.”
“Of course, President Harrington, have a good night.”
“You as well.” Closing the door behind Marshall, I walked into the living room, where Katherine was sitting on the couch.
“You want to explain why the Secret Service was escorting you home?” I chuckled lightly, shrugging my suit jacket off of my arms, bringing my wrists to my hands to undo my cuff links.
“They are board secret security, I’m not that important.” Katherine rolled her eyes, adjusting her body on the couch to face me.
“You’re not funny.” I smirked, joining Katherine on the couch, throwing my arm to rest behind her. “Are you going to explain yourself?”
“Both of us are going to explain ourselves, and we’re not leaving this couch until we do. I take responsibility for pushing you further away, but you didn’t even give me a chance Katherine. I’m thirty-seven fucking years old, I’m not getting any younger. Marriage, growing our family, living together, you would’ve known I wanted all of that, if you just talked to me. I’m many things baby, but psychic isn’t one of them.”
Which was the truth. I missed Katherine, this woman's hold on me was stronger than I wanted to admit, but that doesn’t mean I’m not pissed about her secretive behavior. I’ve given her every reason to trust me, yet she doesn’t.
Katherine bit her lip, something she always does when she’s nervous or uncomfortable, before nodding her head.
“Okay.” I exhaled quietly to relax my shoulders, being cautious to tread carefully into this conversation, without Katherine believing I was placing blame on her.
“There was a board meeting today, high security is needed when we all gather, in the emergency a threat is placed against one or all of us.” Katherine, nodded, urging me to keep going. “There are some members on the board who aren’t my biggest fans, and have been looking for ways to remove me as head of the company. When I was in New York, my father got a call that a board meeting would be held, but neither one of us knew why, until today.”
“Does this meeting have something to do with your suspension?” I nodded.
“Apparently there was a video released of us having sex two weeks ago, which is a breach of my contract.” Katherine’s eyes widened, as she stared at me, her face giving away everything I had suspected. “There was a vote seven to six to keep me in my position which I won, but I have to be suspended for two weeks without pay and settle a fine, to atone for my actions.”
“I’m not blaming you for what happened baby, why didn’t you just tell me?” Katherine quickly wiped her eyes, taking a small breath to control her emotions.
“I-I saw how stressed you were about your exhibition. I wanted to handle it, Sharon said she would take care of everything and talk to you-”
“Sharon? Sharon Reid, the one who works in HR?”
“Y-Yes.” Of fucking course. “She didn’t talk to you about this?”
“No, she didn’t. She personally handed the video to the Chairman of the board, and voted to have me fired.” Katherine body language changed, as she turned away from me, closing her eyes, and taking deep breaths. “Katherine?” I let my hand rub the small of her back, so she would calm down.
“I’m sorry, I keep making a mess of everything.” The broken whisper that rolled off of Katherine’s sweet tongue, tugged at my heart. “I know it’s not fair to you, but I’m scared Liam. Living here has been so overwhelming, and when the office saw that video, all I could think about was the humiliation I’ve been put through my whole life. I mean they wrote slut in red lipstick on all my windows, and trashed my office just for sleeping with you! Now everyone sees me as some corporate climbing whore, who got pregnant by her boss.”
“They broke into your office?” If I wasn’t pissed before, I was now. Instead of just threatening me with the video, instead of keeping this personal vendetta against me within their bitter over fifty fucking circle, they brought Katherine into this, tainting her image at the company. It’s clear to me now, that they will stop at nothing to get more money and more power. Which makes winning this war that much sweeter, I don’t have to hold back. Katherine nodded, as I pulled her into me, letting her cry into my chest.
I knew from my mother’s hormonal episodes that pregnancy increases a woman’s emotions, but I wasn’t sure that was the whole reason Katherine was breaking down right now. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know much about her life prior to moving to Seattle. There was the time, at Archie’s engagement party when she let me in on certain things, but the woman that has a hold on my heart was still very much a mystery to me.
“Talk to me love, I’m here for you.” I held Katherine tighter hoping she could feel, hoping she could sense that I was there, and whatever she dealing with by herself, was now my burden as well. Pulling Katherine’s trembling frame from my chest, I wiped the tears falling from her eyes, cupping her cheeks in my palms.
“M-My um, my ex and I had a very, um.” Katherine scrunched her nose, as she huffed. “Toxic relationship. He changed a couple months after he asked me to be his girlfriend.” Toxic. I had to brace myself for what was about to leave her lips, because toxic, never has a happy ending.