Under His Control

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chapter forty-three

Monday, September 7th

8:06 a.m.

Liam Harrington

“I need you to move the meeting with Barker until the end of the month.”

“Morning, boss man.” I waved at Sue, walking down the hallway to the elevator.

“Marco, I’m tied here until I can replace Hilary, so get it done, I’m paying well over six figures every year for your fucking salary, do your damn job!” Stepping out of the elevator, I ended the call, scrolling through my messages to find my agenda for this morning.

“Morning, sir.” I waved off the interns passing by me, as I walked to my office, opening the door with my free hand.

“Morning.” Stopping dead in my tracks, looking up from my phone, I stared at Luke dressed in a white suit, with Capri dress pants, and designer sneakers.

“I don’t have time for whatever shenanigans you have planned for today, Luke.” Walking behind my desk, I pulled my chair out, sitting down to turn my computer on. “What are you still doing here?” Looking up from my login screen, I stared at Luke holding a binder.

“Katherine, said to be here by 8:00, I’m the new head of your budget team.” I laughed, leaning back in my chair.

“That’s enough Luke, I’ll call father to come get you.”

“You’re not even going to give me a chance. I’m not a little kid anymore Liam, I don’t need dad to come to my rescue.”

“I beg to differ, since when you are not on a leash, guess who cleans up your messes.” I leaned forward on my desk, staring him in his piercing gray eyes. “Me and father. So, no I’m not going to entertain this Luke moment, just for you to screw this company over, especially when it comes to budgeting.” Luke scuffed, slamming the binder on my desk.

“I worked my ass off this whole weekend, preparing for today! You’re not the only genius Liam, did you forget that I graduated from MIT, summa cum laude, I can handle financing!”

“Just like you handled mom’s accounts.” Luke froze, clenching his jaw as he stared at me. “That’s what I thought.”

“Katherine vouches for me, and whether you like it or not I’m doing this as a favor to her.” Luke hit his index finger on the binder. “You should read through my notes, I just saved HE, three million for this quarter.” Luke turned his back to me, walking towards the door when he stopped, turning around to look at me. “You’re a piece of shit, for bringing that up.” Rolling my eyes, Luke turned back around, exiting my office with a slam of my door.

When it came to Luke, my father and I have very different perspectives regarding the Harrington wild child. I love my brother, regardless of the things he’s done, but its because of his lack of accountability for his actions, that I give him tough love. My father insists on letting Luke off the hook by “seeking help”, when that translates, to running off to another part of the world, until he screws shit up, and needs us to fix it.

I will never undermine my brother’s achievements, but I am not letting his trial run here, affect this company. The company our father has busted his ass for.

With my architect firm near chaos back in New York, the last thing I needed was Katherine to pull a stunt like this because she’s pissed at me.

“Mr. Harrington?” Soft knocks were placed against my door.

“What!” Running my fingers through my hair, I watched as Gracie shuffled into my office. “Yes, Ms. Dawson?”

“U-Uh, um, here’s your agenda for this week, sir, and I scheduled a meeting with the new budget, so you could hear their suggestions.” I raised my eyebrow, as Gracie handed me the portfolio.

“Why are you doing my schedule?” Gracie gulped as I looked up to her. “Your words, Ms. Dawson, I don’t have time for this.”

“Yes, sir, sorry, sorry. I’m you’re new assistant.” You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. “Did Katherine, not inform you?” I let out a sigh. I did not need this today.

“Set up in Katherine’s old office for the time being, I will email you, your tasks for the week, screw any of them up, and you’re done here. Am I clear?”

“Yes, sir. Of course.”

“You’re no longer employed here as an intern, I would keep that in mind if I were you. You’re dismissed, Ms. Dawson.” Gracie nodded her head quickly, walking out of my office. Its only eight in the morning, and a migraine was already forming. ”Fucking hell.”

.............

6:22 p.m.

Turning my key into the tumbler, I opened the front door walking into the house. I could smell the dinner Katherine had prepared, the further I got closed to the living room and kitchen.

Sitting my briefcase on the couch, I smiled at Cove napping with Mickey Mouse playing the background. Placing my suit jacket on the back of the couch cushion, I walked up the staircase to find Katherine. I didn’t want to confront her over text about her little replacement stunts, but I was far from happy about the outcome of today.

“Katherine?” I called out walking into our bedroom, smelling fresh laundry.

“Hi.” If I lacked self-control, I would’ve surrendered to her at this very moment. A lace beige night gown covered her body, up to her thigh, and her newly dyed blonde hair rested at her lower back. This woman is too sexy for her own good. “How was work?” Work. The reason we’re in this predicament in the first place.

“What were you thinking, hiring Luke of all people to run the budget team!” Katherine crossed her arms over her chest staring at me.

“Because I felt he was the best fit.”

“Katherine, if I wanted to hire my brother I would have, I gave you at least fifty candidates to choose from!”

“Do not raise your voice at me, Lionardo. You said you trusted my judgement, and I made the decision to hire Luke and Gracie because I see their potential.” I let out a sigh, placing my hands on my hips in frustration.

“I don’t know what sob story, Luke is feeding you, but I am not trusting him to reside over Harrington Enterprises’ budget.”

“You didn’t even give him a chance, Liam!”

“Our mother gave him a chance, and he lost a fourth of the money she spent her life earning, not to mention he failed to pay her employees!” Katherine bit her lip as she stared at me. “You don’t know my family like I do, you don’t get to make decisions like this.”

“Why are you so upset, I did what you asked me to do!”

“I asked you to find the best fit for my father’s company! Not go over my head and choose the two people who are the least qualified!” I took a deep breath to calm myself down. The last thing I wanted was for Cove or the twins to hear us arguing. I didn’t want to fight with Katherine. “You went over my head as my assistant, and made this decision because you’re pissed at me.”

“And why would I be pissed at you, Liam?” Katherine shook her head, her gaze never leaving my eyes. “You don’t trust my judgement, you just wanted to make up for the fact, that you fired me. You, went over my head as my boss! How dare you tell me the day, I go back to work that I’m looking for my replacement. You owed me an explanation if not as your employee, but as your future wife.”

“Katherine-”

“The fact that you would even insinuate for a second, that I would let our personal affairs affect business, is.” Katherine laughed, shaking her head. “Show’s you don’t even trust me.”

“This has nothing to do with trust.”

“If it doesn’t, then you wouldn’t be blowing this out of proportion.” Katherine turned to the bed, grabbing fresh sheets and a pillow. “I told Luke, I would handle things if you freaked out like this. I could understand, if he was some random guy who’s seeking your approval, but your brother is trying to turn his life around and prove himself to not only your father, but to you. You’re own brother is seeking your approval, and that doesn’t bother you!” I let out a sigh, tightening my grip on my hips. The past serves as lessons for the future right? I’m afraid he’s going to fall back into his toxic pattern like he always does. I have to be smart about this. “The couch is pretty comfy, you can find yourself on it tonight.”

“Katherine, I’m not sleeping on the couch.” Katherine shoved the sheets and pillow in my chest.

“I can’t work, and clearly I’m incapable of hiring people to represent the company I owe everything to, so yes Lionardo. You are sleeping on the couch.”

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