As they went in the building, the back way with the bags of things from his car leaving a few in his trunk because they both knew they would run into a few people on the way up and bags from the exclusive intimate appeal store might raise a few eyebrows. Petra was glad to have thrown one outfit into the bags they were bringing up, so she could change when they got to the office. Though her day was mostly shot already. She knew she couldn’t think still.
She honestly didn’t know if she had any brain function left to do actual work. Luckily he was right about the fact no one expected them to work today or too much in the next week. He had no meeting scheduled at all until the middle of the following week. That led her to believe it would be the two of them in the office alone for most of that time. She wondered if she would ever be able to think again.
Moving into this office was going to be a huge step for him. Though his job hadn’t changed at all. He was still doing what he had always done. He was just doing it from a much bigger office and with a personal assistant to help him. He was glad the old man let him pick otherwise he probably would have had some ninety year old who didn’t like to do things his way. He knew Petra wouldn’t like some of his ways, but in the end, she would do her job regardless of what he had to do. That was part of the reason he wanted her as his assistant.
When they did get to the executive floor, they went to the direction of the office. She had most of the bags in her hands as he had some as well. When they got into the office, his father, who the CEO of the company, was there waiting for him.
“And those are?” the older man asked as he looked at the bags the two were carrying.
“Had to go get things for the office, sir,” Mikael responded as he took the bags into his main office and set them down. “Ms. Thompson, could you please get me some water for the office?”
“Of course, sir,” Petra said as she glanced at him as his father sat in the seat facing the desk. This allowed her to grab the bag that had her new outfit and go and change quickly. She nearly ran to one of the washrooms on the floor and ripped off her clothes. She was putting on everything and then shoving her older clothes into the bag she had with her. She had to think that it was the quickest she had ever changed her clothes in her life.
As she walked out, she went to her office, which was the outer office of his and threw the bag under her desk. She took out her hairbrush and quickly redid her hair and then went in search of a pitcher for water.
In the break room, she found the hundred or so pitchers and got the ice and then filled it up with the purified water from the other water pitchers that were there to give the added purification to make it crystal. She smiled at the simple task and then grabbed a few glasses and started for her office again. Though weighed down with the large tray, she did well making it back to the office and then into the major office in the back of her working area.
She knocked on the door and was called in. As she shut the door behind her, the old man continued talking. “Son, your mother, is making more demands more than ever. Do you know why?”
“And this is about me?” Mikael asked.
“No, of course not.” The old man said as he looked at the younger man, “it is just I don’t understand what has changed, and she is acting this way.”
“I don’t know.” Mikael said, “To be honest, I haven’t spoken to her in a few weeks. She was mad when I told her that I was busy working. You know how she is. In a few weeks, she will be back to normal.”
“You’re probably right.” The old man said as he stood up and walked over to the window, “You like this office?”
“I do, sir,” Mikael said as Petra placed two glasses of water on the desk for the two of them.
“Excuse me, Mr. Anderson is there anything else you need right now?” Petra asked softly.
“Not right now.” He said as he looked up and grinned when he saw she was in one of her new outfits.
“Alright, then.” She said with a head nod, she went to the door and opened it and walked out, shutting it quietly behind her. She sat down at her desk and began changing the things she needed, too, for her computer. It was a simple task and one she could do mindlessly. Right now, that was the best thing she could do to make herself seem like she was working.
Behind the door, the old man turned and smiled at his son, “Now I know why you chose that one.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Mikael replied though he knew that he was playing coy and that his father probably did indeed know why he chose that one woman to work for him.
“That one is something I would have liked at your age.” The old man laughed, “Almost reminds me of your mother when she was younger.”
“Can we not have this discussion, please?” Mikael countered. He really didn’t want to think the woman he had secretly lusted for and wanted for months was like his mother in any way, shape, or form. Nor did he want to hear it from his father.
“If I was a little younger.” The old man said.
“You would have some major issues there. One being your wife. The second would be my mother.” Mikael said, chuckling.
“Oh, I know.” The old man said with a grin as well that almost matched Mikael’s. “Where do you think you got it from? But I have heard that one is frigid, so don’t take it too personally.”
“I haven’t seen that. She is just professional.” Mikael replied with a shrug, “That is why I wanted her here working with me. The only thing I ask of you is to keep the others as far away from me as possible. I have never made any demands from your family, nor will I. I like things as they stand. I do not want them to come after me and hurt other people in the process.”
“You are more like me than any of them.” The old man said. “I can tell you this, Mikael. I will try to steer them away as much as I can. However, as you know, I am getting older, and some days I feel ancient. There will be a day I won’t be here anymore. You have never asked anything from me, and I have not done a good job of helping you out either. When the time happens, you will be named in my will. Not as my son, but you will be getting the same as them in it.”
“I never wanted that,” Mikael said.
“Regardless, you will have it.” The old man said. “Now enjoy the week of getting this place ready. Try to do something with it. Have that pretty little thing help. I am sure she is more than capable of doing so.”
“ I will try,” Mikael said as he laughed. The old man walked out into the outer office, and Mikael heard him speak to Petra, and her response must have tickled his funny bone because the old man walked away laughing.
She walked in and shut the door. “Is your father always like that?”
“Probably,” Mikael said as he looked at her. “He said you remind him of my mother.”
“Well, that is wonderful.” She said as she shook her head. She didn’t really know how to process that comment. She wasn’t sure she would be able too on a good day, either.
“You are nothing like my mother.” He laughed. “I am starting to wonder if he is okay.”
“Why do you say that?” she asked.
“This is the second time he brought up the fact I am named in his will.” Mikael said as he looked at her, “I guess he is making up for being there but not helping out with me. As far as I am concerned, he did fine. I know a lot of other fathers who were there full time that did worse to their kids. I mean, one of his kids has a set of twins, and I don’t think he can tell them apart or worse remember their names. He is there full time. Whereas one of the others has four separate families.”
“Wait four?” she asked with wide eyes.
“Well, the old man had two. Theirs and mine. They all learned at his knee how to treat a woman as things and not people.” Mikael responded.
“And you?” Petra asked.
“Learned women are the ones with the hardest job of keeping everything together,” Mikael said.
“Smart thinking.” She said as she nodded.
“My mother might have been borderline abusive in the past, but she was the one who made everything work. She made the food last, clothes appear when they were needed, she was the one who did nearly everything with very little help from him.” Mikael said with a smile, “To be fair, he didn’t do much with his other kids either, so we all missed out on that. Now onto other things. I am under orders to turn this blank space into something inviting, and you are to help. The old man said so. Also, think about what you want for lunch. We will be ordering out the next few days.”
“Sir.” She said as she tilted her head at him. It was never the choice of the assistant on things like where to put things or how to make the space personal. It was even less of a choice what would be eaten in the office.
“Stop with the sir crap if no one else is around, ok?” Mikael said with a grin. “To you, I am just Mikael.”
“Then what would I be?” Petra asked as she looked at him in the eyes.
“That remains to be seen, Petra.” He answered as he met her eyes as well. “But it entirely up to you what that something is.”