Why steal an item and then send it to the person you stole from? To taunt me, then that leads to my second question. I have thought about every single encounter I have had with a human and there's not much to dissect. Is it about business or a random person who thought it would be a great idea to stalk me?
In one way or another I have to release my anger before it reaches its boiling point, how do I do that? I run.
It’s 07:00 in the morning and I’m running with the company of two. The well-trained men were a few feet in front of me, Mr. Smith on my left and Mr. Grant on my right.
The view was soothing as we jogged further away from the hotel. I make a mental note to run in the mornings more often, lately that hasn't been an option since my schedule is packed.
A gust of cooling wind hits my face, I stare at the clouds and it looks like it may rain today. Reminding me of last night’s nightmare, I have been having them more frequently and It’s because of this stressful situation.
We pause by the sound of the alarm clock letting us know that we have been running for an hour. I placed my hands on my knees and unwind for a bit.
“ Let’s head back to the hotel” The older one Mr.Smith said. We jogged back to the K.Cut Hotel feeling ready for this day.
Six hours of reviewing and responding to paperwork is not what I do for fun but the outcome is rewarding. If it wasn't for my dad I would probably have given up on that task long ago. He noticed that I hated it when I was a teenager and how did he react? He made me his second secretary on the summer holiday. Being the only child I practically began training for my role as an executive when I was in diapers.
Now I’m here in a hotel working outside my office.
I sighed and ate the last bit of my pasta, I realized it was a mistake since it had turned cold.
“ There is a meeting scheduled on Monday next week,” Ylva said through the phone.
“ Which location? And what about New York?” I asked, I’m pretty sure there's a meeting in New York. I remember hearing dad talking about it.
“ The main one here in Los Angeles and the meeting in New York is rescheduled to next month,”
I nodded at her answer. As I’m putting my hair up in a bun a message pops up on the screen.
“ We are outside Miss. Owens” The usual, I almost forgot that I planned to shop and fix my nails today. I haven't dared to look at my nails this week and if Hailey saw them she would suffer from a heart attack.
“ That is all for today, I will see you tomorrow,” I said to Ylva who's still on the other line. We both hung up and I made my way towards my closet, I was wearing my pajamas since I thought I would stay inside today.
I decided to wear a white blouse and black jeans, a casual outfit. My gaze wandered around the shoe rack. I decided to wear a pair of sneakers, because of how much I will walk today I have to wear comfortable shoes.
Thankfully I did my makeup a while ago to make myself believe I was in my office. I grabbed my purse and hastily exited the hotel.
The day is getting better since there is only Mr.Grant who is at the driver's seat and Mr.Smith beside him.
Mr. Grant parked the car in front of a huge building, the middle part has glass walls and the rest of the building is grey. A mass of people walked through the building.
“ Beyond Air? What are we doing here?” I asked as I read the big sign on the building.
“ Mr. Carter works there, I think I can see them” Mr. Grant said I followed where he was pointing at. In the left corner, four men were standing in a circle, two of them were wearing suits and standing a bit further from the other two. They seemed to have a conversation.
Of course, he works in an airplane company, which explains why I heard a helicopter, reminds me of the first time we met. I still refuse to acknowledge the audacity that man has.
One of the men in a brown suit leaves the group and enters the building. The rest turn towards the parking place, facing us.
I leaned back on my seat and closed my eyes.
I hear the door on the opposite side open, guessing it is Carter.
“ Next destination?” The driver, Mr. Andrews said. His blue eyes stared at us through the front mirror. I didn't even hear them exchange seats.
“ The-” “ Auc-” I looked at the arrogant man beside me. He makes eye-contact and raises an eyebrow.
“ I have an appointment for my nails and some shopping to do,” I said without being interrupted. He rolls his eyes at me and looks at his watch.
“ Well, that will have to wait, I have an antique auction to attend,” He said as he pushed away hair from his face. Is he being serious? That isn't what I expected him to say.
“ Or we can separate, right?” I said and turned my gaze towards the back of the car, Grant and Clark shook their heads to my proposal.
“ Can’t do that, since yesterday's incident Mr.Graham has ordered us to stay together” The stern voice of Mr. Smith. Once again I curse at that lifeless parasite, just my luck right?
“ Rock paper, scissors” My vision turned to Mr. Clark, I blinked a couple of times not knowing how to react to that.
“ Isn't that a bit unnecessary?” I said. We are all adults here even though one of our actions contradicts that.
“ One, two three, ” He continued, and just like that he triggered my muscle memory and channeled my inner kid. sigh in defeat when I see that Carter chose paper and I had my hand-formed into a fist. He leaned back to his seat with a pleased manner.
“ Auction it is,” Mr. Andrews said as he started to pull over. I wonder why he wants to be there himself, usually, you send a middle man to attend the event.
The ride was barely an hour-long which was surprising because of the traffic. Once we entered the building we were greeted by the sight of women and men in formal clothing, the only people who didn't get the memo were the bodyguards and me.
Carter leads us towards a table. The details and paintings on the wall made it clear that this was an art auction. In a corner I see a crowd of people with phones preparing for the biddings to start.
A waiter walks up carefully to our table holding a tray that has drinks on top of it. He flashes a smile and offers us drinks.
“ No alcohol, thanks,” Mr. Clark said apologetically to the waiter, at the same moment Mr. Smith pushes gently down Carter's hand that was reaching for the drink.
“ Alright, I will get some non-alcoholic beverages” Was all the waiter said before he walked away.
“ Man, I wasn't planning on getting drunk,” Carter said as he readjusted his tie.
“ Still, both of you can’t consume alcohol till the contract is over,” Mr. Smith said and then his attention turned to the surroundings looking for any danger.
“ Hello ladies and gentlemen, let's have a great time with today's auction, and this time art from different periods and countries are going to be auctioned, ” The man approached the stage in front of us, he had a microphone in one hand. He must be the auctioneer. He walked towards a sculpture of bright red snakes in a glass box.
” We will start with this fierce sculpture of the red king snakes by the well-known Dino Ruas, an artist, and poet from the eighteenth century, ”
I zoned out as the bidding began, this is going to take a while to finish. I glanced at Carter to see if he was bidding on that. It is at a million and a half when the sculpture goes to an older woman.
“ This elegant necklace was worn by Ellie Bill in the early nineteenth century, actress and singer who took the world by storm. The necklace was made by none other than Zandèr Armando her husband, his talent with jewelry is simply stunning and timeless” The auctioneer’s voice is booming with admiration, the necklace is mostly gold and has green crystals decorated. Easy on the eyes and breathtaking.
“ We will start with five hundred thousand dollars for the beautiful necklace”
“ Six hundred thousand dollars,” I said, the auctioneer points at me.
“ I heard six hundred thousand dollars from the young lady over there, going six hundred thousand dollars,” He said challenging the crowd.
“ Eight hundred thousand dollars, ” One of the middlemen called out. The auctioneer looks at me.
“ One million” A voice beside me said, he had to challenge me right? Carter it's on.
“ Two million” I said calmly, I will definitely regret this tomorrow. Carter makes it three and I let him take this one. I have my eyes set on a painting.
“ Giving up?” Carter said in a teasing manner, well giving up is not always a bad thing.
“ I got my eyes on something else,” I said as I folded my arms on my chest. He chuckled. And that was the start of an art war, him bidding on everything I bide on.
“ This masterpiece called General has been a mystery, at first glance you might think it’s a modern-day painting, because of the way the artist painted it,” The auctioneer said. He shows a painting of a brown-yellow cat touching an apple with its pawn. Behind the cat, it’s a white house made of bricks.
“ But it’s actually from the early 17th century even though the artist and its origin are unknown, but it's believed that a soldier is an artist behind this masterpiece. Because of that a lot of people have been trying to get their hands on this”.
This is the one that caught my attention and I won’t let him have it, absolutely not.
This time it’s me and two older men bidding, we are already at a million.
“ Three million and a half,” I said, almost getting out of my seat. The man repeated what I said and thankfully nobody intervened.
“ General goes to the young lady right there, congratulations, ” Those words were all I needed to hear right now.
A couple more bids and the auction had finally come to an end. This was not healthy for me, I can't understand people who do this for fun.
The car ride towards the mall was quiet which I was thankful for.
As soon as we stepped into the great mall I felt my energy reload, for each day that goes I’m turning into my mother who can’t be stopped once she sees a store. I start with shoes and work my way up the list.
The amount of bags increased as we shopped. I almost forget that I wasn't here alone, I probably wouldn't notice them if it wasn't for Carter's burning gaze and complaints.
“ Owens, slow down the stores aren't going to run away,” Carter said in a low voice, I ignore him and continued to debate over which shade of red looks better on a skirt.
“ Choose that one, it looks better” Carter once again spoke, he pointed at the lighter shade. Now that I look at it the deeper red is more my style.
I walk up to the cashier and place the skirt on the band.
“ Is that all? You want a bag with that?” He asks politely as he scans and folds the skirt.
“ Yes that’s all and no bag,” I said and took out my card and paid.” Have a great day ma'am, ” He said. We walked out of the store and made our way towards the nail salon since my appointment starts within five minutes.
I entered the salon and was greeted by a colorful woman, her hair was bright pink. I look back at the annoyed Carter who immediately took a seat down on the waiting chairs, putting the bags all over the floor. The other four sat down once they checked the area for any danger.
I followed the woman towards the chair and waited for her to return. I turn my head towards the waiting area.
“ Who wants to fix their nails with me?” I said as I placed my hands on the table, a smile tugged on my lips.