Sateria made it home just in time for the food she ordered earlier to arrive. She ordered out, so she didn’t have to worry about cooking while they were there. She took the bags from the freckled faced boy, paid for the meal and gave him a substantial tip. She took the bags into the kitchen, and set them down on the counter.
From there, she went to her room and immediately undressed to take a shower. She stood and let the hot water pound the stress away. She was hoping that she would be able to sit in the same room with Apollo for a couple of hours. She had a long day of sulking, and pretending she was fine, but she wasn’t. She wasn’t sure if she was gonna be able to take him sitting there, staring at her, knowing she was going to want to kiss him. She shook it off and finished her shower.
Wrapping a towel around her body, she went for her underwear drawer and pulled out her favorite set, putting them on. She did all the other necessary primping, put on a pair of thick socks, her favorite sweats, a big t-shirt, and went to the kitchen to unpack the food.
Knowing that both Apollo and Jayden had huge appetites, their taste in food was different. Apollo didn’t care what he ate, because he would go to the gym and work off a large meal. Jayden on the other hand thought his body was a temple, and didn’t eat unhealthy things. Knowing he would not allow her to order pizza, what she wanted, she ordered Asian instead.
On her menu, was chicken pot stickers, edamame, Chinese chicken salad, beef fried rice, Szechwan chicken, shrimp Bangkok noodles, and vegetable spring rolls. “There,” she said out loud. Satisfied that Jayden would find something to eat, and he wouldn’t chastise her about what she ate herself.
She put it all in dishes that would go into the oven, turned her oven on warm, and put all the dishes in. It would still be a little while before her team showed up. She then went and pulled out several bottles of blush, white, and red wines. This would satisfy all pallets. Then she went and set her dining room table. She pulled her wine glasses down and put them on the table. She was ready.
She poured herself a glass of white wine, went to the great-room, and turned on the television, flipped through channels and waited for her team to arrive. At seven o’clock sharp, the doorman buzzed her penthouse.
“Yes, Jensen, what is it?”
“Miss Murphy, your guests have arrived.”
“Thank you, Jensen. Let them up please.”
When her doorbell rang, she opened the door to find three people, not four, standing on the other side.
“Where’s Apollo?” she asked.
Jayden grinned deviously. “He had a date.”
“A date?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I see,” Sateria said quietly. “Come on in. I ordered some food so if you’re all hungry, we can eat.”
“Where from?” Jayden asked.
“Stir Crazy. I know your body is a temple, Jayden. God forbid you eat a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza. You would probably go into epileptic shock.”
Pheonix and Troya giggled as they moved to passed Sateria.
“Would one of you please help me get the food from the kitchen?”
“I could help you do that,” Troya said.
“Thanks. You guys can go into the dining room. The table is already set.”
“You set the table?” Pheonix asked.
Sateria shrugged. “I guess some habits are hard to break.”
Their dinner came out of the oven and placed on the table. They sat down and Jayden poured them all their choice of wine. Sateria both curious and upset asked the question.
“So, when did Apollo schedule this date?”
“Hell, I don’t know,” Jayden replied. “But we’re here, and we can talk about your first job if that’s what we’re here to talk about.”
Sateria nodded. “And we are. You all trained me to hit a store. Where and when?” she asked.
“Apollo told me he had a store in Michigan City picked out so you can do what we practiced,” Pheonix said.
“So do we have some details? I mean, give me what you have.”
Pheonix stuffed a pot sticker in her mouth. “Apollo hasn’t come up with a plan yet, so I have nothing. I just know about the store.”
Sateria turned to Jayden. “Don’t look at me. I didn’t even know he’d planned a hit,” Jayden said chewing on some edamame.
Frustrated, and ready to get in on some action, Sateria said, “Fine, we don’t need him here to plan the hit right? I mean we know where it’s gonna be, so why don’t we start the plan now.” Sateria sat in her chair wondering what Apollo was doing, and who he was doing it with. But she couldn’t let on that she was upset about that.
“Really? None of us have ever planned a hit before,” Jayden lied. As he just stole a jewelry collection from under his closest friend’s nose. “Johnny or Apollo usually planned the hits. We’re just pawns,” he said putting a bite of food in his mouth. “Man this is good.”
Sateria looked around the table. “So if we hit this store, what will we get?”
Pheonix chewed her salad. “Apollo said there isn’t much there, so I’m thinking a half a mil at the most.”
Sateria nodded. “That will get us going.”
For the next hour she tried her best to plan a hit, learning as she went, from the people at her dinner table. She didn’t have much to go on, but she was definitely ready for it.
“Okay so we move in two weeks.”
Jayden tipped his head to one side. “You’ll be ready by then?”
Sateria nodded. “I think so.”
They spent the rest of the night telling childhood stories and finishing off six bottles of wine. Drunk and hardly able to stand up, yet walk, Sateria made her way to her bed, alone. Mad that she didn’t have Apollo there to share her space, she thought of the one and only time that they were together, and wanted him there. She needed him there. He was supposed to show up, she was supposed to be able to look at him and attempt to make up for her obvious rudeness, but he had a date. A date? She thought. Bastard.
From that point forward, she decided she was going to give it her all to make Apollo as miserable as possible at work.
The following morning, Sateria made sure she was running a bit behind schedule so Apollo would beat her to the office. Armed with a huge amount of food from the night before, she was prepared to confront him for missing her meeting.
She didn’t even knock on his open door. She stormed in and dropped the food on his desk. The container not quite sealed came open spilling various types of sauces all over the contracts he was currently looking at.
“I hope the bitch you were out with last night fed you. If not here is your portion of the dinner I bought for you and you didn’t eat. You owe me thirty-six dollars,” Sateria said angrily. “And this afternoon, you are to cancel all of your meetings. I want you in my office at three o’clock so we can go over your schedule. I wanna know what you are doing on a daily basis. If you decide to take an extra breath, I wanna know about it. Are we clear, Mr. Leonard?”
“Miss Murphy, remember? Don’t argue with me. Do it. If you decide not to show up for another scheduled meeting, I’m suspending you. Then you can go out with all the pretty bitches you want.”
Sateria stormed out of Apollo’s office. He watched her leave in her camel colored pants suit with the leopard trim. His erection lying on his leg, he grinned. She was jealous, and that, he liked. He wondered if he was going to be able to continue to play the game he planned to play. In order for him to get his way, he was going to have to. He would wear her down eventually, because he certainly wanted her. But he couldn’t have her because he worked with her, and he didn’t really want her on any outside jobs either. He had to figure something out, but in the meantime, he would move ahead.
Lifting the Styrofoam container from the top of his contracts, he walked to the reception area with both the food and the contracts in hand.
“Donna, do you like Chinese food?” Apollo asked.
“I certainly do.”
“Well, here are some leftovers from Stir Crazy if you want them. And I’m gonna need you to reprint these two contracts for me,” he said handing her the six pieces of legal paper with Szechwan sauce on them.
“I will. Thank you, Mr. Leonard.”
“You’re welcome, Donna. And reschedule all of my meetings that I had for this afternoon. I had something else come up, and I won’t be able to make them.”
Apollo left Donna’s desk and went back to his own. He geared up for his three o’clock appointment with Sateria who had suddenly decided she wanted to take charge, and he was excited. On the other hand, he wondered if he could really make her quit. He wanted to be with her, and that was the only way he could. He worked out his plan, and proceeded to answer all previous unanswered emails.
At three o’clock straight up, Apollo was standing in Sateria’s doorway. “Miss Murphy, I’m here for our meeting,” he announced not moving anywhere near her until she invited him to do so.
“Come in and sit down. Do you have your schedule?”
Apollo nodded. “I do.”
“Well let’s hear it.”
Apollo closed the door behind him and sat down in the chair in front of her desk. He pulled out his phone and looked up at her half smiling. “Sateria, oh sorry, Miss Murphy, if you don’t mind, I need to get home by five to pay my rent. Otherwise they charge me an additional fifty dollars, and I really would like to keep that money in my pocket.”
Smirking, she convinced herself that she didn’t care. “Whatever. I don’t plan to keep you that long. Give me what you have.”
“Well,” Apollo started. “Monday, I have two meetings. One in the morning, and the other in the afternoon. The first with Long’s advertising agency and the next again with Baxter and King, to finish off our deal. Once that’s finished, we will be part owners in a brand new high rise going up next year.” Sateria nodded.
“Tuesday, I have no meetings at all, but I do plan on taking an extra breath. Just thought I would tell you about that.” Apollo smiled, and Sateria smirked.
“Wednesday, again I have no meetings, but I was planning on taking a long lunch to get away from the office for a little while. He glanced down at his phone and moved forward another day. “Thursday, a morning meeting with Long’s again, and that afternoon, I would like to have a meeting with you to discuss your recent behavior, if you don’t mind.”
Sateria’s mouth fell open. “My behavior?”
“Yes ma’am. Your behavior. You have not forgiven me for my rudeness, even thought I have apologized to you…twice.” He ignored her evil expression on purpose and moved on. “Friday afternoon, I would like to have another meeting with you, if Thursday’s meeting goes well.”
“To talk about what?”
This was it. He was going to open up and give her his real feelings, and hopefully she would bite. Then he would have her exactly where he wanted her. “To talk about how much I want you at my side. I don’t care what Johnny wanted. Johnny is dead. I care about you, and I have personal issues that I can’t and will not part with. I thought a lot about it, and you can only be on one team. Day or night. If you are gonna be with me, you have to give up one of them. Find something else to do with your free time. I won’t make any suggestions, so do what you like.
“Cause babe, I’m tortured right now. I want you so bad, and I can’t have you because you insist on working as my boss, and you want to put your life on the line. I can’t do that. I won’t do that. You have until next Friday to think on what you want to do. I’m willing to bend a little. One or the other. Make your choice. Be my boss here, or be my boss after work, but you can’t have both. Now Miss Murphy, you know my schedule for the next week. If you have nothing else, I need to go.”
Sateria smirked. “Unfortunately Mr. Leonard, I will not be able to make your Thursday or Friday meeting. We’ll have to reschedule.”
Apollo was taken by surprise. He laid his heart on her desk, and she seemed to ignore everything he said. “What?”
“We have a job in two weeks in Michigan City.”
Apollo’s mouth dropped open. “A job?”
“Yes, the store you told Pheonix about. Next week we’re going to check it out, and decide if we can take it.”
“You planned a job…without me?”
“Yup. And I want you to keep your meetings with Long’s and Baxter and King, so you can’t go with us. Now you can go, Mr. Leonard. And please close my door when you do.”
Apollo stood up and stormed out. Angry that he didn’t seem to reach her, and she planned a dangerous job right under his nose, we went back to his office and slammed his door. What was he going to do?
In the meantime Brad received a phone call about the first piece that would go up on the jewelry exchange within the next two days.
“How much is the piece?” Brad asked.
“Not that much. It’s a brown diamond pendant, a very beautiful piece. It is only going to cost you four-thousand,” Jayden said.
“Okay I will watch for it.”
“Make sure you get it first. If not, I’m not going to be very happy.”
“Good. I’m going to be out of town next week, and you won’t be able to contact me. So once you get your hands on it, please, please, please keep it safe.”
“Good boy. I’ll be in contact soon.”
Jayden made the phone call from his car. He hung up and went home.
Sateria sat in her office with her door closed, and cried. She loved her job, yet she loved Apollo too. She, like him, was at a loss what to do.
Minutes later, there was a quiet rap on Sateria’s door. She quickly wiped away her tears, and composed herself the best she could.
She cleared her throat. “Come in,” she said quietly. She hoped it wasn’t Apollo.
Pheonix walked in and closed the door behind her. “Hey Sateria, I was on my way to get some dinner, do you wanna-” Pheonix said and stopped. She looked at Sateria’s red eyes and knew she’d been crying. “Sateria, what’s the matter?”
Sateria stared at Pheonix and began crying all over again. Pheonix walked over to Sateria and gave her a hug.“I miss Johnny,” Sateria lied and sobbed loudly. But she wasn’t about to let on that the real reason for her tears sat in the office next to her.