Axel's Revenge

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Chapter 7

The next day morning Samantha wondered if she had to go to Axel’s home to drive him or if he was okay enough to drive on his own. Contemplating for a moment she called him.

“Hello.”

“Ah... Good morning. I was wondering if you want me to drive you to the office this morning.”

“You didn’t take the car?”

“No.”

“Come over then.”

“Okay.”

He had disconnected the call without waiting for her response as usual. She got in a taxi and went to his home, thoughts of yesterday morning surfacing in her mind.

Stop it, Samantha. She scolded herself stopping her wandering mind, which imagined his shirtless torso. He didn’t have six-pack abs, but he was just well-built with taut muscles. Her hands itched to see if his muscles were firm as it looked. You need to date occasionally girl. Her sister-in-law’s advice rang in her mind.

She didn’t think staying away from men for so long would put her in a situation where she ended up ogling at her boss, who didn’t like women. Not that she needed a man. She has been evading them since she was nineteen.

Her thoughts only made her laugh because she has never engaged in a serious relationship. Gregory and Eric made sure of that. They chased the men away from her.

A kiss was as close as she had gotten to a man and she wouldn’t call it a perfect kiss. Her first kiss was forced and ended up a disaster. Her brother beat the daylights out of her drunk prom date for kissing her by force. Second and third were just small pecks after a blind date, the dates who had never called back. To say, they vanished from her life.

Once again Sara welcomed her with a warm smile, her eyes twinkling with joy unlike yesterday as she led her to the dining room.

Samantha’s heart skipped a beat when she noticed a very shirtless Axel sitting on the table with his back to her. She didn’t avert her gaze like yesterday, instead, her eyes raked through the contours of his taut muscles in his back.

Realizing that she was staring at her boss, she turned towards Sara and her face heated when she noticed that his mother was looking at her intently.

“Why don’t you sit and eat breakfast?” She offered with a coy smile.

Samantha bit her lips, relaxing that his mother commented nothing about her behavior earlier. She nodded and sat down, sending a greeting at Axel who responded with a smile of his own.

She felt her heart skipping another beat on seeing his smile. Averting her gaze this time, she made sure it stayed on her plate.

“Sam, I’ve decided that I’d be taking you as my date to the party,” Axel announced and she choked on her pancake.

“Huh?”

“Well, I don’t have to date the girl who will go with me, right? The only reason I am going is to knock down some new business deals,” he restated his father’s words.

Samantha nodded in understanding. “Okay.”

Sara hid her amusement and caught Henry’s attention, who had just walked in.

“Hello Samantha, nice to see you again,” he greeted.

“Hi, nice to see you too,” Samantha chirped.

She noticed Sara nudging at Henry when they both got into the car later. Something was going on with his parents, and she couldn’t point a finger at what it was. Did they like her? Why else would Sara keep sending eye signals to her husband? Axel was oblivious to his parent’s reaction as he was staring at her the entire time.

Butterflies fluttered inside her stomach when she noticed him gazing at her intently, but, this new development scared her. What was he up to? Was he looking for a reason to fire her from the job?

∞∞∞

Axel drove the car and Samantha didn’t understand why he even asked her to drop by. He didn’t even talk anything about work. The silence during the twenty minutes’ drive to their office was comfortable and Samantha felt more at ease in his presence these days.

As they walked into the building, he took his time to note her appearance. When she appeared in his kitchen this morning he was taken by surprise when he saw her new look. He was so used to see her in formal clothes with her hair always up.

She had opted out for black skinny jeans and loose-fitting off-shoulder chiffon blouse, the pale blue color complimenting her wheat-colored skin well.

Axel for the first time noticed a minimal makeup on her face, she had put on kohl, which made her almond-shaped eyes pop. Her long curly lashes–highlighted with mascara. Her nude lip gloss-providing a glossy texture that glistened with light.

He tried to remember if she had put makeup before. As he never gave much thought to it before he didn’t remember seeing her with makeup. He also noticed how long her hair was when it was out of her usual bun. Samantha gasped when she felt his hands running through her hair.

Axel didn’t realize what he was doing until he heard her soft gasp. It was too late by then. When he saw her silky hair, which ran past her hips, trimmed in layers–just the way he liked–he couldn’t resist from touching it.

That was another reason he fell for Alicia. She had a long hair then, and he liked girls with long hair. He retracted his hand at the memory of Alicia.

She is not her. His conscious supplied once more. He had to remind himself often and his father’s advice kept ringing in his mind. Not all the women are self-centered or narrow-minded. There are women like his mother, who chose his father over her millions worth inheritance.

They were in the elevator alone and he saw her biting her lower lip with a slight blush creeping into her cheeks. He wanted to say something, but he kept his mouth shut, mostly because of his conscious said he would ruin it.

Samantha was nothing like Alicia. While the former had a full figure with luscious curves, the latter was size zero skinny. Samantha was simple in every sense while Alicia’s attire screamed of money. Once again, Samantha wasn’t afraid to enjoy her food while the latter fussed about everything she ate.

Why the hell was he comparing both the women?

Axel averted his gaze and thrust his hands into his pockets. He felt relieved that she didn’t comment on his inappropriate behavior a few moments ago. Once they reached the office, he switched to his robotic-self, hardly acknowledging her presence for the most of the morning.

He absent-mindedly ate the sandwich Samantha placed before him and continued to work until she informed him it was time for his meeting with the head of the departments.

∞∞∞

Axel entered the already full conference room with Samantha in tow. His employees had a puzzled look, and a few greeted him with a warm smile which he returned for the first time.

“I’m promoting Samantha as the General Manager of this company,” he announced as soon as he took his seat. “I will assign more of my duties to her. She earned this place by her hard work and I believe she is very much qualified for the post,” he explained. “And, starting tomorrow you’ll be reporting to her.”

He noticed a few grimacing when he said they would report to Samantha, but he didn’t care. None of his employees in the room could compete with Samantha’s intellect. He raised his right eyebrow, silently asking, more like challenging if anyone had a problem with that. He smirked when the few in question averted their gaze.

Samantha who was not expecting this looked at him in surprise, but soon masked it.

“But sir, there are others in the pipeline. There are other staffs, who has more experience than her. She is just a secretary.” Andrew from the marketing team argued after a moment. He worked with the company for the past four years and had two master degrees in the same field.

“Hm... Let me come to that, Andrew. Here, look at this,” Axel said, pushing a set of papers in front of them. They took a copy each, and he smirked when their faces formed a frown. Andrew swallowed as he lifted his gaze back to Axel.

“As a sales and marketing head of this organization, it’s a part of your job to bring in new deals. Get closures on certain things and meet our annual sales target. You failed to meet your target for the past six quarters and most of all, your team’s productivity has lessened in this duration,” he pushed another paper towards his direction.

Andrew wiped the sheen of sweat formed on his forehead as he took the paper in his hand. He cursed when he noticed the difference in numbers. Sure enough, Axel had a detailed report on their department’s daily, monthly and quarterly productivity sheet.

“I’m not paying for you so you can take multiple coffee breaks and flirt with our female staff. Consider this a warning to yourself and your team. If I see no improvement by the end of next quarter, I will replace your team with someone more capable.”

Axel looked around at the faces of his employees. He smirked when his eyes landed on Grace, who looked defiant when he announced Samantha’s promotion has now shrunken in her chair, trying her best to avoid his attention.

“Ah, Grace, being a Human Resource head doesn’t mean you have to use every possible leave allowed by the company. You are late for work on most of the day and you did not report to work for ten days in past three months. On top of all, you didn’t even think it was necessary for you to report your absence to your boss–that was me.”

“Sir, I–”

He cut her off with a sharp look. However, he didn’t want to hear any reasons. “You responded to my emails from your mobile and tried to pretend that you were in the office. You had your assistant sign in using your ID.”

“I… I was not keeping well, I–”

“You were busy in spending your days with your new boyfriend Nathaniel Spencer,” Axel said, showing a set of photos on his mobile. “Maybe you should’ve stopped your beau from posting live updates on your whereabouts in the social media. I don’t care about your personal life unless it intervenes with your professional life, which affects the growth of this company.”

Grace swallowed as she looked at the others for support.

“Your services are no longer required, Grace!”

“W-what? You can’t fire me?”

“Oh, yes. I can and I have just fired you,” Axel pointed his finger at her, “… And that disloyal assistant of yours.”

Grace sobbed with fresh tears brimming her eyes, but Axel turned his attention to the other members in the room. “Theo and Williams, you both impress me with your progress and your rewards will be added to your pay check.”

Axel dismissed them and left the meeting room without waiting for the others.

“Samantha, I need a new secretary. Look for a male this time. I don’t mind if he has no experience as long as he is capable. He will also be your secretary so choose the right person,” he ordered as they walked back to his office.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ll brief you on your duties soon. Meet me in my office with the reports.”

“Sure.”

“Oh, I was planning to tell you earlier and then, I thought I could surprise you.” Axel winked at her before going to his office.

Samantha grinned from ear to ear as excitement bubbled within. She was there after all the hard work she put in her work. With no help or recommendation–she did it. She couldn’t wait to tell this to her father. He would be proud of her.

Though she knew Axel was planning to promote her, she never thought he would offer the post as a General Manager. Her fingers typed away at lightning speed as she extracted the required reports and hurried to meet Axel.

She followed Axel out of the elevator. “I have sent you a detailed email listing your responsibilities. You will have my guidance if you need anything.”

“Thank you, sir. I will give my best.”

“Axel.”

“Huh!”

“Call me Axel,” he repeated.

Samantha’s jaw dropped as she stared at him. So, they were on first name basis now?

“Oh, ah... Okay.”

Her flabbergasted response earned a soft chuckle from Axel and Samantha had to turn her face to avoid further embarrassment. He was just being nice. She said to herself as she followed him to his car.

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