Chapter 9: Ms. CEO in Distress
“Sorry to interrupt Ms. Montréal, but is there anything, just anything you need to work on?”
Thorin heard Lucas’s subtle plea as she continues to study the latest report of the marketing department. There were a lot of things to work on, especially since her brother is back from his long absence. Yet it seems like she had this urge to halt any work that will pass through Lucas. She carefully glances at him and silently shook her head in dismissal and continued her work.
She must be mental for doing this but she can’t help it. She felt somewhat awful for filing too much work on Lucas’s desk. She’s been asking herself what’s the point of having an assistant in the first place? To think she has due dates and deadlines to meet. She’s in for trouble but things can be done perfectly well if she stayed focus and tried not to think of Lucas’s whereabouts.
Thorin put on a pencil in between her teeth to keep her focused. It’s one of the few things she’s done to lessen her stress state.
“Well, can I get you anything then?” The pencil dropped from her teeth. She did not know that Lucas was still here. Wow. She’s focused alright.
She gleamed at him, “No, thank you. You may leave Lucas.” But you are free to sit here with me and entertain me with your silent presence, Thorin thought. She wouldn’t mind. Not at all.
He doesn’t want to be overly dramatic and as much as possible he doesn’t want to show much emotion in his workplace. But Lucas can’t somehow hold it in. No work on his working place kills him.
What’s the point in going to work without actual work?
It’s the third day of Thorin’s supposedly subtle attempts. He noticed it on the day after their trip from Rome.
Thorin ordered him to be at her apartment at a more humanly hour. At 7 AM. That was somehow rejuvenating since Lucas can now sleep a full eight-hour sleep that an adult need. His body was used to waking up at wee hours in the morning and be at her place by 5 to 6 AM. And he did just that like he used to. Thorin wasn’t that happy though, but she was holding it in. Surprisingly.
Then Thorin’s supposed low key plans always backfired because Lucas refuses to do and did what he always does as her assistant.
Lucas stared at his computer monitor for the nth time of the day, shaking and tapping his right leg against the floor. Look to his side, no piles of work, no paperwork for him to review, look back at his monitor. His schedules and his lady boss too. His lady boss’s schedule was not updated, she deliberately did this since no calls or e-mails pass through him for days. He did not appreciate this. No. Not at all.
He heard footsteps, he looked up and see another assistant approaching Thorin’s office. He hastily stood up, kicking the swivel chair away and trudged towards his target. His target notices him and quickly dash off to knock on Thorin’s office but before the assistant could, Lucas stopped him.
“Are these for her?” Lucas notices how he transferred the files to his back. The assistant shook his head and nodded, conflicted. “No-No? No.”
Lucas chortle dryly, he straightened his spine as he places his hands on his hip and looked down at the assistant named ‘Percy’ as stated on his office I.D. The Percy guy looked shaken on his sudden alpha stance, “Hand it over.”
“Uh. No- because-- uh, she specifically told everyone that she’ll directly receive all reports and not through you Lucas.” Lucas let out a sigh and glance up the ceiling. He could feel the budding headache forming. The assistant knocked and open the office door, Lucas followed the direction but stay rooted outside. He caught Thorin’s partition, slouching and working as another wave of paperwork came in.
Lucas could only shake his head. He remembered her confession in Rome. He wouldn’t deny the fact that it blows up his mind and he couldn’t sleep properly after that. It awoke the strong teenage hormones within him again. Who would have thought after all these years, his dream girl he dared to say it; would confess to him that she likes him? She never even take a peek on him before. She dismissed him like a fly, thus he stayed far away as possible and wouldn’t even try to approach her. He was rejected and rejection was not a good feeling for a teenager. Since then, he put Thorin on a pedestal, just look and adore her from afar.
No one would ever think that he would be her assistant and would be by her side now. No one would even think that she would like him back. If his high school friends were here they would be mental.
He feels like a high schooler again where his crush would like him back and would start going on dates and be on a relationship. But this is not high school anymore and this is at the peak of their adulthood. It’s a reality. This is work. She is his boss. He is her employee. More complicated for the fact that she is the CEO. He could image all the red flags that the HR would wave at him.
She’s so much more now that his dream girl back in high school. She’s smarter, she’s wiser, she’s ambitious, she’s at the top of her game and she deserves more. She worked her way up, she knows what she wants and how to get it. Something inside stirred as if he’s sleeping alpha male roared. Proudness. He was proud of his boss, and what has she becomes.
God, that woman is everything a man could ask for.
The CEO’s door opened revealed Thorin in her black corporate dress. It is formal and conservative but there’s a sultry vibe in it because of the woman who is wearing it. He received a subtle smile from her as she trudges to Lucas’s desk.
She looked good amidst all her self-inflicted work stress. Grace under pressure suited her well. This is why she’s at the top of her game.
He swallowed an imaginary lump on his throat. Lucas handed her a bottle of water unconsciously, he needs it more than his lady boss though.
“Walk with me.”
Thorin creases her forehead and receives it without question. Lucas stays rooted in his seat as he unconsciously gawks at his boss.
“See anything you like?” Mirth plays on Thorin’s lips as she straightened her spine. Lucas smirk at this finally awakens from his little reverie. He wanted to jump in and throw some flirty comeback but decided against it. He wanted to answer her question, but won’t. This is work and anything related beyond that could wait outside this building.
“I said to walk with me not behind me,” she took Lucas’s left arm with her and locked her arms with it. Lucas stopped abruptly, his head is screaming with ‘HR! HR!’ She glances over him and laughs, “What? Did I electrocuted you or something?”
She has no idea, Lucas wanted to say. He swallowed an imaginary lump on his throat and continued their own pace. Left, right, left, right. Slow and in sync.
“Where are we heading to Miss Montréal?” He leans forward and asked as he notices the knowing look of his fellow employees that they are giving them. He wanted to roll his eyes like a child because of the attention. Thorin shrugs as she opens and closes her eyes as she walks. Stressed and subtly taking a break.
“So it’s robbin’s blue egg shirt today. But cornflower blue looks better on you,” Lucas furrowed his brows and look down at his shirt. “How is it different from aqua and blue?”
Arms still locked as she transfers her bottled water to her right hands and touched his crisped collar, and lock her green eyes on his amber orbs. “Well, there’s too many differences there’s ---”
Lucas felt hot liquid sips through his skin. It burns. His chest. His robbin’s blue egg shirt. The smell hits right through the roof of his nose. “O-Oh my goodness! I--I’m so so--sorry.”
Lucas squinted his eyes shut. The smell was too strong. The smell that he hates. Coffee. Freaking coffee spilled on his shirt. He felt a pair of stranger’s hands evade the wet area on his chest. He opened his eyes and look down on the female employee that spilled the coffee on him. “Sorry! Shit. Shit. Oh my-- You’re pectorals.”
Behind her violet glasses, wide-eyed shock as she attempts to dry off his shirt with a tissue. “Ha-ha--hot. Yeah, that must be hot. Wait, you’re the CEO? Shit.”
He was about to stop her and say something when Thorin beat him to it. She took the employee’s shaken hands away from Lucas.
“You invade too much personal space,” Lucas heard Thorin’s exasperated sigh as she lifts his chin while crossing her arms. The underlying tone of her voice was enough to make her employee cry. Lucas glances at the petite, wide eye spectacled employee. To his shock, she was raising her brows on Thorin Montréal. The CEO.
They were gathering a crowd of employees poking their noses on a rare scene. Other employees tried to call out the new employee’s attention but to no avail.
“I was helping him,” Thorin let out a dry laugh as she loosened the cap of her bottled water. She stepped closer and looked down on the presumably new employee.
“Now, excuse me. The hot--” Lucas knew what would his lady boss do but before he could grab her hands, a loud shriek boomed within the floor.
“Thought you were thirsty. Help yourself,” Lucas finally grab her hands. Thorin sneered at him, “What?”
“Stop.” Lucas icily hissed. Thorin narrowed her eyes on Lucas, “Did you just said that to me?” More likely she whispered to herself.
He let go of her hands, briefly check on the new employee. “My apologies, Mis--”
“It’s Harriet, ” she pouted and pointed at Thorin. “She’s a bully! I will report this to HR!” She yelled once more.
“What the hell is happening here?!” Tyler’s voice roared causing the whole commotion to stop.
Thorin was seething. She held tight on her green stress ball. Clenching and unclenching her jaw. She was mad. She knew it. Beyond and utterly mad. She didn’t know why.
Maybe the stress was too much. She was just stress she tried to convince herself. Yes, she is tired and she’s far from finishing her work. She squinted shut her eyes, she couldn’t forget how the presumably new employee gave Lucas that look. Like how a kid found her new favorite toy. Like a damsel in distress found her hero.
She couldn’t also forget how Lucas looked at her so coldly. The feeling was new and it wasn’t that nice. She couldn’t find the right words to describe it yet
“That bitch!” Thorin grunted. She could tolerate that Lucas was mistaken as the CEO but she couldn’t tolerate the look that she is giving Lucas. Lucas was Thorin’s, she’ll try to make sure of that. Hook or by a crook as they say.
A knock on her office door awakens her from her trance. Before she could even ask who, Tyler entered into her office with narrowed eyes.
“What was that Thorin?” Thorin shrugs and rolls her eyes. “Red flag from the HR.”
“Hurray,” she said as her hands up in the air exaggeratedly. She leans back and relaxes her back on her leather chair, “You knew the board is frowning upon your reign and especially your hostility towards others. If I were you, I would like to tone it down.”
Opening her eyes and leaned forward, she rests her elbows on her desk as she made eye contact with his brother, “But you’re not me. I am not you.”
“Those misogynistic pigs don’t necessarily hate my reign, they were highly against it. I gave the best results, it angered them more.”
Tyler smirked, “Well, they’re on to my ass too. Being the sister’s keeper. I’m always behind your back receiving the punches.” He took the seat in front of Thorin’s desk and made himself comfortable, “But I do not, what so ever tolerate what you did to that employee.”
“Yeah. I’ll call the HR to put gasoline on her and fire her up.” Tyler shakes his head, “Funny. Do that and I’ll call Dad. Stop it, okay?”
Thorin slumped in her seat. Tyler faked a cough as he segues the topic, “Thor, if you’re trying to impress someone, well not that you care but I’m sure you do. That someone would be, not impress. I’m just saying that you’re doing it wrong. I could give you tip--”
“Out now!” Tyler scoffed and scooted away from her office.
She tried to refocus her mind at the task at hand but to no avail. She clenched her stress ball harder as it pops out and escapes from her fist and bumps at the far corner of her office. Another knock, Thorin rolls her eyes again, “Shut it Tyler!”
“Miss Montréal?” Thorin swears as she heard the door open. She needs to change that door into iron anytime now. “Oh, I thought it was Tyler. What do you want?”
He trudged towards her desk, in his 6′2 height full stance. Lucas tilted his head as he studied her. Thorin mimicked him as she taps her fingers against her desk, he changed into a fresh and new shirt. Cream-colored shirt. Still looks good on him Thorin silently complimented.
“I need to talk to you about something, Miss Montréal.”
She maintained eye contact. He took it with the same intensity. There was a sudden wave of tension within the room, she could feel it. She checked her feelings if she still mad. Slightly. Stressed, highly. Hungry, very.
Those three weren’t the best-known mixture in her body. She could say anything she’ll regret. She was hoping he wouldn’t say anything stupid that might trigger her inner wrath. “Business or pleasure.”
“Business, Ms. Montréal. Two issues,” Thorin raised her perfectly made brows at him, she did not expect to choose business. She thought they would finally talk about her Rome confession.
“One, you stripped me of my working load for the past few days. I am your employee, you are bound to hand me work not shield me against it.” Thorin sits up and fixed her dress. She turned her back on him. Facing the clear skies of a sunny afternoon. Calmly she soothes her mind by mentioning her shoe collection.
“Two, Harriet did not deserve that humiliation. I am an employee too. Being humiliated by a boss harms the employee's work performance,” her ears tinge upon the mention of a female’s name. Is he trying to save an employee? In front of her?
Thorin trudged around her desk, two steps in front of him, “Harlot?!
“Harriet,” he corrected her.
“Yes! Harley! She spilled coffee on you. Her claws were all over your chest! That was inappropriate!” Lucas clasped his hand over his head. “Did you hear the other issue, Miss Montréal?”
“I did!” Thorin huffed. “First issue. In my defense, I wouldn’t want to trouble you. Why are you even complaining?! Isn’t it good? Of course, it’s a great idea!”
“Really? And how you doing or even handling it now?” Lucas frowns at her. Thorin looks away from his stare.
Thorin wanted to stop her mouth from saying too much but she just couldn’t when her blood pressure is way up high. “Doesn’t mean that I like you. You can do and say whatever you want to say to me, Lucas!” She yelled at the top of her lungs.
“Woah!” He massages his temples as he squints his eyes and stared back at the feisty green orbs bearer, “That’s not what I meant. That concern can be discussed outside of these premises, Miss Montréal!”
Thorin crosses her arms and straightened her spine, “I can discuss whatever I want! I am your boss and you are my employee!”
He shakes his head and stared down at her, amber orbs hooded, “Good thing you remember. That I am your employee and you are my employer.”
Thorin turned away, her hands were shaking as she grabs a pile of folders “Why can’t you say it straight to my face that you rejected me? Let’s end your little concern then!”
She throws the folders at Lucas, “Want work?!” She wanted to slit someone’s throat. She wanted to burn someone’s house
Right now. Right here.
She took other folders and throws it again on him. He didn’t flinch and took all the hit. “Take that!”