Chapter 10: Mr. Green
The Maserati guy. The second flavor of her week, after the McLaren guy. The two stood in front of Lucas’ desk. He couldn’t control the creases forming in between his dark brows. Lucas should have known Thorin’s game from the beginning. He felt naive for believing her confession. Now that the truth is out and seen it, heard it, he wanted to hit his head on the wall for falling in her dainty palms.
He heard the Bugatti guy bids his pathetic farewell to his boss. Lucas sighs exasperatedly unconscious of his boss’s pretty face frowns down on him.
“Shut up Lucas!” she hissed at Lucas for the fourth time of the day and smiled at her current visitor.
“I didn’t say anything, Miss Montréal,” Lucas monotonous countered as he tries to concentrate on his current workload.
“Don’t care. Just shut up!” he hears the slamming of her office doors.
A low whistle interrupted Lucas train of thoughts, “I swear I’m adopted. I’m the nicest Montréal there is. Don’t you think so?”
Lucas abruptly stops and stood up facing, none other than Troy Montréal. Lucas swallowed an imaginary lump as he faces the brother of his lady boss. It’s been years since their infamous and informal encounter which involved a lot of running and hiding. He could feel the sweat forming on his palms, on his back. He checked his heart rate booming against his ribs. He prayed that Troy wouldn’t remember him, the naive high school boy who has a foolish crush on his only sister.
Troy’s green orbs met Lucas’s amber, a spark of recognition flashed across them. Don’t flinch. Don’t flinch. That was Lucas’s mantra as he holds an unblinking eye contact that Troy had started. A smile plays on Troy’s, “Don’t you think so? Lucas”
Lucas twists his lips as he clasps his hands behind his body, “I know so, Mr. Montréal.”
He tried to ease the sarcastic remark, he hoped it worked. Troy trudges closer to his desk, Lucas looks down slightly as Troy was at least three centimeters shorter. Clad in a crisp black suit Troy smiled as he offers a handshake, “Please call me, Troy.” Lucas took it feeling the firm grip against his hands.
Lucas gives a firm nod, as Troy releases his hand. “You can go right into Sir.”
“She’s not the reason I’m here. A word with you Lucas in my office.”
“Who would’ve thought after all these years we will meet again?” Troy’s chortle echoed through his office. His office was smaller compared to Thorin.
Lucas tried to hide his dismay, “I promised myself not to meet you again but here we are.”
“Your secret is safe with me dude!” Lucas tilted his head, eyes like saucers as he looked back at Troy. Troy shrugs and guffawed, “Hey, I planted that sunflower you left on our doorstep.”
Lucas groaned, he buries his face in his hands. The tension in Lucas’s shoulder lessens as he was growing comfortable in his seat in front of his boss’s brother. “Unless Thorin knows who you were? She didn’t remember you did she?”
“Probably not, besides, we encounter during our younger years lasted at least 2 seconds,” Lucas sighs. Troy clapped his hands like a happy seal. “For a chairman, she’s pretty stupid.”
“She’s not good at remembering a person’s name, let alone its face.”
“So, what now?” Troy leans in, his upper body rests his elbows on his desk and gave Lucas a knowing look at Troy wiggles his brows.
“What now? Your main purpose for calling me in, Sir.” Emphasizing the latter part to subtlety remind Troy that they are in a working scenario and not in some coffee shop.
Troy notices Lucas’s strict principles. Business is business. No “or’s” or “and”. He had set strong and limited boundaries. No mixing of the ingredient from the two dilemmas, business, and pleasure. He sticks by the rules and would not budge whatever the situation may be. “Okay, I’ll cut the chase--”
“You had me investigated,” Lucas stated as a matter of fact. Troy nodded, “An executive position will be open since the current will retire soon. I, personally wanted to put your MBA into good use.”
“Thank you for the effort to tell me this, Sir, but I will gladly decline.”
“Think about it. I’ll give you time,” Troy pressed on, a subtle plea didn’t go unnoticed on Lucas’s ears. “Why did you even filter out your qualifications on your resume Lucas?”
Lucas doesn’t know if he should be worried or be scared. Troy asks too many personal questions, and he doesn’t want to be pried on. He doesn’t want to reveal too much about himself, especially in a working place. That’s one of his limited boundaries, “Personal reasons, Sir.”
Troy held his hands above his head, “Apologies for asking too much. Like, I said think about it.”
As Troy rested back his arms on his desk, “Tell me, Lucas, I’m just curious like the other employee on this floor. Are you and Thorin hooking up behind office doors?” He inquired ever so dearly.
Lucas cleared his throat, not sure what to answer Troy. Not sure if he heard the right question. Not sure if there’s a rumor going on inside the company. He ought to find out when he is free from the eyes of another Montréal.
He met Troy’s gaze on him, “Sir, I highly respect your sister as both the CEO of this company and the woman that she is.“He exhaled deeply, frazzled out why he did so, “Nothing is going on behind office doors,” he added. Although it was an honest answer, he felt he had committed a crime by telling a lie. How could be a truth feels like a lie?
“Oh man, I’m so disappointed.” Troy puffs out air as he nodded to himself as if he reached his conclusions. “By and by, I bet you didn’t know that she’s the chairman before you applied right?”
“Yes. I knew when I came in for the interview,” Lucas was tapping his foot against the floor as he grew impatient. “If there isn’t anything, Sir. May I be excused?”
“Of course man,” Lucas quickly nodded and stood up. As he was about to twist the doorknob open Troy called him again, this time he didn’t even bother to turn and face him.
“Trying to hide the fact that I’m the only one in the family who is a hopeless romantic. Don’t you think my sister and you are destined to be together?”
“Green with envy,” Ryle stated as his palms touch the tabletop loudly. It earned a few glances from the other group, but no one dares to say something. Ryle then pointed out Lucas’s shirt.
“Isn’t this mint?” Lucas retorts as he bites on his sandwich.
“Still in the shade of green,” Ryle countered unaware of the sudden change of topic. “It’s more of a blue than green though. How many shades of green are there?”
Lucas shrugged as he smirks. He stared down at his half-eaten tuna sandwich he made and an empty bottle of soda. He did not have an appetite for eating today, Troy’s discover bothered him. Though it is inevitable, he didn’t know it would be this early. Troy’s offer was indeed tempting. It’s an opportunity to have an executive position experience, it would boost and honed his potential.
However, he felt that he didn’t work hard enough to get the position. He felt that it was handed to him. Furthermore, he couldn’t just dash off and leave his current boss. Who would take care of her? Though it was tough to be around her, he felt privileged for the fact that through him being her assistant, he could take care of her like he wanted to in the past. It has limits, but he’s contented. Just being beside her makes and being needed by her makes him jubilant.
“Woah! That’s not what I intended.” Ryle raised his brows like he found a eureka moment. Lucas groaned inwardly at this, why is everyone asking him? Ever heard of mind your business quote? “What’s up with the commotion days ago? Damn, a rare occurrence.”
Lucas fixed his glasses, “Stress ate her rationality--,”
“Hey, Luke! It’s great to see you again,” Harriet surprisingly jubilant voice interrupts the two. Clad in an overly bright yellow dress that reminds Lucas of his little cousin; Amari who is a member of Girl Scouts. She tiptoed to the other table and drag a chair. The squeaking the chair gives as it hits the marble floor, causing the employee to frown at her.
Ryle giving a wide-eyed indicating an unspoken conversation between the men.
“Luke? Now,” Lucas presses his lips together as he observed Harriet. Both men stared at Harriet, was she oblivious or just plain vapid to not get the idea that they were in a serious conversation a second ago.
She sat up straight with the biggest grin you see on a girl selling cookies in your doorstep. A squared violet container was laid on their table as she sighs and fixed her glasses. “Hi. Hi! Oh, you must be Luke’s friend. Hi, I’m Harriet,” offering her right hand for a shake to Ryle.
He throws his head back as gaze on her hands, then averted back to Lucas. To Lucas and Ryle’s surprise, Harriet took his hands and shake it by herself.
She turned her body towards Lucas and opened her food container, “I made you a sandwich, Luke. I’m sure you’ll love it!”
Lucas tried his best not to cringe at her enthusiasm, “Thanks, but I just had my lunch.”
“I can taste your sandwich, Harriet. I’m sure I’ll love it,” Ryle wink at her as he rubs his hands together. Lucas threw a crumpled tissue on Ryle’s face. Harriet stands up, gazes at them and still smiling, “I’ll get a drink. What do you want? Know what? I will choose.” She left the table, two pairs of eyes followed her.
Once she’s far from earshot, Ryle guffawed as he glances at Lucas. “I feel like I’m caught in a high school drama.”
“You feel too much,” Lucas countered as he picks up his used tissue, he closes the sandwich container with his half-eaten sandwich on it. “Who it’s going to be Lucas?”
He was about to answer Ryle’s question to put an end to this whole fiasco when he heard his phone beeping. He took it out from his black trouser’s left pocket and unlocked it.
A text message from his lady boss. Lucas tilted his head as he read the message he received on his phone.
‘I need you’
His breath was snatched out from his lungs. His ears rang as he heard every beat of his wild heart wanting to escape from its cage. He exhaled a few breaths, trying to take control of his soaring emotions. The message means business, not pleasure. Lucas reminded himself again and again as he tightly closed his eyes and opened them; again for it to only stare at the message.
“Dude? Are you okay?” Ryle subtly peered at Lucas's phone. Ryle clears his throat, trying to suppress his little-satisfied smirk. “I think I have the answer.”
“What should I reply?” Lucas prompts still caught in his reverie. “Type in, I’m at lunch and not obligated to put up with your nonsense for another five hours, so go away.”
Ryle’s voice brought him back to the present. Lucas straightened his spine and shake his head. “Stop jesting,” Lucas said curtly. Ryle laughed as he enjoyed seeing his colleague’s flippant aura.
“Soda and water!” Harriet jovial energy entered like she’s part of their little queue. Both men uttered a simple appreciation. Ryle, true to his word ate Harriet’s sandwich instead of Lucas. A loud beeping interrupted the silence of the table. Lucas answered it, he notices Ryle’s sideways glances, “Yes. I’m about to end my lunch.”
He furrowed his brows on Ryle’s idiotic side glances. Ryle pointed out the entrance of the cafeteria. “I see you,” Thorin stated with spite. Lucas hastily stood up from his chair.
The call was abruptly ended, Lucas gathered his belongings. He felt like a husband who is about to be caught in cheating. He realized he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was just having his lunch break with Ryle and Harriet. Lucas noticed how some employees scurried out from the cafeteria.
“Hello,” Lucas glances over his shoulder and met Thorin’s flamming emeralds. He narrowed his eyes on her, she didn’t hold the eye contact long enough.
“Hi, Ms. Montréal.” Ryle’s quivering voice didn’t go unnoticed in Lucas’s ear. Her one eyebrow raised as if assessing the triad in front of her. Her icy gazes landed and stayed on Harriet, who was very much enjoying her sandwich, oblivious to the authority who stood looking down at her.
“Harley,” the underlying contempt was obvious by the way Thorin said her name.
Lucas stepped closer and leaned in. “We should be going now, Miss Montreal,” Lucas said, firm and full of urgency.
“Miss Montréal you should have some, it’s Harriet by the way.” Harriet looks up through her lashes as she showed her homemade sandwiches. Lucas gazes at Harriet, he furrowed his brows at her. Why throw another fuel to the flame? Her shady characteristics make Lucas doubt her motives.
“How lovely, but no, thank you, Harlot,” her sarcastic remark was building up. He looked at Ryle, his eyes pleading for help. “Harriet. What are you even doing here if you are not going to eat? Get real.”
However, Ryle shrugs at him and watch the two ladies with gusto similarly like watching a blockbuster movie. Lucas wanted to touch Thorin and carry her like a sack of rice and get her out of here.
“Ms. Montréal,” Lucas’s increase voice pitch made Thorin glance back at Lucas. She smiled at him, Lucas heard his heart pounding. Her terrible mood swings always caught Lucas off guard.
“I like it when you get rough,” Thorin fixed her gaze on Lucas. Lucas stands rooted, unable to look away from her gaze. He equaled the growing intensity of eye contact. She reached out and touched Lucas's striped necktie. Lucas followed her dainty fingers and with such force that caught him.
He felt her hot lips against his. Thorin kisses him in front of his colleagues. This kiss shouldn’t even happen. This is a mistake, a part of Lucas’s screamed. But he can’t just pull away, it felt too good to stop.
This was the kiss, he has been dreaming of when he first laid his eyes on her. This was the kiss he wanted to happen when he realized he had fallen for her. Lucas's lips instinctively kiss her back, he wanted more of this. He closes his eyes as he snaked his right hand around Thorin’s nape. His kisses were pleading, he doesn’t care anymore. He wanted her. He wanted this moment. It was his temporary bliss, he knew about it.
Thorin pulled out of the kiss, emeralds against amber, no one looked away, unspoken desire flashes through; both had been too caught up from the kiss.
Thorin beamed at him, “I came to take what’s mine, Harriet.”