Chapter 12 - Three Mens Muse
Kate’s back sagged against the oak door with her head drooping down into her hands.
How was she going to get out of this mess? And what exactly was Taylor planning for her?
Whatever it was, she wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing just because Taylor had told her too. She had her grandmother to think about.
She then sighed recalling her conversation with Brandon.
It was official, if Taylor had no issues with reporters then it was just her and she couldn’t for the life of her understand why.
The sound of somebody clearing their throat that startled her abit, causing her to jerk her head up.
He was standing there, regarding her with a smile hanging lazily on his lips and his left hand firmly tucked in his pocket. There was something hopeful in his eyes and Kate could have sworn that she had seen it there, hidden behind the excited gleam in his eyes.
“So? How was it?“He asked, taking a few more steps towards her.
Kate gritted her teeth, silently debating on whether to play along with whatever game he was playing or to dead on smack him in the face and knee him in the groin.
“Horrible.” She answered, staring up at him as he reached her side.
Brandon’s brows creased, then removed his hand from his pocket. “Why? What happened?”
Her eyes held his as she examined him, trying to see if there was any trail of deception in them and gave up when she didn’t. Either he was a really good actor or he was really being honest.
“Are you purposefully playing with me?” She quiered, her face serious this time as she addressed him.
His frown deepened as he folded his arms across his chest. “What do you mean?”
She sighed out loud, mimicking his action. “Taylor fired me or is having fired. I’m still not quite sure which is which.”
Brandon was taken aback.
Face shocked, he asked, “Why? What the hell happened in there?”
He looked sincere, as though he really didn’t understand what was happening.
“I - uh,” she swallowed,“kinda caught him-- uh, fornicating. ”
She then remembered Taylor ordering her not to speak about what she had just seen to anybody. Well to be fair, he did just tell her not to talk to any reporters. So technically Brandon didn’t count.
A smile cracked on his lips. “Really, Kate?... Fornicating? Is that your fancy way of telling me that he was fucking someone?”
He raised a brow at her in amusement, “You do realise that the rest of the us just call it sex?” He chuckled.
Her face fell flat, unamused. “Well I’m glad that you atleast got the last laugh of the night before I leave.” She muttered sarcastically, pushing herself from the door.
“You’re good for my health Kate.-- Wait! ” His hand reached out and touched her shoulder as she brushed past him with full intention of leaving.
“You still didn’t tell me why he fired you.” He cocked his head at her.
“He accused me with intent of blackmailing him because of what I saw.”
“What?!” His deep voice hitched with disbelief, dropping his hand from her.
“Can he really do that? Fire me, I mean? Cause I don’t work for him but I know that he has connections, it’s just...” she stopped. It was useless and she was beginning to sound like a shrew.
The best thing for her to do, was to just go home and accept her fate.
“...Listen, ” She said,“I have to go. My grandmother is really sick, so I need to check on her.”
She straightened herself from the wooden door and adressed him for what she thought would be the last time.
“I should be really pissed with you right now, but for some odd reason I just can’t. So for my own peace of minded I’m going to ask you this and I need you to answer me truthfully.”
“Of course.” Brandon replied, his eyes softened as he looked at her.
“Did you play me? I mean, was this some kind of a sick joke, having me go in Taylor’s office and catching him, well, you know?”
Brandon face dropped. It looked as if Kate had just slapped him in the face. His eyes held hers in a moment of silence. Hurt. He looked hurt by what Kate had said.
“No.” He denied hastily, “My intentions were pure. I was only helping you out, I never imagined that he’d be otherwise occupied in there. Taylor never mixes business with pleasure.”
“Oh, he doesn’t, does he?” She eyed him suspiciously, “And how do you know that?”
He gave her a hard stare and said nothing.
It annoyed Kate. The fact that he had said nothing meant that he was hiding something.
So she pressed on some more. “I’ve just lost my job because of you so the least you can do is tell me what bloody relationship you have with Taylor. How do you know so many things about him?” She demanded tired of his tricks, jokes and deception.
His mouth remained shut.
She had had enough.
Enough of him. Enough of bloody Taylor. Enough of this whole night.
They were all the same, She thought bitterly.
“Fine!” She exclaimed. Then shook her head. What did she expect?
“I have to leave. I need to go figure out how I’m gonna pay piles of medical bills whilst being unemployed.” She fumed, walking past him.
The two of them could rot for all she cared, having regretted meeting the both of them in the first place. One, who was set on playing games with her and the other one who just simply wanted her out of his way.
“I’m his brother.” Kate heard.
Her steps nearly froze midway as she swallowed down the newly acquired information.
They were bloody related?!
She hadn’t expected that.
She was shocked, strikened. And suddenly felt as though she had really been played.
Kate had to force her legs to continue walking. She wanted out. Out of there. Out of whatever was happening.
“Kate!” She heard Brandon calling out to her but she refused to turn back to acknowledge him.
Instead she made her may out of the lounging area where she spotted Ben standing firmly by the entrance waiting for her.
Kate sat in the black tinted SUV, gazing out the window, watching a cars, people and street lights grazed by. She sat quietly, in deep thoughts.
They were brothers?
They didn’t even look a like and not to mention the huge personality difference. How could someone like Brandon be related to Taylor?
But of course he had know personal things about Taylor, he had been a guest at the function and not to forget how comfortable and laid back he was while talking about Price.
How are you even a reporter? She scoffed at herself.
“Isn’t that one of those life choices you make?”
Kate’s head snapped up at the sound of Ben’s voice. Did she just think out loud?
“Excuse you?” She said, jutting a brow at him.
“Was just answering your question.” He replied blankly.
“Are you even allowed to talk to me?” She asked sarcastically returning her gaze outside of the window.
“I suppose I am. How else will I ask you for your address?”
A small smile curved up her face and said, “Twenty-four, Rose lane complex.” Then added, “I’m surprised that you didn’t know that already.”
Ben laughed and she eyed the back of his head. Was it something that she had said? Well it was the truth, a man like Taylor must have already gotten all her details if he thought that she was threatening his so called reputation. So why in the hell was Ben laughing at her?
“Did I say something funny?”
Ben shook his head lightly, muttering a small ‘no’.
Kate said nothing and decided to just let it go. Somehow she had been the muse of three men this evening and she didn’t want to provide anymore entertainment.
So she clamped her mouth shut, determined to stay quiet thought the whole ride.
The car was filled with silence once more as Ben switched streets, driving by the old ‘Hundley Café’ that was only a block away from where her building was. Kate caught sight of of a ‘Help wanted’ sigh posted outside of their window and smiled to herself.
This was perfect. Tomorrow she would wake up early and see if the post was still available. To her, a job was a job. At this point she didn’t have the luxury of having a choice, so long as it meant that she would have money in her pockets.
The car had slowed down and Kate still in deep thoughts, hadn’t even realised, not until Ben announced, “Here you go, Ms. Dawson.”
She quietly got out of the car muttering a small ‘Thank you’ to Ben.
“Goodnight.” Was the last thing she heard before slamming the door shut as she made her way into her apartment building, all the while wondered how she was going to break the news to Nana.