Chapter 20 - Bygones Or Betrayal
Taylor paced the floor of his office.
He was angry, late and frustrated.
What in the hell had possessed him to kiss Kate Dawson? She was nothing more than a nuisance. Okay, he had call her a few lousy names but, dammit, it was nothing more than she deserved. She was a reporter, they lie, they cheat, they’d do anything just to get their hands on juicy scoop.
It was so uncharacteristic of him to act as he had with her. He wasn’t a jerk or ruthless or whatever titles that the media had attatched to his name. But he couldn’t understand why for the life of him, Kate made him act as though he was.
In business, he knew that he had to be tough, hold no bars and spare no expense. It was the rule of the game. Eat or get eaten alive. But when it came to his personal life, he tried to maintain a different approach.
He stopped by the window, loosening his tie.
So where did that leave Kate? Was she now part of his business or personal life?
He growled at himself. Why was this even an issue? Hadn’t he just told Brandon that Kate wasn’t his type?
Then why the hell was she turning him on and off. Like he was a damn switch!
With those siren eyes and dimples to match, enough to make a man fall flat on his face.
The whole thing was ridiculous. Last night. Brandon offering her a job. His behaviour. Her being so damn responsive to him.
He could have sworn that she hated him. If she really did, then why did she response to him so eagerly? Why did she kiss him back just a desperately as he had?
He swore underneath his breath and stormed out of his office.
“Maria, is he planning on coming back today?” He snapped.
Startled by his rough tone of voice, his secretary quickly placed the phone that she had held to her face back on the hook.
“I’m sorry, Mr.Price but his secretary can’t get a hold of him. She said that she’d let me know as soon as she does.”
“Fuck.” He hissed, and it was all thanks to Kate. If she had waited at her apartment like he had told her then he wouldn’t have missed his meeting with his lawyer and now...
He let out a deep breath.
“Just -- keep trying, will you?”
“Of course, Mr.Price.” Maria nodded in a nervous tone.
He paced back into in office and slammed the door.
The car pulled to a stop infront of Café Del Rosa, a rustic building with a small patio outside.
“Do you want me to wait for you, Ms.Dawson?”
Kate gave Ben short smile, “No, Ben. I’ll be fine. Thank you.”
“Alright, have a lovely day.”
She gave him a brisk nod and slipped out of the car. She stood infront of the building and sighed. She was about thirty minutes early to meet with Carl. She then shrugged and walked over to the door. She might as well grab another cup of coffee.
Kate sat in a chair next to the window. She watched as people walked up and down the street, going about their daily lives. Thirty minutes had gone by ten minutes ago, maybe Carl wasn’t going to make it, she thought.
She swallowed the last of her coffee and shot up from where she sat, grabbing her bag.
As she made her way outside, she gave one final look around and gave up. If he was here already then he wasn’t coming.
She walked over to the zebra-crossing and waited for the light to change.
A yellow cab pulled up not far from where she stood and out came Carl.
Her eyes narrowed in on him, “You’re late.” She accused, folding her arms.
“I know, I know. I’m sorry, but I’m here now.”
“I do have a life you know.“She retorted.
“Don’t be mad. Let’s just go inside and have seat and we’ll talk.” He said, waiting for her to oblige.
“Let’s just seat out here,” she gestured to the tables infront of Café Del Rosa, “I don’t want to go back in there.”
“Okay.” He said, as they walked back to the coffeehouse, pulling out a chair for her.
Kate sat down and watched as he did the same. Her heels stomped relentlessly against the hard concrete.
“You know, this is not how I imagined you, begging for my forgiveness.”
Carl chuckled. “And you don’t look so bad for somebody who’s just been fired.” He returned.
She rolled her eyes at him, “What? The desperate look and the stench of misery not enough for you?”
He laughed, “Oh Kate, there’s nothing desperate or miserable about you and you know it.”
She jutted a brow at him, “Why did you leave me there last night?”
Carl quickly sobered up from his laughing state. He sighed, “Would it be overly exaggerated if I said that it was not left as an option?”
She scoffed, “Surprisingly, no. I thought as much. But you could have texted or waited for me a few blocks down the road. That might have helped.”
“Yeah. But I was escorted home. Shit, Kate, I thought that they had done something to you.” He said reaching for her hands over the table.
“Yeah, well I thought that they were too. Fortunately, I was only forced to secrecy. Come to think of it,” she scanned up and down the road, then around her. ” I’m not suppose to be talking to you.”
“What?” Carl frowned, “why not?”
“Strict orders from Taylor and I’ve already broken one or two of those today, don’t know how he’d react if he found out about this.” She shrugged.
“But what are you doing now? I mean you’re not working and I know that your grandmother--”
“It’s fine,” she interjected, “I’ve just been hired.”
“This quick? By whom?” He asked, sounding surprised.
“Brandon.“She stated, “Taylor’s brother.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. So now you’re working for them?”
She shrugged at him again, “He said that Icouldn’t work anywhere else and Brandon offered, I couldn’t say no. I have bills, I need the money.”
The scrowl on Carl’s face turned into a mischievous grin, “So you’re working for Brandon?”
“Yeah, but sort of for Taylor as well.” She announced.
He smiled, “This is perfect Kate.”
She brows touched into a fine line. “What are you talking about? And why are you smiling like an idiot? Didn’t you just hear me say that I’d be working for the jackass too.” She huffed.
Carl really wasn’t being helpful at all.
“Yes, I did. That’s why it’s perfect.” He insisted, giving her hand a light squeeze.
Kate snatched her hand from his but Carl was quick, he grabbed on the them again.
“Listen. This could be your big break. Don’t you see?”
She didn’t. She didn’t understand what Carl why trying to say.
“Kate. You can work undercover. Dig up information about Taylor. You’ll be working close with him, therefore, you, can find out if he is doing anything illegal.”
She swallowed nervously, allowing Carl’s plan to settle in her brain.
“Do you know how many publishing house would kiss your ass for this kind of scoop?”
She did. She really did.
But it was wrong.
Taylor was an arrogant shit but still, what would that make of her if she did this?
It was wrong. Wasn’t it?
“Just, think about it. This could be your revenge and your way up the ladder.”
It was. It could be. She told herself.
But would it worth it?
Her heart made a painful thud. If she did this then it would mean betrayal. It would mean getting close to both Brandon and Taylor. Gaining their trust so that she would no longer be looked at as the enemy. She had only wanted to do her job, keep the professionalism and then go home.
What Carl was suggesting was... betrayal. It was her having to be conniving.
Was she ready for that?
It would mean becoming the very thing that Taylor Price hated.