Chapter 36- His Claim
“Fucking Brandon!!” Kate hissed, under her breath as she made her way to Taylor’s office.
“What the fuck?” She cursed, “”What the fuck?!” Unable to digest what Kay had just said.
If she hadn’t smiled at her before the elevator doors closed, then she would have been scared out of her mind.
Her feet froze in its track and she turned around to see if Kay wasn’t following her.
Wasn’t this how psychotic jealous girlfriends acted? Pretending to be all cool and nice and then out of nowhere jumps you?
She gave the hallway a quick scan, then shook.
“You’re being paranoid and ridiculous.” Kate told herself.
The hall was empty. Kayla probably did just wanted to laugh about it over drinks.
Yeah right, the familiar voice at the back of her head said, better not leave you’re drinks unattended.
God! Brandon was so dead.
Kate gave Taylor’s door a brief knock before pressing on the handle.
“Taylor I’m sorry I’m late. The receptionist was giving me a hard time.” She said instantly before he got a chance to lecture her about being on time and how every minute wasted was money lost.
Taylor’s head jutted up at the sound of Kate’s voice. He drew a breath of relief over the phone.
“It’s fine, Ben. She’s here.” He said before ending the call.
He turn got up from his chair and his eyes gave her a quick worrisome scan. “I thought that something had happened to you. Ben called fifteen minutes ago saying that you had arrive.”
“Yes, but as I said I was held up at reception. She said that I wasn’t being cleared to go up.”
“I deal will Stephanie later. We’re already late as it is.” He said in an annoyed tone.
He took a few strides towards her and had fully intended on grabbing hold of her so that they could go to the conference room but he stopped when he noticed her half creased brows.
She looked troubled.
“Everything alright, Dawson?”
“I don’t know. I saw Kay downstairs and on our way up, she said something.”
Kate shook, “Doesn’t matter.” She said forcing on a smile. “We should probably go. Lots of money to be made remember?”
Kate turned and was about to start walking out of the room but Taylor’s hand on her shoulder stopped her.
He sighed. “What did she say that has you looking like a flustered tomato?”
A flustered tomato?
Well atleast it was an upgrade from being called insignificant.
“Vegetables don’t fluster,Taylor.” She replied, grinning up at him.
The upper corner of his lip rose, ” Not unless they’re you. Now speak. We only have two minutes.”
“It’s fine, really. I’ll just deal with it later.” She told him but Taylor made no signs of letting it go.
Instead he raised a sharp brow at her and stood his grounds.
“Fine.” kate huffed, “She said somsomething about Brandon screaming my name when they were, you know, having sex.”
“Jesus!” Taylor muttered but no signs of shock present.
Kate narrowed her eyes at him and crossed her arms of her chest.
“You knew?” She accused.
“Unfortunately for me, yes. Kay mentioned it.”
Of course Kay told him, she thought. Did she also tell the rest of the world while she was at it?
“Then what the hell? Kay is not psychotic is she? I mean I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulders every five seconds, do I?
Taylor laughed. Her eyes grew wide and her soul bathe in the most beautiful sound she had ever heard.
Good heavens, would she ever get tired of hearing him laugh? It wasn’t often but it was worth the wait.
Her cheeks flushed when he finally stopped and his eyes held hers. It was so much as the colour of his eyes that got to her, it was the enticing desire that flared in them that made her fluster.
Breaking off the gaze, she quickly blinked then muttered, “You’re such a dick. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“So we’re back to me being a dick, are we?”
“Yes. When you laugh at me in the face, then that’s exactly what you are.” She noted, jutting her chin up at him.
He took a step towards her and Kate suckled on her breath. It was a feeling of deja vu and for a brief moment Kate wished that he was going to take her in his arms and lean down, brushing his lips against hers. It had been a while since he had done that, and for whatever reason, she found herself longing for it.
Another step and Taylor was standing close face to face with her. A smile grew on his lips when she closed her eyes and tilted her head up towards him. For somebody who had warned him about kissing her again, she sure wasn’t helping.
His eyes then trailed over her face, to her eyes, down to her little round nose then finally to her slightly parted lips. He lowered his head towards hers ready to take what she was offering, but then he stopped. Her lips were only inches away from being kissed but he had to pull away. Knowing fully well that this, whatever it was between them, could only complicate things.
So instead, he drew a hand up capturing one of her loose strands and tucked it behind her ear. Even the slightest touch of her affected him. He took a sudden step back trying to create the much needed distance. Kate opened her eyes and frowned back at him.
“You shouldn’t frown as much, Dawson. I’d hate to see you get wrinkles.”
Wrinkles? That’s what he was worried about?
Here she was, practically begging him for a kiss and he was worried about wrinkles?
She wasn’t quite sure how to process this. Had she just been turned down?
“I’ll try.” She stammered.
“We should go. I’ll have talk with Brandon when we’re done.” He said.
“No,” Kate bit out instantly, this had nothing to do with Taylor. It was already embarrassing enough as it is and she didn’t want him to talk to Brandon about this.
“It’s fine. I handle Brandon myself. Not sure that it won’t turn physical but I’ll at least try and get some words in.”
Taylor grinned at her response. He could tell that she looked a little dissapointed that he didn’t kiss her, she wasn’t doing a very good job hiding it but he was alomost a hundred percent sure that it was for the best. For the both of them.
They made they way to the conference room. Both trying as hard as possible to maintain a polite exchange of information before meeting with Mr.Brandlock. Taylor was genuinely impressed that Kate knew for more about his company than he had accredited her for.
Thinking about it now Brandon had been right. She might not be half as bad as he had imagine but the negotiation stage however, was still left to be seen.
As soon as they entered the room, Kate’s eyes landed on the man wearing a blue suit who was busy typing away on his phone. He looked oddly familiar, only she wasn’t quite sure from where she had seen him before.
Then Taylor closed the door and the man’s head jolted up. He smiled when he saw both Taylor and Kate walking to where he sat. His grin then dissolved into a complete state of utter shock, then surprised expression.
“Katy D?” The man exclaimed getting out of his chair.
Kate’s expression suddenly mirrored his. There was only one person who ever called her that.
Little Tony Brandlock.
“Tony!” Before her mind could even begin to register her words, her feet flew towards his direction.
Taylor’s brows furrowed and his hands fists at his side at the sight of Kate’s arms wrapped around Brandlock’s neck and his around her waist. His jaws twitched at how easily she had gone from wanting him to kiss her and to her now running into another man’s arms.
He cleared his throat at the sudden flash of anger that coursed through his veins, causing the pair to pull apart but still not enough for them to acknowledge that he was also standing the same room.
“Oh my goodness, it’s been forever.” Kate said, with her hands resisting along the sides of Tony’s arms.
“You’re telling me. Look at you. I always knew that you were beautiful but Jesus, Kate. How many fatal heart attacks have you caused?” Tony teased with handsome grin pulled on his lips, allowing his eyes to wander over her.
Kate blushed. “Well I’m happy to report that there hasn’t been any. God, it’s so nice to see you again.”
“I would have made it sooner if we had kept in touched.”
The sound of Taylor clearing his throat was louder this time. They both turned around as if only now noticing him.
“You two know each other, I see.” He said, his eyes glare at Tony’s hand as he placed it around Kate’s waist, pulling her towards him.
Tony nodded then glanced down at Kate, “This lovely lady here, happens to be my first love.” He smiled.
“Oh, please. I seem to recall you hanging with different girls every day back then.” She bit back with a pout.
Tony laughed,“That didn’t stop you from marrying me.”
Married? Taylor wasn’t sure if he had paled out but this was definitely news to him. They had done background checks, there was nothing about Kate being married or ever being married. And even if they were, then why weren’t they together?
He’d be damned if this Tony character thinks that he can now walts back in and rekindle any type of shit.
“I sorta had to, to keep them all away. You weren’t exactly saying no to them.” Kate retorted.
“You were married?” Taylor asked through clenched teeth.
“What? ...I mean,yeah. In kindergarten.” She smiled, “Got two rings from a box of cereal and by lunchtime, I married him. Lisa McCartney never forgave me for that.” She laughed.
Her reply was like a relief that he didn’t know he needed until a heavy weight seemed to lift from him . Taylor released a deep breath through his mouth, but her laugh was meant for Tony, not him. Those dimples that he was quite fond of was meant as a display for Brandlock. Every inch of his bones cracked with the desire to punch him in the nose.
And for what? He tried to reason with himself, Kate was nothing to him. Right?
“How’s your grandmother? Man, she used to make the most delicious apple pie ever.”
“She did,” Kate said, smiling sadly back at Tony. “But not so much nowadays. Her health’s abit unstable right now, but you know nana, she always ever so happy.”
“Oh, really.” Tony’s voice lowered in concern, “Well, I’d love to see her. It’s been too long. How about dinner tonight?” He suggested.
“At my place? Sure, I know nana will love seeing you again.”
“Yeah, and we can catch up too. I take it that you’re still single since I don’t see any ring on your finger.”
Kate blushed. She was about to tell him off about his sly remark.
But Taylor had had enough.
That was it.
He was only seconds away from tearing Kate out of the idiots grasp.
The hell if he thinks that he can just touch her as he please.
“Actually Brandlock. She’s not. Kate’s with me now.” His voice was nothing short of casual but his eyes, however, said something entirely different as he stared daggered at Tony, who reluctantly withdrew his arm around Kate.