Seeking happiness

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XXIII

Really, again? Jolena wonders by herself. Public transport is late, again. She has to hurry, but today she makes it in time. When she arrives at the office, she sees Mr. Simmons nervously walking back and forth. He doesn’t even notice her coming in. She puts her things down and heads for the coffee machine. When she hands him his cup, he looks surprised at her. “When did you come in?”

“Just a few minutes ago. I already made you coffee.”

“I didn’t hear you; I was probably too deep in thought.”

Jolena smiles. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, just a lot of stress. An important deal that is about to blow up. I really hope mr. Anderson can make it today.”

“Is he coming?” She asks, her eyes grow wide. She has never met the big boss in person.

“He said so, but-”

Just at that moment, some loud voices are heard coming from the elevator. A loud voice is grumbling and cursing. Someone is not in a good mood.

“Oh, no.” Mr. Simmons looks agitated, “he is in a bad mood. Take cover, Jolena, hide yourself.”

“Do I really look like I am in the mood for any reports you may have? Get out of my sight! Leave me alone!” Two tall, broad men come their way. The first one is the one who appears to be terribly angry and someone had the courage to approach him.

When they come closer, Jolena recognises the second man. “Danny!” She exclaims and she walks over to him to give him a hug. “What are you doing here?”

“Well,” he points with his thumb at Chris, “this is Chris, my best friend. Your boss.”

Jolena looks surprised. The man that came with Danny, doesn’t look like the infamous, hard businessman he is rumoured to be. He looks pale, beads of sweat on his forehead, hair dishevelled, clothes wrinkly and his posture is sagged. He has an absent look in his eyes, and he looks like he could collapse any moment. “Good morning sir,” Jolena reaches out her hand to shake her boss’s hand. “I am Jolena, your new assistant.”

“Morning,” he doesn’t even look at her. “Danny, come with me to my office. I need to sit down.” His gaze goes from Danny to Joseph, “Joseph, we need to discuss a number of things, I’d like to see you in a bit.”

“Sure, Mr. Anderson, I’ll grab my things and will be there in a minute.”

Christopher turns around and walks into his office. Danny gives Jolena a wink. “It’s good to see you. Don’t mind his behaviour, he’s not well, so his mood is even worse than usual.”

“Danny!” Chris bellows from his office. Danny turns and walks after Chris.

Jolena looks at Joseph who comes back from his office with some folders in his hands. “Do I make some coffee for Mr. Anderson and Mr. Harris?”

“Yes, that is alright.”

“Is Mr. Anderson feeling alright?”

“I don’t know. He looks ill, doesn’t he? Anyway, if you need me, I’ll be in Mr. Anderson’s office.”

A few hours later Mr. Verona arrives at Jolena’s desk with Vince behind him. “Good morning, young lady. Is Mr. Anderson present?”

“Yes, he is, if you could wait a moment, I’ll call him for you.” She picks up her phone and calls Mr. Anderson’s office. Vince comes forward and leans against her desk. “Mr. Anderson is still busy, but he told me he’ll be ready soon. You can sit over there in the armchairs.”

“Thank you.” Verona strolls to one of the chairs and sits down.

“Jolena, I wanted to apologise for my behaviour last night.” Vince looks at her with sad eyes. “I’m sorry I had to cut our date off like that. I was pissed that our date got interrupted and I took it out on you. I shouldn’t have done that. Do you think you can forgive me? Do I get a second chance?”

“It’s alright, I understand,” Jolena smiles politely. “Maybe we should meet again when you are not so busy anymore.”

“I’m not very busy, last night was just an emergency. Those don’t occur that often. I do have time for you. Please, let me make it up to you.”

“I’ll think about it, is that okay? Don’t take it personally, but it’s a bit much in a short period of time.”

“Alright,” Vince doesn’t seem very happy with her reply. But after the things Drake told her last night, she doesn’t feel comfortable with him around anymore.

Joseph opens the door of Mr. Anderson’s office. “Mr. Verona, Mr. Jones, Mr. Anderson now has time for you.” The men walk into the office together.

The conversation in the office is heated. Even though the door is closed, Jolena can still hear their raised voices. Anderson being the loudest of them all. Whatever Verona had to tell him; he doesn’t agree apparently.

“This meeting is over; I am not discussing this! My land is not for sale! It’s not even property of the company, the land is my private property!” This is unheard of! Verona wants Chris to sell his land, pack-land. If he doesn’t, the whole deal they agreed on, is off the table. This isn’t business anymore, this is blackmail! Chris wipes off the sweat on his forehead. He still doesn’t feel well. He feels weak, as if he could collapse any moment. He doesn’t even smell the scent of his visitors like he normally does. Not to mention the pain he is in, it’s unbearable.

Mr. Verona smiles sinisterly. “Not feeling well, Mr. Anderson? Feeling weak?”

“I don’t think that is of any of your concern.”

Danny who is standing beside Chris’ desk, protectively moves a little closer to Chris. His eyes fuming.

“Oh, I think it is. Maybe I can help you out.”

“I don’t think there’s anything you can do, that my doctor can’t.”

“But I think there is, really.” Mr. Verona’s smirk grows wider.

“What do you mean Mr. Verona, come on, I’m not in the mood to play games.” Chris sighs, he is tired.

“I mean that I can make sure that the cause of your illness is taken care of.”

Chris leans forward. He gets a nasty feeling about what the man says. “How do you even know what is wrong with me, I don’t even know it myself?”

“Oh, just a hunch. Some wounds that are not healing, some nausea, some abilities that are lacking? I’m just guessing.” Verona shrugs his shoulders, his hands up in defence.

Chris leans back in his chair, but quickly sits forward again because of his back. How does this guy know what he is going through, how does he know so well what is wrong with him? He frowns.

Verona laughs out loud. “I think I guessed right? A little advice for you Mr. Anderson. I would be nice to me if I were you. I have a solution for all your problems, you just have to agree to the deal. And if you don’t, I think you will have to face the consequences. You’ll soon be begging for my help, Mr. Anderson.”

“Another blackmail, Mr. Verona? Threatening my boss, Mr. Verona?” Danny steps forward and leans threateningly over the desk, right in front of Verona’s face. The muscles in his arms tighten. His eyes show that he is fuming with anger. “I don’t think that is a good idea, Mr. Verona!”

“Danny, step back. Let me handle this.” Chris makes a hand gesture to make Danny retreat. “I am not agreeing to this deal of yours, not now, not ever!”

Verona gets up and reaches out his hand to shake Chris’. “Let me know when you change your mind.”

Chris also gets up, to let the men out, but doesn’t return Verona’s gesture. When they walk out, he sees Mr. Jones head over to his assistant’s desk whispering something to her. Then he sees he kisses her on her cheek and they both smile. The closeness from the guy to his assistant makes him even more angry than he already is. His wolf tries to get control. A loud growl erupts from his chests. Everyone turns their head and looks at him surprised. “Don’t flirt with my assistant Mr. Jones! I do not allow relationships in the workplace!”

When the men are gone, Chris tries to calm down in his office. He looks at Danny who sits on the opposite side of his desk. “What was that all about? How does he know about my injuries, about my weakness?”

“I don’t know, Chris, but this stuff is really getting shady. You need to watch out, he has just threatened you.”

There’s a quiet knock on the door and when the door opens, the assistant comes in with a tray with two cups of coffee in her hands. “I thought you’d like some coffee.” she smiles. She steps over to the desk and places the cups on the desk. When she picks up the tray, she looks at Chris and a worried frown appears on her face. She places her right hand on his shoulder, “are you alright sir? You look very pale. Are you in pain, can I get you some painkillers?”

Chris’ head jolts to hers when he feels her hand on his shoulder. He feels a comforting warmth flowing through his body, the place where her hand lays start to tingle. His wolf gets restless and wants to come forward. He stares into her eyes with wide eyes. Opening his mouth, he tries to say something, but he can’t. He is speechless, the feeling she is giving him with her hand on his shoulder is something he has never ever experienced before.

“Mr. Anderson?” Her eyes start to look even more worried.

He shakes his head, to try to focus on the conversation. “Err, sorry, I got distracted for a moment. I, err, I don’t need painkillers, but thank you.”

When she lets his shoulder go, he feels cold immediately. Like he has lost a part of himself. She walks away, but halfway she stops and turns around. “Let me know when you need anything, Mr. Anderson.”

He nods at her to let her know that he understood. She closes the door behind her.

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