Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 17

I’ve been pacing back and forth for the past 45 minutes and my stress has not gotten any better. Rachel came on TV to do an interview and said that I got in the way of her and the love of her life. Basically put me in her position and switched it around to make it look like I was in the wrong. This is ridiculous. I am getting hate from everything. Gage is trying to keep it together but isn’t. I know he’s hurt that I didn’t tell him sooner but would you unload all of your troubles on someone you are dating in the first three months? I don’t think so...

“Dare honey it will be okay” my mother tries console me but I scoff.

“Yeah sure, it will be fine, except for the fact that my boyfriend lives in a very public family and if I have an abusive reputation I will get slandered. Good luck trying to start my publishing and printing company after I leave Thomas Industries. No one will want to work with me because they all will think I’m some kind of crazy homoicidal maniac trying to hide the fact that I’m insane. You know, just, EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS DOING!

Judging by the look on Gage’s face I can tell he’s hurt and confused. He stands up and walks quickly to my door. I run to him and grab his arm, he looks at the people behind us and they leave the room respectfully. “I just need space” he mutters

“Gage, come one you can’t believe everything you see on the internet I mean it’s the internet” I say trying to crack a joke but I can tell he didn’t find it funny.

“You beat that girl to a pulp, what did she do to you that made you that mad that you would do that to her?” he said accusingly.

“Okay, hold on. You have no idea what happened so you only know a warped since of the story based on what she told them” I say backing away from him defensively. I feel as though it was just slapped.


“BECAUSE I WAS SCARED, THIS LAST YEAR WAS HELL FOR ME. I COULDN’T EVEN TELL MY MOM LET ALONE YOU! I needed to make sure what was happening with us was real. Would you unload every hard thing, every secret or bad memory or decision you have ever made within the first months of dating. I knew you’d have this reaction. I was planning to tell you this weekend. You have to understand I was just scared” I try to explain.

“I understand but I just need time to process” he says and it feels as if the stitches that he used to sew my heart back together were ripped open and salt was poured in the opened wound. The pressure behind my eyes starts to burn as the tears threaten to spill. I take a deep breath and nod, not feeling particularly confident in my voice.

Mr. Thomas follows Gage out the door and I shut it behind him. I try to steady my breathing as I lean on the white painted wood door that is cool to the touch. My forehead leaning against it as I squeeze my eyes shut. A tear rolls down my cheek, the air hits the wet spot on my cheek and it instantly feels cold. I turn around and slide against the door. Placing my head in my arms as I breathe. A knock comes at my door I scoot to the side and move to my knees to open the door.

Mr. Thomas comes back through and looks at me as I sit back down. Tears are no longer falling as my face and body have gone completely numb. “I am directing my guard Tony to watch you, god knows was low life’s will try something without protection” he says and I nod. He sits down across from me and crosses his legs. I am shocked because I’ve never seen him look so human. He’s no longer wearing his suit coat or tie. He looks like Gage just older. “It’ll be okay, he just needs to cool off. Give him time, he reacted the same way when he found out criminal minds was canceled” he jokes and I chuckle slightly knowing how much he loves that show.

“This didn’t shock you did it?” I ask remembering our conversation.

“No, I asked you about skeletons and you were honest about everything including Ray” he says and I nod

“I had no reason to, I knew that if something were to happen like for her to show up at work, because she’s like that, I didn’t want you to be blindsided. I wanted to show you that I wanted this job. I apologize, I did not mean for her to blow this up, if you feel it is best I’ll leave Gage and I guess if you can give me 3 weeks I can try to find another job. I know it would be easier” I say with sadness. He is the best boss I’ve ever had.

He sighs deeply, “You’re right it would be easier, but I have never seen Gage this way. He smiles when you text him and laughs when you send him a funny video or silly text. His eye’s light up when you call him or when he talks about you. Never in the time Gage has dated or anything like that has he ever been this way” he explains “You changed him, he went from taking a new girl to every benefit to only talking about you” he gushes “I’m not firing you. You are the best assistant I have ever had. You care about your job and more importantly, you care about Gage. He’s hurt but he’ll come around, no worries. Also, I think you should do an interview with Hollywood Insider” he says and my head snaps up from my lap.

“What?” I ask confused

“Holly from Hollywood Insider has asked for an interview, to tell your side of the story. I suggest you do it. Show them the full footage, I can get into touch with the other women who worked for Ray and we can show them the truth. The doctors reports and even the police records. The recording of Ray, everything. This will also be a good way to show Gage that he’s wrong. I love my son but man can he be dumb” he says and I nod

“Okay” I say

“Good thing you agreed the interview is in 3 days” he says and I look at him in utter shock. “Don’t look at me like that, you and I both know this is needed” I nod in agreement. “Alright, Tony will be here at 4:00 the interview is at 5:00 I’ll see you them” he says getting up. I stand up and hug him. He hugs me back as a mutter a quick thank you.


Ophelia and my mom have been comforting me these past couple days. I am currently on my way to Hollywood Insider, Angela Smite the Thomas’s agent and press manager has been briefing me in the limo.

“Okay, I don’t care what everyone else says. Tell the truth, the whole truth. I don’t care if people around here want you to keep it short and sweet, this is what’s important. You need to show these people that you are authentic, real, like them. And if you go up there and defer and move around questions like pop stars do they’ll turn on you. People want what’s real, or at least what seems like it. Breathe and answer every question as honestly as possible, like if your friends or family were the ones asking” she says and I got lost a little but came back in the end. Her semi thick Indian accent made some words hard to understand but I got the gist.


Behind the scenes is another world, a live audience and camera crew is running around everywhere. It’s kinda be honest. “Let’s welcome our next guest. She’s been getting a lot of hate and slander recently, she’s come to clear the air with a full in depth interview. Let’s welcome Dare Williams” Holly announces and the crowd is mixed with cheers and boo’s.

“Good evening Dare how are you?” Holly asks as i sit down on the plum purple couch.

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