Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 9

Let me tell you, I never would’ve thought that dating secretly so I wouldn’t get fired would be so hard. It isn’t the flirting that Gage gets nor is it the stress. Honestly it’s that I can’t hug him or kiss him when I want to. The want and need to hold his hand when I see he’s upset, but can’t because we’re in a meeting. I can’t tell anyone because I don’t trust them to keep it tight lipped, except Ope of course, I mean she would be the first person I would call if I murdered someone, I trust her to keep our relationship under wraps. Sometimes I would almost believe that Mr. Thomas knows, but he hasn’t said anything to me or Gage. So I put the thought back into my mind. It’s probably just me being paranoid, as always.

Gage and I have been dating for 2 months now, I can’t even believe it. He’s not only my boyfriend he’s my friend too. He gets along so well with Ophelia which is important in my opinion. Ophelia is one of the most important people in my life, I would hate it if she hated one of my boyfriends. Work has been busy, the Thomas family makes everything from furniture to even kitchen appliances. Being Robert Thomas’s assistant wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, it was still hard and at times stressful, but once I got the hang of it I was good to go.

Right now Gage is sitting on the couch with me and Ophelia is cooking dinner while Gage and I snack. We have been playing Mortal Kombat 11 since 12. It is currently 3, I am undefeated, Gage is not. I have whooped his butt with Jade, I told him that I would switch characters but he insisted he would beat me when I was playing with Jade.

“Dude, Jade is her character, you ain’t gonna win. She’s been grinding that game since it came out” she reasons.

“I’ll beat her, I just need time” he says.

“I quit playing two hours ago, you’ve been going at it for two hours” she deadpans

“I’ll get it” he convinces as I score a brutality. “Damn it!” he curses.

“That’s it” Ope says throwing up her hands with her granny blue and white checkered apron “I give up, you’ve gone insane” she says incredulously muttering curses in greek from the kitchen.

“I am not insane” he says shocked

“Yes you are” she says. I know where this is going, if there is one thing Ophelia is good at, it’s winning arguments. She busts out facts like its nobody’s business.

“No, I am not” he argues as he pauses the game to give her his full attention.

“The definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein, you know the E equals MC squared guy” she patronizes.

“I know who he is” he defends.

“According to him, the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results. You are trying to beat Dare over and over again with her playing as Jade expecting a different result. You have been going at this for hours. I want to watch a movie whilst we eat dinner, not watch you throw profanities at the TV screen every time she unshockingly beats you” she says while waving her spatula covered in sauce at him.

“Whatever” he mumbles defeated, huffing and crossing his arms while glaring at the screen.

“It’s okay babe. She’s not wrong I play this game all of the time, my brother has played them for years and eventually got me hooked on it. I have been playing ever since” I say rubbing his shoulder for comfort. I wasn’t going to go easy on him. I had a brother growing up, you think he went easy on me in video games? no. I had to earn the win, and I did. I got my own Xbox and game. I played it non stop until I could beat all characters on hard. And when I finally beat him he told me he was proud of me. Coming from an older brother who loves the game means a lot. It was a special bonding moment for us. I haven’t seen him very much lately.

He doesn’t know about Gage yet. I was waiting to invite him to the annual family dinner but I am worried. We always invite Ope’s family, Sage Ophelia’s sister is married to Gages roommate and best friend Ryan, Ryan knows Mr. Thomas and if he found out about Gage and I before we got a chance to tell him and explain...I would have a heart attack and die.

“You have a brother?” Gage asks

“Yeah, he’s one of my best friends” I say

“Why haven’t I met him?” he asks

“Well-” I start but Ophelia cuts me off.

“Okay, You know Ryan” she leads and he nods

“He’s my roommate and best friend” he says

“He’s married to my sister. My family always gets invited to the annual dinner. She’s worried since you and Ryan are so close, that means he’s close to your family. She’s worries he’ll tell your father” she explains and he laughs

“What’s so funny?” I ask my eyebrows knitting together in confusion.

“Babe, you think I haven’t told him about you? he and I are as close as you and Ophelia. He’s known about you since day one. He knows not to say anything” he says with a wide smile while I sit there in shock.

“Well, in that case...do you want to come to my annual bimonthly family dinner?” I ask biting my lip in nervousness. It’s a really bad habit.

“Of course, we’ll have to tell my parents soon, especially as this goes on longer. I think we better tell him sooner rather than later. He’s likely to be more pissed off at the fact that we didn’t tell him for so long and kept it secret than actually being in a relationship” he says and I nod.

“Dinners done” Ophelia shouts from the kitchen.

“ooh what is it?” I ask, she is the best cook. I’m surprised she’s not a chef and is a clothing designer she is that good.

“Steak” she says. She makes the best steak, yum.

“Yum” I say out loud with a groan.

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