All Rights Reserved for Just Business© by Tajanara Scott aka Afrodite107.
Under no circumstances must this book be copied, vandalized, stolen, changed or translated (without permission), ask and you shall receive. I don't tolerate plagiarism; everything you see is what pops out of my big-headed brain. Thank you and enjoy it.
Watching Rachel present my idea was like a slap to the face. Rachel, who I considered to be my best friend—who I trusted enough to confide in her about an idea I’ve been working on, in hopes of earning a job opening. I’m almost too in shock to function. All I could do at that moment was sit there with my agape in incredulity as I listened to her in disbelief and the longer I listened to her was the more I realised that she not only stole it but she copied it word for word. Word for fucking word! That witch couldn’t be bothered to change a single fracking word!
I rose to my feet and slammed my hands on the desk. “You bitch.” I bellowed. The eyes of everyone who has been looking down at me for the past five years shifted to me in shock. Mark from the second floor, jumped out of his sleep and looked at me.
Rachel stopped presenting to look at me. “Excuse me?” She questioned, lifting an over-plucked brow in the air. I had half a mind to climb over there and rip those cheap extensions out of her hair.
“You stole my idea!” I yelled, pounding my fist on the table. “I came to you in confidence weeks ago, telling you how I planned to get this opening with an idea I spent months slaving over and here you are—presenting it in front of me! You heartless bitch!” I yelled. Everyone gasped.
“Sabrina…” Rachel began on a condescending tone. “What reason would I have to do that? I mean it’s not like you’ve done anything….groundbreaking.” Rachel said which took me aback. Clearly, I did because if I didn’t you wouldn’t be standing there with a pole up your ass, presenting my effing idea.
“Neither have you.” I spat. “Oh wait, I spoke too soon—I guess sleeping with your supervisor is the only groundbreaking thing you could accomplish….that’s probably the only reason you still have a job.” Everyone began whispering. Her green eyes darted around the room before they shot back to me. Her face glowed bright red. Oops! Did I struck a nerve?
“That’s a rumour and you know it!” She spat.
I laughed. “Yeah! I’m sure it is.”
“How’s Dylan? Hm? Still leaving you for baby mama number—oh what number is he on now—sixteen?” She said. My stomach fell to the floor and I stared at her blankly as anger rattled through my body. She smirked and folded her arms over her chest. I took off my pump to throw it at her but someone grabbed my arm before I got the chance. I tore my gaze from Rachel and looked over my shoulder at him. My anger crumpled instantly. This can not be real—it just can’t be. Someone, please tell me this isn’t real. The one time I decide to stand up for myself and he decides to show up. The jerk.
His stern, hazel brown eyes gazed down at me. He’s always sported a brooding look but today I could see the flames in his eyes. I swallowed a lump in my throat. “Pack your things and leave.” His voice deep, husky voice spent a chill down my spine. He lets go of my hand, letting it flop to my side.
“Now, Miss Clark!” He roared. His voice stuck a hint of fear into my heart. I jumped, staring at him. I tore my eyes away and picked up my bag. I shot daggers at Rachel’s smug face.
“What about her?” I asked pointing at Rachel. His eerie gaze never left mine.
“Go.” He said in a low voice. I opened my mouth to protest but closed it. There’s nothing I could say that’ll change the outcome and who knows, she could be sleeping with him too, I mean half the building already had. I took one last look at Rachel before walking to the door with tears in my eyes.
“I’ve seen enough—get back to work.” Mr Vyas ordered the moment I walked out the door. I walked to my cubicle with my shoe held firmly at my side and my anger brewing again. I shouldn’t be the only one getting fired, that slut Rachel should be investigated or something. She shouldn’t get off scot-free—I don’t know what I’d do if she did.
“I could key her car,” I thought aloud as I sat at my desk. I watched everyone pour out of the conference room, whispering and glancing at me. Rachel and her small clique of blonde bombshells laughed as they passed by. I ignored them. Yeah, keying her car won’t be enough, flattening her ties might be the best route. And smashing her windows. My gaze shifted to Mr Vyas, who had just leaned against the doorframe, watching Rachel and her group. His thick, brows furrowed as he folded his arms. He opened his mouth to say something but closed it when he met my gaze and walked over. Oh crap.
My heart began hammering in my chest, matching the rhythm of every step he took. “Have I not made myself clear?” He asked softly. He leaned over my desk until we were at eye level. I could see the hints of greens and oranges in his eyes and his long eyelashes formed a dark halo around around them.
“You did, sir.” I replied meekly.
“Then why are you still in my building, Ms Clark?” He asked.
I licked my dried lips. He kept his hardened gaze on my face. “I don’t have a box, sir.” I retorted softly. His gaze never wavered.
“Downstairs should have. You have a half-hour, if you can’t find the door by then security be more than happy to help find it.” He said and left immediately soon after. I let out a breathy sigh. What have I done to be treated like this? Was I too nice? Did I smile too much? I shook my head. What a load of crap. I got up and made my way downstairs.
As I was walking back to my station, I noticed Diana, from a few stations down, talking to two brawny men from ICE. My heart fell when Diane pointed at me. I was confused at first but then it hit me. Crap, my visa expired didn’t it? Crap! Crap! I swore I took care of that! What am I gonna do? I’m out of a job and now I’m going to be deported! No, no my luck can’t be this shitty. They have to be here for someone else. I looked behind me and saw no one behind me, everyone in my row are working at their station. I looked ahead and realized the men were heading this way. Ya, my luck is this bad. When they were almost two feet away when my mind went blank and my body switched to autopilot. I ran to the elevator and then dived inside. I hit the button over a dozen times hoping it’ll close before they got closer. They began pushing people, who were watching what was happening, out of the way as they ran towards the elevator. The door closed just in time and I was able to breathe again.
I paused the elevator with shaking hands and sunk to the ground. I cradled my head in my hands, sighing. What am I going to do? I can’t go back to Antigua. There’s nothing for me there worse of all I’m not on good terms with my dad or his family. Where the hell would I stay? I can’t stay with mom in Jamaica because she’s currently on a cruise with her new hubby. I laid my head on the wall, staring at the door. I chuckled. You know....this isn’t even the worst part of my week. My boyfriend left me two days ago and later that day I found my dead grandmother. I sighed again. What am I going to do now?
I sat there for several minutes before my mind shifted to my favourite romcom and just like that I knew exactly what I had to do—sure I’ll be in serious trouble for this but fuck it, at least I tried something. I got up and hit the 5F, with my extremely sweaty hand. I bite my lip trying to work out exactly what I was going to say but I had nothing....I’ll have to improvise.....which I sucked at. My legs felt like they were about to give out on me when the door opened. I can’t believe I’m going to blackmail Mr Vyas when I know nothing about him. How could I? The man barely comes to this Portland branch and when he does he’s mostly in his office, this is the third time I’ve seen him in all the five years I’ve been working here. I think he prefers the New York branch. I walked up to his secretary, Lewis, wiping my palms on my skirt. Lewis smiled at me. She's the only decent person in this entire building. She’s a pretty blonde with blue eyes and a big, bright smile.
“Hey, Sabrina.” She said as she stopped typing to give me her full attention
“Hey, Lewis....um...is the boss in?”
“Yes, I'll ask if he’s free to see you.” She said, picking up the phone.
“No!” I exclaimed. She looked at me with a frown. “This is important, I have to see him now.”
“I can’t do that, I’m sorry.” She began. “If I let you in— I’ll never hear the end of it—“
“I’ll take the blame if he does,” I assured her. “Please, Lewis.” She sighed.
“Sabina...I can’t.” She whined.
“Please...I’m begging you.” I wailed my plead. “I have to see him.” She studied my face then sighed.
“Make it quick, he has a meeting soon.”
“Thank you,” I said before running to his glass door. When I got inside, his chair was facing the window. I looked around his office. Wow, this makes my floor look like a pigsty. Ah! What the hell? There’s a weird sculpture hanging from the ceiling—it looks like a wooden, rotting corpse trying to reach down to grab you. I made a face at it. That’s morbid as hell. I tore my gaze from it.
“Have the shipments arrived?” His voice scared the living shit out of me. I took several breaths to calm my racing heart. I slowly closed the door and walked toward his desk. I made sure not to walk on my heel....or breathe.
“Yes, and everything is accounted for. Pleasure doing business with you, Mr Vyas.” Said a voice on the speaker.
“You too.” He said, before turning around. I froze when our eyes met. “Ms Clark? Why did Lewis let you in without asking?”
“Um.” I trailed off. He checked his watch and I took the opportunity to jog the rest of the way to his desk.
“It doesn’t matter, I’ll deal with her later. You have five minutes left, Ms Clark. You’re done packing, I’m hoping?” He asked.
“I know about your legitimate child!” I blurted, it was the first thing that came to mind.
He blinked at me. “Sorry....my what?” He asked, confused. I dropped into a chair in front of his desk, sighing.
“I don’t know, sir, forget I said anything,” I said, sighing. I’m hopeless...I can’t even blackmail right. I’m so fucked.
“Is everything ok, Ms Clark?” He asked, he must have seen the tear I tried to blink away.
“No, I’m not,” I replied, shaking my head.
“Crying isn’t going to get you your job back.” He said. I looked at him and smiled. I’ve seen you fired your assistant for spilling your coffee so trust me I know tears don’t work on you.
“I know and it’s not about my job, it’s—“ the phone rang, cutting me off.
“Excuse me.” He said, before answering. “Yes, Lewis?”
“Sorry to interrupt but there are two ICE agents who would like to speak to you.” She replied. I gasped. He looked at me with a brow in the air.
“Yes sir.” She answered.
“Did they give you a reason?”
“No, but I’ll ask, one moment please.” She said. He puts the call on hold.
“Do you know anything about this?” He asked. I bit my lip, nodding.
“Y-yeah....they’re here for me.”
He raised a brow at me. “Are you here illegally?” He asked.
“I wasn’t but my visa expired.”
“Hm. Today’s not your day.” He said as he took the call off hold. This entire week is more like. “Lewis?”
“I’m here. They’d like to speak to you about Sabrina Clark.”
He looked me in the eye as he said. “Send them in.” My heart fell. Did I expect him to help me? Yeah, kinda but why would he? I don’t work for him anymore, he’s not obligated to help me. All I can do is be deported with dignity or I can go with my less than perfect plan. I got up and stood beside him. He looked at me, frowning. “What are you doing?”
“You’re going to help me out with this whether you like it or not.”
“Excuse me?” He asked.
“Hush up and smile—because they’re here.” I sang softly. He glared at me and stood up.
“Good morn...well that’s too pretty of a word to describe today.” He mumbled. He cleared his throat. “You gentlemen wanted to speak with me.”
“Yes, we’d like to talk about Roadrunner over there, being here on an expired visa. Are you aware of that?” Said the tallest one, his tag said ‘R. Goldstein’.
Mr Vyas glanced at me. “It has been brought to my attention, yes.” He replied.
“Good, you’re aware she isn’t allowed to do so, right?” R. Goldstein questioned.
“I am aware...hence why I’m al—“
“You can’t deport me!” I blurted. The 3 men looked at me.
“And why is that?” Asked Goldstein’s partner, S. Richards.
I took a deep breath before answering. “We’re getting married,” I replied. Mr Vyas’ body went stiff and I knew I was going to get it later. I hugged his arm with a smile. What’s his first name again? I can’t recall him having an Indian first name...um...I think....it’s Aston. Lord, please let me be right. “This-this is my fiancé...Aston.”
“Are you sure? Because you don’t sound sure.” Aston’s tone was bone dry.
“Of course, I’m sure. Ash. Don’t tease me in front of the company.” I said, grinning at him. The man looked like he wanted to kill me. I blew him a kiss and then turned my attention to the two men. “I was going to renew my visa but two days ago he proposed in bed and I forgot my head from my toes....it was so romantic—“
“Then where’s the ring?” S. Richards asked.
“Had to get it resized,” I replied, lifting my hand. “Long, narrow fingers,” I said, wiggling my fingers.
“Ahuh.” The agents said, in unison.
“You do know marriage fraud will reward you with 5 years of prison time and a fine of $250,000, sir?” S. Richards asked Mr Vyas.
“And she will be deported.” R. Goldstein pointed out.
“Yes, I’m aware.” Mr Vyas retorted, his voice sounded like gravel.
“When is the wedding?” R. Goldstein asked.
“This Sunday,” I replied.
The agents looked at each. “Hm that’s quick—what’s the rush?” S. Richards asked.
I looked at my feet. “Well, my grandmother died the evening he proposed and...ah...it’s—it’s been too hard for me....to focus on planning my dream wedding when she won’t be there to see it and—“ I began wiping away my tears— “so I decided wanted to have her cremated and sparkling some of her ashes on my wedding day.” I finished, and my voice was heavy with emotion which was hopefully working in my favour.
“Well, I’m sorry for your lost.” R. Goldstein said.
“T-thank you,” I replied. Mr Vyas handed me a napkin to wipe my eyes. I glanced into his cold eyes then dried my face.
“An official will be checking in, and after that, I hope we’ll never have to see you again for deportation.” S. Richards said. I nodded. “Sorry for your lost but please enjoy the rest of your day.”
I smiled weakly, waving at them. “You too,” I said. When they left I was able to breathe again. I turned to Mr Vyas. Oh boy. That look alone made me want to jump out a window.
“Marriage fraud, Ms Clark....you’re trying to rope me into marriage fraud.” His voice pierced through my ears. I squinted at him.
“You’re sorry!” He yelled. I jumped.
“I get why your mad, but I didn’t have a choice,” I confessed, softly.
He scoffed. “Yes, you do! You could have gone back to wherever the hell you came from and renew your visa or find some other LEGAL way to get back into the country!” He hissed.
“I have nowhere to go if I go there!” I hissed back, tears rolling down my cheek. “My father and his family want nothing to do with me and my mom is on a cruise half across the world!” I confessed. “I’d be homeless.”
He stared at me. “You have to figure something out because I’m not doing this.”
“But they think we’re engaged—“
“Tell them you caught me cheating or visa versa I don’t fucking care.” He said.
“No!“ He roared. I stared at him widened. “I want no part of this…I owe you nothing—”
“You’re right...you don’t,” I said cutting him off as I wiped away the river of tears rolling down my cheeks. “I’m sorry—I’ll fix everything.” I turned on my kneel and jogged to the door.
“Wait.” He said. I stopped and wiped my face before looking at him. “Is your grandmother even dead?” Anger surged through me.
“Yes, she died from a heart attack—alone because the man you put in charge refused to give me a day off after I’ve been working my ass off and haven’t taken one in three months. I told him I needed a day off to take my grandmother to the hospital, yet he refused. So I came home to my dead grandmother.” I answered, looking him dead in the eye. He just stared at me. I looked away and opened the door and on the other side of the door was Lewis. She frowned.
“Are you ok?” She asked.
“Yup!” I cornered, smiling. “I have to go, I’ll see you when I see you.
“Are you sure?” She asked, still frowning. I nodded with a smile. When a tear began rolling down my cheek and I ran passed her.