Chapter Twenty Seven
Today was the day of the pitch and my hands haven’t stopped shaking all morning. I didn’t want everyone knowing that I was a nervous wreck but it was hard to hide, especially when there is so much riding on this. For the company and for Weston.
This is their biggest event to date and for some reason I’m a part of it. But it wasn’t until tonight, those who are involved get to leave work at three and make their way over to Knightsbridge where the hotel for the pitch is.
Purposely digging out my favourite suit, one that doesn’t make me look cheap. I knew that there would be a variety of different clients tonight, from all walks of life. But I wanted to make a good impression and network, looking my best would make me feel good about myself and then I could exceed.
We had multiple run-throughs, getting it to the perfect length and making sure it ran smooth. Weston and I sure loved a late night at the office I have to say, he was like a drug and I couldn’t stay away.
Completely intoxicated and begging for more the second we leave each other. I had no idea what he has done to me but right now, this isn’t what I should be focusing on.
Luckily Theo was the only person from our desks that was coming with us to the pitch, I didn’t want Abi ruining my flow and distracting me. Feeling pleased that she kept saying that she didn’t want to go anyway. I could only imagine how drunk she would get around the clients and how that would look on the company. Weston made a great choice by not inviting her.
I hadn’t seen Weston at all today because he was already at the hotel, making sure that everything is set up properly and it’s all in order.
“Careful with that,” Theo tells me as I take a sip of my coffee. “Don’t want it all down yourself now.”
My lips stretch into a grin. “That’s why I brought my actual suit in a carrier because I knew I would get something down me somehow.”
Theo laughs as he rubs his hands together. “Wise idea.”
“Don’t have too much fun without me guys,” Abi moans from beside me as she leans back in her chair.
“We will,” Theo says instantly which results in Abi launching a pen at him.
“Shut up Theo, I don’t even know why you’re going.” She rolls her eyes before clicking aggressively down onto her mouse.
“Because I am a manager,” Theo says in a straight tone. “You my friend are not.”
“I’ve reported you to HR,” Abi says back but Theo laughs, pushing his chair out from underneath him and sliding on his jacket.
“Oooh, I’ve reported you to HR too.” Theo mimics her light heartedly before throwing his middle finger up at her.
She gasps at his gesture but then they both start to laugh. “Whatever you wanker,” she says with a subtle smile. “Have a good time guys. I promise I’m not jealous.”
“Lets go Micah, we don’t wanna be late.” Theo turns his attention to me, checking the watch on his wrist.
“Right,” I nod as I quickly turn off my monitor and stand from the desk. “See you tomorrow Abi.”
Her blonde hair flicks off her shoulder as she looks up at me. “See you tomorrow.” Her lips curve slightly.
“How are we getting there?” I question as I follow Theo as he walks through the office swiftly.
“Weston ordered us a car,” he says as we swipe our lanyards to get out of the building.
Theo turns to me with a slight look. “He didn’t tell you?”
“No,” I say instantly. “I mean we didn’t talk much about the set up of the pitch, more of the contents.”
“Well if you know West, you’ll know that we will be catered for. He wouldn’t leave us to get the tube.” Theo shakes his head as we begin to walk down the stairs to the ground floor.
“I didn’t want to presume,” I tell him softly and he turns back to me and smiles.
“Micah you are far too humble,” he breathes out as we reach the glass front doors.
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Of course not,” Theo says loudly as he looks down at his phone, looking for a description and licence plate of the car. “You just need to realise that this is Weston running the company, he treats everyone the same as he treats himself.”
I nod towards him as we hurry down the road and climb into the back of a black Mercedes, the driver instantly driving away from the building.
The drive wasn’t long at all, the traffic in London was just horrendous at this time of day. But by the time we pulled up outside the hotel, I peer up at the building out of the window and stare in awe.
The White Fountain Plaza.
The hotel was white with two massive pillars and marble steps, large glass swinging doors and chauffeurs and well dressed employees standing, greeting everyone in sight.
“Thanks man,” Theo says as he pops the car door open.
Quickly following his lead and walking up the gracious white steps, pushing our way through the glass doors and looking up at the modern yet classy décor. Huge diamond chandelier hanging from the ceiling, posh cream three piece suites, the worlds shiniest vinyl floor. When I thought it couldn’t get any better, there was a waterfall drizzling down against a gold shimmery backsplash.
“This place is crazy,” I breathe out, Theo turning to me with a wide grin.
“Sure is,” he nods as he takes us over to the main reception. “Weston only wants the best for his clients.”
Theo takes a key from the receptionist and we go upstairs to our hold room, allowing us a chance to get changed and refreshed before the pitch. Knowing that Weston wanted a pre-run in about an hour now that we have the actual space to practice.
Adjusting my tie in the mirror, making sure that my suit looked pristine. It was an upgrade on what Weston said was his favourite, the same colour but a better version. Never worn it to work before so I felt special wearing it today, this would be a good evening.
“Looking dapper Micah,” Theo slaps my shoulder and I smile back at him in the reflection.
“Thanks, so you do.” I say as I admire his navy suit with brown dress shoes.
Theo cracks open the door for me and we exit swiftly. “They’re holding the room for us until midnight but I’m guessing most people will leave around ten or eleven.”
“Are people gonna be getting drunk?” I question as I lean forward to press my finger to the lift button.
“Maybe,” he quirks an eyebrow. “Most people keep it tame though, there is a lot of important people coming so they don’t want to show themselves up. Which is why I always advice one drink an hour followed by some water, just so we aren’t slurring words.”
The lift door dings open and we step inside, the smell of caramel and fresh cotton invades my nose. “Yeah that sounds like a good idea,” I nod. “But I don’t think I’m gonna drink.”
Theo laughs which averts my attention to him. “Good one Micah,” he chuckles. “But once that presentation is over, trust me you are going to want a drink.”
I crank my head back to the doors and think, he was right. I would need a drink to shake down my stupid nerves after speaking to a room full of five hundred people. The thought making me shiver with anxiety, fuck today really is the day.
Making our way through the reception and down the hall to the other end of the hotel, Theo directs us down to a small flat auditorium with a foyer and bar behind. My eyes instantly dart to Weston who was stood on the stage with Fred and Adam, a presentation being projected onto the board behind them all.
A couple people were sat down at the front of the stage flicking through the slides on the presentation. Following on Theo’s footsteps as he takes us down to the floor, Weston chatting away but looking absolutely ravishing in a three piece blue checked suit, his beard neatly trimmed and his hair pushed back every so slightly.
Just as we approach them Fred catches my eyes. “Oh Micah, you’re here.” He says as he steps away from them.
Weston’s eyes instantly turn in my direction and I push my glasses up the bridge of my nose. “Hi,” I smile towards all of them.
“Great,” Adam rushes over to the laptop holding the presentation. “Lets do a run-through so we have time to do a second one if needed.”
Weston instantly checks his thick gold watch on his wrist, shaking his head in the process. “We won’t have time, I know people are going to be getting here on the dot.”
“Okay,” Adam glances up at him. “Lets do this.”
The run-through wasn’t perfect, my nerves showed and I wanted to shoot myself. Constantly telling myself to breathe or else I’ll probably pass out on the floor. The presentation came together well by working in a team but I just needed to get everything under control.
Theo started welcoming people in at the door and I felt unbelievably hot under my suit, watching as people filter into the auditorium. Squeezing my hands into fists to try and distract myself from thinking about it turning to shit.
Weston takes a few steps closer to me, his head just above my right ear. “Good luck,” he says barely above a whisper. “You look unreal in that suit.”
My lashes batter against my face as I look up to him, a soft smile plastered across his pink lips. “Thanks,” I breathe out not knowing what to say, my face beginning to heat up rapidly. “You too.”
As the seats become filled by the second, the night was among us. No turning back now, time to prove why I was given a chance to speak to Weston’s clients and how this could help my progression in the company. It was an opportunity I needed to seize and never look back.
. . .
I can confirm Theo was one hundred percent right when he said I would need a drink after the pitch, ordering a double gin and elderflower tonic. Swinging a little too much for my mouth to take but once the alcohol touches my tongue it was like I could relax, it was over and now I could completely enjoy the rest of the day.
My shoulders are squeezed from behind as I stand at the bar drinking my drink in peace, turning my head to a beaming Theo. “Congrats man!” He cheers before patting me on the back. “You did it! And it was amazing, everything about it was perfect!”
“Perfect is a slight exaggeration,” I say as I turn to him, Theo’s eyes narrowing at me. “But it was good, probably the best I have ever presented it.”
The bartender catches Theo’s eye. “Yeah can I have a Stella please,” he says before the bartender nods once at him.
“Oh man, everyone is going to want to talk to you after that.” He says enthusiastically as we turn back to the room full of people.
The loud chatter echoes around the foyer, smiles on peoples faces, drinks flowing and a bunch of well dressed people. I swallow harshly at the sight realising that the night is far from over, realistically it’s just starting.
“Oh God,” I mumble to myself.
“Go kill it, networking like this will really put your name out there.” Theo says as he takes a large swig of his beer. “You’ve done the hard bit, this is the fun bit.”
“If you say so,” I say with a smile.
“Come on,” he beckons his head over to the crowd of people.
Taking a quick sip of my drink and leading our way into the foyer, catching peoples eyes as we walk by.
“Micah!” Adam’s voice alerts me through the sea of people, turning my head to him. Stood with two tall men and a blonde haired lady, suited and booted with champagne flutes.
My feet instantly carry me over to them. “Micah this is Robert, Joseph and Kelly. They are from Just Digital Marketing. Robert was just telling me how impressed he was with your findings.”
Glancing up at Robert who is nodding towards Adam, I hold out my hand in which he takes. “Pleased to meet you,” I smile, his handshake firm.
Pulling back to greet Joseph and Kelly, Adam continuing to talk about the pitch as Robert responds to him.
“Micah, there was a part in the presentation where you mentioned Neptune’s revenue compared to companies such as Flume and Brick Enterprise. Could you go into more detail on what Neptune have done specifically to create a fluent flow of net income?”
I hum enthusiastically towards him. “Most definitely,” my lips open into a small grin towards him. “There was so much I wanted to say in the presentation but only had a few minutes to cram everything in.” I say light heartedly.
Robert nods back at me and drinks his champagne, before looking around the circle at everyone’s interested faces, waiting for me to continue. My heart fluttered at the feeling of people actually wanting to listen to me, feeling valued and appreciated.
A feeling that I would not forget in a long time.