“I went through all the trouble of forging the documents and she didn’t even bother to take a look at the clause. I don’t know if it was innocent, naive or borderline stupid.” Said Timothy as he loosened his tie while sinking into the plush couch.
“Not stupid, that much I can tell. To blatantly lie about the existence of an entire company and convince someone to believe it, that takes a clever mind.” Said another man from across the room, his voice filled with humour.
“I wasn’t convinced, you know.” said Timothy, offended at the other man placing him below some random girl.
“You played along didn’t you?” asked the man even more amused now, his lips tugged up in a smirk and his eyes shining with mischief.
“Yes.” replied Timothy, succumbing to the man’s argument.
“It was fun to watch. She was fun to watch.” Said the man letting out a deep throated chuckle.
“Shut your trap.” Said Timothy half heartedly not really meaning it, with a smile of his own.
“Frontal Cortex .inc. Hmph. Wonder what she comes up with next.” Said the man as he got up from his chair and walked around the table.
“Interested, are we, Charlie?” Teased Timothy.
Charlie turned around, stared at the ceiling and pondered over it a bit before answering.
“Interested, no. Intrigued, indeed.”
“Why her though? I mean her work is credible but we could have done a lot better. I don’t see a legible reason for us to invest our time in her and her non-existing company.” Said Timothy voicing his thoughts with a frown, trying to understand what could possibly be going on in Charlie’s mind.
“There need not be any reason because she is the asset, Timmy.” Said Charlie holding a curious gaze over Timothy.
“I lied. Most of it- no all of it was a lie. There is no startup. I made it all up.” Said Ray, her head drooping low and her shoulders slumped, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Why did you do it?” asked Zeal, genuinely curious and a bit amazed by the guts Ray had.
“I don’t know, it just came out. It seemed like the best way out of it.” said Ray, her shoulders slumping even lower as she supported her head in between her hands.
“No, the best way out of it would have been to decline the offer and walk out.” replied Zeal realistically, leaning back in her seat with her hands folded.
Ray’s head snapped up and she said in a low accusing tone.
“You asked me to convince him.”
“Oh no no no, don’t you dare play the blame game with me. You had no obligation to abide by that. It's all on you.” Said Zeal brushing Ray off.
Ray, who knew Zeal was right, couldn't look her in the eyes and decided to focus them on the couple sitting directly across from them. Zeal’s voice brought her attention back to her.
“And as for me, I wanted that deal. As you know I am an architect and own a firm myself. I needed the kind of exposure Mayhem can give me. You were the x factor in this deal. For some reason they wanted to hire us in a pair. If you go, I go.” Said Zeal with her face scrunched up in confusion.
A thick silence settled between them as they both individually processed all that had happened, sipping on their latte occasionally. Zeal was the one to cut through the silence with her voice softer than usual, hesitant even, almost as if it were an inward thought she wasn’t sure she should say out loud lest she might offend Ray.
“I don’t know what made you do it, but you looked happy while taking charge, excited even to take control of the situation and everything around you.”
Ray’s eyes widened as she remembered the feeling. It did feel great. She knew that all along, she just didn’t want to accept it. It was rebellious, like smoking for the first time. You promise yourself that it would be just one whiff, and before you know it, you are addicted. She was afraid because she knew she enjoyed it, she relished in the thrill of it and before she knew it she was addicted to it. She had taken her first whiff today, from being more than average to perfect.