The rising sun casted a rosy hue that filtered through the bedroom blinds. I laid lazily in my bed.
Another day to get business done.
I ran a hand over my face, breathing in deeply the new day.
A wet cold snout nuzzled the side of my neck, prompting me to stand up.
“Down boy.” I chuckled.
Storm panted next to my bed, licking his mouth. Anticipation to be fed breakfast.
Fuck. Who needed an alarm clock when you could wake up to a cold snout at breaking dawn without fail.
I chuckled. “Okay boy, let’s go.” As I rubbed the sides of his lean pitch black body.
I climbed out of bed in nothing but my boxers and stretched out, doing a few leg and arm exercises. Storm sat patiently and waited. I slipped on a black shorts and walked to the bathroom, refreshing myself, ready for my morning runs with the Doberman.
I clicked my tongue and walked out. Storm followed loyally. I ran down the stairs and entered the kitchen. The golden sunlight slowly creeping throughout the darkened rooms as I passed by.
“Sit.” I commanded.
Storm sat obediently.
His dark eyes followed me as I threw pedigree into his bowl.
“Eat.” I instructed.
Storm rushed to his bowl. His head dunked, devouring its beefy contents.
I smiled. “Good boy.” As I rubbed the top his head.
I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and headed towards the front door. Storm already done with his breakfast ran after me.
The day dawn crisp and clear.
I panted, regaining my breath from the thirty-minute jog. I came to a stop at my house after running around my block. I liked jogging here. The area was quiet and secluded.
I didn’t feel the slight chill in the morning air. Sweat dripped from my forehead down my neck to my bare chest. This was my time to think. To decompress.
My mind instantly went to last night again. Tom, the fucking jerk, stood Harper up. I was still angry as hell with him. But the night was saved at least, and Harper enjoyed herself. Well, it looked like she did anyway. She looked pretty too. The black dress suited the soft curves of her body that I suddenly damn noticed! I was surprised it was pleasant dinner. I enjoyed it.
I didn’t know if I liked that idea or not. The same damn unfamiliar feeling rose up again last night and I didn’t like it one bit. Especially the drive to her apartment.
Not Harper. I whispered internally.
I shook it off. Thinking dangerous thoughts about anybody like this, least of all my assistant does not suit me. With the others, it was just a physical thing. Nothing more!
I just FUCK! That’s what I do! Not thinking about SOPPY SHIT!
I scolded myself. Damn!
Storm panted beside me breaking my distressed mind. Jogging with me every morning had become our little ritual and playing our ‘throw and fetch’. I took the stick out of his wet mouth and threw it far to the left. Storm came three minutes later.
My thoughts wondered again. I didn’t like the way Rebecca reacted; she was starting to take things between us too seriously and felt no need to explain myself.
Maybe I should take a hiatus from dating? How ironic. I’m advising Harper to date more, yet I need to take a break from it. I scoffed. But it would be for the best for now. My energy and attention should be focused on work anyway, before my dear father breathes down my neck, especially about the Williams deal.
I threw fetch with Storm five more times before heading to my house and clambered into a nice warm shower. Prepared for a productive day at the office. I hope Harper’s on her ‘A’ game today. She’s going to need it.
Co-workers seated at their working stations, attending to their early morning activity. A few stares came my way as I passed their desks, walking towards my office. I wasn’t a morning person and I had an air of ‘Get the fuck away from me’ or ‘Talk to me and die’ disposition. I opened the glass doors and was met with a chirpy greeting from Harper.
“Morning Eric.” She beamed.
I got used to arriving to the office each day with Harper there. Waiting for me, always greeting with a smile. Always seeing her pleasant face. Suddenly, guilt trickled through me that I couldn’t be kinder to her from the start.
“Morning Harper.” I greeted smiling softly. An action I hardly did this early in the morning. It seemed to deepen her smile.
I cleared my throat.
“There’s a lot to get through today.” I said firmly. “I need you to enter all the portfolio management products into the database as well as submitting all the client reports to each client.”
She gave a firm nod.
“I need you to go down to Finance and collect this month’s budget.”
“On it.” She said and walked out the office.
Always on it. I thought warmly.
I entered my lit-up office. The sun flooded the space through the large windows behind my desk. I moved to my chair and reached out to turn on my laptop. Emails began to stream through.
Beside my laptop sat my fresh hot black coffee. I grabbed the hot mug and took a sip. Perfect! Harper knew how to get it just right.
I took a seat and relaxed, but the office door swung wildly open. My father stepped in abruptly with Jesse behind him.
I sighed internally.
“Eric! What’s happening with the Williams deal?” My father bellowed. “You not moving quick enough on this!? Hightower Investment Group and Money Stone are both proposing another financial plan to OUR client!”
“What?” How could I not know this?
“You slipped the ball on this one. You know better! Bolt Investment needs this deal and you’re failing!” He shouted.
I winced at his harsh words. Failure was my weakness and my father had just said I am one.
“I had it under control, Mr. Williams hadn’t mentioned he was being presented with any other options. I believe he would’ve told me, if he wanted to jump ship. The competition might have given him options, but he’s happy with us.”
My father inched closer, his stone eyes narrowed. “I don’t care. He’s our biggest client and you not giving him the client satisfaction his business needs!”
I bit my tongue not wanting to be disrespectful. But I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Well, if you attend more meetings with our clients you can see for your damn self all the work I am doing!” I barked, my anger rising.
My father’s eyes boiled with rage and hardened.
“You a disappointment.” He said evenly.
My right eye twitched. His words hitting me harder than I expected. My father always used words to harden me. To toughen me up. To push me. To belittle me. I was used to it. He was always ruthless in business and got what he wanted. Including getting away with his filthy infidelities.
I looked at my father. I was a foot taller than him, but he still held power of me. His dark hair peppered with grey. His face slightly wrinkled with hard eyes. I wanted a father-son relationship, without business. But it always came down to it. My father knew no other way.
I swallowed hard, my expression set like stone.
“Okay, okay. Time out guys. Let’s talk about the Williams deal when you both cooled off.” Jesse said standing between us, trying to calm the situation down.
“You better fix this Eric. Or I’ll do it myself.” My father said. Turned and stomped away.
My fist balled up and I slammed it against the desk.
“Take it easy big bro. You know how dad gets when it comes to business. It’s not personal. You know he doesn’t mean it.” Jesse said. “You know how he gets.”
Yes, I know how he gets. I thought bitterly.
But I shook my wounded feelings and pride aside and breathed out, calming myself down.
“I’m glad you’re looking calm.” He smiled. “You know how to take a punch.”
“Too well.” I grumbled.
Jesse’s brows creased in thought. I grabbed my coffee and continued to sip. It tasted warm to my dismay. I sat down and got busy with emails.
“Hey, Violet is looking pretty good these days.” Jesse said looking at me suspiciously. “Why do I get a sneaky feeling you had a hand in it.”
I looked at him with a raised brow.
He narrowed his eyes at me.
“Maybe I should ask her out for coffee.” He said in thought.
My eyes snapped to him. “Sorry brother, you ain’t her type.”
“I’m shocked you know what her type is.” He replied with a tilt of his head.
I gave Jesse a pointed look.
He smiled and tucked his hands in his trouser pockets. “Don’t lead her on Eric. I know you two are up to something.” He added. “She’s not like the others okay.”
I looked at him, breathing deeply. “Does Harper look like my type?”
“No.” He simply said.
“So, we’re good.” I said evenly.
“See around Eric.” He waved to me and walked out the office.
I scowled, my morning already going to shit!
Thank you for reading! Please like, review and comment.