Chapter Thirty Eight
Work ran smoothly and if I was going anywhere but Seattle, I would be excited.
Jordan didn't return from his meeting by the time Vinnie shooed me out of the office to meet Ms. Gemma for lunch.
"Can't you go with me?" I asked because I'm confident about my work but at Morrison and Ambrose, I would pitch my ideas to the clients but the senior Marketing workers would run with it, claiming I needed more experience.
Now, Branson is sending me in the field alone to lunch with the client.
Chuckling at my nervousness, "calm down Leah," Vinnie says, coming to sit at the corner of my desk, fiddling with the, red rose on the desk, beside the lilies, that's still coming.
"You've already bagged the contract for the company." He reminds me, "maybe she wants to discuss Seattle and what to expect when you get there." Vinnie, encourages me with his kind words.
Breathing deeply, I shock my head. "When we get there," I reminded him.
Still laughing, "yup, when we get there, remember it's not all work and no play," Vinnie, who seems to party every weekend, reminded me of what he's been saying since, Mr. Branson confirmed we were going to Seattle, together.
Slamming his hand on the desk, "okay, get your butt off the chair, the driver is waiting in the lobby." Moving back to his desk, Vinnie nods at the doorway.
I was late!
My first meeting with a client and I'm late!
"I'm so sorry," I apologized to Ms. Gemma who was already sitting at a table, Vinnie reserved for us. "The vehicle was on time, I was on time but, here I am late." Wriggling, my nose, I sat opposite Ms. Gemma, at a table for two.
Waving away my apologies, "don't worry, I just arrived myself and the midday traffic is horrible," Ms. Gemma, takes the menu from the waiter. "We should order now because I have so much to do before I leave for Seattle in the morning." She explains while scanning through the menu, already having an idea what she wants.
Following suit, I play it safe and ordered a vegetarian dish, recommended by the waiter, after Ms. Gemma ordered her lunch and a bottle of wine.
"Don't you eat meat?" Ms. Gemma frowns, as the waiter walks off. "Jordan's a meat lover," she adds.
Gasping at her words and thankful that I didn't have anything in my mouth.
Nodding, "yeah but, it's my first time here so," shrugging, I tired to calm myself but, I can feel my heart thudding against my chest.
"Relax Leah," Ms. Gemma advises, the elderly woman's tone caring. "Is this your first solo, business meeting?" She asks and I nod, realizing it's disrespectful.
"Uh, yes." I admitted, propping my elbows on the table.
Frowning, "from your presentation, I won't say you're new to marketing." She observes.
Picking up the glass of water in front of me, I took a few sips, before addressing Ms. Gemma's observation.
"At my previous job, I was given the opportunity to present pitches for the clients but the senior staff, took over after the clients came on board," I remember how many clients, Rawle took over after I brought them into the company.
Curling her lips, Ms. Gemma frowns, in disbelief.
"Really?" She asks, "what company was that?" Ms. Gemma continued, still unable to comprehend what I admitted to her.
"Morrison and Ambrose, Architectural and Designs." I said slowly, wondering if I said too much.
The last thing I need, is to give anyone a bad impression about a company, my father co-owns and have it get back to them.
Leaning forward, her eyes widen in surprise.
"Morrison" she repeated thoughtfully. "You're Leah Morrison, aren't you?" She asks curiously and again, I nod, realizing my impoliteness, again.
"Yes," I laugh nervously, "Andrew Morrison is my father," I replied, other than Mr. Branson Sen. I've never admitted that no to one else.
Chuckling softly, "that's why you looked so familiar. You're Andrew and Kathleen's daughter," Ms. Gemma gushed but I shook my head quickly.
"No, no." I cut her across quickly. "My mom's name is Angie." I added. "And Andrew is my father." I continued, wondering who is Kathleen. Maybe she was a girlfriend from his past.
Ms. Gemma was the one to react in surprise now. "Angie?" Ms. Gemma muses, "I'm originally from Seattle and I went to school with Andrew and Kathleen. I was even present at their wedding and..." Biting her lips, she stopped.
"I'm sorry," she says quickly, "I must have made a mistake." Ms. Gemma says, shaking her head. "Please forget what I said," She added, twitching her lips, forcing a smile.
I can't forget what she said but I am not the one to probe.
Thankfully our lunch arrived and Ms. Gemma changed the conversation to Seattle and what's required from me.
She gave me a the name of the hotel Massy's has booked for us, pausing.
"Would you want to stay with you family instead?" She asks and I shook my head quickly.
"No, the hotel is fine and like you said it's close to the office." I added, as her frown deepens.
The way her eyes narrowed, she knows I'm lying.
Deciding the hotel's fine for us, although the four bedroom suite, Massy booked for Vinnie and I is way to big, it was all that they had available for this weekend.
I presented the card Vinnie gave me and paid for lunch, tippin him on the side with cash, chuckling as Ms. Gemma tried to out tip me.
Despite Ms. Gemma smiles and soft laughter, she was still unsettled about the conversation regarding my parents.
Without blinking, "Ms. Gemma, am I adopted?"