"We got forty six individual applicants but I ticked some boxes and narrowed it down to just ten applicants."
"Just ten?" Richard McCaul asked as he readjusted his tie and shrugged into his black suit jacket.
Truthfully, Richard wasn't interested in how many people that applied for the job. He just needed someone, fast.
His housekeeper and cook of over twenty years had just decided to take three months off to go stay with her daughter who had just given birth.
At first, he was reluctant about letting her go but that would be selfish and insensitive of him if he declined to give her the three months she had requested.
Maria, his housekeeper and cook, has been nothing but of great service to his family. So, he had given her the three months she asked for and had also signed her a fat check.
Being the CEO of one of the country's top three biggest Estate development company, gave him the opportunity to get whatever he needed at every point. But that wasn't who Richard was.
He loved the idea of a clean home and coming back to a home made meal. Maria had helped him raise his two daughters so he owed it to her to oblige her.
She had travelled just last week and Richard has been having it tough.
Victoria, his thirty three year old secretary, had been ordering his meals but the rest of his house had remained the same. He only had time to make his bed and that was it.
"Thirty two housekeeping agencies and twelve catering companies applied too, sir," Victoria continued and that earned her a sharp glance from Richard who pushed himself up from his leather swivel chair.
Striding over to the floor-to-ceiling window that earned him a beautiful view of Bellamy city. That was one of the perks of being a boss in his field.
He'd built RMCauls from the scratch. Being a young widower with two daughters to raise was not really easy, but he'd done it.
"I told you I don't want such agencies. I don't like strangers in my home, Victoria." He looked out and took a deep breath.
He needs to find someone. And soon.
"I believe I can find a really trustworthy agency that can take care of the house,'' quickly adding, "and the meals too."
Turning away from the view, he fixed his dark gaze on Victoria's face.
"So, how would you know who they send over?" Taking slow strides back to his desk, his eyes still pinned on Victoria's face, "and even if you run checks on that one person, what of the next person and the one after that?"
"Well_ sir_" she started, but came up blank.
"Just do what I asked you to do Victoria. Interview the applicants and find someone who can fill Maria's vacancy for three months. Please, don't let just anyone into my space." Richard warned sternly.
Victoria nodded instead, "you want one person to do both the housekeeping and cooking?"
"That'll be very much appreciated." He replied absently as he shuffled through the files on the desk.
"What time is my lunch meeting with the governor?" He asked and picked up three folders from the desk and deposited them in his briefcase.
"Just in less than thirty minutes from now."
Nodding, he picked up his phone and slid it into his jacket pocket and carried the briefcase with him as he made for the door which Victoria quickly threw open.
"Tell the chauffeur to pull up front."
Stopping shortly at her table, she dropped the applicant forms and picked up the work iPad and other files and her shoulder bag and hurried behind Richard.
She pulled out her phone and dialled the chauffeur, spitting instructions at him.
"Did Mr. Xavier call back?" He asked and shot a glance at his wristwatch.
If there was something Richard despised more than strangers being in his space, it was being late to somewhere.
His employees knew that. Everyone knew that. They tried to adhere to it. He had fired people on the spot just for being late to work. Richard wasn't a terrible or an arrogant employer, he just had rules that he needed everyone to conform to. He was just that strict.
"Yes sir. He said he'll send the necessary documents for the takeover before the end of the week."
Richard just nodded at that. He was more than satisfied that the bid had gone the way he wanted. Acquiring Xavier Co. was not his biggest wins, infact, there wasn't much profit in it for him. But he just thought it was worth a shot and had gone for it..
Xavier Co. had gone bankrupt and had lots of debts to clear. Richard had swooped in and made a bid with him. It was favourable to the two parties, obviously, since Xavier would be sending documents and they would be signing over very soon.
Richard had made the call and he knew it was the right call. Xavier Co. might be a small company but it had potentials and he was willing to take it up from there.
He hadn't bought it under the company's name. He had opted a takeover under his name. Privately. He knew why he did that. He had plans for it.
The elevator opened at the ground floor and they marched to the turnstile to the already waiting car. The uniformed chauffeur scurried over to open the door for him while Victoria got into the front seat.
Driving into the busy road, he busied himself by reading the Financial Times that was always kept in the car.
Richard particularly didn't come from money, infact his father was just a school teacher and his mother had died when he was just fourteen. Things weren't really difficult because his father, although wasn't rich, knew people and had connections.
It had helped him when he went on the journey of building RMCauls. His father had died twelve years ago but Richard still carried his father's memories with him. Maybe he had learned how to be a father from his own father.
He was glad RMCauls had reached a height and his father had seen it before he died from pancreatic cancer.
Putting the newspaper aside as he couldn't concentrate on anything that was written there, he looked out through the window and watched the busy road, the traffic lights, the street lights and road signs and symbols.
He didn't commit them to his mind but he thought about how he'd survived the times he raised the girls alone. It was really tough for him but thinking about it now, he felt satisfied. He had done a good job.
But sometimes he wondered. He wondered about how his life would have turned out if he hadn't married at twenty two.
Would he be happy?
Would he be in the financial times?
How would have things turned out if he had given up on his dreams?
He might be forty nine and twelve months away from fifty, but he still had his charms with him. From everything about him, it was obvious he was someone important.
He still had women drooling over him when he enters a room. Though he'd kept himself away from relationships and all those attachments.
For a man at forty nine years, he still had the strength and features of a much younger man in his thirties. His grey hair and beards, his piercing dark eyes, and his evenly muscles, makes him all the more compelling. He does his exercise and take walks when he feels up to it. He eats the right food and although he might not really get enough asleep, he could still find his way around a woman's body.
And truth be told, he sure knows how to give pleasure to his women.
There weren't many women he indulges because he always sets the boundaries and cuts things short when they start asking for too much or when things starts getting intense.
The lunch meeting had dragged on till six in the evening and by the time the chauffeur turned off the engine in front of his mansion, he decided that he needed a hot bath and just go straight to bed. Thankfully, he had a great meal at the meeting.
He had keyed in the lock combination at the front door and dragged his legs halfway into the living room when the lights turned on and a feminine figure appeared from across the hall, clad in a bathrobe.
"Hello, handsome," she purred at him, beaming wide smiles at him.
Turning sharply to his chauffeur, he took his briefcase and spoke briskly at him. "You can take the rest of the day off, Henry."
Henry- the chauffeur- nodded, and left hurriedly.
Turning back to face the familiar intruder, he advanced closer. "Simone," he muttered, "what are you doing here?"
The lady shrugged and met him midway, wrapping her arms around his middle, "I missed you." She smiled widely at him.
She looked like she had just stepped out from the bathroom because he could smell her expensive body wash on her skin.
Warding her off with his free hand, he dropped his briefcase on a side table and took few steps away from her.
"What are you doing here Simone? When did you even get back?" Richard tugged his tie lose and started to remove his jacket.
Simone drew closer to him and helped him get rid of his jacket, "this morning," flashing him another wide grin, "I'm here because I missed you."
"I told you to never come here uninvited." Richard swore at her and continued tugging at his tie till it came undone. He looked really upset.
Simone rolled her eyes at that. "Come on already! We've been at this for two years now. I'm already past that little secret romance." She retorted sharply at him.
Richard swung over to glare at her. "That's not the point and how are we in a little secret romance..." He used his fingers to put air quotations, "when my daughters have seen you countless times." Richard was really getting more upset by the second.
This was not how he intended his night to go. All he needed was just a hot shower and a long sleep. Was that too much to ask?
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was getting back this morning," Simone finally apologized, knowing that Richard was not going to buy into whatever she would say.
Unbuttoning his crispy white shirt swiftly, Simone moved closer and took over, "you shouldn't be mad at me for missing you so much. I know you hate surprises or having people over when they're not invited," shrugging his shirt off his shoulders and over his arms, she let it fall behind him.
"But I'm no more people Richard."
Standing on her toes, she wrapped her arms over his shoulders and pressed a wet kiss over his mouth which he returned.
Drawing back for a second to catch her breath, "at least we agree now that you miss me too," she teased.
Without bothering to respond, Richard leaned and clamped his mouth over hers.
The hot shower can wait.