Billionaire Bound (Page 2)

It was, like, ten times the size of my entire apartment. I walked over to the desk and saw it had a metal name plate slotted into a holder on the front of it. Delilah Neri. There it was, etched in metal for all to see. I reached down and touched it with my finger. It moved sideways. It was just a piece of engraved metal, easily replaced. Just like me if I screwed up.

I looked down at the rest of the desk, saw the clock and felt a jolt run through me. LATE! I didn’t even have time to put my handbag down.

Rushing without trying to run, I hurried over to the heavy doors and entered Mr. Stone’s office.

I thought the previous room was big…

I rushed in, trying to take in what I was seeing without looking like I was. You know? The floor was a darker wood that changed over at the door. There were cabinets of black and red polished wood, Asian-styling and floor to ceiling windows that went almost all the way around.

Mr. Stone was leaning against the front of his desk flicking through a sheaf of papers. His desk! It was gigantic. I think it was at least twice as big as the double bed in my apartment. To the right was another room with the door closed. Private bathroom?

He didn’t look up, not at my heels clacking on the wood floor nor when I stepped onto the thick Persian rug that sat under the desk and surrounded it. I approached him, feeling like a doe wandering into a lion’s den. I glanced past his shoulder at the spectacular view and my foot caught suddenly on the rug…

Down I went, falling directly forward. There was no way I was letting go of the papers again so down they went with me. I fell directly into Mr. Stone, my face hitting his chest, my lips pressing against his shirt.

I landed on my knees on the rug but managed to save the papers. My handbag hit the ground too but thankfully nothing came out.

He looked down at me with a cruel smile.

"On your knees again Ms. Neri?"

I stood up and gasped. On his shirt were two red lips pressed together where my face had hit him.

"Do you have another shirt?" I asked, feeling like I was going to be fired on the spot.

He looked down at the lipstick marks and frowned. He stood up and walked around to the back of his desk.

"Lucky for you, I do," he said without a hint of humor in his voice. "Turn around," he commanded.

I turned around as he stripped off his shirt. In the polished surfaces of black and red I could see at least six angles of his slim muscular body. I closed my eyes but then immediately opened them again. If I was going to get fired at least I’d enjoy the view.

"The papers," he said from right behind me. I jumped and turned around. He was quiet when he moved. Mr. Stone looked at me but I couldn’t read his face. Anger? Disappointment? I had a sudden desire to step forward and kiss him. Or for him to pull me in close to him again, grab the back of my neck and kiss me.

"I don’t like to repeat myself," he said and held out his hand. I gave him the papers and he quickly flicked through them before handing them back.

"One to every investor. Match their names and then take notes of anything important. A pad is over there. This way."

He walked past me and I again smelt soap and some indefinable essence of masculinity. I scurried over to the side table, put my bag down, picked up a yellow legal pad and pen and followed him out of the room.

All the while repeating to myself don’t freak out don’t freak out don’t freak out.

*

The meeting went by in a blur. Thankfully there were printed place names for each investor so all I had to do was match the print-outs with the place. The investors were mostly old guys with fat bellies sticking out of suits more expensive that my yearly rent. Mr. Stone was a powerful figure of youth and vitality compared to these old whales, moving about the room as he went over Stone-Black’s latest plans regarding renewable energy in South America. I took notes the best I could but even I was caught up in his presentation. A way to bring renewable energy to an entire continent, provide jobs and preserve the environment? This was completely at odds of what I knew about Stone-Black and their history of environmental destruction and legal trickery. Did I have it all wrong about them?

Soon the meeting ended and all the old men waddled out of the board room, smiling at the thought of all the money they’d be making. When the last one left the room, Mr. Stone touched me briefly on the shoulder and pointed at my notes.

"Type those up and then bring them to my office in thirty minutes."

He walked off to talk to the investors while I packed up my stuff and scurried off to my desk. This time I wouldn’t be caught off-guard or rushing.

I sat down at my new desk and looked down at my notes. My handwriting was doctor-level bad at the best of times. With everything that had happened today it had devolved into some prehistoric hieroglyphics. It would take a team of linguists to translate it.

With a sinking feeling I started to transcribe the scribbled mess.

*

About half an hour later I heard Mr. Stone shout from behind his dark mahogany doors.

"Delilah! I said thirty minutes!"

I quickly printed what I’d managed to decipher, the printer taking a million years. It finally completed its task and I hurried into Mr. Stone’s office with papers and my original notepad.

He was sitting behind his desk glowering at me. Without a word he turned around a digital timer he had on his desk. It read 00:35 and was still counting upwards.

He’d actually timed me?

He held out his hand for the notes. I gave them to him and tried not to look embarrassed as he took out a black pen from his desk and started writing on them.

I glanced down at the ornate chair that sat a little to the side in front of his desk. It was black mahogany like the desk and had a red velvet seat. There were small pieces of gold inlaid on the legs. I’d bet that chair cost more than my entire apartment and maybe the apartments on either side of mine. I wonder how comfy it would be…?

"Don’t sit down," Mr. Stone said, not looking up.

I looked away from the chair and out the window behind him at the amazing view as though the thought of sitting in that chair had never crossed my mind. How did he know?

Mr. Stone finally finished writing and then gave the notes back to me before waving his hand to the chair for me to sit down. I did and … oh, comfy.

"What do you think of Stone-Black?" he asked, looking at me like he could read my soul. Maybe he could. Moving around like a ninja, reading my mind re: chair sitting.

What did I think of Stone-Black? Hmm … let’s see … environmental destruction, a horde of lawyers, sneaky tricks, probably bribery and big enough to get away with it and keep on getting away with it unless someone stopped them?