Lisa Renee Jones
“We’d like to talk about your father’s will.”
This from the dweeb who dared pull me into the conference room with the idea of ambushing me with a room full of partners. He’s a fool for forgetting one very important detail. I’m at the front of the room and head of the table for a reason. Not one of the thirty people in this room is in charge, but I am.
“Yes,” I say, “let’s talk about my father’s will.” I cut my gaze and speak to the room. “I am the principal and that will not change. But to be transparent, one of the terms of my inheritance was that I marry. Of course, we all know I’m good enough to beat that in court, but no, I’m not fighting it. Let me be clear. I’m not just engaged to Bella, I’m in love with Bella. She makes me a better person. She makes me a better leader. Would she marry me today if I ask her to? Yes. But I won’t. We’re going to plan one hell of a wedding because it’s what she deserves. Any questions?”
The room is silent, seconds ticking by before Sharon, one of the partners, says, “I believe him.”
Laura, another partner sitting next to her, chimes in, “I believe him.”
“Agreed.” This from Ned Riley, one of the senior partners.
From there, the entire room sounds off in agreement except for two people. The dweeb and a partner sitting next to him, who was most likely in the middle of this plan to take me down, right along with Gavin. I don’t so much as look at either of them. Control is everything. That’s what my father used to tell me but more so taught me, with his recent actions. The man cheated on my mother, killed the employee he was fucking to keep her from telling my mother, and then ended up dead.
He didn’t have one inkling of the control he swore was always his and in the palm of his ruddy little hand.
Control is everything and he forgot that somewhere along the way.
I press my hands on the sleek surface of the conference table, lean in closer to the group and say, “If no one has anything else, then let’s all go finish off what is headed toward a record-breaking month, and show everyone who we are, and that’s the best in the business. This sends the right message to our clients, studios, and publishers. We’re here to stay. This is not the time to fight among ourselves and screw that up.”
Murmurs of approval fill the room, and with that, I say, “Meeting adjourned,” before heading toward the door.
I don’t look back. I don’t look at my phone. I walk at an even pace.
Control is everything.
It’s not until I’m in my office with the door shut that I dare breathe, shoving a rough hand through my hair and cursing. Gavin did this. He’s done. So are the two in the meeting who conjured up trouble. I walk to my desk, sit down, and pull out my phone to dial Bella, the one person I consider a confidant. There’s a message from her waiting on me, and I retrieve it to find a photo of her and a message:
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