Authors: Bj Harvey
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Short Stories & Anthologies, #Short Stories, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages), #Contemporary Fiction, #Single Authors
Copyright © 2016 by BJ Harvey
Edited by Lauren McKellar
Cover Designed by BJ Harvey
Photo sourced from Dollar Photo Club
ISBN: Epub - 978-0-9941257-9-8
ISBN: Mobi – 978-0-9941018-2-2
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
To you the reader.
You make everything worth it.
Never miss a new release or update from B.J. Harvey. Sign up for her mailing list:
After I snuck out of Barrett’s bed, my world turned upside down.
I sat at my desk going over the cover proof for the new magazine when I was interrupted by loud voices arguing outside my office. I lifted my head in time to see my assistant, Carrie, rushing through the door with Gavin and two of the company’s security guards following behind him.
“Ms. Jacobs, I tried to stop them but—” she said, but was interrupted by Gavin.
He stood in front of my desk and crossed his arms, a look of satisfaction on his face. “You’re no longer CEO of Jacobs Publishing,” he said, looking at me, before turning to Carrie and saying, “And you’re fired.”
I shot to my feet, my anger shooting straight to boiling point. “Gavin, you cannot waltz on in here and fire anyone. I’m the CEO, not you.”
“You were, Alyssa, but as of an hour ago, you are not.”
Carrie gasped in shock, and my mouth dropped open as my body went still.
“What are you talking about?” I whispered loudly.
“My wife and I share assets, which means what is hers is mine. Therefore, I now have the power to take over operational responsibility of Jacobs Publishing which I am doing, effective immediately.”
“You know, Alyssa, that this is absolutely possible—and legal.”
I grabbed hold of my desk and held on tight, my body vibrating with anger as I desperately tried to stave off the shock threatening to overwhelm me.
I reached over to grab my phone. “I’m going to call my mother. Just see what she—”
The dial tone went silent, and I looked up to see Gavin’s fingers pressed down on the base unit.
“Your mother won’t help you, Alyssa. I explained to her that you are young, too young to have such a responsibility weighing heavy on your shoulders,” he explained condescendingly. “This is a good business decision. You’d hate to disappoint her, especially since you said yourself that you’d never seen her so happy. You even gave me your blessing to marry her, remember?” His smile was wolfish and not at all friendly.
“So you’re just taking over?”
“I think it’s for the best. You can stay on, of course. Maybe you’d consider moving to the editorial department.” He crossed his arms and smirked at me, and I struggled to tamp down the desire to slap him on the face.
I shut my laptop and picked it up but he interrupted. “No need for that. We’ll send any personal belongings to your new office.”
“You’re gonna pay for this,” I warned as the two security guards moved toward me.
“Oh believe me, I’ve already paid my dues. This is my reward.”
“What?” I frowned at him, confused.
“And Alyssa, just so you know, your forty-nine percent stake in the company is safe for now. But the minute you make any moves against me, I’ll see to it that your stake is so diluted you’ll be worth nothing.” He paused, lifting his hand to his chin and rubbing it. “Or I could just buy you out.”
With that parting note, he spun around and walked out the door, and I was led out of my office and into the elevator by the security guards with nothing but my purse.
I stood in shock outside the tall glass building that had my name—my father’s name—on it, and wondered what I was supposed to do. My father’s legacy had just been swept out from under my feet by a man who had—in the space of just over a month—alienated me from my only surviving parent.
I pulled out my cellphone and dialed my mom’s number, tears gathering in my eyes when it went through to voicemail. At the sound of the tone, I spoke. “Mom, I need to speak with you. It’s urgent . . .” My voice cracked and I swallowed down the lump in my throat and continued, “Gavin has just taken over and told me he has your blessing. I don’t believe you’d do that so can you please . . . please call me back.”
I hung up the phone and walked forward but stopped when the hairs on the back of my neck prickled, and I instinctively looked up to see a furious Barrett stalking toward me.
Just seeing a familiar—albeit not necessarily friendly—face made the tell-tale lump in my throat come back with a vengeance. All the anger I’d been harboring toward Gavin rushed back to the surface.
“Alyssa, we need to talk,” Barrett demanded, as he came to a stop a foot away from me. Filled with rage, I leaned forward and jabbed my finger into Barrett’s chest.
“This is your fault.”
“What?” he asked, his brows knitted together.
“I asked you in Vegas to tell me what was going on with Gavin and you wouldn’t . . .”
“Me.” Then I jabbed him one last time, extra hard. He didn’t even flinch; he just stood there and took everything I gave him.
His hands came up and gripped my biceps, holding me still while he lowered his head to look in my eyes. “What’s wrong, Lys?”
Then, as if right on cue, it started raining, but I was too far gone to care. “It’s gone.”
“All of it.”
“Lys.” His voice went soft. All of his anger seemed to have disappeared. “You’re not making any sense.”
“Gavin. He’s taken it all, now. My company, my mom . . .” My voice cracked but somehow I stood strong, Barrett’s grip on my arms steadying me.
“I was trying to protect you,” he said. He let go of my arm and swiped a hand over his face to clear the water away. It was a fruitless effort, as the rain continued to pour down, washing over both of us.
“Protect me?” I shrieked.
We stood there on the sidewalk. It was as if the world around us had disappeared and we were the only two people left standing.
He moved in closer and tilted his head, then I remembered his role in this. Investigation or not, he’d played his part. I still didn’t know what information he had about me. I didn’t know if part of his cover was to report back to Gavin on whatever the hell it was he was supposed to be doing for him.