Cole followed Shaun into a glass enclosed corner office, anger churning his insides. She shut the door and motioned for him to sit. “I would think the Wright of Jacobson-Wright Contracting would have a penthouse office. You know, top of the heap and all.” He refused to disguise the sarcasm in his voice. He didn’t like to be made a fool of and right now, he felt like a world class idiot.
Shaun sat behind the desk across from him, placing her hands on top. “I do, but I also have this one because I prefer to be in the trenches, working along side my team, instead of delegating from a phone or email.”
“How long did you know who I was? Did you know last night?”
Her eyes narrowed at his tone, but then her expression softened. “I had an idea. You look just like your uncle.”
“I look like my father,” he corrected.
She stared down at her clasped hands and shrugged. “Honestly, it wasn’t until you appeared out of the elevator that I was sure about who you were.”
“Well, I’m glad I was able to offer you some sport.” He brushed off a few errant muffin crumbs from his pant legs and cleared his throat. “So what exactly is my job here?”
She sat back in her chair. “You will be my senior design consultant. We have a couple of huge contracts on the table and so far, nothing any of my people have proposed has wowed our clients. Robert suggested you and by the sketches I saw earlier, I think he was right.” She smiled, but her beauty did very little to ebb his temper.
“How old are you?” He didn’t care how inappropriate his question was. He didn’t care about a goddamn thing she had to say at the moment.
Her back straightened. “I don’t see how that is any of your business.”
“Are you fucking my uncle? Is that how someone as young and beautiful as you ends up his business partner?”
“This conversation is over.” Shaun leaned forward and pressed a button on her desk. “Henry, could you please show Mr. Jacobson to his office.” She stood and opened the door, glaring in Cole’s direction but remaining relatively unaffected by his accusation. “Henry, the office assistant on this floor will get you setup on your desktop. I will have Carlos drop off the client files and I expect to have your proposals on my desk by tomorrow morning.” The young man from behind the reception desk appeared in the doorway, and Cole could only assume he was Henry. “You’re new, therefore I will give you a pass for your insubordination this once. Next time, I don’t care who you’re related to, you’ll be searching the want ads for employment elsewhere.” She turned to the assistant who looked uncomfortable by what he just walked into. Join the club. “I’ll be upstairs for the rest of the afternoon, Henry. Forward my calls.”
“Yes, Ms. Wright.” Shaun left Cole alone with Henry and he couldn’t help but feel a touch of remorse for being such an ass about everything. He knew nothing about her. Her credentials. Where she went to school. Who was he to say that she slept her way to partner? “Follow me.”
Cole moved to his feet and followed Henry to an office directly across from Shaun’s. The space wasn’t quite as large as hers, but still a lot more than he expected. A medium-sized wooden desk sat in front of the floor-to-ceiling window and in the opposite corner stood a drafting table. “This is mine?”
The assistant pointed to the name on the door that read, Mr. Cole Jacobson, Senior Design Consultant. Now he felt like a real dick.
By the time Henry left, Cole already received the files from Carlos and logged into his personal email account on the fully loaded, Mac Pro desktop the company provided him with. Only the best. He swiveled around in his chair and stared out the window. A steel prison with a view. Now he had an idea of what animals at the zoo felt like. Unfastening the top button of his dress shirt, he loosened his tie and got to work on the proposals Shaun wanted by the morning.
Cole struggled to remain focused as the day progessed, the way he acted earlier plaguing his thoughts. Every now and then, he glanced towards his open office door to see if Shaun might have decided to come back. Sure, he could make a trip upstairs, but the idea of running into his uncle again in the process, kept his ass right where is was.
He worked straight through lunch and stayed a half hour after Henry left for the day, finishing up the preliminary sketches for Shaun’s clients. He closed both files and reached for a post-it note, sticking the yellow square of paper on top. Hearing a knock, Cole lifted his head and smiled until he saw just who exactly was paying him a visit. So much for small favors.
His uncle shut the door and sat in one of the two chairs across from Cole’s desk. He gave a scrutinizing look around. “Tolerable.” Then, his eyes landed on Cole. “So, what do you think of Shaun?” Robert chuckled, reminding Cole of the mixup from earlier.
“We haven’t had too much time to chat, but she seems alright,” he replied, wondering where his uncle was going with this.
“I saw the way you looked at her, Cole. She is one fine piece of ass.”
Cole pushed his chair back from his desk, “What do you want, Robert?”
His uncle smirked, resting his elbows on the arms of his chair and steepling his fingers. “Let’s just say I’m looking to downsize the company, starting from the top. And I need your help to do it.”
Cole couldn’t believe what his uncle was suggesting. “What makes you think I can help you?”
“You have the Jacobson good looks.”
“I think she’s gay, Robert.”
His uncle snorted, “she’s a spoiled little rich girl who will do anything to get attention, and enjoys a challenge.” The man he loathed to call blood, dropped his hands. “It’s quite simple really, the sooner you take care of my little problem, the sooner you get back to Saysville.” His uncle pushed up to his feet while Cole looked on in complete disgust. “I’m confident you won’t let me down.” Robert flashed a smile worthy enough for the snake that resided deep within and exited Cole’s office.
Needing to get some air and think about what just transpired, Cole grabbed his satchel and the files for Shaun. He walked over to her office and set the proposals on the desk for her to see in the morning, scribbling I’m sorry on the post-it note before leaving.