Four

Four years later.

‘Today is going to be just another day’ was what Varisha thought as she dresses up for work this morning. Upon her arrival, and hearing her co-workers’ side talk about boss Keenan’s return, she knows it will would be just another day.

It wasn’t some cliche story where a super rich boss and a simple girl fall madly in love and that wasn’t her case. At least she would not let it be her story. Keenan Hilton was her boss, and they both had each other’s company and had lunch a few times and that was all it was and although it drew the attention of some of her colleagues at work, they didn’t dare ask her question for fear of falling into Keenan’s hands. Keenan wasn’t bothered by how it looked, and neither was she.

Well, so it was until Keenan left four years ago, two weeks after he stood up for her with Max.

She expected nothing from him because their relationship was always a formal one and though it came with a few lunch breaks, and that didn’t change it, well, that was what Keenan’s sudden disappearance said to her.

Keenan had suddenly left the country and company four years ago and according to the rumour, he had left the country with his lover, who was then best friend’s fiancée and although Vary knew little about her boss, she wasn’t completely sure Keenan was the bad guy. He never involved her in his personal life, but she knew he was in love and she could see that. Call it finding the good in everyone, but she still believed there was so much unsaid and unknown about the entire issue.

She was no ease dropper, but she’d walked in on her boss talking to her older sister Bethany once about the girl he was in love with.

Flashback

KEENAN had asked her to submit her survey and finding on the rural hotels around the state and find out how the Hilton hotel would survive if it was to be opened in the rural community. He assigned it to her after seeing her approach on the Paris expansion. It was a three days’ assignment, and she reported directly to his office immediately she arrives at the office and although he’d called her in, he was on the phone when she came into his office. He was talking to someone Vary placed as a close person because he seems to pour his heart out to the caller on the other line with no hold back on his emotions.

“No.” he took in a heavy breath and waited a while, listening to the other voice on the line.

“I know I am not supposed to feel this way, especially because of how complicated that is. I’m not a freaking child, but I can’t reverse my actions. And I love her.” He ran a shaky hand through his hair and sighed.

“No. she can’t stand me and I can’t be around her while I have this damn feeling for her.” He explained, getting frustrated and tired. His emotion was everywhere and Vary wondered if he was still the same boss she and the papers know him to be tough. She’d never thought that rich people had so much problem with love since they could have anyone they so desire. And that day she learnt a lesson, and it was that no one could buy love could, even with millions.

The person on the other line says something, and he grunted before nodding. “It’s not so easy, sister,” he scoffed and shook his head. “I want her so much and I can’t even say hey without putting my heart at stake. I know I’ve been selfish with a lot of things in the past, but not with Taylor, never have I been with a woman that makes me want to change this much, every time I think about her I wish we had met under different circumstances.” He chuckles at something Bethany says and turning around he saw Vary standing, looking gingerly around and the emotions on his face vanish and the new look that appeared on his face is one she recognized as composed, in control, endearing and bold.

“I’ll call you back.” He said in a calm voice, ending the call while studying her and wondering just how much of his conversation she had heard. He knew that although Vary was a smart and brave young lady, he also knew she wasn’t the strongest under pressure and would say everything she just heard as soon as she’s asked about it and it was only just a matter of time before the world finds out about his feelings for Taylor.

He thought about firing her at that moment, but decided against it. If he fired her, he would only give her the reason to make his private life a public affair, and that was the last thing he wanted because he knew that would put Taylor in danger and that was on the top list of what he didn’t want to do.

“Take a seat, Ms Klean.” He instructed, and she obeyed immediately and sat down.

Keenan analyzed her features and realized she was trembling from fear. And her hand holding the documents looked like they were going to drop them on the floor any moment, so he stretched out his hand forward.

She glanced up at him and narrowed her eyes at his hand, not understanding why he stretched his hand to her. They were close but Keenan never for once on their lunch break spoke about his personal life and now he probably thinks she eavesdropping. He was probably going to fire her.

But that still didn’t explain why he stretched his hand out to her. Was he requesting a shake or something?

Rolling his eyes, he said, “Hand me the file, Ms Klean.” he requested impatiently.

Vary gingerly handed him her survey file, and he took it and went through it. He had to admit he felt impressed with her finding and he looked up to see her chewing on her bottom lips anxiously.

He would not fire her; he was going to make her an offer. “I’m impressed Ms Klean.” He said, and she looked up at him, trying to suppress the smile that tried to take over her face.

He entwined his hands and dropped them on the desk in form of him as he continued. “I was going to fire you a while ago,” he bluntly told her, confirming her earlier fear and her eyes fell sadly.

Oh, well, so much for being friends and it wasn’t even like she came uninvited. He summoned her to his office. But she kept all that to herself.

“But you’re so smart and ambitious and it would be a shame to see all that destroyed.” She breathed down in relief because she knew when he’d seen her earlier he was angry and she knew she was in trouble. “So I’m going to make you a deal.” His voice cut into her thought and she looked up at him to see his weakening blue eyes fixed on hers.

“Okay,” she replied in a whisper, and nodded. “What is it, Sir?”

“I want you to forget everything you just heard,” he replied and lean back in his seat and rubbed his beards lightly.

“I did… I heard nothing.” She stuttered as she shook her head.

“Yeah,” He smiled and dropped his fingers and tapped on his desk melodiously, “and you’re such a terrible, terrible liar.” He got up and walked to where she sat and took his seat on the desk in front of her, his hand stroke her hair and smirked down at her uneasiness to his gesture “I know you heard everything, and I also know you’re a blabbermouth, you can barely keep your thought to yourself and it’s only a while before the entire world find out about my feelings for Taylor so I’ll need you to forget and name your price.”

She didn’t understand what he was talking about. What price? In the last few days they’d had lunch together, she thought he would know that she wasn’t that type of person... Well, they just ate and Vary felt awkward throughout. Despite that, she thought that would mean something.

Her brows furrowed deeply. “You don’t have to pay me any money. I can keep your secret, I promise.”

He nodded, his hand still playing with her curly hair, “I know darling, but I will have to so I can have a reason to kill you if you ever decide to run your mouth.”

There was no trace of sarcasm in his tone as he made his threat, and she swallowed nervously before nodding. “Okay.” not knowing what else to say.

Impressed with his game on her, he said, “Good girl. Now name your prize.” He knew he would not hurt her, but he just had to make her feel like he was. He let go of her hair and walked back to his seat and pulling at the drawer of his desk, he brings out his chequebook and opened it, all the while waiting for her to name an amount.

“It’s not a crime to love someone you cannot have, you know.” She spoke up with a little courage, making Keenan look up at her.

He gave her a small but genuine smile, “Not when you’re in love with your best friend’s fiancée.” he replied and his eyes dropped to the cheque book. “Say the number, hun.”

She felt pity for him; he had enough money and looks that could get almost any girl, but here he was about to pay her off to keep her from telling anyone else about the girl he could never have.

She got up quickly and backed away towards the door, and this made him look up with questioning eyes. “Keep the money. If I open my mouth and say this out to anyone, you can kill me, but I don’t want your money.”

He closed the chequebook and dropped it back in the drawer. “What do you want in return then?” he asked, looking back at her.

She frowned, and he knew he had pissed her off, but he didn’t know why, well, not until she spoke.

“Haven’t anyone ever done anything for you without them expecting something in return?” she asked, her eyes and voice sounding kinda lost.

He blankly stared at her for a while, wondering what she was getting at, and after a few minutes, he shrugged. “No.”

“Then I’ll be the first to,” she replied stubbornly saying to hell with his money, “I get it, you’re insecure about your personal life, but you might as well as kill me now ‘cause I won’t take your money.”

He got up to his feet and strolled towards her at the door where she was standing and folds his arms over his chest; licking his red lips temptingly and provocatively and she groans at the open reaction her body was giving him.

She may have liked him more than she let off. He was a hot god on legs and he had the physical sex appeal, so it wasn’t so hard and after standing up for her with Max a week ago, she couldn’t stop herself.

She scolded herself many times on the account of the wrong imagination going on in her mind because she had a boyfriend and it was wrong to think of anyone inappropriately. Not even if he was so hot and sexy and had the blue eyes, she had always daydreamed about since she met him.

“Okay, Ms Klean, I’ll take your word for it.” He said in a formal tone, “We should have lunch later.” He said, returning to his seat and she couldn’t believe the man she was standing in front of.

“I still got work and tasks to complete.” She rambles out her excuse clumsily.

He smirked mischievously, “You know me, hun, I don’t take no for an answer.”

Flashback ends.

Varisha walks to her office, not wanting to get engaged in any discussion with Keenan. She had promised him four years ago she would say nothing to anyone about him and Taylor Snowfall. She knows that if she dares join in their conversation, even if it’s a little, she would end up running her mouth about what had happened in his office four years ago and how he had threatened to take her life if she said a thing about him to anyone.

Halfway into the day, the time clocks one p.m. and she gets up, taking her purse and jacket from her seat before going towards her door. She walks out of her office hoping to get something and satisfy her ever growling stomach before she continues with her work. She searches through her purse for the $10 change she’d kept there and calculates all the expenses she is about to make as she makes her way out of the building.

She gets so lost in her calculation of everything she has to buy that she bumps into someone and she falls hard on her butt. She hisses out loud, groaning in frustration as she stares up at the person she just bumped into, hoping to glare at him. However, she’s unable to though because she sees her Italian devil of a boss smirking down at her and the anger disappears at once and her mouth drops open in surprise and confusion.

Holy shit!!

She struggles and pulls herself up from the ground and looks down as she brushes her black jean and hopes that while she does this, he will tire of waiting for her to look at him and go inside, but he bends down so he now is looking up at her and smirking devilishly.

“I’ve got all day to wait, just so you know.” He tells her as if reading her thought and damn, his Italian accent is so obvious now.

Her cheeks burn in embarrassment as her eyes lock on his. “I wasn’t avoiding you if that’s what you’re talking about.”

He shakes his head. This past four years has done nothing to change her, “You’ve always been such a terrible, terrible liar Vary.”

Vary? Since when did he call her Vary? She wonders to herself. She isn’t complaining, though.

She stands up straight, and he does likewise. “Welcome back, Mr Hilton.” She says, forcing a polite smile to her face.

“It’s nice to be back.” He replies, and he suddenly loses his playful spirit and puts on the formal, business and serious look “I’d like to talk to you in my office Ms Klean.” he says and walks away.

She frowns in confusion. What did she do now? “You mean now?” she asks.

“Now!” he thunders and makes his way past her.

Her stomach growls aloud from emptiness, but she knows one need is higher than hers and Keenan, her boss’ need is more than her stomach’s.

So much for her lunch break.

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