Ted entered his office and dropped his keys and phone on the desk. He took off his coat and hang it. The door opened as he sat down.
“Just who I needed to see to make my day bright,” Ted said cynically as he switched on his computer.
“Haha…behind all that overt hostility, I happen to know you love me, Ted,” Anita said.
“Oh really, that’s news to me. What can I do for you, Anita?”
“I’m here to remind you that you have a meeting with your associates today.”
“Today, oh no…I have…”
“And let me also remind you that this meeting has already been postponed to today. This meeting is long overdue, Ted.”
“I know; but I need to get to the office.”
“Oh, you mean your other office.” He glanced at her.
“Yes; you have a problem with that?”
“Oh no. But this should be your primary concern, Ted. Your father is counting on you to sustain his company. The other one, well, Monique can handle it, right?”
“I guess you’re right. When is the meeting?”
“Okay; I might as well just get that done and over with.”
“Great; so how was the weekend?” He looked up at her.
“I was just asking a casual question. How was your weekend?”
“Look Anita, this is an office and these are working hours. If you have nothing worthwhile to do, better find someone to help out, okay?”
“Okay, you’re not going to tell me. I heard you went outstate with Miss you-know-who last weekend.”
“I don’t kiss and tell.”
“So how was it?”
“How did you think it was? We just met up with some businessman. That’s all.”
“Oh really, so why you didn’t return at the time scheduled? You found yourselves some…common ground to…interact, huh?” Anita said cunningly.
“I must say, Anita…my tolerance for your foolishness is really running low and one of these days, you’ll find yourself on the street before you know it.”
“Uh huh,” she said and left the office.
“Such a pain in my neck,” Ted fumed.
Lucia sat on her bed, filing her nails when her door opened.
“Hi sweetie, why don’t you join us downstairs?”
“Just to chat…have some family time.”
“No thanks, mum. I don’t want to be caught in between your arguments with dad.”
“No arguments tonight, I promise. We both want you to join us.” Lucia looked at her mother suspiciously.
“Am I in trouble?”
“Don’t be silly. Come on, get up and let’s go.” She got up and left the room with her mother.
“That’s my baby girl,” Mr. Baker said proudly as Lucia walked downstairs with her mother. She gave her parents another suspicious glance as she sat.
“What is going on?”
“Nothing; I said just to chat. Isn’t that right, honey?” Mrs. Baker said.
“Exactly. How’s work, dear?”
“It’s going great, dad. I’m finally getting a grip about it all.”
“That’s good. How about the training course you requested sometime back; are you still interested?”
“Sure of course; the sooner the better.”
“What about your other job, working with Mr. Bourbon?”
“It’s going well, mother. Nothing to worry about.”
“Oh I’m not worried; not at all.”
“So what’s going on between you two?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your mother told me about you two staying back at the hotel after your business meeting,” her dad added. Lucia looked at her mother in surprise.
“Mum! What did you say?”
“Nothing; just that you had decided to stay back with young Bourbon. Isn’t that all I said, honey?” Mrs. Baker asked innocently.
“We just want to know if you two are…you know more than partners.”
“We’re friends, daddy; nothing more.”
“So there was no intimate moment between you two back at the hotel?” her mother asked curiously.
“No mother; we slept in different rooms, for crying out loud!”
“Of course you did but that doesn’t mean you two weren’t…close. No intense moment where the earth stood still…”
“Honey…” Mr. Baker said.
“What? I’m recalling our pre-dating times, dear. What’s wrong with that?”
He smiled. Lucia shook her head.
“So was there?” Mr. Baker asked. Lucia looked at him, stunned.
“What? We’re all adults here, aren’t we?” He asked with a shrug.
“You need not be shy about such things with us, baby. You know you can talk to us about anything…even the intimate things,” her mother assured her.
“Yeah I know but I’m not really comfortable with this. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“So there was something, huh?” Her mother asked, her eyebrows rising with expectation.
“Are you two okay? You’re not tipsy, are you?”
“No, we’re not.”
“Okay yeah, we had a moment but that was it. Besides you told me, no little Bourbon, right?” Her mother smiled approvingly.
“Can I go to my room now?” Lucia asked, getting up.
“Hey, where are you going? Sit down. We’re just getting started,” her father said.
Lucia sighed as she threw herself on the sofa.
Lucia picked up her ringing phone and lay on the bed.
“Hey, you sound exhausted,” Ted remarked.
“You’ve no idea the torture my parents just put me through. What’s up?”
“I can say the same thing. Apparently, our parents have been talking and they seem to have plans for us.”
“Interesting. They see us as pawns in the chess game of business.”
“Yeah; I’ve a strong feeling in my gut that this is going to get shockingly interesting.”
“You mean like arranged marriage-interesting? You’re not the only one thinking it, dear.”
“Nice to hear your voice. Sorry I couldn’t make it to our office today. Had some things to take care of,” Ted apologized.
“Don’t apologize. Couldn’t make it myself. Have had a long day.”
“Same here. I’ll leave you to rest now. Just wanted to hear your voice before I get to bed. I don’t want the first voice I heard in the office to follow me into my dreams,” Ted said.
“You mean Anita’s voice.”
“She’s a thorn in my flesh. Apparently she found out we stayed behind at the hotel last weekend.”
“She did? Her spies are not doing a great job.” He chuckled.
“Talk to you tomorrow, Lucia.”
“Yeah sure; maybe I’ll drop in at your office.”
“You will?” He asked excitedly.
“Hey, don’t get too excited. I said maybe; don’t you dare hold me to that.”
“Sleep tight.” She cut the line. She saw a message alert from Allen. She deleted it and put the phone away.