“Mum, I don’t think retaining Anita in the company is going to cause any more trouble than she already has. She’s willing to cooperate,” Ted insisted.
“When there’s a cancerous growth, you don’t feed it, you remove it. She wants to be part of this family and we shouldn’t allow it,” Mrs. Bourbon said.
“She has been virtually part of this family for a while, mum. Without her hard work and expertise, the company wouldn’t be where it is today and you and I know that very well,” Ted said defensively.
“I know that and if it’s your conscience you want to clear, we can compensate her accordingly but she must leave. I understand your intentions and they are noble but it is bad for business.”
“Mum, we can keep a tight leash on her…”
“Tell her to submit it willingly and she’ll be well compensated or I’ll throw her out and she won’t get a penny! She’s a threat to your already fragile marriage and you still want to play with fire? Lucia deserves all the security she can get and Anita lurking around with some baby will not grant her that. Don’t you want your wife to be happy, son?”
“Of course I do but she even thinks treating Anita that way will spell doom for all of us.”
“You two give her more credit than she deserves. She can’t do anything when you clip off her wings. I’m done talking about this, son,” Mrs. Bourbon said finally.
“Hey, I’m sorry…I tried talking her out of it but she wouldn’t budge. I can get you employed at another…” The line went dead. Ted sighed and dropped the phone on the passenger seat.
“Well, if your mum thinks it’s better if Anita stays away, then fine. The lesser I see of her, the better,” Lucia said as she smeared lotion over her arms.
“Yeah but I’d have felt better if she at least had a job. I tried to offer her help in finding another job but she hang up on me.”
“Anita is quite a resourceful woman; she’ll figure something out. She always does.” Ted came out of the shower.
“Uh huh. You smell good,” he complimented as he sniffed her neck.
“Yeah, it’s the splash your mum gave me on our encore wedding night. She said you’d like it.”
“Huh, I guess my mum knows me more than I think.” She turned to face him.
“Indeed she does. She’s the one with all the answers regarding you.”
“Hmm…not all of them,” he said, kissing her.
“It looks like we’re going to be late to work today,” Lucia said.
“That’s the good thing about being the boss; we don’t get to be questioned for being late. It is always assumed that you are working outside the office.”
Lucia chuckled. They kissed again. They paused when they heard a phone ring.
“It’s your phone,” she said.
“Who could be calling me at this time?” he asked himself as he went for his phone.
“What are you talking about?” he asked after he had listened for some time.
“Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can. Thank you.” He hang up.
“What is it?” she asked, putting on her earrings.
“I don’t know exactly; it was the secretary, she sounded distraught. She said I should report to my dad’s office immediately.”
“Okay, I hope it’s not bad news.”
“I hope so too.” He quickly dressed up and Lucia helped him with his tie.
He kissed her cheek. “I’ll call you if I need to stay over longer than expected.”
“Sure; take care.”
“You too, honey.” He left the house.
Ted entered the conference room to find it almost full.
“Good morning, everyone. I’m sorry I’m late,” he apologized.
“Your wife kept you longer than usual, didn’t she?” Ted turned towards the sound of the voice. Anita smiled.
“What are you doing here?”
“Why don’t you take a seat, Mr. Bourbon?” He sat. Ted glanced at his mother who looked like she was ready to explode.
“Now that everyone relevant is present, we’ll start the meeting. As you know, I am quite a big investor in this company and I came into business with you via this lady here, Miss Morgan. We have taken great strides together with her as the facilitator. It is good that your husband isn’t here to witness this. I really respect him. She contacted and informed me about secret decisions being taken against my position in this company and her as well…”
“That is certainly not true, Mr. Bennett,” Mrs. Bourbon interrupted.
“Let me finish, Mrs. Bourbon. I called for this emergency meeting to let you know that due investigations would be undertaken concerning the claim but I want you to know that if Miss Morgan is sacked from this company, I’ll withdraw my investment.” Mrs. Bourbon gasped.
“Mr. Bennett, I’m sure there has been some misunderstanding here. There have been no such discussions about your shares with us. Our issue is just with the employee…”
“And I’m saying, if she leaves, I walk. Period.” Ted glanced at Anita who wore a triumphant smile on her face.
After Mr. Bennett had left, Ted pulled Anita into his office.
“What stunt did you just pull? I thought we have a truce now.”
“This isn’t personal, Ted. I’m just looking out for myself. I’ve invested too much of myself in the company to be just kicked aside like trash. We both know you can’t stand without Bennett. So, what do you choose, that he walks away or your baby mama continues to work here?” She said.
“What did you do to get him to come here and threaten us like that?”
“What I do best,” she said with a wink.
“When you’re pregnant?”
“What’s the point of bringing forth a baby when I’ve no source of income to cater for it? A girl must do what she must to get what she wants.” Mrs. Bourbon entered.
“You’ve taken this too far, young lady.”
“Good day to you too, Mrs. Bourbon. I do have my resignation letter here if you still want to take it,” Anita said, taking it out of her bag and holding it out.
“You’re going to regret this; I assure you.” Ted’s mother stormed out of the office.
“Don’t bite the fingers that feed you, Anita.”
“They don’t want to feed me anymore so a little bite would remind them to. I have to go. When you come to a decision, give me a call,” she said, kissed his cheek and left the office.
“She didn’t!” Lucia gasped when Ted narrated the incident to her later at home.
“Yes she did.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“My mum said she’ll handle it.”
“Does your dad know about this?”
“No and my mum wants to keep it that way. Hopefully, this will blow over and we’ll pretend this never happened.”
“That was one bold move she made, going against your family like that.”
“She’s desperate. I just don’t know what her end game is.”
“She wanted you and she failed so now, she wants to use her baby as a tool to gain some financial security,” Lucia said.
“I fear she’d lose that one too.”
“Yeah; I think it’s better if we stayed clear of her till your mother handles the situation.”
“I agree; I can’t believe she still continues to be a nightmare.”
“She’s Anita; she was born to be a nightmare. We’ll be fine,” Lucia said and kissed his cheek. He forced a smile.
Three days later, another meeting was called, this time by Mrs. Bourbon.
“I am sorry you had to be dragged into our personal family issues by this lady here, Mr. Bennett. I know you to be a very busy man so I’ll cut right to the chase. I conducted a few investigations on my own and I came up with interesting find-outs. Miss Morgan has been indulging in secret criminal activities, specifically blackmail and extortion from some of our shareholders.”
“What?” Anita asked, shocked.
“I don’t know how she got you to come here to threaten us but if it is what I think it is, I’m sure you’d have been her next target.”
“That is not true!”
“Take a look yourself, Mr. Bennett,” Mrs. Bourbon said, dropping a file in front of him. He looked at a trembling Anita and opened the file. After a silent minute, he closed it.
“I am sorry, Mrs. Bourbon. I shouldn’t have gotten myself involved in this.”
“Oh no, don’t…”
“Shut up! You manipulated me to come here and disgrace myself like this? You can throw her out if you so wish, Mrs. Bourbon.”
“With much pleasure.” Mr. Bennett shook hands with Ted and his mother. He left.
“You cooked up that story, you know you did.”
“I learn from the best. You started it and I put a perfect finish to it. Don’t you dare think of pulling such a stupid stunt again. Now get out of here and don’t think you’ll get even a coin from us.” She walked out. Anita started crying.
“Ted, don’t let her do this to me, please…”
“I’m sorry Anita, you laid your own bed; you should lie in it.” Ted left her in the conference room. Anita dropped herself in the seat and sighed in despair.
“I am finished,” she muttered.