“So you’re not only good with double-crossing, you’re good with double-talk. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of the word ‘libel’ but I’m sure Kenneth will explain it to you when I take you to court.”
“We actually know more about your negligence now than we did when we wrote the termination papers. So, even if you could prove libel prior to your termination, now we have all the data in the world to back up our claim. So, take us to court.” Blake waves me off with a smug little smile that makes my blood boil.
“There is no negligence!” I roar at him, waiting for the guards to bust through the door at any moment. “I gave my life to that magazine. I may have neglected a lot of other things but Lynx is not one of them.”
“And what do you have to show for your life’s work? What stories of merit do you have pending? What investigative journalism have you done? We have looked through all your pending articles and projects and haven’t really found very much Ladies World can even use. I’m just hoping Ms. James can retrain your staff to be more productive so they don’t get fired too.”
For a moment I am tempted to throw out the fact I’m sitting on the bombshell story of the year, but fortunately I manage to keep that part to myself. If he knew about it, he would only take it and give it to Valerie James for Ladies World and he’s already taken everything else I have. Still, I can feel the heat in my face as I grip the side of the chair.
“You’ve got a lot of nerve to call me names, you thief. You came in and railroaded me out of my own company just for the profits.” I spit the words at him. I can see the conversation isn’t helping but I need some kind of resolution.
Blake stands up and walks around to the front of his desk, sitting on the corner right in front of me. He leans over close enough for me to smell the tuna he had for lunch on his breath. Speaking slowly and deliberately, he smiles at me like a crocodile.
“Well, Miss Sharp. There is one way you can keep working in your pathetic little career. You show me how workable you are willing to be, and I’ll find a place for your true skills. I’m still closing Lynx but I’m sure there would be a place for someone who can do what you’re good at.”
“Really? How would I show you I’m workable?”
“Oh, it’s quite simple,” Blake drawls out his words and licks his lips salaciously. “I’ll go back behind my desk and sit in my chair. You come around to the side and get down on your knees while taking off your shirt and bra freeing those magnificent br**sts of yours. Once freed, you wrap those br**sts around my c**k and let me tit-fuck you until I come all over your face. The longer you wear my cum, the more your real value will show and the longer I’ll keep you on, as a company whore.”
I should have stopped him when he started with that absurd lewd proposal. I should have stood up and walked out the door. I should have taken a recorder to the meeting like any first year reporter would know to do. I should have done a million things– anything–except for what I did.
My hand connected with his cheek with such force you could have heard the reverberation all the way to Times Square. Blake’s head rocketed to the side, his glasses flying across the room, his arm knocking stacks of folders off his desk.
“Pig!” I shout.
Before I can release a tirade on him, his nasally voice cries out. “Guards! Guards! Get in here!”
The door bangs open and everything goes a little blurry. I hear the footsteps of men running into the room. One of them is calling on his shoulder radio for police and the other is grabbing my arms in a restraining hold I’m growing oddly familiar with. Kenneth shouts out Blake’s name and Blake turns in fury with his hand on his cheek and fire in his eyes.
“You dumb cunt! I made you a damn good offer and you attack me! That was the best deal you’re going to get in this town you bitch!”
“Oh my god, Blake are you okay?” Kenneth starts digging out his cell phone to record the clearly feminine handprint swelling on his cheek.
“He provoked me. He said the most horrible thing to me and I just lost it,” I try to explain but in all the noise and hubbub no one can hear me.
“I offered that slap happy slut her own section to edit for Ladies World and she attacked me! She wants it all. The whole magazine!” Blake blurts out making sure everyone hears his lie over my truth. The guard pulls back on my arms harder, bowing my shoulders.
“Greedy bitch,” Kenneth mutters, taking another picture.
“No… I… No! That’s not what…” But, no one can hear me. The police show up and half the office is watching Blake holding his face as if he had been burned by acid while the other half is listening to his lie and glaring at me with judging eyes. I see the police officer pulling the cuffs from the pouch on his belt.
“That’s not necessary, officer,” I try to reason with him while Blake is still screaming and cussing. “It’s nothing, really.”
The cop ignores me as he takes my arms from the guard and pulls them behind my back. He locks the cuffs into place, the cold metal squeezing and pinching my wrists.
“I’m his attorney,” Kenneth says to the cop. “Take her to holding and I’ll come within the hour to make Mr. Stone’s statement and give you information for the booking.”
Pulling away from the cop, I lunge toward Mark’s office, hoping he can set this right. Hoping all the “submission and trust” talk wasn’t a bunch of hogwash. But as I pull away just enough to see down his side of the hallway—his door is open, his office is dark, and his desk is vacant.
When I need him the most, Mark just isn’t there.
By the time they get me out of the building and into the back of their squad car, I manage to walk under my own power. However, sitting back there as they drive me to the station, hot tears pour down my cheeks.
“You ever been arrested before, Miss?” the cop driving asks while looking in the rearview mirror.
“No, Officer. I shouldn’t be arrested now. This is all—”
“…a big misunderstanding,” the other cop adds and they both chuckle.
“No, but it’s unfair. He provoked me. He assaulted me with an idea so foul I can’t even think about it without wanting to vomit. He should have been arrested too.”
“Did he hit you or touch you in any way?”
“No, but isn’t it illegal to speak in a sexual and gross way to someone who doesn’t want to hear it?”