But I’d woken up this morning ready to get to work with my crew in person.
Yes, I could handle most things from my home office, but I needed to meet with my senior people, and it was way past time I got back to leading my team from our headquarters. It was a talented group of people who deserved better leadership than I’d been giving them.
I was done hiding, and using the accident as an excuse not to face the world and my brothers…one brother in particular.
I wasn’t exactly angry at Carter anymore, but I wasn’t ready to bury the hatchet, either.
Carter drank too much, went through women like a person with a bad cold goes through tissues, and he didn’t give a damn about the consequences of his actions.
He was reckless and had fallen into the superficial world that some of the powerfully rich in the world sunk into.
I didn’t think he was playing the game anymore; he was living in it.
My eldest brother, Mason, did most of the traveling for the company, and also headed a difficult branch of technology. Mason was relentless in his attempt to dominate the world.
I had one brother who was too damn serious, and another who couldn’t seem to think about anybody but himself.
I stepped into one of the many elevators available, and used my security code to get access to the executive suites.
Maybe I’d done fine at home. My work had always gotten done by the deadline. But I was the owner of one of the most powerful tech companies in the world, and we were still growing. I had an incredible team, and we were always better together.
My self-made isolation wasn’t normal for me. I liked being with people, and I loved the work I did. I loved the comradery I felt at Lawson, and I fucking belonged here.
I’d spent just about every waking moment here before my accident, and I’d never regretted it. I’d thrived on it.
I had Ruby to thank for bring me out of a bad place, and I was going to show her my appreciation by becoming the man I used to be.
No thinking of myself as less than because I had some scars.
I used to be a cocky bastard. Maybe I’d learned a little humility, but being a hermit inside my condo just didn’t feel right anymore.
“Good morning, Mr. Lawson,” Shirley said from her desk as I entered.
“Good morning,” I answered with a smile. “I want to see the files on the Brenner project as soon as you can get them to me.”
“Yes, sir,” she answered. “Would you like me to get you some coffee?”
A couple of years ago, I would have sent her running to the local coffee shop to bring me something strong and black. Now, it seemed pretty ridiculous to waste her valuable skills and make her the coffee woman.
“I’ll grab some in the breakroom. I’d rather have the files.”
“I can certainly do both, Mr. Lawson.”
I shook my head. “No need,” I answered and then headed toward the room that was usually set up with bagels and mediocre donuts along with regular coffee.
I filled a larger cup, snatched a sad-looking donut and strode to my office.
It hadn’t changed.
Shirley kept everything neatly organized, and the space had been professionally decorated.
But as I sat down at my desk, I noticed that there wasn’t a single personal thing in sight.
My employees loved to fill up their walls and other spaces with pictures of their families: the people who made their lives worthwhile.
In mine, there was nothing. And I had a hell of a lot bigger space than any of my employees.
I made a note to myself that I wanted to personalize my space.
“Here you are, Mr. Lawson,” Shirley said as she put a large file on the desk in front of me. “Can I get you anything else?”
“Can you set up a meeting this afternoon with the entire tech team for me?”
“Of course,” she answered immediately. “And can I say that it’s good to have you back in the office again, sir.”
I looked up at her and grinned. “You can say it. But do you mean it?”
“I don’t understand.” She sounded confused, which didn’t happen often with my executive assistant. Shirley was pretty well-known for her calm demeanor even when shit was hitting the fan.
“Am I a good boss? I’m not asking for compliments here, Shirley, but things changed after my accident. I was wondering if there are things I can do to improve the working conditions here.”