“Seriously, Nora, get a life. No one wants to eat the shit you’ve baked. You’re better off going to the bakery.”
All of those comments had been said to her in the past six months of working for Rex. She remembered how he handed her a bunch of notes and told her to go to the bakery. Instead of going to the bakery, she had put his money in a charity box, and given him a wrapped pastry that she made. He didn’t criticize and asked for her to stop by whatever bakery she went to every day.
She probably shouldn’t have done what she did, but she loved cooking, and besides, it was no hardship changing up his pretend order. She had felt guilty about it all day long, but he had loved her baking. He simply thought it was someone else’s. He thought the worst of her about everything else.
Sending him to the wrong appointments had been a screw-up. Even though he was a horrible person, she loved being the best at her job. It had taken her days to get a new computer, set everything up, and then calling all his clients to reset all of his appointments. He’d gone to a couple of wrong timed appointments, and he thought she did it on purpose!
Going to Frank, she had expected to be fired. When she explained what had happened, he had said that he wasn’t going to fire her. She had done whatever she could to get Rex to the places he needed to be on time.
They were a waste of time.
The following Monday, with her stomach turning, she made her way toward her desk, feeling even sicker. So far she hadn’t encountered anyone, and she was happy about that. Her hands were clammy from lying. Firing up her computer, she glanced through the mail that had been left in her tray.
“Are you okay?” Lorna asked, making Nora gasp.
She spun around, and pressed a hand to her heart. “You startled me.”
“Sorry, sweetie. We were all worried about you.”
Her cheeks were heating. She could feel them start to bloom, and it drove her crazy. “It’s nothing.” Please leave. I don’t like lying. How was she going to face Rex? She couldn’t lie to him.
She had never been very good at it.
Lorna stared at her, and folded her arms. “Why do you look guilty?”
Damn! She was her own worst enemy. Lorna raised a brow, and she blew out a breath.
“Fine, fine, I may have done something that I’m not sure about.”
She looked left and right to make sure no one was around. “I may have, erm, sent out a few applications.”
“For work. I’m thinking of having a change of pace.”
“Really. You can’t do that. Is this about Rex? I can tell Frank and he’ll move you on.”
She held her hand out. “It’s nothing to do with Rex.” Liar. “I want to move on, you know? I didn’t expect to be here, and I’m twenty-six in a few months, and this is not what I wanted. Not that I’m not ungrateful.”
“Where are you going to go?” Lorna asked.
“I don’t know. I’ll figure it out, I’m sure I will. I won’t give up. You know me. I have to do my own thing.” She nodded, hoping that she could convince herself as much as she could Lorna.
“Excellent, Nora, you’re here, finally. I need you in my office,” Rex said, coming out of his, surprising her.
She hoped to hell that he hadn’t heard her. He’d probably phone the companies she had gone to, and give her a bad reference.
“We’ll do lunch,” Lorna said.
“Sure. I’ll see you there.”
Putting her bag by her chair, she grabbed her notebook, and rushed into his office. He was stood by his desk, and he looked deep in thought. “I trust that you are much better now.”
“You were ill?”
“Oh, yes, I’m much, much better.” She smiled and once again her cheeks were going red, and she hated it. “Let’s get down to work.”
She noticed a change in Rex’s behavior. It was so subtle. There were no jibes about her prime clothing, or about her hair, or even about the fact that she’d taken a few days off. She made notes about some of his clients, and references to other cases. Rex also handed her a folder that had all the necessary updates for her to get up to speed.