“Short notice?” Alex laughed, easing some of the tension she’d felt since arriving. “We’ve been waiting for you for the last couple of weeks. No worries though.” He smiled, taking a seat across from her in one of the leather side chairs.


“But, she’s here now, so that’s all that matters.” Xavier announced, his Texas drawl prominent, making him sound more laidback than Sam figured he actually was.

“I take it Logan presented you with the offer?”

Well…

“Logan and I spoke briefly about it. He shared with me the logistics, but I’d certainly like to hear more from you.” Sam spoke directly to Alex, knowing the job entailed her leaving her stable job at XTX to take a position that didn’t currently exist at his security firm.

“Understood.” Alex leaned back in his chair, one ankle resting on the opposite knee, his arms laid out on the wide arms of the chair. “As I told Logan, in order to protect the interests of XTX, and address the concerns that have been raised by two of your peers, Xavier and I have come up with a solution we feel would be fair to all parties.

“I’m not sure how familiar you are with CISS, but we’re a fast growing security agency, offering embedded private security for large corporations, as well as some personal security. Our clients currently consist of two Fortune 100 firms, as well as a handful of some of the most respected names in the North Texas area.

“As we continue to grow, we’re always looking to hire talent capable of taking us to the next level. Being that XTX has considered you an extremely valuable asset, both Xavier and I decided that keeping you on was in the best interest of both companies. In order to do that, I’ve created a position that will allow you to join CISS while continuing to manage your current projects for XTX.”

Sam listened as Alex relayed in more detail the same information Logan had presented. Just as it had when Logan explained, the details drew her interest. Figuring there was more, she didn’t interrupt, just nodded her understanding.

“In essence, from the outside looking in, nothing would change. XTX would hire you on contract to continue in the same capacity that you are today. The only difference is you would be employed by CISS, who would be responsible for your pay and benefits, and ultimately any future assignments. Should you choose to take the opportunity, Xavier and I have agreed to extend your contract to XTX for a full two years, giving you sufficient time to complete your current projects.”

“I’ve made sure Alex understands XTX has no desire to replace you. We’ve asked that a binding contract be written up, safeguarding XTX’s interests, ensuring us that you would not be replaced for the next twenty four months.” Xavier added, looking between Alex and Sam, his voice insistent.

Alex chimed in then. “That’s correct. However, you would no longer report to Logan, as we feel that would be a conflict of interest. Instead, you’d be reporting directly to Xavier for the duration of our contract with XTX. And just to clarify, your employment with CISS would not be contractual. We are offering you a permanent position within our company, your pay, both salary and bonus, will mirror what XTX is currently offering you. All opportunities for advancement are still available to you, just like any other employee of CISS.”

The longer she listened, the better and better the offer sounded. Being the pessimist that she was, not by choice, Sam wanted to know what the catch was.

Looking directly at Xavier, Sam asked the difficult question. “And if I do not choose to accept this offer?”

Xavier sat up straighter in his chair, his bright blue eyes reflecting the man’s abundance of experience. “If you choose not to accept, my only other option is to send you back to the San Antonio office. We would work to determine the best possible way to reincorporate you into the office, being that your replacement has been hired and is doing a sound job; we wouldn’t want to disrupt the productivity.

“In relation to career advancement, you would still have the opportunity to be Banten’s replacement, should the man choose to take another position within the company, retire, or otherwise leave. Aside from that, I’m afraid these are my only options.”

Sam didn’t like to hear that she had limited options, but she understood where Xavier was coming from. In fact, Sam knew he was being extremely gracious in offering even that much. If the shoe was on the other foot, and Sam was in Xavier’s place, she couldn’t say that she would be so flexible.

“Do you have any other questions?” Alex asked, thrumming his fingers on the edge of the chair, his easy smile making her want to jump at the opportunity, but she couldn’t seem to find the words.

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