God, she was a mess. An emotional roller coaster barreling off of the tracks.
“When are you going to make the announcement?” Logan interrupted her thoughts, his question directed at Alex. “I think there are a few people who might be really interested to hear what’s going on.”
Deanna sent him a questioning look, but Logan only smiled. That’s when Sam noticed Abigail and Tricia walk into the bar, followed closely by Larry. Sam couldn’t hold back the chuckle. She knew exactly who Logan was referring to and a part of her was anxious to see the look on their faces. Not that she was ever one to want to rub something in, but the rumors those three were spreading had turned vicious quickly.
She’d heard so many different variations in the short time she’d been back today.
I heard Sam tried to go back to the San Antonio office, but they didn’t want her.
I heard Logan finally got tired of her, and she’s been off licking her wounds for the last two weeks, only to come back to find out she’d been fired. Poor woman.
I heard Xavier threatened to fire them both, but since Sam had been the one to pursue Logan, he agreed to let Logan stay.
It was an endless murmur of “I heard this” and “She did that”. One of the biggest instigators had been Tricia Shoenrock, who had been attacking Sam personally since the day she arrived in the Dallas office. From the other rumors going around, Abigail had all but promised her the job once Xavier fired Sam.
So, that was the only reason Sam looked forward to the announcement. She looked up at Alex, wondering what his answer would be, but she didn’t have to wonder when he grabbed his beer bottle and a spare fork sitting on the table. With a round of clangs against the bottle, he announced that he wanted everyone’s attention.
Sam’s heart started pounding in her chest. So maybe she wasn’t as ready for him to share the news as she thought she was.
Logan took two steps closer, his body pressed up against her side as he stood beside her counter height chair. She welcomed his warmth, the feel of him grounding her; the support she needed to get through the next few minutes.
As others approached the table, Alex downed the rest of his beer, and Logan addressed the crowd.
“As many of you know, Samantha Kielty recently joined us in the Dallas office. During the short time she’s been in our office, we’ve seen tremendous improvements. She’s managed to do what no one has been able to do so far. Of the twenty or so projects she’s been managing, one hundred percent of them are back on schedule. We’ve seen significant improvement in engagement from our internal partners, and the response time from our software vendors has drastically improved.”
There was a round of clapping from several people, mostly from her project managers.
“With that said, I’m sorry to say, but Samantha has chosen to take an opportunity outside of XTX.”
Sam heard the audible gasps from those closest to her, and a round of whispers from a few in the back.
“However,” Alex chimed in, attracting everyone’s attention, “I have some fabulous news. Many of you are familiar with me and my security firm, and I’m happy to say that, in recent days, I’ve actually acquired a business partner, who, unfortunately, couldn’t be here today to join in our celebration, but you’ll see him around XTX in the next couple of months. And with that acquisition, CISS has decided to take our company to the next level. In order to do that, we felt it was necessary to hire the talent who could take us there.” Alex paused momentarily, probably for effect.
Sam kept her eyes trained on Alex, taking comfort in Logan’s hand resting on her shoulder. Having him by her side was a powerful feeling, knowing he supported her and stood by her. A feeling she hadn’t known from anyone other than her parents. A feeling she hoped never ended.
“I’m proud to announce that Sam has accepted an offer with CISS, giving us the much needed experience and driving force necessary to achieve our strategic initiatives.”
“Who’s going to replace Sam?” The question came from the back, and although he tried to disguise it, Sam knew Larry’s voice when she heard it.
Logan once again spoke, personally addressing Larry and the group standing closest to him. “Due to the significant improvements we’ve seen recently, XTX has taken this as an opportunity to seek the help of an outside contractor. What that means for most of you is that you won’t see a change in your daily activity. We’ve been fortunate enough to sign a contract with CISS which will guarantee for the next twenty four months, the help from their top Project Consultant.”