“Well.” Exasperation tinged the word, and Susan locked her eyes with Sierra’s. “I’ve had to come to a hard decision after learning this information. I wanted to talk to you first, make sure the rumor was actually true. Now that I know it is, I need to tell you I’m concerned about your employment.”

Thank goodness. Sierra didn’t speak out loud, although she wouldn’t have been more surprised if the words had burst from her chest with pride. “Ok.”

“I think it is in your best interest for you to quit.”

Ok. There was the more surprise.

Being fired was one thing. Quitting was something entirely different. She couldn’t control the actions of others, and if Susan wanted to fire her because she wanted to feign concern over Sierra’s personal life, that was her prerogative. But quitting. That wasn’t in Sierra’s nature.

“I’m not the one with the problem.” Sierra said, shocking herself with the anger seeping into her blood.

“You’re in a relationship with two men, and I can’t subject myself to that sort of association. You should be ashamed of yourself first of all.”

O – K. Now the anger was coursing fast and hot. Did the woman really have the audacity to project her own personal opinion on Sierra’s personal life when it in no way affected her ability to do her job? “Well, I assure you that I am not ashamed.”

“I thought you might say that which is why I had to come up with a second option if you chose to be bullheaded.”

Bullheaded? What the fuck?

“I insist that you quit, or I am going to have to proceed with a civil suit against you for misrepresentation.”

“Excuse me, what?” Sierra was dumbfounded. This woman was actually blackmailing her.

“You heard me. You clearly misrepresented yourself, and in order to protect myself, I am going to file a civil suit. I will make sure you never work in Dallas or any of its surrounding areas ever again.” The full bitch was back, a sneer on Susan’s face told Sierra she wasn’t kidding.

Pushing back her chair, Sierra stood abruptly. She’d heard enough of this. Her anger had reached maximum capacity, and if she wasn’t careful she was going to make this bad situation even worse.

She didn’t speak as she exited the kitchen, walking as calmly as she could manage down the long hallway to the front door. She heard the click of Susan’s heels behind her, and she prayed she could reach the door before the other woman said another word.

“You’re slutty behavior has no place in a professional environment. You should seriously consider making adjustments before you even think about working for anyone else. I’ll make sure this rumor circulates.”

Her blood pressure spiked and a red haze clouded Sierra’s vision. For the last couple of months she had put up with more abuse from this one woman than she had anyone else in her entire life. Turning abruptly, she came face to face, although Susan was quite a bit taller, with the woman. Keeping her hands at her side, not wrapped around Susan’s neck like she wanted, was harder than she imagined.

“I don’t have many regrets in my life, Ms. Toulmin. Or is it Ms. Mackendrick?” Keeping her voice level, Sierra stared back at the woman noting the flash of fear in her eyes. “I definitely don’t regret the actions I take in my personal life. If I want to be in a relationship, that is my choice. Not yours. Who I do that with is also my choice. Not yours. And if I choose to live my life out in the open, instead of hiding behind another name, or the closed doors of a sex club, that’s my choice as well.”

Apparently the comment hit home, and Susan must have realized Sierra knew more than she thought. That didn’t stop Sierra speaking her mind.

“And being the jilted ex-lover is not a good look for you. If you can’t handle rejection then I suggest you keep your snooty ass in the house, and limit who you interact with. I’m not naïve enough to think that you won’t do what you said you would and by all means, go ahead and try. But just remember one thing. When it comes to secrets, I’m not the one who has any.”

With that Sierra turned and walked gracefully out of Susan’s front door, not looking back. She didn’t have to. The woman’s eyes had nearly bugged out of her head, and her audible gasp told Sierra that she had hit her mark.

If Susan thought Sierra was going to sit back and take any sort of threat from the likes of her, she was sadly mistaken. Accepting who she was hadn’t come easily for Sierra, but once she had made that decision, her life had taken a turn. And the only direction she was willing to go from here on out was forward.

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