The two of them could try to dictate my life, but they’d fail. I pulled out my most professional suit, hoping the board would see me as a grown woman even if my father didn’t. I wasn’t going to let Sebastian face this alone. I hated that he thought he needed to.
I turned off my phone, and slid down into my sheets, hoping that my father wouldn’t succeed in taking the company away from Sebastian. I pushed away my fears of what would happen with me and Sebastian if my father succeeded.
Being away from Leah was torture. As much as I cared for Valerie, I hadn’t ever missed her when we apart. Not like this.
It was especially worse knowing she was upset with me. All I wanted was to make sure I wasn’t the cause of a permanent estrangement with her father. I hoped that if she could reconnect, and with a little time, he’d come around. Until then, I felt I owed to the both of them to give them the time they needed.
However, by Thursday morning, it was clear to me that Henry wasn’t ever going to come around. In fact, he planned to punish me, if the emergency board meeting he’d called was any indication. Thank goodness the other board members pushed for the meeting to be on Friday when I was back in the office. Otherwise, Henry would have had me ousted already.
As I rode the elevator up to my office Friday morning, I worked to get my game face on. I meant it when I told Leah “fuck ’em” about my board not being happy with our relationship. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to let them take my company from me without a fight. Would I choose Leah over Sensual Delights? Yes. That knowledge scared the shit out of me. It wasn’t easy to put my entire life in her hands. But on the other hand, it was clear that Leah offered me so much more than my business. I’d tried to avoid it, but the truth was, I wanted love and happiness, and Leah was the one to give me that.
“Mr. Cox, your department heads are all in your office,” my secretary said as I exited the elevator. “The board members will be here in an hour.” I could see the concern in her eyes.
I smiled hoping to lessen her worry. “Thank you.” I entered my office for the impromptu meeting I’d scheduled the night before when I realized Henry’s intentions. I’d contacted all my department heads and my lawyer to meet me before the meeting. The one person I hadn’t told was Leah. She’d looked so tired when I’d last seen her and with her finals and problem with her dad, I didn’t want to add to her stress.
“Good morning everyone.”
“Is it true?” Craig asked first thing.
I took my place behind my desk. “Everyone sit down, and I’ll explain.”
Everyone sat but Craig.
“It is true that I’m in a relationship with Leah Hammond, who until last week was an intern here.”
There was a gasp of surprise. A few heads shook, and Craig muttered, “Fuck.”
“However, despite how some people may depict this relationship, it’s not sordid. I love her. I plan to make a life with her.” If she’ll still have me. “Right now, though, I’m focused on making sure her father doesn’t oust me from my position of CEO. So I need updated reports on where we stand in all departments.”
Craig was in the middle of delivering his report, when my door opened and my lawyer walked in. I let Craig finish and added the file with his written report to the stack on my desk. I thanked them for their hard work and dismissed them so I could review my options and put in some safeguards to protect my assets and financial future. The board could fire me, but I still had a significant financial stake in the company.
Armed and prepared as much as possible with such short notice, I entered the board room.
Henry stood at the opposite end of the table. I tried to muster up the anger and resentment as he prepared to fire me, but all I could feel was guilt. I’d betrayed him and now had come between him and his daughter.
The rest of the board filed in. Their faces were grim as they took their seats. No doubt Henry had poisoned them against me. But I didn’t get where I was in business by being a pussy. Valerie was right; I needed to use my big ass balls.
Since Henry called this meeting, I sat ready to take the verbal lashing he prepared.
He launched into his diatribe, using words like perversion and vulgar to describe me and my sexual habits.
At one point, Mari Anderson, who’d been on the board since the business had grown large enough to need one, interrupted him. “Henry, if you have a moral issue with sex, I have to wonder why you’re on the board.”