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Chapter 6

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

Lunch was nice.  David treated both of us to Rocco’s Italian Eatery.  I had lasagna, garlic bread and a Caesar salad, along with a pastry with whip cream for dessert.

Bryson and David had the linguine chicken parmesan with Caesar salad.  It was a celebration for the three of us.  Bryson, who was promoted to the head of Operations for the technical division, still didn’t know about my promotion.

David said, “Bryson gossips too much.  I want to surprise everyone after your presentation.  I think it will help to more than justify your promotion and set all those wagging tongues to rest.”

I nodded in agreement.  David talked about the new office saying it would be roomier with half the staff gone.

I asked, “Where’s it going to be located?”

David said, “Next to the Grand Hotel, we received an offer we couldn’t refuse.  It will give us a break in the rent.  The owner was impressed with your articles and asked to buy a share in the company.  He also stipulated some of the other changes coming your way.”

I asked, “Who is the owner?”

David was evasive and said, “Let’s just say he’s a personal friend of mine and I know him quite well.  I was surprised to hear from him six months ago.”

I was shocked for a moment, “Did he offer this before your investigation?”

David carefully said, “Yes, so it was imperative that all names be cleared before the offer was finalized.  Thanks to you Rachel, we still have a company.  Your ideas are fabulous my dear.”

Bryson and David raised a glass to me, and I was shocked to see Michael walking towards our table.

David turned and said, “And this is our special guest, he will be attending our meeting this evening as well.  Michael, nice of you to join us, come sit here beside me.  This is Bryson and this is the lovely and talented Rachel, the one we’ve been talking about for years.”

I just sat there completely amused by Michael’s odd expression.

David continued, “I just happened to catch Michael before lunch.  I was surprised when he said he could make the meeting today.  Yesterday he told me he couldn’t.  Michael is our latest our investor and the owner of our new office building.  He insisted on meeting you Rachel, by the way Michael is my brother.”

I stopped grinning at this news, now I wondered if it was by chance that Michael just happened to be nearby when I had my little accident.  He saw the questioning look in my eye.

Bryson said, “You were the chap I saw in David’s office yesterday!  You were reviewing the security tapes.”

David looked at Bryson, “Good guess – My brother wanted to see Rachel in action as he called it.  He loves your articles by the way – has for years.  He was upset when Julie laid those charges against you.  I asked Bryson to break the news to you.”

I looked at Michael, “Was it by chance that you rescued my shoe?”

Michael smiled, “Purely by chance, I wasn’t supposed to meet you until two months from now.”

I felt better, almost, now I felt strange.  Did Michael want to spend time with me because he is putting me in charge of his company?

He looked at me for a few minutes then said, “My brother has told me you don’t mix business with pleasure.  I am strictly a shareholder in the company.  My brother takes care of the business side of things.  I won’t be  too involved with it.”

David laughed, “My brother travels a lot.  He is a major movie producer.  Most people know him as Michael Ferraras.  He produced the latest block buster – – Robots on Patrol.”

My eyes opened wide and I said, “So that is where I recognize you!  I did an article – a movie review about Robots on Patrol and posted your picture on my blog!  I only know you as Mr. Ferraras that is why I did not recognize the name right away.  And that’s why you were surprised when I didn’t recognize you yesterday.”

Now it was David’s turn to act surprised, “Where did you meet my brother?”

I looked at Michael and noticed that his face was kind of taunt and strained.

I said, “Michael happened to be at the same crosswalk as me yesterday.  He recognized me and told me he enjoyed my articles.  I asked him if we had met somewhere before, because his face was familiar.  He said that we had never met.”

David grinned, “My brother’s memory is sharp he remembers everything about you.”

Michael was looking annoyed by now so I changed the subject.

I said, “David a lot of people are wondering what happened with Julie and Colleen.  I think we need to clarify exactly what they should be told and Bryson I trust that what I’ve told you hasn’t circulated yet.”

Bryson turned red and said, “It was a secret?”

I groaned, “What did you tell and who?”

Bryson said, “I told Arnold the mail room guy and Jason my assistant and well a few others…”

I said, “Bryson you didn’t!  The rumors will go wild with him.  The Press is going to be calling us.”

David asked, “Why the Press?”

I said, “Arnold is Jim Winders brother, need I say more?”

David still looked stumped.

Michael’s sarcastic reply was, “Winders thrives on gossip he’ll put it in the Tabloids – They will have a hay day with this.”

Michael looked at me, “Why did you tell Bryson if you knew he was a tattle tale?”

I said defensively, “David told me to let him know everything that happened.  Bryson was promoted in the technical department.”

Michael turned to David, “Fire his arse, he’s caused a big ruckus with his gossiping tongue, and then he turned to me.  You will have to deal with the backlash from this.  I trust you can handle the press?”

I said, “I’ll go take care of it now.”

I got up, walked out the door, went, sat in my car, and called Jim Winders.

A male voice answered, “Rachel darling it’s been so long!”

I said, “Cut the crap Jim, Arnold’s going to call you with a scoop about my company.  If you print anything other than what I am about to tell you, I will shut you down for good.  Am I perfectly clear?”

Jim said, “Too late sweets.  It’s already printing.”

I said, “Jim shut it down.  I promise my story is bigger news.”

Jim said, “Let me hear it first.”

I said, “You don’t want to play hard ball with me.”

I hung up and called Mac.

A gruff voice answered, “Hello?”

I Said, “Mac this is Rachel, I told Jim to stop the press, he’s got some false information.  He is going to look very foolish to the press when the truth comes out.  Jim is playing cat and mouse with me.  I want the presses stopped immediately and his ass fired.  Give everyone the day off and if they screw me around, I’ll shut down the whole bloody business.”

Mac said, “Sorry Rachel, I can’t do that.  Jim had me fired today.”

I said, “Why?”

Mac said, “Seems that Julie has connections there.”

I said, “Okay Mac I want you back at Gossip Tabloids. I will meet you there within half an hour.”

Mac sounded surprised when he said, “You’re coming in?”

I said, “Yes I am.  See you then.”

I hung up and called Tom, “I need a favor, its life, or death.”

Tom said, “Anything.”

I said, “Cut the power at Gossip Tabloids.  I want the presses shut down.”

Tom said, “Consider it done.”

It was ten minutes later when my phone rang.  Jim Winders was yelling, “What the hell is going on?  How did you cut the power here?”

I said, “Enjoy playing hard ball Jim?  I warned you.”

I hung up and jumped as someone tapped on my car window.  Michael was looking quite grim.  I motioned for him to get into the car.

I said, “I can’t contain the story forever.”

Michael looked at me, eyes narrowed, “Just tell me what you did.”

I said, “I called in a few favors I asked them to shut down the hydro at Gossip Tabloids.”

Michael’s jaw dropped, “Your kidding right?”

I said, “No, I’m heading there now.  Do you mind if I plug you as a new investor?  I am going to let them know that the four of us will be working as a team for Global Data Services. I will tell them that six months ago a problem was discovered inside of the company and an investigation was conducted.  Evidence was gathered and Julie Cartland and Colleen Richards have charges against them.

I am going to announce that our shareholders will be receiving a dividend of one-hundred dollars each.  It will cost us a few dollars, save our reputation and make everybody happy.  I wanted to run it by you first.”

Michael said, “Sounds good where does the extra money come from?”

I said, “My proposal today was going to give us a surplus every month.  Now with Julie and Colleen gone and half the staff I will have to rework the numbers and check our records. We will keep our budget the same.  It will keep the investors happy.”

Michael said, “If you pull this off, I’ll give you a large bonus.”

I said, “Deal.”

We got out of the car and walked into Gossip Tabloids.  People started looking at me, wondering who I was.  I wondered if they would notice the resemblance.  No one has ever seen me at Gossip Tabloids before. Jim and Mac have only spoken to me over the phone a few times.

Michael and I started to walk towards the Management Office and I was surprised to see that Jim Winders was sitting in the chair instead of Mac.

I said to Mac, “I thought you were told you to fire Jim Winders?”

Mac’s jaw dropped, “How do you know?”

I gave him a stony stare.

Mac said, “He refuses to leave.”

Exasperated I said, “You’re supposed to be in charge!  Why didn’t you call security?”

Mac said, “They won’t listen to me.”

I said, “Oh, really!”

I walked away from the two of them and made a call to the security company’s office, “Hi this is Rachel from Gossip Tabloids I want you to know your contract agreement is revoked due to the negligence of the two men that you placed here.  They refuse to do as their told.  You’re company is being replaced immediately.”

I hung up and called Trevor, “I need two security guards to come to Gossip Tabloids within fifteen minutes.  They have to escort someone out of the building.”

Trevor groaned, “Again? I hope you fired their asses.”

I said, “Yes I did, now get my men over here pronto.”

I hung up and called Tom, “I need all the locks changed at Gossip Tabloids.  I will need new security staff right away.  No one here can be trusted.  Oh Yeah, I’m here so turn the power back on right away.”

I hung up.  Michael was giving me the oddest look as I turned to Mac and said, “Did you do what you were ordered to?”

Mac shuffled his feet and nodded, “Everything’s been shut down.”

As the lights and power came back on I said, “Let me see it.”

Mac baulked at my request, “What do you mean?”

I said, “I want to see the whole plant now.”

Mac said, “I’m sorry miss, but really we don’t book tours for our plant, just who are you anyway?”

I looked at him, “You don’t see the resemblance between me and my father?”

Mac took a closer look at me then gasped, “My god you do look like him!  Follow me.”

As Michael and I walked through the plant, I could feel the anger and strife in the place.  Jim had everyone riled up.

I yelled, “Everyone gather in the cafeteria were having a company meeting.”

Jim roared, “Who the hell do you think you are?  Prancing in here like a little Diva, demanding a tour, and talking to Mac here as if he is the one in charge.  I fired your ass this morning Mac; what are you doing back here?  Don’t anyone listen to this bitch, I’m in charge here!”

I said, “Jim Winders was fired this morning.  I just want you all to know he was the one that voted against you getting a severance package upon dismissal.  You all signed his agreement.  As of right now you’re all laid off.  You can thank Jim for that.  This place is closing down – everybody out!”

Jim stood there mocking me saying, “The Bitch acts like she owns the place.  Who the f*** do you think you are?”

I smiled sweetly and said, “I do own the place.”

Tom walked in with two security guards and two police officers.  I pointed at Jim, “He’s your man.”

They grabbed Jim Winders and cuffed him.

Jim yelled, “Hey what are you doing?  What am I being charged with?”

I said, “Trespassing, refusing to leave the premises after being fired.”

I looked at Tom and said, “I fired them all because they are too loyal to Jim, and no one can be trusted, including Mac.  He did not manage to deal with Jim at all!  Have accounting pay them to the end of this week and that’s it!  Next time these people will learn to respect authority!”

I walked away feeling very angry and frustrated.

I made a phone call to Roy Saunders, “Do you still want the plant?  Okay, make it twenty million.  Draw the papers up.  I’ll sign them tomorrow.”

I got off the phone and said, “Okay Tom, everything’s set up.  Roy is taking over the company.  You know what I want to do next.”

He nodded, “Anything else?”

I said, “Yeah, book me a flight to Hawaii for a couple of days.  You can get a suite there too.”

Tom grinned, “Thanks.”

I felt relieved as Michael just stood there looking at me in shock.

I walked back and grabbed his arm, “Its okay just breathe I have my secrets too.”

Michael mumbled, “Are you still coming to the ranch next week?”

I said, “Yeah I can’t wait.  After I tie up my business deal with Roy, he lives in Hawaii.  I’ll be back in time for you to pick me up at the Grand Hotel.”

Michael nodded.

I looked at him and said, “I trust you won’t breathe a word of this to your brother?  I like my job—it’s a challenge and I enjoy it.”

Michael shook his head, “I’m shocked, now I know why you were so attractive to me.  You did not pry into my personal life at all.  You did not beg me to call you.  You’re almost intimidating.”

I grinned, “Yes and now you know why I don’t date anyone its too complicated.”

Michael was quiet then he asked, “Do you mean you never want to date anyone?”

I looked at him and smiled “Michael you’re the only man that I’ve met so far that I would ever consider dating.  You and I think alike, I understand you and you understand me.  You know how boring life is with lots of money.  I challenge myself because it excites me.  I love the thrill of achieving a new goal.”

Michael grinned, “Are you telling me that my brother’s company which is worth several million is small potatoes to you?

I smiled, and said, “I like David, so I’m willing to stick my neck out for him.  As for the small potatoes, yes it is for me.  My father was a billionaire when he died and left his estate to me.  I left everything in his name because it was easier for me.  I have trouble dealing with his death.  I am the executor.  I didn’t feel like changing anything.”

Michael asked, “Who was your Father?”

I said, “If I told you then, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.  I prefer to have a few secrets in my life time.”

Michael said, “That’s fair.”

I asked, “Are you still feeling intimidated by me?  I do not know everything you know.  I still have so much to learn.”

Michael said, “I think I’m going to sleep much better now that I have a capable woman at the helm of my ship.  I was having some doubts yesterday when I saw you all frazzled and emotional.”

I said, “Yeah that was one of my weaker moments.  I am going to need to spend a few minutes alone in my office before the presentation at four thirty pm.”

I looked at my watch and said, “It is almost three pm now.  People will be irritable about getting those pink slips and losing some of their friends.  It’s going to be a tense meeting today.”

We headed out to the car, I did not look back; I was happy to let Tom handle the problems at Gossip Tabloids.  He would take care of getting everyone to leave the building.

When we arrived back at Global Data Services, Michael got out of the car and walked into the bar next-door; He went to have a stiff drink.

I went up to my office and hung up a do not disturb sign on my doorknob.  I closed the blinds, and put on my mediation music.  I sat down at my desk, leaned back in my comfortable chair, and closed my eyes.  I needed a few minutes rest to clear my mind of all thoughts.  My cell phone beeped and I propped open one eye to look at it.

Tom had sent me a text message that said, “I only got one room.  It is booked solid there is a big conference this week.  Can I share?”

I groaned, Why Me.

I wish something could go right for once in my life.

I hope that Tom doesn’t snore too loudly.

I texted back to Tom, “Yes, what time does the flight leave for Hawaii?”

Tom texted back, “It leaves tonight at ten pm.”

I sighed then I texted Tom back, “Can you please pack for me?  I want my new silver blue bikini and my usual garbs.”

Tom texted back, “Yes I will take care of it as always.  See you later darling; meet me at your place.”

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