|Sealing the Deal
Author: Krittya3311 PM
Layla Keller is so busy with her job and boss life is passing her by. Liam Brody will remind her. What will Hunter do without herRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 6 - Words: 19,849 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 01-31-13 - Published: 09-25-12 - id: 3060921
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Layla held her shoes in her hands and took the stairs two at a time. She was late and needed to get into the office before that tyrant Hunter arrived, and if he was already there she needed to make sure he didn't realize she was late. Her morning had started terrible and had quickly gone from bad to worse. The longer it went on the worse it got. Before pouring hot coffee on her phone, she overslept her alarm, she then left the house 30 minutes behind schedule causing her to miss the train. While waiting on the platform for another to arrive, a thoughtful toddler poured his chocolate milk on her brand new off-white suit. Then the icing on the cake, the train that did arrive broke down leaving her stranded for almost an hour. She finally made it to the office, tired of the elevator stopping on what felt like each floor so she got off on 17 and was now running up the stairwell thinking the only saving grace was she could forgo the gym today since their offices were on the 30th.
Her cell phone chirped in her hand.
"Layla Keller," she said panting into the phone.
"Layla, it's Hunter, I got held up at the doctor today, I should be in shortly, can you move the staff meeting to this afternoon? When are we supposed to meet with Brody and his people?" Layla collapsed on the stairs, she had forgotten today was Thursday, Hunter's late day to the office. He met with a therapist every Thursday, she knew this and couldn't believe she had forgotten.
"We are meeting with them for lunch, 12:30."
"Oh, well it's what 8:45 now, why don't we get the staff meeting underway at 11, that way we can have it done before we meet with Brody?"
"I will make it happen sir." She hung up, and almost threw the phone. 6 years she had been working for Isaac Hunter and for 6 years this man has seen a therapist every Thursday, not that it had helped, he was still as dysfunctional now as he was when she met him but how she managed to forget she'd never know. She took her time getting to the office, there was no reason to hurry now.
When she did arrive she wished she hadn't. The entire office seemed to be up in arms about something.
"Layla!" Connor screamed running to her. "Where have you been? You can't imagine-" was all she allowed him to get out before she waved her hand in front of his face to silence him.
"Look Connor, I'm wet, dirty, sweaty and a little smelly from my commute in, I don't need-"
"I don't know you look pretty good to me." A deep voice said from behind her. "Of course I'm used to dirty, sweaty and smelly." Layla turned and looked up to deep hazel brown eyes and a square jaw set on top of a tall well-built frame. The man that belonged to the voice was Liam Brody, 6' 2" former NFL receiver, none of the publicity photos did him justice. He had longish brown hair that hung tousled around his face and begged to be ruffled. His smile is what made him so popular, it lit up his entire face and contagious.
"What the huh?" was the best she could stammer out.
Connor walked behind her and whispered 'Liam Brody's here early.' She nodded absently, she had read the bio, recognized the face, and here he was flashing the winning smile that had won over most of the country. He had retired from football over 3 years ago but he still held the board shoulders and muscles that took him and his team to the playoffs year after year. She remembered herself and stuck out her hand.
"Liam Brody," he said, his warm muscular hand enveloped hers and she silently wished she had washed it or at least wiped her hand on her skirt before offering it out to him. But now that he had it he didn't seem to want to let it go. He didn't seem to mind her sweaty palm and put his other hand on top of hers. She continued to be held by his hazel eyes and bright smile but recovered quickly.
"Mr. Brody, I do apologize but we weren't expecting you until this afternoon."
"I'm afraid there was a misunderstanding with the scheduling with my people and we apparently showed up at the wrong office. We were supposed to be meeting with Fischers and Son's this morning and you guys this afternoon. Sorry for the mix up, we can come back when you're more prepared." He finally dropped her hand but still stood close.
Layla was a lot of things, stupid and crazy weren't either of them. If Brody left now she knew the chances were slim that he would come back and now that she knew their biggest rivals were trying to woo him as well she would jump out of the window before she let them leave.
"No please," she put a hand out, meaning to land on his arm or shoulder, instead it landed on his chest, she flushed and after a moment's hesitation removed it.
"Sorry, I just think it would be best if you stayed, since you're already here. Please this way." She stretched out her arm first intending to show them to the meeting room they had anticipated on holding their lunch in but thought better of it and led him past it to her office. Layla looked over Liam, the suit he wore clung tightly to his frame. Some would have mistaken it for a suit that was too small, Layla acknowledged it for what it was, a man too big for his suit. His muscles bulged against the arms of the jacket and she thighs swelled in the legs. She then looked back and noticed an elderly man following close behind, with a quick once over Layla recognized the family resemblance, too old to be a brother, this was the uncle she had read about.
"Layla Keller," she said again sticking out her hand.
"Owen Brody." He said shaking it. "We do apologize for the mix up. It is rather embarrassing." Layla wasn't sure if this comment was directed towards her or themselves. She had met plenty of shady people since she had been in Hunter's employ and wouldn't have put it past someone to make a "mix up" like this and use it as an excuse not to do business with a company that was ill prepared. Little did they know Hunter was prepared for almost all contingencies, of course not today. Today may be the day that could undo her career with Hunter but she would work like mad to make sure it didn't happen.
"Could I offer you gentlemen anything to drink? Coffee, juice, water?" She asked once they were seated in her office.
"Well, we did miss breakfast this morning, I could nibble on just about anything." Liam held her gaze as he said this.
Layla returned his smile, "Of course." She excused herself and made her way back to Connor.
"I need breakfast up here yesterday, find me something else to where, this outfit is a mess, I need to change. Move the presentation to the smaller conference room, that one's better in the morning than the one we were going to use this afternoon."
"What about Hunter?" Connor asked.
"I'll take care of calling him." She said. The last thing she wanted to do right now was call Hunter, she needed to spin this so he wouldn't know she wasn't here when they arrived, that she had everything under control and make sure there wasn't a way for him to turn this back and make it her fault. She figured she could do at least 2 of those things.
"Hunter," he barked when he answered his phone.
"Hunter, it's Layla, we have a wrinkle."
"What kind of wrinkle?" Hunter kept his tone even, he wasn't prone to panic. Layla had learned to tailor her speech to match his. Hysterics were not appreciated and it was a rare day when you would hear Hunter even raise his voice.
She had initially fallen for his innocent looks, level headedness, and charm. She had assumed it would make him an easy boss to work with, so she lobbied hard for the job, but after landing it and working directly with him for a few weeks, all visions of Hunter as a decent human went out the window, along with her free time, social life everything that was not Hunter and the company. Hunter was relentless in his job and a perfectionist, something he expected from everyone he worked with. He put in what seemed like 50 hours a day and never tired. Layla had quit almost half a dozen times but she would remind herself she was a high ranking officer in a successful company, quite a feat for not only someone her age but also a woman. Sure she wasn't the youngest nor was she the only woman in her position but it was still something, so she stuck to her guns, stayed with Hunter and developed a respect for him that she wasn't sure was reciprocated, however this was giving her the experience she needed that could prove useful.
Layla explained into the phone what happened, Hunter told her to give him 15 minutes and disconnected. Layla just had to decide what to do with Brody for 15 minutes. She figured she could watch his smile for that long. She put on her best game face and walked back into her office.
Hunter disconnected and settled into the back seat of the car. He wasn't in the least bit worried, he trusted Layla explicitly, she was one of his most competent employees if not the most capable employee he had. He didn't bother to tell the driver to hurry, she would keep them occupied until he arrived at the office. God, what would he do if she ever left?