A/N: A big thank you to those who picked this up. :D
Extra big thank you to those who took the time to review: VampireSarah and Imperfect-Princess
Chapter 2: The sitch
"When did you find her?"
"Oh. About five years ago. When her father, my… er, son died. I've been sending her some financial support ever since. But I have the feeling that it just isn't enough, know what I mean?"
"Huh. So dying actually makes you grow a conscience?" Tristan smirked.
"Maybe. And I think she'd be useful in the company. I want her to be the CEO."
"What! You have cancer, Deacon. Not some mental illness. She barely finished high school and opted not to enter college! What the hell are you thinking! The shareholders would-"
"Oh, don't worry. I'm just divvying up my work here. Currently, I act as Chairman and CEO. As I'm sick and dying ,I thought it'd be better if I have some bits of rest, don't you think?"
"B-But… I… She has no experience whatsoever!"
"Ah well, like I said, I'm still here as Chairman. And I'm promoting you."
Oh, look at that pretty gleam of excitement in his sapphire eyes.
"You'll take the grand title of president. And your spanking brand new job description is to mentor pretty little Apples just as I mentored you. Fun, eh?"
Deacon held back a laugh as Tristan's jaw dropped. "What the heck does that mean?"
"Well, you have the fun job of making sure she learns the ropes, and make sure she doesn't fuck up this company."
"Mr. St. James—"
"Oh, we're on last-name basis now, are we?" Deacon frowned childishly.
"—I graduated top of my class at Exeter, top of my class in Harvard, and I've been keeping this company afloat, and making it perform 50% better than how it was five years ago, despite the recession. I have been working my ass 24/7 for the last six years without vacations or special pay. YOU know I'm the most qualified to—"
"You are not qualified. You… I had been hoping that before I die, you would be qualified for this job already. But you're not. Still not."
The old man looked grim and serious. There was no humor in his voice too. Tristan slumped back in his chair, dumbfounded and angry with Deacon's words. They both knew that the girl was as underqualified as a rock.
So what does she have that he apparently doesn't?
"Consider it my dying wish, Tristan. Besides! If she's so unqualified, wouldn't that mean that you're the real head of this company?"
I'm the real boss of this company.
I'm the real boss of this company.
Tristan tried to keep a straight face as people left and right greeted him a good afternoon. It would not be good for the company's image if he beat up the first girl or boy he could lay his hands on. He was sure that a heart attack would kill him right now if he didn't murder a certain stumbling girl who was right behind him.
"Sanders!" he barked.
A bald man with shark eyes immediately ran to his side, followed by his peon; a harassed-looking man who carried five laptop bags and three, huge file cases. Sanders' secretary, a curvy blonde who was toe-ing the line of inappropriate office wear, followed far behind while giggling over her BlackBerry.
"Define the word 'shares'," Tristan said as if he was threatening someone with death.
"I… uh… Huh? What again? I… I don't understand…" The bald man choked.
Why am I surrounded with incompetence?
"You," Tristan nodded at Sanders' assistant. "Answer the question."
The young peon blanched for a second as Deacon St. James' right hand man stared right at him. But just as Tristan was about to sigh, turn away and roll his eyes, the young man cleared his throat and said in a clear, non-pip squeaky voice, "Shares. It represents how much you own of this company. Somewhat interchangeable with the term 'stocks'. The more shares you own, the more power or influence you have in a corporation."
"Ohhh," he heard the blonde girl say behind him.
"Sanders, you're fired. And bring that slut of a secretary with you. And you," he turned to the quivering young man beside a horrified-looking Sanders. "Drop those shit you're carrying. Act like a man and replace this imbecile."
Without another look back, Tristan rushed off to the VIP elevator. The old men who were inside mumbled their greetings and promptly made way for the raven-haired man who looked ready to murder.
"They could've stayed. There's a lot of space."
He only grunted. Another wave of migraine was coming on. Firing Sanders had only staved off a bit of pressure in his head for a few seconds. He needed more.
"Gosh, don't you think twice before firing any-"
"Shut up, Miss St. James," Tristan replied through gritted teeth. Shut up and die.
"Geez," she whispered. "What a stuck-up bitch."
He bit his tongue and pocketed his fists. The elevators had not fully opened yet when he screamed, "Agnes! Tylenol! Now!"
A pretty, verging on anorexic, red-head in sky-high pumps immediately rushed off towards the pantry.
"Where the fuck are you going! I said 'NOW', goddamnit!" Tristan yelled. The red-head fidgeted and mumbled a sorry but Tristan cut her off. "Strike three. You're out. Get out of my building."
Upon realizing that the blond girl was still gaping at him in the elevator, he let out a growl of confusion and roughly grabbed her elbow. He ignored her loud "Ah! Ah! Ow!" and dragged her towards her new office. He slammed the door shut.
"Gina! The clothes! Quickly," Tristan said worriedly while consulting his watch. A minute to one.
A brown-haired girl shakily gestured to the powder blue and gold ensemble. Tristan eyed the whole thing critically, and then stopped at the nude and gold Jimmy Choos.
"Th-They didn't have—"
"This is a size six."
"I-I'll wear a size six!" the blonde yelled while reaching for the shoe in his hand. Tristan threw it hard against the door, eliciting shrieks from the two girls. Approximately 90 mph.
Gina was close to crying and she had started inching towards the double doors. "They told us it was impossible to fabricate one on such short not—"
"What part of size five and a half, extra long spaces for the toes doesn't your fat ass understand?"
The blonde girl gasped as Gina, who not so coincidentally was on the heavy side, started to cry. Her thick fingers fidgeted together against her belly, arms stuck to the sides, while she glared at the floor.
The ring of a slap suddenly resounded inside the huge office. Gina gasped as she took in the scenario. The blonde girl had rushed forward to come in front of Tristan Crawford and slap him across the face. Tristan still had his head facing the other way due to the strength of the slap.
"Miss St. James." Tristan said quietly, as he slowly turned his head to face her. You better thank your imaginary God that I don't hit females, you bitch.
"Don't Miss St. James me. I've had enough."
"I'm doing you a favour by weeding out the idiots who would be working for you."
"Oh? Then why haven't you fired yourself yet? You're probably the mooooost idiotic person I've ever met in my whole life. And that already counts Betsy!"
Who the fuck is Betsy? He didn't really care, and so he didn't ask.
Maybe they should have been yelling. It might've lessened the strong stench of murderous aura that suddenly exploded in the room. They glared at each other. Mentally sending off atomic bombs and shurikens at each other. Sky blue against dark blue. Her small, pointy nose reared to fence with his aquiline one.
A knock on the door and the sound of it opening made them separate their uncomfortably close proximity and jump a few meters away from each other. They didn't disconnect their glare, however.
"Sir, the shareholders are now in Board Room A," a deep, man's voice declared.
Tristan nodded. "Get those clothes on, Miss St. James. Gina, you're fired."
He sidestepped the annoying girl he would so willingly throttle if only murder was legal in L.A..
"You can't fire her! It was an impossible task!"
Tristan scoffed and turned. He didn't know why he did it. Usually… well, usually, no one dared to talk back to him. But if someone did, he would most surely shrug it off, or fleck it away like imaginary lint on his suit. He didn't know why he had such drive to turn and accept her verbal challenges. It has only been three days and they have already made this a sort of routine. How utterly dismaying.
"I just did, sweetheart."
"Don't sweetheart me, you misogynistic S.O.B. My name is Apples St. James. And I'm your boss and you can't fire her!"
"Oh. So now you're the boss? You're the boss? Huh? Where was the little girl screeching that she didn't want any of this? Huh? Where was the girl who would rather use up her trust fund going all the way to Korea, stalking a bunch of dancing dudes who wear girls' clothing? Huh? Don't you dare challenge me, Barbie, 'coz you-"
"Don't talk to me like that. You know you'd rather have me as boss or you'll be kissing your place in this company goodbye."
Tristan's heart stopped. It was too late for him to clamp his hands over her red lips. He ignored her muffled protestations and the sticky, wet warmth of her spit; an ill attempt to get his hands off her mouth. One look at Gina confirmed his fears. She heard what nobody was supposed to hear. It would be a big problem if people knew that Tristan could easily be sent to the streets if Apples St. James failed to become the company CEO. Thousands of his enemies would have a field day.
He bared his canines at the insufferable girl who had already become calm. Apples St. James smirked. Tristan released his grasp on her mouth and shook his hand; purposefully flecking the disgusting saliva on her. She didn't mind.
"I'll take her as my secretary," she declared while crossing her arms. "Gina, I'm re-hiring you and increasing your salary."
The girl hurriedly wiped her mascara-stained tears off her cheeks and gasped happily.
Tristan scowled. Oh, how fleeting his victory was over her. He gritted his teeth as he thought of ways to beat her ass with a metaphorical stick.
Sadly, he thought of none.
He angrily stomped out of her office and slammed the door for good measure. Everyone scampered out of his way as he walked towards the board room. He stopped in his tracks however, when he saw a woman smirking flirtily at him.
He unabashedly let his eyes roam over her figure, his eyes lingering over her ample bosom. He leered at how her Stella McCartney dress exaggerated her curves. He smirked back but was actually annoyed that he still was salivating after her.
She made a sexy hum, as her perfectly made-up, come hither eyes fluttered sexily for him. "So where's the new princess? I thought I saw her with you at the lobby a few minutes ago. Or was it some other girl?"
God, even her voice was made for sex.
Tristan shivered when Bernice flipped her long, wavy, black hair over her shoulder (slow-mo, of course) and started to walk towards him.
Why did I break up with her, anyways?
"Does she know about me?" She whispered in his ear. He secretly wished that she'd nip his earlobe playfully. Damn, she was too close. He could taste her breath. Mm. Chocolates and cherries.
"She will. I haven't introduced her to anybody yet."
Tristan cursed himself for being so whipped. Yeah, he now remembered. He was most definitely under her control, and he hated it. He hated how she'd use him for her own bitchy purposes and flung him away until she needed "a bit of help" again. He hated it so much that he let go of the greatest vagina ever experienced by his penis.
A rash of goosebumps sprouted on his arm, thankfully hidden underneath his suit, when she ran her fingers along it in a painfully slow motion.
"So, does she do it any better than me?"
Tristan's eyes widened as he was about to spout denials like a robot. Damn it, he was about to declare everlasting allegiance to her. Goodness! Compare Bernice van der Stoop to that crazy, uneducated kid with no breeding whatsoever! A strand of her hair would not be able to compare to a million Apples.
He broke out in cold sweat at the thought of more than one Apples St. James.
Tristan refocused and looked away from Bernice's doll-like, green eyes. Then it hit him. She wasn't just comparing herself to Apples St. James, she was comparing her performance in bed to…
"Hah!" Tristan laughed. Then stopped himself. Bernice had an insulted, hurt look on her face. He was suddenly compelled to explain himself. And he really was about to when Bernice's pretty face morphed into a hawk-like, banshee-like face. Of course it was gone in about half a second. Tristan decided that it probably was just his imagination. Though, he couldn't shake off the feeling of fear running up and down his spine.
"Gregor!" Bernice called from behind her. A man emerged from the "shadows" and immediately walked up to her side. Tristan held his breath as Gregor, slid an arm around Bernice's waist. He held down a wince as his ego took a hit straight to the nuts.
He knew the man. Gregor Henkompf. Insanely rich dude from Switzerland, a lineage that boasted connections with ten royal families, not to mention, he had consistently topped "Sexiest Man Alive" lists for three years but reportedly usually begs off being posted as his family disapproves of it.
Yeah, right. Wonder what Ma and Pa said when his sex video with three prostitutes got leaked.
Tristan only heard about his grand U.S. debut three days ago and now he's sliding his arm around Bernice van der Stoop's waist. Douche.
He willed his smile in place, laying it on real thick, as he silently watched while Bernice and Gregor proceeded to make out in front of him. Her fingers travelled from his jaw line, going down to his chest and continued to his Hermes lizard belt. Okay, now that made him gulp. Just when he thought they'd never stop sucking face (and doing some light foreplay), they broke off. Bernice flashed a smile at him as if nothing happened.
"He's my new boyfriend."
No shit, bitch.
"Yeah, I kinda figured," Tristan said with a laugh that sounded awkward, as he reached over to shake Gregor's hand. Bernice looked excessively pleased.
"He'll be working here too. He's taking the position you dropped. The Chairman approved his proposal for that new shopping mall project that you were last working on."
The one that got dumped, ripped and pissed on by everybody.
He didn't know how to respond to Bernice's latest attack. What would he say? That he sometimes thinks that her pubes looked funny? Haha. Real mature.
Fortunately, someone called him out. That broke Bernice's momentum.
Tristan held back a groan and a loud, "Why now?" as he turned around.
Apples St. James rounded the corner, closely followed by a worried Gina. The fit of the clothes was right, the walk was awkward, and there was still no makeup on her face. The haughty look was still in place too.
"Apples!" he greeted her enthusiastically. Fake, of course. Tristan slid his own arm around her surprisingly slim waist.
"First name basis now, are we?" Apples said as she squirmed and grimaced at his touch. Tristan tightened his hold and pulled her to his hip with a predatory smile. Shut up.
"Darling, the role-playing was over since last night. Come on," he stage-whispered in an admonishing tone to her, making sure Bernice and her stud heard it perfectly. They did.
"W-What are you talking about, idiot," Apples mumbled. A blush had sprouted on her apple cheeks.
Tristan wanted to scream that this was just an act, and he was just using her to get back at his ex, and that she shouldn't be getting any ideas since she's just trash that had the lucky stroke of being Deacon St. James' granddaughter. Even with that sort of family background, he had no desire to touch her with a ten-feet pole.
Instead, he fake-happily turned to a red-faced Bernice, and an amused-looking Gregor. "The meeting is about to start. You should go in now."
Three seconds after the door closed, Tristan flung Apples away from him like she was plague personified.
"You. Recite to me your speech. Now."
A/N: The pace will be faster next time. :D