“Mr. Vincent, We have made more progress over these last few months than even I thought was possible. The twenty businesses that we have chosen to pursue are in position for expansion and the ones that are not a good fit for the company are now being sold off at premium rates. This means that we will have even more resources to become the best in the world.”
“I know Emeka and I can see the wisdom of your plan but it is still hard, watching a company you have spent your entire life building being sold off to the highest bidder.”
“I can only imagine how you feel but as long as you are secure in the fact that it is for the best then nothing else matters.”
“Yes, it is as you say.” Mr. Vincent sighed.
“If you will excuse me sir, I need to get back to work.” Emeka said standing.
“Yes yes of course.” Came the muddled reply from The Chairman.
Emeka strolled leisurely to his office, now comfortable in his position as the President and happy that the pieces were falling into place. He stopped in front of his secretary’s desk and asked her to call his chiefs for an impromptu meeting.
The three people that he wanted to see were assembled in his office within a few moments. Chika Ordu the Vice President of Marketing, Michael Patterson the Operations Director, and Cassie Petu the newly hired Finance Chief.
“Welcome everyone, have your seats so that we can begin and you all can get back to the tasks that I interrupted.” Emeka started. “As you all know, we are slightly ahead of schedule and we are building momentum. Once we can sell off the remaining companies that are under performing we will be able to pursue the expansion of the big twenty in earnest.”
“Sir, what will we do with the employees in the companies that we are selling off?” Michael asked.
“We snatch up the best ones and allow whoever buys the company to decide what they want to do with the rest.”
“Now, we will start a relatively long merger and acquisition phase. In order to get a hold of some of the newer technologies we are going to have to make some strategic investments.”
“Not a problem Mr. Jones, I took the liberty of engaging in tentative talks with some of the larger financial institutions and they are ready to support us wherever we go; they believe in your vision.” Cassie chimed in.
“Good work Cassie, I love it when my team takes the initiative. Chika, how are we looking, does the common man buy the idea of us becoming a “smaller” company?”
“Yes, they actually think that we are in trouble because we are selling off all of our assets but I have been able to contain the damage by making sure our products stay in front of them at all times. They see and hear about us in their homes, on the way to work, and even at work. In the back of their minds, they know we are here to stay.”
“Very good, everything seems to be more or less in order. We have three targets for the rest of this year; secure financing for a merger with an alternative energy company in Spain that will give us the rights and the expertise to pursue an energy source they discovered out there; something that has to do with lasers and vibrations in the ether. Next, we need to make sure the sale of the companies goes off without a hitch, I want this company to remain scandal free, at least for the next few quarters. Lastly, I want us to extend our ten year plan into a twenty year plan. Is everyone clear?”
“Yes sir.” They replied in unison.
“In other news, you all know that my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl recently, I want to invite each one of you to the Christening party; Janet will forward the invitations to each of you.”
“Sounds like fun.” Michael said.
“I’ll be sure to make it.” Chika replied.
“If there is nothing else, then you all are free to go.” Emeka said with a smile.
As the other two stood up to leave, Cassie hung back and Emeka could not help but notice how the grey dress she wore hugged her body like a second skin and she really did have a nice body.
“Emeka, can I ask you something, something personal?”
“Sure Cassie, what is it?” he said, motioning for her to sit back down.
She sat down and leaned forward giving Emeka a nice look down the front of her dress.
Fuck, this woman is too damn fine Emeka thought ruefully.
“How do you know when a man loves you?” She asks.
“Mmm, I would say that you know a man loves you when he does more than you ask him to. Men do very little for women that we have less than pure feelings for.” He replied honestly.
Cassie slightly parted her full pink lips and trailed her tongue across them while pondering what he said.Does this woman know how sexy that is? Emeka mused.
“So, if my man is lazy then he does not love me?”
“No.” Emeka chuckled. “For instance, maybe he holds doors open for you to pass through or he helps you wash the dishes at home or he cleans up so you can rest awhile. These are not the end all be all of love but they are a pretty good indication.”
“Hmmm.” The young woman mused as she tapped her chin in thought and uncrossed her legs.
This babe wants to seduce me I’m sure, look at the soft skin on the inside of her thighs; Lord have mercy, I’m a married man. He thought as he stood abruptly to end the interaction.
“Cassie, whatever it is between you and your man, I’m sure he will come to his senses, you’re a beautiful young woman and anyone would be happy to have you. I’ll be expecting you at my party in a few weeks and if there is nothing else I need to get back to work.”
“Yes, of course, thank you for your time, I’ll be sure to make it.” She replied.
As she moved to go, the strap of her heel came loose and instead of bending at the knees to lace it back she bent at the waist; giving Emeka an unobstructed view.
This lady should get out of my office before she starts what neither one of us will be able to finish.
Emeka leaves the office for his weekend getaway wondering what type of seductress he hired so many weeks ago. When he pulls into the driveway of the house that finally feels like home to him, all thoughts of the office are expelled from his mind.
The boys are just as rowdy as ever and trip over each other to greet him.
“Daddy Daddy, can we go to the beach tomorrow?” Michael asked.
“Beach, don’t you guys want to spend a relaxing day at home so that your old man can rest his weary bones?”
“Who is old?” James quipped.
“I am, where is your mother?”
“She is bathing Phoebe” Michael replied.
“Have you guys finished your homework?”
“Dad, it’s the weekend, please do not spoil it for us.” James said playfully.
“Alright alright, let me go and see the queen and the princess.” He chuckled.
He extricated himself from the clutches of his sons and took the steps two at a time; ready to see the two most important women in his life. He found his wife bent over a baby tub inside of their larger tub and she did not hear him approaching. He slipped his arms around her and kissed her on the back of her neck.
“How is my queen?”
“Tired, how is my king?” she replied.
“Just as tired, but let me help you bathe the princess.”
“Your wish is my command your grace.” His wife said as she handed him the washcloth and sat down on the side of the tub.
Emeka was besotted by the child he looked at now, her small hands and feet, the eyes that barely opened, and the fragile grip. They all made Emeka love his daughter even more than life. He was infinitely grateful to his wife for giving him three beautiful healthy children.
“Hadija, what is that part of law that deals with families?”
“Ummm, family Jurisprudence I think.”
“You know that in the very rare case that we split up, I’m going to take Phoebe right? I just want to make that abundantly clear. You know how fathers and their daughters are.”
“Ehh, you can have her, I will be fine with my two boys.” She replied while giving him a playful punch.
“Thank you Hadija.”
“For what exactly?”
“For coming into my life.” He replied with a husky voice while never taking his eyes off little Phoebe.
“You’re welcome Mr. Man; I guess I’m thankful for you as well.”
He finished bathing Phoebe and wrapped her in her evening clothes in time to prepare for dinner. As he sat at the head of his table, he was the happiest man alive, everything was just perfect but for some reason an image of Cassie flashed across his mind.
The weekend went by quickly, on Saturday he spent the day at the beach with his family and watched as Michael and James found unique ways to entertain them. He refused to let anyone else hold his daughter; his infatuation with her was still too strong. He surprised himself by thinking what his child would look like if Cassie had been the mother. A thought that he quickly dispelled from his mind.
All too soon, it was Sunday night and his idyllic weekend had come to an end.
“Can I sue my office for making me work so hard?” He asked his wife before he left the room for her and his daughter.
“On what grounds?”
“Emotional distress, they are forcing me to leave my family five days a week.”
“Well, I don’t know if you would win but I will make sure you have a stellar defense.”
“Aren’t you a little rusty?” he asked skeptically.
His reply was a large pillow being thrown at his face.
“Goodnight dear.” He said with a laugh.
“Goodnight my king.”
“Goodnight princess.” He said, kissing both of them.