Read Part I
Read Part II
“I need to talk to you.”
Damn. This can’t be good. The last thing a man wants to hear from a woman are those words. That means I did something wrong, according to her anyway.
“About what, babe? I’ve been thinking about you all day.”
“I’m sure, but there are some things that I need to say, and you’re not going to like them.”
Shit. I sat up in my office chair. “I’m listening…”
“You haven’t been putting me first for quite some time now, and…”
“—Babe, you know I’ve been under a lot of stress with work. It’s just been crazy with these projects and this new client. I know no one understands that better than you.”
“That’s no excuse, Marcus,” her voice elevated slightly. “I haven’t seen you one-on-one in two weeks, and contrary to what you believe, these business lunches we’ve have don’t count.”
“We can see each other. That’s not a problem.
“That’s not it. You’re failing to see the big picture…I need something more—from you.”
Aw, hell. “I think you need to calm down. You know my situation.”
“I’m well aware, and it hasn’t been beneficial to me yet.”
The fuck? Hasn’t been beneficial?? Time to redirect this conversation.
“I think we can both list the benefits, but I’m not going to discuss it right now. I have a three o’clock. I gotta go.”
I hung up the phone before she could give a comeback. I lied. There’s no meeting at three, but I had to end that conversation. What’s her deal? She never acts like this. She’s not the needy woman. She’s Caitlyn. Always together, always poised, and most important, emotionally stable. She usually rolls with the punches and acts accordingly.
The truth is I probably should commit to Caitlyn, but in all of this time I’ve never expected things to go as far with us as they have. I love her, but I also love Ava. Ava is everything I’ve always wanted. She’s free and sexy and pushes ahead in life to do whatever she wants in life, even if it doesn’t work. Since we’ve been together, I think I’ve added some structure to her life. She deserves some stability, and I know I can provide that for her.
Caitlyn is established and for a woman, powerful. We make the perfect match, but could she really take care of me like Ava does? I haven’t seen that side of her yet. The only time she expresses herself is in the bedroom or the car or the kitchen or wherever we decide to do it. It’s there that her mask is taken off and I see who she really is. Who she wants to be, but is afraid to be.
The two of them make the perfect woman for me. Letting one of them go equals a loss for me, and I can’t risk that. Ava will probably always love me. Look at the life I’ve provided for her. But Caitlyn. She can’t not love me. I won’t allow it.
Something must have happened, and I’ve got to figure out what. Every now and then she’ll get a little crazy, but it’s not often. We both know even though I can’t give her everything she needs, what she gets is sufficient, more than enough, even. She ain’t going nowhere. Still, I need to damage control because I need her.
I leaned back in my chair until it nearly reclined, and closed my eyes.
Wesley, my colleague, rushed in my office. “Hey, Marcus, you got a minute?”
“Wes, on my way out to a meeting in a few. Whatcha got?”
“Oh, you didn’t forget, did you?”
I raised my brows as I packed my briefcase. “
The group of interns started today, and you’re the end of their orientation. I’ll bring them in and just say hello. You know, maybe that spill you do about working you way up from the bottom, yadda yadda.”
The last thing I want to do is talk to a group of eager beaver interns. Out of five, only one will be hired, and after one year, they’ll wish they had stayed in undergrad an extra year or become a professional student. This life ain’t for everybody. I know. I was one of those interns.
I lucked up on an internship at Google when I was 21 before they became the powerhouse they are today. Now, you need atleast three people’s brain to pass the interview phase, but then, all I had a recommendation from an older frat brother. It was a long road considering some other issues I was dealing with at the time, but that’s another story.
Wes opened my door, and a group of college students rapidly crowded my desk. I scanned the group, and did a double-take. A girl, no a woman, stood there with a knockout smile. Who wasshe? She looked much older than even a senior in college. Not as thirsty as the others. She was appropriately dressed in the usual drab attire we wear around here, but her skirt was tighter than other women’s around here and her top was a bright color. Don’t ask me what. Green or something? She had a little style to her. It looked like she had a weave, but I don’t give a shit, as long as it’s kept nice.
I gave my speech as Wes requested, and I could tell that Sexy Young Intern was checking me out.
“Any questions for me? This will be an unforgettable experience if you all allow it to be. I’ve been where you are, so I know that you’ll have questions. Please, ask them.”
Sexy Young Intern raised her hand. “What are the chances of us being hired when the internship is completed?”
I smiled to myself and to her. “Cut to chase, right?” The group laughed.
“Well, my best advice is to let your work speak for itself. Treat these three months like that golden opportunity it is. We’re always looking for bright, fresh talent, so basically, the chances all depend on you.”
Wes stood by and gave me a puzzled look. “That’s about all the time we have, folks. We’ve gotta get you guys to the human capital department…Marcus, thanks again.”
The others filed out like kindergarteners out the office, but Sexy Young Intern made sure she was the last to leave my office. She turned, “Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Kingsley. I—we won’t be a disappointment….”Would you like your door opened or closed?”
She pivoted on her high heels and I saw the curve of her ass. Shit, I got sidetracked. “Uhhh, you can close it. Thank you.”
Before she got away, I had to say something else. “Tell me your name again.”
“It’s Kendall. Kendall Shaw.”
“Welcome to Wilks & Brooks Technology, Ms. Shaw.”
“Thank you so much, and you’re very welcome.” She gave me one last glance before she pulled the door up. I’d suddenly been given a new work assignment.