As David jumped off his bike, his heart seized. While undoing his helmet, a dark car pulled up beside him. It wasn't the dark car that scared him as much as the driver. Megan got out of the driver's side and walked right by him. She didn't notice him, or maybe she didn't recognize him without the beard. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen her. Feelings of guilt and sadness washed over him as he realized right then that Megan was going to be a regret for the rest of his life.
He watched silently as she paid for her parking pass and walked back toward him. She was dressed for success in a navy blue suit. His heart leaped again, thinking this time she would recognize him. She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone. She nearly ran into him walking to put the pass in her car window.
"Excuse me," she said without looking.
No, please, I'm the one who needs to be excused.
David said nothing.
They had spent a year and a half together before David bought the jellyfish website, before everything fell apart. Their love was unstoppable at first, like the train they had always been waiting to catch. David wondered how he had let it all fall apart so quickly.
He realized that she wasn't going to notice him, so he walked across the street to grab some coffee. He had been up late, working, and even though it was a sunny afternoon, he had only climbed out of bed a half hour ago. MochaToca didn't really care what time you came into the office as long as your work got done.
"Coffee. Black, please."
He was savoring his first cup of the day when Megan walked into the empty shop with another man. He was also dressed in a suit. David watched as they ordered. Two vanilla lattes. He couldn't tell if they were on a date or at a business meeting.
She turned around and their eyes locked. She was stunned to silence. He couldn't breathe. After what seemed like minutes, but was probably was just seconds, she smiled and lifted her hand in the slightest wave. He nodded and beamed a smile in return. Then she turned and resumed talking to the other man. David slipped out the back door and ran to the office, his black coffee slopping back and forth in the paper cup.
He walked into the foyer and sat on one of the two empty couches in front of the elevator to catch his breath. A few minutes later, the elevator opened.
"I was wondering where you were," yelled Andrew. "Don't you answer your texts anymore?"
"Wanna get lunch?"
There was a Chipotle a couple blocks from the office that always had a long line at lunch, but it moved quickly. The team seemed to have a good rhythm going. As David and Andrew finished their burrito bowls, a glob of salsa fell onto Andrew's lap.
"We're in the stickiest situation since Stick the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun," said Andrew.
"I haven't heard that one before," said David. "Blackadder again?"
Andrew gasped. "Hold on a second, let me get my phone. I need to record those words."
David chuckled. They finished up and began walking back to work. The rain had returned with a vengeance, but they didn't have an umbrella so they just shuffled along from awning to awning. They paused to wait for the light to change.
"So what's next?" asked Andrew.
"I don't know," said David. "I was going to go ask Andrea what project they want us to work on."
Andrew shook his head. "No, I mean what are we going to do with all the money?"
David had skimmed just enough money from Shawn's "loan" to pay for another year of Heather's home care. Since Doug had legally acquired Cryptobit, that money was theirs free and clear. But now that Heather had moved in with David, it had just been sitting there for months. They half expected someone to show up and take it all away, but with Doug in jail and the entire company under investigation, the paperwork had been long forgotten. There were even rumors of bankruptcy.
"I did have a crazy idea recently..."
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Hi fellow Wattpad lover, I hope you enjoyed my first novel, The Term Sheet!
I've recently finished a new startup thriller called Big Data. It has many of the same characters from The Term Sheet as well as a few new ones.
Just go to https://www.wattpad.com/story/82742207-big-data-a-startup-thriller-novel
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The Term Sheet | Wattys 2016 WinnerMystery / Thriller
2016 WATTY AWARD WINNER - HQ LOVE THE TERM SHEET is a fast-paced technothriller about entrepreneurship, startups, encryption, and the delicate balance between national security and individual privacy. Its complex characters explore thought-provoking...