Chapter 39 - Helpful housekeeper & dirty dancing

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Norah didn't answer my first call. Or my second. Or my third.

By one in the afternoon, I was pacing back and forth in front of the large windows in my apartment with my phone in my hand, answering business calls when I had to and spending the rest of the time trying to control my anger that could easily also be described as need.

Ms. Jennifer came in around two in the afternoon with the easy smile that she wore only on Saturdays plastered across her face. "Hello, Mr. Styles. How are you?"

"Fine," I snapped.

"Don't be so rude," She scolded as she waddled over to me with a fond expression. "What's gotten into you lately? You haven't eaten most of your dinners."

I frowned as I took her in, all bright cheeks and grey hairs, and standing in front of me with so much concern that I almost told her to leave. She had the same look in her eye that Norah got when I was leaving the football game and she fixed my hair.

"The merger deal is not going over as well as I had hoped," I responded. It was true; the other company wasn't giving into my negotiations as quickly as I had hoped. But it was more about the way Norah was blatantly ignoring my calls.

"And why not, sweetie?"

I scowled at the term of endearment. "Because they are idiots. Either way, their company is going to shit. They might as well go down with a little bit of dignity."

"So why are you standing here with your phone in your hand pacing and not screaming at them, huh?"

"Because I screamed at them on the phone last night," I huffed, kissing her briefly on the cheek before I scurried out of the room and down the long hallway go avoid further questions. My office welcomed me with the sight of ceiling to floor windows, piles of paper that really needed to be sorted through, and the taunting sight of a jacket Norah had left a few days before.

With a scowl, I sat down on the leather seat and began reading through the papers. Investments, policies, and negotiation were the only thing that filled my mind for the next three hours, at least until Ms. Jennifer knocked quietly on my door. Then my mind turned to Norah, which was the exact thing I didn't want.

"Come in," I barked. She entered with a plate full of food in her hands. "You can just put it on my desk. Thank you."

The housekeeper placed it down gently, and I immediately noticed that it was the toasted peanut butter and jelly that she always made for me when I was stressed, before she waddled back out of the room with a smile.

"Call her," She ordered over her shoulder.

My heart thudded so loudly I was sure she could hear it. "She won't answer."

"And you just gave up? That's very unlike you, Mr. Styles."

Then she left, and I didn't bother asking her how she knew, because Ms. Jennifer was always coming up to me and saying shit that I didn't even know myself. The last time she had done that, she stalked into my office after Norah left, pointed her finger, and accused: you care about her, Mr. Styles.

That I had vehemently denied, to the point where I kicked her out of my office so I no longer had to listen to her ramblings. It was three days later that I sent Norah flowers, promised to try, and then ignored the housekeepers annoying 'told you so' stares when she found out.

With a huff, I picked up my phone and dialled Norah's number one more time, and once again she didn't answer. The voicemail rang through her phone and I immediately hung up, this time scrolling through my contacts for the name Jace that had been entered at some point in time.

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