Chapter 43: Temporary Nepotism

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Harmony stood before the chocolate desk with the sleek black iPad opened to the Notes screen. She needed a job, so when Laurent suggested that she be his temporary secretary while his regular assistant was on maternity leave she jumped at the idea but now she was rethinking it. She felt like she was walking on eggshells as her stomach flipped. She didn't want to mess up and be sure to show him that she was up to task.

"So...the music." Harmony gestured to the wall-docked stereo. "I have to make your playlist." She pointed to herself. "Or do you."

Laurent, in his gray suit with light-blue dress shirt, didn't look up from the laptop as he sat behind his desk. "Kyra makes ten playlists on Sunday and rotates them during the week...my music preferences should be somewhere in her desk." He peeked up from the screen and his sight landed on the keys hanging from a gold necklace around her neck. "Did she tell you about the keys?"

"Yeah." Harmony shook her head at herself as she stole a look at her navy pumps. "I mean, yes sir."

"Harmony." A curve formed on his lips as he lowered the laptop screen. "Take a breath...relax." He inhaled and then exhaled but she didn't follow his lead.

"I've never been a secretary before." She slid her hand down her double cuff baby blue shirtdress. 

 

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She continued, "I don't know how to serve people. I was an intern. I researched cases, interviewed witnesses and wrote reports...not assist every need of my parent."

"Is this too much for you?" Laurent asked leaning back in his regal desk chair. "Would you rather work in the mailroom...less responsibility and minimum wage?"

Harmony's eyes bore into his placid bearded face trying to determine if he was being sarcastic or rude. She still hadn't fully learned his sense of humor, yet.

"I...um...I can handle it." Her eyes slid down to the notes on the iPad as she stroked the tight muscles on her neck. "Now, do I order your lunch at noon or do you want it here by noon."

Laurent pushed back the chair and rose to his full height, "Harmony...sweetheart." He warmly spoke as walked around his desk. "You can do this...don't fret on the rudimentary details or your typing speed." He stopped in front of her and slid his hands into his pocket.

"It's not that." She fiddled with a button on her dress. "It just...this is the first time we've worked together." She ticked her mocha eyes over to him and tried hard to fight the mist from growing. "We've never worked on school projects together or sold candy door to door for school fundraising...and I don't want to disappoint you."

"Little girl..." Laurent softly spoke as he gently took hold of her shoulders, "You could never disappoint me. You're beautiful, intelligent, and hardworking." He smiled at the quirk of her lips. "You walked away from a college student's dream position because it didn't sit well with your soul and I admire that."

"You do." She asked with a hint of disbelief.

He nodded. "I do. You're parents raise an admirable woman." A haze of sadness clouded his features.

Harmony saw the guilt wash over his eyes, "I'm just twenty-one...a young adult which means I still have something to learn like..." She searched her mind for something he could teach her. "Legalese."

"Legalese." He repeated letting his hand drop from her shoulders.

"Yeah." She twirled her finger around a stray curl then tucked it behind her ear. "I need to learn the jargon before I go off to law school...that way I'll impress all the professors and get the best letters of recommendation."

"See." Laurent wagged his finger at her with a grin plastered across his face. "That's my girl, right there. Thinking ahead and plotting for success." He grabbed her up in a hug too quickly for her to protest.

"Laurent." She squealed out.

"Whoa." A male baritone came from the doorway. "Do we need to watch those sexual harassment videos, again, Mr. O'Connor?"

"No...I remember every minute of that dull video." Laurent loosened his whole on Harmony as he settled his gaze on the man in dress pants and a white polo. "But this is my daughter..." She turned on her heels to face the man.

"Harmony." He uttered stepping further into the room.

Laurent looked at them perplexed. "You two know each other."

"Um..." Harmony pulled away from her father's grasp and fixed her mushed collar. "Yeah...we met during Spring Break. I didn't know you worked here, Darius."

"I was going to..." Darius started as he rubbed a hand down his stubble jaw.

"He's Tuckman & Williams brightest first-year associate," Laurent added as he went back to his desk.

Harmony's eyebrows drew together as she neared Darius. "I thought you were in law school." She lowly spoke then glanced over her shoulder to see his Laurent was paying attention.

He was staring at his screen but she was sure his ears tuned to her voice.

"I was..." He took a step back as she advanced to the door and he followed her to the immaculate desk—a few feet away from Laurent's office. "Less semester."

"So..." She placed the iPad on the desk then turn back to him. "You lied...blatantly...to my face. Why?"

"I was winging it. Reliving the old days. I didn't expect to meet a great girl." He nervously shrugged. He held his heart, "I'm sorry. Can we start over?"

Harmony dropped down her the chair with perfect posture as the phone on the desk's corner rang. "I don't like liars." She told then pick up the phone and placed it to her ear. "Hello, you've reached Laurent O'Connor's office. How may I help you?" She listened to the person's nasal voice as her eyes followed Darius' sunken posture down the hallway. 


Should she give Darius another chance?

Should she give Darius another chance?

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