~Chapter Three~

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Shayne

I ran down the hallway to catch the elevator, on my way to the conference room.
Once I stepped inside, and pushed the button for the eighteenth floor the doors
closed. I couldn't help thinking about, that woman occupying my office right
now. I will not let her get under my skin, at least not today. I need to focus on
the business at hand.

I arrived in the conference room, "Ah, there he is. It's so good to see you,
Shayne." Mr. Thatcher stepped away from a conversation with Colin and shook
my hand.

"It's good to see you too, Mr. Thatcher. I'm glad you could come meet with us
on such short notice." I acknowledged, as I embraced him.

He patted me on the back, "Please call me Andrew, we're family."

"I hate to interrupt, but we need to get this meeting started, gentlemen." Grey politely reminded us.

Brody rushed in the door, "Sorry I'm late everyone, I had to handle an important issue that came up." He took a seat quickly.

"We're just starting, you didn't miss anything." Colton swiveled around in his chair.

Grey's eyes looked anxious, "Andrew, we need any and all of the advice you can give us. In just the past two weeks, we've had ten board members resign. We've been losing long standing Accounts by the dozens. It makes no sense. We know Philip Winthrop is behind this."

"Do you have a dollar amount of your losses so far?" Andrew looked at me concerned.

I handed him a financial report, "This report is from last week, it's $50,000,000 in lost revenue. The numbers have been like this for weeks. My assistant, Sabine, is working on the current numbers, as we speak." I informed him, as I leaned back in my chair.

Andrew shook his head and looked in disbelief, "This is worse than I thought. I'm sure the new report will be even worse. I propose that I become one of your board members. And bring nine of my most trusted, and highly respected members from London, to join me."

Grey shook his head affirmatively, "That's a great idea. With you on our Board Of Directors, that will lend us credibility, again. Everyone knows that you are one of the most respected businessmen in England. The Thatcher name speaks for itself. I can't thank you enough, Andrew!"

"No thanks needed, Grey. We are going to fight fire with fire. Colin is my heir and I give him freedom to use any money that he deems necessary, from my holdings. All of you are family to me. I will stand behind Carrington Enterprises." Andrew nodded, and gave Grey a firm handshake.

                                                  
                                                             *****

The meeting took two hours, then we adjourned. I went back to my office, opened the door, and found my trusty assistant hard at work. "Sabine, so good to see that you are a woman of your word." I walked past her nonchalantly to my desk.

"I wouldn't dream of disappointing you, Mr. Carrington. In fact, I'm just about done with all of the folders." I heard the smirk in her voice with her head down, still number crunching.

I announced unceremoniously, "Great to hear. Now I won't have to look for a new assistant." I picked up a folder, and started working. She didn't respond. Silence hung in the air, as we both continued to work on the revenue losses for this week.

As I leaned over to ask Sabine a question, my heart felt like it was bouncing around in my chest. Where did that come from? She looked at me questioningly, with a puzzled look on her face. I had to disguise my uneasiness, and make up a question. I quickly asked, "Are you up to coming in early tomorrow, to tackle some more folders?"

She eyed me suspiciously, "I guess I can do that, I'm basically finished. I just have one set of figures to add up. I finished the stack of folders, as I had promised you that I would before the end of the work day."

"Okay, thank you very much, Sabine. Enjoy your date tonight." I acted as if I could care less. It really bothered me that deep down inside, I cared at all. That woman is vexing to no end, and is going to drive me insane.

She stood up from her chair, and stretched after sitting hunched over all day, "Your welcome. I will enjoy my date with my special guy. I'll see you tomorrow morning." She spoke with extra enthusiasm.

"Oh, is your special guy anyone I know?" What was I thinking, asking her that?

I knocked over my cup of coffee to distract her from that question, and started wiping up the spill.

"I was just asking if it was someone I knew from Carrington Enterprises? No worries, it's not important." Now I was making something up, again. This woman needs to leave now, before I stick my foot any further in my mouth.

She raised her eyebrows in surprise, and paused, "No, you don't know him. He is someone new in my life. We've only known each other for a couple of weeks, but I'm simply crazy about him." She had this dreamy far away look and sighed, as she grabbed her suit jacket off the back of the chair, and clutched it.

She waved goodbye and left my office, closing the door quietly behind her. I sat there astonished, that she had finished adding up all of the financial reports. The whole stack of folders, that I had given her to complete. She did a great job. I had to admit, that Sabine Harlow, was a hard worker, she is a woman of her word, and beautiful.

I refuse to ponder that thought any further. If she has a boyfriend, then good for her. I could really care less. I have to wrap up my day and get home in time for dinner, with the Thatchers and their niece, Astrid. This should be interesting.

I opened my office door to leave, and I was greeted by a pair of dark brown eyes, "Mr. Carrington, I forgot to ask you what time you wanted me to arrive in the morning?" Sabine and I stood inches apart, as she waited for my answer.

"Please call me, Shayne.  Ah, I-I was thinking 6 am?" I had to make up a time, since this whole thing was off the cuff.

"I'll be here at 6 am, Mr. Car—, I mean Shayne. Have a good night." She cleared her throat and seemed nervous, with a slight blush spreading across her face.

"Goodnight." I refused to mention her date, again.

I also refuse to delve into why there is an ounce of consideration, as to what she does outside of the office. I have better things to do, and more important things to worry about. If I wanted a date, I could have one very easily. Besides, I'm not interested in a woman, like her. She's too much to handle, I feel sorry for the poor guy. 

Once she shows him her true colors, he'll be running as fast as, Usain Bolt!
                                     
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