I saw Harlan shaking his head adamantly and looked at Seth who was looking amused. “That’s the show with the big chicken, right?” Seth asked. “I see it everywhere, buses, billboards…”
“Yes sir,” Bev said. “I know you like to do the local shows, sir, but they’re just not the most reputable.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt you Bev, but do you remember two weeks ago when I was interviewed by that reporter from the top selling newspaper in Chicago… award-winning reports… completely reputable?” Bev looked embarrassed.
One of the men said, “Well now that you brought it up, you have to tell us what happened.”
Seth smiled again. I really wished that he would stop doing that. It was so distracting. He of course had perfectly white teeth and plump, gorgeous lips that I couldn’t stop myself from imagining kissing. It was more than obvious that he knew the effect that smile had on people too.
“The reporter and I sat down and very professionally the first question she asked me was whether or not I had a girlfriend. When I said no, her second question was whether or not I had a boyfriend. When I said no to that, she asked me if I wanted to meet her back at her apartment that afternoon.”
The men at the table laughed and Bev continued to look embarrassed. Then as men do, several of them asked him if she was “hot” and whether or not he had at least gotten her number. Seth politely and professionally ignored the questions and without any fanfare he redirected the meeting back to business.
“Harlan, why don’t you tell us where we stand this week compared to last?”
“Our numbers have been growing since you took the helm Seth.” Harlan quoted numbers, from this time last year and compared them to now. Once again, I was impressed. Either James still kept a tight rein on what was going on, or the job Seth had been handed was more than just a familial obligation to him. It seemed that he was doing a great job running my company. Good, I thought. It would be in good form when I got it back.
The meeting lasted another hour and I counted three more times when Seth said that he and “Erin” would take a look at one thing or another. It was looking like Seth and I would be spending a lot of time together. That might work to my advantage… but I would definitely have to continuously remind myself that he was my boss and I hated him… or at least the idea of him having my job and his family having my company. Damn him for being so good looking.
When the conference room began to clear out he said, “Harlan, would you mind showing Erin to her office?”
“I’d love to,” the older man said.
Seth thanked him and then looked at me and said, “I have a few phone calls to make and then I will meet you there. It looks like you and I have a lot of work to do.”
Harlan led me out the door and down a long hall with doors on either side. When we got to the end of the hall I stopped in my tracks; they had already put my name on the door. I was torn between the pride I felt seeing my name and title there, and the anger that it wasn’t my real name and it didn’t say, “CEO.”
“Wow a name plate already, that was fast.”
“Mr. Hunter wants you to feel comfortable and welcome. You’ll find out that he’s a great man to work for.” Harlan opened the door for me and handed me the key. I looked around at the corner office with big glass windows and an even more impressive view of Manhattan than the conference room. It was already set up with a computer that had a twenty-seven inch monitor, a flat screen television hung on the wall and anything else a person might need in an executive office seemed to be there as well as a lot of miscellaneous stuff. I even had my own espresso machine and a wet bar.
“Wow, this is really nice,” I told Harlan.
“It is one of our nicer offices,” he said without any trace of resentment in his voice. “Mr. Hunter wanted you on the same floor as his office since the two of you will be working closely. My office is one floor up. Michael and Charles have their offices on this floor as well. You’ll probably be doing a lot of work with Charles, checking out the charities and such.”
“Harlan, tell me more about this charity department.”
“It’s really cutting edge,” he said. “It was Seth’s idea. It took him a while to convince his father but by the time he presented it to us he had an entire plan worked up and he already had a list of charities that were important to the clients that we represent. He’s a smart kid, that one.”