Out of the ten applicants Victoria had interviewed from 9am till 2pm that Thursday morning, she had decided on just three.
One looked efficient but wouldn stop batting her eyelids. Victoria asked her why she kept doing that and she had said that she had blepharospasm.
It wasn anything serious that would prevent her working efficiently but Victoria wasn taking any chances, as it already made her uncomfortable.
Sorry. You have to go, Victoria said, and then rather told her that shell hear from them soon.
Shoving them aside, stacking the three CVs on top of the rest, she exhaled in deep exasperation. She had to get someone real fast before Richards daughter gets back.
Knowing she had to tell him the extent of the interviews, she gathered up the three files without looking at them and went into his office.
Richard was expecting her to brief him about the success or failure of the interviews, but judging from her expression, it seemed like a failure.
"What is it, Victoria? Found someone, yes?" He asked, peering closely at her face, from where he was seated.
Hed worked with Victoria for six years that he could already read her face, and what he read wasn hopeful.
She slowly shook her head and fidgeted with the CVs she was carrying. "Well, I thought these three would do the job but after close examination and further interviews..." She trailed off and just shrugged.
Richard leaned back into his really comfortable leather recliner and signed. This won be easy.
For heavens sake, this is Bellamy. There are always people who are in need of jobs or... Was his criteria so high?
Sighing again, he balanced his elbows on the shiny desk and motioned to her hands. "Let me see those."
Glancing down at her hands, she started to hand them over to discover that they were actually four, and not three.
Richard noticed the frown that suddenly appeared on her face. "Whats the matter?"
Looking up at him, she shook her head and started to withhold the last file while handing him the others. "I made a mistake. This..."
"Let me see that." He urged her and Victoria shook her head.
"I didn even send her an email. Shes way too young to even make a real good cook..."
"Victoria_" his voice turning stern, "let me have that."
Forcing a smile, she nodded. "Yes sir!"
Richard opened the file to see that it was just a one page CV. The passport caught his attention as he fixed his gaze on it. A redhead.
Letting his eyes go further, he saw she was really young, a year older than his youngest daughter. Perhaps, Victoria was right, shes inexperienced.
But, "Twenty three? Thats really young." He said, still letting his eyes wander over the page and then let it halt on the passport. Again.
"So, you see what Im saying..."
Finally, he dropped it on the other CVs without bothering to go through them. "Perhaps, we should give her the benefit of our doubts."
That really knocked Victoria for six, because her jaw dropped. Literarily.
"What? Perhaps, you should reconsider this. She is just twenty three and didn even go to college." Victoria was sure she was almost shouting at her boss.
Richard saw that. He was actually taken aback by that. She didn even have any work experience, but he wasn going to delay any further.
Nodding slowly, he leaned back into his recliner, again. "Yes, I saw that. She didn attend college. Shes even from Salta?" He asked, but Victoria knew that was rhetorical.
"I didn miss that, Victoria. I have a good feeling about this."
"Well, I don ." She mumbled, totally not agreeing to that.
Richard just smiled. "Just do what I asked. If shes not good at her job, you have the permission to fire her."
Thinking it through, she reluctantly nodded and gathered up the files, making an exit.
Just immediately, Richards phone started ringing. He wasn surprised to see that it was Simone.
Deciding to answer it after the second ring.
"Hello handsome," she purred into the phone.
"Simone," that was all he could mutter. He could hear voices from her end. Seemed like she had company.
"So, I was thinking about that dinner..." She trailed off.
"What dinner?" He asked, obviously confused.
There was a minute silence, then a chuckle. "You said youll take me to dinner, Richard."
Ahh! The dinner. Hed totally forgotten about that. Fuck it!
Simone knew it, from his silence. Picking up the beat, she asked him. "Did you forget? Richard_"
"No... No... I didn . We should do it today. I already booked the place." Now, that was not what he wanted to say. Why had he even said that?
There was a little giggle and then a deep breath. She was really excited by that information.
That, he had to think about. He could even hear the excitement in her voice.
"Well..." Thinking quickly, "its a surprise."
There was a second silence. "Okay. Im looking forward to it. Baby,\ she said, drawing out the last word.
When he finally lifted his phone from his ear, he telephoned Victoria and she came running in.
"Im supposed to have dinner tonight with Simone, but..." He exhaled and let the rest sink in. "I need you to book us a place."
Victorias eyes narrowed. "Why would I do that? I never do that!" Her voice was flat. The meaning so clear.
Richard nodded. "I know, but Im so busy to do that."
Thinking it through for a second, Victoria finally sighed. "What kind of restaurant?"
Richard simply shrugged and she nodded. "Ill reserve a table if thats fine."
Knowing Simone and how she loves everything to be classy and extravagant, Victoria wondered if reserving a table would be less than her worth.
"You do that." Richard conceded, obviously not going to worry himself with that.
Apparently, Victoria had taken the reservation too far. The hatred was evident from the look of things.
She couldn have possibly reserved a table at that place. Right?
Simone had the same look on her face as he did. It wasn shabby, or cheap or anything like that, but it was totally not where he would go himself or even take Simone to dinner.
It wasn exactly their type of place. He had even driven the car himself, with Simone beside him, just to give them privacy.
What have you done, Victoria?
"Richard, really? You brought me to dinner to this place?" She queried, almost looking furious.
Richard opened his mouth, shut it and looked right at the building, through the glass.
Maybe, he was becoming too friendly and familiar with Victoria that she had to pull such a stunt.
Racking his head, knowing he had to give her an answer either way. "I... I... Just thought we could come to this place for a change. Ive been here before." Lies. All lies.
That was what worried Richard. He was becoming someone else with Simone. Hed never had to tell a lie or try to make excuses, but now, he just didn understand what was going on, but he knew it was bad for him. Really bad.
Getting out, he walked briskly to her side to open the door, and then helped her out.
Simone was a beautiful woman, with a really great fashion sense. He sometimes doubted if she hadn actually gone under the knife. There were claims about it, but she always denied all of it.
Looking at her now, he saw she looked all dressed up and shiny, but was not really intrigued with the restaurant.
Me too, baby. Me too.
As they went in, with Simones arm across his elbow, Richard was impressed to see that the restaurant wasn bad after all.
It was beautiful and cozy, not extravagant or anything out of the ordinary. It was just simple.
They settled in and their orders were taken, Simones face still bouncing all over the place.
Turning back to face him, "did you really choose this place, or your secretary did?" She asked, immediately the waitress was out of earshot.
He knew it. He knew that she hadn believed anything hed said. She was that smart. Sighing deeply, "well, I thought we could come here for a change. Its simple and classy anyway." He repeated tightly.
Simone rolled her eyeballs, not buying it. "Simple and classy? Look at the decor." She gestured to the general interior. She wasn wrong about that, but it wasn terrible either.
Richard was about to answer, when the waitress appeared again, carrying their orders. Theyd both ordered spaghetti and turkey meatballs with a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild red blends.
Twirling the spaghetti with his fork, he closed his mouth around it and was pleased to know that the food was excellent. At least, thats something. He further went on to try the meatballs, it melted in his mouth that he couldn help moaning in utter satisfaction.
Letting himself absorb all of the exquisite taste, he smiled at Simone, encouraging her to have a bite.
"Come on, Simone. Its really great." He didn have to lie about that.
She hesitated, then picked up her fork. Richard watched as she did so, her eyes not leaving his face as she chewed on the spaghetti.
Richard almost read the delight in her eyes, but it immediately disappeared.
"Its good. Nothing special, Richard."
The simple words left Richard thrown. Picking up his fork again, he decided to enjoy it, even if it meant alone.
He could only flash Simone a quick smile, when she picked up her fork and they ate in comfortable silence.
Once their plates were cleared, Richard poured wine into their glasses, knowing that things were going to get serious.
Without missing a beat, Simone dropped her elbows on the table. "So, I wanted us to talk," she started.
Richard graced her with a lingering look, reminding himself that Simone had been with him for two years, so there was no point in wasting their time.
Taylor and Aria, obviously liked her, except that Simone doesn know he hated bacon egg muffins.
"You still don think Im good enough for you to pop the question?"
Richard took a sip of his wine and mulled over her question.
"Its not that Simone..."
"Then what is it? We
e no more kids. I turned thirty-five in January." Though her voice was low, there was enough frost in it.
He shook his head. "Its not you, Simone, trust me. We
e good together and I know that." He took another quick sip, his throat suddenly getting dry.
She gave a chuckle. "Are we going to play its-not-you-its-me game right now?"
"I like you enough_" a true statement, but Simone caught the drift.
"But...? You don even love me or think of me that way, right?" She said drily, enough disappointment in her voice.
"Im sorry. I just..."
Reaching across the table, she placed her hands over his. "Its fine. We
e not teenagers anymore. We can still work things out." She said with a smile, although Richard knew that she was just trying to act cool with things.
He returned the smile, although it was evidently patronizing.
"We like each other and the sex is great though." Now, the glow was back in her eyes.
Richard had to agree. The sex was always great.