The Woman Who Won His Heart

Paul Gabriel Black had just moved to Cania, for his new job as Events Director for Defence and Safety in Paire Amster Events. Leaving his girlfriend back home in Mirinthul, who refused his offer of joining him in Lightham and start a new life together, he was determined to persuade her to come and lay out all the reasons in the world that they'd both work out alright.

Scarlett Lee Ryder, researcher for Paire Amster Events had a principle in life: never get into a relationship with colleagues. She was doing just fine for three years with the company, until this new guy suddenly shows her interest.

Paul didn't want to lose his girlfriend, but it was out of his hand if she won't do anything to help their relationship. There are other women in Lightham anyway, and most Paire Amster female specie are obviously dropping hints of liking him, except for Scarlett Lee Ryder

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2. ONE

Paul parked his car at the outdoor side parking lot of Paire Amster office building, and checked himself on the rear view mirror. He had a clean cut hair yesterday, at the barber shop that was an hour drive from his new place, and when he came back he saw a barber shop that was actually a walk a way from his house. He should have walked around the neighborhood of Tarnstead, which he will be doing in the afternoons after his work, he decided.

Office attire as what he had been told was business casual, so he put on a black trousers, light blue button down long-sleeve shirt tucked in, a black belt and a black shoes. He opened the door of his car, just in time when someone came cruising on a skateboard, almost hit his car door but managed to avoid it.

"Sorry!," he called to the girl who was on the skateboard. She had long-a-little-messy brown hair, she was wearing a black fit trousers, a long sleeved shirt (un-tucked), and black sneakers with white soles.

She raised her hand in a wave, and he watched her cruised towards the front of the building, stepped on one end of her board and carried it horizontally in her left hand. She then pressed her thumb on the bio-metrix, and the door automatically opened, she went in.

Paul locked the door and walked toward the building. Cool, he thought of the skater girl. Never in his life had he seen someone going to the office in a skateboard, especially a girl. He's interested to know who skater girl is, he's a boarder himself and he hadn't been doing it for years he thought that it was silly at his age, but after seeing that girl a spark lit in him.

Paire Amster Events Team occupied the whole 15th floor of Paire Amster Business Center I. Ian Smallberg, Managing Director for events team had his office in front of the elevator doors towards the other end of the floor area so he could easily see anyone who came in when the blinds in his office are open. When Paul stepped out of the elevator into the heavily black carpeted floors of events department, Ian was talking to someone on the phone and grinned when he saw Paul. He quickly ended his call and stood up from his chair.

"Paul Gabriel Black!" he boomed walking out of his office to meet Paul halfway into aisle and shook his hands. "Welcome to the team, as you may have see they aren't here yet except for the earliest bird next to me, Lee." he gestured his hand towards a woman sitting in one of the group of tables to the far right side of Ian's office. She didn't heard him call her name because she's so glued on her monitor. "I think she have her headphones on, come let me introduce you."

"Sure," Paul answered and followed Ian. The office was so massive and really spacious. There were tables grouped together into fours.

"So how do you find Cania?" Ian asked as they walked towards the end of the aisle and turned right.

"Lovely place. Not too hot, not too cold." Paul answered.

"You will love it here. This our summer temperature. But when it snows, it really snows."

They neared the girl on the corner, that's when Paul realized it was the skater girl at the parking lot earlier!

"This is Lee," Ian said. She took off her head set and looked up at them. "Director for research, coolest woman in the team, goddess of database building. Lee this is Paul, our new Director for Defence, you two will be working a lot together."

She stood up and they shook hands. Paul was as tall as Ian, around six foot three inches, he noticed that Lee stood inches below his shoulder. 

"Nice to meet you, welcome to the team." She smiled and her blue eyes smiled too.

"Thanks. Looking forward to working with you."

"Usually Kevin coordinates with Lee," Ian said. 

Kevin is the Marketing Director for Defence team, he learned from the briefing and drinks he had with Ian two weekends ago.

"But if you have anything for Lee to work on you can talk to her yourself, she's nice and lovely," Ian looked at Lee and winked at her. She smiled and gave a thumbs up.

Wow, this guy is attracted to her. Paul thought to himself as he and Ian walked into Ian's office. Ian sat on his chair and Paul sat on one of the chairs across Ian.

"I don't need to brief you anymore, because I've told you everything. I want you to know that you will really be busy preparing for MAGDO, and that we will all be very supportive with you, whatever decisions you think is fit for the event do it. You are the director for Defence so I put it in your hands all the responsibilities." MAGDO means Maritime, Air and Ground Defence of Obrana.

"I will do everything I can from my past experiences to help the team." Paul said.

"Good, once again welcome to the team."

Paul exited and went to his table on the left side of the aisle, first group of table. His desk was facing Ian's office, he want it that way so when Ian asks him anything he doesn't have to look around.

 

***   ***   ***   

 

"New guy," Ethan Harbourne nodded towards Paul's direction. Paul was having lunch with Kevin and Vincent - Defence team -  on a table outside the restaurant.

"Yeah," Lee answered. She almost got hit this morning when he opened the door of his car. "How long do you think will he be working with us?"

"Five months?" Ethan answered feeding himself with his home made organic salad watching the Defence team.

"You don't have faith in him?" Lee asked studying Ethan closely. "Ian said Paul's previous job was  events for Defence too."

Ethan looked at her. "Then I think he's staying longer."

Lee shrugged and finished up her vegetable tuna. Her mind wondered off to Jake Clifton, the previous Director for Defence events. She and Jake had been having this mutual understanding ever since they joined the company three years ago. It was obvious that the two of them liked each other, but they both didn't want to admit it. On Jake's farewell party last month, they sat beside each other which they usually do whenever there was company outings, dinners or drinks. They talked the whole time, but obviously no one wants to spill it out. They left the club around three in the afternoon, and Jake dropped her off at her apartment. He embraced her tightly before she went in and said, "I will miss you Lee,"

"I will miss you too," was all she said and that was it.

"Earth to Lee!"

Lee blinked and looked up to the person who called her. It was Penelope Ayers with Benjamin Chase Garman and Alex Seven Morgan. The only one who was not in her team right now was Darlene Faye Payson, who was of course having lunch with her boyfriend.

"Sorry, you were saying?" Lee asked Penelope. 

"The company's going out tonight for the new guy's welcome dinner and drinks, are you coming with us?" Penelope asked her.

Of course she was coming with them! But she realized why Penelope asked her. It was because of that database for the sales team which needs to be fixed. There was about ten thousand names on there and all that's needed to do is to put the right information on the right boxes. Lee didn't asked her team to work on it because they were busy working on other database for the other teams.

"Yeah of course I'm coming with you guys but maybe a little late for sure." Lee answered. 

"Is it that sales database?" Alex who was sitting beside her asked.

"Yes. I managed about one thousand names half of the day! It's freakin' crazy I don't even know if I'll manage to get it done in the afternoon."

"I'll help you with it," Benjamin offered.

"You don't have to, I don't want you attending late tonight." Lee answered.

"Dinner and drinks is at eight so we still have time," Ethan told her.

The guys had always been willing to help her but the girls don't. They didn't want to work on the extra hours even if it was paid so Lee didn't expect an answer from Penelope.

"Does Annie need that database today?" Penelope asked her munching her tuna sandwich.

"Half of it," Lee answered slurping on her juice. Annie Farren is the Director for the sales team.

"The boys can help you with that," Penelope answered. It's so very her. When she doesn't like to help she'd always push the boys to do the job. Just to be fair with her, when she's given the task she always works hard on it and Lee is happy about it. Everyone in the team works hard on their assigned tasks anyway.

"Wow," Benjamin said looking at Penelope. "I thought you were offering to help."

Penelope rolled her eyes. "Duh, I don't want to be late for Paul's welcome party! Haven't you guys seen how hot he is?!" she said looking dreamily outside the restaurant at Paul.

The guys shook their heads. 

Lee watched Ethan who exhaled his disgust over at Penelope's reaction over the new guy. Lee is the only one in her team who knows how Ethan feels for Penelope. She saw how he treated Penelope, but she doesn't seem to notice at all.

"Are you sure you guys don't have anything to work on?" Lee asked Benjamin, Ethan and Alex. 

"We're almost done with the works you gave us," Alex said. "So we're glad to help."

"Thanks boys," Lee said smiling.

"Anytime Lee," Ethan answered.

"When are we having game nights?" Benjamin asked. "I missed playing."

"We can play at my place," Ethan offered.

"I like to play at Kamikaze," Benjamin said.

Kamikaze is a pub except that there are open room areas or close room areas for the gamers. Lee and the guys are residents in the pub, but for the past two months they haven't had time to visit since they were either busy, or got other things in mind.

"We can go to Kamikaze tonight," Ethan offered. He clearly didn't like the fact that Penelope will find her ways to flirt with the new guy just like some of the single ladies would later that night.

"You don't want to disappoint Ian," Benjamin reminded him.

"And that's free drinks Ethan!" Lee reminded him.

Ethan sighed once more, stood up and walked away with his tray. Lee watched as Ethan dumped the tray into the tray bin and walked out of the restaurant to smoke.

"What's with him?" Penelope asked clueless.

"I'll go check," Lee said and left her team. "Hey," she said joining Ethan at the smoking area under a huge tree. "You okay?"

"Why does she have to be so insensitive?" he asked frustrated. He took a drag of his cigarette.

"How will she know if you won't tell her?" she asked him.

"She told me she had no plans dating someone in our team," Ethan answered.

Lee reached out to squeeze his elbow and said, "Then stop already. Find someone else. We all know Penelope wants a high profile boyfriend, and you don't want her to come chasing after you because you're rich right?"

Ethan nodded his head. "I know. I think one year of trying to win her is enough, I'm really over her this time."

"She will realize that when everything is too late."

He smiled at her sadly.

Lee knows how in love Ethan was with Penelope. The funny part is that Penelope doesn't know that Ethan belongs to a rich family he being second to the youngest. Lee knows because Ethan had invited her over one time to their family mansion while she was on vacation, she didn't know that Ethan lived in the country she was vacationing and bumped into him one day. 

Penelope will never know. Lee preferred it that way, because she didn't want Ethan hurt in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

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