Derek stepped quickly
from the elevator in an attempt to elude Vanna but she took his elbow as if he
was a gentleman escorting a lady. Vanna
smiled smugly at everyone as they passed. She knew all eyes were on them and
she wanted the whole office to know she was there. Whispers and gossip filled the void as Derek
“Don’t you think you
would remember if we had met? We’ll have
time to discuss that later. Right now
the clock is running and the thirty minutes I gave you is now down to twenty.” Her gaze was unwavering and Derek felt chills
running up his spine.
He had to act
fast. He didn’t even consider arguing
with her. She sat there smugly as if she
held the perfect cards and deep inside he knew she wasn’t bluffing. But the terrifying
part was the understanding that she was backed by someone or something
powerful, someone who could crush him in an instant. He needed more information. He would ask about that later, if he dared.
There weren’t many big offices that fit her
specifications. The owner of the company
had the biggest office. Derek, the CEO,
had the most impressive one. Five large
offices belonged to other important executives, and one smaller office which
the owner’s son frequented. Derek had
always considered the owner’s son to be an unnecessary appendage, someone who
got in the way and impeded progress.
Taking that office would mean war with the owner, but what else could
Derek led Vanna to that
small office, hoping to appease her. “I’ll
have his things moved right away so you can move in.”
She took a quick glance
around the room. “No, this room doesn’t
satisfy my needs. I’ll tell you when I
see the one I want.”
flustered. Vanna was being uncooperative. He would have liked to send her away. He didn’t
want to be forced to do things but he had no choice. Something was making him
do whatever she asked.
Derek and Vanna went from
office to office, interrupting private conversations and meetings. He knew this was not how to run a business
but at this moment everything was out of his control.
Beads of perspiration were on his forehead and
Derek dabbed at them with a monogrammed handkerchief. All the rushing about and she had not claimed
an office. He seemed puzzled at her silence and her reluctance to choose.
“Okay, now what? You’ve seen them all.”
“There’s one more you
haven’t shown me.” Vanna had that intense look again.
“But that office is
mine,” Derek sputtered. “You can’t have
Vanna smiled sweetly
and said, “I only wanted to see it for comparison purposes. Now that you told me I can’t have it, I’ve
changed my mind. It’s a woman’s
Reluctantly he led her
down the hall, past the receptionist’s desk and through the doors with the large
gold initials, D. G. He walked around a
large desk and sat down ceremoniously.
Seeing him seated in a position of power might calm her down. He leaned
back in his chair and braced himself. “Who
are you and what do you really want?” he snapped.
“Don’t you recognize me,
Derek? We spent hours together. You
tortured me endlessly and gave me no mercy. Didn’t you think I would find you? Or did you even care? You thought I was
disposable. Easy to get rid of. I’m not going to be a victim any longer. It’s your turn now.”
Derek had a wild look
in his eyes. The veins on his forehead bulged. His hands were opening and closing as he
stared at her throat. Perhaps he could
have made one quick move and his tormentor, Vanna, would be lying in a heap.
Instead, his face violently contorted and his hands clutched his chest.
Derek pitched face
forward and fell at Vanna’s feet. “Help me,” he pleaded. “I’m having a heart attack.”
Vanna went around his
desk and sat in his chair. She looked
out at the city below. “I would have
enjoyed this view every day. It’s a pity it was wasted on you.”
She sat there a few
seconds before she got up. She hesitated next to Derek, just in time to hear
him gasp, “Please help me.” Vanna
stooped down and whispered, “Revenge is sweet.
You were just the first. There
are three of your friends I still have to see.”
As she entered the
elevator someone yelled, “Call 911! Mr.
Goodman had a heart attack!” By the time
she got to the ground floor the building was alive with people running in all
directions. She tried to look concerned
as she waited for the next bus.
At precisely at 12:05,
the next bus pulled in. “I’m sorry,
folks,” the driver said slowly, “I had to wait for all the emergency vehicles
to clear the area. I guess somebody
He seemed impatient to
make up lost time. Then he noticed Vanna, waiting on the steps, blocking the
line of people. “What do you want, Miss?”
“Does this bus go by
the Superior Court?” she asked sweetly.
(To be continued)