Chapter 7: Highs and Lows
It was a week after Tristan’s offer that I had actually started to work for him. When I told Matt the news he seemed hesitant but later realized that Tristan was doing a decent thing. Before anything he had called Tristan later the same night and discussed every detail of the job that was offered to me, I even heard him threaten Tristan to not play games with me and to be professional.
He was protective and I found it extremely sweet, but I didn’t want him to think of me as his girlfriend who couldn’t hold her own. I was quite capable of sticking up for myself if Tristan got out of hand. Matt did, however, help me get prepared for working for a high end company. He knew about Tristan’s business, as any best friend would so he helped me find suitable work attaire which happened to be clothing that I normally wouldn’t be caught dead in.
Truthfully, I’m not a high maintenance person, but the clothes that I was directed to wear seemed like something Alexandra or Amelia would be seen wearing. Definitely not nearly as comfortable as jeans and a tank top.
I walked into T. Fleming Ads with a white silk blouse and a black pencil skirt on the first day. I had decided to do my hair in a bun, even going to the extent to wear my reading glasses. It looked sophisticated like the women in all of those cliché movies.
Matt had even taken the time to come into the building with me, his arm wrapped around my waist as he guided me towards the elevator, “I had no idea that you even had glasses.”
“That’s because I never wear them. They’re strictly for reading and even then I rarely use them,” I laughed softly, feeling Matt’s hand slide to my butt and discreetly squeeze it gently.
His lips moved to my ear as he pressed the elevator button, “You look hot.”
The elevator doors opened and we both walked inside. I instantly turned to look at him with a grin on my face, “I’m not supposed to look hot. I’m supposed to look classy and professional.”
“Yeah, yeah. You do... But you’re my girlfriend and ninety-five percent of the time I imagine undressing you.” He pressed the button that read 8 and the elevator doors closed. As Matt extended his arms to me, I raised my eyebrow at him which caused him to chuckle, “I know you don’t like elevators, so let my embrace distract you.”
This man was absolutely perfect. He noticed everything, even my crazy anxiety in a enclosed elevator and he was instantly there to help in any way that he could. I didn’t hesitate to move into his arms, out bodies fit perfectly together and as his arms slide around my lower back, I sunk into his body. My eyes closed and my body instantly felt at ease, his lips pressed against the top of my head and kept them there for the entire elevator ride.
I could fall asleep in his arms, and during the variation of our relationship so far I’ve fallen asleep in his arms multiple times. There’s been times we would watch a movie on the couch and I would fall asleep with my head on his lap, or days that I wasn’t feeling well, he would stroke my hair until I fell into a slumber. Matt had a comforting touch about him, it was different than anything else or anyone else.
Before I knew it the elevator doors opened and Matt slowly pulled away, “All good?”
I looked up at him and nodded my head, “Yeah... Let’s go.”
I reached for his hand and he instantly intertwined our fingers together as he led me out of the elevator, “This is the floor Tristan works on. His office is just past the main desk...”
As we passed the secretary at the desk, Matt gave her a nod before walking past the desk and to the door that had T. Fleming written on the door. It seemed funny to know that Tristan had any kind of authority, let alone own the damn company.
Matt gently knocked on the door only to hear Tristan instantly respond with, “It’s open.”
As Matt opened the door, I got a nice view of Tristan’s office. He was sitting at his desk, sitting on his leather chair while looking at his phone. Very professional. His office was very Tristan-like. There was a dart board, a drawing board on the wall, a flat screen TV that had a play station connected to it and a black leather couch.
Tristan managed to look up from his phone and his eyes landed on me. As he pushed his chair back he let out a low whistle, “Well, fuck. You clean up nicely, little one.”
Though I hated the nickname little one, I appreciated the compliment coming from Tristan so I offered up a smile, “Thank you.”
“You look like one of those girls from my favorite porn films,” He stated suddenly
Well, he ruined that moment.
“Hey, man. Watch it,” Matt said next to me, tightening his grip around my waist and when I looked at him I noticed his gaze was hard on Tristan.
Tristan held his hands up in defense, “Hey, I’m stating a fact. The glasses and the bun? Usually the girl would walk in and take her hair out seductively, then begin to ride her boss. But I’m not into her, I don’t see Allison that way.”
My discomfort with the situation grew suddenly not liking my decision to wear the glasses and hair bun. Of course Tristan would be a perv about the entire thing.
Matt turned to me and cupped my face in his hands, “I have to get to the office, if this guy gives you a hard time, give me a call, okay?”
I smiled softly at him, “I’ll be okay.”
He gave me a gentle kiss on the lips before walking out of Tristan’s office and closing the door behind him. I then turned to Tristan with a smile and eager to work, “Okay! Where do we start?”
Tristan raised an eyebrow at me, “First, you take off those glasses unless you can’t see without them. This isn’t dress up and I don’t need pornographic images in my head while I’m working.”
I rolled my eyes and took off my glassed, setting them on the coffee table, “Better?”
“So, I have to ask, why do you have a dart board and play station at work?” I asked him as I looked around the office.
He laughed as thought it were the dumbest question in the world, “Advertisers have creative minds, Allison. Just like the kind of creative mind you have while you’re playing a game.”
I stared at him for a moment before quiet saying, “You are seriously strange.”
“No, I’m a genius.”
Although leaving Allison with Tristan was slightly concerning because I knew how he could be. He’s intimidating when it comes to work and he gets extremely hard core if things aren’t done to his expectations. Allison is a hard worker, I knew that much, but I also knew that with their background that they didn’t have the best history and it made me nervous to know that they were spending the entire day together with the potential of Tristan breaking Allison down emotionally.
I know how good of a guy he is, but I also know how badly he thought of Allison at first. As much as I appreciated his kindness in offering her a job I couldn’t help but wonder why he had done it.
I reached Reid Enterprises shortly after leaving Tristan’s company and walked inside, greeting the workers with a smile. I’m sure my father will be thrilled to see me after I bailed on dinner. But the way I see it is that you have to put your foot down sometimes to get people to understand you.
By the time I reached my floor, my father was leaving his office with some files in hand and I knew he was headed to the meeting we had this morning. I quickly caught up with him and walked next to him as we headed towards the conference room, “The Monroe case?”
“Yes,” He said simply before stopping in his tracks and turning to me, “What are you doing?”
I raised my eyebrows, unsure what to say. I was running late to make sure Allison’s first day went well but I’m sure my father wouldn’t understand that, he disliked Allison almost more than anyone. I raked my fingers through my hair, “I’m sorry, I was running late this morning. But I’m fully prepared for this meeting and I have all of my notes in my briefcase.”
A short sigh escaped his lips, “Matthew, did you not get my email?”
Email? We email each other now instead of contacting each other through phone calls like normal people?
“No, father. I didn’t get your email because I haven’t checked my work email since my last work day which was Friday. Because I don’t work on weekends,” I stated clearly. He was ridiculous to not call me, instead he emailed me information. “What’s going on? Was the meeting cancelled?”
My father shook his head in response, “No. The meeting is still a go, but we won’t be needing you.”
That didn’t make much sense at all considering I was vice president of the the company. My father and I went to all of the meetings together so we could both oversee the decisions made, “What do you mean I’m not needed? Father, I’m vice president. I need to oversee the decisions.”
“That’s just it, Matthew. You’re no longer president of the company,” My father stated. His words confused me, was this way of telling me that I was finally getting his place as CEO of the company? But that didn’t make sense either. Even then, I would need to oversee the meetings.
“What are you talking about? Stop being so cryptic. I don’t have time for this,” I checked my watch, knowing the meeting had started 5 minutes ago. This was stressing me out, I had no idea what the hell was going on. I woke up this morning with intentions of going on with my daily routine and now suddenly my father was turning my away from that.
My father shook his head, “Matthew, you no longer have the authority to go into confidential meetings because you are no longer vice president. I’ve moved you to sales reviewing floor.”
No fucking way.
“Sales? Fucking sales?” I raised my voice, this was ridiculous. He had to be joking, “That’s a demotion! That’s like two demotions!”
“I’m aware,” My father said casually, “I just feel like you haven’t been working to your best potential and I have workers that could do a better job at overseeing things.”
This wasn’t about my working potentional, this was about my personal life. This was about my relationship with Allison and my father was bringing my career into it now. Bullshit. I didn’t deserve this, I’ve worked my ass off since I was a teenager to known this company inside out just so I could be prepared to become CEO one day. Not to become demoted. He was doing this for all of the wrong reasons.
“I’ve been working here for over six years. Not to mention coming here over ten just to learn the ropes,” I pointed out, “I’m supposed to become CEO one day. I’ve done everything you’ve wanted. I’ve gotten a business degree, I’ve worked hard and--”
“You won’t be CEO of this company, Matthew. We do not need someone with your reputation being the leader of this company. Ever.”
He was fucking with me. He had to be fucking with me. Years of hard work, me entire life was leading up to this and he was throwing me aside because I was getting a divorce. Even at eleven years old I would come to work with my dad during summer break and watch him with admiration knowing I wanted to be just like him one day. This is all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever strived for.
“No. You’re kidding me... Father, you know how hard I’ve been working for that position. You can’t just take it away like I’ve done nothing!” I yelled at him, seeing hopeless at best. I knew better than anyone how stubborn he could be and when he made a decision, he stuck with it. He was pushing me away and soon enough I would be banned from the family completely. If anything, he was shoving me out of the family completely. I wasn’t having it, “I quit. I’m not staying here and allowing you to disregard my years of hard work. I’m an experienced businessman, if you’re not going to appreciate that then I’m out. I quit.”
My father looked at me long and hard before he simply answered, “Fine. Go pack up our things and turn in your employee card.”
It hit like a ton of bricks. This was it and out of nowhere everything I had worked for my entire life was gone. Everything went through the window like it meant nothing and I had become come tell useless to my father. To him, I was completely replaceable and it stung more than anything ever had stung me before.
Walking into the house that night felt different. An emptiness filled me and even though I left work in the early morning, I didn’t come home until 7:00pm. Instead, I spent the entire day sitting in my car and attempting to wrap my head around this entire ordeal. I was jobless, and even now if I applied to work at another company the wages wouldn’t even be a quarter of the amount I made working for the family company. I was screwed and in a few years I’d probably be broke if I didn’t figure things out.
I was currently in the middle of my divorce with Alexandra and now that I had no job, once the divorce settlement was agreed upon she would probably have all of my money. I would be useless to Allison and a crappy father to Thomas, I’m already well aware that Alexandra is going to take me for everything that I have.
My own father, of all people. Family is the one place you’re supposed to feel safe within and he had just thrown me onto a train track. I had no idea what to do, no idea what move to make, no idea if there was a way to get out.
“You’re home!” I heard Allison say from behind me, “I’ve had the best day, Matt. I want to tell you all about it.”
As I turned around to face her I noticed the huge smile on her face and I felt something tug at my heart. She was happy. Something was going right for Allison while things were falling apart for me but while she seemed to be at her highest point all she wanted to do was to share her joy with me. I wasn’t going to let my horrible day keep her from telling me about the day she had.
I forced a small smile on my lips as I stepped towards her and wrapped an arm around her waist, “Let’s go into the living room and you can tell me all about it.”
As I ushered her towards the family room, I was becoming eager to hear about her day. It could help take my mind off of all the problems that surrounded me right now, and I had a lot of them that I didn’t want to think about right now.
We sat on the couch and I let out an exhausted sigh, wrapping my arm around her shoulder. I tucked my arm under the bend in her legs and pulled them over my lap, “How was your new job? Your boss wasn’t too much of an asshole?”
Her beautiful green eyes lit up with excitement as I asked her about her day, “Surprisingly, Tristan was great. He showed me around the building and told me what the job entails. There’s so much creativity involved with it, Matt. It’s fascinating!”
She continued to go on, moving her arms as she spoke enthusiastically about the ad company and I nodded my head, keeping the smile on my face. Partly through her talking I drifted from the conversation unintentionally and I fell back into thinking about my failed day. I couldn’t help but feel discouraged and like a complete failure. Everything seemed mute around me and while Allison spoke, I heard nothing. All I could imagine was the lack of success I had to look forward to.
I’m the man of the house, I’m supposed to provide for my family. My son, my girlfriend. Getting a job with my background wouldn’t be hard but I had been working towards CEO and that wasn’t happening down.
“... I thought he’d hate the idea since I’m obviously extremely inexperienced with the advertising business and all, but he actually loved it. Oddly enough, he complimented me. It was kind of weird.” I tuned back into Allison’s story just as she was finishing is with a little giggle, “I never thought I’d be so grateful for Tristan, but he really had my back when I was at my lowest point and now I feel like I can actually do something with my life.”
I pressed a gentle kiss on her forehead, “I’m happy that things are going so good for you, snowflake. You deserve this and I know that you’re going to excel in it.”
“You’re perfect,” She smiled larger, if it were even possible, “I’m so lucky to have you and your support.”
“Do you remember when I told you that being in love is an amazing feeling? This is one of the reasons why... Because when you’re in love you support the person you love. Always.” I smiled at her, taking her hand in mine and kissing the back of her hand gently.
I noticed her biting on her lower lip before she asked, “And what are some other things?”
“Mm... You have someone whose love for you grows every day. A person to confide in with everything... Not to mention the amazing sex,” I smirked at her and moved my fingers through her hair slowly, “Can’t forget that.”
“I don’t know about that. I’ve had some pretty great sex with people I haven’t loved,” She teased me, I could see the challenging look in her eyes when she spoke and it just caused me to raise my eyebrows.
“Better than me?” That wasn’t even a question. I was already sure of the answer. No one could make Allison feel the way that I did, I knew all of her sweet spots, how she liked to me touched, how to tease her. And love made the sex feel a million times better because there was emotion and passion in it.
She looked at me the playful look still on her face, I continued to wait for her to reply and it wasn’t until I urged her with my hand gestures that she sighed dramatically and said, “I supposed you’re okay.”
I chuckled at her words, “Just okay? Mm... Well, I’m going to have to change our perspective on me.”
“Oh yeah?” She suddenly seemed interested in the conversation.
I nodded my head, gently pushing her legs off of me and hovering over her on the couch. I looked down at her green eyes that were wild with lust and anticipation. Fucking tease.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do... Everything I’ve ever known have just disappeared into oblivion and I’m not used to feeling so worthless, you know?” I sat across from Tristan at his desk the next morning, telling him the entire situation of what happened between my father and I yesterday.
“Well, I don’t know what it’s like to feel worthless, but I will sympathize with you,” Tristan attempted, “He’s clearly testing you, Matt.”
He nodded his head, “He wants to see how loyal you are to Allison and if money is success would easily make you drop her.”
I shook my head, disgusted with the thought of my father even assuming that of me, “That wouldn’t happen.”
I came here this morning with Allison you bring her to work and while she was gone to get some files that Tristan requested, I figured that now was a good time to tell him about the fucked up situation I was now in. Tristan always looked at things differently than I did so I appreciated his opinion, and sometimes he even had good advice. All in all, I just needed someone to talk to about this.
“Have you told Allison about this?” He asked suddenly, gaining my attention, “She’s going to realize something is off when--”
“When what? When Alexandra gets all of my money in the divorce and then I become poor? Maybe then she will be the one to drop me." I pointed out, feeling irritated with the situation. I’ve never felt so vulnerable before, I’ve always been in control of my life and now I was spiraling.
Tristan just stared at me, seeming at loss for words. Maybe I over reacted but why would Allison stay with me if I had nothing anyway? She didn’t fall in love with an unsuccessful man, she fell in love with Matthew Reid, the successful businessman and future CEO of Reid Enterprises.
“Do you underestimate your relationship with Allison that much? I mean, you’re the one who is constantly telling people that she isn’t a gold digger but now you’re assuming that she’ll leave you if you have no money,” He raised an eyebrow at me as he leaned back in his seat, challenging me to answer him. But I couldn’t, he right. I was going back on everything I said to everyone else.
But I didn’t think Allison was a gold digger, she was anything but that. The thing was, I was terrified of what was to come for me. I did know who I was or who I could be without my family’s money. Money isn’t everything, but I’ve never been without it and I want to be the man that Allison deserves.
Now, say that out loud, Matt.
“Fuck off, Tristan.” I took a sip of my espresso and shook my head, “She isn’t a gold digger, she has the most amazing personality. The personality of someone who loves me for me. I’m just stressed.”
“It’s messed up that your father would do this to you, I’m sure that he’ll come to his senses soon enough,” Tristan attempted to encourage me, “Until he does, you know you always have a place here. I mean, this usually isn’t your side of our ventures, I advertise for your company, but... I’m sure we can find something for you.”
It was a great offer, I knew that it was always open for me but this wasn’t where I was meant to be. I would figure it out within the next few days, before I knew it this entire issue would be fixed.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’m good for now.” I stood up from the chair, preparing myself to leave.
Tristan stood as I did and as we walked towards his office door, he took a deep breath, “So, are you going to tell Allison?”
I turned slightly to look at him and I shook my head, “No, Tristan. It’s nothing for her to worry about. And don’t say anything to her, okay? This stays between me and you.”
Tristan nodded his head and held up his hand sarcastically, “Scouts honor.”
This wasn’t a lie. I wasn’t lying to Allison because she didn’t ask me anything to lie about. If I were lying I would be straight up telling her that I had a job, I was just withholding information right now and I would continue to until I was sure that I had something good waiting for me. It wasn’t important for Allison to know anyway, as long as I was taking care of her and we had our home to live in, she wouldn’t even notice a difference.