If You Dare(4)By: Evelyn Troy
“And just what was so important that it couldn’t wait until tomorrow, Zoe?” Dawson made a steeple out of his fingers and rested his chin on them while he looked at her inquisitively. Zoe had to give herself a mental shake at the frisson of sexual awareness that shot through her. It’s just the alcohol, Zoe. Control yourself.
She took a deep breath to compose herself. “I quit.”
Just two little words but they had the desired effect, and Zoe certainly had Dawson’s attention now. She tried valiantly to hide the satisfied smile that flitted across her face, and for the most part she was successful. How’d you like them apples, huh?
“What do you mean, you quit?” Dawson’s eyebrows had disappeared under his shaggy hair line and Zoe simply couldn’t hide the grin of glee that had become plastered on her face. She’d taken him by surprise for the first time ever, and it was an invigorating feeling.
“I mean exactly what I said. I quit.” Zoe crossed her arms defiantly in front of her chest in an attempt to look serious; unknowingly failing and looking more like a petulant child, albeit a cute one. “And that’s not all,” she continued. “I believe that I should be entitled to a severance package because of everything I’ve had to put up with while I’ve been working for you.” There. She’d actually had the balls to say it and she felt quite proud of herself.
Any amusement that Dawson had been feeling flew out of the window along with his surprised expression. A look of complete disbelief was now on his face as he took in what Zoe had just said to him. “Everything you’ve had to put up with?” he blustered, incredulously. “Please explain; if you dare, of course.”
Zoe did more than dare. “I’m not sure if there’s enough time, but you asked for it.” Zoe held up a hand and pointed to her index finger. “Firstly, you’re rude and overbearing and you never give me a chance to do anything exciting.” She moved to her middle finger. “I’ve had to put up with you cavorting with women of unsavory character; during office hours, no less, and that’s not even counting the numerous female interns that I know you’ve had in here at every available moment!” She ticked off another finger. “For what I do, the wages are crap. Have you seen that banger I drive around in? I can’t even afford to get new tires put on the damn thing, let alone get an oil change! The very least you can do is give me enough money to tide me over until I can find a new job.” She named a sum that had even her wondering if she had gone absolutely crazy.
Zoe paused for breath and Dawson cut in quickly before she could continue. “And all of this is my fault why, exactly?” He held up a hand to stop her when she opened her mouth to answer him. “And before you go on any further, Zoe, let me remind you that you knew what the wages were before you accepted the position, and you’ve had two pay rises since then. And furthermore, the interns I’ve had in here, as you so eloquently put it, were in here because I was training them.”
“But I didn’t sign up to lie for you! It wasn’t in my contract and I sure as hell don’t get paid enough to put up with all the snarky looks off the trollops you screw!” If Zoe had been completely sober she would have been mortified at the words that fell so easily from her mouth right now. “A decent severance package is the very least you owe me in my opinion. And I bet you were training them.” Zoe had to throw that little nugget in because she could just imagine the kind of training he’d been giving them.
She should have been paying better attention to his expression. She really should. And later on when she reflected back on the night’s turn of events, she would kick herself for not noticing how stony-cold Dawson’s face had become and how his eyes flashed with angry fire. She did notice when he slowly came to his feet and placed both hands on top of his desk, glaring at her in a blatant fury that even her intoxicated self was fully aware of.
For the first time since she’d walked into the office, Zoe became nervous. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him look so menacing; not even when he was up against a tyrannical client. She gulped and took a reflexive step backwards. But even then she couldn’t stop her mouth from running away with her. “Y-you’re nothing but a g-glorified gigolo, and I’m sure the p-press would be very interested in hearing all a-about your indiscretions!” Her head nodded again as though to give credence to her words, and then her lips snapped shut when his gaze became even angrier. Okay Zoe. Maybe it’s time you calmed down a little bit. Her inner voice was trying to be the voice of reason, but it was a case of too little, too late.