When vengeance clouds judgment.
It wasn't even expected. The excitement of the events that were about to unfold made her heart rate increase, releasing endorphins similar to those she felt at the height of ecstasy. She thought she would stroke-out from excitement before she got her plan to work. She quickly calmed herself down and entered the designated room.
The lights flickered on and the smell of mahogany furniture assaulted her nostrils. The large, wide table was as long as the room which made Marianna smile. Almost every person in his office would be there for this. She walked the cart over to the projector and pulled the disk labeled "Percentages and Estimations" from the crate and popped it in.
She knew he had spent all of last night testing it with the projector for his presentation today. Last night while he slept, she snuck it from his briefcase. She knew the projector would be the last place he looked for it, which was to her advantage. He wouldn't have time to see the edits she made.
Satisfied that her plan was working, she left the office after a small victory dance and ran into the very man she was off to see: his boss, Luke Baskens. He was a tall, older gentleman with salt and pepper hair, grey eyes, and a panty-melting smile.
"Hello, Mr. Baskens. I'm Karen, Mr. Takahashi's technical go-to girl," she said with a soft voice and a bashful smile. He took the bait, putting on a seducing smile.
"Hello, Karen. Pleasure to meet you. I'm sure you do an amazing job," he said suggestively. Marianna faked embarrassment and changed the subject.
"Well, Mr. Takahashi has said great things about your business. I know he said today will be the deciding factor in you two doing business together. I would personally offer him a gift today. Gift exchanging is a huge part of Japanese culture." Mr. Baskens looked at me with amusement.
"I'm actually aware of that. Don't worry. I have a gift he'll enjoy and my best man on the job."
Best man, my ass.
"That's great," she replied.
"If you stick around until after the meeting, I'll be sure to reward you for your hard work." Marianna didn't have to fake the hot flash that hit her. The man was oozing the sweet aroma of promised pleasure. She stayed strong in her desire to keep away from men for the moment and threw out the idea of a roll in the hay with the older man.
"Then I'll have to stick around," she lied. With a final smile, Marianna thought, Number two, check!
She left for her Range Rover, only stopping to notify the receptionist that she would be right back. She started the engine and drove off to a new beginning, awaiting the phone call she knew she would soon get. That would signal completion of "Number 3" on her list. Deny all involvement and start new. She was going to sleep good that night.
In the conference room, Trevor was sweating. He couldn't find his presentation disk anywhere. Even his backup was missing. People were filing into the room and he had just gotten word that Mr. Takahashi was ten minutes away. He ran a hand through his black hair as his blue eyes settled on the projector.
I took it out last night. It won't be there...but maybe...
He strode over to the machine and popped it open. The relief coursing through him caused his muscles to ache from the sudden release of tension.
Marianna would kill me if I fucked this up and got fired. She wouldn't move in with me then!
Trevor smiled at how he had gone out and went house hunting behind Marianna's back. He was usually busy, so he had to skip lunches and dinners to do it. He even sacrificed a few nights in bed with her to look at a property if that was the only time he had to do it. His agent, Linda, was a blessing. She was a beautiful Dominican woman of thirty-two who was tall and curvy and everyman's fantasy; but whenever he saw her, he only thought of how happy he was going to make Marianna when she found them the perfect home.
He had gotten paranoid one day that he saw Marianna's car tailing him, but he dismissed it as fear of the secret getting ou