The connection between Richard Harvey and me was rather complicated. I served as the legal counsel for his company and had an intimate relationship with him.
It all began at a dinner gathering after I secured the contract with Zenith Group. To keep our ties strong, I treated him to a cup of coffee. The vibe was so electric that we ended up having sex after that coffee.
Then it happened again and again. We soon reached an unspoken understanding.
There were no hazy declarations of love or discussions about what lay ahead. When the mood struck, we'd message each other. If the timing worked, we'd meet up, enjoy our time together, and then go our separate ways. Neither of us owed the other.
Recently, Richard's father, Cory Harvey, the chairman of Zenith Group, had a severe accident at home, resulting in a coma. Rumors swirled among the company staff, and some shareholders even accused Richard of foul play, suggesting an acting chairman.
Richard remained silent on these accusations, spending time at the hospital, leaving today's negotiations to the vice president.
Lunchtime rolled around as we wrapped up the negotiation. Once I got what I was after, I let out a sigh of relief. On the sly, I signaled Zenith Group's vice president to make any additional requests to the other party.
The vice president caught on and promptly started discussing compensation details.
The moment I took my seat, my phone buzzed inside my handbag. I retrieved it and saw a message from Richard. It read, "Same spot."
I didn't anticipate his sudden invitation. An idea struck me, and my fingers swiftly moved beneath the table. "Sure thing."
Following the reconciliation meeting, I dismissed the legal assistant who had accompanied me, using the excuse of misplacing my pen. Quietly, I strolled down the corridor and slipped into the small room adjacent to the president's office.
This was Richard's exclusive reception room. Access was granted only with his consent, primarily reserved for him to engage in some "other activities."
I closed the door, about to lock it, when I felt arms wrap around me from behind.
The three-layered curtains were all drawn shut, enveloping the room in darkness. As my sight was obscured, my other senses sharpened. Richard's quick breath brushed against my ear like a summer thunderclap, making my heart beat faster.
I couldn't quite fathom why my heart suddenly grew tender. I was letting go of the sharpness I had displayed while negotiating with others earlier.
With no reservations, I rested against Richard's chest, my search for his lips underway. In a low voice tinged with concern, I inquired, "Weren't you taking care of your father at the hospital? Why did you come back to the company suddenly?"
In the shadows, Richard remained silent. When I was about to press for answers, I was suddenly lifted and harshly thrown aside.
Caught off guard, I tumbled backward, crashing into the sofa. The impact sent a sharp pain through my body.
Suddenly, the room brightened. Richard lit a cigarette and placed it between his lips, looking down at me with disgust and disdain. "Are you that desperate to have sex with a man?"
Under the light, his deep-set eyes and pronounced cheekbones, framed by sharp eyebrows, gave him a cold, striking appearance.
Despite the recent ordeal, his attire remained impeccable, not a wrinkle in sight, not even on his tie.
The glaring humiliation snapped me back to reality.
I raised my hand to fix my hair and responded, "Mr. Harvey, you must be joking. There are men everywhere. I'm not that desperate."
"Elin Lloyd!" My mockery made Richard's eyes grow even colder. He clenched his teeth and made a valiant effort to restrain his anger. "Get out of here. Never show up in my presence again."
With that, he spun around and stormed out, slamming the door behind him. I was left alone in the room. Surrounded by the familiar furnishings, I felt a sense of disorientation.
The steady and untroubled relationship stayed under the radar for over a year, unnoticed by anyone.
I never anticipated it would conclude like this. The ending came abruptly and strangely, catching me off guard. I might have become accustomed to his company. The idea of not having a partner like that in the future left me feeling a tad down.
It took me some time to gather myself.
Right after I left Zenith Group, my director called me. "Elin, pass on Zenith Group's materials to Caroline Stevens later."
I had just secured a win for Zenith Group. Why was my boss suddenly replacing me? A sense of foreboding washed over me. "Why? I've been overseeing Zenith Group's cases from the beginning. Why would you replace me with Caroline?"
"Well... I just got a message from Richard Harvey. It's his wish, and we must follow his instructions."
It was Richard's doing.
Though there was no love between Richard and me, I thought we had a tacit understanding. I didn't expect him to turn on me so harshly. My heart ached at the thought.
After ending the call, I held onto my phone for a while. Eventually, I couldn't resist calling Richard's number.
There had to be a reason for his actions. Even though he had cast me aside, I needed to know why.