"To open a bar in SoHo and not play a monkey in a suit. If I ever make it through this I'll never wear a suit again," Nate laughed at the dry joke. "The future bride will just have to deal with the tuxedo tee-shirt."
At the corner store he waved to the owner. Ernie knew all of the family and still didn't spit on them. "Best Pastrami around if you like that."
"How noble of you especially at the nights when you'd enjoy them. I know you want in my pants and make this mess go away. Neither will work," she leaned back against the elevator. "I'll let the FBI know if there's any changes. Agent Jackson is very eager to nail this case."
She couldn't place Jesse. She wasn't trying either. The moment the elevator opened she stepped out.
A woman that actually defied him. When had that last happened? Jesse wasn't sure he remembered a time. Somehow that made her even more attractive.
Truthfully, he couldn't remember the other blondes. He did note though that was a very specific alternative she thought of. "Well, it wasn't me that tormented you, so you're technically blaming me for something I didn't do," he pointed out.
Just before the door on the elevator closed he stepped inside, a more serious look on his face. "I am sorry they did that to you. I didn't know it was happening, otherwise I would not have allowed it," he told her in quite a serious tone, at least for him serious.
Heather was honestly surprised that he had agreed. Still, she simply nodded. Perhaps it was a stupid idea, in case someone of the media saw and recognized her, but chances were that most were back in their office typing away about the conference. "Sounds good," she agreed, "Why? What did she say?"
Thanking him for opening the door, she couldn't help noticing he was very attractive, but knew better than to start something with someone she was trying to get information from. "Lead the way," she said, falling into step beside him.
Kenna's face hardened at the idea of being a pawn. Suddenly she wished she kept her mouth shut and just shuffled the money somewhere else.
"Wait, you were the douche that had those blondes over that took every minute to torment me," she said with a dry smile. "I'd rather clean the toilets after St. Patrick's than have drinks with you."
She stepped on the elevator and waited for the door to close.
Nate looked up to her from the desk before he nodded. "There's a corner place that's a favorite. Usually people don't look there unless the media is still going insane. It's days like this I wish I listened to mom."
He opened the door for here checking himself for any signs of admiring the smaller woman. He couldn't afford a misconduct charge.
The tremor in his hand made Heather pause. There were multiple reasons for it, but considering that she had seen this morning, she had a suspicion of what might be the cause.
Hearing the suggestion, she nodded as she gathered her things. At the door she stopped to look at him. "Perhaps, you should also take a break. The FBI won't run away," she suggested carefully, not sure how he would react to her suggestion, "You look like you could use a lunch as well." She didn't want to see him collapse at work. She was too nice to at least try, though he was also no good to her in a clinic or hospital bed.
Her rage for her father made Jesse arch a brow. There was clearly a lot of things wrong there. "You would be surprised what people are capable of when it comes to keeping money," he mused, "Perhaps, he was instructed by someone else." If he was as stupid as she said, it was also likely.
Following her out the door, he couldn't help the way she moved. At the elevator, he gave a played pout. "I am hurt. Have I left no impression on you back then? I remember you quite well," he replied, going over to his typical smirk, "My name is Jesse Barlow. My dad owns the place and is currently just as M. I. A. as your father."
As they got into the elevator, he looked to her. "How about I invite you to a drink and we can see if we can't jog your memory," Jesse suggested, putting on his winning smile. God, he had the urge to press her against the elevator wall right now.
Nate picked the wrong year to try and curb his drinking. His hands shook as he stood up. Nate talked to the other two while Jesse walked their witness out. The taste in his mouth at the new play out.
In his office he thought on that. "I need to make a call to the FBI. Go ahead and take your half hour break."
At least she was nice to look at and didn't tempt him.
"He was too lazy to write child support for thirteen years. This mastermind theory doesn't seem likely," Kenna nearly spat. The issues ran deep and transformed into her lifestyle of fling and dump.
She smiled thinly and walked out the door. The waiting light on the elevator took too long as she stood by him. "I have no idea who you are, by the way."
Jesse smirked at what she said. "You are very welcome," he mused. It was easy enough for him to remember her. After all, she was beautiful and if he tried he could remember almost anything, but he rarely did. Thoughtfully, he leaned back in his chair. "Or to implicate you. That you are his daughter isn't exactly a state secret. Perhaps he believes he can shift some blame onto you?" he theorized, though it could be a lot of things.
When she stood Jesse got up as well. "Let me walk you out," he said, gesturing towards the door, though he had a feeling Nate would have something against that.
Heather listened silently. It definitely wasn't good news. After all, whatever the reason behind the money it was likely to implicate Kenna in some way and the company along with it. She wished she could have taken a picture of the account, but that wouldn't have worked.
It was clear Jesse had taken a fancy to Kenna as she watched the two before gathering the papers on the table, waiting for Nate to give her instructions. Though the more she thought about it, the more the father had to be an idiot, if he had given his daughter that money out of the goodness of his heart. If he wasn't an idiot, then he was a calculating bastard that didn't mind sinking his own daughter.
"Wow, I thought I repressed those memories. Thank you," Kenna smiled thinly and took back her phone. All was transparent..perhaps that wasn't such a good thing. "I don't know. Guilt, remorse, set me up for a headache?"
She stood up despite the startled looks. How did...curly remember her?
Nate listened as the ideas formed in his head.
"This has helped, thank you for your time," Nate said absently. The bad news was that this meant there was a trail to follow that might sink the company. "If you discover anything else please call."
Heather kept a straight face while she internally cursed. Surely, she couldn't remember her from some article. "I don't know either," she replied with a shrug. Though if she was as against all this then maybe she could be a good help.
When Nate came in she was about to get up when he ordered her to stay. Even though she raised a brow, she did as she was told and sat down again to be a silent observer. Just then Jesse entered the room. "Were you planning on holding a party without me?" he asked amused before sitting down in his own chair.
Arching a brow, he listened to her story. "Interesting," he muttered as he studied the account, "But you spend some time with him when you were a teen. I remember that you stayed with us at one of your family's vacation homes back then." He looked to her thoughtfully. "Though if you have nothing to do with him nor any allegiance why would he give you that kind of money?" Jesse asked, wondering what all this could mean. After all, his father was also gone.
"I don't forget faces, I'm pretty sure I have. Something I read maybe...I don't know..." Kenna sat down on the chair. She'd be dead for the second job tonight at the bar. "No thanks."
Nate came in five minutes later with Jill, a sour-looking man she assumed was a lawyer. "Stay in the room, please, as a witness." He said to Heather knowing the risks. "Looks like my brother is joining the party."
"You're father is Michael Ross, correct?" The lawyer asked.
"I prefer the term sperm donor, but yeah, and to save time I have no idea where he is and have no way of contacting him. We haven't talked in five years and then suddenly there's ten grand in my account and I hear about the embezzlement," Kenna jumped right in and pulled up her account. "See, I already told the FBI."
Heather wasn't sure what to make of Nate. On the one hand, he clearly wasn't hands-on like his stepbrother, on the other hand he was all over the place. Either way, he was quite attractive, not that that changed anything about her mission to get this scoop and with this position she was one step closer. "Very well," she replied with a nod, though he was out of the office so quickly he might not have heard her.
It was easy enough to find Kenna. She was a dropdead gorgeous blonde that could not have been more perfect for Jesse appearance wise if he had created her himself. Beckoning for the woman to follow her, she led her into a conference room. She arched a brow at what Kenna said. "I don't think so. Maybe around here?" she suggested, trying to recall herself if she had met Kenna before, but was drawing a blank, "Can I get you anything?" Heather didn't think she could possibly be linked to some article that she had written. Though Kenna mentioning the FBI made her wonder if she was onto something even bigger than imagined.
"I want you to get the blonde named Kenna from the reception area and keep her in the conference room. I don't want her anywhere near my brother. I'm going to talk to the Jill and Ron first before we enter." Nate fumbled for his tablet before he strode out. If he wasn't so busy he'd admire how attentive features and beautiful lips.
Kenna followed after the mousy sectary into a well lit conference room.
"The FBI needs more windows," she said as she sat down at the table. "Haven't I seen you from somewhere? I know I have."
Kenna could not even remember the bland coffee from the FBI office right now.
Heather still wasn't quite sure how she had lucked into the position of assistant to one of the sons as she waited for Nate the next morning. All she remembered was Jill walking into their office last night, looked around and then coming up to her. "How do you feel about a change of pace?" she had asked before she had beckoned her out of the office to give her the details.
She had heard a lot of Jesse and this womanizing ways and now looking at Nate she couldn't say she was much more impressed by him yet. "Yes," she replied with a nod before walking off to get him the water and pausing for a moment, decided to get some aspirin as well. He looked like he could use it. Silently she placed the glass of water and the aspirin before him before stepping back. "Anything else I can do?" she asked, standing back beside him.
There was a certain beauty to having a lot of money. You could spend it on whatever you wanted, say to get some information on an illusive blonde. Jesse only vaguely remembered her, but he did remember that he found her stunning even then.
The next morning he was in his office wondering how he would meet her. Her father had disappeared along with his, so it was reasonable to assume that they were all stuck in this mess together, though he was never going to cooperate with Nate to figure this out.
"I need a drink...or five .." Nate rubbed his temple. "I'm going home home and getting drunk."
The next partially foggy morning there was a replacement woman all while he called Michael Ross's daughter. He leaned back in his seat. "Heather, is it? Could I have some water please?"
Kenna didn't know why she agreed to meet one family. She vaguely remembered them from the three miserable years as a teenager. Kenna prepared but made the call to the agent first to save her ass.
A ten grand sat in her account and she couldn't touch it.
Jesse had watched the blonde, but she had only quickly talked to one person he couldn't identify or seen before. He might be a lot of things, many of them not really good, but he knew almost all employees.
Just then the blonde disappeared into the crowd. Slightly frustrated he returned to his brother, knowing he wouldn't be all too pleased. Interested he arched a brow. "How very interesting," he mused, "That's why she seemed familiar. We must have met her when we were younger. I never forgot a pretty face." Even if it was that long ago.
With the press conference over everyone went back to work, including Heather. Making her way through the hallways, a blonde woman was walking into the other direction. Heather couldn't recall seeing her before, but there were a lot of people here.
"So your father is Michael Ross, one of the board members, that disappeared along with Anthony Powell?" The man asked.
"I know that's the name on the birth certificate. I don't know anything else only-" she stopped seeing Jesse come out. "Can I get a card and talk later?"
The agent handed a card. She disappeared into the crowd.
Nate reviewed the photoage to see who was there. When seeing Jesse again he frowned feeling the stress add cravings for a drink he was trying to kick. He showed him the tablet.
"The daughter of the board member just talked to an agent," he said with w frown.
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