It was rare that he talked about his mother, to anyone. She was too personal for him. Talking about her meant letting people close. Ever since his father had died, he had felt his duty to protect his mother and now he was utterly failing.
Jesse was pulled from his thought when Kenna said those words. Slowly, he looked to her, his eyes an almost scary darkness inside them. That man not only abandoned his mother, but did that. He downed his drink in one gulp. "Fuck," he muttered, "How sure are you of this?" How would his mother ever react to that? "I'm surprised you want anything to do with this family," he finally muttered, grabbing another drink from a waiter. Somehow he doubted that Nate knew about this.
"Respectful enough that no one has left the company or had to switch positions because of you," she clarified before arching a brow at what he said. Even though it was said playfully enough, it still made shivers run up her spine. "Now Mr. Powell, surely you wouldn't be suggesting something illicit at work," she replied playfully in a shocked terrible southern accent, looking up at him. Somehow she couldn't help wondering what kind of lover he was.
His words and the kiss made her smile, though at the same time feel incredibly guilt for having tried to use him for a story. "We've only known each other for a month. You seem to have survived until now," she pointed out, "Thank you Nate." She knew she should tell him about his father's pedophile nature, but he was too happy right now.
The conveyor belt image crossed through her mind into a bed inspired by Sims. She shook the thought from her head.
She focused on him when he spoke of his mom with such fondness. "She should know about a rumored story of your step-dad. I saw some of this those summers. He preyed on teenage girls."
Not gentle but she wasn't heartless.
"Well...respectful might not be the right word. I do enjoy them outside of work just not at work so you're saved there...unless you don't want to be saved," Nate couldn't help but chuckle.
The confirmed delivery made him smile. Most assets was already seized and the brothers narrowed it down more.
"Thanks...wouldn't know how to live without you," he kissed the top of her head.
Hearing the comment about blonde, Heather ran a hand through her clearly not blonde hair, mostly to emphasize that, liking her hair. "I never did think that. You've been very respectful to all women I've met. Though let's say I now know why I was chosen as your new assistant," she replied him and twirled a strand of hair around her finger amused, "Oh, surprise items. That does sound exciting."
While Nate checked his phone, she drank her orange juice. It was clear that he wanted to drink. Hearing the complement, she couldn't help a grin. "Nice save," she teased, meaning the blonde comment before sobering with a smile, "Thank you. You look good too and I'm proud of you." It couldn't be easy not to drink while everyone else around you was. As for the dress, she has rented it as she didn't exactly go to a lot of these events.
Jesse imagined he could almost see her thoughts wonder shortly. It was interesting that she was clearly interested, but was able to keep away. He couldn't remember the last time he had to work like this for a woman. "Only for a little while longer," he replied confidently. He did not plan on losing his game.
That last part made him sober as he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "No, it's definitely not. She is a strong woman and very proud so she will be fine, but it makes me feel like I failed as her son," he told her in a moment of truth. He had always considered it his duty to protect his mother and now she had been hurt like that. It probably hurt him just as much as it did his mother.
"Blonde is pleasing and common. Don't think I have a blonde obsession like Jess does. That's his dad's thing not mine," Nate eyed the wine. "I need to check the surprise items for tonight."
Nate pulled out his phone and checked on the status of dad's prized liquor collection. On it's way. "You look beautiful tonight."
And for a second Kenna wondered what he was like in bed. The thought was gone remembering the blondes she saw paraded in the Hamptons years ago. She wasn't a keeper or a notch in a bed post.
"Looks like you'll keep wondering," she smirked before that fell. What that woman went through just for this article about young girls. "That must be hard on her to know of the infidelity."
Jesse chuckled as he smirked to her. God, this woman had wit and boldness to match her beauty. It was damn sexy. "I will admit that it is definitely a thought in my mind," he mused, definitely wondering what that thin piece of fabric covered.
Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair. "Nate and I found a necklace in my father's belongings that he left behind. It's way too gaudy for my mother so it must have been for her," he told her, "It's just like you imagine a gold digger to like. Lots of big gems, lots of diamonds and gold. Looks terrible but the worth of the material can't get much higher."
Heather looked at the photograph. At least she looked old enough to consent, but that didn't make it much better that this woman could have easily been Nate's or Jesse's girlfriend. "Why do you think she went blond?" she asked, feeling like the features were sort of familiar but she had no idea where, "I can imagine."
Looking around, she could tell that people were settled in and each had a glass in hand. "Want to slowly hold the opening speech?" she suggested. It seemed like a good time.
"And most of what you're thinking is how to get it off of me," Kenna passed a glance to him still holding onto his arm. Groups weren't here thing even when at the bar.
"What does this jewelry even look like that it would draw out an elusive gold digger?"
Nate pulled out a photograph from six months ago. The stunning woman and doughy but tall figure that was her father. "She was brunette then but probably went blonde. Nice to look at but God was she annoying."
Jesse hadn't taken it well, hell, he hadn't either when he knew dad was going to leave an amazing woman for fake tits.
Heather gave a soft chuckle. "What not company reassures employees only to lay them off?" she joked slightly as she accepted an orange juice, partially out of respect to Nate but also to keep a clear head, "I'm sure there will be some good press with good headlines." She knew that for a fact considering that she was working on an article for this, but also Kenna's father. As soon as the later was done she would let Kenna read it for approval.
"Can't be that hard. You know what she looks like right? Any idea what item from the auction she might like?" she asked, taking a sip from her drink. God, she hoped the woman wasn't under aged.
Jesse gave a grin. "Indeed I did and I have to say you wear it well," he mused as he took two champagnes that a waiter offered and held one out to Kenna, "Put in a wording that I would rather not associate with that man, but yes, exactly that." He looked around at the many people, wondering if he would spot her. "Considering the amount of jewelery and other valuable things that we collected, I have a feeling that she won't be far away," he said, wondering if Kenna would like any of the things up for auction.
"I can just read it now...company spends money to assure people it isn't losing money...it's got a nice ring to it." Nate waved off some champagne. If he would drink it would be later tonight. "Just to catch a sugar baby...Well, dad's sugar baby...".
He considered every young woman with an old man a sugar baby.
The article had to be written. Her dad was out there but there were still the former playthings of the older Powell that'd be here.
Kenna smiled up at him. "Thank you...you did pick out the dress. So younger woman making an old man feel better about needing to take Viagra."
Jesse was more than proud of himself. No one could resist his charm, not even Kenna. Well, she was still holding out, but he counted this as a win for him that she was on his arm tonight. There were more than a couple of envious looks in his direction.
"Seduction? I would say it's easier to find a lot of envious gazes," he mused as he looked around, "We are looking for our sugar baby. Though I'm sure one or two things from my father will smoke her out. The auction will start soon." God knows it had been horrible enough to get his mother to help with this, because she had actually loved the guy. "So for now, it's mingle, look for anything suspicions and enjoy the evening. You do look stunning by the away," he told her and genuinely meant it as he smiled to her, "I do consider myself lucky in that regard."
How was she still standing and how was she at this event? Heather didn't know. The whole time she had been organizing it, she had assumed she would just have the night off, but here she was. The last weeks had been exhausting from planning this event and also writing an article or two to promote this event and the employees in an anonymous style so that it couldn't be tied back to her.
Still, that it had turned out great and a lot of people had come kept her going tonight. That and Nate looked even more handsome with his eyes now sharp. "They did. Considering the mess we are in, it's going pretty well," she told him with a nod as she looked around, "There are a lot of people here. I'm glad." That made her smile. "Thank you for allowing me to come. You look really well," she said as she straightened the fabric of her black dress, "So any sign of our guest of honor?" As she had never met the sugar baby she wasn't a big help in that department.
Kenna didn't know how she got roped into going to a formal event. She sure as hell didn't know how she was convinced to go as Jesse's date. She tried to not adjust the black dress or itch where it rubbed against her leg.
"What exactly am I looking for except your signs of seduction?" She asked. Arm candy, fucking arm candy...
Nate escorted Heather through the maze of people. While not his date he did prove as her guide and she on what the people wanted. Mess or not he was out in six months...
"Did they enjoy the festival?" He asked in a clear tone. A week without a drink did wonders for him.
Heather sighed. She wished she could do something more than organize an auction. She wasn't a justice warrior, but she hated that people got away like this. "Yeah, she may have mentioned that," she said slowly, though truthfully he didn't exactly make a secret of it.
She played with a strand of her hair, a tick she often had when thinking. "I highly doubt that there is anything that people want more than a job and security when they know they are being let off," she replied soberly, "The auction is a start. It gives them some money for a moment. Maybe you have contacts to other firms that might be willing to take some of them?" What they needed was more of a voice. Get the auction out there and possibly even have normal people donate. Could she write an article on that?
Those blonde locks. Jesse had to behave himself to not run his hand through her hair. Hearing what she said, he frowned. "You think he took what you said seriously?" he asked as he thought on it, "Nate and I have also been thinking that there is someone else involved. That sugar baby that our father was seeing. We're trying to find her."
Getting up, he did move over to her with a small smirk. "Well, you had my number so you could have just called me, if you didn't want to see me, so I'm assuming you wanted to see me after all," he concluded happily, "Speaking of, have you had time to think about my offer?" He looked to her with a smile.
"Parties of drinks and fancy clothing is over done. They won't care, hell, I get bored of them. Jesse just uses it to steal away blondes. I.. Well, the receptionist already told you my problem," Nate mused dryly. "Whatever you'd think the employees would like before the layoffs."
He would need to talk to his step mom on his own it seemed
Kenna hated to admit that he was sexy. The dark curls and tan skin, his glittering blue devil eyes. Attraction meant he'd have his way with her and win.
"It didn't go well. There was an e-mail the day off in my spam...I don't think it was him. Agent Hughes has some leads I gave him," Kenna said. "I don't plan on giving you .y number so I just stopped by."
God damn Nate, somehow Jesse had known that their peace agreement wouldn't last long. Now he wanted to get his mother involved. That was not happening.
Their argument had been going on for a bit when Kenna arrived and he perked up. Standing up, he smirked. "You can't get enough of me, can you?" he asked, "What brings you here?" He didn't believe that she would come without any reason.
Somehow Heather felt a bit freer now that she wasn't quite dependent on this, though since she had promised Kenna she still had business here. When Nate saw her return she gave a small grin. "Something like that," she replied before looking at the list, "And here I thought I would get a chance to breath." She couldn't help a small chuckle.
Thoughtfully, she leaned against the desk. "We should weigh the pros and cons of possibly getting a cheaper venue and decorating it more impressively. It could be cheaper and by not splurging too much we might be able to give more to the employees," she found herself saying. God, she really did feel a little more free now.
Kenna didn't know what to make of seeing Jesse and Nate in the office in a small debate. Knocking on the door she shifted while Nate straightened and opened the door for her.
"Not in prison, yet. Good."
"Not yet," she shrugged and walked in.
Nate had a list, there was the ideas but some of it involved Jesse's mom. That always spelt trouble but Nate wouldn't give uo. He returned to his office to see Heather returning.
"Coffee break? Got a list of possible venues we need to look at booking in two weeks."
Heather could almost see the relief wash over Kenna. It was curious as to why she didn't rat her out, but she wasn't going to question it. Taking the address, she nodded. "I'll see you then," she replied before chuckling, "Oh, I'm sure he will love that. I should get back as well before Nate wonders if I fell down an elevator shaft or something. See you later Kenna."
Walking back to her office, she had to say it was an eventful day and more was to come. She sat down at her desk, trying to sort her thoughts. She doubted Nate knew the truth.
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