Aiden sat behind his massive desk and glanced at what appeared to be a copy of my resumé. “How long have you worked for Delmont Security?”
Jumping straight into the interview. Okay. I could do this. I smoothed back my blond hair while reminding myself not to play with it. “About eight months.”
“You’ve been working with Tom Wilde the entire time?”
I tried not to cringe at the name of my former boss. It had only been two hours since he’d fired me, and I was still reeling from the incident.
“Yes. I’ve been working for Tom since I started here.” And whatever you do, please do not ask why we parted ways.
“What made you leave the position?”
Crap. “It was a mutual decision based on incompatibility.” I hoped my words sounded professional yet vague enough they weren’t a lie.
He studied me like he was a human lie detector. Was the temperature getting hotter in the room?
I squirmed under his heavy scrutiny.
“Reid, the interim HR Director, indicated there may have been a specific incident. One I’d rather hear about from you than from Tom.”
Double crap. I inhaled, realizing I had no choice but to come clean. “Yes, I suppose
I’d rather you hear it from me, too.”
He waited, his amazing blue eyes focused on mine, making it clear he wouldn’t settle for less than the truth.
I took a deep breath, hoping to steady myself, not exactly proud of what I had to say. “I may have, uh, called Tom a pussy.”
Both Aiden’s brows shot up with surprise. “Come again?”
I forced air into my lungs and upped the volume in my shaking voice. It was taking
everything I had to keep my composure.
“I said, I may have called Tom a pussy.”
For a moment Aiden didn’t speak. Then, looking as though he was trying to cover his shock, he cleared his throat. “May have?”
Pretty sure I was off the reservation as far as bad interviews went. “Did. I did call him a pussy.”
“And he overheard you?”
“Not exactly.” I crossed my legs and then uncrossed them.
Aiden stood up and walked with a slight limp to face the window. I could’ve sworn his lips twitched, but his lack of eye contact wasn’t a good sign. Calling my former
boss a pussy didn’t exactly scream good assistant material to the potential new
“There are a lot of maybes and not exactlys, Chloe. I’m partial to the facts if you don’t mind.”
Right. Best to get the entire thing out. It would make for a great drunken story someday: how I’d called my boss a pussy, lost my job and my work visa for the UAE, and caused my family to become homeless.
Now would’ve been a good time to lie or at least stretch the truth. I did neither.
“I was upset with Tom and using instant messenger to write about Tom when I
accidentally mistyped who the message was meant for. So I sent a message which
said TOM IS A PUSSY to Tom.”
Still not facing me, Aiden coughed into his hand. Finally, he pivoted toward me. “Who was the message intended for?”
“A colleague.” I wouldn’t name Teagan in this mess. Reid had guessed she was the intended recipient since she was both my roommate and best friend, but I didn’t need to out her to Aiden.
“What did Tom say about this message?”
“He simply came out of his office and asked, ‘Is this how you talk about me behind my back?’” He’d been red faced and had sputtered his words with a piece of spinach wedged between his teeth. It wasn’t a scene I wished to relive.
The devil on my shoulder had been tempted to give Tom a piece of my mind for what he’d done to warrant my name calling. But as was often the case, I hadn’t given into the temptation and stood up for myself. Guess Tom wasn’t the only pussy.
“I didn’t really respond.” I’d been in shock that I’d accidentally typed the message to him instead of to my roommate.
“Why did you call him a pu—the name you called him?”
In any other situation, I would’ve giggled at Aiden’s word flinch. I could guarantee
nobody called the man in front of me a pussy. He presented sheer confidence. “I
believed Tom had earned the name in this situation.”
“Did you apologize?” Aiden resumed the seat behind his desk.
Huh. Recalling the moment, I realized, nope. I sure hadn’t. Which was unlike me
since I was Canadian, and apologies were in our DNA. “I don’t believe I had the chance. I was fired on the spot.”
“What did Tom do to warrant the name?”
Although I loathed my ex-boss and everything the man stood for, I wasn’t about to out his extramarital affair or the fact he’d thrown me under the bus to his wife. It wasn’t professional, and I wasn’t a gossip. I’d related the whole story to Reid because, as HR director, he had to keep the matter confidential. But telling Aiden seemed improper. “I’d rather not say as it’s of a delicate nature. Since you’re his colleague, I’m not sure it would be right for you to know the details.”
Aiden steepled his fingers. “I see.”
Triple crap. Time to plead my case. “I’m not proud of what happened, Mr. Samuels. I’m aware it was highly unprofessional and I wouldn’t take this second chance lightly if it was given to me. I work hard, I’m easy to get along with, and above anything, I hope my confession has showed I never lie even though this is an interview, and I know my words haven’t exactly painted me in the best light.”
“You’re loyal to the man who fired you?”
I wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement, so I simply said, “Yes.
Unfortunately, it would appear so.” I wondered if I should’ve spilled the dirt instead of sealing my fate with loyalty to someone who didn’t deserve it.
Aiden deliberated my answer while sitting back in his chair, his gaze never leaving
mine. Damn, his intensity made me edgy.
“I admire your loyalty, especially given the circumstances. I also believe in second
I wanted to let out a breath of relief but sensed he wasn’t done.
“But for us to work together, I have a few rules.”
My mind was already busy coming up with a mental list of naughty rules I wished he’d give me. I certainly hadn’t ever felt this way about Tom, with his stupid JC Penney-catalog-model haircut, inability to chew with his mouth closed, and condescending tone.
But the last thing I needed was to lust over my new boss. “Okay. What are they?”
“Number one is honesty at all times. If you think I’m being a pussy, you tell me to my face.”