Courage (Billionaire Secrets Series, #3)(8)

By: Lexy Timms

More time crawled by. He killed time by calling Linda and filling her in what was going on. After he hung up, he glanced at his watch. After ten. Simon had a mountain of work to sort through, but he wouldn’t be able to concentrate while Heather’s fate was still up in the air.

Finally the door opened again, and Everett ducked out. “We’ve come to a decision.”

“You have?” Simon stood up, hoping his agitation didn’t show. “What have you decided?”

“We’ve decided to let Heather stay on. But under one condition.” Everett’s eyes narrowed in obvious rebuke. “She has to move to another department. Which means she’ll no longer be working for you.”

Chapter 3

A tremor of dread made his stomach tighten.

“What do you mean, she can’t work for me anymore?” Simon demanded. He wanted to ignore the fact that it felt like Everett had just gut-punched him, but it was no use. Heather meant so much to him that the thought of not seeing her every day was already making him crazy.

“This isn’t up for negotiation,” Everett said flatly as he walked back into the conference room.

Simon marched in after him, the urge to force an answer out of him so overwhelming his hands balled up. They weren’t going to get away with taking Heather away from him. “You have no right to punish her like this.”

“We’re not punishing her,” Everett muttered as he resumed his seat.

Simon’s gaze fell on Heather and she stared right back at him, a cloud of sadness darkening her eyes.

“So, where is she supposed to work?” Simon asked.

“She’ll be working with the media relations team,” Everett explained. “Linda needs some more hands and Heather got experience working with the press when she was employed by VLA.”

His jaw tightened at the mention of VLA. Simon still hadn’t mentioned to the board that Heather had been approached to spy on him at her old job. If he revealed that, she’d probably be fired on the spot and be exposed to getting sued by her former employers.

He wracked his brain, trying to think of something that could get Heather back. Linda didn’t have the power to protect Heather the way he did. Heather needed him no matter how much she denied it. “And the board thinks that’s supposed to be a good fit for her?”

“This transfer wasn’t the board’s idea,” Everett said. “When we called her back in for more clarification, Ms. Hall insisted on going to a new department. This transfer was her idea.”

“Heather’s idea?” Simon demanded in disbelief.

She stared down at her hands.

“This is the best decision for everyone,” Everett said. “We’ll avoid any bad feelings between Dover and Heather. You won’t have your... judgment clouded anymore by Heather’s presence. And Heather gets to keep her job. For the time being.”

“So, her job still isn’t permanent?” Simon asked.

“Heather hasn’t been given a more permanent contract,” Everett explained. “It didn’t seem fair to offer her a permanent position at Dover with this cloud of suspicion over her. Simon, you did point out that Dover hasn’t handled this spying business as professionally as it could have, so it seems best to give Heather a chance to prove her innocence while she stays on at Dover.”

Simon frowned. “Which means...”

“Which means that Heather can be dismissed at any time for any reason,” Everett said. “And moving to another department will remove all doubts about bias on your part.”

He hated to admit it, but the board had come to a fair decision. The offer to keep Heather on at Dover was more generous that he had anticipated, but it still didn’t sit well with him. Try as he might, he wasn’t over her. Hadn’t figured out a way to let her go and move on. Because he didn’t want to. Even if her refusal to be with him hurt like hell, he still didn’t want to stop working with her. Somehow, in a matter of weeks, his entire world had started to revolve around her. He had no idea how he was going to function in her absence.

A break up was bad enough. But now they couldn’t even work together—which seemed even worse, if such a thing was possible.