New York Rain(3)

By: Riley Moreno

“So Ms. Gillie, what is it that I can do for you? Or is there something you'd like to do... for me?”

A number of things crossed her mind, and some of them deepened her blush and got her pulse racing for a second, but she knew that at this moment she needed to remain professional. As attractive as Huxley was, getting his pants off was not the reason she had here.

Although that particular prospect seemed to be at the forefront of her thoughts at the current moment...

No Jade! Come on, focus! This is Brenton “One-Shot” Huxley you're dealing with here! One shot! Remember that!

“I've come about the solar proposal, from a new Chinese company called SolarTwo. If I can just get this technology into the States, it could revolutionize the way we use electricity. If you'll hear me out-”

“I've read the brief, Ms. Gillie, I know the basics. I really hope you're not here to waste my time. I have a very low tolerance for time wasters.”

A boost of panic pulsed through her veins.

Come on Jade, don't let your nerves get the better of you. He's just a human being, like yourself. You've practiced this a hundred times. Just deliver the proposal. He'll go for it. He has to!

Jade went on to explain the details of her proposal to bring SolarTwo's new technology to the United States. She delivered her lines flawlessly, and Brenton seemed to be interested – he was listening attentively and making notes as she spoke on his iPad – and then, she finished with the flourish that she knew would really get his attention.

“If you've paid attention to everything I've proposed,” she said as she finished, “you'll see that this technology is the way of the future. It's going to change everything, the same way Henry Ford's cars did, or Bill Gates's Microsoft, or Steve Jobs’ Apple. It just needs-”

“A wealthy investor to back it. Me.”

Brenton grinned, revealing strikingly-white teeth in a wolfish mouth. He brushed aside a stray lock of hair that had fallen over his eyes.

“Yes. Yes, essentially, that is what my start-up needs, Mr. Huxley.”

His eyes steeled over in a second, and suddenly it seemed that his handsome face had taken on the air of a marble statue.


Despair crashed through Jade's body.

“No? But... but why?”

She couldn't believe it; she had played this moment out so many times in her head. She had delivered her presentation flawlessly, and anyone with half a mind for business could see how lucrative a deal it would be. She had been so sure that Huxley would have agreed to it, and yet... Yet this was his response?

“I'm sorry Ms. Gillie, but I'm gonna be real blunt with you: it's just not an idea I see real potential in.”

“That's... that's it?! You're not going to explain why you don't think it's going to work?”


Jade was stunned; it felt as if he had punched her right in the stomach with one of those killer blows he had been landing on his boxing bag when she had walked in. She felt the world swimming around her as everything came crashing down. She saw, as if in slow-motion, Brenton Huxley touching a button on his earpiece.

“Claire, come and escort Ms. Gillie out please. I've got a lot of work to get on with, so make it snappy.”

“No?” repeated Jade, still shocked.

“No,” answered Huxley. “That will be all, Ms. Gillie. Goodbye.”

The door opened behind her, and she heard Claire's high heels clicking on the floor as she entered.

“Come with me please, Ms. Gillie,” said the blonde.

As if through a nightmare, Jade turned around and started walking out of the office. Behind her, muffled and distant, she heard the thuds and thumps of Brenton Huxley hitting his boxing bag again. She turned around to steal one last glance at him. His muscles were rippling as he struck the bag, and sweat flew off of his hard body as he moved with power and pace. His medium-length blonde hair flew about his head as he ducked, bobbed and weaved.

He was a natural fighter, it seemed. Powerful, swift, agile and merciless.

Oh yes. Merciless.

Fighting back tears, and trying to force the raw physical attraction she felt for the man out of her mind, Jade Gillie left his office and heard the door close behind her.