Reunited with the Lassiter Bride(3)

By: Barbara Dunlop

“The decorators are here.”

Angelica squared her shoulders and gave her assistant a determined nod. “Thanks, Becky. Please show them in.”

Angelica knew her decision to renovate the top floor of the Lassiter building and relocate the CEO’s office was going to cause a lot of talk within the company. But she also knew it was her only option.

Maybe if the power transition had gone smoothly she could have moved directly into her father’s office. After all, she’d been at the helm in all but title prior to her father’s death. But with the original will leaving control to Evan, the transition had been anything but smooth. And now she needed to put her own stamp on Lassiter Media. She’d decided to convert the top floor boardroom into her own office and turn her father’s office into a boardroom.

“Angelica.” Suzanne Smith entered the room first, followed by her partner Boswell Cruz. “It’s so good to see you again.”

Suzanne’s expression and tone were professional, but she couldn’t quite hide the curiosity lurking in her eyes. The Lassiter family’s troubles had been all over the media these past months. Angelica couldn’t really blame Suzanne for wondering what would happen next.

“Thanks for coming on such short notice,” said Angelica, moving forward to shake both of their hands. “Hello, Boswell.”

“Nice to see you again, Angelica,” he returned.

“Tell me how we can help you,” said Suzanne. Her expression invited confidence.

“I’d like to build new office. For me. Right here.”

Suzanne waited for a moment, but Angelica didn’t offer anything more.

“Okay,” said Suzanne, gazing around at the polished beech wood paneling and the picture windows on two sides of the room. “I have always loved this space.”

“It’ll give me some extra light in the morning,” said Angelica, repeating the rationale she’d decided to use for the move.

“Light is good.”

“And J.D.’s old office is closer to the floor’s reception area, so it’ll make a more convenient boardroom.” It was another perfectly plausible excuse that had nothing to do with Angelica’s real reasons for making the switch.

Boswell had a tablet in his hand and was already making notes.

“Anything in particular you want to keep from J.D.’s office?” asked Suzanne. “Furniture pieces? Art?”

“Nothing,” said Angelica.

The twitch of Suzanne’s mouth betrayed her surprise at the answer.

“Maybe keep the historic Big Blue mural,” Angelica added, rethinking the sweeping decision. “It can hang in the new boardroom.”

The painting of the Lassiter ranch in Wyoming had hung in J.D.’s office for over a decade. Moving it would cause talk and speculation, possibly even more speculation than Angelica’s moving her office to the opposite end of the thirtieth floor.

She wasn’t turning her back on her roots. And, despite what the tabloids had surmised, she had forgiven her father. Or at least she would forgive her father, eventually, though maybe not all at once. Emotionally, she had to sort some things through first.

“That’s it?” asked Suzanne. Her tone was neutral, but it didn’t quite mask her surprise. Some of J.D.’s pieces were very valuable antiques.

“We can put the rest in storage.”

“Certainly. Did you have any initial thoughts on your office?”

“Lots of natural light,” said Angelica. “I like the fresh feel of the atrium, so plants for sure. Not ultra-modern, no chrome or anything. And I don’t want bright white. But definitely lighter tones, neutrals, earth tones perhaps.” She paused. “Am I making any sense?”

“This is all good,” Suzanne assured her. “It gives us a nice starting point. Now, you’ve got plenty of room in here. You’ll want a desk area, a meeting table, and a lounge area. Would you like us to include a wet bar? A private washroom?”

“Only if you can do it discreetly. I want it to look like a business office, not a playboy’s downtown loft.”

Suzanne’s alarm showed on her face. “Oh, no. It won’t look anything like that.”

“It would be nice to be able to offer refreshments.”

“Done,” said Suzanne. “And we’ll make it discreet, I promise.”

The door opened and Becky appeared again. “Ms. Lassiter? Sorry to interrupt. But your three o’clock is here.”

“We’ll get out of your way,” said Suzanne. “Would the end of the week be soon enough for some mock-ups?”

“End of the week is fine,” said Angelica.