Friday, 7:55 pm
He just keeps talking and talking...
Leilani thought as she continues to play with her pen, tapping it repeatedly against the wooden desk. She continues to pretend to be listening, nodding along with Mr. Cummins's words.
I wonder if Dad ever got this bored...
He probably did...
"Will that be okay with you, Ms. Maxwell??"
"I'm sorry?" Leilani jumps up, eyes widening. Mr. Cummins raises a brow, concerned, "I said, would that be okay with you??"
"Oh!!" She yelps, nodding and slicking a braid behind her ear. She shifts in her chair, sitting up, "Yes!! Yes!! That would be great!!"
What the fuck did I just agree to???
"Excellent!! Jasper!!" He chirps, snapping his fingers and the bodyguard to his right pulls some paperwork from behind his back.
Subtle flex of authority, I see. Seems like everyone I meet with feels the need to do that...
Leilani thought as Mr. Cummins takes the papers and lays them on the desk. He looks back at her, his gray-white hair subtly falling on his face, but he quickly rubs it back.
"So, what do you say?" He asks, bringing his hands together on his desk. Leilani pauses, sitting in her thoughts for a lingering moment.
She had scheduled this meeting with Mr. Cummins weeks ago but completely forgot until she looked back at her calendar.
She was about ready to throw it out after realizing she had made an appointment with him at 8 p.m.
Mr. Cummins is an arms dealer just like herself and had hoped they could team up to raise the amount of cash flow within their companies; as well as promote their business.
Leilani was excited, but now, she's just bored out of her mind.
"I'm willing to share 50% of the sale profits with you and promote your business so long as you do the same with me," He explains, sliding the paperwork to her from across the desk.
What the hell!!
There's no way that this is real...
Grabbing it, Leilani flips her long braids over her shoulder and carefully flips through the pages. She schemes through the paragraphs, nodding thoughtfully.
Reading the pages, she leans back in her chair, "Okay. Sounds promising..."
"So?? Is that a yes?" Mr. Cummins asks, eagerly awaiting her answer. She glances up at him, his dark brown piercing eyes gazing into her soft gray ones.
Leilani looks back at Kev, and he looks back at her. He arches one of his bushy, gray-black brows in concern.
He mouths a curious look on his face despite his blacked-out sunglasses, 'What?'
Kevin Sanders is the Head Bodyguard and has been Leilani's bodyguard for 15 years. He was her Dad's bodyguard first, but when she was 5, he was assigned to her. He's like a father to her even though she'd never admit it.
"Um..." Leilani simply sighs, looking back at the pages. She flips through them one last time, finding nothing out of the ordinary. The room falls silent for a while, Kev getting lost in thought for a brief moment.
"Hey big sexy~" Someone suddenly purrs in the earpiece.
Kev tenses up, recognizing the voice.
What the fuck, J.J....
He thought, shuddering. "How are things on your end, my sexy comrade?? We still signing papers and shit??" J.J. asks, curious, " I can see you two still sitting in the office, so I was just wondering..."
Sighing, Kev presses a finger to his earpiece, whispering, "Yes, we are. And stop calling me 'Big Sexy' or 'Sexy Comrade'. It's weirding me out..."
"But I say that to all my bros, Kevy!!! Just ask Fran, Declan, and Ethan!!!"
"And in case no one has told you, literally no one likes that nickname," Declan replies truthfully from the other end of Kev's earpiece. Kev tries to hold back his laughs as Fran chimes in, "Seriously, man. It's fucking weird."
"Very gay, my friend. But we still love ya the same!!" Ethan adds, and Kev starts chuckling quietly. J.J. falls silent as everyone begins to snicker quietly.
"I'm offended..." He mumbles quietly, sounding dramatic. "It's called honestly, Jay. From your-" Doing air-quotes, Kev replies, " 'Bros'."
"My bros, my ass!!! True bros would accept my compliment!!!" J.J. rebuttals, eagerly.
"Jesus Christ!!" Ethan laughs, and Kev shakes his head. He looks back at Leilani who's glancing back at him. They make eye contact before she looks back at the file in curiosity.
Maybe this is real!
Pausing, Leilani spots something on the very last page. Her eyes narrow, noticing in small, fine print at the bottom of the page, '25% Maxwell. 75% Cummins'.
She glances back at Mr. Cummins and his bodyguards, skeptically, "Hm..."
He said 50\50 split...
I knew this old geezer was lying...
She rolls her eyes subtly, flipping back to the front page.
That's what I get for giving people the benefit of the doubt...
They take advantage...
"As tempting as your offer may sound, Mr. Cummins, I think I'll pass." She states, uncrossing her legs, "Thanks though."
"Wait, no?? " Mr. Cummins asks, his face contorting with confusion.
"That is what I said, isn't it???" Leilani retorts, tossing the papers back onto the desk and pulling at her blue blouse.
She adjusts her black, pencil skirt standing up. Pushing up her cat-eyed glasses, she looks back at Kev and grins, "Let's go."
"Of course, boss," He replies, grinning back at her. He steps to the side, allowing her to step in front of him, "After you."
"Wait!!" Mr. Cummins yells, jumping up from his seat, his chair nearly falling over. Kev and Leilani look back at him, and Leilani asks, curious, "Yes, Mr. Cummins?"
"But why turn it down?! You'd be missing an opportunity of a lifetime!!" Mr. Cummins adds, with concern written on his wrinkly face, "This could get you millions, even billions of dollars!!"
"Well shit!!" She huffs, sounding annoyed. "I guess I might have to reconsider..." She mumbles, scratching her chin.
"Really? " Mr. Cummins asks, suddenly hopeful.
"No!" She snorts, dropping her arms down to her sides, "I couldn't care less about the amount of money you're offering!! Especially not if the money you're willing to give isn't what I'm going to receive!!"
"I beg your pardon?" Mr. Cummins suddenly asks, his face dropping, "What do you-"
"Don't play dumb, Mr. Cummins, you're not very good at it..." She interrupts, rolling her eyes, and he falls silent.
Leilani walks back up to his desk, Kev standing close to her side. She places her hands on his desk, leaning in, "First of all, Mr. Cummins, I can make that much in a matter of months, on my own, without your help. Last I checked, I'm a bigger brand than you are, so you don't have to worry about me. But thanks for your concern! Really! I thought it was cute."
"Cute? " Kev snorts, and Leilani looks back at him, shooting him a look. He tenses up before going quiet, looking away, "Sorry..."
She rolls her eyes, looking back at Mr. Cummins. Crossing her arms, she continues, "Anyway, second, I did a little research on you and your company's background before I came to make this deal with you. And, based on what I've found, you have a history of scamming your clients and business partners without them suspecting a thing."
He and his bodyguards freeze up as she sighs, solemnly, "I hoped that maybe you wouldn't try that bullshit with me seeing as you know who I am and most importantly, what I'm capable of."
A deep frown settles on his face, and she simply smirks, finding his irritation amusing. There's a long moment of silence following that, Leilani not once breaking eye contact.
"What makes you think I'll lie to you?" Mr. Cummins asks, voice low and condescending.
She cocks her head to the right, brows furrowing, "Because I read your paperwork."
Grabbing his paperwork off the desk, Leilani throws it at his face. He yelps, stumbling back and his guards tense up, gripping their guns by their sides. Kev quickly reacts to their actions, slipping his hand into his pocket, the sound of his pistol clicking.
"Relax, boys!! I just threw paper at him!! Not a grenade!!" Leilani laughs, raising her hands.
She grabs Kev's arm, shooting him a knowing look out of the corner of her eye. He relaxes a little, and Mr. Cummins's bodyguards do the same.
"Anyway," She looks back at Mr. Cummins, letting go of Kev's arm.
He flips through the pages, and Leilani continues, "The reason I think you're lying is cause you are. On the very last page at the bottom, it says, in very fine, tiny, almost unreadable print, that I'll only receive 25% of the profits while you'll receive 75."
She raises a brow, "Weren't you the one to say that it'll be a 50/50 split??"
Shit, people don't ever spot that, how did she manage that??
Mr. Cummins thought, feeling unsettled. He pauses, obviously nervous and embarrassed that he was caught red-handed, "I, uh... I-"
"You should know just how seriously I take my business. Scamming me would do nothing but hurt you, I thought you would've known that," Leilani interrupts coldly, a passive-aggressive grin on her face, "So, as stated before, I think I'll take my leave now. Thanks for the offer anyway though."
Shooting him a wink, Leilani turns back around, while Mr. Cummins glares at the back of her head. His gray bushy brows furrow with annoyance, as she talks with her guard, Kev.
She fucking caught me and just like that, is going to leave?? Like it's no big whoop??
He thought, feeling offended but also peeved. He had heard many things about Leilani Maxwell. A, she was young and B, she's very thorough and picky when it comes to choosing the proper business partner.
"No room for error" is her most commonly used phrase when choosing.
Leilani pats Kev's shoulder, grinning, "Let's go, Domino's."
"Didn't I say not to call me that??" He huffs with annoyance as he and Leilani walk toward the door.
When Leilani was younger, she often called Kev Domino's because that's all he would order since he wasn't any good at cooking.
He never was a fan of the nickname, and always preferred her calling him Kev.
Now she just says it to get on his nerves...
Kev walks behind her as she goes on, "No. You said, 'Call me whatever you'd like, shorty!' I remember it distinctly! I was 5 and-" "Not even close..." He interrupts frowning and Leilani giggles.
"So that's just it? You're going to expose me and then leave??" Mr. Cummins calls out, balling his hands up into fists.
Leilani stops before looking back at him, a distasteful look on his face.
I hurt his feelings doing that, didn't I?
Leilani thought, noticing how red his face had gotten in a few seconds. She sighs, bringing her hands together against her stomach, trying not to make it obvious that she's annoyed.
"Well, what did you want me to do?" She asks, shrugging nonchalantly, "I'm not going to expose your business if that's what you're worried about. That would be just plain petty. At the end of the day, this is your only way to the top, by scamming people. And unlike you, I don't need to scam to succeed. So yes. That is it. Did you want me to throw a hissy fit for attempting to trick me?"
The room falls eerily silent, Mr. Cummins staring at her, speechless. He swallows hard, feeling embarrassed and honestly like she just destroyed his entire pride.
Leilani looks him up and down, waiting for him to say something. She then takes notice of how stiff he's gotten and begins thinking.
Maybe that is what he wants...
"If a hissy fit was what you were hoping for then I can make that happen," She explains, reassuringly.
"Oh my god, Leilani, please don't-" Kev starts but she's already clearing her throat. He facepalms, face reddening with embarrassment, "Oh fuck..."
Putting on a serious face, Leilani shouts, balling her hands up into fists, "UGH!! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TRIED TO TRICK ME!!! YOU MONSTER- BAHAHAHAHA!!"
Belly laughing at herself, Leilani finds her hysterics ridiculous, "OMG!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!"
Everyone in the room stares at her concerned and taken aback by her sudden outburst of giggles.
"I'm sorry!! I just-Ha-ha!!!" She wheezes, "I just sound so distraught, it's hysterical!! God!! I'm never doing that again!!"
She waves Mr. Cummins off as she turns around to leave the room, calming down some. Kev opens the door for her as she laughs, walking out, "Have a good rest of your night, Mr. Cummins!!"
Kev walks close behind her as he closes the door behind them. They make their way down the hall past a few workers.
They arrive at the end of the hall at the elevator and Kev states laughing a little, "Did you have to act out like that??"
"Yes. Yes I did. It's called a joke," She responds, pressing the elevator button to the first floor, "I figured it might make him feel better since I figured out how he runs his business..."
Pausing for a brief moment, Leilani asks, genuinely curious, "You think it worked??"
"Um," He mutters, an awkward look on his face. The elevator doors open and he simply shrugs, "sure. Let's just hope he didn't get pissed at your little joke there. A lot of people seem to..."
"And that would be their problem, now wouldn't it??" Leilani counters, shrugging, "It's not my fault that their sense of humor is dry compared to mine."
"Of course it's not," Kev rolls his eyes, smiling.
Mr. Cummins plops back down in his seat, his ego bruised and his business been made as a complete joke. His jaw tightens, thinking of her and all that she had said about him and his industry.
As if we aren't on equal playing fields...
He thought, annoyed.
Becoming consumed in his anger and frustration, he concludes with a way to prove himself to Ms. Maxwell.
Abruptly, with a snap of his fingers, Mr. Cummins's guards standing behind him come forward. They both stand on either side of him, and Jasper is the first to ask, "Yes boss?"
"I don't like how Ms. Maxwell just dismissed me as if I weren't an equal partner," He grumbles, and his men agree.
"Very disrespectful," Jasper adds, shaking his head in understanding.
"Downright infuriating, boss," Alex, the guard to Mr. Cummins's right, chimes in, his shoulder-length blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail.
"Precisely," Mr. Cummins scowls. He brings his hands together, placing them on his desk as he gazes down at the paperwork, "Gather the squad, follow her, and bring her back to me with no one else. She is all I want. You have my permission to rough her up a bit if she decides not to come quietly. Anyone who stands in your way, get rid of them, got it?"
"Yes sir." The two say in unison before walking out of the room.
Mr. Cummins watches as they leave and swivels around in his chair to face his large window that had a view of the whole city of Boston, Massachusetts.
The roads and streets are busy, so naturally, Leilani would be surrounded by cars. My squad would blend in.
He thought, smirking at that realization, "I'll show you, Ms. Leilani Maxwell..."
Merci pour la lecture!
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