Nigel Summers ReboundsbyEgmont0409©
All that made sense to Nigel. It was a classic case of a determined incumbent plotting for power once he had the necessary support and then going for it. What didn't make sense was Philippa telling Nigel she'd seized the opportunity to recruit Nigel with his suitable background to overthrow Royce and regain her rightful control of the company.
Philippa had looked at him malevolently when he suggested what was right was whatever the board decided and when he suggested her best option was to sell out and leave town he was sure she'd come close to slapping him. Ah well, at least she had fire. She couldn't mount a counter-attack alone but he doubted he was the right man. Had the notice of divorce proceedings pushed her into a corner and she was now desperate?
In bed without his boss Nigel thought well at least she had dangled the prospect of sex over him, suggesting she thought of him favorably in that connection. Connection? He grinned. During the night he awoke and just as Philippa had wanted from him, he'd created an action plan. It depended on a couple of things related to the company.
Nigel arrived at the offices at 8:30 and was taken around admin and introduced. He was glad he was spared the embarrassment of being asked was he gay, and thought well the messages radiated yesterday from the accounts department after his quite hilarious meeting with him had assisted his immersion.
A lean guy in a $500 suit came in an introduced himself, giving Nigel quite a shock.
"Hi, I'm the guy who's divorcing your boss. I'm Raymond. I heard she'd hired a male PA and came to look you over. My office is a quarter of a mile from here and so you won't see much of me unless admin has stuffed up our accounts or manipulated adversely our financial reporting."
Nigel had thought Philippa would have had her treacherous husband fired but then remembered she was no longer president and anyway Raymond was a company director, one of the Samuels Trust nominees.
"Hi Mr Samuels, I understand you run the technical and franchising division."
"You are well-briefed. Call me Raymond Nigel. Just watch your boss, she can be a vindictive bitch at times."
"Well Raymond, it would be bad news if she acted like that without good reason."
Raymond stared at Nigel and frowned, as if unable to quite work out what Nigel was saying. He left without further comment.
A pot-bellied older guy without a smiled greeted him.
"I'm your big boss."
"Good morning Mr Johns."
"You know me?"
"No Miss Shields briefed me on senior personnel."
"Your are aware that Mrs Raymond Samuels is my daughter?"
"Yes, Philippa told me that."
"And why her mother and I never married?"
Well Philippa hadn't explained why but Nigel thought a lie would be in order. "I wasn't aware her mother and you weren't married."
"Her late mother. She died in a car crash when touring Egypt with two girlfriends. None of them survived."
"Oh I'm sorry. How long ago was that?"
"Fourteen years. Philippa was twenty but my family affairs needn't preoccupy your mind. Having a male PA is most unusual but providing your standard of work is up to the expectations you'll survive. Come to me with any personal problems. My daughter can become emotional and make false accusations."
Nigel thought oh very smooth Mr Samuels and thought well at least he'd indicated Philippa was indeed thirty-four. Nigel was aware some women tended to be flexible about their age. She was still of accepted child-bearing age although time was running out on her.
A smiley young woman came in and placed her handbag on the other desk. "Hi, I'm Jane your assistant. I do your word-processing and assist with calls, callers and emails and do the mail and coffee."
Nigel looked at the curvaceous and reasonably attractive brunette and decided to push boundaries. "Oh hi Jane, I'm Nigel. I wasn't told I had an assistant although had noticed the second desk and your personal effects. Look, you may be upset at being asked to work alongside a male PA. If you wish I can attempt to get you deployed elsewhere in admin."
"No it's fine. My last boss was a bitch. You look fine to me. May we continue to have flowers in the office?"
"Yes of course. Um I'm not gay Jane."
"Yes, the girl's in accounts agreed that you pulsate testosterone."
"That's what their combined memo dispersed to all personal in junior management and below said about their perception of your sexuality."
"Ohmigod," he said cringing and Jane grinned and said, "Embarrassing isn't it?"
Philippa swept in right on 9:00. "Troops, into my room please."
There was no greeting, only a smile. Jane grabbed her notebook and a pen so Nigel armed himself similarly.
He closed the door as he followed Jane into the larger office.
"Lock it Nigel."
Well, was this Day 1 of the campaign to oust her father? It certainly appeared so.
They sat in front of the boss who fixed her eyes on Jane.
"Jane, how far can I trust you for absolute fidelity in keeping the affairs of this office absolutely confidential, even if you are placed under interrogation by my father?"
"You should feel confident of my loyalty Miss Shields."
"I may perhaps ask you to do things that you may think are disloyal to the company Jane so think carefully. I can easily have you assigned to another posting with no loss of entitlements but you will probably be bored ."
"I am with you all the way Miss Shields but what about him," she said, looking suspiciously at Nigel.
"Nigel is with me a hundred percent. We talked last night and I have no hesitation in deciding his loyalty."
"Are we about to attempt to have you reinstated at company president Miss Shields?"
"Yes, so who indicated that possibility to you?"
"No one. When you began speaking to me about absolute confidentiality I guessed that was your objective because in your position that's what I would have resolved to do."
"I have not spoken to Jane about your plans."
"Very well, I accept that and accept your promise of absolute fidelity Jane. If we win through you'll be promoted. Now Nigel, what do we do?"
"I had a plan, incorporation the only tactic I believe has any chance of succeeding beyond assassinations."
"Ignore him Jane; Nigel loves to over-embellish."
Nigel said he required comparative print-outs on the company's period of profitability since Royce took control and the similar length of time in the period prior to Philippa's demotion.
"Yes I can amass the information and print the graphs for you."
"Without anyone but we three knowing you are doing that?"
Philippa said absolutely.
Nigel said he also required an in-depth analysis on the creation of the franchising and technical and product support division and that information compared against forecasts and an analysis of reports on progress, or lack of it, as well as the loss of capital of that division, if any had occurred being regarded as irrecoverable, and predictions on likely progress based on an analysis of division reports on future expectations."
"God why do you want that? It will take days and days for me to compile that information without assistance."
"You have Jane and me to assist you."
"Well yes, and I cannot discount that support. But is this absolutely necessary?"
Philippa, tight-lipped, said, "Do you mind telling me why? I am after all your principal and this entire thing is about me."
Nigel turned to Jane. "Sweetie, although Philippa has indicated she trusts you implicitly this is something I should only discuss with Philippa because I have no idea how you'd hold up under tough interrogation if our foes sense something was up and roped you in. Do you understand?"
"Yes, you wish to operate on the need to know basis."
"Good girl, exactly."
He unlocked the door and Jane left, flicking a smile at him.
Nigel said to Philippa, "If the results you gather are very much in your favor you must go to the insurance company chiefs and call for voting support and you then call a meeting of the board for a vote of no confidence in your father's administration and seek to replace him."
"Oh god, a reversal of what happened to me by winning over outside voting strength."
"You may even win over some of the Samuels if you can prove the current grand plan is destined to make a loss-making dive. I've never yet met a person happy about losing capital and earnings."
"Nigel, my feeling is this is going to work."
"We'll check and double check your findings Philippa because the insurance company will check them for credibility and as sure as hell your foes will be looking to discredit you and your claims."
Later when Jane was explaining the office routine to Nigel she asked, "I think this is unlikely but is anything going on between Miss Shields and you?"
"Give it a break Jane, I only met her yesterday."
"In that case would you like to accompany me to a movie and then dinner tonight? My room mates intend having a big night at basketball and my boyfriend is out of town on a training course."
Nigel imagined his dick was screaming yes, yes.
"Well if that's what you want Jane, going to a movie with a much older guy, then it's fine by me. If you have second thoughts just cancel... I won't mind. Er I hope."
She laughed and said Nigel was funny. "I'm twenty-two and have read your CV so there's not real problem about age."
* * *
Watching the movie about a young couple who'd witnessed a murder fleeing and struggling to keep ahead of the hoods pursing them, Jane leant against Nigel's shoulder and seconds later lifted with a wordless invitation for him to place an arm around her shoulder. He obliged and soon she placed that hand on to her left breast.
"Are you sure Jane?"
"Yes, but remember it's our dirty little secret."
That told Nigel Jane intended them to go all the way. He'd still not moved to seek permanent accommodation so after the movie took Jane to the hotel and they dined in the bistro restaurant because he knew that offered quicker service. They then went up to his room, groping one another in the elevator.
"I really like to fuck," Jane said, stripping off her top and jeans and wandering around looking at the suite.
"It's small but lovely."
Nigel was sure she didn't mean his dick that she'd been squeezing in the elevator.
She pulled off her bra and panties and climbed on to the sofa looking away from him, opening her legs.
"Come on big boy."
Nigel obliged, repeatedly.
* * *
The results of data collected by Philippa were exciting, er for Philippa and her two assistants.
"Christ, Raymond and Royce in signing off these reports to the board must have known they were fudged," Nigel said. "These instances are probably in breach of legislation covering the operation of companies, with the board and stockholders being fed false and manipulated information. The latest report indicates twenty-two investors have signed up franchises whereas only two have actually completed the process and the other twenty have signed an expression of interest that doesn't commit them to anything apart from confidentiality. This is scandalous."
"Well deal with less than honest people and this is what you get," Philippa said bitterly.
Nigel had been flicking through the financial graphs and data printouts. "Christ the heavy non-productive expenses in setting up the franchising operation have alone absorbed $2.8 million of the insurance's company's investment of $7.5 million and more has been spent on the technical support network that is not yet operational and that accounts for almost another $2 million with no revenue coming in and yet seven months ago when you were deposed both Royce and Raymond submitted, in writing, that a revenue-producing stream could be expected from both projects within two months of approval, and approval was given that very day. Oh boy, what we have here, once verified, is enough to sink a battleship."
"It looks good. We must spend the next two days verifying all this information and I'll make an appointment to see the chairman and president of the insurance company for Thursday if I can. You must accompany me Nigel to assist if I stumble on any point. And Jane thank you for all your work in copying files or sections of files with auto dating and scoring reports to the board to extract relevant information."
Jane had left and Nigel was packing up ready to leave that evening when Philippa came through and asked, "Would you like me to take you for a drink and a bite. You have done amazingly well for me Nigel."
When they were seated at the bar Philippa asked, "What have you done about permanent accommodation? Excuse me."
She took a call and said, "This is a grave disclosure implicating the executive chairman plus president and his vice-president Roland which explains why I'm seeking this meeting without them. I will be accompanied by my investigating PA a Mr Nigel Summers. Oh great, 9:00 on Friday morning. No an hour will be sufficient but I insist on strict confidentially at this stage. Bye."
Philippa sipped her Martini. "You heard that, first thing Friday morning. Now I assume you have been too busy to inspect alternative accommodation yet?"
"Correct. I'll start looking Saturday."
"Well after dinner let's start with an inspection of my apartment. I suggest you stay at the hotel in the meantime but if we win through with this exposé at an emergency board meeting next week I will place you in Raymond's position and have you elected as a director and invite you to move in with me. It will be up to you to make that division work and you'll be gifted stock in the company at a level appropriate to your success."
They talked on and it occurred to Nigel to ask himself where was the warmth in Philippa. He struggled to describe where his thinking was at over Philippa as although it had just surfaced he thought it had been bubbling with mixed uncertainty.
Perhaps she was selfish but only to a degree and not that consuming selfishness a few people who lived alone, usually in luxury, possessed. At that he thought of one of his grandmothers.
Well she could become very focused but no, it wasn't that.
Nigel shuddered and he hoped he was wrong about that. He'd think about that.
After dinner they went to her apartment. In the cab she'd pulled his arm around him but leaving a gap between them for him to get a handful of breast. When he was holding a handful she whispered, "That's comforting."
Oh yeah, to whom? He turned to face her briefly but with a shock realized his smile was hollow. Oh shit, it was over before it had started wasn't it?
The apartment was not overly large and wasn't even hers, yet. She said it belonged to an aunt now in a nursing home who had promised to bequeath it to Philippa.
"I've thrown out the junk and built up the lovely things, matching styles," Philippa said, and asked if he wanted coffee. Not 'would you like coffee' or better still 'I'll fetch coffee' but rather 'Do you want coffee?' Nigel, now acting like an analyst, regarded the phrasing of the first two unspoken statements and the one actually stated as being significant different in potency. It warned him to watch Phillips closely in respect of their compatibility.
As she handed him coffee and drank a glass of warmed milk herself she looked around the room and said, "There is nothing I want changed here. You'd have no desire to change anything have you?"
"I wouldn't think so," Nigel shrugged, thinking he wasn't even sure he'd want to live there.
When he put down his empty coffee mug Philippa said brightly, "I'll call you a cab."
Nigel returned to the hotel looking sour, which was how he felt.
* * *
They entered the boardroom of the regional division of a national insurance company and were welcomed by the chairman and president. Philippa was seated at the table facing the chairman and president and Nigel was invited to sit beside her. An advisor sat on either side of the chairman and company president; presumably the advisers were attorneys.
The result was half of what Philippa and Nigel had expected. The insurance guys became quite alarmed at the revelations presented and apart from four points seeking clarification there was no further discussion because the company chairman requested an adjournment.
"We will withdraw for consultations with our national office. Lunch will be served here for you Miss Shields and Mr Summers. I suggest we resumed our meeting in ninety minutes."
The four men left the room and a women appeared and poured their requested drinks, said lunch would be served in twenty minutes and asked for their choice between salmon salad or hot chicken roast. Both visitors chose the roast.
After the women closed the double doors behind her, Philippa looking distraught., asked, "Oh god, where did I go wrong?"
"You didn't, you presented admirably," Nigel said. "There was no way we could predict their reaction. Remember I did warn insurance guys tend to act in discussions more like bureaucrats rather than businessmen. I suspect they are now on a conference call with head office discussing your disclosures and seeking instructions."
"Do you think so," Phillips said, gulping down her expensive wine and holding out her glass for Nigel to pour more.
"Steady on, you'll need to keep a cool head," he warned. "This isn't over."
"Would you like to stay in this city tonight, whatever the result, and have sex?"
"Yes," she said looking at him strangely. "I rather thought you were breaking your neck to fuck me?"
"Yes, yes of course," he said, aware his tone suggested lack of real enthusiasm.
She stared at him.
"You have oodles of talent and yet are only a PA. Why is that?"
"A combination of circumstances and lack of opportunity."
"I see," she said but Nigel knew she didn't. Philippa had been brought up with her destiny already mapped out for her although the marriage to reunite the two families once again had failed to take off. Now she was again on the cusp of failure but he remained convinced the insurance company would do something.
* * *
The meeting resumed with the chairman speaking.
"We have conferred with our more senior counterparts at head office and this is our suggested plan of action. "You Miss Shields rally your support and call for an emergency meeting of the board. After making your disclosures you recommend the board keeps the lid on this and makes no legal allegations of collusion and possible corruption against your father Mr Royce Johns and Mr Raymond Samuels provided the following occurs."
"Firstly you propose Mr Samuels, as instigator of the hugely under-performing new national division be asked to resign from the company or if he refuses be fired for gross mismanagement. He receives no golden handshake and if he fights this in court, so be it. You will of course Miss Shields have our two voting directors supporting you in all these actions."
"Once it is agreed that Mr Samuels goes you recommend he be replaced on the board by another representative of the Samuels trust."
"You then move that the board consider your immediate reinstatement as executive chairman and president of the company and your father be offered the vacant position as director of the national division because he possesses the experience to revive the initial failing attempts to establish that division effectively."
"You are authorized to make it quite clear that this insurance company invested in your company to achieve greater balance in its consumer-related investment spread and if this action is taken the company requires and 2% additional issue of stock, taking 1% of your holding Miss Shields and 1% from the Samuels Trust for a total payment of $2.8 million which is a price a book value of stock less 20%. Further we require agreement that that new capital will be spent entirely on bolstering the viable development of the national division. We also require the position of operations manager of that division be a person approved by our insurance company."