Not What It Seems Ch. 05byAscii©
Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter, I have been really busy lately with THREE assignments, alongside my chaotic personal life.
I would like to thank and also apologize to my editor Jim; he did a amazingly fantastic job :) but I didn't give him enough time, so if there's anything wrong with this chapter it would entirely be my fault.
I have to warn that I physically cannot post as quickly as I used to. I am in fact away for a whole month end of March so I really cannot write as much as I would like. I'm really sorry. Though before I leave I would try and post up chapter 6.
Also would like to thank readers for comments and votes they mean a HELL of a lot to me.
Jared knew those words, screamed 'I'm fucking sick of this.' He could detect the exhaustion in the tone of her voice. Today he had to press on,
"Alin, what's wrong?"
She exhaled loudly, "No, Jared I'm okay."
"Alin, you know you're like an open book, even through the tone of your voice I can pick up the signals that you're not."
"Jared, you really want to know?" Her voice was slightly raised, yet she didn't sound angry, instead it was laced with aggravation. "I have college, I have an internship, I have the orphanage I work for, and to top it all off, I'm planning for a wedding that takes place in less than a month. Jared, ever since we've dated, I never minded being left alone for months on end...but sometimes even with the wedding planners and your grandmother's help, I do want to ask for your opinion. I understand you have your business to deal with, but how can I deal with the fact that my boyfriend – no fiance is half way across the world...and I don't know what he's doing?"
She tried to blink away the emotions, but found she couldn't. The stress was getting to her. Jared didn't have the greatest track record and her insecurities were growing. Although he called her daily, it was always a brief call. What if he was bedding other women? These thoughts were constantly in her head.
Now it was Jared's turn to be frustrated. He knew her last words were indirectly questioning him if he'd been fucking around, and the truth was he hadn't touched a woman for nearly ten fucking months. It was driving him crazy, yet he had remained faithful to her. Why couldn't she just trust him? Maybe his frustrations led him to say the words he would come to regret.
"Alin, if college is stressing you out. Drop out. I didn't need to go college to get to where I am today. If the internship is stressing you out. Quit. It's not as if I'm happy with Haltor being around you so much. Besides, after the wedding I don't want you to go to college or work anymore-"
"Why? Because I don't like Haltor being near my fiancée, I don't want you to work after you marry me. I don't want people to think I can't afford to give my wife a life of luxury."
His words infuriated her, he was ordering her around. "You know what, Hallie is busy preparing for the arrival of the baby. My other friends also have a life. Your grandmother is in Spain. But John is always there for me! When you're not around, he's the one who's been looking out for me! As for college and work, I will never give that up, and I REFUSE to live off you. You just don't get me, do you? Being an architect is my dream and-"
John Haltor, just hearing his name from her lips made his blood boil to a breaking point. "SO it's JOHN now? No more Mr Haltor? When did you get to know each other so well? Obviously when I'm gone right? Fuck, Alin you really know how to piss me off. As for working? No I don't want you to work. I don't need you to earn an income for us-"
"YOU JUST DON'T GET IT DO YOU? He doesn't like me, but even if he does, it's not because I want to get to know him better, it's you giving him a chance! As for college AND working," mimicking his words she continued, "I don't care WHAT YOU WANT, BUT IT'S WHAT I WANT-"
From her tone she was officially pissed off. They never argued before, and Jared didn't want trivial matters to come between them. Exhaling his annoyance, he stated, "Alin, your being immature-"
"Your right Jared, seeing as I'm eleven years younger than you, maybe I am immature."
Before he could answer she had hung up. Jared didn't think he was wrong. Because of the company's problems, Jared didn't have time to see Alin. All he wanted was for her to live a comfortable lifestyle without having to work. What was wrong with that? He had been working his whole life, providing an adequate lifestyle for himself and his grandmother. Now that he had money, he didn't see why she had to work. Haltor was purposefully driving them apart, and he hated that she couldn't see it.
Fuck, everything in his life was going wrong, his private life, and his business.
"Eight months ago you were on top of the world. Now?"
Faye turned around and saw John Haltor laughing at her. His words urged her to slap the shit out of his arrogant smirk, but what use was that? He was right. She didn't look like a renowned bikini model but a woman drinking away her sorrows.
"Leave me alone John. I look like a piece of shit because of you fucking men. Fuck with me a few months and when a younger bitch comes along, you bastards dump me." She slurred her words obviously drunk.
She turned her back to him and returned to drinking. John slid on the stool next to her, "Two JD on the rocks." After the bartender laid the drinks in front of them, John slowly leaned in closer and whispered in her ear, "Faye, you are fucking hot you know that? Valentine doesn't know what he's missing. He doesn't know what he's getting into with those young cunts. Why are you so upset? Baby, even though we fucked a long time ago, I still remember how good you are." John tried to make his words as convincing as possible.
Yeah, Faye was a good fuck. Nothing more than a good fuck. They went way back, she was just starting out as a model, and he was a typical bachelor who wanted different girls every night. As she climbed the social ladder, she had snared Jared Valentine, hoping she would become his steady girlfriend or even a trophy wife.
"Faye, if I could give you one thing right now what would you want?" He continued to whisper in her ear seductively.
"I want to ruin that bitch." She stated swiftly and harshly, obviously the idea had been on her mind constantly.
"Baby, what if I said I could help?" He did another once over, and realized she was still pretty fuckable. John wouldn't waste having another go. Her eyes lit up as John whispered in her ear. Good things come to those with patience...
Six days. They haven't spoken in six days, and warning bells started to go off. What if Haltor took this chance to move in? His thoughts were monopolized by Alin. He couldn't concentrate even at the most important business meetings. Now smiling though, Jared admired her determination and not a fucking gold-digger like Faye Morlan or other girls he used to be with. Jared knew he had taken out some stress on her. He never had to explain himself. But he wanted to tell her the stress he was facing. He wanted her to know. If they were to be married he knew he had to trust her.
A surge in the use of the internet helped Jared discover a gap in the market, where there was an increase use of purchasing goods online. This ultimately led to the set up of BankSafe. The e-commerce and dot com business would be the next phenomena. The idea of BankSafe allowed customers to set up an account, and using the account as a medium to transfer money or purchase goods. The BankSafe account was funded by a Bank account. Paying directly from a bank account involved a lot of hassle and was less safe than using a BankSafe account.
The company was known for its tough security checks and a sophisticated system to prevent fraudulent and cyber crimes while maintaining a user-friendly interface. As the company was a success many potential investors were investing heavily in BankSafe, pushing the share price to an all time high.
HTU was a subsidiary company of The Haltor Corporation. HTU was a leader in offering money transfers via online services, where customers can collect money in any of its 450 location worldwide- for a fee, each transaction costs around $50 or more, depending on how much money was being transferred. It was the market leader, turning over $1billion annually, until BankSafe entered the market in 1999, decreasing HTU's market share.
BankSafe did not charge its general customers, instead charging the companies that use its service. By late 2004, HTU had expanded it services, and provided a service so that customers can also use their account to purchase goods. HTU matched whatever services BankSafe provided. The two companies competed heatedly, and by 2005 both were fighting over a contract to be the sole company to provide its services to a major online auction site, E-BID.COM, which was worth over $5billion dollars over three years.
After scheduling meetings, pitching to the auction site, Jared had successfully bagged the contract...
Until disaster struck.
"How could this have happened? Matthew, what the fuck? You are in charge of the fucking accounts and you tell me six months later that the accounts have been fiddled with?" Jared's anger could have been heard from a mile away.
"Jared, I mean um...Mr. Valentine, it's not as if I didn't want to tell you, but if the vice president and the marketing director needed access to funds, I didn't think I needed to inform you of trivial matters. Besides, each time wasn't a big sum, so it wasn't exactly noticeable-"
"Where the fuck did you go college? In six months both swindled the company out of $1million each and you're telling me it's not a lot? Each time, it was $10,000 plus and that's not noticeable? I'll take $10,000 off your next pay check if it's not fucking noticeable. Fuck Matthew, keep this quiet, if it gets out we are screwed on the publicity side. I don't need this right now."
Jared had scheduled an important board meeting. The two involved in the scandal were immediately terminated. The company decide not to file a case, as the information would definitely be publicized. One of the clauses for the E-Bid.com contract was BankSafe had to perform to a suitable standard. If the scandal was leaked, it would result in a breach of contract, where BankSafe would have to compensate money, and also the contract would be terminated. Aside from the disaster of the contract, it would be bad publicity for the company, leading to an irrational selling of BankSafe shares, where the value of it would plummet instantly. So far only the board of executives and his trusted assistant, Charles knew about the scandal.
"Alin- No please don't hang up! Listen I have something to tell you. Please?"
She was a little angry. He hadn't called her in six days. It wasn't as if she couldn't call him, but because he changes location every other day, it was hard to keep track. "Jared, if we are going back to the topic about John, college and my internship, I don't want to talk to you-"
"No, I want to apologize. Look Alin I'm not trying to change you, I'm not going to say I'm happy with your friendship with Haltor, but I can accept it. The thing is BankSafe is not doing well, and I know I've taken out the stress on you. We just...damn the company is really messed up right now. I've just found out the accounts have been fiddled with by two senior executives. If this gets out the company will lose a lot of money and I'll lose the contract I've been trying so hard to get."
Sighing, she felt guilty for being angry, yet it was hard to accept the fact he was never there for her. Still, she decided not to show her annoyance, "Jared, I understand, I've seen news report that HTU had lost out on the contract, I'm really happy for you. Do what you have to do." Lighting the mood she continued, "but make sure you at least come back for the wedding. Just in case you've forgotten it's on the 10th December, which is two weeks time!"
Sensing the tension no longer evident Jared was instantly at ease. "Hey! It's my own wedding! I'm marrying the woman I love do you think I'll really forget? Oh and Alin, I love you, you know that right? I just...I promise you, anything concerning the company will be solved and I would never drag it into our relationship again. And to tell you about the company was a big thing for me. I trust you and love you. Although you are friends with Haltor, anything concerning BankSafe is in his interest, if he knows the company is not doing well, he is set to gain a lot from it, so please do not tell him a word about what I just told you, otherwise it would be disastrous."
"Of course, I won't tell him anything. I don't mix business with pleasure! That's what you taught me! Oh and Jared...I love you too, I would never do anything to hurt you."
"I assume now that BankSafe is practically fucked up and HTU is set to gain the most, I should get a well deserved cut from it right, John?"
John smiled, everyone was the same. Money could make anyone do anything, including Jared Valentine's so-called 'most trusted assistant.'
"Charles, of course I'll reward you handsomely. I'm just thinking when would be the best time to leak this information out to the media. Anyone else know about this scandal?"
"The board and also Jared have confided in me that he told Alin. As for when to leak the information...I know it would be best to do it before the wedding. Besides you don't want to see another man walking down the aisle with the woman you want, right?"
He was clever, John thought, or was he so transparent that the whole world knew he had a thing for Alin? "Charles, the money will be deposited to your account by Monday."
John had lost out on the E-Bid.com contract, and it was highly publicized that he had yet again lost to Jared. It wasn't that the $5billion contract meant a lot to him. It was more than money, it was a matter of status and power. Fact of life was, if you win status then power would come your way. Now, Jared was about to realize what losing really meant.
It was a week till their wedding and Alin was beyond excited. Maybe they did have their differences, but she thought love would overcome everything. Hallie was now nearly eight months pregnant and Alin couldn't wait to become a godmother. In fact she couldn't wait to have children of her own with Jared, though she would prefer if she finished her studies first. The wedding plans were all finalized and everything was in place, although Alin knew Jared was upset that his childhood friend might not be able to make it due to business plans in Europe. She was so happy that Jared would be back in New York tomorrow, though he did say he was holed up in the office the whole day, so he will see her the day after. Never-the-less she was on cloud nine constantly, until a phone call changed everything...
"I've been fucking your boyfriend for the past nine months, no actually your fiance. It teaches you a lesson not to steal other people's boyfriends, doesn't it?"
Picking up her cell phone she didn't expect to be ranted at on a Monday night. "Umm...I'm sorry I think you have the wrong number."
"Are you Alin Fanning?"
"Then I'm fucking talking to you, you whore."
Surprised at the harsh words, Alin replied calmly, "I don't know how you got my number, and I don't care who you are."
She was about to hang up when her next words really hit her hard.
"Have you realized Jared has hardly called you over the last nine months? Do you even realize why a man like Jared wouldn't push you to have sex with him? Do you realize who I am? I'm Faye Morlan his fucking ex girlfriend. Ask yourself these questions: Do you really think a man like him can go without sex for nine fucking months? Do you really think he can actually wait for your little stupid virginity pledge? All this time he's been fucking me behind your back. I'm every guy's dream, do you really blame him for cheating? Your just some stupid college girl, he can fuck around until he gets bored."
Before Alin could reply, Faye laughed harshly and stated, "If you don't believe me ask him tomorrow. He's back in New York tomorrow, so that should clear the air right?" And with that she had hung up.
After the call had ended, Alin held the phone in her hand and stared into space. A million questions raced through her head, could this woman say those words just so she could sabotage her happiness? Alin wasn't so irrational that she would just listen to one-side of the story, but every word Faye had uttered seemed to fit every piece of the jigsaw. Jared had always called briefly, was he really that busy? Alin knew Faye was right, her life was glamorous, in fact she was the definition of glamour, why would Jared choose someone like her? Regardless, to clear any misunderstandings, Alin knew she had to see Jared tomorrow to confront him.
Jared had purposely told Alin not to see him today. He had switched his phone off as it was a hectic day likely to consist of board meetings and more board meetings. The only saving grace was he can finally see Alin tomorrow.
Alin had called Jared's cell the whole morning and afternoon, but it was switched off. She then called the office and was told he was in meetings till 6pm. She decided she would go to his office and talk there.
It has just gone 7:30 and Jared was beyond tired, the meetings didn't go as well as he had planned and he was about to explode. He decided to stay in the office to clear his head but it was in actuality worst. He was about to leave this shit behind when a faint knock on the door shook him from his thoughts.
"Mr. Valentine, Miss Morlan is here to see you. I know you said you didn't want to see anyone today but she was really insistent-"
"It's okay, send her in." he sighed. What the hell was Faye doing here? "Gina, you don't have to stay, everyone has gone home and so should you. I'll see you Monday morning."
She smiled, perking up at the prospect of going home, "Thanks Mr. Valentine. Have a good night. I will tell Miss Morlan to come in now."
Jared was massaging his temples, when the sound of her voice filled his ears. Funny how nine months ago she sounded alluring, now she was fucking annoying.
"Jared...how are you? I've missed you." She closed the door behind her and proceeded to sit on his lap.
"Faye what the fuck do you think you're doing?" he stood up quickly.
"Jared...god, I've missed you. Give me another chance. No, give us another chance. I don't care if you want another girl, hell I don't care if you want to marry her. I'll be happy if I can just be with you. I'll always be your naughty little slut. You liked that right?"
Now he was fucking annoyed. Jared knew he was starting to sound like a broken record, but it had to be said. "Faye, I'm getting married soon. What you and I had nine months ago was sex. You knew what you were getting into, and you specifically knew it wasn't a long term thing-"
"But Jared I want it to be long term. We are good together!" Faye cried desperately.
Alin had arrived at the BankSafe headquarters and it seemed the majority of the people had gone home. She knew Jared was probably still at the office as he always took his work really seriously, she smiled at the thought, knowing that all her worries concerning Faye was probably all for nothing. Alin rode up the escalator, all thoughts of Faye out of her head, as she awaited the surprise on Jared's face.