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Chapter 15 Clara's Office (2)

  • ‘These bozos can help you with that. I have no time right now,’ she said dismissively as she looked at her papers.
  • Sebastian replied, ‘Oh, I had a meeting with someone at the Embarcadero yesterday and thought I’d drop by to see you guys - say hi.’ Max caught the intense look he gave her. ‘There was is no tamping down the intensity with this guy.’
  • ‘I remembered you cycled, so I was going to invite you to show me the trail near your area. It looked very scenic. I remember Max saying it circled a lake, and your social media was full of pictures of it. So I wanted to experience it firsthand. Will you give me a tour?’ he asked confidently.
  • Max kept on texting Jeremy regarding their bet. ‘I bet “NO” for this question. She’ll say yes on the second ask.’
  • ‘No way, you think she will say yes? Remember, she’s an investor in this project?’
  • ‘Okay, so we’re betting on her first reaction, right? No, for me. Yes, for you,’ replied Max.
  • Clara looks Sebastian in the eye. ‘No, I’m busy right now. Max or Jeremy can take you,’ then stares Max and Jeremy down because she knows what they were doing. Max had won this round.
  • ‘You idiots, stop betting on me. I’m going to beat you up!’ Clara texts both of them. They bet on whether she was going to say yes or no again. They knew Sebastian did not look like a man who took no for an answer.
  • ‘I’m betting yes. She will agree to go biking this time.’ He texted even before Sebastian asked the question.
  • ’Please?’ he begged. ‘I drove an hour to get here. How about a few minutes around the area? I won’t bother you after this.’
  • ‘Nice move Sebastian, begging always works.’ Max smiles. Max knew he had the upper hand, and he had an ace up his sleeve. ‘You have nothing on your calendar until after lunch. I checked.’
  • ‘Why don’t you show him around, you know, establish a relationship, so he could sign the contract for his office and the other shipping vessels too, while you’re at it?’ Max said, winking at her, ‘After all, we need to have a good rapport with our clients, don’t we?’
  • ‘Who told you to arrange my schedule for me?’ She said, irritated. He knew she loved riding her bike and having an excuse to do it would always be welcome, but maybe he pushed her too far?
  • She raised her voice a little. ‘Fine, I’ll go with you,’ he glares at Sebastian, ‘...and get out of my office.
  • ‘You two idiots have work to do. Why are you lounging around here, anyway? Are you getting paid to slack off? Let me give you more things to do. Finish my paperwork for me.’
  • Max stood up and slapped Jeremy on the back because he won twice today. ‘Okaaaay... Were leaving… have fuuuuun….,’ Max said, grinning.
  • Jeremy stood up and gestured for her to call if she needed anything. He also gestured, ‘I’m watching you,’ to Sebastian, which made their sister smile.
  • Eliana, Clara’s assistant, is sitting outside Clara’s door watching the Johnson brothers bound out of there like happy little puppies, shoving and pushing each other. They pretended to close the door but still left a crack so they could listen to the conversation inside.
  • Max gestured for her to keep quiet, and she just shook her head. The siblings were up to something, and she would learn about it sooner or later, so all she needed to do was wait.
  • Max could hear their muffled voices. Clara was asking if Sebastian brought his own bike, or if she needed to loan him one. He said he brought his own, but wanted to know if he could leave his clothes in her office after he changed his clothes in the restroom. And this sparked a bright idea in Max’s head.
  • He opens the door halfway. ‘‘You’re going to a meeting after this, right? Why not use her private shower in her private bedroom? We do it all the time. She has a very good shampoo. It’s the one that rocks your senses,’ Max winks. ‘You know, instead of using the locker room downstairs.’
  • “There’s nothing wrong with the locker rooms downstairs,” Clara interrupted. Max could see his sister was grinding her teeth and clenching her fists. She was ready to beat him up because of his suggestion, and he was right. As soon as she got hold of a stapler, she threw it at him. But his reflexes were fast, and he expected her to move, so he closed the door before the stapler hit him in the face. His laugh could be heard from the other side of the door.
  • He peeked back in to pick up her stapler from the floor. ‘I didn’t know your stapler could fly,’ he joked. Max was betting on their relationship, so why not help it move faster, he thought. It was time his sister got serious with someone. Sure, he had a bias towards Sebastian. Only because he liked that Sebastian had established himself in the industry, and there was no possibility of him riding on her coattails.
  • Max knew that was his queue to get out of there. Now, to annoy the other woman in his life.
  • ‘Are you up for an adventure?’ he texts.
  • ‘Sure,’ she answers
  • He texted Celine a picture of an Alpaca that says, ‘Wait for me, alpaca my bags.’ That would definitely make her smile, he thought, imagining how she would look like right now.
  • While Max was busy flirting with Celine, he was receiving threatening messages from Clara, and he was laughing about it. Apparently, his sister wanted to back out of the bike ride. But he knew just the trick to use her ego against her. ‘Do it for the sake of our company. We need this to survive,’ he texted back to guilt her from retracting her acceptance.