Chapter 39 - Competence
“…Five months and 20 days.”
“The term of the contract is one year. Can you even afford to pay the penalty?”
“I’m sorry. If you give me a little time…” I hesitated before adding, “It’s a large sum of money to me but the value of a penny to you, Mr. Pittman. It’s not like you’d need it urgently.”
Keith’s eyes narrowed. Had I just made him angry? Just as I was beginning to feel nervous, he sharply inhaled the cigarette smoke and spat it back out. “But I need you.”
I knew what he meant. What he needed was me as a secretary—someone who would take care of nuisances, someone who would do the things he didn’t want to do on his behalf, someone who could read the atmosphere and bring utmost convenience to him, no matter when. It didn’t have to be me. It was just that I was the most suitable candidate for his needs right now.
Despite knowing that, my heart throbbed.
“…I’m sorry. However, I… can’t go to work.” It took all my might to grab onto my subtly trembling voice. “I somehow managed to get in the car, but anything beyond that, I couldn’t… I’ve calmed down now, but I’m not sure I could do it tomorrow.”
I ended off with a vague statement, but I knew that was my limit. To be honest, I didn’t know if I would even be able to leave this car. I was relieved that I had somebody with me, but I would be left alone once I got back. Would I be able to overcome that fear?
In fact, would I ever be able to step out into the world?
For a moment, he was silent. I couldn’t even guess what he was thinking. Soon, Keith shifted his body—although all he did was knock on the window twice with his knuckle.
With that mere gesture, he commanded the world. The time that had been stopped until then suddenly began to go by rapidly. I felt someone sit in the driver’s seat, and soon the engine started. When I looked out of the window, Whitaker and the other security staff members were scattering busily about and getting into their respective cars.
A moment later, the car that carried me and Keith took off. I didn’t even ask where the destination was; all I did was keep my mouth closed. Keith, too, didn’t say a word. Just like when we came to the hospital, we also kept our silence on the way back.
‘…Ah.’ The familiar landscape outside the window told me that our car was headed toward my shabby home. It also told me that there was not much of this time left. Keith hadn’t reacted to my resignation yet. I wondered what in the world he was thinking. Was he thinking about how he would have to find another secretary to replace me? Since there are many competent people in this world, he wouldn’t bother trying to keep me again.
“…It may be inconvenient at first, but you’ll get used to it soon,” I murmured before I could catch myself.
Keith shifted his gaze onto me. Keeping my eyes lowered, I continued, “There are many competent people. Since Emma has gotten quite used to things now, she wouldn’t have much trouble this time around.”
When I suggested an alternative of sorts, Keith, to my surprise, let out an airy laugh—one that seemed to mock me, coupled with his knitted brows. “You’re the only one right now who can work while catering to me,” he said.
It was true. All his life, this man would never have had anything that didn’t go according to his wishes. Whenever something didn’t sort itself out immediately before his eyes, he couldn’t stand it.
The thing was, Keith Knight Pittman had no reason to wait for someone else to get accustomed to their job.
I also had quite a bit of difficulty for the first few months. Moreover, when my supervisor had become fed up with Keith’s verbal abuse and proceeded to quit and sue him, I was practically forced to be the head secretary like getting hit by lightning out of nowhere. It was truly a nightmare.
Despite everything, however, I made every effort to cater to Keith’s demands. Working overtime was a common occurrence. Even during weekends, one call from him was enough to make me ignore my own plans and frantically run around. Looking back on it, Keith had only frowned at me for the first few days. After that, he seemed fairly satisfied with the way I worked.
It was to be expected. I practically gave up my entire life for this man. Every time I learned about this man’s preferences and thoughts during my work, I shivered in joy.
Devoting my entire soul into making this man’s wishes come true gave me an immeasurable sense of pleasure, although this man had never once acknowledged me.
That was all I had to say. Keith fell silent once again. Before I knew it, I felt the car slowing down. It would come to a halt soon. Thinking about it made my breath go wild. I had to get out of the car. I had to walk back home. I had to lie on my bed, fighting my fears alone.
When my thoughts began to tangle once again, a sudden scent brought me back.
The scent of pheromones.
At the same time, I subconsciously turned toward Keith. He was staring at me, not moving so much as an inch. The air that floated about us was the same. Only the strong and alien scent of his pheromones pierced through the immaculate, regular density of the atmosphere. ‘Ah,’ I gaped. I couldn’t believe it, and no word escaped my mouth. However, I already knew the answer.
Keith’s purple eyes sporadically flashed in gold. In a matter of seconds, he was exuding multiple times the pheromones than before. It felt as if my entire body was being suppressed by pheromones. My pulse quickly accelerated, and cold sweat dripped down my back. I felt dizzy. That night’s memories seemed to wash over me all of a sudden—naked men, attacking hands, and even the disgusting sensation filled up my whole mouth.
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