“In the middle of my massage,” she said. I wondered why she needed a massage every week when she never really did anything. “Why are you calling in the middle of the day? Is there a problem?” She could be such a witch.
“No, Cassie. I just wanted to tell you that I’ve re-hired Victoria Hart as the upstairs maid. She’ll be starting back on the first of July.” I didn’t have confirmation that she would say yes… but I was hoping and trying to stay confident.
“The blonde?” she said.
“Why was she let go again?”
“There was a misunderstanding,” I said. I was hoping she’d leave it at that for now. I had yet to tell her that Vicki was carrying my child. I hadn’t wanted to let her get involved in the lawsuit. She would have been ruthless. Now that it would be dropped, I would tell her about it in good time. At least before the baby came. I fully intended at this point to be a part of my son’s life. “It’s been cleared up and we have had temps in and out of the house. I don’t like that. I prefer a stable crew.”
“Makes sense,” she said. “The one we have now is terrible anyways. I told Karen to tell the agency not to send her back. She made the bed with no top sheet yesterday!” I rolled my eyes.
“Good then, it’s settled. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Looking forward to it,” she said. She didn’t sound like she really was, but she said things like that so if I accused her of not being affectionate, she could throw it back in my face.
“Okay then, have a good day, Cassie.” I hung up with a smile on my face that my wife had nothing to do with. I was going to get to see Vicki again every day. I hoped.
Lastly, I called the payroll department.
“Payroll, this is Lydia.”
“Lydia, this is Mr. Reigns.” Lydia is another loyal employee that had been with me from the beginning.
“Good morning sir.”
“Good morning, Lydia. I need you to do something for me and I need it done quickly.”
“Will you please figure up how many hours Miss Hart who was let go from my house staff in March, has missed if she worked full time from the day she was let go until the end of June?”
“Of course sir.”
“Wait, there’s more. After you do that, cut her a check for those hours and have it sent to her address by courier. I’d like it done today, and the sooner, the better.”
“Okay sir, I’m on it.”
I hung up with her feeling satisfied that I was at least taking steps to rectify the damage I had allowed to be done to Vicki’s life. I didn’t take precautions when we had sex… I was more responsible for this than she was. I was in a place of power and some might say I abused it. I had no intentions of doing that, but I had done it nonetheless. All I wanted now was to fix it.
I had to spend an hour at my attorney’s office signing forms to drop the lawsuits. They were not happy with me. They kept repeating the same things to me about how he could blackball me in the community and how I might not be able to get another job. They said I could sue him for harassment. I had the proof in my belly. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I knew money was what they were most concerned about and it was theirs, not mine. I still owed them close to a thousand dollars. They hadn’t been all that worried about it because they assumed they would get their money from the billionaire when this was all over and done with. I apologized profusely, but the bottom line was that they couldn’t proceed without me. I assured them that as soon as I got a job, they would be first on my list of creditors to pay. They didn’t seem impressed with that, but it was the best that I could do.
I went by Jason’s apartment after that. He was at work, but I had text to ask him if I could pick up my things. He was curt, but he said that I could. I only really had clothes there. I had left my things in storage when I moved in with him. I could get them out now and the storage bill would be one less payment I had to worry about. God bless Liz.
I got back home around noon with my two suitcases and overnight bag. My dear Liz had the craft room all cleaned out already before she left for work at ten a.m. She’s amazing. I was about to call and find out how much it would cost to have a moving service pick up my things in storage and deliver them with no idea how I’d pay it no matter what it cost when the doorbell rang. I went to answer it and a young man in a blue polo shirt that said, “Anderson Couriers” on it was standing there with an envelope in his hand.
“Can I help you?”
“Hi, are you Victoria Hart?”
“Yes I am.”
“I have a delivery for you.” I suddenly felt sick to my stomach remembering the service of the court papers that day from Alex’s attorneys. I told myself if these were more of that, they wouldn’t have come by courier.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“Just an envelope,” he said. He held up an envelope that looked like the one my paychecks used to come in. Exactly like it. It was even marked with the Reigns logo and it said, “Payroll Department” in the corner. “Can you sign here for it?” he asked me, holding out a clipboard. I didn’t want to. It was either a mistake or a cruel joke. I was paid up to the day I was fired and even paid for my sick leave and vacation time. What could this be? “Miss?” The guy was looking at me strangely. I must have zoned out for a second.
Finally, telling myself to stop being a coward I took the clipboard and signed my name. He handed me the envelope and I thanked him and went back inside. I stared at it for a long time. If it had been a snake, it would have bitten me several times before I finally turned it over and began to rip it open. My phone began ringing at the same time. I almost ignored it, but I worried that the lawyers may need something else from me. I went over and picked it up. I felt like I was caught in an alternate universe. The number on the phone was Karen’s office number at the mansion.
“Hi Vicki! It’s Karen.”
“Um… Hi Karen.”
“How are you, honey?” She would know if she had bothered to call, was my first thought. My second one was that I was being too harsh. She needed her job too. I shouldn’t even hint that she should have risked it for me.
“I’m doing good Karen. How are you?”
“I’m well too, thanks. How is the pregnancy coming?”
I looked down at my big belly. “It’s fine. The baby is healthy. I’m huge.”
She laughed and said, “I doubt that.” Then she sobered and said, “I’m sorry I haven’t called to check on you. Things have been strange around here to say the least. I’ve had to work twice as hard to keep up without you. The temps they send are just not your caliber.”
I smiled. It was nice of her to say those things about me and it made me feel good. “Thank you, Karen. I appreciate the kind words.”
“Are you working anywhere now?”
“No, unfortunately I haven’t found anything.” I was hopeful. Maybe she was calling to give me a referral.
“Oh no, that’s very fortunate,” she said.
“I’m sorry?” I thought I’d misheard her. Surely she didn’t just say it was “very fortunate” that I hadn’t gotten another job?
“I’m calling you on Mr. Reigns’ behalf to offer you your job back starting on July the first.”
I was suddenly shaking. Alexander wanted me to come back? Was that good? Bad? What abou
t Cassie? “Really?” I said, before I remembered who I was talking to.
“Have you ever known me to kid?” Karen laughed.
I laughed too. “No, I guess I haven’t.” Karen is a sweetheart, but a prankster, she’s not. “Thank you, Karen.”
“Well, as much as I wanted you back, I can’t take credit for it. It was all Mr. Reigns. When you come in we’ll talk about how your duties will change because of your pregnancy and also we’ll need to discuss maternity leave.” I hadn’t thought of any of that. My thoughts were dancing… I have a job!
“Thank you,” I told her again. After I hung up, I did a little happy dance. I wondered if this was because I’d dropped the suit. I wondered if that meant he’d dropped his? I looked at the envelope in my hand again and finished pulling it open. Then I reached in and pulled out its contents. It was a check for a lot of money. I stared at it for a minute and then flipped it over. The stub showed that I was being paid for all of the hours that I hadn’t worked since I was let go all the way up to July. Alex had to have authorized this check. If he were here, I would kiss him. I was so happy. It was so funny, how life could change in an instant. I put my hand across my belly and said, “Things are going to be okay little one. Mama loves you.”