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Chapter 8: The Media

Ashley

I made my way towards the door as I heard the doorbell. I opened it and gosh, I think I am hallucinating. 

“A-Ash,” he said and I think I am not.

“Why are you here? Not humiliated me enough?”

He looked down, but then entered the house.

“I didn’t invite you inside” I took a step back, away from him.

He looked at me. “Look, I am sorry for that”

“Sorry? No one ever humiliated me like that!”

“I-I was fucked up, okay? Everyone has a bad day. It is mine”

“So, what can I do about it? And you know what? I think it was all pre-planned” I spat and he looked confused.

“What pre-planned?”

“That you’ll stop me from resigning in the office and then insult me like that?”

“Gosh, Ash, I--”

“Ashley, please” I corrected him.

“Ash-ley, seriously I swear that I didn’t plan--”

“You said swearing is a sin, isn’t it? Don’t your words apply to you? Or are you sinning willingly?”

“God, Ashley I said that all on impulse, okay? I didn’t mean anything!”

“Well I mean it, I have already resigned and the resignation is approved, so” I turned around. “you should leave”

“What? Resigned already?”

“Weren’t you the one to tell me that I don’t have to work?”

He looked down and ran his fingers through his hairs in frustration. “Damn, I didn’t mean it either”

“You were the one who said that you mean everything you say, remember?”

“Stop it, Ash, I--”

“Ashley--”

“I will call you Ash and that is final!” he interrupted me. “And you will come to work”

“No, I will not,” I replied.

“Come on…”

“Why do you even want me to come back? You must have a long list of people for the PA’s position”

“because you mean a lot to me!” he said and I looked at him wide-eyed.

“Huh?”

“I-I mean… a… a lot to… to my company!”

“How!?”

“You just do! Come back, okay?”

“But…”

“I will triple your salary if you want and--”

“It is not about money” I interrupted him. “It is about… about how you insulted me”

“I promise Ashley it will never happen again,” he said. “Come back, okay?”

I looked unsure for a moment. 

“I always respected you, Ash and you know it. It was… It was just on impulse, okay? and that is why I am here to apologize. Try to understand”

Well, he is here to apologize anyway.

“Okay, I’ll… think about it,” I said and he smiled.

Yes, he smiled. I have seen him smiling a little a few times but this time his smile met his eyes.

“Thanks. Will see you at work tomorrow”

“Most probably” I replied and he left.

What did I just do?

Did I just forgive him so easily?

What has gotten into me?

Maybe I wanted to forgive him and I just got too well of a reason to do it.

I don’t know, but I-I have a crush on him and maybe this ‘self-respect’ has turned into shamelessness. I don’t even know why I accepted his words right now. I mean, he looked sincere, and that he didn’t mean to say that, but still… How can I so easily let go of everything?

Gosh, I need a break.

I switched off my laptop and called Lara to discuss it with her.

“What. are. you. saying!?” she emphasized each word.

“Huh, not a big deal, sis…”

“The CEO of the company came to your house and apologized!!”

“Yup, don’t make it an issue”

“Wait” she replied and damn, she yelled like a ghost.

“HEY! What happened! Found out your boyfriend is gay!?”

“Shut up Ash you are on news!”

Fuck. Don't you dare say that!

I switched on the television and the news channel, ‘Fox News’. 

“CEO of the Brown Association seen as a local resident. The owner of the house is found to be Ms. Ashley Jones and Ms. Lara, Jones. While Ms. Lara is not in the country, people are assuming that Mr. Brown went to meet Ms. Jones”

“Ms. Jones is Mr. Brown’s PA”

“Do we see something fishy here?”

“Mr. Brown doesn't visit their employees. We will go to the end of this”

What the hell is happening here? 

I switched to other channels, most of them are displaying the same news. I am doomed. 

Suddenly I started hearing the sounds of media screaming at my door. Maybe I hadn’t noticed them before or maybe their timing was pretty perfect just after I heard the news.

What the hell am I gonna do now?

-----

Chris

“Sir, the media is covering Ashley’s house from all sides because of the incident” John informed me.

I kept quiet. If I interfere it would look more suspicious. But I have to do something, it was my mistake in the first place.

I went downstairs. Because of the security, the media is not gonna crowd here.

I went out and to Ash’s house. I know it may become worse, but I have to do something.

As I reached the house, the faces of the media were miscellaneous. Some were happy and practically glowing, some were shocked as hell, and some neutral.

As I stepped out, everyone crowded around me.

“Sir, are you here to meet Ms. Ashley?”

“What is your relationship with her?”

“Is she someone special for you?”

“Why’d you visit her some minutes ago?”

I exhaled deeply, calming the tension. “Okay, I am gonna answer you”

“Yes, sir. So--”

“Just stay out of my business. That is the answer to your questions” I replied and seeing the ‘burned’ faces of them, I smirked almost inwardly.

I went to her door, while the media never left my side.

“Stay away, don’t you understand English!?” I yelled at them. One of them was over smart and spoke in a foreign language. Damn, he doesn’t know I know almost 14 foreign languages.

“Señor por favor escúchanos!” he said. [Sir, please listen to us]

“¡Mantente fuera de mi negocio, tonto!” I smirked and he was left dumbfounded. [Stay out of my business, dumbass]

I rang the doorbell, but she didn’t open it. She might be thinking it is paparazzi. 

I sighed. There’s only one way. 

I used the key to enter her house. Don’t doubt me, I had her duplicate key. No, I didn’t steal, I bought a new one.

“What, how the hell----” she screamed but stopped as she looked at me.

I closed the door behind me and locked it.

“How the hell did you enter?” she asked.

“Well… it isn’t important, is it?”

“God” she replied and went inside.

“So now what? You opened my door in front of everyone using your key which makes it look like you have my apartment key and well done, you just made everything worse” she exclaimed. 

I sat down across her on the couch.

“Then fine,” I said and she looked at me confused. “Let me be your boyfriend”

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