Looking down below from his eighty-six storey building provided him a bird’s eye view of downtown Boston. Skyscrapers stood side by side triumphantly creating vast scenery that can provoke insatiable eyes to experience a bit of envy to the man who was part of such a milieu. He continued to stare, as if examining every part of the city center and drawing them to him, possessing them, leaving a mark of his brilliance for having been able to come out victorious in an industry his father once dominated. A knock was heard and even though he heard it, he did not turn to acknowledge the person who was to enter. After all, there was only one person who was allowed to directly knock and enter his office without further ado.
“Leave them at the table, Renata,” he said.
He had a profound voice, which was unmistakably cultured and aristocratic. With his back on her, the woman whom he acknowledged as Renata gently placed the fastened folder of documents to the rose wood table. She was a plump woman of nearly fifty years and she had a kind, almost pretty face. As Renata took a step backwards to excuse herself, it was hard not to notice her beloved employer’s magnificent bearing. He was a tall man of thirty-eight years, with dark brown hair that was cleanly cut to the point of respectability and assurance that radiated his superiority among other men in the corporate world. He had strong, broad shoulders which generated his dominance over people who are known to be his employees. As Renata reviewed these features without seeing her employer’s face, somehow it gave her a feeling of melancholy and pride for she was one of the few people who have had the privilege of truly knowing the illustrious Jared Addison Rickford – President / CEO and only child of the founder and Chairman of the well-renowned Rickford Hotels International.
“Do you have anything more to say Renata?” he asked without looking at her.
She was trained to deliver news as frankly as possible without hesitating whether it was either good or bad. But this morning, she did not feel at ease at the knowledge of what she was to tell him. Composing herself, she decided to continue.
“Ms. Weinberg just called.” Renata could already sense her employer’s irritation in the way he stiffened and placed his hands inside his pockets. Pretending she did not spot this, she carried on. “She wanted me to remind you about your lunch meeting at the Ambrosia on Huntington. Twelve o’clock sharp.” For a while Renata thought he would not say anything. Not until he pulled both his hands from his pockets did she realize that he was going to issue some orders, but she did not anticipate his next remark.
“The last time I checked you were still on my payroll.” This time he turned his head just enough to take a glimpse of her and then returned to his former position even before Renata could glance at him. “My apologies Mr. Rickford. I was just relaying message”, she immediately said without hesitation. Her apology was met without any rancor.
His tone of voice was moderate but there was no mistaking for the annoyance it bore. It was what she expected.
“Do tell Ms. Weinberg that I am canceling our appointment”.
It was an order and Renata saw it coming. This was not the first time it happened. No man or woman in their right minds would want to dictate things to a man like Jared Rickford.
Men and women who has had the privilege of working for him knew he was a man of utmost control. Wall Street respects him that way, some of them are frightened of his cold demeanor and ruthlessness and they all know when they have stepped over the line. Renata was absolutely sure that the woman named Ms. Weinberg didn’t know this. How can she? She was merely the man’s source of pastime and of course…amusement. Not anymore, Renata thought glumly. Women come and go in her employer’s life. Eleven years of service, still she had not seen him involved with just even one ‘respectable’ woman. Eleven years of service, and still she can only count the times she had seen him smile or laugh. The man’s only emotion ever so seen was stoicism, self-control, and a cold hard stare when angered. As of now, the woman who can crumble this man’s defenses has not yet been born, or he perhaps he hasn’t encountered her yet.
“Yes, Mr. Rickford”, she said.
As she turned on her heel to walk towards the door, she cannot help but pity him. He maybe wealthy like King Midas himself but she was also certain, he had never felt the happiness and contentment a man like him was worthy of.
Born from a distinguished Boston family, Jared Addison Rickford has everything. Because of the fact that he was the only child and heir to his father’s wealth, he was trained to be the best in whatever he did. After his mother’s death when he was just eight years old, his father took over the role of a mother and a father. He was educated in the best schools, he was taught how to breed horses, and above all else…his father taught him how to manage. He was sent to Eton College in Britain by his 13th year, and was admitted to Harvard at 18, and went to enlist in the army at 22 after graduating with flying colors. By the time he was twenty-seven, right after his 4-year active service in Afghanistan and South Korea, his father ushered him directly to office as his junior vice-president. When he reached twenty-nine, he was elected as the new president of Rickford Hotels International giving him all access to the business his father once controlled and was now expecting him to control as well. He was a young man with a brain of a sixty-five-year-old business mogul, and he never had a life.
Nine years after his installation, looking through his rosewood desk, moving his eyes around the elegant sophistication of his enormous office, Jared was oblivious about everything else. He spent thirty-seven years of his life in a routine, of cascading to the reputation of being a Rickford, and making it more sparkling than ever while he – the man who was the primary source of its success for the last ten years was starting to get bored with all of it. He may be complaining but what he could not grasp was why he cannot bring himself to a decision about his god-awful life. Despite these reflections, he would not substitute this for the world. And he knew the reason of his uncertainty. He worked hard for this. He earned each and every corner of the office he was presently occupying, not to mention his father’s respect. There was no doubt the old man was hard as granite. And when his mother died, he was left to succumb to the dictatorial manner he ran his estate. Damn the man for being so difficult and domineering. But he could not help damning himself more for putting through the old man’s control over him. He is not angry. He cannot deny the fact that the old man molded him to be the best he can be. No one can argue about that. It was obvious. His father expected the best from him, and he got every bit of it. But sometimes, especially now that he is approaching his thirty-eighth year, his old man again started demanding things from him. Things Jared never has thought of. Things, he never even envisioned himself having. And what was worse was that he was absolutely certain that the old man will never stop demanding these things until he gets it.
He glanced at the grandfather clock he once purchased in an antique shop in downtown Boston with his first salary. Fifteen past nine. He needed to get going if he did not want to be late for his meeting with his old man. His father never valued tardiness as a word found in any vocabulary. In the industry they were in, to be late is a crime worthy of immeasurable consequences. He never valued this, but always finds himself practicing it. He picked up his iPhone from the rack, and strode out of the office. He was unmindful of the glances his employees were giving him as he made his way towards the elevators. He was indeed a magnificent man. His strides were of great bearing; his whole physique seemed to belong to military royalty. Their glances were merely out of curiosity. Although majority of them see him everyday, they could still not explain the way their hearts flutter whenever they lay eyes on him. He was a man of few words and he intrigued people. He was mysterious. And very few people have had the chance to talk to him face to face. He was distant, aloof, and incomprehensible but he exuded a different kind of confidence, which penetrates every single soul who sees him making their heads turn to satisfy the curiosity he unconsciously roused in them.
The moment he entered the elevator and inclined his head to glance at the cubicles, all he saw was that his employees were busy working.
Walking on the streets of downtown Boston on her way to the hospital, Dr. Aurora Cunard cannot help but feel a bit jittery due to her meeting with her father last night. She knew it would happen in the long run but she did not anticipate what sort of thing her father requested of her. As she sat at the outside table of a coffee shop just a block away from her apartment at 429 Marlborough Street, she glanced at the passersby without really seeing them. Her mind was still hazy from the topic her beloved father raised during their dinner last night. She was appalled when her father directly told her he’s craving for a grandchild. She didn’t see it coming. Ever since her father suffered a mild stroke a couple of years ago, he has always been importunate of Aurora to get married. Her father has been persistent ever since and by the situation she found herself into last night, her father was taking it to the next level. Her beloved mother on the other hand felt very glad of her husband’s
“Paging Dr. Aurora Cunard, paging Dr. Aurora Cunard please proceed to the operating room 3 stat...Paging Dr. Aurora Cunard, paging Dr. Aurora Cunard please proceed to the operating room stat...”Hearing her name from the paging system, Aurora immediately proceeded to the wash room to prepare herself for her first operation for the day. As a resident surgeon of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Aurora fought hard to find her place among the men who circled the hospitals. The very first moment she stepped foot on the operating room, they thought she was a nurse. She was the only woman who qualified to take her internship at the renowned Massachusetts General Hospital. With her blond hair, and blue eyes, she knew she would have a hard time proving herself. The moment she got accepted into Stanford, she came to a decision to dye her long wavy blond tresses to a deep shade of chestnut brown. But still, who can blame them if they think she was indeed a nurse. Despi
Barely two days after his father’s operation, Jared received a phone call from the hospital that his father just gained consciousness and was asking for him immediately. Jared although in the middle of a board meeting rushed to the hospital to fulfill his father’s request to see him. Jared still hadn’t figured out if he really cared for his old man. For the past three days, he’d been trying to find it out. But then maybe he really did care because if he did not, he wouldn’t be rushing to the hospital in the middle of a very important board meeting. Arriving at the Intensive Care Unit where his father was confined, he was surprised to see at least four people seated beside his old man’s hospital bed. Three middle aged men wearing tailored suits who looked like lawyers, and a middle-aged woman in mid-sixties who, despite the old age still looked regally beautiful. As he was about to enter the room, the doctor whom Jared arranged to replace the pretty brunette surgeon approache
After hearing those words, his mind was reeling and he was shockingly confused. It was like two ropes were pulling him on each sides; one side was that the offer was an opportunity of a lifetime and Jared knew he’s very fortunate for a man like Paul Gregory Cunard to choose him to be the beneficiary of his multibillion corporate empire. On the other side however, his father is ordering him to proceed with the plan despite the old man’s condition. Then it hit him. As Jared looked at his father, a realization came to mind. His father wanted to secure the business for long term. Could this be possible? As stated by the lawyers, the document is binding and he had his chance of finding a woman fit to be his wife the last several years. The document said thirty-five. He’s turning thirty-nine! He realized the betrothal was put on hold for nearly 4 years to allow him to find a wife of his choosing. But he didn’t. Women he dated were not meant to be married into. They loved his money and the
Jared stared at her expressionless. Margaret my ass, he mused. It is Margarethe apparently, and she is presently in a relationship with someone he knows, which is bad luck. For Aurora however, it seemed to her that he looked bored – elegantly so! He was in a customized dark navy blue double-breasted tailored suit. His dark hair naturally combed to expose his handsome features and his marvelous gray eyes. Aurora, for the first time, though she already met him the other day when he sacked her - realized she was looking at the most handsome man – in a rough and hard kind of way - she ever laid eyes on. And the man did not just have the looks of a rough on the edges kind, but complete with height, aristocratic jaw lines and a muscular body that are usually built for a soldier or some sort - he was oozing sex. He made her feel breathless. It was simply devastating. He was devastating. He was tall, more than six feet and hard built, not big but bulky enough she thoug
Walking along the hospital corridor with her parents, the lawyers and her betrothed gave Aurora a feeling of dread which was slowly penetrating her tolerance. She was lucky that her department had additional staff and so she managed to get permission from her senior supervisor – Dr. Finnegan – to get out earlier than used to. They already left George Rickford III back at the Intensive Care Unit to continue his recovery. Recalling that she was dating an acquaintance of her betrothed three weeks prior was quiet disconcerting. She met Stephen in one of the hospitals’ fund raisers and he was charming and kind. Not to mention familiar with how their family business works though she does not talk about it as she has no idea how to run it. Stephen was a nice guy some days and disappearing in other days, reason why she decided to cut him lose. His inconsistency does not bode well to her instincts and having first hand experience in a toxic relationship, she did not want to be on the s
Jared was kind enough to drive her back to the hospital before heading back to his office. But again, they didn’t talk at all in the whole ride. This annoyed Aurora most of all. She couldn’t seem to grasp the man’s point of extreme silence! She felt uncomfortable whenever he’s too silent, and whenever he speaks… Aurora couldn’t understand it either for every letter of sound that comes out from his mouth has the obvious hint of repulsiveness on them. Does this man find her unpleasant? Is it why he never talks to her if there is no need to? Is it his way of showing he disapproved of her, that he doesn’t find her suitable for his standards as a man? Aurora hoped she’d know. It was very hard for her to comprehend the man who was supposed to be her husband soon. They should at least try understanding each other if they want to get along. She glanced at him for a while and when she was convinced that there’s no hint at all that he was going to speak, she mustered all her courage to speak
Jared, on the other hand did not fail to notice it too. He was now scanning the contents of the red folder his secretary prepared and an idea crossed his mind. He stood up from his high-backed chair and walked over to where the two women were. He then sat himself beside Aurora and without a word to both women, took the put of tea and poured into the empty cup beside Aurora’s. He reached for the creamer, poured a small amount, stirred, and began to sip. Both women exchanged a meaningful look and smiled. Renata then excused herself, and upon receiving Jared’s approval, walked towards the exit. “What are those?” Aurora asked as she sipped her tea eyeing the creative board paper in Jared’s hand. “Invitations for the Met, and the Gates Foundation” he replied nonchalantly as he leaned his back against the couch and rested his head. “Both are fund raisers, Met’s for breast cancer but we need to shell out at least five thousand dollars per individual, the other one’s f