17 – Surprises come in the form of a well-worn note
Back at her office, Koya stopped in the reception area when Linda met her at the door.
“Another package, Miss Kalahari.”
Koya stared at the large box.
“What is it now?”
“The box was delivered ten minutes ago,” Linda said. “I haven’t had a chance to open it.”
“Who is doing this?” Koya gave the box a skeptical look.
“How is the tree doing?” Linda asked, handing Koya a pair of scissors.
“I had it planted in the yard behind my house.”
Koya started undoing the package.
“This gets more exciting with each package,” Linda said.
Koya took a step back with her minutes later, and they stared at the five foot tall soapstone sculpture of a leopard perched on a rock.
“A leopard sculpture. What does that mean?” Linda asked.
Koya shook her head, a bit concerned by how expensive the gift looked.
“Did the delivery guys have you sign anything?”
“No. They dropped off the package like last time.”
“Whoever is doing this has a lot of cash to burn.” Koya moved to touch the leopard’s muzzle. The stone cool to the touch. “The leopard is gorgeous.’
“Where will you keep it?” Linda asked, moving to take a closer look.
“Take it home,” Koya said.
She stepped away from the statue and picked up the documents Linda had placed in a neat pile on her desk.
“Call the same guys who picked up the tree.”
“Yes Madam,” Linda reached for her phone. “By the way, you have a visitor in your office. He insisted on waiting for you.”
Koya walked into her office, her attention on the documents she held.
“I’m sorry I’m late. You didn’t wait too long, I hope.”
“I don’t mind waiting for you.”
Koya’s head jerked up in surprise at the sound of Charlie’s familiar voice. She stopped, staring at the man seated on her couch.
“Hi,” he grinned. “I hope lunch was good.”
The documents she was holding fell to the floor.
“What are you doing here?”
“Those words are getting too familiar.” Charlie got off the couch, unfolding his height in one elegant move. He came over and picked up the files. “It’s customary to say, ‘Hi, good to see you.’”
“Is there something you need?” Koya asked, trying to breathe through her panic.
Charlie stood too close. He smiled and held out the documents. She took them fast and hurried to her desk, needing to put distance between them. His cologne filled her nostrils, crawling through her system, devious man.
Charlie chuckled at her retreat and she glared at him. He chose to sit in one of the armchairs across her desk, resting his right ankle on his left knee. He looked way too relaxed.
“I’ve told you before, I only want to talk to you, Koya. I miss that. We used to talk about everything, remember?”
“If you are not here on a business matter, I don’t know what you’re doing in my office.”
Koya folded her arms against her chest, and tried to ignore the fact that Charlie looked too handsome. He had shaved clean. His dark t-shirt clung to him, showing off a toned body. His long legs in blue jeans, black converse shoes on his feet. He looked like a rich, playboy, nerd. Or Will Smith in his Men in Black days…the older movie…jeez what was she thinking.
She needed to get this guy out of her office.
“I have urgent matters—
“You are free for the rest of the afternoon,” Charlie cut in. “I checked your calendar. Your assistant is not very discrete. The only reason you’re here is those documents she handed you.”
Charlie placed a card on top of her desk.
“I own Mahali Travel Agency. I’m here for an update on the ad campaign we wanted.”
“You’re what?” Koya picked up the card and stared at Charlie’s name printed on expensive paper. “You own Mahali Travel?”
“The documents you received will answer any questions you might have. As of today, I’ll handle the campaign, personally.”
Koya felt her knees go weak. She reached behind her for the chair and sank into it. Her gaze never once leaving Charlie’s card. Her business and Dhal, Dhal and her precious business…she shook her head in denial.
“The contract you sent—,” She stopped and glanced at Charlie. “Your name was not on any of those documents.”
“I have employees working at Mahali.” Charlie flashed a small smile. “They handle paperwork. I’m very interested in what your campaign will do for Mahali.”
“You’re really going to be working with us?” Koya placed Charlie’s card on her desk and cursed her decision to sign the five year contract with Mahali. She should have trusted her gut.
“Closely,” Charlie said with a triumphant smile.
“Alright then,” she said. “I’ll inform Hana. She’s in charge of your account. She’ll make sure to give you constant reports.”
Koya returned Charlie’s smile with a smug one of her own.
“Hana is currently in Diani though. She’s visiting the locations your agency gave us. As soon as she’s back, I’ll give her your number.”
“You’re not working on the ad?”
“Like you, I have people who are better at the job.” Koya sat back. “If that’s all, Mr. Dhali. Please have a good afternoon.”
“You’ve gotten meaner.”
“Have I?” Koya shrugged. “You taught me, Charlie.”
Charlie got up then.
Koya thought he was leaving, instead he reached into his pocket and produced a well-worn paper. He placed it on her desk.
“I rather thought you taught me,” Charlie said, his gaze narrowed. “Your parting note eight years ago certainly didn’t mince words. Koya, why would you break my heart so brutally?”
Koya gasped, staring at the old letter on her desk.
To be continued….Thanks so much for reading *_*