The Contract Between Us
- 👁 5
- ⭐ 3.0
- 💬 0
Veronica thought her dreams were coming true when she landed an internship at Ca-son Corp, but everything came crashing down when the CEO suddenly dies, putting her job in danger. Desperate to save her career, she agrees to a contract marriage with the CEO's successor, Arthur Callaghan, but as they go through their fake marriage, the chemistry between them makes it difficult to keep things purely contractual and they find themselves fighting not only for their jobs, but for their lives. With unexpected turns at every corner, Veronica must uncover the truth behind a deadly conspiracy before it's too late. Will she be able to survive the threats and find true love in the process?
“Thank you, Mr. Donald,” I said with a wide smile as I took the keys from him.
“You finally paid off after three months eh.” The old man said with a friendly chuckle that made me release one of my own.
“It took me everything I had,” I said as I raised the key to my eye level, inspecting it with love.
I had been borrowing Mr. Donald’s car to work every day since we moved to Manhattan and I finally bought it from him. It was mine now.
“I’m glad you decided to sell it to me,” I told him as I patted his shoulder.
“Yeah right, I don’t drive it that much anyway, and besides, that old hag keeps complaining that you’re coming every morning.” He said the last part in a whisper and jerked his thumb toward the fence where his wife was lurking.
I smiled at Mrs. Donald when we locked eyes and she narrowed her eyes at me.
“She is healthier these days,” I commented as I looked ahead at the empty street.
“Of course, she’s started taking her medications and ignoring my pies. She’s jealous.” He said throwing me a wink which made me laugh.
I mean, Mr. Donald was cute, as a grandpa.
“Tell her she has no reason to be jealous anymore, I give up,” I said playfully, returning the wink, making both of us burst into laughter.
“Ah, it’s nice to hang out with you kid. Come visit me sometime, okay?” He said pushing himself off my car.
“We meet every day, Mr. Donald. I live next door. It’s not like I’m going to a different place because I bought the car.” I deadpanned playfully and he laughed again before walking away.
I smiled at his retreating figure and shook my head slightly. He was such a character.
I sat at our dining table and eagerly started scarfing down my breakfast which was already set by my mom. By the time my sister arrived at the dining table, half the food on my plate was gone.
“Slow down, Vee,” Mom scolded as she served the last pancakes on Dad’s plate.
My mother was perfect, I didn't care what others thought, I just knew that she was. I mean, you tell me if there was a woman out there who had a perfect education and decided to be a stay-at-home mom just because she wanted to take care of her husband. Now if you mentioned a name I would know you were lying because most women left when they had a perfect road to success other than to take care of a husband who was always lying in bed.
As for my father, he wasn't lazy, or useless. In fact, he used to work at a publishing company before he got into an accident. My father was currently suffering from a traumatic injury which made him unable to move. I found him a very much perfect human being too.
“She’s always rushing the food.” My sister’s voice broke me out of my thoughts mumbling under her breath, as she picked on her pancakes.
“At least I’m not rushing my life.” I retorted after a few gulps of orange juice.
“Veronica,” Mom said in a warning tone, almost making me groan.
“She’s the one who wants to graduate early and start working,” I said quietly as I dabbed the corners of my mouth with a napkin. “Where’s the fun in that?” I added.
“Only because I want to make money, which is something that we don’t have.” She suddenly said making the atmosphere in the room change immediately.
My fingertips ran cold as I looked at my sister that was sitting across from me, and then my mom who was getting ready to take Dad’s food to his room. She looked as surprised as I was.
“Lilly–“ My mother started but was cut off by my emotionally distraught sister who already had tears pooling in her eyes.
“It’s the truth, Mom, don’t sugarcoat it. You don’t have a job, Dad is paralyzed and Vee is an intern who could end up not securing her job. She has to pay for everything and we’re late on my school fees when it’s just the beginning of the month. When is it gonna end?” My sister said with a small sob as she stabbed her pancakes one last time before standing up. “I hate all of this. I really, really hate this.”
“Lilly, did something happen at school?” I asked as she picked up her backpack from the floor.
“Lilly, answer me,” I said but she ignored me and started walking out of the kitchen. “Lillian, I’m talking to you!” She straight up ignored me and walked out the front door.
The look of surprise on my face didn’t fade until I turned to my mother who was just standing there with a tray in her hands and a sad stare in her eyes as she looked at the front door.
I stood up immediately and grabbed my purse.
“Are you okay Mom?” I asked her and she nodded.
“I’m okay, go after your sister, she looks like she’s going through a lot.” She said.
I nodded and said goodbye to her before rushing toward the door after my sister.
Lillian was waiting for me by my car, her back against the passenger side door with her hand folded across her chest. She let tears run down her cheeks freely as she glared at a random plant that was growing in front of our house.
I sighed quietly and start walking towards the car. I opened the door when I came in range and rolled my eyes as she yanked the door open and got inside before me.
“The last thing I would want this morning is an 11th grader giving me attitude,” I said as I got into the car and started patting my hair down.
Lillian sniffled and aggressively wiped a tear that was trickling down her cheeks.
I sighed and took out a box of tissues from the compartment box, and discarded it on her lap as I fixed my side mirror before starting the car.
I stole a glance at Lillian who was still refusing to use the tissues I gave her. Maybe mom was right, maybe Lillian was going through a lot. A lot had happened in the past three months since we moved here and I think she was affected by that. She was separated from her old friends and old-school life in a blink. She was not always like this, she was the type to keep her opinions to herself. Maybe she had a lot bottled up.
“You can talk to me, Lilly,” I said as I took out the car keys and started the car. “I’ll pay your school fees, you don’t have to worry about it.”
“I don’t wanna talk about it.” She mumbled quietly and took out a sheet of tissue and blew her nose on it.
“That’s okay,” I said as I drove away in the direction of her school. “But whatever is wrong you shouldn’t have an outburst like that, I know it can get frustrating sometimes but you can talk to me about it, Lilly. Mom has to take care of Dad and us, she doesn’t deserve that.”
I drove around the familiar streets that lead the way to her school, watching as she shifted on her seat as we got closer.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered as soon as I parked in front of her school.
“It’s okay kid, by the way, you should apologize to Mom, not me.” I pointed out the obvious and she nodded in agreement.
“Thanks for the ride.” She said with a small smile which instantly made her look more beautiful.
Lillian had more of our Mom’s features while I mainly took over my Dad. She had dark brown hair while mine was black. Her eyes were hazel while mine was a plain, dull brown. The only thing we had in common was our facial shape, that was the only thing that could cut us as sisters, but other than that, there was nothing. So yeah, it was only natural that she was prettier than me.
“You better be.” I scoffed playfully and she laughed airily. “There you go, that’s so much better.”
She rolled her eyes at me and opened the car.
“See you at home later.” She said and hopped out of the car.
“Sure thing kid,” I said and immediately took off to my workplace.
Well, actually, I was more of an intern. I was an intern at one of the most successful tech companies in the world; Ca-son Corp. I started my internship there three months ago and I brought my family with me. I loved Ca-son Corp not only because it was amazing to work there, but because they paid me well as an intern. I had submitted my resume for review and I was hoping to become a permanent employee there.
The owner and CEO of this company, Carson Callaghan, was a very nice and funny man. I had seen him a couple of times when he took a stroll around the work area, he seemed so down-to-earth and unproblematic. You might think he was arrogant and condescending but that’s way beyond the point. Someday I hoped I remembered to say hello to him.
My phone vibrated in my purse a few times but I ignored it, I decided that I would check it when I reached the company. My fingers tapped on my steering wheel according to the rhythm of Taylor Swift’s song that was playing softly on the radio. I reached the company in no time and parked my car where I usually do before getting out. Then took out my I.D. card and hung it around my neck as I happily walked into the building, the blunt ends of my hair hitting my shoulders every step of the way. I was in the process of checking in when Reese, my friend from work, came running into me.
My eyes widened as she came over to me in a frenzy as if she had been waiting for me this whole time. Her blonde hair was usually slicked back in a neat low bun and now it looked like she had been tugging her hair.
“Whoa, slow down, is everything ok-“
“I have been calling for the past thirty minutes were the fuck did you keep your phone?” She sputtered, her hands flailing in the air.
“Calm down, I was driving,” I said with a chuckle. “Why? Did you miss me that much?”
“Vee, this is not even a good time to joke around. I have very, very bad news. It is so fucking bad!” She told me as she gripped both sides of my shoulders, forcing me to look directly at her.
“Why? What is wrong? Did something happen?” I asked, my voice drooping low with concern.
She looked me dead in the eyes, her expression giving out full panic.
“The old man is dead, Vee. He’s dead!”
“Wait. Who?” I asked, confused.
“Carson-freaking-Callaghan! The CEO is dead.”
My eyes bulged out as I looked at her.
“The CEO is dead?” the receptionist behind me and I asked in unison.
“When? How? I asked. “This is really bad news, does everyone know about this yet?”
“That’s not even the bad news on your side.” She said.
“Huh?” I blurted in confusion.
Reese took a deep breath and gripped my shoulders tighter. The look on her face changed from panic to sympathy.
“The company is going under the care of his brother in the meantime and his brother is planning on firing all the interns in this building. You’re an intern too, Veronica.”
For a split second, I thought something had sparked in my brain and I had run mad. Only for a split second. But when major reality hit and I registered the whole message, my heart sank to the pits of my guts. I couldn’t feel my fingertips anymore because they had run cold.
Well, fuck me.
I downed the third cup of water Reese handed to me and crushed the paper cup in my hands.
“This is bad. This is very, very bad.” I said, hitting the crushed cup on my desk, making a few heads turn to look at us.
“Sorry about that!” Reese apologized on my behalf with an awkward chuckle.
“This is fucked up in many ways, Reese. This can’t happen.” I said to Reese in a slightly panicked voice as I tried to control my emotions. I know very well that crying isn’t going to help.
“I know Vee, the decisions haven’t been made yet but that’s what everyone’s been saying. Even the press!” She exclaimed.
“But, he just died! How could they even think of the company? They should at least focus on his funeral or something.” I complained, feeling my stomach churn from anxiety.
“The company has to carry on with or without him, Vee. This is just not working out the way it was supposed to.” Reese said, grabbing a random chair to sit beside
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