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Hard For My Best Friend's Sister(20)

By:Ava Jackson

Was he trying to talk George out of the deal? I wanted to scream. Why would he point that point?

“I don’t think we’ll be that interfering,” Lily said. She gave George a warm smile. “We’ll only bother you about the big stuff. The day-to-day operations will still be largely up to you.”

They were playing good business partner, bad business partner. It was ridiculous. George was intelligent enough to figure out what they were doing. Why not just treat him like an adult?

For the first time, I wondered if I even liked the senior partners. I supposed it didn’t matter too much whether I did or not. My dealings with them were strictly professional. I preferred the professional ethics I’d seen in Cameron to theirs, though.

“I would prefer to deal exclusively with Dylan, if you don’t mind,” George said, shocking the entire room.

I blinked twice. I really hadn’t expected that. I pulled together a response. “That’s very flattering, George, but I’m only an associate. I’m sure you’d be better off dealing with a senior partner.” I forced a smile and nodded toward Charles and Lily.

“Then you should be a partner,” George said. “I want to deal exclusively with you or I don’t agree to close this transaction.”

Fuck. Charles was glaring at me every time George looked away.

Had Cameron put George up to this? I’d told Cameron to leave business out of it. He couldn’t possibly be ridiculous enough to try to get me a promotion this way, could he?

I tried to catch Cameron’s eye, but he didn’t look my way. He was focused on Lily.

Jealousy shot through me. Perky Lily with her stupid blond hair and slim body. She was probably way more Cameron’s type than I was.

“Our internal matters are none of your business,” Lily said firmly. “We can’t promote an associate because you want to deal with her. It’s not done.”

George leaned forward. “I’m selling you fifty percent of my very profitable company for a very large amount of money. We’re supposed to be partners here. Isn’t that how you’re pitching this deal? So if we’re partners, your internal matters are my business. I liked what I saw of Miss Butler yesterday and I trust her. Frankly, I don’t trust either of you.”

If I’d been drinking something I would have snorted it out of my nose. George had just called the senior partners on their bullshit. I knew their silly tactic was going to backfire on them.

“We’ll take it under consideration,” Lily said. Her smile looked significantly more strained.

Cameron hadn’t said anything this entire time. I wanted to shake a response out of him. Mostly I just wanted him to admit whether or not he was behind this mess.

“I need to confer with my client,” Cameron said.

“By all means,” Charles said. It was clear he was hoping Cameron might talk some sense into his client. I wasn’t so sure.

George and Cameron walked out of the room. Cameron still wouldn’t meet my eyes.

What the hell was going on?

And then I was alone with the senior partners. Thick tension settled over the room.

“I didn’t know he was going to do that,” I said. “He seemed very reasonable when I was dealing with him yesterday.”

“You may have misjudged him,” Charles said.

My heart fell and my body went cold. My hard-earned career was crumbling in front of my eyes. “I could talk to George,” I said desperately. “See if I can get a read on what he’s thinking.”

“You’ve caused enough trouble,” Charles said.

I wanted to melt into the floor and die. I was done. No matter what happened next, Charles had condemned me as a troublemaker in their eyes.

I had to find a way to fix this. I could get George alone and put this deal back on track.

Cameron and George walked back into the room and took their seats.

I tensed in my chair.

Cameron picked up the paperwork and slid it into his briefcase. “I’ve spoken with my client and he’s assured me that he’s determined on his point. We’ll give you until tomorrow to think it over, but there will be no deal without Miss Butler taking the lead on closing it and handling all post-closing matters.”

I couldn’t breath properly. My fingers curled on the table.

Cameron and George stood back up and left the room.

That was it. I was sure they were going to fire me now.

Charles rested his chin on his fingers. “Miss Butler. Do you know of any way you might have caused this?”

I slept with Cameron and now he’s gone crazy. “No,” I said. I needed to talk to Cameron.

“We’ll want to discuss this new development amongst ourselves. You’ll need to arrange to stay an extra day in New York.”