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Authors: Hailey Hogan

Betrayed by Trust

BOOK: Betrayed by Trust
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Betrayed by Trust

 

A NOVEL

 

HAILEY HOGAN

Electronics Edition

Copyright © 2014 4AllSeasons Publishing

 

Published by

4AllSeasons Publishing

[email protected]

 

Betrayed by Trust Copyright © 2014 by 4AllSeasons Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this e-book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages to be included in a review.

 

All characters, names, descriptions and traits are products of the author’s imagination. Similarities to actual people – living or dead – are purely coincidental.

 

 

Cover design by: SG Creations

Chapter 1

 

Sleepless nights fueled
Caitlyn Crenshaw’s desire to avenge the hardships that fell upon her father. She watched Robert Crenshaw go from a strong and passionate man, to one who barely had enough energy to get out of bed daily. To see him lose hope after being rejected several times for a business loan, tore her up inside. If only he would have received the loan from JB Savings and Loans, their neighborhood bank. It would have been enough to keep his store, Crenshaw Groceries, open; without it he wasn’t able to compete with the chain stores. Seeing all of his dreams deteriorate in front of her eyes, left a bitter taste in Caitlyn’s mouth.

Caitlyn
fantasized about the day the guilty party would pay retribution. She vowed to make it slow and painful. She wanted to see Jack Banks, the owner of JB Savings and Loans, suffer the way she watched her father suffer until his death. During her research, she discovered his nephew, Blake Banks, had a thriving business because of funding received from JB Savings and Loans.  Destroying Blake’s reputation in the business world would hurt his uncle so Caitlyn put her plans in motion and got a job at Banks Telecom.  When old man Banks died before she could fully implement her plans to destroy Blake’s company, she decided to continue on her quest. Getting revenge on his favorite nephew would have to suffice.

Caitlyn
prided herself on her work and usually excelled at whatever she did; whether it was maintaining her straight four point zero grade point average in graduate school or handling multi-million dollar projects, Caitlyn effortlessly did well at whatever she set out to do. Because of her father, she majored in business and became a certified public accountant after only taking the exam once. Her original plans had been to take over her father’s store and expand. Some of her co-workers accused her of being anti-social, but she wasn’t there to make friends; she was there to get revenge, so she ignored their rants.

“Slow down,” one of her co-workers said, when
Caitlyn accidentally bumped into them as she rushed to catch the elevator.

“Got a meeting and I can’t be late,” she responded, while pushing her hand in between the elevators doors just before it closed.

Caitlyn pressed the button for the fourteenth floor and waited. Her mind went over what she would say. Normally, when she met with Blake Banks there were other people in the room. She hoped the anger festering in her system, would subside long enough for her to make it through the one-on-one meeting with the, the CEO of Banks Telecom.

When her manager informed her she had been summoned because of the fiasco with her last project,
Caitlyn scrambled to get her documentation together. Although she was guilty of setting up another employee by giving them inaccurate data, she refused to be the escape goat for their mistake. As one of the lead accountants, Caitlyn had access to confidential company records and was pulled in to work on various outside projects geared towards generating the company more money.

She used her position to hurt Banks internally but had done so without bringing much attention to herself.
Caitlyn had a way of forging numbers and making things look better than what they were; because of that, she knew it would only be a matter of time before Banks Telecom would be facing a financial crisis or she would be fired first because someone was on to her; either way, she would know soon enough.

The elevator opened to a plush office filled with soft off-white carpet and a petite
middle-aged woman sitting behind her desk immediately acknowledged her.  “There you are. He’s been asking for you,” Joan Carlise stated, as she escorted Caitlyn to Blake’s office.

Caitlyn
glanced at her watch. According to it, she still had two minutes to spare. She sighed as the door to his office opened. Blake stood up immediately and greeted her with a firm handshake. He was over six feet tall. He towered over her by at least five inches although she wore heels.

“Thank you for coming at such a short notice,” he said, as he motioned for her to sit down in the maroon leather chair.

She watched him walk back behind his long cherry wood desk as she took a seat and crossed her legs. The walls of his office were filled with small business award plaques from various organizations. Up, until the last quarter, Banks Telecom had been growing fast. Now the small company was facing a crisis.

“I know you’re wondering why I called you here, so I won’t take up too much of your time.”

Caitlyn remained quiet.

He tapped a pen on his desk. It annoyed her, but she tried to ignore it by focusing on his eyes. The twinkle in his gray eyes caused her to shift in her seat.
She didn’t have the cushion of having other people in the room anymore. She was now face to face with Blake Banks all by herself. She rubbed her sweaty palms on her skirt.


Caitlyn, you’ve been working for me for how long now?”

“For
about a year,” she responded.

“You trust me don’t you?”

Caitlyn looked away for a brief second before looking back into his eyes. “As much as the next man.”

His eyebrows shift
ed. “I’ll take that. How would you feel about a raise?”

Startled, because she was expecting a reprimand, it took her a few seconds to respond.
“I would welcome it with open arms.”

“It’s yours. I’ll have my lawyers draw up the papers. After this year you can retire if you want because I want to offer you a million dollar raise.”

Caitlyn looked around for the hidden cameras and then looked over the rim of her glasses. “Mr. Banks, You should have told me we were going to be on TV.” She ran her hand through her long straight hair. “I would have done something else to my hair.”

“First of all, call me
Blake. All I need for you to do is to agree to be my wife for a year and the million dollars is yours.”

At this point
Caitlyn couldn’t control herself. She burst out laughing because she knew this was a practical joke. This couldn’t be real. Here she was thinking she had been caught forging numbers, but instead, he was offering her a million dollars. “This is ludicrous. As much as I’m flattered by this proposal for a raise, why would I take you serious?”

“I’ve been watching you for the last few months. You’re intelligent, you’re beautiful. What man wouldn’t want you by his side?”

“True.” Caitlyn knew she was attractive to most men, but it still didn’t answer the million dollar question. “But the question is why would you?”

Caitlyn
was confused by the whole ordeal. What in the world would make him ask her of all people? From what she observed, he had his pick of women and she was sure any one of them would have loved to have been Mrs. Banks.

“We would be good together. I’ve seen you in meetings. You’re not afraid to speak your mind. I find that an attractive quality especially when I have enough ‘yes’ men around me.”

She folded her arms and leaned back in her chair as Blake tried to plead his case. He continued to say, “I looked over your personnel file and it seems we’re around the same age. We like some of the same things from what I’ve gathered from our brief conversations over the past few months.”

Caitlyn
’s mind was running a mile a minute. She zoned out on him a few times as she tried to figure out his ulterior motive. She felt there was more to it than he was telling her and she was determined to find out. She interrupted him. “Let’s cut through the bull. I need the REAL reason.”

Blake
blinked a few times. His beautiful eyes seemed to pierce into her soul. Without blinking, he said, “My late uncle left me no choice.”

Why would his uncle want him to marry her? Did he feel some remorse on his death bed? The fact that Jack Banks knew how much pain he caused her father, made her stomach turn. The ache in
Caitlyn’s heart for her dad’s last days threatened her sanity. She pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind.

This could be the opportunity she had been waiting for.
Caitlyn would have access to millions being his wife. She didn’t want to seem too eager, so she pretended to oppose. “I don’t mean to sound crude, but Mr. Banks, I mean Blake, you’re a nice looking man and I’m sure you can find some other willing participant, but I’m not available.”

“If you’re talking about your boyfriend Charles, I took care of him already.”

Caitlyn uncrossed her legs and sat straight up. “Excuse me.”

“He was more than happy to take the money he was offered and backed down. He’ll be calling you later to get his stuff.”

“How dare you interfere in my life like this?” she snapped. She didn’t know if she was more furious at Blake or Charles, her boyfriend of the last year. The throbbing in her head intensified. First his uncle interfered in her father’s life and now Blake thought because he had a little money he could interfere in her personal life. She didn’t know what to think about Charles. As soon as she got a hold of him, she had a few choice words for him as well. She clinched her fists. Her nails dug into her palms to the point she almost screamed.

Blake
seemed confident and smug. “Maybe I went about this the wrong way. Let me explain.”

She inched to the edge of her seat and it took all of her might not to reach across the desk and slap the smug look off
Blake’s face. She had to take control of the situation. Caitlyn stood up and didn’t wait for Blake’s explanation. She stormed out of the room. His secretary called out to her, but she ignored her. The elevator wasn’t coming fast enough so she took the stairs. Her co-workers curiously eyed her as she stormed to her cubicle.

She blocked out the noise in the office and leaned back in her chair.
She hated Blake Banks more so now than ever. Up until this point, Caitlyn’s revenge was fueled by Blake’s uncle’s actions; now Blake made it about his own actions. All she could think about was how Blake manipulated his way into her personal life without any remorse.

H
is uncle wrecked havoc on her life a few years ago. Now he’s trying to impose himself into her world. Although her siblings, Bridget and Bradford, didn’t cosign her actions, they understood her need for revenge.  Her plans weren’t moving as fast as she hoped.   She was a wiz with numbers and manipulated them so much that even when projects for new telecom facilities passed through all the phases, when it came down to implementing them, there was always a glitch.

When their internal analysts tried to figure out what went wrong, they were
unable to tie the issues to the false figures. As far as they were concerned, Caitlyn’s figures were correct and it was mismanagement on the customers end. With a few of these failures, she used others to plant doubt in stockholders minds about some of the decisions Blake had been making on behalf of Banks Telecom.

She smiled for the first time since leaving
Blake’s office at the thought of him being berated by the main stock holders. Her smile soon faded when she saw Charles’ number flash on her desk phone’s screen. “Damn him,” she blurted, hoping no one else heard her outburst.

Caitlyn
opened up her top drawer and pulled out a bottle of aspirin.  She licked her tongue out and placed two white pills on it.  Her face cringed as she swallowed the bitter pills without drinking any fluids.

It took awhile for the pills to make her headache subside. She couldn’t concentrate on work. Her mind replayed the incident in
Blake’s office over and over. She needed to find out more about this so called proposal. She knew it had to be something in it for Blake or else he wouldn’t have brought it up. But what was it?

If she accepted
Blake’s proposal, she could convince him to share more about the business. If he trusted her with passwords, she could have it set up that he was embezzling funds. Well maybe she didn’t have to take it that far; however, it would give her the leverage she needed to see Banks Telecom fail. The more she thought about it, the more she realized the proposal could be the answer to her prayers. She didn’t trust Blake, however she had a more immediate problem to deal with—Charles.

 

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