Updated: Jan 20
Paul's arrival at the Axian office on Wednesday morning was either a blessing or a kink. It was a mere matter of perspective. For Matilda, who'd come in with naughty intentions at heart and thoughts in mind, it was likely a blessing. Lest Ms. Honey have her hide for playing a hussy. For Jeremy, on the other hand, it was likely a kink in the works to bed Matilda. Which was rather a shame. She'd just warmed up to him.
At 07AM came the standard morning meeting and Paul's presence was dominant. Slackers made sure to dial in to the meeting, while the others were on unusual high alert. And the rest of the day wasn't any less tense. The company owner took the entire day to settle in, which meant that he was a ball breaker the entire time. To avoid being on the receiving end of any censure, Matilda made sure to clean up her mind and focus on her work. Jeremy was also busy, she noticed. He barely sat at the return desk. Which helped Matilda steer clear of any unnecessary drama Paul might pick up on. Jeremy was trouble. The further away she was from him, the less chances she'd earn herself an audience with Mr. Mhettle. Or so she thought.
"Hi Matilda", came the office lunch lady. "Paul would like to see you in the boardroom".
And so with nervous tremors weakening her knees, Matilda slowly walked to the large room at the end of the only corridor in the house. Seated at the head of a large, veneered, oval table was Paul with Draco to his left. She couldn't see Draco's face, but from the furious look on Paul's face, she surmised she'd just walked in on a rather difficult conversation.
"How are you?" Paul asked.
"How are you settling in? How's the hotel?"
"It's not really a hotel, it's an inn", Matilda felt the need to correct.
"What's the difference?", he asked.
"Well, a inn is smaller".
"Okay", Paul conceded.
"It's clean", she finally answered the question.
"And how's the food? You're not starving?"
That said something about why Paul was livid earlier. Their greasing their way into Axis had probably been discussed. She was grateful he wasn't placing any blame at her feet. With a wry smile, Matilda brushed aside his concern and answered,
He nodded. "Have you tried any of the local food? Have you tried Briyani?"
"Isn't that an Indian dish?" once more she felt the need to correct. And once again Paul conceded.
"Well....", he shook his head slightly, "they have it here too".
"No. I haven't tried that. I had some brown rice....."
"Pilau?" Paul interjected.
"And how was it?" he asked.
"Aaaahhh. I didn't like it".
"Mmmmhhh!" Paul turned his face to the right to conceal an obvious smile, "some of you, it's just t-bone and chips".
That made Matilda chuckle and she nodded in agreement. She was, after all, accustomed to the simple things in life.
The easy banter with Paul was not at all what she had been expecting. By they time she was dismissed from the boardroom, Paul's expression was lighter and it felt good to have the organization's father figure around. At least he didn't take her to task (yet) for any wrongdoing, much like he was probably doing with Draco.