The green clouds in the sky matched Owen’s environment. He had worked for over a year to bring his company to fruition, and now, when everything should have been going right, it teetered on the edge of disaster. His partner, Abigail was everything a person desired in an employee, but Abigail was not just Owen’s employee in the business, she was his partner in love. His soul mate, and now he sat here with the storm clouds gathering outside his window a soulless human being,
Abigail’s eyes were as green as the sky outside his window. They looked like a pair of sparkling emeralds whenever he stared into them. She seduced him the first time he saw her. She had auburn hair and green eyes. Her purple miniskirt draped across her five-foot-two-inch frame perfectly accenting her petite figure. His brain seemed to quit working the first time they spoke. Owen had never felt so goofy. When Abigail indicated that she was a software engineer, Owen nearly squealed in delight, but he managed to hold on to some pride in her presence. Owen decided he needed Abigail to be part of his small company. The attraction between them was apparent, so she would watch his back as they navigated the corporate client jungle together.
Owen’s teammates did not hold the same view. There was a steady stream of trusted friends into his office the day she walked in and started. Owen was thankful the company only had ten people including himself before Abigail came onboard. Every single employee objected to being left out of the hiring decision. After all, group approval was the hiring practice since the company began. Everyone had to agree to the to hire the applicant, or they moved on to the next candidate. Nine objections to Abigail walked through his door, and he argued with every dissenter. Owen should have known then that he was making a mistake, but his heart told him he was doing the right thing.
Abigail seemed to be the model employee for the first three months. The deadline for the most prominent client was quickly approaching, and everyone was working overtime to make sure they beat their milestones. Abigail always worked longer than everyone else, and some of Owen’s friends in the company had taken the time to apologize to him for being wrong about her. Owen’s pride swelled. Not only did he recruit the most beautiful woman he had ever met to go out with, but she had turned out to be the best employee in his company. Owen had found a way to make nepotism work. He was on top of the world.
Then he walked into the office early this morning. Charles had called him in. The original nine employees stood in a semi-circle with their arms crossed and their faces stern. Owen’s world slowed to a crawl. Everything had been stolen. The software that would revolutionize fuel economy was ripped from their servers. All their backups deleted. Abigail had gone to the trouble not only to degauss the servers’ drives that sat in the closet, but she had set loose a network virus and turned on every machine. Like something from “Jurrasic Park,” a meme image of her face echoed in an evil cackle throughout the workspace. The company had lost everything, and the client was due in the next day. Owen dismissed the team and told them to return tomorrow, ready to present to the client. The group exited with faces of confusion, shock, and malaise.
The dark clouds began to release their watery burdens. Hail peppered the window. Owen stared at the icy, wet projectiles slamming into the window, and watched as the city faded from view under the violence of the storm.
Abigail’s familiar voice broke through the den of the rain. “Why did you call me in?”
Owen did not turn to face her but kept watching the rainfall. “Why did you come?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m feeling a little guilty this time.” Abigail’s voice cracked a little.
Owen let a smile creep across his face. He sat upright and turned his chair her direction. “This time? Oh Abigail, and here I thought I was your first.”
Abigail twisted her lip in disgust at his innuendo.
Owen continued, “I want to know why. Why me? Why us? Why my company? We’re a small company and no threat to anyone.”
Abigail shook her head, “I can’t tell you that. My clients pay me a lot of money to remain anonymous. You’re a smart group of people; you’ll find jobs. My unnamed client would kill to have you join their team.”
Owen allowed his smile to return across his tense face. Abigail’s expression became confused. Owen said, “It’s funny you should mention kill.” Abigail’s eyes grew wide with fear. Owen reached over and opened the drawer. He slowly pulled an object out of his desk. A simple thumb drive.
“I don’t get it,” said Abigail. Owen watched her flinch in surprise as the policeman emerged from behind a cubicle wall, grabbed her wrist and slipped the first handcuff on her. “What’s going on?” demanded Abigail.
Owen waited for the policeman to finish handcuffing her. “Please give us a minute,” said Owen. The policeman took a step back. “You see, Abigail, I was hoping my friends were wrong about you, but I learned a long time ago to listen to the people you trust, and I trust my team. Still, I had to give you a chance, and you proved me wrong. This simple thumb drive is more than large enough for an offline copy of our software, and it’s safely encrypted. It’s true that you took out our servers and network, but not the security camera’s and offline servers I have hidden to monitor the office after hours. You tried to kill my company but failed.”
Abigail pulled against her handcuffs and said, “Please, Owen, it’s me. I came back because I care about you. Maybe we can work something out.”
Owen frowned and shook his head. “I’m afraid not. Corporate espionage is still a crime, and you’re going to jail. Unfortunately, there is nothing the courts can do for my stolen heart, but I will heal.” Owen nodded, and the officer pulled Abigail to the elevator. Owen looked back out at the storm. Abigail’s wails were barely audible above the tears from the sky.
Check out my new novel: