I took Pippa’s advice and channeled all my energy towards my work. She also made me realize I already have amazing friends at JLS in my network who are well connected and I can seek out their professional advice.
Her words further motivated me to also focus on what I really want to do, which is publishing. When I had nothing to do at JLS, I concentrated on revamping my resume, polishing my writing samples and applying to various job opportunities in the Boston area. On my lunch breaks, I took advantage of scheduling informational interviews with different people in the publishing industry including manuscript editors, production managers, and copywriters. I wanted to gain insight from the professionals on what skills I needed to develop and how I can market myself to publishing companies.
I even scored an informational interview with a key editor of Little, Brown, and Company. She promised to forward my resume to her boss.
Back at JLS, I have begun working on a marketing campaign with Jodi and Rachel to promote the company’s upcoming users’ conference. I figured that would help build my resume and allow me to stand out among publishing companies. I would be in charge of writing the press releases, social media posts and newsletters to persuade current clients and business partners to attend the conference. This project has definitely kept me occupied and avoided any encounter with a certain Mr. Knighley.
Until one fine day…
I was working at my desk when I saw Ben walking in with his briefcase. He was wearing a full suit with a white shirt and black jacket and tie. And looking devastatingly handsome. Very Harvey Specter.
“Hi Ben, what brings you here?” I asked clearly surprised and happy to see him.
“My dad’s company wants to invest in some software from JLS to manage our space. And I have an appointment with one of your sales representatives.”
“Oh you must have an appointment with Mr. Cogswirth?” I said pulling up the office schedule on my computer.
“Actually I am meeting with Tyson.” I suddenly felt a lump in my throat.
“Oh? Tyson does not handle domestic sales. He handles government services,” I said giving him a confused look.
“I know. I specifically asked for Tyson since I know him from the racquet club. Both Mr. Cogswirth and Mrs. Potts agreed. Tyson is expecting me,” Ben clarified with a smile.
“Oh…well I will call Tyson.” Ok this is awkward. My boyfriend was about to have a meeting with a co-worker I absolutely loathe. I nervously dialed Tyson’s extension.
“Hi Tyson..Ben..Adams from Adams Mutual is here to see you,” I said in the most professional voice possible.
“I will be right out,” Tyson said in his usual monotone voice. “Hello Ben,” Tyson greeted as he made his way out to the lobby, not giving me any eye contact.
“Hello Tyson,” Ben shook his hand.
“ We will meet in the conference room,” Tyson directed Ben to the glass conference room to the right of my desk. Was that intentional? I could not help but lean over my desk at times and look over and hopefully find out what they were talking about. Why do the walls have to be so thick? Could Ben’s company be really interested in purchasing products from JLS? And why is he really seeking Tyson as his main sales contact?
They seem to be having a cordial meeting, sitting opposite each other. Tyson appears to be explaining the various products and subscription options to Ben like he normally would with any client.
I tried to focus on whatever assignment I was working on. Maybe I should ask if they need water or any sort of refreshments in case they are thirsty. No. They look busy.
An hour passes.
Their meeting is taking a longer time than usual, not that I have noticed. Did they go off tangent from JLS products to the Racquet club or the latest baseball game? Or could they be talking about me? Okay, Belle, get a hold of yourself! Not everything has to be about you.
Finally, they came out and shook hands. By the satisfactory looks on both their faces, the meeting appeared to be productive and successful.
“Hi,” Ben stopping by my desk while Tyson slowly made his way back to his office. “How did the meeting go?” I asked with a smile.
“I am pleased to report that there is going to be a strong business partnership between Adams Mutual and JLS. Right Tyson?”
“Yeah,” Tyson said who suddenly stopped in his tracks and pretended to have seen a mistake in the documents, he was carrying.
“Well I have to head back to work and write up a report to Dad.”
“How about I take you out to dinner tonight to celebrate this partnership and other future endeavors? To Stephanie’s on Newbury Street.”
“Sure.” I couldn’t help but notice that Tyson was still standing close by. He was the only one in the lobby besides me and Ben. He just secured his business deal with Ben. What else could be concerning him? How the receptionist is behaving towards the new client…or could it be something else? I then got an idea. “I’ll see you tonight.” I then stood up and pulled Ben towards me and gave him a big kiss on the lips. I caught Tyson staring at us when I pulled away. He immediately rushed out of the lobby and back to his desk. Obviously not quick enough for me to catch that jealous look on his face. I couldn’t help but give a satisfactory smile to myself.
“Why are you smiling like that?” Ben asked immediately bringing me back to reality.
“Nothing…I’m just happy to see you,” I said, which was partially the truth.