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In the last chapter comments we spoke about Ethan and Nicole. If you are unfamilair with their story, you can go to Amazon link at https://amzn.to/2q9J9xM or Smashwords is https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1191. It’s also available wherever books are sold (even in paperback).
How can you help?
- Buy other books from me. The money raised from bookselling goes into my editor’s fee for the month of March April and May (which will be when we’re about done.)
2. Donate $1 when you can. Just click here or go to the link below
3. You can also contribute to the whole book right now and buy it at the low pre-edit-order cost of $9. CLICK HERE Once the book is ready, after the editors, you’ll get a Smashwords code to download your book and it’ll be available there for a keepsake. Now once the book is headed to the editor, the pre-order cost will go to $10. I know that’s just a dollar.
4. You can also tell others how much you enjoyed this story and share the main page of Black’s Innocence by go to:
This is a fundraiser. I know for my editor I’ll need about $800 to $1000 to give this story justice. I need all the help I can get and I hope to have an October release of Black’s Innocence.
Help me and thank you in advance.
Now my comments about the story:
I was torn with this chapter. In a way, I knew it was the beginning of the end and you would know the direction of the story once you figured out what I was trying to hide.
I know once you guys get in this one, you’re going to go searching for what should be hidden.
This sounds elusive because it is. Some of you will know at first read, while new readers will have to comb my other stories to find it.
Because it should not exist, yet, it does and you know when it happens, what is to come.
That is your riddle and I hope you enjoy
“Follow me,” Deborah said and walked down a long hallway until they arrive at an elevator.
Lauren noted the elevator had two doors and where the elevator was located, she knew the other door led right under the side of Tyler’s office. Did the elevator go up into his office as well?
They weren’t headed back in there and she was very grateful. Deborah took her to the first floor of the building where there was the consignment boutique.
Deborah explained, “Mr. Black and close personal friends keep this store opened mainly for women and men who get nice jobs and can’t afford to dress for the job. A lot of business have lines of credits for low-income people so the last thing they have to worry about is dressing nicely at the office. All the clothes are donated by Mr. Black’s wealthy friends.”
Lauren hated herself for listening with half an ear because she was still stuck on everything that had happened in Tyler’s office. Why couldn’t he just tell her she was hired? Why did the man have to be so damn difficult? Why the hell had he made her come and not satisfy himself?
‘I’ve been thinking about making you come since you walked in my office.’
The thought of him revealing something like that out loud even now made her shudder.
“Are you okay?” Deborah asked. “You look flushed and you’re sweating.”
“I’m fine,” Lauren said, trying to hide her sudden breathlessness. “You were saying about the boutique’s procedures?”
Deborah explained, “Oh yes, just choose whatever you wish and when you get to the counter let them know you’re on Mr. Black’s account.”
“You mean the law firm’s account, right?” Lauren corrected.
“No, you’re on his personal account,” Deborah said looking uncomfortable. He specified that in the message.” Deborah looked at her phone “I have to get his briefs ready for his next meeting. I’ve activated your badge and you can use the personal elevator to return to the floor instead of going all the way around to the security desk. Take an hour, pick out what you need and then come back up. You can leave all your items here at the store and they’ll be delivered to your desk by the end of the day.”
When Deborah hurried away, Lauren was left to contemplate her entire morning. If she didn’t think about the sexual pleasure Tyler had given her, she could be extremely frustrated with him.
Going through the clothes, she agreed with Deborah. These were very high-end clothes but easy to maintain. She found another black dress and picked up two more. She found a cute wrap around red dress and two pairs of black slacks. Adding to her pile were two white shirts, one blue and another black that could be interchanged with her dresses and slacks.
She didn’t want to go overboard because she was taking the bus home and would have to drag everything on the bus.
Right after Deborah had left her, she noted there were only the cashier and stock person in the store, along to what looked like a young black female with a red hoodie. What was strange was that every time Lauren looked around to spot the young woman, it felt like the woman was deliberately turning her face away so Lauren couldn’t see her.
Figuring this woman was most likely in the store needing clothes, Lauren decided to ignore the woman and continue shopping.
Exactly an hour later, she returned to Deborah’s desk.
“Just in time. Mr. Black just left and he’s given me all the instructions for the assignment,” Deborah said happily picking up a large stack of folders and handing them off to Lauren. “I have your laptop’s username. I’ve already set you up with the software you need. For some strange reason, I couldn’t get your resume from Mr. Black. He said he lost it, which is strange since that man never loses anything.” She shrugged this off. “He said you’d provide a copy, so I wasn’t sure what other software you needed.”
“I can give you a list of the programs,” Lauren said following Deborah to a desk about twenty feet away, which meant very far from his office and even further away from the entrance so if he walked in this way he couldn’t see her if she slouched down at her desk. “And I can email you a copy of my resume. I keep it in the cloud.”
“Good,” Deborah said pointing to a desk. “You can set the stack there. Mr. Black is representing this company that is buying up five other companies. I should let you know the five were family owned and Mr. Black is positive there were discrepancies. The accountant went through every bank account and every transaction but didn’t see anything. If you can look through the transaction databases of all five companies and see anything please let me know. Mr. Black is doubtful anything is going to come up, but he said an extra set of eyes can’t hurt.”
Easing into the office chair, Lauren smiled pleased with herself.
Deborah pulled the top file off the pile. “These are your employment papers. I would like a copy of your identification and social security card too.”
Gasping, Lauren said, “I left my folder in his office.”
“I’ll get it,” Deborah assured her. “Just fill out the paperwork and return everything to me.”
Lauren dived into the folders like a warm pool she missed. Immersing herself in the numbers, the columns, the databases and lots of transactions, Lauren felt good to find herself in the position of looking through information again and realized she had missed doing a real job, especially a job she loved.
As it neared four o’clock, she saw people leaving the office and knew it was quitting time.
She hadn’t taken a lunch and cursed herself as she gathered her jacket and went over to Deborah’s desk.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t take a lunch and I forgot to get a time card from you,” Lauren said.
“Employees don’t do time cards,” Deborah said. “You can take an hour lunch tomorrow to make up for not taking a lunch today. Here’s my card with my email, cell phone and house number on it. If you’re going to be sick or late, just contact me.”
Lauren nodded and thanked the assistant.
Deborah reached into her desk and handed Lauren the folder that had been left in Tyler’s office. “Mr. Black had already gotten your identification and social security card out and made copies.”
Taking the folder, Lauren wondered if he had looked through her folder at her personal information?
Placing a report on Deborah’s desk, Lauren said, “There are seventeen suspicious transactions.”
Deborah looked lost. “In what?”
“In all five databases, there are transactions through three of the companies alone with the same invoice number to a vendor called DevelopMoore. I looked up the dates of the transactions and they were made on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday. All the days when the company is not open for business.” She pointed to the report at the invoice numbers. “I also find it highly unlikely the similar invoice numbers from the business all go to what I believe is a shell company called DevelopMoore.”
“Why didn’t the accountant catch this?”
“Because they weren’t auditing DevelopMoore. They were auditing the companies that were being bought.”
Deborah perused the report. “How did you find all this in less than one day? There are over ten thousand transactions and almost a hundred thousand records, Lauren?”
“All the companies used the same transaction software,” Lauren explained. “Compiling was really all that took the longest and I was able to manipulate the columns the way I wanted them. First I pulled out the duplicates and then I analyzed those. I figured there should be exact matches of columns if there were five different companies. When I didn’t find anything on their end, all I had to do was reverse the column and that’s how I found DevelopMoore.”
Deborah looked astounded and picked up her phone to dial someone. “Now I see why he hired you.”
Lauren blushed because she knew the real reason why the jackass upstairs hired her, but she was not going to tell Deborah.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Lauren said, while the flustered assistant was talking with someone on the phone. “Thanks for all your help today, Deborah.”
She retrieved her two bags of clothes and her purse from her desk before she made her way to the street in front of the building. Looking across the street from the building, she noticed the red hooded woman standing there leaning against the building just staring.
Lauren was positive it was the same woman and she had no bags as if she had purchased anything at the boutique.
Disregarding this as just a coincidence, Lauren was more concerned about catching her bus than she was with some teenager that hung around buildings.
She headed in the direction of where she usually caught the bus but heard she heard someone calling her name.
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To read the other Black Family Series, go to the series page. (Each one is a standalone story and it should be a saga and not a series, but I don’t feel like changing the page name).