The next morning Brooke nervously brought in Nikki’s messages and coffee. She was still upset over Nikki’s dramatic departure. She was unsure what type of reception she was going to receive.
Nikki wouldn’t look at her. She just took the messages and put them to one side.
“I’m so sorry about last night. I was out of line…” Brooke ventured.
Nikki nodded but still refused to look up. Brooke boldly crossed the barriers and put a hand on Nikki’s giving it a squeeze. “I just want you to know I hate seeing you hurt, and I am here if you need me.” With that, Brooke turned and left the office.
Later in the day, Nikki was making herself a cup of coffee. She felt so tired and out of it that the knock on the door made her jump.
“Um, Ms. Wilson?”
Nikki half turned. “Yes, Sarah. What does he want now?” she groaned.
“Um, nothing. It’s about Brooke. I think your father has upset her somehow.”
Nikki tried hard not to show much concern. “Oh really? Well I’m sure Ms. Davies can handle herself,” she replied turning her back on her father’s secretary.
Sarah walked up to and stood next to Nikki, “She left the office in tears. I think she is still in the ladies’ room.” Nikki faced Sarah and nodded her head.
Nikki entered the bathroom. Only one stall was occupied.
“Brooke, come out please. I want to talk to you,” she intoned.
Her request was met with silence.
“Brooke, I am not leaving until you do.”
The stall opened and Brooke came out, her face stained with tears and running makeup.
Nikki’s stomach jumped at the sight and her anger started to build. “What did HE say?”
Brooke wiped her eyes but still said nothing.
“Brooke?” Nikki’s tone got stern but it just caused her girlfriend to break into tears again. Nikki walked over and pulled her into her arms.
Brooke tried to push Nikki away, “Nikki, no,” but was ignored.
“I don’t care. Please, tell me what he said…” Nikki said, turning Brooke’s face over to look into her eyes.
“He told me that the only reason that he hired me was for my looks. He said that clients would prefer to have a pretty girl tending them, rather than look at the facts and figures on a contract. He congratulated me on serving my purpose well.”
“That’s just…bullshit,” Nikki spat, shaking with rage.
“No, it’s not. You know the only reason we got the architecture contract was because I flirted with those men. How cheap does that make me, Nikki? Nobody will ever take me seriously…”
“I do…” Nikki said and pushed Brooke’s hair back behind her ears. “Believe me, my father is the last person you should be listening to.”
“He said one other thing. He said that your infatuation with me is only short term, and that it is the only reason I have been treated so well.”
Nikki was shocked at the last bit. “He knows…” she hissed.
“Is it just that Nikki? Am I just an infatuation?”
“No…” Nikki said in a hushed whisper.
Brooke pushed away and looked at her. “I need to know if you really do feel something for me or if I am just an office fling.”
Nikki saw that Brooke was on the edge of breaking down again. “No…god…Brooke I don’t know how to prove any further how I feel about you. He had no right to say that…” she said. Angered, she turned and stormed out of the washroom to confront her father.
Brooke burst into tears again.
James was in his office on a call when Nikki unceremoniously burst in. She slammed the door to get his attention. James waved for his daughter to stop, but she leaned over the desk and pressed down the receiver. James slammed the phone down.
“How dare you…” he began, but was cut off.
“Shut up,” Nikki yelled and thumped her father’s desk. “If you wanna have a go at me fine, I am used to verbal abuse from my own father, but so help me, if you ever go after Brooke again…”
“Okay, calm down Nicole,” soothed her Father.
“Don’t you tell me to calm down. You are nothing but a bully. You have no right to be telling her things like you hired her for her looks.”
“Well it’s true. I was only being honest. I know that a pretty face would help win us accounts, and Brooke had what we needed.”
“You callous bastard!” she shouted.
“Nicole, you are taking this way too personally. I wonder why…” he implied with a subtle smirk.
“You can go to hell!” she replied.
“Nicole, I am not blind nor am I stupid. You can’t keep up this charade with Brooke and not expect anyone to notice. It is all over the company. This is not the sort of image I had in mind for Wilson’s Advertising.”
“Take the “company image,” she said mockingly, “and shove it. I don’t care. My relationship with Brooke is none of your business.” She stood, waiting for her father to explode, but he instead backed off.
“Nicole…Brooke is deceiving you. Whatever you think she feels for you is a lie. I have come across many, many women just like her. They are only ever out for what they can get, and believe me, your Ms. Davies is no different.”
“You don’t know anything about it,” she said, pacing her father’s office.
“I know she’s taking you for a ride. I’m doing what’s best for you. I am your father, Nicole; I have your best interests at heart. Look, you are all emotional. Take some time off and we can discuss this later,” he added, trying to sound sensible.
Nikki narrowed her eyes. “You keep out of my personal life, James, or so help me I will bounce you out of this company!” she finished, and then stormed out.
James watched his only daughter leave and then shook his head. “There just is no reasoning with her,” he said, cursing to himself.
That night Nikki carefully rolled Brooke off her and left the bedroom. She couldn’t sleep; she had too much running through her head. What her father said about Brooke playing her. She sat down on the couch and shook her head. It was just another way of trying to get to her, trying to take control.
“Hey, what’s the problem, you can’t sleep?” a hand ran through Nikki’s hair and kissed the top of her head. Brooke sat next to her on the couch. “Nikki, are we okay? You haven’t said much about what happened.”
Nikki held Brooke’s hand. “Dad was out of line. I did what needed to be done.”
Brooke leaned in, and said through her yawning, “You amaze me. You won’t stand up for yourself, yet you defend me. I just can’t work you out sometimes.”
Nikki smiled. “I told him to stay out of our personal lives as well.”
Brooke sat back. “So, I guess he knows everything then…”
“Yeah. I told him to stay out of our relationship. That it was none of his business.”
Brooke kissed her tenderly. “Even if that was a bit insane, I am proud of you. How did he take it?”
“Surprisingly well… I think too well. Brooke is there anything I need to know about you?”
“About what…?” Brooke asked, confused by Nikki’s question. “What do you want to know?”
“Dad said that you were deceiving me on something but wouldn’t say. He said that you hadn’t been completely honest.”
Brooke sat quietly back and absorbed the information.
“Brooke, whatever it is I would rather hear it from you than my father. Don’t give him the pleasure, sweetheart,” she said, squeezing her hands.
Brooke got up and walked a little away, her stomach tightening. Nikki, alarmed by Brooke’s reaction, went after her.
“Brooke, please, what is it?” Nikki’s voice pleaded.
Brooke turned back in tears. “Nikki, please don’t be angry with me…”
The words alone made Nikki fear the worst.
“Nikki, I just wanted the job so badly. I knew you would never hire me if you knew how poor my grades were.”
Nikki shook her head. “What are you talking about?” her voice growing with suspicion.
“I lied on my CV. I wasn’t at the top of my class. I didn’t even finish in the top twenty. Look, I knew I could do the job; I just wanted you to give me a chance. That is why I deceived you on my application…”
Nikki looked sternly at Brooke. “My father hired you without checking out your references… Well go figure. The old man really has slipped,” she spat sarcastically. Then she said only to herself, “I don’t think it was the references he cared about.”
Brooke could feel everything slipping away.
“So I guess us is another lie then? Just a way of getting up the corporate ladder, then?” Nikki was furious at the thought of being taken advantage of by someone she cared for.
“No, Nikki. It’s not like that. I never used you. My feelings for you are genuine. I want to be successful but not at your expense. Nikki, please believe me, this has been such a hard day. You mean so much to me…”
Nikki just paced, her fists clenching. Brooke could see the signs pointed towards an explosion. “I knew it… I am such an idiot to ever believe this…” she yelled.
“No, Nikki, just listen to me. I lied about my references, but I never lied about loving you.”
Nikki looked at her in disbelief. “You never said that you loved me…”
“I just did… and I knew I should have told you but I was afraid that you wouldn’t want me anymore…”
“Brooke, do you think I am that shallow?”
Brooke looked away ashamed. “Would you have fallen for me if you knew?”
Nikki opened her mouth, and then closed it. She collapsed on the couch. She didn’t have an answer.
Brooke sat next to Nikki, “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t change the way I feel about you one bit. But…if you feel this is too much, tell me now and I am out of your life Nikki. I don’t want to hurt you anymore than I already have,” she went to stand but Nikki pulled her back.
“Don’t go…it doesn’t matter. Do you really mean it, that you love me?”
Brooke grabbed Nikki’s hand. “With all my heart. As soon as you can accept that we can move on,” she smiled.
Nikki smiled and nodded and they kissed passionately.
“What about your father? He is not going to be too impressed by this,” said Brooke.
Nikki kissed down Brooke’s neck, wanting more reassurance from her body. “Don’t you worry about my father…” and they returned to the bedroom.