Chapter 6

It had been two weeks since Bryn's confrontation with Jason in the woods, and she still couldn't get his words out of her mind. He believed her. He was going to help her.

Those words were responsible for helping her through an extremely intense and stressful two weeks.

Her insight that her grandfather had made her enemies was true. There were at least four people on the team who acted as if she was an unexperienced intern who was in the office for the sole purpose of being a contract pusher.

She had ten different contractors in her home renovating it before she moved in, and she received calls hourly because none of them could figure out how to work together. Her parents continued to complain to her grandparents that she was destroying their reputation. Her mother had been ignored at the monthly museum women's luncheon. Her father was not invited to a round of golf with his co-workers. Obviously these events were directly in response to her release.

"Bryn, I need you to look over this contract request."

Bryn looked up from the design she was roughing for a potential client and saw one brainless idiots who despised her standing in her door way.

"I'm busy, have someone else look at it," Bryn snapped as she looked away from Claire and back down at her drawing.

"No one else is available."

Sighing, Bryn laid her pencil down on the draft paper, leaned back in her chair and looked at the woman standing in her doorway being a pest.

Claire Montega was not beautiful. She was short, she was shapeless, her hair hung in limp, thin strands, but that's not what made her ugly. The constant sneer on her face; the glare of dark, dark brown eyes; and the constant flare of her overly large nostrils made her ugly. It also didn't help that the woman insisted on wearing floral pant suits in colors that belonged in the seventies, every day of the work week. Today's pant suit was sepia brown with puke green daisies.

"Then it can wait. I'm not going to spend an hour of my time going over a contract that anyone in this office should be able to look at prior to my Grandfather signing off on it. I will not accept signing authority when he is still in this office, so it is pointless coming to me," Bryn told her with a glare.

"Contrary to what everyone believes in this office, I do actually work, and I am actually working on a client's request right now. So unless you have something that is useful to me, please get out of my office and shut the door behind you."

Bryn looked back down at her drawing and held her breath until she heard the door shut.

She pushed away from her draft table and got up to walk over to the large floor to ceiling window that was behind the table.

For three years she dreamed of being out of prison. She dreamed of freedom. Now she had freedom, yet she was watched more carefully now than she ever was while she was in prison khaki. When she was locked up, at least she was considered a type of equal to her peers. Even though most of the inmates figured out that she was innocent within months. On the outside of the bars, she was judged by her "convicted felon" title.

Hearing a knock on her door, Bryn took a deep breath, smoothed down the skirt of her maroon sheath dress and turned. "Come in," she called out.

One of the senior designers walked in with a smile.

Bryn straightened her shoulders. Brandon Templeton was not a person to be trusted. He reminded her of one of the men parents – well most parents – warned girls about when they first started going to bars. He was slimy.

"What can I do for you Brandon?" she sighed and raised a hand to rub her temple. She was starting to get a headache.

"I just came from your Grandfathers office. He told me that I needed to see you about my lines. Apparently you're some kind of expert or something and he wants you to sign off on my drawing," he ground out as he held up a draft tube.

"Roll it out," she said as she waved towards her draft paper.

Brandon walked across the floor to her table. Bryn felt a childish sense of satisfaction when he saw his eyes widen at her design. Everyone had been fighting for the museum account, and she had won it. Not because her Grandfather had given it to her, but because the board had liked her pitch last week. Bryn had developed a fascination with history while she was locked up. She had many ideas for this project.

"So you got the museum, I see," Brandon said as he rolled out his drawing.

"I met with Christopher last week and he requested to see my ideas on paper."

Brandon nodded his head as he backed up and waved to his drawing.

Bryn walked the few steps from the window to the table, her high heels making the only sound in the room as she crossed the wooden floor.

Standing in front of the table, Bryn raised her eyebrow in surprise and crossed her arms over her chest.

This drawing was boring and sloppy. You could see his eraser marks, his lines were uneven where he had to move his line, and the color was rough.

"This is what you're presenting to the client?" She asked for clarification.

"Yes. I have a meeting with Geraldine tomorrow."

"You have to do this over," she told him with a shake of her head. "This is not polished, and it is most definitely not ready to go to the client."

"What are you talking about? I'm not doing this over, I spent the last three days working on this!" Brandon argued, his blue eyes flashing in anger as he took a threatening step in her direction.

Bryn turned her full body towards him and dropped her arms.

"I refuse to let this company allow an employee to show a client something that looks as if someone in their first year of design constructed it. This is crap. It's boring, it's not at all what the client asked for – yes, I read the file, and this is sloppy. You redo it or someone else will be assigned to come up with something doable in the next twelve hours."

"You bitch," Brandon spat as he got in Bryn's face. "You come in here, with the degree you obtained while you were incarcerated for murder, and judge my designs? I am one of the best designers in this place!"

"Get out of my face, now," Bryn growled. He was close enough that the spit that flew out of his mouth as he yelled at her fell on her clothing.

"Or what, you're going to kill me like you did that poor girl four years ago?" he laughed sarcastically.

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I am," Bryn grinned. "You see, going to jail taught me how to be a better killer. How to torture or kill instantly. I've already spent three years of my life in prison. I'm not scared of walking those hallways again, and you? It would be worth it to kill you."

Brandon stepped back from Bryn, and didn't stop until he hit the wall behind him.

"You wouldn't shame your family like that a second time," he tried to reason.

"I've already done it once, there's not much more damage I can do to our name," she shrugged, trying not to laugh at the wide-eyed look she was getting from him. "I'm tired of everyone in this building acting like I'm a stupid little girl who is in this office simply because my Grandfather wants to pass on the business. I'm tired of being bugged with stupid things that are irrelevant. I'm tired of the attitude I'm getting because I didn't work my way up in this business from the bottom."

Bryn paused and smiled as she began to slowly walk towards Brandon. "I am a convicted felon Brandon. I know how to kill with my bare hands. Lucky for me, I'm also extremely intelligent, so I can kill you and find a way to make it look like it was an accident. I hear that you like to drive along the PCH at fast speeds. There are a lot of sharp turns on that highway. One jerk of the wheel could cause you to crash through the barrier and fly into the ocean. No one would ever be able to guess that I was involved in it."

"Except they would, because I just heard your threat," a voice came from the doorway.

Bryn sighed and stepped away from Brandon before turning to look at Jason.

"It was all hypothetical," she told him with a shrug before she looked back at Brandon.

"Either re-do this drawing or quit and I will have someone else work their ass off tonight to complete it. The choice is yours. I'll give you thirty minutes to make up your mind."

Brandon nodded his head as he hurried across the room to the door.

Jason closed the door behind him. "Do I want to know what that was about?" he asked as he walked across the floor so he could stand on the other side of her draft table.

Bryn raised her eyebrows as she took in what he was wearing. He must have had a court date, because he was in a black suit. The light blue shirt under the suit jacket was wrinkle free, and the blue and gray paisley tie was perfectly straight down the opening of the shirt.

"You're not just a parole officer," she noted with a smile. That suit was a Canali, as was the tie. There was no way a parole officer would be willing to part with two thousand dollars just for a suit.

"Yes I am. I just happen to come from a wealthy family. How did you know?" he laughed as he sat down in one of the large arm chairs in the center of the room.

"The suit. I know my lines. Are you okay?"

Bryn walked around the table so she could settle in the chair across from Jason. He looked haggard today. His usually clear blue eyes were clouded with irritation, and his shoulders were pulled back and tense with stress.

"Crappy week. I needed to talk to you about Amber. I know that this probably isn't the best place so I wanted to see when you were heading home."

Bryn leaned back in her chair and stared at him. He was keeping true to his word that he was going to help her. She was ashamed at the sting of tears she felt.

"I planned on heading over to my house tonight. The renovations I requested are nearly done so I want to start unpacking some stuff where I can. I should be there around six or so."

Jason nodded his head in response and dragged a large, tanned hand through his already disarrayed hair.

Bryn's eyes were drawn to his biceps, which were perfectly showcased in his suit as he raised his arm. He was a beautiful specimen of a man.

Different previous life, different future circumstance, and he would have been mine, she thought sadly. She was under no impression that Jason and she would ever have a chance. They were on opposite sides of the legal system. Even if her name was cleared, it would always smear his through the mud.

"Okay, I'll plan on meeting you there around six thirty then," he nodded as he pushed himself out of the chair.

Bryn quickly looked up so that she wasn't staring at the impressive bulge in his trousers. "Okay."

"And Bryn? Don't threaten anyone once. I would hate to have to bring you in for something as careless as that," he said with a wink.

Bryn laughed and nodded her head. "Bad week, and he's an ass. Bad combination. I'll do my best."

"Make sure that you do," he smiled as he walked towards the door. "And I'll see you later."

"Bye," she called out as he opened the door.

He has a pretty fine ass as well, she sighed as he closed the door behind him.

**Authors Note**

I've re-written this chapter three times now; I'm still not sure if I'm happy with it. Sigh. I'm posting it because I have bits of the next chapter nearly done and some items in this chapter are relevant to it. When I edit, I may delete most of it.

What do you guys think?