Obsidian Command
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Strictly Business - Part 1

Posted on 27 Sep 2018 @ 4:47am by Civilian Phillip Sharpe

Mission: Character Development
Location: Loki III

It had been yet another long day, as had the last few in fact. Since he'd resigned from Intergalactic Horizon's board, to focus on his own endeavours with the newly started Sharpe Investment Group, which was the new parent company for Sharpe Holdings - he'd been extremely busy. He'd purchased outright a nice office building on Loki, as well as adding several more on key worlds, expanding his already considerable real-estate portfolio.

The twenty-five story glass tower that he'd bought on Loki was modest compared to some of the other buildings in the area, but held its own charm. It had nice extensive grounds around it with carefully manicured gardens for people to walk in and relax, with its own fake river running around it to add ambience and natural tones. At the top of the building was the company logo with "SHARPE" written as a big sign.

Naturally, Phil had an office on the top floor. Or to be more accurate, the top floor was his office. Classified as the President's Executive Floor, it consisted of a massive conference room with extremely plush fixtures and furnishings around a massive Onyx black marble table. His personal secretary had a desk in the main foyer from where both the staircase and the wood panelled lift exited out into, onto a thick lush blue carpet with the company logo on it right before the secretary's desk. Behind her desk were two large floor-to-ceiling doors made of oak, that led into Phil's massive office, which was bigger than some apartments.

Even now, Phil was sat behind his ostentatious teak desk, the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over a Loki night, as the lights came on and the entertainment district kicked into gear. Under normal circumstances, he'd feel guilty about leaving Annie alone, but she'd been back at work herself for a good while now, and the current case she was on had her working pretty late herself. He missed her, but knew better than to smother her. They'd been working pretty hard, but when they could, they would make sure they went home together to work on their other... 'personal project' as frequently as possible.

No matter how many times she rode this same lift it still felt surreal. Her new life, or not so new life, with Phil still continued to surprise her. She never dreamed of ever becoming a part of this type of life and, yet, here she was walking into her husband’s extravagant new office building.

Letting out a yawn that was a result of her 12+ hour work day, she walked through the eerily empty office (Phil’s secretary had gone home to her own family by this point), which seemed much larger and slightly eerie with the lights dim. She felt incredibly out of place in her black leather jacket, black leggings, black boots, and her bun untidy; she felt like she should only be allowed to wear a sleek business suit whenever she set foot in his office. It was silly but she was still fighting minor insecurities that still occasionally popped into her head.

But whenever she saw Phil like he was now when she pushed open his massive office door, her internal struggles melted away. Her eyes crinkled from the smile that widened across her lips as she saw his blue eyes focused and hard at work on his computer. His sleeves were rolled up and his tie loosened from around his neck, giving off a rugged and mellow vibe. She actually caught herself staring in both awe and lust at him. It was a shame they only managed to see each other once or twice a week at best. “Well, Mr. Sharpe, I see you’re still hard at work,” Annie jested as she made her way over and leaned across the desk and rested her elbows on top of it, coming face to face with her equally exhausted husband.

Phil looked up from the report he was reading and came face to face with the angelic yet exhausted face of his beloved wife. He smiled and leaned forward, placing a kiss on her lips. "Mmm... I don't remember my secretary being this forward, or this beautiful." He replied, coyly. "Don't let my wife catch you, she carries a gun." He had no idea how to explain it, but no matter how tired, worn down or miserable he felt - seeing Annie always gave him a lift like being injected with a stimulant. Even with her 'just-left-the-office-after-a-double-shift' look she had most of the time, she still managed to look beautiful to his eyes. Or was it just love being blind? That thought gave him an internal chuckle.

Annie's lips curled up into a mischievous smirk. "Well, I should make this quick then." She slipped in another kiss on his lips before moving around to behind his desk and leaned up against it. She let out a small sigh expecting to be going home alone tonight. She couldn't help but be disappointed at their continuing struggle with fitting in time together between both of their jobs. She had expected to see him around more since he had switched around his businesses and felt a twinge of discomfort when it hadn't happened. But there was another part of her that tried to emphasize the fact that her own work had doubled. Annie couldn't expect Phil to drop everything and fit everything around her schedule. They had to compromise, and their compromise for the moment was they both get to work as much as they had before their marriage. "Made an arrest today, so I talked to Matt and Steve about going into work late tomorrow."

Phil put his report down and rotated his high back leather executive chair so he could look at Annie. He gently rubbed his hand up and down her thigh in a reassuring and intimate gesture as he listened. He loved her in leggings, as it was figure hugging enough to show her legs, but not so much so that it was crass or slutty. "Oh, so you make an arrest and you get time back in lieu?" He asked, smirking. "How much free time have you been awarded for your perp?" He really wanted to hear the details of the arrest, as he knew she'd been working this case for weeks, and had been thrilled when she'd gotten a good lead, but he figured she wanted to talk about the free time she had.

"Flexed, not awarded," Annie grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze. "I can go in whenever I just need to stay later. Since Archie is officially on maternity leave starting tomorrow the office is gonna be in a bit of chaos. She may be a little on the aloof side but she knows how to run a tight ship. Can't make Matt do all of the hard work." She moved her hand up to caress his cheek. "Was hoping I'd get a bit of you tonight but it looks like work has already made a date with you."

Phil gestured to his desk. "The benefit of being the boss is that I can say 'fuck it' and sort it out tomorrow." He grinned. "I honestly thought you'd be busy again tonight, which is why I didn't come home." He reached up and put his hand on hers. "I'm not passing up time with you, not for anything." He said, taking her hand and kissing it softly. "You say you have flexi-time tomorrow? Would you be interested in helping me out with something for work?" He asked as he looked up into her face.

Annie's eyebrows furrowed slightly in curiosity. "Sure. What do you need?"

"I'm having a working lunch with a couple of guys who want Sharpe Investments to invest heavily in their upcoming enterprise." He said. "Normally, I can sense a wrongun a mile-off, but something about these two puts my alarm bells up, but I can't figure out why. All my checks on them come up kosher, but there's that little naggy feeling in the back of my head telling me to veer left from them. Normally, I'd get my in-house investigator to do some work for me on it, but he mysteriously became injured a couple days ago whilst looking into it, and is still recovering in the infirmary."

He looked up at Annie. "I hate to take advantage of you, I really do, but I'd like you to come to the lunch with me. Obstensively, you're there as my wife - and you may prove a distraction for them." He gave her a sly smirk. "But, what I truly value, is your ability to read people and sense their intentions. I'd like you to get a read on them, as to whether my sense of fear is on the money or I'm just getting paranoid."

Annie looked over his face. He had occasionally asked her for help with his work but it was usually fluffed things. Tonight, however, was something far more important, far more serious. He was pulling out the big guns. Literally. This deal must have a lot riding on it for Phil's company. It was also unlike Phil to keep going with something even if he had a continuous nag in the back of his mind. "Tell me about them. What's their business?"

"They're two brothers, Mod and Zog, and they're a start-up business that transports refugees and other transient types safely from worlds where they're unwanted to a special settlement centre that they've created on Loki's Fourth Moon." Phil said, handing Annie a flimsi-pad with the details. "On the surface, it seems like a really good idea. The settlement centre provides medical care, food, and helps these people find new permanent homes, even providing transport to these new places. The success stories coming out of the place are extra-ordinary."

Nodding slowly, Annie glanced over the proposal given the Phil. She had quite a few questions about this so-called 'business' that seemed more like a charity than a profit-machine. She was all for Phil philanthropy; in fact, she had been pushing him more to focus on that type of work. But after hearing Phil's explanation she understood why he seemed a bit wary.

Phil frowned. "I'm just... I get a really bad vibe from the brothers. I'm convinced there's something else going on here. Something far more untoward, but I have no evidence of anything, so I can't go to the FCPD, and even if I did - it'd kill me in the business world. Most people I deal with are slightly shady to some degree, and knowing that I'm a 'white knight' would close doors for me. Something isn't right, whether they're smuggling contraband on these ships - or worse - I can't tell."

"Well, what exactly are they offering you? I mean, are they just looking for a continuous donation? Or are they looking to increase revenues on something that shouldn't even be churning a profit?" Annie handed the pad back over to Phil. "Something like this, where people are being given a second chance... if the clients could afford to pay someone to care for them, they should at least be able to afford to care for themselves. Or am I missing something?"

"It's coming through my charitable outreach program, rather than my business investment route. So I look to provide ongoing funding to programs that are actively helping people or nature, rather than looking at something that's going to provide me a return in investment. Philanthropy at work, eh?" Phil smirked at her. "It only makes up for about three percent of my overall investment work, but its still several hundred million credits available per annum for charitable support. If I'm not careful, some unscrupulous persons could take advantage of this. They're asking for an upfront investment of one hundred million credits, with an ongoing investment of three million credits per month for running fees. It's all in their proposal on that flimsi."

"Right," Annie returned Phil's smirk. She still had a lot to learn about his world. How was she going to be able to help him when half of the battle was sifting through the business lingo? "This obviously means a lot to you. Under normal circumstances, you would tell these men 'No, thank you' the moment you got a bad feeling about something. But the charity itself is what's drawing you to the deal." The question he really wanted Annie to answer was, 'How worthy are these men of my money?' "Are you the first person they've come to for donations?"

"As far as I know, yes." Phil replied. "As stated before, everything seems legit, and the cause is extremely worthy. But its a lot of money, and quite a large part of the outreach program's budget, which is why its come to me to approve. Ergo why I'm having lunch with them tomorrow, so I can see them face to face. They've certainly wooed the pants off my Outreach Program Director. She's very taken with them and their plight. I'm more wooed by the program and what it means to actual people, I think the two brothers are slimeballs who are up to something." He chuckled. "Maybe I'm just put off because they're 'ladies men'."

Annie couldn't help but roll her eyes. She was all too familiar with that type. Most of the time they were harmless playboys but with her luck, they could and would be the far more sinister type. She looked down at his face one more time before giving him a tender kiss. "Which dress should I wear then? I can't expect you to allow me to wear something similar to this."

"Hmm..." He said, pretending to appraise her by looking her up and down with his finger curled under his chin. "Whilst I think you look good in just about anything, you don't need to go total formal attire for this. It's a business lunch though, so I would've thought a smart dress or suit. That black dress you have should be good if you wear the jacket as well. No sense showing them too much skin after all."

Shaking her head slowly, Annie gave Phil yet another kiss on his lips. She was rather fond of his kisses which seemed to put her at ease. "You say they are 'ladies men'... might want to see how they react to your young wife." She gave him a playful wink. "If they're as charitable as they put themselves out to be they behave like perfect little gentlemen." She then moved her arms slowly around his neck and sat herself down on his lap. "I would love to help you out tomorrow. I'd hate to see someone take advantage of your generosity."

"Thank you Annie." He smiled at her as she slid onto his lap. He ran his hand up and down her side. "Since I have you tonight, I'm going to take full advantage of that fact." He purred in her ear, carrying her over to the soft seating area, where a couch bed awaited the married couple. After all, they had work to do for their family!

To be continued...


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