The Board – Part 8
Aidan exited the elevators on the executive floor near the boardroom, sipping the rest of his soda from lunch as he headed to his office. He noticed Richard’s office door was cracked slightly, allowing him a clear view of the man’s desk. Richard sat behind his laptop and sitting on his desk very close to him was Cassidy. Her crossed legs rested against his right arm. Aidan paused slightly, taking in the scene, and just as Richard reached to caress her leg, he noticed Aidan watching them. Aidan quickly averted his eyes and headed toward his own office.
Resting his back against the closed door, Aidan tried to calm his heartbeat. Catching Richard and Cassidy in such a familiar position could be a problem for him. There was a “no fraternizing” rule and they were clearly breaking it. But both of them were long-time board members. It would be Aidan’s job on the chopping block, and maybe his life, if he said anything at all.
Once his breathing had slowed, Aidan walked toward his desk and tried to resume his work on the laptop in front of him. He was a few keystrokes into trying to uncover the sender of the email when was a knock at the door.
“Come in,” he said, trying to sound as calm and casual as he could.
Richard opened the door, exuding authority as he stepped into the room.
“Richard…hi. What can I do for you?”
Richard responded while closing the door behind him, “How’s everything going for you here, Aidan?”
Aidan shrugged, “Good, so far.”
“Any leads on that suspicious email?”
“Not yet,” Aidan replied truthfully. “Just got back from lunch so I’m going to work on that this afternoon.”
Aiden felt uncomfortable as an awkward silence enveloped the room. Richard stared at him, his clear blue eyes seeing deep into the younger man’s soul.
“So how’s Legal today?” Aidan asked, trying to break the tension and Richard’s penetrating gaze.
“Cassidy and I have been here for many years, Aidan,” Richard began. “I know you are new and you think you saw something questionable…”
“I didn’t see anything.”
“I don’t want to hear that you went to Horatio and said you saw us,” Richard warned.
“Richard, I saw nothing.”
Richard nodded and walked out, not without giving Aidan a threatening look before closing his office door. Aidan let out the breath he’d been holding and shook his head as if unloading the tension Richard’s presence had caused.
Calmer, he began working on the email situation. Toggling from screen to screen, typing in code and after code, Aidan used every resource he knew that could help him identify the source of the supposedly angelic message. A few more minutes of clicks and he knew he found it.
“I got it,” he said to himself. “Shit.”
Aidan knew his discovery was going to be a problem, especially after seeing Richard and Cassidy in such a compromising position. He was making waves already and waves here could mean death. Knocking on Horatio’s door, he did his best to stay calm before delivering the news.
Horatio’s office was the most ornate and old-fashioned of any he’d seen so far. Carvings and ancient symbols adorned everything. There were stacks of books and statues everywhere, and on the wall, just like in the other board member offices, the painting from his circle of Hell from Inferno was on display. For Horatio, it was the seventh circle, but it was the painting opposite that caught Aidan’s eye. It was a grotesque depiction of what could be Horatio but might be a demon, and it took Aidan a minute to get his bearings.
“Are you ok, Aidan?” Horatio asked, noticing the younger man looking at the image.
“Um…yeah…um, the email. I tracked it.”
“And it’s internal.”