“I told you, Tim, it’s over between us,” I said. “She broke things off after we got in trouble. She respects you and Robin and values her job.”
I was growing irritated. How much longer did I have to defend myself? It was one kiss that a nosy co-worker happened to catch. It’s not like we were having sex in the breakroom.
“I know that,” he said. “That’s exactly why I need to talk to you about her. She is a fantastic worker. Everyone raves about her. I don’t remember the last time I heard so many compliments about one person. Everyone gets along with her and thinks she has major potential. With Marnie going on maternity leave, we have a writer hole that we need to fill. Do you think Tiffany would take on a writer role?”
I was flabbergasted. Not only was I not getting in trouble, but Tim wanted to promote Tiffany to a writer – her dream job. She was going to be elated.
“Of course,” I said, trying to stay professional. “She seems like she would be a great writer. I think that would be a good choice on your end.”
Tim smiled, obviously pleased with himself.
“Good,” he said. “I’ve noticed a big change in her recently. She’s much more confident, and that’s translating over to her work. I wouldn’t normally promote someone this soon, but there is something about that girl. I can see why you’re involved with her.”
I wanted to stop and reinforce that we weren’t together, but Tim continued to talk.
“Like I told you earlier, I don’t care what goes on here as long as the work gets done and it gets done well. If you want to continue to date Tiffany, I’m perfectly okay with it. I assume you’re the reason for her change?”
I wasn’t sure what to say. Was this a trap? Was he trying to get me to admit to dating Tiffany? If I admitted it, I would also be admitting to lying about not being with her. I thought I trusted him, but I wasn’t sure. There was still too much on the line to admit to a relationship, plus Tiffany made it very clear that we needed to keep our relationship quiet. I didn’t want to go against her wishes.
“I think she’s just a hard worker,” I responded.
“Whatever it is, keep it up,” Tim said. “I’m assuming she will need to lean on you for guidance during this transition. Obviously, whatever is going on between you two is good for her.”
I nodded, but still did not want to verbally confess that we were dating. As far as I was concerned, Tiffany and I were keeping our work life and our dating life separate.
“Let’s tell her the good news,” Tim said, clicking the intercom button on his phone.
“Hello?” Tiffany’s voice came over the line. She sounded surprised that Tim was calling her. She thought she was in trouble, too.
“Tiffany,” Tim said. “Could you please come to my office?”
“I’ll be right there, sir,” she said, hanging up the phone.
A minute later, she appeared in Tim’s office. She looked great. Her hair was wavy, and she almost had a mermaid vibe going on. She had on a bright blue camisole top that wrapped around her curves. She had paired it with a black cardigan and black pants. She looked professional, but also extremely sexy.
“Hi,” she said, timidly. I could tell that she was nervous.
“Please sit,” Tim said, motioning to the chair next to me. I smiled at her as she sat down. I hoped the smile would put her nerves at ease. She had no idea what great news was coming her way. I wondered how she would react. Her dreams were quickly becoming a reality.
“I’ll cut to the chase,” Tim said. “I’ve noticed a big change in your attitude and work over the past couple of weeks. It’s a great change and I’m not the only one who has noticed. Many of your co-workers have come to me with praise.”
Tiffany’s face began to beam.
“Marnie is leaving on maternity leave and I’m not sure if she will return,” Tim continued. “We need to fill her spot as a writer and I want you to take that role.”
Tiffany’s eyes grew wide. She looked at Tim, then at me, and back at Tim.
“Are you serious?” she asked. “You want me to be a writer here?”
“Would you be up for the job?” he asked.
“Absolutely,” Tiffany responded. Her face showed so much joy. I was beyond happy for her.
“Great,” Tim said. “We will get you transitioned from your fact checking role into a writing role. You’ll get a new office, one next to Cayden’s. He’ll be kind of like a mentor to you during this transition.”
Tiffany turned to me and grinned.
“Sounds good,” she said. “This is so exciting. Thank you so much, Tim.”
“Thank you,” Tim replied. “There is actually one more thing that I would like to discuss with you.”
Was he going to bring up our relationship? I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of his mouth next. We had only discussed Tiffany moving into the writer position, nothing else.
“I have noticed you transform from this shy, quiet, new girl into a woman who is full of confidence and pizazz. I want you to help other women in our company find their confidence. Do you think you could start meeting with women and help to empower them?”
Tiffany let out a laugh.
“Me?” she asked. “You want me to lead a course of empowerment for women?”
“I do,” he said. “You would be great at it. I’m envisioning an hourly meeting with the women, just a general discussion that you could lead. Would you be into that?”
“Sure,” she said. I think she was partly in shock, because she didn’t say anything else. I could tell that she was unsure of leading a group, but I knew that she would do it well. She would quickly become a role model for other women in the office. It was a great idea.
“Congratulations,” I finally said. Tiffany grinned at me.
“Thank you,” she said.
Tim let us go shortly after that. As we walked out of the office, Tiffany turned to me.
“Thank you so much, Cayden,” she said. She was glowing with confidence and happiness. We walked down the hallway to her office.
“It wasn’t me,” I told her. “Tim called me in this morning and he already had everything mapped out. It was all you.”
Tiffany shook her head in disbelief.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said. “Not only am I going to be a writer, but I’m also going to lead the other women in an empowerment course. Who would have thought that I would be helping other women gain confidence? This is crazy.”
We reached her office and Tiffany shared the good news with Nikki. I sensed a bit of jealousy from Nikki, but I think we all knew that Nikki didn’t have the talent that Tiffany did.
“Congratulations again,” I said to Tiffany as I left the office. “If you need anything, you know where to find me.”
I walked to my office with a sense of relief. Tiffany had been promoted and Tim honestly didn’t care if we dated. Sure, Robin still cared, and we would still have to keep it a secret, but at least I’d someone in my corner.
I was so excited for Tiffany. I knew she was upset about the holidays. This promotion had to lift her spirits. I would see if she was available tomorrow night to celebrate her new position and to maybe try a few new positions in the bedroom.
“These cookies are going to be delicious,” Mandy said, rolling out the sugar cookie dough. She had talked me into making Christmas cookies with her. The only reason that I said yes was because I was still floating on cloud nine from yesterday.
I was going to be a writer. People had noticed my drive and work ethic and Tim had promoted me to a writer. Not only that, Cayden was going to be my mentor. I’d to admit, it was a little confusing. First, they told us not to be with each other, and then they teamed us together. It would be fine. We would continue pretending that nothing was going on. We would be professional at work.
“What are you daydreaming about?” Mandy asked. She was now cutting out shapes in the dough.
“I was just thinking about my new position,” I said. “I still can’t believe I was promoted after being there such a short time.”