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Chapter 64: The Seduction Begins

Jeannie could tell the interviews were going well.  She had been scheduled for 20 minutes with five different attorneys, plus a tour of Titan's offices, but each meeting had run long.  She found that she had plenty to discuss with each attorney and the thoroughness of her research into the staff had provided plenty of opportunities to let the attorneys talk about themselves.  That was always a good thing in interviews. 

It was already mid-afternoon when she began the tour of the building.  It was quite impressive and she took pains to admire the art on display.  All those boring trips to art museums around the world over the years gave her some frame of reference for the discussion, which seemed to impress the woman giving the tour.  She was just making a comment about a Vermeer when they were interrupted.

"I presume this is the young lady that I've been hearing so much about."

She turned from the painting to see an elderly gentleman in a custom-tailored suit.  He had silver, thinning hair that framed a face dominated by his square jaw.  She recognized him from photos, of course.  After all, he was one of the richest men in the world.  But the photos lied about one thing.  They did not even begin to capture his size.  Compared to Jeannie, he was a giant with broad shoulders and the build of a football player.  For a moment, she was intimidated, but quickly gathered herself.

"Yes, Mr. Kiriakis," said Jeannie's tour guide.  "Allow me to introduce you.  Jeannie Donovan, this is--"

"Of course, I know who Mr. Kiriakis is," Jeannie said, holding out her hand.  "Sir, it's an honor to meet you."

"An honor?" he said, in a tone tinged with amusement.  "That is a somewhat rare greeting I must say.  I'm charmed."  He took her hand and shook it.  She noted the strength of his handshake.  "So how have you enjoyed your visit to our offices?"

Jeannie had prepared for that question.  "It's been fantastic," she said in her most eager sounding voice.  "I've been extraordinarily impressed with the legal department and have already learned a tremendous amount just from speaking with your attorneys."

"Well I hope you learn a lot more this summer," he said.

She paused.  "I guess that depends a bit on whether you hire me."

"Straight and to the point.  I like that."  Victor smiled.  "Based on the glowing reviews I've already heard, that is a mere formality at this point.  If you want the job, it's yours."

That was something for which Jeannie had not prepared.  She was silent for a moment as it registered.  She had the job.  She actually had the job.  "Thank you," Jeannie said, unable to contain her excitement.   "Really.  Thank you so much.  I just never expected that you--"

"That I would deliver the news," Victor said.  "Titan is my domain, Miss Donovan.  I participate in all hiring decisions, even for summer interns, though, of course, you are not really an intern.  My understanding is that the salary is commensurate with summer jobs at the most prestigious New York law firms.  After all, we only want to hire the best."

Jeannie was stunned.  The big firms paid $6,000 per week, and that was for people who had to rent apartments in New York City.  In a place like Salem, that money would go a lot farther.  "Thank you, Mr. Kiriakis.  You have no idea how much this offer means to me."

"I think I do, but you're welcome."  He took a quick glance at his watch.

"I'm sorry," Jeannie said.  "I must be keeping you from something important."

"Actually, not at all.  What I was thinking is that this day deserves a celebration."  He smiled at her.  "Would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner tonight?  We can hold the plane and still have you back in New Haven tonight."

Dinner?  Dinner with one of the most important men in the country?  If she returned to school having had dinner with Victor Kiriakis, that would blow the minds of most of her classmates.  "Absolutely," she blurted out.  "I'd be honored."

He chuckled again.  "Another 'honored.'"  Well, it is currently 3:30 p.m.  I assume you probably would like to see your grandmother while you're here so why don't I have a car take you to see her and then we can meet at the restaurant at 6:30 p.m.  I normally dine later, but this way we can have dinner and return you to New Haven at decent hour."

Jeannie thought that through.  It sounded like a plan, but then something dawned on her.  "Excuse me, sir, but how did you know my grandmother was in Salem?"

"I'm sorry," Victor said.  "Were you unaware that I am an old friend of the Brady family?  I've known your grandparents for most of our lives, and I also knew your father and mother when they lived in Salem.  Indeed, I was quite close with your mother . . . at one point."

Now Jeannie was surprised.  It amazed her that her parents had known someone as rich and powerful as Victor Kiriakis and had never mentioned it.  Then she became a little nervous.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

She took a deep breath.  "Well, actually, nobody in my family knows that I'm interviewing for this job.  I wanted to keep it as a surprise from my mother and I figured if anyone in the family saw me in Salem, they would tell her."

"Because of her illness?"  Jeannie looked down to avoid showing her surprise that he could read her so well.  He obviously took that as confirmation of his question, but just nodded and spoke in a voice filled with understanding.  "I'm well aware of your mother's condition and your desire to keep this interview from her makes sense.  I suspect that you're probably not sure about whether you can take the job, and don't worry about that.  I always believe in putting family first."  He paused.  "Very well.  If you would prefer to remain here, feel free to enjoy the gardens or our library.  We can reconvene here at 6 p.m.  And I will make sure that any restaurant we go to is Brady-free."

Jeannie tried to get her mouth to work.  It took a minute before she managed an effusive and grateful "Thank you" and "That sounds wonderful."  As he took his leave, Jeannie wondered if there possibly could be another man in the world as impressive as Victor Kiriakis, yet who also could be so kind and understanding.  Jeannie also thought that it was amazingly lucky that she would have the entire summer in Salem to work for him.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Nov. 29th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie. Walking into the lion's den like a lamb to slaughter (yes, I know I'm mixing my metaphors - it works for this situation :) )

E
jwsel
Nov. 29th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
I don't mind the mixed metaphors. Victor definitely knows how to play Jeannie and will use that to his full advantage.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )