“The director turned around, during this morning’s conference call, and decided he hated everything about the new campaign. Just like that. So we have to completely overhaul it — start from scratch.” He growled, then turned the growl playful, pretending to bite the twins. They giggled hysterically.
“Is she in her office now?”
We made our way down the corridor and to Naomi’s office, which, unlike in our old building, was a separate room altogether, while the rest of her team worked in the main room at their own cubicles.
Saeed deposited the twins on the floor beside me. “Don’t leave without saying goodbye, all right?” he said before hurrying away, as though terrified to be outside the office when the door opened.
I held in a laugh. Once upon a time, before she’d become my wife, lover or friend, I’d been terrified of Naomi too! For the briefest millisecond that feeling swept over me as I stood outside her office. It was gone in an instant. Because I knew that whatever mood she was in, and however short-tempered she’d been with her staff, that was never a side of her I ever saw — not now, anyway. She wasn’t the Glacier Queen to me or our children.
I knocked, and the twins knocked too.
From within I heard, “I thought I told everyone I didn’t want to be disturbed.”
I knocked again, said nothing. Waited, trembling with anticipation, knowing that she would be furious, and loving the idea of teasing her.
She yanked open the door, ready to let out a barrage of insults to the person wasting her time… then she saw me.
The way the fury dissolved from her face, replaced instantly by joy, was like something I’d never seen before. The smile that took over her face when she looked down and saw her mini-mes, I wanted to photograph and hang on a wall in our living room. This was the reaction I expected; nothing made an infamous Naomi Pierre mood swing disappear like the presence of her family.
“Mama,” came the joyous cheers from the twins, as they charged at her.
“What are you doing here?”
She chuckled, leaned over and planted a passionate, appreciative kiss on my lips, before bending down to kiss the twins on their foreheads. Then she ushered us inside her spacious office, which was far bigger, and even more lavish than her old one in the Sekhmet Building.
I slipped Gabriel’s PJ Masks backpack off my shoulder, unzipped it, pulled out the contents and set them on her desk. “I brought lunch.”
Sandwiches on the bread she liked, prepared fruit, a generous slice of the carrot cake I’d made the day before, and a green smoothie. Everything homemade; everything made with love.
She looked at me with so much affection then, that I felt like I would cry. After nearly four years of marriage, I still wasn’t used to being looked at so lovingly.
She kissed me again. “You are amazing. How did you know I’d skipped lunch?”
I shrugged. “A hunch. I know how you get when you’re stressed.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How did you know I was stressed?”
I shrugged again, realizing I’d said too much.
She laughed. “Saeed? He’s so fired!”
I knew she was joking.