Home Is Where The Heart Is: Part 10

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Here is the next part of Seanna's story, I hope you all like it.

**********

Seanna and Thaddeus left the courtroom shortly after the Judge adjourned the case. It was annoying that there would be another delay before the case started to actually be heard, but they had been expecting Brandenburg to walk out once he discovered what had happened.

The seven Ramsays sitting behind the defence table were stunned; they had thought that they would have a high-powered attorney working with them, and they had watched him walk out of the courtroom several minutes before, leaving them in the same position they had been in after they were initially arrested, that position being that they would have to depend on a county provided defender.

Then they had heard the Judge giving a description of the possible sentences and the extreme likelihood of convictions on almost all of the counts, maybe even the conspiracy ones, and the colour drained from their faces as they realized that they might never be free again.

The guards collected the seven Ramsays, taking them back down to the cells and split them, scattering them among the dozen or so smaller cells in the courthouse basement level. Once they were all secured in the cells, the guards wandered off to wait for transport orders.

**********

Seanna and Thaddeus returned to the office. Seanna was soon chin deep in paperwork, many of the higher VPs were sending her info on their specific duties and the various subdepartments they led, but the info was helping her to learn about the company and how it worked. Seanna was so busy reading through reports that she didn't even realize she had missed lunch until her secretary came in just before 2 PM.

"Miss Ramsay," she asked as she peered over the pile of paperwork on Seanna's desk, "It's nearly 2 PM, have you had lunch?"

Seanna blinked, then looked up. "Hmmm... no, I haven't, would you get me a chicken salad from the cafe, please?" Seanna placed the report she had been reading on a small clear space on the desk, looked around for a moment, then leaned back, at which point she felt the strap of the purse hanging over the back of the comfortable executive style office chair through the thin fabric of her blouse. She grabbed the purse, pulled out a small wallet and handed $10 to the secretary, who smiled, took the money and walked out of the office.

Most of Seanna's days were spent going through reports, although there were times when she would be required at meetings or a VP would want to show her around their domain. It wasn't all reports, though, some of her reading was information on the in-building employees. It wasn't quite as good as meeting everyone person to person, but it gave her some idea of the skills and abilities of the employees.

She chuckled, it wasn't like she was going to be able to meet every one of the nearly 1050 secretaries and clerks or the 775 lower level management personnel in the building, and that didn't even include the middle and upper management of the corporation. Nor did it include any of the employees or management based outside of the city itself, or in any of the twelve other states where they had offices. Those offices were much smaller, but necessary to keep each part of the company, wherever it might be, rolling as smoothly as possible.

The secretary returned about fifteen minutes later, carefully placed Seanna's chicken salad and change on the lone clear spot on the desk, then left. Seanna thanked her, then opened her lunch and started eating while continuing to read through the current report. Some of the reports she was reading came from the other offices, although those were mostly financial in nature or related to advertising being done there.

She managed to finish her meal eventually, and lost track of the time again, to the point she was startled when the secretary called to her from the outer office that she was leaving for the day. Seanna looked at her watch, it was 5:20 PM, where did all the time go?

**********

As she did every weekday now, she picked up the girls from the day care center in the building, then headed for home. When she felt up to it, she would make a meal, often something fairly simple, and she and the two girls would usually eat around 6:30 PM.

Tonight, she was running a bit late, so she decided to stop in at a KFC, where she picked up a bucket, some fries and pop.

Once they were home, she had the girls remove their coats, then go and wash their hands. The food was on the table when they returned. Seanna had bought some bibs after Christmas, remembering how well they helped to keep nice clothes clean, and it only took a moment or two before she had the bibs on the two girls, with paper napkins on their laps. Soon the three of them were busy eating.

After they finished eating, she let the girls watch TV for an hour, then sent them to their room to prepare for bed. She checked on them a few minutes later, helped them get their nightgowns on straight, then tucked them in and read a story until they drifted off to sleep.

Perhaps the work was tiring her more than she had thought it would, she herself was in bed by 10:30 PM and asleep within minutes.

**********

The weekends were the time where she was able to be with the children all day, or at least most of it. They would often go to the park, meeting Mark, Kate, Sally and Toby for some fun, or visit one of the museums around the city, or or other activities.

Seanna remembered the first time she took the girls to an outdoor skating area in the city on January 7th, and helped the two little girls into their very first sets of ice skates. The rink had a training program for children on Saturday mornings, and Seanna watched as two teenage girls approached the little ones, then led them out onto the ice. Leilani and Asemba slipped and fell many times, but they were clearly enjoying it.

By the time the hour long session ended, the two girls were just short of exhaustion, but their sheer happiness shone through the fatigue.

As Seanna helped them to take off the rental skates, both girls expressed interest in returning again. She looked at them, smiled, and assured them that they could continue to take lessons on Saturday mornings, maybe even on a weekday afternoon or two.

The two girls cheered and promptly team hugged her, one from each side, then all three of them started giggling.

They were soon in the car, Seanna had decided that she would get them their own skates and headed to a well-known sports store. Upon arriving at the store, Seanna let them out of their seats, locked the car and holding their hands, headed into the store. This was aided by a young male in his mid to late teens holding the door open as they were about to enter, Seanna thanked him and they continued inside.

Leilani and Asemba had no idea what was happening. When Seanna told a clerk she wanted skates for them, the two little girls couldn't believe it; when Seanna made it clear she would get them the skates, they both started squealing with excitement.

It took several minutes to settle them down, then a clerk had them both sit and took measurements, returning a moment later with two boxes. Both girls were four years old, Asemba being two months older than Leilani, but it turned out her feet were a half size smaller.

Ten minutes later, with the skates back in boxes and paid for, they exited the store.

**********

Work returned with the beginning of each new week, and Seanna began to catch up, the pile of paperwork decreasing each day.

One Wednesday morning in mid-January, Seanna received a completely different piece of paperwork, one that made her quite angry. The paperwork in question was a note from a female member of the construction division's lower level management group. The note specified that she was being harassed by a mid-level manager in her department, he was demanding sexual favours and threatening her job.

What made it worse was that this young woman was a fairly recent hire, but a valuable asset to the division, as her bachelor's degree in bookkeeping had her involved in keeping track of the financial side of things for part of that division. That was only one part of it, though, the worst of it all was that this young woman was known to be a lesbian by Seanna and upper management in that division.

The woman didn't run around announcing it to everyone, but the mid-level manager knew and was harassing her anyway. The woman stated in her note that he often waited for her to return to her office after lunch, then would walk in on her uninvited.

Seanna was furious. She wasn't sure how this had come through to her instead of to Adrian Porterhouse, but that didn't matter at the moment. She called Adrian and had him come to her office. When he arrived, she showed him the note, he was just as upset by it as Seanna.

"Adrian, both of them are your workers, so you have first right in dealing with this, but I'm coming along."

Adrian nodded, he had no problem with that. "Lunch is starting now, we should get ours now so we can be ready."

"Sounds good to me," Seanna replied as she picked up her purse and followed him out of the office.

**********

Seanna and Adrian tried to enjoy their lunch, but they were both worried about the young woman. Just as they were about to finish their meals, the young woman in question entered the main floor cafe, Adrian pointed her out and resumed eating.

Adrian and Seanna left the cafe a few minutes later, then headed up to an empty office on the eighth floor near the young woman's to wait and watch. Twenty minutes later, the young woman crossed the reception area, walked down the hall and entered her office.

Less than five minutes later, the mid-level manager, Jeff Marks, shoved her office door open, entered and closed the door. Within seconds, the young woman could be heard by both Seanna and Adrian as she told Mr. Marks to leave.

Seanna and Adrian waited a moment, hoping Marks would leave, but that was not to be. Both then headed down the hall and into the office, where Marks was pushing the young woman, Janice Eaton, down on the top of the desk, his other hand pulling up her skirt at the same time.

This was clearly far beyond harassment or bullying, he was obviously intending to force her to have sex, whether she wanted it or not.

Adrian was horrified, he stepped forward, yanked hard on Marks' shoulder, then shoved him against the side wall of the office. Seanna was no less horrified, but had the presence of mind to pull out her phone and call 911, then ask for the police.

The young woman, Ms. Eaton, slowly pulled herself up and walked around her desk, then sat in the chair, moaning softly to herself.

While Seanna talked to the police, Adrian glared at Marks, "What the hell do you think you're doing, Marks?"

Marks sneered, returning the glare, "Only giving her what every woman needs, what else? It's not like she's important at all, she's a woman."

Seanna had just finished talking with the police, who assured her a unit was on the way. "So, Mr. Marks, it's your opinion that that is all that a woman is good for? You do realize we live in the 21st century now, not the 18th or 19th?"

Marks laughed, "Doesn't matter, women are only good for having babies and keeping a man happy, men do all the real work."

"Really? So the fact that there are two fairly high female VPs in this office building means nothing? And I guess that would include me?"

"I don't know, who the heck do you think you are, lady?"

Adrian snarled, "The lady happens to be the CEO of the corporation, my boss and YOURS, well, not yours any more."

Marks snarled back, "Oh, you mean the tranny shit that had the company handed to her by you wusses?"

Seanna realized it was pointless talking to this idiot, she called the security office on the floor, three guards arrived a minute or two later. Just before they walked into the office, Marks tried to shove Adrian aside and leave, but Adrian stood his ground and knocked Marks down.

When the security officers entered the room, Seanna turned to them, "Clear Mr. Marks' office, he's no longer employed here. The police will be arriving shortly to arrest him for attempted sexual assault, Adrian and I walked in on him as he was trying to strip Ms. Eaton." Seanna then ordered the biggest of the three security guards to keep an eye on Marks, the guard, a 6'4" Native American, was all too happy to comply.

The two other guards left the office, heading to Marks' office to follow Seanna's orders.

Marks wasn't ready to give up just yet, he waited for the big security guard to look away, then tried to kick him between the legs. It might have worked if the angle had been better, but the kick glanced off the guard's inner thigh, narrowly missing his genitalia.

The guard growled, picked Marks up by the throat with one hand and was ready to hit him when Seanna told him to put him down. He dropped Marks on the floor, glared down at him and stated in a menacing voice, "You're lucky, buster, Miss Ramsay just saved your ass."

A knock on the door had Adrian stepping over to open it, letting in two police officers. They were quickly informed of what had happened, the older male Mirandized Marks while the younger one cuffed him, then the two officers lead him out of the office.

Seanna spoke with Ms. Eaton for a moment, "You might want to take some time and talk with a therapist about this."

Janice, still shaking from the recent events, whispered, "I don't have a therapist, Miss."

Seanna thought for a moment, then pulled a business card from her purse, "Call this place, they have several therapists available, including three women who specialize in counselling people who have experienced sexual assault, attempted rape, etc."

Janice Eaton nodded, replying, "Yes, miss, I will. Is it true that you are a transsexual, miss?"

"Post-operative, but yes, I'm also the new CEO here. I won't tolerate anyone abusing people who are LGBTQI, etc."

"Thank you, miss, thank you for being here, he was going to..." Janice started crying, full-throated sobs that tore at Seanna's heart, Seanna leaned down and hugged her. It took several minutes before Janice's tears began to slow, and a few more before they stopped.

"A good cry always helps, now I want you to promise that you will see a therapist as soon as possible."

"I will, Miss, I'll call them right now," she said as she reached to pick up the phone on her desk and began dialling.

Everyone else walked out of the office, letting Janice have some privacy for her phone call.

**********

Seanna was glad they had managed to get in there before Marks had been able to do anything. It was bad enough that he had been bullying and harassing Janice, he clearly thought nothing of taking advantage of a woman simply because he could. Seanna had no idea if he had done anything like this before, but she would send a letter to every employee in the building about what had happened, without naming Janice. In the letter, she would add that if any others had undergone similar experiences, they were to inform their manager, then the police.

Within minutes of returning to her office, she was typing up the letter; when it was done, she called her secretary in, then informed her that she needed a copy of the letter to go to every employee in the building as soon as possible. The secretary took the letter and left the room.

**********

Soon enough, she was back reading through reports and employee files, minus Jeffrey Marks, his had been marked "Fired/Prejudice/Arrest". The notation was obvious, he had been fired with prejudice and arrested due to his actions earlier that day, Seanna hoped he'd rot in jail.

Responses to the letter started coming into her office less than 48 hours after they had been sent out. By the Friday of the following week, seventeen women had come forward, claiming he had harassed, bullied, blackmailed or assaulted them. Reports went to the police.

**********

The days passed one by one, the work taking up most of her time, Leilani and Asemba a fair portion of the remainder. Each Saturday morning, Seanna would take them to the rink for another skating lesson, occasionally donning a pair of skates and joining them on the ice.

As January inched closer to February, Rebecca Chase, one of the teenagers who had been helping to teach the two young girls, approached Seanna while Seanna was enjoying a leisurely skate around the crowded rink in the brisk morning air.

"Hello, miss," she said as Seanna stopped, "Your two little girls are doing quite well, you might consider a figure skating class for them. Even though they've only been skating for a few weeks, they both show a natural grace that could be boosted through figure skating."

Seanna smiled, "That good, huh?"

"Take a look for yourself, miss, they're with my friend Tess who is wearing the gold and red toque."

Seanna turned and looked out across the ice, it didn't take long to spot them, both little girls were skating on their own, unassisted. It seemed that this girl was correct, her two girls were already showing a decent level of skill, figure skating would increase it and add grace.

"I see what you mean, have they been doing that well for the whole session today?"

"They've fallen once or twice, but that's nothing compared to the first time they tried it a few weeks ago."

"All right, then, when would these figure skating classes take place, and what is the cost?"

"They start at 10:45 AM on Saturdays, Miss, the classes last 75 minutes, ending at noon, and the cost is $100 for three months, $185 for six months and $350 for a full year per student. That sounds expensive, but part of the cost helps to keep the community center here open."

"Hmmm... at least you're honest about it, so who do I speak to about it?"

"Just go to the front desk, explain what you want and they'll process it, miss."

"I'll do that, then. Your name, please? I'm Seanna Ramsay, by the way."

"Sorry, miss, I should have introduced myself earlier, I'm Rebecca Chase, my friend who's helping your girls is Tess, Theresa Bownes."

"All right, keep an eye on my girls, I'll go pay for it and should be back soon," Seanna said as she sat on a bench and took off the skates. She put on her winter boots, returned the skates to the older woman running the skate supply area, then headed into the community center.

Seanna walked in, waited a moment by the front desk, then talked to a male who happily processed her request.

**********

Seanna returned to the side of the rink just as the girls finished the hour long first session, it was now 10:30 AM. When the two girls started to take off their skates, Seanna watched, then informed them that they would also be taking figure skating lesson on Saturdays. The first lesson would be starting in about fifteen minutes at the indoor rink on the other side of the community center.

When they had switched to their shoes and picked up their skates, Seanna led them to the other rink, then introduced the two girls to the woman running the figure skating class as they took their shoes off and put the skates on again.

Seanna sat on a bench nearby and watched as the class progressed; the woman had two assistants helping the new students. Seanna noted that there seemed to be a few other girls around the age of her two in the class, perhaps they might make some new friends.

**********

Work continued to consist of reading many reports, although she did seem to be catching up now, recent ones were at most a few days old.

Meetings with upper level management were held every two weeks, Seanna was beginning to recognize some of them. She ran into one of the two higher level female VPs one day while getting lunch, the woman's name was Temperance Bounty, which caused Seanna to giggle.

Temperance started laughing herself when Seanna asked, "Whatever made your parents name you that?"

Temperance replied, "If I knew, I'd tell you. I'd ask them, but long distance calls to Florida can get a wee bit expensive."

The two women chatted as they ate their lunch, then they went their separate ways, back to the daily grind.

**********

The second incident involving an LGBTQI person in the building happened when Seanna was at a meeting on February 10th consisting of a dozen members of the Toys division's marketing and advertising team, including the rising star of the ads team, one Marty Browne.

He had just outlined the initial phase of a strategy to mark the shift to toys oriented around St. Patrick's Day, when Richard Port, an older male sitting down near the other end of the table spoke up. "Why is the flouncing fairy running this whole thing? He's not a team, he's one person."

Seanna turned to him and snapped, "You might want to keep quiet if you still value your job, Mr. Port. This is your only warning."

"But," he spluttered.

"But nothing, Mr. Port. Mr. Browne is the perfect lead for this, you might know that if you knew his record of work here and elsewhere."

Thaddeus chuckled, "Indeed. One of our management people first saw Mr. Browne working a stall by a flea market on a weekend. The young man was chatting up a storm as people walked by, proclaiming this, that and the other, and people would take time to look at his items.

"Our manager wandered into the market, found the couple who rented out the stalls and talked to them. The young man had paid for a stall for a week immediately after he graduated from the university. His patter was good enough that he paid the next week a day early. His sales caused people to stay near the market, checking other stalls, as noted by the greengrocer with a triple stall a short distance away. The greengrocer's sales began to climb whenever the young man was present, but especially on weekends when the crowds came."

Seanna took over, "That manager notified his superior, who passed it up the chain to Thaddeus. When Thaddeus heard about him, he had the manager go to Mr Browne's stall to offer him employment here, this was in mid-August after several visits by our manager.

"Mr. Browne said he would think about it and call back, but before he could, he discovered that his grandmother had passed away. He shut down his stall, informed the couple renting the stalls that he would be back as soon as possible, and left for the trip home.

"He was gone for over two weeks, apparently there was some issue about who would inherit what, and it didn't get settled for quite some time. He finally returned to the flea market the first week of September, and met our manager again that next weekend."

Seanna stopped to gather her breath and Thaddeus continued, "So he told the manager he would think about it; when he saw him again the following Friday, he agreed to become one of our employees and officially joined us on September 12th of last year.

"His record since joining us has been impressive. The quarter ending in September showing $42k higher net profit than in 2015, the quarter ending December 31 shows a net increase in profit of over $190k from the same period in 2015, boosting Toys for that quarter over the $2 million mark net profit for the first time since 2006, and so far this year, we're showing a net profit increase of $110k over the same period last year. If this quarter continues as it has been doing so far, Toys might break through 2.5 million net profit in a quarter for the first time ever."

It was Thaddeus' turn now to catch his breath, and Seanna jumped back in, saying, "A large part of the increases we have been seeing since he was hired five months ago can be attributed to his work on the slogans used for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc."

"Now, Mr. Port," Seanna winced as she had the thought 'dick port' flash through her mind, "We come to you. You were hired seven years ago, you spent just over two years on the eighth floor before being brought up to the ninth and became part of the toys marketing team. You've been on this team for almost five years, yet you have almost nothing to show for your time here. The difference, Mr. Port, is called effort."

Richard Port glowered at Thaddeus and Seanna, but wisely kept silent through the rest of the meeting.

**********

On the following Tuesday, Seanna accepted a call in the office, Melissa informed her they would arrive Thursday afternoon or early evening.



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