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The Salaryman's Revenge

2

Chapter Two- A Tangled Web

18

Ronan Adams watched Vivian Blackwood and her entourage leave Belleview Mall. The shopping expedition had been nothing short of exhausting, filled with Vivian’s endless demands and the unsettling presence of Paul.

 

Vivian’s laughter echoed in the underground parking lot, a sound that felt out of place amid the sterile concrete and dim lighting.

 

The Blackwood convoy — two gleaming black SUVs — stood ready, their engines idling.

 

Kim opened the rear door of the lead vehicle for Vivian.

 

“Thank you, Paul,” she said

 

Her voice was dripping with a charm that Ronan had never seen her use with anyone else. She slid into the car, and Paul closed the door behind her.

 

Ronan turned to head to his own car. He heard a low murmur of conversation.

 

He paused and glanced back, noticing that Paul was now talking quietly with one of the security guards. Their conversation was intense, their expressions serious.

 

He strained to catch their words over the hum of engines.

 

“...meet at the docks at midnight. Make sure everything is set up by then.”

 

The guard nodded again. “Understood. No mistakes.”

 

The docks at midnight?

 

Before he could gather more information, the guard noticed him. Ronan quickly looked away as he waited for the guard to do the same. After a tense few moments, the conversation ended.

 

Ronan waited until the guard had left before making his way to his own car.

 

Then, his phone buzzed. It was a message from Helena Pierce:

 

Mr. Adams, we need to discuss a matter of utmost importance. Meet me at the Belleview Hotel at 11 PM. Discretion is crucial.

 

---

 

The Belleview Hotel stood like a beacon in the night with its grand facade. Ronan arrived just before 11 PM. He spotted Helena waiting near the elevators.

 

“Mr. Adams, follow me.”

 

She led him to a private elevator, and they ascended in silence. As they reached the top floor, Helena turned to him.

 

“We don’t have much time. What you’re about to hear is sensitive. I need you to keep an open mind and act carefully.”

 

Ronan nodded. Helena’s words only confirmed his suspicion that he was about to find out the secrets that surrounded Barrington Corp.

 

They entered a luxurious suite, where a man stood by the window, looking out over the city.

 

He turned as they approached, and Ronan recognized him immediately.

 

It was Thomas Barrington, the CEO of Barrington Corp.

 

“Mr. Adams,” Barrington said. “We need to talk. Take a seat.”

 

Thomas Barrington’s gaze was as sharp as a hawk’s as he motioned for Ronan to take a seat. Helena remained standing by the door.

 

“Mr. Adams,” Barrington began “you’ve been digging into matters that concern my company. Normally, I would have your access revoked and security escort you off the premises. But I need you to understand the stakes here.”

 

Ronan felt a chill run down his spine. “I’m just doing my job, Mr. Barrington. I need to understand what’s going on.”

 

Barrington nodded slowly.

 

“I appreciate your diligence. But there are forces at play that you cannot begin to comprehend. Barrington Corp. is not just a company; it’s an entity entwined with powerful interests, both legitimate and otherwise.”

 

Ronan’s mind raced as he processed Barrington’s words. He had suspected that the company was involved in illegal activities, but hearing it confirmed by the CEO himself was something else entirely.

 

“We have operations that span the globe, and we deal with entities that operate outside the law. What you’ve uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There are deeper secrets that, if exposed, could bring down not just this company, but entire governments.”

 

Ronan swallowed hard. He had always known that Barrington Corp. was more than it appeared, but he had never imagined the extent of its influence.

 

Barrington leaned forward.

 

“You have a choice to make, Mr. Adams. You can walk away now and forget everything you’ve learned. Or you can stay, and I’ll ensure you have access to the information you need. But know this: once you’re in, there’s no turning back.”

 

Ronan felt a surge of adrenaline as he considered Barrington’s ultimatum. Walking away would mean abandoning his future, but staying would put him in grave danger. He took a deep breath, his decision clear in his mind.

 

“I’m not walking away, I want to know everything.”

 

Barrington’s lips curved into a faint smile.

 

____

 

The rain came down in a steady drizzle as Ronan Adams pulled into the underground parking garage of Blackwood Holdings.

 

Ronan knew his life was about to change in ways he couldn’t yet fathom.

 

As he turned off the ignition and stepped out of his car, he noticed the gleam of headlights cutting through the darkness.

 

A sleek, black sedan rolled to a stop a few spaces away, its windows tinted to conceal its occupants.

 

Ronan watched as the door opened and a figure emerged — it was Helena Pierce.

“Mr. Adams,” Helena called out. “We need to talk. Now.”

 

Ronan walked over, his shoes echoing on the damp concrete. “Helena, I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

 

“Plans change,” she replied. “Get in. We don’t have much time.”

 

Ronan hesitated for a moment before complying.

 

He slid into the passenger seat. Helena joined him, closing the door with a quiet click. She turned to him.

 

“You’re in deeper than you realize,” she began. “Thomas told you some of the truth, but there’s more. Much more.”

 

Ronan nodded.

 

“Barrington Corp. isn’t just a corporation. It’s a network — a nexus for political power, organized crime, and global influence. They pull strings in ways you can’t imagine, and they’ll do anything to protect their interests.”

 

“So why tell me this? Why now?”

 

“Because you’re in a unique position. You have access to information that even Thomas doesn’t know about. And we need someone on the inside to help bring them down.”

 

“Who’s ‘we’?” he asked.

 

“Let’s just say there are others who want to see Barrington Corp. fall. People who’ve been hurt by them, who’ve lost everything because of their machinations. We can’t do it alone, but with your help, we stand a chance.”

 

Ronan leaned back in his seat.

 

“What do you need me to do?” he asked.

 

“First, you need to keep doing what you’re doing. Dig into Barrington’s finances, find the connections, the hidden accounts. And most importantly, stay close to Thomas. He trusts you, and that makes you invaluable.”

 

“Understood,” he said. “But I have a question. Why me? Why not someone with more experience, someone who’s been in this game longer?”

 

Helena’s expression softened, and for a moment, Ronan saw a flicker of something like empathy in her eyes.

 

“Because you’re different, Ronan. You’re not just another corporate drone. You have a conscience, a sense of justice. And that’s exactly what we need.”

 

Before Ronan could respond, his phone buzzed. He glanced at the screen and saw a new message from Maxi, the company’s fixer:

 

Meet me at the docks at midnight. No mistakes.

 

“I have to go. I have a meeting.”

 

---

 

Ronan stepped out of the car and made his way towards the rendezvous point.

 

A figure emerged from the shadows, cloaked in the dim light of a nearby streetlamp. It was Maxi. His face as inscrutable as ever.

 

“Ronan. We have a situation. And it needs to be handled carefully.”

 

“What’s going on?”

 

Maxi handed him a file.

 

“Inside, you’ll find everything you need to know. Financial records, hidden transactions, names, dates. It’s all there. But be warned, this is dangerous information. If it gets out, it could bring down more than just Barrington Corp.”

 

“Why give this to me? “Why not handle it yourself?”

 

“Because you’re the only one we can trust. You’re in the eye of the storm, Ronan. And we need you to stay there.”

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