Authors: Anita Claire
The Princess of Silicon Valley – Book 3
Be With Me in Silicon Valley
The Juliette Trilogy
Be With Me in Silicon Valley
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination, or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Editing by Lis
Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.,
Text copyright © Anita Claire 2014, All rights reserved
When I get home from work, Cassie’s watching
Keeping up with the Kardashians
. I’m convinced she thinks this show is how normal people behave as opposed to it being a window into depravity.
“Hey, girlfriend. I haven’t seen you since you took off to help your mom.” I say as I plop myself down on the couch.
She smiles. “Last minute, Luke decided to fly me to his game. I had so much fun hanging out with the wives and girlfriends.”
“The guys at work said he was injured.”
She rolls her eyes, “He looks like road kill after every game. I figure if he can still get it up he can’t be too bad.”
Laughing at that imagery, I say, “The next time the guys ask me how Luke is, I’ll tell them he’s fine since he can still get it up.”
Cassie raises her eyebrows. “Do they really ask you about Luke?”
I shrug my shoulders. “It must be fantasy football or something. I just tell them, you hang at his place, and we never talk about football.”
“I think this is the closest we’ve ever come to talking about football.”
“I think this conversation is more about sex.”
Cassie nods in agreement. “So, more about sex…?” She gives me one of her sexy looks. “Did you get some with your hot man from the other night?”
Giving her a pouty face, I confess, “He took off to a family Thanksgiving in LA. I’ve only received a couple of texts since.”
“He sure was into you last Wednesday. I hope there isn’t a girlfriend back in LA.”
My breathing catches. I never thought about that. Now my paranoia has skyrocketed. Watching about ten minutes of the show, I don’t register any of what’s going on, or maybe not much has gone on. I don’t know.
As I get up to head to bed, I tell Cassie, “On Saturday night, your hook up, Damien was hanging around in front waiting for you. He really freaked me out. I was out on a date and I thought he was spying on me.”
Cassie looks nonplused. “I guess he was just hoping to get some more of this.”
“Cassie, this isn’t funny. Stalkers are creepy guys.”
She looks annoyed, “Yeah, he was blowing up my phone. I’ll tell him it was a one-time event.”
“If he keeps blowing up your phone or if you see him following you, call the police.” I tell her as I head off to bed.
I’m almost to my room when she calls out. “Hey, wait a minute. If Wednesday night’s guy was in LA, who’d you go on a date with on Saturday?”
I just start laughing as I call back, “You’re not the only one with a busy social life.”
In the morning after swimming, Zach is waiting for me by the gate. My breath hitches as I smile. I hope my voice sounds casual as I ask, “Hey, how was Thanksgiving with the family?”
He shrugs then shakes his head.
“What’s up?” I say as we start walking towards the parking lot. “Your last e-mail was rather cryptic. Is your project still a mess?”
He shakes his head again. “Juliette, shit, my project blew up. They have me flying to London in a couple of hours.” He sighs, “I have no idea when I’ll be back.”
“Oh, that sucks.”
He nods, “I…last Wednesday was fun.”
I smile, “Yeah, even if my roommate did interrupt us. Again.”
We reach his car, he leans against it, then smiles, “Yeah, she does have amazing timing.”
“Hey, keep me posted. Can you send texts? Do you have my e-mail?”
He nods, and frowns, “Yeah,” then he shrugs. “We’ll get together when I get back.” His dimple lights up as he gives me a sexy smile, “We’ll make sure your roommate doesn’t interrupt.”
I nod, then wonder if I should do something else. Finally, he bends over and gives me a light kiss on my lips. “I’ll keep you posted.”
“Have a good flight.”
At my desk, after responding to Nate’s flirty text, I check my e-mail. My boss, Roger, is getting in late and wants me to attend his eight a.m. meeting that Flint, our company’s founder runs. Showing up on time I get to watch Flint race in late. He’s followed by Terri, the blond who works for my VP, Sid. She seems intent on talking to him. Without stopping to take a breath, he brushes Terri off and starts the meeting.
Roger has been tasked to attend this meeting so he can give our sales team status on the nasty bug I’ve been working on. When Flint finally gets to me, his lip curls up in a bit of a smile. I can tell Roger and Mark have already filled him in.
Smiling I say, “We found the offending code, we’ve architected a fix. It should be out of the release group in the next few days.”
The sales guys are quiet, except for this really mouthy one. “Really?” He skeptically says. “I can call my customers and tell them that it’s done?”
Smiling I respond, “Once the release group updates our production servers you can.” There’s a real sense of satisfaction in making this pronouncement. Flint gives me no time to gloat as he continues with the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, Flint has a crowd of people hovering around him. As he’s about to leave, he looks directly at me and says, “Juliette, walk with me.”
Feeling my heart hit my feet from nerves, I quickly gather my things. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Terri giving me the hairy eyeball. As I try to remind myself to breathe, I think, why is she unhappy? All I can come up with is, at a meeting a couple of weeks ago she repeated my request to look again at the re-entrant library calls so we could find the problem. Maybe she thinks I should be thanking her for finding the solution? I’ll talk to Mark later so I can ask him about the proper work etiquette on situations like this. The last thing I need to create is an enemy.
Hustling, I meet up with Flint at the door. He’s a fast walker, I find myself trotting to keep up. Flint brushes off some guy with a, “not now, catch me later.” Then he sets his sights on me. “How’d you figure it out?”
Shit, I never thought of this. My dad is the one who figured it out. But how does an adult tell their upper management that they went to their dad for an answer? About all I can do is deflect by blurting out, “Terri brought it up in the last meeting.”
Flint abruptly stops, causing me to overshoot; he grabs my arm to steady me as I start to trip. Internally, I cringe. I must look like a klutz; soon he’ll think I’m immature or even worse—a traitor. Dropping his arm from mine, he puts his hand on his hip as he glares down. “Terri doesn’t know the difference between a kernel and a library. There’s no way she came up with that. When I talked to Mark, he said you were the one that was pushing for us to dig deeper at re-entrant library calls. He actually said that on your own time you were going line-by-line through the code.”
My blood pressure drops to fifty; I think I actually see black spots in front of my eyes. Having no ability for subterfuge, I take a deep breath. Gulping, I hear myself say, “Actually, it was my dad who figured it out. I told him I was put on the team to help nail down the intermittent problem. He asked questions about the behaviors we were experiencing. He said we didn’t look hard enough at the re-entrant libraries. He was guiding me on how to uncover the effected call.”
Flint squints his eyes and says in disbelief, “your father?”
Peddling backwards, I fill in, “He’s an engineering PhD with over thirty years in the Valley. I never showed him any of our code. It’s just I always talk to him about what I’m working on, you know, design and strategy.”
“He figured it out just by hearing about the behaviors?”
“Well, yeah, he said over the years he’s run into problems like this before.”
Flint just shakes his head and starts walking. I call after him, “Am I still supposed to be following you?”
He turns his head back, squints his eyes, and says, “no.”
Scurrying back to my desk, I wonder if I’m going to get fired, my first day here was spent signing legal papers. It’s against the rules to talk about our software with someone who doesn’t have a non-disclosure.
When Silicon Valley businesses tout their modern workspaces, they never discuss the downside. Being in an open office with a bunch of guys is kind of like being the only female on an all guy floor in college. The guys can be really clueless and irritating. As I pass Tom, my own personal letch, I find him staring at me in the creepiest way. Tom never says anything to me. Turning around, I catch him watching me. Glaring at him doesn’t curb this behavior, since I don’t think his eyes ever get higher than my shoulders.
Ian is also in by now. It’s December. I was hoping the colder weather would force him to wear more clothes. I was wrong. Ian saw me and my roommate Cassie on TV when we were spotlighted at a pro football game. Now he’s smitten with her. He’s always saying inappropriate things and asking questions about Cassie.
“Hey, Juliette, I have your roommate’s beer poster hanging up in my house. Think she’ll come over to personally sign it?” He asks.
Shaking my head I respond, “Yeah, Ian, I just can’t see Cassie showing up at your place.” Realizing I should play nice since I have to work with him I follow up with, “If you bring your poster into the office, I’ll take it home and get her to sign it.”
He frowns, turns around, and goes back to his work. No surprise. He just wants to meet Cassie.
As I’m about to sit down I get beaned in the head by a Nerf football. Chris, one of the fantasy football guys, says, “Oh…sorry.”
I pick the football up and throw it back to him saying, “Do I even want to know what you guys are up to?”
Making myself comfortable, I focus on the simulation I was working on earlier. At some point, Roger calls my name. Heading into his office, he narrows his eyes as he looks at me. All I can think is, “Am I going to be fired?”
“Your dad figured this out.” He says, sounding like Tony Soprano thanks to his Jersey roots.
My jaw feels like it weighs two hundred pounds, and my stomach is in a complete knot as I nod, finally spitting out, “yes.”
Roger continues to pinch his eyebrows together, then he nods, “And you didn’t show him any code, you just discussed the behaviors of the problems we’ve been experiencing?”
Gulping, I continue to nod and say, “yes.”
Roger shakes his head in disbelief, while I stand there waiting for the axe. Finally, he says, “you’re dismissed.”
Is he firing me? He looks at my stricken face in confusion and says, “Don’t you have a simulation you should be working on?”
He points to my desk and says, “Then get back out there and get working.”
I feel relieved. I guess I’m not fired.
After working at my desk for about ten minutes, Buddy, Mark’s German Shepard sneaks over and greets me by flipping my hand as I attempt to type. Buddy loves me. I’ve learned that the easiest way to deal with Buddy is to give her a warm welcome by scratching her nose and behind her ears, slapping her sides, and telling her what a nice dog she is. It’s also a relaxing break since Buddy really likes the attention, and I like dogs. Continuing with my work, I lose track of time until Hita IM’s me:
Hita and I have been friends since our freshman year of college when we were study partners. We cemented our relationship when a group of us attended the school’s Halloween parties as princesses.