After dismissing his final class for the day, he stood filing away his lecture notes and course books. No sooner after securing his messenger bag, a suit announced his presence, commanding Brody to follow him to the fifth floor. Silenced filled the elevator as they both stared straight ahead at the metal doors. The elevator settled and opened its door to gray carpeting and a wooden table adorned with various decorations.
Brody fell in step until he stood outside the Presidents office. He knocked and opened the door.
“Please have a seat Professor McGregor.”
“Do ye ken who I am, and why yer here?”
“You’re the President of this university and I’m here under false accusations.”
“I have and I’m telling ye, none of what ye heard is true.”
“Ye have to understand that is standard protocol. I’m here to get at the truth. I wanted to speak to ye first in order to know if I should tap the Board of Discipline.”
“The truth is, I’ve never engaged in any misconduct with any of my students.”
“I see. It was alleged that you’ve been visiting this student, Rachel Blough in the hospital quite frequently. Would you care to explain that?”
“First, Ms. Blough is a former student, and aye, I’ve visited her a couple of times. She’s sick with cancer.”
“Prior to these visits, have ye had any contact with Ms. Blough?”
No. I hadn’t seen her in years, not after she fulfilled her time here. I’d just found out she was still here in Glasgow.”
Before another question was asked, the office door opened with the person Brody never expected to see.
“Can I help you sir?”
“My name is Gunnar Lachlan and I’m here to refute any and all accusations against Brody McGregor.”
“Are ye his lawyer?” inquired the President.
“No he isn’t!” he ground out.
“Come have a seat and tell me how ye know Professor McGregor.”
“Thank ye. I won’t take up much of your time. Brody and I are friends.”
“Were.” Brody clarified through clenched teeth.
“This is embarrassing to admit, bit I’ve betrayed my best friend. I slept with his woman. I know I was wrong, but I can’t allow him to suffer with the lies that’ve been told. Annabelle showed up at my house, drunk, said she’d make Brody pay. Ye must understand, Annabelle is the jealous sort, this includes starting baseless rumors. Brody’s not the kind of person to jeopardize his career for no good reason.”
“I’ve not heard one ill word spoken about ye in the time you’ve been here Professor and I’d like to keep it that way.”
“So would I.’
“If in fact what this man says is true, ye need to handle this now.”
“I intend to.”
“I won’t keep this conversation on record, but if I hear anything else on this matter, you’ll be seeing me again.”
“I understand sir.”
“Ye may go.’
Gunnar led the way out as Brody closed the door with a soft click. Gunnar stood as his best friend briskly walked passed him which not so much as a glance backward.
“Brody. I’m sorry.”
Waiting for the elevator took the patience of storm skelpies, all he wanted to do was drag his former best friend underwater and watch him drown. His better judgment got the better of him and he decided to stay calm. “Brody-”
“Do ye expect me to give ye a pat on the back? Do ye really think that ye saved my neck?”
“No I don’t deserve a pat on the back, I wanted to apologize sooner but the coward in me had be nailed to my house. I never meant to betray yer trust in me.”
“But ye did.”
“I know, I know. If ye could ever forgive me, I’d appreciate it very much.”
Brody stood glaring at Gunnar’s down stricken face. Sorrow filled his eyes and looked as if he were going to cry on the spot. Compassion twisted in his heart and he hated that he could so easily forgive.
Gunnar smiled and a hitch caught in his throat.
“Ye released me from my own torment.”
“I forgave ye, I never said we’d be friends again.”
Those steel doors opened again as he walked through, leaving Gunnar standing, wearing a sheepish grin as doors closed on him.
Driving home had been peaceful, the scenery had calmed him right up until he pulled up to his cabin. He spied that familiar car and became infuriated at the sight of her. Rushing from his car with long strides, he met her at the top of his step.
“I know what yer going to say and ye have every right to be angry. I was drunk and angry and I lost my head.”
“You’ve lost more than that ye wicked viper! Ye tried to end my career with yer lies!”
“It wasn’t on purpose.”
“I just wanted yer attention, just for a minute!”
“My attention, my attention! Ye thought this was the way to get it! You’re out of yer mind. You’ve gotten all the attention that ye wanted from Gunnar.”
“No. I know all about your cheating ways and ye had the nerve to accuse me of wandering off!”
“I’m sorry.” she whined.
“It’s not good enough. I should make ye suffer but that’s not the gentleman in me. I don’t ever want to see yer face. Don’t ever seek me out again, do ye hear me?”
“Get ye out of here!”
Climbing the steps to his cabin, he let himself inside and slammed the door with such force, the pup he rescued piled into the corner for safety.