“Oh, my god, please make it stop,” Kylie muttered with a tragic sigh as her cell phone continued to chime.
She wanted to cry.
She really did, but crying would require energy that she didn’t have right now. Besides, she was going to need all her energy to drag herself out of bed and see what the horrible man wanted.
Damn Big Daddy and his love of…
Well, she wasn’t exactly sure what he’d been on when he’d burned the apartment building down, but whatever it was she cursed it for putting her in this situation. Even as she struggled to keep her eyes open long enough to sit up on the bare mattress that she’d passed out on a few hours ago, she knew that the fault was hers and hers alone. She’d made a deal with the devil, literally, and now she was paying for it.
Another chime, this one somehow more persistent than the last, had her whimpering pathetically as she reached for her phone. For a moment, she simply held the phone in her hand, praying that this nightmare would end, but the next chime destroyed her dreams and had her sitting up with a groan.
Office in twenty minutes.
Worrying her bottom lip, she glanced from the text demanding her presence back down to the bare mattress that she never wanted to leave. After a few seconds of indecision, she took a deep breath as she forced herself to climb off the bed and never look back as she made her way to the bathroom, terrified that if she caught even a glimpse of the pillow-top mattress that she would lose this battle.
But, god did she want to lose, she thought with something close to a whimper as she managed to drag herself the rest of the way to the bathroom. Once she was inside the large room that was twice the size of her last apartment, she made quick work of using the bathroom, doubling up on tasks whenever possible so that by the time that she stepped inside the large shower stall her teeth had been brushed, her hair combed, her vitamins taken, her nails had been quickly filed down to a smooth, efficient length, her clothes were laid out for her alongside a fresh planner, pen, and notebook to help her stay organized, and all that was left was for her do was to step beneath the ice cold spray of water, choke back a scream or two as the brisk water gave her the shot of adrenaline that she so desperately needed.
Once she was wide awake and feeling energized, she finished her shower, fixed her hair, got dressed, placed her planner and aforementioned items in her messenger bag and headed for the door, ready to face the day with five minutes to spare. As she hurried down the stairs, she contemplated making a quick trip to the kitchen and grabbing a yogurt and a breakfast bar to get her through this meeting, but something told her that he wouldn’t appreciate the delay.
Hoping that he wouldn’t make a habit of holding meetings before the sun came up, she paused by the double doors leading into the large office that she’d spent three hours cleaning yesterday, closed her eyes and took a deep breath before pasting a smile on her face, opening her eyes and-
“You’re late,” Mr. O’Malley announced as he walked past her.
She considered pointing out that she still had two minutes left, but then she remembered what happened the last time that she’d corrected one of her bosses and decided to let this one slide. As she followed him into the large room, she resigned herself to the fact that she was most likely going to have to get used to biting her tongue a lot.
At least, for the next year, Kylie thought as she sat down on the only available option to her, a metal folding chair that was placed directly in front of the only real piece of furniture in the room, a large desk. Hunter walked around the desk, glaring at her the entire way and sat down in a large leather chair that looked a great deal more comfortable than the one she was currently perched on.
When she realized that he wasn’t going to do anything more than just sit there and glare at her, she gave him what she hoped was a pleasant smile, clicked open her pen, and looked at him expectantly as she waited for his orders. He continued to keep her waiting until, with a sigh that could only be described as bored, he leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms over his chest, and gestured with a nod towards the planner on her lap as he asked, “What the hell is that?”
Although she didn’t think it was a good idea to take her eyes off him, mostly because of that whole anger management thing that he had going for him, she forced herself to follow his glare.
“My planner?” Kylie said, hoping that it was her beloved planner and not her presence responsible for that expression on his face, because she really wasn’t sure that she could beat him to the door. The reminder that she was working for a large, muscular man with an anger problem had her second-guessing her decision to stay so she decided to focus on something else.
Anger. Management, Kylie reminded herself, trying for a bland, yet polite, expression as she waited to see how this was going to play out. When he didn’t jump over the desk and go for her throat, she took that as a win and waited for him to continue. When he just sat there, glaring at her, she tried for a small smile only to quickly bite it back when his eyes narrowed even further.
For several longminutes, he didn’t say anything. He just sat there, watching her, and making her wonder if they’d accept a personal check for that ten thousand dollars or if she should plan on making a quick run to the bank and get that in cash when he finally spoke.
“I have thousandsof employees, clients, venders, and contacts that you will be responsible for. That means that you need to have their phone numbers, addresses, email addresses as well as access to their files. So, tell me something, Miss Jenkins, how exactly do you plan on doing all that with a ten-dollar planner from Wal-Mart?”
“Carefully?” Kylie said before she could stop herself and she really wished that she’d been able to stop herself.
Coming October 2019…
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