Authors: Ashley Beale
He hisses out a breathe seconds before I feel his release fill me up. His breathing increases in my ear. When his body slumps down on me, relaxing after a sensational amount of love making, he brings his lips down and kisses along my ear. His whispers gives me an even more peaceful feeling. "You make the most beautiful noises when you come. Especially when you say my name."
I've been nervous
for a lot of things in life. Especially tests, projects, and even graduation. Job interviews in the past have never bothered me much though, only because I know as a teenager in high school there are a lot of opportunities. This job, however, had me up at five tossing cookies into the toilet. I've never been more nervous for anything in my life.
Not able to sleep after being sick all morning, I decided it'd be smart to drink nearly a half pot of coffee. I'm not even much of a coffee drinker, so now my body is shaking. I wish I had some kind of hobby that included medicating or yoga. I could really use the tension relief right now.
Instead I'm walking circles in my bedroom, probably wearing the floor beneath my feet. My finger nails are down to nothing, which is why I had to stick a Band-Aid over my thumb. It started bleeding an hour ago, and I still remain picking at it. I hate being nervous, and I hate even more having nervous habits.
The interview is set up for eleven this morning, and right now its quarter past nine. With a sigh, I realize that if I want to make an impression with my looks as well as being there on time, it’s now or never for a shower. I walk into the bathroom and shed my clothes before turning the knob in the shower. The pipes come to life in the wall, clanking and banging as the water warms up. I climb in, allowing the water to cascade down my face and body. The warmth of the water raining down on me instantly release some stress inside of me.
I stand under the water several minutes before I start to wash my hair. Through my entire shower, I try to remember several questions I've been asked at previous interviews. Coming up with answers, even to just the basic questions, is not as easy as I remember.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Is it with this company? Do you plan to be a manager?
I don't want to answer; well, in five years I see myself graduated from college with a Bachelors in Journalism. Hopefully I'll have a job for the Chandler Times, and if not, at least an internship. I do not see myself still working with the stock market, but if I do, sure, it'll be your company.
It's the truth though. So now I have to find a way to reword all the bullshit I'm about to tell the boss of the company I want to work for... well, for about four years anyways.
Once my hair is dried, I decide to take the thick brown hair and pile it into a French bun on the top of my head. I secure it in place, using a minimal amount of hairspray and bobby pins to make sure it actually stays. I line my eyes with black eyeliner and mascara, and add a little blush to my cheeks. The finishing touches look great with my black dress pants, tucked in red blouse, and beige high heels.
It's all a little bold for an interview, but I want to stand out. I also want to look older than I am. More professional. I don't just want this job, I need it.
The building isn't quite what I expected. It's only three stories tall, and it’s located on the outskirts of town instead of being centered with the rest of the corporate businesses. The parking garage is across the street though, so it’s not much for walking. That is always a positive, especially in heels.
I enter into the lobby to see a blonde lady behind a glass desk. Her fingers are tapping away on the keyboard, not even noticing me. I walk straight to her desk and smile down at her. "Hi," I say.
The lady jumps in her seat before looking up to me, a little pink coloring her cheeks. "Sorry, I got a little sucked into this silly game. May I help you?" She smiles bright through her colored lips.
"Yeah, I'm here to meet with Mr. Pelletier for a job interview."
The girl looks me up and down. I hope that it’s not her job that I'm taking if I actually nail this interview. I'd feel awfully guilty about that. Her lips purse before she speaks again. "Yes, I'll let Mr. Pelletier know you're here. Have a seat over there please." She points to a bench near the elevator.
Once I thank her, I walk over and take the seat. I watch as she uses the phone to dial someone, then she goes back to playing some game on the computer. If she so easily gets away with playing games, and admitting it to potential associates, than I can't imagine getting a job here is all that hard.
They must be an up and coming company. It definitely doesn't remind me of the stock markets I see in movies. Then again, those are movies... and usually all based in New York City.
When the elevator dings, I stand up and drag my hands along my pants to smooth them out quickly. I look up as the doors slide open. My eyes first get a glimpse at the absolute most polished pair of black dress shoes I've ever seen. Slowly I take in the crisp charcoal suit, fitting so perfectly to a man that looks anything but Wall Street worthy.
By the time my eyes reach his mouth, it widens into a bloodthirsty smile, revealing painfully white teeth. His eyes look both greedy and humorous. The back of his hair is shaved while the top of his hair is longer, styled off to the side. He is younger than I expected... and much more handsome.
Except, I can't think that.
I ignore the hormones of a young female. Instead I smile at the man standing before me.
"Yes," I tell him. I step forward and extend my hand.
We exchange a firm handshake as he introduces himself. "I'm Roman. Roman Pelletier."
"It's nice to meet you Mr. Pelletier."
I swear I see a sparkle in his eye. "Please, Roman is fine."
And that voice! Oh that voice!
What is wrong with me? I just had a lustful session of love making last night with Blaise. I need to wake up, stand tall, and stop drooling over every man that smiles at me.
I follow Roman into the elevator, which takes us to the third floor where his office is. I sit down in the seat offered and watch Roman walk around to his side of the office table. He has a confidence in his stride that I've never seen before. Especially with someone so young.
He looks older than me, just not by much. I doubt he could be in his thirties yet. Close, but not yet. I'm curious now though.
"So you're a friend of Blaise's?" he asks casually.
He stares at me with those fierce brown eyes. It’s intimidating.
"Yes, I am."
"May I ask how you two know each other?"
His arms cross. This feels more intense than it should. I feel beads of sweat forming along my hair line.
"We actually just met recently. We're still getting to know each other."
I feel sort of like a coward for not mentioning that we've been on a few dates now. I'm not even sure why I didn't mention that we're slowly yet surely becoming more than just friends.
"I see." He looks down at a paper in front of him before those eyes lock to mine again. "He gave you a great recommendation." It ends there. Like I should know what to say.
"Oh." Probably not the best response, but honestly, what am I supposed to say? This is even worse than I imagined it would be!
Roman examines me for a moment before he speaks again. "Do you know what we do here?"
I wish I could say yes to that. I mean, yes, I know it has stuff to do with buying and selling, crunching numbers, knowing details of other stock markets, paying attention to computers and programs. I also know that is just a jist of what is done in the offices. "Sort of. I mean, it is a stock market. I know what anyone else would know."
He looks way too entertained by my answer. Or... by me?
"Have you ever done secretarial work?"
"I've answered phones. I know how to operate basic computer programs and can type fast. I'm friendly and organized and..."
"Let me stop you there." I close my lips tight. It’s not his voice that frightens me when he speaks, it’s the intensity of this man altogether. He is something unusual to me. Maybe I'm not used to the real world yet. "There is a lot in this business that is confidential. You cannot utter a word of anything that you watch happen in this place. You will see and hear many things, things that'll probably make your head spin. You cannot fear it. You cannot repeat it. Most importantly, you need to have an open mind. Are these things I can trust you with?"
I don't have to think on it for a second. "Absolutely!" I know most jobs require a confidentially agreement, especially in the business world. I have no reason to let anyone know anything that I learn or see while employed here. If employed here.
"When can you start?"
"As soon as you need me."
He looks down at his paper again. "I understand you'll be attending college soon."
It isn't a question, but I answer him anyways. "Yes. On the thirty-first."
Grabbing his pen, he asks for my schedule, and when I repeat it to him, he writes to down.
"Can you start tomorrow?"
When I don't answer right away, his eyes flare up to look at me. I have to swallow back my angst.
"Yes," I quickly say.
He stands tall, causing his chair to be pushed back into the wall behind him. "Ms. Donovan." I stand up as well, meeting his glaze with a large smile on my face. I can't believe how easy that interview was. It wasn't even an interview, I practically had the job before I walked into this room. I need to make sure I thank Blaise as soon as I see him next. "Be here at eight sharp."
"Okay," I tell him. "Is there a dress code or anything I need to know?"
I watch as his eyes take in my form. He examines my clothes... or at least I tell myself that is what he is looking at so intensely. "I think whatever you wear will be fine."
Clearing my throat, I find it in myself to somehow thank him.
Together the two of us walk towards the elevator, but before he hits the button to go back downstairs, he turns to face me. The two of us are in such an enclosed space I can feel an inexpiable magnitude between us. It nearly takes my breath away.
"When you get here tomorrow, see Stephanie at the front desk. She'll walk you to your office and explain the basics. It should be easy but if you have any issues, let me know. I'll stop in around lunch tomorrow to check on you."
"Okay," I tell him, nodding my head.
He reaches back and hits the button for the elevator to go down. "I'll see you then Ms. Donovan."
"Thank you. So much."
The door opens behind him but he doesn't move. We stare at each other, but the more I have my eyes locked to his, the more I become breathless. "Until tomorrow," he finally says, sliding around me. I watch him walk away before entering the elevator.
I watch Roman walk away from me as the doors slide close. Before the elevator descends, I find myself sliding against the wall until my butt thumps onto the floor. I'm not sure what just happened there... but it can't be good.
I was a
wreck last night. I couldn't get a hold of Blaise once I got home. He didn't even answer my texts. I had no idea what to wear for today, where I should park, and so many other random things. I found myself crying myself to sleep and I honestly have no idea why. I'm not weak, but I was stressed. I guess stress will do those kinds of things to you.
Stephanie stands when I walk into the lobby. Apparently Candy Crush or whatever game she was involved with yesterday hasn't grabbed her attention today. At least not yet. "Good morning," she greets me.
"Morning," I respond.
She grabs a thick file before making her way towards the elevator. I follow behind her quickly. "You'll be on the third floor. Two offices down from Mr. Pelletier's. You're lucky, you get a great view." She turns to face me while waiting for the door to open. "You need to make sure to stay in your office. You cannot distract Mr. Pelletier. If you have questions, you contact me directly."
Stephanie doesn't give me a chance to respond. The doors open and I follow behind her into the elevator, on the way to my new office. It’s all surreal. A large building, my own personal office, an amazing job offer. Most people don't get this lucky months after their college degree, let alone months after graduating high school.
"This will be your office." She opens the door exactly two doors down from Roman's. The room is a light blue and filled with rays of natural light from the two windows on the wall. Surprisingly they are windows I can actually open, so I'll have a chance to get fresh air on these humid days.
I just need to remember to purchase a fan tonight when I leave. The desk is kitty cornered with all the necessities I'll need to get my job done. At least, I hope it’s everything I need.
Stephanie opens the folder and starts pulling things out. A phone list with contacts inside and out of the building. All the basics in the computer program I'll be using. A script to say when I call people, and another for when people call. It’s all laid out for me and seems pretty simple. What is not explained in the folder, Stephanie goes over real quick.
"Think you got it mostly figured out?" she asks.
"Uh, yeah," I tell her. "What about lunch break, or clocking in, or payroll and tax paperwork. Do you know how I go about any of that? It was never explained yesterday."
She rolls her eyes at me. I haven't figured out if I like her or not. She is a fake kind of nice. I can easily pretend though.
"When you log on to your computer, it’s a time clock. You start your day then, and you end it when you log out. Therefore, log out each time you're away from your desk or taking your lunch. Mr. Pelletier will have to discuss the rest with you when he stops in later. I'm not sure what your pay is, and it’s not my job to know."
She turns on her heels and marches out of my office, closing the door behind her.
Yeah, I'm not a fan of her.
I sit in the leather chair at the desk and adjust to be tall enough for me, then I sign in using the log-in code I was given in the folder. I have the opportunity to change my password, so I do, then it walks me through different steps so I can get familiar with the program. It gives me enough time to finish the cappuccino I brought in with me.
Once that is all set up, I organize my desk some and familiarize myself with the different scripts I'll have to say, especially when it comes to answering the phone. The rest of the morning remains insanely boring as I wait for the phone to ring, even once, but it doesn't.
The view outside sucks too, so I'm not sure what Stephanie was talking about. It's an alley with a dirty green dumpster over filled with trash in the middle of two buildings. I'm certain I'll find some entertainment happening down in the alley once in a while, but it’s definitely not a view I'd want to have. I'd rather greet people when they walk into the building.
There aren't even windows on the building, so I can't sneak glances into other people's offices. That could be entertaining!
The hair on my neck and arms stand on end. I shouldn't be frightened of him, but somehow I'm terrified.
"Sure," I squeak out.
I hear Roman chuckle. "Some days can be extremely boring, other days will be insanely busy that you'll be ripping your hair out."
I turn to face him, but before I can speak my mouth goes dry. Today he is dressed in a fitted tailored suit, one that looks like it must've cost a million dollars. The unfamiliar scent of expensive cologne tickles at my nose. I didn't know a scent could drive me up the wall.
I plead insanity.
Instead of saying anything, I just smile. I honestly am not sure what I was even going to say in the first place.
Roman somehow finds amusement in this, as if he can read my mind.
"You can decorate your office space if you'd like. Get a plant or something." He takes a look around the room. It is empty aside from the desk. "Curtains," he mentions.
"Yeah, I might just do that," I tell him. "Right now it’s good. It’s my first office." A smile that shows I'm proud of what I've somehow accomplished spreads across my face.
His smile matches mine. We both watch each other for far too long. At some point this has to be considered inappropriate. "So um... Stephanie said she couldn't discuss my payroll or anything like that."
"Why don't you have a seat," he orders.
I obey him without a second thought. He struts over to my desk, standing tall in front of it. "We'll discuss that right now. I'll draw up the paperwork after lunch, and before you leave this evening I'll have you sign everything."
"Oh... um... okay," I answer. It seems awfully unconventional. I don't argue though. I won't. Not with him.
He reminds me of the Big Bad Wolf. I'm poor little Blanchette carrying my wicker basket through the woods.
"You'll get a base pay of minimum wage for the first thirty days. Once those thirty days are over and you've proven yourself with this company, you'll get a raise. Ten, twenty, or thirty percent depending on how much you value this company and your time here. Once those thirty days start, you'll also get added incentives for sales, new clients, and other performances."
"How do I get new clients?"
He opens the folder and flips through until he finds the page he's looking for. "Here is your script." He throws down the folder in front of me. "You'll have a list of numbers to call each day. You can start after lunch."
"Okay," I tell him. I'm excited to get started on something. "What time and how long is my lunch?"
He looks down at his watch. When I see the word
scrolled across the watch in fine letters, I nearly choke on the air in my throat. Roman Pelletier isn't a wealthy man, he is down right filthy rich.
"Noon should be fine. Hour lunch be okay?" He peeks up under those long lashes of his.
Instead of swooning in my seat, I simply nod my head.
He tucks his hands into his pockets and looks at me casually. I see a curiosity in his expression. I'm not sure what he is curious about, but it makes me even more nervous than I was just moments ago. "I'll write up a schedule for you, too, and I'll have it in your office by the end of your shift. Are you good to be here until five?" Again, I nod. "Good," he answers.
We have a staring match. The intensity sending a charge between us I'm not sure I like. He confuses me. Stresses me out. Scares me. But he's nice. Almost too nice. I like looking at him. Actually, I love looking at him. Maybe this is what Stephanie meant by me having the best view. I get to see Roman even more than she does.
Taking his hand out of his pocket, he taps his knuckle on the desk before he turns to leave. "I'll see you around three then. I'm out of here at four," he says over his shoulder, not looking at me.
"Mr. Pelletier," I yell out. I call him that because Stephanie does. I'm working for him now, it’s the professional thing to do, even if it feels weird coming out of my mouth.
He pauses but doesn't say anything.
"Have you seen Blaise today?" His body stiffens. He doesn't move. Doesn't speak. He doesn't do anything. "I only ask because I tried calling him last night but he didn't answer. I'm not sure where in the building he actually works."
Without turning around, Roman actually answers. "He'll be in later." It’s not the answer I was looking for, but it’s an answer I guess. He starts walking out but pauses just before turning the corner. I see him glance at me, but he doesn't make actual eye contact with me. "Call me Roman."
Then he is gone.
On my lunch break I try to call Blaise again to no avail. I end up calling Clarissa instead, not knowing what to do on an hour lunch break. I'm not even sure our office has a lunch room. Instead of looking, I just got into the car and drove to the closets fast food restaurant.
"Hello," Clarissa answers groggy. It sounds like she just woke up.
"Morning sunshine!" I tell her in a cheerful voice.
"Ugh," she groans in response. I can't say I blame her. I've done my fair share of sleeping in this summer. I've felt like if I couldn't sleep in now, I never would. "What?"
Her voice becomes snappy. "Whoa, who peed in your Cheerios this morning?"
"Ha." The phone becomes muffled as she moves around in her bed, probably sitting up. "How is your first day?"
"Uh. Is it weird or good?"
"Both." I laugh awkwardly.
"Okay," she says, pulling the word out. "I don't get it."
"It's been okay. Slow. It’s been a learning process. I'm on lunch right now. I think I'll like it. My boss is really nice."
"I guess that is a positive. You and Blaise have any hot office sex yet?"
Of course Clarissa would immediately think something like that. "No!" I nearly shout.
"Oh, come on. You know you need to. At least once. In the office, in the supply closet, elevator, bathroom. There are many choices there."
"One, I don't need to be fired. And two, please tell me that you haven't had sex at work."
She giggles on the other line. She doesn't even work per say. She is a candy striper. Also known as a volunteer at the hospital. In a disinfectant place where people are dying every day, and while those are dying, others are fighting for their lives. Not exactly an appropriate places to have sex.
When she doesn't respond immediately, I know she has. "Wait... with who? A doctor?" My shock value doubles.
"I fucking wish!" she yells out. Well, she is definitely awake now. "No, there was a resident named Jose, and nurse named Ander. Oh, and the dad to one of the patients. I think his name was Theo."
"No!" I gasp. "Gross. Please tell me that last one is a lie."
"What?" she asks nonchalantly. I can picture her yawning and filing her nails. Like I'm so boring, she can't handle it. "His son was in surgery for a burst appendix or something. He was hyperventilating in the hall. I felt bad for the man. I tried to settle him down and next thing I knew I was in empty room giving him a whole new level of comfort. It was intense, I'm not going to lie. I'd love for round two."
"You're disgusting. I cannot even believe you right now."
"Right, because you're miss perfect. I forget."
"Oh, shut up."
The phone beeps in my ear and I glance down. Blaise's name blinks on the other line. "Shit, I gotta go, I'll call you after work."
"Fine," she moans.
I don't say any more before clicking over to answer Blaise's call.
"I've been worried sick about you," I say. It may sound cheesy and over protective, but it’s the truth. I feel like I can be completely honest in everything, including my feelings, with Blaise.
"Sorry, baby, something came up. Family emergency. I'll fill you in later. What are you doing?"
My heart races for some reason, especially when I hear the word emergency. Thankfully he doesn't seem too pained or panicked, so I'm sure everything is all set now. "Nothing, just about to head back to the office. On my lunch break right now."
"So you did get the job? That is amazing. I'm so proud of you." Those words melt my heart.
"I did. Thank you for your help." There is a small pause, so without much thought, I just blurt the first thing that comes to mind. "I miss you." I bite down on my lip, worried about what he is going to say. Or think. Or do.
Surprisingly, I can actually hear a smile in his voice. "God, I miss you too."
The worrisome I've had since last night washes away with that, and I'm back on a cloud of pure and utter intoxication.
"Are you going to be at work today? What part of the office do you work in?" There doesn't seem to be many different office units, unless the second floor is crowded and I just don't know it.
"Like I said, I'm behind the scenes. I'm in and out of the office. You won't see me much, but I'll make sure to stop in now and again. I have to go in today but only to talk to the head man. I'll try to see you if I can."
I bite down on my smile. I know he can't see me, but I really should try to pull myself together. I don't need to be this elated over the thought of seeing him. I hardly know him.
It doesn't stop the intensity deep inside me though. The thrill.