“How long have you been working here?” one of the girls in our group asked Ari.
“I got promoted to accounts executive about a year ago, more or less,” Ari answered. Our tour guide, with amazingly Amazonian curves for such a petite girl, always spoke with a kind smile on her face. It wasn’t even one of those smiles that people had to force too, I think she was genuinely happy.
Ari was probably the only refreshing part of this entire complex. Not because everyone seemed so down, they were far from it. Only because she seemed to be the only one that was relaxed in this place. Everyone was rushing every which way, all over the place; some people walked so far up other people’s asses that I didn’t know who began and who ended. It was high-tide central!
“Oh gosh,” Janet leaned in and whispered, “I wish I had her ass. And her skin.”
I laughed. “Pay attention to what she’s saying.” Her dark skin was flawless though. I wonder what she did to it. But thanks to Janet, I couldn’t help but stare at her butt underneath that flowing dark hair that met halfway down her back every time she turned around. And I must say, I wish I had her ass too.
Ari took us through a maze before she handed us over to Sherri, one of the secretaries at the agency. Yup, there’s more than one secretary. That’s how popular and big this place was, which is why this internship was such a good opportunity. Sherri, a plump blonde, had a wedding ring on her finger. Definitely a good conversation piece. I always thought that it was polite to ask about and care for someone’s family more than you care for them. I naturally cared for people’s families more anyway, and I have no idea why that is.
Sherri passed us an envelope. “These are your orientation written down, for those of you who do need it written down.” And she’s feisty too. “The envelopes also contain who you will be working for, in which department. Think of yourself as an assistant, only lesser.” Ouch! Two times. “The department heads are at the floor above, a meeting will commence shortly so I suggest you get to know your bosses for the next few months. Off you go, then.”
As the others scattered I thought this would be a good time to introduce myself to Sherri. I grabbed Janet and dragged her along with me. “Hi, Sherri,” I said with a great big smile (and a death stare from Janet), “my name is Anna.” I nudged Janet, to which she responded by introducing herself too.
Sherri sighed. “Let me guess, you ladies are virgins?”
Janet and I were too taken aback to reply. Is she really asking what I think she’s asking? I hope I’m wrong.
“I mean to the business,” Sherri explained with impatience colouring her tone.
When Janet and I went ‘ohhh’ and laughed, Sherri just rolled her eyes and shook her head. Strike three!
We nodded. “Yes.”
Sherri turned to Janet. “Who are you working for?”
Janet opened the envelope. “Lucy Reginald.”
Sherri just nodded and then turned my way. “And you?”
I opened mine. “Eddie Johnson.”
Sherri smiled. “So you’re the one he requested.” She then appraised me. “I now see why that is. Get going, girls, or you’ll be late.”
As Janet and I walked towards the conference room with the rest of the pack, including Ari by our side, I decided to bring up what Sherri said.
“Don’t take it personal,” Ari said, “Sherri just knows everything about everyone, a lot of us here call her The Oracle, and she especially knows a lot about Eddie Johnson.”
“He requested me?”
“That would be peculiar for someone like Lucy, or even Harry Harrison,” she snickered, “but not with Eddie.”
“Why’s that?” Janet asked.
Ari smiled again, this time as if she was trying to smother a secret. “You’ll see.”
When we entered the conference room (the largest I’ve ever seen by the way, movies do not do justice to just how massive conference rooms are) the interns were the only ones that flocked awkwardly to their respective bosses. Janet looked like she immediately hit it off with Lucy and I could only wish I had the same charisma as her when I’d meet mine. Eddie wasn’t hard to find, he wore a similar sharp suit as the first time I saw him, this time navy blue, and his hair was slicked back in the same way. I was impressed at just how neatly slicked it was without looking so greasy.
He smiled as I came towards him and held out my hand. “Hi, my name is—”
“Anna,” he interrupted. “How lovely to meet you again. I look forward to us working together these next few months.”
“As do I Mr. Johnson.” Okay, I know it’s not the fifties, but I still think it’s good manners to approach him like that.
But I’m guessing he didn’t feel the same way when he chuckled. “Please, call me, Eddie.”
I nodded and then stood by the other interns that were working for him. During our entire meeting I couldn’t find the answer to Ari’s words. You’ll see, she said. But what will I see? What is the big deal? It was only after a few moments that I realised I was staring at the letters on the page and not the whole sentence. My eyes panned Lucy’s interns, a mix of guys and girls. Then Harry’s interns, another mix of guys and girls. And finally, Eddie’s interns…all girls. Most of them looking like models. I sighed, this is going to be a long year.
I hadn’t spoken to Daniel much since our last, say, revelation, but when I told him that I got an internship at the one of the top advertising agencies in the business, he offered to cook me dinner and refused to take no for an answer. Believe me, I tried.
I stood at his front door looking as casual as possible, already smelling the delicious fumes of the dinner. I didn’t know he could cook. That was definitely a plus. When Daniel opened the door, I smelled it even better and I wondered if he was trying to seduce me with food. Holy crap, you do not even know how good this smells. While Daniel led me through to the kitchen I was noticing an increase in flower decorations. Well, an increase from nothing so about hundred per cent increase. Red and pink roses were everywhere. Even red and pink rose petals were on the floor in certain areas.
I sat on the elevated stool on the kitchen island and watched Daniel cut up some food. And would you believe me if I told you he was wearing an apron? I kept myself from laughing because it was just that cute. Not to mention sexy. Hellooo, he can cook wearing nothing but an apron. Nothing but an apron.
“So how was your first day?” Daniel asked, distracting me from picturing him naked.
I nodded. “It was good. I met my boss.”
“Oh yeah, who is it?”
“Some guy named Eddie Johnson.”
Daniel started chopping slow. “Eddie Johnson?”
“Yeah, you know him?”
Daniel chuckled humourlessly. “Not really. I know of him. My father and Eddie know each other, in the circles that they roll in they happened to roll into each other. A match made in high-powered hell.”
For someone that didn’t know Eddie, Daniel seemed not to like him. “You know of him, though,” I pressed.
Daniel sighed. “I know his reputation,” he looked at me and half-smiled, “with the pretty ladies.”
I laughed. “That sounds so cliché.” Even though I kind of thought the same way, I was trying to make it seem like nothing to him.
“Oh come on, Anna, how do you think a cliché becomes a cliché?” he winked my way.
That kind of silenced me for a bit as I wondered. I mean, just because this sexy high-powered guy has a bunch of hot, and possibly very willing, girls around him all the time doesn’t mean he’s screwing them. Mmkay, yup, don’t say anything, I just heard myself.
Daniel pulled out a roast from the oven and plonked it on the kitchen top. I closed my eyes and sniffed in the scent.
“Oh my God,” I said, “that looks and smells so good. I didn’t know you could cook.”
“My mother taught me, of course. As they do.”
I laughed. “Mine tried teaching me, but either I wasn’t a good student or, nope, I wasn’t a good student.” Daniel laughed.
We had a perfect dinner, I must have eaten like half that roast because it was all heavenly-bite after one delicious heavenly-bite. What? It was that good! It’s not like if God gave you heaven you’d put up your hands and say, ‘No, no, thank you, but after the clouds I think I’m good to go’. We ended up remaining seated at the dining table and drinking some wine. The cherry on top.
“So,” Daniel began, “have you given any thought to us?”
For the entire evening I was hoping that Daniel wouldn’t bring this up. Like he would somehow forget it and everything would just blow over.
I smiled. “The dinner was lovely.”
Daniel lifted an eyebrow like, ‘don’t change the subject’ and smiled, showing those dimples that I both loved and hated at one time or another.
I lifted my plate and carried it to the kitchen sink. “I don’t know yet.”
Oh no, my heart’s beating too hard. It’s doing that thing where it feels like it’s blocking my throat. Did it just get hot in here?
Daniel followed my actions and I moved out of the way as he placed his dish in the sink. I leaned on the island top, trying to balance myself, facing away from Daniel.
“You don’t know?” Daniel asked, and I knew he was looking at me by the sound and clarity of his voice.
I nodded. “I’m not sure if it would be a good idea.”
I heard a couple footsteps coming closer my way, and then his hand crept onto my waist. Daniel moved my hair aside and then started kissing my neck.
“Daniel…” I breathed, closing my eyes.
“What if I tried convincing you?” he said in between kisses.
“If we were to do this,” I tried saying quickly, “then we’d have to take it slow.”
“I agree.” He started kissing my neck and ear, and biting and licking my ear, all in motions that were teasingly slow.
I smiled. “Not what I meant.”
He chuckled into my ear, making it tickle and then turned me around so that we were facing. He held my head in his hands and just as he was about to kiss me, I moved out of the way.
“What are you so afraid of?” he asked, confused.
I sighed. “I don’t want to get hurt.”
He shook his head. “I will never hurt you.”
“And I don’t know if I can trust you.”
I was afraid of admitting that last one. Daniel let his hands go from my sides and just stared at me, in a way that made me think that he understood exactly what I meant.
After a slight pause, for which seemed like it lasted forever, Daniel finally said, “Take a chance on me.”
***Hi everyone! I’m going to try something different this week! Five new followers gets you a sneak peek of next week’s post. Ten new followers gives you next week’s post uploaded sooner. Followers can be in the form of bloggers or by email, but no two can be from the same person! And also a BIG shout out and thank you to Sherri (a.k.a mum) and Ari who were kind enough to let me use them as guest stars in my posts! You ladies are awesome! I had fun writing the both of you! Lots of love! xo***