Author: now2never PM
I can't say I had any complaints about my life. Except that my Mom died when I was fourteen and I had to step in and help my Dad take care of my five younger sisters. But one day, my world turned upside down when I got stuck in the elevator. I didn't know if he was crazy, or just plain stupid. I did know that he had more money than sense and he wanted me. Crazy, right? Plz R&RRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 5 - Words: 20,289 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 31 - Updated: 04-03-13 - Published: 06-29-12 - id: 3037338
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Some days you're the cat. Some days you're the brand-new, suede leather Barca-Lounger.
I stared at myself in the mirror, my hands resting on the sink. Wistful blue eyes stared back at me. I pushed back my wavy black hair and tied them at the nape of my neck. But then I took off the tie and ran my fingers through my hair. Maybe I should just leave it open today. I bit my lip, still indecisive. I don't know what was wrong with me today. I usually made a decision and stuck with it but the day had just started and I was all over the place. My heart was beating a nervous flutter and I didn't know what I was nervous about. I knew I didn't forget anything for work. Perhaps I was just overreacting. I stepped back from the sink and adjusted my white blouse over my black pants. I turned to walk out of the washroom just as the door opened and my sisters walked in, all in various modes of sleep.
I have five younger sisters. Most people will say they can't even handle one, let alone five but I think I've done a pretty good job. Especially after my mother died giving birth to my youngest sister, Misha. She was going to be turning eleven next month and we always put a lot of thought into her birthdays. She never even saw Mom. But I like to think that my dad and I have taken good care of all of them.
"Can you tell I'm half asleep?" Sutton asked. She's the second oldest, born three years after me and my best friend. I tell her everything and she tells me everything. I nodded sadly at her and she groaned, moving to the sink. She was dressed for work in a grey skirt and pale pink shirt.
Three years after Sutton came Kienan, who was no doubt still asleep. She didn't have class today so she didn't have any reason to be up at eight in the morning. After her came the twins, Rayne and Rhian, they were sixteen and though they were identical it was very easy to tell them apart. Although, come to think of it, all of us looked alike; brunette and blue-eyed, just like our mother. The four of them crowded around the sink and reached for their toothbrushes while I walked out and made my way to Kienan's room. The door stood ajar and I made my way in and sighed. There were various posters of boy bands and actors and athletes' hanging from the walls and the floor was covered in clothes. I picked up a pair of jeans and dumped them in the laundry hamper. Kienan was buried under a pile of blankets.
"Kienan," I said gently, I didn't want to wake her up if she was asleep. Her brown hair was sprayed out over her pillow. I kneeled down beside her bed and sleepy dark blue eyes stared back at me.
"Do you want me to make lunch for you?" I asked.
"Hmmmm," Kienan replied. I smiled.
"Okay, I'll leave cold cuts in the fridge," I said. I stood up and turned to go but Kienan grabbed my hand. I turned to look down at her.
"Love you, Boo," she said. I smiled at her; a genuine smile that I only smiled when I was around my family. Everyone in my family called me Boo. It was what my mother had always called me. It had been my first word and everything had been Boo then.
"Me too," I said. Kienan smiled and let go of my hand. She turned in bed and pulled the blanket over her head. I walked out of her room, closing the door behind me. When I got home from work today, I was going to have to clean her room. It was starting to turn into a fire hazard again. I walked down the hallway and made my way down the stairs. Our house wasn't huge but it was big enough for the seven of us. We were going to move in after Misha was born and we still did but with melancholy. My mother was the one who had picked the house. She didn't want her daughters to share rooms and fight over it. I made my way across the living room and through the swinging door of the kitchen. Dad was already in there making breakfast. I walked around the kitchen island and placed a kiss on his cheek.
"'Morning, Daddy," I said. Dad looked up and smiled at me. His brown eyes crinkled at the corner and there were shadows of grey in his thinning blonde hair. It worried me that he spent most of his time either working or worrying about Kienan and Rhian. They're a little rebellious but I know deep down in my heart that they would never do anything that would make Dad regret not having married again, when so many people told him that we would need a mother, especially Misha. We all turned out fine despite that.
"Good morning, darling. Where are your sisters?" Dad asked.
"Upstairs in the washroom," I said. I walked over to a cabinet, opened it and pulled out six plates. Then I continued to set the breakfast table while Dad made breakfast. I put the coffee on to brew, took out the juice and milk from the fridge and then went on to prepare cold cuts for Kienan. Dad and I did this every morning. Sutton was the only one who could cook but she wasn't very good at it so we went out of our way to avoid her cooking. I wrapped the cold cuts and put them in the fridge.
"Okay, eggs are ready. I'm going to leave for work now. I'll grab something on the way," Dad said. I nodded and grabbed a thermos for his coffee. The doorbell rang and I heard Sutton yell that she will get it. I tightened the lid on the thermos and handed it to Dad. The kitchen door swung open and Rayne and Rhian came in. I sighed. Though they were identical twins, the only thing similar about them was their look. Rhian was super skinny and completely comfortable in her own skin. She thought she could take on the world and it wouldn't affect her. Rayne was different. She didn't feel comfortable in her own skin, though I told her all the time that she was beautiful and she really was. But she always said that compared to Rhian, she was not pretty. Like right now, Rhian was wearing a short green dress with lace-y tights and black boots and she looked every bit the beautiful, care-free girl she was. But Rayne was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a pretty floral white blouse with white flats. She always tried to fade into the background. I hated to think that she'd picked it up from me. I still tried to fade into the background and it wasn't hard. I worked at a fashion magazine as the assistant to the editor but I really had no interest in fashion or make-up.
Sutton walked through the door and I was brought out of my reverie.
"The woman who has a crush on you is here," she said to Dad. We all turned to look at him and I saw a blush creeping up his face. Yup, this is where Rayne and I get it from; a lifetime of insecurities. After six daughters and ten years after my mother's death, he still couldn't believe she had fallen in love with him. My mother had been really beautiful.
"Then I better leave out the back door," Dad said. He kissed all of us goodbye and left through the back door. Sutton shrugged.
"Aren't you going to tell her he left?" I asked. Sutton heaved a huge dramatic sigh before she walked out the door again. Rhian, Rayne and Misha were already sitting around the breakfast table and I joined them there. I'd put bread in the toaster and my sister's shoveled scrambled eggs onto their plates. I looked down at my watch and realized with horror that if we didn't leave in ten minutes, we were all going to be late. Sutton came swinging into the kitchen and took her seat at the table.
"Eat quickly, we're gonna be late and I for one don't wanna be late for work," I said. I got up and got the toasts, putting them on a plate, I put two more slices of bread in the toaster. I brought the plate to the table and Rhian grabbed one and put it her mouth.
"Your boss is a…you-know-what," she said, around a mouthful of toast. Rhian was right; my boss was a bitch and quite possibly a slut. She hated me because I worked for the editor of Fashion magazine and I didn't give a crap about fashion. I'd finally learned to be comfortable in my own skin and I was not going to be jealous of women who starved themselves.
"I do and chew with your mouth closed," I said.
"At least she's not a sexual predator," Sutton piped. I rolled my eyes. I don't know why she worked for that jerk. He's made a pass at her more than once and I've absolutely forbidden her from staying behind after everyone has left. I don't even wanna think about what's going through the mind of Oliver Hyde.
"I hope he calls in sick. I would just like to go one day without wanting to punch someone," Sutton said dryly. I smirked at her and she rolled her eyes. I knew she could protect herself, I didn't doubt her but it was my job to worry about her. I worried about all my sisters, despite their protests.
"Grab your stuff, we're gonna be late," I said. Misha and Rayne grabbed a toast and left the kitchen, followed by Rhian.
"So are you excited?" Sutton asked, now that we were alone. I poured myself half a glass of juice and took a sip, sighing as the cold liquid slid down my throat.
"Excited about what?" I asked. I shoveled a forkful of eggs into my mouth.
"Boo," Sutton said, raising her eyebrows. She got up and got the toasts out of the toaster and handed me one. I took a bite and swallowed it down with orange juice and then shrugged at Sutton.
"Jack Chamberlin's son is coming? He's taking the post of the editor-in-chief? Any of this ring a bell?" Sutton asked. I stared at her in horror. That's it. That's the nervous flutter in my heart. Hannah, my boss, must be freaking out. She was so sure that she was going to get the job when the old editor-in-chief was fired but Mr. Chamberlin was bringing in his son. Then again, she didn't ask me to come in early or anything so I wasn't defying orders by not going in early. Though, today was going to be a crappy day and I groaned. Hannah's bitchiness was going to be amplified today. Oh god, please give me the courage to not bitch slap my boss.
"Okay, okay, I have to go. Now," I said.
"I can't believe you forgot. Everyone in the publication business knows about it," Sutton said, frowning at me. Sutton worked for Brandon Publishing, as the assistant to the Commissioning Editor. She pretty much kept me on top of everything that was going in the publications business.
"Alright, I get it. Big mistake," I said.
"I'll take Ray, Rhian and Misha to school," Sutton said. I nodded and blew her a kiss before I walked out of the kitchen. I grabbed my car keys off the table behind the couch and grabbed my purse which I had left on the couch. I rushed out the door, calling out goodbyes to my sisters. My car was an old black Chevy Impala which I had acquired when I was twenty but I had taken super great care of it and it still ran great. I got in the car and pulled out of the driveway. My first stop was Hannah's favorite coffee shop. I'd been working for her for a year and the one thing I knew for certain was that she had no discernible taste palette. I knew that because the first few times I'd actually gotten her coffee wrong and I knew that but she didn't know that. Then I did it on purpose just to test my theory and it turned out I was right. At least I had control over what kind of coffee I brought her.
I parked the car outside the coffee shop and got out in a hurry. There was a huge line-up at the counter but thankfully I didn't have to wait in line. The guy who opened the shop every day sort of had a crush on me. I waited in line every day, nervous about what I would say to him because I didn't want to encourage him until Sutton told me to tell him I wasn't interested. I did but he still had hope. He still kept my order ready for me when I walked into the shop every day.
"Kiera," Mack called, when I walked into the shop. The customers shot me angry glares as I made my way to the front of the line and grabbed my order. Hannah had a running tab here so I didn't have to pay and I thanked Mack, who smiled at me widely. I gave him a small smile and walked out of there in a hurry. Jeez.
I parked my car down the block from the office building and walked in a hurry. I had five minutes before I was going to be late and Hannah was going to blow her top off. The glass foyer of the building was a flurry of activity, no doubt due to Mr. Chamberlin's son's arrival. I waved to Peter who sat behind the round reception desk and he waved back; he was one of the few people who were actually friendly. I made my way past security and pushed the call button for the elevator, which took its sweet time to arrive.
Jack Chamberlin owned the building. He not only had a fashion magazine but also a financial magazine and a housing magazine and various other magazines. He pretty much owned the magazine business and he was a very big name in the publications business. The elevator finally arrived and I stepped inside, pressing the button for floor sixteen. Fashion was the only magazine that had six floors. One floor for clothes, the other was for make-up, then models, HR, another for nutrition so the models don't stray from their diet, then the sixteenth floor where the writers and editors were.
I gave a small smile to the people from the financial magazine who honestly thought everyone working for Fashion was a zombie in designer clothes. They really didn't like us. Unfortunately, the HR for all the magazines had gotten my files mixed with some other girl's files and she ended up working in the finance magazine and I ended up in fashion. But I figured once you're in, you're in.
Just as the elevator doors were about to close, someone called out to hold the doors and a moment later a guy walked through the doors. For a moment I stood stunned. He was wearing a white wool long-sleeves t-shirt with dark blue jeans and from what I could tell, he obviously worked out, a lot. His face was perfectly sculptured; high cheekbones, straight nose, lips shaped like a bow. His wavy dark blonde hair fell across his forehead and into his eyes. For a moment all I could think was wow. I'd met models before but this guy took it to a whole new level. Suddenly, I was looking into pensive gray eyes and I felt my face flush. I looked away and stepped back until my back hit the elevator wall. He pushed the button for his floor, the elevator doors closed and he moved to the other corner of the elevator.
The elevator stopped on the third floor and three people got out and two more came in. The woman who entered was around my age but clearly she was a model because she was all bones. Her eyes found his and she smiled a sickly sweet smile, moving to stand between us. I pulled my hair over my shoulder and prayed for the elevator to move faster. The guy standing in front of me pulled out a bagel sandwich and started to eat it. I rolled my eyes. Could this get any worse? I was all for eating carbs; it's just the 'eat in elevator with people around' thing I had a problem with. I grabbed my coffee off the tray and took a sip. It was mildly hot, which was how I liked it. I happened to catch a glimpse of the model and she was glaring at the guy who was eating his bagel sandwich. I rolled my eyes yet again. Beside her he was looking at me with curious grey eyes. I looked away immediately, flushing a deep red. When the elevator stopped again, everyone got out, even the model and I had no idea what she was going to do on the finance floor. The elevator doors closed and it was just him and I. Eight more floors and I would reach my destination. He was going to the twentieth floor where the meeting room was. All the editors were there right now waiting for Christian Chamberlin.
"Jeez, you would think he was eating a baby," he said. I looked up at him, surprised that he was talking to me. He must have taken my surprise for confusion, though.
"The guy eating the bagel," he explained.
"No, I know what you mean," I replied and gave him a half smile. The elevator gave a sudden jump and stopped. Oh, god. Oh, god. Oh, god. This can't be happening. No. No. No. No. No. NO. I can't be stuck. Hannah was going to kill me. Worse, if she attempted, I was going to kill her. I looked up at him in horror.
"You're not claustrophobic, are you?" He asked.
"No, but if this elevator doesn't move in the next five seconds, I'm a dead woman," I said. I shoved the coffee tray in his hand and pressed the emergency button. It connected to the security desk and I knew Carla would be there, like she was every morning.
"Security," Carla said. She was in her forties but her voice was rough due to cigarettes. I am pretty sure she smoked a pack every day.
"Carla, the elevator is stuck on the tenth floor," I said.
"Oh dear, I told Lloyd to shut down the elevator. It's been giving us trouble since yesterday. Don't worry, hon, we called the elevator company but they won't be here for another hour," Carla said sympathetically.
"An hour?" I shrieked. My voice was high and my heart was pounding in my chest. I was starting to hyperventilate. This couldn't be happening. Not today of all days.
"I'll call up to reception and let them know you're stuck," Carla said. She hung up the phone. My legs had turned to jelly. I can't be stuck in an elevator.
"This cannot be happening," I said out loud to myself.
"What are you gonna do? We're stuck."
I turned to face him with raised eyebrows. What kind of a human being didn't care that he was stuck in an elevator with a complete stranger? He gave me a small tentative smile and I fought the urge to roll my eyes. I didn't want to be rude, despite the situation.
"You don't understand. My boss is a monumental bitch. She's the bitch other bitches are measured against. I know I shouldn't be saying this to a complete stranger but it's the truth," I said. I sagged against the wall and slid down, resting my head on my knees. It wasn't that I was afraid of Hannah. I just didn't want to go through the whole day listening to her blab about Christian Chamberlin getting her job.
I felt him slide down next to me; our knees practically touching. He touched my knee gently and a shock ran through my entire body. I looked up at him. He was frowning at me and his eyes showed unmasked concern. I swallowed hard.
"I'm sure she's not that bad," he said. I gave a bitter laugh.
"Hannah has the ability to make a nun swear," I said. He gave me half a smile and my breath hitched in my throat. He really was so beautiful. I wonder who he was and why he hadn't told me his name but then again, I was wondering why he was even talking to me. A guy like him had to have a girlfriend. He was the first guy I was actually attracted to in years.
"Hannah Parker?" He asked.
I nodded. "I'm her assistant, unfortunately."
I wasn't surprised that he knew her. He was going to the twentieth floor where all the editors would be anxiously waiting to meet Christian Chamberlin. I looked down at my watch. 9:20 am. He would be in the meeting by now and Hannah would be seething. Everyone wanted a promotion but Christian was only coming here temporarily. He owned five of his own publishing companies; he certainly didn't need the job. I didn't even understand why he was coming here.
"Do you mind if I drink this coffee? I kind of skipped breakfast," he asked me. I waved my hand. Hannah wasn't going to be drinking it anytime soon. I would have to get her another one. He handed me my cup. I took a grateful sip and felt myself calm down a little. I watched as he raised the cup to his mouth and took a sip. His eyes grew wide and he spat it out. I raised my eyebrows.
"Is there hazelnut in it?" He asked.
"Uh…yeah; are you allergic?" I asked, alarm coloring my voice.
"No, I just really hate hazelnut," he said, shaking his head. I took a deep breath and relaxed. Thank god. I didn't want him to have an allergic reaction while we were trapped in the elevator. My phone rang loudly, startling me and breaking the silence. I was surprised my phone was even working in the elevator. I pulled it out of my purse and looked at the caller id. Sutton.
"Hey," I said, bringing the phone to my ear.
"He's out sick," Sutton sang excitedly in my ear.
"Who? What?" I asked, confused.
"Boo! Oliver, he's out sick. He has the flu," Sutton said.
"Well, at least one of us is having a good day," I said. I was aware of him beside me, watching me as I talked to my sister.
"Is Hannah being her usual charming self?" Sutton asked dryly. Oh, how I wish I was with Hannah right now. I couldn't believe that I actually wanted to be near that woman.
"I wouldn't know. I am stuck in the elevator. I can just imagine Hannah blowing her top off," I said.
"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you," Sutton said. I smiled. She wasn't religious in the least. She only prayed when one of us was in trouble and miraculously it worked most of the time. So I wasn't opposed to her praying for me but I knew there was nothing that could save me from Hannah's clutches; except getting a different job.
"Yeah, okay. I'll call you back. I'm sure you have work to do," I said. We said our goodbyes and I hung up. I looked down at my watch again. 9:30 am. This was torturous. I should have brought a book with me. I looked up at him again and found that he was looking at me intently. I would have looked away but I couldn't tear away my gaze. The space between surged with electricity. My heart beat a frantic rhythm in my chest and I thought I was going to pass out because I had stopped breathing. He kept staring at me; gray eyes the color of oncoming storm. So beautiful.
Startled, I placed a hand over my chest. Holy shit. I tore away my gaze from his and pressed the button on the speaker to talk to Carla.
"Yes?" I asked in a shaky voice.
"Good news, hon. The elevator company is here," Carla replied.
"Oh, thank god," I said. I sighed with relief and turned to look at my companion. He was looking at the floor, his face turned away but I caught a hint of a frown. Wasn't he happy we were getting out? Did he want to stay in the elevator? My phone buzzed in my hand, indicating I had a text message. I went to the message folder to read it. It was from Kate, the receptionist at Fashion.
*Hannah wanted me 2 remind u to get the new dresses from Poppy & u r LATE*
I rolled my eyes. I knew I was late. I have been worrying about that for the past half hour. Good thing I was on the tenth floor; the clothes department. Poppy was the head of the department and despite that, she was a total geek at heart. We'd become fast friends when I had first joined Fashion and she'd given me the courage to stick through the job for so long. I usually went to her to vent about Hannah. And now I was freaking angry.
*I knw that but I am stuck in the freaking elevator. So it would do you well to shut your trap*
That felt nice. I put the phone back in my purse.
"I can practically feel the relief radiating off of you," he said from beside me. I bit my lip. I wanted to ask him his name but a lifetime of insecurities made me bite my tongue. Thirty minutes spent together in the elevator didn't mean he was interested in me. I don't know what I was so upset about. I was going to get busy with work and my sisters and I was going to completely forget about him.
I could hear a flurry of activity on the other side of the elevator doors and he stood up. Turning around, he offered me his hand and I looked at it and then at him. I could see the hesitation in his eyes mixed with something else and he started to pull his hand back. I reached up and placed my hand in his and he helped me up. The shock I had felt at his touch was still there. His hand was warm in mine and I had the feeling that I didn't want to let it go. He was the first one to pull his hand away.
"Thank you," I said, giving him a small but genuine smile. He smiled back at me. It took the elevator guys fifteen more minutes to get the doors open, I don't know why. But we finally stepped out of the elevator and I breathed a sigh of relief. Yes! I turned to look at him and he was looking at me again with that same intent look in his eyes.
"It was very nice spending the past 45 minutes with you, Kiera. Definitely the best top 10 on my list," he said. Then he stepped into a waiting elevator and left. The best top 10? I told him that my boss was a bitch. How did that make it to his best top 10 list? And top 10 list of what? To top of the confusion, I still didn't know his name and I don't know if I ever will.
I turned around and walked down the hall, pushing open the glass doors that led to the 'closet'. The doors led to the foyer with a round table and an antique vase rested on top, filled with white peonies. Beyond the table was a set of white double doors and I walked to them. Pushing them open, I walked inside the closet. It was every girl's dream come true; rows and rows of designer clothes and accessories. Even I was a little jealous and I didn't know anything about fashion.
I spotted Poppy immediately because of her fiery red hair. She was talking to one of the girls who took care of the accessories and her assistant. She was wearing tight black jeans with a black blouse that hung off her shoulder. Her red hair was tied in a messy side braid and she looked every bit the head of this department.
"Poppy," I said, walking towards her. She turned around to look at me.
"Kiera, you look like hell," Poppy said. I smiled. Did I mention that Poppy was British? I loved her accent. It was so smooth and relaxing. She was from the north of London. It had taken me two months to learn that. Getting information out of Poppy was like pulling teeth. She wasn't the most forthcoming person and I understood why, now. Working for a fashion magazine meant everyone was at each other's throat. You tell someone your secret, the next thing you know they tell it to the boss and get you fired or tell it to the whole office and make you quit. I'd never actually experienced that and I was hoping that I never would.
"Thanks, that's exactly what I need," I said. I walked to the mirror behind Poppy and looked into it. My eyes were huge, my face pale and my hair was all over the place. I patted it down and pinched my cheek to bring some color into them. No doubt, this was because I spent the past forty-five minutes stuck in the elevator.
"What happened to you?" Poppy asked.
"I was stuck in the elevator," I said.
"Oh dear," Poppy said, sympathetically.
"Yeah, can you give me the new dresses Hannah wants? I'm late and Hannah is pissed. I don't think it's a secret she was hoping for the job of the editor-in-chief which is going to Christian Chamberlin," I said. Poppy made a face. Then she looked me up and down, frowning. Oh dear. Poppy was all for my non-stylish wardrobe but whenever I was down here she always tried to get me into something designer and fitting. I didn't wear super fitted clothes like everyone other girl at Fashion.
"You should change your shoes. Louboutin's will do," Poppy said. It clearly was not a request and her gaze told me it wasn't up for argument. I threw my hands up in the air, exasperated. I didn't like to wear heels because I could be a bit clumsy and I didn't want to fall in front of women who wore heels for a living.
"Why do I have to wear heels?" I asked out of curiosity.
"Because Christian Chamberlin is coming today, the least you can do is wear heels. I like the rest of your outfit, it's very you," Poppy said. She sent her assistant to get the stuff and a moment later she was back, holding a pair of black Louboutin pumps in my size and the five dresses that Hannah needed to see. I stepped out of my flats and took one then the other pump. I now stood a few inches taller than Poppy.
"Rachel, take those. Oh, Michael Kors; I approve," Poppy said, looking at the label of my flats. Just because I was wearing flats didn't mean they couldn't be designer. Besides, Kienan and Sutton insisted that I buy them so I did. I really did like them.
"I'll be back after work to get these," I said. I handed my flats to Rachel and took the dresses from her.
"Wish me luck," I said.
"Good luck," Poppy said. I smiled at her, even though no amount of good luck was going to make this day better. I waved good bye to her and made my way out of the closet and to the stairs. I was not going to take the elevator. Besides, it was only six flights of stairs. I was not out of shape. Once upon of a time, I used to be terrified of elevators so I used to take the stairs everywhere but that fear disappeared when my mother died. I was faced with a more dreadful fear; living my life without my mother.
When I stepped out on the sixteenth floor, I wasn't even out of breath. I made my way to the open doors of Fashion and when I entered, Kate looked up from the computer. I glared at her as I made my way to Hannah's office. Her office was down a hallway, at the end of which was my desk and beyond that, her office. Through the glass doors, I could see that it was still empty which meant she still wasn't here. How long does it take to meet a person? Since the elevator hottie had drunk Hannah's coffee, I went into the small kitchen by her office and put the coffee on to brew. She was going to need it. I was going to need it if I planned on making it through the day.
The phone rang when I came out of the kitchen and I reached for it in a hurry, having trouble running in my heels. Hannah was always angry when she didn't get her messages. I cleared my throat and picked up the phone, bringing it to my ear.
"Hannah Parker's office," I said, in my most official voice.
"You finally made it to your desk. Come to the editor-in-chief's office. Now. And transfer all my calls to the front desk," Hannah said from the other side. She hung up before I could even comprehend what she had asked me. Why did she need me at the editor-in-chief's office? Unless Christian Chamberlin had skipped out and she had finally gotten the job so we were moving offices. I bit my lip. She sounded sour on the phone; her normal bitchy self. I took a deep breath and transferred all in-coming calls to Kate.
The editor-in-chief's office was beyond the doors behind the reception. It was right at the front so whoever sitting in there could see everything that was happening in the rest of the office area. I came out of the small hallway and turned right. I could see Hannah from where I was standing but she wasn't alone. Beside her stood Jack Chamberlin and beside him stood his son, presumably. His back was to me so I couldn't see his face but he was wearing dark blue jeans and a black sports jacket. Hannah turned and when she saw me she waved me forward.
I forced my limbs to move forward and my heels clacked against the stone floor. As I neared the party of three, Mr. Chamberlin turned around and I smiled at him tentatively. I'd only met him a few times and he intimidated me beyond belief. His sharp green eyes assessed me carefully before he returned my smile. He turned to his son and said something to him and by now I had reached them.
"Kiera, I would like you to meet Christian Chamberlin, our new editor-in-chief," Hannah said. She gave me a tight smile and turned to the other Mr. Chamberlin.
He finally turned around to look at me and I sucked in a sharp breath, my eyes wide.
It was him.