It was a typical day at the workplace. Papers were practically airborne, phones were ringing off the hooks and journalists were doing a bit of flying themselves as they flew across the room from one grey cubicle to the next. Some rushed to the lounge in need of more coffee while a few were in frantic search of the editors. Over the raucous, a loud voice could be heard bellowing curses at whomever it was who invented the printer. Amidst the chaotic scene, the people drew back like a tide, making leeway.
The woman was in her late twenties with dark russet hair at shoulder-length. She was one of the New York Daily's most valuable journalists, and one who had started working at the press in her teens. Readers loved her straight-forward work—no sugar, no cream—and they knew that they didn't need to question the facts. There was no "watering down" or exaggeration of the truth in her articles. New York loved her, and June Macoy had yet to disappoint them.
A dark cloud hung above her head as she stalked down the hallway. She was mulling over something clearly unhappy, furrowing her eyebrows and thinning out her lips in a tight frown. Had the interview gone wrong? The journalists knew better than to ask or stand in her way. They darted around her, careful to keep a fair distance away from the vexed June. It was like one of those blue moons; Every now and then, the woman needed space—a lot of it—and numerous pints of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
The woman glanced down at her watch, muttered something under her breath and then fussed with the cuffs of her navy suit, her black skirt swishing around her legs.
"What?" she asked flustered, the muscle in her jaw tightening. Her blue eyes flickered to her right. "Now's not a good time Toni."
A man trotted along beside her and flashed a handful of papers in front of her face, causing her to halt in her steps. She blinked back in surprise, tensing. Looking up from the papers to his face, she noticed Toni's large smile.
"No need to panic, I know you're trying to find a substitute for next Monday's edition. So I went and found one. It's your story, your break," he told her.
"Toni," she said with disbelief that melted to her thrill. "How did you get this? I could just hug you right now!"
The blonde and blue-eyed man shrugged, grinning. "Just did some begging and whimpering to Elaine. Eventually she gave up one of the other stories she was pursuing not to mention an evening out with me."
"Well, you sly devil you. Congrats," June began to smile but then paused. "Wait, did you say you got it from Elaine? You mean the Rosaline story?"
"Thanks but I don't want Elaine's story. I know she already started researching. It would be too much to ask for her to start fresh again. Besides, you know how I am." The woman tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear, glancing over the papers. With a bit of reluctance but still unyielding on her decision, she lifted her arm up to hand the documents back to Toni.
He opened his mouth to protest when another voice cut him off.
"Now isn't this something."
The two of them turned to face the speaker and a disgusted look came over Toni's face. A woman in a red suit, brown hair in a bun and deep hazel eyes flashed them a cool smile, studying them closely.
"I didn't know this was the way you operated," she said to June with a snarl.
"What are you doing here Amber? Aren't you supposed to be in Japan? You know, thousands and thousands of miles away from me." June replied as coldly as Amber had.
"Why? Are you surprised to see me back so soon?" Amber said, callously. "The meeting was non-existent. The story was a spoof."
She leaned toward June with a strange glint in her eyes, lowering her tone. "Now who could be possibly having too much time on their hands? Tell me June, how low have you sunk to bitc—"
"Oh poor baby," June interrupted, mockingly. "Is New York's biggest brat having a bad day? Oh my, what shall we ever do?"
Toni stifled a laugh as Amber glared at duo, narrowing her eyes. "I'm glad you're taking pleasure in this. Better watch where you step Macoy."
"I don't have time for this Amber. Unlike you I have business to take care of."
She stared at her, silent for a moment. June stared right back with raised eyebrows. Without a word, Amber Mitchell turned and stalked off.
"You'd think the high school days were out and over with," her male companion said as he watched after the woman, unable to keep the irritation from out of his voice. "After every Amber encounter, I'm always proven wrong."
June heaved a sigh. "People like her make the world go round, Toni. And they don't change their ways for anyone."
He glanced at her. "But you know what? Amber reminds me a little of you a couple years back. A bitter old woman—"
"Who you calling old?" She smacked him with the papers "Here, give these back to Elaine. I have to go see the boss and see if I could extend the deadline or something. Thanks anyway."
Before Toni could eve say anything she made her way toward Margaret Downtson's office. She was about to enter when Margaret herself came out.
"Just the person I wanted to see!" Her brown eyes sparkled as her words came out in a rush. "June, remember how this newspaper company is about to have their own news slot on NCS?"
Margaret was a petite, older woman of 5'3" height but her persona always came first before physicality. She exuded confidence, authority and most of all power. Everyone respected her greatly.
"Well the board came together and we decided that the best person for the anchor would be you."
June's eyes widened. "Really—"
Margaret held up a hand. "Now there's something else. I know you won't be used to it but it was eventually an issue that needed to be dealt with."
June watched her suspiciously. She didn't like the sound of where the conversation was going.
"I've been a friend to your family for many years and I don't like seeing you like this. You could use another friend. After your parents passed away you've never been the same June I knew as a little girl. Times were tough back then—"
"Margaret, you are getting off-topic," June said softly, too tired and too disconcerted to think about the past.
"You have a partner and co-anchor."
There was a moment of silence as Margaret watched June expectantly.
June frowned. "I'm sorry, can you say that again? I don't quite understand what you mean. And why are you looking at me like that?"
"You're not going to like this but..."
A/N: Hello! This is my first story on FictionPress; any comments on improving will be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much and I hope you enjoyed the read.