Chapter One

Stephan Espy sighed as he entered the last report into his laptop. It had been a long day, as it always was being the CEO of Espy Corporations, where they manufactured different types of computer technologies for other companies and machines for gaming. Since so many companies relied on technology then it was no surprise that he was a very busy billionaire.

That didn't really affect him though. He had always been wealthy, since his grandfather had created the company and invested so much money in it. The company had been handed down to his father, the late Raul Espy, and then to himself. He stifled a yawn then packed up his things so he could go home and rest… oh wait, that wasn't an option. He groaned. He forgot he was due to attend an opera with a few businessmen and their wives.

It's not that the twenty-one-year-old minded, in fact, he was rather fond of operas and theaters. He was used to the balls and banquets that he had attended since he was a child; it was just that sometimes the work was too much for him. He sighed once more and stood up, brief case in hand. He put on his dark trench coat, which added a look of ambiguity and left the company.

"Mia! Hurry up!"

Mia Bryer rolled her eyes as she walked along a very busy street on her way back from the mall. She was trailing behind her friend, Logan Kendall, who finally had to still movement and wait for her. His raven spiked hair almost gleamed blue in the sunlight. He tapped a flip-flop clad foot and crossed his arms over his tight white shirt. His green eyes were impatient as he watched her continue to stroll without any signs of speeding up clad in a light pink crop top and matching colored GoGo boots.

Her PVC ebony skirt flared as her hips moved to the music and her russet hair bobbed with the rhythm. She was listening to "Surrender" from Evanescence and ignored Logan's calls for her to speed up. She never was one to listen to anyone, though she relented to Logan, though that, in itself, was rare.

Logan sighed and crossed his arms. After a minute, Mia came up to him and he snatched her earphones off. "Hey!" Mia cried as she turned to glare at Logan, her pigtails flying as she turned to face Logan fully. She huffed at Logan's amused look. "What?" she asked.

"I love you, my little punk bunny." He spoke smiling.

"Yeah whatever." Mia replied grabbing her mp3 player, the Arcetta. Logan just shook his head and they resumed their walk.

After a while they came upon a huge company building gleaming in the sun making them squint. "God, how tall is that thing?" Mia asked as she put her hand above her eyes.

"Isn't that Espy Corp.?" Logan commented.

"I don't know. What do they do?" Mia inquired.

"I think they manufacture tech. stuff, like game systems, and iPods."

Mia looked at her Arcetta and sure enough at the bottom, in small print was "Manufactured by Espy Corporations". She looked back the building. "Oh."

Just then the glass doors opened and the most beautiful guy she had ever seen walked out. As unattractive as it was to call a guy "beautiful"... that's just what he was. It didn't mean he looked girly or in any way feminine. Beauty was defined as "a quality in a person or thing that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind."

And she was instantly satsified with just looking at him for the rest of her life.

The man was far more than handsome with his tone bod y and lean figure. He was too far away to see his face in detail, but she could see that he was very pleasant to look at. His dark hair shone making the chocolate brown stand out. He wore a long trench coat with a brief case in hand as he was walked down the steps to an awaiting limo. He stepped inside said limo and drove off.

Mia watched it go, and she was snapped away from her thoughts with Logan's comment. "You can stop drooling now."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Mia replied sharply as she kept on walking.

"Suuurree." Logan replied smirking as he followed his friend.

"But Mr. Mac..." Mia whined the next day as she held a stack of posters in her drama class.

Her teacher Mr. Mackenzie, known as Mr. Mac, shook his head impatiently. "No buts, Mia," he warned, "I told you you needed to sign up for a project which would be worth seventy percent of your grade, since you refused then I chose for you. You are to put these up at businesses and get this form signed by the manager or owner stating that you were actually there."

"They're probably WAY too busy to sign the forms, so you'll just have to take my word for it." Mia replied.

Mr. Mac shook his head. "I'm not stupid, I know better than that. If you neglect this project Mia, then you will fail this class and not get a credit for it not to mention getting kicked out."

"WHAT?" Mia exclaimed almost dropping her papers.

"I have had it with your lack of attention, Mia. If you want to stay in this class then get your act together and complete this project!"

Mia frowned and then sighed knowing she couldn't afford to fail the class and not get a credit for it. "All right fine. But if they have little bitch fits then I'll blame you."

Mr. Mac rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, watch your language Miss Bryer."

Mia then proceeded to leave the office with posters in her arms when his comment stopped her. "Oh, and Miss Bryer, there will be zero tolerance for sleeping in class, and I don't take the excuse 'I need sleep to develop fully and reach the capacity I need to achieve my highest potential in class.'" He spoke with a raised brow. Mia rolled her aquamarine eyes and left.

She sat on the roof of the school as she skipped 3rd period. She skimmed over the list as she leaned against the school wall. Let's see, she thought to herself, Vista Company, Geico, Nike, Sonic…? Whatever. She groaned and laid her head back against the wall. She still had a week to do the project. No need to rush.

"Remember class, if your project is publicity then it's due tomorrow." Mr. Mac spoke a week later.

"Wha-what?" Mia spoke sitting up and snatching off her earphones.

"Yes, Mia. Just like I had told you a week ago. But I'm sure this is of no surprise to you and that you are already prepared to hand into me the forms tomorrow." He gave her a long look, "After all, we can't have an audience for our play if they don't see the posters."

"Uh… yeah, sure." Mia spoke slouching in her seat. She had completely forgotten about the project, she had wasted her time with shopping, hanging out with friends, and getting drunk. Great… she thought bitterly.

As soon as the final bell rang, dismissing the students for the day, Mia raced out of the large building without so much as goodbye to Logan. "Hey, Mia!" Logan called after her.

"No time to talk! Gotta finish the project!" Mia replied as she raced past him. Logan could only shake his head.

An hour later, Mia sighed as she exited Sonic. She had visited countless businesses, and the sun was beginning to set. Good thing she only had one more to go. She looked down at the list; the last one was Espy Corporations.

"I'm sorry, miss; Mr. Espy is in a meeting right now and cannot be disturbed. You can come back tomorrow and set up an appointment."

Mia growled as she glared at the secretary in front of her on the 100th floor. "You don't understand I need him to sign this paper proving I was here and to put these posters on the windows outside."

The secretary smiled. "Well, if that's all you need then I'll be happy to sign that form for you."

Mia thought for a moment. It would save time…. No… Mr. Mac would certainly think she didn't get the CEO's signature on purpose and that she was slacking, "Nope. Sorry, it has to be him."

"Well I'm sorry, but that won't be-"

Mia sighed in exasperation and walked past the desk. "Miss! You can't go in there!" The secretary called, running after her.

Stephan sat in a velvet chair staring at the, rather boring, proposal by one of his associates. "So this will increase our production, but devastating our stock options?" Stephan questioned leaning on his hand.

"W-w-ell yes, you see…."

Stephan groaned inwardly and pinched the bridge of his nose. The speech was drowned out by his growing headache. He was desperate for a distraction, and, before he knew it, his prayers were answered. He heard his secretary through the closed doors.

"No, miss! You can't go in there!"

Suddenly, the doors flew open with such power that it slammed into the wall. Stephan saw a pretty petitie teenage girl with dark hair in pigtails and aquamarine eyes enter the room. She wore a black corset top and a matching colored mini skirt with white ruffles underneath it along with high heeled boots that reached right below her knees.

He stood up and their gazes met. "Tricia, I thought I had told you to not allow anyone to interrupt this meeting." He spoke coolly, but inside was counting his lucky stars for the disturbance.

"I'm sorry sir, but I-" Tricia began but was cut off by the teenage girl.

"Yeah, yeah, are you the CEO?" she spoke, addressing Stephan. Apperently, her appeaance was the only pretite thing about her.

"Yes, I am." He replied with an eyebrow raised.

The young teenager nodded, apparently satisfied, "I need to talk to you.".

"I'm in the middle of a very important meeting. My secretary, Tricia, will help you."

"No she can't." The girl countered sounding frustrating.

"Well if it's that important, set up an appointment." Stephan spoke sitting back down.

It seemed like the teen wasn't finished as she stomped over to him, her white stiletto boot heels tapping the ground with each step of fury. "I don't think you understand Mr. What-ever-your-name-is. I need YOU to help me out NOW! Not tomorrow, not later, not in five minutes. NOW!"

Stephan stood up once more and he towered over her. "I will ask you to leave. I can't be disturbed at this moment, and if you refuse to comply then I'll call security."

She rolled her eyes and countered steadily, "I'm not leaving until you listen to me."

Stephan stared at her for a moment, taking in the fact that she had outwardly refused to obey him. He stood up with such speed that she was forced to step back. He grabbed her elbow and before she knew it, she was out in the hallway.

"Hey! Let go of me!" she yelled as she pulled back from his strong grip.

He noticed her study him and then her eyes widened. She must have realized something, but he could not have cared less. "I can have you arrested if you don't leave now." Stephan spoke, his eyes blazing.

"I will. Just as soon as you help me".

Stephan sighed once more and looked down at her. He really did not want to go back to the meeting, but if he relented then it would seem this girl had easily undermined his authority.

"Unlike you, I don't have all day." She spoke boldly tapping her foot.

"Shut up, and go to my office." Stephan snapped and she raised a brow smirking.

"Sure," But as she took a few steps, she turned to him, "Uh, where is it?"

"Down the hall, turn left, 4th door on your right." Stephan replied wanting to bang his head on the wall.

"Okay. By the way," She paused and replied coyly before walking away, "My name is Mia."

Stephan raised a brow. What a coquette... He shook his head and turned back towards his eventful meeting.

A few minutes later Stephan joined Mia at his office. As he appeared at his doorway, he watched her look out the large window. She seemed intrigued by the city below. He entered and sat down on his large, leather chair and put his elbows on his desk and intertwined his fingers. "So," he spoke, smirking as she started, "What is this about?"

"I need you to sign this." Mia spoke as she handed him a form. "What?" she asked as she noticed his look of utter disbelief.

"This is what all the fuss was about?" he asked stunned.

"Yeah, if you had just signed it when I had asked you to, then we wouldn't have had this problem." Mia spoke angrily and impatiently.

Stephan sighed and closed his eyes. "Kids…" he muttered.

"I'm not a kid! I didn't exactly volunteer for this." Mia countered. Stephan just massaged his temples with one hand as he quickly signed the form and handed it to her.

"See, that wasn't so hard." Mia spoke mirroring his earlier smirk. Stephan stared at her and then stood up.

"Who sent you here?"

"My drama teacher. You're supposed to put these on your window." She replied handing him a stack of posters. Stephan glanced down at them and then looked back at her.

"Are you serious? Putting high school play posters in the windows of a corporate building?"

Mia shrugged. "It wasn't my idea. I would be happy drinking some vodka right now instead of being here."

Stephan raised a brow. "Aren't you a little young to drink?"

"I'm gonna be sixteen in two months." She spoke indignantly.

"That's still way too young."

Mia scoffed, "What are you, my mother?"

"Look just get out already. I have work to do, and, thanks to your little show back there, I'm behind schedule."

"Oh heaven forbid; you're behind schedule!" Mia replied sarcastically as she headed out the door.

When she had gone Stephan sat back down. What an annoying little brat, he thought to himself, relived that she was gone, and that he never had to deal with her again.

Still he had a bunch of work to look forward to. He tensed up as he saw the stacks of papers on his desk.

When would his work ever end? And most of it was meaningless.

"Here is your coffee, Stephan." Tricia informed him as she come in, the cup in hand.

Stephan sighed, "Thank you, Tricia."

"Boy, you seem tense. A lot of work?" she asked.

"The price for taking a couple of days off." Stephan answered sipping his coffee.

"Wow…" Tricia commented, "You know, really need a personal assistant. I think it'll really help you" She spoke before leaving.

Stephan thought about it after she left. A personal assistant would be of great use to him… He qucikly calculated the pros and cons of having one before coming to a conclusion.

The decision in mind, he stood up and went to tell Tricia the requirments he would be looking for in the applicants.

"Okay, so NOW I need a job?" Mia spoke glaring at her uncle.

"Yeah, so shut the hell up and get out of the fucking house and find one!" her uncle yelled back.

Rick Bryer had been put in charge of Mia when her parents died in a car crash eleven years ago. She had first been with her grandparents for two years, but that didn't work out since they would occasionally forget to pick her up from school or even who she was. She was then put in her dad's half-brother's charge. He, being an uncaring bastard with a personal vendetta, had not brought her up as decently as any other person could have. He bought her things every once and a while in exchange for taking care of herself, which included transportation and food.

That had not been enough to avoid all of their intense verbal and, sometimes, physical confrontations, but with time their hate for each other mellowed into dislike.

Mia's fierce eyes met her uncle's hazel ones, "Fine, but when I get pain then all that money goes to me."

"Hell, no. You have to help pay for this house!" Rick replied seeming outraged at her comment.

"Well, I wouldn't have to save your ass when it comes to the house bill, if you didn't spend every single fucking penny on cigarettes and tobacco, now would I?" Mia replied.

"Just get a damn job and we'll discuss the money later." Rick spoke sitting down to watch television, and suddenly he was hit on the back of the head with a book.


"Apologize?" Mia screamed as she sat in her drama teacher's office.

"I heard about what you did over there, and, I have to say, I am real embarrassed on the image you have projected of our school."

"Oh my g- you told me to go over there and get this stupid form signed and I did, but now you said that you're disappointed in me! What is going on in your little world?" Mia practically screamed.

"I want you over there, today." Mr. Mac spoke, leaving no room for question. Mia knew he would call her uncle if she refused and at the moment, she didn't feel like hearing her wonderful caregiver rant.

"I can't believe I'm here again!" Mia muttered to herself as she walked up the steps to the Espy Corp. building. She was actually going to apologize, something she never did, all for a stupid credit. It wasn't even a full credit! It was half a credit, dammit! She entered the building and noticed the receptionist was in a deep conversation on the phone. Mia slipped by undetected and shook her head. This was supposed to be a major company.

She arrived at the 100th floor and was met with the Tricia lady once more. The secretary froze as she saw Mia enter, and she walked over to her. "Before you have a stroke, I'm here to talk to the CEO again, but I can wait this time."

Tricia looked at her suspiciously before reaching for her phone and calling the CEO. "Sir, the girl from yesterday is here to see you. She says she can wait this time…"

Mia sighed and waited as Tricia spoke to her boss. "No sir…. Yes she said she needs a conference with you. No, she's waiting. All right."

Tricia hung up and turned to Mia. "He will see you now."

Mia shrugged and walked to his office. Upon arriving she saw a young woman step out with a paper in her hand. She walked past Mia and spoke softly, "Good luck". Mia looked at her strangely. What had that been about?

She saw Stephan leaning on his desk, slightly sitting on it, with his ankles and arms crossed as she entered. "You needed to talk to me?" he asked her as he motioned her to sit down.

"Yeah, I uh… I…"

As Mia stuttered, Stephan raised a brow and continued to stare at her. "Go on." He spoke, and she glared.

"I'm trying thanks." Mia spoke. "Well- hey! What was that woman doing in your office? She whispered 'good luck' to me when she left. Good luck for what?"

"I'm having job interviews today, and she must have mistaken you for one of the job seekers." Stephan explained.

"Oh I see- oh wait! You're hiring? To do what?" Mia spoke.

"Why do you need to know?" Stephan retorted.

"Because it so happens I'm looking for a job at the moment!" Mia replied angrily.

"Well get one at Sonic because I highly doubt you are capable of doing the kind of work necessary for this job."

Mia stood up. "Are you calling me dumb?" she snarled at him.

"I'm only going on what you have shown me." Stephan spoke casually. He quickly blocked a punch headed his way and grabbed Mia's hands in his and held on.

"Let go of me!" Mia replied in her struggle.

"Not if you're going to try to attempt to assult me again."

"Let me go!" Mia's temper ignited as his cool tone, yet she forced herself to cease struggling.

Stephan rolled his eyes and released her. Instantly, she tried to punch him again, but the CEO already anticipated her efforts; he caught her arms easily and turned her so her back was to him, and he held her arms together.

"Are you going to calm down?" he asked her, whispering in her ear as she panted and thrashed about.

Finally she stopped. "Yes." She spoke through clenched teeth. He let her go, and she glared at him.

"You are such a prick!" she growled at him.

"You aren't exactly heaven's child either." He replied with equal hatred.

She turned on her heel and left. Fuck apologizing to this guy. Talking to him is like eating eggs. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth afterward, She thought to herself as she flew out of the office.

As she was leaving she noticed a man in his late thirties having a mental breakdown. "Ah! I can't do this!!" he cried sending papers flying. "Shit!" he cursed as he bent down to retrieve them.

Mia shrugged and helped him. The man looked up at her as she knelt down to help him. "Thanks, I appreciate it." He spoke as he stood up, with some effort, as he was a very heavy person. Mia stood up as well with a stack of papers in her hand, which she handed to him.

"No problem. What were you doing?" she asked. No one could ever accuse Mia of being reserved.

" I was busy trying to organize these stupid files and trying to check out the invoicing to see if the company we're dealing with received our orders." He replied as he sat back down.

Mia tilted her head a bit. "You know, labels would help you organize them, and if you want the invoicing you have to make sure you have the return checks first to confirm your order."

The man looked at her, his green eyes wide in surprise, and he ran a hand through his curled red hair. "Wow… you're right. How did you know that?" he asked her.

Mia shrugged. "My uncle works in stuff like this, and he's always complaining about invoicing and having to make sure there were purchase orders behind every single bill. So I once helped him with the programming and shipping because he threatened to take away my allowance, and I was good at it. Though my strength is actually in organizing and numbers, even though I hate math." She finished thoughtfully.

"Well that is quite impressive. We can actually use that here. Are you interested in working for me?" he asked her.

Mia's eyebrows rose. She was looking for a job…. and they probably paid good money.

"You'll be paid forty dollars per hour."

"Forty dollars!?" Mia exclaimed eyes widening. Her soon-to-be employer chuckled.

"Sure. This is a real big company,and the work is hard and bountiful. You'll be paid on hourly wage until you can move up if you so choose to salary. Think you can take it?" he asked her.

"Of course." Mia replied.

"Good, then you're hours are from three in the after noon to eight at night. Welcome aboard, the name's Carl." He spoke putting out his hand.

"Mia Bryer." She spoke shaking his hand.

She almost skipped home that night. She had a job…a high paying one at that. She couldn't wait till she saw the look on the arrogant CEO's face when he realized she qualified to work at the most important company in the county owned by him himself. Revenge is sweet…

End of Chapter One

Child of Philosophy