"It's official. You've gone mad."
Greta Russo shot her best friend, Nicole Ackland what she hoped was a threatening look and continued looking over the paper work on her desk.
"I have not gone mad, Nikki," Greta stated, matter-of-factly. "If I want to get the job as Nadine's assistant I have to work my ass off."
Nikki sighed but remained silent. Ever since Erin, their boss' previous assistant had been fired for sleeping with Nadine's husband, now ex, Greta had been working herself to the point of exhaustion just to prove to Nadine that she was worthy of being her assistant. This had been going on for about two weeks and Nikki was started to worry about Greta. She was always work late hours, skipping lunch so she could finish her work on time, staying up half the night to do research on things that didn't need to be researched...it just wasn't like Greta to get so worked up about things like this.
Ever since landing a job at "Dignity" magazine for women, Greta had started doing every little thing possible to impress their boss . Nikki was definitely proud of her best friend, at the time, but now she desperately wished Greta would just relax and go to sleep. "You've been at it for six hours, Greta! Six hours! I mean, we could've done so many things in six hours. You're twenty four years old! You have your whole life to get this."
Greta sighed, sinking down in the black leather executive chair, and rested her elbow on the desk, covered with magazine articles, and Greta's laptop. Finishing her extra credit article was harder than she thought it would be. Nadine had assigned her to work on setting up a display for the Winter collection presentation that would be held in Seattle in a couple of weeks.
"Are you done?" Nikki asked, sitting up to grab the Tupperware filled with vegetables. That was another thing Nikki hated about working at "Dignity", you had to be beautiful, intelligent, and if you weighed anything over 120, Nadine would fire you.
With a sigh, she shook her head slightly and whispered, "No." She knew Nikki had been right; she did have the rest of her life to get this job, but it had been her dream job ever since she had been a little girl. She had first become interested in Fashion when she had gone to visit her aunt Clara, who at the type was a popular fashion designer living in New York City. Clara had taken Greta to the most fashionable, expensive, classic shops in the city, and Greta instantly fell in love. Since that time, it had been Greta's dream to land a job in the Fashion biz' and follow in her aunt's footsteps.
Nobody understood why she would want to be the assistant and not the boss. It was because Greta wasn't the type of person to like to take charge, she was fine with people telling her what to do and her doing it, which was sometimes a bad thing.
After graduating, Greta moved out of her hometown, Chicago, and headed off to the city that never sleeps. She had absolutely adored it, and for the first couple of days had been spent exploring and getting used to taking the subway instead of getting driven everywhere. Moving to New York City had been her fresh start. She no longer kept in contact with anyone from her past, besides family. She had never meant for it to happen, but the only people she had told about moving to New York were her parents and her brother. She felt horrible for leaving her friends without saying goodbye, but it was something she had to do. She needed to get away from that place, and going to New York to fulfill her dreams had sounded like the perfect plan.
"I'm going to leave if I have to sit here and watch you do this bullshit." Nikki said. There was silence and Nikki was almost holding her breath, awaiting any sort of answer.
There was a soft sigh from the floor then a groan. "Fine."
"Yes!" Nikki exclaimed, pumping her fists into the air. "Now, turn that bloody thing off, and let's get ready!"
Greta raised an eyebrow. "Get ready for what?"
"We're going out!" Nikki exclaimed, pulling Greta out of her living room, and into the bedroom.
Greta's apartment was one of the nicest ones Nikki had ever seen. There were no doors, excluding the front and bathroom door for privacy. Everything was out and open, it was the perfect place for someone who was claustrophobic. The walls were all painted dark shades of colors Greta loved; red, purple, green..etc, and filled with gorgeous artwork that Greta had collected during the three years she had been living there.
Greta's bedroom was equally beautiful. It was warm and elegant. The brick wall was complemented by the silk upholstered wall which replaced the need of a traditional headboard. The curtains and the bedspread were a matching white, and the bedside tables were a dark wood. Greta's closet was as amazing as her room was. Being in the fashion business definitely influenced the way she dressed; classy and like her bedroom, elegant.
Nikki smiled as she gracefully slid into the walk-in closet filled with designer clothes. She loved playing dress-up with Greta, whether she liked it or not. Greta had always been so stubborn when it came to what she wore, she never liked dressing up too much, but her job required her to. Instead of wearing skirts and high heels, she'd be more comfortable in a pair of jeans a t-shirt.
"Okay, so where exactly is it that we're going?" Greta asked, as Nikki decided on what she was going to wear, silently thanking God that her and Greta wore the same size.
"Well, Jade at reception told me that there's this new club opening tonight, and apparently the owner is very hot so she invited us to go with her!" She said, taking off her camisole and slipping on a tiny gold dress. "I love this one! Can I wear it?"
Ignoring her question, because she knew Nikki would wear it even if she said no. "Fine, but we're not staying for too long, okay? Cause, I mean, I need to finish my presentation..."
Nikki groaned. This was the only thing she hated about her best friend. She knew how to be such a drag. "Greta, promise me right now that there will be absolutely NO talk about work, or Nadine or anything concerning the two, okay?"
Greta rolled her eyes. "Okay. Promise."
Nikki smiled. "Alright, let's get ready!" She squealed, heading into the bathroom. Greta just laughed at that and began looking for her own outfit to wear.
Sean Valentine entered his work floor with a grin. Today was the opening of his newest club, "Bliss", and knowing how much success his previous landmarks had given him...he'd be making a lot of money tonight.
He entered his secretary's office and smiled when she looked up at him. Suzanne, or Suzie as she liked to be called, was leggy, blond and had nice breasts, Sean's usual type. She was smart though, and dressed in the smart girl apparel. "Good afternoon Mr. Valentine." She gushed.
Sean Valentine was absolutely gorgeous, and voted as the 2nd hottest celebrity in all of New York, beating out Adrian Grenier, Ricky Martin, and Chris Noth just to name a few. Sean had previously had a career in modeling, and even though he was now more focused on his architecture, he was still very well-known in New York. Girls swooned over him, and guys wanted to be him. He was everything, rich, powerful, and extremely good-looking.
Sean groaned. "Suz, how many times have I told you to just call me Sean?" He asked, moving a bit closer to her. He always knew just how to make her nervous, and she could feel his body heat and he scooted closer and closer to her.
"Sorry, Sean, good morning." She mumbled, pulling a strand of hair out of her face.
Sean smirked, he had succeeded in making her completely rigid, as now his body was pressed against hers. "What are you doing tonight?"
She smiled sweetly. "Going to the opening of 'Bliss' of course." She informed him.
He chuckled. "Yes, I am aware of that, but the question is, who with?" He asked. "Cause rumor is you're going with Lenny in the mail room," He started. "But I think you'd be better off with me."
Suzie's eyes widened. "M-me?" She stuttered. It was almost impossible for her to believe that Sean Valentine wanted to take her as a date to the grand opening of his new club. He was a celebrity, he was supposed to date hot models, not his thrift store wearing secretary.
"Yeah you, Suz, don't act so surprised. I'll pick you up at seven thirty." He said as he winked, heading for the door.
"B-but Mr. Valentine...I mean Sean, the opening doesn't start til nine." She informed him.
He smirked, pecking her on the cheek. "I know, I got to take you out to dinner first Suz!" He said. "God, haven't you ever been on a date before?" He teased, heading out of the office.
At twenty-six years old, Sean William Valentine was the owner of Valentine Corporation, one of New York City's top commercial real estate developers. Handsome, charming and undeniably self-absorbed, he got his way with everything. William Valentine and then his son, Johnathan, and then his son, Sean, were all known for being slightly addicted to their work.
When William died and Johnathan took over the company, he only lasted for eight years before he decided that perhaps an early retirement was best for him and the company was left to Sean, so it was logical for Sean to take over the family business.
His mother, Harriet, had said the only thing that was missing from his "perfect" life was a wife and children. He didn't know if that was necessarily true, because he was happy without the two things. He was enjoying the single life, and being only twenty-five years old, he had a lot to look forward to in the next few years.
He knew he'd meet someone someday, someone special, someone that he would fall in love with, but for now he just wanted to do whatever the fuck he wanted and not bother with falling in love. The one time he had ever fallen in love had landed him heartbroken, and he didn't want to feel that way ever again.
Passing by his employees as he made his way to the other end of the floor to his office, which over looked the beautiful city of New York, they wished him luck for the opening, confirming that they would be there. Today was going to be a good day, a great day even, he just knew it. He wasn't going to let anything or anyone ruin it for him.
He wasn't going to think about her...
"This was a stupid idea, Nikki," Greta complained. She had been having the worst time of her life. She hated going to things like these. She hated having drunk pigs walk up to her and try to get with her. She wasn't the type of girl that would just have sex with anyone. She thought of it as really pathetic and sad, but the only person she had ever had sex with was her ex-boyfriend, Sean Valentine.
She laughed sadly just thinking about him. She hadn't thought about him in a long time, and bringing up memories from her past wasn't going to help her at the moment.
She watched Nikki from the bar, and laughed at how piss drunk her best friend was. She was grinding to the song "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna with a few girls from work. Nikki looked like she was having the time of her life, and Greta couldn't blame her. The club was amazing, nothing like Greta had ever seen before in her life. The owner must have been very proud of himself and all of his accomplishments, she thought to herself.
"Having a nice time?" Sean asked, in between breaths. He was in the middle of a full on makeout session with one of the girls he had met that night. He was too drunk to tell what she looked like, so he hoped she was at least decent-looking. He didn't want the press to snap a photo of him making out with some ugly girl, it'd be all over the news.
Pulling away from the girl, he smiled and told he'd be right back; he needed another drink. Pushing past the dozens of people groping at each other, he made his way over to the bar.
"Another beer, Marty, the usual." He told the bartender.
She was able to recognize his voice without a problem. She was almost too afraid to look, but she did anyway. Watching him take a sip of the beer he had just ordered made her heart almost stop. She couldn't breath. There he was, the only man she had ever loved, sitting just a few feet away from her. She felt as though she was about to pass out, even though she hadn't drank much that night.
She must have been staring at him for a while, because he finally turned around to look at her. Greta's eyes widened and she turned away, hoping he hadn't noticed her...but he obviously had.
He must have been hallucinating. There was no way she was sitting just feet away from him. It must have been all the alcohol circulating in his body. He rubbed his eyes, and when he opened them, she was still there, trying to, unnoticeably, hide her face from him.
He approached her, wondering if it was actually her. "Greta?" He said.
She sighed, and bit her lip, then turned around. She swallowed the huge lump that was in her mouth, and tried her best to smile. "Hello, Sean."
He shook his head, this was unbelievable. "What the hell are you doing here?" He asked, still not convinced that she was standing right in front of him.
She laughed softly. "Nice to see you too, Sean." She was surprised at how calmly she was acting. Maybe it was because she was intoxicated, but she still couldn't believe that she was speaking to him right now. "Um, listen, I have to go, I'll see you around, maybe," She said, trying to do anything she could to get away from him.
Greta grabbed her purse and smoothed down her dress before heading out onto the dancefloor to find Nikki. Greta knew she'd have to fill Nikki in on all the details before Nikki would let them leave, and she was dreading every moment of it. It wasn't like she didn't want to tell Nikki, it just never came up. Greta hated talking about her past, mainly because part of her past was painful and she didn't want to take a trip down memory lane any time soon, especially memories of Sean Valentine.
She grabbed Nikki by the wrist and pulled her all the way into the girls' washroom, without a word. She knew Sean was looking for her, and she didn't want him to find him.
"Greta! What the hell? I was having fun!" Nikki slurred. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
Greta bit her lip and frowned unpleasantly. "He's here."
Nikki raised an eyebrow, and smoothed her dark green dress. "Who is?"
"Sean Valentine." Greta mumbled.
Nikki scowled, and laughed. "I coulda told you that, Greta! He owns the place, silly." Nikki said, getting up and heading for the door.
Greta sighed. "No, Nikki, you don't understand," She said. "You're probably going to be angry with me for not telling you this sooner, but you're drunk so, who knows, right?" Greta said, trying to stall but by the look on Nikki's face, it wasn't working. "Okay, well, listen," She started. "Sean and I dated for two years, and I left Chicago without saying goodbye to him, and tonight's the first time we spoke to each other in three years." She blurted out.
Nikki's mouth flew opened. "What the fuck?" Was the only thing she could think of saying right now. "You're fucking kidding me, right? Greta! Oh my God! Let's go talk to him, maybe you can fu-" But before she could finish her sentence, Nikki turned to the sink behind her and vomited.
Greta rolled her eyes. She hated 'drunk Nikki', she was never any fun. All she did was act like a college party girl and threw up all the time. "No, Nikki. I don't want to...whatever you were going to say him," Greta stated. "I just want to go home, is that alright?"
Nikki wiped the remains of vomit off the side of her mouth and nodded, understandingly. The only thing Greta loved about 'drunk Nikki' was that she still cared. "Okay, let's go." She said. "But tomorrow morning, when I'm sober," She started. "I want to know EVERYTHING!" She said, walking out of the washroom, Greta following.
Nikki and Greta made their way out of the club, loud music pumping, and drunk young adults surrounding them. Greta had the biggest headache and all she wanted to do was call a cab and get the hell out of there.
The left using the front entrance, but were met with Sean Valentine outside of the club. Knowing Greta, he knew she would have wanted to leave after seeing him, so he waited outside until she did come.
"Oh my God!" Nikki exclaimed. "Sean Valentine!" She squealed. "Might I say, you are SO much hotter in person! Wow!" She turned to Greta. "Choochie, I can't believe you dated a hottie like this and never told me!" She giggled, but then snapped her mouth shut. "Shit!" She shouted, slapping her hand on her forehead.
Greta shook her head, and tried everything she could to not make eye contact with Sean. She walked a little further down the street, trying to look for a cab she could call.
"Is she alright?" Sean asked Nikki, though she was in no condition to be speaking for anyone right now.
Nikki nodded. "You know what I think?" She asked. "I think you might wanna give her some space for now," She said. "You know Greta, don't you?" He nodded. "Okay, well than you know she's very sensitive, and right now, she's shocked to see you again, so maybe you should wait a few days before calling her." Nikki said. "Wow, I can't believe I just said that, while I'm drunk!" She said laughing.
Pulling a paper and pen out of her purse, she quickly wrote Greta's cell phone number and handed it over to Sean. "Don't tel her I gave this to you, alright? She'd blow a gasket!"
Sean laughed. "Alright." He said smiling. She shot him one last smile before turning on her heel, and running down to where Greta was waiting for their cab to pull up.
He folded the piece of paper and put it in his jacket pocket. He had the chance to be with Greta, he wasn't going to let her walk out of his life so easily again.