There was something about Monday's that just kicked the shit out of my cheery disposition. Perhaps it was getting up at six after a weekend of sleeping in and lazing about, perhaps it was because I didn't feel like walking through a rushed city of rude and noisy people to get to work, but either way, Mondays sucked a big fat one.
Quite an attitude for a twenty-seven year old right? I could hear my mother now – "Harper Braxton, shame on you! That's no way for a young lady to talk how do you expect to get yourself a boyfriend with talk like that?"
But that just proves that Mondays should suffer the death penalty, make way for a new generation where Tuesday's begin the week. I need coffee.
I sighed as I held open the door for a influx of people shoving in and out of the Starbucks I was in front of. I counted each inconsiderate person that didn't offer a thank you, or to grab the door for me. Twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six.. I checked my watch, it was already almost seven-fifteen and I had to get moving.
I ignored the glares from others as I let go of the door and pushed my way through. Luckily it seemed that the large part of the crowd escaped while I was holding the door, but the line was still ridiculously long. I waited ten minutes, and once I was up in front I ordered a plain coffee with cream and a little sugar. After another five minute wait I was shoving out of the door and power walking it to the office with a scalding cup of coffee in hand.
I nursed the coffee, relishing in the caffeinated goodness and relieved that they actually got my order right with all that was going on in there. I was just glad I didn't have to bring my portfolio home last night, it would've been hell getting in and out of there carrying around a massive envelope with handles. My sketches wouldn't made it out alive, poor things.
By the time I made it to the Be Fabulous Beauty Products head office, I was in a better humor. Caffeine has always done wonders for me, and it's really just Mondays that I need it. I took the elevator up to the fourth floor, the Art and Design floor, and gave my morning greetings as I made my way to my cubicle.
I was well known around the office, seeing as I'd been working there for about three odd years, and I'd made friends. My job was to basically sketch out ideas for product labels and bottles, and I was good enough that many of my ideas had been used and other companies have attempted to buy me out, earning me a promotion or two. And I know it sounds cocky, but I don't mean anything by it. I take pride in my work, but I'm not one to gloat.
Mina Artuso was my closest friend, in and outside of the workplace. She usually helped artists collaborate, and then presented final sketches to the big guys up top. She was brilliant, in my opinion, and I loved her to death.
"Aw, you bitch," she muttered when she saw me. "Where's my coffee?" Unlike me, Mina needed a caffeine fix to function at all in the mornings, but didn't always have time to grab a cup. I took it that this was one of those mornings
I shot her a sheepish grin and shrugged. "You can have the rest of mine if you like, still warm."
She scoffed and shook her head. "Second hand coffee, I love you hun, but no thanks." I shrugged and went into my cubicle, set down my bag and coffee and went to unlock my sketch drawer. Mina poked her head up over the cubicle wall. "Least you could do is grab me one from the commons area? Please?" She batted her eyelashes and grinned at me.
I thought about it for a minute, if I didn't she'd probably be pissy for the rest of the day.
She nodded, waving her hand at me. "Yes, of course."
I grabbed a few sketches out of my drawer, new ones, for the Hermosa skin syrum bottle, and took a walk down the through the side aisle to the kitchen area. I was absorbed in the sketches, flipping between the sketches of a long, smooth, cylindrical bottle. My two favorites were the deep maroon and royal purple, but –
"Oof!" I slammed into a solid form, papers and sketches were sent flying and I was knocked to the ground. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention, I'm sorry," apologies were pouring and I was scooping up papers before I even looked up to see who I had bumped into.
"It's fine," A deep, clipped voice intoned. A voice that I recognized immediately. Panic set heavy on my chest and I risked a glance up. David fucking Parker, of course it is. David Parker, executive of our floor. He was known for his intimidating iciness, and his powerful family. Among other things..
"Mr. Parker, I'm very sorry, sir." I struggled to my feet, attempting to separate his papers and mine.
"It's fine," he said again. I handed him an unruly stack of what looked to be prints of label and bottle designs, and with a flushed face tucked a strand of auburn hair behind my ear. I chanced another glance at him, and he was staring, handsome, chiseled features set in an expressionless look that I had to crane my neck to see. He was much taller than my five-six, being at least six-four.
I dropped my eyes quickly, noticing that I'd been staring too long. "Umm, uh. Do you have everything?" I searched though my pile to ensure that they were all my sketches, and found nothing else.
"Yes, thank you." He surveyed me with half lidded hazel eyes, seeming totally relaxed. He actually didn't see irritated, more curious, as his quirked brow clearly stated. "You're Harper Braxton." It wasn't a question, or at least it didn't sound like one. I was a bit surprised he'd known my name, names weren't really his thing.
"Mm." He nodded slowly, still looking at me that same way. "You gave us the label for Fabuloso, correct?"
I nodded. "Yes I did."
"Mm." What was that 'mm' thing? Was it approval, disapproval? What?
I watched his eyes travel from my face downward, pausing at a place they shouldn't have, and continuing down to my toes before sweeping back up again. I found this a bit inappropriate considering he was technically my boss, not to mention rude. I can see you doing that buddy.
"See anything you like?" I blurted out snippily before I could catch myself. A hand flew to my mouth and I silently cursed.
I wasn't quite sure what I expected him to do, but it certainly wasn't to find an amused smirk creeping onto his face. He chuckled softly, it was a pleasant rumble in his throat, ran a hand through his perfectly combed chestnut hair and began walking again. "You have a nice day, Ms. Harper Braxton," he said quietly as he passed.
I stood there silently, staring ahead of me, unsure as to whether or not I should relieved or confused. I could have gotten fired just now. What I said could have been grounds for sexual harassment. I noticed a few of my colleagues staring at this point, so I booked it to the kitchen for Mina's coffee, and back to my cubicle with my head down.
"What took you so long?" she teased, sipping the coffee and making a face. "Ughh, what I go through for a caffeine fix. The brew here is nasty."
"I ran into Parker," I muttered, neatening the pile of paper on my desk. "Like, literally right into him."
Her head popped into view like a gopher. "Whoa, what?" She stood and tottled into my cubicle. "What happened?"
"He was his usual stony self, until I, well I kind of snapped at him for checking me out. Then he smiled, not one of those bullshit corporate grins either. It was like he thought I was funny."
She gasped slightly. "Wooowww, impressive. Not everybody gets a smile from him. Good on you, kid," She said, patting my shoulder and cackling. "He didn't fire you for the repercussion, so that's a plus. Maybe he likes you." She winked, clicking back to her own desk.
I laughed then, because a statement like that couldn't not be funny. "Yeah, sure."
But inside I was secretly hoping I wouldn't have to see him again for awhile. I didn't have any drama in my life to speak on, and my boss paying more attention to me couldn't mean anything good.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Not my first story, but the first chapter of this one. I actually began this from the middle when the idea came to me, so eventually you'll see the chapter that started it all.. In the meantime, please excused the awful entry, I had to get all the information in up from.
Reviews are loved ( plus they make me update faster :D )