Eye Wonder, I Wonder?
Summary: Young business owners attempt to navigate the mundane pressures of life when an opportunity brings them all together. When a hot new business venture makes all their paths cross will it help their businesses to thrive, as well as open the door for love and lasting friendships? This is the story of how the biggest opening of the decade helps everyone to exclaim "Eye Wonder, I Wonder?"
Cast of Characters
Amber Riley as Cecilia Banks
Chord Overstreet as Jason Styles
Angel Coulby as Stephanie Graham
Bradley James as Christian Roberts
Iwan Rheon as Daniel Richards
Antonia Thomas as Tessa Grayson
Nico Mirallegro as Stephan Graham
Sharon Rooney as Victoria Charles
Leighton Meester as Danica Paul
Ed Westwick as Xavier Weston
Colin O'Donaughe as Geoffrey Steele
Jennifer Morrison as Rebecca Steele
Mark Salling as Michael Cross
Robert DeNiro as William Graham
Mark-Paul Gosselaar as "Attorney" Jake Williams
The phones had been ringing off of the hook all morning long and that was just the way that Cecilia liked it. This meant that she was in demand. She was a curvaceous black woman who only stood five feet five inches tall but she was a dynamo and she knew it. She loved to be busy and to get things done. She already had her own Public Relations firm, and it was a profitable one at that, and she was only twenty-seven years old. She knew what she wanted, all her life she was a business woman, from her first button business when she was seven to her being project manager for her high school's elections. It was then she realized that she had a knack for helping people with their image and that is when she knew what she wanted to do with her life.
She had not even taken three sips of her Hazelnut coffee when her secretary had already shoved into her hand a dozen messages of calls that needed to be returned, not to mention that her cellphone had been buzzing in her pocket.
Cecilia entered her office and tossed her leather jacket over the armrest of one of the chairs. The sunlight had been peering through the large floor to ceiling windows which made the misplaced dust in the air evident as she ran around to her Cherry Maple-wood desk and picked up the incoming call from the phone which was sitting on it. "Cecilia Banks" She answered. "Yes, Good Morning to you too James-before you say another word, everything is in place for Milan, when you arrive there early next week the marketing campaign will have already been in full swing. I have alerted the media and you will be swamped by the time your plane has landed. Remember, act surprised, humbled, and grateful but make sure that you stall and stay for at least 45 minutes so that they can get full coverage before you are whisked away in your town car; don't worry after you have been on the road for approximately 10 minutes it will be "leaked" online what hotel you will be staying at and the paparazzi will be at the hotel before you can even arrive." She says as she turns on her computer and pulls some files from out of her desk drawer.
She then takes her seat in her high-backed, black leather computer chair. "Of course, I always make sure that my clients get what they pay for, and speaking of that- the payment for my services should be transferred into my business account no later than noon today or I will have to let the news outlets in Milan believe that your trip has been cancelled and there is absolutely no reason to waste their time standing around an airport all evening- do we have an understanding?" She pauses and waits for his response. "It is already there?" Cecilia looks at her cellphone and sees the time reads 8:35 am. "It is great doing business with you James, enjoy your flight." She hung up the phone and took a sip of her coffee. "Leslie!" Cecilia called out "Get me Tessa on the line and give me the polling data from all of my client's Facebook pages and the overnights on Twitter trends." Cecilia looked through the messages Leslie had given her earlier and out of the twelve five of them were from the same individual-Jason Styles.
Leslie walks into the office and hands Cecilia the printouts that she was looking for as well as places a little plate, with a croissant on it, on her desk. "I know you haven't eaten anything." Leslie says but as she begins to walk out she picks up Cecilia's leather jacket off of the armrest and hangs it up on the back of Cecilia's office door- then she continued to speak "Tessa is on line one." Leslie walked out and closed the door behind her.
Cecilia picks up the phone and begins "Tessa, are you surviving?" She asked as she was opening up her calendar on her computer and highlighting dates. "I thought if I got here early I could prepare myself but he is already here." Tessa whispered. "This is so unfair, a man this handsome, it should be illegal for him to work with other women, especially if he is already married." Tessa spoke while quickly glancing over at the man sitting at the desk which was placed two desks over from her own on the left. "Why is he there so early?" Cecilia twirled around in her chair and faced the window and took another sip of her coffee. "He said something about getting the numbers from the overseas market or something. I am bloody hell going to have a hot flash if he smiles at me again and calls me "love" the way he does, Bloody Irishman." Tessa whispered under her breath. This made Cecilia laugh out loud and say" This coming from a girl from London?" "You are a brat you do know that, right?" Tessa spoke with her thick English accent. "Why are you calling me anyway?" Tessa continued. Cecilia twisted her chair back around. "I want to confirm your availability for the conference date, are you still available for July 23rd?" Tessa quickly picks up her cellphone and scrolls through her calendar. "Do you think that will give us enough time to get everything that we will need together?" She replied. "Tessa, you have known me since college -when have I ever not had my stuff on point?" Cecilia said confidently. "All right, all right I am free- what? Oh, wait hold on a second."
Tessa lays the phone down on her desk. "Sorry, to interrupt you love but I was going to go out to get some coffee would you like me to pick you up some?" Geoffrey spoke after tapping Tessa on the shoulder. She turned around to see one of the handsomest of men standing over her and he was smiling a devilish grin. His voice was slightly raspy with an Irish brogue and a few strands of his jet black hair fell over his left eye which complimented his slight five o'clock shadow-which he had tried to use to camouflage his sharp jawline, to no avail, but instead it only drew more attention to his piercing steel gray eyes. "Don't worry love it will be my treat." He winked at her as he continued speaking "Light and sweet like you, right?" He queried."Thank you so much for the offer I would appreciate it." Tessa's voice came out a little coquettish although, she was mentally kicking herself for doing it. "No worries love, I will be back in a jiffy." He winked again and turned and walked away leaving a clean Irish Spring scent in the air as a token of remembrance. Tessa inhaled deeply as she watched him leave and then picked up the phone again. "Damn, that man makes coffee sound sexy." Cecilia quickly stated. "You should hear him discuss IRA's as he exchanges them from Euro's to Yen's- it is a wonder to behold; oh the things I could do to him." Tessa sighed. Cecilia started laughing. "You are not helping." Tessa spoke while she covered her forehead with her hand. "You're right, you're right, just remember, he is a married man- look to take your mind off of it-check my account, will you, and see if there was a deposit between last night and this morning for 35,000 dollars."
Tessa immediately starts typing on her keyboard and after a few keystrokes she responds "Yes, it was made 7:30 am this morning a transfer from the account of James Brooks. Hey isn't he that the model who was just in the middle of a divorce from his wife?" Tessa wondered out loud. "One and the same, I have found a way to make him go from sad and needy to a man on his way back to work, and on with business- he will be in Milan next week." "Cece you are really something." "I know, now, I am going to take that payment and use part of it for the down payment on the conference." Cecilia's other phone line begins to ring.
"Look I have to get back to work, but listen, with me and my P.R. firm, and you with your banking and knowledge of all things credit; we are going to have a good little group of small business people clamoring to come to our conference. They will want to hear about our expertise in all things business and they will pay good money to do it too, so don't worry. Not to mention, if you get your handsome co-worker to be willing to teach with us, him using his knowledge of all things foreign currency, of course, it will really be a success- as long as you don't jump his bones during the conference." Cecilia chuckled. "Do you know what I would say to you if I weren't a lady?" Tessa quipped. "I know exactly what you would say to me and you're not a lady; but I love you anyway and I will speak to you later, smooches." Cecilia then hangs up the phone and takes the other call.
"Cecilia Banks." It was then that these words were spoken from the other end of the line. "Ms. Banks, I have been trying to reach you-have you received any of my messages? It's Jason Styles." Cecilia rolled her eyes and stood up at her desk peering through the glass windows of her office and giving Leslie a dirty look for letting the call through. "Mr. Styles, we have already discussed that my consultation fee is $2500.00 and I am sorry about your predicament but that is not negotiable. There are plenty of other P.R. firms in the city that may be able to meet your price point but I am not one of them." Cecilia spoke sharply. "Ms. Banks, you are the best at what you do and I need the best." Mr. Styles spoke quickly. "Well, then Mr. Styles you need to be able to afford the best. Has your situation changed since the last time that we have spoken?" Cecilia waited for his response. "No, it has not." Jason spoke dejectedly. "Then I am sorry but this conversation is over." "But you haven't heard my story yet, Ms. Banks." Jason sounded harried and flustered. "That is because that would be a consultation and you have just stated that you cannot afford my fee for that. Good bye Mr. Styles." Cecilia hung up the phone.
The sound of the opening elevator was all that was heard until he stepped out onto the concrete and began walking the length of the underground garage. The sound of his wingtip shoes clicking on the ground was loud and evident. The only other sound was of his long raincoat being brushed along its side by his briefcase that he was holding in his hand as he walked.
As he reached his other hand in his pocket to search for his car keys all of a sudden all of the lights went out in the underground garage. He stopped immediately suddenly gripped with fear. He closed his eyes and remembered that he had glimpsed his car right before the lights had gone out. He was not more than ten feet away from it. He reached slightly deeper into his pocket and finally reached the keys that he had been searching for.
It was right at that moment that he heard walking in the garage. The steps were loud and determined, but he wondered where they came from because he did not hear the elevator door open in the distance and he did not hear a car door open or close either.
He took the keys in his outstretched hand and pressed the button. Chirp, chirp was the sound of his alarm and he saw his headlights flicker twice in the darkness. But it was during that flicker that he also saw the man's frame standing right in front of him.
"I have always told you don't let your outstanding promises grow to be as large as your outstanding debts."
In that moment the man with the briefcase fears had returned-and well they should have because it was then that he felt the knife enter his belly and drag up his torso to the middle of his rib cage and into his chest. He dropped to the ground and as the blood oozed from his body he heard those loud footsteps walk slowly through the darkness-until he himself was gone.
Tessa knew that she had to be careful it was easy for her to become infatuated with unattainable men. She often wondered why that had become her M.O. it wasn't like she had been brought up in a shattered home or had any mental illnesses that she was aware of, instead she just always seemed to get in her own way when it came to making good decisions about men.
What made it worse was that she never had this problem of making wrong choices when she dealt with school or business. She was always on the top of her game when it came to that. She was incredibly beautiful and she knew it, but she refused to let the world see her as that alone. She worked harder, read more, and made herself one of the most recognized persons in the banking business and it was not because of her honey-toned skin, her curly light brown hair, or her perfectly fit body. All of that was secondary to her mind and what she could bring to the table.
She was heading toward her 28th birthday and she found herself still desiring a married man. If it wasn't for the fact that he was just so adorable. In his flirtatious manner, which she truly believed was innocent from his perspective, the only problem was that meant he gave her quite a bit to imagine with, and with her imagination; that made him the hottest thing on this planet.
When he transferred to her branch four months ago, upon their first meeting, she knew he was good looking. Then she found out how dangerous he really was- he was clever, and funny too; a lethal combination. She watched him closely when they had the retirement party for Jane (who he had come to replace) and he had his wife Rebecca with him. "If only I had a man who watched me like he watched her that night" She pondered. It was the sensitivity in his eyes that she desired. She had already proven to herself that she didn't need a man to meet her goals in life, but now she wanted one. She wanted to work on that aspect of her life and make smart choices and be as lucrative in her love life as she was with her finances.
She watched his sleek frame approach her as she was sitting at her desk when he reached out his arm and provided her with the cup of coffee, his grin on full display. "How did you meet your wife?" She blurted out. A slightly bewildered look came across his face but he smiled widely and began to chuckle. "She really didn't like me when we first met. It took a lot of patience on my part and a lot of doing to get her to eventually fall for me. We met at a party at my friend's home; there was just something about her." Tessa nodded her head, full of understanding, he was completely off limits; he not only approached his future wife but spent time and effort into building their relationship. This happened years ago and miles away; they were meant to be together, if they were not, it would have been her who was 'the one' at his friend's home that night instead of Rebecca. He could be a fantasy for now but that was all and that would have to be okay.
As she watched him slide his hand across his forehead and lift that sexy dangling piece of hair from his eye. "Damn, why did he do that?" She thought to herself. "Well, I better get back to work; thank you for being the sparkle in my morning. See ya later, Sunshine." He spoke in a whisper and then he walked back over to his desk.
Tessa sighed, closed her eyes and shook her head as he walked away. She needed to clear her head and get back to business. The bank was now open and Tessa called the first person on line over to her desk.
Stephanie walked over to the desk once she was called. "Good Morning, my name is Tessa Grayson, I will be working as your Financial Advisor. How can I help you this morning?" Tessa flashed a warm smile. "Good Morning, it is nice to meet you my name is Stephanie Graham." "Please take a seat." Tessa pointed to the chair on the opposite side of her desk. "What can I do for you?" Tessa continued. "I am wondering what will be needed to receive a line of credit for my father's company, I'm sorry, I mean our company-my brother and I are part owners as well, at least, now we are- actually." Stephanie seemed a little flustered and constantly judging her own words. "What would you need the line of credit for?" Tessa inquired. "We need to buy a cargo van." "Do you have an idea of how much you will need?" "Sixteen thousand dollars" Stephanie nodded her head in earnest. "May I ask what made you come here instead of just getting financing at the dealership?" "They turned me down but I was hoping that maybe here you could help."
"What do you have for collateral? Do you own your own home?" Tessa asked. "No, we live in an apartment." "What about your yearly income?" Tessa questioned again. "Well, most of the money that I make goes right back into the business." Stephanie spoke in a way that made her seem young and naive. Stephanie struggled to pull out paperwork from her purse and hand it to Tessa. "I am sorry I am rather new at all this, my father usually takes care of all of this but he is in the hospital right now, he needed emergency surgery-gallstones. My brother and I have to run the business for a while. I brought with me the amount of revenue we have made over the last six months- it isn't much I know but..." Her words trailed off. Stephanie was shaking a little her long brown crinkly hair seemed slightly disheveled and she also spoke with an English accent.
Tessa looked through the paperwork that she was given and played with the numbers several times. "I am sorry but I don't see much to work with here. Did you say that you and your brother are running the business now?" "Yes, look my father is a good man and I promise that we will sign whatever we have to so that we can get the help that we need. We have our own carpentry and cleaning business and our van just died. We can't make deliveries or get to some of our cleaning clients without it." "Carpentry and cleaning?" Tessa questioned curiously.
Stephanie lowered her head a little and nodded. "My father and brother are the carpenters and I am a cleaning lady." Tessa studied the paperwork and crunched the numbers before her and she was still unable to help this woman at all-according to the bank standards. Tessa's heart sank as she had to be the bearer of more bad news.
"I am sorry but according to guidelines I would also have to turn you down for this loan request." Stephanie's eyes showed the sadness within them and Tessa felt the hope leave the young girls body. Tessa hated this part of her job but regulations where regulations. "I would like to help you in another way- if I may?" Tessa spoke in a quieter way. Tessa reached across her desk and pulled out her business card from its holder she then wrote her cellphone number on the back of it. "Would you be willing to meet me at the restaurant down the block for lunch? It will be my treat. I think I may know a way to get you the help that you need until we can work on helping you with your finances and get you that van-alright?" Tessa offered. "Alright" Stephanie spoke with a gentle nod of gratitude and then she stood from her chair and exited the bank. Once Stephanie was outside she made a call on her cell. She heard the voice message come on and she spoke into the receiver. "Stephen, it didn't go as well as I hoped but there may be another option; if you can be patient I will call you back later and let you know what happens. Bye."