(Alright angels. Seeing as I am totally messing up with this revision I will re-upload every original chapter. I guess I was going through a phase where I thought my writing was shit, and my stories were not my best work, but now I see my revisions are even shittier, so I am leaving the originals. I had a feeling the revisions might not be received as well...so all the chapters are reuploaded. I am sorry about the mess I have created. The end of the semester messes with everyone in a different way huh...)
A/N: Alright. Well, hello to anyone who happened to stumble upon my story. I just like to say thank you. Even if you don't leave a comment thank you for reading. This is my first official original story. I actually am on fan fiction so I am very familiar with the websites. I do want to say this is an idea that came to me while I was reading something else, and for that I am grateful. That story opened up my imagination and this was a result of that.
If you have time please let me know your thoughts, your likes and dislikes. I am an avid writer and I write almost constantly, whether stories or school or work related things, I never stop writing. Please help me improve. I am currently half-way through chapter 2 so maybe I will post it soon.
Anyways as always...
Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction and any names used are strictly coincidental and do not reflect any person past or present. Enjoy lovely readers!
Awkward silence filled the apartment as two girls sat on the couch watching the landline ring incessantly. The girl sitting right beside the end table where the phone rang seemed disinterested for a moment. Her long brown curls were parted to the left side, allowing for some coverage from the sounds of ringing. At the kitchen counter behind the couch stood a fair skinned girl with shoulder length dark auburn hair, holding her breath as she gazed in trepidation at the incoming call that would surely result in a voicemail. Lali, the girl with short bleached hair in a pixie cut that framed her angled jawline, shifted on the couch's right end, turning her head to look behind her towards the counter.
"Aren't you gonna get that?" An obvious irritable tone behind her voice carried through the space as she proceeded to widen her eyes and tilt her head in wonder. "Well?"
"Um," The girl behind the counter wavered. She pressed her lips as her eyebrows rose in concern. The last thing she wanted to do was risk answering the call.
"Elna!" Semira called out, her hand motioned Elna to the phone causing some curls to fall out of place. The ringing continued, Elna not moving from her position in the kitchen, gawking in agony as she continued to listen to the call, hoping there would be no voicemail left from the caller.
"Oh for heaven's sake!" Lali's frustration got the best of her as she reached over Semira and picked the phone up.
"No don't!" Elna leaped forward on to the counter and jumped over to try and reach the phone before Lali spoke to the caller. It was too late as she heard a greeting uttered in annoyance by Lali.
"Well too late. Got disconnected," Lali shrugged handing Elna the phone and returning to gaze at the television screen, her apathy towards the situation clearly showing.
"Who was that?" Semira questioned not turning to give her full attention to Elna.
"Oh no one probably," Elna giggled nervously, exhaling in relief. Elna knew exactly who the caller was but did not want to involve Lali or Semira in the mess she was currently in. All that was encompassing her thoughts now was that the phone would not ring for the rest of the night. A knock on the door startled her as she looked at the door in fear.
"Oh god…" Elna whispered, stiffening as Lali huffed in irritation getting up off the couch to open the door.
"Why Lali?" Elna nearly burst out of her skin trying to stop Lali but it was too late, the door had already been opened.
"Hey y'all," A man in a plaid button up shirt and low-cut jeans that displayed the leather belt supporting his pants and the material barely clinging to his hips revealing a slither of skin and hip bones stood underneath the door frame. The natural strawberry blonde hair and scattered freckles around his cheeks lightened his skin even more as he smiled a radiant white smile seeing Lali at the door.
"Oh thank god it's only Curtis," Elna fell backwards on the couch armrest, the phone clutched against her chest.
"Well hello to you too," Curtis explained, shooting a look of sarcasm towards Elna.
"No I didn't mean it like that Curtis," Elna tried to explain but Curtis was already wrapping one arm around Lali's shoulders squeezing her body tightly and pressing her against him.
"How's my favorite girl?" He asked, keeping his grip on her arm.
"Well I was great until you interrupted my show."
"Oh come on," Curtis poked Lali's cheek softly with his finger. Lali's immediate reaction was to grab the finger and begin to push it backwards, causing Curtis to squirm underneath her grasp.
"Alright alright I'm sorry!" He gasped in pain releasing his hold on Lali's arm as she freed her grip from his finger. He then looked at Elna in annoyance composing himself before he spoke.
"So what was that about it being 'only me'?"
"Oh it was nothing," Elna giggled nervously walking away towards the kitchen. She was relieved that it was only Curtis.
"So what are we watching?" Curtis situated himself between Lali and Semira, extending his arm behind Lali. Lali's leg began to twitch in frustration from his action.
Curtis was introduced to Lali by Elna over three years ago. He met Elna at university where Elna and Semira attended and their friendship has lasted since then. Lali came in to the picture after Elna, Semira, and Curtis graduated together, first becoming friends with Elna through work and then the rest of the 'gang'. She was the sarcastic older sister they all dreamed of having, except for Curtis, who the two girls knew, even Lali, that he was interested in Lali as more than a friend. It did not take long for Lali to become increasingly frustrated with his common-ons but she learned to deal with them in her own way, through physical abuse. Curtis did not seem to be bothered by the abuse so Lali did not stop.
"Well I was just thinking that we were so behind on The Walking Dead, that we would spend half the night watching all the current episodes of the season," Lali smirked, knowing full well that Curtis had a strong phobia of zombies.
"A-a-alright. Let's watch it then," He put on a brave face but the girls knew him too well and began to burst out laughing, Lali grabbing his hand that was lightly caressing her shoulder and giving it a tight squeeze until Curtis yelled bloody murder and pried himself from her grip.
Lali just shrugged, keeping her eyes glued to the television screen.
"Settle down you two. Curtis sit on the chair," Elna pointed coming behind the couch and pushing against his back to move. Elna brought over an enormous bowl of popcorn and the four of them took a hand full and began to eat.
"So Elna, any news on the job front?" Curtis spoke in between chewing keeping his focus on the television screen. Elna cleared her throat, hesitant about answering. It has been more than 10 months since she lost her job at Loomis Enterprises and she was living off her dwindling savings account. To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend who left her prior to her losing her job left her with finishing the payments for the small condominium they shared. It was her mistake for filing the documents strictly under her name. For six months she had been missing her payments and was getting nervous every time the phone rang, knowing it was the debt collectors. Her eyes dropped to her knees as she rattled the popcorn in her hands.
"No, but I'm hopeful," She tried saying in positive way but they all knew her better than that. Any and all the interviews she was at had the same theme, 'why did you get laid off' and the better rejection response 'you are too qualified for the position'. She was a financial analyst at Loomis Enterprises, and now she had to resort to applying for managerial positions at retail businesses. The job market was very limited now and she was beginning to wonder how much longer before she was out on the street. She did not want to worry the others concerning her financial troubles so they knew nothing of her outstanding debts. The only bills she was regular in paying were her cable and water bills, everything else waivered from month to month.
On one occasion the four of them were over Elna's place to watch a movie and her electricity suddenly got cut off. She blamed the apartment manager and the others did not think anything of it. Now she was starting to worry that sooner or later they were going to find out. The endless search for a job became so desperate that she began to glance through the yellow pages for anything and everything she can get her hands on, but none of the places ever called back.
"Elna, if you ever need money, don't hesitate to ask. We will all help anyway we can," Semira spoke, wrapping her arms around Elna in a reassuring hug.
"Speak for yourself. I'm on a very tight budget," Curtis retorted, stuffing the handful of popcorn in his mouth. A pillow abruptly made contact with his face, most of the popcorn falling out of his mouth on to his chest.
"Shut up Curtis," Lali rolled her eyes grabbing another pillow to throw at him. Elna glanced at Lali, Lali grumping in frustration dropping the pillow on her lap.
"I will be alright but thank you for that," Elna gripped Semira's hands. Lali reassuringly patted Elna on the head. She was not much for comforting moments, so this was the most she was capable of doing to ease Elna's worry.
The rest of the night was spent watching zombies eating human flesh, Lali scaring the pants off Curtis in the process, and Semira gossiping about the latest celebrity news.
Morning swiftly approached, Elna quickly getting up on her feet from the sound of the phone ringing. It had become an almost daily occurrence, and only once was she foolish enough to answer, pretending to not speak a word of English when she realized who was at the other end of the call. That plan backfired as the person on the other line began to speak in Spanish, the language she was pretending to only understand. Her fright got the better of her as she abruptly hung up the phone.
Sleeping was becoming a chore as she knew at least once a night a debt collector would phone.
Opening up her laptop she began to search the internet for all job listings in the area. Anything new that caught her eye she immediately dialed the number or sent in a resume to the given email. This morning seemed like a lost cause as the search came back with hardly any results. Her hope was fading quickly until she read a job listing that seemed quite vague in its description.
Seeking female professionals for great opportunity in business. Inquire below.
"What in the world…what is that supposed to mean…" Elna hesitated for a moment, wondering what any of that meant. There was no position listed, no skill requirements listed, just a number. She walked over to the end table near the couch to get the phone and walked back to the computer.
"It won't hurt to call right," She inhaled deeply before dialing the number. A male voice answered with a quick and nonchalant yes.
"Um hello. Hi I uh read the job posting online about seeking a female professional for business opportunity…" Elna paused as she could not find any other words to say. That was all the job listing said and now she was beginning to regret dialing the number.
"Yes. That is correct. Have a resume ready in hand and the interviews will be conducted between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm at the ACT Theatre 742 Union Street," The man quickly hung up with not even as much as a goodbye leaving Elna struggling to find a pen and paper to write down the address. The rest of the morning was spent getting ready to head out.
She began to wonder why of all places to do an interview, they picked the ACT Theatre. That was an arts venue towards the center of Seattle. It would take her at least half an hour by bus to get there since she lived in West Seattle. She left at 7:45 am, hastily walking down several blocks to get to the bus stop.
Reaching her destination, Elna became more hesitant about walking through those doors. This was different than any of her others interviews and she does not even know the company that she is being interviewed for. Her apprehension was beginning to show as she saw woman after woman enter the theatre, a briefcase clutched in their hands or a folder gripped against their thigh. The tension disappeared seeing other women coming to the interview. The last woman that had walked through the doors had blonde curly hair and was wearing a tight black skirt with an unbelievably beautiful silk top; heels that made her seem at least 6 foot tall.
Elna began to wonder if she dressed too modest, a pants suit and 1-inch heels coupled with a plain white top underneath and her hair in a simple bun made her seem plain compared to the bomb shell that just waked through those doors. There was no turning back now and besides, it's about the experience not the look, right? She came all this way and this might be her last chance at landing a job before she would be thrown out of her condo.
She swiftly walked towards the entrance, and proceeding inside she saw a simple poster pointing to the theatre hall that had the words all female applicants written in large black font. Elna pulled on the heavy door, revealing a breathtaking theatre, red seats of at least 30 or more rows with balcony seating and the curtains drawn on the stage. The hall was brightly illuminated and the first two rows were completely filled with only females, most of them blonde haired, with an occasional brunette in the mix. Elna knew she was going to stand out with her deep burgundy hair. She situated herself in the third row at the left end near the aisle, scanning the other women who did not even smile at one another. The air was tense and this caused Elna to feel more uneasy. A man suddenly walked from behind the curtain, well dressed suit and caramel colored skin were emphasized well from the light blue color of his shirt. His hair was short and an almost sleek black in color with hints of brown highlights. He scanned the room briefly before speaking.
"Good morning ladies. Before we begin I would like for each of you to have your resume ready. We will start with the first row, one at a time you will come up and step through the curtain, handing me your resume as you do so. Please be informed that you may not discuss anything with the others after your interview is done and we ask you to immediately leave the premises. We will be in contact with you about the availability of the position. Please miss, step on up first," The man gestured to the woman sitting on the far left of the first row of seats. She stood and was a strikingly tall woman, thin body and legs that could cut steel. She seemed to almost glide in her 5 inch heels.
Elna watched as woman after woman walked in and out from behind the curtain and simply walked out of the hall. She could not read any of their faces. Did their interviews go well? Did they get rejected? Not a single clue was given to her from their expressions. Finally the last woman in the second row was called up. Elna knew she would be next. The women were usually behind that curtain for no more than 15 minutes, but with all the woman that were here, Elna sat anxious in her seat for over 3 hours, her legs falling asleep making her shift in her seat to get the feeling back in them. As she shifted again for what seemed like the hundredth time, the woman appeared from behind the curtain and walked up the aisle, leaving the hall.
Elna glanced at the curtain seeing the man come out looking at the last woman left in the hall, her. Elna's chest began to tighten as he seemed to gaze at her for a while longer than normal before asking her to come up to the stage. Elna nearly tripped trying to leave her seat as she proceeded down the aisle and up the stage stairs, her hand trembling as she handed him her resume, a nod of the head was all he gave her as he opened the curtain slightly, allowing her to pass through. On the other side of the curtain stood a small black desk, a man sitting on the other side of it, with a stack of papers on one side and a clipboard on the other with a laptop right in front of him. He was wearing a buttoned up blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His complexion was fair and his hair curly light brown, with a few highlights around the sides of his head.
The man who let her through the curtain walked towards the back of the stage disappearing behind the glass wall the length of the entire stage that seemed to be placed at the back of the stage.
Elna's breathing quickened staring at the man behind the desk; his face was unreadable as she walked towards him, her arms trembling at her sides.
"Please take a seat," He spoke softly, motioning towards the chair in front of the desk. Elna sat down abruptly, her left calf hitting the underside of the chair. Her face contorted slightly as she adjusted herself, clearing her throat softly.
"So, Miss Hedstrom, where are you from?" He asked his eyes seemed uninterested in what he was asking. How did he know her last name? She did not see any interaction between the two men and she clearly only gave her resume to the man in the suit.
"Where are you from Miss Hedstrom?" He asked again, his expression remaining as detached as before.
Were they communicating somehow that Elna just could not see. She was beginning to feel more discomfort at the thought.
"Well?" He asked one more time, this time a clear expression of annoyance rang through his voice.
"Yes, sorry. I am from West Seattle."
"And you were born in West Seattle?"
"Um no sir. I was born in Chicago. I moved to Seattle after I graduated a few years ago."
"How many years ago exactly?"
"Five years ago sir," Elna answered, her voice wavered.
"And where do you work currently?" His eyebrow raised in interest now as if he was testing her. Elna knew that he must know the answers to these questions seeing as he knew her name even without an introduction from her.
"I have been unemployed for the last ten months. I am in market for a new job since then sir," Elna began to answer more specifically. Was he testing her? Was he waiting for her to falsify any statement?
"What was your last job then?"
"I was a financial analyst for Loomis Enterprises."
"And why were you terminated from your position?"
"There were budget cut-backs and the VP decided he could do my job as well as his own and save money so I was let go," She was beginning to feel as if coming here was a terrible mistake. She did not inform Lali or Semira about this interview and in hindsight, it was starting to worry her that no one knew where she was. She did not trust the man in front of her, or the man who led her behind the curtain, who has abruptly vanished upon her entering the stage.
"I see," Was his only answer to her explanation. He seemed to glance at the screen for a moment or two before shifting his focus back to Elna.
"Thank you for coming Miss Hedstrom. We will be in contact." And with that the man in the suit appeared motioning her to exit from the curtain. Bewilderment quickly spread across Elna's face. What in the hell was that? It was the most awkward, bizarre, and frankly frightening interview she has ever encounter. As soon as she left the theatre, she phoned Semira to hear a familiar voice. She spoke briefly of her hasty morning, but not divulging any detail as to the interview or even the venue at which it was held. Semira would have a full blown panic attack at hearing the unconventional way the interview was conducted.
The next few days Elna sat around the apartment, struggling to find a single job listing. There was a serious lack of available jobs around Seattle and her financial situation seemed bleak, coupled with the constant ringing of her land line kept her agitated all day long.
Elna was sitting once again in front of her computer screen when she saw an email notification. The sender was unknown to her. The subject of the email seemed to draw her in though.
Notice of preliminary acceptance
"What in the world…" Elna spoke out loud unable to resist as she opened the email. There was what appeared to be just a phone number and the words Call ASAP underneath it.
Her curiosity got the better of her pushing aside the little voice in her head screaming at her to just delete the email. Elna walked towards the landline and began dialing the number. A prerecorded message began to play.
"Second interview 4:30 pm Wednesday the 5th at the Metropolitan Grill." The line was immediately disconnected. Was this really the second interview from that last one at the theatre? Elna could not help but be very cautious. There was no denying it she would definitely tell the others about this spot. Being kidnapped is not on her bucket list.
Wednesday rolled around and she got Lali to drive her to the restaurant that afternoon. Elna decided to go more conservative and wear flats, just in case she had to dash out of there for whatever reason. Lali dropped her off a few buildings from the restaurant, reassuring her she will be here the whole time waiting for her.
"You are a life saver. I have never felt more uneasy in my life then I do now."
"Then why in the hell are you going? Come on let's go get some sushi or something," Lali nudged Elna trying to convince her to be done with whatever this was supposed to be and just forget this whole ordeal.
"No. No. I better just get this over with and then never speak of this again, or better yet, stop searching for jobs on the internet," Elna smirked walking out of Lali's car slowly. Closing the door she stood there for a few extra seconds before walking in the direction of the restaurant.
Inside, the décor of the restaurant was old fashioned, beige walls with dark brown posts seemed to enlarge the space while pictures of what appeared to be random people populated every inch of the walls below eye level. The theme seemed to carry over to the seat arrangements as there were small booths where the seats were green tinted with an old-fashioned lamp at each booth table, a green lamp shade kept the bulb from blinding the customers as they dinned and chatted.
Elna walked over to the counter past the door, smiling hesitantly at the man whose bow tie seemed too tight around his neck and his vest two sizes too small.
"Hello…um I'm not quite sure who exactly I'm supposed to meet here but-" She was suddenly cut off as the host interrupted her with a wide smile.
"Ah! Miss Hedstrom, please right this way," He motioned her to follow him. This was becoming a theme that her identity was known in places she did not even ever step foot in. She was taken towards the back of one of the row of booths. The host suddenly stopped and gestured to the table in front of him, his body briefly blocking the view of the table. As soon as he moved she noticed a man sitting on the opposite side, his sleeves rolled up meticulously to ¾ of the way up his forearm, a bottle of whiskey opened with a tumbler glass half full and his posture seemed relaxed yet professional. All around the booths were nothing but men in suits or women in work attire, making her realize just how upscale this restaurant was. He was speaking on the phone, his free hand tapping on the table as he gazed up to see Elna behind the host. His conversation ended abruptly as he stood from the booth and greeted her with an extended hand.
His skin was a shade lighter than the man in the suit from the theatre but was still much darker than Elna's. His hair was black as coal, a layered cut that emphasized his thick hair as his hazel eyes revealed nothing. His appearance seemed as if he just came out of a men's catalog for work fashion, his suit jacket draped behind his booth seat.
"Miss Elna Hedstrom," He addressed her very formally, his voice deep and monotone.
"Uh…Hello," Elna responded gripping his hand gently. This seemed like the theatre all over again. She was clueless as to what was happening and it made her even more nervous not knowing who this man was and what he wanted from her.
"Please take a seat. Bring us a pitcher of water and a glass for the lady please," The man asked the host as he replied with a very formal 'yes sir' and walked hastily towards the back of the restaurant.
"Thank you for coming Miss Hedstrom. I do hope you were very discreet in coming here?" He asked picking up the glass and sipping it slowly.
"Discreetly? I'm sorry I…I don't understand," Elna gripped the edge of the booth seat, her face exposing her anxiety.
"Please Miss Hedstrom, do not feel anxious. We are here to discuss your possible employment. I am here to offer you a position," Elna suddenly notice the envelope that was lying on the table in front of the man. He slowly slid the envelope to Elna, reaching back to take another sip of his whiskey. At that moment the host came with a pitcher of ice water and a glass for Elna.
"Will there be anything else you need sir?"
"Not at the moment thank you." The host quickly disappeared, leaving Elna with the man alone. The booths around them were all empty while the rest of the restaurant seemed very busy. She could not help but wonder why. Before she thought further on the subject the man placed his glass down, catching Elna's attention.
"The contract is written in there as is your role and salary. I want to know whether you accept the conditions." He sat across from Elna motionless, one hand gripping his phone while the other gently tapping the side of the tumbler glass waiting for Elna to proceed with the document in front of her.
Accept the conditions? Those words left a bad taste in her mouth as she slowly opened the envelope and took out a stack of papers, the cover page was blank and only had her full name typed on it. She turned to the next page and it was filled with lines upon lines of text. As she began to read, her brows began to furrow at times and rise in bewilderment at others. She turned to the next page and was dumbfounded. She looked up from the document at the man speechless, her mouth agape, only air escaping between her lips.
"I'm sorry but this must be a joke."
"I do not joke Miss Hedstrom." He retorted quickly, his expression unreadable.
"Then there must be some mistake because-"
"I do not make mistakes Miss Hedstrom. That document was drafted by my lawyer and I. It is most assuredly legal and binding."
"Do you always stutter Miss Hedstrom? It was not stated in your medical report that you exhibit signs of a speech impediment."
"Excuse me?" Not only did the words on the paper leave her flabbergasted but now he was outright insulting her.
"I'm sorry but first of all what you are asking here is ludicrous. This must be a scam or something because this does not seem legitimate in anyway," He struck a nerve in her. It was bad enough she did not even know who he was but now he was insulting her and handing her a contract with just outrageous propositions.
"I take offense to you referring to this as a scam. This is a business offer that you will in turn be rewarded generously," His tone of voice shifted to slight agitation as he proceeded to speak. "As VP, I have a status to uphold, and with that comes an image that has appeared to be wavering recently. The staff under me and even the shareholders has begun to wonder about my personal life and my inability to marry. As such I have devised a simple way to keep my status and authority in check by simulating a happy marriage, to put it bluntly. That is where your role comes in." He spoke with such calmness that it seemed to intensify Elna's shock. He was asking her to act as his wife, a show wife, so he could keep his authority over others.
"This would not, of course, be a permanent arrangement. Studies have been conducted on the durations of typical marriages and the results show that the usual marital status of a couple lasts between 2 to 5 years and over 60% end in divorce. That is what this would be. We will be married until I believe enough time has elapsed in allowing people to believe that this is a happy union between husband and wife, in which case this arrangement will be terminated through a quick divorce, sighting inter-martial problems. You will take a settlement amount and that will be the end of that. It is very simple and straightforward. You will get a starting amount of course, but only receive the rest of your allotted payment after a period of no less than 2 years," He sipped on his whiskey once more before continuing, "It benefits both you and I. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line."
Elna was mortified. She has never felt so cheap in her life. How could he think that she would just go off and sign the documents like that? He may have gone and done his research on her, but she does not have a single inkling as to who the man sitting in front of her is. His rationale did not make any sense and she is starting to believe there is more to this than meets the eye.
"I also have to mention, there will be no physical relationship between us. This is strictly a business transaction."
That last sentence sent Elna over the edge.
"You are without doubt the most narcissistic man I have ever encountered. It is not a wonder you do not have a wife. I bet women go running screaming from you when they realize what a horrible person you are. I am so speechless by all of th-"
"Yet you continue to speak," He was pressing all the wrong buttons and Elna exploded from the last comment. She quickly got out of the booth; horror plastered on her face, ready to start throwing anything that was within arm's reach at the bastard sitting calmly in the booth.
"There is no way I am taking that deal, not now, not ever. Find yourself a whore. They're the only ones crazy enough to take a deal like that!" She stormed out of that restaurant, her breathing erratic and her head spinning. She then remembered that Lali was waiting for her right down the street. She rushed to the car and nearly leapt inside; her body slumped in the passenger seat.
"Whoah. Elna, you look horrible. What the hell happened in there?" Lali questioned seeing Elna distraught and unable to control her breathing.
"Just the worst interview I have ever had. I don't want to talk about it at all. Can you just take me somewhere to have a drink? I could use a round of shots right now."
The next few weeks were becoming more and more unbearable for Elna. The debt collectors called at all hours of the day, her finances were almost completely depleted and there were zero job listings. Semira and Lali offered to lend her money but Elna kept refusing. The only thing she hated more than begging for money was borrowing money from friends. It never ends well borrowing money from friends.
Elna would walk around the city, leaving her resume at every possible business or store, hoping someone would call her. For two more weeks she staggered around the city leaving her resume with any business she would see. The day turned to night before she realized nearing her building. She took the elevator up to the 15th floor. Walking out she turned dragging her feet in exhaustion towards her front door. This day was a miserable failure in her eyes and all she needed now was a good night's rest or at least an hour of peaceful sleep without the constant ringing of the phone.
From a few feet away, she noticed a paper hung on her door. She straightened herself and briskly walked to her door. There, the red paper hung exposing her situation to the whole floor.
Elna nearly wept from the sight. She has nowhere else to go and she does not want to intrude on Lali's or Semira's space. Where is she to go? If the gang finds out about the eviction notice, they will surely make her stay at one of their apartments, no questions asked. She did not want that. She would be asking too much from them.
Elna entered her place and fell face first on to the couch, dropping the notice right below her, staring at it for over a minute before reaching for the remote control and turning on the television. She knew the cable company will eventually cut off her cable subscription. Until then, she was going to enjoy whatever television time she has left. Flipping through the channels she came across the news network.
She watched for a few minutes before a news story caught her attention, making her whole body tense.
"Mr. Sebastian Iyer to be next CEO of Sens Corporation"
She could not believe her eyes. It was the man from the restaurant. That bastard was on the news. Elna was getting angry thinking about the fact that the last thing she might see on television was a story about him. This was getting too much for her to handle. Everything was spiraling out of control in her life and now she won't even have a place to live. Elna fell backwards on the couch in total defeat, her arm falling from the edge of the couch, grazing the paper on the floor. She then grasped the paper and sat up gazing at it and then she could not understand why but she shifted her gaze to the television, seeing that man, that egocentric pitiful excuse for a man on television.
A thought crossed her mind that made her sick to her stomach.
"No! No way! Not even when hell turns over! This is madness," She spoke to herself trying to shake the thought of actually accepting his offer, signing that contract. She was better than that, had more respect for herself and was a resilient young professional. There is no way she would stoop so low and agree to such terms. And yet, there it was lingering in her mind. She was so enraged she almost broke the television throwing a candle from the coffee table towards the wall where the television hung.
She went to the kitchen to have a drink as she sipped the beverage, looking back on the television that continued to show the image of Sebastian Iyer, she felt defeated.
Being restless the whole night caused her to wake early in the morning, ready to leave the apartment. She was able to locate the company he works for and find a bus route that would take her there. An hour on the bus made her a train-wreck. She was changing her mind left and right, rethinking this whole plan. What if he already found someone else to sign? What if she makes a fool of herself? She shook all those negative thoughts out of her head and just proceeded to keep herself conscious on the bus ride.
Getting off the bus right in front of Sens Corporation was overwhelming. The building was enormous, glass from bottom to top; there were people in business attire walking in and out of the building constantly. How was she to get in to a building like that? There must be heavy security in there for the amount of traffic that seems to pass through those doors.
Elna took a deep breath in and hastily waked through the doors. The entrance was extravagant. You could see up to the 10th floor, the ceiling was high and cut each floor so there was a walkway around the floors but a gap right in the center. The receptionists were dressed exceptionally for staff members that worked behind the front desk, smiles on their faces constantly. Elna walked cautiously towards them, a look of trepidation forming on her face.
"Hello Miss. How may we assist you today?" The receptionist in the center of the front desk spoke, his smile almost contagious.
"Hi. Yes, um I am here to see Sebastian Iyer," Elna spoke quickly, watching his smile waiver slightly at hearing the name.
"And what is your name miss?"
The receptionist looked down at something for a moment before lifting his head and smiling sweetly.
"Ah yes Miss Hedstrom. This is your first time coming here is it not?" He asked tilting his head in wonder.
"Uh…Yes it is," Elna was so befuddled she just played along with it. If it would get her in to see Sebastian Iyer, then she will agree with the receptionist.
"So you will walk down the hall and on the left are the elevators. Take it up to the 51st floor and I will phone the receptionist you are coming so she may tell Mr. Iyer."
"Um can you tell her not to tell him? I want my arrival to be a surprise," Elna put on the fakest smile she could muster, trying to sound sincere in the process.
"Of course miss, not a problem. Have a great day," He smiled at Elna as she walked away. She nodded in response walking towards the elevators, trying to make sense of what just happened.
Elna reached the 51st floor and as she walked out the elevator, the atmosphere was completely different than the ground floor. It seemed so mute, simple colors such as black, white, and shades of greys with the occasional splash of color decorated the reception area. Elna walked watchfully towards the receptionist, a woman well in to her 50's but the way she carried herself made her seem at least 10 years younger. She glanced up at Elna before grinning and gesturing her towards the hallway to the left.
"The office at the end of the hall miss," She spoke with a thick southern accent, grinning widely.
Elna walked to the end of the hall, contemplating the entire way whether or not to knock, and at the last minute deciding to just barge through his office doors. As she did, the men around the office froze gazing in shock at Elna between the doorway. A slight grin sneaked its way to the side of Sebastian's lips as he stood from his desk.
"Gentlemen, may I have a moment with my girlfriend?" He uttered nonchalantly, making Elna's eyes widen in disbelief as she tried to not let her mouth fall open from disbelief.
The men all whispered to each other as they walked past Elna, nodding a quick greeting as they left, Sebastian seeing the men out and closing the doors behind them.
"I'm your goddamn girlfriend now?"
"What was I going to say? Excuse me while I speak to this stranger oh yes and tomorrow you will refer to her as my wife?" He walked away from Elna, sitting back behind his unnecessarily oversized desk.
"I didn't say I would sign the documents."
"Yes you will. There is no other reason for you to be here in my office. Which I must say I was expecting you much sooner than this, which means I was wrong, and I am never wrong." He grinned, Elna unable to read him at all. This man was border line sociopathic in her eyes. Why was she getting mixed up with him? She was so desperate this was her last resort.
"You are way too cocky for someone who doesn't understand the words 'I haven't signed anything yet'," She mouthed for him to focus on her lips.
"Then what are you here for?" His question seemed disinterested, as if Elna was beginning to bore him.
Elna stood there her eyes meeting his rethinking whether this was really something she was willing to do, something she was willing to go through for financial stability. She breathed heavily, slowly blinking before she spoke.
"Add another 100 G's to the starting amount and I will sign it."
A/N2: Alright angels. This is the original version. Again I am sorry for my insanity. I will writ chapter 15 probably by next week.