Authors: Mercy Cortez
Copyright ©2013 Mercy Cortez
All rights reserved
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The author holds the exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorised duplication is prohibited.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing by the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
I glanced up as I heard the ping of my work email. I saw his name and I already felt the tingles I felt every single time.
From: Patrick McCarthy
Please come and see me in my office at 5pm. I am sure you are aware that your temporary contract is ending next week and we need a development meeting regarding this.
HR Director, GME Records.
Patrick was possibly the most intimidating man I had ever met. He seemed to never smile and I always felt awkward in his company, like he was waiting for me to say something remotely incorrect so he could point out the flaw. I watched the time tick by, only an hour till I had to meet with him.
I carried on with my work, trying to keep my mind clear. I was always a bit of a workaholic, I enjoyed being the best at something. I took this job because it was working at a record company. I wouldn't usually apply for a temporary unpaid internship, and if I'm honest, I wish I hadn't. The closest I got to the music side was producing the cover art for z list artists, the ones that the graphics department didn't even care about.
My job was a Personal Assistant, but I assisted a man man of whom I had never met, nor spoken to. He was the big CEO of GME Records, the company was titled GM Records. He became an investor and so they added his initial to the mix, Jared Edge. He would email me instructions and I would email him back. He even called me Elisa a few times because he couldn't seem to register my name. I looked up at the big clock in my office, 4:50pm, I started clearing my desk, my office was small, a desk and a bookshelf was all I could fit in here, my desk had no family photos, just a dying green leafy plant. I looked through my bag, pulling out my mirror, I stared into it, my skin was always so pale, I looked ill, my green eyes were a little red and my brown hair wasn't playing nice today. It was pulled up in a bun, but it looked like I had pulled it through a hedge. I wasn't looking forward to this.
I zipped my bag up and walked fast to Patrick's; much, much larger office. I was stopped by his secretary, Mindy.
"Oh, Mel, he said he would meet you in Mr Edges office, you know where it is?" she said almost terror in her eyes.
"Umm, yeah I know it. Are you okay, Mindy?"
"I'm fine Mel, a heads up though, Jar- I mean, Mr. Edge is in the meeting to, you should go, he doesn't like lateness"
I'm going to meet Mr. Mysterious, my palm felt moist and I realised I probably mirrored Mindy's earlier expression, I said thank you to her and rushed, almost running to Jared's office, my cheeks burned. I reached his office door, 'Jared Edge - Senior Partner/CEO', I stood for a minute to catch my breath, and I raised my hand in to a fist and slowly knocked on his door.
"Melissa, come in" it was Patrick, I creaked the door open. There he was, Jared, right next to Patrick. He raised and pushed his hand out to shake mine.
I took his hand, it was soft, I looked up at Jared, he had a firm jaw, defined cheek bones, his lips were a soft pink, he had a little stubble, I saw his lips move but I was lost in his looks, I glanced up into his golden brown eyes and suddenly I snapped out of it.
"Melissa, hello? I'm Jared Edge, I said it's nice to put a face behind the emails" His voice was so velvet soft, a hint at an American accent.
"Oh, I'm sorry Sir, I just didn't realise you were going to be here - lovely to finally meet you"
He stared into my eyes and his lips curled slowly into a smile, he took his hand up and ran it through his glossy thick golden hair, I couldn't help but smile back, I wondered how old he was, I never asked before, I assumed he would be over forty, but he looked surprisingly young, he had creases in the skin around his eyes when he smiled, he had some sort of attraction to him.
"Melissa, please take a seat" Jared's velvet voice went straight through me.
"Y-yes, thank you, sir" I tried to keep my voice clear and strong. I sat across from Patrick and Jared. Jared's office was ten times the size of mine and because he rarely used it, it only had a long table and chairs and was used as a board room.
"Mel, as you know your six months unpaid internship ends next week, throughout your time with us, myself and Mr. Edge have been conversing about your performance..." I stared biting my lip, and shuffled in my seat slightly, I was so nervous and I could see Jared staring at me, he looked like he knew something I didn't and I was under the impression that was true.
"...We have some issues to take care of, your time management skills are a little off, you work nine to five, so you shouldn't stay here till six. You also have a habit of not taking your lunch break and you must take it, it is mandatory. However, you have completed every assignment asked of you, and Mr. Edge informs me that you are always easily contactable and he speaks highly of you. We just don't have a positi -" Jared interrupted him and Patrick looked slightly uneasy which I had never seen before, Jared smiled and asked me if I could relocate at all. I needed a job, I had nothing keeping me here, why not. I said that was fine.
"Well, I haven't discussed this with Patrick but I need someone in my main offices in central London. I have just had my efficient secretary leave us and I would love for you to take her position. Would that suit you?" Central London? I had been to London twice in my life, I worked in Milton Keynes which was big enough, how would I even afford it. It seemed he read my mind.
"Money wise, starting is twenty grand, and we would pay your apartment costs for the first year and you get any travel expenses, standard with our relocation service"
"Well then I guess I accept, thank you so much" I smiled wide, why was he offering this to me? Crazy. But as my mother always said, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I slide my hands over my thighs and Patrick and Jared stood.
"I guess I should go and set up the paperwork" Patrick seemed angry and he walked out the office, his angry tone following him. It was just me and Jared, private and alone, my heart raced. He moved closer to me.
"I'm looking forward to working closely with you, Ms. Payne. I shall contact you with all the information. I must say you have really beautiful eyes Melissa..." he took my hand as I blushed and he brought it to his lips and kissed lightly. "...until next time, Ms. Payne"
I walked back to my office and closed the door, my email pinged, I sat in my leather chair and thought about what just happened. I smiled so wide. My god, is this even possible? I shook my head and wiggled my mouse so my computer burst to life. Three Emails.
I am glad we got to meet today, you seem like a lovely young lady. I mean it, I look forward to working with you. I have attached some housing information and the new contract Patrick has written up for you to sign. If possible could you start next week?
Mr. Jared Edge.
Sent from my iPhone 5
Wow, he works fast. I opened the housing information attachment. I read the description it was an apartment; one bedroom, balcony, newly fitted kitchen and bathroom.
I scrolled down.
The apartment looked nice, I could live here. I printed the contract and signed it and scanned it back. Taking note of my 'time management' it was 5.15pm so I checked the other emails, nothing important and left my office for the day.
One week later...
I looked up at the building I was going to be coming to everyday, the wind flowered through my hair, I smelt the pollution and fumes of London. I arrived yesterday, I didn't have the keys to my apartment yet so I stayed in the Holiday Inn nearby, I wasn't one for expense, I didn't ever have money for starters. I was in a way lucky that my family had supported me through the internship but it had been hard for me money wise and lead to a few much too large credit card bills.
The building was pure glass everywhere, it was insane, so much bigger than my old place. I stood for a few minutes. Come on, I told myself, a building can not intimidate you. I looked across to the central parking lot and was suddenly glad I decided to not try to drive in London, all I could see were Bentleys, Mercedes and ... wait an Aston Martin, seriously? I was so out of my depth.
I inhaled deeply and walked up the marble stairs, slowly regretting my decision of wearing high heels. I went through the revolving door and of course, I trip over thin air and I land on the hard floor, I flush red and a hand reaches down.
"Ms. Payne, Can I help you up?" I recognised the voice and my breath stuck in my throat, I took his hand, and I stood, he looked at me, no emotion in his eyes, something else, he had some control over
"Ms. Payne, if you’re not hurt I would like you to accompany me to lunch"
I looked up at the large digital clock in the completely white foyer, it was 9am, lunch?
“Mr. Edge, sir... you do realise the time?"
He looked at me amused
"Yes Melissa, I just would rather leave the building to speak with you, call it breakfast then if you must"
I was so curious what he meant and that was never good for me but I needed to know and he was my boss now, I couldn't say no, not on my first day. I followed him out.
"So where are we going for - lunch?" I stressed 'lunch' a little much, mocking.
"Rather cocky aren't you, we'll fix that" and he winked at me, making me blush so hard and then his smile wasn't the same, firm, he seemed different to the Jared who had offered me the job, more detached.
"Melissa, may I call you Melissa?"
"Of course you can" I said trying to sound strong, I saw we were walking to a black SUV
"I haven't stopped thinking about you" My breath stuck in my throat, what? I was waiting for the joke. Thinking about why he hired me probably and when I would fuck up and make him wish he hadn’t.
"Oh... I... what were you thinking about?" I felt that was a safe question. He opened the door of the SUV for me and watched as I got in, he smirked at me like he was thinking of something else, I looked away embarrassed and he laughed as he closed the door, he walked around into the other passenger side and got in, he pressed a button by his seat and shouted to someone I couldn't see,
"You know where to go Eric" he shut off the button and caught me staring
"Oh, it shuts off, he can't hear us now... now your question..." he smirked and his eyes, burned me "... Well Melissa, I thought about having you here now, about asking you to join me, and about then taking you to my office and doing whatever it is I want to you until I decide you have had enough"
I sat there, I was completely flabbergasted, did I hear him right? Was that why he employed me? Of course it was, oh god, what had I done, now I was stuck in a car with him. How stupid and naive are you Melissa!?
My throat burnt, I needed to say something, what could I say, I was flattered but - and he interrupted my thoughts.
" l want to show you something, before you ... I'm not an atypical man, I don't share stories of my love and I don't pretend to feel more than I do. I want to have you Melissa and I will want to have you a lot, whenever I want, because your innocence to everything makes me want you, because you are beautiful. I will give you whatever you want except two things - love and perpetual freedom. But my wealth, my contacts; are yours. You will go with me to events as my girlfriend and you will pretend that's what you are, when you aren't; you are just a product I want to possess and I didn't become this successful not getting what I want"
I sat and listened, I hated to think it but I wanted him too, and I tried not to but I did, he was strong, powerful and I liked that but I wouldn't take his money, I wasn't like that, I didn't like money. He didn't know me, he knew nothing about me.
" l won't take your money, I don't want it and you know nothing about me" he laughed again, so arrogant.
"I know you plenty, grew up with your family on welfare, you lived with your mother and step brother for a while and your uncle lived with you for three years-" I stopped him
"You know nothing about me"
"Tell me then"
"I don't tell anyone who asks who I am, and I don't make an exception if that person has the power to fire me on the spot or the skill and money to hire a private investigator" I may look innocent but I wasn't stupid.