The longer I looked at the computer screen, the longer my eyes started to hurt and go blurry.
I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes.
I had to close my eyes for a moment, but someone cleared their throat.
My eyes flew open, and I stared back at the man, leaning on the door frame to my office.
My boss, Carter Wilson, stood there with a grin widening as his eyes met mine.
“You know you could have left that till tomorrow,” he said, pushing off the door frame as he walked into my office and sat down opposite me.
I watched as my boss leaned back in his chair, his eyes glancing around before they landed back on me.
“Why are you here this late, Amelia?” Carter asked, his head cocking to the side.
I sighed and looked back at the computer.
“This piece you have me working on,” I said, moving my eyes back to his. “I’m going to need help with it.”
Carter stared and nodded.
“I did warn you it would be a lot of work,” he said, leaning forward, but his eyes stayed on me.
I stared at him, but he held my gaze, his grin slowly peering again.
“My brother, Cole, will be here tomorrow,” he said, making my stomach twist in knots at the mention of his brother. “He can help you.”
I nodded, looking back at the computer screen, trying not to show anything on my face.
My mind raced over the last time I saw Cole, which was eight months ago.
I could feel Carter’s eyes bore into me, which made me look back at him.
“He still has that hold on you, huh,” he said, leaning back in his chair.
I stared at him, dumbfounded but couldn’t help the blush that spread across my face, knowing that he had caught me.
Carter laughed slightly. “Both of you are so adorable,” he muttered under his breath.
I stared at him, feeling confused by what he muttered.
Carter looked at me and shook his head.
“Nothing,” he said and stood up. He looked at me and smiled. “I will send Cole by your office tomorrow to look over the project and the paperwork, and you can work together.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything.
I watched as Carter strolled out of my office and headed toward the door, but before he left, he spoke. “Go home, Amelia,” he called out, “the project will be there in the morning." before disappearing out of my office.
I didn’t say anything but leaned back in my chair and let out the breath I had been holding as he walked out.
I couldn’t help but let my mind drift to Cole, as it usually did when his name was mentioned. I have had this stupid crush on Cole since I can remember.
I had known Carter and Cole back in high school; I knew of them as they were the most popular boys, but I never bothered with either of them until they took over the family business, and I had to apply for the job I got now.
In school, I was what you called a nerd. I wasn’t ugly or anything, but I loved learning and had a few friends; we were a small group.
Carter and Cole were twin brothers, a year above me, and they were totally different from one another as twins could be. Carter was outgoing and popular, and Cole was always on the sidelines but was always with Carter and his friends.
I liked him back then, but I never thought I stood a chance; even though both men were good to me, they never once bullied me. They always spoke to me. Well, Carter did.
I only seemed to attract problems with girls, which usually happened if they noticed that Cater was talking to me. They didn’t like how Carter and Cole acted around me and made it their mission to make my life hell. I endured it and kept my head down.
I left high school and went to college for four years, never thinking about them again. Until I finished college and had to apply for a job at their family firm, I thought their father was still running it, but I was shocked when I had both brothers interviewing me.
Carter was the one who fired off questions while Cole stared through me, not uttering a single word to me.
After the interview, Carter knew who I was and asked if I had gone to school with them.
I nodded, and Carter was more than happy to accept me as he knew I needed the job.
Carter is my main boss here and the one I work for. I work as his secretary and do the odd other jobs he may need me to do.
I don’t see Cole much. I believe that Cole is mostly the one who goes out and meets the clients.
Carter and I are friends, and I know nothing will ever happen between us. Not only did he work out I had a crush on his brother, which he likes to bring up whenever he sees me daydreaming. Carter is more of a ladies’ man, and most women who applied for different positions in the company or even worked here want to get with him. I have often heard moaning from his office as his latest girl of the month would sneak in to improve his day.
I can’t help the eye roll when I think about them.
I sigh, trying to return to reality, but it doesn’t work, and it goes straight to Cole again.
I must admit, I don’t know what Cole’s deal is. I don’t think I have ever seen him with a woman, let alone anyone. He is very private, but part of me wants to know more about him. I always have, ever since school, but something would get in the way of that ever happening.
I sighed as I looked back at my computer screen and decided to call it a night.
I looked at the clock and couldn’t believe the time. Carter was right; it was getting late.
All I could think about was a hot bath and my bed.
I looked back at my computer and logged out, and got up to switch everything else off in my office.
I walked to the door but grabbed my coat from the hook and placed it around me. I zipped up and ensured I had everything with me before I turned off the light and walked out of my office, closing the door behind me.
I walked past all the empty offices and headed toward the elevator.
I walked inside and pressed the ground button once the doors closed. The elevator took me down, and within a few seconds, the doors pinged open, and I stepped out and started to head to the office entrance but waved to Bobby, our security guard, as I pushed the door open and walked outside.
I stood for a moment, letting the cold fan my face. It was fast approaching Christmas, only four days.
I felt a pang of hurt as I knew this year was the first year I would be without my mum. She passed away a little over eight months ago from cancer. My father was five years before her. I had no siblings, only aunts, and uncles, who I probably would only see in the New Year.
My mum and I used to spend the last five years together, taking turns staying in each other’s house. We would decorate the tree and bake cookies. I loved it.
This year was different, and I hated it.
I was going to be on my own, and it was scary. Even though I didn’t need the money, I had even started agreeing to cover for a few people at work. Being at work was the only thing keeping me from going insane.
I shook the fear of being alone out of me as I waved for a cab.
One pulled up seconds later, and I walked over and climbed inside.
The driver waited till I closed the door before he sped away just as I told him where to take me.
I couldn’t help but stare out the window as I dreaded going back to an empty apartment, but it was lovely to see all the lights from the Christmas decorations on businesses and houses as we passed; it made it all more so real to me that it was going to be a lonely Christmas this year.