I pull up to the parking garage of the firm I work at and thank the stars that my car didn’t break down on me this morning. I grab my bag from the passenger seat before locking it up and making my way across the road to the local coffee shop. I’m not long in the queue when I reach the front and Connor, the barista, greets me with a smile.
“Morning, J.J, how are you today? The usual?”
“Morning, Connor, I’m good thanks. How are the exams going?” I reply in a joyous tone. “Oh, and could I get a large hazelnut latte, a large standard latte and a banana muffin please?”
“Coming right up. The exams, erm, well they are going…” We giggle at his nervousness when I hear a cheery squeal from beside me.
“J.J! Over here!” Taylor practically jumps out of her seat to get my attention.
I gesture to Connor that I’m heading over to the excited woman in the corner and he nods and laughs to acknowledge me.
“Hey, T! How can you be so cheery in the morning?” I ask as I raise my eyebrow. I’ve never known anyone to be this excitable on a Monday morning.
“Well, that’s because I get to work with you,” she replies as she winks at me.
Taylor joined the firm three years ago, and as she’s the other partner’s PA we share an office. We clicked from day one and have become really close.
I should probably introduce myself. I’m J.J, I’m 24 years old and I work as a PA for Mr Stone who owns a pretty lucrative firm. The Stones’ treat me like family and I really do love my job.
Taylor smiles and says, “You know, if Connor stares at you any longer, he will burn a hole into your ass!”
I look over my shoulder and Connor glances away with haste.
“Leave him alone, T, he is just stressed with his exams right now.”
“Hmmm, and I bet I know how he would like to de-stress!” Her mouth curls into a smirk as Connor comes over with my order. I glare at Taylor, warning her not to embarrass him.
“Here you go, J.J. You have a great day now and I will see you tomorrow morning.”
“Thanks, Connor, see you tomorrow and good luck with your exam this afternoon, you will smash it!”
I try not to look at Taylor as she makes googly eyes behind Connor’s back.
“Come on, T, we don’t want to be late.”
We head to the office and make our way past the security guy who stands in the same spot every morning. “Morning, Vince. Good Weekend?”
“Morning, ladies, yes it was definitely interesting. You two have a good day, now.” Vince winks at Taylor as we walk past and Taylor returns a flirty smile.
“Oh, we will.”
I wait until we step into the elevator before I turn and say, “Ok, spill!” A smile creeps onto her face.
“We may have kissed at a club on Saturday night.”
I knew she liked him!
“Well, it’s about time. Damn, I knew I should’ve come out with you.” I smile at her.
“There’s always this weekend, lovey.”
She doesn’t need to ask me twice. “You bet. I’m going to need a whole barrel of booze to blur out the family dinner on Sunday.” I am the youngest of six siblings, yes six. I have five older brothers with the oldest being 44 years old and the youngest being 32 years old. I’m what my parents liked to call “a later in life baby” however, my brothers like to remind me I was an accident! My parents died when I was 6 years old so my brothers pretty much raised me. To say they are overprotective is an understatement!
We both laugh as the elevator doors open and we enter the top floor. We drop our bags into our office before Taylor heads towards Mr Trent’s room and I make my way towards Mr Stone’s.
Raised voices sound from inside and I instantly recognise one of them as Mrs Stone’s.
“I’m not having it, Matt, how dare she! I fired her right there and then!”
Shit, she sounds pissed… What the hell is going on? Suddenly, Mr Stone speaks.
“Calm down, Sonya, don’t worry about it. We know the truth, that’s what matters.”
I drop my head and sigh. He should know by now not to tell her to calm down; that will just earn him a verbal beat down.
“That’s not the point! I’m not having that bitch slander your name, or that poor girl’s. God knows how many people she has spun her tale to. Not every married man sleeps with their PA!”
Oh, she’s really pissed.
“Will you take a breath woman? J.J is our family. We know that, she knows that, that’s what matters. Let that woman say whatever she wants.”
Oh jeez. He is not helping himself here, but I’ve heard enough. It’s not the first time the rumour mill has sprung into action about Mr Stone and I, and it won’t be the last. We have a close friendship which has always set tongues wagging. The thing is – I’m just as close with Mrs Stone, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The looks we get when we are out together are just laughable, but we don’t shy away from setting the record straight either; that soon shuts everyone up.
I knock on the door and wait for Mr Stone’s response.
“Come in,” he says,
I open the door and enter his office with a smile plastered to my face, pretending I haven’t just heard their exchange. “Morning Mr and Mrs Stone, I hope you both had a lovely weekend.”
Mrs Stone smiles at me as I greet them, she is such a beautiful, fierce woman.
“Morning, sweety,” she chirps. You would never know she had just been yelling.
Bless him, he already looks harassed.
“I have your coffee,” I tell him as I hand over the cup.
Relief floods his eyes. “You are a lifesaver...”
“We have something for you,” Mrs Stone interrupts.
She beams from ear to ear and hops from one foot to the other like a kid in a candy store, which in those heels is pretty impressive. Mr Stone places his coffee onto his desk and picks up a box from behind him.
“J.J, you do so much for us, not just for me, but Sonya as well. We have said it before, but you are like family to us. Today celebrates four years since you became my PA, so we wanted to get you something to show you our appreciation.”
Shit! I can’t believe how quickly four years have passed.
“Wow, you didn’t have to do that. I love my job and I love both of you.” Mr Stone hands me the box. I can feel their eyes on me as I pull the ribbon and lift the lid. A picture of a black mini cooper sits inside, but underneath it…a key! This can’t be real. “You bought me a car! I can’t accept this!”
“Of course you can, honey, you deserve it.” Mrs Stone giggles as she walks over and embraces me in a hug.
“This is too much,” I say, stunned.
“J.J, you go above and beyond for us. Plus, your tin can broke down three times last week, you need a new car.” Mr Stone smiles while shaking his head.
My eyes fill with tears as I struggle to find the words. I love my tin can, hence why I’ve kept it for so long, but for them to do this for me is just incredible.
“Thank you both so much,” I manage.
“You are very welcome. You can take me for a spin on Friday. I’ve talked Matt into giving you a half day as I need you to help me find a dress. Plus, I can’t go to the spa on my own." Mrs Stone and I giggle, but I look at the clock and my heart drops a little.
“I hate to kill the vibe, Mr Stone, but you have a meeting in ten minutes, I left the papers on your desk for you.”
“And this is why you are the best PA.” Mr Stone grins as he glances at his desk.
I thank them both again before heading back to my office. Once behind closed doors, I can barely contain my excitement. I tell Taylor about my new car and we both squeal and jump about like a couple of teenagers. Of course, Taylor thinks this is a good excuse to go out and celebrate, and after much pestering from her, I reluctantly agree.
Surprisingly, for a Monday, the rest of the day speeds by and I skip out of the office towards my new wheels. I can’t believe this little beaut is mine. Now all I need to decide is what the hell I am going to wear tonight!