Get Free Copy

93 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
AWoodGirl would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A Second Chance

By AWoodGirl All Rights Reserved ©

Romance

Chapter 1

The alarm on her phone echoed in the bedroom for the fourth time that morning and all Nicole wanted to do was silence the annoying sound, snuggle further into her girlfriend’s embrace and sleep for the next twelve hours. But the thing kept on ringing, reminding her that that was not a regular morning. She couldn’t give herself the luxury of being late on the first day of her new editor-in-chief. Even if she had just spent half the night finishing up on a story.

According to the gossip going around the magazine’s corridors, the new boss was supposed to be strict and straight to the point – particularly with the women in her team. Not that Nicole was used to slacking on her work or anything; she just didn’t want to start things on the wrong foot with the woman who could determine so much about her future.

Hence why her alarm was blaring even earlier than usual.

One look behind her shoulder confirmed what Nicole already suspected to be true: Lauren was still sleeping as if nothing had disturbed the stillness of the room. She slept like the dead and Nicole had no idea how her girlfriend was never late to anything, but at least she never felt guilty when her alarm went off early in the morning.

The arms and legs around her body tightened their grip and tried to make her stay in bed, but Nicole had already stalled all that she could. With a regretful sigh, Nicole sat up, allowing herself a moment to admire Lauren’s simple beauty. She wasn’t one of those women you’d expect to find on a magazine cover or on a runway somewhere, but Nicole was sure that Lauren would be just as beautiful in her sixties as she was at that moment. She kissed the pale skin, right where a shoulder curved into a neck, and got up to start her day.

Since she had waited until the fourth programmed alarm – she had six of them – there was no time for coffee or breakfast. She hopped into the shower and waited until the water worked its magic and made her feel like she belonged into the world of the living once again. Nicole’s mornings had been like that since she could remember. She could skip anything but a shower if she wanted to be a productive human being throughout the rest of the day. And with the meeting she had in an hour, she really needed to be on top of her game.

The commute to the magazine was quick. When Nicole was looking for an apartment, she opted for the closest to work within her price range. There had been newer buildings and better neighborhoods further into San Francisco, but nothing could beat getting to and fro work in less than twenty minutes. Particularly after pulling an all-nighter.

The morning security guard greeted her from a distance and held the elevator doors so she wouldn’t have to wait for the next one. Inside, her lips formed a half smile when she noticed Jake leaning against the back wall. He was one of the magazine’s main photographers and after working together many times they became best friends. Nicole leaned sideways on the wall to his right and cleared her throat. She was sure he had his eyes closed behind the dark lenses he was wearing.

“Nic, hi.” He smiled at her and pushed the glasses to the top of his head. His eyes scanned her body up and down and he frowned when he focused back on her face. “Wow, you look like shit!”

“Gee, thank you so much, Jake. You really know how to make a girl feel good about herself. And good morning to you, too.”

“No need to hate the truth, hun. Because by your looks, the night must have been amazing.”

“Oh, you have no idea.” Nicole let her voice drop an octave when she noticed Jake’s interest in her story. It was just so much fun teasing him. “It was just me, a computer, a pot of coffee and pile of notes. All. Night. Long. It was…wild.”

The metal doors opened and Nicole stepped out on the magazine’s main floor. She knew Jake was right behind her and she knew what he was going to say next.

“Anyone ever tell you that you work too much?” Her friend was just so predictable.

“Yes. Lauren. Every day.”

“I knew I liked that girl for a reason. And she’s right, Nic. You need to relax.”

If anyone else had said those words to her, particularly Lauren, Nicole would probably have left them talking to themselves. She hated when people tried to interfere with the way she leads her career. But she knew Jake’s concern was genuine and maybe even a little necessary. Not that she would admit it to his face. The thing was, Nicole loved her work. She was focused and driven and knew what she wanted to achieve. If she needed to be a little sleep deprived every now and then, it was a price she was more than willing to pay.

“I am relaxed, Jake. I just had this little thing called a deadline. I’m not sure if you two have been introduced yet.”

“We have, but we’re not friends. Besides, deadlines are just things invented by people that don’t have to follow them.”

“They’re called our bosses. But I’m not gonna lose my breath on you. You’re incapable of being serious.”

“Am not!”

Jake sounded offended, but Nicole ignored him when she crossed the glass doors and noticed that the room was practically empty. She looked at her watch and saw that they only had five minutes until the staff meeting started. She silently thanked herself for not giving in to her tired self that morning and dragged Jake to the conference room.

Most of the magazine’s team was already gathered in there, looking half-asleep and talking in small groups. Some were typing away on their phones and there was one guy with his forehead laid on the table in front of him. Nicole chuckled and made a straight line to the coffee station by the back wall. She couldn’t allow herself to fall asleep in the middle of this meeting. It felt like professional suicide or something very close to that.

She had just finished fixing her coffee when she heard the double doors being closed and the sound of chairs scratching the floor. Nicole turned around and found a redheaded woman standing by the opposite wall. She had seen pictures of her when she researched her new boss, but that hadn’t prepared her for the air of power and command the woman exuded. It was clear who was in charge.

Nicole took the chair Jake had saved her and waited for the meeting to start.

“Good morning, ladies and gentleman. My name is Dianna Lee and I’m the new editor-in-chief of the Variety magazine. As I’m sure most of you must have already researched my career, I’m not going to talk about my previous experiences. And if you didn’t, you should.”

Blue eyes took their time analyzing everyone in the room, one by one. They were calculating, but not cold. Nicole felt like Dianna was measuring them, trying to match their faces and postures to the names and articles she must have read. When those eyes fell on her, the reporter held the stare for the long seconds it lasted.

“Now, I have read the magazine’s past issues and you have done a good job so far. But I think it has the potential to be excellent.”

Before Dianna had the opportunity to continue, a knock on the door pulled everyone’s attention to a young woman that just joined them. Nicole hadn’t been introduced to her yet, but she felt sorry for the girl after seeing the way Dianna was staring at her.

“As I was saying, we have a lot of work to do, so let’s not waste any more time. I want you to pitch me what you have planned for the next issue.”

Dianna pointed to the man sitting on her right to start them off and each one of them told the new boss about their assignments and their completion statuses. For some, Dianna had questions. For others, she made small remarks. With most she remained impassive and only a few put a small smile on her face. When the time came for Nicole to pitch her story, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Nor what to hope for.

“I just finished yesterday the profile on Congressman John O’Connor. I just have to sit with Jake here to decide on the pictures.”

“Great.” Dianna smiled and Nicole sighed in relief. “Send it to me after we’re done here. I wanna take a look.”

There were seven more people left after Nicole and she relaxed against her chair, trying to concentrate on what they were saying instead of the second thoughts she was having about the story she was supposed to send Dianna. Why did she have to say it was finished already? If she had only said it would be done by the next day, she would have bought herself some time to read it over again. Not that it would make much difference. She always thought there was something that could have been better.

“Alright. We have some great stories, but I didn’t hear anything strong enough to be the cover.” The editor looked around the room. “I want some ideas, people.”

The room was silent for a few seconds as people looked around, trying to find inspiration in the past covers that hung on the walls. Dianna’s style was just so different from their previous editor that it threw everyone in for a loop. A few mumblings could be heard, their brains trying to kick start themselves and be productive until a voice sounded above them all.

“Ally Strong is in town.” All eyes turned to the reporter who had showed up late to the meeting. Nicole could see that she was sweating under the attention. “Maybe we could profile her?”

“That’s actually a very good idea.” Dianna seemed surprised and the girl relaxed. “Nicole, you usually handle profiles, right?”

“Sure, most of them.”

“Good. This one is yours, okay? You’re already finished with your current assignment, anyway.”

“Y-y-yeah. Okay. No problem.”

From the corner of her eye, Nicole saw Jake’s head snapping towards her. She knew she had stuttered and she was hoping her friend wouldn’t notice it, but no such luck. He was looking at her like she had grown a second head. She tried gathering her things as fast as possible after Dianna dismissed them, but the fingers around her wrist told her she wasn’t getting out of that conversation so easily.

“What was that, missy?”

“What was what, Jake?”

“This.” He gestured for her whole body, making Nicole roll her eyes. “Since when do you stutter and blush when you have to interview someone famous. I mean, I know it’s Ally Strong, biggest pop star of the last few years, but still.”

“You know what I think? I think you’re watching too much TV.”

“And I think you’re forgetting that it’s me you’re talking to. I know you, Nic. And I know when something messes with you. And this singer’s name? It was like a boulder through a windshield.”

Nicole sighed deeply and sat back down. She looked up and saw nothing but care and concern in Jake’s eyes. This was her friend’s version she liked the most. When he forgot to be sassy and ironic and was just a guy that cared deeply for his loved ones.

“You know what? You’re right. That name messed up with me. Satisfied?”

“Hell no! Of that, I was sure, already. What I really wanna know is why.”

“Can we talk about it later?” Nicole pleaded with him. She still needed a few minutes to try and understand things by herself. “You heard the boss. I have to send her my story.”

“Nic…”

“I promise I won’t run from you.”

“Okay, fine.”


Get Free Copy
0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

voovoo2003: I love everything about your story is was amazing. The plot and the way everything was put to together is wonderful, PLEASE!! Tell me there's more to the story is can't end the way it did. I was shocked and in need of the rest

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

leniel Lorezo: I love the way this book made me feel such strong emotions, whether its happy, sad or love for the characters. This is an amazing book and I would totally buy it if this would be published. The way it depicts the reality and the strong-willed confidence of the character is what made me hooked fro...

sanbyra: This story is very well written and flows beautifully. I became engrossed in the romance element as well as the impending war. The action scenes are also depicted very well. I can't wait to read what happens next!

Ethan Hawke Branom: What a story!!!! From beginning to end you didn't want it to stop. Renee is a feisty woman who will stop at nothing to make things right. It is a story that could actually happen, and makes you stop and think of how the world works and how one persons desire can drive them to get what's theirs. M...

spec4huff: Thank you for creating this world. I am a 6'3" veteran that thinks himself tough. But the piece of literature you have created made me misty eyed on a number of occasions. I want a love like this. Thank you again, I would totally buy this book and hopefully the sequels to this ever enchanting lov...

More Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

ayesha wali: This is the BEST novel i have read after a long while. Absolutely in love with this novel and seriously why is it not PUBLISHED YET?!?! THIS NOVEL IS AMAZING,BEAUTIFUL,MAGNIFICENT, I have no words to explain how truly precious this novel is im totally in love with the book and its characters! Goo...

A.O. Chika: I loved the storyline. The characters, the settings, and the overall plot was great. I love how it started sweet in the beginning and then the angst set in. I did feel like the author writing style could use a bit of change as the book reads more like a YA novel than an Adult novel (I.e grown up ...

bansodeyari: The story is really wonderful. It has details (sometimes which are not needed). The story is plotted well. It's lengthy though, but worth reading. It is based on realty which normal people face. Overall I loved it. Peace✌️.

Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.