It was a cold and rainy Monday morning and the office building was buzzing with life. People were running all around like chickens without heads. Everyone was in a hurry. Some to get to their posts, some trying their best to look presentable, while others were busy arranging themselves and their paperwork. The topmost floor of the building was extra active as the heads of all departments were piling in the huge meeting room, waiting for their new boss who had just taken over the complete control of her family business and would be leading them all from now on.
They had heard rumors about her. About the former world-famous supermodel, now turned Chairman, or in this case Chairwoman, of The Knight Inc. Jessica Knight. They all knew about her, how she was a beauty with brains who single-handedly took their Diamond business to its highest peaks and had just signed a billion-dollar deal with one of the most famous business parties from Italy which would only result in more success for both sides. While they heard all great things about their new boss, they had also heard bad things. They all knew that Jessica Knight wasn't someone you could mess with. She was a great leader, undoubtedly, but she was a strict one as well. There was no place for mistakes in Jessica Knight's life.
Where on one end, one of the city's many skyscrapers was buzzing with fear and excitement, so was the city of New York with life below them. People of all colors, shapes, sizes, and genders or gender neutrals were scattered across the streets. Some of them going to work, some going to school, some out just for the sake of having a decent breakfast and some just enjoying a cold rainy morning in the gigantic city. Everyone had their own goals for the day. Some people had dreams to fulfill while others had impending deadlines. Everyone was alive and kicking.
Cameron Jackson was waiting with several guards and office personals on the main entrance of the huge building to welcome her best friend and their company's new chairwoman, Jessica Knight with flowers. Cameron had been best friends with her since high school times, back when she identified as a he and as much as everyone around her was nervous to see her, she was excited to be back with her best friend. She knew all about Jessica and could understand why everyone was feeling on the edge but she was sure she could handle her best friend. Unfortunately for her, she was wrong.
A black limousine accompanied by four SUVs entered the building's gate and everyone fixed their ties, dresses, and skirts. When the cars were parked, one by one bodyguard piled out of the SUVs and took their positions. One of them walked to the limousine and opened the door. Cameron walked a few steps ahead while all others followed her. The first thing that anyone saw was the red stilettos that were accompanied by a pair of sexy legs, the next thing to come into the view was a black dress that hugged it's owner's body as if a second skin, then came a very expensive and limited edition Versace handbag held by beautiful hand with a huge diamond ring on it, next they all focused on the platinum wavy locks and soon they all were looking at the majestic presence of Jessica Knight herself. As soon as she removed her glasses, everyone's eyes were fixed on the violet orbs that were famous all around the world. A high pitched squeal was heard before Jessica was engulfed in a tight embrace.
"Oh my God! I can't believe you're here" Cameron shrieked and soon started sobbing while Jessica patted her back gently. All her bodyguards were already given the details about all her staff so no one took any action.
"It's good to see you too Cam," Jessica said softly and Cameron moved back to look at her best friend. She hadn't changed at all, except for her eyes, they weren't the same as they were before. As she observed her so did Jessica. Cameron was as stunning now as she was handsome before. Jessica was really proud of her friend and was the one who helped her throughout the transition and the surgeries.
"I can't believe you're here," Cameron mumbled softly while Jessica smiled at her. She was about to speak again when her eyes landed on her staff and she straightened her back and nodded towards them professionally.
One by one they all gave her bouquets and welcomed her to New York and her new office and Jessica politely nodded at them all. Soon Jessica and Cameron were entering their private elevator which lead them to the top floor where her office would be. Cameron was holding Jessica's hand in a firm grasp as if she were afraid that the other girl would vanish into thin air. Jessica just smiled at her friend and answered all her questions wholeheartedly. When the elevator opened, Cameron guided her to their meeting room and as soon as Jessica entered everyone stood straight to welcome her. She smiled at them all politely and nodded, motioning them all to settle down on their respective seats. When everyone was settled down, Jessica begin.
"Hello everyone, as you all must know by now, I'm Jessica Knight and I'll be leading you all from now on. First things first, I won't tolerate any kind of violence, tardiness, disrespect which means no homophobia or transphobia or anything like that at all, one word and you're out of here. I won't tolerate bad appearances, your attire should always be presentable. The cleaning staff would be treated with as much respect as any other person in this building. I won't tolerate any kind of bad-mouthing at all or any gossips. This is a workplace and if you're here for anything other than that then please, find your way out right now." She said and motioned towards the door waiting for any of them to leave. When no one moved she nodded before starting again,
"Very well then. Now that that's all clear, I want to tell you all that everyone here would be given equal opportunities to show their ideas. For the head of each department, I'd like for you to have a weekly meeting with your staff and gather new and innovative ideas and come to me with the best ones. I don't care if the person is new here or an intern if their idea is worth listening to, I'll make time for it. I want all of the heads to give a weekly report to Cameron here of all their actions and failure to do so would result in the immediate expulsion of the person responsible, no questions asked. Every piece of information that comes in and out of this office would be monitored and if I find anyone trying to harm our company or its reputation, you don't want to know the future that they will have. From my research on this branch I've come to find out many of departments are having problems, now I'll be generous and give you all a week and if you fail to show results I'm afraid I'll have to let the responsible parties go. Or should I say irresponsible parties. Now, I'd say again, if anyone has any problem with my rules or my way of work then please, show yourselves out." She said in her authoritative tone and waited for anyone to leave.
When none of them did she started talking again, listening to their complaints and answering any and all questions they asked. After the meeting, Jessica and Cameron visited all departments and Jessica personally visited the lower staff department. She was particularly disappointed to know that their office lacked a daycare center, as well as their cleaning staff, was having many troubles. She sat with them and listened to all their problems carefully. It took her several hours but she finally reached her office and sighed heavily before sitting on the couch. Cameron laughed at her friend before offering her a glass of water.
"Here, drink this." She said chuckling softly and Jessica took the glass of water with a grateful smile. Cameron then took a remote from the table and clicked on a button that made the glass wall see-through. As soon as Jessica saw this, she walked towards it and observed the grey sky and the city below them. "It's beautiful isn't it?" Cameron asked with a knowing smile and Jessica nodded with a faraway look on her beautiful face.
"Yeah, it is." She mumbled softly before sighing again. Cameron noticed the gloomy look on her face but didn't question her for she knew the reason behind it. Jessica then walked towards her chair and sat on it while looking at all the files on her desk that she had to read.
"Cam, why isn't there a daycare center here in our office? Or a nursery for little kids? The female staff must have had children during all these years" Jessica asked her best friend who smiled at her before sitting in a chair on the other side of her table.
"Mr. Dick, as I used to call him, was a very arrogant bastard if put easily," Cam said and snickered at her best friend's reaction at her choice of words. "No, seriously, all he cared about was his own luxury and nothing else. I'm so glad you're here now. These women have been requesting the nursery for years now and no one cared enough. Men have been ruling this office for years and Mr. Knight didn't care enough to make it any better." She said shrugging her shoulders and Jesica frowned. She didn't like any of that.
"Well, this all changes today. I want you to have them arrange for a daycare center and a nursery for our staff members with everything needed and I mean all of them, even the watchmen outside. Everyone would be given the same food in the cafeteria, with no exceptions. Is that clear?" She asked and Cam smiled proudly at her friend. She stood up from her seat and went to hug her friend who only groaned in response.
"Ugh, it's so good to see your bossy ass again. You have no idea how much I've missed you." Cam said getting emotional and Jessica pushed her away laughing lightly. Cameron was always getting emotional.
"Yeah yeah. Now get off of me and get back to work. I have a lot of files to read and you have a lot of work to do too." She said and Cam gave her a fake glare pouting slightly. Jessica only watched her amused at her actions.
"Oh come on, work can wait. Let's just--" Cam started to say but a knock on the door got their attention. When Cam called the person in, one of Jessica's bodyguards entered carrying a beautiful bouquet of red roses.
"Ma'am. These just came for you from Mr. Beckham." The guard said putting the bouquet on the table and left the room quietly. As soon as she heard the name, Jessica's whole body tensed and she clenched her fists.
"Hey gorgeous, this is your welcome to New York gift. Hope you have a wonderful day at work. I'll pick you up in the evening for your welcome party. Love, Aiden." Cameron read aloud from the small card placed between the roses and her face scrunched up as she had just smelled something rotten. Jessica smiled softly at her friend's reaction before sighing softly.
"Please put them away. Don't throw them, just put them away." Jessica said in a small voice and opened the first file on her table. Cam snatched the file from her hands and had an incredulous look on her face. Jessica knew what was coming next and she wasn't in the mood for it.
"Why did you agree to marry him, Jessica?" Cam asked in a condescending tone, like scolding a little kid. Jessica shook her head before walking to stand in front of the huge see-through glass wall that covered one side of her whole room.
"What else was I supposed to do Cam? He had been bugging me for so many years and I got tired of saying no to him again and again. Mother and Father thought he was the best for me. He had always been their first choice for me--" she started to explain but Cameron cut her off. She was having none of it. That was one of the major reasons she didn't invite her to the engagement party.
"And what about your choice Jessi? What about what you want? What about who you love?" Cameron asked in an angry tone and as soon as the word 'love' left her mouth she knew she had done a terrible mistake.
"I love her Cameron," Jessica shouted turning around to look at her best friend with teary eyes. Cameron's eyes softened when she saw that and she held her head low. "I love her Cam. But she's dead. I've tried. Oh, how I've fucking tried for the last 4 years, every day to forget her. To move on but I can't. I just c-cant." She said in a broken voice, tears falling down her face rapidly. Cameron walked to her and engulfed her in her arms.
"I'm sorry Jessi. I'm so sorry." She said softly while holding her now sobbing best friend in her arms. She knew how much it hurt her, she had seen it first hand what her death did to her.
"I've tried Cam. But I'm tired. I'm so fucking tired now. I just wanna stop. I know Aiden isn't the best but he's been there for me. He didn't leave me, ever." Jessica spoke in between sniffles and Cameron moved back to look at her with her own teary eyes.
"You mean he didn't die." She said carefully and Jessica nodded her head before her face turned into an emotionless mask. She moved away from her best friend and sat in her chair. Cameron sighed at this. That's what she always did. She'd always shut everyone out.
"Yeah, he didn't die. But she did. She left me. She promised me that she'll come back to me but she didn't. She fucking died." Jessica spat angrily while Cameron shook her head. She watched as her friend opened a file and started reading, quietly dismissing her.
"I'm gonna go, get to work. If you need anything, just call me." She spoke in a broken voice before leaving Jessica alone in her huge office. As soon as the door closed behind her, she let herself cry. After all, she was her friend too. She had lost her too. But Cameron felt better because she could cry and let it all out while Jessica never did that. Not properly at least.
Jessica knew that she was being hard on Cameron but that's how she had managed to survive all these years. That's who she is now. A closed-off person who didn't care about who she hurts. At first, when she had gotten the news, she had felt numb. It had taken her a week to accept that she had lost the love of her life. The only girl that managed to thaw her frozen heart with her warm smiles. The only one she ever truly loved. The only one she ever truly let in. The only one she dreamed of being with forever. But when she admitted that she was gone, she felt like her whole world had fallen apart. She tried to kill herself, her heart stopped for more than two minutes but then she was brought back to life. For her, that was a complete failure while for the medic who saved her was given a huge reward from the Knights for saving their daughter as well as keeping his mouth shut about it.
It took her months to get over her failure, during this time her mother had installed cameras in her room to monitor her all the time. She felt like she was living in a cell in her own house. It was a year later that she started to accept that this was her life now. She closed herself off, started working hard, drowned herself in work, modeling gigs and studies so much that it became hard to find time to be sad even. Now, several years later, it's become a norm for her to be like this. Cold. Detached. Emotionless. Careless.
Jessica spent the rest of her day working and going through different files. Cameron had arranged a few meetings that day with some of her important staff members which had taken almost the whole of her day. When it was almost time to leave Cameron entered her office with a guilty look on her face. Jessica's heart softened at her and she stood from her seat and hugged her best friend who then sobbed on her shoulder. After apologies from both sides, they both started talking again like nothing ever even happened. Jessica always had a soft spot for her, one major reason being that she was her friend too. When their day ended, Jessica and Cameron left the office together.
"I'm so excited about tonight's party. I've invited Leo too. You'll love them." Cameron said grinning excitedly, clapping her hands. Jessica shook her head at her friend's excitement and smiled softly at her.
"I'm excited to meet them too. Are they gonna pick you up or will they meet us there?" Jessica asked her about her partner as she was going back to her condo with her. Cameron had a dreamy look on her face when she spoke about Leo which made Jessica happy and sad at the same time.
"No, they'll meet us there. I was thinking about going with you but now that Aiden is picking you up I'm not so sure about that." She said with a frown on her face which Jessica found really adorable. She wanted to laugh at her best friend but didn't.
"It's okay Cam. You can go with us. I'm sure Aiden won't mind. Plus, you'll be doing me a favor too. I'm not really comfortable in his presence yet." Jessica said with a smile and Cameron's expressions quickly turned sour. Jessica chuckled at that. She never really liked the boy.
"I don't like him. Never did. Okay, I'll go with you but you have to give me your best dress. Deal?" Cameron said holding out her hand with a mischievous glint in her eyes, grinning widely at her friend.
"Deal," Jessica said shaking her hand while chuckling softly. Cameron then sat back with a satisfied look on her face as she typed away on her cell quickly.
Jessica sighed before she turned to look out of the window watching the streets of Manhatten. She loved this city and it had always been her dream to live here. Well, it wasn't just her dream. She wanted to settle here after getting married. How many times had she talked about it with her, dreaming about their future together while resting her head on her chest, listening to her calming heartbeat, her arms wrapped around her torso in a tight embrace while her hands played with her hair and traced different patterns on her naked skin, their legs tangled, talking about nothing and everything at the same time. Sometimes, just like now, Jessica would close her eyes and with a little focus, she would be able to hear the soft thumping of her beating heart under her ear. Like all those times, Jessica smiled softly remembering how much she loves that sound.
Jessica's daydream was very harshly and abruptly broken and she was brought back to the real world where the love of her life wasn't alive when her car stopped outside the building of her condo. It had been a few minutes since they had reached but Cameron couldn't find it in herself to bring her out of her beautiful thoughts that were the reason her friend was smiling softly with her eyes closed. Jessica gave Cameron a nod before she got out of the car and entered the building wearing her emotionless mask again. That's how it was for her now. That's how she was gonna be for the rest of her life. Without the love of her life. Without her. Forever.
Hello precious readers. So, this is my new book which is based on the character I introduced in my last book 'My Crazy Family' that's Jessica Knight. This story happens a few months after that book so don't get confused with the timeline. You'll be seeing the characters from my other books on it too. I've made this story more diverse than my other books and I really hope that you like it. I hope it's worth your time. Thanks a lot for reading.
Happy reading folks.