The following Thursday she is on her way to Anderson Corporation. This time not by car, but by public transport. She sold her car to a junkyard, but didn’t have enough money to buy a replacement. It is her first day at the office. When Michelle heard about her new job, she was happy to help out and ended her contract immediately. When Jolena asked her about the notice period and how many shifts she still had to do, Michelle didn’t want to hear about it. Michelle was grateful for having such a dedicated and hard working employee, that she terminated the contract with immediate effect. She wished Jolena the best of luck in her new job.
When she arrives at the office building, she looks up and stares for a moment. This is her new life now. Quickly she walks inside, gets up to the top floor and knocks on mr. Simmons door. “Come in,” she hears his voice behind the door. She opens the door and sees him sitting in his big leather chair.
“Good morning, mr. Simmons,” she says and she takes a few steps inside. “Goodmorning, Jolena, I am so happy you are here, there is a lot of work for you to do.” He smiles a little. “I am sorry, but the first few days will be stressful and hectic. A lot of work has been left out because we had no one to do it for us, but now that you’re here, I’m sure it all will work out. You are a lifesaver.”
Jolena smiles, “already? And I haven’t done anything yet.” Joseph smiles as well. “There is a pile of folders on your desk, maybe you can start with those. When you look in the cupboard with folders, you will see in which order you have to put them. When you are done with that, there’s another pile of papers that you can classify and put in the folders in the cupboard. When all of that is cleared out, you will have some space on your desk to be able to work properly. As long as you’re cleaning out those piles, you don’t have to pick up the phone, so that you finish faster and are free to do your job.”
“Well, I’ll be able to keep myself busy for a while,” she smiles, “before I start, would you like a cup of coffee, mr. Simmons?”
“I would love that, thank you,” he smiles gratefully, “but please, as long as we’re among us, you can call me Joseph.”
“Alright,” she grabs the door knob, to close the door behind her, but Joseph stops her. “Leave it open, I try to keep an open door policy.” He smiles again.
Joseph didn’t exaggerate about the pile of work she had to do. But she felt very useful. Almost at the end of the workday, Joseph comes out of his office, holding a stack of papers. “Jolena,” she turns around to face him, “when you’re done, can you make scans of these and put them in the correct folders on the computer?”
“Sure,” she takes over the stack and puts them to the side.
“How is it going so far?” He asks, “is it not too much?” As she opens her mouth to him to reply, they hear someone approaching. Joseph looks up, Jolena continues with her work. “Mr. Jones, how are you?” Joseph approaches the man with an outstretched hand.
The man shakes Joseph’s hand, “Good afternoon, mr. Simmons, I am doing fine, thank you.” The man walks from Joseph to Jolena, “is this lady your new assistant?”
“Yes, she is, mr. Jones, this is Jolena, my new assistant. Jolena, this is mr. Jones, a partner of one of our clients.”
“Nice to meet you,” she says, then she looks surprised when she looks up to his face. “Vince?”
The surprise on his face mirrors hers, “Jolena! Since when do you work here, I thought you had a job at the restaurant?”
“Actually, today is my first day here,” she smiles.
“Well, good for you, I look forward to seeing you here more often, then,” he smiles broadly. Joseph holds the door to his office open for Vince and Vince walks in, Joseph walks after him and closes the door.
A while later Vince and Joseph step back outside the office, just as Jolena gets herself ready to go home. “Miss Jolena, what are you still doing here, it’s already past working hours. You should be home already.”
“It’s no problem, mr. Simmons, if I had left earlier, I would have to wait for the subway anyway.”
“Alright then, now go home. Get some rest, tomorrow will be another day. Don’t make a habit of working late.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but Miss Jolena, can I offer you a ride home?” Vince asks.
“Oh, but that is not necessary. I don’t mind travelling with the subway.”
“Please, miss Jolena, I insist.”
“Alright then.” Jolena quickly grabs her belongings and says goodbye to Joseph.
Then she follows Vince to his car. The ride home is quiet. They’re both lost in their own thoughts. When the car comes to a stop, Vince looks at her, “this is you.”
“Thanks Vince, for giving me a ride,” Jolena smiles at him gratefully, “you’ve helped me out a lot the last few days.”
“No problem, anything for you, beautiful,” he returns her smile, “I wanted to ask you something.”
“What is it?” She looks at him curiously. “I wanted to know if you’d like to go out with me sometime. Maybe dinner, or a movie or something?”
“I’d like that,” her smile gets broader.
“How about this Saturday. I come and pick you up around seven?”
“Okay that’s fine. I’ll see you then.”
In the meantime, Chris’ week was not so good. He is so ashamed of his behaviour from the day he destroyed his furniture and took off. He really wonders how he couldn’t control himself or his wolf. His wolf made him restless, something was off that night. He has no idea how or why, but something was wrong and his wolf sensed it. The last few days he has been hiding on the top of his mountain. Sleeping in wolf form, staring at the sky in human form. He hasn’t left since he got here that one night, only to hunt a rabbit or a deer to feed his wolf. He’s been hiding from his pack, from everyone who needed him. Especially from Danny. He just can’t talk to him right now. He doesn’t want to ruin the lad’s first days with his mate. Although Ava and Danny will still be living separately, they still made a huge step forward with her moving here.
“So this is where you’ve been hiding”, he hears a voice behind him say. “We’ve been looking for you. I must give it to you, you hid your scent well, but not good enough for me.” Leo. Chris turns his head to look at his younger brother, but quickly turns back to watch the view again. His brother walks over to sit next to him. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Chris remains silent. He doesn’t know where to start. But if he wants his brother to trust him, to earn his respect and to open up to him, he needs to be an example and do the same. “I’m a wreck. I screwed up.” Chris sighs.
“What do you mean, you screwed up, do you mean your room? I saw it, nicely redecorated, you did that yourself? Or did you hire a professional?”
Chris wraps his arms around his knees and smiles lightly, his brother tries to make him feel a little less uncomfortable. “That too. It’s the only thing I seem to be able to do well lately, tearing things down. Last week I almost met my mate at the office. But I missed her just by seconds, but because my wolf could smell her all the way into mr. Simmons office, he went crazy and tore down my office. Yesterday when I came home from a run in the forest, there was a nice lady. I think she seduced me, but after a while my wolf went crazy and sent her out. I was so disgusted by my behaviour that I went ballistic and redecorated my room. Just a little spark and I seem to explode. But yesterday was the worst I have ever had. I don’t know what came over me. My wolf was restless, as if something was wrong. Something was off last night, but I can’t explain it.” Chris wriggles with his fingers. Sighs again. “I’m afraid that it’ll only get worse as long as I haven’t found my mate. I’ll be a danger, Leo, I’m turning into a monster.”
“Aren’t you a little exaggerating? Aren’t you giving yourself a little too much credit? You’ve been the man I have always looked up to. You’ve been an example for me for all my life. You’ve been the one who always kept calm in times of crisis, who always had a plan. You were the one who would scold me if I did something wrong. You gave the best advice. But most of all, you’ve been the most caring, loving man I have ever known. I always wanted to be like you.
Let me, let us, your pack return the favor. Open up. We all know you’re just like everyone else, you have feelings too, you have your cross to carry. Let us help you, let us be there for you! It’s not a sign of weakness to show us how you feel! You become stronger ’cause the things you carry make you human, make you stand beside us, not above us. It’ll make the bond even stronger, which you’ll see when you ever have to rely on that bond.
Brother, I’m proud of you, what you have achieved. Look around, look, all of this is because of you. Man up, be the man we need you to be, don’t get carried away. You can do it, I believe in you. And as for you mate, have patience, you’ll find her. That you haven’t found her may just mean that it’s not the right time yet.”
Chris stays silent. His brother may be young, but he is apparently also very clever. He just gave him a good lecture, one he will be thinking about for days. Where did this smart and responsible baby brother come from? “Thanks, Leo, I think this was exactly what I needed right now.”
“Are you coming down?” Leo asks, “it’s almost time for dinner.”
“Yeah, I’ll be right behind you. I think I have some explaining to do, what better way to do that while everyone is together at dinner.”
“Okay, I see you there, then,” Leo gets up, wipes the dirt off his pants and starts heading down.