Chapter 1. First Day
I stumbled into the lobby of my new workplace. My glasses dropped down and I placed them firmly against the bridge of my nose, wondering how I was lucky enough to get this job in the first place. Sure, I was an intern, and probably going to be doing mundane tasks while employed, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to work at one of the most prestigious publication companies in the country.
I was twenty-two years old. I’ve always wanted to work in that industry, but to get a job had been far more difficult than I anticipated. So, I settled for an unpaid internship at Cross Publishing and prayed that somehow, they’d see my talent. I’d become their star editor and run the business by the age of twenty-five.
“Excuse me? Are you lost?
I looked up at the beautiful blonde girl sitting behind the reception desk. Her short skirt rose above her knees and exposed her toned legs. “Oh, no. I’m sorry. My name is Ciara. I’m the new intern.”
She raised her eyebrows and shook her head. Her white nametag sat directly above her left breast.
“Well, you’re late. The meeting has already started,” she huffed, and threw her mobile down on her desk, which resounded in a loud thump.
Meeting? What damn meeting?
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware of any meeting.”
Ashley rolled her eyes, pushed back the chair, and stood from behind the desk. The girl exuded confidence, something that I undoubtedly lacked. Her hair was pressed tight in a bun, slicked back and I didn’t realize how tall she was until I felt her tower over me.
Ashley cut me off. “I know. Follow me.” She swiped her card against the black pass, and I heard the click of the door before she pushed open the glass frame. I treaded behind her hastily, wondering how she could even walk in those damn heels.
Slow down, woman.
“Hurry up!” she growled.
I almost tripped on my own feet scurrying through the modern office. Light filtered through the floor to ceiling windows. The employees sat at their opened planned desks and watched me run after the receptionist.
“This is boardroom one,” Ashley said, pointing to the bold letters on the wooden frame. She suddenly stopped and my body ran into hers.
“I’m so sorry.”
She rolled her eyes and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” a male voice echoed.
Ashley pushed the silver handle down and we stepped into the room. Following her closely, I strolled in and felt that every eye around that large table was on me. One man stood out in particular. I recognized him as Aaron Cross. The Editor in Chief.
“The intern is here,” Ashley announced.
“She’s late,” Mr. Cross blew.
“I know, sir. I am sure it won’t happen again,” Jane growled.
Late? I was supposed to be here at eight. It’s seven forty-five.
“Well, what do you have to say for yourself, Miss?”
“Ciara. My name is Ciara.”
“Well, Ciara?” Mr. Cross continued.
“I’m sorry I was late. I was told to be here at eight.”
The hell are you rhyming for?
“You were told to be here at seven.”
I looked to the familiar voice who was seated next to Mr. Cross. It was Jane, the woman who initially interviewed me. Her long brunette hair sat just below her shoulders and her white coat hung at the back of her swivel chair.
She raised her eyebrows and grinned. “Maybe we should just fire her.”
Oh, God. Please no! I just got here.
I looked at Mr. Cross, almost pleading with my eyes. “I’m so sorry. I’ll do better. I promise.”
Aaron tapped his notepad with his pen and smirked. “You get one more shot, Ciara. Don’t blow it.”
I let out a deep sigh and briefly closed my eyes. “Thank you.”
“We’re going to need some coffees and morning tea. Do you think you’re up for the challenge?” Aaron sneered. You’d be an idiot not to notice how incredibly sexy he was.
“Yes, sir. I am.”
“Alright. Coffee order everyone,” Aaron announced.
I walked up to Mr. Cross and tucked my hair firmly behind my ear. “What would you like, sir?”
“Long black. No sugar.”
I nodded and turned to Jane. “And for you?”
“Cappuccino. One sugar. Don’t you want to write this down?” she drew her eyebrows closer.
I shook my head. “No, I’m good.”
I continued to take the orders of the remaining people in the boardroom. Fifteen coffees to pick up. Great.
“We’ll also need some morning tea,” Aaron interjected.
I turned to him and smiled. “What would you like?”
“Do I need to tell you everything? Think of something, Ciara,” Aaron blasted.
I nodded before I kicked my heels and walked out of the boardroom. Making my way through the office, a few eyes fell on me while I strode towards Ashley at the reception desk.
“Hey, Ashley. Where do they like to get their morning tea from?”
She pointed to the phone piece hanging behind her ear. ”I don’t know. He didn’t want to sleep with me. He said he was tired.”
“Excuse me. I’m sorry to interrupt.”
Ashley let out a harsh breath. “Sorry, babe. One sec.” she locked eyes with me and cursed “What do you want?”
“They asked for morning tea. Where should I get it from and what do they like?”
Another deep breath exhaled from her lips. “There’s a bakery. Two blocks from here called Puffed. They have these tiny breakfast muffins that they like. Get some of those, some pastries and bacon and egg rolls.” Ashley opened the drawer beneath her desk and pulled out a dark grey petty cash tin. She unlocked it with a key that hung loosely from her neck and handed me a credit card. “Make sure to get the receipts. Oh, and Mr. Cross likes Almond chocolate croissants. Get one of those for him.”
Taking the card, I smiled at her. “Thank you.” I made my way to the lift and stepped inside when the doors opened up. Heading down to the street level, I pulled my phone from my bag and searched for the patisserie on google maps. Two blocks? Is she fucking kidding me?
Ashley definitely underestimated the distance of the bakery. It was almost four blocks before I reached the shop. A small sign hung on the glass door.
Be back in ten.
Deciding to get the beverage orders first, I looked up and down the street noticing a café shop a few doors down. The instant aroma of coffee beans settled against my senses before I made my way to the counter and ordered fifteen drinks.
“Are you sure that’s everything?” The cashier smiled.
I nodded, swiping the credit card against the machine. “Yes, that’s all. Thank you.”
He printed out the order before giving it to the barista. I waited patiently, looking at my phone, hoping that by the time the order was done, the patisserie would be opened. After a few moments, the barista placed all the coffee orders in holders and laid them on the counter.
I picked them up and headed towards the exit. With luck, someone opened the door and held it for me while I made my way out towards the bakery. I took a deep sigh when the sign was still hung over the glass door.
“Excuse me, coming through.”
I stepped aside, grateful that the guy who pushed by was the owner of the patisserie with the key tucked firmly in his hand. With a few other items in his grasp, he walked in and quickly turned to me. “Watch your-.”
Before he could finish, I tripped over the small unnoticeable step. In slow motion, I watched the two trays of coffees fling through the air before they landed on his clean tiles, while my ass fell face forward. My new glasses slid across the floor.
“Oh, God!” I yelled.
“Damnit!” The owner huffed, and ran his hand over his head with a shocked expression on his face.
I managed to stand up. Looking down at the mess in front of me, I brought my attention to the clearly furious guy. “I’m so sorry. Please let me help you clean up.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just go,” he growled.
I stepped closer. “Please. I want to help.”
“You’ve done enough. Just leave. ”
My first day at work definitely wasn’t going as planned. I treaded through the coffee and bent down to pick up my glasses, giving them a quick wipe with my hand. “I’m really sorr-.”
“Just go,” he interrupted.
Nodding, I scurried out of the patisserie only to fall flat on my ass once again.
“Are you kidding me?” He yelled, and walked over reaching out his hand to me. Graciously accepting his offer, he helped me to my feet. Avoiding his gaze, I walked out of the shop, hoping never to see him again.
Feeling defeated, I managed to find another café, re ordered the coffees and small baked goods, before I hastily made my way back to work, where I was no doubt going to be threatened without a job for the second time.
“Where the hell did you go? Mr. Cross is furious!” Ashley yelled.
“I’m so sorry. The patisserie was closed and it was longer than expected to get there.”
Ashley rolled her eyes. “Four blocks isn’t far, Ciara.”
Four blocks? Ugh. I know you said two, you bitch.
“Just go inside and take it in,” Ashley grumbled.
“Can I borrow your keys please?”
“I’ll take you in,” Ashley offered, before she led me to the board room. As soon as we stepped inside, all eyes turned on me again.
“You have a habit of being late, Ciara,” Mr. Cross sneered.
“I’m sorry. It won’t happen again,” I apologized.
“I’ve heard that before,” he mumbled beneath his breath.
I went around the room and placed down each coffee next to the person that made the order. When I reached Jane, she took a quick sip and spat it out again.
“Yuck! This isn’t skim!”
I narrowed my eyes. “You asked for a cappuccino with one sugar.”
“No, I asked for a skim cappuccino with one sugar. I think your listening skills are lacking.” She turned to Mr. Cross. “Are you sure you want her here?”
“We’ll see how she goes the rest of the day,” Aaron replied.
A deep sigh escaped my lips. I opened up the bags of baked goods and laid them on the table, removing the one small croissant and placed it in front of Mr. Cross.
“Are you trying to kill me, Ciara?” he gasped.
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m sorry, sir?”
“I’m highly allergic to nuts.” Aaron emphasized the word highly.
Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
Hey, beautiful people. This story is on Amazon and Wattpad. (Kindle Unlimited.) I will be uploading the first three chapters. Hope you give it a chance. Thanks so much!