Their Endgame

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Chapter 9

“For this assignment, I want you to pair with the person next to you. I want you to envision your partner in an outfit that will force them out of their confront zone. Now, that outfit that you have envisioned, the outfit, the shoes, the accessories, I want you to sketch it. Listen carefully. The sketch must be detailed! The due date is three weeks from now and please keep in mind that whatever you sketch you will be creating for the fashion show at the end of the term.”

The fashion show is a significant portion of the final grade. Rachel was nervous about modeling on the runway but excited to finally put her talent to use. She had always envisioned herself strutting on the runway while wearing her own designs. The only problem was her lack of confidence.

“Class dismissed.” The professor announced.

“We’ve been in this class for a while and never had the chance to talk until now.” Sophia beamed. Her sticking blue eyes stared back at Rachel’s.

Rachel had always assumed that Sophia was stuck up by the way she carried herself around campus. The woman’s demeanor was the complete opposite of herself and she never bothered getting to know her. Every time Rachel saw Sophia, she was dressed in designer clothes with a matching pair of expensive heels. Rachel figured that the time creating the project would give her the opportunity to get to know the woman.

Sophia, on the other hand, thought that Rachel was just a loner. She would always sit by herself during class and whenever her classes would end she would hall ass to her truck. Rachel was different from the other females she would normally hang around and she could use a change in her life.

“That’s true. But then again, our paths never crossed until today. We should exchange numbers so we can meet up later.”

Sophia gave Rachel her cell phone and they quickly exchanged numbers.

“I have to go to work but I get off at eight. Nine at the latest. Is that too late to start our project?” Rachel asked.

“Nope. I’ll text you my address a little later.” Sophia smiled and stood up from her seat. “Later babes.” With a flip of her hair over her shoulder she was walking away from Rachel.

Rachel smiled and checked her phone. There was a message from Hunter and Elijah. Checking Elijah message:

Pick up the dry cleaning and a salmon entree from the diner beside it.

“Will it kill ya to say ‘please’ once in a while?” She muttered to herself.

Standing to her feet, Rachel hauled tail to her truck. It was either deal with the pain in the ass boss or go running to her brother for money. She constantly reminded herself. Although Carter was more than willing to give her whatever she needed, she just couldn’t bring herself to ask for more help. He had already done enough for her as is.

She sighed and picked up the two articles of clothing that were in the black zip-up bag that clung to the clothing. Thankfully, she parked nearby and dropped the clothing off in her truck before going into the diner.

It seemed as though she was waiting forever to have her order taken. The heat was making her skin clammy and all she wanted was a huge bowl of ice cream while she laid on her bed.

“How may I help you, ma’am?” The man asked with a smile on his face.

“Please.” She put a hand over her heart. “You make me sound old.”

They both chuckled.

“Trust me, I do not see you as old. I was just being polite.” He sent a wink her way that made her blush.

“Can I get the Salmon entree?”

“Are you here for Mr. Elijah Henderson’s daily pickup?” The man looked at his watch and nodded.

“Yes, I am.”

“One moment.”

Daily pickup? Did this man really make her pick up his lunch? That check at the end of the week better is fat.

“Here you go, sweetie.” The man handed her a large box of hot food.

“How much is it?”

“No worries, it has already been paid for.”

“Oh...”

“Have a lovely day.”

“You too.” Rachel smiled at the man and walked out of the diner.

She was on the verge of pulling off until her phone began to ring. It was an unknown number that she quickly denied. Turning up the radio, she sped off to Elijah’s house.

She would have knocked but the door was already opened yet again. She walked in and hung the clothes in the hall closet. She then walked towards the deep voice that sounded agitated.

“No! Is my final answer. You turned down the position and now you want it? Go find another company to run!” Elijah yelled through the phone before hanging up. He jerked his head towards the sound of footstep walking towards the dining room with a glare on his face.

“Uhm the door was opened.”

“Yes, well your here now. Sit down.”

“Here is your food.” She gently pushed the food towards him. “And the clothes are hanging up in the hall closet.”

“I changed my mind. I don’t want that.”

Rachel silently sighed in defeat. No matter what she did, it was never good enough to please Elijah. He was a man of few words, but when he did talk, it was always harsh.

“You eat it.”

“But-”

“Eat.” He slid a key to her along with a black credit card. “This is a key to my place for the days that you work here. Other than that, do not use it. You are not allowed on the third floor for any reason. Any. reason. The credit card is for any errands I may have you run. I hope you do not have plans for this weekend.”

“Not that I know of.”

Elijah looked up at her before looking down at his phone. “Your not eating.”

Rachel obeyed his order and began eating. The man was intimidating. If this was his calm demeanor, she would hate to see him in rage.

“As far as what you’ll be doing, you will be taking over the duties of my previous assistant. She was responsible for running errands, tailoring garments, and sometimes sketching for clients and shows. Can you handle such tasks?”

Rachel’s eyes widened with gleam lased in her hazel eyes. She smiled a toothy grin as her mind wandered. This is exactly what she was working hard for. She wanted to be apart of the back scene that held fashion shows together. She nodded in agreement.

“Of course, I’ll start you off on simple tasks. If that goes well then we will proceed from there. Does that sound appealing to you, Miss Jaeger?”

“Yes! Of course! Thank you!”

“Well, I needed someone to replace my old staff on short notice. Do not make me regret it. It also determines your future at Henderson Inc.”

“You will not regret it.”

Elijah eyed her briefly before standing to his feet. “I’ll be in my office, join me when you finish.” He couldn’t stand the woman. Clumsy and often made mistakes but there was something about her he couldn’t understand. Something that he couldn’t put his finger on. But she was the only one willing to work for the CEO and the company. He had to admit that she was a brave woman.

Elijah was going to work her to the bone to see if she really wanted to work in the fashion industry. If she didn’t crack, then only then will he give her the recognition. He was surprised that Rachel hadn’t quit the internship and found some other company to help her with graduating.

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