Emma

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15_ Why did you?

Her eyes shift to his figure on the sofa quickly and lock her eyes with his grey ones.

His eyes are kind of the ones which can pierce directly into your soul. Even make you surrender yourself to him.

"I-- I'm sorry, Mr. Parker. I was just rubbing my-- I, uh, I'm sorry. I'll get back to work."

He makes me stutter, she thinks and frowns.

He sighs loudly and stands up from the sofa and walks towards her. She slowly raises her head at him as he tilts the screen so that he can see what she's doing.

The pie chart and graph are well done and he holds back a smile.

She's too good at this.

"Um.....", She drags the word looking down at her fingers, and shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

"What?", He asks her, his voice morphing into a serious, don't-waste-my-time tone.

Niall adjusts the screen as it was before and stands behind her seat, bending over her to type in.

"I-- I have no idea how to do the paperwork."

I'll make a paper boat if you want, she thinks.

His face falls. Niall's head turns a full 90°, his eyes glinting with shock.

"I'm sorry, what?", He spits the words out of his mouth, almost unsure whether he has heard her right.

Emma feels the words trapped in her throat as he is so dangerously close to her face even she can smell the coffee he drank, probably had it an hour ago, his manly scent, the rich cologne he is wearing which is her new favorite scent.

The bold grey eyes piercing straight into her grey-green ones. For a split second, her eyes shift to his beautiful pink lips but redirect it to his eyes.

Getting into his senses, Niall backs a bit and clears his throat.

"What did you just say?", He repeats the seriousness back into his voice.

She licks her lips nervously and straightens her shirt. "Mr. Parker, I don't know how to do the paperwork you want me to do. I studied--"

"Enough!", He shouts cutting her off in mid-sentence.

"Why did you even apply for the job if you didn't know how to do it?", He yells at her standing at a safe distance so that he won't hit her out of anger.

Emma gulps harder.

Because Ethan told me to, she thinks as she frowns internally.

"I'm sorry Mr. Pa--"

He yells again, throwing her off guard, "I'm so done with your sorry's already. Why don't you just try and shut up?!"

I'm sorry to disappoint you. I'll try to study it on my own. That's what I wanted to say, she thinks almost wanting to cry.

"Will you let me explain?", She snaps back as she springs up from her seat losing her patience.

It comes out harder than she wants to sound.

Her tone catches him off guard and scowls deeply as he says in a dangerously calm tone, "You are not supposed to talk back to me, Emma!"

Stressing the word, 'Emma'.

I broke the rule.

"I'm s-", she stops and rephrases the words she wants to say.

Take a deep breath, Emma. Everything's gonna be fine.

"Pardon me for being childish, Mr. Parker. It will never happen again", she phrases and swallows the saliva she didn't know she was holding.

Niall tilts his head to a side as if amused by what she said and says, "That's the same as saying 'I'm sorry."

She smiles triumphantly but softly so that it won't provoke him again and says, "But you didn't shout this time, Mr. Parker."

Niall's lips twitch trying to hide the smile forming on his lips.

Emma has every way to make me smile, he thinks shaking his head.

"Would you like a glass of champagne?", He asks her as if nothing happened in the last 15 minutes.

She gapes, staring at him in disbelief. Is he for real?

"Uh......", She trails away and looks around for an excuse so that she can complete some works that are undone and not be a brat again.

"I know that the work is done. Join me, I insist."

She blinks. Twice. Thrice.

That's it? The shouting ceremony is over? He is so easy.

She chews her bottom lip nervously but accepts the offer nonetheless.
_____________________________

Niall's black suit coat and tie are thrown carelessly on the sofa, his hair is a mess, a few buttons undone.

A carefree, Niall Parker. This is what I like to see every day, she thinks and smiles at him as he talks about his school memories and joke about himself being an introvert.

They are sitting on the carpeted floor, laughing as they talk about the time Nick asked her for dinner, years ago while he visited New York and he got rejected by her on spot, ignoring him with a phone call.

They finish the bottle by late evening and nod at each other as he pulls her up and she thanks him with a sweet smile.

"Should I stay longer?", She asks him while trying to locate her phone.

"No, there'll be days when you'll have to stay up late. With me."

She turns to look at him. "I'll remember to inform you then", he adds.

She nods silently and pushes the phone deep into her pocket and picks her brown jacket.

"Thank you, Mr. Parker. For the champagne", she chuckles softly pulling the jacket on her.

"I had fun too", he says with a nod, avoiding her eyes.

Which she finds weird.

She nods back at him and walks over to the door when he stops her.

Niall gulps down taking a big breath. "I'm sorry for earlier."

Now it was her turn to be amused. "Now you are the one saying sorry's?"

He smiles coyly. "Right."

Emma giggles and waves goodbye at him, walking out of the room.
__________________________

Emma is driving to Emily's house when something breaks the silence.

Her brows furrow in confusion remembering that her phone's ringtone was different.

The phone rings again and she steps on the brake.

The ringing stops when she finally understands where the sound is coming from. Emma checks her glove apartment and then her bag and finally turns to check her pants pocket.

She swiftly pulls out the phone and switches it on. There are two missed calls from the name, Emma (PA)?

Her forehead creases in utter confusion, her brain not letting a 'single' logic cell work.

Maybe the logic cells are taken.

Stupid! There's no time for your lame jokes.

Emma swipes the message away and stares at the lock screen wallpaper.

On the screen was the picture of three men sitting on the staircase.

They are undoubtedly Niall, Nick, and Howard Parker.

That's when she realizes.

I took the wrong phone!
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