My Protector

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Chapter 1: Interview Day

Loren’s POV

I groggily opened my eyes to the awful pang of my alarm. Looking at the clock, I realized that I must have hit snooze for the last hour. I jumped out of bed and stepped on my brush in the process, letting out a loud yelp.

Today was the interview for my first job after graduating from college this past summer. And I was supposed to meet with Kim at a local cafe in just under 1 hour.

I didn’t have time to shower so I quickly brushed out my long brown hair and curled it. I carefully applied my mascara and had to bypass the rest of my makeup. I picked out a pair of black slacks and a white blouse paired with my black Sam Edelman loafers. Looking at my phone again I sighed with relief, pleased with my ability to put myself together in just twenty minutes. I ran downstairs, grabbed my backpack and keys, and hopped into my white Jeep.

It was raining out and the freeways were a mess with the water getting kicked up by all of the cars and semis. ”

Of course there would be traffic and weather like this on the day that I needed it the least” I muttered to myself.

I wasn’t normally this grumpy but today was a big day. I was interviewing for a position in the Emergency Department at a local hospital. I was going to work side by side with some of the best doctors. I wanted to become a doctor myself and this was going to be a huge step towards it.

I parked my jeep in a stall right in front of the cafe and grabbed my backpack out of the backseat. Walking to the front of the stall where the meter was, I dug around in my back pack for the wallet that, to my dismay, wasn’t even in there.

My heart sank to my stomach as I remembered that when I went out last night, I moved my wallet to my purse... which was currently sitting on the dinner table... at home...

I groaned out of frustration trying to figure out what to do. If my day is already going this bad I don’t want to know how horribly my interview will go. How could I forget my wallet?? My eyes started to water as I realized I didn’t even have any cash lying around in any of my pockets.

“Ahem” I heard a deep voice clear their throat behind me.

Oh my gosh I must have been too busy freaking out about my wallet that I didn’t realize a line forming behind me at the parking meter. You idiot!!

I turned around, my cheeks burning from embarrassment and locked eyes with a handsome man behind me. With my vision still blurred from my tears, I blinked a few times. The first thing coming to view were his warm hazel eyes, gentle yet powerful. His brown hair was slicked back and he was wearing a navy blue suit, well tailored for his muscular build.

He didn’t say anything except stare back at me. I shook my head from my thoughts and my cheeks burned up again after I realized I was just awkwardly staring at this poor man who just wanted to pay for his parking and get a coffee.

“I- I’m so sorry, I can’t find my wallet. You can go ahead of me”. I quietly apologized, looking down at the sidewalk now. I could feel the few other people in line staring at me, annoyed that I was keeping them from their coffee for so long.

After a few seconds of silence I looked back up at him, wondering why he wasn’t saying anything. Uncomfortably, I looked at his eyes again as his gaze went from me to the machine that I was still standing next to.

I quickly moved out of the way and opened my mouth to apologize but before I could get a word out, he chuckled shaking his head.

“Which stall are you in?” He asked, looking out at the parked cars which were collecting as people were arriving to the cafe and local stores.

“13” I pointed at my white Jeep.

He nodded, “and how long will you be here for?“.

“Ummm.. uhhhhh.. I-I dont know why?” Thrown off by his question.

“I need an estimate in order to pay the meter.”

“Oh of course! Maybe 1-2 hours” I said, internally smacking myself on the forehead.

Without another word he pushed the number 13 on the parking meter along with the number 2 and slid his card. He handed me a ticket and I just stood there looking at him not sure what to say. He looked up at me and raised an eyebrow as if he was wondering why I was still standing there.

“Thank you, you didn’t have to do that.” I spoke softly and turned around to go put the sticker on my window.

“It was either that or spend another 10 minutes watching you rummage through your messy backpack holding up the line” He chuckled yet his face remained cold.

Okay first of all, I was not holding up the line for 10 minutes and secondly who was he to call me out for my messy backpack!!

I thanked him again and walked inside the cafe looking for Kim. She wasn’t there yet so I took a seat at the window. I brought out my documents and arranged them on the table, pleased with myself that I at least remembered those.

I couldn’t help but keep thinking about the strange encounter I just had. For some strange reason I felt so drawn to him. Why did he make me so nervous and speechless? I was never like this around any other guy.

I internally rolled my eyes at myself. Now is not the time for this nonsense. Besides, my boyfriend and I just had a messy breakup and I promised myself that I wouldn’t jump into another relationship.

Wait who said anything about a relationship? I don’t even know this guys name and i’m already thinking about dating him. Now I really am crazy!

I felt an unfamiliar tap on my shoulder draw me away from my thoughts and turned around to see a middle aged woman behind me.

“Ms. Richards?” She asked kindly.

“Yes, and you must be Kim!” I nodded my hand and held out my own to shake hers. After our quick introduction she took out her laptop and settled down into the spot next to mine.

“So tell me about yourself” she spoke.

I was about to answer when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I saw the man walking towards a black BMW next to my jeep, glancing at it before getting in his car. I forced myself to look away and continued on with my answer. The interview seemed to be going well but it felt like hours before she asked her final question.

Kim was hard to read, I couldn’t tell if she was satisfied with my answers or not. My hands started to get sweaty and I became restless, tapping my foot on the concrete floor. She finished typing something into her laptop and looked at me.

“Welcome to the team Ms. Richards” she smiled, interrupting my internal panic.

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