The weeks went by and it was a crazy whirlwind dating Jake. I rubbed my slightly bruised shoulder. The fall from the quad bike still lingered from last weekend. But crazy as it sounds, it wasn’t all that bad. Jake took me out of my comfort zone, I’ve done things I’ve never did before.
Sure, trying the new Thai restaurant wasn’t the most exilerating experience, but we did what I wanted and he enjoyed it just the same. I really liked being with Jake, and I think he liked being with me.
But our last two dates I had to cancel with him. The second time I’d said no. I pulled my lips, the memory of his disappointed sigh was a tough pill to swallow. But I couldn’t help it. I was brimmed with work. Eric had overloaded me with duty after duty. But what could I do? It was my job. I was the CIO’s personal assistant and my boss needed me. Jake had to just understand that. It would all calm down after the gala, which was officially happening next month.
I massaged the bridge of my nose. It was Saturday night, and I was supposed to meet Jake’s friends at this moment. He wanted me to meet his friends. The thought made me happy and tired of guilt. Instead, I was seated at my kitchen table typing reports and drinking hot chocolate, instead of taking Jägermeister shots. I yawned and stretched my arms. It was time for a tiny break.
I dragged my feet to the fridge and opened it. Tubs of pre-cooked food settled neatly on top of each other. Stacey was amazing. That’s one thing I looked forward to, was her cooked meals. She offered since she didn’t have to pay a penny while staying here. I grabbed the Mac and Cheese with bacon tub and heated it in the microwave oven.
I strolled lazily to the living room and sat down next to Stacey and fell in a film she was watching.
“Taking a break from work?” Stacey mumbled; her mouth stuffed with popcorn.
“Yip. My eyes are drained. There’s so much data my brain can handle.” I moaned, as I stuff my mouth with bacon Mac and Cheese.
Stacey grinned at me. “I thought you’re vegetarian?” She teased.
I gave her a pointed look, pointing my fork in her direction. “Don’t start.” I warned.
She stifled a laugh.
“Hey isn’t your classes coming up. Shouldn’t you head back to college soon?” I asked.
Stacey frowned. “My classes are slightly delayed. The lecturers sent us emails explaining to come back a week later.” She said, her eyes still glued to the TV.
I gave a slow nod. “And what about your parents in Canada? You said you’re gonna visit before you return to college?”
She gulped down her popcorn. “Decided to bypass the folks for this semester.” She shrugged it off.
“Okay, but you-”
“Hey! What you’re going do for Jake’s birthday camp weekend?” Stacey asked perked up. Clearly, she was avoiding the conversation.
I groaned and closed my eyes shut. “I won’t be able to make it.” I whined and pulled my mouth into a frown.
“Oh! Jake is gonna be pissed. That’s the third time you’re cancelling on him and for his birthday.” She accused.
“I know. I know!” I blurted. “But I can’t help it. Eric called this morning saying he’s flying down to New York for another conference, and he needed me on standby at the office.”
She side glanced me. “Okay. But it’s the weekend.”
I swallowed hard. “Hey it’s just a camping weekend, I’ll make it up to him on his birthday next week.”
I looked at the TV screen. I didn’t want to chat any further. The whole topic upset me, making me lose my appetite.
The aroma of hot coffee was exactly what I needed. The taste of it helped me come to my senses slowly on this early Monday morning. I placed a hand over my mouth as I yawned, stirring the black liquid in my mug. The tiredness still lingered in me. I didn’t feel good, I felt overwhelmed and stressed. Like I was butter spread out on too much toast.
“Good morning.” Mrs. Walters walked into the office kitchen. She looked well and business-like, wearing a grey suit pants with black ankle boots. But she always gave a flare of sternness.
“Morning.” I smiled as her arm reached over and grabbed her yellow mug.
Mrs. Walters side-glanced me. “You look tired dear,” she observed. “Everything good with the boss?”
I nodded and sighed. “Yip. Too good. Eric has been giving me more and more responsibilities every day.”
“Well, that’s great. He trusts you, something he didn’t do with his previous assistants. You should be proud.” She said, while pouring three teaspoons of sugar into her coffee.
“I guess. It’s just that it’s kind of impacting my personal life you know.” I shrugged.
She gave a nod. “That just means you doing your job well honey. The rate you’re going, you might just get a promotion.”
I smiled awkwardly, frowning at this sudden thought of realization. Five minutes later, I clambered back to the office room.
It was a long weekend and the last thing I wanted to do was open my emails. I opted to enjoy and savor the coffee until every last drop was drunk.
Eric walked casually through the glass doors, a file under his arm. He looked dapper and handsome as always. His dark grey suit with his sleek black hair. He looked refreshed and had a determine flare in his step.
An opposite of what I felt this morning.
“Morning.” He greeted with an upbeat. Wow, he’s usually not that chirpy in the mornings. He walked over to my desk, taking some document letters and scanning through them.
“Morning Eric.” I replied.
He looked at me over the documents. “How was your weekend?”
“Busy.” I said. I glanced up at him. “And yours?”
“Good. I think I have a way to get Williams as a client back.” He smirked.
My eyebrows popped up. “Oh.” I said, pleasantly surprised.
He nodded. “Get a card for Todd and his soon to be wife and add it to their wedding gift. I won’t be able to attend their wedding.”
I nodded and jotted it down in my notes.
Eric still stood at my desk, his firm gaze observed me intently, scanning my face, searching for something. I didn’t know what. I met his lingering jaded eyes. I held my breath.
“Are you okay?” He asked softly. “You don’t seem like your bright chirpy self this morning?”
I shrugged. “I’m just tired.” I replied and averted my eyes to my desk.
I hadn’t realized how close Eric’s face was to mine, his muscular arms stretched across the desk. I could smell his musky expensive cologne waking me up. My eyes roamed his strong jawline, his light cleft on his chin, his green eyes that smoldered, and finally landed on his mouth. His gaze dropped from my eyes to my lips, that was slightly parted. I stood still, we both did, gazing at each other’s lips. My eyes watching his words.
“If you need to discuss or talk about anything. I’m always here to listen Violet.” He said, his voice low and husky.
He said my name.
He snapped his head in the direction of his name, his smoldering eyes regained focus. “Rebecca.” He cleared his throat. “What are you doing here?”
“Can’t I visit you at your office anymore? You’ve been so scarce and busy with work lately, it seems like this is the only spot I can see you these days.” She replied tightly as she glanced between Eric and I.
Eric straightened up. “Sure. Let’s go into my office.” He instructed and walked through his black doors. Rebecca lagged behind. She walked past my desk, her blonde hair neatly in a low bun, her corporate suit dress pristine on her body, showing just the right amount of leg.
My heart jerked at the fact this was Eric’s main lady.
She stood in front of my desk. I smiled at her. But Rebecca’s friendly eyes turned icy, and she looked at me without an inch of a smile.
“I see you and Eric have quite a close working relationship.” She said coolly, her arms folded across her suit jacket. “You spend a lot of time together.”
“I would like to think so.” I replied. Rebecca raised a brow and gave a fake smile.
She licked her lips and blinked, as if struggling to maintain her composure. “What do you think you doing?” She snorted.
I shook my head, not understanding. Frowning at her silly question.
Rebecca leaned slightly forward. “Friendly advice. Just keep your nose in your assisting duties if you know what’s good for you. You’ll just get your little heartbroken like so many others that fell down before you.” She said with a grin, and sauntered into Eric’s office, disappearing inside.
I swallowed hard. An unexpected lump in my throat formed that I fought down.
Maybe it was my fatigue, or the stress.
But I wanted to scream out to Eric. For him to listen to me, like he promised. For him to make me feel good and happy like before.
For her to see he’ll be there for me!?
Her words made me feel worse and extremely uncomfortable. I heard faint banter and laughter behind his doors. I held my head in my hands and closed them shut. A tiny throb brewing inside my head.
I should not be feeling like this!
Why the hell am I then?