Larisa was pissed. No squash that. Larisa was beyond pissed. She was livid. As she sat in her office staring out of her glass window out into the floor of the stylishly laid out lobby of her working area her eyes couldn't stop trying to burn holes into Tevin's smiling face as he stood there with the known whore of the office Amanda, as she bragged about their engagement. Usually in situations like this when co-workers were getting engaged, congratulations were in order. That polite gesture was obviously not needed from Larisa however since she had been screwing Tevin yesterday.
He had played her, but at the same time, she felt as though she had obviously played herself. Larisa and Tevin had been playing the friend with benefits card for over a year now, with no actual hint toward it getting anywhere else. Don't get her wrong, Larisa had wanted more but Tevin never seemed to want to take that leap. Although he had no problem sleeping with her every other night he had made it clear that was all it was. So why was she so pissed off? Probably because she never knew that he had been seeing Amanda too. You'd think he'd have the decency to at least fill her in on that right? Then again they didn't have a relationship outside of the bed and work so who was she to be upset about not getting the memo.
When she had heard the news she had been at the copy machine printing some copies of the latest article she was writing about in the magazine office she worked for La'Rouge, and urban magazine made to tell the nonconforming stories of artist and people in the New York area. She had been working there for over ten years now starting off as a temp and working her way up to being the assistant to Mr. Rouge himself. She had dedicated the majority of her life to her office position knowing that one day this office would be her own. It probably was the main reason Tevin even found an interest in her.
She could still recall the first words he had said to her. He had been somewhat new to the office at the time coming in as a magazine template designer. It was their first annual Christmas party, and everyone was drunk as usual. She had been at the bar, staying to herself, which was normal for her since she was usually like that. She didn't care for faking friends with co-workers and at the time she had been so focused on her career she had a hard time laughing and being likeable. She saw no point in liking competition. Probably not the best mindset, but she honestly felt even to this day she wouldn't be where she was without that mindset.
As she sat to herself he had came by laughing and obviously drunk, cute and jockish, she could tell that he had been cool in school for sports probably. He wore a sweater vest and these tight slacks she couldn't get over and his boyish grin as he leaned on the bar and looked at her made her flush.
"You know, I admire how you keep your cool all the time," he said to her smiling his breath smelling of some type of spicy liquor. Was it Fireball? Jack Bean? "You're always so put together. I can see your ambitious too. You're totally my type." he slurred out and she laughed find his honesty witty at the time.
"Thank you? You have been drinking a lot tonight haven't you?" she asked casually taking a sip from her own Chardonnay she had chosen. She never got wasted at social events. She found it stupid to get drunk with the same people you had to work with the next day, but for whatever reason that night Tevin was an exception. Probably because of the compliment, and the tight pants.
Their conversation went on for a while and a few hours later they were heatedly liplocking in a taxi on their way to his apartment. After that night it became a continuous thing and it had been liberating. She had enjoyed not having strings for a while. It gave her time to focus on work and not relationships, but after six months she began wanting more something he hadn't wanted. She decided not to pressure it and to let bygons be bygons, sooner or later things would come together right?
Wrong.Wrong as hell. Wrong as FUCK. As she watched Amanda, with her fake blonde dyed hair and baby blue eyes flush while holding onto Tevin's arm, showing off the ring to other co-workers who praised and congratulate the two, all she could think about was how she would feel if she told that dumb bitch that man had been eating her out like an ice-cream cone just last night.
See the issue she had with Amanda was far outside of the fact Tevin wanted to be with her. Even without Tevin she despised the girl. Why? She was dumb as hell. She'd only been working at the La'Rouge now for about five months and was still a temp from the hoildays. She got an extension only because Mr. Rouge felt sorry for the girl when she cried about needing the job more than everything. She just sucked at everything though. She couldn't write worth a damn, she couldn't edit worth a damn, she always forgot everything, and she loved playing the victim to her advantage. Larisa hated women like that the most. It was spiteful to a certain extent because she was sure Amanda really was a sweet girl, but Larisa refused to buy it. She knew that girl had been sleeping around the office just from the few times she had caught her doing it. Yea. Caught her doing it.
Larisa could never understand her luck, and why she always caught Amanda in these situations. If it wasn't in the conference room it was in the bathroom. If it wasn't in the bathroom it was in the break room. Now as she thought about it though she wondered if it was possible the whole time it hadn't been Amanda slutting around, but her and Tevin....She gagged at the thought swallowing a huge gulp of her coffee and shaking the thought from her head. There was no way she wanted that image in her head.
If that asshole Tevin had really been sneaking around this place doing that right under her nose. She felt her ears getting hot at just the thought and she bit her bottom lip pushing the frame of her square glasses up as she pulled her gaze from the couple back to her computer where unopened messages were waiting for her responses. She honestly couldn't read words right now. Everything looked like chicken scratch as she stared at writing her mind going other places. How could she had let this happen? She ended up being a rebound? A mistress? A side chick? Sighing she leaned far in her seat the word, fuck coming out her lips as she closed her eyes.
"Language Risa. Language." a calm amused voice said and she jumped looking up to see Mr.Rouge at her door watching her like a person would watch a lion at the zoo.
"Mr.Rouge! I'm sorry. I didn't see you there." she mumbled out and he laughed coming into the office and sitting on her leather couch yawning as he leaned his elbow rest and looked at her with interest.
"You seem out of it. I know this look well. What's going on with you." he asked and before she could answer he raised a hand to her to stop her from speaking. "You're about to say your alright, but I know your not." he said and she shut her mouth at his true comment lost for words.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked and his eyes not leaving hers as he pointed directly toward where Tevin and Amanda were still standing, the two now talking to one another lovingly before parting ways.
Larisa flushed at the fact her boss knew what she was upset about. At the same time she wasn't surprised. Mr.Rouge was great at deciphering people, and he was a nosey old perverted man, always wanting to know about people's personal lives. Although she never told him anything worth remembering about her own personal affairs she knew he paid attention to who she spoke to and how she spoke to them. Larisa was pretty easy to read even though she refused to admit that.
"I don't know what you talking about," Larisa said probably too quickly in response to his question before turning back to her screen to click on a Sticky Note tab she had opened.
"I'm glad you're here, though, I planned out your Retirement Party for Saturday night. I was able to get that one violinist to come that I know you love. Everything should be a breeze tomorrow." she stated like a robot and he nodded in response rubbing his well-trimmed gray beard as he sighed and stood up.
Mr. Rouge was beyond attractive for the age of 56. He looked like he was in his early 40s, and if he dyed his hair black he'd look younger. Still fit, with piercing gray eyes he was still a woman's dream even at the age he was now. Known for modeling before starting his own magazine, Joshua Rouge was still a hot commodity to the world of celebrities. His magazine was popular and known through New York, and with a little more work it would soon be sold in the hottest cities in the U.S. He worked with stars, he knew how to get the best of news, and he looked good doing it. He was an amazing boss and Larisa had learned to love him like a father although the man was constantly flirting his way into her personal life. Their work relationship was strong and their bond was better. She respected him and vice versa. Larisa knew she'd miss him once he left La'Rouge, but she also wouldn't lie that she was excited about the promotion that was coming with it.
That's right, Larisa was more than positive that she would be getting promoted to Editor in Chief of La'Rouge once he retired. Who else would be better for the job? Although he hadn't said it yet she was sure she was a shoe-in because she was more than positive no one else could do the job better than herself.
"Risa there is actually something I want to talk to you about now that you've brought up my retirement party," Mr.Rouge suddenly said putting his hands in the pocket of his black suit pants.
Was this it? She felt her heart thudding through her chest as she considered the words that were going to slip from his mouth.
'I want you to take over La'Rouge for me once I retire.' she could just here the words leaving his mouth as she smiled at him waiting for him to finish his statement.
"I am intending to let my son take over La'Rouge as Editor in Chief. I would also like you to be Editor in Chief with him. He shall be coming into town this evening from L.A, and will take over my office starting next week. You'll get aqquainted on Saturday during the party, but I just felt this was the best time to let you know before the announcement tomorrow." he said and Larisa nodded the same smile still on her face as she did.
Mr. Rouge sighed his face tense because he knew already how Larisa was feeling.
And how was Larisa feeling?
Everything she had worked for, the ten years of loyalty and bringing up the company by his side. For nothing. Just to have to share the throne with some kid who never probably wrote a thing in his life. Who didn't know what the hell he was doing.
Mr.Rouge hadn't even told anyone he had a son. Hell, not even the world knew he had a son. She wanted to ask questions about that but she knew this was not the time. If she said anything at this point she would probably be getting fired and going to jail. What kind of fuckery was all this. What type of day was this? Who had she wronged in a past life. She had worked 10 years faithfully to this company and she was now 36 years old and her boss was probably going to be younger than her.
What The Fuck.
"Look, I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted. I know you have questions and probably have a lot you want to say, but guessing from your rather scary fake smile right now all you need is some time to yourself. I'm going to give you the rest of the day off. Go ahead and go home. Take a breather and we can talk more tomorrow at the party okay? Once you meet him and we discuss this situation i'm sure things will come together, and everything will work out." he stated and Larisa only nodded in response not even seeing him as she stood the same fake smile still on her face as she left her office. Mr.Rouge watching her in mere shock as she didn't even grab her car keys, her phone, her jacket, or her purse. She didn't even lock her computer. She literally just walked out.
"Risa!" her boss stated but she ignored it the same smile pasted on her face although her nose was starting to burn. "Shit," she muttered as she realized she was about to start crying. She slow walk suddenly became a quick step as she made her way toward the elevator mashing the button hard to get to the bottom floor. She needed air. She could feel people's eyes on her watching her, and it irritated her soul. 'Stop looking. Stop looking. I'm fine. Fuck.' she thought as she kept mashing in the button looking down at her black heels as she waited. She sighed in relief at the soft of the elevator door opening, and as she stepped in she screamed in the inside.
It was Tevin.
'Please be getting out the elevator. Please be getting out the elevator.' she thought but of course today wasn't going easy on her at all as he remained awkwardly beside her as the doors began to close.
She wanted to get out, but she didn't want to make a scene. She also didn't want him to know she was bothered. Taking in a short breath she closed her eyes trying to get herself together.
"So Risa, did you he-"
"I hope you're not upset."
"Why would I be."
There was an awkard pause and Larisa rubbed the arch of her nose trying to stop the burning sensation that always led her to cry.
"I'm sorry if I-"
"Why are you apologizing."
"I didn't let you know wha-"
"Just stop talking please."
This conversation needed to be over. Larisa really couldn't deal with this right now, and there was absolutely no point in this conversation. Why was today even real?
"Risa look you need to understand that I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I wanted to tell you, but I couldn't figure out the best way of doing it." he threw out quick and Larisa looked up and glared at him using all her strength not to punch him in his cute dumb face.
"You didn't know how to tell me? Tevin how about instead of fucking me last night or the night before or the night before you told me 'hey i'm seeing someone now so we need to stop this,' or 'hey you're wasting your time i'm not really into you,' or even better 'hey i've been fucking the dumb blonde bimboo all throughout the office this whole time behind your back!' How about any of those options Tevin?" Larisa barked out and he flushed in response rubbing the back of his neck in surprise at her retorts.
"Just shut up and don't talk to me again."she snapped as the elevator doors at last opened into the lobby of the building. Quickly stepping out and walking out of the building the sound of the city and the people was almost too chaotic. She needed to breathe. Running onto the end of the sidewalk she raised a hand and automatically a taxi came to her. Without another thought she jumped in.
"Where ya headed." the man said in a strong Brooklyn accent cigarette hanging from his lips as he looked at her from the front mirror.
"1832 Merriot Lane." she muttered out and he lurched the car further into traffic. s
She needed to go. She needed to disappear and cry and be comforted and the only place she knew to do that at was her only friend's house Ellie. For once she was grateful that her friend was a stay at home mother and author. Looking out the window as traffic went by she sighed and did what she had wanted to do since the shitty day at work had started.
She began to cry.
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