” ”Maybe love at first sight isn what we think it is. Maybe its recognizing a soul we loved in our past life and falling in love with them again. ” – Kamand Kojouri.
”You look great, Ella. I swear if you pull on that skirt again Im gonna go apeshit. ”
Not completely ignoring her best friend, Ella observed herself closely in the mirror, straightened out invincible creases shirt, and with one final tug of her skirt, she turned around to face Alex. ”You don the skirt is too short, do you? I don want to come off as indecent on the first day. ”
Alex groaned, facepalming. ”If that skirt was any longer there would be, literally no difference between you and a nun. ” She stepped into the room having been standing by the door the whole time licking ice cream off her spoon.
She pinched her cheeks. ”Look at you, sweetie, ” she turned around to face the mirror. ”You didn even apply lipstick. ”
Ella stared at her bland face, absolutely no makeup. ”I don want to garner attention. ” She whipped round to face Alex. ”And I applied lip balm. ”
She grabbed her purse off the nightstand and walked out of the room Alex close behind, making a mental note to take care of her room once she came back. ”At least a little mascara. Itll make your eyes pop. ”
She rolled her eyes as she made her way to the kitchen. She had planned to make lunch for Alex, knowing her friend all she eats are pizza, and Chinese. And a lot of junk food.
”No thanks, Alex. You know it makes my eyes water. ” Having reached the kitchen she turned on the stove and put on the pot of water.
Alex unrelenting hopped on the chair in front of the island.
”A little blush. You
e so pale, Dracula has nothing on you. ”
”Gee thanks, Alex. Its always nice to be compared to an immortal being that lives off human blood. ” She began chopping the vegetables she had gotten from the fridge.
Alex rolled her eyes and popped a carrot in her mouth, yet scrunched her face in disgust. ”Your pale complexion is lovely, babe, you know that, but now, you, ” she stroked Ellas cheek. ”just look sickly. ”
Rolling her eyes, Ella broke the spaghetti into the pot and stirred. She took the time to observe her friend. Alex, stunning as she was with her slender figure and soft curves, deep brown eyes, a little button nose and plump pouty lips.
Back in high school, boys had trailed after her, even their uni days. But Alex was extremely difficult to please, and once she had the perfect image of a man in her head, no-one could change her idea.
The only man Ella had seen Alex remotely attracted to was Ellas cousin, Jamie.
The attraction had quickly died when Alex learned of Jamies philandering ways.
Alex being an innovative person never believed in being ordinary, which was one of the reasons she tried different things with her beautiful afro-style hair, and her outfits. The last time shed seen her she had it in a set of silver-colored cornrows.
Now she had full, waist length dreads she currently had in a messy updo.
Working in a recording company also made her very experimental with her hair and clothes. Shed seen her in punk, vintage rock, bohemian, rock, casual, tomboy, and her latest; artsy.
Among the two of them, there was no doubt that she was the fiercest. A trait Ella admired so much about her.
She on the other hand had once been called plump, although she had no idea what that was supposed to mean. She knew she had curves, a little too much. She blamed her passion for chocolate and delicious Italian delicacies.
Draining the spaghetti, she settled a saucepan on the stove and grabbed her coffee mug.
”I think I look okay like this you know, I even exchanged my glasses for the lens. Thats the craziest I can go right now. ”
Alex groaned not at all pleased with her decision to be simple.
”Where did you get that top, has the designer ever heard of cleavage? ”
Ella giggled at her comment. ”I got it at this vintage store online. I got a bunch of it. ” She smirked deviously. ”Like an entire closet full of them. ” Holding back her laughter proved difficult at the horrified look on Alexs face.
Wide-eyed, she dropped her ice cream spoon and made a gagging sound. ”I think Im gonna throw up. ”
Finally letting the laughter out, Ella tossed her a bottle of water. ”Well, don do it on the island, Im making lunch here. ”
Immediately, Alexs eyes lit up. ”For me? You didn have to. ” But her smile and longing gaze at the food hinted otherwise.
”Of course I had to. ” She tossed the vegetables into the sizzling saucepan. ” I can even imagine all the junk food youve been throwing down your throat all this time. ”
Alex licked off another spoonful of ice cream. ”Its not all junk food. ”
Ella quirked a brow at the now empty ice cream container. ”Oh really? ”
Rolling her eyes, Alex walked over to the trashcan where she deposited the empty cup. ”Todays my cheat day. ”
”Yeah, right, ” Ella replied sarcasm dripping off every word. ”So was yesterday, the day before that, the day before that one too, also the day be- ”
”Okay, okay! I get it! ” She held her hands up in surrender. ”Its my cheat week. ” She emphasized. ”I started a new diet plan. You know we can all have phenomenal curves like you. ”
To conclude her sentence she smacked Ellas bum just before she walked to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of orange juice. ”So this new diet includes you stuffing yourself with carbs? ”
”Protein. Its a protein diet. ” She uncapped the bottle ignoring the glass cup and drank directly from it. ”I have this new gym instructor- ”
”Since when do you go to the gym? ” This was news to her. The most exercise Ella had seen Alex do was back in high school during gym class. And after the first day she suddenly developed a serious trauma that prevented her from attending gym classes.
”Since I found out that you can ogle six-pack men free of charge at the gym, and you wouldn be labeled a hoe. ”
Ella rolled her eyes. Of course, Alex would never enroll in a gym of her own accord, except she was getting something out of it.
”So this new gym instructor, he has me eating all these protein-filled food so I can get a little body fat to get me those curves I always wanted.
”But you have curves, Alex. Curves I envy. ”
Alex quirked a brow. ”I have Kendall Jenner curves, I want Kylie Jenner curves. ”
Shrugging, Ella turned off the stove, took out a ceramic cooler, and put the contents of the saucepan in it. ”This is for work, its got chicken breast in it, yogurt, and a couple of other stuff, so Im sure thats enough proteins for you and your gym instructor. ”
She washed her hands and grabbed her purse rushing for the door, she had forty-five minutes to get to work or risk being late, and with the crazy traffic, she needed every second.
”I love you, babe! ” She heard Alex scream.
”Love you too! ”
Taking the elevator down she fumbled with her new car keys. Still trying to balance her coffee mug in her hand. The elevator pinged, the doors opening slowly, and she rushed out smiling politely at the doorman, Tom as she ran down the steps of the apartment building. Spotting her car, a vintage Volkswagen beetle shed gotten at a very low price she placed the mug on the roof of the car and struggled with the car lock.
Finally getting the car open she turned on the ignition and felt a relaxing hum as the car choked to life ignoring the unhealthy amount of smoke leaving the exhaust pipe and drove off hearing glass shattering but also ignoring that as she drove down the road.
In record time, shed made it to the upper east side of Manhattan, and in less than ten minutes shed made it to the front doors of the company.
Staring at the sky-high building she swallowed, nerves finally kicking in and praying for a cup of coffee.
”You can do this, Ella. ” She exhaled and inhaled, tugging on her gray knee-length coat as she walked into the building.
The sight that greeted Ella wasn what shed expected. Shed expected people rushing to and fro, files in hand, some on the phone while avoiding bumping into each other just to get work done.
What she met however was complete order.
No one rushed or ran. Everyone dressed impeccably in pressed suits and work clothes, earpiece in the ear, talking swiftly to whoever was on the other line.
The interior screamed elegance and wealth. Ceiling high windows, expensive and rare artwork displayed on the walls, and the waiting chairs which looked so comfortable, Ella was sure she could fall asleep there.
She stopped, still staring at everything and anything that caught her attention until she heard a throat clear behind her.
Whipping around, cheeks flaming with embarrassment at been caught mouth agape staring, she mumbled hello to the person.
She could all but gape at the woman. Lustrous blonde hair in an elegant pony tail, green eyes and a beautiful face with legs that went on for miles, this woman could be a model. She smiled further amplifying her beauty. ”Don worry, it gets me every time too. ” She held out a hand to Ella which she took quickly and lightly shook. ”My name is Amelia Stacy, Im with HR, and you Ms. Hart are fifteen minutes early. ” She winked at her. ”Impressive. ”
She turned around and signaled for her to follow, walking towards an elevator. ”Mrs. Vásquez is already waiting in her office. ”
The elevator doors came to a close and opened just as fast as if no time went by.
Amelia, noticing the puzzled look on Ellas face smiled knowingly. ”Its high tech. It was invented here by the second son of the chairman. ” She explained. ”Two times the speed of a normal elevator, and no such thing as shutting down, since it doesn operate on the same power source as the building. We operate on an earth green basis, so we recycle and do other green stuff. ” They both walked down what seemed like another reception. ”Its important to remember that, Mr. Blaq, the chairman, is an eco-green activist. ”
Ella smiled, so were her parents and they had drilled it in her since she was little. Now, it wouldn be a problem.
Amelia smiled and nodded at everyone who passed them on their way to the office. Stopping in front of a large oak door, she swiped her key card on a card reader and pushed the door open, urging Ella to follow. The room behind the door was more silent, with not a single soul in sight except a red-haired that sat at a desk by another double oak door.
Amelia stopped in front of her and introduced Ella. ”Shes the new PA Mrs. Vásquez hired. ”
The red-haired raised both eyebrows as she surveyed Ella intensely, a frown on her face, seemingly satisfied she smiled. ”Im Tory, and shes expecting you. ”
Amelia nodded and made a move to walk away before she stopped and faced Tory again. ”Is he in? ”
Torys complexion paled instantly. ”Can you sense the shift in the atmosphere? I couldn get away quickly, and unfortunately, its part of the job. ” She leaned over her table and whispered a sly smile on her lips. ”Hes still hot though, so that makes up for it. ”
Amelia giggled then placed a hand on the door, stopped a second, and took in a deep breath, rearranged her already perfect clothes, and opened the door slightly. ”Mrs. Vázquez, your 9 Oclock is here. ”
A few words were spoken before Amelia opened the door wide enough for both her and Ella to walk through.
If she thought the lobby was impressive then this room was out of this world.
Massive space and a beautiful view of the busy streets below and Manhattan skyrise. A large mahogany table was set in front of one window, where a brunette woman was sitting behind, hands crossed and lips pinched in a frown, she did not look happy. But on spotting Ella, she smiled brightly and got up.
”Ms. Hart, lovely to finally meet you. ” Ella rushed to accept the hand she had offered in greeting and lightly shook it.
”Um, its nice to meet you too. ” She was gaping, she knew. But did they hire models to work for them here? Mrs. Vazquez, who she expected to look a little petite was anything but such. Beautiful brown hair in an elegant braid dressed in a striking red pantsuit with the jacket undone revealing her black lace top underneath it… this woman belonged on the runway.
Mrs. Vazquez smiled reassuringly mistaken her reaction as nervousness. ”Its okay to be nervous, it is your first day. ”
Ella smiled, letting out a breath. ”Thank you so much, Ive been looking forward to this for a long time now. And I just want you to know that Ill do everything in my power to make sure all your needs are met. ”
She smiled at that and nodded. ”While that is a good promise, Im afraid you won be working for me. I work for the London branch and just came by to help our new chairman settle in. ” Ellas face blanked. ”Hes the one youll be working for. ”
She couldn speak, all she could do was stare. ”Oh. ” She was under the impression shed be working with her seeing as she conducted the interview. And she had said the position was for a CFO not a chairman. Ella tried to calm her breathing. Could she handle that type of pressure.
Mrs. Vásquez smiled and opened her mouth to say something when footfalls were heard from the other side of the room. The expression on her face turned to relief. ”Oh, here he is now. ” She walked out from behind the table and placed a hand on Ellas shoulder making her six foot six seem like four foot. ”Kaiden, this is the lady I was telling you about. Ms. Hart meet the new chairman of Blaq Industries, Kaiden Blaq meet, ” she turned Ella in the direction of the newcomer. Her blue eyes set on golden brown ones, no, not golden brown, brown with flecks of gold in them, she felt all the oxygen leave her lungs.
Eyes wide, she watched recognition dawn on his beautiful face as he stopped mid-step and stared at her. After what seemed like a lifetime, he grinned, mischief written boldly on his features, and spoke.
”Hello, Ms. Whistledown. ”