Echo:A Dark Billionaire Romance(10)

By: A Zavarelli

He nodded and pressed the button on his intercom, calling out for Nicole. We sat in silence until she appeared in the doorway a moment later. He gestured her inside, and I clung to her presence as though it were a life-preserver.

“Nicole.” He greeted her as he readjusted the marble paperweight discreetly. “Is this the last of the interns?”

This. Being me. I shot Nicole a pleading glance, but she just smiled and kept her cool composure.

“It sure is, boss.”

“What do you intend to do with this one?” he queried.

“Well, I thought she could work up here. Stacey is always whining about how much stuff she has to do…”

“Here?” he asked incredulously. “On the fifteenth floor?”

Oh God, this was humiliating. Not only did he not remember kissing me- a kiss I’d long since been dreaming of- but he was treating me as if I was a complete and utter waste of space. I wanted to tell him not to worry about it. I wanted to tell him I didn’t need this job or any more of his time. But none of those things were true, and I had to swallow my pride and accept whatever scrap of kindness he would offer me.

“Is that going to be a problem?” Nicole smiled sweetly.

He mulled this over for a moment before giving a dismissive wave of his hand. “Fine.”

As we walked out of his office, I had conflicting feelings about my new job. Though my self-preservation was relieved at the prospect of an income, my indignation won out. He’d just treated me as if I was trash, and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer.

“He’s kind of rude,” I whispered to Nicole as soon as we were in the clear.

She shot me a defensive look and shook her head in disappointment. “He’s really not. So I would withhold your judgments about him until you get to know him.”

Chapter Three

“You’ve put all these labels on wrong!” Stacey screeched, reaching for another handful of TUMS from her ever-present bottle.

She was a forty-something woman who wore a perpetual frown on her face, and I marveled at the fact she hadn’t succumbed to a heart attack yet. Between the entire pots of coffee, menthol cigarettes, and antacids she ingested on a daily basis, I could only imagine what her blood pressure was like.

“You told me they were supposed to be numerical,” I reminded her.

“No, I specifically said alphabetical,” she barked.

I knew she didn’t, but there was no point arguing with her. Something I’d learned quickly over the last two weeks at The Bennett Corporation. I was a lowly intern, and my job consisted of menial duties I was certain to mess up every opportunity I got. Or at least that’s what Stacey thought. All of the other interns were having a blast, but they were the smart ones. Me? I got saddled with Suffering Stacey. Yes, that’s what they called her here. And while everyone else I worked with was really nice, I couldn’t find it in me to like this woman, no matter how hard I tried.

I suspected that she was intentionally pushing my buttons to get a reaction out of me. She obviously didn’t know me very well. I’d grown up with far worse as a mother, and I learned a long time ago which battles to fight and which to let go.

“I’ll fix them.” I shrugged out of my cardigan and settled in for another long night.

She lingered over my desk with twisted lips, no doubt looking for other ways to torture me. “That’s right you’ll fix it,” she snapped. “You’re on thin ice as it is, Miss Valentine.”

I bit my tongue and nodded, waiting until she walked away to let out a sigh of relief. My fingers started to work while my thoughts drifted elsewhere. I was halfway through my mental composition of Brayden’s next letter when a voice interrupted me.

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