Honest Opinion - 2 (UNEDITED DRAFT)
“I can’t be lollygagging with you on the phone. I’m at work.” Her vibrating phone brought her attention to a new message. She rolled her eyes. And ignored the message.
Her cousin, Stephen, laughed. “Well you’ve been ignoring my messages on getting together for happy hour so I had to take drastic measures.”
“No,” She said, covering her mouth piece with her hand. “You’re nosy and you’re making something out of nothing.”
“I’m just following up on rumors.”
He phone buzzed again. “This fool--” She trailed off ignoring the second message.
“Oh, just Rico being his old charming self.”
Her cousin grumbled. “Oh, that fool. I don’t even know why you entertain him.”
“He’s like a roach he won’t go away.” Her stomach moved when she saw Mr. Wolfe’s next appointment heading her way. “I have to go, bye.” She hung up the phone and straightened her blouse. It was new along with her dress pants. She gotten her first check from her receptionist job two days ago and made a beeline to get some worthy clothes. Stained dress pants and almost white dress shirts from her catering gigs were not fitting the personal assistant job requirements.
She presented a bright smile as did the well-dressed, polished business man that approached the counter. “Ariba. It’s a pleasure to see your beautiful smile this morning.”
“Yours as well Mr. Kline.” The man had taken to her when she first met him her third day in. For some unknown reason Mr. Kline seemed to make her employer ill-tempered. She stood up and met him on the other side of the desk.
“You don’t need to show me the way. I’m quite familiar.”
“And miss a chance to check in on that beautiful baby girl of yours?”
They man’s face lit up at the mention of his daughter.
“How is she?”
“Causing all sorts or mischief just like her dad.”
She laughed pausing in front of her boss’s door. She knocked a peeked inside before bringing a smile back to Mr. Kline. “Mr. Wolf is waiting for you.” She opened the door all the way allowing the man entrance and closing the door after him.
The job was easy. Booked appointments, answered calls to book appointments. Set up meetings and dinners and haircuts and dentist appointments. Made sure his calendar was synced to all his devices, occasionally picked up dry cleaning. No heavy trays to carry or getting food splashed on you on your feet all day. She even had time to do homework most days.
She was expecting to see him more often, but he traveled a lot. Which made perfect sense when she found out that he was the CEO of the company.
“So where did you come from? Barkman and Kory? A lot of the executive assistance come from there. Or maybe Frida Press. Frida Press, right? You look like a Frida Press girl.”
She frowned. Was she supposed to know what the pretty brunette was talking about? “Um, nope, none of those. I’m on a coffee run.” She'd been avoiding the clacking hens since she started. Not knowing that the man was running the company and that being his right hand would lead to a lot of chatter, was an unexpected obstacle. She learned that the brunette who kept catching her in the hallway, in the bathroom, on her way to lunch “randomly” was after the position that Ariba recently slid into.
She didn’t have time for the politics or gossips. She had two semesters left in school. Maybe Bluemoon Tech would have a position for her in their cyber-crime prevention department. She wasn’t sure about the program at first but found she rather liked the solitude of information technology. She felt like her life was so loud sometimes. It also paid pretty well too right out of school.
She settled back behind her desk with her coffee and started at her tasks for the day. She had class tonight so she had to leave right after lunch.
Mr. Wolfe’s door opened and the conversation caught her attention. “I realize it’s last minute, but this Vegas fundraiser is very important to my wife and what’s important to her is important to me.” Mr. Kline turned back to face her boss. “Oh and bring someone.”
She presented her most genuine smile and received one back from Mr. Kline. “Give Bella my best and have her try the baking soda essential oil recipe.”
“Will do, Ariba. Always good to see you.”
“Likewise.” She settled back at her desk with a smile still pulling on her lips. It was strange how she was a world apart from these people and then all of a sudden sharing recipes and natural remedies for keeping their daughter’s room odor free. She laughed at the thought. She glanced over her shoulder and saw her boss eyeing her. She turned to face him.
“Is there something wrong?”
His serious expression turned into a smirk. “My office, please.”
She scurried to her feet and followed him into his office closing the door behind her. “I-I couldn’t help but over here there’s an event coming up last minute. Did you need me to send a tux to the dry cleaners? Book travel, or perhaps schedule--”
“No, no that’s all in order. What I need is someone to accompany me.”
“Oh, okay well that shouldn’t be too difficult.” Who wouldn’t want to go with the man? On the arm of one of the most eligible bachelors on the market? She’d be the first to volunteer. She laughed in her own head. “Courtney went to the last two. I’m sure if--”
She frowned paging through the tablets calendar to past events. “What about Melissa? She’s pretty, quiet reserved.”
She finally met his eyes which were intently gazing upon her.
“Can’t be just anyone.” He set back in the large desk chair. “Harper Kline is testing me. We don’t really see eye to eye, but he knows I’ll deliver. Honestly, I don’t understand his hesitation.” He faced her again. “You, however, seem to be on solid standing with the man. He’s a tough nut to crack that one and you managed to get in there. First name basis. That’s pretty impressive considering he’s only seen you two or three times.”
She shrugged lost as to the direction of the conversation. She knew what she heard but the man couldn’t be serious. “I have a unique name.”
“You don’t understand.” He pushed up on his feet and took a few steps in her direction. “He doesn’t care what someone’s name is period. I don’t even think he knows mine.”
She frowned. She didn’t get that vibe from Mr. Kline at all. He was a warm man cared about his family.
“I mean you could say no. I realize that this is way out of your job description and last minute. He wants me to head to Vegas tomorrow for the weekend. A three day thing. I know that’s a lot of pressure. That wasn’t my intent.” He started pacing. “ Do I want his business? Sure, but Bluemoon Technology Solutions will still see a very fruitful year without him.” She wasn’t sure if the man wa even talking to her. “It’s up to you.”
“But you need an answer yesterday don’t you?”
He shrugged. “If I had more time I would have asked earlier. He sprung this on me in this last meeting. Good news in all of this is that we’re in the top three of his choices. The other two men will be there as well.”
“Whatever you need for childcare it will be covered by the company. Why don’t you take the afternoon to think it--”
“I don’t need the afternoon. I’ll do it.”
His eyebrows were raised in surprise. “Suppose I owe you a raise.”
The corner of her mouth lifted. “I’ll have a proposal ready for you when we get back.”
He laughed. “Fair enough. Take the rest of the day to prepare.”
She nodded and made her way out the office silently closing the door behind her.
She exhaled just then realizing she’d been holding her breath.
What the hell did she just get herself into? Her mind started racing with all the things that she would need to do if she was organizing a last minute trip. She’d never left the city better yet flying somewhere far away. This was insane and exciting! And completely nuts! And so exhilarating. What if she bombed the entire weekend? What if she didn’t? Could she pull this all off?
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