'Hey Jones, I managed to score some passes to New York Fashion Week this year so you can attend and maybe write something of interest for once. You better get some good scoop because if this piece doesn't hit the target view count the fashion department is getting cut and you'll be fired, so make it count.'
Regina Mills, creator and editor in chief of 'The Big Apple' was like the Evil Queen in real life, poisoning her employee's with her scare mongering tactics to increase ratings for her online newspaper. Killian had been on the receiving end plenty of times but this time her threat felt very real and he grits his teeth at the thought of losing this job.
Although he hates working in the fashion department (and the ridiculous teasing from the rest of the office that had gotten way too old now) it's a job he was relieved to get after searching for a while after graduating. Having a degree definitely doesn't help on the job front these days.
'Looks like you'll be living the dream of every 16 year old girl, Killian.' Will snorts when he sees the fashion week passes on the desk when he walks by.
'You laugh now Scarlet, but I'll be rubbing shoulders with beautiful models and celebrities while you're stuck in the office all week.' Killian replies, swinging one of the lanyards around his index finger casually.
'Yeah, yeah you and Emma will be living the glamorous life while the rest of us will actually work for a living, I've heard it all.' Will sighs, but Killian freezes at the name of the woman Will mentioned.
'Emma is coming?'
'Yeah, didn't you know? Regina has her writing some piece about sexism in the fashion industry, clearly she thought Emma was more capable of writing it than you.' Will jokes, raising an eyebrow tauntingly.
Emma Swan, an opinion piece writer that Regina may just hate as much as she does Killian, was one of the worst things about working here. He hates her more than he thought possible, with her long blonde hair that he somehow always finds strands of around the office and her sweet perfume that seems to cling to everything around him. She's stubborn and despite the fact that she keeps to herself everything she does infuriates him.
'No, I didn't.' Killian sighs, sitting back in his chair and groaning. They tend to keep to their own departments at work but spending a whole week with Emma makes him almost want to quit right now.
'If you don't want to go I will, I've been trying to bang Swan for months now.' Will laughs, playfully punching his shoulder like they're college kids and not grown men at work. Killian forces a laugh too and shakes his head before open up his laptop to find out the shows and designers he'll be writing about.
Will goes back to his own desk and Killian is left alone for a few minutes before a sweet floral smell hits him and he knows Emma is nearby. She's standing over at the photocopier, refilling the paper tray (that's about the only thing she does that he likes) and he watches her closely. He's not blind; he can't deny that she's beautiful but there's just something about her that puts him on edge. Perhaps it's her cold exterior that puts him off, and the fact that in the 11 months they've worked together he's never seen her smile. He doesn't trust people that never smile.
He doesn't know much about her actually, besides the fact that she rarely laughs, talks or smiles. He's never seen her taking any personal phone calls or seen anyone visit or pick her up from the office. Killian is suspicious of the fact that she seems to have no life outside of work, but then again his strong dislike for her may be a sentiment shared by others. He actually feels something like a wave of pity for her as he watches her silently fight with the paper tray. It must be lonely being a miserable hag at 30.
'You're doing it wrong, Swan.' He sighs, and she looks up at him with a cold stare and a deep furrow of her eyebrows.
'How would you know? You seldom change the damn thing yourself.' Emma scoffs at him and he clenches his fist on his desk before standing up and walking over to her.
'You have to angle it the right way. Stubbornly shoving it in awkwardly doesn't work.' He tells her in a slightly patronizing tone and she stands up straight and huffs at him, her blonde curls falling around her flushed cheeks.
'Is that what all the girls tell you, Jones?' She asks, and he's taken back by her starkness. Emma Swan wasn't exactly a polite conversationalist but he had never thought of her as someone so crude.
'At least I have a sex life, Swan.' He retorts, watching her roll her eyes and bend down to continue ramming the paper tray back in. He sighs and grabs onto the tray himself, overlapping her hands to re-position the tray and slide it gently back in.
'See, all it takes it someone who knows what they're doing, which I can assure you, I very much do.' Killian says smugly, hoping she gets the double entendre. Emma pulls her hands out from under his and sneers at him, clearly catching the meaning of his words and is unimpressed. He'd never noticed how green her eyes were, having never been this close to her before. They are rather beautiful but the anger in them spoils the beauty slightly and he steps back.
'Have you ever even been in love?' He asks bluntly, pushing the tension between them one step further. He sees a glint of something in her eye before her expression hardens again. He had just blurted out the question without much thought but he's curious to know her answer.
'No, I have never been in love.' She bites out before snatching up her freshly printed photocopies and stalking off back to her desk. It wasn't like her to actually respond, particularly not so honestly. He returns to his own desk and finds himself wondering what on earth her tragic backstory is to result in such a cold, distant persona. Killian tries to think about something else when he looks over a while later and sees Emma subtly wiping beneath her eyes.
Emma passionately hates this man. Killian Jones, the arrogant son of a bitch that works in fashion, acting like he's God's gift to women because he has a penis and knows the different types of necklines on dresses. Emma knows he actually hates working in the fashion department, specifically because he originally interviewed for the very job she was given, but he spins it so it seems like he's this ground breaking stud who understands female interests while always emphasizing his own interest in females.
He's made his feelings towards her very clear, but the feeling is mutual and she really doesn't care that he flirts with all the women in the office except her (and Regina but she finds it disturbing imagining her boss trying to flirt anyway).
Emma assumes his fierce dislike for her is due to her getting the job he wanted, but it's a hell of a grudge to keep for almost a year. Now with this new piece Regina has her writing, she's going to be attending Fashion Week with him and she literally wants to crawl under her desk and die. She will definitely be drinking up all the complimentary champagne she can get if she has to witness him flirting with all the models they bump into.
She thinks about his question, the one about being in love, and her heart sinks. It was like a slap in the face, the way he said it like he already knew the answer, like she was incapable of love (like she was incapable of being loved). Neal's face appears in her mind and she bites her lip and stares intensely at her computer screen, the words on the open document blurring together as her eyes fills up.
Emma blinks furiously to stop the tears, catching the stray ones beneath her eyes before they can fall any further down her cheeks. Perhaps the arrogant asshole is right after all.
She inhales and refuses to let herself cry over this anymore, robotically typing until the clock hits 5 and she can leave. Killian beats her out the building and she sees him kissing a pretty brunette across the street, his hand resting on her hip before they climb into a cab and drive away.
Emma looks away and walks the couple of blocks to where she's parked her yellow bug in an alley. It's completely unsafe but she can't afford the rate of the parking garages around here so she risks her car getting stolen everyday (she had obtained it by stealing it so she knew just how easy it was).
She hears voices from the other side of the door as she pulls out her keys and she's actually glad to hear the numerous voices of her closest friends inside the apartment.
'Hey, guys.' Emma calls when she gets in, smiling when she hears a chorus of 'hey Emma' greeting her. Mary Margret, Ruby and Ashley are in the kitchen, the various ingredients of alcoholic cocktails already out on the counter.
'Ruby needed a girl's night so I offered our apartment.' Mary Margret explains, and Emma feels a twinge of guilt for making her seem so apologetic for inviting their friends over.
'That's great, I'm in need of one too after today.' She sighs, slipping off her shoes as she shrugs off her jacket and hangs it up on the hook beside the door.
'Oh, what happened to you?' Ruby asks curiously before knocking back a mouthful of tequila already.
'You first.' Emma replies, sliding onto the remaining stool at the breakfast bar in the kitchen and gratefully accepting the glass of rum Mary Margret hands her.
'Well you know how I had thought Granny was going to sign over the diner to me when she retired? It turns out she's giving it to complete strangers instead.' Ruby explains, her voice shaking with both sadness and anger.
'So now I'm just a 30 year old waitress with no skills beyond serving people coffee. I stayed there because I thought I would become the boss one day, maybe even open a chain but clearly my own grandmother doesn't even believe in me.' Ruby starts to cry now and Emma slides over and gives her a hug as Mary Margret refills everyone's drinks efficiently.
They move to the couch with their drinks as Ruby cries over her unprepared future and Emma listens to her friend with sympathy. Working at Granny's had been her first ever job, waitressing after school with Ruby when they were 16. Then she went to Boston University (and put herself in way too much debt) before graduating and returning back to New York, grateful that Granny had offered her job back until she found another one.
Ruby had decided against college in the hope that she'd inherit the family business and now that plan is falling apart and Emma realizes how scary that must be for her (she has a job and she still worries about her own future too).
'Okay, I've cried enough for tonight so it's Emma turn to vent now.' Ruby shakes her arms and head as if to free herself of negativity before she wiggles in anticipation for Emma's story. She's sitting on a couple of cushions on the floor with her back against the coffee table, almost ready to go to sleep despite it only being 7 in the evening.
'Well it seems like nothing compared to what you're dealing with but I found out today that, while I get to go to Fashion Week, it's with Killian Jones.' Emma sighs, slurping the rest of her rum and coke through the straw before putting her glass down and looking for more alcohol.
'You mean the really hot guy in your office that's a total asshole?' Ashley asks and Emma rolls her eyes as she pours out some of a purple coloured cocktail Mary Margret made.
'Yeah, I mean he's not that hot, but anyway we have the same passes and stuff so I'm going to be spending all week with him, getting a front row view of him hitting on all the models.' Emma sneers, making a face at both Killian and the cocktail (too much curacao, but she doesn't say anything to Mary Margret).
'But is he really that bad? I mean obviously he's a player but maybe underneath all that bravado there might actually be a nice guy.' Ruby suggests, her tears gone now that she has something to distract her mind with.
'Today he asked me if I had ever been in love.' Emma blurts out, having not intended to actually share that detail. There's a collective silence between her friends as all three of their minds go to the same place and Emma slumps lower against the table.
'At least you get to watch all the models' reactions when they think he's gay at first.' Ashley grins and Emma laughs, appreciating the humour in a moment of thoughts about her past.
The rest of the night consists of pizza, movies, alcohol and a lot of laughing. Maybe Killian Jones thinks she has no life because she's not having sex with a different person every week, but she knows her friends are better than any disposable date.