Keeping with my usual tradition, I'll post the first chapter of this story before finishing up the end of The Game, just to get a feel of what you guys think! I hope you enjoy. It's a little different from what I've done before, and unlike The Game, it will definitely be more of a slow burn. I hope to post the next chapter of The Game tomorrow, and then the last chapter later in the week before returning to this one and focusing solely on this.
Let me know what you think!
I straightened my tie for what was probably the fiftieth time, frowning slightly at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. After being in school for five years, I wasn't used to wearing anything other than jeans and a tee shirt, so a suit and tie felt extremely odd. I was lucky to have landed this job, I know I was. I spent four years getting my bachelors and one more getting my master's degree in business, and I was thanking my lucky stars that I had somehow landed a job two weeks after my graduation.
James Hunter was extremely well known, and not just in the business world. His hedge fund company, Hunter & Co., was one of the largest in the world and boasted a portfolio of more than $100 billion in global investments. He also had ties to real estate and the tech industry, driving his own net worth up even higher and diversifying his assets. And by some miracle, I had just been hired as one of his personal assistants.
Being someone's assistant wasn't exactly my dream, but I couldn't deny that it was the perfect way to get my foot in the door. A year working for him would put me in all of the right circles, and I would learn just about everything I needed to know from hands on experience before hopefully getting into something that was more "my style".
Satisfied with my appearance, I finally stepped away from the mirror and grabbed my car keys and a bagel before heading out the door. It was a short drive from my apartment to the Hunter Estate, for which I was thankful. Less time to worry about my first day.
I tried not to gape as the front gates opened and I pulled up to the house, but it was fairly impossible. The house was huge, with a perfectly landscaped yard and a five car garage. I parked next to a fancy black Audi, then took a deep breath and headed up to the house. I grew up in a fairly affluent household, but this was something I had never seen before in person. The house had to be at least 10,000 feet in square footage, plus the guesthouse that was probably as large as the house I had grown up in.
I climbed the steps leading up to the front door and rang the doorbell, and wasn't surprised when it opened immediately.
"Hello," I said nervously, smoothing down my tie. "My name is Edward Cullen, and I was told to ask for Mr. Hunter."
The woman who opened the door stood aside wordlessly, gesturing for me to enter the house. Again, I had to stop myself from gaping at the splendor of the interior of the house, which was richly decorated in what I was sure were priceless pieces.
"My husband is waiting for you," the woman said, startling me. I had thought that maybe she was the housekeeper, not James Hunter's wife. "I'll show you to his study."
"Thank you," I said graciously, and followed her deeper into the house.
I studied her a little more carefully as I followed her. She was a small woman with long, dark hair. She was dressed in a simple black dress and black heels. I hadn't gotten a very good look at her before, but she looked like she was only about ten years older than me, while I knew that James Hunter was in his late forties.
"You can go on in, he's expecting you," Mrs. Hunter said as we approached a set of double doors at the end of the hallway.
"Thank you, ma'am," I said, then headed through the double doors and into my new job.
Mr. Hunter was much like I had expected him to be. He was clearly a shrewd businessman with a no-nonsense attitude, and I could respect that. He explained to me what I would be doing day to day, and while it didn't exactly sound thrilling, I knew I would learn a lot. Mr. Hunter did a lot of traveling for work, and I would be working from his home in the meantime.
He talked to me about his expectations and briefly described my job duties before calling in another employee, Riley, to show me to the room that would be my office.
Riley and I exited Mr. Hunter's study together, and I felt like he could tell I was still nervous.
"The worst part is behind you," Riley assured me, giving me a sidelong look. "I know he's intimidating."
"Definitely," I agreed, letting out a deep breath. "Thanks."
"No problem. I've been working for Mr. Hunter for a few years now. It's great work, he's just a little…eccentric. He doesn't like to be home all that much, which is why he hires a specific assistant to work from here. This will be your office," Riley said, opening a door down the hallway from Mr. Hunter's office.
It was a good sized room with a desk, two chairs, and a huge bookcase. "Your computer is all set up for you, and you'll need to sync the contacts to your phone, too."
I listened as Riley gave me a rundown, as well as a list of projects to work on. He would be working with me for the first week as I got used to things, and would then return to his own office in the Hunter & Co building downtown.
"Do you have any questions about the work?" Riley asked.
"No, it all seems pretty straight forward," I said honestly. "Is there anything else you think I should know?"
Riley shrugged his shoulders. "It would be best if you would stay away from Mrs. Hunter, when you can. Mr. Hunter is…odd about his employees and her. Part of your job will be to run errands or do things for her, but make sure not to linger."
"Not a problem," I said, nodding. "I'll steer clear."
My first week of work passed quickly, and I started to actually enjoy it. The work could be a little tedious, and I ran a lot of errands, but I did feel like I was learning quite a bit already.
Riley had told me that he started out as one of Mr. Hunter's assistants, and now he was working as a junior hedge fund manager with his own small portfolio. It made me feel optimistic about my future in business, knowing that I could rise up within the company over time.
My parents had been a little disappointed when I went into business school instead of medical school; they had always wanted me to follow in my father's footsteps and become a doctor. However, they were still extremely supportive of both me and my brother, Emmett, who was an elementary school teacher. We had been raised to work hard and do our best, and our parents knew that we were hardworkers and tried to be good men.
I hadn't seen Mrs. Hunter at all throughout the rest of my first week at work, which I was relieved about. I knew that I should heed Riley's warning about her, even though I didn't quite understand. However, I had a feeling that I didn't want to find out why Mr. Hunter was so peculiar about his wife or what he would do if I overstepped the boundaries he had set.
Riley returned back to his own office the following Monday, so I let myself into the house through the side entrance, as I had been instructed. The huge house was deathly quiet as I made my way into my office, but I stopped in my tracks when I reached the hallway.
Mrs. Hunter was leaving her husband's office, her arms crossed over her chest. She was wearing a dress again today, red this time, and her long hair was loose around her shoulders. She was beautiful, that was a fact I couldn't deny, but I knew that it was a dangerous thing for me to even think about.
"Good morning," I said quietly, nodding at her.
She glanced at me as she passed by, and I stiffened slightly when I saw that her eyes were red and full of tears. Luckily, though, she didn't say anything and walked past me without even a second glance.
I tried to shake off the encounter and head to my office, but I froze again when I heard Mr. Hunter's office door open again.
"Edward, come in here for a moment," he called, and I took a deep breath. Mr. Hunter was a little scary, and since I'd only been working for a week, I was still nervous. But I went to him, trying to leave my nerves at the door. "Coffee?" He asked, closing the door behind us.
"No, thank you, sir," I said, sitting in the chair across from his desk. He sat down at as well, studying me for a moment.
"I'm heading out of town this afternoon," he began, folding his hands in front of him. "Did you need to ask me any questions before I leave? You've been doing great work so far."
I was a little surprised at his compliments and attentiveness, but I didn't let it show. "Thank you. And no, sir. I think I've got a good handle on things. I'm enjoying it so far."
"Good. Well, I'll be gone for the next week or so, give or take a few days. I'll need you to hold down the fort here while I'm gone."
"Of course," I replied.
"My wife will be here, but I'm sure she'll stay out of your way," Mr. Hunter said, almost conversationally. "She looks quiet, but she can be a real piece of work, so if you're lucky, she won't bother you except for the odd errand or task."
That rubbed me the wrong way, especially because I had been raised to respect women. "I'm sure it'll be fine. I'll keep to myself when I can," I assured him.
"Fine," he said flippantly. "I sent you an email about things I need done while I'm gone, so make sure you take care of that. And of course, anything my wife asks of you. Like I said, she makes herself scarce but every once and a while…" he trailed off, and I just nodded. "Thank you, Edward. You can go now."
I departed quickly, hurrying down the hallway. I pulled the door of my office shut behind me, resting against it for a moment. Something here was out of place, and it made me uncomfortable. I couldn't help but wonder about Mrs. Hunter, and her relationship with her husband. I knew it was none of my business, but clearly, something was wrong between them.
I just hoped that I could stay out of it.
We'll hear from Bella in the next chapter : )
Like I said, make sure to let me know what you think, and thank you for taking the time to read this first chapter! I'll see you guys tomorrow for the next chapter of The Game!