Annie Fanfic Two :) Enjoy!
DON'T OWN ANNIE. SORRY. I KNOW YOU'RE DISAPPOINTED.
"Why must we go through with this? I don't need a secretary, Drake!"
"Maybe if you hadn't lost the million-dollar check, I would believe that, sir," the head butler of the esteemed Oliver Warbucks retorted. "Perhaps if you hadn't scheduled not one, not two, but three appintments on the same day, I would believe that, sir. If you hadn't..."
"All right, that's enough!" Oliver roared, turning slightly red in the face. Unphased, the englishman inclined his head and turned on his heel to march out. The man moved to stop him, but paused and let him go. He was a servant, not a confidant.
Perhaps that was another reason he needed a personal secretary...
"No, no, Oliver. You must stop this nonsense," he mumbled to himself, his fingers reaching across the desk to his pile of unused cigars. "You've done just fine on your own, why hire a personal secretary? Promising the staff you would doesn't mean anything..." Choosing one and lighting it, he chuckled nervously at his own disbelief before placing it within his mouth. Leaning back in his chair, he placed his feet moodily upon the desk.
Handsome, yet already balding at 42, Oliver Warbucks was an established millionaire - soon to be billionaire. He had worked hard to earn it, been a miser and hoarding old man to achieve his dreams. And despite his obvious intelligence...he clearly lacked an organized brain.
Which was why he now found himself in this predicament. A few misplaced odds and ends, unscheduled meetings...unpaid staff...and suddenly the entire household was vying for a "private secretary" position to be created. Generally, most hard-working folks dislike going unpaid, and although they shivered in apprehension each time he entered a room, greed gave them courage as they tried to appraise the values making a personal secretary position could spawn. In their mind, someone to keep track of his estate and, well, everything, would ensure his success. And their certified paycheck.
As he mulled over these points, the scheduled time for meetings with possible future secretaries drew close, and he trashed his cigar with a barely audible, "Damn." It was useless. He could conceive no way to flee the situation, and to him it was hopeless. A lost battle. Now he had to figure out which to choose. Drumming his fingers upon the desk, he watched the antigue clock tick in the corner and peered at the door from the corner of his eye, daring it to open; daring whoever came through to say they were the right person to be personal secretary to The Oliver Warbucks.
As it turned out, only one dared show up. Only one needed to.
As the clock struck two, the door opened. Oliver straightened, a taciturn expression daunting on his facade. Drake, looking smug, declared the arrival of a "Miss Grace Farrell," and then the woman herself stepped into the room.
She was quite young, that was the first thing he noticed. He had been expecting some older woman, a sort of annoying motherly figure who would pounce all over his things like an irritating cat. Yet she didn't seem to be of that sort.
Not at all...
"Good afternoon," she greeted him politely, despite the shaking in her hands, and didn't wait for him to offer before taking a seat and smoothing her blue skirt.
The checklist in his mind quickly checked off a box labeled, Classy.
"I'm Grace Farrell, and I'm here to inquire about the position of your personal secretary. Here is my resume, and some reccomendations from previous occupations."
Her speech was commanding and obviously well-versed, but her voice was soft-spoken. Intelligent.
She eyed him, chewing her lip in apprehension as he pretended to read the documents. Nodding every once in a while, he said, "So, what makes you think you're qualified for this job? I am a busy man, a very busy man. If accepted, you would be working constantly. Are you prepared?"
He listened attentively (something Oliver didn't do all that often) as she explained her impressive records and education. She finally retorted with a dignified, yet courteous air in response to his questioning of her preparation - which was something not too many people did to Oliver Warbucks. Composed.
Soon, the interview drew to a close. Shocked at how much time had passed upon glancing at the clock, he called for Drake to usher her out. They both stood, and he found himself gazing into her eyes for the briefest of seconds.
Something there stopped him short as he reached to shake her hand. Suspended for a moment in the watery depths of her cerulean gaze, he fancied the clarity of her soul. Within that look, he could see a glimpse of who she was: a strong woman, ready with an answer to everything. Neat, polite, courageous - and shy, all at the same time. So, infinitely shy. Hidden behind veils was her own life, withdrawn from the world, and she worked to persuade others of the gentle woman she could be despite that insecurity lurking in her depths.
Astounded by his own realization and confession, he quickly shook her hand. Afterwards, he wished regretfully that he could remember what her skin felt like.
But always he remembered those eyes...
"Drake," he asked the butler later that evening as the man stooped to shine his shoes, "Are there any other appointments scheduled for tomorrow?"
"No, sir," he replied airily, whisking a cloth from his pocket.
"Hmmm...good. Cancel the request. Hire that woman."
"Pardon me?" the butler asked incredulously, uncertain as to whether his employer was serious. Not that he had known him to joke. Ever.
"The one I interviewed today...Grace, that was her name. Grace Farrell," Oliver mused, fingers holding his chin contemplatively.
Yes. She would do for the job.
Yet what she would do for him was something even he did not expect until much, much later.