Eric Deslar stretched in his office chair and put his hands behind his head. Yawning, he swivelled to face the empty office just visible through the glass of his door. Punching a button on his desk, he spoke curtly.
"Pam. When is my new assistant getting here? I can't manage to organise all my meetings and run this damn company!"
Pam stuttered a response, praying she wasn't about to be fired.
"I'm sorry Mr. Deslar, I did speak with the company today, and they said they were sending someone over tomorrow!"
Eric pulled his feet off his desk.
"Well what the hell am I supposed to do today?"
He switched off the intercom, cutting the assistant's stuttering off mid-sound. He had six meetings today, back to back, and he had no idea how to get his guest list together, or where he was meant to be or when.
He flicked the intercom button again.
"Just send in someone from the office. That bloke who just retired- somewhere low in the ladder, what was his name, someone in sales… what happened to his assistant? Laid off? Alright- Pam, shut up before I fire you. Call her, and have someone pick her up in 10 minutes."
Christine Daae groaned as her mobile buzzed beside her bed. It was 10 o'clock in the morning, and she'd been rather enjoying the fact that she could sleep past 6. Rolling over, she punched the 'ignore' button on her phone. She yawned and curled into a warm ball, only to be interrupted yet again by the insistent vibrating of her phone.
"Christine? Christine, it's Pam."
She sat up wearily. "Pam?"
"Look, I'm really sorry to bother you, but Mr Deslar's assistant quit yesterday… again… anyway, the agency screwed up. He needs someone in today, can you do it?"
Christine peered blearily at her clock.
"I'm not working for that-"
"He'll pay you well, it's just for today, Christine, please, if I can't get someone in he's going to put my head on the block!"
A threat to Pam was sufficient to drag her out of bed.
"Ok, alright. I'm going in for today and today only. I'll be there in-"
"I'm sending a car to be there in 15 minutes. He's desperate, has all sorts of meetings and trips and can't organise his own shoelaces."
"Alright. Give the driver his schedule for me to look at in the car, and I'll organise it then, how does he take his coffee? Ok, see you in 30."
Rising from her bed, she threw her mobile where she had been laying moments before and headed to her bathroom. She stripped off her silk nightdress- one of the few luxuries she permitted herself on her previously average and now non-existent salary- and stepped under the steaming jets of water.
Washing her hair vigorously, she rinsed, conditioned quickly and soaped her body with her favourite soap. It had come as a set, body wash, lotion and perfume, and she loved the smell of roses following her all day.
Stepping quickly onto her bathmat, she saw she had managed to shower in record time, a meagre 5 minutes, she dried off and lathered herself in her lotion and hurried naked back into her bedroom.
She put on a white lace bra and matching panties, before attaching her silken stockings to her garter. The one benefit of working for Eric Deslar, she had to admit, was that corporate clothes were actually claimable as expenses- Deslar was strangely obsessed with his workers being dressed in the best. Pulling a cream pencil line skirt on, she dragged a white silk blouse out of her closet and buttoned it up while stepping into the matching heels. She grabbed the jacket which completed the set, and threw it beside her mobile on the bed, and found the cream handbag.
Running into the bathroom, she quickly dried her hair as she heard her intercom buzz from downstairs.
"Yeah, I'm going to need 10 minutes, this is impossible!"
"Alright, Christine, we'll blame it on traffic!"
Recognising the voice, she grinned. "Jacob, you're an angel."
"I try. Now hurry up."
She ran the blow drier until her hair was dry, and pulled her brown curls easily into an elegant bun- a habit easy after over a year as a personal assistant to the Sales and Marketing department of Deslar Corporation. A multi-billion dollar corporation, somehow someone as arrogant, rude and even downright nasty as Eric Deslar had managed to build a highly popular and reputable company that the rich and famous went to for everything from cosmetics and apparel to home furnishing and decoration.
She rubbed her lotion and foundation onto her pale, creamy skin, lined her eyes with black, and chose a magenta lipstick to complement the colour she wore. Finishing with smoky eye-shadow and mascara, she sprayed herself with her perfume. On her way out she grabbed a red silk scarf that matched her lipstick and tied it about her throat, put her purse and mobile into her handbag, and rushed downstairs to the driver.
"Jacob, I'm sorry, but I got about 15 minutes warning! And…"
He was looking at her very strangely. "You were worth the wait."
She smiled beguilingly, and stepped to the door he held open for her in the back of the car.
"Thankyou. Where's the devil's schedule?"
Jacob slipped into the driver's seat and handed her a file that was sitting on the passenger's seat beside him. He also handed her a cup of coffee, a croissant, a pack of chewing gum and a pack of mints.
"What did I say? Angel," she smiled, buckling herself in. As he pulled away from the curb, she bit into her pastry and opened his schedule.
By the time they reached the office 12 minutes later, she had managed not only to finish her makeshift breakfast, but make her mouth smell as though she'd just brushed, fixed her lipstick, and written an easy-to-follow plan for Deslar to follow throughout his today. It was numbered, timed, and ruled so that even a slow child could follow it.
As she stepped into the marbled hallway, Pam rushed towards her, looking harried.
"Thank god! He's starting to boil! Here's your access pass for the day, but he's asking for his coffee, and you don't-"
She cut off as a boy wearing a Starbucks uniform entered the building, looked around and made a beeline for Christine.
Christine smiled as he handed her a tall cappuccino. "Thankyou, Paulo. Add it to the account as always."
Pam looked astonished. "You have an account with Starbucks?"
She shrugged. "The people in this office drink a lot of coffee, how can you not have noticed?"
She went to the elevator, Pam at her heels. Once inside, she slipped her security pass into the notch, and hit the button for the top floor.
Christine smiled again weakly.
"You're hiding it well."
"You know, I'd worked here for over a year and I never lay eyes on that man? Hearing only bad stories… he's going to eat us alive if we let him."
"No offence, dear, but I'm staying away from him. Any not-being-eaten will be done by you."
As the elevator doors opened, Pam hurried immediately to her desk on the other side of the building, and Christine squared her shoulders for the confrontation ahead.
Glancing through the windows of the office, she saw a tall figure in a black tailored suit, reclining on an expensive leather chair. His feet were resting on the desk, and his arms were crossed over his eyes.
In that instant, before she remembered his notoriety as a bad boss, and the number of assistants he went through, her first emotion was pity- he looked tired, and worn out, and very alone.
And then the emotion was gone, and she stepped through his office door.
Thoughts everyone? Wrote this a while ago. Have a few more chapters, won't publish unless you R&R
Constructive criticism and ideas welcome, flames not so welcome.