Hi everyone. Welcome to the new story. It's completely AU and Ruby is definitely not Charlie's daughter or anything. I hope you like the chapter and if you do that you will keep reading. Love, IJKS xxx
Don't mess this up, Charlie Buckton instructed as she faced herself in the mirror. Her father's words echoed in her head and she was desperate to get everything right. If she made one more mistake then her life would be over. And her father would never forgive her.
He had been so proud of his eldest daughter when she had qualified as a police officer. She missed her uniform more than ever and all the hopes and dreams that had come with it. This really was her last chance. She had to try and rectify her mistakes.
Taking a deep breath, she checked her reflection one more time. She was in a smart suit, black with a white shirt, sturdy boots and her hair up in a practical bun to get it out of the way.
"Charlie!" Detective Ross Buckton hollered up the stairs. "You're going to be late!"
His daughter sighed, checked her reflection one more time, grabbed her bags and trudged down the stairs of the home she had grown up in. She had moved out years ago now, branching out in the big, wide world. But then she'd lost her job and everything had gone wrong. The only bonus of her new job was that it was a live in security position, which got her out of the box room. Her little sister, Ruby, had taken over her old bedroom, leaving Charlie with hardly any space at all.
"Are you ready?" Ross asked gruffly.
She nodded, hating the constant expression of disappointment in his eyes.
"Then you'd better be off," he said, patting her on the arm.
Her mother and Ruby came to hug her.
"I'm going to miss you," the younger girl said.
Charlie was twenty one and a planned child of her parents. Ruby had appeared somewhat later as quite the surprise. She was approaching thirteen.
"I'm going to miss you too," Charlie admitted.
Ruby had been the only joy of moving back in with the family.
"You will keep in touch though, won't you?" Ruby checked.
"Of course," Charlie promised, hugging her one more time.
"You need to go," Ross reminded her. "And take your blazer off before you get in the car. You don't want it to be creased when you get there."
"I will," Charlie agreed, heading out of the house and along the drive to her little blue car.
She put her bags in the boot and obediently removed her suit jacket, hanging it up in the backseat on the little hook by the window. She waved to her family who were stood in the doorway, climbed into the driver's seat and took off, just hoping that her future wasn't going to be as difficult as she expected it to be.
An hour and a half later, Charlie pulled up to the large, iron gates of a mansion. She pressed the buzzer by the side of her.
"Collins Residence," came the reply.
"Hi," Charlie said into the microphone. "My name's Charlie Buckton. It's my first day as a security officer."
"Park round the back," the female voice told her.
There was a buzz and the gates opened towards the house. Charlie ploughed on, following the path round and passing a young, blonde boy who was tending the garden. He looked to be around eighteen, good looking and toned with a friendly smile as he waved.
"Maybe this won't be hell on earth," she muttered to herself, although she wasn't convinced. "Just because the gardener's friendly, that doesn't say anything for the rest of the house."
She found a parking space and tried to ignore how out of place her humble car was beside the Mercedes, the Bentley, the Porsche and the Limo. Killing the engine, Charlie checked her reflection in the rear view mirror. She climbed out of the car and grabbed her suit jacket, grudgingly admitting that her father had had a good idea. Leaving her belongings in the car, she walked back round the large building and knocked on the front door.
"Charlie Buckton?" said an older woman with short, dark hair.
"Yes," Charlie said politely, shaking the woman's hand.
"Pleased to meet you," she said. "My name's Irene Roberts and I'm the house keeper here. Mr Collins and his family are expecting you. Follow me."
Next time… Charlie meets her charge and her new colleagues as she is inducted into the house…