A/N: Everyone, I am so sorry about deleting the whole story of 'Pin Pricked'. I felt like it wasn't going anywhere, so I decided to re-write the whole thing. This time it will not be a sequel; that will come later in another story. Please enjoy this one. Again, I am so sorry.
A loud set of knocks wake me up. I jump out of bed and throw my bedroom door open, finding my best friend, Kate, standing on the other side of it with a huge grin. Damn it, I hate early risers. I am never good in the morning, so Kate is lucky she's the one who can lift my mood in an instant. She's dressed in a pink pencil skirt, a white blouse and silver flats. Her hair is pulled back into a strawberry blonde waterfall held up by an elastic band. I catch a whiff of her perfume and quickly plug my nose.
She frowns. "What?" she asks. "It's just perfume. It doesn't smell that bad."
"No," I say through my hand, "but I think you put on a little too much."
Kate rolls her hand and sticks her hip out, placing a hand on it. She gives me a once over and brushes past me into my room. She opens my closet and starts pulling out pieces of clothing as if she herself had planned my outfit for my first day at Seattle Independent Publishing.
I got the job last month when I went for my interview. I would have gotten sooner had there not been so many summer interns. A week after my interview the Editor, Jack Hyde, had called me to say that a position as his Personal Assistant had become available and if I was still interested, he was more than willing to give me the job. Of course I accepted it on the spot. When I hung up the phone - no word of a lie - I jumped up and down, clapping and squealing my head off; Kate threatened to tranquilize me if I didn't calm down in the next thirty seconds.
It was also exciting to know that Kate would be the Personal Assistant of some CEO at this organization called Grey Enterprises, I don't know and I don't care. But now that this whole thing is actually happening, I hadn't prepared myself enough to get up at seven o'clock in the morning. But thank God Kate was here to help out when she could.
"Get dressed," Kate commanded and left the room, closing the door behind me.
I look at the clothes she tossed out: a black pencil skirt, a black elbow-length cowl neck shirt and black pumps. Not bad, I thought. I quickly showered and got dressed, impressed with what I saw in my full length mirror hanging behind my bedroom door. I looked good and I was hoping to make a good first impression on my boss.
After breakfast I follow Kate down to the underground garage of our apartment building to her Audi A4. We climbed into the car and we were off.
Kate dropped me off out front of the SIP building. When I reached the door, I heard her yell out a 'good luck'. I wave at her and she drives away as I go inside. The lobby is massive and beautiful. The floors are nice, clean and shiny, the walls are built tall. I turn and find the reception desk. I walk over and see an African-American woman on the phone. She smiles and holds up her forefinger and I smile, waiting for her to finish.
I don't know how long I sit around waiting for, but it's a relief when the Receptionist calls out for me. I walk over and offer her my best smile, receiving one in return. Hmm, maybe I could come to like her.
"Good morning and welcome to Seattle Independent Publishing. How can I help you?"
"Um, I'm here to see Jack Hyde," I tell her.
She picks her phone and dials a number. She holds the phone away from her ear and looks at me. "Name?"
Someone must have answered the phone because she immediately begins speaking into it. I take a step or two back from the desk and wait again. After a few minutes I hear the woman call out that Mr. Hyde will be with me shortly. I nod a thank you to her and sit down to wait. I play with my fingers and wonder if Kate is having better luck on her first day then I am. I'm sure she didn't have long to wait before her boss walked her through the paces.
I hear quick footsteps across the floor and look up to see Jack Hyde walking over to me, smiling and offering me his hand. He mumbles apologies for the waiting and ushers me back between a set of glass double doors as he calls out a thank you to the woman who's name I now hear is Claire. I follow Jack into his office and he motions for me to have a seat. He takes a seat in his chair on the other side of his desk and leans over it, threading his fingers together.
"I'm sorry I had you wait, Anastasia -"
"Ana," I cut in.
He smiles. "Ana, right. I'm very sorry - I was in the middle of a phone call." He gives me a once over before locking his eyes with mine. "So," he says, "what do you know about SIP?"
I shrug. "Hardly anything at all." I feel my cheeks burn at the thought of not knowing what I probably should about the publishing house I work for. I should have brushed up on my research before I started.
Jack nods. "Well, we are a highly rated and popular publishing company here in Seattle," he says. "We maintain a strong reputation, so I need to know if I can trust you."
Jack's smile gets bigger. I feel both comfortable and uncomfortable. Comfortable because he's so friendly and welcoming, hardly as ass at all. But I feel uncomfortable because he seems too friendly. But he's my boss and I might be reading too much into this, so I dismiss any discomfort and focus my thoughts on my job.
Jack reaches into a drawer of his desk and pulls out about three file folders. He slides them across his desk towards me. I lean forward and read the names of the stories and the authors. I look up at Jack and he looks expectant at me.
"I need you to read the first chapters on each of these and have a synopsis for each of them," he says.
I nod my head and gather the files. Getting to my feet I open the door and look around the busy office space. Where am I going to do all of this? I turn around to look at Jack and he's dialing a number into his phone. He looks at me, confused for a moment before possibly understanding why I haven't left yet. He points to en empty desk outside his office with a desktop computer and enough space to work on, just like a regular work setting. I set my purse into the bottom drawer of my new desk and begin reading the first manuscript.
This is going to be an interesting experience.