|Author: AlrunaZel||Original Source: Re:Library|
~Chapter 1: The Impossible Task~
Evelyn Princess Summer woke up that morning feeling groggy as usual, she wasn’t much of a morning person but someone had to go to work and pay the bills. She inspected her appearance in the mirror as she prepared for the day, her night-sky blue eyes stared back at her. Her long wavy blonde hair was tied up into a neat bun, the ironed white dress shirt hugged her curves nicely and the dark blue pencil skirt was long enough to reach just under her knees. The outfit was completed with a dark blue lapel jacket and blue flats. She stood about five foot seven inches tall and looked pretty with enough curves to be a model. She adjusted the lapels of her already impeccable jacket before nodding to herself as if psyching herself up for another day of work.
She arrived a few minutes early to Big Smith’s Co. as per her usual, where she had recently been promoted to the position of Financial Manager. Big Smith’s Co was a well-known corporation in California with several branches throughout the state. She liked her work here, she was paid well for the hours she worked and had enough to send back home for her rather hippie family, who had given her a middle name of Princess. The only downside to her job, however, was her current boss, Alexander Cooper.
She greeted some of her coworkers as she entered the building. However, as soon as the receptionist saw her, she was informed that Cooper had requested her presence in his office as soon as possible. This was the first sign of omen because only bad things ever came out of a meeting with Cooper. To say the least, he was a sexual predator, as far as Evelyn was concerned. If reporting him to HR would have helped, she would have done it long ago. But alas, the head of the HR is firmly under his devious charms and boyish grin. Evelyn had a brief thought that just maybe, today he would be more tolerable, she quickly snuffed that idea, because unfortunately, people just did not change overnight.
Outside of Cooper’s office, Evelyn greeted his personal assistant, also her best friend, Avery Oviern, with a bright grin, “Good morning Avie”. Avery was a young attractive woman with wild red mane, green eyes and pale skin, thanks to her Irish heritage. She was about five foot five and always had her hair restrained into a tight little bun to tame her hair. Her usual work attire included pencil skirts and blouses with the top two buttons undone, showing just a little cleavage.
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She was always professional at work and hardly ever smiled during work hours. The two women had become quick friends when they both began working for the firm at around the same time. Evelyn had initially thought that Avery hated her guts due to the curtness of the other woman, but Avery had later explained that she liked to separate her professional and personal lives so she tended to be as impersonal at work as possible.
Avery returned the greeting with a curt nod, “Good morning, Ms Summer, Mr Cooper is waiting for you, you may enter.”
Upon entering the office, Evelyn was bombarded with the pungent smell of male cologne and Alexander Cooper with his bigger than life, better than thou attitude, complete with his smug smile on display. He sat in his plush office chair behind the desk, looking like a king on his throne. He was in his early thirties and his looks could be considered handsome, if not for his attitude. He had gelled back dark brown hair and matching eyes, a fairly attractive face with cleft chin. He was in his usual immaculate suit and tie with matching slacks that appeared as if they just came directly from the dry cleaners.
“Mr Cooper, you called?” Evelyn managed to speak as politely as she could.
“Ahhh, Princess, you always look so fine. Please, take a seat.” He gestured widely with his left arm towards the worn-out office chairs in front of him.
“Thank you, Mr Cooper, but please refer to me as Ms Summer, if you would. Now, what is it that you require of me today?” Evelyn put on her best businesswoman smile, but as forced as it was, it had appeared more like a grimace than a smile. Since she had started working under him, she had asked him repeatedly to never call her by her middle name, but by her last name, he had never once listened.
Cooper did not take any notice of the grimace and gave her a lecherous grin, “You know I always would require your skills if only you would allow me to show you a good time.” He then gave her what he thought was a charming smile that almost made her want to punch him in the face. She clenched her fists together to prevent herself from doing just that. She growled out in warning instead, “Cooper.”
He smirked in that way that showed he was satisfied with himself for getting under her skin as he usually did. She could nearly swear that he took sadistic pleasure in making her uncomfortable. He then chuckled in amusement, “Well, as much as I would love to fulfil your desires, Princess. We have a matter I would like to bring to your attention.”
She bit the inside of her cheeks to prevent herself from saying anything so that she could get this over with as soon as possible and counted to ten in her head. Once she calmed down enough, she took a seat in one of those overstuffed chairs in front of his desk. Upon her perceived obedience, Cooper continued onto his explanation, “So you know how there have been rumors about expanding the reach of our proud corporation?”
It was clearly rhetorical but Evelyn nodded for him to continue anyway. “Well, it is true, the board of directors, the CEO, myself and the other senior managers have decided that to successfully achieve this expansion, we need help.” He paused for effect, “Big help. I’m talking Enfer Enterprise big.”
Evelyn was just about to point out all the things that could go wrong about the idea when he put up one hand to stop her and then pushed on. “Yes, I am aware that Enfer Enterprise is a much too big worldwide multi-billion organization and the possibilities of them accepting a joint venture with us is slim to none. And so far, no one, let me repeat. Not a-one other company has ever managed to work together with Enfer Ent., but there has been too many that had been taken over by Enfer Ent. through its lifetime. And there is a big chance Enfer Ent. could devour us with one tiny bite, there are a lot of risks. But we came to the conclusion that we are doing well, but we could be doing better, and with Enfer Ent. backing us, we could make a big boom! Cha-ching, you know? In the long run, of course. Also, if they did not accept, we wouldn’t lose anything either, so we thought we would take this risk.”
The only thing that Evelyn was amazed about from his speech was how he could say all that in a single breath. She then asked in confusion, “That is an amazing aspiration, I suppose. And a big step for the company but why are you consulting me regarding the matter if it’s already decided?”
“Uh uh uh,” He waved his forefinger in front of her in the general ‘no’ gesture, “That’s where you got it wrong, I did not call you here for your consultation. I called you here so you can take our contract over to the Californian branch of Enfer Enterprise tomorrow.”
With that said, he dropped the envelope with a flourish on the desk. Evelyn just stared at him unamused, she should have known that he had only wanted her to do the courier work, he hardly ever respected her. But she still had to ask, “Why me?” To which he smirked deviously without answering.
“What are you not telling me, Cooper?” Evelyn gritted through clenched teeth. His grin widened like the Cheshire cat when he finally spoke, “Well, as you know, it is nearly impossible for us to ever get an appointment with anyone of importance in Enfer Enterprise in a timely fashion.” As soon as those words left his throat, she had a bad feeling about what he was going to say.
“But I convinced the Board of Directors that if anyone could get an audience with one of them, it would be you because you have connections and charms, you knew the people there. So that’s why we want you to go there tomorrow and ask to see their branch manager immediately!” He exclaimed excitedly as he revealed his masterplan to embarrass her. She obviously did not know anyone of importance in Enfer Enterprise or anywhere, really. She came from a no-name town in Oregon, with hippie parents and an annoying older brother. She really should have known better, he always had it out for her since she started working under him. Although, she still didn’t have a clue as to why he held such animosity towards her.
She would have liked to strangle him, but to preserve her dignity, she forced her grimace-smile and stood up gracefully. He held out the envelope containing the contract to her like a gentleman would, which she accepted begrudgingly. She then marched out of his office, fuming and cursing at him in her mind. Avery pretended not to notice Evelyn’s anger, she called out evenly to her back, “Have a nice day, Ms Summer.”
As if those curt words were a balm to her soul, she suddenly felt just a little lighter, feeling almost as if something patted her gently on the back.