“Ms. Albright?” A woman in a severe bun and tight brown suit looked down at me.
She’d caught me trying to use some bathroom paper towels to clean up the coffee mess. It would figure the one time I spend the money on an expensive coffee drink it would get dumped all over me.
I met the woman’s critical gaze with a tight smile. “That’s me.”
“Please follow me.”
Standing from the chair, I followed her retreating form. She walked so quickly I had to practically run to follow her. The woman disappeared into an office. I took a deep breath before entering. She was sitting at a desk piled high with folders.
“Please have a seat.”
I sat in a chair directly in front of the desk. “Thank you for seeing me.”
“Yes, well, we didn’t have a choice. Mr. Newman is quite influential.” She looked down her nose at me.
“Dylan is a longtime friend of mine.”
“Yes, well we don’t normally do this.”
“I understand. Uhm…I brought my internship requirements.” I pulled out a wrinkled and coffee damp paper from the bag I’d brought.
She took the paper with two fingers. I had to hold back laughing because it looked like she would get bit by it.
“I’m sorry for the coffee spill. I had a minor accident coming in.”
“Uh huh.” She glanced at the paper then released a breath. “It looks like the internship you are applying for has already been filled.”
“Oh.” Why the hell would they call me in if it was filled? “Thank you for your time.”
She held up her hand. “Hold on one second please.”
I watched as she turned toward her computer and began typing. The whirring of the printer sounded through the office. She stood from the desk and retrieved the printed papers. When she sat she pushed them toward me. I took them and looked at the job description.
“This isn’t an internship. This is a job that just came through today. I believe you could still meet all the requirements of your degree while doing this job. If not, I’m sure we can work something out with Mr. Hill.”
I blinked at the woman. “Really?”
She nodded. “Does this interest you?”
“Oh my god yes. Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me. Mr. Newman asked me to do everything possible. Consider this everything.”
I made a mental note to send Dylan a mini-muffin basket or something.
“When would I start?”
She went back to typing on the computer then looked at her calendar. Turning toward me she said, “We will need you to begin next week.”
“I will email you later this week with the paperwork you will need to bring on your first day.”
I stood from my chair. “That sounds great. Thank you again, Ms…” Realization struck me that I never learned her name.
“Ms. Wolfington.” I gave a smile and took a few steps toward the door.
“Please be sure to be presentable next week. You now represent Hill Incorporated not some local homeless shelter.”
I glanced down at the shirt I’d pulled over to cover my see-through blouse. It was coffee stained and advertised some sports team. A blush made my face burn.
“Yes ma’am.” I scurried from the office both elated and embarrassed.
“Ian!” I slammed the door behind me. The apartment I shared with my brother was quiet. “Ian?”
“Shh, Skylar. Geezus. What the hell are you wearing?” He asked as he entered the kitchen.
“It’s a long story, but I’ve got good news.”
“Oh, so do I. You go first.”
“I got a job today.” A grin curled my lips.
“That’s awesome, sis. When do you start?”
“Monday. Now, what is your good news?”
“Karen is just about to give birth. That’s why we need you to be quiet. She’s in the process.”
“What is Karen?” Just as I asked the question a ferret walked out of the bathroom. “Is that Karen?”
Ian scoffed. “No. That’s her husband, Bert.”
I really did love my brother but sometimes he took his job way too seriously. He was a vet at a local animal hospital and on any given day we would be housing any number of animals. It seemed we were housing the expecting couple.
“He’s nervous. He’s becoming a first-time father.”
“Is Beth here?”
“Yes. I’m right here. I overheard your news, Skylar. Congratulations.” Beth pulled me into a tight hug.
Beth’s curly blonde hair was pulled into a loose ponytail. She was a natural beauty with ample curves. She’d been my brother vet tech since he’d begun his time at Paws, Claws and Scales Veterinary center. Beth was a dedicated employee and madly in love with my brother. I really wished he’d get his head out of his ass and see her before she was tired of waiting.
“Is everything ok, Beth?” Ian gave her a sweet smile.
“All good, Ian. I set her up in the corner of the bathroom like we did with nugget and burger last month.” Beth smiled back.
My heart ached for her.
“Thanks so much, Beth. I guess I will see you back at the office in about a half an hour.”
She looked dejected. I gave her a sad smile. “Ok. I’ll see you then. Congrats again, Skylar.”
“Thanks, Beth. Don’t be a stranger.”
She grabbed her bag and I think I heard her say, “Maybe I should be more of a stranger.”
When she left, I turned toward my brother. “You’re a fucking idiot.”
“When are you going to see what’s in right in front of you?”
“I don’t get what you’re saying. What’s supposed to be in front of me?”
“You know what I don’t have the time or patience to do this with you right now. I’m going to take a shower then take a nap.”
“Did you spill your coffee today?”
Ignoring his question, I slammed the door to my bedroom. I was so pleased to have my own bathroom in that moment. If I would have had to balance showering and listening to a ferret give birth I’d decide to just take a nap smelling like coffee, men’s deodorant and the sweat of that hot guy that I’d sworn to hate for the rest of my days.