“What? What’s going on?” Ian ran out of his bedroom.
“What the fuck is that?” I pointed to the giant green lizard laying in front of the coffee maker.
Ian yawned. “That’s Ernestine. She had a cough.”
“That didn’t answer my question, Ian.”
“She’s an iguana.”
My eyes widened as the lady lizard squinted her eyes at me. “Can’t they kill you?”
“Uhm…no. She’s harmless.”
The glare the lizard was laying on me was far from harmless. If I turned my back, she would have those sharp claws in my back. I slowly backed away and turned toward Ian.
“Gah! Can you put some clothes on?” I covered my eyes.
“What? Your scream had me jumping out of bed. You’re lucky I pulled these on.” He point to his boxers.
“Too much information, Ian. So, how long will Ernestine be staying with us?” I moved over to the refrigerator to grab an energy drink since coffee was out of the question today.
“Beth should be stopping by shortly to pick her up.”
As Ian finished his sentence there was a knock on the door. I walked over and opened it without looking. No one but Beth showed up at our place before eight a.m.
“Good morning!” She said cheerfully as she dropped a carrier with coffee.
“You are a godsend.” I grabbed the magical elixir and shoved the energy drink back in the fridge.
“I had an idea you’d eep-“ Beth squeaked.
“What’s wrong?” I asked after taking my first sip of the coffee goodness.
Looking at her I noticed her eyes were closed and she turned away from the kitchen. Ian was holding Ernestine in one arm while leaning against the counter. He was still half naked.
“Ian go put some clothes on please.”
“What? Why?” He looked down at himself as if he’d forgotten he was only wearing boxers.
“You’re making Beth uncomfortable.”
“I’m comforting Ernestine. She was having a coughing fit that everyone was ignoring.”
Beth cleared her throat, turned back around but kep her eyes to the ceiling. Holding her arms out she said, “I can take Ernestine. That’s why I’m here after all.”
“No other reason?” I mumbled.
She shot me a glare then went back to counting ceiling tiles. Ian handed over the giant lizard then smiled at Beth.
“Thanks so much, Beth. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Beth dropped her eyes and gave Ian a smile. “Thank you.”
I sipped my coffee as I watched their little moment. For the shortest of moments, I thought I was finally going to witness my brother seeing what has been in front of him. Instead, he smacked Beth on the shoulder as if she were one of his bros.
“I’ll see you in the office in an hour.” Ian disappeared from the kitchen leaving Beth, Ernestine and I wondering what it would take for him to get a clue.
Beth sighed. “Well, I guess I should get going.”
She bent down and placed the lizard into a carrier I hadn’t seen her bring in. Standing she straightened her spine and got ready to leave.
“He’s an idiot. You deserve better.”
“That’s your brother.”
“Yeah and I know better than anyone that you can do better than that oblivious moron.”
Beth looked toward the area where Ian had disappeared. “He’s a wonderful man.”
Biting my lip, I took a deep breath. It was time for some tough love. “How long has it been, Beth?”
Without looking at me she said, “Six years, forty weeks, three days and twelve hours but who’s counting.”
“Yeah. Who’s counting? Well, I don’t know if Ian is ever going to get a clue. You’re a wonderful woman who deserves happiness. You should have someone who makes you feel loved and makes you scream between the sheets.”
“Sky!” She exclaimed with a blush.
“Hopefully you aren’t yelling that. That’s just weird.”
Beth stuck her tongue out at me. “I’ve gotta go.” She turned to leave but stopped before opening the door. “I’m going to tell him.”
“I’ve gotta shoot my shot.”
I nodded. “Good luck.”
She gave me a sad smile then left. Letting out a deep breath, I took another sip of coffee and looked at the clock. Panic surged through me. I needed to finish getting ready for my first day. Running out of the kitchen, I gathered everything I need for my first day at Hill Inc. It was going to be a great day. I just knew it.
“This is where all the supplies are kept. Believe me. This is one of the most important places for us.” Edie said as we passed a closed door.
“Really? We go through a lot?”
She laughed. “Not really but we need to be prepared for anything. Mr. Hill isn’t going to know where any of that is.”
“Edie!” A man in a black suit approached us. “I thought you were leaving us? Shouldn’t you be retired and hugging those grand kids?”
“I’m staying through Ms. Albright’s first day.” Edie turned toward me then said, “Ms. Albright this is Mr. Hill.”
I looked up into his handsome face. The twinkle in his eye as he appraised me told me everything I needed to know about him. He was a player. He probably bedded every woman in the building. I straightened my spine and stuck out my hand.
“Nice to meet you Mr. Hill. I’m anxious to begin assisting you.”
Mr. Hill raised an eyebrow and took my hand in his. “Nice to mee you, Ms. Albright. I look forward to you assisting me.”
Edie cleared her throat as I pulled my hand away. “Wilder.” She said flatly.
“Yes, Edie.” Mr. Hill didn’t break eye contact. In fact, a grin curled his lips. It was a grin he’d used on women before. Practiced and perfected just to get women to do what he wanted.
“She’s Eason’s assistant. Hands off.” She snapped.
“I’m not his assistant?” I asked.
Edie shook her head. “No. This rogue has his own assistant.”
“Looks like I’m going to have to visit my brother more often.” Mr. Wilder Hill winked.
“Mr. Hill! Mr. Hill!” A breathless male voice called.
Wilder Hill rolled his eyes. “Yes, Seb?”
“Mr. Kline is on the line. He said it’s urgent.”
“Fuck me. Alright, I will be right there.” He turned toward me and bowed. “Until we meet again, Ms. Albright.”
Edie and I watched as he followed his assistant down the hallway.
“I’d warn you away from him but that boy has a way with the ladies.”
“That won’t be a problem.”
Edie lifted an eyebrow in question. “You have a husband?”
I snorted. “No.”
“Fiancée or boyfriend?”
“No. I’m just not interested in what he’d need assistance with. You can be rest assured, I am here to work not romance.”
Edie smiled. “Let’s finish this tour and get you to meet the Mr. Hill you will be working with.”
We walked toward an office with darkened windows. It looked like all the lights were off. Edie continued to explain each of the offices and their occupants as we passed. My nervous butterflies began to flutter so fast I thought I’d begin vibrating.
“This will be your desk. For this week, I will be joining you here. I will call IT to make get you access to everything you need. They should already have things-“
“Edie? Are you out there?” The intercom on the desk squawked.
“Yes, Mr. Hill. I have your new assistant here. Are you available to meet her?”
“Sure. Bring her in.”
He sounded less than enthusiastic to have me around. Wonderful. One brother was going to be a pain in the ass with his flirting. The other brother was going to be an arrogant prick. I had to remind myself that it didn’t matter. This job was a stepping stone for my degree. Nothing was going to distract me from that.
“I’ll bring her in.” Edie smiled at me.
“Should I grab a tablet or anything?”
“No. I don’t think he will have anything for us yet this morning. Like you, he’s still getting his feet under him in the position.”
Edie stepped away from the desk and approached the door. I followed close behind.
“Mr. Hill this is Ms. Skylar Albright. Ms. Albright this is Mr. Eason Hill.” Edie introduced.
“It’s nice to-“ Words stopped as my new boss turned in his chair.
“Fuck me.” We said together.