Beautiful Bastard : Chapter 1
ONE – BEAUTIFUL BASTARD
“Shit,” I mumbled to myself. I knew the moment I woke up this morning that my day was going to suck. Sitting in my car, I tried to peer around the huge SUV in front of me. What the hell is the problem? I had been stuck in the same spot on this forsaken freeway for ten minutes now.
And that was ten minutes more than I had.
I looked at the clock again. Shit.
I sighed and glanced out the window, my eyes meeting those of the driver next to me. The forty-something man flashed me a creepy smile and mouthed the word
‘nice’, Ew. Why did men have to be such pigs? I leaned my head back on the seat and let out a long sigh, thinking back on the debacle that had begun my day.
I had woken to the blaring sound of My Chemical Romance playing through the speakers of my alarm clock. I moaned, burying my head in my pillow, and
reached over to fumble with the controls.
But the sound didn’t quiet, it got louder.
What the hell? I leaned farther to pull the cord out of the wall, and fell out of bed.
Unfortunately, the clock and everything else on my nightstand table came tumbling with me.
Oh no! My Blackberry! My now empty glass of water lay next to my sopping wet phone. Panic started to set in as I held the dripping phone in my hand. I was dead.
My whole life and Mr. Ryan’s entire schedule was in this thing. I took a deep breath, willing myself to calm down.
Maybe it would dry out and be fine, I told myself . Yea right. Because water and expensive electronic devices go so well together.
I silently prayed that I had remembered to back it up before leaving last night. But after remembering the day that I had yesterday, I was almost positive I’d forgotten. My boss, Bennett Ryan, had been in a particularly nasty mood, and had spent the majority of his day barking out orders and slamming his door. The man was a first class jerk. He had taken over for my previous boss nine months earlier, and was just as big a pig now as he was the day he started. Usually it didn’t bother me, I hadn’t gotten where I was by having thin skin. But that day I had been wearing my brand new Michael Kors dress, a huge shopping splurge and was feeling
particularly good about myself. His tantrum had me ready to hire a hit man by the time six o’clock came around.
I sighed when I realized that I would have to spend my lunch hour getting a new phone. Great. I somehow managed to pull myself out of my internal rambling and get myself ready for the day. Of course the coffee maker died, and my keys had fallen into the couch cushion, but somehow, I managed to make it to my car only running a few minutes behind. That was of course until the accident.
It took almost an hour for me to finally make it past the wreck that was blocking three lanes of traffic, condensing the entire freeway down to one. And by the time I made it to the office, I was officially an hour late. Normally I would have called, but my phone was still at home, lying in a pile of water and tear soaked paper towels at the bottom of my bathroom garbage.
I knew I was going to get shit for this, even though I prided myself on always being at least fifteen minutes early for work, and had never been late once. Until today. Just because he was that much of an jerkface.
Mr. Bennett Ryan. I rolled my eyes as the name passed through my thoughts; I couldn’t stand the man. He was the most self-righteous, pompous jerk I had ever met in my life. I’d listen to all of the other women in the office whisper and giggle about him because even I had to admit, he was drop-dead gorgeous. But if you had any common sense, you realized early in life that beauty is only skin deep, and ugly goes straight to the bone. I’d had my fair share of unpleasant men in the past few years; dated a few in high school and college. But this one took the cake.
“Well, well, Ms. Mills, and what time is it in your little world today?” he asked in a condescending tone as I stepped into the office. He was standing in the doorway of his own office across the room from me, looking as gorgeous and arrogant as usual. He was about 6’2”, and had a body like a marble sculpture. I had made the mistake of visiting the hotel gym during a convention the first month we worked together, and walked in to find him sweaty and shirtless next to the treadmill. That image was forever burned into my brain. But of course, he had to ruin it by opening his mouth, “It’s nice to see you finally taking an interest in your physical fitness, Ms. Mills.” Scumbag. He had a face that any male model would kill for and the most incredible hair I’ve ever seen on a man. Sex hair. That’s what the girl’s downstairs called it, and according to them, it earned its name.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Ryan. There was an accident on the freeway, and I got here as soon as I could. It won’t happen again, sir,” I said in a polite tone with just a hint of bite, even though my fingers were practically twitching with the desire to gouge out those pretty green eyes of his.
“You’re right, it won’t,” he replied with that co**cky smile that made my stomach both turn and leap at the same time. If only he would keep his mouth shut, he’d be perfect. A piece of duck tape across the mouth would do the trick and then I wouldn’t mind the daydreams I would have about us; in the supply room, on his desk, on my desk, sprawled out on satin sheets…. “And just so you don’t allow this incident to slip your memory, I want that as**signment I put on your desk this morning completed and on my desk by six. Then you’re going to make up the hour lost this morning making your presentation in the conference room with me.”
My eyes widened as his voice broke me out of my now long forgotten thoughts, and I watched him turn away without another word, slamming his office door behind him. What. A. Pig. He knew bloody well that a presentable ad campaign could not be done in… I looked at my watch. Great, seven and a half hours, if I skipped my lunch. I tossed my purse under my desk and sat down to turn on my computer mumbling under my breath as I opened the file folder on my desk. Well at least it was a simple shoe ad, not too hard to think of a tagline for. But still he’d given me an unrealistic time limit.
Have I mentioned lately that my boss is a pig?
As everyone else began filtering out for lunch, I sat at my desk with my coffee and bag of Ritz Bits I’d grabbed from the vending machine on the way back from the ladies’ room. Normally I would bring my lunch or leave with the other as**sistants to grab something, but time was not on my side today.
Just as I was grumbling about
malnutrition, I heard the outer office door open. Looking up I smiled as my friend Angela walked in. Angela had worked for Ryan Inc. almost as long as I had. She was sweet and kind and one of my favorite people here. “Ready for lunch, Chloe?” she asked, smiling sweetly.
“Angela I’m sorry, I know I promised, but this has been the day from hell. There is absolutely no way I can make it.” I looked at her apologetically, as her smile turned into a smirk.
“Day from hell, or boss from hell?” she leaned down and snickered. Angela knew all about Bennett
“the snake” Ryan. He was a living
legend in this building. No one argued with him if they wanted to keep their job.
Hell, if I wasn’t so good at my job, I wouldn’t be able dish back half the shit I did.
“You’ve got the last part right,” I replied. Blowing my bangs out of my eyes, I let out a big sigh. “Look I am absolutely swamped. You guys go on ahead without me.”
“But…” She tried to argue.
“Angela, there’s just no way. Even if I work clear till seven, I still don’t think I’ll be able to get this finished in time. I really am sorry and I promise to catch you guys next time.”
“Alright. But don’t you let that moron boss you around. He’s lucky to have you and he knows it. We all know who really holds all the cards here, Chloe.” Angela smiled and left the office.
This was going to be a long day. I noticed for the third time in as many hours my thigh highs had started to slip. I always made it a point to dress impeccably for work. My hair always started up in a stylish twist, although by the end of the day, my curly hair was usually fighting its way free. And thanks to my best friend Alice, my clothes were fashionable, yet professional. She insisted I was made for the “hot secretary” look. So my wardrobe consisted mostly of pencil skirts and feminine blouses and blazers, simple jewelry and of course, again thanks to Alice, the best shoes money could buy. I had always hated wearing heels, but she had taught me that pricier ones tended to be better quality and were more
comfortable to wear. I hated to admit it, but she had been right. And my closet was now home to several pairs of sexy
designer shoes. The one thing I hated, were my glasses. I always felt like such a dork in them. But contacts never worked for me, and I couldn’t read without them.
So Alice had helped me pick the perfect pair that in her words “completed the look”.
As I bent under my desk to try and straighten my hose, I felt someone approach. Not looking up, I spoke, “Look Angela, I told you…” I stopped when I finally glanced up and saw that it wasn’t Angela standing there. My cheeks flushed red and I pulled my skirt back down over my stockings. “I’m sorry Mr. Ryan I…” but he cut me off.