Let me tell you a brief story of my life. To start, my name is supposed to be Kiera Trinity Mallory, but the registrar might have been cross-eyed or drunk. Now my name is officially registered as Kiara Trinity.
Number one. I am the only child of Zoey and Logan Mallory. I always dream of having a sibling, but I didn’t get a chance to have either a brother or a sister. I felt jealous every time I saw my friends with their brothers.
Two. I have frizzy red curly hair that looks like orange in the sun and like instant Chinese noodles. I always got bullied when I was a kid because of my hair. No matter how mom tried fixing it with a hundred hair clips, it wouldn’t just stick together. I got plenty of freckles all over my face. I’m sure you know how my face looks like.
My eyes are maybe my best asset—they’re green like a tropical forest, but many girls have green eyes too. Dad loves me so much he calls them emerald. My lips? Just ordinary. Okay, maybe red and full because I have pale skin that makes them stand out?
I’m not tall neither short—just an average, I guess. I lack in chest size, but I don’t have to use the push-up bra that women are using these days to show off cleavage.
So much about my physical appearance. Well, one thing I suck at? Numbers. Who loves numbers, anyway? I hate it because it just gives me a terrible headache at the end of the class.
Thank God, I passed and graduated from college with a Business Management major in Finance. Well, I have to shift my love of Art to Finance to prove that I can still function and solve numbers without his help.
Don’t raise your brows because I have good eyebrows that my friends envy me for that. Thank God, they’re not red.
I was one of the luckiest students to get a full scholarship sponsored by Hughes Industries. Though my parents work with them until now, I do believe that I still deserve the Scholarship program.
Another suck—my best friend since grades school hates me to death. He broke my heart, and I cried for months. Not only because he hates me, but because he’s been my crush since I learned how to walk. Funny, right?
I never had a boyfriend until my senior year in college. Well, that was a year ago. I met Oli, and we clicked right away like jigsaw puzzles until he asked me out.
Everything was perfect. We laughed, we fought, we reconciled, and we made love. He was so perfect. He was caring, loving, and thoughtful until he proposed. Did I say yes? Of course, I loved him, and he was my first boyfriend and everything, but he was not my first kiss.
But like I said before, life sucks! I found out that he was suffering from leukemia. No matter how I cried my eyes out every day and night, nothing is going to change the fact that he is dying.
Oli died six months ago when we were about to set a date for our wedding. See? Fate is just playing with me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my life.
I’ve got great parents and great best friends. I love them so much. But my life is about to be doomed when I heard a month ago that Mr. Peter Williams is retiring. I’ve been working with him as his assistance since I started my internship. I’m about to get a real position in the finance department at Hughes Industries.
“K! Sorry, I’m late.” My head snaps to the brunette five foot eight inches gorgeous woman wearing a light pink Dior dress, blue Louboutin stilettos with her blue Manolo Blahnik clutch bag. I stand from the chair to meet her.
“It’s just like two minutes and twenty seconds, Lizzy,” I say after our girly kisses. Did I mention who Lizzy is? The heiress of Hughes. Well, she’s the boss’s daughter. She runs the marketing and advertising department and my ex-best friend’s big sister.
“Where’s Saph?” she asks, sitting across the table.
I notice her driver/bodyguard always on full alert like one of the Men in Black agents.
“She texted me half hour ago. She said she’s on her way.”
Lizzy chuckles. “Maybe she fought with her twin again. I heard from uncle Phoenix that Xandry doesn’t like Matt.”
“Oh, I don’t like him too, but who am I to judge. Saph likes him, though.” I sip the caramel Frappuccino that I ordered while waiting for Lizzy to arrive.
“I don’t think Saph is serious with him. You know her. She has a thing with bad boys, and he isn’t one of those,” Lizzy replies, then she looks at me as if she wants to say something.
“What?” I ask.
“You know he’s coming back, right?” I freeze in my seat. I feel my surrounding is suddenly getting smaller. I feel claustrophobic, and I shiver as if I just soak into a tub full of ice water. I nod slowly.
“I’m sorry, K,” she says sincerely, reaching out for my hand.
“It’s okay. I can handle him as I did before,” I tell her as I toy with my engagement ring. I never take this off even Oli was long gone. It reminds me of him.
“That was three years ago, K.”
“four years ago, Lizzy,” I correct her.
“But you will work with him eight hours a day. Five days a week.”
“And?” I ask.
“You’re both kids at that time, and it’s been years since the last time you two see each other,” she pushes.
“What’s your point? And we’re not kids this time, Lizzy. We’re both adults.”
“When was the last time you check his social media account?” she asks with scrutinizing looks.
“Almost four years ago,” I answer slowly with hesitation in my voice. “After he left. Why?” I never checked anything has to do with him after that. I know his password, but I never tried even to check if he changed it or not.
“See? That’s what I mean,” she says before sipping her green tea.
“He still hates me, and I’m sure he will make my life in living hell. Ms. Mallory, make my coffee, bring my dry clean, send this, do this, arrange dinner with, fax this, do my presentation, oh, did my whore call? Go fetch my dog, feed ducks, get me a copy of Jack Reacher’s first edition. Oh, Ms. Mallory, did I tell you—”
Lizzy laughs until she turns red while holding her flat stomach as I mimick her brother’s voice.
“He might have changed his accent into a bloody Brit.”
“Meh, he’s still the same annoying Bash, but I love him, you know? I hope he’ll break up with that bitch Dana before he comes back. I don’t like her for my brother.”
My heart has been stabbed like a thousand times every time she mentioned that name.
I hate the letter D. Ugh!
“It’s all my fault that he hates me, Lizzy, and I can’t blame him if he will torture me at work,” I say guiltily. I’ve cried to sleep when he literally threw me out of his life that night. I was beyond broken.
“I don’t think he is that immature to mix the misunderstanding you had before with work. He’s grown up, K.”
“I don’t think he’s even pleased to see me. Does he know that I’ll be his temporary assistant?”
She shakes her head.
I text Lizzy that I couldn’t make it to the welcome party because I had to visit Oli for our 1st anniversary. I know it sounds lame because I went in the morning, and the party was not until almost midnight. But to be honest, I’m not ready to face him. I still feel guilty until now.
I look at the mirror one last time. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I’m bracing myself to whatever Bash is going to throw against me as soon as he figures out that I’ll be working with him for eight hours every day for weekdays. I’ve been practicing my speech since yesterday after arranging his schedule.
I get out of the ladies’ room while wiping my sweaty palms on my skirt. I’m breathing deeply like every ten seconds.
What’s wrong with me?
Pretend like he is your new boss and is an arrogant prick who hates women, K.
A text from Lizzy.
LIZZY: He’s in the elevator now.
After a few minutes, I’m done arranging the file, and that’s when the door swings open. When I think I am ready to face him again, it’s total bullshit. I’m never going to be ready. Ever.
Relax. Just play cool.
No, I can’t!
Oh, boy! He isn’t the young Bash, my best friend once for years. He’s changed a lot! I should have followed what Lizzy has told me. To check out his social media, or likely to stalk him so that I won’t be swooning in front of him and front of my effing boss.
Bash Hughes is hotter than the molten lava and like an effing sun in summer!
Our gazes meet. There’s a surprising look in his gray eyes.
Doesn’t he suppose to know that I’m his personal maid now?
He calls my name Trinity. He’s the only one who calls me by that name, and if I’m being honest, I really miss it. I miss that coming from his mouth. I miss his voice. I have to blink many times to push the thought out of my head.
I greet him. To call him by that name, it feels like I just swallow a fish. And I hate fish. It’s nasty.
His beautiful brows furrow.
I continue, “I hope the interior fits your liking, but we can still request and change—”
He raises his hands to stop me from babbling like an idiot, showing me his long fingers.
My heart pounds in my chest. I feel my face heat when our gazes meet again. I have to break it because Bash is hypnotizing me with those gray orbs that I once took a closer look at.
My lips dry instantly.
“You didn’t come to the party my family threw out for me two days ago,” he says in a low voice.
Is he expecting me to be there? Wow!
I grab some files on top of his desk that I placed them perfectly. I grab the iPad where I saved all his appointment and my notes. I’m not supposed to do that, but I can’t just fidget in front of him or gawk at him for the rest of the day. I hug them to my chest to somehow calm my racing heartbeat.
“I sent Lizzy a message that I couldn’t come,” I reply nonchalantly, then I continue to avoid stuttering, “So, as you know, I’m your new assistant; temporarily, and my office is just adjacent to yours.” I point at the door to his left. I look at him like he’s my man-whoring boss who cheated on his girlfriends.
I tap on his schedule on my iPad—it’s company property.
“You have a meeting in less than ten minutes.” I look at his schedule and read it to him like a normal assistant-boss conversation.
“Trinity, just leave the meeting for a while, can you?”
I swallow hard when he moves closer to me. I feel everything around me disappear, and the tension between us radiates.
“Okay, you’re the boss. I placed all the paper works that was left by Mr. Peter Williams,” I agree.
“I’m not interested in that either,” he snaps.
I almost collapse. Oh, lord, please? Give me some magic to turn into an ant or at least a portal to transport me to the other world.
“What happened to you, Trinity?” he asks, looking at me intensely. I can’t help but amaze at how he looks so handsome right now.
“What happened to me?” I ask back, pointing at myself. “Nothing bad happened to me, Mr. Hughes. If you don’t want me as your assistant, by all means, please, just ask HR for my replacement,” I answer with a firm voice.
Thank God! I don’t stutter like I always do when I get nervous.
“That’s not what I mean,” he says. I act like I’m not affected; it hurts though, and I want to die right now.
“Stop calling me Mr. Hughes. You’re my best friend.”
“Were. Ex-best friend, Mr. Hughes. You are my boss, so it’s only proper to address you as—” I answer quickly, but he interjects.
“I am your boss, so do as I say.” He sounds intimidating.
Crap! He’s angry.
“Sure,” I answer, defeated. I look down at the empty chair in front of me. I place down the file that I took as my shield.
“I came to see you before my flight to the U.K, but you were not there. You went to your grandparents in Boston.” He starts talking, and I can’t help but listen to his deep baritone voice—his sexy voice. I miss it.
“I wanted to apologize that day and take back our friendship, Trinity, but you didn’t even answer my calls nor replied to my messages,” he continues.
“It doesn’t matter. That was four years ago.” I continue my facade.
He snorts. “That’s it? I mean, you just wasted our friendship for years with just one mistake I made, and you made mistakes too, Trinity.”
I face him. The last time I checked, he was the one who yelled at me and pushed me away from his life. “I don’t want to be your friend, Bash, Can’t you understand that? Your friends, classmates, and girlfriends thought I was just your slave. I’m a dog under your leash. Your personal maid!” Boss or not, I don’t care.
I could lose the job that I love, but he keeps pushing me like it was my mistake alone.
“Did I listen to them even once? How many times did I fight for you against them? How many times did I choose you against my girlfriends? How many times did I defend you against those freaking losers, Trinity? How many times?” His voice makes me want to sink into the floor.
“I don’t care. I have friends now. I’m sure you made friends with Brits.” And you have a Brit girlfriend.
“You’re such an immature!” he snaps.
“You’re an asshole!” Oops! I shouldn’t have said that.
“Watch your tone and your language when you’re in my office, Trinity. I’m still your boss.” Crap! He sounds angrier. And just his voice almost makes me jump. He did really change a lot. He’s more intimidating, more mature, and hotter. I don’t mean that last word.
“My apology, Mr. Hughes,” I say silently by force.
“Don’t I get a welcome back hug?” he asks with a soft voice this time. My head almost snaps as I look up at him.
This man is unbelievable.
“That’s inappropriate. Meeting in less than four minutes, Mr. Seb Hughes will introduce you like the new CFO.” I didn’t realize he moves closer to me and grabs the iPad from my hand forcefully.
“Dinner with Luke; to discuss the engagement?” He taps it and reads slowly. He almost drops it to the floor before he throws it to the empty chair that serves our gap. I watch his jaw clench and breathe so deep before he walks away without a single word. The last thing I hear is the slamming of the door behind him.