The pain that flared up her cheek caused Eleanor to gape in confusion.
Cradling her cheek, she asked, “M-Mr. Swanson, you were the one who hired me!” She sounded aggrieved.
“I hired you?” Douglas let out a snort of disbelief.
“I, Douglas Swanson, graduated from a prestigious university in Anglandur with a doctor's degree. Look at your resume. Who do you think you are? Even a thug's resume would look nicer than yours! You used to suffer from depression, huh? Did that old man make you my assistant to force me to resign? Are you worthy of becoming my assistant?”
Eleanor felt utterly humiliated to be the target of his insulting words.
The belittling Douglas directed toward her made her barely able to breathe, and she couldn't find any words to refute him.
Even a thug's resume will look nicer than mine? Am I that bad?
“Come out right now.”
Douglas grabbed her arm and dragged her out of his office. Eleanor struggled with all her might but couldn't break free from his grip.
They came to a stop at the assistant department, and he pointed at the assistants inside.
“Open your eyes wide and take a look for yourself. All the assistants here graduated from prestigious universities. You lack a suitable educational background and experience. Why do you deserve to be paid five hundred thousand per year?” he demanded.
Eleanor was insulted to the point that she wanted nothing more than to dig a hole and bury herself in it.
She couldn't understand why Bellridge Group offered her five hundred grand when her resume was bad.
Why did Douglas agree to hire me? Is he deliberately humiliating me in front of everyone else?
Bitterness washed over Eleanor. A lump formed in her throat as her eyes turned red.
She would've burst into tears and cried her heart out if she wasn't in public.
Yes, my resume isn't competitive enough. But does that mean you have the right to laugh at me? If possible, I want to succeed, too! However, life isn't fair. I never wanted to get tainted by Emmanuel.
Everyone shifted their attention to Eleanor.
They had heard that Eleanor was the only assistant in the company with an annual salary of five hundred thousand.
That was precisely the annual salary of the assistant department's director.
Thus, everyone was filled with jealousy and hatred. They started chattering among themselves.
“I saw her resume. She doesn't have any experience and graduated from an ordinary university. She lacks the necessary skills. How did she get offered a salary package of five hundred thousand? There must be something we don't know.”
“Well, only those uncouth bosses who like pretty girls would hire an assistant like her. She's got curves and gorgeous looks, after all.”
“Five hundred thousand annual salary, huh? The company gave her that offer, and she accepted it. The cheek of her. I wonder how she got in. This is ridiculous.”
“Why can't she get paid that much?” An icy voice rang from afar. “She works for me, Emmanuel Kirsch. Why doesn't she deserve an annual salary of five hundred thousand?”
Everyone instantly turned to look in the direction of the elevator.
Soon, a man clad in a trench coat and combat boots strode toward them. The tall man exuded a domineering aura that was further enhanced by his calm expression.
He looked like an unsheathed sword, ready to take action any minute.
No one could meet his gaze for more than three seconds.
In an instant, everyone got extremely nervous.
The young employees could barely breathe as his presence was too intimidating.
I-It's Emmanuel Kirsch.
Eleanor's mind went blank as she watched Emmanuel make his way over to her.
She refused to believe that she was Emmanuel's assistant.
The sight of his features caused Eleanor's gaze to grow ferocious.
She balled up her fists and did her best to tamp down her boiling anger.
Despite her unpredictable temperament, Eleanor managed to control her emotions after giving birth to Evangeline.
However, she nearly lost her cool after seeing Emmanuel standing right before her.
The scene of Emmanuel taking her virginity that very year kept flashing across her mind.
It's him. He was the one who ruined my life. He was the reason everyone mocked me and laughed at me.
“The new CEO, huh?” Douglas was used to being arrogant at the company, so he wasn't afraid of Emmanuel. Grinning, he said, “Mr. Kirsch, you said your assistant is worth an annual salary of five hundred thousand, huh? Your performance and educational background aren't as good as mine. My assistant is only paid two hundred thousand annually. Why can your assistant receive half a million?”
“Why, you ask?” Emmanuel's lips curled as he stared at Douglas. “Because she's my assistant. Is that reason good enough for you?”
“Her resume isn't good enough for her to get a job in Bellridge Group. This is an insult to the company. She might be your assistant, but I still insist on firing her.” Douglas refused to give up.
Feeling like a clown, Eleanor nodded gently as a lone tear trickled down her cheek.
Without a word, she spun on her heels and left. She might be in need of money and a job, but she wasn't about to stay behind and get ridiculed.
Most importantly, she refused to be Emmanuel's assistant.
That was an insult to her.
When she walked past Emmanuel, the latter grabbed her wrist and forced her to stand in front of him.
He pointed at Douglas and declared, “If you want to fire her, do that in front of me! Fire her now!”
“You think I dare not do so?” Douglas' breathing grew heavy as he glared at Emmanuel.
“Fire her then.” Emmanuel's face was devoid of expression as he directed an intimidating stare toward Douglas.
Douglas couldn't bring himself to say the words out loud. He regarded Emmanuel with a hard look.
“We might both be CEOs with the same power, but don't force me into a corner,” he warned.
Slap! Without warning, Emmanuel gave Douglas a slap on his cheek.
His action had everyone jolting to their feet in shock.
They couldn't believe Emmanuel had just slapped Douglas.
Douglas' mind was buzzing as he stared at Emmanuel incredulously.
“How dare you slap me?” he exclaimed and dashed forward to get rough with Emmanuel.
He often went to the gym and loved boxing. Thus, he was confident of defeating Emmanuel in less than ten moves.
Alas, Emmanuel sent him flying with a swift kick.
He crashed to the ground instantly. Moaning in pain, he couldn't even summon the energy to get up.
“Mr. Swanson! Mr. Swanson!”
The rest panicked and prepared to dash toward Douglas.
“Stand right there!” Emmanuel roared.
Everyone immediately halted in their tracks and dared not move an inch.
“Remember. This young lady behind me is Eleanor Cabot. No matter what her resume looks like or what her past was, she is now my assistant. I am the only one who can bully her. If anyone of you dares to lay a hand on her or mock her, I'll do whatever I can to ensure you can't survive in this world. I am a man of my word.”
Hearing that, Eleanor couldn't stop the tears from welling in her eyes.
Is this how it feels to be protected?
Eleanor's life was ruined after the horrifying incident eight years ago.
No one loved or cared about her, so she forgot what it was like to be protected.
Emmanuel's authoritarian way of protecting her sent a sliver of warmth across her cold heart that had long been shattered into pieces.
“Come with me.” Emmanuel dragged a dazed Eleanor into his office.