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Perfect Deception

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Annie struggled to move on from a failed relationship and tried to love again, but it seemed impossible when she found herself falling for her cold and strict devilish handsome boss. *** Annie worked as a baker in a bakery until it, unfortunately, got sold out, making her lose her job in the process. Just with a slice of luck, she got hired as a personal caretaker for a volatile billionaire who was in a wheelchair. Soon, she found herself falling for her boss, Mr. Lawson, but his arrogance and coldness made her withdraw from him. He was a flame that ignited the memories of everything she needed to forget of her past: the betrayal, the departure, the pain, the deception and the broken promises. So, they had to deny the attraction they shared especially when things got out of hand. But how long can they keep up with this perfect deception?

Chapter 1

Growing up, everyone told me life wasn't always easy and I shouldn't blame myself if mine was a struggle. So, everyday, whenever I woke up, I reminded myself it wasn't my fault my father abandoned us. It also wasn't my fault a man broke my heart and left me pregnant with his child.

I sighed and took my eyes off the letter in my hands. Everything changed the moment I traveled out of LA. I folded the piece of paper, it was so old that it might tear if I wasn't careful. It had been four years since he sent this letter. I should have burned it a long time ago; everything written there was empty promises.

I kept the envelope in my clutch and tried to focus my attention on something else. I brought out my phone and checked the time.

"Ma'am, aren't you getting down now?"

I raised my head and saw the bus driver. "Yes?"

"We are at the last bus stop."

"Oh."

I looked around and noticed I was the only passenger still in the bus. Gosh, when did the bus even stop? I quickly picked up my clutch and got down.

The driver smiled at me. "Have a nice day, ma'am."

I sighed. Nice day? I hoped so.

I walked the familiar path to the bakery where I worked as both a baker and cashier. The bakery only had three workers so we worked in different categories.

Tessa, my co-worker, was decorating some delicious cupcakes when I walked in. There was a peck of flour on her curly hair and her small lips tightened as she concentrated on her job. She had a small body build which made her look five years younger than her actual age. Well, she used it to her advantage whenever she flirted with men.

She smiled at me as I dropped my clutch on the counter. "Good morning, Ann."

"Good morning, Tessa."

The corner of her mouth quirked. "You are late."

"Yeah, the bus stopped a little bit far from my destination so I had to walk here." I said. "You look stressed."

"I sure do," she puffed, " Mr Weston just ordered three boxes of strawberry cupcakes and I'm trying to meet up with the delivery time."

Mr Weston was one of our regular customers and he always ordered in large quantities.

She took an apron from the hanger and passed it to me. I grabbed it and wore it quickly.

"Hurry, Annie!" she exclaimed. "Let's start mixing the batter."

"Okay, I'm coming."

I brought out the bag of flour and took some scoops from it. I poured it into a bowl and looked around for Matthew who was also a co-worker. He used to clean up the bakery before it opened.

"Matt isn't in the shop." I turned to Tessa. "He went for delivery?"

She shook her head. "No, he called in sick today."

Matthew was a sickle cell patient, he usually felt sick almost every week.

"I hope he gets better," I said.

Tessa nodded. "Me too."

The work was much for us since Matthew wasn't around. He usually served the orders, while Tessa and I baked and placed the orders on the counter.

Although the bakery was small, it had huge customers every day. Tessa agreed to serve the orders, while I placed it on the counter. Soon, people were already entering the bakery and not quite long, the bakery was buzzing with customers.

I rubbed my palm against my floral apron and took my favorite glove from the counter. I wore it and put a new set of cupcakes in the oven

I loved to bake. I used to bake with my Mom when I was young. Then, we would gather around the kitchen island mixing the batter and laughing at each other's jokes. I swallowed hard and dismissed the thought. Such memories were long forgotten and only brought painful thoughts. It was before everything changed.

I arranged the other baked cupcakes on a tray; it was a mixture of strawberry and vanilla. Tessa stopped at the counter to get the new orders. She studied the cupcakes. It was appetizing and delicate with an airy tender texture; it was a little moist and had an appealing appearance.

"Nice work, Annie," She gave me a thumbs up. "Those cupcakes look tantalizing."

I gave her my best smile. "Thanks."

Tessa winked and went to deliver the customer's orders.

⚜⚜⚜

By 8:00 pm, there weren't any more customers. Normally, Tessa and I usually cleaned the bakery before going home, but Tessa had gone for a date so I had to do the cleaning alone.

I changed the signboard on the door and started cleaning the bakery. I calculated the total sale of the day and kept it in the safe. I was mopping the floor when the doorbell rang. I raised my head and saw a man in a corporate designer suit entering the bakery. The man stopped and observed the bakery. It was obvious it was his first time in the bakery.

I gulped when my eyes met his. His eyes were so captivating, like a magnet, it pulled me close. He raised his eyes observing me slowly. I shivered and felt goosebumps on my skin. He was in a wheelchair. His relaxed chiseled face and well built body exhibited principle and pride. The suit was made of fancy wool and his wristwatch was of refined quality. He must be a wealthy man, I assumed.

I looked at him closely. His well craved eyebrows were nicely set above his gray eyes. Those eyes looked so familiar, it reminded me of my past. My mistakes, my pains, my feelings, and everything I had wanted to forget of my past.

I studied him closely. Could he be him?

A lady was walking beside the man as his wheelchair rolled automatically towards a seat by the right angle of the bakery.

I paused.

Wait, didn't they notice that we are already closed?

I dropped the mop and approached them. I was already stressed from the day's activities. There was no way I could take more orders.

He picked the menu on the table and observed it.

I gulped and fidgeted with my hands. I was nervous being around him, his appearance made me feel so self-conscious. I rubbed my sweaty palms on my apron. I built up my confidence and looked at him.

"Excuse me sir. Sorry to bother you, but we are closed for today." I told him, expecting him to leave with his girlfriend or whoever she was. I took a second look at the lady and noticed she looked familiar. I have seen her in some movies. Suddenly, I remembered. She was the famous actress Violet.

How could I not recognize her? She was madly famous.

"Two French rolls and a cup of hot tea," his husky voice sent shivers down my spine.

I shook my head, maybe he has a problem with hearing correctly, I just told him the bakery was closed, can't he understand that!

"What?" I asked, slightly confused. "Pardon me sir, I believe you don't understand what I just said. We are closed for today." I pointed at the door. "You can see the closed sign board at the door"

He dropped the menu and glared at me. "What's your name?" He looked at my work tag pinned to my shirt. "Annie?" He stared elsewhere and shook his head. "I'm not surprise, most Annie's are stupid and very frustrating to work with."

My expectations flew out of the window as I realized Rick would never regard me like this.

His words hit me so hard. I took a deep breath, calming myself. Patience Annie, you need this job. Just ignore him, he is a scumbag. Do your job and leave him alone.

"You should leave right now." I said calmly trying to suppress my anger.

He shook his head and scoffed. "You must be deaf or something."

I arched my brow, irritated. "What do you just say?"

He looked at me with a stern facial expression. I'm very sure he wasn't used to people asking him questions.

"I don't repeat myself," He declared with so much authority.

I eyed him disbelieving. Who the hell does he think he is?

I let out a fake gasp and covered my mouth acting surprised. "Oh, really? I guess you don't repeat yourself because you might end up saying something very silly."

His face suddenly hardened and I sensed fear gripping my whole body. I had hardly ever insulted anyone before, let alone, someone of his status. The lady beside him frowned at me like I was the one who was being rude. I ignored her and kept on glaring at the man. Why would she be with someone like him? She was a reputable celebrity.

He balled his hands and glared at me. "What do you just say?"

I straightened up and folded my hands. "I'm sorry…" I wanted to apologize but I changed my mind. It wasn't me who started the insult. So, instead I ignored how fast my heart was beating or how fear gnawed my whole body and said;

"I don't repeat myself."

"I'm not surprised." Suddenly he chuckled and looked at me. "I guess you can't expect much sense from a cheap girl."

That was it. That was all it took to make me forget about all the consequences and just give in to anger.

"You know what, I don't know if you have an issue with me or something, but it is better to be poor than to be a silly narcissist like you," I said.

His face hardened even more just when I thought he couldn't look any more angrier.

He gripped his wheelchair and pointed a finger at me. "You should watch your mouth, unless that mouth will put you in trouble!"

I took a deep breath and composed myself. He sounded like he was capable of getting me fired. I mentally slapped myself, I should have kept my mouth shut, but why do I have to respond to all his insults?

"It was you who insulted me first," I defended myself.

My life was a struggle, but I shouldn't take the whole blame. It wasn't my fault he couldn't stand my presence.

"Do you know who I am?" He challenged me. "Do you know that with just one call I can get you fired?"

"No," I said to him. "I don't need to know who you are because you are nothing without that money and fame,"

He stared at me, shocked.

I could feel my heart racing faster just thinking about losing my job. I knew he said that just to put me back in my place and I won't lower my standard because I was cheap in his eyes.

Just that instance, I wished I wouldn't see him ever again, but fate could be so tricky at times.

Chapter 2

The breeze was cold and the sky gloomy. Thunder boomed in the distance and lightning flashed up in the horizon. I had closed the bakery and was heading to the usual dinner my best friend and I meet up. I walked faster, I didn't want to get soaked in rain. I brought out my phone and dialed a familiar number before putting it close to my ear.

"Hello Dominic," I said. "Are you in the diner?"

I heard a car honking through the phone and then Dominic's voice. "No, I'm caught up in a traffic jam," he replied.

Dominic was my best friend, he worked as a team leader in a very busy software company. His work took most of his time. The only day he wasn't really busy was Wednessays, so we usually meet up on that day.

"Are you almost there?" I asked.

"Yes, I will get there in the next ten or fifteen minutes."

"Alright, see you soon."

"Yeah." He said and hung up.

Heroes

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