- Genre: Billionaire/CEO
- Author: Lovely
- Chapters: 96
- Status: Completed
- Age Rating: 18+
- 👁 1.8K
- ⭐ 7.5
- 💬 9
We all have secrets, some more hidden than others, but my goal has been to reveal yours. As a reporter, this is the story I have wanted to write all my life. Its protagonist: Maximiliano Valachi. He is the richest and most wanted businessman in Chicago. He's hiding some very dark secrets, and I'm determined to unmask him to save my job. But I never thought I'd be the one to end up revealing mine, the sweetest and purest sins of my soul, from his gaze to the soles of his shoes. Definitely a man who would make every pore of your skin bristle, he came to me in the form of sin.
This morning I walked into Helen's office sure that she was going to fire me.
Actually, that's not my boss's responsibility. That task falls to Human Resources, but they've killed this department. Edge, the magazine I've written for and devoted my heart and soul to since graduating from college, is hanging by a thread.
When I've only taken three steps inside the cluttered room crammed with old magazines, ours and the competition's, I feel breakfast (a coffee with two sugars and whole wheat toast with strawberry jam) like a stone in my stomach.
Without even looking up from the folder in her hand, Helen points to the chair in front of her.
“Rachel, sit down.
I sit quietly as I think of a thousand things to say: I can do better; I can do more; let me do more, two articles a week instead of one. The following even crosses my mind: I'll work for free as long as I have to.
I can't afford to work for free. I live on rent, I'm still paying off the loan I took out to finance my studies, and I have a mother I love with health problems and no health insurance. But I love my job. I don't want to lose it. I've always wanted to be what I am now, at this moment, when my fate falls to her.
So here I sit with fear and a sense of impending loss as I wait for Helen to put down her folder and pay attention to me. As we look at each other, I wonder if the next story of my life I will tell is the story of my layoff.
I love stories. How they shape our lives. How they mark people who don't even know us. How they can impact us even when an event didn't exactly happen to us first hand.
The first thing I fell in love with was the words my mother and grandmother told me about my father. Thanks to those words I understood that I didn't have a father in real life. I organized them into groups and memorized the stories they formed. Where he had taken my mother on their first date (a Japanese restaurant), if his laugh was funny (it was) or what his favorite drink was (Dr Pepper). I grew up fascinated by the stories and all the facts and details that allowed me to shape, in my mind, the memories of my father that have stayed with me all my life.
My aunts would tell me I was dreaming when I claimed I wanted words to be my profession, but my mother would quote Picasso's mother over and over again:
“Picasso's mother told him that, if he joined the army, he would be a general, and if he became a monk, he would become a pope. Instead, he became a painter and became Picasso. That's what I feel when I think of you. So, Rachel, do what you want to do.
“I'd try harder if you'd do what you want to do too," she'd always reply, dejected for her.
“What I want is to take care of you," she would reply.
She is a magnificent painter, but no one believes it, except me and a small gallery that went bankrupt months after it opened. So my mother has a normal job and the Picasso in her is silent.
But she has sacrificed a lot to offer me an education and more things. Because I'm a bit shy around strangers, many of my teachers didn't encourage me. None of them believed I had the guts to pursue extreme journalism, so I clung to the only thing I could: my mother's motivation and her faith in me.
I've been working at Edge for almost two years now. The cutbacks at the company started more than three months ago and my colleagues and I fear we will be next. All of us, myself included, are giving one hundred and ten percent of ourselves. But, for an unstable business, it's not enough. Apparently, the only way to save Edge is a big investment that doesn't seem to be coming or publishing much better stories than what we've been offering.
When Helen opens her mouth to speak, I dread hearing the words "We have to fire you." I'm already thinking of a story, an idea, I can justify my next column, something daring that might get us known and somehow allow me to hold on to my job a little longer.
“I've been thinking about you, Rachel," he says. Are you seeing someone?
“Uh... Dating? No.
“Well, that's just what I wanted to hear! “He pushes the papers aside, takes one of the magazines off the shelf and drops it on the desk between us. You see, I have a proposition to make. It may require you to set aside your principles. In the long run, I think you'll find it rewarding. “He shows me an old magazine with a sad smile on his lips.
“This was our first issue. Fifteen years ago.
“I love it! “I exclaim.
“I know you do. You've always been interested in our beginnings. That's why I like you, Rachel," he says without a hint of warmth in his voice. He seems to be just stating a fact. You know, Edge used to stand for something. For all those years, we weren't afraid to break the rules, to venture where other magazines wouldn't. You're the only one who seems to have preserved that. You're the only one who seems to have preserved that spirit. The "No Nuts and Bolts" column is always the one that gets the most comments. You focus on trends and give your raw, unfiltered opinion. Even when people disagree with you, they respect you because you write honestly. I guess that's why you're in my office now, instead of Victoria.
“He points with his chin to the exit, where my biggest opponent, Victoria, must be busy in her cubicle.
Vicky. She's Edge's other star worker, and somehow she always manages to stand out more than me. I don't want to antagonize Victoria, but apparently there's a popularity contest I haven't entered. She seems very happy whenever Helen doesn't like what I write and sometimes I'm unable to write a word just because I'm worried about what Victoria is going to come up with.
“You see, I'm thinking about getting in the weeds. If we want to stay in business, we clearly need something more drastic. Something to bring Edge to people's attention. Do you agree?
“I agree. If there's something that will bring Edge to life....
“We're doing it very badly, we've all grown scared; we're all reporting from safe and frightened places, afraid to push the button in case we explode. We are withering away. We need to write about subjects that scare us, fascinate us... And no one fascinates this town more than billionaire bachelors. You know who I'm talking about?
“That's what I like to hear. “she laughs. Rachel, you're beautiful. A doll. You're fun and you work hard, you give it your all, but for what you've been through, you're still innocent. You've been here for two years and you were working hard before you graduated. However, you are still a child playing in an adult world. You're too young to know that there are protocols on how to deal with the wealthy in town.
“I know that we usually please the rich.
“Just remember that Valachi could kill the magazine. He can't see it coming. By the time he does, his face will already be on the newsstands.
“He won't get me," I mutter.
“Okay, Rachel, but I want intimate revelations. I want all the details. I want to put myself in his shoes and live his day to day life. What's it like to be him? You're going to tell the whole city. “she smiles brightly and turns on the computer with a flick of the mouse. I look forward