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When Aria Jennings loses her previous job because she repeatedly came in late, she has to find a new job as soon as possible because she has to take care of her son. On a night out at the bar, when she was drinking her miseries away, she meets a handsome stranger, to who she spills her problems. To help, he offers her a card to one of the biggest companies and asks her to contact them for a job. Desperate, she does exactly what the stranger tells her to do, and surprisingly, she gets the job, only to start working and find out that the handsome stranger is her new boss. How does she fit in with her new colleagues when it is obvious to everyone that she is her boss's favorite?
Chapter 1: You're fired
One more time and you're fired.
The last words my boss said to me the previous day play in my head repeatedly as I run around like a headless chicken.
'I arrived at work fifteen minutes after the expected time and I ended up running into my boss. The glare he sent me was enough for me to flinch. "How come you're late again, Aria?"
It was the same excuse, and even if he knew said excuse, he still wanted to see me squirm. "I had to drop—"
"I don't care." He interrupted and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from retorting. I needed my job as it was what I lived on. What we both lived on. "You keep on coming in whenever you like and making silly excuses."
Since his voice was quite loud and we were in the reception, everyone around us heard him and I knew he wanted it so. He enjoyed embarrassing me. Fighting back the not-so-nice words threatening to escape my mouth, I settled on. "I'm sorry." I didn't promise him that it would be the last time because I'd be lying.
He looked at me from head to toe in a distasteful way, even if I knew he was actually checking me out. Subtly, for others, but not so for me. "One more time and you're fired."'
Struggling to put on my heels, as well as fix in my earrings, I manage to knock off a vase that shatters to the ground. Groaning, I throw the earrings in my bag and try putting on my shoes first.
I groan in irritation when I hear the annoying sound of my ringtone, just as I am about to sweep off the broken pieces on the floor.
On a normal day, it wouldn't be as annoying. I may have even let it ring for a while just to listen to my favorite song, but right now, it is just irritating. It just means someone wasting my time even more—I don't have a lot of that right now.
Checking the caller ID, I see it was Heather, my friend and colleague, and I pick up, greeting her with a sharp, "What?"
Heather snorts on the line, already knowing my predicament. "What your ass. I'm not the reason you're late. Speaking of, where are you?"
"I'm still at home, and you're keeping me here even more. Goodbye."
I am ready to hang up when I hear her call out for me to wait. "Don't forget to bring the black dress with you."
I hang up after that and even if I won't admit it to her, I did forget about it. Lending her my black dress is the least of my worries right now. I have a job to save. I don't know how hard it is to find a job because I'd been employed full-time from my interning there, and I'm not sure I want to find out anytime soon.
Quickly, I get back into my room and get out the folded dress I was planning on taking with me yesterday but forgot to this morning before going back to the living room to clean up my mess.
"Lucas! Are you ready?" I yell out and a muffled, 'one minute' reaches my ears as I quickly sweep off the pieces that had fallen on the floor, not wanting Lucas to step on any one of them. "Lucas!" I call out again when one minute has passed.
"One second!" His voice sounds through the door. I glance at my watch, hasten my steps, and throw his room door open.
"What the— what are you doing?" I ask, correcting myself at the last moment, not wanting him to pick up curse words at an early age. He has a habit of imitating me. He used to keep his ketchup on the side. Now, he pours it on his fries, just like me.
"Tying my shoes! I'm almost done."
With a huff, I squat in front of him, bringing his legs forward and deftly knotting the laces of his sneakers. "All done. Can we go now?" His sheepish look makes me narrow my eyes at him. I already know he has done something wrong. "What?" His eyes fleet onto his nightstand and my jaw clenches at the still full bowl of cereal that sits atop it.
'You have to be fucking kidding me.'
"Why haven't you eaten?" I ask in a tone that makes him gulp. He insisted on eating inside his room and in my haste to get things done, I allowed him.
"It's not my fault. I was packing my books!"
I take a much-needed deep breath and rub my forehead before staring at him. "Take the bowl with you. You're eating in the car." I barely see his jaw drop before I'm turning around and exiting his room, turning off the lights on my way. "Are you coming?"
I get my answer in the form of his little footsteps behind me and I breathe in relief when I finally lock the door of our apartment.
We are only on the second floor so we don't need to wait for the elevator. Instead, we take the stairs. I am tempted to take two steps at once, but then, I have to consider Lucas' short legs.
Just as I open the back door and place my bag in it, I hear Lucas speak. "Mom?"
"I think I forgot to put my homework in my bag."
'Breathe in. Breathe out.'
I check my watch. It's only seven-forty-one. My work starts at eight. There is still time.
'Yeah, there's still time. Even if the drive to your son's school is fifteen minutes, and seven from his school to your workplace.'
Deciding I'd just drive past the speed limit and lie that I have an emergency if I get pulled over, I finally answer him. "Sit in the lobby and eat your cereal. Give me two minutes. I hope you're done by then."
Lucas throws his school bag into the car before I lock it and nods frantically at my deadly tone. He knows we were late, and he knows we are going to get even later because of him, so he cooperates.
I go back inside my apartment, fish out his assignment, and get back down in less than two minutes, grabbing two bottles of water on the way back. When I reach the lobby, he is done with his cereal and extends his hand for one bottle.
Shaking my head, I pass one to him and pray his cereal didn't get stuck somewhere with how fast he ate. I don't want anything bad happening to him.
Immediately I hand him the bottle, he stands up and we make out way outside, back to my car. I start the car as soon as we are buckled up and belt out of the parking lot.
"Mom! You're going too fast!"
Gritting my teeth, I slow down at the tone of his voice. He sounds afraid and I don't blame him for being scared of fast-driving cars. We don't have a nice experience from that after all.
I quickly push those thoughts to the back of my mind, not wanting to dwell on them this morning, especially not when I am driving. I don't want to get distracted and put my son in danger. He is all I have, and I can't afford to lose him.
I arrive at his school in twelve minutes even if I was hoping for ten. "Have a nice day, honey!" I call out as he leaves the car with his book bag and lunch.
"You too!" He calls out without looking back.
I smile at the sight. He is only seven yet he is already acting like he is too old for his mother's affection. My throat almost closes up at the thought. I wish I have my mother's affection. I watch until he safely gets inside the school building, then I check the time again.
Shit. The drive to my place of work is even faster than the one to Lucas' school and a trip of seven minutes takes only four. I am honestly surprised I didn't get pulled over but grateful for it. That would've wasted my time even more.
Unfortunately for me, since I arrive late, all the parking spots close to the door are occupied, which means I have to drive around to the back and hope that there are still spots there. If there aren't, I'd have to park in the parking lot of the coffee shop, next to our building.
Finally, I find an empty spot that is at the back of the building, and I quickly maneuver through the many already packed cars. I unbuckle my seatbelt, grab my bag, and exit the car. Then, I start speed walking.
I don't care that people are giving me weirded-out looks, because it is necessary if I don't want to get fired. Only looking for a spot had taken three extra minutes. Walking, however, will take more.
At a point, I start running and when I reach the front doors, I am out of breath. I stand there, allowing myself to catch my breath when I hear the familiar ding of my phone.
I bring out the device, eyes widening when I see the words written on my screen. They are words I'm dreading. The same words I was trying to avoid by breaking the speed limit, but I guess I didn't go fast enough.
'Don't bother coming in. You're fired.'
Chapter 2: Quit over getting fired
I blink once, twice, repeatedly just to make sure I am seeing right. I am. I lift my head and when I do, I lock eyes with the one person I simultaneously want to see the most and not see at all. My boss.
I'm a hundred percent sure my face portrays my disbelief as I push open the doors and walk into the building. Does he despise me that much? Firing me when he could see that I was only outside the glass doors.
I'm pretty sure he did it just because he's trying to get rid of me. That, or it was just a power play. I can't tell with him.
Shawn, my boss—ex-boss actually, what a fucking joke—expels a sigh at my arrival and speaks before I even get the chance to get a word out. "You got my text, didn't you? Why are you in here?"
I don't know whether to scream at him or plead with him, but then I think about Lucas and how hard it'll be to find a new job in record time. It's not like we'll suddenly go broke if I d
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