THIS TIME
THIS TIME
Author: Jolante424
Chapter 1.

Mr Sanders, what a pevert.

I had to put him in his place and give him a piece of my mind, with the extra touch of a slap across the face. He is my boss, well now my ex boss and believe it or not, that sick bastard fired me, infront of everyone.

It was totally embarassing but I'll live.

The thought of informing my mom about this, made me nervous. I mean, it hadn't been long since I graduated from university and in her eyes, I might as well be an unemployed graduate. This is why I neither wanted to call her or answer her call, until I had something promising.

I don't have the energy to try and explain myself and the events that took place, which led me to being fired. What I needed to do, which is very important, is to find another job before informing her about my last one. This would surely ease her worries.

I haven't returned to my apartment because I might get depressed, adding to the fact that my rent will be due soon. Mr Carlos, the owner and caretaker of the building I dtay at, is a pretty fair man and quite understanding, but I never want to take advantage of his understanding. This is why, I've always tried my best to pay the rent on time.

My apartment might not be much with one room, kitchen, bathroom and living room. Atleast there's an added bonus of a nice balcony, that I like to sit cuddled up in a corner, with a cup of hot steaming tea. I had to move from the other apartment, which was so much better then this one, the decision stared me in the face due to not being able, to keep up with paying rent for two people, when I was only one person.

My ex-roommate and best friend Lucia, decided to move in with her boyfriend Charlie. They are basically highschool sweethearts, with Lucia being a short ball of fire, with red hair, blue eyes and almost pale skin. Charlie on the other hand was tall, goodlooking and the more calmer one out of the two. They balance each other well and are quite inspiring, with how strong their bond is.

Lucia knows all about Mr Sanders and what kind of a person he is. She had worked for two months before quitting. She was too vocal and called Mr Sanders out, for the way he acted and how he treated the female staff. I wish I had taken the same route earlier without having to get fired.

Now who will write my recommendation letter?

Staring at the newspaper, that's laid out on my lap with alot of job advertisements pen marked by me, I scrunch my nose at how weird the paper now looks with so much red lines written on it.

It definetly looks like a little kid was having a field day with it.

I scan any more jobs that I may have missed, my heart jump when I see it. It's a personal assistant job at Cullen and Co Industries. Something about that name sounds familiar but nonetheless, there's a job opening and I'm all for it.

I just hope the boss isn't anything like Mr Sanders, because I'll quit that job immediately.

I take out my phone and immediately enquire about the interview, I feel relief wash over me when I'm told that I'm just on time and that, I'm the last one. Apparently they accepted a certain number of applicants and not above. Whatever that meant.

I'm just glad that I get this interview, hopefully by tomorrow, I will be a P.A. One thing that the lady, was very adamant about was to not be late.

A satisfied smile takes over my face as I lean back on the bench, feeling mighty proud that I atleast landed myself an interview. The sound of my cellphone ringing diverts my attention from landing the interview.

" Did you quit already?"

There it is ladies and gentleman, the first thing my best friend almost always say when she calls me.

" Hello to you too Lucia." I answer calmly.

" So you didn't quit?" I can hear the slight frustraion in her tone.

" Lucia..."

She sighs.

" Okay fine." She groans out. " Hi bestie, are you good because I'm not and you know why?"

" Why....No, let me guess, Melissa."

" Yes!" She huffs, as if I should have guessed it already. " She visited last night, no, let me rephrase that, she was drunk off her ass and do you know who was the first person she called?"

" Um Charlie?"

" Exactly!....And the idiot had the audacity to drop our plans and rush over to her aid."

" Did you really have plans?"

" Yes....No, maybe. Oh we were cuddling and having a nice couple moment, but ofcourse Melissa had to ruin everything, Argh!!!"

" You do realise that Melissa is his cousin right?" I ask after some time.

" No, a family friend that is considered family. You're overlooking this just like he is. No wonder you favor him so much."

" No I don't. I'm always on your side."

" Well right now, it doesn't feel like it." She whines.

I smile in amusement.

" Lucia, you know that I'm always on your corner, I'd even go to jail with you for vandalising Melissa's car and house."

She chuckles. " You're giving me ideas right now."

" But I'd first be a voice of reason before we do anything drastic." I quickly add, not wanting her to ponder on that thought.

I can imagine her rolling her eyes right now.

" Yeah, yeah and that too.  I'm sorry, I was just venting out my frustration, I know that you are the most loyal friend. I mean, we did sneak into Mr Carter's house in 8th grade, because I wanted to leave my valentines day love letter in his room."

I laugh at the memory.

" And the results were painful because his annoying neighbour called the cops on us, and had her dog chase us. Not to mention, my new dress got bit by that evil monster." She bursts out laughing.

" Aah, good times."

" Now aren't we thugs?" I chuckle.

" Mm-hmm." She agrees.

" So is it safe to say that you will consider my words, of trusting Charlie's love and loyalty to you, the next time it looks like he's running to her aid?"

" Maybe...." She trails off.

" Well that's good enough for me."

" You didn't answer my question though."

" Which one?"

" About you quitting your job?"

" Oh yeah, I did."

" Finally!!!....Halleluya!!!....Wait, when?"

" A few hours ago."

" Should I bring some goodies to celebrate you finally standing up for yourself, against that pig?"

" I do stand up for myself." I defend myself, now frowning.

" Mmm, you think you do but in actual fact, you are kind of a push over."

" No I'm not!"

" Skylar Grey, how long did it take for you to finally say no to that snobbish cousin of yours, Clarissa?"

" I still feel bad about that. I think I should have atleast gone with her to that double date."

" See?"

" What?"

She sighs. " You're doubting your decision, the right one. She was using you and I don't know when you will realise it."

" I was under stress that day and Mr Sanders was really on my case. I still think I should apologise because she still hasn't talked to me."

" No, don't do that or I swear I will come where ever you are and strangle you myself." She threatens, making me sigh.

" Fine, I wont. Anyway, I have an interview to prepare for. "

" Already?....Now that's my girl." She says proudly.

" I need a replacement job asap or else mom will find out about me being unemployed. You know how much she'll freak out."

" I think she'll be full on board with you when she hears about what kind of pig Sanders is."

" Hmm, maybe." I mumble.

" So when is the interview?"

" Tomorrow morning at 8."

"Don't go there without me having a look at what you're wearing. I want you looking like the freakin' CEO instead of - wait, what position are you applying for and what's the name of the company?"

" P.A and the company is Cullen and Co Industries."

Expecting her to say something, I frown a little bit when all I get is silence.

" Lucia?"

" Uh I have to go." She quickly says, hanging up before I can even say anything.

Weird.

I place my phone in my bag, tear out the Ad part before walking over to throw the newspaper in the bag.

Deciding that it's time to head back to my place, I take my bag and walk off, only to feel my pace slowing down, at the sight of children playing.

The children's laughter and their innocence tugs at my heart, it actually hits home. I feel my throat tightening when a memory surrounding a decision I'd made 2 years ago, threatens to invade my mind.  That was surely a time that life stared me right in the face and my world, was turned upside down.

The sound of distant calls, snaps me out of my thoughts. I search with my eyes for the source. Imagine my surprise when I see a female around my age, calling out someone's name, frantically looking around.

" Ava!!!"

That must be a child, isn't it?

Without thinking twice and because the sight of her looking so stressed out, touches my heart.

I walk towards her.

" Sorry, are you okay?"

' Ofcourse she isn't, I mean look at her state. She's basically losing her mind trying to find this person.' My consciousness answers me.

" N-no, I-I lost her and now sir will kill me for sure."

" Woah, calm down and tell me who you are looking for."

" Ava, my boss's kid. I just left her there by the -"

" You left her!" I say with wide eyes.

A wary look takes over her face, with her eyes scared and nervous.

" I was only looking the other way for like 5 minutes and -"

" How old is she and what is she wearing?..... Tell me all about her and we'll look for her." I find myself demanding, protectiveness unbeknowns to me shooting at me like a gazillion bullets.

She stares wide eyed at me, now looking at me as if I'll murder her or something.

" Girl, start talking. There's a baby on the loose!!" I snap my fingers in her face, snapping her out of her staring.

" Uh she's two years old, cute -"

" Most babies are cute, give me more." I say, dragging her by arm and already searching by the information she gives.

" Okay uh, she's light skinned, with grey eyes like yours. She is wearing all yellow with a yellow and white polkadot head band. She's in a red stroller and -"

" Got her!" I literally let go of her arm and rush towards a red baby stroller, that's standing beside a mother and her baby.

" Wait for me!" The girl says behind me.

Reaching the lady, I politely greet her before checking inside the stroller to thankfully find the baby. The first time I see her, I'm taken aback by how beautiful this child looks. Not to mention the immediate flutter my heart experiences, the longer I stare at her.

" Oh thank God, I didn't lose you. My life would have been over before I actually started living."

I don't know why but I find myself giving her a pointed look. Her eyes widen when she realizes that we heard her.

" I mean it's a relief that she's safe."

" Oh but she was, I mean I've been keeping a very close eye on her eversince you asked me to look after her, when your boyfriend showed up." The lady says.

Oh this time it's no longer a pointed look I give her but a raised brow. The girl lets out a nervous laugh as she steals a glance my way.

" Uh yes, thank you for everything. I'll take her now."

" No, we'll take her now." I pretty much take the stroller and walk off, in the direction I came.

" Hey, wait - you can't just take her!" The girl protests behind me.

" Watch me."

" But this is kidnapping!!"

" And what about your negligence huh?!"

I smirk when I hear her non-response.

I take the baby to where I had been sitting before and because of the irritated look she wears, I take her out of the stroller and place her on my lap.

I wonder how long she'd been in it?

" Hi cutiepie, I'm Sky-Sky and I know that you must really be fed up of being in one place huh?" I say to her.

She stares wide eyed and curious at me. I mentally awww at how adorable she looks.

" Hello...." She responds, further melting my heart.

" Uh excuse me stranger, but I need to get going. Her father is waiting for us."

I glance away from the baby and to her nanny.

" Oh, so now I'm a stranger?" I arch my brow.

" No, I mean yes, technically you are but because you helped me out, I'll be nice and say lady."

" You're really convincing me to not give you this cutie right now."

She groans in frustration.

" I've been told that I'm not nice when I'm stressed out or frustrated. So I -"

" Yeah, they weren't kidding." I comment.

" Look, I really need to take her back to her dad or else, I might consider myself a goner already. " She says desperately.

I look at her for a minute before looking back at the cute baby infront of me. I don't understand why I can't let her go right now. It's so weird.

I mean I've held quite a number of babies before...

And yours..

" Hello, can you give me the baby now?" I snap out of my staring and glance up to her.

" Uh, yeah sure." She sighs in relief, stepping forward to take Ava from me.

" Cicily?!!!" A male voice booms, making both of us to jump in surprise.

Because of my actions, baby Ava starts to cry. I realize that I scared her.

" Oh no...." I hear the girl say, but my focus is on Ava, who I rise to my feet with, trying to calm her down.

" It's okay Ava, don't cry little one." I say softly, making sure to rub her back softly.

I feel her quieten down the more I speak to her and rub on her back.

" I'm so sorry sir, I lost track of time..." I hear Cicily explain to someone but I drown her out and give all my focus on Ava, who has now stopped crying and is simply snuggled against my chest.

" That bad man scared me too, but you don't worry, you're all safe here in my arms." I coo.

A satisfied smile takes over my face when I don't hear her crying anymore, but simply laying snuggled against my chest. She's basically listening to my voice and if I didn't know any better, she's getting sleepy now.

I tense up when I feel watched. Glancing away from Ava and looking up, my heart drops to the pit of my stomach when I find myself at the center of attention, to Cicily and two men in suits.

I feel most intimidated by the one man, who's more of the tall one. Though his eyes are hidden behind his dark shades, his gaze is intense and causes a chill to run down my spine. His posture screams confidence and power and I feel like a little mouse, under his gaze.

The other man, who's more shorter, is giving me a strange look yet his eyes show shock. It's weird.

" Can I -"

I don't wait for Cicily to finish her sentence but hand the toddler back to her. Ava whines a little due to her being transferred to a different person, but thankfully, she quietens down.

Once Ava is off my hands, I quickly pick up my bag, place it around me and pretty much speed walk past them.

A surprise gasp slips out when suddenly, my arm is grabbed and I'm spun around. I frown when I see that it's him, the intimidating man who has my arm in his hold.

He takes off his shades and I meet hazel eyes. My breath hitches because of how handsome he looks, maybe that word does no justice to how good he looks.

But those hazel eyes of his, they look familiar. Staring into them makes me feel vulnerable unexplainably so and I'm taken back to 2 years ago. That was the only time I experienced this feeling harshly.

My heart beats hard against my chest when realization befalls me, hard might I add, of who this is.

The man who stands before me is the first and last man, who I had a one night stand with, it was 2 years ago.

And it was my first time then.


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