Marianna’s Secrets
Marianna’s Secrets
Author: Vicky Lynn

Chapter 1

As I laid on my bed I contemplated skipping work today and going back to sleep. I rolled over to look at the time and thought 'I guess I need my job'. I stretched and got out of bed and went to start my coffee machine.

I let my night gown slip off of my body and land on the floor, started the shower, which was my favorite place to be in. As I let the hot water roll down my back I began to wash my body with my vanilla body wash. I got lost in my thoughts of missing my home in Italy, I missed my family and friends, I missed the food and culture. 

It's been 2 years since I last saw my family...

As I traced over the scar above my left breast I began to have flashbacks and heard the voice I would never forget.

'Ti faro mio in un modo o nell'alto' (I'll make you mine, one way or another)

I was quickly jolted back to reality as my alarm had gone off to warn me I had 30 minutes left till I had to leave for work. While rushing to turn off my alarm I cursed out loud "dannazione" as I was upset on how I lost track of time. I worked at a high-profile law firm in New York City as a personal executive assistant to none other than a man named Emmanuel Jennings, and tardiness was not appreciated.

Emmanuel is a tall handsome young man, a prodigy, crystal blue eyes that pierced through any person who looked at him, especially women. Cream skin and dimples that can stop you mid sentence when he smiled. Which he rarely did. His hair was full, thick and dark. His facial expressions were that of a man that commanded attention at which no one dared to oppose him. 

Well with one exception, me! I would always watch how every woman would fall at his feet and try to catch his attention. I never knew why women acted this way, I had no attraction towards him. Which was a good thing because it allowed me to fully concentrate on my job, which probably is the reason I was good at what I did.

I quickly got ready, I only had enough time to fix my hair and put on light makeup. I managed to pour my coffee into my thermal grabbed my purse and keys and walked out of my apartment.

As I locked my door I heard my phone ring, I didn't even have to look at my phone to know it was from Mr. Jennings wanting his coffee.

"Ms. Milano, large black coffee with two creamers" Rolling my eyes I thought to my self 'would it kill him to say please?'

Just as I turned around I saw my neighbor Jacob walk towards me with his hand up in a wave.

Jacob Fisher was slightly taller than me, slim built, brown friendly eyes, light brown hair which was slightly balding at the top, sweet smile kind of man. I knew he has feelings for me which I didn't have any in return except, for a soft spot as a friend.

I wasn't interested in any man at this time in my life. My mother, Isabella, always wanted me to settle down with a man and start forming a family. But, I had my own secret as to why I avoided this.

"Good morning Marianna, off to work?" he said

As I smiled at his sweetness I replied "good morning Jacob, yes sir I need to pay my rent remember?" 

I watched him let out a small laugh as he scratched the back of his head,

'here we go again he's going to ask me on a date, I will say this he's persistent' i thought to myself

He stood there trying to find the courage to say what he had to say, I cleared my throat and interrupted his thoughts "well Jacob, I will catch you later I can't be late for work because Mr. Serious will give me the disapproval look all day" I told him as I walked away and left him with his thoughts. 

As I reached the coffee cart I noticed many people in line, I got lost in my thoughts as I waited in line.

'why can't Jacob just get the hint, that I'm not interested and never will be'

Just then a tall, muscular man who wore a very nice suit walked in front of me as if I wasn't even there. I cleared my throat, "excuse me sir, I am sorry but I was standing in this line, you must have not seen me"

His response set my eyes on fire and my face burned red with how livid I became, " I did see you, I just don't have time to wait while you are daydreaming and holding up the line"

'This asshole who does he think he is!!' Were my first thoughts, just as I was about to open my mouth to tell him off a hand was gently placed on my shoulder. I moved to the side quickly, as I don't like to be touched, I looked up at the crystal blue eyes of Mr. Jennings. I have never seen him touch anyone besides a hand shake at meetings. It felt weird to be touched by him, I can't say it was bad, but definitely weird.

Without saying one word to me he walked over the rude man and looked straight into his eyes, the unknown man quickly looked at me and apologized as he began to walk to the back of the line. I was at a complete loss of words, Emmanuel turned to look at me and motioned with his head towards the cart. Without one word spoken to me he walked into the building.

I managed to pull myself together and get his coffee, I looked around and saw that many eyes were on me and my embarrassed looking face.

I made my way into the building and greeted the receptionist "good morning Sandy" I said softly still going over what just happened..

While in the elevator I began to ponder 'what was that all about? Emmanuel didn't even have to say one word, I knew he was a powerful man but wow. I guess that was a gentleman thing he did, I should thank him.'

I was 2 floors away from my floor when the elevator doors opened to allow Ms. Ariel Peterson in. She was the daughter of the Jennings business partner. She was a tall, absolutely stunning woman, soft beige skin, always smelled wonderful, brown eyes, blonde hair. She had every mans attention that saw her, except for the one she truly wanted, Emmanuel. Her eyes were always set on him.

It was hard not to be self conscious around her. I myself am only 5'3, fair flawless skin, dark red hair, bright green eyes, perfect white teeth and yet I still felt like a troll next to her.

As soon as I saw her get in I already knew where she was headed. She would make any excuse to go to the same floor as Emmanuel. I will give her this, she definitely has a lot of confidence to pursue a man who has never given her the time of day.

Ariel's father was Mr. Bruce Peterson, he was an average looking man, always working, a businessman much like Emmanuel. However, when ever his princess was around his tough demeanor would soften and he would be at her mercy just to give his little girl whatever she wanted.

Emmanuel's father turned over his company to his son after his wife, Emmanuel's mother, passed away. Although Emmanuel is only 27 years old, he is a true prodigy in the law firm industry.

As we got out of the elevator Ariel quickly made her way to the meeting room, where her father and Emmanuel were having a conversation. I made my way to my desk and put down my purse. I saw my boss leave the meeting room as soon as Ariel walked in. I couldn't help but to let out a giggle at the disappointed expression on her face.

As I went to sit down my phone rang, as soon as I answered I heard "Ms. Milano come into my office"

I made my way over, I was about to knock when I heard his smooth commanding voice "come in"

I walked in and placed his coffee on his table, he didn't make any eye contact with me, and stayed focused on his computer. I was about to say 'thank you for your help earlier' when he cut me off and said "thank you"

I couldn't find any words as i stood there frozen a those 2 words, in the 2 years that I've worked here he has never once said 'thank you', I was about to reply when he said "you may go now" in a stern, commanding voice. I mentally rolled my eyes and thought 'yup, there he is' I closed the door behind me and made my way to my desk.

While walking to my desk I couldn't help the feeling that I was being looked at, I turned around to see Emmanuel looking at me through his window from his desk, he got up and closed the blinds.

'What the hell is with him today' I thought to myself while turning on my computer. 'Whatever just get your work done and go home, whatever is wrong with him it's his own problem'

I didn't know it at the time but today would be completely out of the ordinary.

News broke of a famous actress named , Bella Evans, who allegedly killed her boyfriend, Logan Evans, in a fit of jealous rage. Her people contacted our office for representation. Emmanuel did in fact take the case, papers were filling up my table, phones were ringing off the hook for any comments.

My hope for getting out at 6pm quickly went away. I had finished prepping all papers and files for Mr. Jennings, it was now 9pm. I heard a tired, rough voice call my name, I looked up at Emmanuel and realized it was just him and I left in the office.

"You may go home now Ms. Milano" he stated as he walked back into his office. I began to gather my belongings as his lights in his office turned off and his door closed.

He began to approach me and for the first time I felt my heart race as he looked at me. With a soft yet stern voice he said, "Marianna, I will be giving you a ride home, it is not safe for you to walk home this late".

'How does he even know I walk home?' I asked myself, as I watched him with a puzzled look on my face. Although he had my heart racing, I agreed since I didn't like to walk alone at night.

The awkward tension between us worsened as we waited outside for the valet driver to bring his car around, a red Maserati GranTurismo. I hadn't brought my coat today, as I began to rub my arms, Emmanuel noticed and without a second thought he asked if I wanted his coat.

True to my independent self, I said "no thank you Mr. Jennings". His response only surprised me more, "I was only asking to be polite, take my coat before you get sick, I cannot have an employee getting everyone else sick in my office."

As I looked into his crystal blue eyes I realized how serious he was. I took his coat but with much resistance "thank you" I murmured with a hint of sarcasm. At the corner of my eye I couldn't believe that I saw a small sideways smirk form on his lips, that showed his dimple that drove women crazy, and just like that he straightened himself out and the smirk was gone, as he tried to conceal it from my sight.

I didn't understand what was so funny, does he enjoy always being in charge of everyone? Did he get a kick out of it? As his car came around the corner and stopped in front of us, a young adult came running out and was going to open the door for me but Emmanuel beat him to it.

He gave the boy a tip and thanked him for how fast he was. I got in and we rode in silence he looked lost in his thoughts, yet I couldn't deny he was very handsome especially the way the moon's light was hitting him. I shook my heart and looked out the window for the rest of the car ride.

'Why does she always have to be so difficult and can't accept someone's help? Any man would be so lucky to have her wear their coat, and yet her she is refusing the help when she is clearly cold. Such a stubborn, stunning, brilliant creature she is!' Emmanuel thought to himself.

As I gave him the last directions to my apartment we stopped in front of my apartment and I managed to notice Jacob, 'ugh I'm too tired for this tonight' I thought as I rolled my eyes

As if Emmanuel was reading my mind he asked " do you know that man Ms. Milano?"

"Yes, that's my neighbor Jacob Fisher" I replied in an irritated manner

"Do you want me to walk you in?" Emmanuel asked, I looked at him with a raised eyebrow "no thank you, I will be just fine Mr. Jennings"

If I wasn't still in his car his next actions would have caused me to stumble over. He got out of his car and opened my door, I watched him in disbelief.

"Again, I only asked to be polite, I need to make sure you are safe, and from the looks of this area, I can tell it's not the best" he stated as he looked around. He was right though this place was rough, but I didn't mind it, I was always used to living in luxury.

"Well, I am so sorry Mr. Jennings, not all of us live in luxury as you do" I said in a scolding manner.

Although, what I never told anyone was that if I wanted to live in luxury I very well could. I just wanted a simple, low profile free life, then what I was born into.

I watched him not backing down, I rolled my eyes and grunted in an annoyed tone, "fine"

As we made our way up to the entrance I could tell by Jacob's face and pacing back and forth with an expression that looked as if he was angry, that something was very wrong....

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