Lucy Black, publisher and executive editor, Rachel thought as her stomach sank, I’m toast! She shook hands with Amy, exchanging smiles as she hoped that this wouldn’t be the last time they’d bid each other good morning. Rachel took a seat on a plush couch to the right of the elevator, reaching down to rub her still smarting ankle. Ten minutes went by without a word, and she felt tears threatening to fall again.
Rachel forced herself to take a deep breath as the glass door to the main office opened. She looked up and spotted a stunning woman with fiery red hair piled atop her head. She was dressed casually but, even in khaki slacks and a simple black blouse, she looked sharp. A pen stuck out from the top of her bun, and her glasses sat at the tip of her nose.
She smiled at Amy before turning her attention to the couch. Rachel tried not to visibly recoil, but couldn’t help being a bit intimidated. Lucy Black looked every bit the editor-in-chief and, thankfully, only slightly annoyed.
“Miss Sirianni,” she spoke, her voice frighteningly pleasant, “Follow me.”
Rachel tried her best to smile and nod as she stood, taking Lucy’s outstretched hand and shaking it before following her into the main office. She did her best to mask her limp as Lucy led her past the conference rooms and toward, presumably, her office.
“Why are you limping,” Lucy asked softly without looking back.
God, she’s good, Rachel thought, recalling that Lucy had barely gotten a glance at her before leading her down the hall to what may have been the end of her career in publishing.
“I twisted my ankle getting here,” Rachel answered, “My cab got caught in traffic so I got out and ran the rest of the way. My heel got caught in a grate.”
“Hmm.” Lucy’s response was noncommittal, and it made Rachel slightly nervous.
As she took careful steps toward Lucy’s office, past two impressively appointed conference rooms, she couldn’t help but notice the boss lady herself. Aside from the fact that Rachel currently found her terrifying, she was actually very beautiful. Her hair resembled fire, contained in a stylish mess by a pen and a dark hairclip. Lucy Black was tall and carefully put together in an outfit that, despite its simplicity, screamed high fashion.
She walked with an heir of superiority despite her casual dress, and it wasn’t off-putting; Lucy was a woman who worked hard for what she had and knew it. She was master of all she surveyed, and no one could tell her a thing that would suggest otherwise.
Rachel was revisited with a pang of guilt at her late arrival; Lucy was one of the last people she wanted to let down.
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