Ruined Promises by Stefanie Jenkins

 

 

There are moments in our lives that prepare us for the transition from children to adulthood. The memories are forever embedded in our brain: the first time you drive a car, moving off to college, eventually graduating college and setting foot into the real world. For me, today is another moment, starting the first day of my career.

A recent graduate of Willow Creek University, I wear my nerves on my sleeve, as I stare up at the ten-story building in front of me. My favorite communications advisor at WCU called in a favor to an old friend and got me an interview with Maritime Media. It’s only an entry position as an events assistant, but I have big dreams to one day make it to the top. I knew from when I was a little girl that I wanted to plan events. While some girls played dress-up with their Barbies, I planned lavish birthday parties for them.

Maritime Media is the one-stop local entertainment guide for activities, lifestyle, restaurants, and special events in Willow Creek, NY, and the surrounding area. They attract customers of all demographics, providing information in magazines both print and digitally. The company is known for its events in the community.

I speed toward the elevator as it begins to close and shout, “Can you hold the elevator?” A hand sticks out, holding the door open. The most beautiful piercing blue eyes stare at me as I cross the threshold.

“Thank you.” I somehow manage to get out, captivated by how gorgeous this man is in front of me. He has boy-next-door good looks. He is wearing a light gray suit with a white dress shirt and black tie, so he must be in this building for some form of business.

“What floor?” he asks.

I look at the numbers and see that he has already hit the seventh floor. Does he also work at Maritime Media?

“I’m heading to the seventh floor, also.” He smiles, and I just about go weak in the knees. We ride mostly in silence, and I twist my hands nervously, and my foot taps the floor, the sound echoing in the small space.

“Are you okay?” He turns to face me with his back against the wall.

“Oh, sorry. I’m just a little nervous.”

“First day?”

I look down at my feet and tuck a piece of my chestnut-brown hair behind my ear before looking back at him. “Yeah, is it that obvious?”

The elevator dings, and we exit, walking toward the entrance of my new job. My mystery man holds the door open and ushers me inside. He leans down and whispers in my ear, “No. It’s not obvious. It’s just that I would’ve remembered a gorgeous woman like you.”

He’s totally flirting with me. I slowly turn to meet his gaze, and the corners of his mouth turn upward. His smile makes my cheeks warm, and my mouth goes dry. I also feel the moisture pooling between my legs.

We both approach the receptionist’s desk. Is this his first day, too? He motions for me to go first.

“Hi, I’m Alexis Baker. I’m here for my first day.”

The woman smiles. “Ah, yes, Miss Baker. I’ll let Mr. Jennings know you’re here, and then I can show you to the conference room.”

“I can take her back, Ruth. I’m heading that way, too.” He flashes her the same smile, and her cheeks turn the slightest shade of pink as he leans against the counter on his elbows. Okay, guess that answers my question that it’s not his first day.

She nods. “Of course.” My no-named, gorgeous stranger places his hand on my lower back and guides me toward the conference room. His touch lights a fire in me. This definitely isn’t how I imagined my first day going. I enter the conference room and look around nervously.

“You’ll be fine. Alexis, was it?”

“Lexi. You can call me Lexi.”

He smiles and breathes my name to himself. The way my name sounds on his lips makes my heart flutter.

“Thank you.” I pause, realizing I don’t know his name still.

“Dominic.”

“Nice to meet you, Dominic.” I extend my hand, and he takes it. He then leans closer, and my breath hitches. I stare into his eyes. Is he about to kiss me? Do I want him to kiss me? With his proximity, I think my heart might jump right out of my chest. I can hear my heartbeat loud in my ears; can he hear it, too?

“Just so you know, Mr. Jennings isn’t a hard-ass like they say.”

“And who is it that says that, son?” a deep voice calls from the doorway, followed by a soft chuckle. My eyes widen, and I jump back.

“Son?” I mouth to Dominic, and he shrugs, putting more space between us.

The man I recognize as my new boss, Paul Jennings, enters the room.

“Miss Baker, it’s so nice to see you again.” He shakes my hand and smiles. Everyone in this office is so welcoming. I now see a resemblance between Dominic and his father as they stand next to each other. While Paul has dark hair, Dominic is a darker blond, and Dominic is slightly taller than his father. They both have piercing blue eyes with specks of green and the same facial structure.

“I see you’ve met my son, Dominic.” I glance over at Dominic, and he continues to stare at me.

“Do you work here, too?” I internally hope that he’ll say no. Office romances never work out—too many complications.

I quickly turn my attention back to Mr. Jennings as his laughter fills the room. “Oh, no, Dominic wanted nothing to do with the family business. He is in his final year at Redwood Law.”

Handsome, smart, wow—the full package. I smile timidly, both relieved that he doesn’t work here, but sad that this could be my only interaction with this man. “Good luck, Dominic.”

“Thank you. Well, Dad, I’ll wait for you in your office.” His father nods. “And, Lexi, I’m sure I’ll see you around.” With one last smile, he exits the conference room.