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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


“Hey Gabrielle, have you gotten me all the details on the area for the new Cohen office?”

I got them a week and a half ago when you asked for them. Why are you just asking about it now?

Gabrielle didn’t say this of course. Rather, she turned around in her chair with a forced up turn of her lips to face her higher up, David. This guy was always riding her ass without giving her any credit. Last time she checked there were several other employees in the office, the fact that she always had to drop what she was doing severely pissed her off.  However, all she could do was bite her tongue.

“Yes I did, I put them in your mailbox last week David.”

David nodded in confirmation and wandered off without so much as a thank you. Gabrielle rolled her eyes and twirled her chair back towards her desk.  Her expression fell into a slight pout as she began to tap her pencil against the desk top in sporadic rhythm. All she wanted was a little acknowledgement.

Gabrielle Monroe has been working at Leniz, a high profile architecture office, for years.  She was also the only female architect in the office. The only other woman was the secretary of Mr. Leniz, a much older woman that she had little in common with. She worked herself to death to advance in her career, taking jobs she shouldn’t, doing favors she really had no time for, sucking up when necessary. Despite all the cons, she really did love what she did for a living. She loved creating something from nothing, knowing that it will be standing for years being admired brought pride to her heart.

 It was just that lately…lately she had hit a roadblock at work. She was stuck as a designer II architect. With all the work she did and all that she had contributed she honestly believed she deserved to AT LEAST be a Project Manager. She was ready to have a say, ready to lead, ready to get her designs out there.

Too bad her job was filled with chauvinistic jerks...well that wasn’t fair. Not everyone was like that but she certainly did feel alone in a world dominated by men.

She had a plan though! Recently she had been attempting to gain her boss, Ander Leniz’s favor. Whatever he asked, she did, quickly and efficiently. It was her hopes that he’d recognize her hard work and consider her for a better position.  So far she had received little results, but he did know her name though and complimented her work the other day. Something was better than nothing.

“Monroe, my office!”

Speak of the devil.

Gabrielle dropped her pencil, briefly noting that she hadn’t accomplished her work being lost in her thoughts, and pushed away from her desk.  She began to make her way to the source of the baritone voice, polished black small heeled shoes clicking against the floor. Her form didn’t command much attention. She didn’t have anything in particular that stood out for her, perhaps that’s why she was overlooked so often. She was a decent looking woman though, so she didn’t have many complaints other than typical female grievances.  The architect reached her boss’s door. She rapped her knuckles against the door twice before awaiting permission to entry.

“Come in!”

His voice made her slightly jump. Ander Leniz could be a very intimidating man when he wanted to be.  He demanded nothing less than perfection and was very vocal about things not up to his satisfaction.  Gabrielle entered, quickly taking a brief look around the office before settling on the man behind the desk. Ander Leniz was also an attractive older man in his late 50s who looked as though he could be in his early 40s. It was unfortunate that his personality didn’t quite match his appearance.

He motioned for her to sit and she took a seat in front of his desk. Her fingers laced in front of her in her lap in an attempt to hide her anxiety.

“What can I do for you, Mr.Leniz?” She finally voiced.

Ander Leniz didn’t look up from the papers on his desk for a moment. She momentarily wondered if he had even heard her at all. She felt a twinge of annoyance. Gathering the courage to inquire the meaning behind the meeting once more, she was interrupted before she could.

“Monroe, how long have you been working here?”

Say what?

“Twelve years, sir.”

“You started as an intern, correct?”

“That’s right.”

“You’ve done some good work while you’ve been here.”

Now her palms were getting sweaty. She unlaced them and discreetly rubbed them down her pants. Excitement was bubbling up in her chest that she struggled to keep in check.

“Thank you, Mr.Leniz. I appreciate that.”

“You’re loyal Monroe. Something I truly value in an employee. It means I can trust you with things, important things.”

Gawd I wish he would stop beating around the bush. Say what you have to say old man!

“As such, I have a very important task for you. Are you up for it?”

“Of course sir. Anything you need.”

This is it! I’m finally getting what I deserve. I can’t wait to call Daniel and Michelle. Long islands and shots on me!

That’s good to hear. Tomorrow I need you to pick up my son from the airport. I have too much work here to do it myself.  He’s coming in from Madrid, Spain.  All I ask is that you pick him up, show him around to kill time, and bring him here after. Simple enough.”

It was like someone smashed a plate over her head. She was too shocked to react at first. Only able to reply his last words in silence. Her hands bunched into fist.

Are you fucking serious?

He was eyeing her with that intense expression, gauging her reaction to his request. Was this a test? Bring his brat and she’d receive a promotion? Gabrielle was finally able to force a smile.  If he noticed it was a fake he didn’t say so. She gave him a jerky nod.

“That’s no problem. I didn’t have anything planned.”

On my day off. One of my FEW days off that I actually get because usually I take work home for YOU. Selfish, ungrateful, ego-

Great. Here’s thr flight number and time. He speaks English so there will be no language barrier. I trust you, Monroe.

“You can count on me, sir.”

With that, she was effectively dismissed judging by the way he returned to looking at the papers on his desk. She grabbed the sticky note with the details on it and rose, exiting the office to make her way back to her desk.

I can’t believe this. I need a drink…

Gabrielle collapsed in her chair, her leg bouncing up and down portraying her annoyance. She was so sick and tired of being everyone’s doormat in this damn office. She deserved so much better…but after twelve years it was hard to leave. It was like breaking up with your first love. She released an audible sign and looked down at the paper. Wonderful, she had to pick the brat up at 3pm. Smack dap in her afternoon. She really didn’t have anything planned but she liked to have her options, dammit! Even if that meant lounging around in her sweatpants with a cookie dough blizzard and rented movies.

After this, no more. If I don’t get some acknowledgement in here I’m going to say something or start looking for another job.

With her mind made up, she finally got back on track and tended to the work on her desk.

------

“Flight 234…Ok good it’s arrived.”

Gabrielle stood outside the gate awaiting, dressed black flats, tight blue jeans, and a simple red tank top adored with various matching accessories. Perched upon her nose were square dark sunglasses, and her brown mid back length weaved hair was tossed over her shoulder. She liked to think she looked casual, but cute. Who knows maybe she’d see a man who sparked her interest in the airport…

She released an unladylike snort. Doubt it. My luck isn’t that good.

 Lazily she held up a sign that read “Leniz.” People were starting to pour out the gate. Family members, friends, and chauffeurs surrounded her, some peeking into the glass window to try and get a glimpse of someone.

Off to her right, she heard a group of younger girls start to whisper excitedly. She glanced at them from the corner of her eye, their faces were lit as they attempted to subtly point at someone.

“He is gorgeous! Do you think he models? I bet he speaks some other language.”

“I would love to have him whisper something in my ear.”

“You’re so nasty April!”

“Look, look he’s coming over here. Chill out!”

Gabrielle redirected her gaze to the front. Maybe she was a little curious to what the big deal was. She was a woman after all! She could appreciate a good looking guy when he came along. There was nothing to see at first, just the normal range of people.

Then her breathe caught in her throat.

The man WAS gorgeous.  His face looked like something that should be on a magazine or big screen.  Full dark hair, contrasting with tan skin, falling into warm olive colored eyes with a straight nose, a strong jaw with a small mustache over his top lip and trimmed beard on his chin. He was tall, 6’2 at least with a lean physique, but muscles flexed as he carried his bag over his shoulder. His style was very casual, but that only seemed to add to his appeal.

Even she, at her age, had to bite her lip in appreciation of this fine man. Too bad he looked so young! Too bad he…was stopping right in front of her?

“Um…can I help  you?” She stuttered. He was too close. Or maybe she just hadn’t been around an attractive guy in a while so it was making her a bit self conscious. When was the last time she had sex? Months? A year?

The handsome man smiled brightly, and something in her stomach flipped. She couldn’t help but crack a small smile in return.

“I’m Leniz. Mercutio Leniz. I believe my father sent you.”

Sweet Jesus! I thought he was going to be some brat, not a man!

“Oh! Yeah, I’m…Gabrielle Monroe.  Nice to meet you,” she raised her hand for shaking to be polite in greeting.

Mercutio grasped her hand, gently turning it over and raising it to his lips. His eyes met her own chocolate ones as he placed a quick kiss on the back of her deep caramel colored hand. His lips curled into a smile against her skin causing a shiver to run down her spine and goose bumps to rise on her skin.

“The pleasure’s mine Ms. Monroe.”

Life has a funny way of messing with people.

 

 

 

 

 










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