Chapter 1

362 7 0

Chapter 1

I slowly smooth my hands down my pencil skirt and tailored grey jacket before touching up my dark lipstick in the hall mirror with a look of resignation. My eyes scan and check my tawny hair is neat and sleek in its high bun and I appraise my reflection with scrutiny again to make sure it's precise. I sigh once more and take a steadying breath to try and feel ready.

I'll do!

I look as good as I know I'm capable of and I'm mildly satisfied with what I see before me, a cool efficient image of cold poise and grey tailoring that exudes authority. I narrow my eyes to look for any flaws to my immaculate armour, any stray hairs or specks of dust or creased fabric and see nothing.

I've never been a lover of my own reflection with my young appearance, cool blue eyes and pouting lips, but nothing is out of place at all and I look right for my new role as personal assistant to my very high profile boss. Professional and capable on the outside which I guess is what matters, calm and uncompromising with every detail in place and clothes flawlessly neat.

I slide on my stilettos gracefully with a slow careful motion, keeping my balance with one hand on the wall and hear the movement from the room at my back, glancing up at the mirror in response.

'Morning Em's...God, you look efficient as always.' Sarah stifles a yawn as she wanders from her room and rubs her eyes with the back of her fist in a very young manner as I watch her in the reflection behind me. It's unusual for her to be up this early on her day off, Sarah has never been a lover of mornings for as long as I have known her.

She's wearing her baggy pink housecoat, messy bleached blonde short hair sticking up at all angles from her head, casually loveable as always and I feel a warm affection for that bundle of happy energy. Her bright blue eyes are heavy with early morning fatigue and she's watching me closely with a silly smile on her face. A little too closely for my liking.

'Good morning Sarah.' I smile lightly, I try to ignore the way she's looking at me and straighten up to stand tall. I turn, lifting my briefcase deliberately from the floor in front of me and head forward into our open plan apartment, always conscious of my grace and mannerisms under scrutiny even in front of her and push out the sense of tightness in my nerves today.

'Remember you need to be here for ten o'clock...the boiler repair. ' I remind her as she shuffles along behind me to the lounge area, trying to distract her from the open gawking she seems to be doing. Running through my schedule in my head like a mental checklist to give me something else to think about besides my nerves today.

'I know. I know! You left me a memo on the fridge remember?' She giggles childishly and throws me a patient look, raising a brow and smirking at me with an almost indulgent expression. She looks much younger than her age and sometimes I forget we went to school together. I feel more like her guardian than her flatmate nowadays but maybe I always did, if I was being honest. I sigh again, pushing down the tight knot of apprehension I feel inside and give her a small genuine smile of bravado.

'Don't forget.' I sound stern but she doesn't react, she's used to my serious tone and my endless organisation of our lives. She knows this is just the way I do things, my need to be in control always and have everything just so to make me feel more capable.

'I won't. I swear...I'm not working till tonight, so I'm going to stick around and chillax...Watch some back to back Netflix.' She lazily moves to the bright white and grey open plan kitchen to the side of me and begins making herself a coffee, lifting the mug I washed from the rack earlier this morning for herself with another sleepy bright smile. I watch her casual confident movements around the kitchen, her domain when she's at home and gives me a sense of calm. Sarah was always good at making me feel a little saner when I needed it, never aware of how I drew from that uncomplicated relaxed manner of hers when I needed to ground myself.

The Carrero Effect - (Book one of The Carrero Series book 1)Read this story for FREE!