Chapter One

Being twenty two and a single mother was never my ambition. My ambitions were to be someone -- someone important. Not that parenthood was a bad thing. Some people were brilliant at being maternal. I really did admire them for it. But for me, they had never really factored in with the plan. Then again, children disliked me and I disliked them – it was a completely accepted and mutual fact.

But, one fling ruined all of that.

I let a sigh pass through my lips and with my head titled to the sky, I tried to see the top of the huge building looming over the Thames. It glinted in the early morning sun, looking more like diamond as it stretched up towards the rapidly greying skies. It was an impressive sight to a person who had been born and raised in a small town that time forgot. Where I had grown  up the tallest building was a three story block of flats.

Despite being in such a lively and overwhelming place, my fingers itched to call the child minder for the fifth time in twenty minutes. Every few seconds, when the nerves became too much, I would wriggle uncomfortably in my bargain-bin heels and slip my hand into the pocket of my bag to check that my phone was still there. Nothing had been going right that day and I hadn't thought it was going to start then. I had woken up with a strange niggling in the back of my mind – the one which told me that something monumental was going to happen that day. The very thought had me shrugging my shoulders to relieve the nagging itch on my back.

Maybe this is a mistake?

Wrapping my fingers around the strap of my bag, I focused on the haggard reflection staring back at me from the overly polished glass doors. Despite wearing a freshly ironed blood red shirt and a brand new black pencil skirt, I looked a complete wreck. The dark circles under my eyes from another sleepless night made me look like I was auditioning to be in the next exorcist movie. And to make it worse, there was humidity in the air which had played complete havoc with my hair. There was only one word for the look – disaster.

My eyes ran up the length of my reflected form before I smiled. I tried to be cheery and positive but it came out as a grimace. That too fell from my lips when the effort was too much. The nerves still curling and uncurling within my stomach did nothing to help.

Shoved forwards with impatient growls rumbling in my ears, I stumbled my way into the lobby of Satani Media. I called some hasty apologies to the disgruntled suits, but they just ignored me. Each pushed past me, making sure to give a little jab into my sides with their suitcases before they speed walked through the lobby to the shimmering gold doors of the lift.

I could honestly say that I had never seen people so eager to work before.   

Shaking my head at the absurdity, I turned my head to the ceiling and prayed to whatever deity was out there. I prayed for them to give me the strength to get through the day because I had a feeling – a deep instinctual one that this was going to be a long one.

Puffing out a breath I returned my attention to the present. And then I gasped.

With wide eyes and my both of my hands gripping my black leather bag, I stepped forward. Opulent was an understatement in relation to this masterpiece. Sleek and glossy, the brightly lit lobby was seductively alluring with every polished surface and curved line. The lighting, which mainly came from a ridiculously large crystal chandelier, drew the eyes to all of the good features in the room while also making it all feel so welcoming.

 And yet, I could tell it was all face.

It was the same itching feeling that roiled under the skin of my back, twitching and tickling so much that all I wanted to do was claw at my skin to alleviate the feeling.

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