”Ashley. ” Ashley heard Chloe call her name again from her desk for the umpteenth time that day, like doesn she get tired? She decided to finally look up at her friend, giving her a questioning look which got her speaking, ”have you heard anything about the new CEO coming in today? ”

Ashley hadn really heard much about the new CEO, but she remembered some of the ladies discussing about it in the rest room earlier that day, and she hadn been concerned.

She couldn really express how she felt about a new CEO, she was so used to Mr Marshall and it had shocked her when he announced that he was going to retire. She shook her head in response to the question Chloe asked this got her talking on.

”He is the successor of our company, the only child of Mr Marshall, and I heard he is very hot. ” Chloe ended this with a squeal. It was a miracle no one else seemed to mind. Ashley looked around the large working space to see that everyone was busy working.

Ashley rolled her eyes at Chloe, it had always being about hotness, nothing else seemed to matter to her. She gave her the response she was expecting anyway, ”so… ”

”Are you a lady at all? You should have atleast swooned or something, ” Chloe said in frustration. ”I don know what to do with you anymore. ”

”Just don do anything okay, ” Ashley said typing away at her computer. She understood Chloes frustration over her clearly, but somethings are just not meant to be.

Yeah, you can call her a workaholic, but working had always being a means of escape for her. Yes! Escape. She had a lot of things she wanted to erase from her life, a lot of things she wished so much never happened. Her mood dampened a whole lot more as these thoughts swirled through her mind.

”Is it back? ” she heard Chloes voice ask. The voice sounded very quiet unlike before. Ashley looked up at her and saw the look of concern on her face, she must admit she hated seeing that look. ”The nightmare; is it back? ”

”No, I haven had that in months, ” Ashley said, mustering up a smile. She had been lucky enough this past few months, her nightmares had stopped. Ashley knew that Chloe was still deeply curious about how she ended up having recurring nightmares, but she didn probe. That was the most unique thing about Chloe, she would never pry, she would rather wait until the person came clean.

”Then why do you have that troubled look? ” Chloe asked again.

”Nothing much, just random thoughts flowing through my mind, ” she answered.

Chloe went back to her work after giving her one more disbelieving look.

Ashley sighed and also returned to her work. Just as she was about to email the draft she had just completed to her boss, an email came in from the management for all staff to gather at the conference room, ”what again! ”

”It must be about the new CEO. ” Chloe piped in from her seat as she stood up with so much eagerness, looking all happy. Her brunette hair seemed to bounce up with her as she stood up. ”Come on lets go. ”

Ashley was greatly surprised, this was the first time Chloe would be so eager to answer a call from the management. She also noticed that the rest of the staffs seemed to get up really fast, today must be a good day at Marshall enterprises. Ashley on the other hand felt a little reluctant about standing up since she still had some unfinished task.

”Come on Ashley, you don wanna be late, do you? ” Chloe whined.

At this point Ashley had to leave what she was doing, and stood up.

They walked side by side at first, but soon enough Chloe got so annoyed and literally dragged her to the conference room. When they got in, the two feelings that hit her was shock and irritation. Ashley was shocked to see that the majority of the staffs at Marshall enterprises were already seated. This was a big news to contain because usually she was among the first ten people to get there. It seemed like everyone was really interested in this new CEO. And she was irritated by the noise in the room, the usually polished and neat conference room looked scattered today, there were people everywhere having several discussion which contributed to creating the cacophony in the room.

”See, I told you that we should hurry up but you kept on walking like a **ing bride, now theres no good seat left. ” Chloe whined like a baby, this baby seems to always forget that she is twenty two.

Ashley was forced to look around at this point and couldn comprehend what Chloe was saying, because she could definitely see more than enough good seat.

”Now we have to sit at the back and won be able to get a good look at the hot CEO, ” Chloe continued muttering, staring daggers at the people seated at the front. She dragged Chloe to the back and sat down, forcing Chloe down into the seat beside her.

Ashley shook her head at her friend who was still angry, she soon ignored her and got lost in her own thoughts thinking about nothing in particular. The noise in the room didn give her much space to think, she abhorred unnecessary talking, and it was quite unusual to see the employees at Marshall enterprises this disorganized.

It was about thirty minutes before the CEO Mr Marshall came in, this put an end to the silly talks as everywhere grew quiet. There was a young guy walking closely behind Mr Marshall. Ashley focused on the guy, watching him intently, she had always found people interesting, she loved people watching, one of the reasons Chloe refers to her as a curious cat.

This guy was what she could describe as the most gorgeous thing on this earth, his whole body was oozing of confidence like he had been drowned in it before stepping out of his house. His hair was jet black, it was slicked back giving everyone a chance to ogle his delicious face. His eyes were sea green and holy moly she wanted to bask in it. He wore a black suit with a blue inner shirt. She wondered if he was the new CEO, if he is then everyone was definitely sane to be so interested in him.

He assessed them for a good fifteen minutes like they were specimen on his exam table. she felt intimidated by him, she could just feel the power coming off him from where she sat.

Suddenly as he was busy looking around his eyes fell on her, Ashley became hypnotized by it immediately. Everything else around her became invisible. His green eyes were so enchanting and they seemed to be speaking to her, then it struck her.

Ashley could see the resemblance, she remembered those same eyes looking back at her with hatred, and disgust two years ago. Then it all came back, everything she had tried to erase came flashing before her eyes. She tilted back with fear on her seat feeling Chloes questioning gaze on her, but she had no time to abate Chloes curiosity now.

Ashley raised her iPad to her face trying to shield herself from him. It was stupid she knew, but she had to do anything to get him to stop staring at her, anything to stop him from recognizing her.

What was he doing here?

Why was he here?

Oh lord she thought she had left it all behind when she left Boston two years ago.

She peeked out of her iPad and saw that he was still staring at her with a curious look, then he smiled at her. She was surprised, it finally dawned on her then that he couldn have recognised her. No, never, her face had been covered that night.

Ashley was finally able to relax. She sat down with confidence, but her conscience was eating her up. She wanted to run away and never be seen again, but if she did so now there would be lots of questioning looks.

Through out the meeting she wasn at rest, she found herself unconsciously rubbing her sweaty palms on her face every now and then. The only thing she was able to understand from the meeting was that Mr Marshall was retiring, and his son Greg Marshall would be taking his place as the CEO.

Ashley felt really stupid. Why hadn she realized that Marshall was that family from two years ago? How the ** did she end up in their company?

At this point she was beginning to sweat internally coupled with her already erratic breathing, she felt like she had just seen a ghost.

She suddenly felt Chloe poke her waist; she jerked up with fear. Everything seemed to scare her now. She turned to Chloe with a scowl etched on her face.

”You are being called, ” Chloe said. Ashley looked up to see Mr Marshall (father) pointing to her.

She stood up and started taking slow steps towards him. Her mind was spiraling, she wondered if Greg Marshall had recognized her. Oh lord was this how her life was going to come to an end?

Her heavy feet carried her to the front and stood her before the two Marshalls, but believe it she would rather be hanging from a tree right now than be there.

”You want her? ” Mr Marshall asked his son as she stood there watching them. She found it hard to put a stop to her internal shaking, the careless whispers from the background did nothing to assuage her fears. oh how much she hated this.

”Yes. ” Greg Marshall answered and sweet Jesus his voice was practically the sweetest thing she ever heard. She went crazy mentally when she realized what had just happened; she was really baffled. How could anyone admit you want someone you just met? And that too to his father.

”She looks like someone who would take her job seriously, so she would make a good Secretary, ” Greg Marshall said. Her stupid heart stopped flipping then. So he had wanted her for a Secretary not the other way round. Her face turned beet red with inner embarrassment.

”Yes son, Ashley Wells is one of the most efficient staff I have in this company, but I feel you would want to just put up an ad for a new secretary, she is currently under a different person now. ”

”Well I don want to put up an ad, its either her or no one else. ” Greg Marshall said curtly and she kinda felt it was rude to sound that way when talking to your own father, but who was she to complain.

”Its okay if that is what you want, we will just get her replaced in her former office, ” Mr Marshall said. Ashley felt insulted that they were discussing her like she wasn right there, and they didn even ask her of her opinion.

She definitely doesn want to be anywhere near Greg Marshall, or any of the Marshalls. She wanted to go far away and just never come back, but it seems fate had something else planned for her.

Wait, what the **! Had she just become the Secretary to this goddamn hot CEO?

Lets forget his hotness for a second, how was she going to cope? She definitely wouldn be able to live knowing she was his secretary. How could she live with herself after what she had done?

She looked up at his face to see him looking at her intently like he could tell exactly what she had being thinking of. She frowned at him. The look on his face was so self assured as he pulled at his tie, weird. There was only one thing she needed there and then, and that was, escape.

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