The Assistant - Book cover

The Assistant

GHazelV

2: The New Office

Valencia

Once Ms. Fuentes turned, I couldn’t help my eyes going wide at the woman. She looked way too young to be retiring - no more than thirty, I’m sure.

She was a tad taller than I was, with tanned skin, long dark brown hair with streaks of grey, and her body resembled an hourglass. Her skin was smooth, and free of any blemishes, as far as I could tell.

Her nails were well done, and her outfit hugged her curves perfectly. I was so in awe of her beauty that I hadn’t noticed I was staring at her until we had reached another elevator and she let out a soft giggle.

I shook my head slightly.

“I-I’m so sorry. It’s just, I’m a little surprised that you’re retiring at such a young age. If I’m being honest, I expected someone a lot older.”

I could feel my cheeks heating up from embarrassment. I couldn’t help it; I wasn’t one to bite my tongue.

“Oh, I will take that as a compliment.” She beamed, and her cheeks went a little red, too. “My fifty-sixth birthday is actually next month.”

“Holy shit, fifty-sixth? You don’t look older than thirty.” My eyes flew wide again. “Still, fifty-sixty isn’t an age that most people retire at. Mr. Ortiz must pay you extremely well.”

“I like you. And yes, he does. Just like he will be paying you well. You might get to retire by fifty yourself.” She smiled, then turned to the elevator and slid a card on a small machine next to it.

The elevator opened immediately, and she raised a hand, motioning me to walk inside.

“All other elevators only go up to the twenty-ninth floor; this is the only one that goes up to the thirtieth, which is Mr. Ortiz’s.

“Once we have all of your information, you will be given your own personal card. Never forget it at home as it is your only way up to the thirtieth floor.

“Apart from Mr. Ortiz himself, you will be the only other person in this building that will have that access. He likes his privacy, and he hates distractions,” she spoke.

“If anyone at all needs to see him for any reason, they need to make an appointment with you. When it is that time, you will meet them here, and take them up yourself. Understood?”

She pushed the button that closed the door and started our way up. I nod to her.

Before I could ask her any questions, the door opened again, and we were there. We both stepped out together. The room we entered was huge.

The floor was made up of a polished, gray-colored wood, and the walls were all white. There was a single large, black desk to one side, right in front of a full-sized window, looking out into the city.

It was magnificent. Behind the desk was a decent-sized file cabinet, and next to that, in the corner was a snake plant.

Across the desk was an area with a gray-colored rug; on top of it were two black sofas, a centered glass coffee table with a few magazines, and a bonsai plant.

Behind that, there was a hallway that led to God knows where.

Mr. Ortiz’s office was on the right side of the desk. He must have been busy because the ceiling to floor glass that separated his office from the waiting room was covered in what looked like black wooden blinds.

I knew it was his office because his name, Roman Ortiz, shined on his door in silver letters. I wondered what he looked like as there were no pictures of him on Google, either.

This man was full of mystery, and now it was going to be my job to help keep it that way. Surprisingly, I was up for that challenge.

The more I learned about this particular job, the more excited I had become. I couldn’t wait to get started.

“Okay, Ms. Elegante, please follow me to the desk.” Ms. Fuentes finally said.

“Sure,” I replied.

“Everything you will need is right here, all of his most important client’s information is located in that file cabinet right there.

“You can look most of them up on the computer here, but some of them are a bit more personal, so for the safety of his clients, he keeps that information hidden in the file cabinet.

“Which you need to keep locked up at all times. Some of that information can be… incriminating. It cannot fall into the wrong person’s hands.

“Not that you should be worried too much about that. As I said before, only you and Mr. Ortiz have access up here.

“So, if anyone is able to get up here alone, I can assure you, it will most definitely be your fault. Understand?” Her voice went cold.

“Understood,” I replied.

“Good. Now, most of the time, Mr. Ortiz will be very clear about what he needs and wants. It is your job to make sure you do it well.

“In the mornings, he gets his own coffee and breakfast, so you don’t need to worry about that. For lunch, he will let you know what he wants and all you need to do is call it in and have it delivered.

“If it is going to be late, let him know. Same goes for dinner. Yes, there will be plenty of nights where you will be stuck here. So be prepared at all times.” She gave me a stern look.

“That means, you need to make sure that you have a bag here full of some personal items and toiletries. Even some backup clothes in case the two of you end up staying the night.” She cocked an eyebrow at me.

“Oh, okay. I’ll make sure to have that prepared tonight so I can bring it in tomorrow morning. Thank you.” I smiled.

“Right. Lastly, you will be in charge of a lot of his personal life. You will be in charge of planning things for him, like birthday parties.

“He doesn’t have many friends, mostly acquaintances, so it’ll be up to you to make invitations, phone calls, etc., to get people to show up.

“In this top drawer, you will find a notebook that I took upon myself to write down anything and everything I feel you might need to know about him.

“It contains the phone numbers of his two best friends, past entanglements, his birthday, people he is willing to see right away, people that need to make appointments, and those he doesn’t want to see at all.

“You should try to memorize it. I’m sure word has gone around about me leaving, and someone new taking my place.

“So, there will be many people that will try to trick you or manipulate you into letting them up to see him. You cannot let your guard down.”

“Understood.” I nod.

“I suggest you go through it whenever you find some time, but do not, under any circumstances, let it leave this room. Just like his clients, these are very personal notes.

“Like I mentioned before, he is very private. It’s pretty hard to find anything on him. He makes sure of it.”

“Yeah, I tried to look him up on Google. Just about everything is about his business, accomplishments, donations, but nothing about him personally.

“I was trying to find out all I could before getting here, but there wasn’t much on him.” I stated.

“Exactly. He actually goes out a lot, especially to clubs. No one knows he’s Roman Ortiz, though. He uses a couple of different names. Depending on the situation.

“Again, all of that is in the notebook. Make sure that stays locked away, too. This drawer didn’t have a lock before, but I made sure one was added before you arrived.

“This…” She pulled out a key from her skirt’s pocket, “is the key that fits into that drawer. Put it on your keychain for safekeeping. Just like your card, do not lose this. It won’t and can’t be replaced.”

I took the key from her hand and immediately put it on my keychain with the rest of my keys. It didn’t stand out, so I knew it wouldn’t draw any attention.

“Finally, this hallway back here has your own personal bathroom, complete with a shower. Right next to that, is an elevator that leads straight to his private parking lot. That is where he will come in and out of.

“Starting tomorrow, it will also be your parking lot. On our way out later, I’ll show you where to access it. You will report here every single morning at seven in the morning.

“If he needs you to come in earlier, he will let you know the night before. Your clock-out time is at seven PM every night unless he says otherwise.

“So, before you walk out of this office, make sure he doesn’t need to stay any later, and never assume you will have the weekend or any holidays for yourself. Even your own birthday.”

My eyes went wide, but I nodded to let her know that I understood. Just then, the blinds to his office began to open slowly.

The silhouette of a man walked from one side of the room to the door that we now faced.

“Ah, Mr. Ortiz. May I introduce you to your new assistant, Ms. Valencia Elegante? Ms. Elegante, I would like you to meet your new boss, Mr. Roman Ortiz.”

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