C3 Being Professional
Chapter-3: Being Professional
I slid the red button on my phone, rejecting my mother's phone call once again. I didn't want to talk to her or my best friend, Freja—it was better in that way. After returning to my apartment last night, I didn't speak to anyone. I had put my phone on silent and told Yana to email me if there was anything related to work.
I didn't even sleep properly last night until I made up my mind to stay fully professional now. Whatever I saw last night was just a murder-mystery movie which I watched live. Nothing else. With that thought, I came to the office early today to complete the extra work, which I couldn't complete yesterday.
I untied my ponytail and let my hair down because of the headache I was getting due to lack of sleep. I ran a hand through my smooth hair and glanced at my wristwatch. It was time for all the employees to come to the office since the office hours would start in thirty-five minutes.
I had a meeting in an hour, so I decided to check the contract which Arizon Fashion would sign with us. I had to face Zaiden in the meeting, but it was okay. He was just my boss, nothing else. "Just my boss," I mumbled, not realizing I had said it aloud.
"Thinking about me won't make your day nicer, believe me," a sudden voice spoke up, making my heart jump in fear.
I looked at the door, only to find Zaiden closing the door as he got inside.
He is a normal person, Aria, I assured myself. Then I said with a smile as I got up from my seat, "Good morning, Boss."
Everyone in the office called him Boss, but I was habituated in calling him by his name which he never objected to. Even he was okay with me calling him by his name. However, calling him by his name wasn't professional so I had to be fully professional now.
"Boss?" Zaiden arched an eyebrow in amusement, his hands in his pocket of the royal blue suit he wore. A few strands of his black hair came on his forehead, which made him look more handsome than usual.
Be professional, Aria!
"Yes. Did you need something?" I asked, and when I noticed his eyes were on my hair, my eyes grew as wide as saucers.
Zaiden had strictly instructed all the female employees to always keep their hair tied and dress-up properly, while he had similar rules made for the male employees.
I took the rubber band which was on my desk and quickly started to tie my hair in a high ponytail, mumbling, "I am so sorry. I was just having a headache so I—"
Zaiden approached me and took the rubber band from my hand, saying, "You still have thirty minutes so till then, you can keep your hair open." When his eyes met mine, I averted my gaze and nodded curtly. "Aria, I had informed you last night that my driver would drop you. Why did you drive alone when I know you weren't in that position to drive properly?"
I cleared my throat and replied politely, "I should've informed your driver that I wouldn't need him to drop me. My sincere apologies for being so insincere. He must've waited for me."
"You drove recklessly last night," he spat out, making a shiver run down my spine at his tone.
Was he angry because I made his driver wait for a long time? Or was he angry because I broke traffic rules? It was better to apologize before he got angrier at me. "I am sorry. Are you going to kill me for this?" My hands flew over my mouth at what I just spoke up.
Zaiden was glaring at me.
Damn it. Why did I blurt out the killing part? He wouldn't let me know before killing me since no murderer would inform the victim that he would murder him.
Seeing my scared expression, he heaved a sigh and said, "You don't have to say sorry for this. Just drive carefully the next time."
"Oka—" I stopped midway when a question got into my mind. "Is there going to be a next time for me to work overtime?"
His lips curved into a small smile which he covered up by clearing his throat. He took a deep breath and answered, "That depends actually. If I hear you portraying me as a good boss in front of my employees behind my back, you have to work overtime once again."
"So I can do that as long as you don't hear it," I muttered under my breath.
I was the one who would lie bluntly to people I was not close enough with, but I could never lie with my close people. So I would tell the employees how good Zaiden was every time he scolded an employee.
"Aria," Zaiden's voice snapped me out of my thoughts. "Did you recheck the contract?"
Since he was standing close to me, I took a step back and said, "No. I was about to until you came here."
"Okay, check it thoroughly." He pulled a chair for himself and sat on it, making me look at him blankly. When he looked at me, he informed me, "I will stay here till you recheck the contract and reprint it if there is any mistake. You might need my help to understand some terms."
I rolled my eyes. "I have been doing these for the past two years," I grunted and took a seat on my chair. I opened the file containing the contract and started to read it. All these times while reading the contract, I could feel Zaiden's eyes on me. It was slightly uncomfortable, but I managed to stay quiet.
"If you have any questions, which I know you have plenty in your mind, just ask," Zaiden let out after an awkward silence.
I closed the file and looked at him, raising my eyebrows. "I have no questions regarding the contract," I answered innocently.
"Aria," he called out, giving a chilly vibe to me, "You know what I mean."
I sucked in a deep breath and said to him, "Look, I sure do have plenty of questions but I don't want to ask. The more I know about it, the more I will be in danger. If you are into that kind of stuff, you must have plenty of enemies and they might target me if they learn I know about your personal life. Also, there is no assurance that you won't kill me. So if I know more about what I saw last night, there will be higher chances of you killing me."
I added further when his eyes locked with mine, "That's why I have decided to stay professional. We are just working in the same company and you are my boss."
Zaiden twitched his lips, crossing his arms against his chest. "There is one thing I want to let you know. If you keep it a secret, I will answer every question you have in your mind."
"But I will die if I reveal it by mistake," I pointed out, my voice almost inaudible at the thought of dying, that too by Zaiden's hands.
"You are smart and I know you will take every move after thinking a lot," he said and got up from the seat. "See you in the meeting." With that, he walked out of the cabin, leaving me alone.
Zaiden was willing to answer the questions I had in my mind. But that might put me in danger. If I got into danger, so would my mom and Freja. I couldn't let that happen. Those two were my only family.
It was wise to pretend like nothing happened. But if Zaiden continued to talk about that incident, how would I pretend to know nothing?
Shoving all the questions away, I decided to get ready for the meeting. I looked for my rubber band but it was nowhere in my cabin. Today, I had brought only one rubber band and it went missing. Great!
I took a pencil from the penholder on my desk and tied my hair into a bun with it. Taking the necessary files, I got out of the cabin.
"Good morning, Ma'am," Yana chirped and stood up.
"Good morning, Yana," I greeted her. "I am going to attend the meeting with Arizon Fashion now. So make sure my schedule is free during that time frame otherwise Zai—Boss will scold me."
Yana nodded her head. "Okay, Ma'am. Best of luck for the meeting."
"Thank you," I said and made my way to the private elevator.
The elevator got to my floor and as soon as the door opened, I saw Zaiden standing inside the elevator. As much as I wished to use the common elevator or the staircase to maintain a distance from him, I knew it was the busy hours for our office. I would be late for the meeting if I didn't take the private elevator.
"Do you know how to get in or do you want me to teach you how to step in an elevator?" Zaiden deadpanned. "Take a ste—" he stopped when I walked into the elevator and then he let out a chuckle. "Glad you know it."
I stayed quiet and pressed the button to close the door of the elevator. We stood at two ends of the elevator, waiting to reach the seventh floor. I couldn't help but look at Zaiden from head to toe, wondering whether he had a gun with him now or not. I tried to look at his pocket properly.
Suddenly, Zaiden unbuttoned his coat, which made me look in another direction due to the discomfort engulfing me.
"What are you doing?" I asked, getting nervous.
"Are you looking for this?" he questioned, and I turned to look at him.
He pointed his index finger on the holster on his belt with a gun in it.