This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or otherwise, is unintentional and purely coincidental. I make no monetary value in the writing of this story.
Project for July 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo. First draft: I am welcome to any and all feedback/concrit.
She looked at the text message in disgust, wondering what type of job would fire someone via text. The woman yearned to shrug it off, making an excuse they were unprofessional as a whole, anyway: her being fired from that job was a good thing.
No, it’s not. I’ve been fired, period.
There was nothing she could do about it except the obvious: look for another job. She checked her bank account and sighed. She barely had enough for a month’s rent and survival on ramen noodles. Alexis stayed online and put in as many applications as she could within a ten-mile radius. The last thing she wanted to do was move back home.
The search frustrated her; no one was hiring except the underpaying fast food restaurants around town. Alexis admitted that she was picky; while she needed a job as soon as possible, the idea of flipping burgers didn’t appease to her. But, she put in her applications and went to her emails, something she hadn’t done in a while.
In a way, she was glad she did. An email dated the day before caught her attention, it pulled at her to open. Alexis eyed it strangely because it appeared to speak to her personally. An anonymous message talking about a job opportunity. No other details were included except for the address and the dates available for interviews. Alexis looked at the top corner of her desktop and nearly toppled out of her chair; she had an hour to get ready and make her way downtown. What did she have to lose? Alexis ransacked her closet for a decent outfit, printed out a mediocre copy of her résumé and headed to the location.
As she looked at the building located in the middle of the downtown area, Alexis wondered if the email was indeed too good to be true. The building itself was plain, not even a name sign adorned the brick structure. Many scenarios went through her mind but she stepped inside anyway.
What if this is a cover up for some sex company? I don’t want to be an escort.
The thought was erased as she took in the small lobby. A security guard seated in the middle of the room gave her a smile and a nod, something that surprised Alexis. She was usually met with disdain because of her hair dye: her dark brown hair was styled in a short bob which barely covered her nape but the eye catcher was the broad streak of electric green that served as bangs. If she wore her hair as is, Alexis found herself pushing the strands away from her right eye. The older man seemed not impressed or bothered by her choice of hair color.
Before she could stumble her words out, the guard pointed towards the lone door behind him, wishing her good luck. She didn’t know what to expect when she opened the door but it wasn’t a larger lobby. Immediately on the right side of the door was a receptionist desk and even the receptionist wasn’t who she expected to see. The woman who smiled brightly at her was young, heavyset but pretty. Her strawberry blonde hair fell past her shoulders and was tucked behind her ears. Alexis studied her and figured the woman wore her hair in that way on purpose to show off her gauged ears.
“What?” the lone word took Alexis off guard. She was still studying the woman who was casually dressed in a t-shirt and jeans.
“The color,” she nodded towards the streak of green. “Myst is the only product I know that pops out like that. I did a sapphire blue once it was just…” it appeared she was at a loss for words.
“Right, ‘wow’. I loved it!”
“Heh: yeah, I didn’t know my color would pop out like this.”
“Myst is the best product out and it lasts quite a while. Took a year and a half before that blue started to fade.”
“That’s crazy. I just did this about a few weeks ago?”
“Yeah, it’ll be there for a while! Oh, sorry: hi, welcome to ASHE. Do you have an appointment?”
“ASHE? Um, I don’t have an appointment. I actually got this email.” Alexis took her phone out and showed the receptionist the email. Her smile widened.
“That’s great. We were hoping you would get it.”
“Well, not you personally. We sent the email out to a lot of people but not too many show up for the interviews. Figured that it mostly found its way to a spam folder or something.”
“O-Oh. I don’t get many emails so… no spam folder.”
“Either way, the boss’ll be pleased to have people to interview for once.”
“The boss? The actual boss is going to interview me?”
“Of course. He does all the interviews. The only way to make sure the right person is hired. So, Ms…” she looked at her in anticipation.
“F-Farley. Alexis Farley.”
“I’ll let him know you’re here, Ms. Farley. Have a seat over there,” she pointed to the row of seats situated across the desk. Alexis nodded as she took a seat where three others waited. They looked as confused as she was but acknowledged her as she sat. The receptionist gave the four a friendly nod as she made her way across the room to a double door that was heavily guarded. The two large guards instantly moved for the woman as she disappeared into the next room. Moments later, she returned and sat at her desk with a smile. “They’ll call you soon.”
“Oh, ok. Thanks…”
“Penny. Guess I need to invest in a name placard. I’ll bring that up with the boss.” she smiled and shrugged.
Alexis didn’t know how fast or slow the time passed but she found herself the only one left in the lobby as she idly scrolled through her phone. The door leading from the security lobby swung open and she caught sight of the largest man she’d ever seen. He barely fit through the door height-wise but was as big around as he was tall. He glared at Penny although she kept her smile.
“Cross in?” he asked before she had a chance to open her mouth. Alexis had to give it to Penny; had it been her sitting there, she would’ve been shaking. But Penny continued to smile at the man, unaffected.
“I’m not at liberty to say so you’ll have to wai–” Penny stopped in mid-sentence as the man grumbled and walked towards the guarded doors. “Sir, you can’t go through those doors.” She warned and jumped out her seat to follow the man. Alexis’s heart pounded: the guy meant business. She didn’t believe that the two guards would be a match for him unless they were armed. Alexis readied her phone to dial 911.
“Watch me!” the guy threatened. He was halfway to his destination when Alexis witnessed something she would never thought she’d see in a million years. The man suddenly grunted as he stopped in mid-stride and groaned as he was forced to the ground awkwardly. Alexis’s eyes widened when she saw who was responsible: Penny had her hand out, keeping the man in place with an invisible force.
She knew super humans were a part of everyday life. Larger cities were used to having them handle the major threats but Alexis only heard about them. She considered herself lucky to never encounter them face-to-face… until that moment. She sat frozen as Penny slowly closed her hand and the man screamed.
“Now, what did I say you weren’t allowed to do?”
“G-G-Go t-t-through t-t-those… d-d-doors…” he struggled. Penny took her other arm and waved it towards the seats, the gesture forced his body to walk in the direction. When he was close enough for Alexis to see the fear in his eyes, Penny pushed her hand down gently but the man crashed to the floor with another yell.
“Oh, you don’t get the luxury of a seat, today. When I say, you have to wait, you have to wait. So, guess what we’re doing?”
“You learn so quickly; good boy!”
“Penny!” a woman came through the other doors. The only thing not normal about the woman was her choice of hair color: a glossy midnight purple with streaks of silver. Even where Alexis sat, she saw that silver made the woman’s hair shine. The holster that the woman in black wore didn’t go unnoticed.
This isn’t going to end well…
“What? I’m just teaching this guy some manners.” Penny retaliated without looking at the other woman.
“In front of her?” her hazel eyes swept over Alexis but glared back at Penny.
“Lexi? She’s cool.” Penny shrugged and Alexis blushed at her new nickname.
“You’re scaring her. Release him…” the other woman fussed and Penny hesitated. “Do I need to get Angel in here… again?” she warned and with that, Penny released her hold on the man. He crumbled to the ground with a last grunt and the woman in black shook her head at the scene. She sighed heavily but looked at Alexis. “Alexis Farley, I assume.”
“Follow me.” she turned to the doors. Alexis put her phone away and got up. She couldn’t help but to stare at the disheveled man who hadn’t moved from the floor. Only a few moments ago, he was raging like a runaway truck. Alexis shot a look at Penny, who opened her mouth.
“That… was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” Alexis breathed out before Penny could say anything.
“Thanks! It was nothing, really. See, Rainy: I told you Lexi was cool. Make sure Cross hires her!”
“For the love of– stop calling me that!”
Alexis had to double her strides to keep up with “Rainy” who walked in an agitated but brisk state. Alexis looked around the new room in shock because there was no type of order. Desks and cubicles were scattered throughout and people in business casual wear were busy doing whatever they needed to do. A massive digital board took up the majority of the right-side wall where a map of the world displayed. The dots which crowded the regions peaked Alexis’s curiosity, particularly the colors: most were red but there were flecks of blue that stood out amongst them.
The only other thing noticeable in the room were the elevator doors on the adjacent wall. As busy as the area appeared, no one came near those doors and Alexis wondered why. Outside, the building seemed to have at least two more floors.
Does everyone work on this floor? Then, what are the other two floors for…? This place is weird.
Alexis put her attention to the woman in front of her. Although the woman’s heeled boots gave her a few inches on Alexis, she assumed the two were the same height. She was lean but by the way she walked, Alexis figured she would find toned muscles beneath the black jacket. However, anyone’s attention would focus on the brilliant shine of hair. Alexis watched as the woman’s own short bob bounced with every confident step she took.
The woman stopped at a thick door that led to a small conference room with an equally thick glass pane. She opened the door and gestured for Alexis to walk in.
“Do you know what you’re applying for?”
“I… uh, no ma’am.” Alexis refrained from adding that she had no idea what the company did. But, the other woman winced at her words and gave her a small glare.
“God, don’t do that. I’m not that old! Do I look that old to you?”
“O-O-Oh, um, no.”
“Good. Seeing that you have no idea, you must’ve received that email. There are four levels of employment here: janitorial, liaison, secretary and agent. The cleaning crews are contractors and agents usually receive a personal inquiry so you’ll most likely b–” she was cut short by quick beeps that came from her hip. “Rainy” groaned and glared at her pager. “Looks like I have to take care of this. Hang tight, this shouldn’t take too long.” She grumbled and left in a blur.
Alexis watched the woman in astonishment as she made a beeline to the elevators. Alexis was about to take a seat until she noticed a few employees staring at her. Her brow crinkled when she gave them her full attention but they quickly made themselves busy doing whatever they were busy with before she arrived.
She shrugged it off and took a seat, seeing that it was useless to stand and stare at the bare walls. She mulled over the four positions available at this company, ASHE. Aside from the fact that there were possibly two super humans working for the company, it was the only thing she knew. Alexis reasoned that whoever the “Angel” person mentioned would be one, seeing that “Rainy” threatened Penny to retrieve them. One thing was for sure: the company had no problem with dyed hair.
Alexis’s thoughts were interrupted as she watched a lovely Japanese woman approach the room. She tilted her head to the side, considering Alexis for a moment before she entered the room. Being closer, Alexis saw that she only had a few Asian traits but everything else about her screamed red-blooded American. Her blonde hair flowed in lovely curls past and over her shoulders, which put one’s attention to her cleavage.
Yeeah… she doesn’t need the hair to do that!
The woman’s cream-colored blouse couldn’t hide her busty frame even if it tried. Alexis stopped herself from looking down at her chest and folded her arms across her breasts instead. The move made the shorter woman smirk.
“I know, I know; I have enough boobs to cover every flat-chested woman this side of the states!”
“Listen, could you give this to Agent Cross? It’s almost my lunch break and if I don’t leave now, I’ll never eat.” the woman rushed and plopped a beige folder on the table.
“He needs that right away. Appreciate that.” She gave a wink and hurried off. Alexis stared out the pane for a moment, debating on whether she should track the woman down. She turned her attention back to the folder and wondered how she would get it to whoever Agent Cross was.
Cross… shit, that’s the big boss!
Alexis groaned as she bit her bottom lip. What was she supposed to do? She looked back out the pane to see if “Rainy” was on her way back but no such luck. Alexis continued to worry her lip as she tapped her fingers nervously on the folder. Whatever was in that file, the boss needed right away.
I could just open it and see.
Not thinking twice, she did so and her eyes widened at the contents. A pink and menacing alien was pictured, flashing three rows of razor sharp teeth. Below its picture was some info but the only one Alexis paid attention to was: “Threat Level- 4C”. She skimmed over the rest and found while she couldn’t pronounce the name for the life of her, its last destination was only a few miles away from the downtown area.
That note made her bolt from the seat and grab the file. She definitely needed to find Agent Cross and figured that maybe if she asked around, it would make her life easier. Alexis searched the cornucopia of desks and decided to ask those who didn’t make it so obvious they were watching her every move.
She turned to her left, still eyeing the ones who darted their own away from her and bumped into something. Someone, she corrected herself as she stopped her mouth from flying open. The sight of the man who looked at her with warm, brown eyes was nearly enough to make her heart flutter.
Jesus Christ on a stick, please be Agent Cross!
Alexis soaked him in, careful not to give out an approving smile. He was taller than her by far which made Alexis look up slightly to admire his eyes. Although he was wearing business casual wear, she noticed he was very fit as his rolled-up sleeves showed muscular forearms. The man’s full lips curled into a smile and Alexis stopped herself from buckling.
“Are you okay?”
“Y-Yeah. I mean, yes. I’m fine. Do you… you wouldn’t happen to know where Agent Cross is, do you?”
“Oh. As a matter of fact, I do.”
“Ah, that’s great. Would it be too much for you to point me in his direction?”
“Not at all. He’s right in front of you.” The man smiled more as Alexis blushed hard. She soaked him in more and swallowed her naughty thoughts away. Appearance-wise, he was everything she ever looked for in a man: gorgeous, tall, muscular and with an award-winning smile.
“O-O-Oh. I’m to… give this to you, then.” She tried to still her shaking hand as she handed him the folder. Cross took the folder but put his attention to the blushing woman in front of him.
“You don’t work here, do you? What department are you from?”
“Hopefully the department that gives you these files, sir.” She wanted to smack herself for the coyness she allowed but Alexis didn’t know how else to answer his question, save telling the truth. When he fought laughter, she blushed even more. A sigh of relief almost escaped as Alexis watch him open the folder. Cross bit his own bottom lip slightly as he looked it over, which made the naughty thoughts run rampant in Alexis’s head.
Dear God, I want to bite your lips like that…
More warmth rushed to her cheeks when he gave her a look and she stopped staring at his lips.
F-Fuck, did he… no way he heard my thoughts!
Phillip Cross studied her as she nervously awaited his response. He kept his true reactions at bay: he actually did read her thoughts. He wondered what would make a human want to bite another’s lips but told himself he would ask about it later. He wanted to dwell on her attractiveness but decided the contents of the folder required more of his attention.
Phil tried to hide his smirk but failed. The woman impressed him already, being the only one who had the audacity to pretend she wasn’t bewildered with the file simply dumped in her lap. Had he been normal, her act would’ve fooled him.
A movement caught his attention and Phil looked past her. One of his top agents, Lorraine, stood beside his liaison, Angelica: the woman in black gawked at the scene while the blonde grinned mischievously. He cleared his throat and looked back at the woman in front of him.
“What’s your name?” he asked although he already knew. But Phil didn’t want to make Alexis more nervous by revealing that he had mind-reading abilities. He liked the sound of her voice even though the real excuse could be he found her attractive.
“Alexis Farley.” She tried her best to not put doubt in her voice.
“Alexis– can I call you Alexis?”
“O-Oh. Y-Yes, sir.” Her blush returned as Phil continued to smile at her.
“Alexis, what do you suggest we do about this threat?”
“Suggest?” her eyes widened slightly and Phil nodded.
“Yes,” he handed the folder back to the woman. “How should we handle this?” he asked. Phil glanced at Lorraine and Angelica, both were eager for her response. Lorraine had a need to rescue the poor girl but Angelica grabbed her arm, making her stay put.
Alexis took the folder and looked over the contents once more, no clue on what to make of it. The threat level assigned to the creature confused and awed her all the same. She knew that in some cases, the lower the number or letter, the bigger the threat or situation. But, to have both? It truly stumped her.
Alexis took in the calmness from Phil and the others watching her as she handed the file back to him.
“My suggestion would be to send someone to keep tabs on this one. It doesn’t appear that they’re a true threat but if provoked… they could be.” She answered with all the confidence she could muster. Phil tilted his head to the side as he took in her response.
“I mean, there’s no infractions listed. Just a last known destination. So, only surveillance should be fine for now.” She answered. It would’ve made Alexis feel much better if her response was met with murmurs or gasps. The silence unnerved her as Phil gave her a long look before looking through the file. He broke the silence with a laugh and Alexis didn’t know how to take his reaction. Clapping and a squeal was heard and Alexis turned to its direction: the Japanese woman who gave her the file was all smiles while “Rainy” had a look of relief with a smirk.
“That was really good,” Phil’s deep voice grabbed her attention once more. “You have a lot of confidence, I’ll give you that. As well as a bit of insight, which is a really good thing. I’ll let Stan know that he’s not a ‘true threat’; he’ll be happy with that bit of news.” He continued to laugh. Despite everyone else laughing along, Alexis gave him a confused stare.
“No, I’m the one who should apologize. This–” he lifted the folder and placed it on a nearby desk. “–was a test. We knew no one would have a clue on what the things inside it meant. They’re actually gibberish. But no other candidate went as far as you did. You faked it and did a wonderful job doing so.”
“I was right?”
“For the most part, yes.”
“Oh. So… what would’ve happened if I was wrong?” Alexis wanted to know. The look he gave Alexis melted her all over again.
Jesus, I bet he has a ton of women needing to change their panties with that look! I’m going to need to after this.
Phil smiled as he gave her a shrug, analyzing her latest thought.
“I think… I would’ve hired you, anyway. Now, looks like we need to get your training started. Shouldn’t be too hard, with your insight.”
“W-Wait… I’m hired…?” her eyebrows rose and Phil laughed heartily.
“Yes! Lorraine will show you where to go.” He nodded towards Lorraine who finally moved and escorted the still confused woman to the elevators. Phil kept his eye on his new employee as two of his agents joined him.
“She’s the new secretary, then?” while not as tall as Phil, Ivan was taller than his partner. Still distracted, Phil nodded. Ivan took note and smiled widely. “A lovely thing, isn’t she?”
“She… needs to change her panties? Is that normal? And… is it common for someone to want to bite another’s lips…?”
“Whoa… were those her thoughts?” Tyler’s green eyes brightened.
“You have to stop going through people’s minds like that.” Ivan shook his head but Phil continued to dwell on Alexis’s inner thoughts.
“Mmm… I sense some long nights ahead, then. Call me if you need any… help.” Tyler winked at Phil but Ivan rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, never mind that your husband is right here, listening.”
“Oh, baby, you can join in! The more, the merrier,” Tyler tried to hug Ivan but he scoffed and walked away. “Oh, come on: I was kidding!” he followed, leaving Phil to stare after them.
“But, wait… is that a good thing, then…?”