The sun greeted the morning skies. Beacons of warm colors pierced through the clouds, lighting up the horizon like a comforting blanket. They brought hope and joy as a new day arrived. Sunlight beamed on the asphalt roads and concrete buildings.
It shined through the windows, signalling the citizens of Maize City to wake up and to start the day.
Monday had come once again.
Eve groaned in her bed. Eyes still closed, she tapped on the pillows and searched for her phone. Her hand followed a trail until it located the mobile device. It felt warm under her touch.
She cracked an eye open and peeked at the screen. One notif immediately captured her attention. Her thumb clicked on it, bringing her to the app. Her other eye opened up.
``Yan: Good morning.``
Eve chuckled. Nothing had changed. Ambryan still messaged in the same manner. If the media got ahold of this conversation window, they'd doubt that he and Evangeline shared an intimate relationship.
A teasing grin blossomed on her lips.
``Lin: Good morning to you too, Ambee~``
Then. her brown eyes zoomed in on the timestamp.
"Crap!" She was going to be late!
Eve bolted out of the bed. Her phone dropped on the pillows. The blankets tangled around her legs. She tugged them free, landing on the floor. Dull pain ached at the back of her head.
She ran to her bedroom door.
It wasn't there.
"What—" Eve began to say but stopped short. The blood drained from her face. Of all days she woke up late, it just had to be—she shook her head and changed directions, muttering a curse.
The bathroom stood across the bedroom.
"Damn it! I really am gonna be late now!"
Her mind raced as she took a shower. She formed a game plan. Unfortunately, the odds weren't in her favor. The time constraints were just too wide. If she managed to clock in on time, it would be a miracle.
She really should have taken a taxi back to her real apartment last night. Andie was unable so she decided to leave in the morning since it was late.
Well, that surely did her a load of good.
Eve zipped back to the bedroom like a cartoon roadrunner. Her feet went for the walk-in closet. She grabbed the first pair of underwear she found. Then, she searched for the easiest dress to wear. A slip on would be good at saving time.
She found a long t-shirt dress in gray.
It would have to do.
Ambryan had messaged her on time. He surely wouldn't be late. If only he was then, she could get away with her tardiness.
"Damn him and his punctuality!" She cursed under her breath. "Next time, I'm going to ask if he's ever been late in his entire life. There had to be, at least, one moment."
Eve stepped out of the apartment.
A pair of sunglasses hid her brown eyes. A backpack hung on her shoulder. A baseball cap secured her crimson wig. She had been in a hurry that she couldn't be sure if the wig looked natural. She hoped the cap could hide away any mistakes.
The hallway was empty.
Eve sprinted for the elevator, her sneakers squeaking against the floor. She gazed at the digital screen above the doors. It stayed on '12', just two storeys above her. If it hadn't moved that long, it might be unused at the moment.
She pushed the down button and prayed that the lift would be empty.
Freezing, Eve squeezed her eyes shut and pressed her lips together. 'Could this get any worse? Someone tell me that this is a nightmare. Let me wake up to reality where I am eating breakfast with Andie before leaving for work.'
The tap on her shoulder shattered her wishes.
A wide smile stretched across her face as she spun on her heel. Jordan's concerned face and Mikael's impassive one greeted her sight. The smile plastered on her lips wavered for a second.
Did it really have to be the two of them?
"Mr. Dawson, Mr. Davis. Good morning." Eve nodded at each male. The elevator opened behind her. She entered it immediately and took the spot in front of the floor buttons. Her shoulder leaned against the wall while her eyes gazed at the digital screen.
Then. she faced the wall across from her.
She realized that they might see her brown eyes from the side.
Maybe she should have taken the time to wear the contact lenses. Not only wouldn't she worry like this but also Mikael and Jordan would have already left before her.
Was this day going to be filled with bad decisions?
"Good morning to you too," Jordan greeted back. He took the spot near her while Mikael stood on his other side. The doors closed before him. "Where are you headed? You looked like you were running away from a ghost."
"No, no." Eve attempted a laugh. "I am just in a hurry."
Could this elevator move any faster?
Jordan raised his eyebrows. He twisted his neck in her direction. "Really? Do you have a ride? Mikael and I can drop you off if it's really urgent."
"Uh, um, hm." Eve cleared her throat, telling herself to focus. Her heart beat erratically inside her chest. She forced it to calm down. "Thank you, Mr. Dawson, but I already arranged a taxi. I'll be alright."
Mikael checked his watch. If he remembered right, headquarters for Eros Productions should be open soon. It was a short ride from the apartment complex. His radiant blue eyes flickered towards Evangeline. She was on her way to her secretary job.
But then, Ms. Hart couldn't walk in while looking like this, could she?
"Boyfriend can't pick you up?" Jordan joked. It took all his will not pry more than that. Their story had to be a juicy one and it had him desiring to know.
"He's a busy man."
"Can't arrange his chauffeur to help?"
"A taxi would be perfectly fine."
Eve's cheeks started to hurt. Who knew faking a smile took more effort than a genuine one? She wished for the interrogation to stop but alas, when one dated a controversial boyfriend, it resulted in a controversial relationship which led to thousands of nosy people.
Jordan's curiosity changed back to concern. "I don't think so. Seeing as you 'tamed' Ambryan Hathaway, you're bound to be targeted by bad people."
A brick fell on top of Eve's head.
She hadn't thought about that. Had Ambryan? Did he plant a bodyguard on her? What about Avery? The questions made her head spin. "We've only been public for a day. I'll talk it out with him. Thanks, Mr. Dawson."
A sigh flowed out of her mouth. This checklist never seemed to end. Her recent addition had been about Evangeline's social media accounts. She wouldn't have created one but… she could gain favor by interacting with the public.
For someone like her who lacked power, appealing to the masses would be her sword.
The elevator doors parted open.
Eve stepped out first, placing her hand on her knees. She panted and took a deep breath. The gulp of air relieved her muscle tension. Up until now, it felt like she had been suffocating. This incident shouldn't happen again. It would endanger her health.
"You really sure that you wouldn't want a ride from us?" Jordan asked again. If anything happened to her, it would be on his conscience.
Eve straightened her spine. She gave him a thankful smile. "Thank you, Mr. Dawson, but since both of my relationship and my modelling career are still new, I'd rather avoid unnecessary rumors."
She had yet to check today's news. A part of her had a feeling that Andie had beaten her to it. Her best friend would have all the latest scoop by lunch time. Although, she could guess the basic gist of the main points:
The launch's success,
Ambryan's girlfriend, and
With those many eyes on her, it would be best to lay low.
"Is that really the priority over your own safety?" Mikael spoke up for this first time. A deep scowl sculpted on his brows. She had zero protection. That alone caught his attention. It didn't seem right.
If they had planned this, they should have planned it properly.
Her safety should have been the first one on the list.
"Both are on the same level. This disguise might be simple but I do think it works." Eve laughed, backing away slowly. She could see the storm brewing in Mikael's eyes. It was her cue to leave.
She pointed a thumb over her shoulder. "Will you gentlemen excuse me while I use the bathroom?"
Jordan exhaled sharply. He had already asked twice. At this point, it would be rude to ignore her decision. "We'll be going ahead then. Take care, Evangeline."
"The both of you as well."
Mikael rooted on his spot. He watched as Eve escaped to the restrooms. His mind wondered if she'd change appearance now or later. The dress didn't seem appropriate for office wear. What exactly did she plan to do?
Jordan's voice broke him out of his daze.
He shook his head and turned towards the exit.
It wasn't any of his business anyway.
Lol, Mikael. I wonder how long you'd last with this resolution of yours. Hehehe. I will be watching with my bucket of popcorn. Anyone else?
Have a good day!
Other ongoing work: Trust and Believe in Love