The Billionaire's ProposalBy: Avery James
Scandal, Inc #4
As Maggie Walsh walked into the K Street offices of Haven Communications, she tried to tell herself that she was overthinking things. Sure, this was the morning she’d been dreaming of and dreading since she’d taken a temporary position at the firm at the beginning of summer. And sure, the conference room blinds were drawn, but that didn’t mean that she’d be receiving bad news. It just meant the Haven sisters wanted some privacy when telling her whether or not she’d be joining the staff on a permanent basis. They hadn’t risen to the top of the DC political scene by being indiscreet. They’d done it by handling impossible problems with skill and tact. They had a clientele of the richest and most powerful men and women in the world, and no mater what the crisis, they always got the job done.
Maggie liked to think that she’d lived up to their example over the past few months. In her trial period with the firm, she’d proven herself to be diligent and resourceful. She’d worked nights and weekends. She’d put her almost nonexistent social life completely on hold. She’d done everything within her power to make this work. Now she just had to trust that Amy and Callie Haven would see things the same way.
Maggie took a breath and looked at her reflection in the glass between the conference room and the hallway. She straightened her posture and checked to see if the bun in her hair was straight. She knew it was. She had spent a half hour in the bathroom downstairs making sure every last detail of her appearance was exactly the way she wanted. She gave her reflection a wink. You’ve got this. Remember what you want to tell them. Then she opened the door.
“Good morning and thank you for this opportunity,” she said as she stepped into the room, taking care to project confidence and cheer. But when she looked across the room, she didn’t see her bosses. She saw four toddlers sitting on the conference table, grasping crayons that looked almost as big as their adorable little hands. They were intently coloring on loose-leaf paper and manila folders. She recognized the children immediately. She just wasn’t sure why they were in the room. The brunettes were Amy’s kids, the little blonde was Callie’s and the youngest, a little redhead, was their friend Charlotte’s.
“Is it just me, or are our clients getting younger and younger?” she said as she tried to make sense of the scene.
There was an old woman in the corner wearing a floral dress and several bracelets on each wrist. Either this was a practical joke, or Maggie was in the wrong room. “You flatter me,” the woman said. “You must be the smart, hardworking young woman my nieces are hiring this morning. I’m Violet. I’m sure my reputation precedes me.”
Maggie couldn’t help but smile. The woman was right about one thing: her reputation preceded her. Maggie had heard more than a few stories about the Havens’ free-spirited aunt. “I hope that’s me,” Maggie said, “but I think I’m in the wrong place. Is there anything I can get for you before I go?”
“If there are any strapping young men in the office, send them my way,” Vi said.
Maggie laughed. “I’ll see what I can do,” she said.
“Don’t go stealing them away,” Vi said. “And tell my nieces that their children are ready for their trip to the zoo.”
Maggie stepped back into the hall and made a beeline for her friend Abby’s desk. “I’m guessing you knew that Amy and Callie weren’t in the conference room,” she said.
Abby’s eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face. “I’m sorry. You just looked so serious on your way in. I couldn’t help myself. I’m so excited for you! Amy and Callie are waiting for you in Amy’s office. You’re going to be a permanent member of the team!”
“We don’t know that yet,” Maggie said.
“You better make it or I won’t get that referral bonus,” Abby said.
“Is that why you told me I should work here?” Maggie asked. “And here I thought it was for my professionalism and my sparkling personality.”
“Nope, my reasons were purely selfish,” Abby said. “I wanted my best friend to also be my work wife.”