I Am His Maid

Beginning

We were the only two people on the elevator. And, to make things even worse, we were already on the seventeenth floor. This meant that we had a long ways to go before we reached the ground level.

Edward’s eyes seemed to be glazed over. He stared at me with a strange look in his eyes - I couldn’t quite read them.

"I'm sorry-" I began to apologize as he swiftly moved towards me.

"Don't ever walk away from me again." He said to me in a strict tone, whilst pinning me against the wall. I looked up at him in shock, my mouth parting as he moved in closer.

"Do you understand?" the closer he got, the harder it was to focus on what he was saying.

"Yes." I breathed.

 

"Good." was all he said before he wrapped his hand around my neck and slammed his lips onto mine.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Emily Martin isn’t your average 20-year-old girl. After recently dropping out of college, she’s now on the hunt for a new job. Her wish finally comes true once billionaire Edward Gonzalez announced that he needs a new maid.

She never thought she would’ve been able to get the job, but a miracle happened, and Gonzalez took her on. She’s now starting to realize, however, that she’s in over her head - and there’s nobody around to save her. Or so she thought...

Chapter 1

Emily's POV

"Emily!" my brother yelled from downstairs.

I groaned in annoyance, folding my pillow in half so that it was covering my ears. I was about to fall back asleep when he suddenly barged into my room.

"Get up!" he yelled.

I sat up and glanced around my room, with squinting eyes because of the sun’s morning brightness.

"Who do you think you’re talking to?" I laughed at him, tilting my head to the side. Kevin is three years younger than me and I find it hilarious when he tries to boss me around.

He rolled his eyes in annoyance and muttered something under his breath.

"What did you just say? Couldn’t hear you." I asked, daring him to repeat himself.

"Nothing, forget it. Mom wants you to go to the store and get her some-"

"No thanks." I quickly cut him off.

"But she-" I held up my hand, signaling for him to stop talking.

"I’m buying her anything and that’s final," I stated firmly. He opened his mouth to protest, closing it when I gave him a dirty look.

He shrugged in defeat before he turned around and walked back to his room. A few minutes later my phone began to ring as I let out a groan. I pressed decline without checking who was calling because I knew exactly who it was.

Realizing that I wasn’t going to fall back asleep, I rolled out of bed and made my way towards the bathroom. I cringed as soon as I looked in the mirror. My hair was a disaster. It messily twisted and tangled on top of my head.

I decided to detangle it in the shower since it's easier to handle when it's wet. After I was done with my hair, I shaved and got out, throwing on some shorts with an oversized t-shirt.

As soon as I left the bathroom I locked eyes with my mother - and she did not look happy.

"I thought I told you to go to the store," she said calmly.

I folded my arms across my chest and sighed. She looked at me, clearly irritated, waiting for me to respond.

"You can buy your own alcohol." I finally responded.

Her eyes were red and she smelled like weed. This means she just got home.

"You don't have a choice, and I don’t care how old you are! You are living in my house which means that you follow my rules."

I decided to cut our conversation short, seeing as she was starting to get red in the face.

"Look, I don't have time for this. I'm not even old enough to be drinking alcohol, so what makes you think that it's okay for me to be buying it?" I snapped back.

And with that last statement, I turned around and walked back into my room.

You see, my mom and I were not always like this. We used to have so much fun together when I was younger, and she never did anything that would harm me. But all of that changed as soon as my father passed away five years ago.

She went into a downward spiral and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. My brother always used to look up to my mom. She was a very successful business woman until she fell into a never-ending dark hole.

Even now, Kevin believes that she will magically turn her life around and start acting like the caring and concerned mother that she used to be.

But I can see that she’s a lost cause. I've tried to help her so many times, but she always turned back to drugs. Eventually, I gave up, and that's when our relationship took a turn for the worst.

"You know your dad would be disappointed if he saw that you were-" I slammed the door behind me, cutting off the rest of her sentence.

I inhaled slowly as I tried to calm myself down. I needed to get out of this house quickly. But there’s nowhere to go. Finding a job has been a challenge ever since I dropped out of college.

Every position that I have looked at so far needs a bachelor's degree, and working at a fast food place is not an option. Los Angeles is expensive and working a part-time job isn’t going to get me very far.

I grabbed my laptop from my desk before laying back down on my bed, waiting for 10 minutes until it actually turns on.

"Finally," I muttered as it lit up.

Job searching has become a fulltime job for me, even though I know I'm not going to find anything. The longest time I've ever spent looking is three hours, and it looks like today I’ll be setting a new record.

It's been three and a half hours and I haven't found anything promising. My phone dinged as I got a text message.

Kevin: going out to a movie. won't be back until late.

"Great." I huffed sarcastically.

I swiped right when a news article announcement caught my eye. I pushed my laptop aside, quickly unlocking my phone, and pressing on the trending page.

'Billionaire Edward Gonzalez Announces That He is Looking for a Full-time Maid'

The headline definitely did a great job at grabbing my attention. I immediately began reading through the article, becoming increasingly optimistic.

TMZ was gracious enough to leave the link to the application at the bottom of the page. And, surprisingly, the posting didn’t require a degree - perfect!

I double checked my application before sending it in, holding my breath as I pressed ‘Send.’

 

Now, I sit back and wait.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Edward's team messaged me back hours later and let me know that I had an interview tomorrow morning at 10:00.

Giddy with excitement, I began rifling through my closet, looking for something to wear.

"Perfect." I beamed while grabbing the shirt and skirt from my closet.

It's a pretty casual outfit, but it's still professional enough for a job interview. It was already getting late, so I decided to go to bed. I need to wake up early and come fully prepared and well-rested.

Excitement flowed through me as I woke up early the next morning, and my morning routine was amped up a few notches since as I had to find a ride to the interview.

"And where do you think you're going?" my mother's voice sounded from behind me. Rolling my eyes in annoyance, I continued walking down the stairs, totally disregarding her.

"I asked you a question." she persisted.

"So now you're suddenly interested in what I'm doing!" I exclaimed while grabbing a granola bar from the pantry.

My Uber will be here in a few seconds so I really didn’t have time for this.

"I'll be back." my response was vague, but it’s not like she ever told me where she was going.

I hopped into the Uber and my excitement immediately turned into nervousness. I’m not gonna lie - I really don’t feel qualified for the job but I’m hoping that Edward could make an exception. We pulled up to his estate quicker than I would have liked, and my heartbeat accelerated thanks to anxiety.

"Thanks," I said to the driver before stepping out of the car.

"Holy crap." I breathed as I looked up at his house.

Did I say house? Because I meant to say mansion.

"Emily Martin?" a sophisticated looking woman called out to me. I nodded slowly before walking over to her.

"Follow me," she instructed. Her heels clicked loudly against the hardwood floor, causing me to feel self-conscious about wearing flats.

"Mr. Gonzalez is waiting for you in his office." Ashley pointed to a large door at the end of the hallway

"Thank-" I stopped short when I realized that she was no longer standing behind me.

I walked towards the door slowly and took several deep breaths. It didn’t calm me down. I raised my hand to knock, but the door opened before my knuckle even touched the wood.

"You're one minute late Miss. Martin." a deep voice sounded from above.

I looked up to see the most gorgeous man staring down at me. My mouth went dry as I tried to think of a response.

"I-uhm . . . I'm so sorry." I stuttered. He stepped aside so that I could enter, and I quickly looked down at the floor with embarrassment.

"Please sit." he gestured towards the chair that was positioned right in front of his desk.

I sat down slowly, placing my purse in between my legs, trying to cover up the fact that they were shaking. He stared at me for a few seconds before he clicked his pen three times.

 

"Shall we begin?"

Chapter 2

Emily's POV

"So it says here that you dropped out of college?"

Ugh. I cringed on the inside as he looked up from the piece of paper that he was holding. So far the interview had been going decently, and I was hoping that we would ignore the fact that I didn’t graduate from college.

"Yes, I did," I answered simply. He didn't ask why so I wasn't about to voluntarily provide him with a reason.

He nodded slowly whilst reaching out to grab his mug that was filled to the brim with what seemed to be coffee. His office was extremely luxurious - you could tell that he spent most of his time here.

"Have you had any cleaning experience?" he asked while putting his mug down.

"Does cleaning my room count?" I questioned. As soon as the words left my mouth, I wanted to take them back.

Edward burst out laughing, causing my face to turn red. Well, I’m pretty sure this is a direct indication that I won’t be getting the job.

"Well Miss. Martin, I was talking about professional experience, but sure -  I'll take it." he chuckled while writing something on his notepad.

I folded my hands in my lap, biting my lip in anticipation as I watched him write down an extremely long sentence. He caught me staring and my mouth parted slightly as he shot me a reassuring smile that made my nervousness disappear.

"Don't worry, we're almost done." his tone was gentle, but I could tell that he was only using it so that he wouldn't scare me.

"Why do you want this job?" was his next question.

I decided to give him an honest answer. "Because I'm broke," I stated bluntly. Gosh, what is wrong with me?

"Are you always this straightforward?" Edward asked while eyeing me curiously.

I smiled shyly before nodding my head. "It's a gift and a curse," I replied with a shrug.

We talked briefly for a few more minutes before he stood up and extended his hand out for me to shake. I slipped my hand into his and noticed how small mine was compared to his.

"It's been a pleasure. You should hear back from me in a few days." he walked me over to the door with a smile.

I was shocked to find out that he’s way nicer in person. The media always painted him as this power hungry monster that doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Thanks to the size of his massive house, I ended up getting lost.

"Lost?" an unfamiliar voice piped up from behind me.

I turned out around and came face to face with a girl who looked like she could be a supermodel.

"Yeah. All of these hallways look exactly the same." I explained sheepishly.

She laughed, nodding her head in agreement as she extended her hand.

"I'm Melissa." she introduced herself.

"Emily." we walked down two more hallways before we came to a stop at the front door.

"I really hope you get the job," she said while opening the door.

"Me too." I laughed. We said our goodbyes and my Uber pulled up as soon as she closed the door.

Kevin was locked away in his room when I got home, and his music was blasting so loud that the entire house felt like it was vibrating. I knew that my mom wouldn't be back until the morning, so I decided to order a pizza for dinner.

"Where were you?" I looked up to see Kevin running down the stairs, his shirt covered in paint.

"At a job interview," I answered shortly.

"What's that, the fifth one this month?" he mocked while opening the fridge.

I rolled my eyes at his ignorance, choosing not to respond. It's not like he would understand the amount of pressure that I have been under anyways.

The pizza arrived forty-five minutes later and I took it up to my room. My phone began ringing on my nightstand, pulling me away from my precious food.

"Hello?" I grumbled hungrily.

"Let's go to the club!"

"Amanda, I'm eating." Nothing was about to get between me and my food. I’m way too hungry for this.

"And? I'll be over in twenty." And with that last statement, she hung up.

When she arrived I, of course, was not ready.

"Wear this," Amanda said, throwing a white dress at me.

I eyed the dress warily. The material was dangerously thin and I wasn’t feeling it.

"I'm not wearing this." Amanda clapped her hands excitedly, as I emerged from the bathroom.

"Yes you are," she argued, handing me a pair of nude heels too. I kept my hair up in a messy bun as I started doing my makeup.

We arrived at the club thirty minutes later, and it took us another thirty minutes to get in because security was a nightmare. Amanda's uncle owns the club so I was able to slide in without a problem.

"We'll have a vodka mixer with cranberry juice " Amanda yelled to the bartender.

We downed our drinks as soon as we got them. We couldn’t wait to get on the dancefloor! Post Malone's song "Takin' Shots" began playing as soon as we stood up, and the bass from the song went through my entire body.

Amanda and I danced together wildly, and we occasionally made our way back to get more drinks. The club was especially packed tonight, making it difficult to get through the crowd.

The urge to pee hit me as soon as I finished my third drink, and I frantically looked around the room for Amanda. She was dancing with some redhead across the room and I had no idea how to get to her on time. I decided to go to the bathroom without her because I needed to get there now.

Squeezing through the crowd, I made my way upstairs in hopes to find the bathrooms up there. As soon as I made it to the top of the stairs, three bodyguards stepped in front of me, blocking my path completely.

"This space is reserved." the one on the left grunted.

"Oh . . . uhm okay. I was just looking for the bathroom."

The three guards looked at each other before one of them reached out and clamped their hand down on my shoulder.

"Excuse me!" I exclaimed as he pushed me back towards the stairs.

"Stephen, what are you doing?" a deep voice called out from behind him.

He let go of me instantly, grimacing as he turned around to face the man standing behind him. I gently rubbed my shoulder as he tried to explain himself to the person that had reprimanded him.

"Miss. Martin?"

My jaw dropped as soon as we locked eyes.

"M-Mr. Gonzalez?" I stuttered in disbelief.

What is he doing here?

"You know her?" Stephen asked with skepticism.

Edward nodded his head before gesturing for me to enter. I glanced around the room as I made my way towards him, quickly realizing why the security was amped up downstairs.

We sat down on one of the couches, and my dress rode up along my thighs as I went to cross my legs. I felt Edward shift beside me, his eyes zoning in on my now exposed skin.

"What are you doing up here?" he asked as I frantically pulled down my dress.

"Well, I was looking for the bathroom." my sentence was directed towards the three bodyguards that were hovering around us discreetly.

Edward smirked whilst eyeing the three men.

"They usually aren't this intense," he said, shaking his head at them.

This was when I realized what kind of impression I’m probably giving off to him. Just under four hours ago I was at his mansion, applying for a job I’m not even qualified for. And now I’m here, drunk at a club, wearing a dress that’s riding up my thighs, exposing all my goods for everyone to see.

"I should go," I announced, becoming embarrassing.

Edward looked up at me with a confused expression. I quickly walked towards the stairs, pushing past the guards that were positioned in front of the door.

My phone buzzed in my hand indicating that I had received a text.

Amanda: ya girl bout to get her some! don't wait up.

Great. I rolled my eyes at her text because this means that I need to find a ride home now. None of the people in my contacts seemed promising, and I didn't have enough money to pay for an Uber.

I didn’t have any other option other than to go back to Edward and ask him for a ride - it was better than asking a stranger. Pushing my pride aside, I trudged back up the stairs before shooting Stephen a smile as he immediately moved out of my way.

"Back so soon?" Edward mused as I flopped down onto the couch.

"My friend is off pursuing some guy and she was my ride home."

"I'll drop you off. I was just leaving anyway." he offered.

I followed him to the back exit, and my eyes widened as I marveled at the sleek black limousine that sat idling outside in the alleyway. As soon as we slid into the vehicle, the driver quickly took off, desperate to get away from the growing crowd of paparazzi.

"What's your address?" the driver asked.

I gave him my address while crossing my fingers, silently praying that my mom wouldn't be loitering around outside of the house. My heart sank as soon as we pulled into my driveway. She was passed out on the grass, her hand wrapped tightly around a bottle of whiskey.

"Thanks for the ride." I rushed while scrambling to get out of the car.

There was no way that Edward was going to give me this job now. I yanked my mother off of the ground, rolling my eyes as she tried to fight me.

"Stop fighting me." I seethed as she continued to throw punches at me.

I dragged her into the house without looking behind me, and my eyes watered as I slammed the door.

"Who was in the limo?" her question made me boil with rage.

"I can't . . ." I was so angry that I couldn’t even express myself.

The rest of my night was horrible. I couldn’t sleep for more than two hours at a time, as I stayed up tossing and turning and overthinking.

I checked my phone in the morning and saw that I had three new voicemails from the same unknown number.

"How the heck . . ." Edward's voice cut me off as he suddenly began talking through my phone's speaker.

"Miss. Martin, please call me back as soon as you get this." was the first message.

The second message was inaudible and it randomly cut out after six seconds.

I slowly clicked on the last message and my eyes widened as Edward's deep voice sounded through the phone once again. I only heard the first four words of his sentence, my mind blocking out the rest of what he was saying.

Excitement buzzed throughout my entire body as I replayed the last message over and over again:

 

"You got the job."

Chapter 3

Emily's POV

A limo came and picked me up the following morning, and my belongings were piled into a small moving truck that followed us back to Edward's place.

Stephen showed me where my room was as soon as we made it to the house seeing as I had to get to work right away. Eager to see my new room, I quickly opened the door that had a sign with my name on it.

I gasped at how big it was. (That's what she said ;)

My room was ginormous and the style completely reflected me and my personality. The room even had its own ensuite bathroom, complete with an attached walk-in closet. I immediately began unpacking my things since Edward was expecting for me to start working right away.

"Thanks," I said as Stephen folded up the rest of my boxes. He left as soon as he finished, muttering that he had to "get back to work."

"Miss. Martin?" a voice snapped me from my daze.

I turned to see Edward leaning against my doorframe and his face was emotionless.

"Yes?"

"We will be having a meeting downstairs in five minutes," he said before disappearing back into the hallway. I looked down at my attire, glaring at the hole that was located on the left side of my shirt.

This was not going to cut it.

It took me two and a half minutes to conjure up an outfit, and when I did, there were only three minutes left for me to make it downstairs on time. Edward failed to mention where we were supposed to be meeting, so I spent the next five minutes running around trying to find him.

"Late again, Miss. Martin." Edward's voice boomed from behind me.

I immediately stopped walking, squeezing my eyes shut as I slowly turned around to face him.

"Mr. Gonzalez, I am so sorry! This house is just so big and" he held his hand up before making a gesture for me to stop talking.

"You'll receive a tour at the end of the meeting. Now, follow me." he led me into a small conference room that was full of important looking people.

Everyone's eyes snapped towards Edward and me as soon as we walked into the room. My eyes drifted down towards the floor as he pulled out a chair for me to sit in.

"Now that everyone is here, we can begin discussing the new rules and regulations that I have put in place." everyone stared intently at Edward as he made his way to the front of the room.

"As you all can see we have a new employee with us today. This is Emily and she will be the new full-time maid." the attention was suddenly thrown onto me as everyone in the room turned to look at me.

Edward spent the rest of the meeting going over the new security detailing that was being put into place at his office, and as soon as the meeting was over, people began introducing themselves to me.

"So I see you got the job." Melissa appeared in front of me with a smile.

"Melissa!" I exclaimed while hugging her gently.

"Please, call me Mel." she insisted.

A cough sounded from behind me causing us to break apart.

"Should I be scared?" Edward asked while raising an eyebrow.

Melissa rolled her eyes as she folded her arms together defensively. "No, you should be happy."

My eyes darted between the two as I tried to piece together what they were talking about. Before they could jump at each other, a man that looked ridiculously similar to Edward entered the room.

"What did I miss?" he questioned with a smirk.

"Wait, you two are"

"Twins." Edward filled in while roughly clapping his brother on the back.

"So now that you've met my two idiot brothers, let me show you around." Melissa interrupted before she dragged me towards the door.

The tour took an entire hour seeing as the entire mansion was around 50,000 square feet in total. I made sure to take note of where the kitchen, living room, and extra bedrooms and bathrooms were because I knew that most of my time would be spent cleaning these rooms. Mel ended the tour by showing me where the bowling alley was, and she made sure to remind me that every other Friday was bowling night.

"crap! I'm running late to a meeting, but here, take my number." she handed me a blue business card that had her name and number written on it in perfect cursive.

"Call me!" she yelled over her shoulder.

I smiled down at the card before making my way back to the main hallway. The hallway was eerily quiet, letting me know that everyone had left. A grandfather clock sounded from somewhere in the house indicating that it was already noon.

My stomach growled loudly causing me to fold my arms around my torso. I made my way to the kitchen, stopping to stare in awe at all of the high-end appliances that were glinting beneath the recessed lights.

Deciding to make something light, I got to work on making two ham and cheese sandwiches for me and Edward to eat for lunch. A few minutes later, I made my way over to his office, raising my hand to knock on the door.

"Come in," he called from the other side of the door.

I slowly entered the room, balancing the tray of food carefully on my hip. Edward was hunched over at his desk, typing away at something on his laptop.

"I made lunch" his phone began ringing from inside of his pocket, preventing me from finishing the rest of my sentence.

"What?" he snapped as soon as he answered the call.

The tray was beginning to slip from my hands so I swiftly walked around his desk in order to set it in front of him.

"That was your damn job! You told me that everything was taken care of, so why the heck are we all of a sudden having a problem?" he yelled.

Yikes. I feel bad for whoever he's talking to.

I turned to leave, stopping when he quickly reached out and grabbed my arm. He abruptly ended the call, cutting the person off mid-sentence.

"We need to get you your uniform," he said while eyeing my outfit.

"A uniform?" I breezed over the fact that he didn't even thank me for his meal.

"You are aware that I'm a billionaire, right? My employees always need to look professional." his tone was clipped and I could tell that he was subtly trying to drag me.

Before I could even defend myself, he began digging around in his desk drawer, pulling out an image of a girl wearing a white button-down shirt paired with a black pencil skirt a few seconds later.

"You will need to be measured by my seamstress, Angela," he commented before taking a bite out of his sandwich.

"When?" I asked while heading towards the door.

"Tomorrow morning at eight."

I slipped out of the room so that he could finish his work, heading back into the kitchen so that I could eat my food.

The rest of the night was smooth sailing, and before I knew it, it was time for me to go to bed. Excitement bubbled within me as I anticipated my first full day of work tomorrow morning.

 

One day down, hundreds more to go.

Chapter 4

Emily's POV

I met Angela in the living room the next morning, standing completely still as she held the measuring tape around my waist.

"I'll immediately get to work on your alterations, Miss. Martin," she said while gathering her things.

"Thank you so much, Angela. And please, call me Emily." I responded gratefully.

My phone chimed from inside of my pocket, alerting me that I had received a text. A string of curse words left my mouth as soon as I opened the message.

Mother: where the heck are you?!

Pushing my problems aside, I quickly pocketed my phone and headed straight towards the kitchen. Edward should be coming downstairs in a few minutes and I haven't even started making his breakfast. Sure enough, he graced me with his presence as soon as I began pulling out the ingredients to make his meal.

"Miss. Martin." Edward greeted as he strolled into the room.

"Good morning, sir." I chirped while pouring some batter into the waffle maker.

He took a seat at the island and immediately began scrolling through documents on his iPad. Breakfast was served ten minutes later, and he immediately dug in as soon as I placed his plate on the counter.

"This is goowd." his sentence was muffled due to the excessive amount of food that he had in his mouth. I smiled as he began shoveling more food onto his fork. He resembled a baby chipmunk as his cheeks slowly began to expand due to the amount of food that he had stored in there.

"Thank you."

Since there was food left over, I decided to make myself a small plate before sitting down next to Edward. We ate in silence since Edward was absorbed in whatever he was looking at on his tablet. My phone began ringing from across the room causing me to roll my eyes. I figured that whoever was calling me would eventually realize that I was busy, but this person was persistent.

"Are you going to get that?" Edward snapped as my phone began ringing for the third time in a row.

My strides were long as I made my way across the room, yanking my phone from the charger immediately upon reaching it. I didn't even bother looking at the caller ID as I hastily pressed 'answer'.

"What do you want!" my voice came out louder than expected.

"Where the heck are you?" my mother asked angrily.

"Why do you care!" I could not believe that she had the audacity to call me, acting as if she cared about my wellbeing.

"Because I need to know where my daughter is at" a laugh escaped my lips, preventing me from hearing the rest of her sentence.

"I'm blocking this number so if you try to contact me, it won't work." and with that last statement, I hung up.

Edward was gone when I came back causing me to let out a deep sigh.

At least he was taken care of.

My breakfast was cold by the time I sat back down, and at that point, I wasn't even in the mood to eat anymore.

Once the kitchen was clean, I made my way back upstairs to change into something other than my pajamas. Since my uniform was still being made by Angela, I began rifling through my closet for something that Edward would semi-approve of me wearing. I only found one dress that wasn't complete trash, and it was a white and beige dress that had a small slit up the side.

I opted to clean barefoot seeing as I didn't want to mess up any of the floors with my heels. Since my hair was still wet from my shower, I decided to leave it down so that it could dry.

The house was extremely quiet as I made my way downstairs to grab some cleaning supplies from the laundry room. The next room over was a bathroom so I figured that it made sense to start in there first.

There were people in and out of here yesterday, so there was no doubt in my mind that the whole room needed to be wiped down. I immediately turned on some music so that I wouldn't be working in complete silence.

Cleaning the bathroom took no time at all, and before I knew it, I was upstairs cleaning the bonus room that Edward mostly used for his gaming. The bowling alley was also up here along with a ridiculous amount of arcade games.

A gigantic version of Fruit Ninja caught my eye, and before I could stop myself, I touched 'start'. I was so invested in the game that I didn't even notice someone walk into the room behind me.

"Last time I checked, I'm supposed to be paying you to clean my house, not to play with my arcade machines," Edward said calmly.

Groaning, I turned around to face him. He was leaning against the air hockey table, his eyes narrowed almost as if he was daring me to go against him.

"Wait, you" I started, stopping when he let out a deep breath.

"I don't want to hear your bullcrap excuse! You either do your job, or you don't!" he yelled. Before I could respond, he turned around and walked out of the room.

As much as I hated to admit it, he was completely right. This was a much-needed wake-up call because I could not lose this job.

Seeing as it was already two o'clock, I quickly finished cleaning up the game room before heading back downstairs to start the laundry.

Edward stayed locked away in his office until I gathered up the courage to call him into the kitchen for lunch. My meal consisted of spaghetti and salad with French bread on the side.

"You are so right, Mr. Gonzalez. My priorities are all out of whack, and I need to get them in order because I really need this job."

He stared at me for a moment, his stiff demeanor shifting ever so slightly.

"Don't let it happen again, Emily." this sentence alone shocked me right to my core.

"O-okay." I stuttered. He's never addressed me by my first name before which is why I found this particular statement so shocking.

My daydream was cut short when I realized that Edward was still talking to me.

"Excuse me?" I interrupted dumbly.

He shot me a bored look as he fought the urge to roll his eyes. As soon as he repeated his sentence I knew that I was doomed.

"I'm hosting an important dinner tomorrow and you're cooking."

Chapter 5

Emily's POV

The next morning was chaotic.

The people on Edward's team were frantically running around trying to make sure that everything was set for the dinner tonight, and even though it's only 9:30 am, we've been preparing for the meal as if it were in five minutes.

"Where the heck is Samantha?" Edward yelled from the sitting room.

We have been walking on eggshells around him all morning because, at the moment, any little thing could set him off. People are scared to even breathe in his direction.

Edward's assistant, Samantha, is supposed to be here to help direct the development committee in finalizing the business contract; however, she called the house this morning to say that she's sick and won't be able to make it.

"Uh, sir...?" I slowly entered the room, making sure to keep my distance. He turned his head to look at me and his jaw clenched at the sight of me holding a clipboard.

The news that I was about to deliver would surely set him off, so I made sure to choose my words very carefully.

"Samantha actually called earlier this morning to inform you that she won't be able to make it." my heartbeat accelerated as soon as he whirled around to face me.

"What," he said slowly.

"Samantha's sick. But don't worry, she asked me to fill in for her" I rushed to reassure him, only he cut me off before I could finish.

"There's no way that I'm letting you supervise this dinner. You just stay in the kitchen and I'll call Nicole." he interrupted sharply.

A shaky laugh escaped my lips as I nervously shifted my weight onto my right foot. Nicole is Edward's backup assistant and she is, like Samantha, not available.

Why do I have to be the bearer of bad news today?

"I-I'm afraid that won't work, sir. Nicole is on vacation and she won't be back in town until next Thursday." my eyes shifted towards the floor seeing as I couldn't bring myself to look him in the eye.

Timothy saved me from the wrath of his brother as he waltzed into the room seconds before Edward exploded.

"So, Emily's the new supervisor?" Timothy enthused as he eyed my clipboard. I lifted my head to see Edward's reaction, and my lips curled into a smirk as I watched him nod his head slowly.

"Just for today," he grunted. I quickly slipped out of the room before he could change his mind.

My feet guided me straight towards the kitchen seeing as I had to get started on the food. Luckily, I spent yesterday afternoon meal prepping for today so that I could just stick everything into the oven when the time came.

The appetizers were extremely easy to make seeing as they were just little BLT sandwiches. The main course, on the other hand, was a tad bit harder to make since I have only made this dish one other time. Everyone knows that the safest meal you can ever make is chicken, so my meal of choice was this Stuffed Chicken Valentino recipe that I found on Pinterest.

Once the food was in the oven, I rushed upstairs to change into my uniform. Angela had delivered it earlier this morning, and she made sure to give me three extra pairs so that I wouldn't have to re-wash the same one over and over again.

"Damn," I muttered as I checked myself out in the mirror.

This skirt was no joke.

It hugged my figure perfectly and the shirt was loose enough so that I could move around comfortably. As for my hair, I decided to leave it down, curling the ends to achieve a semi-wavy look.

"Miss. Martin?" a gruff voice called out from the hallway.

I quickly opened my door, smiling when I came face to face with Stephen.

"Pleaseee call me Emily." we had had this conversation the day he helped me unpack, yet he still insisted on referring to me by my last name.

"But the boss said to" he started, closing his mouth when he realized that he wasn't about to win this argument.

"Thanks a bunch." I giggled as he rolled his eyes.

"Anyways, Gonzalez wants you in his office."

"Now." he enunciated when I hadn't moved.

I quickly slid on my heels before rushing downstairs to meet the impatient beast that was my boss. He was seated at his desk, head bent as he began rifling through a stack of papers.

"You wanted to see me?" my voice was small and it wavered slightly due to the nervousness that coursed throughout my body.

"Yes, the committee is waiting for you in the conference room," Edward stated lowly.

"One more thing." his voice cut through the air like a knife causing me to stop dead in my tracks.

"Screw this up and you're fired."

"Noted," I responded shakily.

The conference room was relatively empty seeing as there are only six people on the team, and all of their heads turned to look at me as soon as I entered the room.

"As you know, Samantha couldn't make it today so she asked me to fill in for her."

Some guy began filling me in on the details of the contract, and it didn't take long for us to come to an agreement on what we wanted. The grandfather clock sounded from the living room indicating that it was already twelve o'clock.

I couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting to do something, but there wasn't any time for me to ponder over it seeing as I had to set the table.

"Break time!" Timothy suddenly shouted from behind me.

I jumped, holding my hand over my heart as I leaned up against the patio table for support.

"Don't scare me like that!" I breathed as he handed me a glass of lemonade.

We sat down on one of the four couches that were scattered about around the deck. Timothy slipped on his shades before taking a long sip of his drink.

"So, tell me about yourself," he said while turning to face me.

Great. This is my favorite question to answer because I just love to talk about how jacked up my life is.

"Well, I'm twenty years old and my favorite color is blue . . ." I trailed off awkwardly.

I hate talking about myself because what is there to say? I'm seriously the most boring person you'll ever meet.

"Your name is Emily though." Timothy pointed out with a laugh.

"Doesn't mean that it's related to what my favorite color should be." I retorted.

We ended up talking for a good hour and a half, and it turns out that we have a lot in common. I found out that he works for the FBI and that he is five minutes older than Edward.

"Maybe that's why he's so bitter." the words spilled out before I could stop them. My hand instantly went over my mouth, my eyes widening as I glanced over at Timothy.

"Emily, I have a feeling that we're going to be great friends." he laughed.

"Don't tell him I said that." I pleaded.

I was already sliding on thin ice with Edward and this would surely push him over the edge.

"I won't," he promised with a smirk.

The dinner would be starting in about four hours, so I had some time to kill before I had to get ready.

"You'll be at the dinner, right?"

"Of course! Even though Edward took over our dad's company by himself, he and I are still business partners." Timothy explained while settling back into his chair.

"Interesting. Well, I'll see you later on tonight." I waved at him before walking towards the sliding glass doors.

On my way upstairs, I ran into the devil himself. My mouth went dry as he stared down at me expectantly.

He opened his mouth to speak, but I beat him to it, "Everything's under control."

He eyed me warily and his glare was deathly. All of a sudden, my knees buckled and I felt myself starting to sway. I would've fallen had he not caught me just before I hit the ground.

"Are you okay?" he asked whilst pulling me up so that I was standing upright.

"Y-yeah. I just need to lay down." I managed to detach myself from him before reaching out to brace myself against the wall.

"When was the last time you ate something?" his question caught me off guard.

I opened my mouth to respond, cringing when I realized the answer.

"Yesterday morning." even that answer was a stretch because I didn't completely finish my food when I got off of the phone with my mom.

"what, Emily!" Edward sounded exasperated as he ran his hand through his hair.

"I was just so busy that I forgot to eat, and"

"Come on." he quickly cut me off.

My body was yanked from the wall as he dragged me back downstairs to the kitchen.

"Sit," he demanded.

He quickly began moving around the kitchen, gathering the ingredients that he would need to make my lunch. And from the looks of it, he was making me a garden salad.

When he was finished, he slid the bowl of salad towards me before folding his arms. I stared at the meal in front of me, my lips twisted in protest.

"So help me God if you don't eat every single piece of lettuce that is in that bowl" he growled.

"I get it. You'll fire me." I filled in, finishing the rest of his sentence for him.

Edward stared at me the entire time that I ate, his eyes following my every move. He even threatened to hold me down if I didn't finish the glass of water that he had filled to the brim for me.

When he was 100% certain that I was hydrated and fed, he then forced me to go upstairs and take a nap.

"Yes, Dad," I muttered whilst sliding off of my chair.

I hadn't planned on him hearing me, but as soon as he let out a grunt, I knew that I had spoken too loud.

Even though his response thoroughly pissed me off, a smile still snuck its way onto my face.

 

"Can't have you dying the day before payday, now can we?"

Chapter 6

Emily's POV

I managed to sleep for a full two hours, and when I woke up, my energy had been completely restored.

My phone suddenly chimed from somewhere underneath the covers causing me to spend the next five minutes looking for it. Upon looking at the screen, I was surprised to see it flooded with messages from Amanda and my brother.

Amanda: where tf are you ?! I haven't seen you since we went clubbing. call me as soon as you get this !!

I made a mental note to contact her as soon as this whole dinner fiasco was over with. After laying down for a few more minutes, I swung my legs over the edge of the bed before standing up.

Since I had changed into some pajama shorts and a cropped tee shirt before I went to sleep, I was able to throw my uniform back on without having to iron it.

The clock on my phone read four o'clock which meant that the guests would be here in five minutes. I quickly ran into the bathroom to wash my face so that it wouldn't look crusty when the men arrived. I threw my hair into a ponytail as I began scrubbing my face with the facial brush that Mel had given me a few days ago.

A few minutes later, someone started pounding on the door causing me to scramble around my room in search of my heels.

"They're here," Stephen said as soon as I opened the door.

He then escorted me down the stairs, and as soon as we reached the last step, the five men standing in the foyer turned around to look at us. Since Edward was nowhere to be found, I decided to take on the role of being tonight's hostess.

"Good evening gentleman! My name is Emily and, as you know, I am Mr. Gonzalez's new maid." I greeted them with a smile.

After they introduced themselves to me, I led them outside to the patio which I had decorated with blue and white decor. Stephen stood positioned at the patio door with his arms folded in front of him, and his face was set in a permanent grimace.

"Mr. Gonzalez should be out here momentarily," I said all the while eyeing Stephen. In the two hours that I had been sleeping, nobody had seen Edward which is something that I didn't find surprising because he normally stays locked away in his office.

What's surprising is that he is now late to the dinner that he specifically told me was the most important event of his life.

Pushing my thoughts aside, I quickly ran back into the kitchen, rolling my eyes as my heels clicked loudly against the marble floor. Since the sandwiches had been cooling in the refrigerator all morning, I simply took them out and set them on a large serving tray so that they could be taken outside.

The drinks hadn't been made yet and the cups were, of course, located on the tallest possible shelf.

"Need help?" a deep voice called from behind me.

I turned around to see Edward staring at me with an amused expression. I immediately stepped to the side so that he could reach into the cabinet and hand me six glasses.

"What took you so long?" I questioned as he handed me the cups.

"This tie has been messing with me for the past fifteen minutes," he responded bitterly.

I pushed down the urge to laugh before gesturing for him to come here. As soon as he was standing in front of me, I slid the tie around his neck and got to work on tying the knot.

"The Windsor knot is my favorite." I supplied while folding the tie over itself.

"Why?" he asked lowly.

"My dad used to let me tie his tie before work, and he would always request for me to do the Windsor," I explained while finishing the knot.

His eyes followed my movements as I laid the tie down against his chest before buttoning up his suit jacket so that the tie was tucked in underneath it. Laughter from outside filled my ears causing me to immediately step away from Edward's freakishly warm body.

"You should get out there." my mind instantly snapped back into work mode.

He left without another word, leaving me alone in his humongous kitchen.

Once the cups were filled, I made my way outside all the while balancing the tray of sandwiches on my hip.

"Ever since Walker & Co went bankrupt, the business has been doing great." Frank chuckled as I placed the sandwiches on the table.

"Karma finally caught up with Jack's cheating ass." Edward laughed before taking a sip of his drink.

"Would anyone like a beer?" I interrupted shyly. The cups on the table were filled with water, but I figured that they might want to unwind a little bit with some alcohol.

"I'll take two." Benjamin piped up with a smirk.

I chuckled, shaking my head as I made my way over to the bar that was located on the lower part of the deck. The fridge was stocked with five packs of beer and it had a built-in wine cooler sitting directly next to it.

"Here, let me help you." Timothy's voice sounded from beside me.

"Timothy!" I exclaimed while reaching out to hug him.

Our hug was cut short as someone suddenly pushed past me and damn near knocked me over onto the ground.

"While we're still young, Miss. Martin." Edward stated sharply. He reached around me and grabbed three beers from the fridge before stomping back upstairs to the table.

"Just think of the money." I reminded myself quietly.

"Do you need any help?" Timothy asked while quirking an eyebrow.

"No. He needs to see that I can do this by myself." I huffed while grabbing three more beers.

Choosing to ignore my response, Timothy reached out and took the drinks from me before trudging up the stairs to set them on the table.

I quickly made my way back into the kitchen since it was almost time to bring out the main dish. I filled a pot with water and sat it on the stove so that the water could boil.

I placed a bag of rice into the pot as soon as the water started to bubble seeing as the sides needed to be ready within the next ten minutes.

"crap!" I swore when a thought suddenly occurred to me.

I was so focused on the main course that I totally forgot to make a dessert! Edward specifically told me that this dinner needed to have three parts to it, and dessert was, unfortunately, one of them.

"Who the heck doesn't have cookie dough in their house!" I whisper yelled while slamming the fridge door shut.

Just when I was about to give up, an idea suddenly popped into my mind. I sent a text to Melissa and prayed to God that she would read it and reply to me within the next fifteen minutes.

As soon as the rice was finished I prepared the plates, making sure to put a sizable portion on each one.

"Boss said it's time to bring out the meal," Stephen said from the doorway.

"Can you carry this?" I asked while handing him a pitcher of water.

I carefully walked towards the door, taking baby steps to ensure that I wouldn't fall and drop the food. Once I was safely outside, I began handing out the plates to each person individually.

"This looks amazing." the brunette at the end of the table complimented. I had forgotten his name so I simply shot him a smile to show my appreciation.

Edward was the last one to receive his plate seeing as he was sitting at the furthest end of the table. I bent down to set his plate on the table before visibly flinching as his hand wrapped around my wrist tightly.

"Button your shirt up all the way." his voice was so low that I almost missed what he had said.

"E-Excuse me?" I stuttered.

He discreetly gestured towards the men sitting around the table, and I noticed that some of their gazes were fixated on my chest.

"Last time I checked you're the one that's making me wear this long-sleeved shirt when it's 95 degrees outside." I snapped. "I need to cool off somehow."

He opened his mouth to respond, only to shut it as Melissa suddenly walked through the patio door.

"Girl, I got your message." she panted.

We walked back into the kitchen together and I let out a sigh of relief when I saw the boxes of cupcakes sitting on the counter.

"You are a lifesaver!"

She let out an airy laugh, waving me off as if it were no big deal. The contract was going to be reviewed over dessert which meant that I had a small break before I was needed back outside.

"It's been a longgg day," I said whilst leaning up against the wall.

"You look like you need a drink." Mel pointed out while walking towards the wine cooler. She poured me a glass of red wine before handing it to me with a knowing look.

"Your brother is rude," I stated randomly.

She nodded her head in agreement.

"I have a feeling that you're going put him in his place one of these days," she said while tipping her glass towards me.

"Why me?"

"Cause you've got balls. No one else would ever defy him, yet you have no problem standing your ground," she responded truthfully.

"No one's ever stood up to him?" I echoed in disbelief.

"You're the first." her sentence was muffled as she raised the glass up to her lips.

We continued to chat about our day when Edward suddenly graced us with his presence.

"We're ready for the dessert." his sentence was directed towards me but he was looking directly at Melissa.

"Is the contract ready?" I questioned while taking the lid off of the cupcake box.

He didn't respond right away causing me to look up at him confusedly. His gaze was set on the glass of wine in my hand, and I could sense the lecture that was about to come out of his mouth.

"It's only a glass." Melissa jumped in before I could say anything.

"Since you're in here you can help me take these outside."

Edward visibly stiffened as I handed him a platter of cupcakes. He held the plate with both hands, and his fingers gripped the sides of the plate tightly.

"Marry me?" Benjamin asked when he saw the cupcakes that were in my hand.

"When and where?" I joked while handing him two chocolate ones.

Edward shot me a glare that instantly made me shut up. Timothy grabbed three cupcakes from my tray causing me to let out a snort.

"Didn't you eat two servings of my breakfast this morning?" I recalled while shaking my head.

"I feel attacked." he whimpered dramatically.

"Oh please, he could eat four meals a day and still be hungry." Melissa joined in from the doorway.

"Miss. Martin, could I speak to you for a moment?" Edward's voice cut through the laughter.

I nodded my head slowly before setting down the cupcake tray so that they could get seconds if they wanted to. He leads me into the sitting room before gesturing for me to sit down on the couch. He walked over to the window directly across from the couch that I was sitting on, turning around so that his back was facing me.

"I'm very impressed with your performance today, and I'm sorry that I doubted you," he spoke sincerely.

My mouth dropped open as I processed the words that he had just said.

Edward Gonzalez never apologizes to people.

"So you signed the contract?"

A chuckle escaped his lips which caused my eyebrows to furrow in confusion.

"No. I didn't sign the contract." his response was eerily calm, and the tone of his voice alerted me that something was very wrong.

"Why?" my voice was a mere whisper. For some reason, I was unsure as to whether or not I honestly wanted to know the answer.

"Here's your paycheck." he switched the subject in the blink of an eye.

A white envelope fell into my lap, its weight seemingly nonexistent. I opened it, gasping when I saw the amount of money that was written on the check.

Eyes watering, I opened my mouth to thank him, only for my lips to turn down into a frown when I noticed that he was no longer standing in front of me.

He was gone.

Chapter 7

Emily's POV

"You're where?" Amanda screamed in my ear.

I cringed whilst extending my arm outwards so that my phone was a good distance away from my ear.

"Edward offered me a job here and you know how much I need the money!" I tried not to whine.

She let out a squeal as her voice went up several pitches. I eyed my bedroom door, briefly contemplating on whether or not I should close it.

"Girl, he is the hottest bachelor on the market right now! If you don't tap that within the next week then imma need for you to"

"Let me stop you right there." I cut in before she said something completely out of line.

You see, Amanda can be a little boy crazy at times and when she wants something she will do everything in her power to get it.

"Edward is off limits," I concluded.

"You just want him all to yourself." she teased.

"Please, he's not my type." I scoffed while rolling my eyes.

"Who's not your type?" a deep voice sounded from the doorway behind me.

cr*p

My entire body froze seeing as I couldn't bring myself to turn around and face him.

"It's eight o'clock in the morning and you're up here gossiping like you don't have work to do." his sharp tone let me know that he was beyond pissed off at me.

"You woke up like two seconds ago! And I didn't want to start breakfast only for it be cold when it was time for you to eat it." the ability to speak finally overcame me as I tried to explain myself.

Edward hummed in response before he turned around on his heel and walked straight down the hallway towards the stairs.

He always catches me at the worst possible moments.

"God, even his voice is hot." Amanda groaned as her voice cut through the silence that had overtaken the room.

"I'll call you later," I said before quickly ending the call.

I threw on a robe that matched my nightgown seeing as Edward's impatient self couldn't wait the ten minutes that it would take for me to get ready.

"Well if it isn't my lovely best friend," Timothy smirked as I finally entered the kitchen.

"What are you doing here?"

Before Timothy could respond, Edward grunted from his seat at the island, and his eyes stayed trained on the iPad in front of him. Muttering swears underneath my breath, I opened the refrigerator and began looking through the items that were located on the second shelf.

"We have pancakes, bacon, and eggs," I stated while placing the food on the counter.

Timothy clapped enthusiastically whereas Edward simply looked up at me and blinked.

"Is that a problem?" I asked. A smirk made its way onto my face when he didn't respond.

Breakfast was served twenty minutes later, and from the looks of it, Edward was hungrier than I thought he was.

"And you call me the fat one?" Timothy questioned as Edward made his way over to the stove to get seconds.

"D*mn, leave some for Emily!" he joked.

"It's fine. I'll just eat something later." I said whilst gesturing for him to help himself.

Before I knew it, a plate of food was placed in front of me along with a tall glass of orange juice.

"I wasn't making it for me." Edward retorted before strolling out of the room.

My left hand grazed the side of my face as I tried to suppress my smile. Unfortunately, this action didn't go unnoticed by Timothy seeing as he immediately began coughing.

"Shut up!" I sputtered before he could open his mouth.

"Mhh." he muttered while side-eyeing me.

I cleaned up the kitchen as soon as breakfast was finished and I internally jumped for joy upon realizing that it was one less room for me to clean. My day was already off to a late start seeing as Edward woke up two hours later than he normally does.

"Today is going to be a long day." I groaned while sliding on my uniform. I took two deep breaths before heading downstairs to the laundry room once I got my cr*p together.

For some reason there was a lot more laundry to do today, so the vast majority of my time was spent walking up and down the stairs with loads of clothes from each room.

Edward stopped me on my last trip up the stairs, and my eyes shifted downward as he had his iPad clutched firmly in his hand.

"Yes?" I asked when he finally caught up with me.

"I need your opinion on something." his statement was extremely vague causing my eyebrows to furrow in confusion. He led me to his office before shutting the door tightly behind me.

My mouth went dry as I sat, perched on the arm of his accent chair.

Whatever he was about to tell me must be serious.

"You probably overheard us at dinner last night, but Walker & Co went bankrupt last week." he wasted no time getting to the point.

I nodded my head, confused as to where this conversation was going. He turned the iPad around so that the screen was facing me and the title grabbed my attention so quickly that I had to blink twice in order to make sure that I read it correctly.

'Did Edward Gonzalez Partner up with Harris-White Inc. to Sign This Multimillion Dollar Contract?'

"You told me that you didn't sign the contract." my mind was boggled because nothing about this situation was making any sense.

"I didn't! Those bastards are just mad that I changed my mind about it at the last second!" he fumed. "They're literally fueling these rumors."

The question that I had been dying to know the answer to since yesterday made its way to the tip of my tongue.

"Why didn't you sign it?" it came out as a demand rather than a question.

Edward seemed to be having an internal battle with himself as he debated on whether or not he should tell me. Finally, he took a deep breath before looking me straight in the eye.

"Samuel said" he started, jumping when I cut him off almost immediately.

"That was the brunette, right?"

"Yes," he said before clearing his throat.

"He disrespected you multiple times during the evening, and the last comment that he made showed me how wrong I was to even consider his company's offer." his eyes shifted towards the tabletop as he purposefully avoided my gaze.

"What did he say?" I asked hesitantly. My leg began bouncing up and down as I awaited his response.

The look on his face brought goosebumps to my arms, and his words echoed around me as if life had suddenly become a dream:

"How do you control yourself around her, dude? If she were my maid I'd pay her to clean AND screw."

Chapter 8

Edward's POV

Her facial expression was unreadable.

"Miss. Martin?" I questioned whilst snapping my fingers in front of her face. She blinked rapidly, and it appeared as though she was in the process of pulling herself back down to reality. My eyes drifted towards her fingers seeing as they were now drumming loudly against the edge of my desk.

"You should've signed it." my eyebrows furrowed in confusion as a wave of shock rushed through my body.

"Did you not hear what I just said?" I asked her carefully.

"Signing it would have allowed you to work with them as opposed to working against them which is what you're doing now." she pointed out.

D*mn it, she's right.

"Well, it's too late now. They retracted the contract earlier this morning which means that there's no way for me to get it back." I groaned while rubbing my temples.

"Then I guess you'll have to fight fire with fire."

"What are you proposing?" the blonde sitting in front of me suddenly had my undivided attention.

"Blackmail," she replied with a smirk.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The weekend flew by and before I knew it, it was already Monday.

"Are you sure you have everything?"

Emily had asked me this question five times already and my patience was beginning to become nonexistent.

"Yes, I triple checked my briefcase last night," I grunted before grabbing my ID card off the counter. She squinted her eyes at me whilst shooting me an 'I don't believe you' look.

"If you say so," she muttered before turning back around so that she could finish slicing her fruit. I quickly left the house, muttering swears underneath my breath when I realized that I was running ten minutes late. We arrived at my building twenty minutes later seeing as my driver insisted on taking the backstreets.

"Thanks, Douglas," I muttered as I moved to get out of the car.

He nodded his head in my direction before reaching out to press the button that unlocks all of the doors. The security guards posted at the front door eyed me as I flashed my ID card in front of the scanner.

"Do I pay you to stare?" I snapped whilst shoving the card back into my pocket. They immediately looked away causing me to let out a small chuckle.

The building was relatively empty due to the fact that there was a mandatory meeting taking place on the fifth floor.

"Good morning, Mr. Gonzalez." Nicole greeted me as soon as I stepped out of the elevator.

"Morning."

"Your schedule is very light today since the meeting with Harris-White got canceled." she droned on with a smile.

"That's great." I hummed while pushing past her.

You see, Nicole has been my assistant for three years now and, in her messed up little mind, she thinks that we're together. Granted, I did sleep with her a few days after she became my assistant, but in no way does that automatically make us a thing.

I quickly walked into my office, making sure to lock the door behind me so that she couldn't randomly walk in on me. My desk was covered in papers, and it was only a matter of time before I lost an extremely important document in the sea of manila envelopes.

My day had been going by agonizingly slow, and just when I thought I was about to lose my mind, my desk phone rang.

"Gonzalez," I grunted while turning to gaze out of the window.

"There's some bimbo in the lobby claiming to have your wallet." Nicole's whiny voice sounded through the phone.

"what? My wallet is right" I stopped mid-sentence when I realized that my wallet was, in fact, not in my pocket.

"Send her up." I slammed the phone back onto the receiver before she could respond.

A knock sounded on my door a few minutes later causing me to groan.

She is so going to rub this in my face.

"I triple checked my briefcase last night." Emily mimicked my earlier statement as soon as she stepped into my office.

"This isn't even my fault! You distracted me this morning, and it all started when you tricked me by pouring tea into my mug instead of coffee." my eyes shot daggers in her direction.

"Seriously? I'm looking out for your health. And who the fuc-udge doesn't like tea!" she quickly corrected her slip up as she folded her arms across her chest.

"It's extremely bland." I deadpanned before walking over to my chair.

"Jesus, your office is a mess," she muttered as her eyes darted around the room.

"Getting my work is my primary focus, Miss. Martin. Cleanliness is secondary."

"But how do you even get anything done in this mess?" she questioned while setting her purse down on my desk.

I watched in amazement as she immediately began sorting through the papers that were strewn across the tabletop of my desk.

"You don’t have to" the rest of my sentence was cut short due to the fact that Emily suddenly let out a scream.

"What the heck, Edward!" she yelled as she stared at a bag of chips that was covered in what looked to be ants.

She didn't bother to fix her mistake in addressing me by my first name seeing as her attention was now focused on the crumpled bag of chips that sat a few feet away from her foot.

I suddenly noticed her attire as she began rubbing her hands up and down her arms, disgusted by the sight in front of her.

"Where is your uniform?" I asked steadily.

She looked down at her outfit, frowning as if she had forgotten that she was wearing clothes.

"Melissa refused to let me out of the house in the 'horrendous looking costume' that you force me to wear," she said while putting air quotes around my sister's words.

"That's because Melissa has no class. She is physically incapable of following the rules." I scoffed while rolling my eyes.

"Maybe you should take a page out of her book then," she commented slyly.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Having too much class can be just as bad as having no class at all." was all she said before she suddenly tossed my wallet at me.

Stunned, I watched as she turned around on her heel and walked towards the door. Before she left she turned her head to look at me, and a smile slipped onto her face as she took in my facial expression.

"I hope you learned something today, Mr. Gonzalez."

"And what would that be?" something told me that her answer was about to be egotistical.

"That I am always right."

Chapter 9

Emily's POV

I quickly walked towards the elevator while silently praying that Edward wouldn't follow me. As soon as the doors opened, a tall dark haired man stepped out.

"And who might you be?" his voice was ridiculously deep.

"I'm Mr. Gonzalez's maid, Emily," I responded shyly.

"Nice to meet you, Emily. I'mHenry, executive advisor over the third floor," he replied while reaching out to shake my hand.

The elevator dinged behind him.

"As much as I'd like to stick around, I can't. It was nice meeting you though." I cut our conversation short as I weaved my way around him in order to get onto the elevator.

Quinn, Edward's driver, opened the car door for me the second I reached the vehicle. The drive home was silent seeing as Douglas is a very quiet person.

"Thank you."

"Anytime, Miss. Martin," he said softly.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Letting out a sigh of relief, I entered the foyer and immediately kicked off my shoes, desperate to rid my feet of the heels that I had been wearing.

"Timothy, what in the world are you doing?" a laugh escaped my lips as I watched him struggle to lug a basket of laundry down the steps.

"I'm being assigned to a base in Texas and all of my clothes are dirty," he whined.

"All of them?" I asked skeptically.

"All of them," he confirmed with a grimace.

I met him halfway up the stairs so that I could grab the laundry basket from his hands.

"Do you even know where the laundry room is?" I joked while making my way down the rest of the steps.

"So you've got jokes now, huh?" Timothy quickly switched subjects which only managed to confirm the answer to my question.

Not knowing what else to say, I let out a short laugh before turning into the hallway that led to the laundry room. I made my way upstairs as soon as Timothy's clothes were in the machine, making sure to scoff at him when he walked past me in the hallway.

I have been working for Edward a little over two weeks now and it has been a very interesting experience. But the one thing that really surprises me is that there has been little to no drama in the time that I've been here.

But you know what they say, it's always calm before the storm hits.

I was pulled back into reality when my phone dinged from its spot on my nightstand. I reached over and grabbed it, smiling when I read the message that Amanda had sent me.

Amanda: hey hoe. wanna go out to lunch?

Me: of course ! not sure that it would be a good idea for us to roll up in a limo tho, so can you come pick me up?

I sent her the address to Edward's estate before crossing my fingers that his information wouldn't somehow get leaked to the media.

Seeing as my work was pretty much done for the day, I spent the next twenty minutes watching TV while waiting patiently for Amanda to message me that she was outside. I quickly grabbed my purse and jetted out of the door as soon as she texted me that she was here.

"Ugh, I haven't seen you in forever!" Amanda exclaimed as soon as she saw me. My body went warm as she wrapped her arms around me before squeezing tightly.

"Movie night here next weekend," I promised her as soon as we broke apart.

"Sleepover at a billionaires house? Count me in!" she yelled whilst sliding into the driver's seat. Rolling my eyes at her childish behavior, I quickly slid into the passenger's seat next to her.

We decided to go to Bell's since it's located relatively close to Edward's house. The restaurant was rather empty considering the fact that it's only two o'clock in the afternoon.

"This place is nice," Amanda commented as the hostess led us to our table.

"How's college?" I asked as we sat down in the overly decorated dining chairs.

"Girl, the summer semester ends on Friday and I'm two seconds away from having a mental breakdown . . ." she sighed while clasping her hands together on top of the table.

Snickering, I began to reminisce about the days where my homework was piled up so d*mn high that it almost touched the ceiling.

"That sucks."

Before she could respond, our waiter suddenly walked up to our table. My mouth dropped open the second I caught sight of who it was.

"N-Nathan?" I stammered whilst looking up at him in confusion. His eyes widened as soon as he saw us sitting at the table.

"Not this girl again." Amanda groaned while rolling her eyes.

"Hey, Emily," he said while scratching the back of his neck awkwardly.

God, I just love how my ex-boyfriend is going to be my waiter for the afternoon.

"What can I start you all off with to drink?" he immediately snapped back into work mode.

Amanda eyed me with a smirk.

"I'd like a getoutmyfacebeforeIslapyou soda, please." her voice didn't waver in the slightest.

Nathan's lips twitched as he fought back a scowl. These two have hated each other since elementary school, and it didn't help that he and I dated junior and senior year of high school.

"Sorry Mandy, I think we're all out of that today. Might I interest you in a tall glass of milk?" he clapped back with a smile.

Oh cr*p.

My eyes widened as I watched Amanda struggle to keep her cool. Nathan just insulted her twice in one sentence and is currently making it very obvious that he does not care about hurting her feelings.

"May we have a new waiter?" I called out while angling my body towards the front of the restaurant.

You see, my best friend hates it when people call her Mandy and Nathan is the only one who still insists on calling her that every time he sees her. And as for the milk thing, Amanda had a terrible middle school experience that involved a glass of milk.

Don't ask.

People began to look our way as Amanda started cussing Nathan out in Italian. Groaning, I lowered my head down onto the table in attempts to shield my face from the whispering customers.

"Is there a problem here?" a voice that sounded extremely familiar spoke up from behind Nathan.

"Sir, I'm sorry for my friend's behavior. You see, Nathan here is my ex-boyfriend and HOLY cr*p YOU'RE ADAM MURPHY." I exclaimed when it suddenly clicked in my brain who I was talking to.

"That's me," he stated with a chuckle.

The people sitting in this restaurant are probably starting to think that we belong in the loony bin, but at this point, I don't give a d*mn.

I scrambled out of my seat to hug him, only to retract my body backwards a few inches when I realized that he never granted me permission to touch him.

"Can I hug you?"

He hesitated for a second before reaching out and pulling me into his arms. I screamed internally seeing as my biggest dream was finally coming true.

"You inspired me to start cooking, and your cooking show has taught me everything I know! It's crazy because I was literally going to use one of your recipes to make my boss's dinner tonight!" I gushed like a thirteen-year-old fangirl.

"You make your boss dinner?" he questioned as a weirded out expression spread across his face.

"Yeah, her boss is" Amanda started before I quickly jumped in and cut her off.

"No one important." I interrupted with a nervous laugh.

Adam looked at me weirdly, and his eyebrows furrowed in confusion as Amanda looked away awkwardly. Before he could ask me any more questions, I opened my menu and began to place my order, "I'd like the Chicken Alfredo with breadsticks on the side."

Adam took our orders since Amanda threw a fit and refused to speak to Nathan. While we waited for our food I did a quick Google search and found out that Adam and his uncle are now the owners of this restaurant. The previous owner recently passed away, and since he was a longtime friend of Adam's, he requested for him to take over the business.

"This afternoon has been mad weird." Amanda broke the silence with a laugh. I nodded my head in agreement as a sly smile made its way onto my face.

Our food arrived ten minutes later, and Adam had surprised me by bringing out one of his famous milkshakes. We thanked him profusely before digging into our meals. It didn't take us long to finish seeing as we were both starving.

"Because our first waiter was horrible," Amanda commented as she threw a dollar followed by twenty-five cents onto the table.

"Any sane person would think that he's your ex-boyfriend." I joked while adding another four dollars to the pile.

She rolled her eyes in annoyance before gesturing for me to start walking. We made it back to the car, and as soon as I turned on the radio, our song came on.

"You don't hit my line no more! Oh, ooooo. You don't make it ring ring ring ringgg." we began singing the lyrics to Cardi B's song 'Ring'.

A frown dotted my face as soon as Amanda drove through the security gate. Today had pretty much been a day dedicated to relaxation and I wasn't ready for it to be over.

"Don't forget about our movie date." she reminded me as I got out of the car.

"Next Friday at 7," I responded before slamming the door shut.

The house was weirdly quiet considering that Timothy was still supposed to be here. Completely unaware of my surroundings, I made my way into the kitchen so that I could put my leftovers in the fridge.

"How was lunch?" a husky voice spoke up from behind me.

"Oh my god." I jumped whilst unintentionally shutting the refrigerator as my hand smacked against the stainless steel door.

"Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" the question was supposed to be a joke, but judging by the look on his face, Mr. Gonzalez was not in a joking mood.

"How do you know that I went out to lunch?" I asked when he proved that he had nothing else to say.

"According to TMZ, you and Adam Murphy seemed to be cozying it up at his new restaurant." he spat bitterly. The article was already pulled up on his phone as he turned it around to face me.

'Adam Murphy Seen Cuddled Up With Mystery Girl Just Weeks After His Breakup With Heather Collins.'

A look of shock crossed my face as my eyes zoned in on the picture of Adam and I hugging. The picture had been taken completely out of context, and Edward seemed heck-bent over it for no apparent reason. My mouth opened, but no words came out.

Before he could fill in the dots for me, I uttered the three most cliché words known to man:

 

"I can explain."

Chapter 10

Emily's POV

"He's my idol!" I yelled as Edward abruptly stood up from the table.

He let out a sigh whilst closing his eyes so that he could rub his temples. We had been arguing for the past ten minutes, and every time I tried to speak, he shut me down.

"The world has no clue that I hired you to be my maid, and do you want to know why that is?" his voice suddenly dropped down to a whisper.

The question might as well have been rhetorical because he didn't even give me a chance to answer.

"I know the media. I know how easily they can twist stories around and make it so that everyone believes that you're the bad guy," he said while gesturing towards his phone.

"I'm sorry okay! How was I supposed to know that the paparazzi were going to be lurking around outside the restaurant?" this conversation was beginning to make my head hurt.

"From now on you're not allowed to leave this house by yourself." he finalized without any hesitation.

When I didn't respond he added, "Is that understood?"

I nodded my head slowly. There was no use trying to fight him when he's supposed to be giving me my paycheck next week.

"Great, meet me in my office tomorrow morning. We have some things to discuss now that your face is being featured on every celebrity gossip platform there is." and with that last statement, he walked out of the room.

I squeezed my eyes shut as my mind replayed our conversation over and over again.

what was that?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

the next morning

The atmosphere in the house was tense.

Timothy was upstairs packing his bags since he was leaving on Thursday, and I hadn't seen Melissa since dinner last weekend.

"Good morning," Edward stated as he walked into the kitchen.

My eyes stayed glued to the bacon that I was frying in one of my favorite pans. The conversation that we had yesterday was still fresh in my mind, and I'd be lying if I said wasn't still pissed at the fact that he was now trying to control my every move.

The sound of his chair scraping across the floor filled the room, and it disrupted the silence that I was purposefully trying to elongate.

After the bacon was finished, I fixed Edward's plate and handed it to him.

"Where are you going?" he questioned as I turned to leave the room.

"I'll be waiting for you in your office." my tone came out sharper than intended, but it served its purpose deeming that it caused Edward to flinch.

His door was open so I took the liberty of letting myself in. The inside of his office was a mess just like the one at his building. I began organizing papers, setting them in order based on the company information listed in the margin at the top.

It took Edward twenty more minutes before he finally walked into the office, shutting the door firmly behind him.

He leaned back against the door and his eyes followed my movements. Goosebumps appeared on my skin as he stared down at me intently.

"There are five rules that you need to know now that you've been exposed to the media."

He walked towards me before plopping himself on the edge of his desk so that he could look me in the eyes directly.

"Number one. Never do something that could look like something else," he said while rolling up the bottom of his sleeves.

I paused, tilting my head up so that I could look at him.

"What does that mean?" I asked while setting the pile of papers back onto his desk.

"If you know it could be blown out of proportion, don't do it." was all he said before he moved on to the next point.

Edward was talking to me for a good five minutes before he finally realized that I wasn't paying him any attention.

"Did you hear what I just said?" his voice brought me back from the trance that I had fallen into.

"Oh . . . uh, yeah." I replied while shooting him a tight-lipped smile.

"This is pointless," he muttered with the shake of his head.

"Mr. Gonzalez, you don't"

"Go put on your uniform. We have guests coming in ten minutes." he interrupted whilst gesturing for me to leave.

I fled from his office before trudging up the stairs angrily. It took me all of two seconds to strip from my pajamas and exchange them for my uniform.

"You're a bad girl. He can't tell you cr*p!" I began hyping myself up in the mirror as I started on my hair.

In the end, I decided to go with two French braids seeing as I wore my hair down this whole entire week.

"Miss. Martin, you're needed downstairs." a shrill voice informed me from outside of my bedroom door.

Sliding on my shoes, I quickly exited my room before making my way down the steps. Laughter sounded from the sitting room which let me know that the guests were seated in there.

After saying a quick prayer for my sanity, I slowly entered the room, only to freeze a few seconds later when I realized who all was in the room.

"Emily! Come meet my parents!" Timothy exclaimed as soon as he spotted me in the doorway.

"Hi." I squeaked. My feet stayed rooted to the ground.

"Hello, dear. My name is Helen." Mrs. Gonzalez said while shooting me what looked to be a forced smile.

"Larry." Mr. Gonzalez grunted from beside her.

"Timothy keeps telling us about your special recipe and how good it is, so I figured that we would come and try it for ourselves." Helen suddenly revealed the true reason as to why they were here.

"I think she means my recipe." a voice suddenly piped up from behind me.

I quickly turned around, "Adam?"

"Hey, Emily." he greeted me with a smirk.

He knows my name.

My head began to spin as Melissa walked in behind him. Edward shot me a look of concern as I braced myself against the wall. My eyes scanned the room as I calculated the number of people present.

Stephen and a few other bodyguards were lingering around the area, and call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure I saw the girl that showed me around the day of my interview walking through the hallway just a few minutes ago.

One thought crossed my mind as I positioned myself upright before shooting them all a fake smile:

 

What is this, a family affair?

Chapter 11

Emily's POV

"Lunch will be ready in two hours," I stated before grabbing Adam's hand and dragging him out of the room with me.

"How do you know my name?" interrogation Emily suddenly took over the conversation.

Adam chuckled as he slowly let go of my hand.

"He didn't tell you?" he questioned while leaning back against the wall.

"Tell me what?"

"Edward has been my best friend since elementary school. Recently, he has been talking non-stop about his new maid, and the pieces fell into place as soon as I saw you standing in the doorway," he explained nonchalantly. My mouth formed an 'o' as I digested this new information.

This explains why Edward has been acting so pissy. He thought that I was trying to get with his best friend.

"I'm actually hurt that you haven't told her about me." Adam was now talking to someone behind me as his eyes were now looking over my shoulder.

A few seconds later, I felt it. Anytime that he was near my body instantly gravitated towards his. I always put the blame on the exquisite amount of body heat that he exudes on a daily basis.

"I didn't think she would care." Edward chuckled as he stepped up behind me.

The room suddenly felt 1,000 degrees hotter.

"You guys are hot." the sentence didn't register in my brain as it left my mouth and my eyes widened as I rushed to correct myself, "I meant to ask, are you guys hot?"

Adam shot me one of his signature smirks and I refused to turn around to see Edward's expression.

I quickly changed the subject in hopes to eliminate the awkwardness that had now entered the room, "Adam come help me in the kitchen. I could use an extra pair of hands."

"Oh, my hands will readily assist you in"

"Dude!" Edward cut in as he reached around me to smack Adam on the shoulder.

". . . the kitchen." Adam slowly finished the rest of his sentence even though it was totally obvious that that wasn't what he was originally going to say.

Ugh, men.

"Come on," I said while rolling my eyes at both of them.

I could feel Edward's eyes staring at us as we made our way into the kitchen. Adam plopped himself down on one of the bar stools before staring up at me with a bored expression.

"You don't actually expect me to cook, do you?" he whined whilst giving me puppy dog eyes.

My hands flew to my hips as I shook my head at him.

"Those don't work on me, pretty boy. You're a chef for Christ's sake! Cooking is apart of your job." I tsked while throwing an apron at him.

"Emily, I think that we're going to be great friends." he laughed while sliding the apron on over his head.

He turned around to grab his phone which gave me time to fan myself whilst smiling like a madman.

Dreams really do come true.

"Can we cook your Cajun Shrimp Pasta?" I begged while bending down to grab a pot out of the cabinet.

"Mhhmm." Adam hummed from behind me.

Before he could say anything else, Timothy bounded into the room with a frown.

"Uh oh, here comes the drama queen." I laughed while placing the pot on top of the stove.

Adam chuckled as he made his way over to the refrigerator. Timothy shot me a glare as he stuck his lip out, pouting.

"What is it, Timothy." it was obvious that he wanted something from me.

"Can I help you." he pleaded.

"Tell you what, you can be our DJ." I said while tossing him my phone. I'd be setting myself up for failure if I let Timothy help us cook. He barely even knows how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so why in the world would I let him help us make a full course meal?

"Yay!" he exclaimed as he fumbled around with my phone in attempts to unlock it.

"It's 10-08-02." I told him when he proved that he couldn't get it open. (yuh, that's my birthday)

Adam started setting ingredients out on the table as I gathered the cooking utensils. The Weeknd's song 'King of the Fall' began blasting from the speaker on my phone.

We immediately got to work, and I seasoned the shrimp so that it could soak in a pan while we prepared the noodles. Timothy continued to play music and he every so often asked us if we wanted to hear a certain song.

"This is my song!" I exclaimed as Alicia Keys' song 'No One' started to play.

Timothy smiled as I threw my spoon down onto the counter before dancing my way over to him.

"You and me together, through the days and nights. I don't worry cause everything's going to be alright." a hand yanked me backward, pulling my body into theirs.

"Heyyy, she's my best friend!" Timothy exclaimed while dragging me back towards him. He spun me around, laughing at my clumsiness as I crashed back into him.

"She's my number one fan," Adam argued while grabbing my hand.

"And she's my maid. Keep this up and that statement will soon be invalid." a deep voice piped up from the doorway.

Both of the boys let go of me as their faces scrunched up in annoyance.

"Mood killer." Adam sighed while turning back around to continue chopping the peppers that he had abandoned.

Timothy shot me a look of sympathy as he exited the room. I was getting ready to tell Edward off when Adam suddenly hissed out in pain.

"cr*p." he swore as blood began pouring out of his wound.

I quickly rushed towards him before gently grabbing his hand while leading him over to the sink. The water turned on as soon as his hand was positioned underneath the faucet.

"You have to be careful." I scolded him as he rinsed off his finger.

"Sorry, mom." he joked while rolling his eyes.

Completely unaware that Edward was still in the room, I began opening and closing cabinets in search of a first aid kit.

"Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to tell me where you keep your first aid kit?" I snapped as he leaned up against the counter.

Edward simply glanced at me and shrugged as if my statement meant nothing to him.

It took everything within me to keep my cool. This man was seriously trying me today, and I am two seconds away from saying something that I may or may not regret.

"Fine then. I'll find it myself." I turned around to grab Adam, only to stop as I heard him say, "Wait."

"I'll go get it." Edward suddenly volunteered as he pushed himself off of the counter.

Adam sat down at the kitchen table with his finger held out in front of him in order to prevent any further irritation.

Edward came back ten minutes later with the smallest first aid kit I've ever seen.

"What, did you stop at McDonald's on your way back?" I asked, referring to the amount of time that it took him to grab the small bag. He grunted as I reached out and plucked the bag from his fingers.

"Hurry up, my parents are hungry," he said before turning around on his heel and walking out of the room.

"I cannot believe him!" I fumed while sitting down next to Adam.

"Just ignore him. He doesn't understand how talking to people works." Adam muttered while taking the Neosporin out of the bag.

I grabbed a Q-tip and squeezed some of the ointment on there before applying it to his cut a few seconds later. After it was evenly spread, I grabbed a Band-Aid and wrapped it around his finger.

"All better." I cheered as he held it up for me to see.

We went back to toss all of the ingredients into the pot, and we set a timer straight afterward so that we didn't overcook it.

"I hope they like it." I voiced my concern as we started cleaning up the kitchen.

"Edward's parents are a little reserved at first, but once you get to know them they'll warm up to you," Adam promised as he threw some dishes into the sink.

"That's easy for you to say." I groaned.

Wiping my hands on my apron, I suddenly realized that my uniform was now covered in vegetables and oil.

"I'm going to go change." without waiting to hear his reply, I quickly ran up the stairs to my room.

My room is currently a mess seeing as the day that I had dedicated to doing laundry passed a long time ago. It's still relatively warm outside seeing as we are just now reaching the last few days of summer. A coralish dress caught my eye, and I immediately knew that it would be my outfit for the evening.

I slipped on a pair of sandals while rushing to unbraid my hair so that the waves could cascade down my back. Even though makeup is not really my thing, I grabbed a tube of mascara and lipstick and quickly put them on.

Eyeing myself in the mirror one last time, I exited my room and walked out into the hallway. I immediately locked eyes with Edward, and I watched as he jaw clenched at the sight of my outfit.

"My uniform got dirty so . . ." I trailed off as he continued to stare at me.

He blinked, pulling himself together as he ran his hand through his hair.

"Okay, then," he said whilst extending his arm out for me to take.

Whatever anger I felt towards him today suddenly disappeared into thin air. A small smile appeared on my face as I looked up at him.

 

"Let's get this party started." 

Chapter 12

Emily's POV

"Adam can you help me with the"

"I'll get it!" Edward's sudden outburst caused me to jump and my hand flew over my chest as I turned around to look at him.

I watched as he disappeared into the kitchen, his lips pressed together firmly as if he was mad about something.

"what?" Melissa whispered as I set a wine glass down on the placemat in front of her.

"I'll be right back," I announced before making my way back into the kitchen. Edward has been on edge ever since we walked downstairs together and I'm determined to find out why.

He was leaning up against the counter with his arms folded in front of him, and I couldn't help but notice that he looked extremely distracted.

"What is wrong with you today?" I questioned while filling the first two bowls with food. I handed them off to Edward once they were completely full. He remained quiet for a few more minutes before muttering something that sounded like, "Nothing."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive." he forced out through gritted teeth.

I fixed two more bowls before gesturing for him to follow me into the dining room.

"Lunch is served," I said while placing Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez' bowls on their placemat.

"This certainly looks delicious," Helen commented as she grabbed a napkin from the table and draped it over her lap. I shot her a smile before placing a wine glass down in front of her.

I quickly ran back into the kitchen and grabbed two more bowls, handing both of them to Edward since he was still following me around. Doing the quick math in my head, I grabbed one more bowl for myself before heading back towards the dining room.

"I can do this by myself, you know," I commented as we made our way down the hallway.

"Just making sure that you don't mess anything up." he retorted.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Before he could respond, Stephen appeared out of nowhere and gestured for Edward to come and take his seat. Without sparing me a second glance, Edward made his way into the dining room before sitting down next to a grinning Melissa.

There was only one seat left and it was, thankfully, next to Adam. He wiggled his eyebrows at me as he gestured down at his plate.

"So Emily, tell me about yourself." Helen's voice dragged me back to reality. If I'm being quite honest, I had already forgotten that they were even here.

"Oh uhm, I'm twenty years old and I've lived in San Francisco pretty much my entire life," I responded vaguely. A feeling of deja vu washed over me as I recalled the time when Timothy asked me this exact same question.

"So you went to college here?" Larry asked the second I finished my sentence.

My entire body froze as my fork sat, positioned directly in front of my lips. I immediately tried to push down the anxiety that was slowly creeping up my system because I had a suspicion that they could sense my fear. Timothy cleared his throat from across the table, his head nodding in my direction ever so slightly.

"Yes, I attended USC for a year and a half but I, unfortunately, had to drop out last semester." my answer was quick and to the point.

"So, you're taking a gap year?"

Something about Helen's tone rubbed me the wrong way, but I quickly covered up my disdain with a small smile.

"Not exactly, my financial situation wasn't exactly at its... highest point during that time," I stated uncomfortably.

Not that it's any of your business.

"But you're planning to go back?" Helen's persistence made me want to pull my hair out.

As if he could feel the annoyance radiating off of me, Adam quickly jumped in and switched the conversation so that the attention wasn't on me anymore.

"Larry, how is the company doing?"

I twirled my fork around a particularly long noodle, raising it carefully so that it wouldn't slide off the prongs. The topic of choice was now about business which allowed me the time to zone out completely.

Edward's phone suddenly started to buzz, its ringtone causing everyone in the room to fall silent.

"Emily, get the door," he ordered while setting his phone back down on the table.

Such a gentleman.

Deciding that now wouldn't be the best time to cause a scene, I stood up from the table and made my way over to the front door. A gorgeous brunette stood before me as I held the door open defensively.

"May I help you?" I asked her semi-politely.

"And who might you be?" she shot back while quirking a perfectly arched eyebrow at me.

"Edward's maid," I answered shortly.

"Good for you," she remarked before pushing her way past me.

I slowly closed the door, shaking my head as I tried to comprehend what just happened. Laughter sounded from the dining room causing me to revert my attention back to the task at hand.

"Christine, what a pleasant surprise! How is your mother doing?" Helen practically cooed at the girl that was now sprawled across Edward's lap.

So the girl is named Christine.

I plopped back down in my seat, stabbing my food with my fork as I wanted for this lunch to be over within the next hour. Adam's fingers curled around my wrist as he attempted to stop me from assaulting my noodles.

"Emily, are you going to miss me when I'm gone?" Timothy suddenly questioned as he raised his wine glass up to his lips.

"I just don't know how I'm going to continue on!" I exclaimed while sighing dramatically. Adam snorted from beside me as Timothy stuck his tongue out like the four-year-old man-child that he is.

I shot him a smirk, laughing as he playfully crossed his eyes. Christine suddenly giggled, leaning forward as if whatever Edward told her was the funniest thing that she had ever heard.

"How's about some dessert?" I asked, raising my voice so that they could hear me over the cackling cow.

Oops, I meant to say Christine.

Melissa was nice enough to bring an apple pie since she probably figured that I had forgotten to make a dessert like I did last weekend.

I did.

Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez handed me their bowls first before turning back around to continue their conversation with Timothy. Upon exiting the dining room, I was met with the sight of Edward and Christine.

How they left the room without any of us noticing? I have no idea. But what I do know, is that Edward's tongue is currently shoved so far down Christine's throat that I thought she might choke on it.

"Don't mind me." I squeaked while squeezing past them.

Christine scoffed before leaning in and whispering something in Edward's ear. He chuckled, shaking his head as his eyes briefly scanned me up and down.

High school, is that you?

Brushing off their immaturity, I made my way into the kitchen to grab the pie.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

30 minutes later

 

"Thank you so much for coming!" I said while smiling in the Gonzalez' direction.

"Of course dear! We'll have to come over for dinner next time." Helen gushed as she latched her arm around her husbands.

"Great idea!" my cheeks were beginning to hurt from all of this fake smiling. After saying goodbye to their children, the couple finally made their exit through the front door.

My smile dropped the second I closed the door behind them. Adam started to laugh as he mimicked my facial expression. A real smile spread across my face as he leaned against the archway for support.

"Is it really that funny?" I questioned while rolling my eyes playfully.

"That sounds fantastic Mrs. Gonzalez!" his voice went up a few octaves as he mocked my response to Helen's suggestion.

"Haha very funny," I responded dryly.

"Chillax, you won't have to see them again until Saturday," Adam said as he attempted to reassure me.

"What's on Saturday?"

"The annual charity banquet that the Gonzalez' host every year?" he said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"It's not like I'm required to go." I brushed his statement off in attempts to calm myself down.

Helen and Larry are literally the most judgmental people I have ever met. Being around them sends my anxiety on a rollercoaster and there is only so much of it that I can take.

"Of course you're required to go. Anybody that is associated with the Gonzalez children is supposed to be there." he clarified.

I shut my eyes in frustration, tilting my head backwards as I let out a relatively loud groan.

 

"You have got to be kidding me."

Chapter 13

Emily's POV

Much to my dismay, Saturday night came quicker than expected, leaving me with minimal time to get my cr*p together. Timothy left for Texas two days ago, so the house has been pretty dry without him and his crazy antics.

"Emily, come on!" Stephen groaned from his spot on the edge of my bed. We have become pretty close friends in my three weeks of working here.

"We have ten minutes left, calm down!" I yelled back at him from the bathroom.

My hair was curled to perfection and my makeup was flawless thanks to Melissa's amazing skills.

This meant that the only thing left for me to do was put on my dress.

"D*mn." Stephen whistled as soon as I emerged from the bathroom.

The dress hugged my figure perfectly, and my entire back, as well as half of my front, was out for everyone to see.

"You better stop before Debra pops out the bushes and stabs your eyes out," I warned him seriously.

Debra is Stephen's recent conquest and they seem to be pretty serious seeing as they've been together for six months now.

"She is very understanding," Stephen suggested as he eyed my attire one last time.

"Now I know why you're single ninety-nine percent of the time." I laughed while sliding on my heels.

Edward and Melissa were already at the venue since they had to triple check that everything was in order before the guests arrived.

"C'mon slow poke. Unlike you, I actually want to keep my job." he snorted while offering me his hand.

He helped me down the stairs before draping the fur coat that Melissa let me borrow over my shoulders. Douglas was waiting for us at the edge of the driveway, his hands immediately working to open the door the second he saw us walk out of the front door.

"Good evening, Miss. Martin." he greeted while gesturing for me to enter the vehicle.

"How are you, Douglas?" I asked while shooting him a soft smile.

"I-I'm doing well. Today is my birthday actually," he responded shyly.

This man is so freaking adorable.

"Omg, happy birthday! Are you going to be joining us tonight?"

His face fell the second I referred to the charity banquet.

"No, Mr. Gonzalez told me to just wait in the car," he explained, and if I'm not mistaken, there was a hint of sadness in his voice.

"Scr*w that." I fumed while sliding back out of the car.

"Stephen, take me to Timothy's room."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

thirty minutes later

 

Paparazzi surrounded us the second we pulled up to the estate.

"Alright, keep your head down and whatever you do, don't stop walking," Stephen ordered before pushing the door open.

He held out his hand, helping me out of the car before gesturing for Douglas to follow. Douglas handed the keys to the valet person before hesitantly grabbing onto my hand.

"Emily, are you and Adam secretly dating?"

"Is this your new boyfriend?"

"Tell us about the feud between you and Heather Collins."

Cameras flashed from every angle, and the bright lights blinded me temporarily. Stephen led us into the mansion safely and his shoulders visibly relaxed the second we made it into the ballroom.

"Why do you do this for a living?" I huffed while pulling Melissa's jacket tighter around me.

"I ask myself that same question everyday," he grunted while running a hand through his hair.

The room was filled with the most elegant people I have ever seen. Women were dressed in floor-length gowns that shimmered underneath the chandelier lighting. Meanwhile, the men showed off their most expensive tuxedos, their wrists adorned with the iciest Rolex watches they owned.

"Jesus," Douglas muttered as he looked around the room.

"Let's go find our table. Douglas, you're my date for tonight." I breezed over the last part of my sentence, crossing my fingers that he wouldn't object or overreact.

Stephen chuckled from behind me, saying something to himself in what sounded like French.

"What was that?" I asked him.

"Nothing. Your table is over there," he replied while pointing to a round table that was positioned in the center of the room.

Figures.

My eyes locked with Melissa, and I watched a smirk overtake her face the second she saw my outfit.

"girl, you look amazing." she squealed while wrapping her arms around me in an embrace.

"Girl, you're talking about me, look at you!" we dove into a complimenting battle, completely shutting out Douglas who was standing next to us uncomfortably.

"Douglas? Is that you?" Mel finally turned to acknowledge the handsome man standing next to me.

He shot her a small smile, nodding his head in response to her question.

"D*mn, you clean up nice," she said while eyeing him seductively.

"Down girl, he's mine for tonight." I teased while shooting her a playful glare.

"Is that so?" a deep voice suddenly joined in on our conversation.

My body tensed as Edward walked up behind me, the scent of his cologne immediately filling my nostrils.

Melissa looked apprehensive as she looked between Douglas and Edward. A hand suddenly latched onto my own, and it took me a second to realize that it was Douglas's

"Good evening, sir," he spoke with newfound confidence.

Edward's eyes raked over my body, his jaw clenching as his gaze lingered on my partially exposed chest.

"And you're here because...?" he questioned gruffly.

"I invited him," I stated profoundly.

Before he could respond, a man tapped the mic three times, calling for everyone's attention. Edward stared at us for a few more seconds before spinning around on his heel and walking over to take his seat. I shot Melissa a look to which she simply shook her head.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if I could please have your attention. I'd like to introduce the couple that has made all of this possible, and it just so happens that they are some very good friends of mine. Please give a warm welcome to the superstars of the evening, Helen and Larry Gonzalez!" the announcer exclaimed loudly into the microphone.

Everyone turned their heads towards the double doors, cheering the second Helen and Larry emerged through them.

Helen smiled and waved whilst Larry simply nodded his head in the direction of a few powerful looking men. Once they made it to the table that we were sitting at, Larry pulled out a chair for Helen to sit in.

"Mother, you look gorgeous as always." Edward wasted no time complimenting the woman of the hour.

"Yeah mom, you look beautiful." Mel chimed in while smiling brightly at Helen.

"Thank you dears. Edward honey, where is Christine?" Helen asked as her eyes darted around the table.

"She's" he started, stopping when an overly cheery voice suddenly spoke up from behind him.

"Right here. Helen darling, sorry I'm late!" Christine apologized profusely as she glided up to the table that we were seated at. My eyes widened at the sight of her dress.

What does she think this is, the red carpet?

One wrong move and everyone in this ballroom are getting a glimpse of her nipples, and not to mention, the train attached to her dress is unnecessarily long.

"Christine, you look marvelous! Is your father here?" Helen asked with a small frown.

Tired of listening to their conversation, I leaned in and whispered to Douglas, "How many people do you think she tripped on her way over here?"

"I'm betting ten," he responded simultaneously.

We both snickered loudly, ignoring the pretentious people that were now turning to glare at us.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Christine looking over at us as if we put a bad taste in her mouth.

"Babe, who is this?" she asked while gesturing towards Douglas.

"This is my driver, Douglas." Edward supplied bitterly.

I watched Helen lean in and whisper something in Larry's ear, her eyes flitting over to us for a split second. Christine snapped at a waiter, ordering for him to get her a chair.

Just so you can get a visual, the seating arrangement goes as follows; at th