The Assistant’s Secret by Emerald O’Brien (A Locke Industries Novel)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Josephine Oliver has a secret.
As an assistant at security titan, Locke Industries, she’s presented with an opportunity to advance her career in the form of a test.
Josephine jumps at the chance to dig herself out of debt and earn the company’s respect on her way up the corporate ladder. But a visit with a potential client leaves her shocked, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about the company, those she works with, and herself.
When the client takes a particular interest in her, and his demands grow increasingly dangerous, Josephine must continue to fight for the life she’s always wanted or find a way to escape their clutches after learning the darkest secret of all.
My skirt and blouse are wrinkle- and stain-free. I got up at four this morning to make sure of it. With a short puff of breath, I blow a strand of my long, caramel blonde hair out of my face.
Do I look good enough to represent this company? To go out on lunch and dinner dates with clients in fancy hotel lobbies? To sit in on the revered board meetings?
No. Not until I can afford some new clothes without the guilt that accompanies them. Not until I have the financial security to start living life like we should.
My cell phone vibrates in my purse against my waist, as if on cue. At this hour, it has to be a debt collector. This is when they start their days too.
The doors ding open, and I correct my posture and take a deep breath, inhaling the coffee bean scent.
I can handle this. It’s not all about looks. They hired me—chose me after my internship. No one works harder than I do here at my level. If they give me a chance to prove myself…
I stride forward, down the long, dark gray hallway a few steps from the elevator to the glass door with a bright silver waiting room beyond.
Fern Bishop, Cathrine’s long-time receptionist, squints at me behind her thick black-framed glasses, and buzzes me in. The glass door opens, and I stride in with my head held high. I’m steps away from her desk as my right heel slips across the marble floor, and I jerk the tray out of one hand, trying to regain my footing. Fern’s eyes open wide as I reach out, grasping at thin air for stability, teetering to the side, gripping the tray hard and clenching my jaw.
I lean forward, planting my right heel back on the ground, and grip the tray with both hands.
“Nice reflexes, Josephine.” Fern tips her head to me before cocking it to the side with a slight frown. We turn toward the wall on the far side of the room as the door in the middle of it opens, revealing Cathrine Locke.
Her silver-gray hair, lush with the silky volume she gets from visiting a blow-dry bar every morning, perches on her shoulders. She sucks in her gaunt cheeks, staring at me. “Good morning, Josephine,” she says in her light, even tone.
“Good morning, Ms. Locke.”
“Well, come on then, and don’t forget the coffee.” She swivels around on her black pumps, letting the door shut behind her.
Now that woman has style.
I exhale and stop at Fern’s desk. “Two caramel macchiatos for you.” I take them from the foam tray and place them on her desk to the right of the framed photos; one of her three cats, Elinor, Mrs. Morris, and Darcy; one with her and the original owner of the company, Lawrence Locke; and one of her and the cats.