The Bet – Chapter 1 Office Party

SHade’s POV

“I spread my wings and took my first flight and the feeling I had at that moment cannot be justified with words. Because darling that feeling can only be felt.”

Have you ever felt proud of the person that you become? Sometimes it is necessary to take risks. Risks help us to grow, to nurture and explore ourselves. I have never been able to take a stand for myself. I have always been miss-goody-two-shoes. Someone who needs her parent’s and friend’s advice in each and every aspect of her life.

But then I introduced myself to reading. An accidental yet fascinating decision I took for myself. Reading helped me to see things with a different perspective. I realized sometimes being a decision maker is actually worth it. I discovered that girl who was hidden inside of me and trusts me, I feel blessed that I started reading. It is my savior.

Hi! I am SHade. I am a 21-year-old Indian girl and I am the decision maker of my life. This does not mean that I have completely neglected my parents because there are times when I need them. We may grow and learn from our mistakes but sometimes our parent’s experience helps us to take precautions in advance. Yep, just precautions. no need to stop with taking that risk, though. You never know something that has never worked out for others might be in your favor. And that feeling of accomplishment is worth it.

I have never attended parties. I was not a typical teenager/adult. When I was a teenager I used to stay at home all the time and study. I did not have many friends and the ones who were talked to me only when they needed me. Anyways, here I am at a grand New Year’s Eve party at my new office in New York City. Yep, you heard that right. I took the decision to come here and explore my life and work too. I had to fight for it, though. Since my parents were not in favor of me doing a job in another country. They have this opinion that a girl as introvert as me cannot survive on her own in another country because it’s challenging and ‘unsafe’. I know they are very protective of me and I respect that but before being their daughter I am an individual with my own needs and preferences. Luckily I won my first battle and convinced my parents to let me go and be free. It was extremely difficult but it was worth a shot. One must never give up on their dreams. Just like NYC has been mine.

Indian parties are full of enthusiasm and shitty relatives. Even though there’s a lot of fun involved, irritating relatives find ways to ruin it. Indian ceremonies are not so great to attend if you are a girl. People judge you all the time. They don’t look at you as an individual but rather as a marriage material. The more quiet and shy girl you are the more you are qualified to become the perfect bride for their prude sons. This was the reason why I didn’t attend any function at all and since I didn’t have friends I have never been to another kind of parties. I have always wanted to attend them though just like they are written in novels. I like it how people tend to forget themselves in the crowd and dance till their feet hurt. I want to experience that feeling of euphoria.

So about this company, Eastwood Creations is a Media and Entertainment Studio and the most prestigious company in the USA. I feel honored to be a part of the ‘Eastwood family’ just like my boss described it. I joined this company as a 3D Artist. Becoming a 3D Artist was another decision I took for myself since I wanted to prove that teaching is not the only job a girl has to do. Teaching is considered as the safest job for an Indian girl since she will be able to give time to her family after marriage. Stupid thinking!

*rolls eyes*

So I did what was necessary and I am glad I did it.

My boss, Mr. Cody Eastwood is a good looking man. Not only he is good looking but he is also very obstinate, hot and career – oriented man. He literally worships his work. He has been very friendly and welcoming and he is so tall! I mean I am 5 feet 4 inches but that man is 6 feet tall! I was awestruck when first I met him that was yesterday during our meeting.  Even though I have done my research about the company and my boss I doubt it a little. According to my research, he is 30 y.o. and going to be 31 next week.

But when I first saw him I thought to myself, “Holy shit! This man looks even more gorgeous in real life. He can easily pass for a 25 y.o.”

His voice was so mesmerizing and his hand’s mmmm. He looked like a model ready for a ramp walk in that black suit of his. And damn! that one handshake made me drool over him but I did not make a fool out of myself. Yeah, deep inside I have developed a crush on him. My cheeks were stained during the whole time of our meeting and my body temperature had risen at his touch. I could not take my eyes off of his blue eyes, they are so attractive that I can stare at them for hours and not get tired at all. And to be honest I did stare into them and I am a hundred percent sure that he regrets his decision of choosing me thinking I must be crazy.

Cody had asked me to attend this party to get familiar with my colleagues. The moment I entered this party everyone gaped at me as if I am an alien. At first, it felt awkward but then I just moved on ignoring their stares.

“You can do this. Do anything but DON’T STARE at him.” I ordered myself and then moved towards Cody when he called me.

“Hello, Miss SHade. It’s good to see you here. I am glad you made it to this party. Let me introduce you to few of your colleagues.”

He said and I was just there smiling and staring, this time it was not his sexy blue eyes but his dimples when he smiled at me. Oh God! how could I miss those perfect dimples on his perfect face. I really need to find some sort of distraction or else he’ll kick my butt out of his company. I just simply nodded because I momentarily lost my ability to speak. Yup! this was The Cody Effect.

“SHade, this is Emma, she is Kristy and he is Matthew,” he said. We greeted each other with smiles and handshakes and then Cody was gone.

Emma was a pretty brunette, an inch or two taller than me but that black heels of hers made her look 5’8″. She has gray eyes, high cheekbones and a very friendly face with an adorable smile. She has that Girl-next-door feels to herself and I instantly got comfortable with her. She looks so pretty in that long purple dress of hers. It was covered in beautiful white lining across the top part of the dress,  it gave an exquisite feel to her appearance. The bewitching violet ribbon lining intoxicated everyone her beauty – the radiant silk ran down to the bottom of her feet.  The delicate ribbon introduced attention to the lacing lining up against her breast.

“Hey, I am Emma. It’s really nice to finally meet you. Cody has been talking about you a lot. I have seen your work. It’s really amazing. It would be nice to work with you.” Emma said extending her hand for a handshake. I shook it with a smile of my own.

“SHade, It’s nice to meet you too and thanks. It’s my pleasure that I’ll get to work with all of you.” I replied.

“Hey, there. You can call me Matt. It’s nice to meet you.” This came from my right side by Matthew. His voice thick with the accent. By the looks and accent, I can tell that Matt and Emma are British. Matt is tall, my guess is 6 ft. to be exact. He has gray eyes with a little bit green touch to them. He is a gorgeous guy with a muscular body and a kind face. He has a fascinating look and those glasses of his do not give him a nerdy look at all. Instead, he looks very sexy in them with dark blue jeans, black shirt and leather brown jacket on.

“Hey, SHade, it’s nice to meet you too,” I said with a smile.

“And I am Kristy .” came the voice from my left side from a girl in a very sexy sleeveless form fitting little black dress, that ended at her mid thigh. The top half was made entirely of black lace that went down diagonally from her left shoulder to just above her right breast. The skirt was a fitted leather material. And a leather belt around the waist. She has a very curvy figure and she is too beautiful to be working in a company. One look at her and you will think she is an actress or maybe a supermodel. She is tall, must be 5’7″ but those nude colored heels of hers make her look 5’9″.  I feel like a lilliput in the land of giants.

“SHade, Nice to meet you,” I replied with a smile yet again.

“So, What’s your age, Doll? You look like you just came out of school.” this was from Matt

“Yeah, you do look really young. What’s your work experience?” Kristy asked me.

“I am 21 and I have worked as a freelancer before I joined this company,” I told them.

“I have seen your demo reel. It’s pretty amazing. Your work looks very precise and to the point. Nobody could guess it’s done by somebody who is so  young.” Emma said

“Thank you so much. I am glad you liked my work.” I said with a blush. Matt offered me a drink which I had to deny because I don’t drink but I will try it some other time for sure.

Hello, New Life!

“Guys, there’s a good news for you all.” Cody came out of nowhere. The enthusiasm in his voice indicated as if he has won a jackpot or something.

“I got a phone call for our new project and seems like we got to work in a future Oscar-winning movie. It was the James Cameron and he wants a team from our company to work on his next project. Okay, so I will discuss all the details later in the office on Tuesday since tomorrow is off and … Where’s Austin?”

“Austin works with us. He is Cody’s younger brother but totally opposite of him,” Emma whispered to me.

“I don’t know, mate,” Matt said to Cody.

Matt and Emma had become my friends instantly. They are really nice people to talk to, telling me what to do and what not to at the company and who’s like who. I am glad that people nowadays are not racists. I had this little bit doubt that people in other countries still don’t like Indians but I am glad I have been proven wrong.

“Oh, yeah I saw him with a girl. They were going inside the hotel,” said Kristy. She has a very bubbly nature. She is a sugary type with a heart of gold but her eyes are sad. I can see the way she hides her sadness with this smiling facade of hers. I hope whatever it is that’s bothering her it may be over soon.

Cody turned towards me with an annoyed look, “SHade, Will you go to the hotel and ask Austin to join us right now? Tell him to get his ass out here or I will fire him.” The way he said it, I could not deny. Dude, the look on his face said if I said no he will kick me out of his company. So without any other word, I just said, “Yes Sir”, my voice barely audible and I left. I heard Matt saying, ” She does not know who Austin is. How is she going to find him?”

“She can ask any girl in there, they must know where he is.” this one was from Kristy. I rolled my eyes at that and continued with my search of this Austin.

I have a gut feeling this encounter is going to be epic.

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Author:

since some people had told me that I was ugly, I always preferred shade to the sun, darkness to light

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