Aria Anastasia, a free-spirited young woman, works as the MD of the Storm Fashion Industry. She has the post she dreamed of, but she didn't expect to work under an annoying, quirky boss. Surviving two years after working under him, she didn't expect to unleash a secret of her handsome boss, Zaiden Storm. Zaiden Storm is the CEO of the Storm Fashion Industry. No one can ever talk over him, and he always walks with a mysterious aura surrounding him. The only woman who doesn't hesitate to talk back to him is Aria. But he never expected her to find out his true self behind his facade. What will happen when Aria learns about the secret of her boss? Will she keep it within herself or start exposing Zaiden's truth to everyone bit by bit?
Chapter-1: A Secret
My black heels were clicking loudly as I took large steps while making my way to the cabin on the twenty-eighth floor. The entire floor had a waiting lounge, a reception where an assistant was present, and a familiar cabin of my boss, as in Zaiden Storm.
I knocked on the polished door, asking, "May I come in?"
"Come in," came a deep curt reply.
I stepped inside after opening the door, only to find Zaiden leaning against his black leather chair, his eyes glued to the screen of his laptop.
"Why are you so rude?" I kept the blue file on the desk, looking at the annoying man, Mr. Zaiden Storm, who also happened to be the CEO of this company.
Well, I wasn't Mr. Zaiden Storm's secretary. I was the MD of the Storm Fashion Industry, and Zaiden was just my boss with whom I have been working for the past two years, ever since he has become the CEO.
Zaiden raised his brows, smirking in my direction after looking away from the laptop. "Does it look like I have to answer you, Miss?"
I could feel steam coming out of my ears as I curved my fists into a ball. With a fake smile on my lips which I managed to put, I asked, "Boss, why did you tell my secretary to stay within her limits when she just gave you the blue file which contains information for the Arizon Fashion?"
Zaiden crossed his arms against his chest and said, "How can you send your assistant to give me the file you were supposed to give? Aria, you know I hate it when someone doesn't keep their word."
I glanced at Zaiden's green eyes, wondering whether he was serious or not. Then again, he never joked about anything as far as I knew. So I spoke up with a sigh, "Zaiden, I promised to give you this file and my assistant handed it to you. Why did you yell at her? And you didn't even take the file."
"Well, you brought the file now, and I will give your assistant a bonus as an apology I don't mean at all." Zaiden looked back at the screen of his laptop and asked, "Any more problems?"
I shook my head in disappointment at his behavior. This guy would never change. He was so annoying and rude. How was I surviving by working with him? Only God knew.
I breathed out, "You are impossible, Zaiden." With that, I marched out of his cabin, pushing a few strands of my ginger hair behind my ear.
My messy bun was really messy today because I woke up late in the morning. If I hadn't come here on time, Zaiden would get the chance to make me work overtime and I hated midnight work.
As I was near my cabin on the floor below Zaiden's, I saw my assistant, Yana Aled, who was a still crying mess. She was sitting in front of my door with a chair—she would do that every time she was having a bad day. Her desk was near my cabin, so she would just pull the chair and sit in front of the door until I asked her what had happened.
Well, even I shiver when Zaiden yells, so it must be hard on Yana.
"Yana," I called out to her, and she looked at me with her teary brown eyes. "Zaiden feels bad for yelling at you and wants to compensate by giving you a bonus next month."
"Really?" Even at the mention of money, Yana's tears vanished instantly. "Is the boss really feeling guilty?"
I cleared my throat and nodded my head. I knew I was lying, but as long as Zaiden didn't find out, it wouldn't be a problem for me.
Yana got up from her chair and asked me further, "What else did the boss exactly say? Please, tell me, Ma'am. I really want to know." Her brown eyes grew bigger, as I pictured her ears growing wider to hear some more praises and apologies from Zaiden.
God, forgive me for the big lie I will say now.
"Zaiden said that he feels extremely guilty and sad for hurting such a wonderful woman who does her work very efficiently. He was afraid that you would quit the job. He didn't want to lose a huge gem of the company, which is you, Yana," I started exaggerating further, "These are the exact words of him by the way."
"What else?" she asked again with excitement.
How many apologies and praises does one need to hear? Didn't I say enough?
"He doesn't seem so soft, I know. But in his heart, he is really soft-hearted. As soon as I entered his cabin, his first words were, Please, apologize to Ms. Aled on my behalf."
"Ye—" I stopped midway when I realized that the person who said 'really' wasn't Yana. My heart started leaping out in fear. I wanted to cry, but I managed my posture and turned around to face my boss, who heard every damn word I said.
"Zaiden," I breathed out, my hand was now on Yana's desk, to prevent myself from stumbling backward due to Zaiden's intimidating aura.
I was afraid my white shirt would turn red because I would be bleeding to death now. The glare Zaiden gave me, he was already stabbing me in his mind. His hands were in the pocket of his dark green suit.
"Aria, I shall drop you home after you work overtime tonight," he said, pure calmness lingering in his tone as if he just offered me chocolates on Halloween.
Fear engulfed me at the thought that he would expose my lies to Yana, and she would quit working under me. The thought of looking for a new secretary really sucked.
However, Zaiden didn't actually utter any more words further. Rather he just said, "Get back to work, the two of you."
Sparing one last glare in my direction, he went to check the other floors. He would always check whether his employees were working properly or not. I really admired his dedication to work, but not his rude nature though. He never appreciated anyone for anything. Once I told Zaiden to appreciate his assistant for taking care of him, but his words were, 'I pay him for this. I see no point in praising him.'
"Thank you so much, Ma'am," Yana said with a wide smile, snapping me out of my thoughts. She moved back to her desk after pulling the chair from the front of the door.
"You are welcome," I uttered and got into my cabin, sulking for a while because of the overtime work I had to do tonight. This was the second time I was working overtime. The first time I worked overtime was when I attended a meeting late.
According to my skills, I was the managing director of the company—I applied for the post as soon as the company started hiring every employee from the start. Turns out, my portfolio was impressive.
I decided to check on the new deal we signed recently until my phone clicked.
Kael: Is my son giving you a hard time again? I saw the routine and Zaiden added overtime work for you.
I chuckled seeing the text.
Mr. Kael Storm was Zaiden's father, but he was a great man. He has set up the business and expanded it worldwide. He was my idol in business. After I got into the company, he interviewed me along with Zaiden, and since then; he has adored me a lot. In fact, he would check up on me all the time to see whether I was doing okay or Zaiden was giving me a hard time. He was like a father-figure and I felt proud that in his busy schedule, he would still have time to ask me about my welfare.
I decided to reply to him.
Aria: He yelled at my assistant and I lied to my assistant saying he was sorry. He heard me, and this is how I got the precious gift of working overtime.
Kael: Ooops. You should be careful, my daughter. Zaiden has eyes and ears everywhere.
I agreed with him. Zaiden was probably the scariest among his brothers. He had seven brothers, including him. I haven't met any of them though, I just saw their pictures. Apart from Zaiden, I only knew his father, Kael.
After working for a few hours, it was half-past eight. I couldn't leave the office since I had to work till midnight. The entire office was silent and I could feel it. I got a headache by looking at the screen of the laptop for a long time. So I decided to make myself a cup of espresso.
I got up from my chair and made my way to the coffee machine in my room. My cabin was very spacious, and I had almost every facility here.
I pressed the button on the machine after keeping a mug beneath it.
All of a sudden, I was feeling my headache getting worse, so I tried to massage my head. That was when I noticed the coffee machine wasn't working at all. I tried for some more time, but it wasn't working.
"Fuck my luck," I grumbled and got out of my office room. The cafeteria was closed by now, so the only person who had a coffee machine in his cabin was Zaiden. He told me he would drop me home, which meant he was in the office. "I should go to his cabin."
I walked to the private elevator and made my way to Zaiden's cabin one more time. I wanted to knock, but the door was slightly open. Hesitantly, I pushed the door a little more, and the next thing I saw made me gasp as my hands immediately covered my mouth. My eyes grew wide in horror as three pairs of eyes, including the familiar green eyes, looked at me.
Zaiden had a gun in his hand, while the other two people were dragging a dead body that was lying on the floor. A dead body.