Saturday, December 31, 2016

Benjamin Baker vs. the New Year's Party | Heroes & Villains 1.8


Ben stood near the doors of the large hotel ballroom. It was Bakersfield’s annual New Year's Eve party, the biggest party the company threw all year and the talk of the whole city until the next one. Ben was casually greeting the guests as they entered, barely recognizing any of them. It was a big company, he could hardly be expected to know all the employees and their dates. It was always a classy party for adults only, although Ben’s high school age siblings were in attendance tonight. Those who didn’t work for the company spent large amounts of money to be able to attend. Every Bakersfield party was about money and how much of it they could raise for another year of technology and parties.
Ben caught sight of Ellie entering the room and his whole body perked up. She looked beautiful, her red hair curled off to one side, her makeup dark, and the long pale pink dress with the low neckline hugged her body perfectly. Ben couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he moved towards her. He watched, his expression changing to a frown, as a man came up behind her, placing his hand on her lower back. The man wore a pair of jeans, a white button-up shirt, and tie, haphazardly done, and a worn blue blazer. Ben reached Ellie and she grinned as she caught sight of him.
“Hi Ben,” She exclaimed, in her normal bubbly personality.
“Ellie, you look incredible,” Ben said, glancing over her again. Ellie blushed, catching hold of her skirt in her left hand and giving a fake curtsy. The man beside Ellie snorted with laughter.
“She’s overdressed.” He said. Ben turned his attention toward him as the man extended his right arm. they shook hands, the man's grip painfully firm. “The name’s Arthur Wallace, but everyone calls me Art. I’m Ellie’s long-term boyfriend, we live together so don't even think about dating her. And you’re Benjamin Baker, next in line to run this disastrous corporation bound to destroy the economy of Apple Creek.” Ben’s eyes narrowed, anger creeping over him.
“Art,” Ellie said sharply. “I told you, not tonight.”
“And I agreed that I wouldn't share my views on Bakersfield when you told me we would be hanging out with your work friends and I assumed they were all pathetic data entry workers. But you changed the rules. You said nothing about knowing Benjamin Baker.” Art said giving her a stern look. Ellie sighed and glanced towards Ben.
“I know Benjamin Baker.” She said slowly.
“And you never mentioned this before because…”
“Because we only work together.”
“Ellie’s an exceptional employee, a valued member of our team.” Ben spoke up giving Ellie a smile. “You should be proud of her.” Ellie blushed.
“Team?” Art asked. “You call it teamwork to put small, hard working companies out of business? You’ve taken over most of this town with your pushy team.” Ellie lowered her head, her cheeks flushing, clearly embarrassed. Ben kept his eyes on Ellie, trying to decipher her emotions.
“We do what we can to keep the city’s economy stable, and if that means weeding out failing businesses and taking over then that’s what we’ll do.” Ben spoke hurriedly. “Anyways, this is a party. No fun in discussing work things. The bar is in that back corner, dancing in the center, and the drawings for giveaways should begin  within the next hour...” Ben let his voice trail off, watching in surprise as Art began making out with Ellie, his hands firmly on her bare shoulders. Ellie lightly pushed him away, her cheeks turning bright red. Art turned his attention back to Ben, putting his arm protectively around Ellie.  
“How much money did you spend on the giveaways?” Art asked. “I know you yourself are disgustingly rich, but shouldn’t that money be going to the people you’ve pushed out of business? Or the areas in the Island your factory explosion destroyed.”
“That was over eighty years ago,” Ben argued, his eyes narrowing. “Bakersfield has paid for the damage there already.”
“Not enough, clearly. We’ve got freaks running all over the city claiming they’ll either save or destroy the city. It’s a mess out there and it’s all your fault.”
“Art, that’s enough.” Ellie grabbed his wrist and began pulling him away. “It was nice seeing you again Ben.” Ellie muttered as she continued leading Art towards the bar. Ben frowned staring after them. He couldn’t comprehend why Ellie would date a man like that.


Ben sat at the table with his family. His dad was wandering, speaking to as many of his guests as he could. Kacey was critiquing the dresses of all the women on the dance floor, her twin brother Brad giving his own opinion every now and then, though his option was more often on the woman wearing the dress than on the dress itself. Ben was sipping on a beer watching Ellie on the dance floor. She seemed happy, laughing with Art as he held her close. Ben could feel the scowl on his face. He couldn’t help but feel annoyed with Ellie’s choice in boyfriends. There was only a handful of people in Apple Creek who despised Bakersfield, and it amazed Ben that Ellie would chose one of them as her boyfriend, especially considering she was an employee of His family's company.
“Hey!” Kacey shook Ben’s shoulder. Ben glanced towards her. “Isn’t that the girl who gave you your watch?” Kacey asked, pointing towards the dance floor. Ben didn’t bother to look back.
“Yeah,” Ben replied.
“A girl gave you a watch?” Reese spoke up. Ben turned to his mom, finding a surprised smile on her face.
“It was a Christmas present.” Ben shrugged.
“It was a really nice watch,” Kacey told Reese sternly. Ben tugged on the sleeve of his dress shirt, hiding the watch from view.
“It was nothing,” Ben said.
“Certainly sounds like nothing.” Reese gave him a gentle smile.
“Who’s her date?” Kacey asked. Ben glanced back to her.
“Her boyfriend, apparently,” Ben muttered. Kacey glanced over him, a smile slowly spreading on her face. Ben rolled his eyes. “I told you, Kacey, she’s just a friend.”
“She’s very pretty,” Kacey said. “That dress color looks really good with her hair.”
“Yeah,” Ben said through gritted teeth. He took a long swig of his beer, draining the glass.
“It’s even prettier up close.” Kacey continued. “Lots of details. Is that lace?” Ben frowned as Ellie spoke up from behind him.
“Yeah, it is.” Ellie smiled. Ben turned around quickly and pushed himself up from his chair.
“Ellie.” Ben smiled.
“Hey,” Ellie said grabbing Ben’s arm. “Can I talk to you for a second?” Ben nodded as he looked over her. She looked stunning and it was difficult to take his eyes off her.
“I’m really sorry about Art.” Ellie said her eyes darting between Ben and his family. “I warned him before the party not to discuss his personal views on Bakersfield with anyone, but I had failed to mention you were on the list of people we might run into, and he tends to not have much of a filter.”
“It’s fine,” Ben said, unable to keep from grinding his teeth. “Where is he now?”
“At the bar getting drunk.” Ellie glanced towards the back corner. “You wouldn’t expect it, but him drunk gets rid of his negative feelings for Bakersfield.”
“Excellent,” Ben said. Ben glanced back at his table. “Ellie, I’d like you to meet my family.” Ellie’s body froze slightly as she looked over the table. Ben began pointing out his family members. “This is my mom, Reese. Then my younger brother Bradley, and I’m sure you remember Kacey. My older brother Brian isn’t here tonight.” Ellie looked over him, catching onto the hint of irritation in his voice.
“It’s an honor to meet the Baker family,” Ellie said, her voice shaking slightly.
“And how do you know my son?” Reese asked with a smile.
“She works for the company,” Ben answered. “She does a lot for us so we meet often.” Ellie glanced toward Ben.
“Yeah, that’s… right, I… yeah.” Ellie stammered.
“I thought you weren’t going to date any more employees,” Bradley spoke up. Ellie’s mouth fell open and her cheeks flushed. Reese shot her son a glare.
“We’re not dating,” Ellie spoke up quickly. “I have a boyfriend. He’s actually right over there.” Ellie pointed towards the bar.
“I love your dress,” Kacey said, looking over Ellie.
“Thank you,” Ellie said glancing down. “It just a rental, actually, I could never afford to buy something like this. I’m no millionaire like you guys.”
“I think it’s billionaire now,” Bradley said rolling his eyes. Ben groaned.
“That’s great,” Ellie muttered. “I should get back to my date. It was such an honor meeting you all.”
“Likewise,” Reese said with a smile. Ellie gave Ben a weak smile before turning to walk away. Ben rounded back on his family.
“Seriously, Brad?” Ben shook his head.
“Bradley’s just now realizing he’s better than everyone else,” Kacey spoke up. “You should see the way he treats the other kids at school.”
“This is different,” Ben scowled. “Ellie is an employee at our company, very valuable. She helps make the money you’re bragging about. And she’s an adult so you have no right to speak to her like that.”
“Oh come on,” Bradley rolled his eyes. “We all do it. You treated everyone like garbage after you graduated high school. Kacey went through it at thirteen, and Brian’s still in his never ending stuck-up phase. You can’t get mad at me.”
“I definitely can.” Ben shook his head and turned away, rushing through the crowds back to Ellie. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she turned back to him. “Hey, Ellie, I’m really sorry. Bradley’s just going through a phase and…”
“Ben, you don’t have to apologize to me.” Ellie shook her head. “I grew up in the Island. We’re tough and we know we’re poor and just live with it.” Ben winced.
“I just…” Ben hesitated. “I just don’t ever want you to feel like you’re…”
“Ben,” Brandon Baker spoke up, approaching them. Ellie’s mouth fell open staring up at the single owner and CEO of Bakersfield. “Have you seen your Aunt Benny? She told me she would meet me here a half-hour ago.”
“No, I haven’t seen her,” Ben said. He glanced towards Ellie. “But I do have someone I’d like you to meet. Dad, this is Eleanor Washington,” Ben said gesturing to Ellie. “She works in the tech department as a data analyst.” Brandon held out his right arm towards her. Ellie took it timidly and they shook hands.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Eleanor,” Brandon said kindly.
“And you. I mean, I’m happy to meet you too.” Ellie began chewing on her lower lip and glanced towards Ben. He was grinning towards her, always entertained by the way she reacted when nervous. “But I’m not a data analyst. I’m in data entry. I just input the numbers that the data analysts look at. It’s basically a nothing job.” Ellie sighed, looking embarrassed.
“No job at Bakersfield is considered small,” Brandon replied with a smile. “Are you enjoying the party, Eleanor?”
“I am, I’m having a good time,” Ellie said. “You certainly know how to throw a lovely party.”
“Well, a lot of it has to do with my wife,” Brandon said with a smile. “I don’t know how I would pull these things off without her.”
“She is rather amazing,” Ellie said. “Your whole family is. Very well put together and a well-dressed group. Well, I wouldn’t know about your oldest son, I’ve never met him. But your... this son, I know quite well.” Ellie pointed to Ben. Ben laughed.
“It’s good to hear my son is branching out and getting to know more employees in the company.” Brandon glanced towards Ben. There was a shout across the room and the three of them turned, seeing a confrontation at the bar, Art in the middle of it. Ellie stifled a groan.
“I have to go,” Ellie said. “It was such an honor to meet you Mr. Baker.”
“Likewise,” Brandon replied. Ellie glanced towards Ben and gave him a smile before lifting her skirt and rushing across the room towards Art. Ben watched her a moment, amazed at how effortlessly she was able to pull Art away from the other rowdy drunks.
“Ellie built my new suit,” Ben said without looking towards Brandon. Brandon turned his head and looked over him carefully. “She also restored the computer system in my control center and installed a new communication system.”
“Did she design it?” Brandon asked calmly.
“Yes,” Ben said. “She’s brilliant. She’s overqualified for her current position. She’s capable of a lot more than what we’re giving her at Bakersfield.”  Brandon let out a sigh.
“I’ll have to keep a closer eye on her then.”
“Please do,” Ben said sternly. “She’s been a great asset to my team and I need her around.” Brandon smiled looking over his son.
“You know I can’t promote her without good reason. Especially if she’s in data entry.”
“Just take a look at her background, she deserves it.”
“We’ll see,” Brandon said placing a hand on Ben’s shoulder before turning and walking away.

__________________________________________


Happy New Years Eve! Only two stories left in this current rollout... one of which isn't completely written yet. I'm stressing out a bit. I have it all in my head, it's just a matter of writing it down. So I may delay the final story just to make sure it's completely finished and at the level I want it to be.

It's currently late, I'm nauseous and have a headache, so I only did minor editing on the above story. If there are big fixes that need to be made I'll correct them, but otherwise I'm not going to worry about it too much.

Sorry, I don't have a picture for this one. Again, I might correct that later, but I just never found the right place to take the perfect picture. Possibly at New Years celebrations tonight I'll find something and add it on.

I hope you all have a lovely and safe holiday and that you can make the best goals for what you want to accomplish this year. If you haven't already, check out my theme song for 2017 by CLICKING HERE.

UPDATE: I totally intended to show you Ellie's dress but somehow the dress that inspired this post vanished. So here are a couple other amazing dresses which combined together make Ellie's dress... or a fashion disaster. One of the two.


You can buy this one HERE, but I cannot promise the authenticity of the website.


This one is for sure the color I envisioned. Buy it HERE. Again, don't know the website, buy at your own risk. 


I have an entire Pinterest board called Princess Dresses because if I had one wish it would be that I could wear dresses like this every day of my life. So if you love pretty dresses too, go follow my board.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Theme Song 2017

Hello my friends! I've gotten quite a few new followers over the last year, so to all my new internet friends... hello! My name is Kaylee Farnes, and every year I pick a "theme song" to help guide me through the year. I started doing it back when I first started college and it's been the one thing that stuck... because resolutions always fail.

For 2016 my theme song was "Tomorrow Never Comes" by the Zac Brown Band. I'd say it was a fairly influential theme song for me. I took a risk and started my writing career with Heroes & Villains. I have talked about becoming a writer the majority of my life, but I finally did something about it this year, and I'm really happy about it.

I like to think the song worked in helping me begin my writing career. SUCCESS!!

This year's song is incredibly different and perhaps controversial because at first glance it should not be an inspiring song, however, over the past few months a single phrase from this song keeps running through my head over and over again.

I wanted this as my theme song but I kept talking myself out of it because it's not a positive song... not necessarily. But the other day I found this amazing quote that totally fits with the song and it secured the song as my theme song for 2017!


"For what it's worth, it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over." 
-F. Scott Fitzgerald


Beautiful quote by a wonderful author. 

My theme song of the year is "The Weight of Living II" by Bastille. I'm in love with this song. It was featured in my playlist of songs that describe who I am in 2016 and the lyrics honestly describe and speak to me in such an important way. 





"Do you like the person you've become?"

I have spent the majority of 2016 in a deep depression. At the end of 2015, I lost my child and I have been unable to get pregnant this year. I've spent the entire year holding back in doing the things I wanted because I never knew if I was pregnant, and once a month I would cry for basically an entire day when I learned I wasn't. Beyond that, my sister-in-law lost her child Jamison and the Farnes family has been struggling. 2016 was without a doubt the worst year of my life (and in 2008 I was suicidal so that's really saying something) and I am so insanely happy that it's over.

Now I realize that just because it's a new year doesn't mean that things will magically get better. But there comes a point where you lose all hope in a year. I lost all hope for 2016, but not for 2017. I can find excitement in 2017, where for the past few months there was no excitement to be found.

The potential doesn't come from a new year coming, it comes from me. If I put in the work, I can make 2017 a good year.

Let's go back to the song. For a long time I could not get the phrase "Do you like the person you've become?" out of my head. It haunted me. Because for the majority of 2016, my answer would be no. But if you combine the quote and the song, it describes my feelings for 2017.

"Do you like the person you've become?"
 "I hope you find the strength to start over."

Despite the dislike for myself this year, I have never given up on myself. I still believe I have potential. If I want to be a writer, I can be. I've already started on that journey. If I want to be a fashion blogger, I can be. Just because I never have money doesn't mean I can't find creative ways to do it. If I want to make YouTube videos, I can do it. Even if they don't start out very good, the more practice I get, the better they'll become.

A lot of the lyrics of this song speak to me. I could talk for a long time about the lyrics (it comes with spending the majority of my college career writing essays analyzing writing) but the only line that matters is the one I've said before.

Every time I think of that phrase, I answer the question, and if my answer is no, then it's time to make a difference.

"It's never too late to be whoever you want to be."
💗
______________________________

Do you pick out a theme song for each year? Let me know your song or your goals for 2017 in the comments below! 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Knight Dragon vs. Evil Santa | Heroes & Villains 1.7


“Can you believe the school would give us this much homework over Christmas break?” Kacey Baker asked looking up at her older brother Ben. Ben glanced across his desk towards her.
“That’s high school.” Ben shrugged, indifferent. “Getting you prepped for real life I suppose. Work never rests when you're working in this company.”
“Please,” Kacey grinned. “I’m the only girl in the family, I will never have to do anything.” Ben rolled his eyes.
“I think your other brothers have the same mindset as you,”  Ben admitted turning back to his computer. “They’ve never done anything to help out here.” Kacey looked over Ben carefully, pouting out her lower lip. Kacey knew her brother well and understood exactly what was really on his mind.
“Brian will come around,” Kacey said looking back down at her notebook. They sat in silence in Ben’s office, Kacey’s favorite spot to do homework. Kacey kept quiet as Ben worked. Unlike all her brothers, Kacey enjoyed school and found most subjects easy; homework never felt like a chore. Ben’s phone intercom beeped.
“Mr. Baker, I have an Eleanor Washington requesting to see you.” Wilma’s voice came over the speaker. “Again,” Wilma added irritably. Ben fought back a smile.
“Send her in,” Ben said pressing down the intercom button on his phone. He looked up to find Kacey watching him.
“Your latest dating conquest?” Kacey asked with an exaggerated sigh. Ben frowned.
“Come on Kacey, the whole city thinks I’m some kind of player, I don’t need you thinking it too.”
“I wouldn’t think it if it wasn’t true,” Kacey smirked. Ben scowled and she broke into a fit of giggles at his reaction. “You know I kid, but your dating life is much more active than most people.”
“I’m not dating her,” Ben said. “She’s a friend and she works here.” The office door opened and Ellie stepped in. Her eyes fell on Kacey and she frowned slightly.
“I’m sorry,” Ellie began to ramble. “I didn’t realize your sister was here, I would have waited if I knew. Wilma didn’t say anything.”
“It’s fine, Ellie,” Ben smiled. “Kacey, this is Ellie she works downstairs in data entry.”
“You have really pretty hair,” Kacey spoke up, entranced by Ellie’s dyed red hair. “My mom won’t let me dye my hair. She says I’m too young and that it looks fine the way it is.”
“Well it does,” Ellie said with a smile, admiring Kacey’s long, thick blonde hair. “Trust me, there are hundreds of little girls out there wishing they had your hair. Mother knows best, or so I’ve heard.” Ben cleared his throat to interrupt, not wanting Ellie to begin rambling about her parent’s death in front of his sister.
“What brings you up here?” Ben asked. Ellie gave Kacey a quick glance before focusing a fixed stare on Ben, lifting her arm and holding up a flash drive.
“Work proposition,” Ellie replied. Ben bit down on the inside of his cheek.
“Hey, Kacey,” Ben spoke up. “Can you give me a minute alone with Ellie?” Kacey turned on him quickly. “Just for a little bit, it’s private work stuff.” Kacey lifted an eyebrow towards him.
“You sure that’s what it’s about?” She whispered, leaning over his desk. Ben leaned towards her.
“Yes,” Ben replied with a grin. “Go bother dad.” Kacey let out a dramatic groan and stood from her chair. As she walked by Ellie she looked her over again.
“You’re very pretty,” Kacey said.
“Thank you,” Ellie said watching Kacey leave.
“Sorry about her,” Ben said. “She likes to come do her homework here sometimes.”
“No need to apologize,” Ellie said walking over towards Ben’s desk. “I was just told I was pretty by a high schooler. Teenage girls can be the cruelest, but I just got approval.” Ellie grinned. Ben laughed.
“What’s up?” Ben asked. Ellie inserted the flash drive into Ben’s computer and somehow managed to effortlessly kneel down beside his desk in her pencil skirt and heels.
“I’m proposing we go after a villain,” Ellie said pulling open a file on the screen, with a profile from the BOS. “The news is calling him the Evil Santa. He sneaks into houses in the Island and steals stuff. He’s actually been doing this for years now.”
“How does he get in?” Ben asked, taking in every bit of information the profile on the screen offered him.
“His power is the ability to stretch out his limbs. He basically just stretches out his body and slides on in through the chimney.” Ellie explained. “Actually, I don’t think he always goes through the chimney, it’s just usually the easiest way. It’s the reasoning behind the whole Santa parallel the news gave him. I think he wears red too.”  Ben leaned back in his chair.
“Ellie, you know that there is a board of superheroes that usually determines what villains I go after. I can’t pick my own unless it’s something from them or the cops.”
“Yes, but I may have hacked into BOS Theaters, AKA your Board of Supers, and they have not been able to track him at all. Mostly because they don’t really care about what happens in the Island. Unfortunately, criminals can get away with a lot in the Island since no one seems to care. But I know exactly where he’s hitting next, and was able to put your name on the list to go after this guy.” Ellie said. Ben frowned.
“Ellie, you hacked into the BOS?” Ben asked with a sigh. Ellie bit down on her tongue.
“I don’t think anyone can prove that,” Ellie replied.
“Then where did you get this?” Ben motioned to the computer screen. Ellie sighed.
“Ben, my grandpa’s house is next in line.” Ellie blurted. Ben frowned. “My grandpa hardly has anything to begin with and he won’t be able to handle a burglary. Besides, this Evil Santa tends to hurt anyone who fights back and my grandpa will be one to fight back. I need you to help him or I know he will get himself hurt again.”
“Ellie,” Ben sighed, drumming his fingers on the edge of his desk.
“This man has been ruining Christmas for dozens of poor families in the Island. Taking away the Christmas presents of families who can barely afford to feed their children. Ben, I grew up in the Island, I know what it’s like to have nothing and then have the few items you do own taken away from you. Please, this isn’t just about my grandpa or something personal. It’s about saving Christmas for people who really depend on this time of year.” Ben stared at Ellie a moment, taking it all in.
“Okay,” Ben said. Ellie’s eyes widened. “We’ll go after this guy. I’m sure you’ll give me all the information I need and contact Roger.”
“Yeah, of course.” Ellie grinned. “I'll take care of everything, I'll plan the whole thing. All I will need you for is the fire and muscle. Not that that's all you're good for but in this instance I just need… Thank you.” Ellie stopped her rambling and smiled towards him. Ben nodded.
“You said you would help me with my job as long as we were helping people,” Ben said. “So we might as well help some people.”

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Knight Dragon vs. the Farmer | Heroes & Villains 1.6


Ben walked through the office towards Ellie’s desk, a scowl on his face. It had been a long night and he had barely slept. As he approached Ellie she glanced toward him, scrunching up her nose.
“Oh gosh, what is that smell?” Ellie asked. Ben groaned and glanced around Ellie’s desk at the surrounding workers, as they tried to hide their stares.
“Still? I took like six showers.” Ben moaned.
“Well, it wasn’t good enough apparently,” Ellie said looking over him skeptically.
“Ellie I need your help.”
“You need my help taking a shower?” Ellie asked. Her cheeks immediately flushed red. “I didn’t mean it like, I didn’t mean it like anything actually, I was only trying to say…”
“So I came across this new villain.” Ben interrupted her.
“Thank you for stopping my rambling.”
“Anytime,” Ben replied. “And this guy is a big strong man. His power is his strength. He’s completely flame resistant, nothing I do can hurt him.”
“And his inability to be burned by you made you stink?” Ellie asked. Ben winced.
“He’s a farmer and threw me into a pile of cow manure.” Ben hung his head, not wanting to look her in the eye. Ellie grinned and held in her laughter. “I don’t know how to stop him,” Ben added.
“What is he doing?” Ellie asked. Ben jaw tightened, grinding his teeth together.
“What are you talking about?”
“What is he doing that you feel the need to stop him from doing it?” Ellie elaborated. Ben inhaled deeply, his eyes narrowing in a guarded expression.
“Ellie, he’s a villain,” Ben stressed.
“Doing what?” Ellie continued to pry.
“Well, he threw me in a pile of cow manure.”
“And that’s why you need to stop him?” Ellie rolled her eyes. “You have to prove you can’t be defeated by a villain in that way? Is this an egotistical thing?”
“No, but this is an ‘I am your boss and you should help me’ type of thing,” Ben snapped, his lack of sleep wearing down his patience. Ellie pursed her lips, letting a calculated gaze sweep over him, her silence, making Ben regret his outburst.
“I’d say distraction is your best bet,” Ellie said after a minute. “And he may be fireproof but he has to have a weakness, he’s not bullet…”
“Ms. Washington,” Rylie’s voice scolded from behind Ben. He spun around to face her. “Need I remind you that your rate has fallen below conformance in the last month? You have a lot of catching up to do and flirting with the boss isn’t going to help you.” Despite addressing Ellie, Rylie’s eyes kept darting to Ben.
“Clearly this is my fault,” Ben spoke up. “And I’m sure we can work something out.”
“Uh huh,” Rylie chided, looked over Ben’s whole body, sniffing. “You know what your father is always preaching about in this company? Consistency! Last month we had to fire an employee because they continually fell below conformance. Now, Mr. Baker, just because for some inexplicable reason you’ve chosen Ellie as your latest dating conquest it does not excuse her from her work. Consistency is what your father wants for the company and I will keep with it.”
“You are one of the greatest team leads in the company,” Ben observed, flashing her his signature press smile. Rylie blushed, her stern expression softening, her body melting at his look. Ben turned back to Ellie. “Thank you for the advice.” Ellie nodded, her eyes shifting between Rylie and Ben. Ben turned back towards Rylie, stepping towards her and placing his hand on her upper arm.
“Really, though, fantastic work. I’m very impressed by you. We should have a meeting about how well you’re handling your team.” Ben charmed her.
“I would gladly meet with you anywhere, anytime,” Rylie whispered, leaning into him. Ben faked a smile and released her, moving past her towards the lobby. Rylie watched him leave and sighed contently, wobbling backward to lean against Ellie’s desk.
“That man is incredible.” Rylie moaned with a grin. Ellie laughed.
“Yeah, an incredible flirt.” She rolled her eyes.

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