It had been four years since I went to Saint Anges- I graduated as Valedictorian and had jumped on a scholarship to the local college to get a business diploma before entering the work force.

I got lucky, and landed a job at Jones Towers- the most influential business in Bridgeport, possibly all the country. It was hard work, but I loved it.

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My job at the Towers was in their marketing department- Pod 7. The Towers had fifteen pods in each department, and you could move between departments, however most stuck to a Pod for most of their lives.

My cubicle mates were Janet Sanders and Lauren Adler. Janet and I had easily made friends of a sort. She was an intelligent and vibrant woman, though far to fond of partying and dancing for my tastes. We interacted easily during work hours, however outside of them we barely saw one another.

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Lauren and I got along as well, both of us driven women. I didn’t call us friends but I found we were more alike then Janet and I, so we tended to chat a fair bit.

Besides us, we had a tech support man work for us, named Harry Denvers. Harry was a brilliant man who could fix computers in a second, however he was a bit… well, I do not know how to best say this other then he was a bit of a weirdo. He was a huge fan of these Japanese comics with scantily clad women and like to snicker under his breath. A strange man indeed.

The boss of the Pod was James Jones, the son of Harold Jones. The owner and boss of Jones Towers. At first I was ecstatic to be working with Harold’s son, despite Elizabeth’s words. Harold Jones was a business legend- a typical rags to riches story, with him being the master mind behind the design of the Towers- a large business to provide jobs to those in Bridgeport who desperately needed them and to help out his town.

I at first thought his son would be like him, however I was disappointed he wasn’t- though I tried not to show it. He did his best, but James wasn’t the best at business and would make frequent errors in his calculations. We did our best though, even though the Pod had never managed to win the ‘Competition’ before.

The Pods were designed to be in constant combat with one another to move up the ladder to the top of the department. When I learned of this, I vowed to make sure we got to spot fifteen no matter what. The best worker in the top Pod at the end of the year always got a promotion and a raise.

It was going to be me, no matter what. I would not fail for anything.

-0-

“So, Hannah,” began Janet as we worked. “Want to go to the bar later?” she asked hopefully.

“No thank you Janet, I am going to be staying late tonight,” I told her. “There is a report I need to fix up before we send it in.” She huffed and went back to work.

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After a little longer I took a quick break, sitting down with a cup of coffee in the break room. Harry was already there, drinking his own cup. We traded a quick hello before ignoring one another. I liked it, no chatter, no annoyances.

Just a quick cup of coffee.

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As I sat there, I heard outside the door voices.

“Ah, James!”

“Father,” I nearly choked.

“Mr. Jones while we’re at work James,” the deeper voice said and I struggled to keep myself quiet.

Harold Jones was out there, chatting with my boss. A legend was in my office- I knew it was his building and James was his son, but still!!!

“How is the Pod going so far?”screenshot-3

“Fairly well, with the new additions of Adler and Snow we’ve managed to get a bit more ads out there.” I bounced a little in joy, and Harry snorted in amusement.

“Ah, Snow… she’s the one who is driving all of the new ads?” I withheld my squeal, eyes wide in joy.

“Yes, brilliant woman.” Said James.

“Keep an eye on her then, she could be useful.” Said Mr. Jones, sounding as if he was walking away. I smiled and withheld my squeal of glee.

This was fantastic! Amazing! I was actually complimented by the boss!

Though not to my face anyway. But still!

Happily I left the staff room, ignoring Harry who had been trying to work up the nerve to ask me out…

Again.

According to Janet he had a crush on me, which was obvious really. I in turn ignored him.

I didn’t date at work, and frankly Harry was not my type. He was to… weedy. I would admit I had a thing for artists and thinkers, but Harry was just…

No. Just no.

I wasn’t above abusing the crush to get him to fix my computer more often but I was not encouraging him. That was just a bad idea all around.

Humming, I sat at my computer and continued my work, emailing artists and speaking about ads or looking over proposals.

After an hour or so, James came into the cubicle, looking a little thrilled. He got us to go to the staff room for coffee for a meeting.

“We’ve officially moved up.” That got our attention and we all looked to him in shock and joy. “We’re now Pod 8!”

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“Hell yeah!” Janet cheered, standing up and pumping her fists and Lauren grinned. Harry looked excited as well while I beamed.

“This is fantastic!” Harry declares as James got his own coffee. “I don’t think our Pod has moved from 7 in the past four years.”

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“Next week we’ll start having actual face to face meetings.” James explained to us, sitting down with his drink. “Because of this I’m asking you ladies to dress in business casual wear.”

“Don’t we already?” I asked in confusion. Janet shrugged at that, dressed as stylishly as ever while Lauren picked at her own turtleneck and skirt.screenshot-15

“Yes… and no.” he looked a little embaressed, pointedly not looking at me or Lauren. “The people we’re running ads for tend to be rather famous or rich. As such I ask that you try to dress more… fashionably.”

I looked down at my clothes. James shrugged a little, looking not to happy with his words either.

Lauren looked a little annoyed herself while Janet seemed unbothered.

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It was really just me and Lauren who tended to dress comfortably for work. It wasn’t that I was bad with fashion- Saint Anges had been populated by rich girls who adored fashion. To actually carry out a conversation I had to be a little knowledgeable about it, which honestly was harder then it looked sometimes.

There had also been Elizabeth, which had been a shock given her favour of jeans and sweats. But apparently movie stars, musicians and other clients had given her some skill with fashion as well.

I knew fashion. I honestly just didn’t care for it enough to try and dress up so I sat around in uncomfortable clothing during work. I liked being comfortable.

But… well, if I wanted the top spot…

“Fine. Elizabeth’s clients know where to buy clothing cheap.” I said, nodding. “I’ll go shopping tonight.” I made a few notes on my phone and ignored the looks.

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“You know fashion?” Janet asked. James held up a hand and gave her a look. I ignored them both.

Janet had never liked my clothes.

“I went to an all girl private school where half of them were rich girls with more money then sense.” I pointed out. Janet nodded at that.

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“That makes sense.” Lauren looked at her own clothes and nodded.

“I can probably clobber together some outfits as well.” With that, we left, clocking out easily and heading out to do so.

I bought mine quickly at a higher end thrift store and headed home to the apartment.

It had taken me a while to learn why it was so cheap- learning twice it had ended up a crime scene?

Well, I didn’t expect that.

But it was true- a serial killer had lived there for a period of time, and then a homicide had taken place in the apartment, leading to an extremely low rent.

I was somewhat disturbed and thrilled. I’d always been a fan of horror stories, and true crime books.

But the idea murders had taken place in my home was disturbing. I purposely didn’t ask where, but eyed the rugs with suspicion.

Heading upstairs, I changed into a new outfit, messing with my hair.

“I need a hair cut,” I muttered.

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“You always complain about how bushy it gets,” a voice interrupted me. I turned to see my sister dressed in her work out gear. “You look nice.”

“Thanks. More professional?” I asked her. Elizabeth shrugged in answer. “Alright then.” I sighed as I turned back around to face my reflection.

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“Not happy?”

“I like my sweaters and skirt,” I responded with a pout, checking out my profile. Elizabeth hummed, going to make the beds. I felt a little embarrassed I hadn’t done it myself, but I turned back to checking myself out.

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Sighing, I gave myself a nod. I looked good, and that was enough for me.

“What is with the change in clothes anyway?” Elizabeth asked me suddenly. I blinked and turned to find her behind me again. She was looking me up and down with a frown.

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“We moved up in the department, and we’re going to be holding face to face meetings soon. Mr. Jones suggested us wearing more professional clothes.”

“…Jones, huh?” Elizabeth didn’t look very happy but she didn’t tell me why, instead she just said she was going to order pizza. I watched her walk away, confused.

What was with her?

-0-

“Holy shit, you can actually dress yourself.” Janet said as soon as she saw me walk in, her eyes wide.

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“I liked my other clothes, thank you.” I told her, sitting down at my computer. Lauren had also done a double take, eyes a bit wide at seeing me dressed in something other then sweaters.

She herself had dressed similarly to her regular style, but with a more fashionable twist.

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She looked good.

“Holy shit…” a voice said softly, and we turned to see Harry staring at me. I noticed where his eyes were and gave him a look.

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“My breasts are not things to be stared at,” I told him as I turned back to my computer. He went pink and scurried off while James came out of his office, nodding at us.

“Excellent, let’s keep up the work.” We traded grins and all agreed.

This was going to be fun.

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-0-

 Hey readers! Sorry about the wait- school is evil. I’ve also been struggling with my computer- it lost a fair few pictures and I’m to far in the game to go back for them unfortunetly. Sorry!

 Hope you guys like this, and just in case: Happy Holidays!