Authors: Hattie Black
A Billionaire's Obsession
by Hattie Black. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
used, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form without the prior
written consent of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, incidents and events are
either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any
similarity to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is purely
10:00 am, one Monday in the middle of August, 23 year old
Renee Wainwright sits in the modern and chic waiting area of the widely popular
and rapidly growing BYWINSTON branding, marketing and event planning firm. She
had just completed her third interview,
and was told
to wait in the lobby while the three person panel deliberated.
Renee was positively hopeful. It was her 3rd call back
after all. She looks around the sitting area, and notices one young man with
spiked hair wearing a thin black tie with a bl
white checkered shirt, and another woman with black rimmed glasses, blonde
bangs, and tresses, and a burgundy sweater.
"I guess this is the competition." Renee whispers
to herself under her breath. She glances down at her own apparel. Renee is dres
sed in black washed out slacks, a black blouse with ruffles
down the center, and her thick curly hair worn up in a top-knot bun. Of course
she is wearing her trusty black ballet flats - that Renee almost never leaves
home without. Eventually the conference
opens, and one by one each candidate is called back into the large room with an
oval glass table, surrounded by silver high-back chairs. When Renee is
summoned, she immediately springs up and speeds walk toward the room. Whether
good or bad news
, Renee is anxious to learn the final
"Renee, have a seat." She is told by Travis
Bedlan, the 34 year old Vice President of Creatives and old college buddy of
the BYWINSTON founder, Colin Winston.
Renee nods and plops down into the chair across from the
panel. The chair had been previously warmed by the other 2 candidates.
"Renee we like what we see in your portfolio of work.
You have the sort of design skill and demonstrate an aesthetic we can wor
k with here at, BYWINSTON." The 30 year old Artistic
Director, Melaine Nordstrom informs Renee.
"Therefore Renee, the team and I would like to offer
you the position of Graphic Designer I." Travis chimes in.
Renee is stunned. She was 95% certain that bein
g called in last meant she would not be offered the job.
She later learned that the other female candidate was offered a position in
another department, and the young man was told to interview again in a year.
"You want me?" Renee says without thinking.
Melaine laughs. Travis smiles and tells Renee, "Yes we
do! You will report directly to Melaine, and Marina here will get you oriented
with the firm, show you where you will be working from, and answer any
questions you have. We hope you're ready to start t
"Yes...yes!" Renee eagerly replies.
"Great! You can go with Marina now, and we will talk
more later. Marina will let you know what time that will be." Melaine
informs Renee. Marina Marquis who also sat in the interviews, and asked
questions is actua
lly Melaine's Executive Assistant.
The 40ish no-nonsense woman organizes Melaine's schedule as well as her design
staff which includes set designers, interior decorators as well as graphic
"Alright then! Welcome to BYWINSTON Renee."
"Thank you, thank you." Renee stands and says to
each member of the panel.
Marina then escorts Renee out of the room. Renee continues
to nod, and thank the BYWINSTON executives while walking out. Once out in the
hallway, Marina introduces herself to
her role as Executive Assistant, what will be expected of Renee, and Renee's
parameters of her interaction with Artistic Director, Melaine. Renee absorbs
the data and works to mentally break it down it for later recollection. It was
a lot o
f information coming at her quickly. However,
she was hopeful that Marina would be open to possible questions later on.
Renee hadn't had the opportunity to tell anyone her good
news just yet. She couldn't wait to tell her boyfriend since college, Ronald P
arker, and long time best friend, Olivia Brown, and her
mother who lived one town away. During her first break - when Marina leaves her
alone with the company reading material - Renee retrieves her cell phone from
her large hand-bag and begins to text her
when the thought comes to her to surprise him with the news in person. As a
result, she simply texts, "I'll be out for most of the day. See you around
6pm.". Renee forwards a similar text to Olivia but instead tells her that
she will talk to her
later, but she can't wait to
tell her Mom, and forwards a quick text to Pilar Wainwright as she sees Marina
heading back over to her.
"Renee, Melaine is ready to meet with you, now."
Marina instructs Renee with a poker face.
"Yes, Ma...Marina." Renee co
rrected herself before she said Ma'am. Although she was
raised to be polite. She was fully aware of the environment she was in, and
place she now worked at did not call for such formality. Renee smiles and
follows Marina almost s
tep for step. She is led into
Melaine's office which stands out from the other spaces in the firm. Her glass
door is tinted smoky grey instead of the ice white on the other office doors.
On the interior, the walls are painted a bright red and the office is
accented with peach, brown, green and sea blue. Renee's
smile widens. She realizes that Melaine is somewhat outside-the-box, and
marches to her own drum beat. Renee becomes optimistic about their work
"Thank you Marina." Melaine tells Marin
"Remember you have an on-site approval in 90
minutes." Marina almost barks in return.
Whoa! who is the boss here?
"Got it Marina. Renee, and I are going to talk a
tells Marina confidentially.
Marina leaves the two women to get acquainted.
"So Renee, we like your work but it takes more than
being a skillful artist to do well here." Melaine begins to lecture Renee.
We expect you to use initiative, create new and ori
work, keep abreast of what is fresh in your trade, and provide solutions where
needed...Therefore...well, if you can't continue to evolve, you will have a
hard time growing with a company that itself is always evolving. Do you
ps as she ingests the
data. "Understood, Melaine."
"Good! I am glad you understand." Melaine begins
"You are one of few words Renee. However, in your case it works for
Renee had no idea what Melaine meant by "in your case
it works for you". Before sh
e could speculate,
"In interviews eager college grads often want to
impress us with their personality, and charm but your selling point was your
work...your portfolio, not yourself. Therefore we know the standard of work we
can expect f
rom you." Melaine explains.
"The rest..." Melaine leans over, and views Renee from head to foot,
"We can work on later."
Renee becomes worried. She is concerned that her image is
going to be a problem at BYWINSTON. She
notice that the relatively young
staff was dressed fashionably, hence why she was 95%
certain she hadn't scored the job.
Melaine picks up on Renee's anxiety. "Do not worry
Renee. You will be absolutely fine!" Melaine tells Renee and laughs.
"Let's change the subject. Today, I would like
to read this literature about a new start up. From their mission, provide me
with a draft logo, that is due in the morning. Be prepared to do a formal
presentation explaining your design. Marina will tell you the exact time and
place." Melaine informs
Renee. Renee then
quickly types an instant message on her flat screen computer, and Marina
appears at the door. "I will see you tomorrow Renee. Read that literature,
create a draft and presentation, and you can leave early - around 3:00 pm. Just
be sure to
be ready." Melaine instructs Renee as
Marina ushers her to the door.
"Thank you Melaine. I will be ready" Renee
manages to say as she is led out.
Melaine gestures farewell as the door slowly closes,
cutting off her vision of Renee. Melaine then chuckles
as she shakes her head. Outside the office, Marina checks her digital calendar,
at her desk, and provides Renee with her meeting time with Melaine for the next
day. Once completed, Marina escorts Renee back to her cubicle to orient her
with the firm's int
ranet system for internal
communication, email messaging, scheduling etc. Once Marina leaves her alone,
Renee begins to familiarize herself with her new computer hardware, including
the graphics software. She takes a quick glimpse of her phone. It is now 1
1:00 am. She becomes focused, digging up as much details
about the new client as possible, beyond the literature provided, and takes a
crack at a design.
Renee checks her cell phone again. It is now 1:30 pm. In
her mind, she had made significant progress
was not sufficient for presentation just yet. She continues to work some more
just when she hears loud talking. Renee raises her body to peek above the walls
of her cubicle. She notices a tall, athletically built, thirty-something year
old man, walk
ing from department to department
surveying each one's output. Renee is even more nervous than she had been all
day. Renee gathers that he is someone in authority by the brash tone of his
She is confident about her art, but not confident enough in
herself to speak to whom seems like the
head-man-in-charge, Colin Winston, coherently if he spoke to her. Renee could
see the very tall, and muscular man, with sandy brown hair across the room, in
the open concept design of their offices. He is getting clo
ser. He is now popping into Melaine's office, but she is
out visiting the set design of one the company's event planning contracts.
Marina did her best to answer his questions. Still he didn't seem content.
"That's not good enough! Tell Melaine to come se
e me as soon as she gets in. We need to do more TV!"
Colin barks at Marina.
"I will tell her as soon as she returns, Mr.
Winston...Uh...I mean Colin." Marina tells him, very intimidated.
"Good..." Colin responds, distracted
Renee raised herself up again fr
her seat to observe their exchange. Suddenly her eyes and Colin's meet. Renee
quickly slips back down into her chair. Soon Renee notices Colin standing right
at her cubicle. "Who are you?" Colin asks in a matter-of-fact tone.
"I..um...I am Renee." She
tells him extremely nervous.
Marina naturally on the ball. "This is Renee
Wainwright. She is an entry level graphic artist who started today. "
"I see. Where is your work?" Colin turns his
attention to Renee again.
Renee is so nervous, she i
certain whether he means the project she was currently working on, or her
portfolio. "Um...I am working on a draft..." Renee stands to explain,
but at 5 ft 6 inches, she is no where near eye level with the 6 ft 4 inches
Colin looks down
at the computer,
and observes the work that Renee had begun. "What is this for?...Is this a
TV project?" Colin asks sternly.
Marina jumps in before Renee could respond, and explains.
"Be sure to have Melaine come see me, the second she gets back,
Colin quips, and walks off without
another word to Renee, or any eye contact toward Marina.
Marina turns to Renee. "Keep working, and leave at
three." Marina tells her as warmly as she could muster. Renee nods, and
gets back to work.