Powerful People

FIRST PLACE IN VALENTINE'S DAY CONTEST

Power
“Synonymous with Corruption, Dominance, Control. The naïve want the power to change nations, the cynical want power for selfish gains. But I want it in the name of Revenge.”

Iris Adaline is dauntless.

When she is assigned to write her first story on Aiden Anderson, it ignites a flame in her that will only be extinguished after seeing every part of his empire collapse. She had the perfect plan. Gain his trust, expose his secrets, then see him fall.

Aiden Anderson liked control.

When he first laid his eyes on Iris Adaline, he knew exactly who she was. He knew her intentions, he knew her drive, and he knew the danger. But he couldn’t keep away. He was adamant on seeing her on her knees, begging for mercy, and begging for him.

Sparks fly when two determined forces collide in a battle of power, control, and desire.

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1. The Assigment

The Assigment

“Do you know why I called you into my office?” My supervisor asks, gesturing to a seat in front of his mahogany desk.

Mr. Rodgers was the head of the prestigious New York Times. As an intern, I never interacted much with him, only occasionally getting him coffee. Even then he’d always been surrounded by business associates yelling at each other about the stock market.

Today he wore a perfectly tailored crisp navy suit and examined me with deep brown eyes. His scrutiny made me slightly nervous. It seemed cold, objective, tense. Not to mention he’d be the one to decide if I made it in the world of journalism.

“I’m not being fired, am I?” I challenge with narrowed hazel eyes.

Mr. Rodgers formed a steeple with his hands and cocked an amused eyebrow at me. “Why would I fire you, Iris?”

All my coworkers gave me their condolences when they heard that the editor in chief called for me. I’d even started packing up my pitiful storage closet turned office. He fired a lot of people, and often in grandiose manners. No one left Mr. Rodgers without bad news.

“I’ve heard that you can be irrational," I mumble subtly under my breath.

To my surprise he let out a slight chuckle at my statement, to which I guess it hadn’t been so subtle. He stands against his desk, and lean towards me, a little too closely. "I'm not firing you. And trust me, I’m very rational. I'm giving you your first major news story." Mr. Rodgers’ voice lingers for a bit like frost in the air, and his eyes calculate my every physiological reaction.

Inside my heart was pounding in disbelief.

"You will be interviewing an influential person, Aiden Anderson." A sly smile crept on his face.

There was an expression on his face that I could not understand. It was a cross between satisfaction and determination. Something's off. His expression, the suddenness, the circumstances, none of it adds up.

Out of all the journalists here why ask an intern?

"What's the catch?" I ask in a neutral tone. An ambiance of tension has set over the room. I feel small in the presence of my supervisor, who has now taken away all my confidence by simply uttering Aiden’s name.

He smiles to himself and raises an eyebrow at me. "You really are a sharp one. The contents of this interview are for me to worry about. Just make sure you record everything. You’re scheduled for tomorrow."

I decide to not push my luck on my first assignment and hesitantly agree. As I turn to leave I feel a firm hand at my wrist.

"And Iris,” he says, his grasp lingering a bit too long, “Just call me Damon."

~

In the city that never sleeps, tonight had an ambiance of comforting silence. There were little lights, no taxis, no drunk college students (been there, done that). The city had been cloaked in velvet solitude. When I unlock my apartment door, I find my roommate Jasmine curled up in pj's watching The Titanic.

"Rose move over, let Leo on the door!" Jasmine screams at the television. I don't think my roommate has grasped the concept that people on a screen can't hear you. When she sees my wide-eyed and horrified face she turns off the television to face me.

"So what did you do at work today?" Jasmine smiles.

"It was... interesting. I got my first actual assignment."

Jasmine drops her ice cream onto the carpet I just vacuumed. Her jaw drops open in astonishment. "Congratulations!" She tackles me in a hug.

I strain a smile, "it's getting late, I'm going to bed."

Every time Aiden comes into my mind bile rises in my throat. Anderson Enterprises had been in my life for as long as I can remember, and my hatred of them burns for just as long. Fifteen years ago my father had been paralyzed in a mining accident.

He worked for Anderson Enterprises.

Not only did Anderson Enterprises refuse to pay for our hospital fees, but instead sued us back for defamation. Granted it was Aiden's father who had been CEO at the time but there was no reason to believe his son would be different.

To a six-year-old, there was so much frustration. Ever since then I promised myself that I would fight against injustice whenever I could. A wave of nausea hit me as I thought about this disgusting person.

They told me that no one could do anything about corruption, about powerful people. But the reason I became a journalist was to protect the innocent people greedy corporations, to at least try to protect others from the same fate.

I knew what I had to do -- expose Anderson, by all means necessary.

~

The sun rose as I finished preparing the questions. They started off as typical interview questions, but if all went well he'd confess by the end.

The entire taxi ride I replayed different scenarios in my mind, mentally preparing myself for anything. Not after long I'd arrived. Taking a deep breath I faced the towering skyscraper. It shone brightly, reflecting the bright sunlight with large glass windows, it was among the most modern buildings in all of New York. People weaved in and out of the building. Some were crying, some were in deep discussion, and some were just taking pictures.

Above the marble steps, there was a stone carving reading "Anderson Enterprises".

Clutching my recorder and notes in determination I walk up the steps and force the glass doors open. Two elevators and seventy floors later, I arrive at Aiden's office. The floors were white marble and the walls were all glass panels. There was a large but empty corridor leading to his office. The two grand doors consisted of polished redwood with two brass handles. More than anything it looked like an observation deck.

With a mask of confidence, I push open the heavy doors.

His steel gray eyes clashed with my hazel ones. I felt cold and unmoved. After all these years, we finally met face to face.

"Shall we begin Ms. Adaline?" He asked, smirking. "Or are you just going to stare?"

"Trust me, Mr. Anderson." I smile, "I've been waiting long enough."

 

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