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Xander vol.1 Transmutation, Page 17

Jaz Johnson

  “Penelope?” came the curious voice of Bentley.

  Penelope turned back around, cut off from her small rant. Her eyes, a deer caught in the headlights. She wanted to take a breath of relief when seeing Bentley, but the stern look on his face kept her from doing so. She glanced at Annie, who had her brows high, just as curious as to why she was being called.

  “Yes?” There was a slight pause in his response.

  “The young master would like to see you.” Penelope’s heart skipped a beat, her hand threatening to drop the rag it held.

  “The … Young master?” she asked, with hope that Bentley had been mistaken. But her heart sank upon hearing the word, “Yes”.

  “He’s waiting for you in his study. Asked me to send for you.”

  Penelope’s eyes went to Annie again, now pleading, as if she would be able to help her escape the requested meeting. Annie’s lips were pursed. Apologetic, almost. “Allow me to escort you,” Bentley said, turning his body slightly and gesturing down the hall he had come from. Penelope’s eyes fluttered as she felt her body chill.

  “Very well,” she managed to say, stepping towards him. She extended her hand to Annie, giving her the rag as she moved past her. Annie squeezed it, turning to watch her go.

  Entering the study backwards, Penelope gripped the handle tightly as she closed the door, being as quiet and careful as she possibly could. Despite her efforts, the door clicked, and she felt the tumbling of the gears in her very skin. Her breath was short, quick bursts. Her hand shook as she released the handle, and turned to face the horror that was Hunter Flynn. He was leaning against the edge of his desk with his arms crossed. His eyes, a striking blue, were intensely focused on Penelope. His jaw, covered by a rough shave, was fixed.

  Penelope stood against the door, her eyes wide and cautious. If she was lucky, she wouldn’t be made to sit in front of him. She kept her shaking hands behind her, clasping the door’s handle.

  “You wanted to see me, sir?” she spoke up, keeping her eyes averted.

  They stared straight past his head. He was silent for a moment, his fixated on hers. They looked as if they were going to burst into tears at any given moment. And then they traveled. Slowly trailing down her slender body. They paused around her breasts and her thighs, taking the deliberate time to analyze them. The lingering silence drove Penelope mad. She silently begged for him to speak, and for it not to be what she was expecting to hear. She couldn’t lose this job, this security. The security of a home and income. If she was made to live with her step-mother, she wasn’t sure what she would do with herself. She didn’t think she could bare it.

  Finally, Hunter exhaled, and pushed himself off of the edge of his desk, taking a step forward. And suddenly, Penelope found herself at a loss. She pushed herself forward in response, her hands reaching forward to place themselves on Hunter’s chest. She cringed, her eyes pleading as they finally looked into his.

  “Please! Please don’t fire me. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was your brother’s room. I swear I’ll never set eyes on it again – please!” Penelope begged, her hands tightening their grip on his black cotton shirt. “I can’t live with her again. Please don’t fire me, please!” she sobbed, her eyes quickly filling with tears. Hunter’s hands stayed parallel to his shoulders, patiently waiting for her plea to finish.

  Seeing his look of what seemed like discomfort, Penelope quickly backed herself away, covering her mouth with one hand, and holding her wrist with her other. She wiped her eyes, which were threatening to spill mascara down her cheeks. Ashamed at her outburst, she lowered her head.

  “Forgive me, sir. I didn’t mean to put my hands on you,” she said between sharp intakes of breath.

  Hunter slowly lowered his arms, his look of confusion slowly creeping into that of amusement. He shook his head once, lowering it to hide his chuckle.

  “No … That’s quite alright,” he mocked in a whimsical tone. “Miss Lawrence?” he questioned, tipping his head back up, the smirk that had made its way onto his lips now a full blown grin. Penelope’s head rose as well, her eyes watering again as the grip on her own wrist tightened. Her body shook, as she anxiously awaited his next words. He shook his head slightly, his dirty blonde locks swaying just slightly.

  “I didn’t call you in here to fire you,” he said, slowly stepping towards her. Her hand began to lower, her eyes widening not from fear, but from relief. She let go of her held breath.

  “No?” she questioned, wanting to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of cruel joke. Hunter shook his head again to reassure her, his grin spreading as he came closer.


  Penelope let out a nervous laugh, standing her ground. She expected him to pat her shoulder to comfort her fears. Hunter chuckled, sliding his hands into his jean pockets as he now stood in front of her, over a head taller. Penelope ran the back of her index finger under her eye, getting the last of her tears as she continued to giggle.

  “My god. I was so nervous. I thought you were going to-“

  “You know, you look a lot better in the maid uniform,” he said, cutting in.

  He allowed his eyes to travel again. But this time, Penelope was painfully aware of it. She suddenly felt very exposed, her hands coming up to adjust her dress. Her eyes lowered while she did, and by the time they rose to peer apologetically into Hunter’s, her face was caught in his hands, and her lips were seized by his own.

  It took her brain a whole second to register what was happening before her eyes widened, and her hands rushed up to push him away. She stumbled back, nearly fumbling over one of the chairs that was in front of the desk. She held onto it and stood on the other side, using the chair as a divider between them. Her face flushed as the smug look of accomplishment sprawled across his face. She found herself startled, and frankly, enraged.

  “What … What was that!” she uttered, her hand warily coming to her assaulted lips.

  “A kiss,” Hunter chuckled, smiling as he slowly stepped to move around the chair. But Penelope mimicked his movements to maintain the distance. Hunter’s brow went up as he noticed, and his hands moved in question.

  “Your first one?”

  Penelope’s mouth fell agape as she moved from behind the chair to in front of the desk.

  “That’s hardly the point,” the pointed out, only to get a laugh from Hunter. Her eyes narrowed as he came closer, making her realize her mistake of coming in front of the desk.

  “Like I said. I didn’t call you in here to fire you,” he said in a husky breath as his hands found the desk on either side of her, forcing her to lean back against its edge.

  As he titled his head to attempt another kiss, Penelope grunted and raised her hand to cover his mouth while turning her head. Her other hand pushed against his chest until she was able to move him, and step away from both him and the desk. Hunter stayed leaning on the desk, looking at her with a mixture of disbelief and entertainment.

  She was out of breath after such a small exertion, but adrenaline was keeping her standing. Hunter gave a scoff, as he looked straight at the chair behind the desk for a moment. He gave a light shrug as Penelope composed herself, before standing straight.

  “So you like to be chased, huh?” he said with a tight smile. Penelope glared, straightening her posture and storming for the door.

  “I wish you had called me here to fire me,” she hissed under her breath as she reached for the handle.

  But Hunter was hot on her trail. Just as Penelope pulled the door open, Hunter pushed it shut. And in a flash, Penelope found herself trapped again. Immediately, her hands came up to keep a distance between them, her eyes glaring up into his coy ones.

  “Be careful what you wish for, tuts,” he warned, smirking.

  Penelope’s face paled slightly, at what sounded like a threat. Her bravery wavered for a moment. But only a moment, before her dignity took hold. She pushed him back again with a bit of a shriek, her hair swaying in front of her fa
ce momentarily. He let himself be pushed back, enjoying the game of cat and mouse. Disgusted, Penelope opened the door again, and rushed out of the room. Hunter chuckled, coming up to lean against the doorway.

  “Let the chase begin.”


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