Slipping off the thick black woolen coat and her scarlet colored scarf as she entered the building Natalia smiled in greeting to the security guard as she walked past in a hurry towards her desk with a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee in hand, determined not to spill it.[i Later than she wanted to be.] These early winter mornings made it so much harder to escape the grasp of her lovely warm bed, even more so when the blonde had a mountain of work waiting for her from the night before, it was a late one but nothing she wasnt used to. Nataliya loved her job, she had started 4 years ago after moving to Seattle from Los Angeles, wouldn't say moving as much as relocating to remain in hiding. Placing her white cup on her desk next to a large stack of crisp white paper before placing the woolen coat on the hanger behind her, Nataliya cast a glance around the large office as slight smile curled on her lips and she took her place in the large leather chair. [i This was the life she had always longed for.]
It was over two hours later before Nataliya finally looked up from the ever so slightly shrinking stack of papers and her computer monitor as her boss Nathan Caldwell made his way through the maze of desks towards his large corner office just to the left of where Nataliya made her living. With a bright smile crossing the older mans face as his dark brown eyes landed on his assistant Nathan couldn't help but feel a surge of pride at seeing her so dedicated to what she did. [b "Good morning Natalie, You didn't get here too early I hope?"] his voice slightly raspy as if he had just rolled out of bed, not waiting for an answer as he entered his office and closed the door behind him without a second of hesitation. Nataliya's emerald eyes following her boss for a few drawn out moments with a smile etched on her lips before she finally decided to get back into the task at hand. [i Enough day dreaming Nat.] The fact was Nataliya couldn't help but feel the slight flutter in her chest each time her eyes found their way to that man. Hell he was nothing like the men she had fancied in the past but maybe that was exactly it, he wasnt. Clean, well-mannered, successful and a self-made communications entrepeneur, there were worlds between him and the men of her past. Cold, ruthless, dangerous and completely self-assured. [i Light-years apart.]
Being his personal assistant for the last four years Nataliya had yet to actually let anyone into her life, she kept to herself at work, always smiling and always polite. She didn't need anyone delving into the skeletons in her closet. To the blonde that life was a distant and faded memory, a life she would never choose for herself let alone wander back into. That was seven years ago. She was now known in Seattle as Natalie Richards. Not much of a change in her eyes but just enough to keep her façade and stay hidden in such a large city, the name Renkov was known all throughout the country and with the recognition either came fear or anger. This was her life, and she was living it the way she had always dreamed and nothing was going to change that for her.
Having kept her head down all day to power through that stack of documents Nataliya had only left her desk once to attend a meeting with Nathan, she had barely noticed she was the only one left in the office yet again as the chatter had fallen silent for another day. [i At least its friday tomorrow.] A deep sigh of relief passed the womans lips as she lent back in her leather office chair and ran her slender fingers through her loose locks of hair taking a moment for herself. Growing up Nataliya and her other brother Aleks had been inseparable, always getting up to mischief behind the backs of their parents and those dozens of people who seemed to visit daily. Everything seemed normal for them, they were doted upon and adored by everyone around them especially their parents, but that all came crashing down the day the devastating news that their mother Galina had suffered a stroke and was no longer of this world.
Shaking her mind from the memory Nataliya placed the only photo she had face down on her desk. The only photo she had left of the mother and brother she had missed so much. Standing up and switching off her computer Nataliya slipped back on her coat and wrapped her fingers around the handle of her handbag before she left the building and began her long walk home to her apartment.