Unhinged:Book One

By: Timberlyn Scott

This book is dedicated to

my husband, my daughter and my two boys.



Your unwavering support and pride in what I do humbles me.

Because of you, I strive to be better each and every day.

You are my heart, never forget that.





Prologue





I knew I was asleep. I had to be. Even knowing that, I was having a hard time deciphering the dream from reality. There was no way this could be real. Could it?

I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t want to lose this moment.

This person, whoever they were, they mesmerized me, drew me in. I couldn’t pull my eyes away, couldn’t break the spell they had on me. Something in the way they walked, talked, moved.

Breathed.

So familiar, yet not.

I felt like I knew them, like I’d met them before, but for the life of me I don’t remember any such encounter. Had we met? Was this my mind conjuring up the image of something from my past? Or was this some sort of vision from the future?

Either way, I didn’t want to open my eyes. Didn’t want to face reality if they weren’t in it. I wanted to get closer, to look into their eyes, to know what they were thinking.

I was unabashedly staring, unable to look away.

Whoever this person was, there was something about them…



Something that unhinged me.





Chapter One


Payton

Monday morning



“Ms. Fowler, I’ll never be able to stress enough how important this is,” the domineering woman who stood just a few feet away, hands on her hips, head cocked to the side, said as she glared down at me. “Mr. Trovato’s biggest pet peeve is his calendar.”

I tried to pay attention, really. I was doing my best to jot down notes, but I’d recently learned — in the last hour and forty-seven minutes — that Jasmine Masters talked faster than anyone I knew. And based on what this woman told me, Mr. Trovato, the man I was now working for, was quite needy — at least in my humble opinion.

As much as I was trying to like Jasmine, the feat was rather difficult to do with a woman I’d met less than two hours ago. The same one who insisted on narrowing her blue eyes on me as though I was growing mold on the side of my face or something. Even once I got past her condescending tone and belittling stare, I still wasn’t sure how she managed to sneak so many words into a single breath.

Maybe talking like punctuation wasn’t in existence was one of the requirements of being an administrative assistant to the most-powerful man at Trovato, Inc., and if that were the case, I was beginning to wonder whether or not I was actually qualified for the job.

When a representative of Trovato, Inc. had called a few weeks ago to tell me that I’d passed the first series of aptitude tests and to come in for an interview, I had nearly passed out. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I submitted my application, but without any other alternatives, I’d given it a shot. Now, I wasn’t so sure I was going to fit in here.

“Every morning, you need to make sure you have his calendar printed and placed on his desk. He will also check and double check it on his phone. He gets here no later than six o’clock, so I suggest you get here at five.”

I wondered if Mr. Trovato knew that his admin made him sound like an anal wack job. Who did that? Who studied their calendar like that? I didn’t state the question aloud. After all, that wasn’t my business. I’m sure I had a few quirks people didn’t understand.

“He’ll expect coffee and a briefing of what his day entails,” Jasmine added before turning and walking away from me.

Where was she going now? I wondered as I took off after her.

“Briefing?” I realized just a second too late that I sounded like an idiot.

“Yes.” Jasmine glanced back at me as though I was a third grader who had just screwed up reciting the alphabet. Then again, maybe I had. With so many instructions and rules running through my overloaded brain, I wasn’t even sure whether today was still Monday or if we’d already moved on to Tuesday.

“When he arrives, make his coffee, give him ten minutes to get situated and then knock on his door,” Jasmine instructed as she retrieved a sheet of paper from the printer before thrusting it in my direction.

I skimmed the page, unable to read the fine print, but I did clearly see the title: HOW TO MAKE COFFEE.

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