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Jessica pulled up her car near "Taylor Enterprises" building and Iris got out of the car faster than a high-speed train. After thanking her best friend for the lift, she started to run towards the entrance. Nicholas would've had a lot to say about her getting late to work that day, she knew that very well, but hearing the alarm that morning was it simply impossible. Oh, shoot! His boss's car was parked in the usual spot in front of the building, he was already in his office. Lately, Nicholas was sleeping in that room, working relentlessly trying to close a couple of very important deals for the company. It wasn't an easy task, so he was practically up to his neck in all of that.
Nicholas's job it had to do with buying companies that were having financial difficulties or they were practically on the verge of bankruptcy and tearing them in small parts so that the income of the sale of the individual parts would be larger than the costs for the acquisition of the whole company. Iris didn't like very much that part of the job, she thought that destroying a company instead of saving her was pretty cruel. Maybe she was a little sentimental, maybe "her heart was too generous", as her father used to say, but she couldn't see a lot of logic in tearing down something instead of saving it. Nicholas was a great businessman, dealing everything with a lot of competence and confidence, but sometimes he was a little too cruel, calculating and ruthless.
Since she started working for him, Iris understood a lot about Nicholas watching his way of doing business or talking to people. In the company, everybody talked about him with respect, admiration but also with a little bit of fear. Sometimes he was behaving like a robot, without showing a lot of emotions or concerns, but Iris knew that Nicholas was more human than anybody else and that his humanity was proved by the way he was concerned about his employees, his family, especially his daughter, Alice.
Hearing him talking on the phone with his daughter was absolutely hilarious. All of a sudden, he wasn't the same man that was running the most important company in the world, in those moments Nicholas was a tender and carrying father who was laughing with joy, talking in a sweet voice and... singing along on the phone. Alice had the power to transform her father in a giant teddy bear. Iris would've liked very much to make her acquaintance, but the little one never visited her father at work. Alice was living together with her grandparents and Nicholas was able to see her only at weekends.
Iris said hello to John, who was preparing to go home to his wife after finishing the night shift and started to run towards the elevator. The thought of being fired was very frightening; even if the trial period was over, Nicholas still had the power to fire her anytime he wanted to. So, the first thing to do once in his office will be to apologize for getting late and promise him not to do it again. Iris couldn't lose this job, she loved working for him, beside him. Nicholas taught her a lot of things and together they were like the "Dream Team". And even if the working hours were extremely long and sometimes he was quite difficult to please, she was keeping up with him every single step of that way.
After the slowest elevator ride in the history of humanity, she got off, left quickly her bag hanging on the chair, switched on the computer, changed quickly the sneakers with the high heeled shoes and after a fast look into the mirror, she went towards Nicholas's office. Iris let go to a deep sigh just to release some tension and knocked on his door, but there was no answer at all from the other room.
"Nicholas, can I please come in?" Iris asked in a low voice.
She couldn't hear a thing, no noises, no answers. Maybe that was her lucky day and Nicholas wasn't at all in his office, maybe he asked his chauffeur to drive him home in another car and left his Mercedes parked as usual in front of the building. Iris relaxed a little bit and open the door. "That's strange," she said to herself, "the shades had been lowered..". Nicholas loved watching day and night the city from his window, for him that was very soothing, it helped him think better. She walked around his desk and found herself near the windows. That particular morning was so sunny, it was a pity to let the darkness take over the room, so she decided to raise the shades and let the sunlight in.
"Pull the shades down now!"
Iris got so scared that she yelled and turned around. Nicholas's voice was coming from somewhere in the office. She lowered the shades again and turn on the desk lamp. There he is! Nicholas was laying on the couch. The way he was looking was so unlike him, he was a complete mess, the clothes that had on were all wrinkled, he looked extremely tired and needed a shave as quickly as possible. All this was the result of another night spent in that damn office. His appointment with the company's lawyers was in only two hours and the way he was presenting himself wasn't good. He needed to sleep at least a few hours, take a shower and change his clothes, exactly in that precise order. Ok, she had to call Mrs. Smith and ask her help to put Nicholas on his feet again and make him look presentable as soon as possible.