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Marry Me? Please!

By Skylarose0422
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[I Beep beep!] Miranda's eyes pop open with a groan escaping from her mouth. She reaches out and pushes the off button. No snoozing, that was her mother's biggest rule. No being late was another. Sighing, she pushes her feet off the side of the bed and sits up as she rubs her eyes. Miranda pushes herself off the bed and walks into the bathroom. Pulling her shirt and baggy shorts off as she goes. 

After a quick shower, Miranda walks back into her bedroom and gets dressed in a long black skirt and a button down long sleeved white shirt. Afterward, she walks into her kitchen and grabs her typical breakfast bar before she walks out of her apartment and locks the door. Driving into the darkness that it usually is at five in the morning, she heads into the city toward the job she has created all on her own. To prove herself to her and to her mother. Nobody was going to stand in the way of that, she took everything a little too seriously because nothing could and will fuck this up for her. Miranda Perkins is not a failure. Her phone ringing through the car, pulls her out of her normal mantra of the morning. She winces at her mother's picture flashing on the screen. Prim and perfect, as usual. She answers the call and immediately regrets it, just as she knew she would. 

With a now full on headache, Miranda steps out of the elevator and into the empty office. Everybody else wouldn't be arriving for another hour or so. Letting out a sigh, she walks into her giant office and closes the door behind her. Her bottom lip getting trapped between her teeth as she starts to think of who she can drag with her since she just swore to her mother that she has a boyfriend and would be bringing him to her younger sister's wedding. It was just as her mother assumed, Melanie was getting married before Miranda. Groaning and rubbing her hand down her face, she drops her bag onto the floor next to her desk chair and plops down on it. She opens her laptop and gets to work, her mind racing.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   19d ago

Tired brown eyes opened slowly at the sound of the phone alarm going off to signal a new day. Cole let his arm reach out from under the warm blanket to grab his device from the pad charger it sat on, turning off the alarm for the morning but not yet deciding to leave the comfort of his queen sized bed. He pushed his face into the pillow for a moment, the angst of having to leave his favorite place washed over him. After a long groan, the mess of brunette hair sat himself up slowly, sitting on the edge of the bed with a soft exhale, blinking a few times to try and see through the haze of sleep still coating his corneas. Grabbing his phone once again, he looked it over. 5 am. It was time to get up and get ready for the day to start. 

He finally pushed himself off the mattress and slowly sauntered to his dresser, pulling out a pair of black sweat pants and a light grey t-shirt. Now moving to the kitchen, Cole grabbed his water bottle, filled it with the cold water from his fridge and moved slowly to the the front door of his apartment. He slipped on his runners and moved down the hall and towards the amenities room, where an array of work out equipment sat waiting for his morning work out. He had to get his blood pumping and his mind going to be sharp for the work day ahead. Knowing his boss, he definitely put this into his morning routine for a good reason. 

After a quick work out to wake himself up, he wandered back into his apartment where he hopped into a nice hot shower to wash the rest of his sleep and sweat away. Cole took his time in the shower, letting the hot water run over him and relax his muscles. It was also the time of the morning where he contemplated if he actually needed this job or not. His decent lifestyle always won the battle and he knew he wouldn't actually be able to leave his job or the paychecks behind. He would suck it up and move on in hopes that one day his work days would become a bit better. 

Finally stepping out, Cole dressed himself in a pair of black dress pants and a dark blue button up shirt, always making an effort in his appearance when it came to his job. It was a high profile business and if anyone was caught dressing anything less than formal, their heads would be on the chopping block. 

After getting ready, Cole checked the time. Plenty of time to stop off for a morning coffee. He walked out of his apartment and down to the parking garage where his halfway decent car resided. Cole was finally off for the day. 

He got to the office a little early, greeting some of the people who walked passed him in a friendly manner and reached his floor. Once he reached his desk, he sat down and leaned back against his chair, letting his desk top computer boot up as he mentally prepared himself for whatever this day brought, sipping on his coffee and fully being prepared for the day. 

A blonde head of hair peaked out from around the thin white wall that separated the two work stations. [+red "Mornin', Cole."] Lucas smiled, greeting his co-worker and friend with a cheery tone. "Good morning, Luke." Cole responded, giving him a slightly less cheery, but still happy smile in return. "How was your night?" Cole asked, looking from Luke's green eyes to his computer to see if it was up and running yet. 
[+red "Eh.. boring... ya know. Same old Same old. Contemplated life, had a couple of drinks with Lacy and then bed."] Luke shrugged, laughing lightly at the repetitiveness of his life most days. 
Cole nodded and leaned his head in his hand as he watched Luke speak. "Mhm... almost the same for me." he replied with a smile. "Should have put vodka in my coffee this morning... I have an odd feeling [i she's] going to be in a mood." Cole spoke softly, side eyeing Miranda's office before looking back at Luke. 
[+red "Safe assumption..she's always in a mood."] Luke smirked.

Working on one of the contracts they had with one of the bigger companies in the city, Miranda raised her eyes to see some of her employees starting to make their way in. She was shocked that two hours has already passed, but then again that is what usually happens when she is at work. She always gets dragged in, forgetting that there was life around her. Seeing Cole walk in, an idea starts to form in her mind. Mirands rests her elbows on her desk, resting her head in her hands as she watches him walk to his desk. She goes back to signing what she needs to and reading over the contract, her mind swirling.

Standing up a few minutes later, she stretches her back out and walks to her door. She opens it and leans against the door frame, her eyes narrowing at Lucas's and Cole's work stations. Crossing her arms over her chest, she clears her throat. "Excuse me Mr. Bennett, and blondie if you two are quite finished. I believe we have work to be doing don't we?" She barks. "Anyway, Mr. Bennett, I need to grab some papers off the printer, but when I come back I'd like you in my office with the schedule for today. Okay? Think you can handle that, or is that too much for that brain of yours to handle?" She knew she was being more mean than usual, but after the phone call from her mother this morning she was in a horrible mood and the headache wasn't helping. When she notices Cole hasn't stood up yet, she snaps her fingers and narrows her eyes again. "Now!" She yells, before heading to the other room where their printer and copy machine were.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   19d ago

Cole laughed at Lucas' remark and shook his head for a moment before hearing Miranda behind them. He turned in his chair and looked at the woman standing in the doorway glaring at the two of them. As he listened to her speak, he inwardly sighed, nodding his head at her orders and bit the inside of his cheek. "Right away." he replied, keeping his tone calm and collected. The exact start to the morning he assumed he would have. As she barked again, he cleared his throat and stood up from his chair, looking over his shoulder as she walked away. Lucas watched her walk off and looked at Cole, shaking his head with a soft laugh. [+red "Mhm.. should have brought the vodka."] he joked a little bit, scooting a little closer to his desk before letting Cole resume his duties. Cole let out a soft laugh before walking over to one of the main offices, grabbing the schedule for today as instructed and moved towards Miranda's office. 

Cole waited for her to return, walking to her desk and placing the schedule on top of the immaculate desk top. He looked it over slowly and crossed his arms over his chest as he waited for her to come back. Her office was tidy and perfect as it always was. She always did seem like a complete neat freak. He moved his fingers through his slicked back hair and let out a sigh, trying to further mentally prepare for the day. This, along with all other days, would be a long and grueling day. All he wanted was to be back at his desk and sipping his coffee, away from the infamous ice queen, as so many of his co-workers lightly put it. She was harsh, sure, but she did know how to run a company. They were simply mindless workers to her, helping keep the business afloat.

Miranda walks into the room and over to the printer, a couple of her employees were chatting away in front of the copy machine but had immediately silenced once she entered. She lets out a sigh and narrows her eyes for the third time that day. "I'm pretty sure, I don't pay you to laze around and talk all day! Please get back to work and don't think for a minute I'm not going to write you up!" The two employees rush out of the room, muttering between each other how much of a bitch she was. Miranda could hear it clear as day and that just made her mood even more terrible. 

She snatches the papers off the printer, and speed walks out of the room. Feeling eyes boring into the side of her head, she snaps her head to everybody in the office. "Jeez, just because it's Thursday does not mean you guys get to slack off because we have one more day before the weekend! I swear if I see one more person away from their desk or not doing what I pay you to do, you're immediately getting fucking terminated!" Her voice booms through the building, before she walks into her office and slams the door behind her. Walking over to her desk, she plops down on the chair and places the papers down over top of the schedule. Being in too much of a fury she doesn't even realize the schedule was there and glares at Cole. "Mr. Bennett what is with you today?? Having trouble following orders? Did you forget the schedule??"
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   18d ago

Cole's eyes scanned the orderly office for just a moment before he could hear Miranda outside of the office screaming at everyone to get their shit together. He looked over his shoulder towards the door and took in a slow breath. She seemed to be even more pissed off than usual but never really wondered why. She was just that type of person, she always had been. He watched as she entered the office again after her little freak out and slammed the door behind her. Cole closed his eyes for a moment and waited for it to all be laid out on him. He was used to it by now. This was just another typical day. He opened his eyes again and looked back over at Miranda as she sat down, slamming papers over top of the schedule he placed down on her desk. 

Cole looked up at her as she started speaking to him, mentally biting his tongue as to not go off on her. [i 'Breathe'] "Um.." he mumbled, moving closer to her desk and reached over, pushing the papers she set down over top of the schedule gently to the side. 

The amount of times a day he thought to himself to just leave and find something else usually increased on these types of days. The days where Miranda was extra moody for whatever reason. He usually felt that way until his very generous paycheck arrived, of course. He could fake it for a while longer, plus the job itself wasn't so bad. He was good at it and he enjoyed long as Miranda stayed off his back. 

Cole snapped out of his thoughts, looking over at her as he took a couple of steps back. "Need anything else?" he asked, keeping himself calm and collected as he so usually had to around her. He wanted to put a little venom on his words, but knew to go against that urge and keep himself as monotone as he could.

Miranda kept her narrowed eyes on him, she was fuming. She did not need her best worker to be slacking, today of all days. She watches, as he moves the papers she had just put down on her desk to the side and sees the schedule. Her eyes narrowing even more at who she is scheduled to have a meeting with this afternoon. She internally groans, before she lifts her light blue eyes back up at him. Definitely not being one to just accept that she made a mistake, and certainly not one to apologize she just nods her head. "I'll need you in the meeting with Mr. Hubert. We need the numbers from last month and the beginning of this month. Think you can actually handle that Mr. Bennett? We need to make a pretty good impression on him and you seem to be slacking today." Letting out a sigh, she watches him before her eyes drop to the schedule again. 

The room stayed silent, as she contemplated seriously asking Cole to come with her. She didn't want to go to this damn wedding to begin with, let alone with an employee of hers. But she refused to prove her mother right. Not anymore. She was too hardheaded for that, she chews on her cheek, before raising her eyes back at the man. He seemed to be lost in his own thoughts as well. "Yes, actually there is more. I hope you don't believe that you can start slacking off now! There will always be something that I can find for you." She snaps, before closing her eyes for a minute. "I need you to come on a trip with me. We leave on Monday morning, it's my sister's wedding." She starts, fighting with herself to ask him. "Oh, and you need to act as my boyfriend." She finally blurts out in a rush.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   18d ago

Cole looked over at her as she examined the schedule. Of course she'd never admit she was wrong in any way.. and he never expected it. He just kept quiet as she looked it over and bit the inside of his cheek. He matched her eyes as she spoke to him about the meeting, nodding his head in agreement and kept quiet until she was done speaking. "Sounds good." he agreed, also internally groaning at the fact he had to sit through a meeting with her and Mr. Hubert, but knew to suck it up and go with it. "I will be prepared with everything you need." he nodded, letting his eyes lower to the floor as she dropped her eyes to the schedule. 

As the room fell silent, Cole hoped she had nothing else for him and just sent him to be on his way. His coffee was getting cold and he had work to do before the meeting, but he dare not move one muscle until she dismissed him. He stayed still and quiet before hearing her speak again. A trip? Okay.. simple enough. He accompanied her on multiple trips in the past. The purpose of the trip was what made Cole's eyes meet hers again, this time filled with extreme confusion. He slightly tilted his head to the side as he watched her. "Your...sister's wedding?" he asked. Why would she need him there for that? That was a personal thing, not a business thing. What she said next was what nearly caused him to go into a spiral. "U-uh..?" Cole muttered out, trying to process her request. Did he hear her right? [i Boyfriend?] Cole stood there in silence, unable to move in any capacity. He was trying to wrap his brain around what she was asking him and why. "I don't..." he tried getting words out but this whole thing was bizarre. Did he dare ask why? He just wanted to understand what the hell she was asking of him. He let his brown eyes stick to her blue ones, confusion clouding them for a moment. "Do you...I don't understand." he muttered out finally.

Once Miranda blurted out exactly what she needed from Cole, she takes a deep breath. Refusing to meet his eyes for a moment, as her headache seemed to be getting a lot worse as the day dragged on. As he starts to process what she asks and starts mumbling kind of to himself it seemed, she finally lifts her eyes to his. Her anger coming back full force, she knew he would have questions. Of course he would, he couldn't just go along with it like she had foolishly hoped. "Yes, my sister's wedding. You know, with a groom and a pastor and vows..." She smartly replies, her tone snippy. Letting out a sigh, she rubs her temple with one of her hands. "I'm not too pleased about this either Mr. Bennet! The [i last] thing I want to do is be stuck on a Goddamn plane for four and a half fucking hours with an employee of mine, let alone you!" Her voice raises, as she says each word. "My mother called this morning to tell me, I had to come and wouldn't want to be embarrassed that I didn't have a boyfriend so I better have one. I lied and said that I do." She explains, her head still in her hand. "So I knew you could give up two weeks of your time and come with me, since you have nothing else to do. You normally go home and play those stupid fucking video games and drink all day, at least that is what I heard you tell blondie one day, so you're going to grin and bear it and come with me. Okay??" Her voice was even more icy than usual, as she narrows her eyes at him. "That wasn't a question, you [b will] be at the airport at five on Monday morning. I don't give a shit if you are hungover or tired, I will make your life a living hell if you don't come with me or if you're even a minute late." She orders, before she leans back in her chair. "Now the meeting is in thirty minutes, go get those numbers and fetch me a bottle of water and some Tylenol!" Miranda gives one last order, before she picks up the papers she had printed out and starts looking them over, silently dismissing him.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole was still in the midst of process her request. Everything she said stuck to his mind even though he was blankly staring off. As she mentioned she had to lie about having a boyfriend, Cole crossed his arms over his chest uncomfortably. If she wasn't such a raging bitch, she wouldn't have to pretend to have a boyfriend. Cole kept those thoughts to himself, increasingly becoming more anxious and upset about the situation he was being forced into. When she mentioned it would be two weeks, his eyes snapped to her, a hand moving instinctively to his face. [i Two weeks?!] he thought to himself, keeping his heavy sigh as quiet as he possibly could as to not upset her more. Two damn weeks he had to spend with her and her attitude. This was going to be the longest two weeks of his entire life. Not only did he have to spend two whole weeks with [i her] he had to spend two weeks with her family too. Who, he only assumed, acted just as insane as she did. 

As Cole was silently dismissed, not before getting a few demands from her in, he turned and left the office, closing the door behind him and felt the color draining from his face. No doubt, a few co-workers noticed and gave him concerned looks. Cole swallowed hard, the thought of this trip racing in his mind and, understandably, the only thing on it at the moment. He stood there for a moment before walking towards his desk, standing near it and grabbing his coffee, quickly taking a sip of it. Of course, it wasn't as hot as he liked it, but he still needed it. 
[+red "What the hell happened? You look like you've seen a ghost."] Luke commented from his spot as his desk, his eyes burning holes in Cole's head. "I'll tell you later." Cole responded in a blank way. His entire weekend was going to be ruined with this news. He didn't want to do this. This couldn't be real. He had to be having a nightmare or something. He turned away from Luke and absentmindedly walked off to grab everything he needed for the meeting, along with her bottle of water and Tylenol. 

Cole walked back to her office, standing outside of the door for a moment and took in a long, deep breath before walking back into it, setting the bottle and the Tylenol down on her desk and moved away from it again, silently moving away from her office. What the hell was he going to do now?!

Miranda watches Cole, as he stays completely silent during her explanation and her orders. Her eyes narrowing even more. He had [I nothing] to say?? She wanted more than anything to jump off a cliff rather than spend two weeks with an employee, and he was quiet about it?? Her headache was throbbing now, she couldn't handle much more. Deciding not to say anything else, because she was about ready to blow up on him and she really needed him to do this for her, she drops her gaze to the paperwork and says nothing else. She hears him shut the door behind him, as he walks out, and lets out a deep sigh as she closes her eyes for a minute. Her life was just getting worse and worse, she had to not only give up working for two weeks which is near impossible for her but she had to deal with her family... And not only that, she had to do with her employee, who was her employee for a reason. He was unimportant, had always been to her, but now she needed him and she hated that more than anything. 

She hears Cole come back into the office and lifts her eyes to meet his. "It's about fucking time! We are going to be late if you keep moving so slowly Mr. Bennett!" She snaps, when in actuality they still had a whole half an hour to just take the elevator to the next floor. She sees the bottle of water and Tylenol, snatching them out of his hand. She immediately pops the pills in her mouth and takes a huge gulp of the water. Hoping that helped, because she really didn't want to have to sit in a meeting with Mr. Hubert while her head felt like it was going to fall off. "Alright, let's go and impress this guy's socks off! If you mess up at all, it's going to be your job! Understood??" She says through clenched teeth, grabbing the papers she needs for this meeting and walks out of her office, not waiting for Cole's response.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole looked up towards her as she started getting ready for the moment. His eyes narrowing slightly behind her back to glare at the back of her head. He wasn't going to be nearly as prepared for this meeting as he would have been since she just dropped this nuclear bomb of information on him. He had to keep his head in the game for this meeting though, all other thoughts of what was to come would have to wait until he was happily seated at his desk and away from her. As she mentioned it would be his job if he messed it up, he rolled his eyes while she wasn't looking. [i I wish..'] he thought to himself. He grabbed what he needed to grab and walked out of the office with her, following behind her in silence. He looked around at the other employees, watching them sneak peaks at the two of them as they walked by. As much as he wanted to tell Lucas about the shit show he just endured, he'd have to wait until he was away from Miranda. 

He followed her in silence, his eyes focused on the ground as he walked, picturing how the next two weeks would go with her. They'd probably end up killing each other. He was doing HER a favor and she still acted like this. He knew she'd never change but maybe this was a chance to give back a little of what she gave him. After all, she needed him. Why couldn't she just ask one of the other employees? Everyone else was so afraid of her they'd probably up and quit right then and there. Was he was so accustom to her abuse that he was willing to just go along with this? Did he need this job THAT badly? What was he going to do other than just take it? He liked the job... all other aspects of it were fine... but to have to deal with HER for two weeks? Was that even possible? He'd probably be begging for a quick death within the first few days. He shook the thoughts out of his mind and just decided to go along with it. Maybe he'd get some dirt on her. Maybe she'd be a different person. Along with being worried and annoyed, now he was just curious. 

As they got into the elevator, he let out a soft sigh. "Anything in particular I should bring? Other than a suit for the wedding?" Cole asked plainly, keeping his eyes ahead of him as he finally accepted his fate. He might as well do this. Who knows how two weeks would go.

Miranda walks quickly to the elevator, her mood was worsening as the day went on. And to think it all started with her mom's damned phone call. She runs her free hand down her face, before entering the elevator. Tapping her foot impatiently for Cole to join her, even though he was only a few steps behind her. "Mr. Hubert doesn't like it if we are late, can you put some pep in your step?" The snarkiness was evident in her voice, they had to be early to be on time like usual. And as the minutes ticked on, she felt like she was going to be a failure and be "late" and that didn't sit right with her. See, what people don't understand is Miranda's mind was her own worst enemy. Well, besides her mother of course. 

Nobody knew the demons she faced everyday, but she refused to show anybody else. That's not what Perkins do, according to her mother. She snaps out of her thoughts, when he starts asking what else he should bring. "Well I know they're going to have a rehearsal dinner, so you should bring a button down and nice pants. I'm sure there is a pool in the hotel we are staying at, if you like to swim?" The nicest she has ever been, comes out as she responds. Once the elevator dings and the doors open to the floor above their office, her mood goes back to the way it was. "Let's go, and again if you screw this up you can pack your desk up and never look back. Don't forget everyone is replaceable." She states firmly, which was her normal statement to all of her employees who tried to complain or fight her on anything.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole listened to her for a moment and bit at his lower lip, looking down towards the ground as she explained what he would need to bring. Fair enough, a button down to the rehearsal. A pair of swim trunks... got it. Since he wasn't working, he wouldn't have to dress like he did every day and that was nice. Two weeks off of wearing formal clothing besides the wedding and the rehearsal was actually sounding pretty nice to him. That was one of the only things... The other thing was that they would be at a hotel, meaning they could have separate rooms and the only times they had to be together was for the events he had to pretend to be her boyfriend in front of her family. That was an exciting thought as well. Thank god he didn't have to spend every waking moment with her. He supposed it wouldn't be as horrible as he thought...he hoped, anyway.

As the elevator door opens, her whole mood changes once again. He looked over at her and nodded. How could he forget he was replaceable when she mentioned it constantly. He held onto the things he needed and moved towards the meeting room that they had booked for this meeting. His eyes scanning the floor as all of the workers looked towards Miranda before looking away just as quickly. No one wanted to look her in the eye for fear of being either yelled at or fired. He stayed one step behind her as they moved, slipping in front of her as they reached the room, pulling the door open for her as expected so she could enter and begin their meeting. His mind was clouded with thoughts of this trip but he had to try his best to stay focused.

As they walked through the room where the rest of her workers sat, Miranda keeps her eyes forward. Making sure nobody was slacking off up here either, she would have to have a talk with her people downstairs including Cole. They seemed to be slacking off more than normal lately. She waits for Cole to reach the door and open it for her, as always her foot was stepping while she stood there. Entering the meeting room, Miranda walks over and sits down in her normal spot at the head of the table. She leans back against the chair and looks over at Cole. "You've got the numbers from last month and the beginning of this month right?" She asks, crossing her arms over her chest. 

As Miranda waited for Mr. Hubert to join  them, since because of her they were a half an hour early, she starts looking at the papers in front of her and writes notes and highlights some stuff she would like to go over. She completely ignored Cole's presence as she worked, a habit she always had. 

Her eyes raised when the door opens, Miranda politely stands up and smiles when Mr. Hubert walks in. "Good morning, Mr. Hubert." Her tone was completely different than how she talks to any of her employees. This was the man who determined whether her business stays open or not, she has to impress him. "Miss. Perkins, Mr. Bennet." He nods in his head in greeting, before he walks further in the room and sits down across from Miranda at the other end of the table. "I appreciate you both meeting with me today there are some things I'd like to discuss." He sets his briefcase down and starts pulling his own papers out and putting them in front of him. "Do you have your numbers from last month, I'd like to go over them?" He asks, his eyes on Miranda. She nods and sits back down in her seat, before looking back at Cole. "Mr. Bennett has them. Can you give them to him please?" Whenever Mr. Hubert was around, she was more polite and courteous, because she was set on him believing she was a great boss to work for.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

As Miranda takes her seat, Cole sits at one of the corner chairs next to hers in case she needed any papers to be handed to her. He looked up at her as she asked if he had what he needed and he nodded his head. "Of course." he commented, organizing the papers in such a way that he would be ready if she or Mr. Hubert needed anything from him. He was always prepared.. especially since his main goal throughout the day was do his best not to piss her off anymore than she already was. He chewed on the inside of his cheek again, looking up as the door opened and Mr. Hubert stepped inside. He stood up with Miranda, a polite smile on his face. "Mr. Hubert." he replied in a genuine greeting. He kept standing, listening to Miranda as she asked him to bring him the papers. He nodded and grabbed what he needed, making his way over to the man on the other side of the table before making his way back to his own chair, keeping his mind strictly on the meeting. He had plenty of time to think about what was happening after. 

Every meeting with Mr. Hubert was nearly the same. Miranda was incredible in acting like she wasn't a raging bitch and pretending like she was actually nice to her employees whenever he was around. No one would mention it to the man because they would surely lose their jobs if it circled back to her.. she'd probably end up making sure they never worked at another decent company again for as long as they lived, so they all kept quiet and pretended like she was a saint. Cole included. He was convinced he could play the role of her boyfriend because he was so good at playing the role of a loyal employee to the most gracious boss in the world. Sure he was loyal, but there wasn't a day where he didn't picture jumping off of the roof of the building at least three times. Cole pulled himself from any thoughts of anything other than this meeting and made sure to keep himself quiet, only speaking once he was asked to.

Mr. Hubert takes the papers from Cole and smiles. "Thank you Mr. Bennett. So there was something concerning that I saw in my paperwork, so I wanted to confirm that yours matches mine." He explains, as he looks down and checks every number on the sheets. Ah, here it is." He pauses, his finger on the paper next to one of the numbers. "Mrs. Leventhal, her numbers severely dropped from her numbers two years ago to last year. Everybody else had matched quota, but her last year. We can't have that..." He instructs, looking back at Miranda. 

Miranda sits up straighter in the chair and clears her throat. "So fire her. This is the second time since her time with us that she has dropped below standard." Mr. Hubert chuckles a little and shakes her head. "I appreciate your enthusiasm to make sure the business runs well, but we can't just fire somebody. Not without having a meeting and trying to figure out what is going on with them... Her husband has been quite sick for some time... It could be that." "Well if she is bringing the company down, we have to do something." Miranda states, struggling to keep her composure. She will not be a failure... "Alright, well Mr. Bennett you work with her what's your opinion?" Mr. Hubert asks him, bringing both his and Miranda's attention to the other male.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole sat in silence, listening to the two of them speak. As they discussed what to do with Mrs. Leventhal, or as he knew her, Tabitha, he watched as they discussed what needed to be done. He knew Miranda would instantly recommend firing her, but with everything that was happening in her home life, that she graciously shared with Cole, things weren't so good for her. Non-surprisingly, her figures were showing it. He felt bad for her.. but he also was quite afraid of speaking against Miranda. He assumed the two of them would just work it out anyway and he wouldn't have to deal with it. 

Well, he was wrong again. As Mr. Hubert addressed him, he looked up quickly from the table and watched him for a solid second, keeping silent to try and figure out what he was going to say. He didn't want to just fire Tabitha. She was an excellent worker and she was one of the sweetest people he knew. He looked towards Miranda, watching as her eyes stayed glued on his. He was in some hot water now. He looked back at Mr. Hubert before clearing his throat. He had to have an opinion in this meeting right now and it was honestly shocking to him. Cole figured he should probably speak now. "Well.. you know I'm always on Miss. Perkins side. She knows what's best for the company." he started. "But.. perhaps Mrs. Leventhal is in fact having a bit of a tougher time than she lets on. I know hospital bills for her husband are piling up and she's been quite stressed out. I don't think we should let her go just yet..I think a discussion is a fantastic idea to let her know productivity needs to increase.. but I believe if she knows we are here for her and will help her in any way we can, she will feel a bit less stressed out and maybe her numbers will increase." Cole said, his voice trailing off as he just realized the shit storm he just created upon himself. Once Mr. Hubert was out of sight, he was going to get an earful from Miranda, but he wasn't about to let one of his co-workers go without a fight. He wasn't like Miranda... but he sure as hell regretted speaking against her at that moment.

Miranda crosses her arms over her chest, tapping her fingers against her arms, as she waits for Cole's response to Mr. Hubert's question. She was curious as to if Cole would have the balls to speak against her, and knew if he did what exactly she would do and say to him. She kept silent, and listened intently to his opinion. She chewed on her cheek to keep bursting out at him, she had to remain as the person Mr. Hubert thought she was. She forces a smile through clenched teeth. "Hmm alright, since I'm outnumbered. I will bring her into my office in between meetings today and try talking with her and figuring this out. Thank you both for the suggestion." She kept her tone calm and collected even though she wanted to freak out against Cole. 

Mr. Hubert smiles and nods his head. "Awesome, now if her numbers still don't change after your discussion we can then speak about options of termination. Now the next thing I wanted to speak about is raises. We need to pick the people who are getting them this round?" Miranda swallows hard, part of her wanted to change her mind about giving Cole one since he just talked against her, but figured he could  get the earful after the meeting. She did have to admit, he earned the raise this time around. "Well the first two I was thinking is Mr. Bennett and that blonde guy he always talks to. What's his name?" She turns her attention back to Cole.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole looked over at Miranda, trying his best to keep himself composed. He could tell by the look in her eye that he was going to get it after the meeting. He stilled his breathing for a moment, almost wanting this meeting to last all day now that he knew what was coming. He could tell that she was just itching to lay it all on him. He only had Mr. Hubert there to keep her from choking him out and throwing him out of the window right now. [i "I'm so fucked"] he thought to himself before looking back over at Mr. Hubert, who went on to raises. As he lowered his eyes again, he heard his name come out of Miranda's mouth, honestly shocked that she was still going to offer that after what he just did. 

Cole looked up towards Miranda as she addressed him again, seeing that same fire in her eyes. "Luke Graham." he said softly, watching her for a moment before averting his eyes again. At the moment, he didn't even want to speak. All he wanted to do was sink into the seat and never come back. He wasn't looking forward to the end of the meeting, but he had to keep himself together for now. He'd take the earful later and roll with it like he did. He could feel his throat start to dry up a bit at the thought of what she might say to him. No one went against Miranda and Cole wasn't feeling very brave doing it right then and there.. but he did say what he wanted to say. He wanted to make sure his co-worker was safe after all she had to deal with. Cole's eyes were now glued to the table and he didn't dare look up from it.

Miranda was finding it very difficult to keep her composure. She never had anyone talk against her like Cole just had, because they all knew the punishment of doing so. Cole was just lucky that he did it in front of her highest boss. She takes a deep breath when he answers her questions and nods. "Yes, that's it. I think those two. The others have yet to prove themselves." Mr. Hubert nods his head, and starts packing up his stuff. "Alright, so Mr. Bennett and Mr. Graham. I'll mark it down and you guys should receive it in your next paycheck." He explains, looking at Cole as he stands up. "It was a pleasure speaking with you both. Miss. Perkins, please call me after you speak with Mrs. Leventhal and let me know how it goes. Have a good day Mr. Bennett." He concludes the meeting and walks out of the room. 

Miranda looks over at Cole, immediately narrowing her eyes. "You might want to stay sitting, Mr. Bennett." She speaks through clenched teeth, her anger coming back full force. She pushes herself out of the chair and crosses her arms over her chest. "Would you like to explain to me why you decided to act like an idiot and speak against my decision?? Do you realize my business relies on all of you and your coworkers numbers?? I can not fail!" She starts her attack, her hands were clenched into fists. "I don't give a shit if you feel bad for her or not, you don't have ever disrespect me in front of my boss!! Do you understand me Bennett?? You could have cost me my job!! The only reason I'm not firing you on the spot is because I know he would think it's because of this!! So consider yourself lucky and this is your final warning!!"
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole looked up towards Mr. Hubert as he came to the conclusion of his meeting. He really wished it would last longer to postpone the bullshit he was about to go through. He looked at the man for a moment as he stands, nodding his head towards him as he left before lowering his eyes again towards the table. [i "Here we go."] 

Cole sat in his seat silently as she went off. He stared at the table and let her get out what she wanted to get out, anxiety and anger bubbling up inside of him but he dare not speak out right now. He just spoke against her and he knew she'd freak out about it. He listened to her practically scream in his ear about it and let out a soft breath under the yelling. He looked over at her for a moment and cleared his throat. The dryness overtaking it once again. He watched her as she went off, unable to peel his eyes from hers. The fire was now a pit of lava and he was sure he could see her eyes turn black as she yelled at him. His breathing threatened to speed up, but he kept his composure as he always did when she went off. He wanted to say something so badly against her.. [i "say something.."] "I understand." he said quickly, putting up his hands in defense as she stood there, practically above him. He stood up himself, looking over at her and tried his hardest to keep himself calm. "But... Mr. Hubert needs to make sure you're a fit boss..if you're willing to just fire anyone at any moment.. what do you think he will think of you. "Employee opinions matter to him. Your compliance matters to him. I'm not speaking out to make you look bad.. I'm speaking out to make sure he knows you care about this company and the people in it." he continued. [i "Even though you don't give two shits about us."] he thought, biting at his tongue for a moment to say it. "I'm here to make you look good.. even though you think I spoke out against you.. the fact you agreed with me makes you look like an angel." [i "Even though you're the devil."] "He's going to know you care enough to make sure Tabit- Mrs. Leventhal is taken care of and knows she's valued." he said quickly, trying to lessen the heat of his punishment. "Like I said.. I'm always on your side.. but if you fire people at random, he's going to know you think we are all replaceable. How does that make you look to him?" he asked, looking at her. His heart was racing heavily in his chest. Was him speaking making it worse? Who knows.. but he he had to say something.

Miranda couldn't and wouldn't stop her rampage, how dare he speak out toward her. He made her look bad, she should be able to keep her employees in line and always agree with her. Once she finally let out all she wanted to say toward him, she rests her hands on the table waiting for him to say something, to do something. As Cole finally starts responding to her, she listens intently, letting him get whatever he wanted to say out. Realizing he is right about how Mr. Hubert would have thought about her had she just fired Mrs. Leventhal right on the spot. He would have thought of her as heartless, she's sure most if not all her employees think that way about her, including and especially the one standing in front of her. Nodding her head, she looks up at him. "Well I'm glad he is still behind us and didn't say anything or do anything worse. And, as I said this is your final warning. I will not be so nice next time Mr. Bennett. Now let's go back to the office, so I can speak with Mrs. Leventhal about stepping up her game. And you get me coffee while I am!" She snaps, before grabbing her papers and walking toward the door impatiently waiting for him to open it for her. "And if you dawdle while you get my coffee, I will call Hubert and make him cancel your raise and give it to someone else!!!" She warns, once they get into the elevator. 

Once they get back into the office, Miranda calls Tabitha into her office. She waits for the older lady to sit down, before she closes the door behind them and sits behind her desk. "Listen Mrs. Leventhal, I've tried over and over again to be lenient on you but Mr. Hubert is asking about your numbers now. I'm afraid if you can't step up your game, I'm going to have to fire you." Tabitha knew this was coming, her husband was getting worse and she was always in her head about money and being on her own. Afraid she wouldn't be able to handle it. "Oh please Miss. Perkins, Todd is getting worse and I've been in my head. I swear I will step my game up. Please give me another chance." She pleads, almost in tears. She looks up when Cole walks into the office. "Oh perfect, Mr. Bennett please tell her that I can step my game up and you'll help me do it." She practically begs, her eyes shining with tears.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole watched her as he finished speaking. He cleared his throat and listened to her as she replied to him, nodding his head and staying silent now. He didn't need to get anything else out now that he said what he wanted to say. He breathed out as she instructed he get her coffee as she talked to Tabitha and nodded his head, following her to the door and opened it up for her as usual. He nodded his head at her before getting into the elevator. "Okay." he replied, stepping into the elevator with a deep exhale. 

Once the two were back on their floor, she separated from him and walked off to her office, calling Tabitha in to speak to her. He walked to the coffee room, leaning against the counter and breathed deeply, trying to keep himself calm from what just happened. He grabbed a coffee for Miranda and walked off towards her office. Once he stepped inside, he looked at the desk where Tabitha and Miranda sat. He watched for a moment before making his way over to the desk, setting Miranda's coffee down and looked towards Tabitha with a soft sigh. He made his way over to her and knelt down a little beside her chair. "I know.. We know you're trying. We will help you in any way you can.. but you need to bring your numbers up.." he said softly, making sure she knew what needed to be done. "If you can promise to keep your numbers up.. I will personally help you in any way I possibly can." he gave a soft smile to the woman.

Miranda rolls her eyes, when Tabitha asks Cole to speak on her behalf. "Trust me, Mr. Bennett has done enough of that for one day..." She mumbles, before she watches Cole walk over to the older woman and speak so kindly to her. He said to her exactly what he had said in the meeting room to Miranda and Mr. Hubert. She leans back in her chair and shakes her head. Watching Cole give this woman, a coworker of his nonetheless respect makes her scoff in disbelief. Did she pick the right employee to go with her for this damned trip? Rubbing her forehead, she knows that she did. He is the only one who actually listens to her all the time not just some of the time like the other people who work for her. "Alright Mrs. Leventhal you have been warned. This is your final warning, if I check next month and your numbers are still low I will not hesitate to terminate you." She states, before waving her hand to dismiss her. "Now get back to work!" She dismisses her coldly, before looking down at her schedule to see who she has a meeting with with next. 
Tabitha watches Cole and listens to him intently. Once he finishes she nods her head. "I promise I will work harder. Thank you Mr. Bennett, I will make you both proud." When Miranda dismisses her, she rolls her eyes and pats Cole's shoulder. "Thank you." She mouths to him, before walking out of the office and closing the door behind her. 
"You can leave too, be useful and get the rest of your work done too!" Miranda snaps at Cole, not even looking up at him. "I'll let you know if I need you for any other meeting. But go! Time is passing and you're already on your last warning."
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

Cole listens to Miranda go off once again, threatening Tabitha mindlessly. He inwardly scoffed and let the woman know he was there for her and that she needed to work harder or she'd unfortunately be let go. He didn't want to see her struggle harder if she was fired thanks to Miranda. He had to offer a helping hand and a kind smile to the woman. He hoped she made good on her promise so they could keep her there. 

As Tabitha promised to work harder, he nodded his head and watched her, listening to Miranda dismiss her. As he felt Tabitha's hand on his shoulder, he smiled up at her and stood up straight, staring at the woman as she left. If only Miranda took some notes on how to be a human and treat other people, but he knew that would never happen. Cole looked over as Miranda as she dismissed him, nodding his head and let out an inaudible sigh. Thank god, he could go back to work and maybe let Lucas in on what happened earlier. He walked out of the office and closed the door behind him, walking to his desk and sat down with a long sigh. He groaned loudly, putting his hands on his head. He looked over at Lucas, who was staring at him confused now. "What a day." he grumbled. "I have to go on a trip with her on Monday for two weeks..and get this.. I have to pretend to be her damn boyfriend." he whispered to Lucas, not wanting anyone else to hear what was going on. "I'm so screwed, man.." he mumbled, shaking his head. Lucas was silent, eyes wide and a confused look on his face. [+red "No way, man..."] he said in disbelief. "Don't say anything to anyone." Cole said quickly. "I don't need this shit getting out." he mumbled, moving to his computer to start his work for the day. [+red "Of course, man..this is torture enough.. you don't need everyone knowing.."] Lucas sighed.

Once both of them had left her office, Miranda grabs her coffee and starts gulping it down. Her headache had finally gone away, but she still had this damned trip weighing in her thoughts. She had to focus back on her own work, she couldn't have Hubert complaining about her numbers now. She lets out a huge sigh, before turning her attention to her computer for the rest of the time before her next meeting. 
As the day dragged on, Miranda kept pretty busy so she didn't have too much time to think about the trip or her family. 

At normal leaving time for her employees, her head raises as she watches all of the ones on her floor start heading out. She watches Cole and his blonde friend, who she never cared to remember the name of walk out, hoping she made the right choice as to who she picked to do this with her. Chewing on her bottom lip, she finally goes back to work. Early to work and late to leave, that was another one of her mom's mantras. 

Friday's day of work seemed to speed past, she didn't have many meeting which was a huge surprise. Then came the weekend, she did her typical stay in, cook for herself and drink coffee and read her book at the window seat in her quiet apartment. Just the way she liked it, or just the way she had forced herself to like it. 

Of course once Monday morning rolled around, Miranda was early to rise and to get to the airport. She was sitting near where they would have to board the plane, with her earphones in as she scrolls through her phone focused on the new contracts that the business was bringing in.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   17d ago

The rest of the day seemed to zip by. Cole made sure to finish all his work for the day so Miranda wasn't up his ass about anything else. He was on his final warning, of course. He stayed at his desk other than going to where he needed to go. Meetings were over quick enough and they were finally done with the day. 

Friday went by quickly, a little chit chat between co-workers and finishing off the rest of his work before the weekend and the trip he couldn't avoid. He let Lucas know what needed to be done while he was away and that he would have his laptop to continue his work from the trip, but if anything should happen. Lucas was more than capable of taking over for one or two things. 

The entire weekend had Cole anxious about the upcoming trip. He didn't know what he was going to do. He didn't want to deal with any of this but he had no choice. He had to figure out ways to get through this and get it over with quickly. He spent the entire weekend packing for it, making sure stuff at home was in order and he tried to clear his mind at least for one day. He spent a day relaxing and preparing mentally. 

Once Monday came around, Cole was packed and ready to go. He was up at a good time and caught a cab to the airport where he would meet Miranda at an ungodly hour. It wasn't like he wasn't already awake, but he usually had at least two hours away from work to prepare to deal with her. This time, he didn't get a work out in to wake himself up. He was tired, but he was ready to get this over with. He met up with Miranda, finding her sitting there with headphones in and working like she usually did. 

Cole stepped up to her, plopping himself down in the seat next to her, leaning his head to the side for a second and breathing outwardly. He was tired... too tired to deal with whatever bullshit she was about to put him through. Now begun the reality that he was doing HER a favor.. he technically wasn't working for her right now.

Miranda keeps her eyes on the contract she was currently reading, before she sends a group email to some of her higher ups, she was hesitant on signing this specific one with how sketchy it sounded. She asked them to take care of it and read it over themselves to see what they thought. 
She puts the travel cup of coffee to her lips and takes a much needed sip, before diving back into reading over contracts. A little while later she feels a plop next to her and raises her eyes to look at Cole. "Well finally, I thought you were going to be late Cole." She winces at using his first name, she was taught to always be proper and formal especially when it came to those under her position but she figures that if he was pretending to be her boyfriend she should probably get used to calling him by it. Especially since she was not a fan of "babe" and "baby" they were too cliche and for people who found their happy ending. Which Miranda had given up believing in, there was no such thing as a happy ending. You work, sleep, eat and breath and then you die. There isn't time for much else. Her mother had drilled that along with many other things in her head. Miranda snaps out of her thoughts and clears her throat. "Everything taken care of? You made sure to give Blondie your work for the two weeks?? Everything will be handled right Mr. Ben- Cole?? I don't want to come back to a mess!" She narrows her eyes at him, sliding her phone back into her bag for the time being.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   16d ago

Cole looked over at her with a blank stare as she started going off. Not today. Not this early in the morning. "Yes, everything is taken care of." Cole muttered in a tired tone, but kept it compliant. He just had to ride out these next two weeks. "Lucas... knows what he needs to do.. and I've informed him that I have my laptop should something go wrong, everything is fine." he spoke, moving his hand to his face to brush his usually messy hair back. His mind had made sure he didn't get much of a good nights rest. The thought of what could happen during the next two weeks worried him and caused him so much anxiety that he found himself waking up every hour with a pit in his stomach. He was tired, annoyed and honestly wanted nothing more than to go back to work and sit at his desk, absentmindedly working on things he knew. A personal trip with her was not something he was well versed in. He had to play the role of the boyfriend... this might be more than he could take on. At this point in time, he had to refer to her as Miranda at least. All formal greetings were out the window. "Everything is fine, Miranda." he spoke, a shiver running down his spine at the thought of calling her by her first name. He, too, had to get used to the fact they had to refer to each other by their first names. Her using his first name made him uncomfortable, but it would happen for the next two weeks.

Miranda waited for his response impatiently as normal, she lets out a sigh when he finally replies and confirms everything was taken care of. "Good." That was all she responded with. Of course thank you was not in her vocabulary. "And you brought your suit and button down for the wedding and rehearsal?? Just have to make sure because as I said yesterday you seem to be slacking." She noticed his tired tone and rolls her eyes, what could he possibly be tired about. All he does is drink and play video games, at least that's what was inside her mind of every male that she knew. Though even though she would never admit it out loud, he was good at his job. He was the best one there, which was why Miranda relied on him so much. Another thing she would never ever admit to him or anyone. When he calls her by her first name, she shakes her head immediately. "Please do not call me that, call me by my nickname Mandy. I absolutely hate Miranda." She snaps at him, when people called her by her full first name all she could think about was the way her mother called up the stairs for her when she was younger and her voice just goes right through her. 

"Flight 241 is now boarding, 241 now boarding." The announcement sounded throughout the airport, making Miranda stand up and look at Cole. "That's us, can you hurry up and grab our bags??" She orders, snapping her fingers, before walking ahead to get in line to board the plane.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   16d ago

Cole watched her intently as she asked him questions. He was too tired to deal with this but sucked it up. Before he could respond, she corrected him on what to call her. Mandy. Alright.. he could do that. "Yes, Mandy, I packed what you asked me to pack." He reiterated. He was annoyed that this was even happening. "I have formal clothes enough for the events it requires. Other than that, I'm keeping it casual." He said quickly. Normally at work, he'd keep quiet. He wouldn't speak unless spoken to, he wouldn't give attitude and he'd comply. Now, she had no choice but to pretend they were together, so he had a bit of wiggle room in terms of how he spoke to her. This would be interesting. 

As the flight was called, he looked over at her once she demanded he bring their bags and rolled his eyes. [I Thanks for the help] he thought to himself, following behind her juggling all the bags. As they boarded the plane, he put their bags in the overhead. Once they were with her family, she had no edge on him. He could say what he wanted and she couldn't do anything. She couldn't control him like she did at work. He was honestly thrilled about it. Separate rooms, he didn't have to answer to her every demand and he had time to be him... a few pros among a sea of cons.

Miranda hears his snippy tone and goes to freak on him for it, before she bites her tongue. He was doing her a favor and she has to be careful because she was sure if she were to flip or yell in anyway Cole could fuck her over right now and walk away. She swallows her temper and narrows her eyes at him. "Glad to hear, sounds like you really prepared this time." Of course, "thank you" was still not in her vocabulary. After she was satisfied with his answers to her questions, she leans back in her chair and goes back to reading over the contracts and ignoring him once again. 

Once the plane was called, Miranda stands up and couldn't help but go back to her normal ways of ordering him around. After telling Cole to get her bags, she walks off getting in line. Once they board the plane, Miranda immediately claims the window seat and leans back in the seat. She was not ready for this hell to begin, but it was already getting started and she couldn't do anything about it. She looks over at Cole and lets out a sigh. "Alright, so you're prepared let me run down the list. My mom is the bitch, everything has to be perfect and it's always her way or the highway. My dad is very quiet, he observes everything including his crazy wife. My older brother is loud and obnoxious and my younger sister is a drama queen, so since it is her wedding you can expect a lot of drama. Any questions?" She explains the dynamics of her annoying family, watching Cole's reactions.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   16d ago

Cole sat down next to her, letting his eyes wander anywhere but in her direction. He pulled his hood over his head for a moment, crossing his arms over his chest as she spoke to him about her family. As she explained her mother, Cole gave an inaudible scoff [I I see where you get it from] he thought to himself, staying silent as she explained everyone else. "Got it." He confirmed, closing his eyes for a moment. "No questions from me." He sighed, keeping his eyes closed for a moment. Maybe he'd get a little sleep on the plane, or the anxiety of this trip would wash over him again, causing him to stress over everything. This was a mistake, he shouldn't have agreed to this. His eyes opened again, there would be no sleeping... he should know this. He got practically no sleep the previous night and he was a fool to think he could sleep now. 

Cole just had to keep in mind that he was the perfect boyfriend. He could fake it. He faked her innocence around Mr. Hubert, he could do it in front of her family. He was sure he could. He just had to pretend she was the light in his life and his beautiful girlfriend. She made his life happier and he couldn't live without her, while internally feeling the exact opposite. He could do this... and once they were done spending the day together, he could relax and unwind in his hotel room, plus he wasn't working.. so that was a plus. He had this.

After Miranda went down the list of all her immediate family members and Cole confirmed he has no questions, she leans her head back in the seat. Looking out the window, as the plane takes off. Subconsciously her bottom lip gets stuck between her teeth. She was nervous and Miranda Perkins never gets nervous. She hasn't seen her mother or her entire family for that matter in years. Nonetheless, she had to bring an employee of hers and act like she was in love with him. That he wasn't an employee and someone special in her life. How the hell were they going to pull this off? She knew Cole felt about her just like everyone else did. She made sure to keep it that way. She never believed in friendships, friends just fuck you over. And she sure as hell didn't believe in love. There was no such thing. She became icy and unapproachable on purpose. She was not a failure and she was never going to have any distractions to her business, she was not going to allow it. 

The whole plane ride was quiet for them, Miranda didn't exactly know how to start a conversation and they weren't acting just yet anyway. She looks at the lights from the city she called home and turns to Cole finally. "When we land, I've got a rental car waiting for us. You just need to grab our bags and follow me to it. Can you handle that?" Her snarkiness was back slightly.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   16d ago

The plane right was quiet, which was totally fine with him. He didn't want to have a conversation with her. He wanted to keep everything to a minimum. He didn't want to deal with her attitude right now, he wanted to get there, get off the plane and try and survive through the next two weeks. He closed his eyes as he leaned against the arm rest opposite of hers, not falling asleep, but not wanting to have any more discussions with Miranda, so he could just pretend he was asleep. He kept his hood over his head, thinking over what he thought might happen during the trip, what he could say and how he was going to act around her family. What did they know so far? Anything? She told him who they were and what to look out for but she didn't mention anything about how much her family knew about the two, if anything. 

Once she began talking again, he looked over at her and sighed softly. "Mhm.." he mumbled, sitting up straight and pushed his hood off, fixing his messy brown hair before looking around the plane. Everyone was getting prepared to land already. He must have been in his head for the entire time, which was good. 

Once the plane landed and everyone was filing off of it, he grabbed their bags from the overhead, walking out of the plane and through the airport with her. Once they got to the rental car, he put the bags inside and stretched himself out. This was not going to happen anymore. He wasn't lugging her shit around the entire trip. She'd have to do something herself. This was where all his duties as an employee ended. They should have at the airport, but he was done now. This was his time.. he was helping her.. and whether she liked it or not, he was going to have his own opinions and his own limits. Especially since they weren't at work. Now was the time to head to their hotel, hopefully, and get settled in before their acting ensued.

As the plane touched down and stopped, Miranda stood up once they were allowed and stretches herself out. Four hours on a plane was just not her forte, she sighs and walks ahead of Cole with the rest of the passengers and exits the plane. She walks right over to the rental building and gives the receptionist her reservation number. Once the receptionist takes it, she hands Miranda keys to a nice blue SUV. Miranda takes the keys and gets inside, before driving up to where Cole was standing. Her entire body was tense, she hated being back here. This whole place just reminds her of when she grew up, and they were not pleasant years. She lets out a sigh, waiting for Cole to get in the car. 

Once he was inside, she looks over at him. "Alright, so we get one free day tonight and can just relax at the hotel. Tomorrow morning, we are expected to meet them at their beach house and have breakfast with the whole family." Her tone of voice, just proves how not excited she was about this whole thing. "Also, I told them we met through a mutual friend who set us up. So they have no clue you work for me, and I would like to keep it that way. If they get even a little hint that this is all pretend, I swear Cole you're out of a job." Nervousness was starting to creep in her voice, her mother could NOT find out that they weren't together. Miranda wouldn't hear the end of it and her mother would torture the shit out of her. With those unpleasant thoughts on her mind, she starts driving to their hotel. Chewing on her lip the whole time, praying these two weeks go okay. She knew Cole wasn't okay with this, and she sprung it on him so fast but she wasn't that happy either. 

Once Miranda got to the hotel, she pulls around to valet and gets out of the car. She hands the guy her keys and moves to the trunk of the car, actually getting her bags out herself. She knew that once they landed, Cole was no longer her employee so she couldn't boss him around while they were here. It was hard for her not to, but she swallows it down and looks over at Cole. "Alright, I'll meet you down here at 7 am sharp. No later, please?"
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   14d ago

Cole listens to her as she explains what was happening and what to expect with the whole plan. So they don't work together. He had to think up a job if he was asked and had to make up an entire story on how they met if she didn't. He hoped she had at least an idea of where they met and how they met so he didn't have to think something up. He supposed he would just have to roll with everything. "Okay. I can work with that." Cole spoke, looking out of the window as she drove them to the hotel. This was it. One last night of freedom before he was Cole, this psychos boyfriend. He internally groaned before closing his eyes for a moment, praying this all worked out. 

As they pulled up to the hotel, he got out and walked to the trunk, looking over as Miranda met him there and actually grabbed her own bags. He was surprised she did but it seemed she knew she was no longer his boss for the next two weeks. They were just two regular old people pretending to be in love with each other to appease her nose in the air family. God, what a headache. Cole nodded at her request that he meet her in the lobby at 7am for breakfast. "Okay." He nodded. He was just happy to get one last quiet night away from her before the "fun" began.

Miranda waits for Cole's reply, tapping her foot impatiently as usual. Once he finally responds, she nods her head. "Let's get our room keys." She walks into the hotel, without waiting for him to follow or for him to say anything in return.  "Please be dressed like a normal person and not a slob, I'm giving you freedom while we're here but I'd like my boyfriend to at least look presentable." She snaps, when he finally catches up to her. Glaring at him to let him know she meant it, even though she kind of figured that he knew she meant it. Once they reach the front desk, Miranda turns her cold stare to the receptionist. "Hi, we are here checking in." [#ff0000 "Can I have a name please?"] The receptionist sounded just as snippy as Miranda. Taking a breath and trying not to freak out on the other woman, she puts on a fake smile. "Perkins, Miranda." She replies, with a similar attitude. The receptionist takes a second to scroll through the names on her computer, before she finally finds the two room numbers that Miranda has booked, she reaches under the desk and grabs the room keys. [#ff0000 "That will be rooms two sixteen and two seventeen, just take the elevator up to the second floor and they will be to your left."] Miranda takes her key and nods, of course without uttering a thank you. She turns to Cole. "One last thing, I don't give a fuck what you do tonight but don't be hungover. Again, I need you presentable not your normal self." She instructs, before walking away again without giving him the chance to respond. Pressing the elevator button, she crosses her arms and waits for it to arrive.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   14d ago

Cole looked up at her as she mentioned what she wanted him to wear. He looked down at himself for a second before looking back up at her. It kind of felt like a dig at him for what he was wearing now, but he shrugged it off. He was sure he packed enough nicer clothes were he could impress her family a little bit. He nodded and followed her to reception, watching the interaction before receiving his room key as well. He followed her towards the elevator and listened to her speak before rolling his eyes a little bit. "You know I don't drink all the time, right?" He muttered, trying to at least get a word in against her accusations. "It's a once in a while thing but I don't drink all the time to get bombed." He continued. "But I will be sober tonight.. no matter how bad I want to drink.. and I'll be ready tomorrow to meet your family." He commented, trying not to piss her off just yet. 

Once the elevator showed up, he walked in with her and let out a soft sigh. "Do you have a story as to how we met? Any background to our relationship I should know about?" He questioned, looking over at her curiously.

Miranda listen to Cole as he explained himself with drinking. She couldn't help but roll her eyes and grabs her bags again, once they received their room keys. "I wasn't saying you drank all the time, I was just asking you not to do so tonight. Because honestly [i Cole] I don't give a fuck what you do at home, but I really need these two weeks to work. Otherwise I get tormented for the rest of my life from my mother, and as I have mentioned multiple times if this fails it's your ass out of a job." She repeats, walking over to the elevator and pushing the button. 

When Cole asks if she's come up with a story or background or anything, Miranda squeezes the bridge of her nose and lets out a heavy breath. "We met through a mutual friend, Cassie, who set us up on a blind date and ended up falling for each other. You asked me out on a date and we walked in the moonlight and the rest is history." Miranda could have thrown up, as she thinks of something believable. She hated romantic shit, not because she never experienced it, but because she feels like it is all bullshit. "Cassie is my best friend since I was little, so if my mom and I wouldn't put it passed her decides to call her, I'll make sure she knows the story too and she will go along with it." She explains why she mentioned a name, because she truly believed her mother would be petty enough to call the friend she mentioned to confirm the story. Her mother was the weird bitchy mother, who had to have every one of her friends' parent's phone numbers, and then when they were old enough to have cell phones, she made them give her their numbers too. Which explains why Miranda doesn't have many friends left. Lost in her thoughts, she barely hears the elevator ding indicating they have arrived on the second floor. Once she sees the door open, she grabs her bags and walk out of the elevator and to her left just as the receptionist had said. Stopping in front of her room, she pulls out the card and looks over at Cole. "Seven in the morning sharp, I do not tolerate lateness and dress to charm. That is your job for tomorrow, charm the shit out of my mother." She sighs and swipes her card in the door, opening it and goes to walk inside, before looking back over at him. "Night Cole." She mutters out, before walking inside her room and looks around, a small smile creeps onto her face. She had made sure to book the two biggest and nicest rooms for them. Having a feeling they both would need it, during these two weeks from hell. Putting her suitcases down, she starts to unpack, before sliding her bags into a corner of the room and collapsed onto the bed. Lying on her back, she stares at the ceiling. Miranda never admitted this, but she was extremely nervous and unexcited to get these two weeks started. Her anxious mind didn't let her fall asleep until three in the morning. 

Six thirty came way too fucking fast, as her alarm starts blaring in her ear Miranda groans and pulls the blanket over her head. She wasn't looking forward to this morning at all, letting out a sigh she pushes the off button on her phone alarm and stands up. Stretching her body out, she grabs a towel and walks into the gigantic bathroom. Sliding out of her pajamas, she hops in the shower and quickly starts washing her hair and body. Afterward, she steps out and dries her hair, before wrapping the towel around her waist. Being hands free now, she blow dries her hair making it straight, then brushes her teeth. Once her duties in the bathroom were done, she moves over to her closet and pulls out a light blue sundress and flipflops to match. The complete opposite of what she wore at the office, even on casual Fridays. Miranda pulls the dress over her head and slides her feet into the flipflops, before grabbing her bag and walking out of her room. Stepping into the elevator, she scrolls through her phone making sure she hasn't missed any work notifications. Once the elevator makes it to the first floor, she walks out and over to the small buffet that the hotel offered and makes Cole and herself some coffee. She walks over to the chairs and sits down, placing the hot coffees down on the table and starts scrolling through her phone again while she waits for Cole.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   13d ago

Cole listened to the story she made up and chewed on the inside of his cheek a little bit. He looked around the elevator slowly and shrugged. At least her friend could back up the story and make it seem a bit more believable. He wasn't completely thrilled about the story but he'd go along with it.. especially to save his job. He felt the headache coming on from just being there with her and her attitude, but he kept it to himself. Once the elevator opened up, he grabbed his bags and walked out with her, walking to his door and looked over at her as she reminded him when to meet her and what to wear. "Night." he replied, walking into the room and shut the door behind him. He looked around for a moment and took in a soft breath. Well she definitely didn't cheap out on the room, that was for sure. He was sure it was bigger than his apartment. He walked in, his eyes scanning the room before a bright smile crossed his face. Another silver lining, thank god. 

He took another look around the room before settling himself in, putting his bags off to keep them out of his way and walked around the room slowly. One more night of bliss before the nightmare really started. He could work with this. He stayed up for a while longer before finally feeling tired from the lack of sleep through the weekend. His anxiety still lingering, but dropping quickly once he laid himself in the comfortable bed of the hotel room. 

Morning came quick for Cole, but thanks to an actual restful sleep, he was up at an appropriate time to get himself ready for his day of 'fun'. He showered, got himself dressed in a respectable outfit, hopefully enough to impress her mother, and did up his hair to look less messy. He made sure he was ready for the day. He was still in absolute awe of the room she had picked out for them and was actually upset he had to leave it and go off to pretend to be his boss' boyfriend. With another check to make sure he looked OK, he walked out of the hotel room and was off to meet Miranda for the start of their day, making sure to be early as he knew how she was if they were even close to being on time. 

He walked to the buffet area, finding Miranda sitting at a table with two coffee's in front of her, a little surprised she even went through the effort to make him one and stepped up to the table, looking down at her as she scrolled through his phone. He looked at the coffee for a moment and sat himself down, looking up at her from across the table and leaned his elbow on the table top for a moment, still trying to wake himself up from the comfortable and surprisingly relaxing sleep he just had. "Do I look alright?" he asked, not completely sure if he even wanted to hear her reaction. Good was never enough.. not in her books. He was sure he'd hear something from her. He tried to push it out of his mind, knowing she had to be anxious about this entire thing as well, or she wouldn't worry about having him there in the first place. He grabbed the coffee and leaned back against the chair, taking a long sip of the drink and relaxing a little bit. Today was going to be exhausting, but if he could get through this, the rest of the time should go fine.. he hoped.

Miranda is looking through the contracts that she was sent. Taking sips of her coffee every now and then. Hearing movement in front of her, she looks up at Cole. She was actually impressed with his outfit, this is why she knew he'd be a good candidate to help her with this. He actually followed her instructions, as much as he hated her.  She goes back to looking at her phone and drinking her coffee, since they had just a few minutes to spare before they had to leave. She looks up at him again, when he finally talks to her to ask how he looks. Because of how she was, she obviously couldn't let him know that she was impressed and was thankful that he listened to her. "It could be better, but you look alright I guess..." She kept her voice monotone, knowing that she was belittling how she actually felt. 

Miranda watches as he drinks his coffee that she had made for him, another big step for her. But she figured she should probably start acting like the doting girlfriend, since today started it all. She looks at her phone at the time, and lets out a sigh. "You ready to get this day started?" She hoped this was all a nightmare and she could wake up from it soon. With that thought firmly in her mind, she lets out a sigh and pushes herself up. Walking up to the valet counter outside, she hands the man her ticket and he takes it from her, reads her name and unlocks the key bucket and grabs her keys before getting up and walking to where he parked her car last night. 
Miranda lets out a sigh, crosses her arms over her chest, and lays her head back wishing today could just be over with. Although she couldn't lie, she was extremely nervous to see her family again.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   13d ago

Cole listened to her commented and sighed heavily. He knew it was coming. She couldn't just say that it was fine and leave it at that, but it was good enough for her so it was good enough for him. Not to mention, he didn't have time to go change. He finished off his coffee and looked up towards her as she checked on the time and instructed it was time to go. He nodded and stood up from the table, already missing his apartment sized hotel room and the bed that called his name. "Let's get this over with." he said out loud, figuring she felt the same way as he did. Neither one of them actually wanted to go and do this, but they had no choice in the matter. 

Cole followed her out to grab the car keys, staying quiet as he silently drowned in his own thoughts. Cole looked over at Miranda as she leaned her head back, knowing she was just as annoyed and nervous to get started with the day. He cleared his throat and took in a deep breath. Hoping the day went by quickly so the two could return to ignoring each other in their hotel rooms. He couldn't even pin point an exact emotion or thought as everything was swirling around in his head. He didn't know what to expect from the day but if he could just fake it enough to impress her family, he knew he'd be in the clear. He wondered how her family was and if she got her attitude from them. From what she was saying about her mother, he knew he was in for a really long day with her family.

Once the valet driver returns with Miranda's rental car, Miranda gets the keys off of him and gets in the driver's side, shutting the door behind her. 
The valet driver looks over at her when she didn't even mutter a thank you, he rolls his eyes and mumbles. "You're welcome, ungrateful bitch." He looks over at Cole, before sitting back at the counter. Miranda waits for Cole to get in the car, getting it started and leans back into her seat. As each minute passed, Miranda could feel herself getting more and more nervous. She was so not ready to see her mother again and especially not for an occasion like this. She could say that she was happy for her sister, but it would be a lie. Her younger sister has always rubbed everything in her face. And for some reason her mom was always more proud of Melanie than Miranda. Their mom didn't give two shits when Miranda had told her that she was successful in building her own company from the ground up. Nothing, but when Melanie walked in to say she was engaged her mother screamed so loud, Miranda thought their windows would break. That was one of the reasons she decided to move as far as she did from her childhood home. 

Once Cole joined her in the car, Miranda drives out of the hotel's lot and onto the highway. It was time. It was time to finally go back to her dreaded home that she hasn't been to in years. It was time to see the people she has never wanted to see again. She drives in silence, peaking at Cole through the corner of her eye every once in a while wondering what he was thinking. About an hour later, she pulls up to a three story mansion and her heart drops. She could feel the color draining from her face, when she saw the car in the driveway. One she knew all too well. Fuck...
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   13d ago

Cole looked at the valet driver and bit his lower lip. That was an often occurrence. He cleared his throat and got into the car slowly, closing the door behind him and sat in the passenger side seat, looking ahead for a moment. Breathing out heavily, he looked over at Miranda as she sat in silence. But before he could muster up anything to say, they were off. Every passing second, he felt the nerves come back stronger and stronger. He didn't know where they were going or what to expect from this experience and that scared him. He usually had things planned out. He leaned his shoulder slightly against the door and looked out of the window, his mind jumbled up with thoughts and feelings. He had to remember to breathe and pretend everything was fine even if he was freaking out on the inside. 

Once they pulled up to the house. Cole's eyes widened slightly, looking at the house and how massive it was. "Jesus.." he muttered softly to himself, looking the massive, yet gorgeous house over. That's where she came from? Why did he think differently? She had built an entire empire from the ground up and for some reason he thought her family wasn't THIS well off. He took one last look at the house before looking at her, seeing her reaction to some car in the drive way. He raised an eyebrow but kept silent, leaning back in the seat once again. Suddenly, the nerves came back in full force. What the fuck was he doing?! Why was he doing this for her? "I just got... really nervous." he muttered out. It wasn't even intentional that he said that, it just came out of his mouth.

There was no way that was [I his] car, she hadn't seen it in years longer than she has seen her family. There's no fucking way her younger sister's fiance is him, she had left before the family even got a chance to meet him. But by the looks of it, it looks like her family had already met him long before he proposed to her sister. Lost in her thoughts, she hears Cole's comment. "You're fucking telling me... I'm pretty sure that's my ex boyfriends car and if that's how car, then that means... He proposed to her..." Miranda rambles, the truth starting to settle in and her stomach gets even more queasy. "How about we go off to the bar, get fucking bombed and then fly back home and go back to our old lives?" She asks, knowing they can't, but wishing really hard they could. Looking over at him, she starts chewing on her bottom lip. "Alright Bennett, I'm really going to need you to not fuck this up or I'll be even more cruel than normal and take away your raise.." Her voice cracks, as her nerves shine through. She couldn't believe this was happening. What an absolute nightmare. 

Sitting there in the car for a few more minutes, Miranda runs her hand through her hair and looks in the mirror checking her appearance. With the slightly open windows, she looks over at her childhood house and groans when she sees the prim and perfect form of her mother standing in the doorway. "Miranda! You came! It's about time, we almost started eating without you. Let's go, hurry!" Her shrill voice calls, making Miranda shiver. "Well, let's get this shit show started..." She mumbles before turning off the car and getting out, watching Cole. "Wow, what a gentleman, couldn't even open the door for his woman!" Her mother, judging already, crosses her arms over her chest and leans against the doorframe, watching the couple.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   13d ago

Cole looked over at her as she explained who the mysterious car belonged to. His face dropped even more as he leaned back against the seat. Great, another complication. Might as well add an ex-boyfriend marrying the sister to the mix. This was already a terrifying experience... what was one more hump in the road. Cole stayed silent before she addressed him, looking over at her as she spoke to him. Getting drunk and going home sounded like the perfect scenario. That's all he could have ever wanted in this moment, but he knew they had to get this over with. With a deep exhale, he nodded his head at her threat. "Okay..Okay.. I got it." he spoke, putting his hands to his forehead for a moment before looking out and seeing Miranda's mother. Oh boy. Here we go. 

Cole got out of the car, looking towards his mother as she addressed him. Well nothing that he wasn't used to already. He stayed quiet and looked at Miranda for a moment, biting the inside of his cheek to keep his cool. This was going to be a VERY long day. Now he knew what her mother was like... this was about to be very interesting. He didn't even want to speak.. he wanted to keep quiet and just let Miranda do the talking like she did in all of their meetings. Cole had to make sure it stuck in his mind that he was Miranda's boyfriend. Maybe his mother would appreciate if Cole was a boyfriend that waited on her hand and foot. He had to figure out how he was going to play this. It seemed he already fucked up not opening the door quick enough for her.

Rolling her eyes at her mother complaining that Cole didn't open her door, Miranda sighs heavily. "Oh mom, stop. Wasn't it you who raised me to be an independent woman, I don't need anyone opening the door for me. Don't start your shit already..." She walks up to Cole, grabbing his hand as they walk up to the front door where her mother stood. Her mother narrowed her eyes at her daughter. "Ah still have the trashy mouth I see Miranda, you better keep that out of this house." She admonishes, standing up straight as the two got closer to her. Miranda could feel her blood boiling already and they haven't even been here for ten minutes. "Mom, please stop. This is Cole, please be nice mom. Cole this is my overbearing mother." She introduced the two, not realizing how hard she has been squeezing Cole's hand. Her mother scoffed at Miranda and shook her head, before looking at Cole with a smile. "Nice to meet you boy. If it wasn't for you I would have thought my bitchy daughter would die alone..." She remarks with a snip in her tone, successfully getting under Miranda's skin. As her mother is talking to Cole, Miranda hears a squeal behind her. "Miranda!!" Melanie shouts behind her mother and comes running out, hugging her older sister tightly. Miranda freezes up and looks over her sister's shoulder at Cole, her sister must be milking this wedding. She couldn't remember her and her sister have ever hugged each other. Melania pulls away and looks over at Cole. "And you must be the famous boyfriend!" She exclaims, before wrapping her arms around Cole. Miranda watches, her eyes widening and she couldn't help the small laugh that escapes her lips.
SoundsOfSomedayCole Bennett   13d ago

Cole walked with Miranda, feeling her grab his hand as they walked. It was an odd feeling, holding the ice queens hand but it needed to be done. He moved his fingers around her hand, feeling the most awkward he was sure he had ever felt but had to keep up this charade. He felt her hand tightening around his as her mother spoke to her, his fingers loosening around her hand a little before biting the inside of his cheek. He watched as the two interacted, hearing her mother's comment on what they thought would have happened if it weren't for him. [I Very possible] he thought to himself. 

Cole's eyes moved from her mother's as he heard the squealing behind her, watching as a younger woman came rushing out from behind her mother and hugged onto Miranda. He let Miranda's hand go before hearing the attention put on him. He felt her sisters arms wrap around him as well as he cleared his throat. "Oh, hi." He said quickly, as he felt her sisters grip around his neck. So far, her mother and her sister were polar opposites, but he had a feeling that wasn't how it always was. Cole looked at Miranda as she let out a soft laugh, his eyes narrowing slightly from the weirdness before bringing a hand up and lightly patting her sisters back. "Congratulations on the wedding." Cole laughed nervously, pulling back a little bit and stood up straight once again, stepping back beside Miranda.


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