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"Mr Ryan needs his water. Now! Move it!" The vile woman turned her back and I rolled my eyes, biting back the retorts I’d have gladly shot her way…if only it wouldn’t have meant I’d get fired. My regret over taking this position heightened day by day.
After graduating from my tiny high school as one of the only students with an independent mind, I’d been eager to escape to the city. They said New York was the place dreams came true. The reality was something different. It was the place dreams went to die.
When I got this job, I’d thought my luck was changing. An internship with the TV studio was a sought after position…and now I was paying the price. My first week in the big, bad city I’d met Jerry Callaghan—an investment banker with too much cash. He had crashed into me outside a coffee shop, sending my beloved mocha straight to the sidewalk. For a broke chick, mochas were a once-in-a-while indulgence.
Jerry had insisted on taking me for dinner to make up for it. One month later he was still around—but only because I owed him. Over dinner I’d told him my plans to score the internship and prove my family wrong, set up on my own and make a name for myself.
The next day I’d got the call to say the internship was mine. Only later had I found out Jerry was close personal friends with someone in charge. He hung the favour over my head like an axe. If I didn’t repay in a way that pleased him, I’d be lucky if all I lost was my head.
He wanted something from me and I’d have had to have been an idiot not to realise what. So far I’d kept him at bay, but it couldn’t be done forever. Part of me hoped he was only so interested because I wasn’t melting at his feet, turned into a devout follower by the sight of his black Amex. How long had it been since he’d met a challenge?
It wasn’t my looks that kept him interested, though I’d always attracted the interest of men—slim build, flawless skin and long, chocolate-brown hair saw to that. No, Jerry wanted me in the sense of ownership. And what Jerry wanted, Jerry got.
"Intern!" the voice screamed through my earpiece. "Water, now!"
Sighing, I picked up three bottles of water and carried them to the long, silver desk facing the stage. None of the judges looked at me as I placed a bottle in front of each of them. Assholes.