"Hi~!" said a cheery girl sitting at the front desk as you entered the huge building, nervously fingering the thin strap of your purse with one hand and clutching a manila folder with your other one. You approached the girl, who had beautiful long almond-colored hair, large green eyes, and a pink flower tucked behind her ear. She smiled kindly at you. "What can I do for you?" You noticed she had a bit of an accent that was foreign to you.
You cleared you throat, trying to keep the wavering out of your voice. "Um, my name's _____ _____...I'm here for the job interview." Your voice rose at the end of the statement, making it sound like you were asking a question.
The girl's eyes lit up excitedly. "Oh, hello,_______! We heard you would be coming. Here, I'll call up to Mr. Carriedo's office. He'll be waiting for you."
You nodded and waited as she dialed a number and held a large phone up to her ear. You had been longing to get a job at Carriedo, the greatest magazine company ever, for the longest time. A job offer had finally arisen and you snatched it up before it got the chance to blink and look around.
The girl put down the phone. "Mr. Carriedo's waiting in his office. It's on the fifth floor, down two doors to the left."
You smiled gratefully, and a little nervously. "Thank you very much," you said and you began to walk off.
"Oh, by the way, ______," said the girl. You glanced over your shoulder.
She grinned ecstatically. "Good luck up there."
This made you a little more nervous but you smiled again and made your way over to a hallway with the elevators in it.
All the employees were probably at work, so you were the only who waited for the elevator. You watched the red numbers on the screen above the two large doors countdown to your floor. 12…11…10…
You gulped. Was it the fifth floor two doors down or fourth floor two doors down…or maybe second floor five doors down? And was it on the right side of the hallway or the left? Ugh! You stamped your foot in frustration. You started messing things up when you were nervous. And frankly, this information was vital at the moment.
3…2…1…GL. The silver doors slid open and you stepped inside the elevator which had posters hanging of past magazine covers and red carpeting that had been worn down over the many years. You closed your eyes and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm your nerves. It was only a job interview; after all…the most important job interview of your life for the job of your dreams…and you couldn't even remember where it was!
You were shaken out of your thoughts when you realized the elevator doors were being pried open before they fully closed, and something was screamed in what sounded like a Germanic language. Startled, you hurriedly jabbed your finger on the button that opened the doors. When they opened, a man hurdled into the elevator and nearly crashed into you but you grabbed him by the shoulders and steadied him before he could crush you.
As he muttered something in that same language again, you took a moment to register him. The first thing that caught your eye was his eyes. They were blood crimson red, full of boyish mischief and wild passion. They glinted as they looked back into your (e/c) eyes. His skin was pale and his hair silvery grey. He wore a long sleeved white shirt that was only partially buttoned and loosely tucked into black pants. He had a poorly tied tie hanging around his neck and also an interesting necklace: an iron cross.
"I know I'm hard to resist, mein liebe, but if you do not mind I need to finish dressing for work," he said, grinning in a way that looked almost evil. It was then that you realized that you were still gripping him by the shoulder, keeping him hunched over as you stared fixatedly at him. A blush rose to your cheeks as you quickly let go of him. He laughed obnoxiously and pressed a button.
"Kesesesese~. And who might you be, Schöne?" You were still trying to regain your dignity.
"Um…um…I-I'm_______ ________," you muttered, willing the blood to leave your cheeks so your complexion could return to normal.
"_________ _________, eh? Well I'm the awesome Gilbert 'The Awesome' Beilschmidt. I know you're pleased to meet me. Who isn't?"
You were surprised…and a little wary at his extremely high self-esteem.
"So," said 'The Awesome' Gilbert as he began to button his shirt, "what are you doing here, __________?"
"Oh! Uh," you said, not expecting him to start up a conversation but to leave it alone and ride up in awkward silence. "I'm here for a job interview."
"Really? Sweet!" he said, grinning cheekily and pressing the '5' button for you. "Bout time we got some hot chicks in here."
The blush you had just managed to get under control came back full force and your face turned as red as Gilbert's eyes. It didn't help that he was presently shoving his shirt—and thus his hands—into his pants as he said this.
"You're going to see Antonio, right?" he asked, tightening his belt. You felt really uncomfortable around him even though he was fully clothed…just not properly.
"I'm assuming that's Mr. Carriedo?"
Gilbert snorted as he ran a hand through his silky hair. "Don't call him that. Well, maybe you should until he says not to, but Antonio doesn't like being called that. Says it makes him sound older than he is. Toni's a boss. And he's the boss. Ha! See what I did there?"
The elevator buzzed and the doors slowly slid open to reveal a hallway brightly lit with office windows on either side of the hall and dark blue carpeting.
"Hey," you said, turning to face the albino man as you began to leave. "Is it on the left or right?"
Gilbert smirked, creating a dimple on his cheek. "Left. And if he gives you the option," he added just as the doors began to close behind you. "Join my department. I'm not done with you yet." He winked and the doors closed completely.
You seriously hoped everyone at Carriedo wasn't like him. You wouldn't, however, mind if they were all as attractive. That, you could stand.
You knocked nervously at the door marked 'INTERVIEW'. The door swung open and you found yourself greeted by who you assumed was Mr. Carriedo. He appeared to be Mediterranean by the looks of his tan skin. His large eyes were startlingly bright green, and he had cute wavy dark hair and an adorable smile.
"Hola, mi amiga!" he said and swept you into a random hug. You blushed again. Dammit! Maybe you would mind if they were all attractive.
"Come in, come in!" Mr. Carriedo said cheerfully, holding the door open for you. You cautiously stepped inside. There was literally a desk and a chair on either side. The room was tiny. There were however windows and a little tiny cactus in a pot on the side of the table. He didn't mean to make it intimidating.
Mr. Carriedo sat down in the chair facing the entrance and motioned for you to sit as well.
"Now, you are _________ _________, correct?" he said, as you handed him a file. You nodded. "Majored in journalism and photography…" he added, thumbing through your résumé. He mumbled quietly to himself for a few more anxious moments before he tossed the folder on the table and shot you a huge grin.
"Mi amiga, I don't even need to question you! You have all the training and seem to love being a columnist." He had a Spanish accent. It was striking…but for some reason you mind kept flitting back to that loud, obnoxious German voice belonging to Gilbert.
Mr. Carriedo pulled you from your thoughts. "Now, as you must know, Carriedo is an international magazine. We have reporters here from all over the world! But we are all a family. We're basically all on first-name terms. By the way, please, call me Antonio."
You grinned to yourself and nodded willingly.
"Now, do you know any other languages?" he asked, putting his hands behind his head. You had to think.
"I know a couple…a bit of French, a bit of Spanish, and a few phrases in Japanese."
"Good, good," said Antonio, nodding vigorously. "What are your favorite subjects to write about? Any other newspapers or magazines you've worked for? Are you a people person? What's your favorite color?"
The questions came at you so fast, you had to think for a second before responding, "Critiques or current events, only school and campus papers, I guess so, and I don't have a preference."
Antonio leaned back, grinning as usual. "And you're good at answering. Listen, mi amiga, I'd love to give you the job but—"
Your heart sank. And you thought you were doing so well in the interview!
"—I haven't seen you interact with the other workers yet. How about trying out an internship for a week—you know, watch what we do here and bring coffee to people, etcetera—and if you do well, you got the job."
You were thrilled. You leapt to your feet and clutched Antonio's hand, shaking it wildly.
"Oh my gosh, thank you so much! You will not regret this sir!"
Antonio laughed, smiling so wide his eyes squinted together in the most adorable fashion. "No problemo, chica. I suppose you can even start tomorrow, if it works out for you. Sound good?"
Even better news. You nodded so forcefully you hurt your neck but Antonio must've thought it was cute since he laughed sweetly. A bit immature of you, you knew, but this was your dream. Nothing could spoil your mood.
"I'll have you following my two right hand men, Francis Bonnefoy and Gilbert Beilschmidt."
Your heart jumped at the familiar name. But you recovered quickly and covered up your slight giddiness with a sophisticated clear of your throat. "What departments are they in?"
"Well, Francis is head of the fashion section of the magazine, and Gilbert just kind of free loads. He says he's vice-boss because he's "so awesome", but his job description says head of advertisement, which isn't really true because it takes him about a minute to forward a bunch of emails from our sponsors to the graphic design center and then he strolls around disturbing everyone."
Oh. That explains his not bothering to be on time. "Um, not to sound rude, but…why does Gilbert get a paycheck?"
Antonio snickered. "Cause he's awesome, like he says. I tell you man, it's not a lie." He winked. "If you're single, Gilbert's the way to go."
He was obviously acting as a wingman for his best friend, but you tried to ignore this comment and just grinned widely and thanked him again.
As you were leaving, Antonio said, "oh, and chica?" You turned. A dark grin had settled on Antonio's face. "Would you send Lovino Vargas in here? He's three doors down."
You cautiously nodded and his cutesy grin returned. "Gracias, amiga!" You warily smiled back and shut the door.
You could do a cartwheel, you were so happy. You hurriedly rapped on Lovino's door. A grumpy-looking young man with neat chocolate-colored hair (except for a single stray curl poking out his straight locks) and amber eyes glared at you when he opened it. This didn't even spoil your mood.
You shot him a 1000-watt smile. "Hi, Lovino? Mr. Ca—I mean, Antonio wants to see you."
You could've sworn the guy blushed and he muttered, "che palle," before stepping out of his office and slamming the door behind him, muttering in what sounded like Italian or Spanish as he made his way towards the interview room, looking like he was having trouble not sprinting over there.
You were already down the hall making your way towards the elevator again, when you put your hand to your side and froze. Your purse. Where was your purse? Frantically, you looked every which way. It was nowhere in the hall. You rushed back to the interview room, but the shades in the door's window were down and the doorknob wouldn't budge. Must be an intense meeting.
Eyes brimming with tears, you walked back to the elevator, freaking out slightly. Okay, freaking out extremely. Your keys were in that purse, along with your wallet (which had more than a hundred dollars in it and a few credit and debit cards), your driver's license, your cell phone, your…EVERYTHING. This was a disaster!
The elevator doors opened as you wiped your eyes and looked up from a random spot on the floor where your eyes had been fixated to see…
"Guten tag," said Gilbert, smirking. You sniffed, trying to keep yourself from crying—scratch that, bawling, as you stepped into the elevator. You hit the GL button to take you down to the front foyer, and then you realized Gilbert was one of the guys were you interning for, so you'd probably ask him what to do the next day.
"H-hey," you said, turning to face him as you rubbed at your eyes, trying to keep the wavering out of your voice. "I'm s-supposed to be interning-g to-m-morrow…and A-Antonio s-said t-to," the shaking was getting worse, "w-work w-with y-y-you…"
"Hey, hey, Schätzlein, calm down," he said, holding up his hands as if in defense. Maybe he wasn't used to crying girls. "All's good, right?"
You used the back of your hand to wipe your eyes. God, you must look awful. "N-not really. I c-can't f-find my purse…"
Gilbert gave a sympathetic smile—that you noticed looked a wee bit sarcastic—as he opened his arms. "Don't worry, Schätzlein. A hug makes everything better!"
You regarded him with a look that clearly read: "are you serious?" But he just extended his arms further. Oh, whatever. You tentatively stepped over to him and let him embrace you. He squeezed you close and patted your hair. A bit intimate of him, but really, a hug was what you needed. Hesitantly, you wiggled your arms around him and returned the hug.
The elevator doors opened and you pulled away from him, wiping your eyes again. "Thanks," you muttered ever so quietly.
Gilbert smiled and winked as you turned to face him after exiting the car. "No problem, Prinzessin. If you're going to be interning with me, I'll have to steal your stuff more often. I like those hugs."
The tears stopped immediately. "WHAT?!" You roared. Gilbert let out one his completely obnoxious bouts of laughter as he reached behind him and chucked your purse at you. You caught it, opened it frantically and searched it. Nothing was different. Your wallet had the same amount of cash as it had before, and no credit cards or other objects were missing.
Shaking with fury, you looked up, looking daggers at the German. He laughed again, waving. "You son of a—"
The elevator doors shut, leaving you fuming in the hallway, looking like an idiot. In a fit of rage, you stormed back into the foyer. The girl at the desk, who was reading a newspaper in another language looked up and regarded you, a bit concerned.
You were about to storm past her when you stopped, turned on your heel and marched right back to her.
"Tell me about Gilbert Beilschmidt…go," you said, leaning on her desk.
Her face darkened. "Ló fasz. Baromarcú faszfej. Ici pici fasz. Kutyafasza."
You raised an eyebrow. "Sorry…don't know what you're saying."
She smiled, slightly embarrassed. "That's a good thing—they aren't very nice things to say."
You covered your eyes with you hand as you pinched the bridge of your nose. "I mean…he stole my purse. He stole it! And just so I would hug him."
"Wait, you hugged him because he stole your purse?" The girl said. You smirked and shook your head.
"No, no, that's not what I meant…" You propped your elbows on the desk and placed your chin in your hands. "But anyways, why did you say those 'not very nice things' about Gilbert?"
The girl sighed and shook her head. "He's so misleading. I'd stay away from him if I were you. I hate that jerk."
Part of you wanted to agree with her, one hundred percent. But you couldn't help but glance back to that hallway where the elevator was. You had to admit that strong feelings were building inside of you…but you had a feeling it wasn't hate.