Delving into the rabbit hole spells trouble for any little girl.
The days keep getting harder and her work more frustrating as she tries to get through her increasingly complicated life. It gets worse when she realizes something both terrible and wonderful is happening to her, but she’s afraid. She has no one to turn to and only trouble to find as she pushes back against a new fate for herself.
Sam was rudely awakened by a loud rapping at her door. She fought with the bed covers for a good minute before she got herself free and scrambled to the door. Whoever they were had stopped and she feared she missed them as she peeked through the peep hole. She was shocked to find Mr. Smith on the other side, and she hesitantly unlocked and opened the door a crack. She was still in her pajamas and not quite decent to accept any visitors.
"Good morning, Miss Olsen," he greeted when he noticed the door open.
"'Morning." She wasn't sure this was a start to a good morning. She wasn't even sure it was morning yet. All the hall lights were still on and it was still dark outside.
"Mr. Davies would like to apologize, but he was wondering if he could speak to you privately for a few minutes, perhaps even over breakfast?" Sam had her doubts about whether much speaking would be involved, and the secretary could see them flash across her face. He smiled. "
Speaking only, he promises."
"Well, I guess." This was a highly irregular way and time to meet, even for her strange boss. Sam looked down at herself, and then back to him. "Um, did you want to come in?"
"I can wait out here until you're dressed." This guy may have been terrible at messing with clothes and videotapes, but he had a way with reading peoples' expressions.
"Thanks, I'll be right out."
Sam quickly shut the door and ran for the bedroom. First she glanced at the clock and her mouth dropped open when she saw it was only six in the morning. She groaned, but there wasn't much time for complaining. She slipped on some clothes as best she could and dashed back to the door with her purse in hand and coat draped over her arm. She felt a little dirty for not having taken a shower, but her hair was tightly tied back and she could take one later as Slinky's apartment during their lunch. Even with her hurrying, it'd still taken till six-thirty to get back to the door.
"Are you sure you won't want a little more time?" Smith kindly asked her as he glanced at her slightly unruly hair and scuttled wardrobe.
"No, I'll be fine. I've been doing this the last few days, anyway." She appreciated his kindness, though.
"Very well, if you'll follow me."
Smith led the way down the stairs and outside onto the street. A long, black limo stood parked there and he politely opened the door. She hesitated for a moment to enter as she looked around the street. This early in the morning there was no one out but mail boys and early commuters. There was no one close at hand and familiar to notice her getting into a strange vehicle with a relatively unknown man.
"Perhaps you've had a change of heart, Miss Olsen?" Mr. Davies voice rang out from inside the vehicle. He peeked out and gave her a warm smile. "This will only take a minute, and then I'll make it up to you with a warm breakfast."
This was making her more and more uneasy as she slipped passed the open door. She seated herself opposite her employer as Mr. Smith shut the door behind her. The area was dark except for one light overhead, and the darkly tinted window dividing the back from the driver was closed. She also noticed the windows on either side were heavily tinted and she couldn't see out of them. She also noticed the distinct lack of the musky odor. She'd expected to be hit with the stuff in such a small space, like in the elevator, but there wasn't a single whiff of it in the air. She was relieved, but there was a small voice in her head, a very small voice, which was disappointed.
"What was it you wanted to see me about?" It was just too early for many formalities. Sam stifled a yawn.
"I'm sorry for getting you up so early, but you're evenings seem to be becoming occupied with your friend, Miss Slink." Sam wondered about this new worry from him about her schedule. He'd never minded before interrupting anything she was doing to have a ‘conversation' with her. "I wanted to ask you how you were liking your new position." Sam blankly stared at him before she let out a great, hearty laugh. He smiled and let her finish her merriment, but he was greatly confused. It was a nice change for Sam for him to be confused and her in the know. "What seems to be so amusing?"
"I'm sorry, that wasn't very nice of me," she apologized as she wiped tears away from her eyes. "It's just your question."
"And here I thought it was straightforward enough," he replied with a smile. He wasn't mad, but he was still in the dark. "What made it so amusing?"
"It's just you got me up to ask me how I was liking my job?" She caught herself before she started to snicker again. "Here I thought it was going to be something really big and important."
"I can see what you mean." Davies leaned back and still appeared amused, but there was a seriousness underlying his smile. "However, I am curious if you're liking your new position."
"It's…it's definitely different from my last one." Mostly because of the person who was even now seated opposite her.
"But do you like it?" he persisted.
"I could get used to it." She wasn't meaning to be evasive, but she hadn't been at the job long enough to give him a straight answer. She'd need more time, probably another few weeks, before she could give him an honest reply. He seemed unnaturally interested in her satisfaction, and she secretly hoped it wasn't just to appease his sexual appetite. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, I have duties as an employer to make sure all my employees are satisfied with their posts," he diplomatically replied. She saw a big opening for some great teasing.
"So if I wasn't happy with my salary, would you give me a raise?"
"Well, it depends on how you're performing your duties," he objected. "I would often ask the supervisor how an employee is getting along before I gave them any bonus." Sam cringed when he mentioned the higher authority. That was one part of her job with which she wasn't satisfied. He noticed. Hell, even a blind man could see the animosity between the two women. "I'm afraid there is one part of your job you're not liking too well, is there?" She hesitantly nodded, and he sighed. "The elevator ride yesterday was very uncomfortable, wasn't it?"
"I think I'm too slow for her tastes, Mr. Davies," she suggested. "Or maybe she liked the last person in my position better." Sam didn't really believe what she said in that last statement, because of the rivalry between her position and Winkle's job, but it was an idea.
"You're too modest, Miss Olsen." She blushed at his compliment, but he seemed disturbed by the cold relationship between the two women. "Perhaps I should have a talk with her about her responsibilities again."
"Again?" She blurted it out before she thought, and she had a feeling so did he when he suddenly tensed up.
"Yes, well, Mrs. Winkle is excellent at her job but she often forgets her duties to fairly enforce the rules to all employees under her charge." Sam translated that diplomatic bullshit into saying she was too useful to get rid of but she lorded over those beneath her. "But that can be taken care of. For now we should think of a good place to breakfast." He glanced at his gold watch. "However, we might be limited by what's open at the hour."
"Maybe just fast food?" she meekly offered. Her suggestion was a little odd considering the high-society companion to whom she was talking. For his part, however, he was a little intrigued with her proposal.
"Perhaps that would be interesting, though would you mind if we ate in the car?" He smirked as he sat back and waved his hand around the interior of the vehicle. "I have to keep up perceptions."
"Oh, that's fine, I don't mind." The car was comfortable enough she wouldn't mind doing most anything in here. Within reason, that is.
"Then I'll leave the ordering up to you," he suggested. "I'm afraid I'd order something terrible and be roundly mocked by the other patrons."
"It's not that bad if you mess up, but I guess I can order for us both." She figured she couldn't go too wrong with the basics. "But don't go threw the drive-thru, I hate ordering through that thing." He gave her a quizzical look, and she shrugged. "I can never understand what the hell they're saying." There was also the worry that he wouldn't let her out, and she wanted to test the lengths of her freedom.