Her heart clenched as she stared at that email.
'Greetings Gina Zeyad,
Please see me in my office due to…'
The email went on to explain the mistakes in a list that she'd made on her first day. It also stated that BAI wanted to see if there were any resources they could provide, given she was a brilliant woman they did not intend on dropping anytime soon. The higher-ups supposed she needed help based on the comparison of her training performance and the outcome today.
Though her stomach twisted into more knots, Gina resolved that this was a good thing. Perhaps the aid would help keep her on track. Some of these mistakes were glaring and obvious, so she thanked her lucky stars that they didn't just kick her to the curb immediately.
She wandered through the pristine white halls of the place, her heels thudding gently on the grey carpeted floor. Her eyes were drawn to a menagerie of colors she focused on as she passed some paintings on the way to the designated office. Scenes of Adirondack Park, labeled as such, decorated the walls, displaying golds and oranges that reminded her of autumn. There was even a pack of wolves with beautiful midnight fur painted in one of the scenes, so realistic it could have been a photo. Alas, the brush strokes indicated it was simply a gorgeous painting.
For some reason, this helped her relax, even as she arrived at the door she was instructed to enter. After a soft exhale, Gina gave a hearty knock. A few seconds later, a deep masculine voice with somewhat of a growl rang through the air.
Gina's hand closed on the door, and when she pulled it open, she was greeted with a surprise.
The office was somewhat disorganized, with stacks of paper here and there, some hanging out of small cubbies. Some boxes were set on cushioned chairs, holding various things like clean, empty test tubes or petri dishes. Paintings were hung and dusted around the office of various woodsy settings, be it the forest during the day with many songbirds flying about, or nocturnal animals hunting at night.
The only thing pristine and organized in this mess of an office was a desk, mahogany wood with a nameplate set up reading 'Zeros Blodlock'. Gina's eyes widened as she realized who she was about to meet with. That gritty, deep voice rang into the air again, causing her to look up.
“Have a seat, please, miss," the CEO said. He was in a black office chair with thick cushioning, facing away for now. Though as Gina took a seat in a similarly comfortable seat, he turned around and fixed his eyes upon her.
This close, Gina could catch a whiff of his cologne, something she was too flustered to pay attention to when they passed one another. His scent invoked the same images of the forest: a wide expanse of pine trees for miles, fresh rain on leaves settling on a brisk night. The woman was unintentionally lost in this for just a moment as Zaros studied her closely.
He cleared his throat, snapping her out of her apparent trance and causing her cheeks to darken in embarrassment. A strand of his hair fell into his face as he drummed his fingers on the desk, raising a brow at her reaction. Then, he sighed.
“I know it may come as a shock to meet with me, the CEO, but our company is not the most conventional, as you will discover," he began. “I treat all of my employees with as much respect as I can, because without you, not only would our company fail, but so would our mission-- to help the world with biotechnology that will make many advancements in health. You are a new, but valuable member to BAI, and therefore, I wanted to meet with you personally regarding the recent errors on site."
Gina nodded, looking down at her lap for a moment, formulating what she wanted to say. When she spoke, her voice came out strong and unwavering. “I apologize, Sir," she began. “My mind is frazzled, and I assume it's because my first day here is, well, today." She shook her head, running her fingers through her curls and continuing. “The alarming dream I suffered confirms as much. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me regarding resources to help."
Zaros's eyes pierced hers until slowly he blinked, once, then twice. His lip twitched a bit, turning his neutral expression into a frown, and he furrowed his brow. “You had an unusual dream? The mind can cause a lot of distress in dreams. What happened, in particular, within this one that alarmed you?"
Having mentioned the dream as a passing thought, Gina tilted her head, glancing off to the side at one of the textbooks on the side of her chair before meeting his eyes again. There was less worry in her expression and more confusion for this question. Surely the contents of a dream wouldn't matter?
Still, he asked, and there was no reason not to be honest. Giving an awkward laugh, she rubbed the back of her neck. “The dream? Oh. It was odd. I don't usually have dreams like that. I hadn't watched a horror movie anytime recently, so I'm not sure what came over me. Anyway, I was looking at the moon and saw skyscrapers dripping with a massive amount of blood. Maybe the blood was a thought about analyzing samples here in the lab? I know BAI works hard on combating serious diseases…"
Closing his eyes, Zaros slowly shook his head. Deep in thought, perhaps, over some dream, but why? “The moon showed you this? That is indeed an unusual dream," he said after a while, breaking a silence that had gone on a bit too long.
He opened his eyes again, concern written on his features. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it, wiping away that show of odd emotion toward this discussion. “I can see why it would cause distress. Do let me know if you have any more similar dreams. It could indicate some psychological component. As you know, our insurance is among the best in the United States, so you would want to take advantage of therapy."
Gina nodded, listening as he went on about the resources she could use to help organize her workspace and double-check her work, some of which she was unaware of or had forgotten. 'So much to keep track of,' she thought to herself. 'Not an excuse. But at least these things will help me, so I hope'.
She listened intently to his words as he spoke about the purpose of the company's biochemicals, taking everything in. 'He's gorgeous,' she thought to herself suddenly, then scolded herself inwardly about this. What an inappropriate thought! Something she couldn't help but think, however, given that slight, intriguing light growl to his voice and the powerful aura that surrounded him.
Every so often, she felt a wave of energy rush through her spine as they continued eye contact, as if a chemical reaction was being set off. The thrum of her heart increased until finally Zaros waved his hand, giving a kind, but firm, smile.
“Does that all make sense?" he asked, prompting Gina to nod.
“It does," she confirmed, standing and holding out her hand. Zaros glanced down and reached out, taking it with a strong grasp of his own. They used equal strength in the shake, and Gina could have sworn Zaros's eyes sparkled with respect at her grip.
His hand was warm, and his skin was wonderfully soft. This time, the sparks that ran through her body intensified, as if someone had turned up the power of a machine tenfold. Thankfully, she willed her mind to not delve into any ridiculous daydreams that may include the CEO. 'Stop being ridiculous,' she told herself. When the handshake ended, she let out a breath.
“Thank you for your help, Mister. Blodlock," Gina said confidently, providing a tight-lipped smile. Best not to show that attraction she had toward him.
Zaros nodded, turning away from her as she headed to the door. “Call me Zaros," he replied. “And do not be afraid to inquire if you need further help. That is one of the many reasons I am here."
With that, Gina headed back toward her desk to finish the day, her heart aflutter from that interaction with the powerful man.