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"Just go to Leonardo and ask him."
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"But—" I tried to explain how he'd send me packing, but Arya wasn't patient enough to hear the part where he hates me.
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"Shh!" She scribbled something down. "That's his address. Mind you, it's a clinic; anyone's allowed to go. Just walk in, don't draw too much attention and ask for Leonardo sterling, or at least an appointment. They'd be going against the Hypocratic Oath, denying you."
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I had many disputes.
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"And, ugh—" she groaned, "for God's sake, take this out!" She suddenly pulled the ring out of my eyebrow.
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"I don't think you under—Ow!"
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"It's like you're asking to be denied!" She looked at me closely and properly now and smiled. "You've got beautiful eyes, you know that?"
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I smiled back, almost embarrassed. "Amanda wouldn't let me live that one down."
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"I don't mean the colour. The shape itself. And oh, I would kill to have eyelashes like that."
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Now I was embarrassed. I wasn't sure why though. "They're just eye hair." I awkwardly flexed my fingers. "But, thank you," I quickly added.
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"Just eye hair," she mocked. "I mean, I've got to say, I kinda dig the whole piercing thing, it sort of makes you look like a badass, but come on, you're about to meet one of the wealthiest people in the medical industry."
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If he agrees to meet me in the first place.
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"Arya! I really don't—"
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"Nope, I don't care what they told you, you're doing this."
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Arya was really persuasive – and demanding. Hence, I found myself walking out of her laboratory, with the address in hand. I momentarily contemplated taking Everest, but decided against it seeing as one of us had to stay in the building in case the Leonardo thing didn't work out.
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"Oh, and they can't know I'm gone," I informed Arya, before leaving
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She gave me knowing wink. "Don't worry, I'll make sure they don't."
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It took about thirty minutes by taxi to get to the clinic, with money that I had to pay Arya back for.
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The first thing I noticed about the building was that it wasn't just a building but a collection of several buildings. The second thing was that the privately owned field around it was covered more space than the buildings themselves.
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"Where the hell am I supposed to find him in here?" I muttered, walking on.
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It was in one of the shortly cut grass fields where I saw people. As I approached it, I realised most were employees. Actual employees, and they were playing football! What on earth...?
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"Hey!" I called out at a tall guy with short curls and a tanned complexion, who was also the closest to the edge of the field. He looked young, and was in the midst of kicking the ball, when I interrupted his fierce game. He turned around, giving me a questioning look.
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"Yes, you! Come here a sec." I waved.
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Grabbing his football, thus postponing the game and earning several groans from his friends in return, he jogged over to me.
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The moment he properly looked at me, his eyes widened. You could call his eyes brown, but as he got closer the speckles of gold peppered in them was soon distinguished. Pretty.
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He stopped me, holding his hand in front of my face. "Hold up. You're.. you're..."
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"Yes, Emerald Reece, at your service," I said, curtsying. "Listen, I'm looking for a Leonardo Sterling. You know where I can find the guy?"
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He thought for a moment. "Leonardo Sterling?"
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"You do know him right?"
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"You're looking for Leonardo Sterling?"
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"So you need everything to be repeated twice, do you?"
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He grinned at that. "No." He thought for a moment. "And yes, I know him."
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"Great. Do you know where I can find the guy?"
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I winced. "Yeah... I can't really give that; I need speak to him," If he can stand breathing the same air as me, first. "But, I hear he's not a huge fan of me."
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He raised an eyebrow. "No way!"
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"I know right. In fact, he hates me, but I don't understand his deal."
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"The very nerve," the curly haired stranger commented.
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"Tell me about it. I mean, I've personally never done anything to him, so it's beyond my knowledge why he has to be such an obnoxious turd." I blabbered, mindlessly more to myself.
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"A turd," he repeated. "I never knew Mr Sterling could be so scornful."
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"Right? So having a direct conversation with him is going to be... tricky, I muttered, staring at the ground. "I was told he'd be here, but," I looked over the field, "by the looks of it, I don't supposed he is."
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"It is a big field. Maybe you should take a closer look?" he offered, helpfully.
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I looked again. Nope. Something told me that Dr Leonardo Sterling wouldn't be prancing about on a murky field, wearing joggers and a sweaty t shirt, as these guys were. "No, it doesn't seem like it," I said squinting over the field. I turned back towards the guy. "You said you knew him?"
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"Yeah," he smiled, "I work for him."
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"Meh..." he held his index finger and thumb close.
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"You poor thing."
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"It's a huge pity." He made a sullen face. Humour.
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"I don't supposed your job description means you get to speak to him, does it?" I asked, hopefully.
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"Well, I, uh..." He stroked the back of his neck. "I give him his coffee, and his files?"
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"So you're like his secretary?"
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An idea popped up in my head, decorating my thoughts like confetti.
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I put my arm over the stranger's shoulder. "So...?"
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"Jared," he introduced.
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"Jared. Good name. Since your boss is a little infamous for his brutal persona..."
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"Is he, really?" he asked, looking at me surprised.
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"Seriously, Jared, do you work for him wearing rose tinted glasses?"
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"Those are trending now?"
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"Okay, okay!" he exclaimed, putting his hands in the air.
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"So apparently, Mr Sterling is some sort of a big deal?"
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"Oh you're just saying that. Anyway, since Sterling hates my guts, can you do your new friend teeny tiny favour? Really, it's no bigger than the nucleus of a hydrogen atom."
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"Sure, go on." Jared offered a smile.
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"You don't suppose, he'd spare two minutes of his valuable time to speak to me, do you?"
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"Definitely not," Jared replied almost instantly. "Sorry Em, but for a doctor, ironically, he can't stand your guts."
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"He can't?" I asked, bewildered.
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"Nah, I'm just messing with you."
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"So, does the bastard hate me or not?"
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"Bastard," he repeated again. It was as if he'd never heard anyone bad mouth his precious boss. "No. I mean, he doesn't know you very well," his mouth formed a smirk. "But, keep speaking like that, and he probably will hate your kidneys, pancreas and liver, as well as your guts." Humor.
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"'He won't be able to stand making eye contact with me for more than 0.26 seconds' is what I've been told," I quoted the people at Reynolds.
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"He's that bad, huh? I'd never know; we never really spend time over talking, over some coffee, about his thoughts and feelings on girls. Especially ones he barely knew."
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"Well, judging by the fact wouldn't so much as make eye contact with me for longer that 0.26 seconds, I'm guessing that talk with him is near impossible."
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"You can't be sure, it's impossible," he emphasised.
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"So, Jared, would it be too much for you to do a girl a favour?" I asked again, sweetly.
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"Does it include murder?"
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I took my arm off of him, glaring.
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"Sorry, Ma'am. I'm serious – from this point forth."
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"You see, Jared, I need something important from Mr Sterling." I put my arm back round his shoulder. "Can you get your sweet boss to have a word with me?"
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"Well..." he sounded either unsure, or intimidated by my request. "I doubt Mr Sterling would agree to help people who go around calling him a..." he cleared his throat, "...turd and a bastard."
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"I obviously wouldn't call him that to his face." I patted my temple with an index finger to emphasise common sense.
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"Of course, you wouldn't. But you know..."
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"You know what," I interrupted him, taking his football out of his hands. "Got a marker?"
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He put his hand in one the pockets of his shorts and produced a Sharpie.
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"Ah, preparation, I like that," I remarked, taking it, ignoring the question as to why one would spontaneously carry a Sharpie around.
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"Call me psychic," he smirked, almost reading my thoughts.
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I scribbled something down on the ball and handed it back to him. "There, now you've got my autograph. In fact you're the first, and only person, who's got it. Feels special, huh?" I said nudging his shoulder.
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"Woah! Thanks!" He exclaimed like a little boy.
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"Right? So, J, that talk with the big guy?"
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"You got it." He winked.
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"Ah, I knew you'd come around!" I said giving his shoulder a squeeze. "What time?"
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"I'll make sure Mr sterling is ready whenever you are," he assured.
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"My man," I took out a twenty dollar bill (remainder from Arya's generous cab fare loan) and shoved it in his shirt. "Get yourself something nice... So seven in the evening? You'll make sure he's here?"
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"Come on, Em, you've signed my soccer ball, you gave me a twenty bucks," he said, as if reading out a list. "It's the least I can do."
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I always knew I liked him. He even called me by my real name.
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"You're a real one, bro."
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He fist pumped me. "Don't mention it, sis."
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That was easy. Now all there was left to do was hope it would work.
Author's note:copyright protection18ＰＥＮＡＮＡTWwIvFt6Ay
I hope you enjoyed this chapter :) My creativity's all run out to come up with a clever author's note. copyright protection18ＰＥＮＡＮＡTCvyObr1Ey