The Billionaire's BBW SecretBy: Mallorie Griffin
“Ugh, damned hair,” Denny scowled and dragged a shiny black comb through her rat's nest of mousy brown hair. Her scowl deepened at that thought. Rat's nest... mousy brown... why did she have to think of rodents right now?
No matter. She whipped the comb through, again and again, hoping to achieve some semblance of order in her fine locks. She'd never really like her hair. It was middle length and straight, but not thick. It was fine as a baby's, and easy to break. She had to be careful, or else she could very well make her hair even thinner than it already was.
Her hair was the only part of her body that could aptly be described as 'thin', of course. Every other part of her was thick, and not in a good way, she was certain. It must have been why her husband of seven years left her.
It wasn't only that. It was that damned floozy he'd ran off with. Apparently they'd been sleeping together for over a year, and the bitch finally convinced him to pull up his roots and leave Denny.
She didn't even know the woman's name. She only saw her once, standing smugly by Rob as he handed her the divorce papers, then packed everything out of their apartment and left. He took everything. The TV, the bed, the furniture.
And her heart.
Of course, that was a ridiculous romantic's way of looking at things. Denny knew their marriage had its issues. She knew it wasn't perfect. But she didn't think it was that bad.
She didn't want to be reminded of Rob anymore, and that apartment was nothing but a dismal reminder of her failed marriage and her failed life. So she pulled up her own roots, took her meager savings, and moved on as well. At least she hoped to move on.
She hadn't even found a job yet.
Which brought her to the combed hair? What she was going after was a long shot of a job – a personal assistant for someone – but she thought she could do it. After all, she'd been personal assistant to Rob for nine long years, including the time they'd lived to together but not in holy matrimony, and she was quite good at babysitting an adult.
But she wasn't stupid. She knew personal assistants were generally young. And pretty. She was neither. She was frumpy and fat, and middle age loomed on the horizon. She was only thirty, and she already felt that the best parts of her life lay behind her, not ahead.
Ma'am. That was what the young boy at the grocery store called her yesterday. Ma'am. It wasn't the first time she'd been called that, she was certain, but it was the first time she remembered it so clearly. She wasn't a miss anymore; she was a dowdy old matron. Perhaps she should give up on this interview, and just go find a school to be a teacher at, or a hospital to be a nurse.
She cursed and yanked her hair back into a severe bun. If she couldn't be young and sexy, at least she could look put-together and organized. Perhaps whoever was doing the hiring was actually looking for an assistant, not eye candy.
Denny sighed, and then got to work on her makeup. She shouldn't be so pessimistic and she knew it, but it was difficult to be anything but after the last year she had to endure. She lost her husband, she lost her job in the process of moving as far away from him as she could, and she just lost everything. She needed something to pick her up and get her life back on track, and she could only hope that it was this job.
There. Hair done, makeup done, interview outfit applied, and she was ready to go. At least, she looked ready. She certainly didn't feel ready.
Turning the light off, she stepped out of the shabby bathroom and into the equally shabby apartment. It was all she could afford at the moment, but there no hiding the fading, peeling wallpaper from the seventies, or the carpets that had suffered through years of abuse at the hands of toddlers and the paws of unruly cats and dogs. The radiator in the corner rattled and spat just then, adding to the ambiance of the place.
Denny needed to get out of this hell hole.
And get out she would. She stood up straight, squared her shoulders, and picked up her leather satchel that contained everything she needed for the interview. She needed to stop having her pity party and get out there. First step, get this job. Second step, save enough money to get into a better place. Third step, put the rest of her life back together.
One step at a time.
She made her way out the apartment complex. The dim, narrow hallway smelled vaguely unpleasant, like vomit and piss and just enough chemicals to accentuate the former odors, not cover them up. She hated this place. She had to get out of here.
Walking quickly, she hurried down the stairs and out into the relatively fresh air. It really wasn't terribly fresh. It smelled of exhaust fumes and burnt cat food. There was some sort of processing plant upwind of the complex, and apparently they processed burnt cat food. That Denny's only guess at least.
“Ey, Miss Denny!” She turned and looked at the man who was approaching her, and cracked a half-smile. Everyone called the guy crazy Ray, and he was crazy, not to mention homeless. But he was a nice enough sort, and he made sure to learn everyone's name. It was a sneaky, underhanded way to worm himself into other peoples' hearts, but Denny couldn't blame him.
“Hey Ray,” she said back, digging into the pocket of her black wool skirt for a quarter. She always made sure to carry loose change for Ray. It's not that she didn't want to give him more than fifty cents at a time; it was just that she couldn't afford it.
“How's it going?” he asked as Denny slipped the shiny silver coin into his palm. It was almost an unspoken rule that one slipped Ray money as they talked to him. Everyone did it, so he came to expect it.
“I'm on my way to an interview,” Denny smiled, trying to look attractive. She may as well start practicing on someone, and Ray was as good as anyone else out there.
“That's fantastic,” he said in his familiar Southern drawl. “You go and let me know if you get that job.”
Denny nodded. “I will, I certainly will.” He grasped her hand in his, and the skin felt warm, cracked, and leathery, how she imagined a rhino's skin might felt. He was so old. “But I have to get going now.”
“Of course, of course.” He nodded and pocketed the quarter in one fluid motion, and Denny hoped that one day she'd be able to give him more than that pittance.
For now, she had to get going.
She hurried along the busy sidewalk of the bustling city. This was New York after all, and it was never slow in New York. The day was a rather dismal one, dirty and gray with a late fall rain threatening. Denny pulled the collar of her well-worn coat higher. At least it wasn't threatening snow. It wasn't cold enough for that yet.
The wind blew, tousling her hair as she made for the subway. This particular station was the closest one to her but it smelled like urine. She didn't much care for it but going to another station meant walking another several blocks, and that took time she just didn't have today.
She wrinkled her nose as she descended the dingy tiled steps. A blast of warm air blew up into her face, filling her nose with the familiar, unwelcome scent. No help for it. She descended the steps, her eyes adjusting to the dim light.
Subway stations always felt more than a little cave-like to Denny. If she closed her eyes on a quiet night in one, if all she could hear was water dripping, she could almost believe that she was in one.
Right now, that little fantasy was impossible. It was just after rush hour and there were still many, many people scurrying to and fro. And she was about to become one of those people.
Approaching a kiosk, she slid her subway card through, and made her way to a train. She slipped a hand into her pocket and pulled out the piece of paper holding the address. She'd double-checked the location on Google maps before she left so she knew the way. But holding the paper gave her the tiny confidence boost she needed. She was going to do this. Even if she didn't get this job, she would get a different one.
Denny didn't much like riding the subway, as the seats on the trains were far too small, but she didn't have much of an option. Keeping a car in New York City was prohibitively expensive after all. So she made due, as she always did. The situation wasn't ideal but it was a livable one.
When the train arrived with a loud squeal and a stench of acrid smoke, the doors opened. People poured out of them, and then Denny wedged herself in with the other passengers. She was certain some were shooting glares at her. How dare she take up more space than what was allotted, she was sure they were thinking. How dare she be fat?
She didn't care. She just wanted to sit down. She was a bundle of nerves at the moment and her legs felt like they were going to kick themselves straight out from under her.
Luckily, she found a seat in the back of the train, and squeezed into it before anyone else could.
Then the train set off.
Denny tried not to look at anyone. It was best not to make eye contact on the sub. Instead, she pulled out her phone and loaded up a simple game to pass the time.
Before long, the operator called out the station she needed on the tinny speaker, barely audible through the static and fuzz.
One switched train and a ten minute walk later, and Denny found herself in front of the imposing building where her interview was. She swallowed, and another cool breeze knocked some more of her hair askew.
Then she made for the building.
Inside, it was spacious, and on the high end of luxurious. The floor was a sea of highly polished, slick white marble, and there were matching marble columns to boot. Corinthian columns, she noted idly as her sensible flats plodded along on the floor. There were ferns everywhere; it was as if whoever did the interior decorating for this building wanted to give the impression of a jungle. It didn't exactly work. Denny was still fully aware that she was in the middle of New York.