Unfortunately, the small but successful company that you previously worked for had been bought by a larger company. Adjustments had been made, excess baggage had been tossed out, and you had been let go with little to no warning.
All that work you had put into the company was for nothing. Now you were in Domino City with an apartment that required a monthly rent but no job to help you pay that rent. You’d thought about moving to a larger city, one that would have more opportunities for employment, but you knew that finding another apartment would be difficult. Sure, you might find a job in Tokyo, but then you might not actually have anywhere to live.
At first, you spent a few days pouting and moping. It didn't help, and it wasted more time than you could afford, but the loss of your job had come as a complete shock so it was hard to actually do more than watch horrible TV and eat ice cream.
You couldn't mope around any longer. Time was money, and you didn't have money to waste. So you told yourself that today was going to be dedicated to applying for a bunch of jobs.
The first step was finding jobs to apply for. Which was how you found yourself sitting at your table with your laptop, browsing a job search engine as you ate your breakfast. There was a plate of food off to the side of your computer, but you mostly ignored it as you saved the jobs that looked interesting. One of your hands stayed wrapped around a mug of coffee, and you absentmindedly sipped the delicious brew as you looked over each job.
You even saved the jobs that you could do if needed but didn't actually want. You needed a job. Any job would do for now.
Fortunately, there was a massive company in Domino: Kaiba Corporation. You didn't see any applicable openings for Kaiba Corp. online, but you weren't going to let that faze you. Large companies were always hiring new people.
It was better to apply for jobs in person, so you decided that a visit to Kaiba Corp. was in order. You finished the last of your coffee, shut down your computer, and grabbed your bag. It was time to take a walk through downtown Domino.
Kaiba Corp. wasn't your first stop just because you thought they would have an opening; you also wanted a job at Kaiba Corporation. You’d heard that the employees were paid well. Of course you’d also heard that employees were only paid well because their boss was a complete tyrant who couldn’t keep employees otherwise, but you didn’t really care. You’d had horrible bosses before. It was easy enough to deal with them when you knew how they worked. Surely Seto Kaiba would be no different.
It helped that working in a large company like Kaiba Corporation would make you feel more secure in your job. They wouldn't be downsizing any of their departments like your old company. There was a certain amount of job security in working for an established and well-known company.
There was just one problem. Would you be able to get a job at Kaiba Corp? They only hired the best of the best. You were good at what you did, you had an amazing portfolio, and you had experience in the field, but would that be enough?
As you stared at the entrance of Kaiba Corporation, you told yourself that you couldn't lose anything by taking a shot and applying. Trying to get a job at Kaiba Corp. wasn't a risk. The worst that could happen was that they would tell you no.
You reminded yourself that you were talented and passionate about your job. They would be lucky to have you.
With a deep breath, you entered the lobby of the building and found yourself faced with an alarmingly busy location. The elevators seemed to be blocked by a mob of people, and there were security guards everywhere. One of the security guards was already walking toward you.
“Did you need something, miss?” He sounded ready to kick you out of the building if you said no. Hostility was apparently okay here.
“I wanted to pick up an application?”
The man gave you a disdainful look that you didn't understand. “Follow me.” He turned away and began walking. He led you to the long desk that was only a few feet away from where you had been standing and straight up to one of the women behind the counter.
“We've got another one,” he informed the woman before walking away.
The secretary, at least, that was what you assumed she was, glared at you. She openly eyed you from head to toe, and she didn't seem impressed by what she saw.
You wondered why nobody had ever mentioned the hostile work environment before. Sure there were stories about the CEO being a giant jerk, but you were still on the ground floor and people were already acting rude.
The woman pulled a packet of papers from under the counter and dropped them down in front of you.
“To apply for the… job, you need to take an IQ test. We'll offer them here at Kaiba Corp. every Saturday morning until the position is filled. Fill this out and turn it in when you take the IQ test. Have a nice day.”
Her abrasive tone and the way she had said the word ‘job’ confused you, so you took the paperwork that was sitting on the counter and left without asking her any questions. You had a lot of questions too, but now didn't seem like the time to ask them, and you were sure that you would get an opportunity to ask them at a later date, possibly at the IQ test.
You picked up some applications from a few more companies, just in case, but you planned on getting that job at Kaiba Corporation. The IQ test would be no problem, you had experience with IQ tests, and you knew that your IQ was well above average. You just weren’t sure what you would have to do after the IQ test. Would the IQ test clear you for an interview or would it secure you the job if you did well enough? They were questions that you hadn't asked, and you almost regretted that choice. You weren’t sure what to expect, and you couldn't afford to take a chance and only apply for the job at Kaiba Corp. The other companies in Domino were smaller, but you would have to visit them and see if they had any openings.
Once you were back in your apartment, you put all the applications in a pile on your kitchen table. As you considered what you should prepare for dinner, you tried not to think about filling out the applications. The Kaiba Corp. application was incredibly thick, and even though it felt like the longest application, there were a few others that seemed to be pretty lengthy. Filling them out would take some time, and you needed to eat something first.
Since you were going to need time for the applications, you didn’t want to waste any energy on cooking. There were some leftovers in the refrigerator that would make an acceptable meal, so you popped them into the microwave. Then, while the microwave was heating up your food, you prepared and turned on the coffee pot. Coffee and leftovers: the best dinner ever. Okay, maybe it wasn’t the best dinner ever, but it would provide all the energy needed to fill out a pile of applications.
Not wanting to get food on your applications, you ate your dinner in a hurry, practically standing with your plate over the sink. Then you poured yourself a large mug of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. The Kaiba Corporation application was the most important, so you grabbed that one first. It started off very basic: name, address, education history, past job experience, and all the other stuff you’d expect to see on an application.
Then the application's questions started to take a turn to the bizarre.
How tall are you? How much do you weigh?
“What the heck! Why is my height and weight relevant?” You threw your pen down and glared at the application before skimming the rest of it. You discovered that the second half mostly consisted of personal questions. Some of the questions even asked about your medical history, which wasn't something a potential employer should ask about. You angrily set that application to the side and started the other ones. Maybe Kaiba Corporation wasn’t the company for you.
Your indignation lasted until Saturday morning. At that point, you gave in and hurried to finish the applications so that you could make in to Kaiba Corp. in time for the IQ test. The IQ testing began at noon, and you didn’t want to run the risk that someone qualified would be found before the next test.
You’d looked up Entry Level position in Kaiba Corp. The work hours were a bit on the long side, and there weren’t many vacation days, but those were the only downsides to working in the company. The pay and benefits outdid any other company by a long shot. So yes, their questions were invasive and made you uncomfortable, but you wanted a job in the company. You needed a job there.
When you showed up at the Kaiba Corp. building, you were immediately directed to the fourth floor for testing. The elevators were crowded, but you managed to make your way up to the fourth floor before it was officially noon. As you nervously smoothed your hair, you realized that you hadn’t had to rush as much. There was a long line still waiting to sign in.
The line itself was a little scary, and that had nothing to do with its size. No, the line was composed entirely of women, and their outfits varied from professional office worker to professional hooker. Some of them were so young that you had a hard time believing that they had yet to graduate from high school.
If this was what was normal for a Kaiba Corporation applicant… well, the IQ test and invasive questions made sense now. They needed to weed out all of the women who were applying for the sole purpose of trying to get at Seto Kaiba.
Seto Kaiba was thirty three years old, and no longer as young as he was when he first took over the company, but he was still very attractive and very rich. He was no longer the most eligible bachelor in Japan, that title fell to the lead actor of some melodrama you weren’t into, but he was still ranked among the top five and that was clearly enough for these women.
Then again, some of these women might not be that choosy. You eyed the woman standing in front of you. She was dressed in a pair of tiny little shorts that didn’t even cover her butt. She shifted in place, and you caught a glimpse of her face. It was caked in makeup. She looked like a hooker, and you weren’t trying to be rude. You genuinely thought she might be a hooker.
You eventually reached the front of the line where a man handed you a pencil, an answer key, and a booklet. He explained that you would turn your application in with the test whenever you finished. No calculators were allowed but you could write in the booklet if you wished. You took everything from the man and entered the room. It was large and spacious with plenty of room for the many desks, and you wondered what purpose it had served before being turned into a center for IQ testing. Perhaps it had been a room for large conferences? You weren’t sure, but you didn’t have enough time to give it careful consideration.
Most of the desks littering the room were taken, but there were still plenty of empty ones to choose from. They were prepared for the large amount of women who wanted a chance to work for Seto Kaiba. Well, you didn’t care where you sat, so you settled into the nearest empty desk and got started on the test.
It didn’t take long before you were called for an interview. Apparently you had scored highly on the IQ test because you were scheduled for an interview with Seto Kaiba himself. Normally company CEOs didn’t conduct interviews, so now you really were curious about the job you were applying for. Hopefully you weren’t about to become his personal assistant. It would explain all the woman at the test, but it really wasn’t a job you were qualified to do.
At this point, you couldn’t afford to be picky, but you didn’t want to be a personal assistant either.
You gave yourself plenty of time to walk to the interview and picked up some ice cream on the way in an effort to calm your nerves. The ice cream settled some of your nerves, but your stomach remained a knotted mess.
By the time you made it to the Kaiba Corp. building, you still had about fifteen minutes to spare. So you asked where the nearest restroom was and thoroughly washed your hands. You dried them and studied yourself in the mirror. Your makeup, what little you were wearing, was in place and barely noticeable. Your hair was perfectly styled. Your outfit was in place.
You looked like a professional. Hopefully Kaiba wouldn’t find a flaw. Sure you looked a little young for any high-ranking job, but you were older than you looked, and Kaiba had to understand that age didn’t mean a thing. He was running Kaiba Corp. while he was still in his teens after all.
Since you were instructed to check in at the top floor, you made your way up there via the elevators. You would have preferred to get the last of your nerves out by taking the stairs, but the top floor was simply too high for that. You didn’t want to arrive sweaty and out of breath.
When the doors opened on the top floor, you walked into a waiting room. There were two double doors off to the side, and a woman was sitting at a desk near the doors. You assumed that she was who you should check in with, but she was on the phone. You settled into one of the chairs placed against the wall and waited for her conversation to end.
The conversation didn’t take very long at all. She placed the phone down on her desk before smiling at you. “Hello, what can I do for you today?”
You stood, smiled back, and gave her your name. Since you were feeling nervous, you weren’t sure if you were in the right place. “I’m here for an interview?”
She looked over at her computer screen and tapped a button. “Yes, I see your name right here.” She pressed a button on her desk and leaned forward slightly. “Mr. Kaiba, your two o’clock is here. I’ll send her in when you’re ready.” She motioned for you to have a seat before she ignored you to carry on with her work.
The entire wall behind your seat was a window, and it made the room seem even brighter and larger than it was. You tilted your head back and looked at everything that was going on outside as you let your mind drift. You avoided thinking of the interview that was about to happen. Instead you thought about the people below and the hustle and bustle of the small city of Domino.
“Send her in.” The harsh, deep voice interrupted your thoughts and nearly startled you out of your chair.
You looked over as the secretary pressed a button and motioned for you to go through the double doors near her desk. You stood up, smoothed out your clothes, and nervously approached the doors. You paused before opening the doors and glance at the secretary, but she was no longer paying any attention to you. She seemed to be arguing with someone on the phone. So you took a deep breath and pushed the doors open.
As the doors swung open, your eyes met the clear blue eyes of Seto Kaiba himself. You froze in place as he looked you up and down. It didn’t look like much had changed from when he was nineteen and in every single newspaper and tabloid.
You had had such a prepubescent crush on him back then. In fact, you had hung up pictures from magazines and newspapers all over your walls. Not that you would ever admit to this fact out loud, but seeing him now brought back a few memories.
It was difficult to remember why you were really here as you studied his handsome face. It seemed like little frown lines were starting to take root around his eyes and mouth, but overall, Kaiba looked pretty decent for his age. You had expected him to be fat or balding. At the very least you expected him to have greying hair. His attractiveness completely caught you off-guard.
“Please sit,” Kaiba interrupted your thoughts, reminding you that you had yet to move away from his doorway.
You tried to pretend that you were confident and walked over to the chair in front of his desk without hesitating. You sat down and smiled slightly as you introduced yourself. When he didn’t immediately say anything, you held out a hand, thinking that maybe he wanted to shake your hand in greeting.
Kaiba simply stared at your outstretched hand, and you quickly placed it back in your lap. He openly studied you once more before speaking again. “I’ll get straight to the point. You’re clearly very suitable. Much more qualified than any of the other applicants.” He paused and seemed to be trying to read your mind. “What possessed you to apply?”
That was a standard question. Companies always wanted to know why you wanted to work for them. “Well, I was looking for a job, and I stopped here because I wanted to work for this company. Kaiba Corporation has the most interesting and recent technology. The woman at the front desk gave me the application, and I knew that I wanted to work here no matter what I had to do.” You decided not to include the fact that you almost hadn’t applied because of all the personal information required. He might think you had something to hide if he thought you were too hesitant to reveal anything about yourself.
Kaiba looked unsatisfied. There was something about you that confused him, but you weren’t sure what it was. He looked down at the papers in front of him, and his brow furrowed in thought or confusion.
“Well you’re obviously intelligent–which is the most important factor for me to consider. Your IQ score was in the gifted range, and the college you attended is one of the best in Japan.” He looked up at you again. “It doesn’t state your class ranking.”
You smiled sheepishly. “That’s because I couldn’t quite remember. It wasn’t that important to me. I was thirty-fifth, I think, or somewhere in there.”
“That’s decent… I suppose,” he muttered, looking back at the papers.
“You probably graduated first in your class,” you said, smiling. You wanted to make idle conversation with this man and figure out what was bothering him. Perhaps you could find a way to convince him that you were the girl for the job.
“Yes, but I only attended the local university. Graduating first in my class there was hardly an accomplishment.” He looked at you expectantly, like he knew exactly what you were going to say next.
You didn’t let that defer you from responding. “Yes, I heard about that like everyone else. Apparently all the top universities were insulted that you chose not to attend them.” You paused and met his eyes. He was still looking at you expectantly so you continued on. “I was actually surprised that you attended college at all. It must have taken up what little spare time you had.”
From the way he raised an eyebrow at you, it was clear that your words were unexpected. You didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
“I wanted to have a back-up plan on the very slight chance that something happened to my company. I like to be prepared for anything.” He seemed to be studying you again, and you wondered what it was about you that left this man so frustrated and unsatisfied. He opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a small pile of papers.
“I’d like to offer you”–he paused for a moment–“the position.” You didn’t like the way he said position. It seemed… odd. He handed the contracts over to you and continued, “You’re the only applicant that I’ve been able to tolerate. Intelligent, okay to look at, but most of all, you’re the only one that I’ve had anything resembling a conversation with.”
You took the contracts from him, but you had no clue why any of that was relevant.
Then again, you’d had no clue why most of what was on the application was relevant either. You decided that this was a smile and nod moment as you asked him for a pen.
He looked a bit surprised. “Aren’t you going to read the paperwork?”
You almost rolled your eyes but stopped yourself in time. There was absolutely no way in hell you were going to read all of that legal documentation. The contracts looked like they were almost twenty pages long! It wasn't like you were signing your life away or anything, and you had a very low tolerance for reading legal documents. Low tolerance meaning that you never did it. But honestly, who actually read any legal documents? Nobody that’s who. Well, Seto Kaiba might, but his signature had a lot more weight than yours did.
You weren’t going to say any of that to Kaiba–he might decide not to give you the job–so you opted for something simpler. “I looked up the specifics online. I know what it says.” Okay so that was kind of a lie. You had looked up Kaiba Corporation online, but you didn’t know exactly what your job entailed.
As Kaiba gave you a pen, you realized, a bit belatedly, that you had never actually asked what job he was actually interviewing you for. You began signing the documents as you thought back to your interaction with that lady almost a week ago. How had she known that you had been qualified for this job? I mean, for all she knew you could have wanted a job as an accountant within the company, and this was obviously not a job as an accountant since you were actually qualified. Then again, you thought as you considered all the women at the IQ testing, most people who applied for work within Kaiba Corp. didn’t seem to be very qualified in the first place.
You finished signing, pleased to know that you had a job now and curious about what exactly the job was. (Now was definitely not a good time to ask. That would reveal the obvious lie that you had just told your new boss.) You gave Kaiba the papers back, and he signed them all as well. Then you were startled when he gave them to his secretary to sign. You didn’t even notice her enter the room, and you wondered why she was even here.
Kaiba must have noticed your reaction to her presence because he explained, “She’s signing the documents as a witness.”
Wait a second, you thought as Kaiba turned to his secretary and told her to make copies and file the documents. You didn’t think that the basic paperwork for a job required a witness. Usually it just contained the basic waivers and guarantees that you could work. Small stuff like that. What had you just signed? Now you were cursing yourself for not at least looking at the documents. You would have been less clueless now.
You almost asked for the papers back but realized that Kaiba was giving you a very impatient glare.
“Um, I’m sorry?” Your apology was a knee-jerk reaction. His glare was a bit terrifying.
“I asked if you walked, drove, or took the bus to get here.”
He was practically growling at you, but you were too surprised to worry. His question was so personal. Why should he care how you got here?
But he was your new boss, and you didn’t want him to fire you. “I walked. My apartment is close enough, and I kind of like walking.”
“Hm. Well I’ll have my driver take you home so that you can pack.”
“I’m sorry, pack?” You were exceedingly confused and somewhat terrified now. Had you signed up for a job somewhere in another country?
“I figured you’d want to move in with me as quickly as possible.” He seemed to be studying you again, but this time, he was smirking. “One of the clauses of the contract states that you’ll move in with me, and we are married now after all.”
Ending Author's Note: Are you all going "WTF?!" now? Good. I intended it to happen that way. The next chapter will pick up from this one and explain everything. So hold off on all judgments and accusations until after you've read that one please.