6:07 AM, the flashing red numbers seemed to be taunting Cherie through the dark.
"The sun isn't even up yet, why the hell should I be?"
"Fine, I'll get up," She grumbled as she reached out from beneath the warmth of her comforter, hitting the OFF button on her alarm clock.
She was grateful its persistent beeping had stopped, but the annoying ring of her work phone soon replaced it.
No doubt it was her jackass of a boss, Darius Ephraim, who was the head of P.I.U, which stood for Paranormal Investigation Unit; she worked their Special Interest cases.
She answered it and before she had it up to her ear, she could hear Darius' grainy voice barking through the receiver.
"Godiva! Are you out of bed yet?"
God, she hated it when he called her by her last name, but he only did because he knew just how much it pissed her off.
"No sir, I just woke up. It's still dark out," She muttered, suppressing a yawn.
"What in God's name are you waiting for?"
"Get your ass out of bed and get here immediately!" Darius barked, nearly causing Cherie to go deaf in her right ear.
"Yes sir, I'll be there as soon as possible," She replied rolling her eyes.
She quickly hung up the call before Darius had another chance to bitch at her.
Pushing away the warmth of her comforter, she reluctantly willed herself to get out of bed and sleepily march into her bathroom.
The faded white tile floor was cold against her bare feet; the sudden shock of coldness woke her up a little more.
The bright overhead light came on by itself, illuminating the rest of the bathroom.
By the right wall was a white marble top counter with a black porcelain sink set into it.
To the left was the toilet and right beside it was the garden tub that Cherie stepped into before pulling the frosted white shower curtain close.
She turned on the water, making it a perfect combination of hot and cold.
Once showered and dried off, Cherie made her way into her walk-in closet to get her clothes.
She chose to wear a plain white tank top and white lace panties underneath her black denim jeans and uniform jacket with P.I.U S.I. stitched into the fabric above the right breast pocket.
The annoying ring of her work phone once again disrupted the quiet of her room.
"What the hell is the hurry Darius?" She snapped answering it.
"Does it take you this long to get to work, Godiva?" Darius' grainy voice barked into her ear.
"No sir, I just got out of the shower," She replied, imagining herself throwing her phone at her boss' head.
"Godiva, get your ass here right now!"
Blowing breath out her nose as she hit the end-call button, dropping her phone into her breast pocket, she grabbed her purse off her nightstand and hurried downstairs to the living room.
Before she reached the front door, her phone went off again but this time the ring was a different tone signaling it was someone other than Darius calling her.
Setting her purse on the table by the front door, she pulled her phone out from her breast pocket and answered it.
"Cherie! Oh good, good I was hoping I'd catch you before you left!"
It was the voice of one of her co-workers, Roche Toussaint who she affectionately calls Roach since she still finds it difficult to pronounce his name correctly.
"What is it Roach?" She answered as she dug her car keys and wallet out of her purse.
"Darius keeps calling me and Tristan; something is up his ass this morning,"
"Has he been calling you too?" Roche asked.
"Yes, he called me twice bitching at me to rush over there," She replied, walking out onto the front porch.
"I think he's got a case for us; you know how we haven't had much business lately and everything's been oddly quiet,"
"What do you think?"
"Honestly? I think Darius has a bug up his ass and he's just being his usual self," She laughed bitterly.
"I'm being serious Cherie, what if something's up?"
"Then we've probably got a case and Darius is going to be an even bigger dick than usual until it's over,"
"If we get a serious assignment you can't make stupid jokes like that,"
"Bloody hell, that jackass has a sixth sense or something, I got to take this, see you soon Cherie," Roche said quickly before hanging up to answer his boss' call.
"Better get to work before Nicholas calls me, that ass acts like Darius' damned lapdog," She muttered as she unlocked her car door before getting into the driver's seat.
She set her purse, wallet and work phone in the passenger seat so it would be easily accessible while she drove the twenty-odd miles to P.I.U.'s office building.
As soon as she revved the engine of her kona blue Mustang into life, her phone went off, this time it was a different ring unlike the one for Darius or Roche.
That only meant it was Nicholas calling her to shout her ear off about Darius wanting her to hurry into work.
"I can't answer the damned phone, leave me alone," She grumbled, glaring at her phone as she backed out of the driveway.
As if by some miracle, the ringing suddenly stopped.
"Thank the Lord," She sighed, turning on the radio as she eased into the god-awful morning traffic.
The numbers of the radio clock set into the dashboard flashed 6:45 AM as Cherie drove up the ramp that led into the parking garage attached to the side of the P.I.U office building.
She followed the spiral ramp to the third level, driving through a series of large cement columns until she found an empty parking spot.
Parked in the spot beside hers was a maroon Aston Martin Volante, which she knew belonged to only one person in the whole city.
"Roche Toussaint," She smiled as the man got out of his car, his dark brown hair windblown from having the top down.
"Oh, hello Cherie," He nodded to her as he gathered up his briefcase and papers from the backseat.
"Did Nicholas try calling you?" Cherie questioned, grabbing her purse and phone before shutting her car door.
"Yes, but I couldn't answer," Roche admitted.
"Let's just go see Darrius and see what has him so worked up,"