Subscribe
Check back for Specials

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for periodic updates and valuable coupons.

Email Address:
HTML   TEXT-Only

Finding Her Way Excerpt

Prologue

“Thanks for escorting me up here. You really didn’t have to,” Jerrica Kerrison commented as she inserted her key into the lock on her office door.

“Oh, it’s my pleasure,” her companion answered.

The door opened with ease and they entered the darkened office. Using the starlight as a guide, Jerrica strolled to her desk, clicking on the small lamp. Walking around the corner of the desk, she slid out the top drawer.

Snatching up the reason she had returned to the office, she turned to her escort.

“I told you I had left it here.” She smiled broadly, holding up her wallet with satisfaction.

Jerrica suddenly stood still, inhaling deeply at the sight of the gorgeous blonde who had accompanied her. Standing in front of the windows, her companion’s soft features were bathed in moonlight. Jerrica let the wallet drop onto the desktop in a load thump.

God, she’s so beautiful, she thought.

“You have a nice view of the city. I never noticed it before.”

Jerrica walked up behind her lover. “The view doesn’t compare to your penthouse,” she stated, sliding her arms around the woman’s waist. “Tell me what you’re thinking, Devin.”

Devin turned to face Jerrica. “I’m thinking how much I enjoy our time together.”

Jerrica pulled the taller woman closer, kissing her on the neck. Her smile widened as Devin tilted her head back, revealing more skin to caress. She growled into the soft skin, nipping it gently with her teeth. The tip of her tongue made a path to the delicate spot just below the left ear. Devin moaned as she sucked that sensitive spot. Jerrica knew she was driving Devin crazy.

Devin placed her hands on Jerrica’s shoulders. With a tender push Devin made Jerrica step back, breaking the contact. A smirking Devin looked into confused eyes. “Who said you could do that to me?”

Jerrica grinned. “You didn’t tell me I couldn’t, nor did you tell me to stop.”

“You think you know me so well.”

“I wouldn’t say I know you well, but I have learned what you like.”

Sidestepping past Jerrica, Devin strolled to the office door, closing it. Gliding behind Jerrica’s desk, Devin pointed a finger at her victim then curled it in, directing Jerrica to come to her.

Jerrica gulped hard watching the seductive woman beckon her. She tried to resist, but her feet had other plans. Not remembering taking the steps but suddenly finding herself standing right in front of Devin, she felt Devin’s arm reach around her, the sensation making her eyes flutter closed. Jerrica gasped when the unexpected push landed her in a sitting position in her office chair.

“You think you know what I want.” Devin leaned over a surprised Jerrica. “You have a lot to learn, Ms. Kerrison.”

Devin took Jerrica’s lips savagely, taking total control. Her captive groaned and freely opened her mouth. Jerrica arched toward her as their tongues engaged in sensual battle. Placing a stabilizing hand on Jerrica’s arm, Devin pulled away, quickly returning to a standing position.

With eyes completely focused on her every move, Devin took full advantage of her audience. “Oh, honey, you think you know me,” she purred, reaching down to the button on her pants and releasing the clasp.

Jerrica licked her dry lips as she watched her lover’s pants cascade to the floor. She watched the sexy woman kick her pants aside. Her eyes slowly swept across the black heels, to shapely legs, to the lacy garter belt holding up her thigh-high nylons, and she gasped when she noticed Devin wasn’t wearing panties. Staring as Devin slowly removed her top, she unconsciously tugged at her lower lip with her teeth.

Devin smiled at the frustration developing in the younger women’s eyes. Almost totally exposed, she took the few steps forward to stand directly in front of Jerrica. With eyes locked on her lover’s eyes, Devin straddled Jerrica’s lap.
Beautiful naked breasts were inches from Jerrica’s face. She reached up to touch the inviting nipples, but Devin slapped her hands away.

“Oh no, no, no…you don’t get to touch until I tell you.”

“You’re a tease.”

“Honey, I’m far from a tease. A tease works you up then sends you home unsatisfied. I, on the other hand, will make sure we are both satisfied…just on my terms.” She grinned into desire filled eyes. “Now, let’s continue your education….”

 

Chapter One

Jerrica nestled into a seat far away from most of the passengers that had already gathered in the train car, knowing the train would get more crowded the closer they were to Boston. She liked the quiet moments when she wasn’t amid the chaos of the corporate world just yet. It made her sad to look at all the defeated expressions on the preoccupied passengers around her. At each train stop, Jerrica realized with exasperation that they were getting closer to where she worked. After six years at the same job, every day seemed an effort just to go in to work. Taking a deep breath, Jerrica mentally prepared herself for the day. 

As the train reached North Station, its final destination, the passengers became restless with anticipation for the doors to open so they could exit the train. Jerrica knew that if she tried to enter the stampede of people, she would be in the midst of the madness that was the morning commute, the pushing and shoving that every passenger goes through, so she waited until the crowd thinned. 

The walk from the station to the office wasn’t too long and a couple blocks seemed easy, though in the winter the freezing temperatures could chill you to the bone. Fortunately, today was a sunny, mild spring day and it was enjoyable to saunter a few blocks. Jerrica walked at a steady pace, often looking up toward the sky, enjoying the sunshine warming her face. 

Consumed in thoughts about the impending day, she almost walked past the entrance to work. Stopping abruptly, she glanced at the building. 

“Damn! I didn’t expect to get here so quickly,” she mumbled.

Walking across the decorative steel and glass lobby, she looked for an available elevator, but they all seemed filled. When impatience started getting the best of her, she squeezed herself into the next available one. Stuffed into an elevator like a sardine, she suddenly couldn’t wait to get to her office. Not only did she not enjoy being in elevators, she disliked being in a crowded one even more. She could feel the warm breath from the tall man standing behind her. If her office weren’t on the seventeenth floor, she would have taken the stairs. Jerrica practically jumped out of the confined space when the doors opened, startling the people still on the elevator. She politely smiled back at them as the door closed. Straightening her blazer, she exhaled in relief. 

Three departments of Morrill, Hartford, and Donahue shared the seventeenth floor— accounting, public relations, and the overseas division. All the managers’ offices hugged the outer wall, while the rest of the staff occupied cubicles in the middle. 

Jerrica’s loyal, bright, and intuitive personal assistant and friend, Lauren, rushed up to her. “Mr. Bisset has been waiting for you,” she said. 

“Good morning to you, too,” replied Jerrica, walking toward her office, relinquishing her briefcase to her assistant.

“He’s been here for ten minutes. He’s in your office,” Lauren stated nervously.

“I get the impression you don’t like Mr. Bisset?” 

Lauren placed the briefcase next to her desk. “He makes me uncomfortable. I feel he’s looking down his nose at me.”

Jerrica stopped briefly at her door, with her hand on the doorknob. She glanced back at her assistant with a wink. “He’s not looking down at you, Lauren, he’s probably undressing you with his eyes.” 

Jerrica quickly stepped into her office. When she latched the door closed, she heard a thump from the other side, which she assumed was a magazine tossed at her. A smile crossed her face. 

She noticed Mr. Bisset standing near the windows looking at the street below. “Good morning, Mr. Bisset. What can I do for you this morning,” she said, walking around her desk.

“Jak, why do you persist on being so formal when we greet one another?” Mr. Bisset commented, walking to the front of her desk.

Jak was a nickname from her youth that had followed her through school and now most of her male colleagues called her that as well. “It’s a show of respect, Mr. Bisset, but if you prefer me to call you John, I will.” 

“I would prefer you call me John.” 

“So John, what can I do for you?” 

“Well…I need to hire another PR person. I need you to look at yearly revenues for the past two years and compare them to this year’s revenues up until today. I have to justify spending a huge chunk of money to bring in a well-established public relations representative,” he said, not looking at her directly.

“That shouldn’t be a problem. I can have Lauren pull—” 

“I would prefer you to do all the numbers for me. If the brass or anyone else gets an idea of who I’m trying to bring in, they will say no and our competition will scoop her up.” 

“I trust Lauren to be discreet, but if you prefer, I will handle the project. I’ll pull account reports today and I will have figures for you by lunchtime tomorrow. I hope the person you’re trying to grab is worth all this trouble,” she commented while jotting information on her notepad. 

John stood and walked to the door. Turning to look at Jerrica, he grinned. “Thanks, Jak, and she is well worth it, trust me.” 

A puzzled look crossed her face as he left her office. What is he up to? she wondered as she paged Lauren. 

Lauren entered with the briefcase in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. She handed Jerrica the coffee, dropping the case on the desk. “So, what did that…I mean, Mr. Bisset, want?” 

Jerrica looked up from her notepad. “He needs comparative figures.”

“I can get those for you. What dates is he looking for?” 

“Thanks, Lauren, but he has asked me to find the numbers for him. He wants to keep his request on the down low,” Jerrica explained. 

Lauren started to object, but it seemed as if she decided she didn’t have anything nice to say about the situation. Faking a smile, Lauren turned and headed for the door. “If you need anything else, I’ll be at my desk,” she said, shutting the door loudly behind her.   

Jerrica knew by Lauren’s tone and quick exit that she wasn’t happy about not being included in this big, secret project. Jerrica didn’t even know why she hadn’t told her more about it because she trusted Lauren not to gossip. Maybe the cryptic way John had asked had piqued her curiosity and she needed to see this through. She would work on his request later. She needed to go to the filing department, a couple floors down, to get physical copies of the past couple years’ financial reports. She was already working on this month’s figures, so almost one-third of the project would be easy. 

There was a faint knock on her door. “Come in,” she said loudly. 

The door opened slowly and a tiny young woman stepped in. “Good morning, Ms. Kerrison. I have your messages from this morning and some new documents sent from Daniel & Daniel, Inc. for you,” Jaime, her secretary, whispered. 

Jerrica held her hand out to take the stack of paper. “Jaime, how long have you been working here?” she asked in a low voice.

“I’ve been here a little more than a year, Ms. Kerrison,” Jaime replied quietly.

“How many times have I told you, that when you are in my office, to please call me Jerrica,” she scolded while smiling at Jaime.

“Every time I’m in your office, Ms. Kerrison. I mean Jerrica,” Jaime answered with a twinkle in her eye. 

Changing the subject and being a little mischievous, Jerrica questioned her further. “Did Justin, our favorite delivery boy, drop these off this morning?” 

Jaime’s face flushed a bright pink as she looked down at her feet, shuffling them in embarrassment.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Jerrica said and smiled at the innocence of Jaime’s reactions. 

As if not knowing what to say or do, Jaime tried to make a respectable exist before she totally embarrassed herself. 

Jerrica opened the new files from Daniel & Daniel, Inc. Daniel Antiquities had started out as a small shop in Nantucket and they had been in business for twenty years and had made lucrative progress during those years. Then their daughter, their only child, had graduated from college and decided to take the little shop global. Devin Daniel, at twenty-five, had a talent for buying just what their patrons desired. She would travel the world, buying items and having them shipped back to the U.S. As the one shop grew, so did their reputation, which in turn started to attract wealthier clientele. After three years at the helm of her parents’ company, Devin had opened another nine stores worldwide. When the company opened their ninth store, they started looking into an accounting firm to handle most of their enormous financial requirements. That is how the young and inexperienced Jerrica Kerrison met the beautiful, sophisticated, worldly Devin Daniel. 

To Jerrica’s surprise, on top of the papers was a note addressed to her. 

Darling,

Have dinner with me tonight. 
D. 

Jerrica stared at the note. From Devin. This was a situation she was not ready to deal with at this moment. Crumpling the note, Jerrica tried shooting a basketball two pointer at her wastebasket. The small paper hit the rim and tumbled into the trash. She smiled with satisfaction. Inhaling deeply, she tried to get back to the other folders on her desk. Considering her next move she paged Lauren. 

Sauntering in, Lauren took forever to cross the room. 

With an elbow on her desk, chin on her hand, Jerrica waiting patiently for Lauren to reach her. “Are you taking your time on purpose or have you hurt yourself? Do I need to get you a walker or something,” Jerrica asked.

“Funny,” Lauren retorted.

“Ok, out with it Lauren. I know something is bothering you.” 

“I have a feeling we are going to be discussing the note from the wretched she-bitch that was just delivered to you,” she said, plopping into the chair across from her boss. 

“How did you know about the note,” Jerrica asked, examining Lauren’s expression. “Never mind,” she said, rethinking the question. 

Trying to stretch time so she could think, Jerrica picked up her pencil and doodled on her note pad.

“You’re going to say no, right?”

Jerrica tilted her head up. “Yes,” she tried to sound confident. “That is why I called you in here. I need you to call her office to decline the invitation.” 

“How’s this sound for a message? Please tell Ms. Daniel to take her request and stuff it—” Lauren stopped mid-sentence, as if startled to see the obvious hurt in Jerrica’s eyes. 

Lauren’s heart suddenly ached for her friend. Neither of them spoke as Lauren made her way to the door. Before she reached the door she turned. “Can I ask one question?” she asked, then not waiting for a reply. “How long did it take you to make that decision?”  

She couldn’t lie to Lauren. “I would like to tell you it was an instant decision, but I did ponder saying yes. Nevertheless, you have my answer. Please make the call.”

Lauren didn’t respond as she left the room. 

Jerrica heard the door click but didn’t really see Lauren leave. She was now staring at the tapping pencil in her hand. I need to get back to work, thought Jerrica. She would look at messages first, then e-mails and then spend the rest of the day working on reports. 

Jerrica’s morning became a blur of people coming in and out of her office and phone calls she effortlessly fielded to her staff. Just another day crunching numbers for clients, preparing accounts for auditing, or setting up new clients with accounts. It was the same routine every day. Jerrica focused on her numbers. Most time balance sheets and account records matched and the outcome was predictable, fitting into her no surprises lifestyle. On occasion, when Jerrica interacted with clients, she had a calming way that made them trust her from the start. She always adjusted who she was to whatever the client needed. The drawback was that no one got close enough to see the real Jerrica. 

As she was clicking on the computer keyboard, there was another soft knock on the door. Jerrica wasn’t sure she had heard it until it sounded again. Without looking up from her computer screen, Jerrica said, “Come in, Jaime.” 

The door cracked open and Jaime poked her head in. “How did you know it was me?” 

“Well, let’s see…Lauren usually pages before she comes in or she just comes in, and everyone else here knows to see Lauren to be announced. You are the only one I can think of who knocks.” 

Jaime’ smiled as Jerrica noticed the large stack of papers she was holding. 

“Please tell me all those papers aren’t for me?” 

Jaime stopped in front of her desk “Just the top file is for you, and the rest of them I’m taking down to the archive department.” 

“Phew…I thought for a minute you were trying to load up my desk,” she said letting out a breath. 

Sometimes her workload would be a comfortable steady stream of paperwork going across her desk, but on more occasions then she liked to remember, the work was like a tidal wave. Ever since the business world started to downsize, her job had become busier. Clients wanted to know their financial bottom line and ways to cut their expenses. She tried not to think of all the people who might have lost their jobs because of the numbers she presented. She had to remind herself often that she was just an accountant analyst. Reaching up, she removed the folder from the stack. 

Without a word, Jaime turned and, resembling a small child, skipped out of her office. 

Jerrica sat back and thought about the first day she’d met Jaime. 

 

 

It had been one of coldest days in Boston and Jerrica had made a non-scheduled visit to the human resources department. She knew it was time to split up Lauren’s duties and get a secretary for the more day-to-day aspect of the business. As she walked into the waiting room of the HR department, she noticed what looked like a bundle of coats sitting in the corner with legs and holding a clipboard. She couldn’t figure out if it was a male, female, or a yeti. She’d thought it was odd that, though it was cold outside, the person under all those layers hadn’t removed any of them since they were now inside. She continued her journey into the human resources office shaking her head from side to side in amusement. Mrs. Maxwell, the HR manager, looked up from her computer and smiled.   

“Ms. Kerrison, how may I help you today,” she said. 

“Good morning, Mrs. Maxwell. Please call me Jerrica. I need to add another employee to my staff, a secretary and was wondering if you had any eligible candidates.” 

“And you can call me Stephanie. I’m actually interviewing someone today who might fit what you need. I think she’s in the waiting room now. Why don’t you sit in on the interview and then give me your opinion afterward?”

Jerrica nodded her agreement and positioned herself in a chair near the corner of the room to observe the interview. She really didn’t have time for this, but felt suddenly obligated to stay. Jerrica stared down at her hands in her lap while Stephanie went out to fetch the bundle of coats waiting in the other room. 

This should be fun…not! she thought.

She heard the sounds of footsteps coming toward the room. Stephanie entered first stepping aside and gesturing to the woman to sit down and taking her coats from her. Jerrica was finally able to get a good look at the job applicant. To her surprise, under all those coats was a very petite, young woman in her early twenties, with long, dirty blonde hair. The young woman sat in the chair just vacated by Jerrica.  

“Ms. Paisley, this is my colleague, Jerrica Kerrison. She will be joining us during this interview. She is only observing,” Stephanie said as she looked at the woman’s resume.

The young woman looked at Jerrica and gave her a brief, unsteady smile, then focused her attention back on Stephanie. They sat in silence until Stephanie cleared her throat and started the interview.

Jerrica cleaned her nails as she half-heartedly listened to Stephanie briefly discuss the resume verbally. She caught her name, Jaime. Jerrica still wasn’t really paying attention to the interview until Jaime finally started to answer questions about her future goals. Looking up, she leaned forward in fascination, listening intently to this timid young girl. Jaime’s rigid frame and unwavering eye contact showed hidden confidence. She could tell that under the meek and shy exterior there was an intelligent, willful, trustworthy young woman who might be a great asset to her department. If she did hire Jaime, it would give Lauren a new protégé. Jerrica smiled, thinking of how Lauren would handle training the newbie. 

When the interview was finished, Stephanie pushed her chair away from the desk, and rose. She thanked Jaime for the interview and walked her toward the door. 

Jerrica stood as well. “Stephanie, could you let me have a few minutes alone to talk with Ms. Paisley?” 

Stephanie turned to Jaime. “Are you okay with this?”

Jaime nodded in answer.

Once Stephanie left, Jerrica motioned for Jaime to sit again. Jerrica walked to the front of the desk, seating herself on the top of it. Staring directly at Jaime, she spoke. “Can I be blunt?”

 “Of course,” Jaime replied.

“Good.” Jerrica smiled. “I am a manager of a very busy department. Are you willing to work from forty to sixty hours a week and give me one hundred ten percent toward your job performance every day? Plus my assistant will probably dog you for all those hours,” 

“Your job offer is so tempting,” Jaime responded, with a giggle.

“A quick thinker with a sense of humor, I like that. I can’t promise you an easy job, but what I can promise you is that I am a fair employer. I will give you credit for any contributions you give. I will never hold you back if you seek a promotion in another department, and as a bonus I’ve been told that I am fun to work for. The most important thing that I can offer is the invaluable work experience you will receive being part of my team.”

“Why are you giving me this chance? You really don’t know me. You haven’t even read any part of my resume.” 

Jerrica saw the doubt in the young eyes. “I know enough. At your age I would have loved to have a mentor to teach me this business. I didn’t have that luxury. I’m giving you the opportunity I didn’t have because I feel that if given the right environment to learn, you can be exceptional.”

“Are you officially offering me a job?” 

“If you are interested, yes, I am. It’s for an entry-level position and the pay will reflect this arrangement. The job starts on Monday at nine am.” 

Jerrica slid off the desk, offering her hand.

Jaime stood, grasping the open hand. “I will be in on Monday.” 

“Great! I’ll have Stephanie give you the details of the job. I look forward to seeing you on Monday.” 

Jerrica opened the door and motioned for Stephanie to come back in the room. Jerrica smiled. “Start the paperwork, Stephanie, I’ve hired her.” 

 

 

Jerrica’s smile broadened as the pleasant memories flashed in her head. She had never regretted hiring Jaime, who always gave the one hundred ten percent to every project. She was never late and had more energy than most of the people in the company. The only thing she wanted to change about her secretary was to break her shyness. She knew Jaime had talent, but her shyness stood in her way of moving up the corporate ladder. 

I won’t give up on her, she vowed to herself. The beep of the intercom almost startled her out of her chair. 

“Jerrica,” Lauren spoke. “Are you ordering lunch today?” 

“I brought lunch.” 

Jerrica heard a quick reply just before the line went dead. Jerrica wasn’t hungry and needed to get a lot of work finished before the end of the day. Usually Jerrica just worked through lunch anyway and that always bothered Lauren.
Jerrica cursed under her breath, remembering she had to go to the file department this afternoon to get the copies for Mr. Bisset’s project. The file department is where all the paper account records were stored. They had everything on computers these days, but it’ still seemed important to have the original paperwork just in case of audits or mistakes. 

Stepping into the main department, Jerrica took a quick look around the room. She noticed it was mostly empty as people seemed to be at lunch. Lauren was gone but Jaime had stayed around to cover the phones. She would go to lunch once Lauren returned but usually on Friday’s, they both ordered in and chitchatted at their desks. Lauren always said she barely tolerated Jamie’s company, but deep down Jerrica knew she liked having her around.

Jerrica could see the top of Jaime’s head over the top of the cubical wall. The cubical walls where just high enough to give each desk a little privacy. “Jaime, I’m going for a walk, I need to stretch my legs. If Lauren gets back before I do, please tell her where I’ve gone. Thank you.”

“Yes, Ms. Kerrison I will,” she said, obviously startled by Jerrica’s sudden appearance.

Jerrica turned and walked toward the elevator. Once in the elevator she selected the floor the records department was located on. This mid-afternoon elevator ride was much more enjoyable then the morning’s. The small box was nearly empty and she had plenty of room to move around. She was hoping that it wouldn’t become too crowded before she reached her destination. Jerrica was only going a few flights down but it seemed like it was taking an eternity to get there. She heard the ding of the elevator, looking up just before the doors opened. The electronic numbers read that this was her stop so she adjusted her outfit and proceeded toward the records department. 

The fourteenth floor, for some reason, always seemed much darker than any other department in the company. The layout was different as well. On the seventeenth floor, the floor plan was open. You can look around at all the offices and see just about everyone in their cubical. On the fourteenth floor it was like walking into an old fashioned town office. After you walked through the glass doors, which still had hand painted File Room on them, you stood in front of a long wooden counter. The old florescent lights made the room and all its contents turn a pale shade of green. She disliked visiting this windowless department. Jerrica found the bell to ring for assistance and tapped it twice. With some amusement, she almost expected to see Barney Fife from Mayberry walk out to greet her. Looking around the dreary room, she detected a head poking out from between the racks. 

With a wide smile, Leo walked toward her. “Good afternoon, Ms. Kerrison. How may I help you today?” 

Pulling the request form from her pocket, she slid the paper in his direction. 

Leo read her request. “I can have those copies for you in about ten minutes. Shall I send them to your office?” Leo asked, not looking up from the form. 

“No, thank you, I’ll wait. It’s no trouble.” 

Once she had seated herself, she glanced up to find he had already disappeared. Hesitantly she removed her cell phone from her pocket. She should call her mom, but she wasn’t ready for the speeches about her not visiting or that she’s not dating…etc. Staring down at her phone directory, she had an overwhelming urge to call Devin instead. She knew she wouldn’t, but just having the thought was upsetting enough. Slipping the cell phone back in her pocket, she heard the familiar sound of the copy machine. It wouldn’t be long before Leo would be back with the papers she had requested. Brushing some lint off her lapel as she rose, Jerrica walked toward the counter. As she leaned on the counter, Leo appeared with a large manila envelope.  

He dropped it lightly on the counter in front of her. “That will be five dollars,.” he said, with a sheepish grin.

“Put it on my tab,” she replied, winking at the young man as she snatched it from the counter.

A quick look over her shoulder showed her a broad smile on his face as he watched her backside. Ah, young men and their hormones, Jerrica thought, laughing to herself.

Back on her floor, Jerrica felt more comfortable, more in her element. Strolling toward her office, Lauren suddenly appeared beside her. Jerrica watched Lauren glance at the envelope tucked under her arm. She made a scoffing noise under her breath, making Jerrica aware of her irritation. Jerrica and Lauren split ways returning to their respectful desks. 

Jerrica enjoyed the safety that her office seemed to offer today. She placed the unopened envelope on the side of her desk as she reclined in her chair. She decided she would have to take the project work home. The remainder of her day would be spent on other assignments that were more pressing. With a big sigh, she reluctantly started her other tasks.

After hours of burying herself in paperwork, she finally glanced at the clock. It read four forty-five. “Time to get out of here,” she said aloud while piling all her paperwork together as she got to her feet. 

Retrieving her briefcase, she slid the envelope inside. Inspecting the case a little closer, she noticed that her can of soup was still present. Lauren would kill me if she knew I skipped lunch again. Shrugging her shoulders in indifference, she proceeded to disconnect her computer. With ease she placed it into the case next to the can of soup. Rustling outside her door made her realize the stampede to leave the building had begun. Grabbing her jacket in one hand and her briefcase in the other, she headed out of her office. Instead of entering the crowd of people headed for the elevator, she took the stairs. Going down seventeen flights of stairs was much easier than climbing those same seventeen flights. Gravity would work in her favor as she stepped off the first step. Taking two steps at a time, she bounded down the stairs swiftly. When her shoe reached the last landing, she hit the exit door with her elbow, entering the lobby almost at a jog. She had sprinted from the building and down the street to the corner before most people exited the elevators. She hadn’t seen her assistant before she left, but knew Lauren would check everything before she left for the day. Lauren lived closer to Boston so she always left a little later than everyone else. Entering the train station she glanced at the clock, five ten. Boarding the 181 train that would take her out of the city, she found a seat near the back and began to unwind for the trip home. 

 

 

A state of peace washed across her as she entered her large town house. Kicking the door closed with her foot, something caught her eye toward the living room. She smiled as she saw two balls of fluff spring in her direction. Before she could blink, Baby Kitty, the new kitten in the family, with unlimited energy and unlimited love, was at her feet stretching up on the front of her dress slacks. 

“Let me put this stuff down first,” she said, lowering her briefcase to the floor. 

In one fluid motion, she set the bag down, and scooped up the kitten with the same hand. Baby Kitty was a small Ragdoll breed. Ragdoll kittens look like Siamese kittens but their temperaments are totally opposite. A friend back home had found the kitten abandoned on the side of the road. Jerrica, being a softhearted animal lover, adopted her. The older cat, Sassy, was not impressed with the new addition, but was at least tolerating her. 

Placing the kitten on her shoulder, she headed for the kitchen, Sassy following close behind. She placed food-filled dishes down on the floor for her little monsters. While they were happily eating, she retrieved a bottle of Syrah from the rack and pulled a clean glass from the cabinet. 

Jerrica suddenly felt her stomach growl, reminding her she hadn’t eaten lunch. Leaving the now uncorked wine bottle on the counter to breathe a little, she went to the refrigerator and found a quick and easy supper—a plate of homemade beef and broccoli sitting in the front. After re-heating the food and pouring the wine, she made herself comfortable at the dining room table. 

From her position, she could look at the water through a wall of windows. The back of the house on the first level had floor to ceiling windows that faced the bay. On the second floor, the master bedroom also faced the bay. Instead of large windows in the bedroom, she had a balcony. Jerrica loved having her coffee out there during the summer. 

Picking at her food, Jerrica stared out the window at the evening’s sparkles dancing on the gentle movement of the water. Pondering the events of the day, she just couldn’t get the note from Devin out of her mind. Jerrica’s eyes began to blur as her mind started paging through the memories of her first encounter with Devin Daniel. 

“Oh Devin, why reach out now,” she said with a sigh.

 

 

Jerrica was having an extremely bad day trying to rectify statements and receipts that just weren’t matching up. The buzz on the intercom brought her out of her private storm. “Your one o’clock is here,” Lauren announced.

“Please tell them I’ll be right with them.” 

Looking at the clock, she smiled. Well, they’re early, that’s a good sign, she thought.

She was not in the mood to spend part of her day with some middle aged, disgruntled accountant who didn’t want or need another agency looking at his books and Jerrica let out a sigh as she anticipated a long afternoon. Reaching for the phone, she buzzed Lauren. Jerrica pushed her seat back rising to greet this new prospective client. 

Lauren stepped back and extended her arm out for the person behind her to enter the office. 

Jerrica watched as an extremely attractive young woman flowed into the room. 

Nodding her gratitude in Lauren’s direction, the young woman confidently sashayed toward Jerrica. 

Lauren made the introductions. “Ms. Daniel, this is Ms. Kerrison.”

Jerrica extended her hand, but her eyes were fixated on the beautiful woman’s face. Jerrica noticed Ms. Daniel was taller than she, with beautiful, flowing, sun-kissed blonde hair.

“Please, call me Devin,” she said with a smile. 

Jerrica’s felt the silky smooth hand gently enfold her own. Jerrica’s heart began to beat rapidly as their eyes locked onto one another. 

This woman was stunning, Jerrica mused. 

From her deep, ocean blue eyes, to her long silky blonde hair, to the magnificent tanned legs, Devin was an exquisite work of art. She was wearing a pin- striped, charcoal straight-line skirt that accentuated her curved hips and those long legs. The form-fitting white blouse opened just enough to show a little cleavage but still be respectable.

Jerrica held onto Devin’s hand a little longer then she should have. Realizing her error, she quickly released it. Jerrica felt her throat start to restrict and her face blush as she averted her eyes. In a shaky, but professional as possible, voice Jerrica spoke. “Call me Jerrica. Please have a seat.” 

Jerrica motioned to the chair in front of her desk. “Would you like coffee? Tea? Something cold?” she asked, walking around to her chair. 

Jerrica kept her vision glued to the top of her desk and not the exposed skin of the beautiful client. Opening the folder she had prepared for this meeting, she began her presentation.

“Morrill, Hartford, and Donahue have been in the business management and accounting field for more than fifty-four years. I have been employed here for five years, I mean six years and....” 

Jerrica glanced up to see Devin watching her, listening intently. Jerrica lost her place as she stared into the inviting blue eyes. Jerrica skimmed her paperwork, trying to find her place. With great effort she tried to continue.
“I have worked with…many large cooperation’s who…like your own company, was started….” Jerrica was tripping over her own words. 

She felt nauseous and began to worry she might pass out. Nervously looking through her notes again, she felt a small bead of perspiration develop on her brow. 

Lauren re-entered the office with a tray. Walking swiftly across the room she placed the tray with two glasses and a carafe of coffee on the table near the window. “If you need anything else I’ll be at my desk,” she said, as she pivoted and left the room. 

Jerrica had watched every move Lauren made in some attempt to get her attention. She was secretly pleading for help but Lauren just went about her business, leaving Jerrica to handle her distress on her own. Jerrica cleared her throat nervously. 

Devin broke the awkward silence. “Would you like me to get you some water?” 

“Oh, I can get that,” Jerrica choked. 

“Don’t worry about it. I’m not incapable.” 

Jerrica silently chastised herself. It’s not professional to stare at the shapely backside of this beautiful woman who was graciously pouring her water. 

Devin returned with the glass. “Can I be blunt…Jerrica?” 

“Please.” 

Jerrica was scared of what she might say. Slowly lowering into her chair, Jerrica held her breath. 

“I know you’ve probably spent a couple days rehearsing your speech for me,” she paused to sit. “And I appreciate the effort, but there is no need to continue….” 

A hard knot developed in Jerrica’s stomach. She had only spent ten minutes with this woman and already she had lost one of the biggest accounts MHD would handle. “I—”

Devin raised her hand, stopping Jerrica from interrupting. “I’ve already made my decision about Morrill, Hartford, and Donahue. My secretary started drawing up the contracts this morning. She will be faxing them to us before end of business day today. I will be passing the domestic accounting department of my family’s business to your company.” Devin poured herself a cup of coffee and took a sip. 

Jerrica was a little skeptical. “Why would you give MHD your account so easily? I mean, this is our first interaction. You know nothing about me or my work.” 

Devin leaned onto the desk. “Ms. Kerrison, I never enter an arrangement or contract without fully knowing who I’m dealing with. I did my own research on this company and on you before I even agreed to this meeting. If I hadn’t approved of this collaboration, I wouldn’t have bothered meeting with you today.” 

Devin’s confident stare captivated Jerrica. Her gaze followed along Devin’s jaw line down to her long neck, continuing to the open V shape of her shirt. She paused as she caught a glimpse of the frilly lace bra that had slipped out from under her blouse. 

“Do you like what you see?”

“What?” Blushing she diverted her eyes to her computer screen. “What did you say?”

“Oh, nothing,” Devin remarked, with a sexy, smirk leaning back in the chair. 

“So, why set up this the meeting if you had already made up your mind?”

“Well, I wanted to meet the person who would be taking on our books. I was also curious to encounter the women that helped take a small hundred million dollar accounting management firm and turn it into a billion dollar company known worldwide in less than five years.” 

Placing her now half-empty cup on the desk, Devin rose and extended her hand. 

Reluctantly Jerrica stood, taking the offered hand. Heat radiated through them as their hands touched. Jerrica’s face flushed as she released the soft hand. “It was nice meeting you, Ms. Daniel. May I walk you out?”
“Thank you but I can make my way back to the elevator on my own,” she said, reaching for the door.

Jerrica saw Devin look over her shoulder one last time with a twinkle in her eye and flashing a striking grin. Once the door closed, Jerrica felt the full emptiness of her office. “What the hell just happened?” she muttered, dropping in her chair, exasperated. 

 

 

Jerrica wasn’t hungry anymore as she swirled the food on her plate with her fork. She needed to stop doing this to herself, this remembering. Holding her glass in one hand and her plate in the other, she returned to the kitchen and refilled the wine glass. 

Fetching her briefcase from the entryway, she headed up to her bedroom, the two little fluff balls right on her heels. She passed the guest room and bathroom on her way to the master bedroom. This townhouse was excessively big for just one person, but Jerrica knew she had to have it the moment she’d toured the property. It felt like home. 

Dropping the briefcase on the small table near her dresser she rifled through the dresser drawers to look for her favorite pajama set. Once changed, she retrieved the computer from the briefcase. She cracked the French doors open to the balcony, knowing the sound of the waves on the rocks would be relaxing. She reclaimed her glass off the table before she positioned herself on the floor. A familiar purr from Sassy on the bed gave Jerrica comfort that she was not alone. Taking a quick look around, Jerrica saw that Baby Kitty was occupying herself. 

Let’s get to work, she told herself.

Jerrica hammered away on her keyboard. Papers were spread out on the floor beside her, graphs and charts were displayed on her computer screen. She immersed herself into the project, losing track of the passage of time. Hearing a noise she glanced around her computer screen. Baby Kitty had taken hold of one of her data sheets. 

Sighing, Jerrica extended her arms toward the ceiling, stretching her back muscles. It was almost two in the morning she realized, looking at her watch. She had been at this a long time. Clicking the save button on her last report, she closed the computer and scooped the kitten in one hand and the documents in the other as she stood. She placed a quick kiss on the kitten’s head settling it on the bed. Capturing the computer and the rest of papers off the floor, she returned them all to the safety of her briefcase on the small table. When she stretched again, she realized she was suddenly exhausted. She desperately needed sleep. 

Jerrica went into the master bath to enact her nightly routine. Returning, she smiled at the sprawled out cats already asleep on top of the comforter. It was going to be a short night. Clicking off the light, she prayed she would find rest quickly.

To purchase book, click here.

To purchase print copy, click here.

To read Terry's review, click here.

Content

Affinity Rainbow Podcasts

Listen as our authors read from their books.



Zen4dummies, our web-mistress