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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Contract; "Until Death Do Us Part..."

Good Morning Everyone!

Many of us are on the hunt for that one special person who will make us blissfully happy for the rest of our lives.  It comes naturally in our search to scan the landscape for our list of must haves.  The older we get that list has a tendency to shrink.  When we are young we believe we have lots of time and we toss out a lot of potential mates because they didn't meet our requirements in some small way. 

While it is widely believed that marrying for money is a shallow endeavor, there isn't one person who doesn't envy the man or woman who marries into money.  Many of us look back over our lifetime and are often found making comments like "I should have married so-and-so." and many times those comments are made because so-and-so went on to build an empire or become wealthy after we broke their hearts.  

I believe our list of must haves should contain three things and it should look something like this:

1.  Get along and communicate well.
2.  Belief systems are in agreement.(Belief in God or not, structure of a home, 
     children or no children, etc.)
3.  Ability and willingness to see things through to the finish. Commit. History of 
     committing and completing tasks, goals, etc.

If you think this list is ridiculous, consider this: People who work together who become attracted and end up having affairs are rarely the people we would usually choose.  It is working together on a common goal through daily contact that a bond is formed.  It's looking into eachother's eyes (Which is known to release Oxytocin after 30-60 seconds of maintained contact. This is known as the cuddle hormone. What do you think is going to happen after days, weeks, months or years on the job?) as you solve problems and work together day after day.

There were couples during WWII who met on the street and got married five minutes later just because both wanted to say they had been married and many of those people stayed married for fifty to seventy years!  Of course then divorce was less accepted.  We knew less and had less choices.  The key I think is to burn down the house and every bridge behind you if you want to achieve success at marriage. 

Quit talking about your marriage to others.  Quit complaining about your spouse.  Cut off the pornography, entertainment, and any other distraction that takes you away from your spouse.  Get busy building together.  Build a home, a fortune, a future, retirement, etc.  Quit allowing yourself to ruminate about what life would be like if you didn't have to put up with someone else's faults, crimes and misdemeanors.  

If we focus on the correct things at the start, maybe our chance of making marriage last will increase in a society that promotes divorce, jailing "abusers", (Not saying there isn't a time for this!) individuality, giving up and starting with someone who turns us on, falling in love before we marry, and the list goes on. 

Marriage requires a lot of forgiveness. If we focus on our own behavior and determination to keep steady on shared goals, the rest will follow. In forgiving one another we allow growth and development.  We allow a person room to make mistakes as they perfect their journey.  But when we say to them "You have no right to make this mistake and growth is not possible for you." we steal our partner's hope and we deny the possibility to overcome. 

Greatness of any kind is born out of hardship, desperation, lack of choice.  Whether real or imagined, the common denominator is that escape or turning back was not an option.  We have to be willing to absorb insult and injury without worrying about getting for ourselves.  This is not to say we shouldn't take excellent care of ourselves so that we can serve the relationship because we should.  Relationships increase our need for rigorous exercise, good diet with plenty of water and rest!  

I hear many people say that the stress of their marriage is killing them when the truth is; not taking care of themselves and their health is what is actually killing them.  Internalizing stress alone will not kill us.  Doing so without nutrition, sleep and water will.  Keeping our peace and our focus is paramount to a good outcome.  If you nourish your brain you are less likely to crash and burn and this is true of ANY type of stress.  

If you doubt the body's ability to endure stress I suggest you read about how long prisoners who are actually beaten and starved survive for years while living in a cage with little room to move.  The body can take a ridiculous amount of abuse.  Many times it is a determination to live to see their relatives again.  Sometimes it is determination to live to simply see another day.  It all depends on what their focus is.  

If you think you are under stress in your marriage then consider ImmaculĂ©e Ilibagiza.  She lived in a bathroom measuring 3' X 4' for 91 days with seven other women during the 1994 Rowandan Genocide.  During this time they were hidden by a minister who fed them when he could and implored them to be quiet!  Many times their would-be butchers would be within inches of them and the threat of being chopped to bits was literally a breath away.  They could not make a single sound during those moments and there were many.  

She goes on to tell her story in her book Left to Tell, about how under extreme pressure, heat and stress, she was forced to dig deep within herself during the worst suffering of her life, and find the most beautiful peace and forgiveness.  She talks of the forgiveness of the enemy.  She relays the pain involved in knowing her family members were outside the building being butchered and yet she was chosen to live.  Her commitment to survival enabled her to live a more blessed life than if her suffering had never happened.

A couple of Christmases ago my daughter and her brother-in-law were in heavy disagreements and not talking.  He was in the military at the time and knew he would not be home for Christmas.  He went to a local pottery shop and handmade a bowl for her.  The bottom of the bowl reads "Love," and his name.  That bowl is special to her because she has never forgotten that despite the fact that they were angry at eachother, he not only bought her a gift, he made it by hand.  The bowl is a tad mishapen but the only thing she sees when she looks at it is love

If a potter were handed a lump of clay with rocks, pebbles and glass mixed in it, they would do their best to work the clay removing the bits and pieces that did not belong.  To save the clay they have to make it into something, so they work.  While there may be little hope for the lump of clay until someone works it and shapes it, once someone does, everytime they look at the item they made they will think of the labor of love it took to make it into something.  And so it is with marriage.  

A society that promotes running away everytime we sense negative energy, hardship, difficulty, struggle, challenging problems, a husband who spanks us, etc. is destined to produce lazy and under performing partnerships. They are acceptable reasons society has given us to give up and throw in the towel. 

Are we approaching marriage wrong?  Should we consider building a good strong contract as though it were a solid business deal and allow love to develop later?  I think a peek into the true history of marriage provides significant insight.


Desi


















Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Edge of Intention Chapter 11A

Sara sat on a bench outside of the baking company and waited for James. She had arrived early because she tossed and turned fearing that she would miss her alarm. She had to dodge Daniel’s questions about their meeting and fly out the door. She barely made it because he was suspicious as hell. She promised to explain later under dire threats of gloom and doom to befall her ass if there was any skullduggery amiss. 

She sat thinking as she waited for him. Sara had always loved her brother. She had always trusted him to take care of her. When her husband disclosed all that had happened to them financially at James’ hand, she did not understand. She was forbidden to talk to him and no matter how many times he had tried to contact her to explain his side, she would not allow it. She ignored his phone calls from prison and had eventually changed her number. She shredded his letters without having opened them. Over time, her husband began to blame her closeness to James for their financial problems when in truth, it was the fact that he would never hire an accountant.

Regardless of how unfair her husband's accusations were, Sara blamed herself for their failed marriage since James was, in fact, her brother. But that did not stop her from being angry with James and writing him off in her heart. It also did not stop her from giving damning testimony in a court of law about the things she had seen and facts she was aware of. It was unfortunate that much of her testimony was used in sentencing her brother to seven years in a low security, state prison with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. With good behavior he had gotten out in five but Sara still had not seen him until now; and he had been out five years before she saw him at the restaurant with Daniel.

She watched as he bounced up the street; obviously delighted to meet with her.

“Good Morning, Sara.”

“Good Morning.
” she muttered.

As he drew closer, Sara searched his eyes and found them filled with the love he had always born for her. She was unsure how to feel and how to treat him. He stopped several feet from her but said nothing more. He simply held his arms out to her offering her an embrace. Tears filled her eyes and she stepped in to accept it. Regardless of all that had passed, she still loved and had missed her brother. She never could figure out why he had done the things he had. And right this moment, she did not care. She was happy all of a sudden that for whatever reason, he was back in her life.

Sara stepped away first. When she looked at James, tears were running down his face.

“Sara, I have so much to tell you.”

Sara held up her hand.

“Nope. Let’s just let it all go.”

“We will, but there are some things you need to know.”


Sara stood staring at him, afraid to ask. She looked at the building and pointed her thumb towards it.

“You know who these people are, don’t you?”

“I might. I’m not one hundred percent sure. But I might.”

James held out his hand and motioned for her to go first as he reached out to open the door and hold it open for her.

Sophie got to the shop early. She could not sleep. Jeremy got up and drove her into the city. He knew his wife was too distracted to drive. She was over 70 now and that alone was enough for him to want to make sure she was safe. Particularly now when she was beside herself.

Sophie sat at her desk and stared at her childrens’ picture. She and Jeremy were inseparable. He took such good care of his baby sister. He played with her and pushed in her little swing and read her stories and talked to her. He taught her to walk and to clap. She got up and got started on the doughs and cakes for the day. Soon Jess would be in and she would have to set up Jess’ work so the two could be ready when it was time to open.

Jeremy swept and straightened while his wife worked her magic in the kitchen. He did a few maintenance things around the place and checked in from time to time with Sophie over a few sips of tea and a scone. He had never gotten used to his wife’s fancy pastries and desserts. He enjoyed the fact that they now had enough money that he could afford such things but was happy with basic fare himself. He was happy to give all that he had or could afford to give to his Sophie. She was the apple of his eye and she had suffered. She was valiant at it and she always said, she would keep busy until one day the good Lord sent her children right through the front door of her shop. She worked every day in preparation for it and never stopped believing. He admired her faith. She had never once in fifty years given up hope. A slight grin danced across his lips as he remembered all of the times she had lifted him out of depression and sadness with her kind and witty words.

“Quit cryin’ in yer tea and soakin’ yer scone. Go to the washroom and clean up. You need to look like a stand up man when yer kids come.” she would say. She always knew how to make him laugh.

It was while he stood musing and half grinning, he heard the door slowly squeak open. The door was always open by 4:30am but nobody ever came in until 6:00am. He started and snapped out of his daydream. Before Jeremy had time to think, he was standing face to face with a young man who could have been his twin.

“Who is it Jer?” Sophie call out.

"Who is here so early in the morn…?”

Sophie froze. She saw her husband’s face first and then turned to see Sara and another young man who looked exactly like Jeremy. The two men stood staring at each other.

James was paralyzed with shock. He knew as he stared into the eyes of the man in front of him that it was his father. He whispered,

“Da…”

Jeremy dropped the broom he had been holding. Tears rushed to his eyes faster than he could ever hope to stop them or lift his hand to swipe at them. He slowly stepped toward James and before long were in a long embrace. Jeremy could not let go. Sara’s attention had turned to Sophie. Now it made sense. She had known the woman. Sophie’s voice shook Sara out of her trance.

“Where did you get those blues?” as she pointed to Sara’s pants.

Sara looked at her and then down at her pants.

“I don’t know. I have always had them.”

“Well they are mine.” Sophie replied back.

As Sara stood there staring at the woman, the embellishments and embroidery on the pants made a whole lot more sense. Everything turned a very strange gray color and the voices around her began to echo. As her head hit the floor, she remembered the thud but felt no pain.

Daniel tossed and turned and could not get back to sleep after Sara flew out the door. She had barely combed her hair or fixed her makeup. It wasn’t like her to leave for the day in such a disheveled state. And she would not tell him where she was going; that she was going to meet James. He took a few deep breaths and talked himself off of the ledge. He looked over at the clock and it was 5:30am. He decided he didn’t stand a chance of falling back to sleep and jumped out of bed and got ready for work. He had eaten a piece of toast, showered, shaved, brushed his teeth and was getting dressed when his phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Daniel, it’s James.”

“Sara and I met at The Sugar Me Sweet Baking Company for coffee. She fainted in their dining room and her head hit the floor pretty hard. She is on her way to the ER in an ambulance headed for UW Hospital.”


“Just like that? She fainted? That sounds odd to me James!”

“We were here with Sophie and Jeremy and that is exactly what happened.”

“Okay we can talk later. I will head over now. I will be out the door in five.”


Daniel waited thirty minutes before they would let him see Sara. As he sat in the waiting room his imagination took a thousand turns before the nurse came and got him. He knew she could not become pregnant because she did not have the equipment. He worried about what had caused her to faint. Did she have a health issue neither of them knew about? Did she have a stroke? Had James upset her in some way? He was eager to get to her side and get to the bottom of it. He couldn’t help but think if he had made her stay home that it would not have happened. He was angry with himself for letting her go. He talked himself down and took a deep breath and decided to stop allowing his thoughts to take him down the rabbit hole. He closed his eyes and leaned back and forced himself to relax. So help me, God, if James had anything to do with this I will end him in a way that would make going to prison seem like a bright new future to him.

When the nurse came to get Daniel and take him to Sara, he had dozed off for a minute. He was deeply stressed and couldn’t imagine what had happened to her.

As he walked into the room and over to her bed Sara sat up. He sat on the edge and she climbed into his lap and started shaking. Her face was pale and she was clearly upset.

“Baby, it’s okay.”

“She is my real mother, Daniel. Sophie is my real mother!”


Daniel grasped her upper arms and held her back and studied her face. His mouth was hanging open.

“What?!”

He studied Sara’s face as she spoke and was surprised that he was, in fact, starting to see the resemblance.

“How can you be sure?”

“James spoke to her husband and called him ‘Da’ and immediately it came flooding back. Not everything but her voice and her accent from my childhood.”

Daniel could not argue with her because the truth was, he knew very little about Sara’s past other than what she had told him and that had been very little. He cupped her face in his hands.

“Ohhhh. Sara. I am so sorry. What happened? How did this happen?”

Sara shook her head.

“Daniel, I know and remember little to nothing. I would have to talk to James and see if he could jar my memory. I have no clue how any of this happened.”

“Well damn. You picked the sweetest people on Earth to be born to. I have been helping maintain their business for years. I met them when they were remodeling the old building their bakery is in. We became fast friends and they have treated me like a son ever since. Up to that point though, they cleaned the buildings and homes I remodeled after were were done with construction for the better part of five years."

Occasionally Sophie would bring treats for everyone and earned a name for herself baking for us. She shared that she had a lifelong dream of owning her own dessert shop. So we all kind of pulled together and helped make that happen. I have no clue she had long lost children. They never said a single solitary word.”

Sara nodded but was soaking up every word. Who were these people and why had she become separated from them? They certainly seemed like very nice people; not the type to just give their kids up for adoption.

There was a light tapping on the sliding glass door. Daniel answered.

“Come in.”

Sophie peeked her head in.

“May I come in, Sara?”

Sara nodded.

Sophie walked over to her and handed her a little framed picture. She and James were holding hands and an older girl stood behind them. Sara froze. Her face suddenly felt cold. She stared off to the side as a frightening memory gripped her. She was being pulled along and made to walk very fast. She ran to keep up. Nobody spoke to her as she was yanked along by her arm.

Sara looked up at her and slowly handed the picture back to Sophie.

“Do ya remember that day, lass?”

“Barely. But I do have a memory, yes.”


The doctor knocked and interrupted. He checked Sara’s vitals again and felt her head and asked her tons of questions.

“Sara, I would like to take a CAT Scan of your skull to make sure nothing is cracked or broken or you didn’t suffer a bleed of any kind before I let you out of here today.” 
She nodded and he was out the door.

Daniel walked Sophie out while Sara and the doctor chatted.

“I don’t know what happened here, Sophie or how this is even possible. Lets get through today and I am sure Sara is going to want to find out what happened.”

Sophie raised her hand to Daniel’s cheek.

“We have known each other a long time, Daniel. You would make a fine husband for Ava. You have always been a blessing to our family and now this. You are a Godsend. Take care of her. I must be getting along to the shop. We will get together soon for the unraveling of it all. Call me when they let her out of here. I won’t have her waitin’ on the truth. She deserves to know what happened to her.”

Daniel was too shocked to do anything but nod and wave the woman he had known for almost ten years off. She had called Sara, ‘Ava’. She wasn’t using her real name? He turned and walked back into her room.

“What did the doctor say?”

“They need to check my head.”


Daniel looked at her and chuckled.

“Is that all?” as he winked at her.

Sara giggled and rolled her eyes. Daniel leaned over the bed and kissed her lips. He stayed close and stroked her jaw with his thumb.

“How does your head feel?”

“Fine. I can tell I hit it but nothing hurts.”


He knew the aides would be coming to take her soon for a CAT Scan. He sat on the edge of her bed.

“Sara.”

She leaned back against her pillows and looked up at him. A thought zipped through her mind that she might be in for a lecture although she was unsure about what the reason could be. Daniel reached for her hand and drew it up to his lips and placed a kiss on the back of her hand.

“I am so happy nothing more serious is wrong. I am going to wait here until you are done so you have a ride home, or to work or wherever you want to go. If you need time off of work to sort out family issues, t
ake it. 

Sara nodded.

“Thank you, Daniel. But I think under the circumstances, I would like to take a few days off just to sort everything out. On the bright side, at least you wouldn’t mind Sophie as a mother-in-law.”

The words were out of her mouth before she realized what she had said. She covered her gaping mouth in shock.

“I am sorry. You never asked.” she whispered.

“It’s alright. You’re not the first one to mention that today. Sophie said as much earlier before she flew off down the hall when she left.”

A thought suddenly pierced through Sara’s mind. Who was the woman at the counter waiting on her the other night?

“Daniel? Who is that woman who waits on customers at the counter with the red hair?”

“She is Sophie and Jeremy’s only....er...daughter.”

“James and I have a sister. She was the one in the picture. I was looking into her eyes while she waited on me.”


Daniel leaned down and kissed her forehead.

“I want you to relax. I don’t know what happened to you two as children but we will get to the bottom of it. Finding out Sophie is your real mother is not the worst thing that could happen to a person. I don’t want you to worry about anything. I am not going anywhere regardless.”

She wrapped her arms around her neck and hugged him.

“I love you, Daniel.”

“I love you too, Sweet Pea.”
he whispered.

Regardless of the chaos going on at the moment, Sara could not resist her urge to poke at him a bit.

“If I like her well enough, maybe I will work at her charming little shop. Surely she would not want to spank me.”

“I am sure if you were there long enough, she might. And let us not forget she is a full blooded Irish woman; she might smack your backside anyway. Besides all of that, you owe me sixty-five thousand dollars. You are not leaving Taylor Development, young lady.”

“Pish Posh. Young lady. Are you that much older than me to justify such an address?”


Daniel looked at her and chuckled. He realized he had never once mentioned his age to her.

“I am 56. I will be 57 in October.”

“Oh. Well. You are a very handsome 57.”


They were interrupted by staff entering to take her down the hall for a CAT Scan. Daniel waved her off and whipped out his phone to shoot off a couple of emails and to text Jane while Sara was away.

They wheeled Sara back into the room about forty-five minutes later followed by the doctor. She was fine and was immediately discharged.

When they got out to Daniel’s truck and seat belted themselves in, they sat for a minute staring into each other's eyes.

“What would you like to do? Do you want to go home or to the bakery?”

“To the bakery please. I am hungry; not only for food, but information.”

“Alright; the bakery it is.”


Daniel’s phone rang during the drive. It was Sophia.

“Yes. I have her here in the car. We are on our way to the shop. She is hungry…yes....”

He turned his head and looked at her as if he were going to ask her something but waited for Sophie to finish talking.

“Baby, do you want to grab a snack for now and meet Sophie and Jeremy for dinner after they close?”

“Sure. Are you going to be there too?”


He nodded while continuing to listen.

“Okay, Sophie. We will be there. Do you want us to bring anything?....Okay. See you then.”

“We are going to Sophie’s house at 7:00.  She, Jeremy, James and Jess will be there and you and I, of course.”

It was noon time and they stopped briefly for a quick taco at La Rosita in the edge of town. They shopped for a few items to contribute to dinner and Daniel dropped Sara off at home for a nap. He ran to the office for the afternoon and planned to pick her up around 6:00 p.m. for dinner.

Sara sat on the edge of her bed and pondered all that had changed in her life in the last several months. It was almost too much to fathom. The sheer accident of her running into Daniel, who had known her real parents for years almost seem too good to be true. She kicked off her shoes and flopped back onto the pillows and dozed off.

To Be Continued...

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Edge of Intention Prologue

The fog horn sounded.  People were running everywhere.  The smell of the ocean and the loud squalks of seagulls permeated the air.  The children ran to keep up with the adults as they were pulled along by their hands.  There were people everywhere.  Ava felt around to make sure the sack of goods was still around her neck and hanging in front of her tummy.  She could hear her brother asking when they would arrive and how much longer they had to go.  Suddenly Ava was scooped up and carried off of the ship.  She did not know how long she had been carried or where they were going.  She dozed off long before they arrived at their destination.  

Jeremy kept looking over at his little sister.  It comforted him keeping her in his sites.  She was so cute and tiny.  He needed to watch out for her and take care of her.  Her little coat dress, socks and black buckle shoes gave her the appearance of a little doll.  She had dark curly hair and was the ideal little girl.  She tagged along wherever he went and inspired his protective side from the moment his mother had brought her home.  He was often the one to comfort her if she cried or feed her a bottle and talk to her.  They did not have much but her little face lit up his world and she love him for it. 

The train ride finally saw Jeremy nodding off in his seat.  He leaned against someone's arm and fell fast asleep.  

When next the children awoke, they had arrived.  They were home.  The horn of the train sounded as the train pulled into the station.  It rolled slowly as it pulled up to the dock where passengers waiting impatietly to board stood in line.  Those, like themselves, waiting to deboard were packing their things and grabbing their belongings.  Jeremy and Ava were shuttled from the train by car to their new home.  

Finally the journey to their new home was over and an entirely new nightmare was set to begin.  But the children settled in and had long forgotten the voyage across the ocean and what had happened on the ship.  The truth was tucked safely away; deep within the recesses of both of their memories along with their names and who their parents had been. Was this the life their parents had dreamed of when they thought of coming to America?  Had this whole thing been planned?  The children did not know the answers to either of those questions and now, they may never know.  


Read Chapter 1 here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Edge of Intention Chapter 10B

Sara could hear Brandy’s keys clanging as she worked to find the one that would open the Records Room door. She continued filing with her back to the door. She heard the door open and close and a bag rustling and keys jingling. She turned when nothing was said.

Sara felt frozen to the spot. She turned and was shocked to see Daniel standing there instead of Brandy. For some odd reason she felt like she got caught with her hands in the cookie jar. Daniel stood there holding a bag from Panera Bread and staring back at her just as perplexed.

“Hi Sweet Pea. You look beautiful today.”

Sara smiled nervously.

“Thank you.”

He held out her lunch.

“Brandy ordered this for you.”

Sara reached out and accepted it and thanked him. She was nervous and had no clue what to say to him so she was thrilled when he decided to go first.

“How are you feeling today?”

“Fine. Tired. I just want to hide in here and be alone.”


Daniel studied her to measure her attitude to see what he could find. She seemed genuinely tired and a bit sad. He walked over to her and took her lunch and set it on the only small corner of the table that was not covered in files. He then faced her and took her face in his hands and looked deeply into her eyes while rubbing his thumb across her upper lip.

“Sara, I love you. Go ahead and go shopping with the girls on Sunday. I am sorry that I said you could not go. I will not take it out of your pay but I want you to realize I expect those spending limits to be respected unless it cannot be helped. If you ever overspend on purpose again, I will take it out of your pay.”

She looked into his eyes and nodded. A wave of relief and comfort swept over her like a warm blanket and her lips turned up to form a sweet, humble smile without her permission.

Daniel leaned down and kissed her forehead and nuzzled his cheek against hers. He drew her body to his and held her while talking softly into her ear. He placed light kisses on her temple and on top of her head. He said nothing about her prayers to the Almighty but she knew he was sorry. He did not say the words but he did an exemplary job of conveying the message to her soul. She felt herself wilt within his arms and their two spirits meld together.

“Incidentally, you don’t need your money to shop. You can use my card. I trust you won’t put me in the poor house.”

Several hours later, the office was closing. Brandy and Jane left and Daniel and Sara were the only ones left in the office. They closed the Executive Suite and were just turning out the lights when Daniel walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled his chin and lips to her neck.

“How would you like to go for a yummy treat?”

“Where were you thinking?”


“There is this really amazing dessert shop on State Street called The Sugar Me Sweet Baking Company. You never know what you are going to get there or what seasonal yummy stuff that lady has baked up. However, you are sure to get something to die for. And she sells every kind of mocha you can imagine. Let’s do it. It’s something different.”

“What? Eat dessert before supper?”

She smiled as she squirmed out of his grip and turned out the lights. They headed out, set the alarm and locked the doors. They jumped in their cars and drove home to change into comfy clothes. Sara slipped into a stretchy pair of Limericks; a pair of pedal pusher jeans made by an old woman by the sea in Ireland. You could only get a pair if you knew someone who knew the old woman and she liked the story she had heard about you. She required measurements and size and she wanted to know everything there was to know about your life. She added little embellishments that spoke of the life you lived. 

 The button closure was a glass three layer cake to honor her mother’s love of baking although she had never seen her mother bake anything but boxed mixes. The zipper pull was a tiny book but Sara had never learned what that represented. The inscription on the cover simply said “Never Stop” She knew her mother read but she never remembered her with a book. The back pockets had decorative stitching and very subtly her name was stitched on one pocket and James’ on the other. 

 Down by the back seam at each calf, there were letters embroidered she did not understand; SGB on the right side and at the left JRB. The old woman had embroidered wooden spoons and cookie sheets, measuring cups and spoons, sacks of flour and a canister of salt, cupcake tins, pie plates, cake plates, etc. all along both side seams of the pants. The pants were the most unusual and odd things ever. But she felt unique and comfortable wearing them. They were her most prized possession. She had found them on her desk one morning. They had been a gift from her mother. She had thought they were long gone after her divorce. She knew that James had gotten them to Daniel somehow. She never asked.

She threw on a long sleeved linen shirt, spruced up her hair, grabbed a shot of perfume, grabbed her bag and waited for Daniel in the living room. She could hear him rummaging around in the bedroom putting things away and looking for his casual wear. The man was impeccable. Everything he did was methodical and done correctly or he didn’t bother with it. This included his personal grooming. Her mind began to wander as she imagined him having a personal valet. He could use one with his schedule at times. “Hmmm. Maybe I will get him one for his birthday.” she mused and then chuckled to herself. She could hear Daniel’s keys as they got closer to her and before she knew it, he was in the room.

“Hey beautiful girl. You ready?”

“Yep.”


It took Daniel a while to park. The weather was beautiful and people were out and about after work. They walked hand in hand, the two blocks to the dessert shop. They glanced at all of the window displays that lined State Street. Madison was a college town and State Street, one of it’s hottest commodities. The college kids took to the streets anytime the weather allowed. There were restaurants, coffee shops, bars and shopping of every variety. Musicians often set up shop on a corner or on various squares around the area. There was always the warm feel of hustle and bustle.

The shop was on a very large corner and surrounded by windows on two sides. The old building provided lots of charm and warmth and had a mystical feel. Beautiful soft Irish music was playing in the background to create an ambiance that immediately set one at ease. As they came closer to the bakery display case, Sara recognized the song that was playing; Toola Loola Loola by The Irish Tenors was playing in the background. She began to hum and sing the song with her eyes closed. Daniel watched her in amusement. She had a beautiful voice although she was shy about it.
“Daniel! Moi boy! Come!”

An older grey haired woman waved him over for a hug.

“Sophie! How are you?”

“Fine. Fine! Now who is this ye’ve brought me?”

“Sophie, this is Sara. Sara, Sophie is the master craftswoman behind this shop.”


Sara stepped forward and offered her hand to the woman to shake but Sophie stepped forward immediately offering her a hug.

“What a fine lass ye are, Sara. Welcome. What will ya both be havin’?”

“Sophie, let's get Sara acquainted with your delectable creations and then we shall decide.”


As they shopped the bakery case and made their choices, Daniel asked Sara,

“How did you know that song?”

“I don’t know. A memory from childhood, perhaps.”


Sophie’s voice rang out,

“Jess, make sure ye take fine care of Daniel and Sara. They are honored guests.”

The bright red haired woman behind the counter looked to be Sara’s age. She was beautiful with a weathered but friendly face. She bore an unmistakable sadness in her eyes. She had a kind hearted appeal and a softer voice.

Sara chose The State Street Lemon Pound Cake. There were blueberries mixed into the cake and a lemon flavored icing drizzled on top. The cake was moist and did not crumble and the flavor; magnificent. Daniel chose the Orange Clove Cake with orange flavored icing and a dried orange slice on top. It was beautiful and the desserts were both very appropriate for Spring. They each chose a Dark Chocolate Orange Clove Mocha to accompany their desserts. They ate and drooled over how wonderful both of their desserts were and shared bites so they could each taste what the other had chosen.

The shop had lots of greenery and twinkle lights. The walls were lined with what looked like thin sliced railroad ties and the table tops were the same. The structure of the furniture was white-washed but the tops were exposed but smooth wood. The ceilings were high and the place had the feel of an old train station. The perimeter of the room displayed various colored old velvet couches and club chairs for the coffee drinkers who wanted a place to visit. The windows were large and the room was well lit. The velvets and greenery against the wooden backdrop gave the place an old world feel.

Sara instantly knew she had found a new place to call home when she wanted to come write or be alone. She also fully intended to share this place with the girls at work. Never had a single location made her feel so amazing and lit up on the inside. The place was beautiful and the desserts and drinks; to die for.

While Sara and Daniel sat and talked, she kept an eye on the red-headed girl, Jess. She found no real reason to keep watch on her but something about her fascinated Sara. The way she spoke with the musical Irish accent captured Sara’s interest. It was as if by looking into her eyes she was looking into her own. Perhaps it was the sadness she found there. But whatever it was, Sara kept watch. There was a flag that went up in her mind. Sara flipped through the great file cabinet that was her brain trying to figure it out. Still, the flag waved to no avail. She blew it off and told herself it was just her imagination. She chose to forget it and move on.

“How did you like yer treats?”

Sophie’s voice rang out. Sara had not noticed the woman walk up to her. She stared into her eyes for a long moment before answering.

“They were delicious. I made Daniel give me a bite of his so I could taste it. Both cakes are the best ever! Thank you so much, Sophie. You are an amazing baker.”

“Agh. Yer most welcome. Come anytime my darling. Any friend of Daniel’s is a friend of mine.”


Sophie leaned down and gave Daniel a hug goodbye while offering her hand to Sara. She took her hand and squeezed. Sophie’s hands were soft and warm. Both women knew they would be fast friends. There was a warmth between them that could not be mistaken.

“Jess, you best be finishin’ yer chores tonight, lass. Don’t be leavin’ me work for the mornin’!”

“You two have a foin’ night, now.”

“Good night, Ma.”
Jess said with a wave and blew her mother a kiss.

Sophie was out the door with an elegant sweep through the room. It had been a delight for the two to meet.

Sara and Daniel headed for home.

“I just want to know how you knew that song when we first walked in. I have never heard that song. How have you heard some Irish tune from overseas during your lifetime?”


Sara stared out the window while Daniel talked. The truth was, she had no clue how she knew it. She just did.

“I really don’t know, Daniel.” she muttered.

He looked over at her from time to time on the way home. She was quiet. She stared out the window and did not say much. He let her be. He could not help but wonder at the secrets that were buried inside of the girl he loved. He knew there had been a terrible past. He just wished he could help her.

Sophie stared at the ceiling for over an hour after she got into bed. That girl. What a beautiful little soul. She was so kind and soft spoken. She did not waste words. She loved Daniel. That was easy to see. But more, Daniel loved her and I can see it in his eyes.

Sophie decided to get back out of bed and go for a cup of tea out in the kitchen. She lived in a very large victorian that was well taken care of and in beautiful condition. She had worked hard over the years and modernized some parts of the house and restored others to its original condition. She padded out to the kitchen and started the kettle. As she waited for the kettle to whistle, she meandered around her kitchen studying her decor appreciatively. She had worked hard and she and her husband were able to enjoy the fruit of her labor. He took good care of the house and her. He helped her at the shop when he got bored around the house.

She poured water into her cup over the tea bag, turned off the burner and set about meandering around the house and thinking of her visit with Daniel and his guest. When she got restless at night she often studied the pictures on her walls and smiled at many of the memories and cried at others. She was about to turn out the hall light and head to the bedroom when her eyes fell upon the picture of her two and a half year old daughter Ava. Ava was holding Jess’s hand and little Roger, their brother was behind them with his arms around them. But the eyes she had spent the evening staring into belonged to Ava. Her name was Ava. Not Sara. Sophia had not realized her teacup slid from her hands until it crashed to the floor.

“Jeremy!” she shrieked.

“Jeremy!” Sophie flew up the stairs to the Master Suite and threw open the door. She stood staring at her husband. He stood, startled out of sleep.

“What is it moi love?”


Sophie was afraid to say the words and he was afraid to ask. They stood suspended in time just staring. His wife looked positively white faced and mortified. He knew.

“She came into the shop tonight...she is grown…”

“Well of course she is. She would be fifty years of age by now. How can you be sure it was her.”

“It was HER, Jeremy. I nursed her and stared into her eyes for two years. It was HER. That is our Ava!”


Sara tossed and turned and finally headed out to the sofa so as to not bother Daniel. She turned on a light and remembered that she had a file in her purse she intended to read. Shit! I cannot read this without Daniel’s permission.

She padded back into the bedroom and pushed his shoulder.

“Hmm.”

“Daniel, wake up.”

“I’m awake, what can I do for you?”

“I need you to come to the living room.”


As much as Daniel wanted to refuse, he knew it must be important for her to go through all of this. He threw on his robe and wandered out to find out what the hoopla was about. Sara reached in her bag and pulled out the file and handed it to him.

“I took this from the Records Room today so I could read it later because I am curious. I have not read it. I wanted to ask you first.”

“While I appreciate you asking first, I do not care for the fact that you removed it from the premises. You may read it to your heart’s content. But I want it put back tomorrow. It contains original documents that belong in the Fire Cabinet.”

“Thank you. I would like James’ number, Daniel. Like right now. I want to call him.”


Daniel stared at her bewildered.

“Okay. I will get it. But I can assure you he will not appreciate getting your call at this hour.”

“I don’t give a damn. He owes me at least one favor in this life. He can deal with it.”


The phone scared the daylights out of James. He was not used to getting calls. Ever. And when he did it was for work. It was 1:30 a.m. and there was no one he knew who would call him at this hour. However, it was a local number and he decided on a whim to answer it even though he could hardly think through the fog.

“James, it’s Sara.”

“Well hello, Sara. Is everything okay?”

“Yes. James...I...I have a question for you.”


“Go ahead. Ask me anything.” he relied eagerly. He had blown their relationship enough when he was younger and would give anything to repair the love and friendship between them. He had broken his own heart by hurting her. She was the only person who ever stood by him and he had taken advantage of her. He found it miserably impossible to forgive himself.

“James, what happened when we were young? Daniel took me to The Sugar Me Sweet Baking Company tonight...and there is an old woman there named Sophie there who owns the place.She seems so familiar. Why can’t I remember anything before first grade?”

James sat straight up in bed. She had his attention. That name indeed sounded familiar. Sophie. Sophie. It WAS familiar. Was she an aunt?

“Sara, what time does the shop open in the morning?”

“5:00 a.m.”

“Meet me there at five and we will get a coffee and talk.”

“Okay. I will be there. Thank you, James.”

“You bet.”


Sara was finally tired and climbed into bed next to Daniel, snuggled close and fell fast asleep.
To Be Continued...

Monday, April 27, 2020

Trey Gowdy-Liberty University Convocation

Good Evening Everyone!

I am posting this speech by Trey Gowdy because our country needs it right now.  With all of the crazy things going on in the country including rallys and marches...we need to be mindful of how to be the most powerful.  It is my hope that this will encourage and speak to someone out there.  Enjoy!



Have a great night!

Desi

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sara's Freefall Into Her Past

Good Afternoon Everyone!

You have all followed Sara's journey through her life as she knows it now.  She has crept along the edges of the cliff of her memory and in Chapter 10B, she is going to take a trip back in time to the mother she remembers.  There are sizeable gaps in her memory.  The longer she is with Daniel, the more she seems to be coming apart at the seams.  Will she be able to hang onto her sanity as the truth slowly makes its way back in?  

Because of the detail involved with going back in time, I am having to do "patient writing".  I am having to let the story unfold and it is very time consuming.  However, you can look forward to seeing it by the weekend.

Thank you everyone for your interest in the story, comments and emails.  Have a great day.



Desi

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Edge of Intention Chapter 10A

Something caused Daniel to wake up. He laid there with his eyes closed listening. He couldn’t hear Sara breathing. His first instinct was to look over at the clock. It was 2:21 a.m. He closed his eyes again and stopped breathing so he could listen. Nothing. He turned his head and slowly opened one eye and saw her empty pillow. He began to stir and look around the room. Still nothing. He looked over at the door to see if there was light out in the main living area but everything was shrouded in darkness. He was grateful the floors had cement poured between them to prevent creaking of any kind. He was able to move soundlessly as he went in search of her. 

He stopped in the middle of the living room in an effort to hear her. He heard a faint whimpering. Daniel tried hard to figure out where it was coming from. He moved toward the guest bedroom. There she was; on her knees on the carpet at the end of the bed with her elbows braced on the mattress, praying. He turned away from the door and leaned his back on the wall next to the frame out in the hall, listening. She was in there asking the greatest power in the Universe to help her with him. She needed His help. She couldn’t handle him anymore. He didn’t know whether he should be afraid or laugh. He was pretty sure he had been in trouble with God for a long time and this could not be helping matters any. He leaned his head back against the wall and mindlessly tilted it up toward the ceiling and closed his eyes as her words tore at his heart.

“...Father, I know that I have a streak of mischief running through me. I knew better than to order so much food and I am sorry. Please forgive me for disobeying him…”

More sniffles and sobs. Daniel felt tears stinging his eyes as she went on…

“...Please God, if you are listening to me, please let him change his mind about letting me go shopping with Jane and Brandy. I have no friends and I was so excited to go. I want so badly to live alone again. This is too painful. I can’t seem to get anything right. He does not like me, God. We are not a good match. Please show me what to do. Please.”

Sara silently cried as she laid her head on the end of the bed. Daniel peeked around the door frame and caught sight of her shoulders shaking while she sobbed her heart out. He turned and headed back to bed.

He tossed and turned while thinking about her across the house so upset with him. He finally settled onto his back and pondered her words. She had said he didn’t like her. Of course he liked her. He had hired her didn’t he? He bought her every item of clothing she could ever want and paid all of her bills and allowed her access to his credit card for anything he hadn’t thought of that she could want. How could she think he didn’t like her? At this point he was unsure if he should spank her out of her woe is me attitude or back off and give her some space. He decided to sleep on it and decide later in the morning when he woke up.

When he next awoke, Sara was over on her side of the bed sound asleep with her back to him. She was as far over on her side of the bed as she could be without falling off. He looked over at the clock; it was 10:30a.m.

“Sara…” he whispered.

“Hmmm?” she moaned back.

“We are really late for work…” he replied, half grinning. He knew she would flip when she realized the time.

He let her sleep late. He didn’t know how long she stayed in the guest bedroom snitching on him to the powers that be, but he imagined she was tired. She jumped up and threw the covers off of herself and onto Daniel’s side of the bed.

“Daniel! I am sorry! I have to call!”

She ran towards the door and he stopped her.

“Sara! I am right here. You don’t have to call Jane. She hasn’t even called us. It’s okay.”

She looked back at him and came back to bed. She flopped on the bed and took her covers back. He reached over and scooped her up and drew her to him. He laid her in the crook of his arm with her head on his chest while he stroked her face. He tucked her hair behind her ears and moved his fingers over every square inch of her face affectionately until he noticed her breathing beginning to steady and grow deeper. Her breathing pattern eventually caused him to relax enough to fall into a deep slumber.

When Sara next awoke, she was lying on Daniel’s chest and he was snoring lightly. She laid there without stirring. She put her hand on his stomach and felt the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. She leaned over gently so as to not wake him and licked his left nipple. She watched as it rose to attention. She began to suck lightly and move it around with the edge of her tongue. When Daniel started to stir, Sara laid her head down and pretended to be asleep. She could not keep the grin that had crept into her mind from making its way to her lips. When she felt him slip back into a deep slumber she let her hand creep from his abdomen into his pajama pants...she felt his usual morning erection and ran her fingers over the tip and trailed them lightly to the base. She stroked his balls with the lightest touch. His rock hard cock bobbed up and down lightly in response. She continued to lightly stroke while turning her attention back to his nipple.

Something inside of Sara delighted that she could bring this response out of a sleeping man. She realized he was sleeping and it was possible that anyone could have done it. Nonetheless, it was still fun to play with him in this manner. She liked the sneaky nature of the activity. She continued sucking his nipple and playing with the tip of it in her mouth.

Before she could say what happened, Daniel flipped out from under her, grabbed her arms and flipped her over on her back. As he laid above her grinning he began to whisper.

“We have talked about this before, haven’t we?”

Sara’s eyes were alight with excitement.

“Yes.” came her breathless reply.

She was perplexed as he continued to stare into her eyes in silence. He kissed her lips and ran his nose across her cheek and down her jaw to her neckline. Sara squirmed beneath him as her body came alive with sparkling need from head to toe. He stopped above her and continued to stare into her eyes. Sara felt confused because his behavior seemed odd and calculated.

“Do you want me to fuck you, Sara?” he whispered.

Sara shook her head in response and whispered, 


“Yes, please.” with a slight grin on her lips.

“Why?” he asked.

Sara stared up into his eyes, confused.

“I want you to explain to me why you would agree to have sex with a man who you believe does not like you.”

Sara’s eyes widened with the realization that he had listened in on her prayers.

“You were spying on me…”

“No. I woke up and went looking for you and found you in the guest room ratting me out to God.”

“You should have made your presence known!”


Sara jerked her arms out of his grip and tried to turn away in frustration. Daniel obliged and got up off of the bed and started to dress. She sat on the edge of the bed and stared at him, eyes sparking.

“Are you sure you want to start your day this way, Sara?”

“I want to know why you spied on me and listened in on a prayer that was none of your business! If I snoop or get curious about my brother, I get accused of treason of the highest order and tossed out the door! But you come into my home and spy on me while I am beseeching God’s help, embarrass me by bringing it up and somehow that is okay!”


Daniel stared at her firing away at him and it took everything in his being not to start laughing. He had never seen her so full of venom. She was firing away at him with careless abandon and for once, it was nice to see her defend herself. The most interesting part to him, was that she hadn’t started crying. She walked past him but not before casting a filthy look in his direction; one that succeeded in getting under his skin enough to want to go after her and punish her for her disrespect.

He had no time to respond before the slamming of the bathroom door broke the silence. The solid oak door hitting the frame sounded like a bomb had gone off in the house.

Now, his ire was raised. He put on his tie and started forming the knot as he slowly sauntered to the bathroom and opened the door and stepped through. He walked over to her and stood behind her making eye contact in the mirror as he fixed his tie in place. He placed his hands on her hips while staring at her in the mirror. Sara tried to squirm out of his grip and jabbed one of her elbows into his ribs in an effort to make him back off. When it didn’t work she started screaming at him in the mirror.

“Let me go! Let. Me. Go!” she shouted.

His left hand came up to cover her mouth from behind so he could quiet the noise as he spoke to her. Sara only panicked and started squirming more. Both of her hands came up to try to pry his hand away from her mouth as he gripped firmly to keep her quiet. She fought to no avail. There was no way he was releasing his grip, fight as she may. The sound of his right hand cracking her thigh hard stung and the noise stunned her into silence. Daniel finally had her attention. He continued slapping her thigh and it cracked loudly as he spoke to her.

“I think you would be better off if you calmed down...crack...and had just answered my damn question in the first place...crack...but since you haven’t and I am now forced to deal with this temper tantrum of yours first...crack...we can get to my question later...crack! I am going to take my hand off of your mouth…”

Sara nodded her head as she looked into his eyes in the mirror. Tears finally started making their way down her cheeks. Daniel released his hold over her mouth but pushed her face down over the bathroom counter and yanked her panties down. He slapped her ass without ceasing and without talking for quite awhile while she stood bent over crying and squirming. She begged him to stop but Daniel did not feel it was in either of their best interests to allow her to get away with such behavior. He continued to tan her ass good until finally she had managed to squirm away from him and drop to her knees in front of him.

“Please! Daniel! I am sorry! Please stop! I cannot take anymore.”

He did not have the heart to continue as she sat on her knees with her arms wrapped around his upper thighs hugging him and crying. Oddly, he was not angry as he looked down at her. Her eyes remained closed as she continued to cry and hug him and express remorse for her actions. He could see by the muscular expressions in her face that she had truly broken down and meant every word she said. He pulled her up by her arms and hugged her for a few minutes while she continued to cry. Finally he told her to go into the bedroom and sit on the bed. He spent time in the mirror finishing up, sprayed some cologne, brushed his teeth and stepped into the bedroom to have a word with her.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to make it to the office today. However, I am going to head in. I would prefer that you did but if you can’t, I understand. In either case I will be home at 5:30 and expect you to be here to discuss this, is that clear?”

Sara nodded and replied,

“Yes, sir.”

“Okay. See you tonight.”
He nodded towards her and was out the door in a flash.

Sara sat thinking for another thirty minutes or so but did not move. She decided to go to work so as to not raise more rumors than necessary. She went to the bathroom, cleaned up and returned to her closet to pick out an outfit for the day. She chose an emerald green, silk blouse with a plain black skirt that came just above the knee. She slipped her feet into a tall skinny cut, pointy toe pair of black pumps, grabbed a black handbag, transferred her wallet, lipstick and keys and was not far behind Daniel. She skipped stopping for coffee because she knew he would pick up his own in case she chose not to come in. She could get hers at the coffee counter at the office.

She snuck in and sat at her desk without saying anything to Daniel. She got up and went back out the door to get coffee and met Brandy at the counter.

“Oh hey Sara! Jacob Stevens from Alliant is here to see Daniel, could you let him know?”

“Brandy…” Sara whispered, “...could you please just buzz his desk? I would rather steer clear of him today if possible.”

“You got it, girl. I will do it.”

Sara loved Brandy. She was trustworthy and did not gossip. Not even to Jane. She understood the delicate situation with Jane being Daniel’s sister and Sara dating or living with him. She never shared stories about her brother to Jane and Sara greatly appreciated it. If she asked her to help her steer clear of Daniel, Brandy would do her level best to comply.

“Is there a place in this building where I can be useful and earn my keep but hide?”

“Yes, Ma’am. Right this way.”


Brandy led Sara down a long corridor to a room with a locked door with a plate on it that read Records Room. She opened it and handed Sara the key. They stepped inside. There were what felt like miles of file cabinets lining the walls. The room felt like a temperature controlled library. The room was filled with beautiful emerald green carpet. Canned lighting accented beautiful cherry wood filing cabinets. In the center of the room stood a large matching cherry wood table with lamps down the center. The table was bar height with tall chairs surrounding it enabling one to sit and review documents as necessary. The table was piled high with folders that needed to be filed.

“You can stay busy here all day and tomorrow if you wanted. Or you could save it for the next time you need an escape. Now what do you want for lunch? I will bring it to you when it arrives.”

“I will be fine, Brandy. I am not hungry but thank you.”

“You got it. Let me know if you need anything. I will text you if, for some ungodly reason, he starts heading your way. There are no cameras in this room so he can’t find you here unless he actually walks through the door. You should be safe. He never comes in here.”


Sara nodded her thanks.

When the door closed behind Brandy, she looked around the room and drew in a deep breath. She loved the smell of paper and ink. The room was filled with it and she knew she was going to have a better day. She could be alone to think and decide where she wanted to go from here.

She got busy studying how the filing system was set up. Accounts for billing were in the first 26 cabinets. The job cabinets were different. They were fireproof cabinets that held copies of the job files. They included the original contracts for each job. She began putting files away and tried to ignore the fact that the pile on the table was probably the actual size of an elephant. She plugged in her headphones, turned on her favorite music and got lost in her tasks.

Brandy returned to her desk and buzzed Daniel’s desk.

“Good morning Mr. Taylor. Jacob Stephens is here for your meeting, Sir.”

“Okay, Brandy. We don’t have Sara today so please send him on back.”

“Will do.”


Oddly, Brandy decided to keep quiet. She was worried that he would ask her a direct question and since he hadn’t, she decided not to offer the information. She was going to order extra lunch today for herself so that she could share with Sara. She knew the woman needed to eat and when she calmed down, she would be hungry. She would sneak it to her in a bit while the boss was in his meeting. She immediately got on the phone and ordered two half sandwiches and salads from Panera for delivery.

When Daniel stepped out of his office and into the receiving area of the Executive Suite, he could swear he smelled Sara’s fresh perfume. He shook Jacob’s hand and invited him into his office. He glanced over and noticed her desk remained untouched from the day before. Nope. Her purse strap is barely peeking out of the drawer she failed to completely close. She is here. Hmmm.

Sara continued to put files away until she came across one entitled Beckett Contracting. She froze. This had been hers and her husband’s company. She had been the secretary. She never remembered hearing about Taylor Development. Instead of reading the file like she so desperately wanted to do, she slipped it into her carry along bag that housed her laptop, bottled water and Franklin Planner and kept working. She did not want to risk Daniel or anyone else walking in on her and catching her. She was pretty sure it was the last thing her ass could take right now. She was clicking right along and felt like she was making real progress. Sometimes the hurried pace of the office did not allow for filing and Daniel was slow to hire people at times.

Daniel’s meeting was over in exactly one hour. Panera delivered Brandy’s lunch just before the meeting let out and she could not escape to sneak it to the records room before Daniel was standing at her desk. He stood talking to Jacob forever. She squirmed in her chair wondering if she should just make a run for it and make it look like he was giving it to Jane but she would never get by without being questioned. She checked her email and waited and waited. When he finally stopped chatting another twenty minutes slipped by. When Jacob was safely out the door, he turned to Brandy with his arms folded and sauntered over to her desk.

Daniel tilted his head down to look over his glasses at her and for a minute said nothing. Brandy stared back in silence.

“Is all of this food for you?”

“No.” she replied.

“Where is she?”


Brandy continued looking directly into his eyes but said nothing. Daniel’s brow rose and his chin tilted slightly to the side for emphasis.

“The Records Room.”

“What is she doing in there?”


“Filing, Sir.”

“Why?!”

“I don’t know, Sir. She just asked me to tuck her somewhere out of the way today and I told her she could file all day.”


“Pretty expensive file clerk, don’t you think?”

“Yes, Sir but I did not want to argue with her.”

“Give me her food. I’ll take it to her.”


He scooped up her food and a few napkins and headed down the corridor.



Read Chapter 10B here.