Unexpected Chances, page 1
By A.M. Willard
Copyright © 2014 by A. M. Willard
All Rights Reserved.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance of events to real life, or of characters to actual persons, is purely coincidental.
Except for the original material written by the author, all songs, song titles, and lyrics mentioned in this novel are the property of the respective songwriters and copyright holders.
Cover Design by Carrie @ at cheekycovers.com
Edited by Jamie Marie Sadler
Published by A.M. Willard
Find out more about the author and upcoming books online at www.amwillard.com
Chapter Twenty One
Chapter Twenty Two
Chapter Twenty Three
Chapter Twenty Four
Chapter Twenty Five
Chapter Twenty Six
Chapter Twenty Seven
Chapter Twenty Eight
Chapter Twenty Nine:
Chapter Thirty One:
Chapter Thirty Two:
Chapter Thirty Three:
Chapter Thirty Four
Chapter Thirty Five
Chapter Thirty Six:
Chapter Thirty Seven:
Chapter Thirty Eight:
Chapter Thirty Nine:
About the Author
This morning’s been crap ever since I rolled out of bed. I’m late with less than forty-five minutes to dress and arrive at the office, boot up the laptop, and make myself presentable. The teleconference with Georgia’s Incorporated is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. I pull on a pair of jeans, locate my blue and black silk sleeveless top, and slide on my black heels. My red hair’s in every direction that you could imagine; I’m doing my best to tame it, as I pull it up into a French twist. Snatching my jewelry up from the top of the dresser, I head out shoving it into my purse. I’ll just put everything on as I make my way to the office.
I arrive with ten minutes to spare; just enough time for me to plop into my chair and plaster a huge smile across my face. I’m in desperate need of a huge cup of coffee to fake this smile.
Deciding to stay out late last night with my older brother Seth, I forgot to set my alarm. I’ll have to wait until after the conference for my caffeine drip.
Generally I’m an upbeat, sassy kind of gal, but lately I’m depressed and stuck in a rut. I just turned thirty three; I’m single, and my best friend’s on business trips these days. To entertain myself and try to stay out of trouble;
I work hard.
That’s how my life goes. I’m the executive assistant for my best gal friend, Angela Stephens and I adore her. Her husband, on the other hand, is a serious douche. I can’t stand him, never have and never will.
I’ve watched her marriage over the years, and this has caused me to swear off love; not to mention the douche I was in love with in college who shattered my heart. I’m pretty sure that God hasn’t made a man that can handle me. Family and friends say that I’m a one of a kind lady; I’d have to second that one.
The last few months have been a whirlwind at work; we’ve gained five top scale clients within the hotel industry. Most days I sit behind this computer, smiling, taking notes as I try to figure out what services they require. After each session, I write up a preliminary proposal and email it to Angela. She reviews the documents and decides if we want to pursue the company. If she decides to move forward, I set up a final meeting via teleconference, and fly her out to research then we close the contracts.
Today’s meeting is with Carter Northwood, CEO of Georgia’s Incorporated. From what I’ve researched, he owns a few hotels and condos in the Seattle, Washington vicinity.
The email Angela sent, stated that they’re curious about other ways to expand to a more family orientated environment. Someone mentioned that his condos resembled a senior citizens home, oh wait that was me. That’s how I described them to Angela yesterday on the phone.
In dire need of a coffee the size of Texas, I’m not looking forward to this teleconference. Most of the owners are old and drive me nuts while they explain every single last detail of the project. What I need from them is, ‘hey look we want to broaden our horizons; we need a hip image.’
That I can handle. I don’t need to know how the carpet is old, or the fact that the crowds you attract aren’t paying the bills any longer.
This is the reason I have empty cups on my desk, a few energy drinks, and every last piece of paper ends up scribbled on. Just one of my nervous traits. It drives the boss nuts. If it’s an important document, Angela slips it into a folder. Folders mean they’re off limits; no scribbling.
Angela once brought me this cute Hello Kitty notebook back with her from somewhere, “Here, this is for you. Only draw on it or in it.” Yeah, that didn’t work. I ran out of pages after a week. I might have a touch of ADHD and OCD, even though my mad mess is nuts; I know where everything is.
Laptop is up, and I gather the files for today’s meeting. Then search to find my pink pen with feathers sticking out of the tip. Once I have everything lined up in front of me, I notice I have a few minutes before I need to act bubbly. I lean back into my super soft purple leather chair to find my Zen.
The black screen is up, and it’ll ping when another party joins. No reason to smile until it signals me.
I close my eyes for a moment and take a few breaths; searching for that inner peace. Yes, I’ve been on the hunt now for a year with a few Yoga, Tai-Chi and meditation classes. Don’t judge, some hot guys attend right along with me.
Angela says that’s the only reason I attend. I disagree with her, since I haven’t had road rage in months.
It feels like only a moment when something startles me out of my meditation. I fling my eyes open; “Shit!” I scream out, as I fall to the floor. Rising up with my hand over my heart, as if it might jump out.
I take another glance at the screen, thinking someone has hacked into my computer and is watching me. He’s laughing, but I don’t hear him through the speakers. As I look at the icon, I notice it’s on mute. A quick glance to the time, it’s been fifteen minutes since the meeting was scheduled to begin.
Shit, how long was I out? Who’s the creeper? Was he stalking me the whole time, Lord that’s nuts, I think as I try to pull it together real quick.
“You must be, Tabitha Michaelson,” he states and the inside of my thighs squeeze together. I’m taken aback with his
“Oh…Yes that’s me,” I stutter out, sounding like a stupid bimbo.
“Well, Ms. Michaelson, I hope you’re ready for the meeting now, after that nap of yours.”
“Yes, I’m ready and you are?” I ask with confusion, thinking they sent someone else to do the grunt work for, Mr. Northwood.
“Carter Northwood, you set this meeting up, but, appear to not be ready. Do we need to reschedule?”
“No sorry, Mr. Northwood, I was meditating. I didn’t hear the chime on my computer. My sincere apologies,” I whip out, thinking to myself that Angela is going to kill me if I screw this up.
The board of directors has brought it to my attention that we’re not growing as projected. A friend of a friend heard of this company that does an overhaul on your business. They come in undercover; “somewhat undercover” take notes and then suggest where you need to revamp.
The board feels as if we’ve changed our direction. No longer attracting the younger, hip crowd in which we house in Seattle?
I’ve agreed to have a teleconference with Mrs. Stephens’ assistant, Tabitha Michaelson since she’s unavailable.
Running late due to the traffic and drizzling rain, I’d like nothing else than to push this meeting out. I’m not convinced my company needs to go this route. The board has suggested that if I go into this with an open mind, I’ll not be disappointed. If by any chance I am, I have the right to overrule the members.
My assistant, Kelly hands me my black coffee as I pass her desk. Entering my office, I glance to the clock and take note on the time.
The day’s packed with back to back meetings. After, I have to meet with the new developer on some condos we’re building.
After booting up, I set out the questions that I’ve prepared and make sure I’ve opened my calendar.
I’m aware that this is the first step of the process. Next, you meet with the owner. After she arrives, you’ll get a full report within a week. They’ll make several visits after you sign a year’s contract.
I’ve got at least another five minutes before I need to be online, but choose to log in ahead of time. I can move about with emails and such as I wait for the beep.
Whoever invented these programs for teleconferences were brilliant, they save companies’ time and money. I can meet with the board and other partners from anywhere. That comes in handy, for when I’m beckoned to my wife’s side.
I lean over in search of a folder from my briefcase. As I come back up, I notice the screen’s no longer black. Shocked at what I’m seeing. I double check the login and password, as I’m sure it’s a mistake.
Nope. Not a mistake. I’m on the correct server.
Blinking a few times to adjust my eyes.
This beautiful creature is leaned back into her chair asleep.
What professional has a purple chair and sleeps before a conference? It’s not what she’s sitting in that’s throwing me off or the fact that she’s sleeping. It’s her face.
A face of a porcelain doll with red hair.
Her hairs pulled up, showcasing her cheekbones. Her neck is long, but not too long; just right. It makes me want to lick every inch of it. This thought has me readjusting my slacks. Her lips are coated with what looks to be a pale pink gloss; full and kissable.
Leaning back, I watch as her lips move from side to side as if she tastes them. Her head bobbles while she shifts in her seat. She’s caused me to snicker, Lord it’s been forever since a woman has had this sort of effect on me. My chest is moving up, and down from the laughter.
I know once she wakes, she’ll be embarrassed by her actions. Just as I think this, her eyes fly open.
When her eyes pop open, I turn my head to the side. They’re as green as an emerald. That’s what I see on this side of the computer screen. I can only imagine how mesmerizing they are in person. She’s startled, off her game now as she realizes I’ve been watching.
You can see the fire in her eyes as she stumbles around for an explanation. It’s time to up the game and play with this, Tabby cat.
I’ve been out of sorts since I hit the end button on the meeting this morning. I left right after to search for coffee. As soon as I finished that large cup of joe, what do I do? I spill what’s left down the front of me. With no time to change, I end up having to spend the rest of the day covered in it.
I broke the printer, which ended with me wearing all the toner. I couldn’t even find the files that I need to review for Angela’s meeting in New York this week. Lucky for me she doesn’t leave for another two days whilst she finishes up her meetings.
Since I can’t shake those blue eyes from this morning, I search around my desk that’s littered with files for my phone. I know who to call, and what I need. Sliding my phone open, I text my brother Seth.
T: I need to clear my head. You up for some fun tonight, big bro?
Waiting for his response, I log off the computer, and try to clean up my crap from the day. If I check the mirror, I’ll look as if a train ran me over, and then flagged down another ten to back over me.
Being a wreck, covered in toner, coffee, and last night’s party makes for an unhappy Tabitha.
Bro: You know I’m always up for fun. Where and when?
T: You know the place; 9 p.m. Bring your game.
As I hit send, I throw myself into the chair. Pretty sure I’ve never had a man affect me the way Carter Northwood is.
I know nothing about him, other than he is pure sex on a stick, and I want to have a party with his stick. I didn’t see a wedding ring during the meeting, and I’m pretty sure he was flirting with me. Throwing a few winks my way, acting as if it was nothing. The only thing those winks made me want to do was climb through the laptop and see if he was all that.
I’d noticed a couple times that he had to shift his weight around. That right there made me squeeze my thighs together.
Ugh… I need Angela here. She would distract me from the thoughts I have in my head. But no, she’s off again, and I won’t be able to call her and tell her about this. She’d freak out and lecture me on how I need to slow down and find my fish in the water. Nope… Not happening.
I’m going home to shower, dress in my killer red heels, and throw on my slinky black mini dress. After I dress to the nines, I’ll meet my brother at our usual place, The Hill. It’s a mix between old and young; the perfect combination for someone on the prowl, or who wants to defrag their head of a blue eyed monster.
I’ll have to keep it toned down some, tonight, Seth almost had us arrested last night for starting a fight. I know I like to have a goodtime, but he takes it to another level. I don’t see him ever settling down; simply because no one could handle him. You mix the two of us together, and it’s a boiling pot of lava.
Seth and I are two years apart, him being the oldest and the wildest. Yes, I know. How can someone possibly pass me on being wild and crazy? Well let me just say, he does. He makes me look like a nun on a good day.
He’s been my rock and a pain in the ass more than I care to count, but when I need him, he’s there. We drive my parents crazy; with our non-sense and no relationship moto.
I remember back when we were younger, we’d fight tooth and nail. Now, we go that extra mile to protect one another. When my heart was ripped from my chest and I didn’t care to see the light of day again, it was Seth and Angela who picked me back up.
Seth drove all the way to the university when Angela couldn’t get me out of bed for days. He laid beside me and rub my head, like he did when we were kids; understanding that all I needed was my big brother to comfort me.
Who else is lucky enough to have not one, but four other men in her life that will pick her up when she’s down?
What the hell was that? No… Better yet, who the fuck is this woman? I’ve never wanted to jump on a plane so fast in my life, and screw someone against everything and anything I can find.
I have to figure out a way to make her mine. I’ve got to move along the divorce from Bethany. She’s been holding me back since I was eighteen years old. I should’ve listened to all my friends back then, but no. I had to screw her, and then be blackmailed into marrying her crazy stuck up ass.
My assistant gave me a compliment when I left the office this morning to head out and check on the job site. In the past, I’ve been told I have a killer smile but don’t show it off very often. Kelly was curious if I had a meeting with a hit man today. She said the smile on my face could go for days.
I shook it off and didn’t need to elaborate on how this smile could go for days if I only lived closer to my Tabitha.
Arriving at The Hill a little after nine, I search the dark room for Seth. I spot him leaning against the bar flirting with the bartender, who will not give him the time of day. Not for his lack of trying, however.
I sway my hips with a little more gusto. I need to vanish the day’s events. The only way I know how, is to find someone in this joint to dance with and buy me drinks.
I nudge Seth’s shoulder, “Hey, big bro.”
“Look at you, Firecracker. Want to explain the emergency text and the way you look tonight?”
“Huh? Nope,” I say popping the p. “Long day.”
Seth pulls me to him for a quick embrace. Releasing me, he says, “I know what that means.”
“Get us drinks, and I’ll find a seat,” I say as I turn around in search of a table.
Other author's books:
- Unexpected ChangesUnexpected ChancesFollow Your ArrowHeated Sweets (A Taste of Love Book 3)
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