Today's #writerwednesday shares a preview from my upcoming novel, A Woman's Design: Redemption. In the first book, A Woman's Design: Afflictions, Paige had quite a few intimate encounters of the sexual nature with various men. There's one that she will never forget, because it was a lightweight wakeup call. Today, she comes face-to-face with that encounter in the most unlikely environment and situation.
A knock at my door pulled my attention from my laptop to the doorway.
“Paige, it’s time.” My supervisor, Gloria, had stuck her head in the door calling me to the emergency staff meeting.
Logging off my system I gathered my iPad, phone and keys, and followed her down the corridor to conference room D.
The other social workers and case managers had already gathered around the table. The room was filled with the sound of buzzing bees as everyone gossiped, trying to determine what the meeting was about.
I walked to the head of the table as I usually did to sit to the right of Gloria. It was a power play I used to send the message to everyone that I was her right hand. The other case managers often vied for her attention in an effort to get the most promising cases, the best resources, and maximum favors. I had already cornered the market on that a few years back. Gloria and I had become best work buddies through the years, sometimes having lunch together, or drinks after work.
She had always believed we were close at work and away from work, but there was another side of me she had not known. At least until the news flashed my story on TVs across the Metro Atlanta area. There was still a lot she didn’t know and I preferred to keep it that way.
I looked around the table at my peers and rolled my eyes. They seldom had time to be bothered with me, and it had always been just fine by me. The wall I had carefully constructed to keep others out closed me in. Co-workers I had known for years maintained a distant air. At holiday parties and staff functions if I wasn’t socializing with Gloria, I found myself alone, or in the corner with my male constituents, or someone’s husband.
“Alright people, let’s get this show started,” Gloria stated, shuffling a stack of papers in front of her.
Everyone calmed down and focused their attention on her.
“Let’s start this meeting off by first giving an update on your current case log. Amanda we’ll start with you,” Gloria said, pointing at a young blonde, brown-eyed woman.
She was new to our agency and was still disillusioned to the point of believing she could and would make a difference.
Amanda spoke up and gave updates on her case log. The meeting went on like that until everyone, yours truly included had updated Gloria on our cases.
Gloria took care of a few tasks like reassigning a couple of caseloads temporarily, while two case managers went on vacation. One of the perks of my friendship with Gloria was that I was not on the receiving end of said caseloads.
I knew the fact I never had to oversee their caseloads while they were on vacation, although they had to oversee mine pissed off most of my co-workers.
“Okay. Now we’ve gotten the primary business out of the way let’s get down to the real reason for this meeting. I know you’re all wondering why I called this last minute meeting, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. First, let me say thank you for dropping everything and being here. I appreciate that you are all overburdened with caseloads and seldom have time to eat lunch or breathe, let alone run to a last minute meeting. You are a great team and I appreciate the hard work and diligence you bring to this department. Which is why it’s difficult for me to tell you…goodbye.”
There was a shocked silence for almost a minute before the murmuring began. I stared at the wall across from me for a while before I blinked out of my daze.
What happens now? What about those perks I’ve been banking on? These thoughts floated around in my head as I sat quietly next to her.
“Does this call for congratulations?” Iris Jordan another senior social worker inquired.
“Actually it does. I’m getting married at the end of this month to a wonderful man I’ve been dating for the last five years. We’re moving back to his hometown in Boston where I’ve already landed a position with their Department of Family and Children Services division.”
I turned to look at Gloria and it suddenly dawned on me. Maybe this friendship wasn’t as lopsided as I had believed at first. Obviously she was as unattached to it as I had been. I had no idea she was in a relationship, let alone one so serious it was leading to marriage. Moving to Boston? Where had that come from?
That was another of those ‘aha moments’ that pointed out to me just how self-absorbed I had been. My world revolved around me and for some reason I thought everyone else’s should, as well.
“So, is your position posted for re-hire?” Rich Bradenton was always looking for a promotion. He was probably the laziest person on the team and had been turned down for every promotion he sought.
“Actually it isn’t. Only external candidates were recruited for this position, and only applicants who had been in a similar role. It’s being reshaped to take on more responsibilities than I have been responsible for. Your new supervisor will be taking this department in a new direction; however, I must admit that you are in very capable hands. I promise you won’t be disappointed and in fact—” Gloria broke off and looked at her watch, before glancing at the door.
“If you all will excuse me for just a moment. My replacement should be here any minute,” she said, walking to the opened door and peeking her head into the hallway.
She pulled the door slightly closed behind herself and began conversing with someone in the hall. Some people peeked tried unsuccessfully to get a glimpse of who she was speaking with.
“Can you see?” Adele Scoggins asked Iris Jordan.
“Uh-uh. I can’t see a thing,” she said, straining her scrawny neck like a crane.
“I still can’t believe they didn’t tell us. I’d’ve liked to have applied for the position. Can you believe I wasn’t even considered?” Rich Bradenton complained with his face in his right hand.
“It’s okay, Rich. They said they were revamping the position. Maybe it was something you wouldn’t have wanted anyway.” That was Yvette Rhodes. She had been in love with Rich forever, despite the fact he was very married.
“You think?” he asked, looking at her to stroke his ego.
I could tell from the desperate look on her face she wanted to do more than stroke his ego. Poor Yvette, Rich either never realized her infatuation with him, or he refused to acknowledge it. He wouldn’t give her a bone to lick. No pun intended. Hell, yes there was. Who am I kidding?
Our attention over our miseries was brought up short when a smiling Gloria stepped back into the room.
“Team, I would like to introduce you to my replacement, and your new supervisor, Jacob Hawthorne.”
My heart started pounding rapidly because surely I had heard incorrectly.
Gail stepped aside and I almost crapped my pants! He stood there in the flesh, looking finer and sexier than he ever had before.
I wanted to crawl underneath the table and disappear.
His eyes landed on me and his lips twisted up in a quirky, mischievous smile and his warm cocoa brown eyes darkened. I could see something there smoldering. I could’ve sworn Jacob undressed me with his eyes right at that table.
I had always been a confident woman when it came to my appearance and body. At that moment I wanted to cover up and hide. I felt as if everyone in the room could see my nude body.
All of a sudden my white three-quarter sleeve ruffled blouse and black and white mid-skirt was not enough clothing. I looked down at my iPad in front of me and pretended to be scrolling through my notes.
My already light face flushed red. I could feel the heat creeping all over my body and the tingling in my legs begin. I couldn’t believe this. I was in a room full of people and this man had the ability to make me feel ways I had not felt in two years. I didn’t have this reaction to him the other day in the parking lot, why now?
Was he toying with me? When I looked back up at him he had one finger at his temple, smiling at me with his bottom lip between his teeth. He was mentally fucking me and I was getting wet! Damn!
I risked a glance around the table and was surprised to see no one was watching me. All eyes were on him and Gloria as she introduced the team.
When I looked back at him he had turned his attention elsewhere. At that moment I determined God must really have a sense of humor. If He was angry at the way I had pushed Him away, He was exacting revenge at this moment.
A Woman's Design: Redemption Coming Soon
CHECK OUT BOOK 1 NOW:
A WOMAN'S DESIGN: AFFLICTIONS
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