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"I've heard of keeping things in the family," Marian whispered to Winston when they were finally alone, but this is ridiculous. How on earth are we going to maintain a professional working relationship when we're thinking about ... you know...?"
Winston laughed, happiness and contentment shining in his eyes. " Just knowing what's waiting at home should make things easier," he said. "But if not, well, there's always the supply closet." Then he bent his head to sample Marian's very special brand of honey.
Marian Peters laid her purse on her desk and hung up her navy linen jacket. By afternoon, she’d need the jacket. The office air conditioning usually kicked into high gear around noon, and shortly thereafter she’d start to shiver. Why the system couldn’t keep a steady temperature she would never understand.
"Morning, Marian," Irving Watson called as he passed her on his way to his office. "Is the coffee ready yet?"
He said the same thing every morning, and he never waited for an answer. Marian smiled and shook her head. I.J. Watson had been the District Attorney in Philadelphia for several years now, and Marian had worked closely with him for the last three. They understood each other and had worked out a comfortable business relationship. She knew that he was cranky until he’d had at least two cups of strong black coffee and that he got irritated if her children called her at work too often. But all in all, Marian was satisfied with her job. She earned a comfortable salary, the benefits were good, and she enjoyed what she did. What more could a woman ask for?
"The coffee will be ready in a few minutes," Marian said automatically.
"Never mind the coffee. We need to talk," Irving said. "Come to my office, please."
Fifteen minutes later, Marian sat down at her desk, stunned. Irving Watson was retiring, and a new D.A. would take over in two weeks. As far as Watson knew, Marian’s job was safe, but he knew very little about the new man, and Marian was naturally apprehensive.
What if she and the new D.A. simply didn’t click? What if she couldn’t stand him, or vice versa? She needed her job. She had three kids to support. Jack’s child support payments didn’t go very far, nor were they always on time.
Wait and see, Marian, she told herself. Don’t go jumping to conclusions.
~ * ~
"So I need thirty dollars for my cheerleading uniform," fourteen-year-old Blythe said, helping herself to an apple from the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. She grinned and did a little dance around the center island. Her light brown hair swirled around her face, and her green eyes danced with excitement. "I still can’t believe I made the team. Do you know how many girls tried out?"
Marian smiled proudly. "How could you miss, honey?" She sobered and tried to look modest. "After all, you’ve got my genes, you know."
"Aw, Mom!" But Blythe was happy, and that made Marian happy. She had a special softness in her heart for her oldest child, and she knew that Blythe missed her father more than the other two children. She couldn’t help feeling a little guilty when she thought of all her kids had missed in the daddy department.
Oh, Jack hadn’t deserted them, and Marian knew that in his heart he loved all the kids. It was just that he was irresponsible and, at the moment, he was totally self-involved. Sometimes his children got pushed aside in favor of his pursuit of happiness.
"Where’s your brother and sister?" Marian asked as she chopped vegetables for a salad. "Did Brad clean up the backyard the way I asked him to?"
"I guess," Blythe said, shrugging, "but he’s over at Mike’s house now, and Bev’s in her room talking on the phone with Jennifer Myers."
"The new girl in her class?"
"Yeah. Personally, I think she’s weird, but Bev thinks she’s something special. I guess it’s because she wears makeup and all the latest fashions."
"Makeup? At eleven? Good heavens, I’m not sure I…"
"Don’t try to break up Bev’s friendship with her, Mom," Blythe warned.
"Then what should I do?" Marian asked, regarding her eldest child. Blythe was mature beyond her years in some ways, and Marian depended on her in times of conflict with her other two children. Blythe always seemed to know how to handle a potentially explosive situation.
"I think we should just keep an eye on things, you know?"
"All right," Marian said. "I’ll just keep my eyes and ears open, and we’ll see, right?"
Stacey Dennis has been writing as long as she can remember. Happily married, she is the mother of two beautiful daughters and grandmother to a handsome grandson and an adorable little granddaughter. When not writing she enjoy desiging and making quilts, floating in her pool and long bike rides with her husband.
Ms. Dennis' well crafted novel will tug at your heartstrings. Interesting characters drawn from life and fast paced plotting make for an extremely enjoyable read. -- From: Diane Crawford, COMEDY OF ERRORS (Bantam), COWBOY KISSES (Bantam), ANDY FOR SHORT (Cora Verlag), RECIPES OF ROMANCE (Media)
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 270
Paper Weight (lb): 11.4
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