Fighting for Love(9)

By: L.P. Dover

“You have got to be kidding me,” I exclaimed. “I knew it was a mistake to turn it off.”

Trying to hide his smirk, Jace shook his head and finished up his omelet. “I guess you’ll be busy today,” he teased.

Groaning, I pushed my phone aside and mumbled, “Yeah.”

As I started in on my breakfast, I thought, Maybe I’ll wait a little bit longer to listen to my messages. It was the first week in June and every month I was given an assignment for the ten page spread. I was pretty sure most of my messages were from my boss giving me the heads up on who I was to spend my next month researching.

After finishing my omelet, I drank the rest of my juice and put my plate and glass in the sink. Jace was still at the table finishing up and flipping through a Maxim magazine when I asked, “So, Jace, how did the audition go yesterday? Do you think you did okay?”

Nonchalantly, he shrugged his shoulders and kept his gaze on the magazine. “Yeah, I think I did pretty well. I’ll find out next week if I made it.”

“That’s great—” I began, but my sentence was cut off by my phone ringing … again. Jace reached for my phone on the table and tossed it to me from across the room. Catching it midair, I glanced down to see that it was Bryan, my boss.

“No surprise there,” I mumbled to myself before answering it.

“Good morning, Bryan,” I greeted him.

Bryan Winters was pretty laid back, but he only allowed certain people in the office to call him by his first name and I happened to be one of them. He was a workaholic in his late fifties with salt and pepper hair, and in extremely good physical shape for his age. In his youth he used to be a professional tennis player, and when I told him I used to play for my high school team he made it mandatory that I play the game with him at least once a week. It was always a good time and I enjoyed it. Not to mention, he made sure I stayed on the clock when I played even though I told him it was fun … not work. He insisted, and with the unyielding Bryan Winters you could never reason with him when he had his mind set.

“Good morning to you, too, Shelby,” Bryan responded warmly. “I called you a few times yesterday, but you never answered my calls. Did you check your messages or emails?”

Sheepishly, I sat down at the bar, and in a quiet voice said, “No, actually I didn’t. I had my phone off since you told me to take the day off.”

The line went quiet, but then Bryan whistled and burst out laughing. “Well, well, I thought I’d never see the day that you actually put work aside to take a day off. Good for you, young lady. So listen, as you know it’s time for the new spread for our July edition. The reason I called was because your athlete’s agent wanted to meet over lunch today. I wanted to give you his number so you could call and set up a time. I know it’s kind of last minute, but he insisted.”

“Oh yes, of course,” I answered quickly, rushing to the junk drawer. It had everything in it like pens, take-out menus, matches, and mints that restaurants would give you with the check. I grabbed the first pen and piece of paper I could find. “Okay, I found a pen. I’m ready when you are.”

“All right, his name is Garrett Wells and his number is …”

As he said the number, I wrote it down—along with the agent’s name—on the old grocery list I had happened to grab out of the drawer. Hmm … Garrett Wells. That name sounded awfully familiar for some reason.

“Bryan,” I started curiously, “who is it that I’m going to be writing about?”

His phone began to break up and all I heard through the static was the sound of his jumbled words and his deep laugh. “Bryan, can you hear me? You’re breaking up on me,” I exclaimed into the phone. Unable to figure out what he was saying, I hung up and rushed over to Jace to tell him good-bye before I was late.

Wrapping my arms around his neck from behind, I kissed him on the cheek and squeezed. “I’ve got to go. Have a good day and don’t get into any trouble. I’ll see you tonight.”

Patting my hands, he turned his head and kissed me back on the cheek. “Me get into trouble … never,” he countered sarcastically with a twinkle in his eyes.

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