Are you stuck in that Monday funk even though it's Tuesday? When the alarm clock went off, were you like this <see below>?
Think a little dose of Foster and Noelle will help? Read on... ;)
Out of Love
COPYRIGHT @ 2016 RC BOLDT
“I just got these contracts signed.” Noelle Davis, my office manager, puts two files down on my desk. “Tell me again why these people don’t allow e-signing?” She huffs out a breath, blowing some stray blond hair off her face while I watch her return to her desk.
And, for the trillionth time, I resist the urge to brush aside her hair for her. Which pisses me the hell off. Because I know the facts:
a) Noelle is off limits as my employee.
b) You never shit where you eat.
c) Noelle is worth her weight in gold since she helps run our office more smoothly than it ever has.
There are probably more facts that will come to me later but right now—I can’t think of them. Hell, right now I can barely think. All because this saucy blonde minx is bending over in the pencil skirt she’s wearing. Taunting me.
And I know someone—or something, rather—that needs a reminder of those three facts I just listed. And he’s currently pressing against my khaki pants as if trying to say, Target is in range. Ready to attack.
God, I’m a sick motherfucker.
Running a hand down my face, trying to stifle a groan, I turn my attention back to the updated program details I’m compiling. I run TriShield Protection, a private security consulting firm, here in Fernandina Beach, Florida. We contract out to a specific sector of private businesses along with international airports, training their employees to properly address and deal with any possible attacks, terrorist or otherwise. We also have a bunch of contracts with the local military bases.
After leaving the SEALs, I knew what I wanted to do. I had invested my money wisely and knew, with my credentials and commendations, I’d be a shoo-in for this business. I hired only former military for those carrying out the instructional support and assessments. One of these reasons was because we knew our shit. We knew what would work when faced with someone intent on causing harm to others. We weren’t going to be the ones who said garbage like, “Well, according to these studies, it would behoove you to…”
Fuck, no. First of all, I hope to hell I never say the word behoove in my lifetime. But the point is, we aren’t pencil pushers. We don’t sit behind a desk all day and still think we have our finger on the pulse. We have all been out there, faced death on a near daily basis and know what that’s like. We know what to do to stay alive; we all need to try and stay one step ahead of the enemy.
The second reason I hire only former military is because I recognize—fully—how difficult it is to go from having the non-stop brotherhood in the military to civilian life in one fell swoop. It’s a transition which most civilians don’t understand, as well as why those loud noises put you on alert, why you always sit facing the main entrance of a restaurant, or any establishment, with your back to the wall to best observe any potential threat.
People don’t fucking get it.
Just because you leave war and incessant violence behind you—oceans away—doesn’t mean it leaves you. It doesn’t say, Oh, Kavanaugh, you’re leaving the military? Cool, bro. Sweet dreams at night. I know you’ll forget all about shooting that ten-year-old kid aiming an RPG at your men, right?
Cue the major eye-rolling on that delusional-as-shit comment.
So, here I am. Still trying to give back to my country, trying to keep people safe from assholes intent as hell on taking away our freedom, and still provide support to those in transition. Those like Miller Vaughn and Roman “Doc” Watts, both former SEALs, as well as Langley—“Lee”— Ford, former combat pararescue jumper and the only female hire aside from Noelle, and Kane Windham, former Green Beret.
Yeah, my crew’s damn impressive, if I do say so myself. And things had been going smoothly—well, as smoothly as it could before I hired an office manager. The business grew far faster than I had anticipated. But it has been great, no major kinks along the way to deal with. All my employees got along well. Smooth sailing.
Until her. Until Noelle Davis.
Yeah, I just had to hire her. She had been the most qualified and competent applicant, had excellent references from her former job and had passed my “military-style harassment” test with flying colors. God knows I look forward to my daily dose of verbal sparring with her, even though I’m certain she tolerates me because I’m the one who signs off on her paycheck.
And, okay, the woman runs this place like a well-oiled machine. I have to admit that much.
But I should have known there’d be an issue.
I should have known she would be nothing but trouble. Even during the interview, I swear I knew. Like a fucking omen or something. I knew—and let’s be honest, my buddy down below really knew—she was trouble.
Trouble. The kind of trouble you want to get yourself into. Pun intended. Also, the kind of trouble you knew you couldn’t afford getting mixed up in.
I know what you’re probably going to ask; Then why the hell did you hire her, Foster?
And I only have one really shitty answer for you.
Evidently I’m one sick, sadistic fucker.
“Annie Wilkes. I can’t find the file on…” My boss spouts off his newest lovely nickname for me as he asks me for a file I’ve likely already placed on his desk.
Yeah, we call each other names. Which is just too freaking ridiculous, I know. But it’s kind of our … thing. It’s what we do. We fling jabs, insults, barbs back and forth all. The. Time. The crazy thing?
It started before day one.
“Are you planning on wearing clothing like that all the time, Marilyn?” The brazenness was evident in his tone as we went over my employment contract. As if I hadn’t accurately understood what he meant earlier by the whole, “You’ll be working around former military. Which means we dish out harassment in mass quantities.”
That day I had been wearing a dress similar to the famed white dress Marilyn Monroe had worn in the, “Oops! Is that air blowing up my dress?” movie scene. Mine was yellow and I had paired it with a white button down cardigan. Trust me, it was suitable for the office, knee-length and not showing any bits of flesh in any scandalous manner. Nothing over the top. I was decidedly not attempting to be the sex symbol Ms. Marilyn had been.
“Not sure, Shrek,” I had shot back without thinking. “Are you planning on being surly all the time?”
For a split second, I damned my mouth and my lack of filter. It had gotten me into trouble before, I’m not going to lie. People had referred to it as being “spunky.” But, let’s be real here. It’s just a nice way of saying I have no filter and I give as good as I get.
However, it didn’t seem to faze Foster. At all. Commence the spewing of banter back and forth. And the rest, as they say, was history.
I knew he had done a more thorough background check than most employers do simply because of the job itself. I would have access to a buttload of information— some of it classified, perhaps. So, he had to make sure I was on the up and up. And I was—er, am.
Okay, so I may have lied to him at the time of my interview. And I’m pretty certain he knew as soon as it spewed forth from my lips—as soon as I had answered his probing question, “What made you move from Destin to Fernandina Beach?”
I’m not proud of it, but I didn’t want to get into it with who I hoped was to be my new boss. Instead, I had given the nonchalant answer of, “I needed a change of scenery, wanted a job where I had more responsibility, and really love the quiet beach town of Fernandina Beach.” I also didn’t tell Foster the entire truth because a part of me didn’t want to jinx anything. Didn’t want to tempt fate and have my past, what I was running from—no, moving on from— rear its ugly head.
And, let me tell you. Its head is ugly. Actually, more like fugly.
Now, my boss is currently referring to me as the evil woman, Annie Wilkes, from the movie Misery. I should also mention that my boss, alpha male galore, also happens to have a body so fine and well-honed, you could ping quarters off of him.
Anywhere. Seriously. A-ny-where. Those quarters would ping off of him and probably take out someone’s eye.
And when the man smiles, one of those genuine smiles, and not the mischievous ones reserved for when he and I are trading insults, it’s like Fourth of July-style fireworks have erupted. Beautiful. Wondrous. Enough to make even Mother Teresa’s lady parts tingle.
I know, I know. Shame on me and my blasphemous thoughts.
As if that’s not enough, he has a dog. A dog he adores. A dog he runs with along the beach at the crack of dawn. I only know this because I may have stumbled out onto my back deck of the tiny beach house I rent with coffee in hand to sit and bask in the peacefulness that is the Atlantic Ocean. And, trust me, I would’ve known that body, that stride, anywhere.
He runs without a shirt, by the way. Think tanned, toned, muscular goodness. Not to mention his short, close-cropped brown hair, and eyes the color of the finest whiskey. And that’s all wrapped up in a man who appears to barely stand me.
I’ve clearly got some mad skills when it comes to having my boss not like me. But it’s a good thing, I promise. Because my lady parts are on a strict lockdown. Think of the part from the first Lord Of The Rings movie where Gandalf bellows, “You shall not pass!” That’s kind of what’s going on for me.
Because I’ve already been ripped to shreds as it is. By the sole reason I left Destin. My emotions and my self-esteem had plummeted because of that “reason.” I knew it would only be a matter of time before things escalated further. That was why I planned my getaway under the radar with only two people knowing my destination. Only two people helped me—the only ones I trusted.
So while I might have to internally scold my vagina for wanting to detach itself from my body and jump into Foster Kavanaugh’s arms, I have my reasons for keeping everything else under wraps. Me and men? We’re on a serious sabbatical.
I just have to continuously remind my nether regions that while my boss might exude addicting crack-like pheromones, I must resist. I can’t afford to make another colossal mistake. Not to mention, I really enjoy my job and coworkers. And it’s pretty clear my boss doesn’t care for me and only keeps me around because I’m so freaking good at running this office.
So as long as I look and don’t touch, it’s all good, right?
Um, yeah. I clearly need to work on sounding more convincing.
Want more??? Well, here's the good part. You can pre-order Out of Love so it will show up magically on your kindle on December 6th!
Here are the links:
Amazon US➜ http://amzn.to/2czmF2b
Amazon UK➜ http://goo.gl/vfa0o8
Amazon CA➜ http://goo.gl/gHBMsk
iBooks US➜ https://goo.gl/ECqNDz
iBooks UK➜ https://goo.gl/Qd1TMC
iBooks CA➜ https://goo.gl/plFlO6
iBooks AU➜ https://goo.gl/216JZL
Google Play➜ https://goo.gl/1UlrPy
Hope your Tuesday is a teensy bit more bearable!!