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Prologue Part 3.2
By the time her lunch came around, she really wasn’t that tired. Despite lack of sleep because of the recent dreams she had been having, Elena was still happy to be at work as long as Lori or her brother weren’t around.
She found a good book from the hospital’s library usually reserved for patience and decided to take that along with her lunch to the cafeteria. What was nice to know was that the book she found was last checked out by Mr. Cartwright and returned to the library two days before he died. Getting herself a soup and crackers with water was good enough sine she never liked to eat heavy at work.
There weren’t a lot of people in the lunch room at the time which is why she preferred her lunch there instead to the employee’s lounge on her floor. She had never been a very naturally sociable person. She got along well with her co-workers, but the lounge always served up office fodder and negativity that she just didn’t prefer to be around or have to listen to.
The lunchroom opened twenty-four hours a day was perfect for her seven o’clock evening break time because it was almost the end of visiting hours and most staff preferred to take their breaks on their respective floors.
Deeply immersed in her book, she didn’t realize someone had walked up to her table until she couldn’t stop thinking that she was surrounded by the smell of fresh rain.
Her eyes shot up to look into the most sensual brown eyes that made immediately made her realize she was very much woman and this was very much a very handsome man.
“I’m sorry to bother you, Nurse Holland.”
Her instincts to be immune to handsome men took a minute to kick in and she was able to quickly correct him instead of being tongue tied. “I’m not a nurse. I’m a medical assistant.”
“Yes, a well regarded one at that,” he said with a nod. “So many have said such wonderful things about you, I’m amazed they keep you where you are.”
“They have to due to seniority,” she explained. “My supervisor has more seniority than I do and they can’t promote me without promoting her. She doesn’t even know they’ve given me some responsibilities that she should be doing but she doesn’t and also other responsibilities.”
“And you do these freely?”
Elena smiled slightly. “I’ve worked that out with administration,” she said with a secretive wink.
“How can I help you?” she asked quickly, getting to business annoyed with herself. Despite her resisting the irresistible handsome man, she had forgotten to even ask his name, yet revealed something very personal without him asking for it.
He liked this. Dammit! Smiled triumphantly and his fascinating brown eyes danced.
The faster she handled whatever he wanted the faster he would get away from her. Although she didn’t mind being disturbed on her lunch, she had a feeling if she didn’t get away from this man quickly; her restraints she normally used to be immune wouldn’t last for long. There was just something about him that made her body shift and flutter inside in places that she hadn’t felt effected by a man in a very long time.
“You didn’t strike me as a woman who got down to business right away, but Chance did warn me about you.”
“Doctor… I mean Chance, you know him?” This completely struck her off guard.
“Yes, I’m Pholsom Todd.”
She hadn’t met someone with an odder name than hers in a long time. “That’s a very unique first name.”
“It’s a family name passed down. My father had the honor of naming me. Pleasure to meet you.” He extended perfectly manicured thick hands and she placed her hand in his, yet waited to find out what he needed and the reason as to why he was talking to her.
“May I sit?” he asked her permission.
She only nodded and watched as he unbuttoned his jacket to his very expensive suit and sat down across from her. His magnanimous presence, brawny build and long legs only allowed him to sit sideways in the chair.
Did Chance just know a flurry of good looking men? Did they all hang around together or have some kind of secret fraternity?
She kept those questions to herself as she watched him get comfortable in the cheap plastic chairs that seem to balk a little from his weight.
He cleared his throat and then smiled as if it were an honor to join her.
Dammit! What the hell! His smile was even more devastatingly handsome and perfect than Chance’s and she never thought any man could top that one, except her father. Yet this one had one up because there was a beauty mark right on his top left lip that could be seen perfectly because he trimmed his moustache so that the hair did not touch the top lip line.
She wondered did his lips taste as good as the ones she had kissed in the darkness of a strange house.
Stop that! She ordered, yet she still couldn’t help herself as she took in his appearance.
His dark brown natural curly hair with a touch of light sun caramel was cut short right before the curls would have gotten out of control. He had dramatic thin side burns that came down and joined with a line of hair running from his jaw to this chin and connected just another line of hair to the edge of his moustache.
For some reason the ends of her fingers tingle to touch his face to know if the skin and hair looked as soft as it appeared, but she did not give into temptation. Instead she bawled her fist up and jammed them down into her lap, hoping he’d hurry up and explain why he was there so she could get him away from her.
His proximity was doing sexual chaos to her body and he hadn’t even touched her… yet.
But I want him, the deep recess of an unexplained hunger. She couldn’t tell if the smell of Petrichor was coming from the present or past. Her eyes felt crossed, her stomach was tied in knots and her brain was fogging up as if clouds from the sky had come down to occupy her head.
“I hope you don’t mind me interrupting your break, but Chance told me this was probably the only place I could catch you when you weren’t working,” he explained.
“So how do you know Chance?”
“We were friends in college for a short time before a misunderstanding with family. I’m the associate he was going to meet the day he helped you out in emergency; The one with the just inherited geriatric facility.”
It took a second, but realization popped in her head and she nodded in complete understanding and relaxed. “Wow! You really needed to meet me so soon.”
“The urgency is not in the meeting, but the employment of someone I can trust and know that can help get the facility up to code and appease the tenants there. My father’s living will was enacted and this has been his dream of helping the elderly who had nowhere to go. My mother said I should just recover my loss of the inheritance and sell the place to the highest bidder, but I have a feeling my father didn’t mind the loss although when he was able to keep up with the place, it earned a pretty good profit and was once one of the best in the city. His whole passion was to make sure these people had a place to go when they had nowhere to go. It’s filled with homeless elderly people, most times referred by hospitals and states that can no longer take care of them at their facilities. I feel if I can bring it up to state code again, I could get the money needed to generate some type of income, plus keep my father’s legacy going.”
“So you have no interest in the place other than respecting what you think your father wanted?”
“Not thinking, Ms Holland, knowing. It wasn’t too long ago when he was homeless and understood a lot what these people are going through. Can you help?”
Even though it would be great training, she had a feeling this position would be a great undertaking, which she felt she wasn’t fully experienced at. Elena was a realist and she didn’t want to take too much and end up failing.
“Aren’t there others who would be more qualified?”
“There probably are but number one, I want you. Your qualifications, referrals work history and degree clearly tell me you can handle taking over the administration of this facility. Number two, I want you.”
Dammit there went the tingling below her stomach and she even realized there was some moisture between her legs. Shifting her weight uncomfortable, she pressed her fingers to the back of her neck to revive the blood to her brain.
“You want me how?” she asked, trying not to sound breathless.
“Badly,” he said obviously.
Taking a white envelope out and pressing it across the table, he said, “I can’t offer you a higher price that the past administrative manager’s salary, but I proudly say I’m resourceful and I can help you get what you need if you just asked.”
Elena’s devilish brain had not been thinking about money and she was glad she could hide her emotions so well.
Pholsom continued, “I understand when bringing a facility up to code I’m going to have to lax some tight budgets, but I want to do what I can to help you out when I can, with what I have within reason.”
To get her mind off her body’s wants, she opened the envelope and looked at the manager’s salary. She knew for an initial position the price was more than reasonable and this included full benefits, company car and other administrative amenities.
He leaned forward and his coat opened a little. The smell of sweet fresh rain hit her nose again sharply and she was transported through time to the bottom of those stairs and stepping up into the darkness.
She almost couldn’t see straight from the arousal she suddenly felt all over again and wondered why did this man affect her body and mind so much.
“Do you want it?” he asked.
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