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Meeting the Major

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CHAPTER 1

Seattle, Washington. Cold, wet, rainy Seattle. I don't know exactly why I agreed to come here. Maybe I just needed a change of scenery? Maybe I just needed a break from the monotony? Maybe I just wanted to prove to my boss that I was worth more to the company than just handling office supplies? Yeah, the latter sounds more like the real reason I volunteered to come out here. It won't be a long visit, only a few days, but any opportunity to expand the company and my boss would be all over it.

I don't normally travel. In fact, this is the furthest I've been away from home in my entire 24 years; which is a sad enough commentary in and of itself. I had finished up the meeting that I was sent here for, and instead of waiting in my dreary hotel for a call back from the sales team I had just left my company's proposal with, I decided that a walk would do me some good. I had always liked the rain. There was just something about it that had a calming effect. I'm not sure what direction I started walking in, or how long I had walked, but soon found myself close to a dock. Seeing the waves crash around the boats tied there was mesmerizing. I sat on a bench close by and lost myself in thinking of how I had ended up here.

I haven't really made much out of my time here on this wonderful planet. Although, I have managed to bring some form of normalcy and happiness to my life which I never thought would be in the cards for me. I never thought I would be the type to get married, much less become a mom of two wonderful boys, but Chris came along in all of his "dark handsome stranger" glory and blue eyes that I couldn't resist and I did the stupid thing and let my hormones take control. That's how Baby #1, Connor, happened. That's how I wound up three months later at the ripe age of 18 in a church in Tennessee, surrounded by friends and family, marrying a man I knew I didn't love.

I tried to make the relationship work because my parents had instilled in me the desire to never give up on anything. Especially marriage, which was a sacred bond that wasn't to be entered into lightly and no one was to come between. Some would call it stubbornness, others would see determination, but to me it was all the same. I didn't want the gossips to learn of my failed marriage at the age of 20 because to them, I was still a baby myself and completely incapable of keeping my family together. That's how Baby #2, Clayton, happened. Trying to save a marriage doomed to fail from the start by having another child was the epitome of stupid decision making, but it happened none the less.

Divorce followed four months into my pregnancy. I handled it well considering that I was a hormonal mess through the rest of the pregnancy. I had known that this wasn't going to last, so I wasn't as emotional as I probably should have been. I showed no emotion in regards to him. I didn't see the point because I wasn't broken. I was cold and hard-hearted to the one I had once considered husband.

Two days after our divorce was finalized, nine months after we separated, I got a phone call from Chris telling me that he had gotten remarried. I drank a lot that night. Not to mourn what could have been, but to relish in the fact that I didn't have to deal with his family anymore.

I didn't waste any time before moving myself and my sons back to my wonderful home state of Georgia. I hated Tennessee anyway. I had always loved it here. The hot summers, the cold winters, the unpredictability of this beautiful state just sang to my soul. The added bonus of having my family relatively close by wasn't a deterrent, just more reason to come back. I loved my family and everything the represented. My Grandmother, the matriarch of my family, was the first to welcome me back with open arms. Even before my own parents knew that I was back, she had an apartment set up for me in Rome, had the kids enrolled in daycare, and had gotten me a job in a small office with wonderful people that she had known for years.

I admit my previous job experience was limited, working as a waitress for most of my teens didn't exactly instill the kind of trust in me that I would have wanted for an office position, but I was a quick learner. I had managed to prove myself on more than one occasion, but this was the first real test for me. If I could get this small company in Seattle to merge with mine, then I was in for a comfy ride for the rest of my time with them. That meant a private school for my sons and a better education so they didn't have to work so hard to get into a great college and get a great job.

I was brought out of my daze by a familiar voice. "I've got a text" my phone said to me in a wonderfully British accent. I pulled my phone out of my purse and read the message that was waiting for me.

Momma, are you done yet? How did it go? – Connor

Connor…that boy was smart as a whip. He was only 6 years old, but had learned how to read at 2 and had learned how to write about six months later. I couldn't stop him from learning if I would have tried. He always had something in his hands learning about it and studying it. At 4 he had managed to take an old broken phone of mine apart and rebuild it, that was the one he was currently texting me on and it worked better for him than it ever had for me. At 5 he was already smarter than most kids in his kindergarten class, so the school administrators had to bump him up to first, then second a few weeks later, but weren't going any higher stating that the "jump from second to third grade would likely stress him out and make him regress". I seriously doubted that they knew what they were talking about, so I had let them learn the hard way. They moved him up to third grade about six weeks later, but were dead set against him moving up again until the school year was up. He was currently enjoying fourth grade and couldn't wait for fifth. I smiled to myself as I texted him back.

Yes sweetheart, I'm done. It went well. Waiting for the call back. How are you and your brother holding up? – Momma

The boys were currently staying with my Grandmother. They loved her, and she spoiled them. They have her wrapped around their little fingers even though she denies everything.

Clay is fine. Reading with Grandmama. I miss you. When are you going to call? – Connor

Clayton was just as smart as his older brother, but even at 4 years old, he showed signs of being more reserved and secluded in his world of books and fantasy. I could relate. He got that from me; well, both of my sons did, really. Although Connor has taken more to history and nonfiction books than Clayton has, at least they both love immersing themselves in books.

I miss you both, too. What is Clayton reading now? How was your Civil War book? – Momma

Clay's reading the Percy Jackson series. He likes it. The Civil War book was so cool! Did you know that they used to cut off people's legs and arms without giving them anything for the pain?! – Connor

I shiver a little as I read that. Well, apparently I need to screen these history books a bit better before my 6 year old reads them. I'm sure it was meant for someone much older and better able to handle the more morbid topics. I know its history and I know he'll learn it eventually, but there's no reason for him to read about it now. It doesn't make me a bad mother to want to shield your children from things that may ruin their innocence. At least one child is reading books that are child-friendly.

We are going to have a serious discussion about your book choices when I get back, mister. - Momma

I hate being a hard ass, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm supposed to be their mother, not their friend.

Yes ma'am. When are you going to call? – Connor

I think about that for a moment. There's a three hour time difference between myself and them, so since it's about 4:30 here, which would make it 7: 30 there. Close to their 8pm bed time. Meaning, if I know my Grandmother right, they should be getting their ice cream in about 15 minutes.

Tell Grandmama to go ahead and give you your ice cream now and I'll call you in 20 minutes. - Momma

I get up from my bench and make my way to the nearest intersection. Perhaps I can hail a cab from here to get back to my hotel before it's time to call them. I manage to make it to the corner, but there are no cabs in sight. Luckily I have a map in my purse so I can just walk to my hotel. It only looks like a few blocks and I could use the exercise.

My phone starts ringing about halfway to my hotel with an unfamiliar Seattle number, so I answer it wondering who could be calling me.

"Hello?" I ask.

"Ms. Adams, this is Mr. Williams from Medved Construction." says a rough voice.

I reply, "Mr. Williams! It's wonderful to hear back from you so soon." I had been waiting for this call for a few hours at the very least.

"Yes, yes." He replied "Is it possible to meet with you around 3 pm to go over some final details about this merger? Your presentation was wonderful, but I'm still not sure what you can do for us when you are all the way down in Georgia."

I knew that this was coming. I really didn't see what good we could do for him either considering that no one was willing to move anywhere. Our base of operations was in Rome, Georgia. I know my CEO, Mrs. Couey, wouldn't want to move her company to Seattle, but I had high hopes that maybe we could work something out from a business standpoint. We weren't really in the Construction business, after all. Our company dealt with more the interior of a finished construction project. I could see perhaps hiring someone in the Seattle area to work for our company as the Interior Specialist, or something similar. Maybe that could be the selling point? I don't know. I'd have to discuss it further with Mrs. Couey.

"That would be wonderful." I said, "I'll meet you at your office at 3 tomorrow."

I made it to my hotel as I got off the phone. Good timing in my book, now to make a call to my boys.