Authors: Susette Williams
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Religion
EBook ©2012 by
Cover Art ©2012 by
characters and situations in this story are fictional and are a work of the
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taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright 1973, 1978,
. Used by permission of
. All rights reserved.
Other Books by
in The Quakers of New Garden - Barbour 2012
Seasons of the Heart novella series
Seasons of the Heart novella series
SPRING BREAK -
the Heart novella series
HEATED SUMMER -
the Heart novella series
A BRAND NEW HEART
SOMETHING ABOUT SAM
DEADLY BUSINESS -
Maid for Murder trilogy
to God for giving me inspiration and desire to write; my husband, Rob, and my
six children (Delilah, Eric, Melissa, Gabrielle, Nehemiah and Nathaniel) for
encouraging me and allowing me to pursue a writing career; and my friends and
critique partners, Jacqui Hopper and Cynthia Hickey, for encouraging me and
offering guidance in publishing this, and other, stories.
97: 10, 11 (NIV) Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives
of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is
shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Martin turned the key in the ignition of her blue Ford Focus. Nothing, not even
a grind or wheeze sounded with each exasperating attempt. She clutched the top
of the steering wheel and rested her head against her hands for what seemed an
eternity. Where was a man when you needed one?
head popped up, sending a cascade of auburn wisps fluttering to frame her oval face.
roommate, Monica, had the day off. Maybe she could borrow Monica's car. The
last thing she wanted was to be late for today’s meeting. After six years with
Institute of Technology, she
finally had the chance to advance up the corporate ladder, providing her boss.
her boss, Gary Hartman, stood in her way. Although Abbey knew she shouldn’t
hate anybody, she couldn’t help feeling enraged by Gary’s ability to turn
things around in his favor and make others look incompetent.
her briefcase and purse, Abbey hurried back upstairs to their apartment.
“Monica,” she yelled as soon as she opened the door.
long blonde hair swayed gently as she peeked around the kitchen doorway. “Hey,
you’re back. Don’t tell me they shortened your work day.”
sighed, ignoring her roommates teasing. “My car won’t start. Can I borrow
my keys are in my purse. Help yourself.” Monica disappeared back into the kitchen.
“Are you sure you don’t want something for breakfast? That toast you ate won’t
hold you 'til lunch. I’m almost done making breakfast for Eric and me. There’s
enough to share.”
but I’m too nervous to eat. Where’s Eric?” Abbey looked around the living room
of their two-bedroom apartment for Monica’s son. The hunter green and navy
plaid sofa sleeper where Eric slept was already made up. Usually Eric was
sitting there watching TV until it was time for him to go out and wait for his
school bus to come.
here.” The seven-year-old leaned his upper torso out of the bathroom, tooth
brush still in his mouth.
brought a smile to Abbey’s lips. Retrieving Monica’s keys, she stopped just a
moment to kiss Eric’s head before she headed back out the door, hollering over
her shoulder as she left, “I may be late tonight.”
down the first flight of stairs, Abbey stopped and turned at the sound of her
name reverberating off the walls.
bent over the banister. “If it’s not too much trouble would you mind stopping
on your way home, and picking up some more milk? We’re out.”
Abbey turned and began her descent again when she thought of something. “Hey, I
almost forgot to ask you to call the garage and see if they can look at my car
today. I would, but I’ll be in meetings all day.”
do. Good luck.” Monica smiled and went back into their apartment.
need it along with a lot of prayer,” Abbey mumbled to herself. She left their
two-story apartment building and hurried to Monica’s red Neon. It started fine
and she zipped out of the parking lot and into traffic—which was moving at a
the mornings for traffic to be backed up.” She was tempted to park in a parking
lot and walk instead. It would be faster. As if echoing her thoughts, a jogger
passed her vehicle like it was standing still.
now she needed peace and was too stressed by further delays to pray and ask for
help. Normally, she put on a praise tape and sang. Today she didn’t feel like
it. Something was up at work, but what—she didn’t know. They'd kept the
contents of today’s meeting under wraps for some reason, but Gary had told her
she would also find out about her promotion at the onset of the meeting.
clouded her mood every time she thought about her boss. She should have gotten
a promotion six months ago, but Gary didn’t think she was a 'team player.’ The
only kind of player Gary was interested in was one that would rumple sheets
with him and that was one thing she wasn’t about to do. Gary seemed to take
some sort of sick satisfaction in keeping her as his assistant and under his
only other person up for the promotion was Stacey—blonde, leggy, and
skin-tight-clothes-wearing competition. Those were Stacey’s main attributes.
Abbey couldn’t help the smirk that crept to her lips. There was no way Gary
could honestly pass her over this time. If he promoted Stacey instead, it would
become obvious to others how his promotions worked. Abbey had better qualifications
and an associate's degree. The only thing Stacey had going for her was… Gary.
turned into the parking lot and parked. Smoothing her hair, she gave
herself a quick look in the review mirror and then grabbed her purse and
briefcase and exited the car. She rushed into Abbot &
, took the elevator to her floor, and didn’t
stop until she reached her desk and opened up her briefcase.
late today aren’t you?”
looked up in time to see the smirk on Stacey’s face.
by the way, Gary wants to see you in his office right away. The meeting has
been postponed an hour.”
nodded. “Then I don't guess I'm late.”
smiled sweetly. “I don’t think Gary’s in a very good mood. Be careful.”
at her watch, she frowned. She wasn’t
late. Not that it took much
to set her boss off.
out her black, pin-striped skirt, Abbey directed herself towards Gary’s office.
Outside the door, she took a deep breath and knocked.
hand shook a fraction as she gripped the handle and entered. “Stacey said you
wanted to see me, Mr. Hartman.”
hadn’t donned his jacket or tie, the top button of his white shirt was still
unfastened. It didn’t look like he was in a rush this morning. He glanced at
his watch before his gaze focused on the clock on the wall, almost as if he was
confirming that his watch was right. When he finally looked at Abbey, her pulse
raced. She knew he wouldn’t miss using this opportunity to his advantage.
I was a few minutes late.”
car wouldn’t start and I had to borrow a friend’s car to get to work.”
like your day isn’t starting off well.” Gary sat down on the black, leather
loveseat and motioned for her to sit down next to him. Abbey took a seat. File
folders lay strewn across the coffee table in front of them. He picked up one
and thumbed through its contents. “I hope your day turns out better.
Maybe we should go ahead and plan a celebration? Where would you like to go for
dinner tonight? I know of—“
Abbey cut in. “I can’t. I promised my roommate I would stop and run some
errands for her after work.”
seemed to contemplate her words. “No reason we can’t celebrate now. The meeting
starts in an hour.”
hand reached to caress her cheek.
pushed his hand away and stood. “Stop!”
thought you wanted to move up in the company?”
don’t plan,” Abbey motioned frantically to the couch as she continued in a
strained voice, “to do it this way.”
no harm in having a little fun at work. Why not enjoy your job?”
. Don’t you get it? I’m not interested.” Abbey backed
further away from the loveseat.
you’re the one who doesn’t get it.” Gary stood and moved around the coffee
table toward her. When Abbey backed away, he stopped. “If you want to be on the
team—you’ve got to be willing to play.”
be sure to tell Mr. Linden you said that.” Abbey folded her arms across her
laughed. “Go ahead. He already knows you’re uncompromising.”
felt her mouth drop open. Gary took a couple of steps, closing the gap between
told him I’d let him know this morning who I felt was best suited for the
promotion. Now it’s up to you.” Gary twirled a strand of her hair around his
finger. “So, who’s going to win?”
not you! I quit!”
can’t quit,” he said in a low voice before he headed to his office door and
opened it, shouting, “You’re fired!”
wanted to stomp her foot and scream. As she passed him, he whispered, “Don’t
even think of claiming harassment. Everyone will think you’re just trying to
get even for getting fired.”
time she gave into the urge to stomp her foot. “You won’t get away with this.”
held her head high and looked straight ahead; stopping long enough to slam her
briefcase closed and grab a photo of Monica and Eric off her desk. Then rushed
to catch the elevator. Before the elevator had time to reach the ground floor,
tears were brimming in Abbey’s eyes. He would get away with it, again. Hadn’t
she been naïve enough to believe her predecessor wasn’t qualified, even though
her files were impeccable when she reviewed them? What would make anyone think
any differently about her? Especially with the display Gary put on for the
other office workers. He was right; they would think she was being vindictive.
stormed out of the building and scurried to her vehicle in the parking garage.
Within moments she was speeding off the lot and into morning traffic.
, she told herself as tears began their descent, rolling until they
dropped in her lap. Abbey popped a tape in the cassette player.
me to find the answers. Why did you allow this to happen? I need a job. What am
I going to do now?
floated through the air,
lifting her spirits with the refreshing chorus. Abbey had given her life to
Jesus when she was eighteen, a little over ten years ago, and since that time
she had learned to put her trust in Him.
Lord, I give it all to you and I
time when the tears flowed, they were tears of joy and thanksgiving. God had a
plan, even if she didn’t know what it was, she knew she could trust in Him. He
would reward her for taking a stand. Abbey blinked rapidly, trying to focus
before reaching up to wipe the remaining tears from her eyes.
horn blared. Abbey swerved to avoid hitting a truck. Black flashed into
view. She gasped and hit the brakes. She screamed just before she
clipped the back end of a slick, black Lincoln MKS luxury car. The tail end of the
car slid with the impact, the driver quickly regained control of his vehicle
and pulled over to the side of the road. Abbey followed, parking a car length
behind him. Her heart pounded in her chest.
Oh, Lord, please don’t let him
at the embankment on the right side of them, she could only imagine what would
have happened if his car had gone over the edge. Not that it was a far drop,
but a vehicle out of control probably would have rolled. Abbey shoved the door
open. Carefully, she tested her shaky legs, then stood. Glancing toward
the other car she saw a tall man in a black suit was examining the damage to
the back of his vehicle.
, Abbey sighed as fresh
tears began to flow. She started toward him, so relieved she didn’t
think. As she approached him she reached out in relief to hug him. Brown
eyes widened. He stepped back. Her shoe caught on a rock. She fell
forward and knocked him even further off balance. His body tumbled backwards
over the side of the embankment. Mixtures of black and white swirled as his
body rolled. Abbey gasped in horror. It was only a fifteen-foot incline, but he
was sure to be bruised. Thankfully, he stopped before colliding with a tree two
feet beyond where he lay.
Hey, um excuse me…” she said worriedly. Abbey took her shoes off and
slowly edged her way down the slope. “Hello?” she called out.
sat up and held a hand to his temple. “What? Are you coming to finish me off?”
stopped beside him and knelt to examine his head. “Are you all right?”
snorted. “Why? If I am, are you going to change that?”
what?” Abbey asked. What was he talking about? She assumed he might be
delirious after his fall. “Let me help you up.”
eyes flashed with irritation. He pulled his arm away from her grasp. “I think
you’ve done enough already.”
didn’t… I’m sorry,” Abbey stammered and stood, stepping away from him as he
attempted to stand. He winced when he tried to put his weight on his right foot
and limped. “You’re hurt.”
scientist, are you?”
see if I can get somebody to call an ambulance.” Abbey climbed up the slope,
grasping patches of grass to hold onto as she climbed. ‘
was going to have a problem getting up to the top of the slope on his own. What
was his problem anyway? It wasn’t as if she purposely ran him off the road. He
should be glad he wasn’t hurt… worse.