Authors: B.L. Mooney
Copyright © 2013 B.L. Mooney
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business
establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. This e-book is licensed for your
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hard work of this author.
Cover design by Robin Harper with Wicked by Design.
Edited by Theresa Wegand.
I sat up drenched in sweat and crying for my mom. I knew
it was the same dream I always had. I just wished I could remember it. Looking
at the clock, I groaned when I saw that I still had three hours before the
alarm would go off. I knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep. I never have after
that dream. The interview that day must have me more nervous than I thought. I hadn’t
had that dream for a few months.
I got out of bed and jumped on the treadmill. I thought that maybe
if I ran for an hour I’d be able to go back to sleep for the other two.
Doubtful, but at least I’d have gotten the workout done early. Running wasn’t
my favorite thing to do, but it helped to clear my mind. If I could only have cleared
my mind enough to remember that dream, maybe I could have stopped running.
I lived with several different families until I was five. That’s
when I found the Shultz family. They’d been great to me, and I couldn’t have
asked for a better family to adopt me. I just really wanted to know where I came
from. I know it hurt them when I asked questions, but I couldn’t help it. A
piece of me was missing, and until I found out what happened, I’d be
The run didn’t do anything to make me sleepy—
jumped in the shower and switched gears to prepare for my interview that day. I
was a little nervous. I thought it was odd to hold an interview in a diner, but
the recruiter told me this was how all interviews were handled. I’d never been
recruited before. All I knew was that the company, Carlisle Designs, had
something to do with advertising. I was in desperate need for a better job, and
I thought that relocating to Dallas might help me get more information on my
It all came back to that—my family. Why did I have to have that
dream, whatever it was, right before this big interview? I couldn’t mess this
up, and I needed total concentration. I also needed to cover the circles under my
eyes. I headed back to the bathroom to cover what no twenty-six-year-old should
be covering yet.
I looked in the mirror and cursed my hair. Even with the extra
time, I couldn’t get it to cooperate that day. I used to wear it longer, but
shoulder length really suites me well. Plus, it’s low maintenance. I wondered
how long my birth mother wears hers. Was she blond like me? I closed my eyes
and took a deep breath. I needed to stop thinking about the family that gave me
I opened my eyes and got back to the task at hand. I didn’t like
having the need to cover up the circles, but at least my blue eyes helped to
distract from them. Some say my eyes are my best feature. If nothing else, I
should thank my birth family for at least giving me that.
Once my makeup was perfect, I walked back to the bedroom and
opened the closet door. I decided on a pantsuit but still hadn’t made a
decision about the shoes. Being five-foot-eight made it difficult to choose the
right shoes when I didn’t know how tall the man that I would be meeting was. I
didn’t want to be taller than he was if I wore heels, but flats weren’t really
enough to soften the outfit. I decided to split the difference and went with a
I took a deep breath and headed out. I knew I was going to show
up early. I think you’re supposed to be early for these things, just not that
early. Plus, I was still a little unsettled about meeting him in a diner. I
decided to just watch him for a while with the extra time I had. If he seemed creepy,
“Hello, Bill.” Speaking of creepy, I should have looked out the
peephole before I opened the door. My neighbor across the hall always came out
in his tattered robe and let it hang open a little too much. At least he had on
underwear, even if it should have been replaced ten years ago.
I wasn’t sure how old he was, but he had to be at least sixty. Who
Maybe his balding head made him look older with what hair he had
left always sticking up all over. His hair actually made me feel better about
mine. If he had just combed his hair and closed his robe, maybe he wouldn’t have
been so creepy. It wasn’t as if he’d done anything beyond saying hi or talking
about the weather.
“You’re headed out early.”
“I have an interview and I don’t want to be late.” I started down
the hall, keeping my eyes above his waist. I didn’t need to see what I already knew
was there—my stomach was nervous enough.
“Well, good luck to you.”
“Thanks.” I waved as I headed down the stairs.
I hoped that, between the dream and the early morning image of
Bill’s not so white tighty-whities, I’d be able to get through this interview. Maybe
I should have taken them as a sign and not gotten my hopes up for it. I sighed
and started the car as my phone rang. I buckled up then looked at the caller ID
and sighed again before answering. “Hi, Mom.”
“Hi, sweetie. Are you ready for your big interview?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, I’m in the car now just getting ready to
leave. You really didn’t need to call me to make sure I’m up.”
“I called to wish you luck. Okay, and to make sure you got up. I
know how important this is to you.”
“Thanks, Mom. I do appreciate your understanding this.”
“I understand you need to find them. I just wish we could be
enough for you.”
“Mom . . .”
“I’ll stop.” She sighed. “Call me as soon as you get finished.
“I’m not going to work today, so I’ll just come over when I’m
done.” I knew she loved me and I love her. It was just hard to let the other
“That would be terrific. I haven’t seen you for a couple of
weeks.” Just hearing her happy that I was coming over made me smile. “Call me
when you’re on the way. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Mom. I’ll see you soon.”
I hung up and stared out the window for a few minutes. I really didn’t
want to hurt them, and I knew they were trying hard to understand why I wanted
to know so badly. Unless you were on this side of it, you couldn’t truly know
what it felt like. They chose me, and if I had the option, I would have chosen
them, too. They are wonderful parents, but I needed to know what happened to
the ones that didn’t want me.
There was a lot less traffic that time of day, and I contemplated
changing my hours if this interview didn’t go well, but I wasn’t a morning
person, and I quickly dismissed that plan. I pulled into the diner thirty
minutes before I was supposed to meet the man who I hoped would be my new boss.
I wondered how long I’d have to wait to hear if he would hire me or someone
else. That was the part I hated the most. The interview could be intense
sometimes, but it was the waiting I wasn’t good at.
I got out and looked around at the cars that had already parked.
I wasn’t sure what some hotshot businessman from Dallas should be driving, but
none of the cars here looked like something I’d have picked out for him. I walked
in and looked around but mostly saw t-shirts, flannel, and baseball caps, nothing
that said hotshot businessman from Dallas. I took a back corner booth so I could
watch the people walk in.
“How can I help you today, honey?” The waitress, Joan, had a
pleasant smile and looked as if she enjoyed her job. I wanted to find a job I
enjoyed, but I didn’t think I could wait tables all day.
“I’ll just have coffee for now, please—black.” I was starting to
get tired since I only slept half the night, and I needed the coffee to keep me
awake. Maybe I’d take a nap at home before I went see my mom. I didn’t need her
trying to talk me out of this search again.
Joan left and a few others trickled in, but still no one that
looked like someone I would picture coming for a job interview from Dallas. I
hoped this wasn’t some sort of joke and no one showed. It was still early, but
I wondered how long I should sit here and wait for someone that might not show
up. Joan came back and set the coffee in front of me. “Let me know when you’re
ready for something else.”
I took a sip to get the jolt I needed to keep my eyes open and
wished I asked for at least some milk or cream—it was strong. Better to keep me
awake, I guess. I looked the menu over, not sure if we would be eating or just
talking, but I wanted to be prepared if he did expect me to have breakfast with
him. The bell over the door rang.
I looked up in time to see a man walk in wearing a suit and tie,
looking around. The sun was a little bright behind him, so I couldn’t tell
anything else about him yet. I put the menu back, not sure if it was him, because
I didn’t want him to think I was expecting a meal from this. He started to walk
towards me, and I saw that he had the kindest smile that lit up his entire face,
easily reaching his bright green eyes. I was instantly at ease.
He was exactly how I would picture the businessman from
Dallas—just not as old. He was still older than me, but he must have started
young with this company. His light brown hair was short and professional along
with his beard. He was tall, but not overpowering, and his frame was solid, but
“Are you Miss Schultz—Rebecca Shultz?”
I started to stand, and he motioned for me to stay seated. “Yes,
I am. Are you Mr. Carlisle?”
He asked permission to sit across from me, and I nodded my head.
“Yes, but please call me Matt. May I call you Rebecca?”
He extended his hand and gave me a firm handshake. His hand didn’t
linger or caress mine, and I felt bad for thinking he may have been a creep. I
still didn’t understand the reason for meeting at a diner, but I guess he had
“So, would you like to order and talk over breakfast, or would
you like to talk first and eat afterwards? It’s really up to you. Either way
it’s my treat.”
“Can I ask why we’re meeting here? I’m sorry. I just don’t
understand it and I like to understand things.”
Matt laughed, but I didn’t see anything funny about my question.
“You get right to the point. I like it. Well, when I heard you were here, I had
to come to this diner again. You see my wife doesn’t like me to eat like this
anymore. She keeps reminding me we aren’t in our twenties, but I’m not ready to
give up good food yet. Maybe in few years when I turn fifty, but not while I’m
still in my forties.” He picked up the menu.
“I’m not going to lie to your wife for you.” I wasn’t sure why I
said that, but I couldn’t stand it when people lied to me, and I didn’t want
him to think I was going to be covering for him.
He put down the menu to give me his full attention and looked
serious. “I wouldn’t ask you to do that, but it’s nice to know you’ve got
morals. There are so many young people today that just want to do what it takes
to get to the top, and I applaud you for your honesty.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not normally this forward with my comments when I’ve
just met someone.”
“Don’t stop. It’s refreshing.” Matt looked at me for a few
moments before speaking again. “You’re a straight shooter, so I’m going to be
straight with you. I would normally ask the person to come to Dallas to see the
operation firsthand. However, I didn’t want to tip off your current employer
that you were a target.”