Chapter 5

 “So how long will he be gone?” The contractor was being a pain in the ass. He kept not listening to me. Like those guys that just don’t believe you when you tell them something.

“Sometime next week. He left me in charge to help everyone stay on schedule.” I gave him my most confident smile.

“How does he expect us to get anything done when he leaves a kid in charge?”

I tried not to upset by the comment. I was far beyond being a kid at 20 years old. But I know I looked younger than my real age. Often, I was mistaken for being in high school or even junior high. “Mr. Fullerton, I can help out the best I can. He wanted all the contractors to check in with me and then inspect the property to see what needed to be done. I’m sure that will be enough to give us an estimate.”

“I guess, if I have to deal with you.” He left the sentence meaning hanging.

I didn’t react. I know that was what he was going for. “If you’d like, I can take you to the areas Mr. Mason wanted you to look over.”

I took the contractor down to the conference room, and showed him around. I heard someone enter into the main hallway; their steps echoing on the wooden floor.

“If you’d excuse me, it looks like another contractor has arrived.” It was a relief to leave him behind as he answered my comment with an affirmative grunt.

I turned the corner into the front entrance and saw Mark standing there, looking around. “Oh my god, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”

“Hey Julie. I thought I’d come down and see how you’re getting on.”

I ran up and gave him a hug. I didn’t care if it wasn’t professional. I was so drained with having to deal with the contractors. “It’s so hard having to be nice to all of these guys coming in. They all mostly want to deal with Peter. They seem disappointed they have to deal with his assistant.”

“No one likes to deal with the assistant,” answered Mark. “So don’t take it personally.”

“Thanks. I needed to hear that. In fact, I’m glad you’re here. It’s just about lunchtime. As soon as I get these last few guys taken care of, let’s go to lunch.”

***

Mark drove us to one of the coffee shops near by. It had cute, little sandwiches that went along with a lot of the pastries and snackish things on the menu. It was far better than the Starbucks downtown. It still had some character.

We sat down at one of the tables sinking into two lounge chairs.

After some concentrated munching, Mark asked me, “So how is your new boss? Being the knight in shining armor has already scored him points with me.”

“Nice.” I took a bite of sandwich.

“And?” Mark seemed like he was inpatient, but I knew his game. He lived for gossip.

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