Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chapter 7, Changes

***WARNING!!! My stories often contain strong language, sensitive issues, and, at times, other content that could be construed as offensive. Beliefs and viewpoints of characters are not necessarily the beliefs and viewpoints the Author holds in true life.***

I couldn't believe how quickly time passed. Before I knew it, I needed to return to work. I was both dreading and looking forward to it. I loved my job and was itching to start working on the new campaign I had in mind for the cosmetics company I would soon own. However, I couldn't leave Nathaniel in the care of just anyone. Having no family and not knowing many people in town left me at a real disadvantage. I needed to know that my baby would be in good hands before I could, in good conscience, return to work.

Once I had taken care of that, I checked in with my attorney. Everything was in order and I was now the proud owner of my own company, which I renamed Countess Deborah Cosmetics. With the new name would come a new campaign to launch a new product line. I was going to be swamped with work at the office, especially in the beginning, but I looked forward to doing more of the work at home once things were put into place.

The first day back was very productive but exhausting. By the time I staggered out of the office and locked up, I wanted nothing more than to go home, spend some time with my baby, have a light meal, and go to bed. What I didn't expect was to bump into some man in the parking lot.

"Pardon me," I said, stepping back.

The man shrugged. "No worries. You look like I feel, so you're allowed a free bump."

I smiled a little. "I definitely don't wear the zombie look well, but if it gets me off the hook, I'll wear it cheerfully."

He laughed a deep, rich laugh and flashed a brilliant smile at me. "So, you're the new boss lady of that makeup company, right?"

"That would be me," I said.

He smiled and nodded. "Your office is across from where i work. The name's Maldonado. Terrill Maldonado." He offered me his hand.

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Maldonado, Terrill Maldonado," I said, taking his offered hand and feeling mine dwarfed in his strong, sure one. His handshake was firm but not overbearing, which I liked. "I'm Debbie Evans. Pleased to meet you."

"The pleasure's mine, Ma'am," he said, then let go of my hand almost as quickly as he'd taken it.

I looked down at my shoes, not knowing what else to say. "I guess I should be going. It's getting late and I need to get home to my son."

I saw him glance at my left hand, but he didn't ask me anything about a husband I didn't have. "How old is your son?" he asked.

I smiled proudly; I never tired of doting on my little boy. "He's six months."

"They're cute at that age," he said.

I nodded, then turned toward my car.

"It was nice talking to you, Debbie," Terrill said.

I turned and waved at him over my shoulder.

"Maybe we can do it again sometime," he called to me as I put more distance between us.

I shrugged noncommittally,  then quickened my pace until I reached my car. I pictured his smile as I slid into the driver's seat, then shook my head to clear away the image. He seemed like a nice enough man, but I wasn't interested in starting up a friendship or anything with him. My life was complicated enough without adding further elements to it.

 Weeks turned into months. Each day when I went into work, Terrill would see me and wave. I'd wave and smile back, but it never went any farther. The same thing happened if we saw each other at the end of our day. His smile was free and easy, but there were times I swore I detected a look of deep sadness in his eyes.

Nathaniel's first birthday arrived, and I gave him a little party even though it was just the two of us. He was too young to really understand it, but he cooed excitedly at the balloons I hung up.

My baby was growing up before my eyes and it made me rather sad. I wanted to make his first birthday a happy one, but I couldn't help stealing a moment to have a little cry.

I bought a birthday cake and blew out the candles for him. "You're too young to make a wish, sweetheart, but Mommy wishes you could stay little a while longer," I whispered, holding him close.

Nathaniel loved the peg box and xylophone I bought him. I suppose I'm a bit biassed being his mother and all, but my son is quite gifted for his age.

Potty training is a dirty job, but someone had to do it, and that someone was Mom. Luckily, he learned fairy quickly.

Learning to walk and talk also came quickly. I almost cried when the first word he said was "Mama."

I was dreading the day I had to take Nathaniel in to get his blood drawn for the paternity test. I'd decided to seek legal advice because I didn't know how to proceed where Shane was concerned. If he'd sired Nathaniel, I wouldn't have put it past him to try to sue me for custody. He'd raped me and Nathaniel could easily have been the result of that rape, but because I hadn't come forward, it would look as though I'd consented to intercourse with him. It made me ill to think about, but the possible reality of it stared me right in the face.

I decided to make the appointment for the test on a Wednesday since that was our slowest day at work. I took the morning off that day and headed for the clinic. By the time I arrived, my stomach was doing flips and I felt a migraine coming on. Simon arrived a few minutes behind us, and when he waved at me, I didn't smile or return the gesture. "Let's just please get this over with. I want this to be as trauma free for my son as possible," I told the clinician.

Much to my relief, it was over quickly. I didn't spare Simon even a glance as I carried my son to my car, got him situated in his car seat, and pulled out of the parking lot. I hurried to work once I'd gotten Nathaniel to his sitter. I was jogging to my office when I heard Terrill calling my name. "Hey Debbie! Where's the fire?"

"I'm late," I said simply.

"Everything okay?"

"Fine," I said a little brusquely.

"I'm glad. Hey listen. It's almost noon and I was wondering if you'd have lunch with me today." Well, where had that come from? The surprise must have shown on my face because he elaborated. "I'd been wanting to ask you for a while now but could never get up the nerve until now." He blushed and smiled sheepishly.

Oh God, I didn't want to be rude, but I had no desire to get involved with anyone again. I didn't even want friendship. I knew form personal experience how much that could hurt. "Terrill...Mr. Maldonado...I don't think that's a good idea."

He heaved a sigh. "It's just lunch, Debbie. I'm not asking you for your firstborn or--"

"Well that's good because my son isn't up for grabs," I said, turning to leave.

"Uh...sorry. Bad choice of words. What I mean is, it's just lunch. No strings, just two working stiffs having lunch. What's the harm in that...unless you have a husband or...?" His words trailed off as he studied the floor.

I hesitated but felt my resolve slipping a little. When I turned back to look into his face, I couldn't take the pleading look in his eyes. "I have no husband or any significant other. I...okay. I'll have lunch with you, but no strings."

"No strings," he said, nodding. "How about the bistro at noon sharp?"

"Okay. Why not?" I said.

I chided myself the whole time as I made my way to my office. Why in hell had I agreed to this? This could only mean trouble, and more trouble was the last thing I needed in my life right now.

Author's Note: I'd like to thank Jazen for use of Terrill Maldonado for this chapter. She has some awesome stories that I'd highly recommend taking a look at. You can find them by clicking the links below.

"As Life Goes"
"Kiss of a Vampire"
Just Simming Along

Bonus Shots

Nathaniel as a toddler

Nathaniel asleep in his swing.

 I thought this one turned out nice where Debbie is just holding him. :)

 You gotta love it when some poor Sim buys it out of the blue. I was staging the first meeting scene between Debbie and Terrill when poor Lief Helgerson's number came up.