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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:43

She looked down at her half-eaten salad and pushed the plate away, her appetite now gone. She buried her head in her hands and muttered, “What am I going to do?” If she had known they would end up this way, she would have never gone out with him past that first dinner. She got up, dumped the salad and tried to work on her proposal, but after her fourth mistake, decided to call it a night. Her mind just wasn’t into work.

Thinking a warm scented bath would relax her, she headed to the bathroom, turned on the water and added two capfuls of her eucalyptus spearmint bubble bath under the stream. When the tub filled, she stripped, sank down beneath the bubbles and sighed heavily. Faith tried to shut out everything crowding her brain, but found it hard. From Thad’s offer and the prospect of relocating, to what her parents would say and the impending blowup with Brandon, her thoughts were a jumbled mess. To make matters worse, she admitted to herself that she had fallen in love with Brandon and was destined for another heartbreak.

Finally accepting that the calm feeling she sought would not be happening tonight, Faith washed up and got out. She sensed the beginning of a headache and opted to go to bed rather than work on the proposal. She had a week to finish and send it off, which gave her plenty of time.

After fidgeting in bed for more than two hours, she tried listening to music, then reading. Neither worked, so she turned on the TV and surfed the channels until she found reruns of Criminal Minds. By the third episode, her eyes glazed over and Faith woke up the next morning to the sound of the TV.

She spent much of the day working on the proposal and content for her student program. Later in the evening, she called Thad to make sure he was home and drove over.

Thad greeted her with a hug and kiss on the cheek. “How’s my girl?”

“I don’t know. There’s a lot going on.”

His brows knit. “Well, let’s go talk about it.” As she followed him to the family room, he asked, “Does this mean you’ve been thinking more about coming to work at Grays?”

Faith dropped down on the sofa and leaned her head back. “Yes, but I’m still not sure it’ll be a good idea.”

The disappointment filling his voice made her sit up. “Believe me, I thought about it, but I found out something else that is weighing heavily on my decision.”

Thad leaned forward. “You’re okay, right? Is your mom sick?”

“Yes, and no. That’s not it.” She tried to figure out where to start and decided on the beginning. “The day after I arrived in LA on my first visit, I was in a car accident.”

He gasped. “Were you hurt? Why didn’t you call me?”

Faith smiled faintly. Once a parent, always a parent. “It was kind of freaky.” She shared the details of what happened, why she had been on the freeway and why she didn’t call.

“I wish you had called me, Faith. It wouldn’t have mattered that you were just showing up after so long. You’re my daughter and I would have gladly taken care of you.”

“I know that now, but a really nice guy stopped to see if I was all right, stayed with me until the ambulance arrived and brought my stuff to the hospital.” She paused. “And I’ve been seeing him since.”

Thad’s eyes lit up. “Is he a nice young man?”

Brandon’s smile flashed in her head, along with every moment they had spent together since she woke up in the hospital and saw him sitting in the chair. “He’s very nice.”

He shook his head in confusion. “I’d think it’d be easier to make the decision to move if he’s such a nice fellow.” He raised a brow. “Unless he’s not as nice as you say.”

Faith chuckled. “No, he really is a nice guy.” Her smile faded. “But I found out when I checked out the Gray Home Safety website—like you asked—that he’s the same man who’s going to assume the CEO position.”

Surprise filled his face. “Brandon? You’ve been dating Brandon since you got here?”

Thad laughed. “That’s wonderful. Since you two know each other already and get along well, it’ll be easy to work together.”