• Amy Shannon

First of First:  Unwritten Life


First of first #firstoffirst refers to the first chapter in the first book in the series.

Blurb: Four years ago tragic events changed Alex Garrison’s life forever. She has been running away from it and trying to put the past behind her. She changes her name, moves to a new town, and even starts a new career. Just when she feels that she can move on with her life, her past comes back to haunt her. Her best friend, Greg, appears out of the blue and constantly reminds her of what she did four years ago. During her personal venture for freedom, she gives in to her attraction to a married man. When a violent stalker sets his sights on her, she finds love in an unlikely place. But who wants her love so much, that he is willing to kill her for of it?

Chapter One

Alex Garrison was looking for something new in her life. She was trying to put her past behind her and start over. She even started a new career as a Technical Customer support supervisor at a two-year-old company, Solutions Computer Systems, in her neighborhood. It was definitely time for a change. The past needed to be put to rest. She needed to start a fresh, new life on her own. She worked for Solutions for about six months. Recently, she applied for a technical job opening in another department and was hired. She finally finished her probationary period on the job, which required a lot of traveling. She was excited now that she would finally have her own office and the best part of it, was that she was now the supervisor. When she applied for the job, there were a few positions opened and since she excelled during the test period, she received the supervisory position. She arrived in her new office, of course, it was a little smaller than she imagined, but that didn’t matter, it actually had a door that could be closed. She unpacked the box that she brought from home, just a few plants that would make the office less sterile. On her desk was a pile of office supplies. She sat down at her desk and booted up the computer. She picked up the phone and accessed her voicemail to personalize it. “Finally, privacy,” she sighed, as she put her feet up on the desk and leaned back in the chair. A few minutes later, there was a knock on her door. She quickly put her feet back on the floor. “Come in,” she said. “Hey, just wanted to see how you were doing in your new digs,” Karrie Olsen said. Karrie was Alex’s direct manager. “Just getting used to the quiet. It feels good not to need to run around anymore,” Alex replied. “I know what you mean,” Karrie paused for a moment. “In a few weeks our district manager will be here, so, there will be a lot of prep for his arrival.” “Oh, I didn’t realize that we had a district manager for this department.” “It’s a new position. Steven Welch found him and liked his style. So, we just need to live with it. I guess that’s just part of being a new company. They start with adding more managers,” Karrie sighed. “Well, I guess we’ll just need to deal. How will this actually affect us?” Alex asked. “I’m not sure. This department isn’t very old. it’s been here for about a year. We’ve had people come and go. Seven months ago, they split the department. We’re the customer support end and there’s the hardware support end. He’ll be setting up in the empty office upstairs. This building may be large, but there isn’t enough office space. That empty office has the escape hatch to the roof,” Karrie explained. “Well, you should get back to work, and I have another interview in a few minutes.” “How many more interviews do you have? We have, what, three positions to fill?” “Actually, it’s down to two but I think that Joe might try to steal that one for the hardware department. He always tries to get the best picks out of our hires,” Karrie snickered. “We’ll see how he does on the probation trip. See you later.” Alex smiled. Ah, yes, the probation trip. The company sends you to different customer’s businesses, so that you can upgrade their computer systems while establishing good relations. That way they will be more willing to renew their contracts and call the Customer Support center, which generates revenue. As Alex started going through her email, her mind started to drift. I hope this works out. I want it to be different this time. She took a deep breath and let out a sigh. Suddenly, Alex got a strong scent of cologne. She took in another deep breath. What a wonderful smell, she thought. “Excuse me,” she heard a man’s voice say. Alex looked up and smiled. To her, the most beautiful man stood in her doorway. “Um,” she stammered. “Yes, what can I do for you?” “Hi, I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Randy. I just got hired. I’m just about to leave for my trip and I thought I would stop by and say hello before I left,” his eyes smiled as he spoke. He was an older man with salt and pepper hair and something about him just screamed sexy. Alex composed herself, as she felt automatically drawn to this man. She stood up and stretched out her hand. Randy Harrison shook it with a strong but gentle grip. His hands were so soft to the touch. He smiled back at her. “Well, off I go. I’ll see you when I get back,” Randy turned around and left. Alex stood in the doorway for a few moments watching Randy walk down the hallway. “Damn,” she whispered. “Certainly, can’t chase an employee around,” she dropped down into her chair. “Too bad,” she sighed, as she rubbed her forehead back and forth with her hand. She thought about what Karrie had said. What if Joe hired Randy? She smiled. No, this isn’t the place to go looking for that. I’m here to work, and that’s all. She sorted through the pile of papers on her desk and reviewed the new specification documents for the upgraded computers.

Alex worked a full day. Before she knew it, it was time to go home. She had made up her mind that she would NOT think about Randy. it’s of no use to have a dream when you’re just living your life one day at a time. She stopped at the convenience store on her way home to pick up a few groceries. She walked up the front steps of her apartment building, grabbed her mail, and headed for the third floor. She opened the door to her one bedroom apartment. Cardboard boxes still cluttered the living room. She moved in about six months ago and still had a lot of unpacking to do. She looked at the boxes, shook her head, and walked into the kitchen with the groceries. After she put the groceries away, she sat down at the kitchen table. “Things are going to get better,” she said aloud.

The next morning, she headed off to work. “Just a few more weeks until the big boss shows up. I’m counting the days of freedom that we have left,” Karrie said, coming up behind her. Alex turned around and looked at her. Karrie was a petite woman with thick owl-rimmed glasses. Alex sized her up in her head. “Karrie, no offense, but what happened to the clothes you were wearing yesterday? Right now, you look like you shopped at nerds-r-us.” Karrie’s smile disappeared. “I thought I should start dressing more like the men around here. It seems like it’s the only way that I’m going to get ahead. I wanted that district manager job.” “Karrie, even the men around here don’t dress like that,” Alex looked at her face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound rude, but you shouldn’t need to dress like a man. it’s no longer just a man’s world out there,” Alex explained. Karrie smiled. “I guess you’re right. I do look kinda dopey like this, plus this wool suit itches like crazy,” she laughed. “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not better than you are,” Alex said, as she turned away and walked to her office. “Thanks, Alex,” Karrie called from down the hall.

When Alex got to her office, she noticed that the door was open, and a man was waiting for her, with his back to her. “Um, excuse me. Can I help you with something?” He turned around and smiled. “Hey, it’s been a long time,” he said softly. She didn’t recognize him at first, but then she looked into the soft brown eyes that were smiling back at her. “Greg?” “Yeah, Alexis. In the flesh. Well, now there’s a little more flesh than the last time, but, yeah, it’s me.” She quickly shut the door. “It’s Alex. What are you doing here?” she was still in shock over the fact that he had put on some weight, about 100 pounds more. She hugged him and once she did that, she realized this was really Greg. He hugged her tightly, but gently. “Oh, that felt really good. it’s been a long time, sweetheart,” he said. “I’d know you anywhere, even with blonde hair. I like it. You look really good.” “Please, sit down,” she sat behind her desk and he took a chair from the corner of the room. “Now, what are you doing here?” “I just got hired. You know me, wherever you go, I’ll follow,” he smiled. “Greg, it’s been three years since I’ve seen you. We were and always will be just friends,” Alex tried to explain. “Sweetheart, I know you think you feel that way, but I know how I feel. I’ll always love you. You’re so important to me. I don’t care about anything but you. As you can see, I did put on a little weight.” “A little,” Alex whispered. “But …” Greg Shapone interrupted. “I just need a job. I’ll settle for being your friend. You aren’t the only one who lost a part of their life four years ago. We seemed to be the only two that made it out.” “You’re right, I’m sorry. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here either,” she sat back in her chair and sighed. “What department are you working in?” “Well, I work for you. As you know, I’m not very technical, but I have great customer service skills.” “I need to admit that I’m glad to see you. it’s nice to have someone around that I already know. You must do something for me, though. You cannot tell anyone, and I mean anyone, what happened four years ago. I’m trying to build a new life and not everyone would understand,” she rubbed her forehead back and forth with her hand. “Still do that I see,” he smiled pointing her hand. “You always did that when you were stressed or nervous. Don’t worry. I’ll never do anything to hurt you. No one needs to know that we even knew each other. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you six years ago. I can do it again. Can I ask you a question, though?” “Go ahead.” “Why here of all places? it’s such a small town, not like what you’re used to.” “Matthew grew up around here and he always talked about how great it was. He said it was quiet and peaceful. Right now, that’s what I need,” she stood up and grabbed a pile of papers off her desk. “Well, let me show you to your desk and how everything is going to work around here. Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t they going to send you on your probationary trip?” “No. I guess they don’t want a fat man interacting with customers.” “Did they say that?” “No, not in so many words. But, I know.” “Greg, you’re not fat. Sure, you put on a few pounds since I last saw you, but you were just a beanpole. You needed a little meat on those bones.” Greg smiled. “Thanks, sweetheart.” “I’m really glad that you’re here,” she paused. “We still have a few more people to hire. Right now, there’s only one other person to answer the phones. Besides, you have such a soothing voice. You’re perfect for the phones.” “I guess so.” “I know so,” she hugged him and then opened the office door. “Follow me.” She walked him straight across the hall into a large room filled with double cubicles. “Most of the cubicles are double, which means they’re shared by two people, but there’s a large cubicle that’s a single and you can have that one. Feel free to make it your own, pictures of the family … oh, sorry about that.” “Don’t worry about it. I didn’t see any pictures on your wall either,” “Well, just make it your own. By the way, no burning candles here. I know how you are.” Greg grinned as he sat down in the chair and Alex started explaining how things worked. “Just boot up the computer and when it comes to the login screen, log in using this account,” she handed him a piece of paper. “Tomorrow, you’ll have your own account and when you login, it will automatically clock you in at the same time. For today, I’ll sign a paper time sheet and get that down to payroll at the end of the day” “Thanks, sweetheart.” “Greg, please don’t call me that at work,” she looked around his cubicle. “Oh, your phone is over here. You can read the written instructions on how to set up your voice mail. If you need to make a personal call, hit the OUT-call button. If you need to return a customer call, hit the CUST call button. When the phone rings, one of the extensions listed on your phone will blink, just pick up the receiver, and hit that button. we’ll be getting new headsets at the end of this week, but for now, just use the receiver.” “Thank you, Alex,” Greg turned away and started familiarizing himself with the phone system. “I’ll see you later. If you need me, I’ll be in my office, preparing for the new district manager.”

Alex walked across the hall to her office and sat down at her desk. “Why does he need to be here?” she sobbed. “Well, there’s not much I can do about it now,” she sat down and started going through the papers on her desk. She walked down to the payroll department to get Greg set up for his log in and time sheet recording. She brought the final paper work to Greg upstairs. “Hey, I went down to payroll early. They will have you set up for eight hours today and this is your log in for tomorrow. Here is your packet that describes all the rules and regulations. It also contains the benefits information and payroll information. The workday is normally 8:30 to 5:00, but if you require other hours, we do work out flexible times for you. You also get an hour for lunch. Feel free to eat in the cafeteria, which is catered every day between 11 and 2, or go out to lunch.” “Are you free for lunch?” His eyes danced with excitement as he gazed at her. “Not today, I have too much work to do. Besides, this is your first day here. It wouldn’t look right if we ate together.” “That’s all you ever worried about. Get over yourself. it’s just lunch. it’s not like I’m asking you to a motel room or anything,” he snapped. “That’s NOT what I meant. it’s just not a good idea to have lunch with your boss on your first day. They have so many rules. Read your packet and you’ll see what I mean. Do you have any questions?” “Not yet, but I’m sure that I will. I’m sorry that I jumped down your throat.” “I’ll tell you what. At the end of the week, we’ll have a team lunch. We have two more people to hire, and Randy will be back then. After that, if we want to have lunch together, we can do that.” “Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you later and thanks for getting the paperwork done so quickly,” Greg’s phone started to ring, so Alex left his cubicle.

She walked over to Karrie’s office. “So, any more hires that you want to tell me about?” Karrie looked up from her computer screen. “Oh, I see you met Greg.” “Yes, I got him all set up for payroll and he is already on the phones answering calls.” “Good, then that’s all settled,” Karrie said. “Why didn’t you send him on the probationary trip? What will be his probationary period now? it’s not because of his weight, is it?” “Are you kidding? He is an extremely good-looking man,” she smiled. “But aside from that, his résumé is remarkable and based on that he doesn’t need to have a probation period.” “Good, I heard him on the phone. He knows what he’s doing,” Alex turned to walk out the door. “Hey, is there something you’re not telling me?” Karrie asked. “No, I’m OK. I’ve got to get back to work,” Alex went back to her office. She sat down at her desk and closed her eyes. It will be OK. Everything will be OK.

***

Hope you enjoyed chapter one of "Unwritten Life". You can purchase the book to finish by clicking on the book cover.

Next book in the series ... "Rewritten Life"

Unwritten Life is part of the MOD Life Epic Saga. It is the first book of many and all are stand alones, but best read in order of volume number.


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