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Christmas Wish List: Hi, Daddy!


Purchase details:
Title: Hi, Daddy!
Author: Janet Elaine Smith
Genre: Contemporary romance/humor
Publisher: Star Publish LLC
Retail Price: $16.95
ISBN: 1935188003
Availability: Most online bookstores or local bookstores or Amazon.com


CHAPTER 1

Mitzi LeFleur heard the phone ring in her office. She ran in, pushing the door hard, hoping to catch it before the party on the other end hung up. She had already missed four calls today. She just couldn’t be everyplace at once.

The title on her door declared that she was “Director of Public Relations.” She smiled as she thought of the irony of the name. The company was on strike, and she couldn’t even get the workers and the executives to agree on a time to sit down and try to negotiate. If she couldn’t get them to communicate, how on earth could she possibly get the public to relate to their computer products?

“Yes?” she said into the phone, her voice oozing with the anxiety she felt.

“Mitzi?” the voice asked. “Is that you? Are you okay, hon? You don’t sound like yourself.”

Mitzi sank into the big brown leather chair behind her desk. That was all she needed! As if she didn’t have enough problems of her own, Bob Jones—her “ex”—had the same perfect timing he had always shown.

“Of course it’s me!” she snapped. “Who did you expect? The Queen of England? Sorry, but she’s all booked up for the day.”

“No need to be so sarcastic,” he said. “I just had this really strange feeling. I needed to talk to you. You were always my favorite sounding board when I had a new idea. Sounds like you could use a good ear too.”

“I don’t need your ears,” she said, “or anything else you have to offer, for that matter.”

“I hope you will change your mind,” Bob said. “I’m flying into New York tomorrow. Please say you’ll have dinner with me. I really do need to talk to you.”

Under normal circumstances, Mitzi would never have considered such an offer. Not from Bob. But her life the last few days certainly couldn’t be shoved into any mold of normalcy.

“Well, okay,” she said, surprising herself. She hung the phone up and looked around the office. She had to be out of her mind. She wasn’t in any shape to deal with Bob. Not with her life as hectic and mixed-up as it was now.

She heard someone calling her in the outer office. She would just have to deal with Bob later. She could always tell him she couldn’t make it when he called her after he got in. After all, she reasoned, it isn’t like he is coming to New York just to see me.

****

It had been such a confusing day. Mitzi kicked her burgundy heels off and flung the gray and white pinstriped jacket from her suit towards the chair as she walked past it. The jacket slid onto the floor, but she was too tired to stoop over and pick it up. “Later,” she said as she glared at it.

It was only when she finally sat down for a few minutes that the realization of exactly how exhausted she was. It was an emotional exhaustion, not just a physical one. It had been a long time since she had done mere secretarial duties—way back at the beginning of her climb up the executive ladder of success. Now that she had arrived—after all, she was one of the five vice-presidents—she found herself thrust back into answering phones and making copies of memos. And all because the peons at the plant wanted more health benefits!

She reached for the phone, determined to cancel her dinner with Bob. She really wasn’t up to seeing him tonight. In fact, she admitted, she was never up to seeing Bob, even though they had parted on friendly terms.

Mitzi laughed out loud. Who ever came up with the term “friendly divorce”? Oh, sure, they acted civilized to each other when they met, but that was only because she did such a great job of masquerading her true feelings. It wasn’t bad enough that Bob had dumped her, just because she couldn’t give him any babies, but then he had to turn around and marry Barb.

She remembered, all too well, the day Bob told her about Barb. They were as opposite as day and night, as oil and water, as honey and vinegar. But Barb was already Bob’s wife by that time. It was too late for her to do anything about it, even if she could have. Besides, Barb was the one thing Mitzi could never be. Barb was pregnant!

The phone in her hand, Mitzi tried his cell phone. All she got was his voice mail. He hadn’t told her where he’d be staying, so she couldn’t call him if she wanted to. She had no alternative; she might as well get dressed and face the music.

Mitzi felt amazingly refreshed after she showered and changed for dinner. She carefully chose a bright blue full-skirted dress. It was, she remembered, Bob’s favorite color on her. The boldness of the color caught the blue in her eyes and made them jump out at you. As she put on fresh makeup, her cheeks seemed to take on a rosy glow of their own even before she dabbed them with blush. Her shoulder-length hair, naturally blonde, fell in soft waves around her face.

She stood back and checked in the full-length mirror on the closet door. She smiled in approval as she said, “If I were Bob Jones, I wouldn’t be able to resist you tonight.”

She slapped her face, striving to come back to reality. Bob Jones had no interest in her. He had proven that, more than once. First there was Barb. That ended in disaster. Then there was Jill. She had been far too slow for Bob. She could never keep up with his hopes and aspirations. But, like Barb, she had been fruitful and multiplied. Jeff and Kathy were living proof of her fertility. Finally, there was Peg. Mitzi really thought they would last together forever, especially when the twins came along. Two sets of them in just a little over two years! Peg was as bubbly and effervescent as anyone Mitzi had ever met. But that stupid land scheme of Bob’s out in California had seen to the end of their relationship.

Mitzi wondered why she was taking such pains to try to impress Bob. He knew her, exactly the way she was—her faults and her assets—and she had plenty of both! He was probably only coming to show off wife number five, anyway. Seemed like that was the only time he showed up in her life.

****

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