Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey (Love Like It’s Hot Box Set)
Abisola Tersoo, a gracious woman of beauty, kindness, and focus, knows there has always been a plan for her future. Someday she will take over her father’s business and Max Osborne, a man dear to her family’s heart, is to be her husband. Just when Abisola has accepted her life always goes according to plan, Thomas Hoffmann, a fantasy of a man, brings chaos into her life in the best and worst ways. Torn between following the plan with a real man and risking it all for a fantasy, Abisola learns she may not have a choice.
Thomas Hoffmann didn’t realize he was looking for someone special until Abisola walked into his life. A man of the world, he had become a little jaded, but Abisola’s quick wit and creative spirit sparked an interest in him unlike any he had ever experienced. One who lives in the moment, he can see spending the rest of his moments with Abisola, but others’ plans may get in the way.
Excerpt: Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey
Mind racing, Abisola stood before her boss. In the three years she’d been employed at Osborne and Associates, she’d never been called in like this. An accountant, she found most clients were hush, hush when it came to their money and didn’t blame them. She was just as hush, hush about her own finances. Maybe this was about a new “delicate” project. It was only June, and she’d already been assigned four this year.
“Please…” Sandy motioned to the leather loveseat off to the side of the modest office.
Seated, Abisola faced Sandy.
“I apologize.” Sandy glanced at her watch. “I need to leave in a few minutes, so let me cut to the chase.”
Now that Abisola had more time to think, she’d bet this was about the embezzlement case she’d worked on for the District Attorney who’d needed a forensic accounted. Her cousin had convinced them to use Osborne and Associates, and Abisola in particular. Needless to say, she’d done an excellent job. Or so she thought.
Old episodes of Law and Order were the closest Abisola had come to being in a courtroom. Looking back, she probably should have turned down the offer, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After her expert testimony, the defendant decided to plead guilty for a lighter sentence, so she couldn’t have done too bad, she told herself.
“My grandson….” Choked up, Sandy looked away.
Worry shifted from herself to Sandy, she hugged her supervisor. “It’s okay.” Sandy’s first grandchild had been born a month ago at only twenty-two weeks gestation and admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She prayed silently for the baby to someday be a healthy, loving man. “Whatever you need. I’m here for you.”
“Thank you.” Sandy wiped away the tears building in her big blue eyes. “I needed that.” She took a moment to compose herself. “It was so hard leaving him, but I had to come back. It wasn’t fair dumping everything on you.”
“You didn’t dump anything. Your priorities are straight. Family first.” Abisola’s father owned a successful flooring company. Her mother told her that even when they were struggling to get the business up and running, her father always prioritized family time. He said too many used growing their business as an excuse to neglect their family.
“How did I know you’d say that?” Small wrinkles formed around Sandy’s mouth with her smile. “I appreciate the way you stepped up. You helped make a difficult decision much easier. You see… I’m retiring and moving to Boston to help my daughter.”
“What?” Abisola knew she’d heard wrong.
“Leadership’s taking this opportunity to reorganize the company. Nelson’s agreed to buy my and Andre’s shares.”
Outdone, Abisola took a second to process what she’d been told. “So the company will no longer be Osborne and Associates?” Thirty-two employees in total, the firm was small but mighty.
“He’s leaning towards Osborne Financial. We’ve hired a marketing firm to help decide. With the restructure, we believe you’d be the best person to head up the accounting department. If you keep your nose clean until I officially retire, the job is yours.” She laughed lightly. “Since your nose has never been dirty, I think we’re good.”
“I’m… I’m floored. What about Max?” she asked of Nelson’s son who worked in the personal finance arm of the company. With the company being so small, they didn’t have managers, so Abisola assumed Max would buy into a partnership role when one opened.
“Andre’s having a similar conversation to ours with Max. Let’s be honest. The past year, Andre’s been out more than he’s been in. Max pretty much runs things over there.”
“I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say. Thank you. Thank you.”
“You earned it. Even when I’m out, I keep tabs on things. I saw in the first day or so that your co-workers were coming to you for answers they usually come to me for. By the end of the first week, you were running the department and doing an outstanding job. And those daily updates you’d send!” Eyes wide with excitement, Sandy patted her chest. “Be still my heart. You saved me so much time and worry. Yes. You should be a director. You’re a natural.”
Faint knocking at the door drew their attention. Nelson Osborne, senior partner, poked his head in. Disappointment filled his eyes. “Oh no, you already told her, didn’t you?” He entered fully, closing the door behind himself.
Sandy smiled. “Your fault. Who takes meetings this early anyway?”
Ready to leap a tall building in a single bound, Abisola beamed with pride. “Thank you both for believing in me.”
“You earned it.” He looked at Sandy. “I hate to cut this short, but I need you to join this too early meeting for a few minutes before you cut out.” He chuckled. “That was a good one.”
Abisola loved how Nelson laughed at his own jokes.
* * *
Seated at her desk, Abisola exchanged her cell phone for her iPad. She longed to call her parents and tell them the good news, but her mother had the uncanny ability to turn a two-minute conversation into two hours. She scrolled through a few photos on her tablet of her parents laying tile in her condo. She’d gotten an amazing deal on two units in her building that were in major need of renovations. Nelson and his wife, Mesha, even came by a few times to help out. Work done, she missed the extra time they’d spent together updating the units.
She opened the custom-made planner program her parents had gotten her a few years ago. People often teased her about planning every minute of her life. Why anyone would try to make her way through something as complicated and important as life without planning was beyond her comprehension.
Lacey, her best friend, said the level Abisola planned was a manifestation of her controlling tendencies, but Abisola didn’t agree. As a child, Abisola didn’t choose what she ate, clothing, instruments she’d play, sports she’d participate in, languages she’d learn, if she’d be home schooled. Her high-level life plan had been written before she was born, and her parents made adjustments as necessary. They instilled the importance of preparation into Abisola.
She’d also heard the word controlling in relationship to her parents, but her college friends had been wrong. She went to work for her father when she was ten and loved every minute of it. According to the life plan her parents had created, she would have worked for him fulltime after she completed her Masters in Business Administration.
That was not the life Abisola wanted. Had her parents been controlling, they would have given her a hard time. Instead, they told her skipping college was not an option, but she could choose her major. They’d wanted her to stay in Arizona for college. They’d compromised and allowed her to complete undergraduate in Arizona and her graduate studies out of state. Someday her father’s business would be hers, so she continued working for him as part-time as an accountant. Since she loved laying tile, she did small jobs occasionally. Controlling people weren’t good with compromise, and her parents were experts at it. Read the rest of this entry »
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