A Fortunate ArrangementBy: Nancy Robards Thompson
Have you ever wanted something that seemed out of your reach?
Felicity Schafer, the heroine of A Fortunate Arrangement, fell in love with Austin Fortune the moment she laid eyes on him. The only problem...he was her boss. To compound matters, he was part of the illustrious Fortune family and ran in social circles that left her feeling as if she was on the outside looking in. Then a funny thing happened. A series of events made her realize that she was in charge of her destiny. If she wanted more, first, she had to believe herself worthy. There’s nothing like a confident woman to make a man sit up and take notice...
I hope you enjoy Felicity and Austin’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please join me at Facebook.com/nrobardsthompson, Instagram.com/nancyrthompson and Twitter.com/nrtwrites, or drop me a line at [email protected] I love to hear from readers!
Austin Fortune almost missed the plain white envelope at the bottom of the stack of papers his assistant Felicity Schafer had set on his desk. After he’d read the letter, he wished he’d never seen it and for a moment, he considered pretending as if he hadn’t read it.
Maybe it would just disappear.
Instead, the reality of it danced around him like illuminated dust motes.
Felicity, his gatekeeper, his right hand, the person who kept him organized and on track ahead of the fray, had tendered her resignation.
“Is this a bad joke?” he muttered aloud, trying it on for size.
But no. Even though Felicity was good-natured, it would’ve been out of character for her to kid around about something like this.
“She’s leaving me.” Uttering the words out loud made it sound personal. It wasn’t personal—it was work, but it sure felt personal.
He looked up from the note and watched her through the glass wall of his office. She was engrossed in something on her computer. He didn’t know what. He could see her in profile. Her head was bowed over her keyboard, her dark blond hair a curtain hiding her face.
What the hell was he supposed to do without her? Every morning when he got to the office, she had a daily briefing typed up and waiting for him on his desk along with his coffee and a smoothie with energy booster. She remembered birthdays, anniversaries and the minutiae of family and client particulars that elevated and solidified his business relationships and could prove costly if forgotten. She was always game for brainstorming new concepts and abstract business angles. Ultimately assisting with client presentations.
Plain and simple, Felicity made him look good and was always there to help him succeed.
It wasn’t just a matter of hiring someone new. Felicity was a rare find. She had an uncanny ability to anticipate his every need—even before he knew what he needed. In all fairness, he paid her well and she seemed happy. So, why was she leaving him?
He skimmed the letter again looking for clues, but in true Felicity form, it was short and to the point.
Please accept this letter as notification that I am leaving my position with Fortune Investments at the end of the month.
I’ve left the date open, so I can be of assistance during the transition.
Austin reread the note twice more, making sure he’d read it right. Once he’d absorbed it, he had a good idea of how he might fix it. He pressed the button on the intercom.
“Felicity, could you come into my office, please?”
A moment later, she was standing in his doorway.
“What do you need?” she asked.
“If you wanted a raise,” he said, “all you had to do was ask.”
She wrinkled her nose. “A raise?”
“Of course, you just had your half-year review and got a bump in salary, but if it wasn’t enough, if you want more money, we can talk about it.”
She gave her head a quick shake. “Who said anything about a raise?”
He picked up her letter. “I thought maybe that’s what this was about. I mean why else would you resign?”
Her cheeks flushed, and her mouth fell open before she snapped it shut, into a thin line and folded her arms across her chest. She looked at him as if he had insulted her.
How could offering someone more money be insulting?