Starting Over
Chapter 1: The Announcement

Copyright© 2008 by Little Owl

Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: The Announcement - Can a forty-something single mother really start over when the odds are against her?

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Romantic  

She'd been looking forward to this all day. Okay, she knew she was a bit strange. Who, in their right mind, would look forward to working a night job after working all day? She had only been working this part-time job for a couple of months but she could feel herself getting attached to some of her co-workers. What a difference from her full-time job. She had been working for the city as a pc technician for almost three years and still felt like an outsider on her team. All that would soon change; she hoped for the better.

"So," boomed a voice behind her as she headed for the time clock, "how did it go today?"

As she turned to answer, she was momentarily caught off-guard by his proximity. She couldn't help noticing his manly scent, or the heat that seemed to come from his well-toned body. She had to stop herself from trying to reach out and caress his muscled chest.

"Well," she began, catching her breath, "she accepted my resignation; almost too calmly. It'll be interesting to see how the next two weeks play out."

"Well, good luck," he called out as he headed to his office and she toward the call center to start their shifts.

Trisha Langtry felt that she had more strikes against her than for her. She was short, only reaching five feet in height; she was a single mother trying to raise her boys with very little help from her ex-husband; and she was older. Even though she was shorter than most adults, she felt she was able to hide her forty-something age pretty well. She was lucky getting the one job at her age, but felt like her luck was changing when she first landed this part-time job and then got offered a replacement for her full-time work.

She started working in the call center of Ace Alarm Company out of necessity. Even though she was already working full-time, she took on this part-time job while her kids were at their dad's every other weekend so she could have some extra cash. It wasn't easy bringing up her boys as a single mother in today's economy. Her additional child support didn't even seem like it was enough these days. Plus, now, she had something to do instead of just sitting around her quiet house while her kids were gone, and she brought in some extra cash as well.

Third shift went smoothly, all things considered, and soon it was time for the lunch break. Trisha never brought anything for lunch; she didn't like to eat in the middle of the night. However, she did enjoy listening to the banter of the other operators. As usual, she took her break with Marsha and Janice. Even though the two ladies worked full-time together, they were quick to include Trisha in the latest gossip.

"I heard he asked for the transfer," began Marsha as soon as the three ladies sat down.

"Why would he do that? He's worked third shift for over five years now, ever since he left his wife," included Janice.

"Who are you talking about?" asked Trisha, eager to be part of the conversation.

"Why, Mark Babcock," continued Marsha. "I got word from a friend that he'll be taking over as first-shift supervisor of the call center in two weeks."

"Maybe he finally found someone; you know, 'the' woman," offered Janice in a way of explanation. "He's been so serious since his marriage broke up. Hopefully he finally found someone to add more energy to his life."

Mark Babcock was one of the most eligible, and desirable, bachelors in the company. If the well-toned six foot three inch frame didn't entice the women, it was the thick head of hair and movie star looks. He had always been very nice toward Trisha; he even tried to offer advice to the problems she was having with her full-time job. She remembered the stories she was told soon after starting work on third shift. Marsha and Janice had told her that it was rumored that Mark first took the third-shift position soon after he caught his wife cheating on him. They said that he was very angry when he first started working the shift, but had, definitely, softened since then. Trisha wondered if Mark had found someone else; he was good-looking enough. She knew that it would help fill the lonely nights. She, herself, had been divorced for four years and had yet to go out on a date. She found herself a bit envious of Mark, and whomever he had found.

Soon enough it was time to go back to work. Right before the end of the shift, Mark entered the call center.

"Can I have everyone's attention, please?" he began. "I know some of you have heard rumors that I have put in for a transfer," he continued, as he looked over at Marsha. Marsha just blushed. "Well, I just want to say that, for once, the rumors are partly true. While I've enjoyed working with each of you, I have been offered the Call Center Manager position upon Jonathan's retirement in two weeks. That means I will need to start working on first shift again. After much thought, I've decided to take it."

Mark finished his announcement and looked directly at Trisha. For some unknown reason, she felt a shiver run down her spine. She quickly looked away as the other operators offered their congratulations and well-wishes.

"What do you say we all head to Jake's for breakfast — on me!" Mark called out as the third-shift operators started to log out of their stations. He heard a resounding cheer of agreement, from everyone but Trisha.

"Hey, coming to Jake's? My treat," Mark asked, as he cornered Trisha outside by her car.

"I don't know. I've got stuff to do at home while my kids are at their dad's," she stalled. Trisha wanted to go, but was afraid that she would seem too eager. In the back of her mind, she knew that she had fantasized about Mark just as the other women had. But, now with Mark's announcement that he was leaving the shift, Trisha felt betrayed somehow.

"What has to get done at 7:30 on a Saturday morning? C'mon, what do you say?" Mark didn't want to take no for an answer; he wanted her there. As he noticed her still not entirely agreeing, he added, "It'll be fun; besides, you owe me."

Trisha's eyes shot up to meet Mark's. "Owe you? For what?"

"For getting you the job." Mark smirked, crossing his arms and puffing out his chest for effect. He knew he had her cornered. He didn't know why, but he enjoyed it when she got riled up. Maybe it was the challenge of getting her calmed down that he really enjoyed. He also liked the idea that Trisha, at five feet, would even attempt to stare down someone standing over six feet tall.

"That's playing dirty!" Trisha shot back. "I already thanked you for the recommendation, but that just got me the interview. I got the job on my own!" She was fuming! Yes, it was true that Mark had recommended her to the IT director of the company. Two weeks ago, at the start of her Friday night shift, one of the computers went down. Mark said that he received an e-mail stating that some of the computers had just been upgraded during the day and Mark was ready to call in the IT group to fix this one. He didn't want to be down one station over the weekend. It was never a good sign to be down an operator's station. Trisha had immediately gone into "technician mode", as she called it, and diagnosed the problem and got it working after only an hour. Mark was impressed and on the phone immediately singing her praises to John, the IT Director, and Mark's best friend. That Sunday morning, after Trisha clocked out of her shift, John was there. He met with her and conducted an informal breakfast interview. By the time Trisha handed in her resignation at the city, she had been through two interviews and all the necessary screenings, and was offered almost $25,000 more than what she was currently getting. She was grateful to Mark, but he was leaving the shift and that bothered her for some reason.

"Please," Mark pleaded, bringing Trisha back to the present. "This will be a sort of celebration for the both of us. C'mon, everyone's waiting."

"Okay." Trisha finally relented; but not because she was any less angry with him. She was a bit hungry, and it was always a treat for her and her boys to get breakfast at Jake's.

During breakfast, there were various toasts made, again wishing Mark well. Then, much to Trisha's astonishment, Mark announced that there was another reason for celebration. He seemed to beam as he announced to everyone Trisha's pending full-time employment with the company. Trisha calmed everyone by letting them know that she was not planning on leaving the shift right now, but, yes, she had accepted a position in the IT department.

Soon enough, everyone started to leave. They all said their "good-byes" and headed home until their shift that night. Mark and Trisha were the last to leave.

"I really am glad you took that job," Mark stated, while walking Trisha to her car. "And, I'm glad you decided to come to breakfast with us."

"You didn't really give me much choice, did you?" scowled Trisha, although she no longer felt anger toward him.

"I'm glad, regardless of the reason," Mark continued, smiling. He started to look nervous, Trisha noticed. She wasn't sure why, though. She almost had to chuckle watching this tower of a man acting unsure and uneasy around her short frame. Trisha couldn't help but notice how cute he looked right then.

"Listen," he began, nervously, "I know you've been having a hard time at work. And, I know that you're concerned about not having an easy time for the next two weeks. Take my card. I wrote my personal cell number on the back; it's on all the time. If something happens, or you need to talk, know that I'll be there for you. I don't care what time of day it is." With that, Mark took Trisha's hand and placed his card in it. Trisha noticed how his hand easily enveloped hers. They held hands, suspended in their own thoughts, until a passing ambulance's siren thrust them back to reality. Mark shyly pulled his hand away and immediately noticed how empty it now felt. For her part, Trisha also noticed how cold her hand was, after being engulfed by Mark's warmth.

"Thanks for the card, and the thought, Mark," Trisha said as she entered her car. "I'll keep it handy and let you know," she called out as she started to back out of the parking space.

Mark had spent the last couple of months getting to know Trisha. He knew that, as much as she might have appreciated the gesture, she probably wouldn't call him unless it was earth-shattering. From the first day Trisha started on his shift, he knew that she was quite a force to be reckoned with. She wasn't abrasive; she actually appeared quite shy, at first. But, she was confident; in herself; in her knowledge, in her strength and resilience. And, the more he got to know her, the more he knew that she was right! She learned quickly, both about her job and about the other operators, and became a valued and trusted friend to them all. She was upfront with everyone and they all knew where they stood with her.

Two weeks ago, however, she just took charge when that computer went down. She worked quickly and confidently and was able to figure out what had happened and fixed it. As soon as she got the computer working, Mark had the over-whelming urge to scoop her up and hug her. He didn't know why he felt that way, but he did. He hadn't had feelings for any woman since his marriage broke up. He knew that all women would not treat him like his ex-wife had, but he didn't think he was ready to trust anyone yet. Most nights after that, Mark went to sleep thinking about Trisha. He wanted to feel her, to hold her. But, he knew that he couldn't as long as he was still her supervisor. So, when he was offered the manager's position, he just couldn't turn it down. In two weeks time, he would no longer be Trisha's supervisor. He would be working the same shift as Trisha. He would be able to take her to lunch. Just as friends, he assured himself. He kept that thought running through his mind as he drove himself home that morning. In two weeks, two short weeks, he would have the chance to see her every day, hopefully.

The rest of the weekend went quickly. During work, Trisha and Mark were hounded for information regarding their impending job changes. Everyone was proud of Mark and knew he would be able to handle the additional responsibilities of manager, and they were all happy for him. Trisha got all the gossip she could take from Marsha and Janice about the IT department; who the real "geeks" were, who not to trust, etc. By Sunday morning, Trisha's head was spinning!

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