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Revved to the Maxx
Author: Melanie Moreland

Chapter 1

 

 

MAXX

 

 

The night was pitch black, and outside, the wind blew hot and strong. The only other sound was the low beat of the rock music playing in the background. I took a long draw on the bottle of beer I had grabbed from the small fridge in the garage and finished the sandwich I had thrown together. I stared at the computer, then opened a new document. I scrubbed my face in vexation. I had no idea how to do this, nor did I particularly want to, but at this point, it was something I had to try, like it or not.

Wanted:

Helper

Errand boy

Errand girl

Assistant

Personal Assistant

Housekeeper

Bookkeeper

Sidekick

I sat and mulled over the list. None of the descriptions seemed right. A memory floated through my head of my dad and mom in the office. He always called her his Girl Friday, saying there wasn’t a task she couldn’t do. He always insisted she was better at everything in the office than he was and he’d be lost without her. That was the sort of person I needed. I typed it into the ad.

Girl Friday

Duties:

Running mechanic shop plus

Housekeeping, Grocery shopping, Laundry, Cooking meals

Must also be proficient at bookkeeping, invoicing, other various duties

I looked over the list with a frown. Mary, my neighbor, had told me to place an ad on this site and be very specific about what I was looking for. I reread the list and started typing again. When it was done, I checked it, deciding it was specific enough.

Wanted: Girl Friday

Duties:

Housekeeping, Grocery shopping, Laundry, Cooking meals

Must also be proficient at bookkeeping, invoicing, banking, inventory control,

and website upkeep for business.

Must be able to drive, be highly organized, and able to work without supervision.

Must like living in the country, with limited access to major towns.

Must like dogs.

Ability to make pies an asset.

Work – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free

Room with private bath. Board plus salary.

Only serious applicants need apply.

 

 

I looked around the shop. I needed help. Since Shannon had taken off, things had gotten worse. They’d been slipping for a long time, but somehow, I had never noticed. I snorted and drained my beer.

I hadn’t noticed a lot of things.

I paused. Was the pie thing a bit over the top? I knew pie making was a lost art and probably not done by people under the age of fifty. I decided to leave it. Maybe it would weed out the non-serious applicants.

I loaded up the document on Solutions for You and double-checked it for errors. I liked the fact that with this website, you could “chat” with interested parties and get a feel for them before hiring. I had tried a couple of other job sites but didn’t like them. This one had simpler guidelines and was not only for jobs. You could buy and sell things. Trade. Post for lost articles. In the past, I had only used it to find parts, but Mary had found her last two helpers there and encouraged me to try. It seemed like a good idea. I had nothing to lose at this point. I wasn’t really holding out much hope on this idea, although I had to try something.

You could choose the reach of your ad, and I purposely set this one for outside my region, but within the province. I had to hire from outside the small town where I lived. I didn’t want to see the pitying looks or give the gossips anything new to yak about by having them here in my shop and, especially, my home. I needed a stranger with no connections to this place or me.

Someone I didn’t know or care about and who felt the same way about me.

It was simple. I needed a job done, and I was sure there was someone out there looking for a job to do.

Satisfied, I hit submit.

Now, all I had to do was wait for the applicants to fly in.

Who could resist such a great job offer?

 

 

CHARLYNN


I stared at the piece of paper in my hand, horrified. I was certain I had to be reading this wrong.

“Eviction notice,” I whispered. I looked up at my landlord. “Eviction notice?” I repeated, my voice louder. “But I’m only behind by a month!”

Terry leaned on the doorjamb, not at all concerned. He looked me over with one of his long leers that I hated. I backed up a step, not liking his close proximity.

“Nope. Including this one, you owe me three months.”

“Three?” I squeaked. “But I gave Trish my share of the rent—I don’t understand. She told me the rent was paid—I have the receipts!”

“Let me see them.”

I hurried into the small kitchen and yanked open the drawer. I pulled out the envelope and grabbed the slips of paper. I turned, startled when I realized Terry had followed me into the kitchen. I didn’t like him very much—he gave me the creeps. I tamped down my nervousness and thrust out the papers. “Here.”

He looked at them and shook his head, pushing them back at me. “Fakes.”

I looked down at the slips. When Trish had told me the rent was paid, I never looked at the slips. She put them in the drawer with the others. Now, as I studied them, I could see Terry wasn’t lying. These were copies.

“Where did the money go?” I mumbled.

He shrugged. “She gave it to someone else.”

I fought down my sense of panic. “There has to be something I can do.” I swallowed my revulsion at asking Terry for anything, but I had no choice. “Trish screwed me over, Terry. She took off with everything I owned and cleaned me out. Plus, I lost my job. Surely, you can give me a little time to figure things out.”

A predatory light sparked in his eyes and he came closer, his eyes traveling up and down my body, this time not bothering to disguise his interest. “I could let you pay off what you owe the same way your roomie did.”

“Wh-what?”

“She paid your rent the last couple of months on her back.” He winked lewdly. “And her knees.”

I took a step back, shaking my head wildly. “No.”

He smiled. It was cold and cruel. “I bet you’re a hellcat in bed, aren’t you?” He reached out and grabbed a piece of my hair, pulling on it sharply. “Redheads are known for their tempers. I’d like to see you all riled up and fighting me.” He paused, licking his lips. “I like it when they fight.”

My stomach turned at his words. I slapped away his hand, disgusted. “Unless you want your balls in your throat, I suggest you step back. I said no. Get out.”

His expression never faded—if anything, it got colder. “Give me what I want, and you get to keep your apartment for another month.” He sneered at me. “If you’re good, maybe longer.”

I wanted to gag. But instead, I tilted my head and studied him as if considering his generous “offer.” I stepped forward and laid my hand on top of his, casting my eyes downward. His grunt of satisfaction became a howl of pain as I roughly bent back his fingers. I took advantage of his discomfort and gripped his arm upward, bending it at an awkward angle I knew would be painful. I frog-marched him over to my door, pushing him out.

“I’d rather be homeless.”

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