Standard Deduction

Standard Deduction

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

A simple romance story. Kyle needs an assistant and picks the most unlikely candidate against his better judgement in hopes that his good deed will help Hailey get on her feet. His attraction to her isn't the only thing that turns his world upside down. I hope you enjoy, this is a mild story, or at least that's my plan, we all know how things change once I start posting, so no promises in either direction. Seriously, I'm just having fun with this book!

Summary

A simple romance story. Kyle needs an assistant and picks the most unlikely candidate against his better judgement in hopes that his good deed will help Hailey get on her feet. His attraction to her isn't the only thing that turns his world upside down. I hope you enjoy, this is a mild story, or at least that's my plan, we all know how things change once I start posting, so no promises in either direction.
Seriously, I'm just having fun with this book!

Chapter1 (v.1) - Job Acquisition

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 26, 2020

Reads: 576

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 26, 2020

A A A

A A A

Hailey sat across from the accountant, his tan oxford shirt, rolled carelessly at the sleeves, brought out the kindness of his eyes. His soft smile put her at ease as he stared at her resume. She twisted her fingers together as his lips moved from that easy smile to a tense straight line. Yes, she was lacking in experience but she desperately needed a better job. Waitressing paid well but the hours were damaging to her family as she tried to raise three kids with very little help from their father.

She took a moment to take in her surroundings; the quaint office was sparsely furnished, as if he’d just moved everything in a month ago. She bit her lip nervously wondering how established the man’s business might actually be. She couldn’t quit her job if this one was struggling, she couldn’t risk being without an income.

He looked up, his voice warming as he spoke. “You graduated over nine months ago. Have you worked for anyone since then?”

She frowned as she thought of the struggle of interview after interview. “I’ve been looking but it’s been tough finding a job.”

“You have no accounting experience.” He pointed out as if to question whether her resume was correct. “Only a short internship?”

“That’s true.” She tried to hold back the annoyance in her voice. She couldn’t get any experience if she couldn’t find a job in the field. “But I did graduate with a 4.3 and I made the dean’s list every semester and before I started college I was working for a company as an office assistant and I did a lot of the bookkeeping there, that’s where I found an interest in accounting.” 

Mr. Grayson gave a grim smile and a small shake of his head as if mentally deciding this potential candidate wouldn't work. “I need someone who can start part time and occasionally a full day. I don’t have a full time position available.” It also sounded like a question more than a statement, he grappled for a polite way out of choosing a different job seeker.

“I can work any time. My parents are very helpful with my kids and I can rely on them if I need to make any changes to my schedule.”

“Kids?” He lifted a brow above a light brown eye.

She pulled her lips into a tight smile, regretting her slip up. She usually made it a point not to bring up her home life during an interview if she could help it. She hoped he would find it in his heart to help her. “Yes. I have three.”

“And married as well?” He questioned as he flipped her paper over as if expecting an answer to be on the blank side. He pinched his lips together as he regretted asking the question but he knew how much responsibility one child required let alone three, he didn’t like the idea of someone who would need to take off during an important day with little notice.

“No.” She shook her head regrettably. “Single mom.” She looked him in the eye trying to determine if that would be a deal breaker.

He nodded before he set her resume down and clasped his hands in front of him. “To be honest I am looking for someone with experience. I just started on my own a few years ago and I don’t have the time to train someone while I keep up with my clients. I need someone who can come in running.” 

She looked at her hands, feeling the denial once again. She sucked in a breath and gave it one last shot, she had to beg for this job. “Mister Grayson, I really want to start in this field. I am a fast learner. I am efficient and organized. And I know I can help you free up your time if I just had a chance.” 

He nodded before he spoke. “I do have a few more applicants I’d really like to check on before I decide. I will let you know either way.” 

“Thank you for your time.” She sighed as she left with the weight of the world on her shoulders all over again. She knew she would be over looked for the job. It’s been an ongoing ritual for the last nine months. She sensed maybe the single mom cost her this time but it was hard to say because most employers had used the ‘more experience’ requisite even when she hadn’t mentioned three kids or single mom. 

**************

Kyle watched the woman walk across the street to her car, it was an older vehicle that appeared defunct in his opinion. He couldn’t imagine hiring a single mom with a poor excuse for a car and expect her to be reliable. He shook his head almost feeling sorry for the woman, she was soft spoken and did indeed appear to be anxious for the job but he had to keep in mind what he was looking for in an employee. Ever since he decided to go out on his own he slowly built up his company and managed a full workload, he wasn’t certain he could keep a full time employee busy so a single mom relying on forty hours would not be a good choice in his opinion. He envisioned a more seasoned office assistant, maybe an older lady looking to slow down, one with experience that would be able to maintain his schedule and do minor bookkeeping to lighten his load.

The woman he just interviewed was looking to start in the field, she would one day want to leave him and start her own company and he’d be right back in the same boat looking for a new assistant. He shook his head confirming his thoughts, he couldn’t think twice about the one that just left although her sweet smell still filled his office to remind him of her presence. He walked to the back of the building, the part that housed his efficiency apartment, when he purchased the building it was a perfect find for his business. As a CPA his location didn’t have to have heavy foot traffic so this building close to the park came with a built in apartment and saved him a ton of money while he started his business. He planned to find a house in the next few years and then he could utilize the extra space for more business.

******************************

After another week of job searching Hailey was on the fence ready to give up. It appeared that waitressing was going to be her career in life. “Gina.” She stopped a fellow waitress. “Can you finish J3 for me, I’m going to be late for my sons’ game if I wait around for them to finish.”

Gina looked over at the elderly couples talking while drinking coffee. Hailey knew the young girl was assessing whether it would be worth the tip money.

“They’ve been done for a while, all you have to do is keep the coffee full and check them out when their done. They usually tip well. Please, I can’t miss another game, my boys will be so upset.”

Gina shrugged with a hint of teenage attitude. “I guess.”

“Thanks.” Hailey left knowing she would miss out on the extra money but that wasn’t the most important thing today.

She sat on the bleachers next to her mom and step dad as they cheered on her twin eight year old boys. “Have I missed anything?”

Daniel gave a proud smile as he answered. “Zane got a touchdown and Zach made a decent tackle.” Her step dad hadn’t come into her life until she was older but she liked to think of him as the dad she never had. Her mom raised her as a single parent after her own father disappeared when she was seven.

She smiled and regretted even more for being so late. “Sorry. I had a hell of a day.” She needed to find a regular day job that didn’t require Saturday shifts. She cheered on her boys with six year old Robin in her lap begging her for a trip to the concession stand. She did her best to appease her daughter so she wouldn’t have to miss any more of her sons’ game. “After the game. We can all get a hot dog for the ride home.”

“I want a pickle.” Robin protested. 

“Okay. You can have a pickle but I can’t afford more than one thing so no hot dog for you.” 

After the game she hugged her parent’s goodbye and trailed her kids to the concession stand. Her boys were excited about their achievements and chatted on while they waited in line for their food. 

“Why didn’t dad come?” Zane questioned first, he was her most optimistic child. Although her twin boys were identical, she could always tell them apart by personality more than anything.

“I don’t know.” She sighed, hoping that she could avoid the conversation of Blake’s absence, he wasn’t always absent but he missed more games than he attended. 

“He said he would bring us some money for new uniforms.” Zachary added.

She looked down at her sons not so white football pants, she had managed to find them at a thrift store and saved over 30.00 dollars. Maybe one new pair would be affordable but when you had twins and everything came in pairs you had to compromise. “I’m sorry Zach. You’re dad said he couldn’t help with uniforms so we will just have to make due with these. Now eat your hotdog so we can go home.” She handed the boys each a hot dog and Robin her pickle, they sat on the nearby benches watching other teams come and go getting ready for the next little league game. 

***************

Kyle stood in line for the concession stand. His niece was scheduled to cheer for the youth football program and he’d agreed to watch. He hadn’t expected the heat and craved a cool water. He recognized the woman he’d interviewed for the job last week. She stood off to the side as her children ate their concessions. He hadn’t intended on listening but being a few steps back made it impossible not to hear to every word. Now he didn’t stray far as he waited for his sister and niece to come from the restrooms. 

The woman was addressing the youngest child over her choice of a pickle. “I said I could only afford one thing each and you chose pickle. I’m sorry but if I get you something else than I have to get something for everyone and that isn’t in our budget.”

The girl pouted as she took a small bite of the pickle she no longer wanted. One of the boys, the one with an eleven on his shirt came to her rescue. “Here sis. You can have half my hot dog for half your pickle.” 

The girl’s eyes lit up as she handed the barely touched pickle to her brother in lieu of his half eaten hot dog. 

“Thank you Zane. That’s very sweet of you.” The woman chimed in. He had to think for a minute and recall her name. Hailey. The woman had a quiet voice, he would have never pegged her as a mom of three when she first interviewed for his office position. She was slender with a petite face and her sweet scent washed by with the hot breeze.

The boy shuffled his feet at the praise as he chewed on the pickle. Kyle couldn’t help but chuckle as the boy made a face at the bitter taste. 

 Suddenly the two identical boys bounced up and announced. “Daddy!”

His gaze flickered to the approaching man then back to the woman as she watched her children run for their father. Her face registered her annoyance at his arrival, it didn’t take long to understand why.

“Did I miss the game?” The older gentleman asked as he picked up the young girl and held her in his arms.

Hailey threw an aggravated hand on her hip as the man listened to the boys before using the mother as a pawn for his tardiness.

“Your mom told me three o’clock.” He informed the boys.

“I said two.” She immediately defended. 

He vehemently denied her accusation and argued. “Don’t make up lies to cover your incompetence. You said three.” 

Hailey dropped her hand and bit her cheek, choosing to avoid further argument. Whether she misinformed her ex or not, Kyle felt a bit of anger that the man would make the woman feel inferior in front of her own kids, he could see why she was no longer married to him.

“Daddy did you bring some money so I can get a new uniform?” One of the boys tugged on his father’s arm.

He shook his head. “I don’t think I can afford it this week son. Maybe mommy can work an extra shift while you guys are staying the week with me. She can come up with the money. Can’t you babe?”

Kyle eyed the man dressed in an a Tom Ford, tailor fit, suit and a pair of oxford shoes, not something any man should be wearing to a little league football game in the heat of summer. His style was ornate and spoke as if he could have bought the whole team a new uniform. The watch on his wrist alone could have afforded the whole team all new equipment.

Hailey lifted her chin in the air as she spoke. “I can’t afford it Blake. Stop promising them things you refuse to deliver.”

“I’m not refusing.” The man gave the kids a charming smile. “I just can’t afford it with the new baby. You know how hard it is to stock up on diapers and stuff, besides I send you plenty of child support, that is supposed to cover what you can’t earn.” 

She shook her head and dropped her hand after scrubbing it across her face.

Kyle missed the rest of the conversation as Emma and Pepper caught his attention coming out of the restrooms. “Are you ready Uncle Kyle?”

“Yes I am sweet heart. Let’s go hear those cheers.” 

His niece giggled. “That rhymes.” 

“Did it?” He teased. “I hadn’t noticed.” 

***************

Hailey drove home with all three of her children bouncing in the back seat, she would spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get grass stains out of those white uniforms while her kids played in the small pool in the backyard.

“Can we go to dads today?” Zach asked from the back seat.

She sighed, sometimes she wished she could provide what Blake could provide. He had the big house, with a large pool plus all the amenities a person could want. He even had cable with all the channels. Her kids never failed to complain about what they lacked at moms. “Not today Zach. You’ll get to go back on Wednesday. We have to go home and clean those uniforms and maybe we can start making a list of all the things you’ll need for school next month.” She hoped to redirect their focus.

She worried her bottom lip trying to recall if she had indeed told Blake the wrong time. She wouldn’t want her kids missing out on her dad’s attendance because of her own mistakes but she could have sworn she told him the correct time. Why hadn’t she texted him? She vowed that she would start texting him the times from now on to avoid confusion.

After her kids were in bed she took out her school books, even though she had completed her courses she feared losing valuable knowledge because she couldn’t find a job in the field and start sharpening her skills. She sighed as she thought about all the time that would be wasted if she didn’t find a job soon. She was good at waitressing and it was the one job that Blake hadn’t bothered to ruin for her but she wanted more and she was certain she just needed one small break to get there. She opened her books and wondered if maybe she should start back to college, she wouldn’t need much more to get certified and become a full accountant on her own but it would be hard to get customers if she couldn’t get experience to back up her knowledge. She closed her eyes, unable to focus on the books with her thoughts so uncertain of her future.

 **************

Monday morning Kyle couldn’t stop thinking about Hailey and the obvious jerk of an ex she dealt with. He wasn’t satisfied with any of the other applicants after another week of interviews. As he shifted through the stack of applicants he knew any one of them would be as equivalent as the other, no one stood out. However the least qualified applicant still sat at the top of his stack. It went against his better judgment but he picked up the phone and dialed her number. 

“Can you come in and discuss the job one more time?” He asked as she answered the phone with a dejected voice, no doubt assuming he was calling to tell her she didn’t get the job.

“Yes. Of course. Thank you. When?” Her voice answered surprised.

“You’re next available hour will be fine.” He offered uncertain of her schedule.

“I can be there in thirty minutes.” She stated with an excited tilt to her voice. He smiled as he pictured how excited she must be.

*****************

She called her mom in a rush. She hadn’t really considered what she would do if her mom couldn’t come when she agreed to meet so quickly but she was grateful her mom could sit with her kids.

She was shaking by the time she stood outside his office building, she couldn’t believe she had actually gotten a call back. It was the closest she’d ever gotten to a job in finance. She took four deep breaths and pulled the door feeling the rush of cool air from his air conditioning.

His form filled the doorway to his office. “Thanks for coming again on such short notice.” His warm voice washed through her, relaxing a bit of her nervousness. “Come have a seat.”

He sat behind the sturdy desk with his fingers clasped together over the stack of folders, no doubt needing attention as they sat overlapping one another. She took in more of him, he was handsome with a cropped haircut and soft eyes as he paused for a moment to look at her while she settled in the seat across from him.

***************

Kyle wasn’t sure what he was going to say to the woman he’d never planned to hire. After a deep breath and a slow exhale he let his doubts out of the gate. “I’m hesitant to hire with no experience so do you mind if I test your knowledge?”

Her fingers twisted in her lap, her expressive eyes open to the challenge. She gave a nod. “Of course. Please.”

He flipped through one of his folders and pulled out a sheet, he’d worked on yesterday and found several mistakes in the spreadsheet. An error caused by an employee messing with the formulas but he wanted to see if she could spot any of the mistakes.

She studied the sheet, her eyes shifting as she glanced over the numbers and then a little slower as she looked over them again. He would be surprised if she found all three but two would be impressive enough for him.

She looked up. “Do you want me to circle them?”

“Just point.”

“Okay.” She set the sheet down using a slender finger to point, her neck stretching as she leaned over his desk. He took a deep breath of her fresh scent and stole a glance at her neck line. “Here are two totals that appear to be off and of course that throws off the bottom total, so possibly they are using Excel and have the formulas wrong. And it appears they’ve put a negative in a debit column on this row.” Then she pointed to the description row. “Also they’ve misspelled utilities.”

He pulled the sheet back, an impressive glint to his eye. “What programs are you familiar with?”

She listed several that were covered in secondary glasses she had taken. “Sage 50, QuickBooks, and Net Suite. Although my experience is very limited to learning the basics of those programs but I think I can manage them enough to learn as I go.”

He leaned back in his chair, pleased with her honest answer. She wasn’t trying to impress him with things she didn’t know. He threw a few more questions her way expecting to find a reason not to hire her but she was open and honest with each of her answers even though it meant hurting her chances of getting the job. He smiled as his thoughts about her changed, maybe she would make mistakes but she seemed like the kind of person that would not hesitate to own up to her mistakes. It occurred to him that training someone to operate in his preference would be beneficial to expecting someone with preconceived ideas to come in and try to adjust to his methods.

“When can you start?” He asked.

She gave a timid look, no doubt still uncertain if she would get the job.

“As soon as tomorrow. My shifts at Julio’s this week are in the evenings so I can do this week with no problem and I could let them know my schedule here. They’ll work around it with no problem.” 

“You plan to keep your waitress job?” He lifted a curious brow.

“Yes. For a little while. You did say this was part time?” She questioned. “But I promise I won’t let my shift at Julio’s interfere with my schedule here. This would be my priority. This is what I want to do. Leslie, my boss at Julio’s, knows that this is what I want to do.”

“Okay.” He gave a wide smile. “Why don’t we set a trial basis? If you do well we settle for more permanent work.”

She nodded, he watched the corners of her mouth struggle to maintain composure. “You don’t know how grateful I am for this chance.I won’t let you down.” 

Kyle watched the woman exit his building, her bright smile etched in his mind along with her sweet scent. He felt good about hiring her, maybe this counts as his good deed for the month, the woman’s desperation for finding a job was palatable. Still he worried her inexperience would be a downside. Hopefully she will learn fast and he won’t have to regret his decision to hire her. 


© Copyright 2020 Trixie. All rights reserved.

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