Peaches is at the end of her rope, both personally and professionally. At work, she’s been cut back to on call, working whatever hours she can. At home, she knows there’s something wrong with her husband. She just doesn’t know exactly what the problem is.
A call from her friend Carol brings her a change in her job situation. But the attraction she shares with her new boss, the dashing senator Chris Goodman, is instant, and mutual.
Will she be able to resist?
I was sitting on the couch at home, watching TV.
Brooke Baldwin was on, talking with Pamela Brown about the special election in Pennsylvania earlier this month to replace a senator who’d had to leave office early, thanks to allegations of inappropriate behavior similar to that famous producer’s.
The man who’d been elected to replace him was Christopher Goodman. Pamela Brown was just about to go into detail about him when the phone rang. Great.
“May I speak with Peaches, please?”
“Speaking.” I took a deep breath and prepared for the bill collector's spiel. I hadn’t been doing too badly, even with my hours cut way down as they were, but it was never too early to get a bill collector’s call.
“Hi Peaches, this is Ginger at the secretarial pool.”
“Oh, yes. Hi, Ginger.” I tried not to sound relieved. But that was the way I felt.
“Hi, hon. I was wondering if you'd like some hours this week. One of the regular secretaries has to go for a parent-teacher conference today. She's taking the whole afternoon off, and so we need someone to fill in for her for the rest of the day.”
“Yeah, sure, I'd love to. Haven't been working much lately.”
“I know, hon. Trust me, it's been rough for everyone. So we'll see you today at one?”
“Yes. One o'clock. Thanks, Ginger.”
“No problem, hon. See you then.”
“Thanks again.” I’d no more hung up the phone than it rang again. “Hello?”
“Oh, good. There you are. I’m glad I caught you.”
Quizzically, I said, “Carol?”
“Yeah. How are you?”
“I'm good,” I said. “How's things going for you?”
“They’re going great. Especially for you.”
“Really? How did this become all about me?”
“You told me just the other day that your hours have been cut way down. Right?”
“Yeah, that's true. But—”
“Listen. One of our senators has an opening for a new secretary.”
“Oh yeah? Republican or Democrat?”
“Neither. He’s in the Gorgeous Party.”
I burst out laughing. “Okay…the Gorgeous Party! Which doesn’t tell me very much about him. I mean, who is this guy? Does he have a name?”
“That would help! His name is Christopher Goodman―”
“Wait,” I said, interrupting her. “CNN is running a story about him! That Christopher Goodman?”
Carol almost but didn’t quite stop herself from giggling sweetly. “Yes, that Senator Goodman! He’s the senator from Pennsylvania…Pittsburgh, to be specific. He served twenty-five years in the Air Force. As you can see from the story, he’s tall, has blond hair, and blue eyes that will make you wet just looking at him. Like I said, his political affiliation doesn’t matter. If they had a Gorgeous Party, he would be the poster boy.”
“Okay!” I let loose another loud peal of laughter. “So why me?”
“Sweetheart, I know you would work hard for this guy. I'd rather see you get the job than some of my other friends, who would just sit and file their nails while they wait for their paycheck.”
I blinked, pleasantly surprised, although I could waste time filing my nails just as well as the next girl. “Okay,” I said aloud. “You've piqued my interest. What next?”
“I'm sending you a referral email with a time-sensitive link. Click on that link, and it will take you straight to the application page. Easy-peasy.”
“Okay. And then what, once I fill it out?”
“Next, I’d have you come over to the Office of Personnel Management for a screening interview, which is more a requisite formality than anything. While we’re doing that, I would set up an interview for you with the senator himself.”
“And if you've got time this weekend, I want to see your closet.”
“See my closet?”
“I want to come over and help you pick out an outfit.”
“Carol, sugar, that’s sweet of you, but―”
“You're going to need a really nice outfit for this interview.”
“How nice? I have several outfits I'd wear to church if I had to―”
“Nicer than that.”
“What's nicer than going to church?”
“Have you got any designer labels in your closet?”
“Well…a couple of things, yeah. But not very many. Again, why?”
“Sweetheart, I told you, you’re going to need to look nice for this interview, especially for the senator and possibly his staff. Not just nice, but niiiice. Got me?”
I laughed again. “Yeah, I got you! And to answer your question, I don’t have any plans for Saturday, if you want to come over sometime Saturday afternoon.”
“What about Sunday? You go to church, right?”
“Well, Sunday morning, yes. I have Sunday afternoon free. Usually, anyway.”
“Cool. Text me when you get home from church. I’ll come over Sunday afternoon.”
“My husband might object…”
“What do you mean?”
“This is what I meant by usually, anyway. Sometimes he has the day off, and he usually wants to spend it with me if I’m not working.”
“Tell him this is work-related. If he doesn’t buy it, put your foot down.”
“I might just do that anyway. Okay, I’ll text you when I get home from church.”
“Cool. See you then, sweetheart. And check your email in a few minutes.”
“Okay. Thanks, Carol. I owe you a big one.”
“The best way to thank me is to do a good job for the senator.”
“Of course. I wouldn’t do anything less.”
“I know. That’s why I called you and not someone else, as I said.”
A few moments later, we hung up. A few more moments later, I booted up my laptop and logged in to my email. Yep, the email from Carol was there―link and all. Easy-peasy.
It took me about an hour to fill out the application on the federal government’s website, mostly because I had to fill out a questionnaire to make sure I really was qualified, and then I had to physically find the info they needed on the application or look things up.