Always enough, p.9
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       Always Enough, p.9

           Kay Edwards

  Chapter Nine

  Fall was coming, and so was school. Carla sat in Wendy’s office. “She is doing so much better. The Felix’s help was needed. She has gained a few pounds and seems to be more like herself.”

  Wendy smiled at her friend. “I’m so happy for you. Jake was killing her slowly.”

  Clara looked down at the fresh bruise on her arm and grimaced. “He was furious last night when he came to my apartment asking about her. Thanks for letting me crash at your place until I find a new apartment. I have filed a restraining order, but you and I both know that won’t stop him from hurting me to get to my sister.”

  Wendy glanced at Stefan standing in the doorway of her office. She answered her friend as she continued to look at her boss. She knew why he was there. “It is no problem. You take your time. You are going to be fun to have around.”

  Clara stood up. “I’ll see you tonight.”

  Wendy glanced away from Stefan and smiled at her. “I’ll see you tonight.”

  Stefan walked in and sat down after Carla walked past him. He looked at Wendy knowingly. “Are you still freaked out about Cory?”

  Wendy laughed. “You know me too well Mr. Felix.”

  Stefan chuckled at her formal use of his name. “Well, Ms. Collins you seem to be unhappy about that.”

  Wendy’s giggle turned into a groan. Her eyes were imploring her boss for an answer he might not have. “Stefan, how do I do this? I don’t want to send him.”

  Stefan looked at Wendy. He had been thinking about a way to help since he busted her crying the day before. “How about I stop by and pick up the boys and take them school shopping? I know Sean isn’t going to school, but we can do a guys’ night. You take that time to calm down and relax.”

  Wendy glanced at Stefan. “Are you sure?”

  Stefan winked at her. “I’m positive. I think it would be fun.”

  Wendy stood and walked around her desk. “You are a life saver. Now if only this will work, we can just get my nerves under control.”

  Stefan laughed. “I think you will need more intense therapy if it doesn't.”

  Wendy wrinkled her nose at him as he stood and walked toward her. “Shame on you Stefan….”

  Stefan took her hand and tugged her into his arms. “I’m your friend. I like helping you and teasing you all in one.”

  Wendy swatted him. “I think you like the teasing more.”

  Stefan chuckled as he gave her a quick hug. “I know I do.”

  Wendy glanced at the entrance to her office as a knock sounded on her door. She looked at one of her assistants. “Hi. How is that report going?”

  Sabrina smiled as she handed Wendy a stack of papers. She looked at Mr. Felix. “Your eleven o’clock is here sir.”

  Stefan winked at Wendy before he started for the conference room. “Thank you, Ms. Elliot.”

  When he walked out, Sabrina looked at Wendy. “What is the deal with you two?”

  Wendy had already taken her seat again. She looked up from the papers she had started to read. “What?”

  Sabrina gave Wendy a coy smile. “You and Mr. Felix… What is going on?”

  Wendy was honestly perplexed at Sabrina's question. She answered truthfully. “We are friends. We go to the same church. He helps me with my boys, and I help him with Macy.”

  Sabrina was not sure she believed that. “The other two seem close to you too.”

  Wendy started getting an uneasy feeling at the underlying implication. She spoke to the woman truthfully. “We are just friends. I know their parents also. It is nothing more than that.”

  Sabrina raised an eyebrow. She was bolder than she should have been. “You mean to tell me that you hang out with all three of the Felix brothers and that is it. Every one of them is hot. I can’t imagine you would say no if they offered.”

  Wendy knew it was time to end this conversation. Her voice was a little shaky. “I am telling you that I am friends with all of them. I am nothing more. If I were more, it would be none of your business. The men you are talking about are our bosses. I can’t imagine that they would want to be talked about like this. I’m asking you to stop.”

  Sabrina held up her hands. She realized she crossed a line when she saw the tears in Wendy's eyes. “I’ll stop. I’m just curious.”

  Wendy took a deep breath. She was glad Sabrina backed down. Right now, Wendy was speaking the truth. She knew that that might change in the future, but Wendy could cross that bridge when she came to it.

  Sabrina turned to walk out. She stopped cold. Liam stood in the doorway. The look on his face said he had heard the entire conversation.

  Liam knew Wendy was upset. He looked at Sabrina. “Would you like to ask me any questions, Ms. Elliot? If you want I can have my brothers join us, and you can ask all of us the same questions you just asked Ms. Collins.”

  Wendy walked over and stood beside Sabrina. She didn't want the woman to get into trouble. “Liam…”

  Liam looked at his friend. “You know those questions were unacceptable.”

  Wendy nodded her head. “I do. I also know she isn’t the only one that has questions. I think it is ok to let others see there is nothing inappropriate going on. I believe her when she says she is curious.”

  Liam shook his head. It was apparent he disagreed. “You are way too nice Wendy. A person you are in charge of should never feel like they can ask you those kinds of questions.”

  Wendy knew Liam wanted to fire Sabrina. Her eyes implored him to listen to her. “Please don’t. If this isn’t a lesson learned I don’t know what is.”

  Sabrina looked at Wendy. A new respect formed in her heart for her boss. “You are asking him to keep me?”

  Liam answered the question for Wendy. “That is exactly what she is asking me to do.”

  Stefan now stood in the doorway. His meeting had been a quick one. He was concerned by the look on Wendy's face. “What’s going on?”

  Wendy knew Stefan would feel the same way Liam did. She also knew Stefan respected honesty. She looked at Sabrina and spoke. “Tell him. Don’t leave anything out.”

  Sabrina looked at the men and recounted the conversations which she had had with Wendy in its’ entirety. She did exactly what Wendy said and left nothing out. Sabrina knew she had screwed up. She added one more thing. “If you decide to let me go I do understand. What I said to Ms. Collins was out of line. I have no one to blame but me.”

  Wendy looked at Stefan. Her eyes begged him to forgive Sabrina and not fire her. Deep down inside Wendy knew Sabrina had voiced what many others were thinking. “Stefan, she knows we are only friends. She would have to be blind not to. If she stays, she can answer the questions we are all aware others are thinking.”

  Stefan looked at Liam. “What are your thoughts?”

  Liam was still mad, but he could see the wisdom in what Wendy was saying. “Wendy is right. We should let her stay.”

  Stefan looked at Sabrina. His gaze turned to Wendy. “This is your call. I won’t question it.”

  Wendy watched the men leave. She looked at Sabrina. “Do you see now?”

  Sabrina knew how close she had come to losing her job. She looked at Wendy. “You really are interesting.”

  Wendy chuckled. “Now you are starting to sound like Stefan.”

  Sabrina looked at her boss. “Thank you. I am so sorry I spoke to you like that.”

  Wendy regarded the woman beside her. “We all say things we regret. I forgive you.” Wendy hesitated a moment before she added. "Sabrina, I don't want to lie to you. I am friends with Stefan. I know that may change, but I need you to know. I'm a Christian. I won't be doing anything inappropriate with him."

  Sabrina glanced down at her hands. In her entire life, she could not recall having anyone specifically tell her she was forgiven. Sabrina knew she had been forgiven many times but to have the words spoke
n to her touched her soul. She looked back up at Wendy. “Thank you for saying that and for trusting me enough to explain how things are between you and Mr. Felix.”

  Wendy nodded. She looked at the papers on her desk. “You're welcome. Now I guess it is time for us to get back to work.”

  Sabrina walked out of Wendy’s office. She smiled at Stefan as he walked in. “I really am sorry sir.”

  Stefan looked down at her. “I forgive you.”

  Sabrina glanced back at Wendy and then walked away.

  Wendy peered up at Stefan. When he sat in the chair in front of her desk, she continued to look over her desk at him. “Thank you for trusting me.”

  Stefan leaned forward and put his elbows on his knees. He grinned. “You are well aware that I like making you happy.”

  Wendy nodded. She knew they had needed to talk for almost two months now. She finally asked what she knew he was waiting for her to ask. “Why?”

  Stefan looked at her. He knew honesty was the only way to deal with Wendy. “I’m falling for you. I’m not like your other boss. I promise no matter what I will treat you respectfully. I won’t lie to you about this, though.”

  Wendy glanced down at her hands. She knew he spoke the truth. Now it was her turn. “I don’t mind you falling for me. I’m trying to figure out my feelings for you too.”

  Stefan looked at her. “You sometimes seem worried about my intentions. I need you to know they are honorable. I see a future with you and the boys. I wouldn't pursue this otherwise.”

  Wendy knew he spoke the truth. He had taken the kids for her many times in the last month just to hang out. He understood their need for a man in their lives. He also seemed to recognize that short embraces were all she could handle at the moment. “We can go slow? Friendship is enough for you right now?”

  Stefan nodded. “I’m ok with that. I probably need that too. A part of me feels guilty about my feelings for you.”

  Wendy understood. “The way your parents and brothers talk about her makes me wish I had known her.”

  Stefan glanced at the ring he still had on his finger. He looked up at Wendy. “She would have liked knowing you too.”

  Wendy watched him take the ring off his finger. “Stefan…?”

  Stefan looked at Wendy. His voice was soft. “It is time Wendy. I can’t keep wearing this knowing I’m falling in love with you. I’m ok with this. I know she would be too.”

  Wendy was actually feeling a bit sick with the onslaught of emotions she was feeling. “This relationship stuff kind of makes me nauseous.”

  Stefan chuckled. “I’m not sure how to take that.”

  Wendy grinned. “I guess that sounds kind of wrong. I’m kind of new to these emotions, though.”

  Stefan heard a knock at the door and turned. “I guess I need to go.”

  Wendy smiled at him. “I’ll see you later.”

  Crystal looked at Wendy. “I have the other papers you asked for ready.”

  Wendy took them. “Thanks for getting these so fast.”

  Crystal nodded. She had watched Mr. Felix put his wedding band into his pocket. She really liked Ms. Collins. “He is happier with you here.”

  Wendy looked up from her papers. She started getting worried again.

  Crystal smiled. “I won’t say anything to anyone. I like you. I’m pretty good at reading people, and you are one of the few good ones.”

  Wendy glanced back at her papers and then at Crystal. “Thank you for saying that.”

  Crystal chuckled. “You are welcome. I like working underneath you. I have had some pretty nasty bosses. You are anything but that.”

  Wendy knew Crystal was older than her. She could see the woman’s wedding band and decided to venture into new territory. “Do you have kids?”

  Crystal nodded. “I have three.”

  Wendy looked at her again. “Are they school age?”

  Crystal smiled. “Two of them are.”

  Wendy was so relieved. She stood up and walked around her desk. “I need your advice. I’m sending my six-year-old to school for the first time. I am having an absolute breakdown.”

  Crystal was surprised that Wendy had children. “You have kids?”

  Wendy nodded. “I am my nephews’ legal guardian. I know Cory went to school last year, but it was so different where we lived. Here it is more intense. This is the city. His school is huge, and I’m worried about his reaction to that. Crystal, I am freaking out about this. I have tried to calm down and can't.”

  Crystal chuckled. “You need to breathe. It will be ok. I know it is hard, but he will be okay. If you are starting to freak out, he will too. Am I right when I assume you are a Christian?”

  Wendy nodded and smiled. “You are.”

  Crystal smiled. “Then you know this worry is not of Christ. Pray about it. I’ll pray with you every day if you want, but you need to let God handle this anxiety.”

  Wendy was thrilled that she was willing to do that with her. “I would appreciate you praying with me. Thank you, Crystal.”

  Crystal winked at her as she started out of the office. “Us single moms have to stick together. I lost my husband a year ago and let me tell you I worried about everything. You have a blessed day.”

  Wendy watched her leave. “You too Crystal.”

  Wendy went back to work feeling great. She and Stefan had finally talked. She now knew she had a sister in Christ she could chat with that understood being a mom. Her life was full of blessings. Wendy was glad she had taken the time to see them.

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