tagNovels and NovellasThe Job Pt. 03

The Job Pt. 03

byDreamCloud©

Author's Note: This story was edited by Tim413413. His work was embarrassingly difficult. I actually think he spent more time on this than I did. Thank you sir!

*****

Packing up children was another new experience for Jayden. They were so small and had only been up for a few hours, but had generated mountains that needed repacking. The smaller they were, the more work they created. Jayden was ready in five minutes. Xavier took twenty. The inverse relationship amazed Jayden. Marissa took it in stride and packed them away in reverse age order. Her hardest task was making sure the older boys didn't start unpacking again.

It was 8:30 before they were finally exiting the room. Marissa was thinking that Jayden really helped speed things up. Jayden couldn't imagine the departure being any slower. He saw how much slower it could go when they finally exited the hotel.

Jayden stood before his car and thought back to what he had told Kyle. Kyle was not supposed to go near Marissa or Jayden again. Jayden did not specifically tell Kyle not to knife his car's tires. Jayden dropped the bags he was carrying and burst out laughing. Marissa was in shock and slightly afraid that Jayden would cut his losses and leave her at the curb. She didn't find anything funny about the situation.

"I'm so sorry, Jayden," Marissa said as she checked the other side of the car. "I can't believe he did this."

Jayden met her on the other side and verified that Kyle had gotten all four tires. "It's not your fault," Jayden said, still chuckling. He couldn't believe he didn't follow Kyle out last night. Kyle's ego just wouldn't let him pass up the opportunity to even the score. "Well, we have tires to fix. I'll see if anyone at the front desk knows where to go," Jayden stated, heading to the office with Sebastian and Tristan in tow.

Marissa created a seat out of a suitcase and waited with Xavier. She had begun to think things were getting better. She chastised herself for getting her hopes up so high. Problems always slammed her back to earth. This was just another lesson to help her harden her heart. Some people were just not allowed to be happy. Marissa was one of them and she needed to learn to live with it.

Jayden returned with the boys about twenty minutes later. "A Doug Molson is coming with a flat bed," Jayson said and sat down next to Marissa on another suitcase. "He owns a tire shop not far from here. It took a while to find him since he's normally closed on Sunday," Jayson continued as the boys began balancing on the parking block next to the car. "One of the clerks is related somehow. Says he's a straight shooter and works quickly."

"I've really screwed up your day," Marissa said, resigned to sadness. Jayden pulled her head to his shoulder.

"I don't regret any of it," Jayden whispered in her ear. "Parts of it were pretty wonderful." He chuckled, "I have to remember to thank Kyle next time I see him." Marissa gave him half a smile, not really seeing how he could ignore all the problems. She knew he secretly couldn't wait to be rid of her and her kids.

<<<<<>>>>>

A large red twin cab flatbed truck pulled into the lot. Molson Tire and Auto was emblazoned on the side. The operator rolled down the window and inquired, "You Jayden?" Jayden nodded and gave him a little wave. The door opened and a young lanky guy with dusty brown hair and a big smile dismounted. His overalls looked like they had seen better days, but he looked clean cut. He boldly held his hand out to Hayden and proclaimed, "Doug Molson." Jayden took his hand and felt the confidence behind it. "Looks like you made an enemy," Doug said, looking at the four flats on Jayden's car.

"I was hoping you could fix them today or tow us to someone who can," Jayden said, a little concerned about Molson being closed on Sunday.

"I'm sure I can get you back on the road in a couple of hours," Doug said as he was looking for the best way to align his truck. "Between you and me, I can use the money," he smiled at the statement like it was a private joke. "You can ride with me and leave from my shop," Doug said as he headed back to the cab. Doug thought he had enough room to back up to the car and draw it up without having to reposition the car.

"Doug, I have mother and three kids with me," Jayden stated, pointing at Marissa and the pile of suitcases off to the side. Doug turned and stared at Marissa and the confidence seemed to leave his face.

"Ah..well..ah," Doug practically stuttered then looked at Jayden. "Load the suitcases in the car." His confidence returned. "The cab has a back seat so everyone will fit. I'll align the truck and we'll pull it up." He continued to the cab.

Jayden moved toward Marissa to begin loading the suitcases. "You know him?" he queried as he grabbed the first one and popped the trunk.

"No, never seen him before," Marissa responded. She was also a little concerned about Doug's reaction to her. The two boys began grabbing the smaller suitcases and pulling them toward Jayden. He waited patiently for the boys to struggle the suitcases closer and loaded them with a smile. Marissa wondered how he got them to work without saying a word. One of the suitcases wasn't going to fit and ended up in the back seat.

Doug had the car secured on the flatbed in another five minutes. He was obviously very practiced at the art of towing. There didn't seem to be any wasted movement in the whole process. Jayden liked the efficiency and was more confident in his decision to let the clerk call a relative.

Doug moved to the cab and opened the back door. He looked at Tristan and Sebastian. "Think you guys can climb this high?" He smiled at the boys, making it sound like an adventure. Both of them came running and began the short climb one by one. Doug's hand, unseen by the boys, was secretly placed behind their backs in case they fell. Luckily it wasn't necessary.

Marissa followed the boys to the cab with Xavier in her arms. Doug suddenly became uncomfortable trying to help Marissa in the cab. Marissa finally placed Xavier safely on the seat and climbed up without assistance. Doug was staring at the ground as she climbed, his face a bit redder than a moment ago. Marissa thought he was a little weird and raised her guard a bit.

Doug felt like a fool. He had always had trouble talking with women he didn't know. If they were pretty like Marissa, it was doubly difficult. He cursed himself inwardly and tried to concentrate on the job at hand. He needed every job he could get. Doug hated to see someone get his tires slashed, but this was how he earned his living and he wasn't going to pass it up. 'Time and a half,' he thought to himself. It was Sunday and he could certainly use the extra cash. He climbed into the driver's seat and Jayden climbed into the passenger seat.

It was a five minute drive to the three building complex that was Molson Tire and Auto. A glass front on one of the buildings was layered with advertising and was obviously the customer entrance. Off to the side was another building with a connected series of four garage doors. This looked like where the real work was done. Another building in the back had the look of a small warehouse. Surrounding the buildings was a very large tract of vacant land.

Doug backed up to the first garage door and looked over to Jayden. "We have a waiting room for your wife and kids," he stated, pointing at the customer entrance.

Jayden chuckled. "That would be fine." He hopped out of the cab and helped the boys and Marissa out of the truck. Doug was already unlocking the door to the customer building. He lead them to the waiting room turning on lights along the way. The room was set up with comfortable seats and a Lego table the boys gravitated to immediately. Doug smiled at the boys as they began to build. Doug had always loved Legos and made sure the table was well stocked with many colors and shapes. It made him happy to watch kids enjoy themselves. He had fond memories of creating worlds with his dad. They had spent hours together playing with the magic blocks. Sadly, Doug grew up.

Marissa moved a bit closer to the boys. She put herself between them and Doug. She was a bit concerned at the way Doug was looking at them. She knew something wasn't quite right with him. Doug got flustered as Marissa moved into view and moved hesitantly to a coffee machine that was off to the side.

"I can start a pot of coffee." Doug looked back a Marissa and then his eyes dropped to the floor. "I mean, if you would like some," he said weakly, forcing his eyes back up, "or not." He hated himself right then.

"No thank you," Marissa said and forced a smile. Doug looked away quickly and headed back to the truck. Jayden chuckled at Doug's awkwardness. Doug was highly confident until he was faced with a woman. Marissa gave Jayden a questioning look, seeming to try to get his impression of Doug. She was very happy she wasn't alone with Doug. Jayden just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. He could sense Doug wasn't any kind of threat. He also knew Doug wasn't stupid, his coffee machine was advertising Caravan Coffee's Breakfast blend. Jayden followed Doug out the door.

Doug had the car up on lift in no time. Jayden watched as Doug quickly removed the wheels with the pneumatic wrench. Doug looked at the threads on the tires and then up to Doug.

"I should be able to patch these. It looks like you would get another 5,000 miles out of them." Doug shrugged his shoulders. "If you want, I can also fix you up with a new set." Jayden examined the treads pretending he knew what he was looking for. Doug seemed honest enough and 5,000 miles didn't seem like a lot.

"Which would get me on the road quicker?" Jayden thought he would use "time" to make the determination.

Doug stated, "New tires will be quicker, but about $800 more." Doug took another look at the tires. "I suspect it would cost about $120 to patch the set." Jayden thought about the cash he had already given Marissa. He hated to leave a trail, but this was an emergency and he was getting low on cash..

"If you take plastic, I'll take the new tires," Jayden stated and smiled. At least he wouldn't have to worry about them again for a long time.

Doug smiled back. "Let's get going then." He walked out of the garage and headed to the warehouse building. Jayden followed. Doug couldn't believe his luck. It was rare for a tow to end with a high-ticket sale.

"So how long have you owned Molson Tire and Auto?" Jayden inquired. He felt like talking instead of following like a mute.

"It's been in my family for three generations." Doug unlocked the warehouse door. "I inherited it when my parents passed a few years back." He flipped on the lights and a sea of tires on the right side of the building appeared. "I grew up a grease monkey." He grabbed a flatbed hand cart and moved knowingly toward the racked tires.

"Looks like you got a lot of land around here," Jayden opined as he watched Doug grabbing tires and piling them on the hand cart.

"Yeah, I own most of the surrounding land and the big old house on the hill," Doug replied as pointed to the north when he described the house. "At least for now." He laughed at himself. "Might have to sell some land so I can afford to keep what's left."

"Business kind of slow?" Jayden realized Doug had no problem discussing his life.

"Getting chewed up by the chains," Doug replied as he began to push the hand cart toward the door. "It's hard to compete with all that TV advertising." He exited the door and turned to lock it after Jayden exited. "One of them tried to buy me out, but I just couldn't see the family name being removed right now. It was kind of important to my pop, so it's important to me." He laughed again. "I got too much house, too much land and not near enough business." He looked over at Jayden. "Needless to say, I really appreciate your business."

"That's your house?" Jayden asked while looking at a large two story sitting about a quarter mile away on top of a hill blanketed with old trees.

Doug answered, "Yep. At one time we had three generations living there." Doug's expression got a bit somber. "Now it's just me." He continued to the garage. "Kind of a pain in the ass, that house. I wish I had more time to keep it up. Lots of memories, you know."

Wheels were turning in Jayden's head. He saw Doug as a good man. He saw Marissa as a good woman. If he left Marissa in some hotel, there was a possibility she would end up with another Kyle. Doug had a big house he was having trouble managing and Marissa needed a place to stay with her family. It pleased Jayden to think Kyle's childish tire slashing could result in a stable situation for Marissa. There were a couple of hurdles to get over first.

"You have trouble talking with ladies?" Jayden hated to be blunt, but Doug was highly efficient and might have them on the road before Jayden could lean the conversation toward his proposal.

"I guess it's kind of obvious," Doug sighed and forced a laugh. "I hope I didn't make your wife uncomfortable."

Jayden responded, "She's not my wife." It was Jayden's turn to laugh. "I'm just helping her out. She got stuck in an abusive relationship and I kind of unstuck her. Her ex is a violent man and I'm trying to make sure she doesn't have to end up back there."

"Who would want to hurt her?" Doug looked shocked. He couldn't believe anyone would want to hurt such a pretty woman. She had kids. You never hurt a woman with children.

"A jerk by the name of Kyle. The same guy who sliced my tires," Jayden said, trying to set it up quickly. "He was going to hit her in front of the children." Doug's face went from shock to anger. He didn't even realize he had stopped working.

"I can't even imagine that kind of evil!" Doug's hands were animated. "Those boys are so young and she has a baby. There's special places in hell for people like that." Doug wondered if he could have stopped Kyle. He had never really been in a fight.

"I have to agree with that," Jayden responded and nodded his head. "I'm trying to find a place she can lay low for a while and get her head together. She doesn't have a lot of options right now. Not a lot of places would accept a young mother with three kids." Jayden looked down at the ground in defeat. He could see the wheels turning in Doug's head.

"I got a big house." Doug blushed at his proposal. "I mean, I got plenty of room. If she would take care of the house, she could stay for free for as long as she needs." Just talking about Marissa made him nervous. Jayden could see it in his face. That would need to change.

"You're kidding? You would take them in?" Jayden asked, already knowing the answer. But he thought it best to emphasize the gesture Doug was making.

"Yes!" Doug answered adamantly. It would be good for him, he thought. He needed to do something other than work and he would also love having some boys under foot. He had been going home to that empty house for years now. It suddenly struck Doug that Marissa may not feel the same way. Women never really liked being around him since he made them feel uncomfortable. Doug lost his confidence. "I mean, do you think she would? I don't think she would want to." He stuttered out the last part.

"Let me go talk with her," Jayden chuckled and patted him on the back. "Not many guys would be willing to do this, Doug. You've got my vote for man of year." Jayden headed out of the garage, hoping he could convince Marissa. Doug wasn't as sure that a pretty lady like Marissa would want anything to do with him.

<<<<<>>>>>

"So what do you think of Doug Molson?" Jayden queried, while sitting down next to Marissa. They were watching the boys building some Lego structure and only Sebastian and Tristan knew its true function.

"Kind of a weird guy. He scared me a bit," Marissa replied, holding Xavier who was sound asleep.

"Then you have something in common," Jayden said as he smiled. "You scare the hell out of him." He chuckled a bit.

"How could I scare him?" Marissa felt a little self-conscious. She tried to think back to how she acted when she met Doug. Why would anyone be afraid of her?

"Pretty women are his Achilles heel," Jayden stated, still trying to keep the conversation light. He needed Marissa to accept Doug as the nice guy he was. "He doesn't know how to act around you so he fumbles around like an idiot. I don't think he has had much success in the girlfriend department."

"What? He's not ugly or anything." Marissa was trying to straighten her thoughts. Doug's fear would explain the uncomfortable meeting and the weird coffee offer.

"Let me show you something," Jayden said and grabbed her hand and helped her out of the chair. "It's just outside. The boys will be alright for a few minutes." He led Marissa and Xavier outside. The boys were so engrossed with the Legos they didn't even realize they left.

Jayden pointed to the large house on the hill. "Doug owns that house, this business and all the land around. It's been in his family for years and he's lived there alone since his parents passed on. He is struggling to keep it without selling out to the big chain garages. Doug doesn't want to remove his family name from the sign." Jayden looked at Marissa while pointing at the overhead sign. "He is a romantic. He sees all of this as an extension of his family and will do whatever it takes to hold on as long as possible. That, my dear, is a real man." Marissa could hear respect in Jayden's voice.

"This is leading somewhere," Marissa said, trying to figure out what Jayden was up to.

"I told Doug about your current predicament." Jayden looked in her face for signs of overstepping her bounds. There weren't any, so he continued. "He's offered a trade. You take care of his house and he will let you and your boys stay for as long as you need."

"Why would he want to do that?" Marissa quizzed, sounding like she was full of distrust. She couldn't fathom why anyone would take her in, basically for free.

"Because he has a big house and a big heart," Jayden replied, concerned that Marissa might pass on the offer. "Some people are just willing to help and don't need a reason. You have to admit, it would be a big change for you." Jayden chuckled, trying to lighten the conversation some more. "A guy more afraid of you than you are of him. Look, all you will have to do is keep the place clean and maybe cook some meals. You and the kids will be safe without fear of running out of money for a while. It will give you time to think."

"That doesn't sound like enough." Marissa was hedging. She was trying to see Doug's angle in the offer. She wasn't accustomed to handouts.

"Marissa, don't look too deep into this gift." Jayden was trying to not get frustrated. "If you try to give him more, like the offer you made me last night, Doug will go running for the hills. He is just a nice guy so let him be a nice guy." Marissa was lost in thought. She looked at the house. There were a lot of windows so the kids might even get their own rooms. She could be a maid. Marissa wasn't as certain about her cooking.

"What if he doesn't like me?" Marissa was back to her self-loathing. Men wanted her for sex and nothing more.

"I really don't think that will happen. If it does, then you can pack up and leave," Jayden sighed. "I personally think you and Doug will become good friends. You can help each other." He thought Doug could use a real woman to talk to. Someone to help ease his awkwardness.

"Okay, but I'm going to blame you if it turns out badly," Marissa insisted, still trying to see the bad in every situation. She didn't have a lot of experience with happiness.

Jayden hugged Marissa and Xavier while saying, "It will work out fine. I think this will be one of your best decisions." He was happy with himself. He breathed a private "thank you" to Kyle for slashing his tires. Jayden returned to the garage and Marissa returned to her boys.

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byDreamCloud© 15 comments/ 44060 views/ 35 favorites

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