tagRomanceYou've Got to Be Kidding Me

You've Got to Be Kidding Me


The states and towns named in this story are used only as backdrops; but the people, places, events, or things mentioned are all fictional.



Isn't it funny how, when the last thing you're looking for is a relationship, love jumps up and bites you in the ass?

Chapter One

Hi! My name is Amber Hayes, and I was thirty-two years old when, what I'm about to tell you, happened. I stand five feet, seven inches tall; weigh one-hundred and twenty-eight pounds. I have a slim waist and flat stomach, and because it seems that guys always want to know these things; my measurements are 36C-24-34. My hair is dark brown and hangs just past my butt, and I have blue eyes. I was very lucky as a teenager, having never had one single problem with my complexion, and I've been told by more than a few men that I'm hot. Yeah, right!

I'd just recently broken up with my ex-boyfriend of two years, Lance, three months earlier, and my heart was still very raw. I should've known better than to go out with him to begin with, but as the saying goes; hindsight is always 20/20. In the end, the son-of-a-bitch left me with a fourteen hundred dollar phone bill, a maxed out credit card, and a yeast infection. I hope somebody cuts his puny little dick off one of these days, well, not really, but it's a nice thought, huh? Yeah, I'm a little bitter right now, but I'll get over it.....eventually.

I work as an Executive Vice-President/Consultant for the field offices of a construction company. I work with different supervisors in the field, handling their paper work, material orders, pay dispersion, and then if they get held up for any reason, I take care of the unexpected predicaments that most construction supervisors and foremen have no experience dealing with. Basically, I'm a glorified problem solver.

My father had owned his own construction company ever since I was old enough to talk, and he built all kinds of buildings, from residential, to commercial, as well as industrial. By the time I was sixteen, Dad put me to work for him, taking care of all of his business matters while he worked in the field. And then during the summer when school was out, my Aunt Linda, Mom's sister, worked in the office, while I worked right along side of Dad in the field. The work was hard and the hours were sometimes long, but once I got used to it, I began to excel beyond Dad's wildest expectations.

As for having siblings, there was only me and my sister, Natalie. Dad had no sons so; he made sure that at least one of his children, namely me, knew every aspect of the business there was. He also made sure that I acted like a lady at all times, much to the satisfaction of my Mom, but when it came to business, he taught me how to be in charge, but still earn the respect of those who had been in the trade much longer than me.

My parents were good people who both worked hard. While Dad was shrewd when it came to business, he was the kindest, most gentle man I've ever known. He always had time for Natalie and I, and he was never once remiss in his duties as a father; and from the noises I used to hear coming from their bedroom at night, mostly Mom, she's loud and I guess that's where I get it from, I knew he was never remiss in his duties as a husband either.

Mom was the sweetest woman I've ever known, and when Natalie and I acted badly as children, she scolded us with kindness. While Natalie is more like Mom, I'm a mixture of both, as I try to be nice and kind, yet firm when the situation warrants. It lets me know that I wasn't thinking with my heart when I met Lance. Jeez, how could I have been so stupid? Oh well, enough of that, back to the story

Although I worked for Dad, I was still allowed the opportunity to experience everything that normal, hormone driven teen age girls do. I was allowed to date, and when the time came, go to my senior prom, where I lost my virginity, etc. And after I graduated high school, I went on to attend college where I graduated with honors and a degree in Structural Engineering. So you see, I had a normal life and grew into an intellectually well rounded woman.

When Natalie went off to college, Dad sold the business for a very handsome sum, and then he and Mom retired and moved to Costa Rica. However, when Dad sold his company, part of the deal was that I was to be given a permanent position within the company, and that my pay was to be commensurate with my abilities and experience. See? I told you that Dad was shrewd.


One Sunday morning, the new owner of the company, as well as my boss, Mike Winters, called me at home and asked if I would be interested in supervising a job for him. He said that it that would require me to travel out of town for at least ten to twelve weeks, maybe more. To sweeten the deal, or, in my opinion, to lure me in, he said that I would be getting paid double what I normally made. With all that had happened and the bills Lance had incurred that I was still trying to pay off, the money came at the right time so, I took him up on his offer. I found out later that Mike offered me that job to help me get back on my feet. Mike is, and has always been such a nice guy, and I just can't help but to love both he and his wife, Terrie, dearly.

That night I called Natalie, who was a senior in college at the time, and asked her if she wouldn't mind house sitting for me until I got back into town. Needless to say, she was extremely enthused about not having to live with room-mates for the next two, possibly three months, and readily accepted my offer. Nat was dating a guy named Ben Harrison, whose older sister, Sherry, was a good friend of mine so, I didn't care that the two of them lived there together while I was gone.


I flew out of LAX at nine o'clock the following morning, headed to Dallas, Texas. This was nothing unusual for me, as I'd gone to jobs out of state before. However, this would be not only the first time I would pass through two time zones, but it would also be the furthest east I'd ever been. Still though, this was just another job, albeit I was getting paid more, but it was still just another job none the less.


Once I got through the airport and picked up the rental car that Mike had called ahead and arranged, it was now ten thirty in the morning, Central Standard Time, and I was soon driving my way south down I-45. The name of the town that the job was located in was Corsicana, Texas, and once I'd arrived and found my hotel; I got settled in and called Mike.

"Did you have any trouble with anything, Amber?"

"No, Mike," I laughed, "Everything is fine. Do I need to be out at the job-site today, or do you want me to start lining up material sales and equipment rentals?"

"No, I took care of all that," Mike replied, "I've already met with O.S.H.A. when I went out there last week, but I want you to meet with the contractors this afternoon."

"No problem, Mike," I said, "You just tell me when and where."

"Well, the when and where is at two o'clock this afternoon in Conference Room Two of your hotel," laughed Mike, "But a good friend of mine told me that, while these guys are the best at what they do; they're a bunch of temperamental babies."

"I don't need any problems, Mike," I firmly replied, "You know me, I don't put up with any shit.

"Why do you think I sent you," he laughed, "Listen Amber, this is what I want you to do. Walk in there this afternoon wearing a business suit and make them all think that you're just some woman the company sent down there to placate their asses. Then when you get to the jobsite in the morning, show up in jeans and work boots, ready to kick their asses, okay?"

I just shook my head smiling and said, "You're a sick man."

"I know," he chuckled, "Call me tomorrow afternoon and let me know how it went."

"Yeah, yeah,' I said, smiling, "Talk to you tomorrow, bye," and hung the phone.


That afternoon, I found myself in a room with several contractors, some of which were either eyeing me hungrily, or contemptibly looking down their noses at me, as if I were beneath them. "I'll have them eating out of my hands in no time," I thought to myself, inwardly laughing.

These guys were a bunch of arrogant pricks, no doubt, but after talking to them for only a few moments, I realized that I knew as much about the job at hand, if not more, than all of them put together. I know that sounds very cocky, but between what my father taught me and what I learned in college, not to mention the work experience I had, there wasn't a job anywhere that I couldn't handle. Still though, these assholes treated me, if only very subtly, like I was nothing more than just some dumb-assed woman.


I was up and at it the next morning before the sun rose, and by six o'clock; I was eating breakfast at the restaurant next to my hotel. While I ate breakfast, I thought about the way I had been treated the day before. Mind you, I'm not a man-hater, but after years of working in a predominately male driven environment; I don't put up with any shit, not even so much as a drop. Little did I realize the things that would come to pass in the next few weeks?


I was in my office trailer looking at the blueprints and laying out the work for the tradesmen, plumbers, electricians, fire control and security systems people, who had to come in and stub up their underground pipes before the concrete foundations were poured. Most other cities allow for basement routing for theses trades, but in Texas, they do things a little differently than most. So, when in Rome, one is forced to do as the Romans, or in this case, Texans.


In a small town like the one I was in, whenever a big job opens up, people come out of the woodwork looking for employment. I believe in giving local people work, as it provides a sense of accomplishment to those who have had a part in helping in their own hometown to grow and thrive.

I wish you could've seen the looks on all the male faces at the job site when I showed up in blue jeans, tee shirt and work boots. It was especially funny when the Electrical Foreman, one of the guys who'd patronized me yesterday, said, "You going to a costume party?"

I reached back into my car and grabbed my hardhat. Then I turned back to him and said, "Yeah, I'm going to the same party you are, you know, the one where I'm your boss and I hate smart-ass pricks."

"Take it easy, Sweetheart," he laughed, his men laughing with him, "You're liable to break a nail."

"Sweetheart, huh, well let me show you just how big a sweetheart I am then," I smiled calmly, with no acrimony in my voice, "I want you, your men and all of your equipment off of this job site in thirty minutes. You're fired."

"You can't fire me," he roared, "My boss has a contract with your company."

"Why don't we go into the office trailer and call him," I sternly replied, "By the time I get off the phone with him, the police will be here to arrest your ass. Now get the fuck off of my job site."

"This ain't over with, God dammit," he growled, "Somebody's gonna catch hell for this, and it ain't gonna be me."

"It will be if you don't leave now," I snarled, "So, you'd better get out of here."

He stomped away, much to the laughter and boyish cackles of the other contractors who were standing around and had heard the whole thing. I turned back to face them and added, "Does anyone else here have a problem that needs ironing out before we go to work?"

"No Ma'am," said the men, in staggered, but very respectful replies.

"Good," I smiled, "Now, get to work."

"I went back into the trailer and called Mike to let him know about the incident that had just taken place. He just laughed and told me not to worry about it, and that he would take care of everything. With that done, I left the office and went to work.


We were going to build an enormous industrial warehouse for the state of Texas, and there was plenty of work for everyone. Mike had hired in advance, a local girl to take applications and screen the ones she thought I should look at. When she brought them to my attention, I simply smiled and told her that, if she thought they were good enough, then that was alright with me. When I told her to get on the phone and tell these people to come to work, she grinned and said, "Mr. Winters told me that you were a nice lady, and he was right. Thanks, Miss Hayes."

"No, thank you," I smiled, "And please, feel free to call me Amber, okay?"

"Okay," she grinned, "Thanks, Amber." Her name was Nicki Marks, she was twenty-four years old, and she was very good so, I hired her as my personal assistant while I was there. Nicki is adorable, and we became such good friends that she....Uh oh, I'm getting ahead of myself, back to the story.

I'd been out in the field the whole morning supervising the concrete workers, making sure that the forms had been correctly built, when I looked at my watch and realized it was lunch time. After making sure everyone knew it was lunch time, we all took a break to eat.


"Hey, Amber," Nicki said worriedly, "Jake Carlson, the owner of Carlson Electric, called and said he wanted to speak with you."

"So," I nonchalantly replied, "What did you tell him?"

"I told him that you were somewhere out on the job sight," she grinned conspiratorially, "And that you would more than likely be out there for the rest of the day."

"Oh yeah," I grinned, "And what did he say?"

"He didn't say anything," she replied, "He just laughed and hung the phone up."

"Oh well," I laughed, "It sounds to me like he's as big an asshole as the people that work for him."


Nicki and I went to lunch together, and she took me to the Cracker Barrel out alongside I-45. As we were sitting there eating, eight older ladies came into the dining room and sat down next to us at two tables that had been pushed together. I took no notice other than to look over while they were being seated, and then back at my food before they all sat down.

"So, tell me, Amber" Nicki grinned, "Do you have a boyfriend out in California?"

"I did," I laughed, shaking my head, "But he turned out to be a real asshole."

"But I thought the guys in California were all good looking," she smiled excitedly, "I've seen them in the paper and on the T.V. and every one of them were really hot."

"The guy I was dating was really good looking, yes," I said ruefully, "But the trouble was, that he knew it, and he used it to take advantage of me."

"I'm sorry, Amber," Nicki said, "I guess it seems like some guys are the same everywhere."

"It was my own fault, I guess," I replied, "I let him do it so, I'm partly to blame."

"Excuse me for saying so, dear, but if you dressed more like a lady instead of a field hand, you might find a better class of man," suddenly rang out from a woman at the table next to us.

I turned to see three of the ladies at the next table looking at us, the one nearest to us wearing a condescending smile on her face. "What did you say to me?" I asked; ready to lay into whomever it was that made that snotty comment.

The lady that spoke looked to be somewhere in her mid to late sixties. However, as opposed to having a gentle wisdom about her, as one would think, she more or less glared at Nicki and I, almost like she was jealous or something. And then with malice in her voice, she looked down her nose at me then glibly spat, "You look like you're trying to be something you're not, and men don't want a woman who wants to be a man."

For some reason, and to this day I still don't know why, I began to laugh, making Nicki laugh with me. The woman look at me in disgust, and said, "Hmmph, girls like you don't deserve a good man," and then turned back around to the rest of the women she was sitting at the table with, while Nicki and I laughed until we almost had tears coming from our eyes.

Once regained our composure, I tapped the woman on the shoulder, making her turn around, and then softly replied, "Those words of wisdom mean as much to me as the dried up, frustrated old crone that said them so, fuck off...dear." Whether she was too stunned, or mortified at what I'd said, to speak, she simply sat there like a zombie as Nicki and I stood up and walked away, not looking back as we left our table.


Once we'd paid for our lunch and were outside the restaurant, Nicki giggled and said, "Jeez, what a bitch."

"I know," I replied, agreeing with her, "What is it with some of the people in this town? You'd think we were wanted by the law or something."

"Awe don't pay any attention to those old goats, Amber," Nicki laughed, "They're just jealous, that's all."

"What do they have to be jealous of?" I asked, "They don't have to work for a living like the rest of us."

"Yeah, but their old and ugly," giggled Nicki, "And we're still young and hot," and by this time we were both giggling like schoolgirls.

"Come on, girl," I laughed, "We gotta get back to work."


As we got back onto the job site, I noticed an old, white, beat up truck, that had Carlson Electric Co. painted on both doors, sitting in my parking space. "Aw, shit, I've got to deal with this fucking guy," I said, as we pulled in.

Nothing pisses me off worse than to have someone take my assigned parking space so, needless to say, I was immediately pissed off. And knowing that I was going to have to deal with the idiot who not only parked in my space, but was the boss of the fuck-head I fired this morning, only added more fuel to the fire. Yeah, I know I sound like a bitch so, sue me. Anyway, I parked beside it, and then Nicki and I got out and went to my office trailer.

As soon as we got inside, I saw someone sitting at my desk, with their back to me while they were talking on the phone, my phone at that. "Excuse me," I said, "But what do you think you...."

"Wait one," said a man's voice, interrupting me.

"I will not wait one," I angrily replied, pushing down on the receiver button, hanging it up, "This is my office and you're on my phone. Just who the hell do you think you are?"

He spun back around in the chair to face me, and then stood. God, he was gorgeous, six foot, four, and probably weighed in the neighbor hood of two forty, two fifty. He had dark brown, almost black hair, with the kind of dark brown eyes I'd always dreamed of as a young teen aged girl. The perfect rows of pearly white teeth caused his brilliant smile to offset the warm olive complexion of his ruggedly handsome face. However, regardless of gorgeous I thought he was, he still pissed me off, and as I stood in front of him with my arms crossed, he smiled and said, "You must be Miss Amber Hayes."

"I most certainly am," I crossly replied, "And just who the hell are you?"

"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry, where are my manners? My name is Jake Carlson," he politely replied, coming from behind my desk, "I'm here to apologize for the way my foreman acted toward you this morning. It was uncalled for and way out of line. If you'll give us another chance, I promise you, ma'am that you'll never have to deal with anything like that from any of my men again."

I have to admit that I found his polite sincerity somewhat appealing, but I still had a job to do. However, I believe in giving second chances so, while not relaxing my posture in the least, I looked at him and said, "I'll think about it."

"I don't mean to be impolite, ma'am," he nicely said, his words flowing smoothly, "But we don't have a whole lot of time, especially if you're planning on wanting to start pouring concrete in two days."

He had a point; and I certainly didn't want to let the job fall behind so, I looked at him and plainly asked, "How do you plan on getting caught up? You're already a day behind the other trades."

"Leave that to me, ma'am," he respectfully replied, "I'll see to it personally."

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