Lost Love

By Dee

***

Prologue: "Love is a friendship set on fire." -Jeremy Taylor

***

Terry Shields sat at her desk and stared blankly at the computer screen. Three reports were overdue to her boss and five more stood, waiting for her to look over and edit.

A group of young, ambitious, and dreaming new interns, warmly referred to as newbies by the long term staff, walked past her small office. Terry shook her head. They wouldn't last a year. This job sucked all the life out of a person by the time they had worked there for at least three months. Terry had been there for three years. Whining publishers, crying artists, and poor, unhappy, starving writers came in and out all day. She sighed and brought her hands up to her face, then ran them through her shoulder length wavy brown hair.

Terry was of average height and average weight. She was slim, but by no means considered too skinny. She had blue green eyes that normally held the spark of life in them, but at the moment were dull and flat. At 26, she was successful, had her own apartment in the middle of the Fan in Richmond, and lived with only one other, Holly-go-Lightly, her calico cat. And, much to her meddling mother's despair, Terry was still single.

Sitting there and staring at the glowing computer screen was beginning to get to Terry. She was bored. The work just wasn't very interesting right now; it was becoming a monkey's job. Plus, she hadn't had a vacation in the three years that she'd worked at the publishing office.

As the thought crossed her mind, she realized that she had already made her decision. "I need a vacation!" she stated. Terry stood up, saved all her work, switched off the computer and walked towards her boss' office, passing the hopeful interns.

Giving them a little sympathetic smile as she passed on her way, Terry waved to Rachel, Hank Eisenhower's secretary.

Rachel waved her in. "Go right in, Ter. He's free right now."

"Thanks." The women shared a friendly smile, as Terry walked right into Mr. Eisenhower's office.

He looked up from the mountain of papers that always graced his desk. "Terry? Can I help you?"

"Look, Hank, I haven't had a vacation in the three years that I've worked here. I'm on vacation for the next two and a half weeks. Don't call."

He shrugged. "Go for it, you deserve it. You're one of our best editors, so take a break. I'm surprised it took you this long. We can do without you for awhile. In fact, take three weeks. Just give your extra work and the reports to Joan, she's been asking for more work recently. I'll see you in a few weeks, and don't forget to have fun, Ter."

Terry looked surprised for a moment. Here she had psyched herself up for a fight, and was now slightly deflated as it sunk in that he had given her what she had wanted without an argument. Then she grinned at him. "Thanks, Hank. I'll see you soon."

Terry turned to leave, but Hank interrupted her. "And Terry, next time you want to go on vacation, give me two weeks notice, I normally don't do this." She looked back at him and smiled.

"Thanks, Hank, I do appreciate it. I'll call if I need an extra week."

Hank raised an eyebrow. "You do that and I'll fax you your latest manuscripts, so at least you'll be doing something productive."

Terry grinned. "You do that, Hank, you do that." With that, she walked out of the office, waved farewell to Rachel and grabbed her things from her office. Passing Joan's desk on her way out, she threw a few files in her 'In' box and walked to the elevator without looking back. She walked straight out of the building and onto the main drag of downtown Richmond. Terry took a deep breath of the late spring air and sighed happily. Time to go home.

***

A/N: Hey I began this story a long long time ago, but I still love it. So I've brushed it up a little and I've begun to edit and rewrite it. Tell me what you think. And just so that you know, I'll update when I can, but finals are coming up, which might make this a bit difficult. These first few chapters have already been written, so don't think that I'm turning them out willy nilly like it's no problemo. But with a bunch of reviews, maybe I can put of studying a little bit longer, eh? Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, say no more. ^^ Alright, ya'll let me know what you think, I appreciate it.

~Dee