I was going to faint. No! I would not faint then. I would vomit.
Later. Langley! It was just in the odds. No! I couldn't take on a long-term assignment in Charleston. It was impossible.
Being in Charleston meant I would have to confront my entire family and, God help me, J. D. Langley. J. D. Langley. His mother, Louisa. The whole lot of them. They despised me. J.D. most of all.
No. I could not and would not under any circumstances go back.
Entangle my life with theirs again? No! Every strand of self-defense in my DNA was screaming Don't do it!
But this was exactly the kind of business opportunity I had been lusting after since I walked in the front door of ARC Partners. I knew what it meant. If the project went well, I would get a huge bonus, shares of stock, a better office, and probably some elevation in title — senior vice president. Maybe partner. It would change my world in every way.
I realized that Bruton had stopped talking and was waiting for me to come out of my fog and return to the conversation.
His eyebrows were knitted in annoyance. Small wonder. He could not have known that his proposal caused a virtual landslide of chest-heaving emotion as I relived every terror I had ever known in fast frames.
"Sorry," I said.
"Have you heard anything I've said? You seem very far away."
"No, I heard you . . . Well, actually, I did miss some of what you said. It's just that I have issues with Charleston — I mean, not with Charleston, but I haven't been there in almost twenty years . . ."
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