Story Exposition - Part 1
|Calexia rose to another beautiful morning on Hillsmere Lake. She smiled at how perfectly the sun shined through the large bay windows of her bedroom, and landed on the antique clock that hung on the wall beside her bed. The clock was handmade from Germany, and a gift from her father for her new home after her first successful negoiation. Placement was everything, she thought, and timing too. She never let anything to chance. She hung the clock in that exact spot so it would alert her to the time, and would tell her what kind of day it was going to be. Another smile touched her lips as she remembered what her father always called her. Perhaps she was a perfectionist after all. Pulling the comforter off, she darted to her feet, ready to attack another day in the hard and fast world of cargo transportation. It was a tough job that required all her focus and attention, but she loved every moment of the high stakes game of international maritime shipping.
A creature of routine, checking her schedule and emails was the first order of the day. She made her way to her office, just off her bedroom, and sat down at the computer. The meeting with Seaboard Global popped up as the only thing on her calendar. She slept so well, she almost forgot about the Seaboard meeting. She jumped out of her chair to choose an outfit, but not before stepping out on her bedroom balcony to take in a bit of fresh air, and a quick look at the lake. She loved how it snaked around the cove and empitied out into the Chesapeake Bay. While appreciating the beauty of a glorious day, and often taking a few moments to enjoy the perks of her lavish life, this was the one day she would have to hurry along. This was the most important meeting in her career, and she wanted as much time as possible before it began to prepare herself. The earlier I get to the office, the more time I'll have before the meeting starts.
Calexia's closet was huge, and looked like the inside of a fashion warehouse. It held high end clothing for every occasion, every type of meeting, and leisure actvities. She flipped through her business attire, and chose a smart, royal blue suit, with a matching vest, jacket, and a white silk blouse. The Seaboard group were all men, and conservative, but also somewhat chauvinstic. Wanting to look more like her male counterparts, she chose the suit over her more flashy, female attire, hoping it would help keep their mind on her proposal, rather than her figure. Dealing with business associates with this attitude wasn't unusual, since the shipping industry was mostly male dominated, but Calexia had years of experience to deal with it, thanks to her father, who taught her how to build a consensus.
This partnership was important to her, and despite her principles about always being who she is, and not conforming to other people's view of what a woman should or shouldn't be, Calexia decided she could live with herself this one time, if for no other reason than to protect the oceans, its sealife, and the family business, all at the same time. Even her father was not aware of the meeting and the ground breaking partnership she was attempting to forge. If it was successful, Valleris Shipping Lines would become even more powerful and more importantly, the most influential ocean going cargo line in the world.
After dressing, it was time to put a bagel into the toaster oven, and cover it with her favorite topping. There wasn't usually time for a full breakfast with her schedule, but a bagel with cream cheese was one of her favorite substitutes. She toasted it, covered it with a thin layer of cream cheese, and headed out of the house. Eating was never a priority on her task list. Keeping a model's figure, her philosophy was eat to live, not live to eat. Calexia got behind the wheel of her 1958 Corvette convertible, bagel in hand, and headed to Washington. While the drive normally took an hour and a half, traffic was lighter than usual. Grateful for the easy ride in, she stepped on the pedal a little harder.
Calexia arrived at the Valleris Shipping office parking garage, and pulled into her reserved spot by the elevator. She exited the vehicle. The horn blew twice as she hit the car key button to lock it, then She dashed to the elevator. Waiting wasn't one of Calexia's forte. She pushed the button several times, hoping the it would arrive sooner than usual. After a few minutes, the doors flew open and Deanna Nicos stepped out.
"There you are!" Deanna made a sigh of relief. "I was hoping you'd be here early."
Calexia looked surprised. "Good morning to you too."
Deanna blushed. "Sorry. It's just that I wanted to catch you before your meeting. I have the preliminary drawings from Paris. If you approve them by the end of the day, we can take delivery into the warehouse by the end of the month."
A smile formed on Calexia's lips.
"What are you smiling about?"
"Oh, I was just thinking of how perfect the day has begun. This is excellent. I'll give you my comments and approval by five o'clock. Good enough?"
Deanna nodded. "Perfect. Talk to you then," she said, as she turned around and started to walk away.
"Remember, you're the new President of the Calexia Valleris line now," she called out. "I trust your judgement. You don't have to check with me about every decision. Besides, I'm going to be completely tied up with a new project, so unless there's a problem..."
"Got it." Deanna gave Calexia the thumbs up sign as she continued heading to her vehicle. Beaming, she climbed inside and drove off.
Calexia stepped into the elevator, and pushed the button for the 12th floor. She took a deep breath, then let it out. I hope the rest of my day goes this well. As soon the doors opened, a familiar voice rang out across the office.
"Great!" Calexia muttered under her breath. She shook her head in dismay as she spotted Chase Morgan standing at the water cooler, and Stephanos darting toward her. The last thing she needed was a scene with her brother, or having to meet with Chase before she was ready.
Word Count: 1,085