I had an idea for a Forth of July fic and after reading
Self Evidentí on incandescentfire.com it inspired
me to pen this one. Likewise, this one is set a year after the
infamous Bauer Barbecue.
Disclaimer Ahead: Guiding Light is a product of Proctor
& Gamble (like Mr. Clean, Duracell and Old Spice), and
appears on CBS at the time of writing this. The characters are
the creative property of the show and its producers Ė I'm
just borrowing them for my amusement, and hopefully for those
few souls who read this.
"I canít find them," the female voice on the
other end of my phone was pleading. "The shareholders are
"Fine," I said cutting her short. Somehow a quick
trip to the mini-mart is now derailing my entire day. Lord,
why is good help so hard to find? I really need a new personal
assistant. "Iíll see to it."
"We need it for Monday."
"I know," I tell her with a heavy sigh. "Iím
on my way now."
After I hang up, I know the next call is one I do NOT want
to make, but I have to do it.
Itís not only my job at Spaulding thatís at stake, but
also Emmaís prospects too. If she decides she wants to
follow in her grandfather or fatherís footsteps, the
decisions made now will dictate her future. I have to look out
for Bean. Olivia has to understand that, right?
Taking a deep breath I dial the phone and after two rings
thereís an answer of, "Hello, Baby."
Her voice drives me wild and I have to smile. The grin
doesnít stay long though when I think of the news Iím
"Hey, Sweetie," I start, hearing the nervousness
in my own voice.
"Whatís wrong?" Oh, how this woman knows me.
"Iíll need to meet you at the barbeque." I
close my eyes, as if steadying myself for the reaction. But
all I get is dead silence. Why did it have to be dead silence?
I could take ranting and raving, comments about leaving her
alone, but thisÖI know sheís replaying everything that
happened last year in her head. "Olivia?"
"I heard you," she replies. "Can, I, uh, ask
God, her voice is cracking already. I can hear the hurt.
"Itís work. My PA isnít quite as good as the PAís
youíve hired." Maybe a bit of levity might help. When
she says nothing I know I need to move on. "Thereís a
shareholder meeting and I need to make sure weíve got it all
"You need to fire that woman," she says
"Iím considering it," I say honestly. "But
for the moment, I have to see to this. I have to make sure
that this is done. Itís not just about protecting Spaulding
interests, but Emmaís too. After all, she might want to be
the next business mongrel in the family." For just a
moment, Olivia snorts in amusement and I feel a tad lighter.
"I swear," I tell her growing serious again. "I
WILL be there, Olivia."
I can hear her ragged sigh over the phone.
"Okay," she relents. "I believe you."
"Not completely, I know. And this year was going to be
different. I had every intention of walking in there with
"Why donít we wait then?" Olivia replies.
"Weíll go to the office together and then the
"I donít mind you coming with me, but I donít know
how long it will take. And Emma really wanted to do the three
legged race this year."
"One second," she says. I hear muffled voices for
a few moments and the phone coming back to someoneís ear.
"Hey Ma," Emma says and her voice fills me with
joy. I love that sheís adopted Rafeís nickname for me.
"Hey Bean. Did your Mom tell you whatís up?"
"Yeah, I told her why donít we just have Uncle Rick
do the 3-legged race last. That way youíll be sure to be
"Youíre a smart cookie," I compliment her and
she giggles. I can practically see her smiling through the
"But you are coming, right? Itís not gonna be like
last year, is it?"
There isnít a drop of malice in her voice at all. Just
curiosity, but that alone is enough. It breaks my heart and I
feel myself tearing up.
"No, Baby. Iím gonna be there. Put your Mom back on,
I hear her give the phone back to Olivia who says,
"Okay, so weíll see you there then?"
"No," I tell her firmly.
"No?" she asks sounding wounded.
"Iím calling back my PA. If she doesnít find the
file by Monday 6 AM sheís fired. Iíve got a date with my
family. Iím sorry for upsetting you."
"No," she replies. "Iím sorry for not
feeling more secure. Itís just todayÖ"
"I get it. I really do," I tell her. "I
shouldnít put work first when it comes to important family
outings Ė at least, not today of all days. Iíll just have
to get up a little early on Monday if she doesnít get that
paperwork in order, okay?"
"Itís settled then."
"I love you."
"I love you too. Iíll be home in twenty so tell Emma
to have those crispy treats ready."
"I will, Sweetie. Bye."
I smile as I hang up.