Taking a Chance
Chapter 1
    "Damn rain!"
Jane Bennington grumbled as she slogged through the puddles and mud
coagulating on the sidewalk. It had been raining for three days
straight and while Jane typically loved the rain, she was over it.
Over it! Jane continued to grumble as she reached the bus stop that
was thankfully covered. She squeezed in among the group of people
packed into the enclosure and looked at her watch. She was going to
be late.
    The bus finally
arrived ten minutes later and she gratefully took a seat and
started digging through her backpack for her cell phone. She pulled
it out and flipped it open only to find that it was dead. She had
just charged it the night before, but the battery wasn't holding a
charge. She let her head fall back on the headrest and rolled her
head towards the window. She absolutely despised being late.
    Twenty minutes
later, and half an hour after she was scheduled to arrive, she
finally reached the North Carolina State Library where she worked
as a librarian. She wiped her feet off as best she could on the mat
outside and cringed at her reflection in the automatic doors. Her
Doc Martens were covered in mud and she looked like a bedraggled
street person. She was assaulted by the air conditioning as she
walked inside and shivered at the temperature difference.
    "Jane! There
you are. I was beginning to think that you weren't coming!" Jane's
boss, Larry exclaimed as she made her way to the employee break
room. Larry was in his fifties, wore his pants three inches too
short and had gray hair that always looked like Larry had just
rolled out of bed. He was the epitome of high energy and was always
flitting from one place to another.
    "I'm so sorry,
Larry. It's been a hell of a morning."
    "Hmm, yes, I
can see that," he replied as he raked his gaze over her dripping
hair and now-orange shoes. "Well, my dear, go get dried off and
de-mudded and then head over to the research desk."
    Thank God for
Larry. He may be frenetic and occasionally, downright strange, but
he was a good boss.
    Jane dried her
hair as best she could under the hand-dryer in the bathroom and
rinsed her shoes in the sink. She grimaced as she looked in the
mirror. Well, she no longer looked like a bedraggled street person,
but she didn't look much better. She cleaned her glasses with
toilet paper, took a deep breath and went to attack her day.
    *****
    Jacob Myers
pulled his 20-year old VW Jetta into a parking space at the State
Library and sent up a mental thanks that his car got him to another
destination. It was still early, so he was able to get a space
fairly close to the door. He got out and made a mad dash for the
entrance, but still ended up soaked.
    He had chosen
to visit this library for the first time, as opposed to one of the
libraries on the NC State campus, in hopes that he could find more
books on South Carolina's history. Though he was attending school
on a wrestling scholarship, he was a history major and planned to
be a history professor after he got his Master's Degree. He was
finishing up his Bachelor's Degree now and was looking forward to
taking a TA position next semester.
    He followed the
signs to the Research Desk and got in line behind a man who was
gesturing wildly, his high-pitched voice going on about books not
being returned to the correct shelves and common courtesy. Jacob
pulled out his cell phone and made sure that it was on vibrate. He
didn't want to do anything piss this guy off and be forced to
listen to another tantrum.
    "Larry," the
voice behind the desk said. Larry either ignored the female voice
or didn't hear her.
    "LARRY!" the
voice said more sharply. Jacob could've sworn he heard Larry's
teeth snap together. "There is a patron standing behind you, who
I'm sure always puts books back where they belong," the
voice said dryly.
    Jacob covered
his laugh with a cough. "Um, yes sir." Jacob had to cough again
once he got a look at Larry's Mozart-like hair and thick round
glasses.
    Larry blushed
and huffed,

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