By: Mary Calmes

“Are you listening to me?”

“I just don’t understand. Make me understand.”

“It has to be you.”


“Do it as a favor to me.”

Favor to him? “Something must be really wrong.”

“Don’t concern yourself with that, simply get Mrs. Freeman in Winston, Texas to sell.”

“Why is it so important?”

“We need the land.”

“There’s other land.”

“Not anymore.”

“I read the file, you know.”

“So you get it, then.”

I squinted at him. “What I get is that your seller, Grace Freeman, is the lone holdout in this whole mess. Everyone else on all four sides of her has sold their ranches. She’s hedging and you don’t know why. You don’t know if she wants more money or if it’s the idea of selling the ranch that’s freaking her out.”

“Which is why I need you to—”

“You know, my friend Charlotte’s brother has a ranch, and he would never sell for anything, so how in the hell do you expect me to get this woman to say yes?”


“You need a salesman to go talk her into it, not me.”

“But do you get the—”

“I get that someone promised Armor South that land six months ago based on how fast the other ranchers were selling. So we took an advance, which we’ve probably already allocated to different projects, and now Armor South wants their land so they can build another one of those megastores. I get it. I get that we’re in the hot seat because if we can’t secure the deal for the land then we need to reimburse Armor South for, I’m guessing, millions of dollars?”

“Something like that.” He smiled at me.

“Then I suggest you send the top sales guy out there to—”

“We did that already.” Knox sighed deeply. “Mrs. Freeman threw him off her land.”

I arched an eyebrow.

“Yeah, I know.”

“That seems pretty clear to me.” I chuckled. “The deal is off. Give Armor South their money back or start looking for a new—”

“There is no other place.”

“Then just—”


“Here’s the thing, Knox. I may go there and she may throw me off her land too.”

“And if she does, we’ll pay back Armor South, but I’ll bet she sells to you.”

“This is a job for the money guys. Go throw cash at her and see what happens.”

“We did that. It didn’t work.”

“Knox.” I sighed, deflating. He wasn’t going to stop. “What do you expect me to say that this woman has not already heard to get her to sell?”

“I think you should explain the benefits of a Green Light Megastore to the community.”

I groaned. “We don’t have any in Chicago, I’ve never even been in one, and, furthermore, I don’t work for Armor South or Green Light; I work for Chaney and Putnam Acquisitions, just like you do.”

“I know, Stef, but it has to be you.”

I let out another deeply annoyed sigh.

“You’re not always going to like all your assignments. There’s bound to be some you hate.”

“Like this one.”


“I’m going to a wedding and you want me to work in a meeting while I’m there. That doesn’t sound cheesy to you?”

“This is really a tremendous opportunity for you to prove yourself.”

To whom did I need to prove myself? “I don’t prove myself. I work off of sound—”

“I know, Stef. God, I know. Everybody knows.” Knox rolled his eyes, obviously done with me. “They want you there, Stef—you’re going, end of story.”

“You want me to go. Don’t blame anyone else.”

“Fine, whatever, I want you to go.”

“You don’t need me. You need a salesman.”

“You’re who I need, and you’re only missing the point because you don’t want to do it and you’re fighting me so hard. If you just think about it for a minute, you’ll get the logic.”

“No, I won’t.”