Excerpt for Ares by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.

Godly Encounters:

Ares

Deedee Morgan

Copyright 2017 Deedee Morgan

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the author.

This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or events, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

I hadn’t exactly been looking forward to this meeting. Paul, the Program Director and my direct boss, had sent me an email that said he needed to talk to me about the budget meeting he’d just had. The tone was very formal, very stiff, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant.

I figured I knew what it was, too. I wasn’t in any danger of losing my job unless they shut down my department. All of the other staff loved the work that I did, and the public backlash from shutting down entirely would be gigantic and immediate.

Sure enough, Paul gave me a very sympathetic look as he told me that they were cutting back on our grant, which directly affected the budget.

I sighed, shaking my head. “I don’t have enough resources as it is.” The last time they’d done this I’d had to downsize my team, and now we were critically understaffed. That had felt really, really shitty to do, too. Now it was just me; Amy, the other project coordinator; and Jess, our administrative assistant.

I know.” It was Paul’s turn to shake his head. His hands were loosely clasped on his crossed legs. “But there’s no help for it. We’re just not getting allocated the funds.”

Yeah.” I ran my hand through my long, wavy hair. “Okay. Email me the figure and give me a week, and I’ll…” I sighed again. “I’ll look through everything and put together a proposal.” Because we were a non-profit dealing with federal grant money, everything had to be strictly accounted for with all kinds of paperwork.

Thanks, Hannah.” He paused for a moment, his face grave.” I’m sorry. I hate putting you in this position.”

I know.” I braced my hands on my thighs, ready to get up. “Well, is that it?”

Yeah, that’s it.” He got up at the same time and walked me over to the door to his office. “Maybe someday we’ll get better news.”

I hope so. Our motto should be miracles for less.” My lips twisted up wryly. I waited for him to open the door for me, and when he did I headed out into the hall.

My heels clicked along the laminate flooring as I walked back to my own office. At least I got the length of time it took me to make it back for some breathing room. Amy and Jess both knew what the meeting was probably going to be about, and they’d want to know how it went. Amy had declared that she just didn’t think it was possible for them to cut the budget again.

But we couldn’t really function with less people. There was no way I’d be able to handle the caseload on my own, that just wasn’t physically possible. And there was no way Amy and I would be able to handle our caseloads and all of the administrative work that kept our tiny department running.

We worked with the local colleges and trade schools to place veterans in their programs, to work out what their experience while deployed would count for and then what they needed to make up the rest of a diploma. It cut down on their school time and got them back to work faster.

The public loved the program. The problem was, we got less and less money every year. We had our own fundraising efforts, of course, but they weren’t nearly enough to make up for what we were losing. Maybe it was time to concentrate on that a little more. But who was going to have time to do that?

Amy was in her office when I got back to our section of the small building, but Jess looked up from her work as soon as I appeared in the entryway. The smile quickly fell off her face. “That bad, huh?”

I sighed, continuing through to stop by the side of her desk. “Yeah. They’re cutting our grant again. We can’t downsize anymore, so now I get to figure out what to do.” I gestured to her computer. “You don’t need that, right? Or lightbulbs? I hear candles and pencils are cheap.”

She snorted. “Yeah. Tell you what, if they can get me enough pencils to build a new computer we’ll talk.”

I looked over at the firmly closed door to Amy’s office. “How long has she been in there?”

Jess followed my gaze with her own. “Just went in. She’ll probably be a bit. You want me to tell her to come see you when she’s done?”

If you want.” I turned my eyes back to Jess. “It’s not a secret if she asks you how it went, but if you’d rather direct her to me that’s fine.”


Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-3 show above.)