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Never Say Never (Resetter Book 2)

Never Say Never (Resetter Book 2)

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 You can only live once, right? That is what Travis Jefferson believed. He had a past with many mishaps and an accident that left him crippled, but he was in no doubt that one could not just reset their lives. And that is why, when his attractive neighbor and student, Skyler Porter, told him he was a resetter, he was doubtful that she was sane. Even though Skyler and her family seemed to believe this myth and had their own resetter, he was not buying it. It would take something catastrophic in his life to make him contemplate going back in time...

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Summer 2000

"Skyler Porter, is it?" Mrs. Beckett, the human resource director, looked over her glasses at Sky and then down at the resume in her hand before Sky could answer.
"You have an MBA from Harvard?" The lady looked up at her again. "How old are you?"
Sky resisted the urge to roll her eyes and point out that her age was at the top of the document.
"Twenty-two," she replied in a well-modified tone.
She needed this job—if she had to suffer through obvious questions, she would suffer through them. She had no idea why Jefferson Pharmaceuticals called her at the time they did even though she had not applied for the job. Nevertheless, it was an answer to prayers because she was at a crossroad in her life.
She had the option of staying in the States with her cousin, Addi, and find a job in New York, or return to Jamaica. The decision had been made for her with an invite to a job interview.
"How did you do it?" Mrs. Beckett leaned back in her chair.
"Do what?" Sky thought that she had missed something.
"Finished your undergraduate degree by twenty and your MBA by twenty-two?"
"I just worked hard," Sky said. "I did more courses than the usual in my undergraduate studies and graduated with a perfect GPA and then went to Harvard Business School on a scholarship."
Mrs. Beckett smiled. "I am impressed."
"Thank you." Sky nodded. She was now warming up to the stern looking woman.
"As you know this is a family-owned company. Travis Jefferson is the current president of this company. His father, Miguel Jefferson, started out selling cough syrup. Since the eighties, the business has grown exponentially.
"We are the leading pharmaceutical company in the Caribbean. We are a large company, and we continue to expand every day. This position of Business Development Manager is a senior management position, Miss Porter.
"Unfortunately, you have no experience whatsoever. You have a very nice degree, no doubt, but I am afraid that I can't in all good conscience recommend you for this position..."
Sky couldn't believe what she was hearing. She had not applied for this position. She had not even heard about it until she was asked to send in her resume. And now, after scraping together her airfare and spending her last dollar on an expensive suit, she was told this madness. Now, she would have to report the bad news to her father who had so exuberantly greeted her at the airport.
He had been excited at the possibilities of her living back home and closer to him. She was going to have to burst his bubble.
Sky got up slowly, disappointment ricocheting through her like fireworks.
Did this lady think that she had just been hanging out in Kingston? Did she have any idea how far she was coming from to be having this failed interview?
They could have done this over the phone!
"I am sorry Miss Porter." Mrs. Beckett held out her hand to be shaken.
She didn't look sorry.
Sky looked at her outstretched arm and for a split second considered being rude, but she didn't. She shook the lady's hand and searched for something to say that was pleasant, something that didn't scream her disappointment.
The door to the office was unceremoniously opened before she could formulate a word and a rather handsome guy pushed his head around the door.
"Oh good, she is here. Send her to my office Bertha, will you?"
Sky frowned and looked from Mrs. Beckett to the mysterious gentleman.
Mrs. Beckett looked miffed. "But I already checked her resume as you asked me to, sir, and I think..."
He came into the room fully. He was tall—over six feet. He had dark nutmeg brown skin and jet-black wavy hair, which was brushing his collar—some of it was falling in his chocolate brown eyes. He was the definition of tall, dark and handsome.
He pushed his hand into his suit pocket and looked at Sky for longer than was polite and then back at Mrs. Beckett.
"This interview was supposed to be a formality, Bertha. If I didn't have that meeting, I would have been around to welcome Sky into the Jefferson Pharmaceutical family."
And then his magnetic brown eyes were eating her up. "I am sorry for the misunderstanding, Skyler." He moved from the doorway and advanced to her with a smile in his eyes.
"My name is Travis Jefferson. Will you be so kind as to walk with me to my office?"
Sky nodded as if she was in a daze. He called her Sky with a hint of familiarity that was puzzling and exciting at the same time.
This was the Travis Jefferson, the head of the company. She had no idea he was so young, maybe early thirties and no idea that he was so attractive. Sky tried not to stare when she walked closer to him. She could smell his cologne—something earthy.
She had the insane urge to stop and sniff him. Instead, she concentrated on looking professional and followed him to the bank of elevators. His office was three floors up from where she met Mrs. Beckett.
He stood apart from her in the elevator and stared at her as if he wanted to say something.
Sky felt a bit self-conscious. She suffered through his silent regard and then followed him through the carpeted hallway and into his office.
Up here in the hallowed hallways of richness was obviously where the executives resided. Every door had a name embossed in brass, each of which had a VP of whatever on it.
His door was wider than the rest. There was a sub-office before another door. A lady who Sky assumed was his secretary was sitting at a desk. She was on the telephone.
"Hold my calls, Betty, and no visitors," Travis said before they headed to another door, which Sky assumed was his office.
The office was large and tastefully done. One section of the wall was made of stone, with little niches in the wall, which were filled with flowerpots with bright looking plants—each blooming a different color.
A small conference table was at one end and in the middle was his desk. There was a patio filled with plants and a view of the mountains in the distance.
"Nice." Sky looked around. "This is a dream office."
Travis indicated for her to sit in a seat across from him and then he leaned over the desk smiling. "I have been keeping track of your educational pursuits, Miss Porter."
"You have?" Sky was trying not to act surprised.
But he could see that she was.
He scratched his head and then laughed. "My God, it's going to take time explaining this to you."
"What are you going on about?" Sky asked frowning. "Do you know me from somewhere?"
He smiled. "I believe I do, Miss Porter. Not from some other place but some other time."

Chapter One

July 1995

"I can't believe I lost my books in the fire." Sky sat down heavily on the bed beside Addi. "My Econ texts could have gone up in flames for all I care, but my future book, the one that I had recorded the future prices of stocks and shares, is gone.
They had gotten the call last night from the security company that the hardware store was on fire.
This morning there was nothing left of the place. Where there once was a huge warehouse was now a big black hole of nothing.
Sky wished that she hadn't left her stuff there the night before. She had been working part-time at the store for the summer. Today was supposed to have been her last day.
Except there was no store.
It was a good thing she had handed in her Economics assignments for the first summer session, or she would have been in deep trouble.
"I wish you had remembered that last night was the night of the fire, Addi," Sky said morosely. "Why didn't you write that down, record it for future reference, that would have been perfect!"
"I began losing the memories shortly after coming back. By the time, I thought to write down anything significant; I didn't know what was definite anymore. I am so sorry Sky. I did tell you about the fire in '95, didn't I?" Addi sighed. "I wish you hadn't taken your book to the store. Why did you take it there anyway?"
"I was copying the stuff to a new book." Sky felt a very real urge to cry. "I had stuff in there about '95.
"Now I am going to have to live my life like an ordinary person. Working summer jobs and applying for scholarships because I lost my future book with all my glorious future stock predictions. I had plans, Addi. I was going to be rich by twenty and retire by twenty-five."
"Hush," Addi said gently patting Sky on the shoulder. "It's not the end of the world. The good news is nobody was at the store when the fire started."
Sky sniffed and then stood up. She was going to mourn in her room in her empty, soulless house.
"Whatever Addison!"
"Wait!" Addi held on to her hand. "I have something to tell you. Now please, promise me that you will not explode."
Sky squinted her eyes and looked at Addi. They were both eighteen, but Addi was the calmer of the two. Sky was prone to volatile bursts of emotions. She was known to cry broken-heartedly, laugh loudly, and enact whatever she was feeling with gusto.
Addi was not so out there, with her feelings or reactions. She had it all together. She was calm, mature and took things in stride. Maybe that was a leftover from her time traveling.
"No." Sky answered. Addi had always had it together since they were tots. She, on the other hand, was a volcano waiting to erupt.
"Well," Addi cleared her throat, obviously trying to choose carefully what to say.
"You know when you went to college last year, I applied to some colleges too?"
"Yes. So?" Sky knew she wasn't going to like where the conversation was going. She could see it from Addi's body language that she was expecting an overreaction from her.
"Well, Grandma Wallace filed for us. Mom and Dad said they wouldn't be leaving this year. Daddy said he is not sure he will ever be going. He doesn't want to leave Uncle Stan to run the business alone.
"Mommy said she is not leaving Daddy so..."
"So?" Sky wanted to squeal get on with it.
"So I guess I will be going alone," Addi said quickly, looking at Sky as if she expected retribution. "I have three college acceptance letters. I am thinking of taking the one to New York University."
Sky sat down on the bed again, feeling shell-shocked. "But this year you are supposed to join me at Mount Faith University!"
"I don't want to," Addi said stubbornly. "I am leaving, Sky. I think this is the best thing for me. I was thinking of doing psychology. I could live with Josh. He is in New York doing an internship at a tech firm."
Sky exhaled noisily. "But what about me? Have you thought about me? When you leave Jamaica, I'll have no one."
Addi covered a snort. "Sky, you have your dad and Monica and your new baby brother, Michael."
"Good gosh, don't remind me about them," Sky muttered crossly. "Dad and Monica are caught up in a world of their own. If I disappeared now, they wouldn't care. Dad only cares about his new offspring—his long-awaited son."
Addi chuckled. "You love your baby brother."
"Well..." Sky's heart softened somewhat. He was a cute child. And sometimes she did think of him as the sweetest baby on the planet.
Her father and Monica Campbell from next door had started hitting it off almost as soon as the ink was dry on her parents' divorce papers. Two months after the divorce, they were married.
One year later they had a child together, and her father was acting like a first-time father.
It made her feel left out somehow. Monica was a lovely woman and quite accommodative, she had to admit grudgingly but Sky didn't feel comfortable in her house on the hill. Even after eighteen months she still thought of Monica as 'the lady next door', even when her father moved in with her.
Their home was not hers. After coming home from school, she spent most of her time with Addi anyway.
"And you have Aunt Ivy," Addi said haltingly because she knew that Sky did not have Ivy as a viable parenting option or even as a friend.
Sky glanced at her. "You know my mother is crazy. I can't have a regular conversation with her. Besides, any day now she will be going back to England to live."
"Well, there is always my mom and dad." Addi shrugged. "They are not leaving. They'll be right here. My mom is already talking about rebuilding."
"But they are not you," Sky said bitterly. "You deliberately and willfully want to leave me, Addison Porter. You are the worst cousin in the entire world."
Addison got up from the bed and stretched. "I am sure there are other cousins worse than I am."
Sky laid back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. "I am not looking forward to going back to school in two weeks then. I was hoping you'd be there. Now my life sucks big time."
Addi chuckled and unraveled her hair from her messy top bun. "You'll be fine."
"No, I won't be fine." Sky turned on her back and hit the bed. "I won't be okay ever again."
Addi turned on the radio to drown out her tantrum.
"Hear this!" Addi pinched her. "This is your new jam, Waterfalls, TLC."
Sky grunted. "There is nothing, nothing at all that can make me happy again."
"So why are your feet moving up and down in tandem with the music?" Addi asked as she combed out her hair.
"It is a nice tune," Sky looked at Addi grudgingly. "This changes nothing. You are still the worst."
Addi didn't answer she just gave her a smirk and continued combing out her thick long hair.
Sky got up and stuck her face beside Addi's. They looked nothing alike except for the nose. They both had the Porter nose, short straight with a little flare at the end. That was where the similarities ended.
She wore cinnamon shade makeup for her lighter skin. Addi wore brown sugar for her darker complexion.
Sky had freckles on her nose bridge, little-discolored imperfections that increased with exposure to the sun. Addi's skin was smooth and even toned. She rarely needed makeup, and she surely didn't need mascara, she had thick stumpy lashes that looked like perfect little fans.
On the other hand, she had brown hair and not in a shade that was remarkable in her eyes either. She was going to put a rinse on it. She didn't like it. It was nowhere near as luxurious as Addi's.
Addi's hair was jet black, thick, long and looked like a lion’s mane when out. Whereas she had to use volumizing sprays and potions to have even half the body that Addi had. She resented her curls and would have gotten it processed a year ago except that her only time with a flat iron had her hair looking thin, long and lifeless more than she was comfortable with.
Addi was quite obviously the better looking of the two of them in her humble biased opinion. She made crossed eyes and pushed her tongue out at Addi. Then she felt like a cow for comparing herself to her cousin.
She slumped dramatically beside her.
"You are leaving because I am ugly aren't you?"
"Yes." Addi laughed. "I can't bear to see your ugly face anymore."
"And I have no boobs," Sky said despairingly.
Addi was in hysterics. "Yep. I am going to pursue an education away from here because you have no boobs."
"No Addi and no boyfriend." Sky groaned. "My life sucks."
"Your life is fine." Addi turned to Sky. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It's unattractive."
"I am unattractive," Sky muttered, "that's why I have nothing."
"You know very well that you are gorgeous." Addi shook her head in exasperation. "And you have your whole life ahead of you filled with glorious possibilities. I don't have a boyfriend and my life is quite fine."
"You don't have a boyfriend because you like Randy Vassell and nobody meets up to chocolate coated Randy." Sky stuck out her tongue at Addi. "You two were a thing in another time. Remember?"
"Shut up." Addi scowled. "I don't remember many details. I wrote stuff down but..."
"You wrote stuff down about you and Randy, but you didn't write about the fire or any significant financial details we should know!"
Addi nodded.
"I take it back," Sky said in exasperation. "You are not the mature one."
Addi inhaled, "I didn't think my memories of before were going to be relevant to us now. Everything changed for the family. You were the one with the financial details and all of that. There was no need for me to write down anything."
Sky grimaced. It was true. She had confidently assured Addi that she would take care of them financially with all of her information.
Look at her now. No book. No nothing.
"Randy doesn't talk to me anymore," Addi said defeat in her voice. "It is one of the reasons I am going too. He just stopped corresponding. He used to send me a card for my birthday. He doesn't anymore!"
"Because you told him to stop. There is just so much a guy can take. You pushed him away." Sky elbowed Addi. "Josh told me that he is working in Kingston as a junior accountant. Why don't you stay in Jamaica and go to a school in Kingston so that you can be near him? You guys could get it on again."
"Nope." Addi shook her head. "I am going to New York."
"Wrong, stupid answer." Sky got up. "I still think you are the worse yet."
Addi grinned. "I have a feeling by the end of the semester when you find a boyfriend, and you get obsessed you'll be asking who is Addison again?"
"Not likely," Sky muttered. "Not at all likely."