Story Four: Changes of the Heart
After a break-up with her significant other and with no employment opportunities near her parents' farm, Sloane accepts a temporary position as an adjunct in a university in NYC. She "apartment-sits" for her best friend, MJ, who is on a sabbatical with her significant-other during the fall semester. The family that has the apartment next to hers becomes friends and the son, a well-known TV veterinarian (Dr. Lance Allen), becomes even more. Sloane feels that he is her soul-mate. However, her connection to Jared, the former love, is not finished. The couple who had adopted his son is now being harassed by the maternal grandparents in an attempt to void the adoption and to gain custody of Noah. Sloane becomes involved when they contact her for help. When they are stalked by these maternal grandparents, Sloane gets to know this couple and to like them very much. She becomes an investigator in their "case." She is hired again as an insurance investigator and helps piece together exactly what happened to this couple on a dark road in upstate NY. Things do not end well for that young couple. Jared now becomes the custodian of his little boy. The romance between Sloane and the TV veterinarian dims. He wants to return to Hawaii from his temporary hiatus in NYC and begs her to accompany him. Sloane does not, and feels she cannot leave the East Coast with her friends and family and beloved pets. However, the two will remain friends and continue their contact throughout all the adventures that are to follow. In trying to protect Sloane when she becomes involved in helping Noah's adoptive parents, a young FBI agent is assigned to assist. He is very attracted to her but she is, for a long time, committed in her heart and soul to the veterinarian. During her time in NYC she meets a famous poetess who lives on the same floor of the high rise as MJ. They become friends. And the three, Sloane, the poetess and the FBI agent, take a slow and delightful trip back to Virginia for the Christmas holidays when Sloane leaves NYC. A relationship between Sloane and the FBI agent Brian Fortiani) begins to develop.
Story Five: Repercussions Galore
After returning from NYC, Sloane accepts a position with the local community college. She continues phone and text contact with Jared and with her soul-mate, Dr. Allen, the veterinarian. The semester proceeds quietly and uneventfully with part-time work at the college and at the local history society. However, there are no contracts for the summer or fall. Finally she is offered a position in the woodwind section of one of the orchestras that plays in Williamsburg. It doesn't give her much time to visit her family at Serenity Farm though she makes occasionally visits and receives visits from her Mom and from Brian. The practicing and performing commitments are staggering. Her apartment is very small but she is able to take her beloved cat, Hobson, with her. After the Christmas performance, she is once again out of work as the permanent bassoonist for the orchestra is returning. However, she is lucky to get a position in Fredericksburg where Brian has been assigned. By this time they are a couple, living together, though Sloane is not 100% committed. She senses changes in attitude in Brian and some very strong anger. She is somewhat panicked as their engagement party looms. In the middle of this concern, there is a possibility of a debilitating illness for Brian and a search for his Mother who disappeared years earlier. Sloane has to face some very harsh realities at this time I her life, though one of the highlights include an exciting position at a historical venue in Gettysburg and a national recognition of her historical collection. When her tenure at this Historical Society ends quite abruptly, she is extremely lucky to find a temporary position in D.C. as a bassoonist in a world-renowned orchestra. There are some frightening and worrisome events, however,