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Chapter 54: A flight to Salem

"Daddy, daddy, up!"  Jeannie held up her arms for her father to lift her.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart," he said.  He was standing behind the desk, leaning forward with both hands on the wooden top.  The desk was littered with papers.  "I can't."

"Please, daddy," she asked again. 

"I can't," he repeated.  "Andrew, can you take Jeannie into the garden?"

Jeannie felt her brother take her hand and pull her away from her father.  "Come on, Jeannie, let's go play."  She glanced at Andrew, who smiled.  "It'll be fun, I promise."  Then Jeannie looked back at her father, who was watching them, an almost pained expression on his face.

"Ms. Donovan?"

Jeannie nearly jumped out of her seat in surprise.  The steward was standing next to her.  "I'm sorry," Jeannie said.  "I was just distracted."

"Of course," said the steward.  "The pilot asked me to make sure that your seatbelt was on.  We'll be landing in Salem in a few minutes."

"Yeah.  Sure."  Jeannie checked her seatbelt.  "I'm all set." 

As the steward returned to his seat in the back of the plane, Jeannie looked around the Titan Industries jet.  None of her classmates had been taken for an interview by private plane.  Apparently, when Titan Industries wanted to impress someone, they pulled out all the stops.

She certainly was not complaining.  To get to Salem from New Haven would have required either a long bus ride to New York or multiple flights.  With the private jet, she would be back in her dorm by the end of the day.

Jeannie looked out the window as the plane passed through the clouds and she was able to see the city in the distance.  Salem.  She had very few memories of the place.  A few brief visits to see her grandparents and uncles, though, truth be told, it was more common for them to come to Los Angeles, since Jeannie's available time to visit -- the holidays and summer vacation -- usually took her to England.  And, of course, she had that memory of her father that kept popping into her head.

It had taken some time for her to place that memory.  It had mainly been through process of elimination.  She had known the room was not at Donovan Manor or any of her mom's houses, and Andrew had told her that they had briefly lived in Salem when she was very young.

One thing that she never questioned was why she kept reliving that particular memory.  It just seemed to sum up her relationship with her father -- one disappointment after another, usually with Andrew to cushion the blow.

She could tell the plane was about to land, so she took a deep breath and thought about the day ahead.  Jeannie anticipated that she would meet several members of the Titan legal department.  She had planned carefully, researching the different attorneys she might meet and gathering information about Titan's officers.  There had been one surprise among the names listed on the website -- Brady Black.  She had met Brady a few times over the years, but mainly just knew of him as Uncle John's and Aunt Marlena's son.  Still, it was good to have an "in" with the company.  If she had to, she would get in touch with him and see if he could help her get the job.

For now, however, she wanted to avoid running into anyone she knew.  Only Andrew knew she was interviewing, and Jeannie wanted to keep it that way.  From what she had heard, the Bradys were notoriously unable to keep secrets from slipping out and she did not want her mother finding out that Jeannie might not come home for the summer.  Not yet, at least.

It was a shame in some ways that she could not see family during this visit.  Jeannie had always been close with her cousin Stephanie.  They were nearly the same age and had grown up together in Los Angeles.  In some ways, they had been more like sisters than cousins, even to the point of having something akin to sibling rivalries in the schools they both attended.  But Jeannie had not seen Stephanie since she moved to Salem, and while phone and email allowed them to stay in touch, it was not the same.  Jeannie sighed.  Maybe she would see how the day went and then would decide about contacting her cousin.

As it was, she needed to focus and get herself prepared for the interview.  In her head, she rehearsed her answers to questions she was likely to be asked.  Why did she want to work at Titan?  She respected the corporation and believed it would provide an opportunity to experience legal practice that covered a wide variety of substantive areas.  What were her particular interests?  She had learned a lot in her course on defamation and privacy rights, so she was very interested in seeing how attorneys worked with the Titan publishing wing.  And so on and so forth.  She was ready for just about anything.

How much of that was true was up for debate.  Mainly, Jeannie wanted to be one of the few members of her class with a paying job for the summer.  Most of her colleagues would be working for free this summer, and she liked the idea of one-upping them.

The plane hit the tarmac with a gentle bump and she braced as the pilot hit the brakes.  In a few moments, the plane came to a stop and the steward escorted her down the stairs to a waiting limousine.

Jennie smiled.  Someone at Titan knew exactly how to impress her.