Welcome to my first multi-chapter story! Thanks so much for checking it out.
I am so fortunate to have some amazing pre-readers: BookishQua, Jillian Landers, and FantasyMother all helped make this story better, and gave me tremendous support and encouragement. Thank you so much, ladies! They're all amazing authors themselves, so if you haven't read their work – go, do it now!
Also, I owe a big thank-you to nonymouse123 who lent me her plot bunny way back when… and then let me twist it all around :)
This story is completely written (I promise, you can ask my pre-readers) and I will post weekly on Wednesdays.
Oh, and quite obviously, SM owns all.
"And this wiring is a clearly a problem… can you tell me what particular paragraph of Section 206 this violates?" Mike tried to look innocent as he posed his question, but his arrogant smirk shone through anyway.
I cleared my throat and made myself reply confidently in spite of his attitude. "Well, the wiring is obviously too close to the water intake source valves, which violates Section 206, paragraph 7 of the Seattle Municipal Code."
Mike looked surprised that I had answered correctly, but quickly recovered. He rubbed his chin in contemplation as he responded, "Very close, Bella, but it's actually Section 206, Paragraph 7, Subparagraph C. It's very important to get these citations as complete and accurate as possible. Maybe you need to read through the codebook one more time." He shook his head as he made notes on his clipboard and walked away, his shoulders quivering with silent laughter.
Like I said…
I followed Mike into the next room of the half-finished building while mentally contemplating his slow and painful castration with the ridiculously large multi-tool he kept clipped to his belt. Over the past few weeks, I'd discovered that imagining torturing my chauvinist new co-workers was the best way to deal with my seemingly constant frustration as the newest building inspector for the City of Seattle.
My supervisor was great, but the other inspectors had made it clear that if the hiring decision had been up to them, they would have hung up a "No Girls Allowed" sign faster than eight year olds in a treehouse. There were four of them – Mike, Tyler, Eric, and Ben – forming a club that I would never enter. Unfortunately for me, they were the ones charged with my training. I had to shadow each of them on their inspections to learn the ropes, and each of them had special ways of making it hard on me.
I suspected they'd bet on who could get me to quit first.
Mike loved to spot-check me on specific sections of the code, even though rumor had it that he'd carried the entire 4-inch-thick book for reference for his first two years on the job. Now that he finally had it mastered, he delighted in quizzing me on all the obscure paragraphs and provisions he could bring to mind. Apparently because I got the privilege of writing up our reports to the day for him to approve, I needed to have as much 'attention to detail' as he did. What that really meant was that I did all his work, and he glanced at it briefly before signing off.
Tyler, with his greasy pock-marked skin, had a neverending slew of inappropriate nicknames at his disposal. I immediately objected to "sweetheart," so he switched to "honey" and "doll" and so on. When I asked him to stop, he would apologize insincerely, but he always came back with more. He currently referred to me as "little lady," to which I refused to answer.
On top of that, Tyler also had a bad habit of belittling my opinions during our exit interviews with the contractors. On our second day out, I spotted a wiring issue that looked fine at the moment, but could have caused a serious fire after a few months of use. When I directed the contractor to fix it, Tyler brushed off my finding and cracked a joke about me breaking a nail. Thankfully, the electrician overheard me and quickly corrected the problem anyway.
Eric was the only single guy in the group, and so his form of hazing was constantly asking me out. I had taken to finding creative ways to refuse him in an attempt to keep things light, but somehow he didn't believe that I was really a nun or that I had made a vow of celibacy to the ghost of my dead grandmother. Despite my excuses, he managed to keep hope alive and swore eventually I'd see that we were meant to be.
Yeah… not fucking likely. There weren't exactly men lined up outside my door, but I absolutely refused to date co-workers as it was too messy and complicated. Besides, chauvinism just wasn't in my list of qualities for Mr. Right.
Ben wasn't so bad, but he was clearly a proponent of the antiquated view that construction sites were no place for a woman. The first day I shadowed him, I asked if we were going to any sites that had footwear restrictions since I generally wore heels to the office but changed to boots at construction sites. He assured me we didn't have any rough sites on our agenda, but when we pulled up to the second stop of the day I was dismayed by the sight of mud everywhere.
"I thought we weren't heading to any rough sites?" I muttered.
"Oh... sorry. I guess I forgot," he replied. Ben seemed to enjoy my discomfort as I picked my way through the giant piles of dirt, and I saw him hide a chuckle more than once as I tripped over piles of masonry and rebar. At least he was kind enough to catch my arm before I fell flat on my face. I made sure to keep a spare pair of flats in my bag after that day.
Through it all, I remained determined to do a good job and prove to them that they didn't have to like me, but they'd have to respect me. I had already read through and memorized the most pertinent sections of code, and I kept my highlighted and flagged copy of the book in my car for the more obscure violations. Being trained as an architect, I knew quite a bit about how construction was supposed to work, and I had a keen eye for detail. Damn it, they had to come around eventually...
Once we returned to the office, Mike dumped the day's paperwork on my desk so I could document our citations for the day and send out the proper notices. This had become his usual routine, and it meant that I would be sticking around the office for a few more hours. He left an hour early, of course, no doubt congratulating himself on what a great job he was doing training me in.
When I objected to this arrangement, he had the nerve to claim that he was doing me a favor because I needed the practice. Practice my ass, what I needed after a day of his bullshit was a glass of wine and a good lay, but I wouldn't exactly share that information with Mike.
Deciding to pick my battles, I waved goodnight - using only one finger- at Mike's back as he walked away, and started in on the paperwork. I was getting pretty good at using the computer system that the city used to generate code letters, and I had just finished the letter for the Section 206, Paragraph 7, Subparagraph C wiring issue when Jacob Black strolled by.
"Hey Bella, what's up? What are you still doing here?" He smiled as he paused by my desk.
Jacob was my boss and the nicest guy here. His six-foot six inch height and large build were often intimidating, so it was fortunate he had such an easy-going personality. He was also handsome enough that I might have considered breaking my no-dating-coworkers rule, if he hadn't been my supervisor and already happily married.
"I'm just finishing up my letters for the day. How are you?" I smiled back.
Jacob stretched and yawned. "Another day done, I guess. I'm actually glad I caught you – I've been meaning to check in. How do you feel things are going?"
"Great, I'm getting pretty comfortable now," I replied eagerly. I didn't dare hope... but could he be hinting what I thought he might?
"That's good to hear. I've been reviewing your inspection reports, and I think you might be ready to go out on your own soon. What do you think?"
I wanted to break into a crazy victory dance, but managed to keep my cool. "Yeah, it seems like that's the next step. I'm definitely ready."
My smile must have been just a little too big, because Jacob sighed. "Are the guys still being rough on you?"
I just shrugged, not wanting to deter Jacob from a train of thought that would lead to my freedom from the senior inspectors.
"I'm sorry about them," he looked frustrated. "They're really immature sometimes. When I got promoted ahead of them, they were pretty upset. I can't tell you how many times Mike replaced the sugar by the coffee pot with salt right before I went for my morning cup - I learned pretty quickly to bring my own sugar packets and keep them in my desk." Jacob shook his head and smiled. "One day, I made sure he knew I was about to head in to get a cup of coffee, but actually I had scheduled a meeting with three city council members. I asked Mike to get them coffee, and you should have seen the look on his face when one of them asked for sugar!" Jacob laughed at the memory, and I couldn't help but chuckle a little too.
"Seriously though, Bella, you know that you need to tell me if they go too far, right? I don't want an inspector getting harassed on the job." Jacob looked at me sternly.
"I know, and thanks," I said, hoping he would get back to the part where I got to do my own inspections.
"Well, tomorrow we'll have you go on a few inspections yourself. I'll start you off easy with some single family home code violations and smaller buildings, but I know with your background you'll advance to the more complicated stuff with no trouble." He smiled once more and glanced at the clock. "I've got to get home, Ness is making dinner tonight. Don't stick around too much longer, OK? Have a good night, Bella." He gave me a heartwarming smile and turned to walk out of the office.
"Yeah, you too." I waved with all my fingers this time, and once I was alone, I couldn't help but let an ecstatic grin cross my face. Finally, I would be free to do my own inspections! I still had to work in the office with the guys and their third grade commentary, but at least I wouldn't have to deal with it all day long.
As I drove home, hope and excitement bubbled up inside me for the day to come. The past few months had been such a rollercoaster, but maybe things were finally looking up for good.
Half a year ago, I was a fresh college graduate with a degree in architecture. I dutifully got my portfolio ready and sent out a stack of resumes to every firm I'd ever heard of, but with the economy crashing and the construction industry at a standstill, no one was hiring architects. Most firms I contacted were laying off the workers they already had, and couldn't even think of adding more.
I grew more and more despondent, fearing that my part-time job waiting tables would end up being permanent, until I got a call from Jacob Black. Jacob's father Billy was my dad's fishing buddy back in Forks, and while I hadn't known them well, my father had told Billy about my job problems. Jacob was in charge of the Inspections department for the City of Seattle, and he also happened to have an opening due to the retirement of 30 year veteran inspector Greg Banner. I interviewed with Jacob the next day, and he hired me on the spot.
Initially, I tried to be understanding of the bitterness I felt from my male co-workers. I was sure it was due to the way I had gotten the job, and also because of who I replaced. Greg Banner had been a mentor to all of them when they started as city inspectors, and utilizing my minor in psychology I theorized that maybe their hostility was just misplaced grief from losing their mentor. As the weeks wore on, I found out that they just weren't that deep.
Shaking off the memories, I got back to being excited for my newly independent status. I pulled in the garage and bounded up the stairs to the apartment I shared with my best friend Alice.
"Alice, are you home? I've got great news!"
My roommate emerged from her studio, which was supposed to be our dining room but was now put to much more interesting use. She was wearing her favorite paint-splattered jeans and a jaggedly ripped one-shouldered shirt that she must have made herself. I loved Alice dearly, but she was something of a fashion disaster. Although she paid the bills by working for an art gallery, her true love was her unique and sometimes unwearable fashion design projects. We had an arrangement of sorts – she let me dress her in professional clothes for work, and I let her dress me when we went out.
"What's up, B? Oh wait, I'll use my psychic visioning skills…" she closed her eyes and put her fingers to her temples in concentration, smearing some Prussian blue on her skin in the process. "You finally got the balls to tell off that group of asshole man-children, and now they've made you their queen?" Alice's eyes widened as she smiled widely, nodding her approval.
I shoved her playfully and flopped onto our couch. "Sorry, babe, you're no Miss Cleo. But I'm finished with my training, and I get to go out on my own tomorrow!"
"Oh B, that's so great! How do you want to celebrate? Margaritas?" she asked hopefully, as she headed for the kitchen to retrieve our well worn blender and generous stash of tequila.
"Sure, let's make some nachos too. I'm just so relieved that tomorrow I won't have to deal with any stupid, immature men on my inspections!"
Alice finished making our drinks and poured two glasses while I got out the nacho fixings. "Sweetie, I'm so proud of you. To no more assholes!" she toasted.
"No more assholes!" I echoed enthusiastically.
The next morning I had a mild headache from getting a little too cozy with Jose Cuervo, but I was still looking forward to the day ahead. I got up early and dressed in a gray pencil skirt and white blouse, and slipped into my practical yet stylish low-heeled shoes. Alice emerged from her room tinged slightly green, but we managed to eat some breakfast and down some aspirin to get our day started. I hummed to myself as I drove to the office, and as my headache dissipated it seemed like nothing could ruin my mood.
Arriving at our floor of city hall, I straightened my desk a bit before gathering my clipboard and notepad to head for our morning briefing. Jacob started off by announcing that I would be working on my own today, and I noticed the guys looking a little peeved. Poor Mike, he would have to do his own paperwork now… no more skipping out early. I suppressed a grin, trying not to gloat in front of everyone. After announcing some upcoming inspections on major construction projects, Jacob handed out our assignments for the day and told us to get going.
"Hey Bella," Jacob called as I walked out the door.
"Good luck today, not that you'll need it." He smiled warmly as he nodded at me.
"Thanks," I smiled back and returned to my desk, even more eager to get out and prove I could do this job on my own.
I used my computer to look up the properties I'd been assigned, and figured out which order would be the most efficient. Jacob had only given me a few appointments today, so I would be able to take my time and make sure I had everything covered.
I was just about to leave when Mike called my name. "Yo, Bella, hold on!"
I rolled my eyes before turning around. "What is it, Mike?"
"This one just came in, and it seems like it should go to you. It's a neighbor complaint in Queen Anne Hill about garbage in the yard, and it's a single family home so…"
"Sure, I'll take it, I guess. Um… thanks, Mike, see you later." I checked the paperwork Mike handed me. Hmmm… Edward Cullen. Whoever he was, he had a lot of nerve junking up a gorgeous, historic home in such a prestigious neighborhood.
I thought I heard Mike chuckle as I walked out the door, but when I looked back he was just sitting at his desk. I shook off the funny feeling and got back to being excited about my day. I was prepared and confident - Edward Cullen wouldn't know what hit him.
The day passed quickly with various inspections. I checked out a small house where a contractor was adding a second story for a growing family, and next I gave preliminary approval to a man who wanted to build a new garage in his backyard. I ate lunch in my car and visited a few more homes before heading to the final stop of the day, Edward Cullen's house.
To be completely honest, I was a little nervous about this stop. Most of our inspections were because people needed clearance for something, and even if they didn't like what we had to say, we were still invited on to the property. Complaints were different – they meant dropping by unannounced to tell people they were doing something wrong. When I had shadowed the guys on a few complaint calls, some people understood that we were just doing our jobs, but many were upset and hostile.
As I turned the corner of the prestigious block, it was easy to spot which house was my target. In a row of beautifully kept historic homes, Edward Cullen's stuck out like a hobo at high tea. I loved the architecture of these exquisite buildings, and the architect in me started to get angry that someone would treat such a gorgeous place with obvious disrespect.
I pulled to the curb, parking behind an ancient and rusty orange truck, and started surveying the yard. It was randomly littered with junk, from a bright green sofa bed that had only one cushion, to an exercise bike with a fan for a front wheel. There were broken tables and tacky lamps, a beat-up dress form and half of a child's racecar bed, and all manner of other things that made the front yard look like a graveyard for Goodwill rejects.
I started taking notes and snapping a few photos, but this was clearly a violation of Title 21, Chapter 36, paragraph 425 A, which prohibited the accumulation of garbage on a property. Gathering my courage, I walked to the front door and rang the doorbell.
After a few moments, the door swung open to reveal quite possibly the most attractive man I had ever seen. He was tall with a slender yet strong build, and his arresting green eyes demanded you seek them out behind his dark-rimmed glasses. His messy copper hair was on the long side, adding to his effortless sex appeal. My mouth opened and closed for a few endless seconds before I regained my purpose.
"Hello, is Edward Cullen at home?" I asked in my best professional voice.
"Depends on who's asking, but for you… that's me," he said with a roguish wink.
I shook off the part of me that wanted to be struck dumb by his good looks, and continued my script. "I'm Bella Swan with the City of Seattle's Inspections Division. I'm afraid we need to discuss a code violation on your property, Mr. Cullen. I need to inform you about the requirements of Section 21 – "
"Are you a stripper or something?" he interrupted.
"What? No! Of course not!" I tried to keep calm, but I was totally floored. Who the hell asks something like that?
He shrugged, nonplussed. "I don't know, it seemed like something my buddies might do, hire a hot stripper to act like a building inspector."
I was too offended to even appreciate the fact that he'd said I was hot. "Why would you possibly think it was okay to ask if I was a stripper? I can't even fathom – "
"You're right," he interrupted again. "Besides, if they hired a stripper they would make sure to be here to watch the show anyway. What was I thinking?" he mused.
I tried to make my brain return to the conversation I needed to have, but I was completely flustered. "What's with all the junk in your yard?" I blurted out instead, stepping back onto the porch and gesturing with my arm.
"Junk? JUNK?" He clutched his chest in mock offense, but then he smiled. "Yeah, it's junk. My buddy Jasper and I have a game where we drive around in my truck and look for stuff with 'free' signs on it. Then we go back the next day, and if it's still there, we have to take it home and put it in the front yard. The uglier, the better – that's our motto." He joined me on the porch and looked proudly at the mess he'd created.
"Why do you put it in the front yard?" I asked, simultaneously baffled and intrigued.
"Well, we can't put it inside, it might have bedbugs and germs and shit, right? And no one could see it in the backyard, so it has to be in the front. Don't look at me, I didn't make up the rules." He paused to consider. "Well, maybe I did make up the rules, but I might have been slightly inebriated at the time so… there you go." He smiled and nodded at me like that explanation made perfect sense, and I should turn around and leave him to his craziness.
I cleared my throat and tried to regain my sense of reality. "Actually, Mr. Cullen, having all this garbage in your front yard is a violation of the City's municipal code. Section 21, Chapter 36 prohibits the accumulation of solid waste like this. I'm afraid you'll have to clean it up." I said matter-of-factly.
"Well of course, then. Your wish is my command," he said, sarcasm hanging heavily from his words. "Um… no. Sorry, but I can't do that, Inspector. It would pretty much break Jasper's heart. Plus we'll just go find more tomorrow, so what's the point?" He shrugged and looked at me innocently.
"This may come as a shock to you, Mr. Cullen, but the City of Seattle doesn't care about Jasper's heart, or the rules of your silly game." I smiled smugly. Damn it, when did I get smug? I hated smugness - it reminded me of the senior inspectors that I was so happy to be free of. Stupid, handsome Edward Cullen was flustering me and bringing out my smug side. I had to put a stop to this.
A loud noise made me turn my head, and I saw a beat-up green motorbike with a malfunctioning muffler coming down the street. It stopped behind my car, and when the rider got off and removed his helmet, another insanely handsome guy was revealed. What was it with this house? The new guy was shorter but muscular, with unruly blonde hair almost down to his shoulders and vivid blue eyes. He was dressed very similarly to Edward in an old t-shirt, ripped jeans, and scuffed Doc Martins, but somehow the grunge-hippie look seemed to fit both of them just right.
"Jazz! What's up, man?" Edward waved at the blonde man.
"Not much, bro. Who's your friend?"
"This is Bella Swan, and before you ask… she's not a stripper." Edward chuckled a bit as I fumed.
"Well that's a damn shame, but everyone is entitled to their choice of profession, I suppose." Jasper smiled easily.
I had definitely had more than enough. "Mr. Cullen, I will not stand here and listen to this. I am an agent of the City and I - "
Edward interrupted me again. "Yeah Jazz, apparently Bella here doesn't like what we've done with the front yard."
Jasper tried hard to look like he cared, but he was too laid back to pull it off. "Woah, Bella, that's harsh. What's not to like?"
"It's not a matter of whether I like it or not, it is a violation of the City code, and I just -"
"Jazz, I tried to tell her that if we moved this stuff it would break your heart, and she said she didn't care." Edward pouted at his friend as he interrupted me yet again.
I tried to keep calm but couldn't help raising my voice in frustration. "Mr. Cullen, will you let me finish my sentence please?"
Jasper spoke up this time. "I'm sorry, ma'am, he's terribly rude. The floor is yours, darlin'," he said in a swoon-worthy southern drawl.
"Thank you, Mr… Jasper. As I was saying, the garbage in the yard is a violation of City code, and it has to be moved. I'm going to issue a Notice of Violation – "
Edward broke in, "I get a citation? Really? Do you promise?" He suddenly looked excited.
I was baffled, but vowed not to let him throw me off any more than he already had. "Yes, it will be mailed tomorrow. You'll have 14 days from the date of the letter to correct the problem. I… will be back to inspect again at that time." Oh shit, I had to come back to this nuthouse.
Edward nodded enthusiastically. "That's just wonderful Bella. I'm really looking forward to seeing you again." He stuck out his hand, and not knowing how to refuse I took it and shook it as briefly as possible, ignoring the tingles that raced up my arm at his touch. It must be the residual insanity that made me feel that way… I hoped it wasn't contagious.
Jasper flopped down on one of the germ-ridden couches as I was turning to get in my car. "Bye, darlin'. It sure was nice meeting you."
"Um… thanks. You too. Bye," I rushed to get in the vehicle and start the engine before they could say anything else. As I drove away, I could see Edward in my rearview mirror with a ridiculous grin on his face as he gave Jasper a high-five. Seriously, that was bizarre...
I was still puzzling over my visit to Edward Cullen's house when I arrived back at the office. Maybe I was paranoid, but it seemed like all the guys were watching me closely as I walked to my desk and set down my files for the day. I started to input my findings and get the citation letters ready, but I still felt eyes on me so I decided to cut the shit and just ask. "Hey guys, what's up?"
Mike piped up first. "We just wanted to know how your first solo day was. Did you have any trouble remembering the citations?" he asked with a smirk.
"Nope, no trouble. It was just fine, thanks" I turned back to my computer monitor and rolled my eyes. I was sure I did better than he had on his first day solo.
"Really, little lady, how was your day? Did you encounter anything strange?" Tyler's question seemed innocent enough, but I could tell he was hinting at something.
"Other than a guy who was thrilled to get a violation notice? No, nothing odd. Everything went smoothly." I had the feeling I was missing out on a joke, which meant I probably was.
"Really?" Eric chimed in. He coughed a little, and it sounded suspiciously like he was trying to cover up a laugh. "Who was so happy to get a violation?"
I could feel my frustration returning as I felt completely out of the loop. "Um… it was the last house. His name was Edward Cullen, I think." Bullshit. I didn't think, I knew. Stupid Edward Cullen and his gorgeous self with his stupid flustering questions.
Mike and Tyler broke out laughing for real, and I was starting to get seriously pissed off. "OK, ha ha guys, what's the joke?" I demanded.
Ben wasn't laughing his ass off like the others, just smiling and chuckling a little, so he was the one who answered me. "Edward Cullen is kind of well-known around the City offices, Bella."
"Well known? How? For what?"
Eric toned his laughter down enough to reply, "For being an asshole!" before cracking the hell up again. I was glad he found himself so funny.
Thankfully, Ben seemed to take pity on me. "Edward Cullen seems to love to sue the city for anything and everything that strikes his fancy. The kid's a lawyer, and he apparently he doesn't do any actual work so he's got plenty of time to cook up these lawsuits. Personally, I think he's just bored, but he still pisses people off. He comes off as such a smartass."
Yeah, that sounded like the Edward Cullen I had met this afternoon.
"Thanks so much for the warning, Ben. I guess you must have forgotten again," I said sarcastically. "So why was he so happy to get a citation?"
Jacob cleared his throat from behind me. "Probably because he plans to fight it in court. You just gave him his next fun little project. I'm sorry, Bella, I suspected that call was going to be trouble, which is why I gave the file to Mike initially." Our boss zeroed in on Mike with a stern glare. "Do you want to explain to me how Bella ended up with it?"
Mike tried to hide the brief look of panic that crossed his face. "Um… well… I didn't really look at the name at first, I just thought it was a pretty simple single family home call and you wanted those to go to Bella, right? That's what you said in the meeting, right?" He smiled hopefully, trying hard to sell his load of bullshit.
Jacob bristled and seemed ready to fire back at Mike, but I broke in. "It's fine, I don't mind."
The guys swiveled their heads toward me like they had forgotten I was even in the room, and looked at me in surprise. "What did you say, Bella?" Jacob asked.
"I'm fine, really. I'm confident in my assessment of Mr. Cullen's house and the citation I issued, and I'm not afraid of him trying to fight it. I don't mind taking my share of tough cases." I said. I couldn't let them take a case away from me on my first day, and I felt strongly that if I handled a few tough inspections that the guys would get off my back that much sooner.
Jacob sighed. "Well, if you're sure, Bella, I guess it's OK with me. Don't think I've forgotten this, though, Mike. We'll discuss this later." Jacob looked pointedly at Mike for a few moments before heading back into his office.
Mike shuddered slightly, then looked away before speaking again. "Thanks, Swan." He spoke quietly enough so the other guys couldn't hear, but his usual condescending tone was conspicuously absent.
I turned back to my computer screen to hide my smile. It wasn't much, but those two words made me feel like I had a shot at earning his respect someday. "No problem, Newton."
After the letter was complete, I pushed the "Print" button on Mr. Cullen's Notice of Violation with no small amount of satisfaction. I was strangely relieved to be keeping this case. As irritating as he was, I couldn't deny that I was looking forward to seeing Edward Cullen again.
"Well, Mr. Cullen," I murmured to myself. "You want a fight? Game on."
A couple of endnotes that didn't merit top-of-the-story status –
I'm familiar with the inspection and code violation process in my own city, so I'm applying it to Seattle along with some research I've done and a dash of artistic license. Hopefully it's believable enough, but if you work for the City of Seattle and have an issue with how I've portrayed things, let me know.
The chapters will alternate POV, but will not repeat events. We'll pick up next time with Edward as Bella is driving off...
I'm mamabean30 on Twitter if you want to say hi – I'm kind of new over there and I love meeting new people!
So… what did you think? Thank you so much for reading, and I'd dearly love to hear any and all feedback. Please, someone leave me my first review?