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Hit Reply amber fleece
SUBJ: Confirm membership
DATE: Thursday 7/29 8:45 PM


Welcome to, your connection to the past! We have received your electronic payment and membership survey response and are pleased to inform you that you are now included with your high school graduating class on the most popular classmate finder site on the internet. Your listing will read:

  • Amber Fleece
  • 28 years old
  • Residing in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Employed as Director of Traffic, Millennia Marketing
  • Marital status: Single
  • Email:


Have fun finding old friends and rekindling old flames. If you have questions, visit the site and press "help" for email assistance.

TO: stephanie hilliard
FROM: amber fleece
SUBJ: I did it!!
DATE: Thursday 7/29 9:02 PM

Hey Stevie! Just got my confirmation from ClassReunion -- I did it! I joined. Took three glasses of wine and an effing degree in engineering to master that electronic payment business -- all for the privilege of sending one lousy email. It'll take me three more glasses of wine and forty-nine drafts, or it will be lousy. I only have one shot at Gray McDermott. I gotta make him remember the glorious experience of relieving me of my virginity on prom night ten years ago. *That* really pissed off my date! Write. Soon.
PS. How's the afterlife, my domestic princess? Haven't heard from you for a few days. IM me if you get online tonight. is sending you an Instant Message on Thursday 7/29 at 10:18 PM:

wonderwoman: Amber, are you still composing your email? Finally got the kids down. Are you there?
foreveramber: I am here. Merlot is nearly gone. But so is my brain and my nerve and my ability to type.
wonderwoman: Maybe you should let me preview your message to him -- I'm sure it will be wonderful, but sometimes a second set of eyes can help. Like when you first started at the agency and couldn't, well, you know, write.
foreveramber: She-devil. I could write. I just couldn't write as well as Madame Vice President Stevie Wonderwoman Walker. Hilliard. Whatever the hell name you use now. Are you still hyphenating?
wonderwoman: Oh, sure. No doubt it will carry a ton of weight when I apply for the coveted Kindergarten Room Mom position. BTW, you know what today is, don't you?
foreveramber: July 29 here. Whoo-wee! You are going to be 35 tomorrow. Happy Birthday Eve, Steverino. You are still gorgeous and women of all ages hate you.
wonderwoman: Thank you. It's easy for you to say that since you spent your last birthday at a Boston nightclub drinking raspberry flirtinis. I will spend the evening reading The Little Red Hen makes a Pizza and watching My Lover, My Stalker on Lifetime.
foreveramber: Brent still out of town?
wonderwoman: Till Saturday. Don't go there. So, what are you going to say to the one that got away?
foreveramber: Here's what I have so far: Hey stud, I've thought about you every day for the last ten years and I hope you're not married and still gorgeous, funny, and built to last for hours.Think he'll respond?
wonderwoman: That oughta get him to hit reply. With his...never mind.
foreveramber: And darla, his nevermind is something to revere, let me tell you. Speaking of gorgeous and built, remember you told me about a copywriter by the name of Tom Markoff who used to work at the agency before I got there? Well, guess who waltzed back into Millennia Marketing last week and landed his oh-so-fine tush in the office of Senior Vice President and Creative Director?big evil grin

foreveramber: Hey...Stevie? You still there? What's taking so long?
wonderwoman: I'm here. I thought I heard the Prince of Wails.
foreveramber: Your pants are so on fire. I recall a conversation back when I was your, administrative assistant. BTW, I finally hired my own -- and who do I pick when I have my choice of Wellesley grads in leather miniskirts? A 45-year-old who looked suspiciously confused when I mentioned search engines.
wonderwoman: Why pick her?
foreveramber: She's sweet and eager and she worried about my cough in the interview. I know, I know. Freud would have a field day.
wonderwoman: Did I say anything? Go back to Tom. What conversation back when?
foreveramber: When you referred to Tom Markoff as the one man who turned you into liquid from the waist down.
wonderwoman: Mmmm. A total pool. But there was this one little problem named Mary Grace, mother of his child, woman in his bed, co-owner of his last name.
foreveramber: Mary Grace? Sounds like a minister's wife.
wonderwoman: Tom Markoff is no minister.
foreveramber: He's a hottie. Very Richard Gere-ish with a bit of a George Clooney thing going on. Even has a few silvers among the black hair...that hangs just a tad over the collar. Tres bien, merci.You two would make a stunning set.
wonderwoman: Hello? Reality check, please. Remember the hyphenated last name? Kindergarten class mom? I couldn't last five minutes in the same room with that man.
foreveramber: Oh really??? So it was more than longing gazes across the conference room table, hmmmm?
wonderwoman: I can't believe he came back to Millennia. I'll never forget it when he quit.
foreveramber: You didn't answer, ww. Must inform you that at his first staff meeting, he not-so-casually asked if anyone stayed in touch with you.
foreveramber: Stevie? Are you there?
wonderwoman: The Prince is wailing for real this time. Gotta go. Email me the letter to Gray before you send it, okay? Don't blow your chance at the reunion of your dreams. Bye.
foreveramber: Oh, I don't give a dog bone anyway. He's probably fat, ugly, and doesn't look anything like Brad Pitt anymore. BTW, Stevie, you don't mind that I gave Tom Markoff your email addy do you?

foreveramber: Hey -- Stevie Wonderwoman? You there? You there? Ruh roh.

TO: gray mcdermott
FROM: amber fleece
SUBJ: tripping down memory lane
DATE: Friday 7/30 2:00 AM

Hi Gray McDermott...remember me? Amber Fleece from Lincoln High? I saw your name on the list and couldn't resist saying hello. Hope you are well. I notice you live in Dallas. I'm still in Boston, running the Traffic Department of an ad agency. I live alone in Brookline, but still get out to the burbs to see my dad on the weekends. I hear rumblings of a ten-year class reunion next summer. Any chance you'd grace the old halls of LHS with your presence? Drop me a note and let me know how you're doing.
Amber Fleece

TO: stephanie hilliard
FROM: amber fleece
SUBJ: Oops -- I sent it to him first
DATE: Friday 7/30 8:00 AM

Happy Birthday, Steverella! The merlot weakened my resolve (amazing how it does that) and my finger hit...send. Trust me, it was pure drivel. As I re-read in the light of day, it sounded kind of *corporate* if you know what I mean. I wanted to be so effing funny but instead I sent an endless array of prepositional phrases that you would have hated. Sorry, but no one is funny after six glasses of wine and I knew that when I poured 'em and drank 'em. Did manage to squeeze in the "live alone" bit, though. that Tom Petty singing? "The waiting is the hardest part."

TO: stephanie hilliard
FROM: tom markoff
SUBJ: Feeling some wonder-lust....
DATE: Friday 7/30 11:00 AM

Hey there Stephanie Walker. Guess where I am? Wandering the corridors of MM and it makes me -- wonder -- instead of wander...whatever happened to my friend Stephanie? The beautiful blonde with soul in her blue eyes and heart in her smile? I heard you got married and moved to ORLANDO? What's up with that? I might not have returned to the "new" Millennia as the conquering Creative Director if I knew you'd blown this popstand already. Ah, well, the ugliness of the past forgotten, it seems, at least by the His Majesty GW -- I made him beg for me. The loveliness of the past, however, is remembered every time I walk by the video closet where someone else begged so long ago. Write if the spirit or anything else moves you.
PS. Happy birthday.

TO: amber fleece
FROM: stephanie hilliard
SUBJ: How you will die
DATE: Friday 7/30 2:00 PM

Amber, you sneaky, double-crossing, no good little witch. Sorry to attack you at work, but thanks for the perfect 35th birthday present. Just what I needed. A flash from my past to remind me of all the stuff that's missing from my life. Why did you give Tom Markoff my email??? I'm married. He's married. He hasn't forgotten anything, either, I can tell you that. Oh fuck. My whole body went numb when I saw his name. I'll write back to him tonight. I better learn from your lesson and stop at two glasses before I hit reply. Oh fuck. I think I'll pack up the stroller and hit Saks to punish Brent for being gone on my birthday. Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck. I could kill you.

TO: stephanie hilliard
FROM: julie desmond
SUBJ: RE: How you will die
DATE: Friday 7/30 2:04 PM

Hello. I am Julie Desmond, administrative assistant to Amber Fleece. Ms. Fleece is out of the office most of the day and asked me to review her email in anticipation of a time-sensitive message from a client. Unfortunately, I'm fairly new and didn't recognize all of the email addresses and opened yours in error. I will forward it to Ms. Fleece and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
Best wishes -- and, by the way, Happy Birthday -- 35 is a really nice age -- enjoy!

TO: tom markoff
FROM: stephanie hilliard
SUBJ: Great to hear from you
DATE: Friday 7/30 9:10 PM

What a nice surprise! It's been so many years. I heard you were living in New York for a while. MM will thrive under your creative direction, Tom. I'm glad you and GW could get by your differences -- he's not a bad guy to work for. Look how he's built MM from nothing to the biggest shop in Boston. Yes, I left the agency two years ago...I had my second baby and my husband accepted a promotion with his company, based in Orlando. So, I'm living the good life -- taking care of my two children (a girl, Lily, 5 and a boy, Satan -- just kidding -- his name is Declan and he just turned 2). Things are great down here. Amazing weather and

TO: tom markoff
FROM: stephanie hilliard
SUBJ: Right back at ya
DATE: Friday 7/30 9:13 PM

Look who's back in Boston! New York too easy for you, huh? I heard you broke into MM and strong-armed GW into a sweet deal that includes a corner office. Revenge is grand, isn't it? Good for you. It's true -- I've climbed off the career ladder and landed in paradise with two beautiful, perfect, amazing children -- Lily, 5, and Declan, 2. My husband, Brent, is the Executive VP of Operations for Grand Regent Hotels; we moved to the Orlando corporate headquarters right after our son was born. You might remember Brent. He was head of finance for Grand Regent when the hotel chain was a Millennia client. We built a lovely home in a nice development called Azure Lakes and I've been busy with some volunteer work, although the kids are pretty much full time. Hope you

TO: tom markoff
FROM: stephanie hilliard
SUBJ: wonder-lust no more
DATE: Friday 7/30 10:00 PM

Well, hell, Markoff. Just when I thought it was safe to go online. Thanks for the note. I'm fine. Married, mothering, and delighted to never have to write a client conference report ever again. Stay out of that video closet, pal. It's a dark and dangerous place.
Stephanie is sending you an Instant Message on Monday 8/2 at 11:11 PM

foreveramber: I know it's past 11, but please tell me you are still up, Stevie.
wonderwoman: I'm here.
foreveramber: Get any good birthday presents?
wonderwoman: Very beautiful pink diamond watch from Brent when he finally got home. Oh -- and sensible underwear from my mother.
foreveramber: God love that woman.
wonderwoman: She sent some for Lily, too. Hers were cuter -- they had butt ruffles.
foreveramber: Nice. Can we talk about me for a minute???
wonderwoman: What was I thinking?
foreveramber: Think about this: 68 hours and 14 minutes (well, really only 11 hours and 10 minutes) have passed since the sending of email to Gray. Nothing. Not a word. Noth. Ing.
wonderwoman: Maybe he's traveling and not checking email.
foreveramber: He strikes me as the kind of guy who would have a Sidekick to keep in constant satellite communications with the cyber-world.
wonderwoman: He *strikes* you? You haven't laid eyes on the man since you graduated from high school ten years ago. Wasn't he a musician of some kind? Give him a few more days. He'll respond.
foreveramber: I've always been too pushy with him.
wonderwoman: You don't even know if he's married, single, or gay.
foreveramber: Rule out the last one, babycakes. I had him.
wonderwoman: Yes, I heard. The prom. What happened that night?
foreveramber: He crashed the after-party and I had enough Tequila Sunrises (blech) to admit that I'd been lusting after him since ninth grade. Who could resist a drunk virgin in a homemade Vera Wang knockoff?
wonderwoman: No mortal man. Then what?
foreveramber: Ridiculously amazing mind-and-body-and-soul-connecting sex for three months. Then I went to U Mass and he went to follow his dreams, which, evidently, didn't include coming back to Massachusetts and marrying me. Never heard from again, as far as I know. But I've never forgotten him, Steve. And when someone invades your heart like that, it's...kismet. Fate. Destiny. Chemistry. Ever had it?
wonderwoman: Yes.
foreveramber: With Brent?
wonderwoman: By the way, I'm not speaking to you.
foreveramber: Yikes. Sorry about my new admin seeing that email about Tom Markoff. Julie's very sweet, don't worry.
wonderwoman: Why did you give him my email?
foreveramber: He wanted it. Did you write back yet?
wonderwoman: Yes. After a few pathetic tries. Why don't you google Gray?
foreveramber: I did. Nothing came up. But he is on ClassReunion, so I know he's alive. Or in jail.
wonderwoman: Or married. Oh, that's redundant.
foreveramber: Stevie!? What's going on? Is Brent back for a while?
wonderwoman: He left again for San Diego for two days. That's the hotel biz.
foreveramber: Am I sniffing discontent in wonderland?
wonderwoman: I guess they would call it the seven-year itch, right?
foreveramber: Depends. What's itching?
wonderwoman: I am. Maybe Brent is. Hard to say since he's never around to scratch or be scratched.
foreveramber: Huge job, darla. He's in line for the CEO's job! You're a made woman. But you gotta put up with the travel. He loves you. He always has.
wonderwoman: Made? Made into what? I've done all the shopping and decorating I can do. Now what? Junior League? Good God -- I sound like a suburban cliché. How did this happen?
foreveramber: You're still adjusting to the new life, new city. Wait till Lily starts kindergarten. You'll take over the school. Run the marketing. Do they have marketing in schools?
wonderwoman: PTA fundraising. Same difference. is sending you an Instant Message on Monday 8/2 at 11:39 PM:

grayscale: amber fleece? am i dreaming?

foreveramber: OH MY GOD....
wonderwoman: What?
foreveramber: HE just IM'd me in a different session. OH. MY. GOD. BYE!!!

foreveramber: You're not dreaming. I'm real and living in your computer.
grayscale: kewl. one of my favorite boston chicks.
foreveramber: One of?
grayscale: amazing how many people this classreunion thing unearthed.
foreveramber: Sort of like worms. So what are you doing?
grayscale: living, working, playing music
foreveramber: Still? Playing bass? In a band? For real?
grayscale: why are you surprised? i told you that's what i wanted to do.
foreveramber: Is that what you do for a living?
grayscale: it's what i do to live. to make money, i paint.
foreveramber: Paint? I had no idea you were an artist.
grayscale: houses. i paint houses. and walls. garage doors and shit like that.
foreveramber: Oh. You have your own business?
grayscale: sometimes and sometimes i work for other people. sounds like you've embraced the business world with both arms.
foreveramber: Yeah, I work. I like it. It's fulfilling. I sound like an idiot, don't I?
grayscale: hardly. so, not married, huh?
foreveramber: Nope. You?
grayscale: not technically.
foreveramber: There's a Gray McDermott meaningless answer if I ever heard one. Either you are or you aren't, sugar. Which is it?
grayscale: n't. living with someone, though.
foreveramber: Just like a rock star.
grayscale: it's a little more complicated than that. can i email you?
foreveramber: I think that was the general idea of my original correspondence.
grayscale: there's an amber fleece smartass answer if i ever heard one. i'll be in touch.
foreveramber: Ten more years?
grayscale: not a chance. why do you think i joined this classreunion thing? to hook up with tiffany sorensen?
foreveramber: They didn't call her stiffany for nothing.
grayscale: she didn't have that effect on me.
foreveramber: No? Then you're the only guy in our class who can make that claim.
grayscale: i had my eye on someone else.
foreveramber: Will you tell me about her?
grayscale: no. you will. bye, toots.
foreveramber: Bye.

TO: amber fleece
FROM: julie desmond
SUBJ: Good Morning!
DATE: Tuesday 8/3 7:15 AM

Good morning, Ms. Fleece. I remember you check your personal email at home in the morning, so before you leave for the First Boston Bank photo shoot, here's a quick report:

  • The photo shoot starts at 9:00 AM (sharp, according to Ms. Reinhardt's memo) at the Faneuil Hall site.
  • The models have been confirmed this morning (I called them at home) and the photographer is already setting up. I have his cell phone if you can't find him when you get there.
  • The conference report you dictated late last night is finished, proofed, and sent to everyone on the Alphaone Wi-Fi account.
  • All open Traffic Jobs have been logged for the day and deadline notifications have gone to the Account Teams.
  • Bud Fleece left a message on your voicemail -- he wants you to call him or email him regarding a blind date.
  • Donald from the video store called to let you know your copy of Troy has come in, but they won't let you rent it until you return (and pay the late fee on) the following: The Mexican, Legends of the Fall, Thelma and Louise and Meet Joe Black. Would you like me to take care of that for you?


TO: julie desmond
FROM: amber fleece
SUBJ: You Rock
DATE: Tuesday 8/3 7:17 AM

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. PLEASE don't call me Ms. Fleece. I'll never answer. I'm almost ready to leave for the shoot -- still doing hair art. I will NOT be late. When Reinhardt issues an edict, we march. Oh -- Bud Fleece is my dad and the blind date is Sam the Barber's son. Eeesh. Daddy never quits trying. Can you please call Blockbuster and tell Don to give me an effing break! The Brad Pitt Fest is nowhere near over. And can you google "grayscale" and "painting in Dallas" and see what you come up with? (In case you've never googled, just type in the words and it will give you a list of places that name has appeared on the internet. Try googling an old boyfriend sometime -- you won't believe what you can find!!) YOU ARE THE BEST!

TO: stephanie hilliard
FROM: tom markoff
SUBJ: still wondering
DATE: Tuesday 8/3 4:30 PM

This place is the pits without you. If I had known you morphed into June Cleaver, I would have asked for an extra twenty grand a year. Oh, yeah, I remember Brent Hilliard. How'd you ever hook up with that fast-track geek? Just kidding, Stephanie. Glad you're happy. It warms my...heart. But it would be a helluva lot warmer if you'd waltz in here with that real short red skirt (still have it?) and tell me you need a print ad written overnight. Ring any bells? Come on, babe. Let some British woman wipe your kids' noses and come back to work. I nailed the World Wide Airlines account. I remember how much you wanted that one way back when. You could handle that blowhard of a client. The account exec GW gave me is a bitch.
Wanna consult?

Excerpted from HIT REPLY © Copyright 2004 by Roxanne St. Claire. Reprinted with permission by Downtown Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hit Reply
by by Rocki St. Claire

  • Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction
  • paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket
  • ISBN-10: 0743486242
  • ISBN-13: 9780743486248