13: It’s Working
“Now it’s happened once or twice
Someone couldn’t pay the price
And I’m afraid I had to rake ’em ‘cross the coals
Yes I’ve had the odd complaint
But on the whole, I’ve been a saint
To those poor unfortunate souls”
Poor Unfortunate Souls, From The Little Mermaid
Songwriters: Howard Elliott Ashman / Alan Menken
He was a son of a bitch and proud to be one. He looked around the opulent room and rested his hand on the mahogany desk.
“Nice guys not only finish last,” he murmured, “but their life sucks while they run the race.”
Settling into the leather wing back chair, he lit up an expensive smuggled Cuban cigar, savored the excellent Scotch on his tongue. A contented sigh escaped his lips with the cigar smoke.
“Excuse me, Sir”, came a voice from the door of the study, “but you have a visitor.”
God, he loved having a butler!
“Who is it, Reginald?” He didn’t even bother to open his eyes.
“A young lady, Sir. She didn’t give a name,” the butler intoned, his voice heavy with the required, almost expected, British accent.
“A mystery woman? How interesting. Is she pretty?”
Reginald replied drolly, “Sir, I think I would not be overstating to describe her as stunning.”
Smiling, he said, “Thank God, Reginald, I was afraid I would have to entertain myself this evening. Let’s not keep my guest waiting. Do show her in.”
“Very Good, Sir.” Reginald replied, turning sharply on his heel.
Eyes still closed, I listened as the staccato of heels I very much hoped would be attached to a pair of shapely ankles clicked on the polished hard wood floor of the hall. I caught a whiff of very expensive perfume. When the noise ceased, I opened my eyes and looked past Reginald to see a Goddess. There was no other word for it. She was incredible. Taller than Reginald’s 6 feet, she had porcelain skin, fiery red hair and green eyes which sparkled with mischief. As used as I was to beautiful women, I found I could do nothing but stare. She simply took my breath away. I slowly rose to my feet.
“That will be all Reginald. You may retire for the night.”
“As you wish, Sir.”
He turned and left as quietly as he had come in.
“Good evening, Miss …?”
She hadn’t moved from the door. Her voice was everything he thought it would be. It was strong, sexy and confident. I looked at her eyes again. I thought just for a moment she might be familiar; but no, I would have remembered her.
“Vindex” she said. “Pastrise Vindex” People who know me well call me “Vee. I do so hope you will get to know me very well.”
I smiled. This I could handle. She wanted something from me. I was on familiar ground, for didn’t most people want something? To grant or not to grant. This was a position of power and here was a woman I thought would be interesting to be on top of to say the very least.
“Well Vee,” I said as I indicated the chair facing mine, “Suppose you sit down and tell me a little bit about yourself and what brings you to my door.”
She shrugged her leather jacket off, draping it across the arm of the chair as she sat down. She leaned towards me and said, “It’s about the contract you just signed to build the office building downtown. I know you must have been aware of the homes which have to be demolished for that structure to be built.
I couldn’t help myself, I smiled. “Don’t tell me you live in one of those homes.”
Lovely hair moved as she shook her hair. “No”, she said, “not me, my father.”
“So, you are here to make me an offer to spare the family home?” I looked into incredible eyes.
“Yes,” she said, “to make you an offer.”
“I stand to make millions from that complex. What could you possibly offer me that would be worth that?”
I watched her raise her body from the chair and approach me slowly. She had her shoulders back and moved with grace in every inch of her body.
I thought, Yep, you are lovely, but not worth millions.
As she bent forward, my eyes were drawn to the valley between her breasts. She lightly rested her palms on my knees. Okay, I thought, this is where it gets interesting. I felt a sting on my knees followed by a burning. I jerked away from her hands.
“What was that?” I said.
I felt my legs go numb. I started to rise from my chair but found my legs would not hold me.
“Don’t bother to move,” she said, “You will find your muscles will not listen to your brain’s commands.”
I opened my mouth to cry out, but only a string of gurgles came out.
She smiled. “It’s working. Soon you will not even be able to sit upright in that chair. In a short while your heart will find that even breathing is too much of an effort.”
She moved to the door, looked back over her shoulder, and said, “I lied. I didn’t come to bargain at all. Everyone knows your word isn’t worth anything.”