Chapter 14

Mia Grey is back in town. I know this because I saw the boss holding the Blackberry away from his ear when he was taking a call. I think I actually saw him wince; and I know for a fact he has a damn high pain threshold. So with Miss Grey’s not-so-dulcet tones echoing through the car and probably most of Washington State, I gather that the boss has been strong-armed into picking her up from her early morning flight. Better him than me.

So Saturday morning the boss is up at butt crack of dawn and heading down to Sea-Tac to pick her up and drive out to their parents at Bellevue. He’s taken the SUV on the (probably correct) assumption that she’ll a helluva lot more luggage than she left with.

I’m so fucking glad he hasn’t asked me to drive today: I’d rather chew off my foot and stick a fork in one eyeball than listen to his sister at top volume this time of the morning.

Even better, I get to have an unlimited sleep-in with the beautiful Mrs Jones. A rare and very welcome luxury after the last week.

I’m just thinking what a pity it is to let my usual early-morning boner go to waste when her eyes flicker open.

“Hey, blue eyes!”

She smiles up at me. “Hey, yourself.” Then she feels what’s pressing into her thigh. “Jason Taylor, I think you’re pleased to see me!”

Yep, and that’s enough conversation for now.

Hours later (hey, it’s a guy thing)… some time later we’re both lying on our backs. Gail is gasping for breath and I’ve got the biggest fucking grin on my face.

“I think I’ll cancel my Pilates class,” she says at last, still breathless.

“I don’t know why you go to those classes when you’ve got me to keep you fit, baby.”

She frowns. “Because I’m older than you, Jason. If I’ve got any hope of keeping up…”

Not that old chestnut.

“Baby, to me you’re perfect.”

She sighs.

Jeez! That woman really doesn’t know how to take a compliment.

“I mean it. Why would I even look at another woman when I’ve got you?”

She shakes her head as if my question baffles her. But it’s true: having been married to the Bitch, my ex-wife, I know what I’m talking about.

“By the way,” she says, obviously changing the subject, “I wanted to ask you about Miss Steele.”

“What about her?”

“Well, what’s your opinion of her?”

Why women are so intrigued by other women they don’t even know is a complete mystery.

“She seems ok. Nice, normal, you know. She’s certainly got the boss jumping through hoops. The poor bastard doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.”

She smiles. “That certainly makes a change.”

“Yeah, it does. But seriously, he’s a fucking nightmare at the moment. One minute I’m expecting violins to start playing and the next he’s biting the head off on some poor sucker who breathed without permission.”

“He’s never shouted at me!”

“He wouldn’t fucking dare!” I snarl at the fucking idea.

Gail laughs. Yeah, yeah, she’s always laughing at me. Somehow I don’t seem to mind.

“So you think he really likes this girl, this Ana?”

“Head over fucking heels, in my humble opinion, ma’am.”

“Jason! You wouldn’t know ‘humble’ if you tripped over it!”

“I can be humble.”

“Oh Jason, a luau in the Antarctic is more likely.”

Whatever.

“Do you think she loves Mr Grey?”

And that’s the bit I’m not sure about. She certainly likes him a lot but sometimes there’s a look in her eye that tells me she’s torn up inside. Like I can’t guess what makes her feel that way. “Maybe, if he’d let her,” I say at last.

“Oh, dear,” says Gail, and she looks really unhappy about it.

“Why, what’s bothering you?”

“Well, it’s just… it’s really none of my business…”

“Spit it out, Gail.”

“I just suspect… strongly suspect that she was… a virgin up until she met Mr Grey; up until last weekend in fact.”

“How…? What…? How do you know?”

I’m stunned. Way, way past stunned. Fucking traumatized comes close.

Gail looks worried. “Three good questions, Jason.”

“And the answers are?”

“I found blood… on his sheets.”

“So he cut himself shaving. Big deal.”

“No, you… you, man, you!”

“Lower down… on the sheets in his bed.”

“Oh.” I’m getting the picture. “It could have just been her… you know… woman’s stuff…”

“You know, Jason, you’re really going to have to be able to say the word ‘period’ at some point; you have a daughter after all.”

Really, really don’t want to think about that.

“But you’re right,” she continues, “I don’t know. Call it… intuition.”

“Well, ok, so she’s a virgin… was a virgin. Does it matter?”

She looks at me like I’ve just parachuted in from Mars.

Of course it matters! I mean, you know what he’s like… what he does in the playroom!”

Yeah, I know, and I don’t like it much either.

“Gail, she may be… inexperienced… but she’s a grown woman. I think you’re all born knowing how to lead a guy by his dick, because I’m telling you, she’s the one who’s in charge in this relationship. She phones him or emails him and drops everything and comes running. Hell, he doesn’t even do that for his own family.”

She looks slightly happier. Good. Because I’m fed up talking about the boss; it’s not like we don’t have our own lives to live, too. And with that thought in mind, I duck down under the sheets and show my woman a thing or two about things she doesn’t necessarily need to go on missing.

 

*  *  *  *

 

Sunday morning Gail kicks me out of bed and orders me to get to work. For fucks sake! I’ve already got one boss, I don’t need another. Unless, of course, she breaks down and agrees to marry me. I’m still working on that project.

But she’s right because I’ve only shit, showered and shaved when the boss drives into the underground garage. I make sure I’m standing to attention when he exits the elevator.

“Good morning, sir.”

“Taylor, I’m expecting Miss Steele at 1pm. I’ve given her the garage code and elevator code, but be on standby just in case she has a problem. And at 1.30pm I’m expecting Dr Greene. You can show her into Miss Steele’s room.”

“Sir.”

I can’t help wondering what the doctor is for. I’m guessing I don’t want to know.

All morning he’s as jumpy as a box of frogs; it’s really fucking annoying. If he weren’t my boss I’d tell him to drink decaff and take a cold shower. But at 12.59pm he picks up the Seattle Times and sits back on his mausoleum of a sectional and acts like he’s totally at ease and laid back. It’s all about the illusion; never let a broad know how into them you are. Gail is the exception to the valuable rule, the only thing my useless fucker of a father ever told me that was of any fucking use whatso-fucking-ever.

Miss Steele is on time. She drives into the garage in her tomato-red A3. She’s wearing the same purple dress that she wore in the Heathman that time – the time she walked out on him. If I were him, which, thank fuck, I’m not, I’d buy her a new, damn dress. Not that she doesn’t look hot, because she does. I just hope it’s not an omen. I don’t think I could stand the fall-out if she left him again and I really don’t want to look for a new job right now.

“Good afternoon, Miss Steele.”

“Oh, please call me Ana!”

I can’t help smiling at her; she’s such a sweet kid. “Ana. Mr Grey is expecting you.” And has expectations of you which I really hope you can live up to so I can have a quiet life and keep my job for a bit longer.

She walks into the room hesitantly. The boss can’t take his eyes off her and she’s just as bad. I head back to my office and hope to hell no urgent calls come in. I really don’t want to interrupt whatever might be going on, down, or up. And really is toss-a-coin time whether they’ll be able to wait until after the doctor has been before they’re ripping each other’s clothes off. Jeez, get a room. Oh, wait, he lives here.

Then the good doctor arrives, a blonde who’s up there with Gail in the looks stakes. What kind of doctor is she? Maybe she’s a sex therapist. That would make a kind of warped sense.

But when I enter the main room to announce the doctor’s arrival, they’re already scowling at each other in a way that brings back unpleasant memories of my marriage.

“Dr Greene is here, sir.”

“Show her up to Miss Steele’s room.”

Then I hear him whisper to her, “Ready for some contraception?”

What a fucking control freak! I can’t believe she puts up with that shit! And I have to wonder if my assessment of Miss Steele might have been a little hasty. To be fair, I know from what little Gail has told me that all those pills and shit aren’t cheap to get. I’ve only ever bought rubbers so it’s an area of intelligence that has completely passed me by and I have no regrets about that!

While Miss Steele is being seen to the boss informs me that he won’t need me till 7pm to drive him and Miss Steele out to his parents’ place for dinner.

That’s shocked my fucking socks off! Dinner at his parents? Well, I guess they know he’s not gay anymore. Which is a relief; I’ve had enough of Miss Mia Grey asking me leading questions like whether or not I like Abba and whether or not I’ve seen the film ‘Mama Mia’ – her idea of a joke. As a matter of fact I have, on one of the thankfully rare fucking weekends when I’ve been invited to Gail’s sisters. What the fuck was James Bond doing singing out of tune, that’s what I couldn’t figure out.

But before I drive them out to Bellevue and watch his parents celebrate their son’s heterosexuality, I have a shrewd idea of what they’ll be doing for the intervening five hours. Poor kid: I hope she’s fit.

~~~~~~~~

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