So that was that.
Rachel left Mayor Silver Racket’s office and started working for State Assemblyman Earl Dorthemier. Elias kept her busy – answering phone calls, writing emails, typing memos, getting him his nonfat triple shot espressos every morning, fetching his dry cleaning, walking his dog, and doing research on the Internet.
The job kept her working from before 8AM till well after 6PM and sometimes even until midnight. The exposure was great. She got to meet all sorts of important government officials and even arranged a luncheon for the Governor’s wife who visited their fine town of Twinbrook. The hours may have been hell, but the money was good.
Rachel was able to pay all of her bills, eat decent meals, and even afford new furniture. Bill suggested a new wardrobe too, but she hadn’t gone that far yet.
Since their “kiss” at the Bistro six months ago, Bill and Rachel had been casually “bumping into” one another all over town. He’d usually pretend like he was ignoring her when he saw her outside work, but she could always feel his eyes on her when she wasn’t looking. Then again, his eyes were often on other women’s backsides too.
Sometimes she’d hang around the water cooler and catch the latest gossip, and he’d come in the break room to grab a doughnut. He’d give her the once-over with his eye and usually make some incredibly inappropriate (for the office) comment about her sumptuous figure.
When he would catch her in the elevator, he’d come over and stand close to her no matter who else was in the elevator with them, and he’d whisper something dirty in her ear.
On the rare occasion Elias wouldn’t order in lunch from the Bistro or have it delivered from New Simoleans, Elias would request the chicken fried steak and buttermilk biscuits from the cafeteria. Rachel would always lean over the counter and give the cafeteria lady an earful for the paltry amount of potatoes she was given, and Bill, as usual, would come over and smack her butt.
She would always blush, but the truth was, she was grateful to him for getting her this job. What was a little harmless inter-office flirting!
But six months in, who was she kidding? Their “flirting” had extended way beyond what was truly appropriate. Flirting turned to makeout sessions which eventually became grab-action in the elevator to quickies in the storage closet. Bill may have been twice her age, but he knew all the moves and she never had to worry about hurting his feelings if she didn’t answer a booty call. She knew he had Julienne Knack, heiress to Knack Corporation fortune, and he knew she was solely focused on getting ahead in her career.
Even so, Rachel started to feel lonely. Her long hours made her long for time for romance. The other ladies in the office talked about boyfriends and weekend trips to New Simoleans jazz quarter and husbands who made dinners and babies. She had made her choice to work in politics, and that choice came with sacrifices, but that didn’t mean she really wanted the sacrifices. Can’t a woman have it all?
Rachel decided one day in early Simtember that enough was enough. She wanted more from Bill than ‘friends with benefits.’ She could hardly even call the two of them friends because she rarely did anything with him outside work. Correction, they didn’t do anything outside work. Since that one night, Bill had yet to take her out for another one of his wine-dine experiences. Rachel decided it was time to confront him and ask for more.
It was a Thursday afternoon in Twinbrook. Nothing much exciting happens in Twinbrook on a Thursday. Rachel left work and set off to find her ‘friend.’ She could hardly call him that because she felt like she didn’t know a thing about him except that he worked as a local representative, ranked just below her boss, he had a wealthy family up town with some dubious connections, and he liked her ass.
If Rachel could say one thing about Bill though, he was a creature of habit. Thursday afternoons after 4pm, he was usually found frequenting The Red Rendezvous with his drink of choice, Louisimana whiskey. When Rachel walked in the door at promptly 4:05 that afternoon, she immediately wished she had worn something more revealing. Bill might have responded better to a low-cut blouse or a short skirt. Instead she was dressed in her yellow sweater, albeit form-fitting, and appropriately below-the-knee blue plaid skirt. She looked more like a schoolgirl than serious competition for Julienne.
“Rachel?” he greeted her in surprise and gave her a lascivious grin. “What’s a sexy thing like you doing out of the office so early? Earl want to go home and bang his wife?”
“Actually,” Rachel cleared her throat summoning all her courage. “I asked Earl if I could leave early because I wanted to find you.”
“Find me?” he repeated, and leaned close. “Well, you found me darlin’. Now what can I do for you?”
“Bbb…illl…” Rachel began, hating herself for stuttering. “I want more.”
“More?” he frowned as if he didn’t understand her. “More what? You can’t want more clothes. You’re too covered up as is and it’s a shame you’re shrouded in yards of fabric.”
She knew he was picturing her naked.
“I want more…” she leaned in closer, and lowered her voice. “…of us…”
“Leave your door unlocked,” he whispered hotly in her ear. “I can come by tonight around 8.”
And by 8, he really means 9:15, Rachel resisted the urge to roll her eyes, knowing his lack of punctuality.
“What if I came over to your place?” she said slowly. “And I brought a bottle of wine and maybe cooked you some dinner.”
He snorted. “Why would you want to do that? It’s not like…” he stopped and rubbed his chin. “Unless… you want more.”
“Didn’t I say that already?” Rachel sighed.
“Well, yes, you did,” Bill replied. “But I thought we liked us.”
“You might like us, but I want more,” Rachel said.
“Well, you’ve said that but you have yet to define what you mean by it,” Bill nodded his head as if irritated they were going in circles.
“Look, I know you’re with…” Rachel lowered her voice as some patrons exited the Rendezvous. “…Julienne… but you and I are together most nights now and sometimes even days. You’ve said so yourself that she’s boring as hell in the bedroom and the only reason you’re with her is because of her family connections. We both know that’s not the case with me, and we have fun together. I just want more than just midnight romps. Come on… take a chance on me… we might be good together.”
“Uh oh, I was afraid of this,” Bill admitted, taking off his sunglasses and wiping them on his sleeve. “Look Rachel, you’re a nice girl, but Julienne and me, we’ve got history… years of it… and she’s stubborn as an ox. I don’t think she’d take a breakup very well. She might slit your throat in your sleep.”
Rachel instinctively reached up for her neck.
“Rachel, we’re having fun, but that’s all it is, and it can’t be more,” Bill explained. “I can’t afford to piss off my family for the financial backing… or hers for that matter… because frankly, I need the voting connections. Julienne’s uncle is the governor of Twinbrook. See I plan to run for mayor next year when Silver’s term is up and I can’t afford anything scandalous.”
Rachel’s face fell. She couldn’t believe she’d been stupid enough to ask. She couldn’t believe she’d let her heart get involved. She couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth next.
“But sugar plum, we could still see each other… casually of course.”
“Of course,” she replied sarcastically. “Because that’s all I am to you… a good bang.”
“Rachel, stop it,” he grunted. “Now you’ve more than made up for the favor I did you so if you’re going to be like a pouty teenager I suggest you move along and find another fancy fish in the sea because frankly, honey, you could do better, and you know it. And I… well… I’d rather put up with lousy sex and still have all my dough than enjoy every night in bed and live in that rundown craphole of yours.”
Rachel gasped. Seriously!
She turned to leave, and then realized there was one last thing she had to say…
…or do actually.
A moment later, Bill was walking out of the Red Rendezvous rubbing his jaw and grinning.
“Well aren’t you a spitball of fire?” he declared. “I didn’t think you had it in you.”
As he left, Rachel stood in a daze, surprised she had the gumption to follow through with a well-placed slap and a stomp on his precious glasses. She smiled pleased with herself that he’d have to squint in the sun… at least until he got another pair. Bill Racket deserved it. And he was right.
She could do better.
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