From my very first week on the job, the fourth day, while working on Mr. Lantini’s Pizza Palace deposit and the bank president walked by, noticed me, smiled, winked, and I winked back, I knew my time here would not end well.
It had happened before. I should’ve known better than to return a wink to a superior, especially the one at the very top of the hierarchy. But when you are a young, born-to-flirt blue-eyed blonde with an attractive face and great body, it becomes an automatic response. Like when your roommate playfully tosses something at you, say an unexpected loaf of bread, and says, “Catch!” Without thinking your hands go out to receive it. The wink, of course, always telegraphs their prurient interest in you to everyone who sees it, but I wouldn’t have needed it to be aware. The desire in their eyes, once you know what it looks like—something I learned quite young—can’t be hidden no matter how hard they try. It’s as apparent as an eye patch.
While I knew full well I was playing with fire, we nevertheless had our first so called date when BP (bank president), on the guise of needing advice about a work related personal situation, invited me to coffee after work at a Starbucks a mile or so into the suburbs. We both drove, met there at 5:30. BP was animated and engaging as we discussed a niece, possibly fictitious, who was getting out of Marysville soon, and felt there had to be a place for her at the bank.
“She’s a hard worker, it was a relatively small amount of cocaine, and there is a maintenance job open that is mainly doing ladder work like changing light bulbs, cleaning and replacing ceiling panels, and other manual labor—moving furniture around, painting, and so forth. She has that kind of experience. Because she is about your age I thought you might be a better judge of someone’s character in those circumstances than I am.”
I mostly listened, didn’t commit, but as the reforming niece never reported for work, or was ever mentioned again, I’ve since gone with fictitious.
The switch came with our second latte, this time a small one, ‘for the road.’
“I find myself attracted to you,” BP said, placing a hand on mine. “Perhaps we could spend some time together occasionally.”
The first time together came a week later, dinner at a five-star restaurant about 50 miles away, those miles clicking off ever so majestically in the smooth-riding, analine leather interior of a new Cadillac Platinum Escalade ESV, with the 16-speaker Bose sound system softly playing romantic instrumentals.
Our waiter suggested starting off with rye bread sticks and a yogurt-herb dipping sauce, followed by the beet, apple, and walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The favored entrée of the evening, he said, was baked chicken breast with Parmesan-garlic crust that combined well with a side of creamy cauliflower casserole with bacon and cheddar, all of it topped off by chocolate blackout cake for dessert. BP opted for all the waiter’s suggestions and ordered for both of us without considering how I might have felt about it, also requested a bottle of dry Riesling of a specific vintage and vineyard, but I forget the particulars.
On the way home BP’s hand rested on my thigh the last 15 miles but there were no further advances.
Our second time together, and nearly every time thereafter, room service brought dinner to a suite on the 29th floor of the General Osgood Klein Regency Arms Hotel, where looking out at the city lights against the blackness of the night provided a compelling romantic back drop for our carnal rendezvous.
We were at best half compatible, both of us heavily into long slow foreplay as a warm-up, but then we’d finish with a frenzied burst of jack-hammer type pounding that BP seemed convinced was every woman’s most desired fantasy. It got pretty intense; sometimes I would be black-and-blue down there for several days.
This had been mostly a twice a month thing for the past year and a half but when I was summoned to BP’s office this morning for the first time ever, I knew from experience that the last time had been the last time—prophecy fulfillment day had arrived.
She was professional and brief.
“My husband has discovered our affair, Cody, and is threatening divorce, which I cannot afford, so I have to let you go. Here’s $7500 cash and a non-disclosure agreement for you to sign. I hope you understand.”
“I do but it’s worth fifteen grand. I’ll meet you at your car a half hour after everyone else has left. Don’t show up and by noon tomorrow your husband, and the board of directors, will have all the sordid details,” I said as I turned and walked out.
“I’ll be there,” she called after me.