John didn’t want to go home. What was home anyway? He puttered around the studio thinking of new tasks that had to be done. He had offered the penthouse to Elizabeth but she didn’t want it. Too many painful memories, she said. Being held hostage with your young son by two maniacs might do that to a person, he supposed. But he also supposed she hadn’t been that worried about the fact that he, too, had been held at gunpoint simultaneously. He punched the back of the couch as he walked by then swirled the drink in his glass.
She complained that he didn’t show enough emotion about it all. Just because he didn’t melt down like she did, didn’t mean he was “devoid of feeling.” Yes, that’s how she put it: “devoid of feeling.” She was so wrong. He was rife with feelings. Had he not read her a most heartfelt goodbye when he had decided it was the end for him? Read it, right on the air! But she accused him of playacting, performing for the listening audience. It was Elizabeth’s ultimate impression that he had pretended to be speaking to her soul, while intentionally manipulating his audience into heartbreak over his imminent demise by using his poetic but restrained words of love. Perhaps there was a bit of that, but they were words of love for her. She just didn’t appreciate it. No, she never appreciated him. Always so worried about how much he drank.
He held his glass in the air and clinked the ice cubes. Well, nobody would nag him about that now. That cute little junior assistant wouldn’t nag him about it. He smirked as he took a long gulp. No, she didn’t seem like the nagging type. He was sure he could think of a number of ways in which she could assist him and he had a distinct feeling that a tiny push in the right direction would have her assisting him in that bed he had upstairs. That loft in the studio had come in handy a number of times. Of course, it was installed under the guise of having so much work he sometimes had to spend the night here, but the “work” was generally done up there in the bed and was never done alone. Unfortunately, much to Elizabeth’s dismay, she was not the one who had been helping him with that “work.”
He poured himself another scotch and water then relaxed on the plush couch. Leaning back, he gazed out the window that overlooked the city. He should be enjoying his freedom, no one to bother him about having a few drinks before he hopped in the car, no one cramping his style at parties. He should be reveling in the ability to have an orgy up here if he wanted to and not have to worry about a wedding ring. He could have who he wanted when he wanted, no one to lean over him and say, “I want you to live a long life,” or “You’ve drunk too much, it’s not safe.” No one to give a damn what he did or how he did it. That was a good thing. He had lacked this freedom for such a long time, he had forgotten how to appreciate it. It was actually better for him to be out from under Elizabeth’s watch. Now he could have what he really wanted: lots of good sex, lots of good booze, and lots of independence.
Evening was overtaking the city as John looked out the window and soon all he could see was his own reflection peering back, light glaring behind him. He toasted his other self, raising his glass in a jaunty move and saying, “Cheers, Old Boy,” then he knocked back the rest of his drink. At least I’m not drinking alone he thought with a chuckle then he looked back at his reflection and raised an eyebrow. You’re rich, you’re famous, you’re relatively good looking… he cocked his head to the side when he thought that… yes, still good looking in spite of your age. You have the whole world out there for you. But somehow John couldn’t see much of the world past the reflection in the window, just a few headlights moving across the highway behind his face. People moving toward home, where someone would be waiting for them, maybe talking about his show and planning to call in tomorrow, laughing as they discussed a subject or pounding on their table with passion if it was about politics. There were people out there all over the city, talking to each other, having dinner together.
Well, he’d hear about it in the morning after the jovial notes of his theme song hit the air. He supposed he’d just sleep up there in the loft tonight. He didn’t want to go to the empty penthouse. Besides, the scotch was getting to him. Why bother driving the damn car? Elizabeth would be happy that he wasn’t on the road. He gave a small snort at that thought then slowly climbed the stairs to the loft. It didn’t take much to peel off his clothes then fall face down on the bed, barely making it under the covers before he passed out.
Cool fingers pulled him from his sleep. The touch became more insistent, grabbing his shoulder. “Mr. Kingsley… Sir… time to wake up.” He tried to ignore her but it wasn’t working. “Mr. Kingsley. You have to wake up.” He was still lying face down and his whole body ached.
Craning his head slightly, he squinted and looked toward her. “What? Why?”
“You have a show to do Mr. Kingsley… in an hour.” Lana’s voice was quietly stern. “I’ll be glad to go get you some breakfast, but it’s time to get up… now.” She emphasized the ‘now’ in a way that let him know she wasn’t going to leave him alone.
“Leave me alone.”
“I can’t, Mr. Kingsley. I think you know that. Now, get up.”
“No, I’m not. You need me to get you some breakfast.” Lana almost smiled, but not quite.
“Two eggs, sunny side up with bacon. Tea with lemon. Are you ever going to smile? It would make my morning go easier.” He began to roll over.
“Toast or flapjacks?”
“Toast.” She turned to leave then paused and turned back to him. “You can get your own clothes?”
His lips turned down. “Yes, dear assistant. I think I can manage that.”
With a nod, Lana disappeared down the stairs and left to order his breakfast. He cleaned himself up and picked out a fresh shirt and pants, professionally cleaned and pressed. His clothes were perfectly fit to his body, now all he had to do was get his hair in some order. If he could erase the bags from under his eyes, he would be more than presentable, but those telltale signs of ill-care refused to leave him. He took the stairs slowly, head still hurting. He knew he had some aspirin around here someplace and he dug in his drawers until he found it, washing it down with yesterday’s ice water.
Time to get ready. He slid behind his desk and pulled out notes for the day. What the hell was he doing, anyway? Oh yes, he had a guest today, a separatist. And they were going to discuss Canada’s National Energy Program. That always caused quite a stir. People had strong opinions on the NEP and they loved to share them. It would be a doozy today. He needed a drink.
Just about that time, Lana came in bearing a tray with his pitcher of ice water. “Breakfast should be here in about five minutes, Mr. Kingsley.” She set the tray down and poured his water.
“I need a drink, Lana.”
“Scotch and water?”
“Yes, good girl.”
“Let me just check for your breakfast first. I wouldn’t want it to get cold.” She left him holding the glass of plain ice water. He stared at it for a moment then drank some. It felt good on his parched throat. He could swear he actually felt the water moving through his body, hitting parts of him that water hadn’t touched in decades. Maybe he should start the day with actual water more often.
Lana came back in with breakfast, still steaming and smelling fragrantly of bacon. “Oh, Lana, you are the love of my life.”
She gave a little smirk.
“What’s that? A smile?” Kingsley grinned as she set the plate down in front of him. “The sun just came out,” he effused.
“Shall I put butter and jelly on your toast, Mr. Kingsley?”
“I would like that, Lana.” He peered up at her. “Why don’t you just call me John.”
“That seems a bit disrespectful, Sir. I wouldn’t want to step out of my place.”
Kingsley chuckled. “I can tell by the way you hold yourself that your position does not determine the amount of respect you feel for those around you.”
“I think you know what I mean.”
“Having to behave in a respectful manner does not always equal actually having respect. Is that what you are pointing out?”
“I respect you, Sir… John, for what you do. But I’m also very aware that you’re a man.” Her voice slid into a slight huskiness.
John leaned back a bit and put his hand on his chin. He looked up at her and tapped his lower lip with one finger. “JUST a man… or… a man.”
“A man.” Her stern blue eyes drove through his curious scrutiny.
“Interesting,” he said, “and, as my assistant, might you able to assist me with…?”
“With anything you might need.” Lana’s voice was thick.
“You don’t really seem like the type, Lana,” John leaned forward and began to eat his breakfast. “You don’t seem like the ‘anything’ type.”
“I’m not A type… and I’m not THE type. I’m here as your assistant, a job I very much wanted and a job I very much intend to do… well.” She reached over and spread butter on his toast then covered it with a thin layer of jelly. As she leaned, her words were spoken softly and very close to his left ear. “What you want, you’ll get. What you don’t want, I won’t bother you with.”
John felt a jolt snap through him. This was rather exciting. He hadn’t felt a zip like this in quite some time. This girl might be fun. “Go lock the door, Lana.”
She did as he asked then returned. “So, if I asked you, right here and now, to ‘assist’ me by, say, unbuttoning your sweater and taking off your bra, you would… assist me… in that manner?” He leaned back in his chair.
“Is that what you want?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Sure.”
She reached up and undid each button on her sweater slowly enough to make his heart palpitate but quickly enough to be efficient. With almost delicate precision, she pulled the front open, revealing a red silk bra underneath. It held her breasts in place, flesh slightly protruding over the top of each cup.
John tried to keep his breath even. He wanted to appear cool about all this, even if he was having a hard time swallowing. The girl was gorgeous and here she was offering him… well… whatever she was offering him. There had to be a catch.
Lana reached behind her back and unclipped her bra then slid it forward revealing her lovely pink breasts. “You’re gorgeous, Lana.”
She gave a small smile.
“May I touch?” He raised his eyebrows.
With a nod she walked over and he put his hands on her, breakfast forgotten.
The sound of the buzzer made him jump but she stayed calm and answered. “Yes?”
“Mr. Kingsley’s guest is here.”
“I’ll be out momentarily and will show him in.”
John pulled his hands away and turned back toward breakfast. “That was very pleasant, Lana.”
“Whatever I can do, Sir.” She pulled her clothes together and gave him a small grin. “I want us to have a great working relationship.” With that, she picked up a piece of jam-slathered toast and lifted it to his lips. John took a bite and gave a cheerful “Mmm, delicious.”
Lana left him with his food and went to welcome his guest.