2: The New Boss?

To say that Oak street had a bustle about it would have been a disservice to the rest of downtown– the modest two lane avenue overlooked most of the downtown area near the bus station, making it something of a people watching destination. What it lacked in high profile luster, it made up for in rustic charm with little mom-and-pop stores selling everything from antique furniture to old records. It was a hipster’s paradise, but for the most part only collectors frequented the quiet street.

Kim liked to think it was because of the economy, but the reality of it was that most people simply couldn’t afford to be collectors themselves and so only the more affluent shopped here. Of course, the little cafe in the middle of the strip could have easily confused people to that truth; dozens of college age kids were sharing stories in the open air patio over espresso and finger foods as she trundled by in her old Pontiac Grand Prix.

She’d done her best to clean up before she left, yet something in the back of her mind kept nagging at her even while she slid into a parking place. Her hair was tucked neatly into a pony tail, bangs looped slightly to frame her face in its best light. She was still relatively young looking– and some might say acting– but with a little touch of make up and lip gloss, she actually managed to pull off the ‘I can still be 30’ look to a T.

Kim glanced around to make sure no one was watching and rolled down her window. After another glance around she climbed out of the car, silently praying her thick ass wouldn’t accidentally dislodge the lock on the door again. It’d taken her hours and several wire coat hangars to get it to lock consistently and she didn’t have time to fuss with it now. Once out, she smoothed down her blouse and checked her reflection in the window.

“You can do it. . .” she whispered to her reflection as she took another second to get her blouse to lay just right over her generous bust. Not too flashy, just a glimpse of cleavage; respectable to the end. The way it hitched in around her waist a little added to her curves as well, giving her a slight but appreciable hourglass silhouette, leading smoothly into her tight but comfortable jeans. Everything about it said modern, independent woman; at least that’s what Kim heard. “Chin up, smile.” She checked her teeth, licked her lips and turned towards the cafe.

She’d been to enough job interviews to know what to say, how to say it and what lines they always wanted to hear- she was prepared in every way she could be. The sooner she got the job, the sooner she started making money, the sooner she could get back to writing and– this time– hit it big. Just that little bit farther. . .

Kimberly stepped into the little eatery looking about for anyone that looked like he might have been a military veteran. Amongst the college kids, it should have been shooting fish in a barrel, but much to her bemusement, everyone looked as though they belonged there and since she hadn’t bothered to explain what she was going to be wearing. . .

You’re an idiot.”

After a few seconds of glancing around she approached the counter, checking with the barista to see if anyone a bit on the older side had come in. “Sure,” she said. “Talking about El and Sylvia? Yeah, right over there.”

“Thanks.” Kim turned to the dining area to find the table and almost stopped mid stride when she saw the woman sitting alone– bronze skinned, dignified with a tiny streak of grey brushing the tips of her shoulder length brown hair. She couldn’t have been more than thirty, Kim guessed, judging by her sharp features and vague air of exotic heritage Her gaze was turned to whatever she was reading on her tablet, but even at a distance Kim could see her mismatched eyes; the right eye green and the left mocha brown. She looked perfectly at home here with her copper polyester blouse and frilly lace around her modest bust.

The real surprise, though, came when Kim approached. The woman, Sylvia, looked up at her and for just the briefest of seconds there was a flash– curiosity– demand– judgment. Just as quickly it was gone leaving a chill in the air between them. Kim put on her best smile, offered her hand. “Hello there, I’m Kimberly? About the housekeeper?”

Her voice was soft and airy yet somehow able to wear down Kim as though she was nothing with a few simple words– “My husband will be along.”

Kim pursed her lips slightly. “All right, ice queen.” of course, she couldn’t very well say that. “Sure, mind if I sit?”

“I’d rather you didn’t.”

“All right, then. . .” It was time for a different approach. “Ah, mind if I ask what you’re reading? You seemed pretty engrossed.”

Sylvia looked up briefly, her gaze swept Kim in a shark-like, dismissive manner as if she could read the older woman’s entire life history by glance. Finally she turned her tablet off, intertwined her fingers and leaned forward, pressing her breasts right up against the lip of the table. Kim couldn’t help but glance. “No offense, but I think we might be wasting each others time.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Neither of us like liars. Your email said you were forty and that you had experience.” She canted her head slightly as if demanding an explanation. Kim reached for her wallet. Some part of Sylvia’s attitude made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, some part of her was enticed by the idea of a strong woman’s presence. . .

The other, more rational parts of her mind, told her that this bitch was going to be a problem. She handed over her ID card with a wry smile. “I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.” She smiled when Sylvia held the card up to check the picture against her. After a few seconds she slid the card back towards Kim. “Still not convinced?”

“I’m warming to the idea. . .”

“Score one for the home team,” Kim mused. A presence approaching her from behind bristled her nerves just as the woman with the mismatched eyes looked over Kim’s shoulder. She smirked a bit.

“Elliot, this is Kimberly.”

After a moment Kim turned to face the man she’d been trading emails with, already offering her hand with the most professional air she could muster for herself. The sales pitch she’d prepared mentally died on her lips, though, when she saw the tall, powerfully built man. “Christ, you didn’t say you were a Greek god. . .”

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