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Chapter 9- Secret House

Her office was impersonal and mechanistic, each chair a precise relationship to the desk. The boundries were sterile white walls. On the desk, in a fragile crystal vase, one white Narcissus was trapped, like an alien intruder from another dimension, between the pen set and the portable phone. It told me all I needed to know.

I was there to interview a woman for the job of business agent. Dominique was burned out by her heroic but feutal attempt to micro manage every aspect of our burgeoning business. I suggested that she get an assistant. She was resistant. It was a matter of survival. I needed Dominique at her best, not a burned out hag.

By reputation the woman I was to see, Carolyn Quintain, was a highly efficient, diligent, no nonsence business person. Also she was supposed to be very charming, very persistant and she got the job done.

“Please sit down.” She said.

“Thank you.”

She sat, with militant precision in the chair across from me.

“Would you like something to drink?”

“No thank you.”

“Are you comfortable?”

“Reasonably.”

“Well, that's a start.”

“I suppose.”

“Where would you like to begin?”

“Where do you want to begin?” I teased.

For a moment she seemed puzzled.

“O.K. I am a manager. I have had my own company for 10 years. I specialize in entertainment and Service Industry based clients. I've been very successful. I can provide complete personal management. I'm an expert at start up company programing, including all facets of contract negotiation, expence, office and production management. I can handle rapid growth or anything elce, quickly and efficiently, without fuss or bother to you. I have made my clients very happy. I can provide whatever references you require before you leave today. You can use me as your surrogate in all dealings. Whatever I do, I do well.”

“Are you sure you know just what we are talking about?”

“Yes. I've done my research.”

“I'm glad you're a woman.”

“Thank you, I am too.”

And then she laughed and she was deceived by the bright blush at the base of her neck.

The stiff suit and starched blouse pressed against the hard chair.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked.

“Like what?”

“Like you are disecting me.”

“Mabye I am.”

Again blush tinted the base of her sculpted cheeks.

“Does it make you nervous?” I asked.

“Why should it make me nervous? Is that what you are trying to do?”

“Shouldn't I?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you mean?”

The sun lanced through the sterile, air conditioned environment like a burning soul seeking escape.

“What do you want from me?” She asked.

“I want you to take care of everything.”

“What defines everything?”

“You've seen the data Dominique provided. You know what we do, correct?”

“Yes. It's a little bit of a stretch for me but nothing I can't handle.”

“What do you mean, stretch?”

“My normal clients aren't usually so....”

“Bizarre?”

“I wouldn't have used those exact words but...yes...bizarre discribes it pretty well.”

“Does that bother you?”

“Not really.”

“You seem a little streight for us.” I teased.

“I suppose I am but I learn fast.”

“Do you really.”

Blush kissed the base of her eyes. It ran sinuous fingers through her thick blonde hair.

“Do you have dreams?” I asked.

“Some times.”

“What do you dream about?”

She licked her lips. There was a slight tremor in her left eye lid. Her eyes were glossy, the pupils, smoky. Within the secret house a fire burned.

“Do you give everybody such a hard time?” She asked.

“Not always. You’re special.”

And that’s how I met Carolyn.