Category Archives: A New Life

A New Life (Part six)

Time. Surreal when I think about what just transpired a couple hours ago. I lie here, the rise and fall of my chest lending her lovely head the appearance of a yacht lazily floating a calm, rolling sea. How did I end up in the company president’s bed?

That’s the surreal part. One minute I’m a nobody who sits in on her board meetings, the next we make love and crash in her plush penthouse apartment. She probably has more cash in her dainty purse than I have in all both my bank accounts –  savings and checking.

We have connection, though. There’s a “rightness” to her that compels me to dream of more nights like this. Even more so, even as I lay here dreaming, I’m thinking of all the incredible things the two of us can accomplish.

I have some pretty cool theories on a major project that could use the power of Marci’s research savvy and, of course, her financial backing. I feel conflicted now, because I don’t want to ask for these things having just romped her around in the sack for a couple hours. That feels crass.

I can surely dream, though. I can dream at least until the softness of her body  overtakes my ability to resist the temptation to wake her up. As soon as the thought hits my brain, I’m off on the various, incredible ways to bring her back to life. But what about my research project?

I’m a mess. There’s not many men who would be too concerned about offending the beautiful, naked woman sleeping with her arm draped over me like this. Hell, I’m wondering why I don’t just get back to heating up the bed again. Tomorrow will take care of itself…right?

A New Life (part five)

I feel a few hundred eyes escort us out the door. Some of them feel curious. Others feel like they stalk me. The door can’t close soon enough. The cold night air stings my lungs.

“Are we headed to the office?” I ask.

“I have a private penthouse apartment. I need to get to my files before the vultures arrive tomorrow.”

We stroll in silence, her right arm locked around my left, both our hands in our respective pockets. She sure seems to trust me. Derrick, the security guard lets us in the front doors and locks them after us.

“Ms. Rader, good to see you, but I gotta say, I figured you’d be at the party all night.”

“Derrick, those parties are so boring, watching ice melt is a thrill in comparison.”

Derrick chuckles as we head into the elevator. “Watching ice melt. You sure know how to put things in perspective, ma’am.”

The elevator doors close. Marci’s face, cold and pink from the walk over, flood my vision. Her lips press warmth throughout my body and her tongue dances with mine. My senses push past their limit and I jerk my head to the side and sneeze. Now heat bubbles up my cheeks behind the chill from the outdoors.

“I…I’m so sorry Marci. I sneeze whenever I get overloaded emotionally like that…”

I don’t want to look her in the eye but I do. She lets out a laugh and winks at me. “I’d be disappointed if your reaction was anything less Marty.”

The elevator doors open. Marci retracts the key she used when we first entered and pulls off each glove. one finger at a time until she pulls it off her hand. She tosses the first glove in the air as we walk into a sumptuous living room. White pile carpet adorned with a white couch with white throw pillows. White end tables with blood red lamps bookend the couch.

The other glove floats through the air onto one of the lamps. I get the feeling I’m in for more than I bargained for. As much as the party and walk over felt chilly, my reception here in her suite conjure up the tropics, Marci in the sand, and me…

A New Life (part four)

Board members swim around us, hungry sharks sniffing for blood. Marci’s red dress doesn’t help erase my dark thoughts. I never noticed before. The member of IntegraLink’s board don’t much care for her. The feeling falls completely mutual from what I gather.

Marci and I went our separate ways shortly after our arrival. I relegated myself to the peons on the outer periphery of importance. Nevertheless, notable people sought me out, like Penelope, one of the VP’s of something or another.

“So. Marty. You escorted Ms. Rader to the ball. Did the two of you suddenly become an item?”

The eyebrows of my fellow bottom feeders told me I now consisted of four parts radioactivity and one part plague. The all scattered as my response stumbled from my lips. “Um, well, no, we just walked in together that’s all.” I hate it when I can’t think of anything clever to say.

“Looked like more than just a chance meeting at the door to me.” She paused, then added, “It appears I underestimated you.”

“Wow, I was never aware you’d even noticed me.” I turn and show her my back, nearly knocking over a young lady sporting a tray of hors d’oeuvres. While Penelope may hold a ton of clout, the conversation appeared headed for no good place. I caught back up with my kind, but they stood wary of every higher-up that strolled by.

“You’re playing a dangerous game, Marty. You don’t understand the politics of this place yet. Ms. Rader is not someone to ally yourself with just yet. Since her old man died, she’s taken a lot of heat for changes she’s implemented.” John Merriweather from accounting. For some reason, he appears to want my friendship.

“Hey, John. I’m the least political person in this room. I don’t give a crap about all that stuff. I let everyone else play the games.”

John looked unconvinced. “You better brush up on your tact. Here comes Bathesda. You won’t blow him off as easy as Penelope.”

“I didn’t blow her off. I simply didn’t care for the conversation.”

“If you want to keep your job, you better give this conversation a better shot.”

John walked away just as Mr. Bathesda stepped into my field of vision. Hell, he took up my field of vision. He had to be six-eight and all muscle. His forty-ish look told me he most likely nestled into fifty a couple years ago. He works hard at appearing virile.

“Good evening Mr…ah, my apologies, I didn’t quite get your name.”

“Funny, you had it the other day in the board meeting when you shot down my idea.” Off to my right, John shook his head and frowned at me.

“Yes, that’s right. Pitchford. Let’s walk.”

“No thanks.” I didn’t care for his tone. John’s now red-faced and storms off into the crowd.

“You don’t care for me much, do you Pitchford.” Bathesda’s steel gray eyes attempt to bore through me.

“Why should I Bathesda? You’re pushing some political power play on me like an actor from some bad B-movie. If you don’t have the balls to say what’s on your mind, then let’s go enjoy this soiree.”

The slight tinge of color to Bathesda’s face rewards me for my efforts, although I’m sure I’m in deep shit now. I suppose I drifted a bit too far from my old ass-kissing persona. “Pitchford, whatever you’re up to, you better hope you have someone covering your back.”

“And why would that be, Dan?” Marci slipped in beside me. “Go plot your little power games elsewhere. Father told me you’d be a pain in the ass.”

Bathesda turned on his heel, his face now a bit brighter.

“Marci. I, uh, I apologize for stirring him up…”

“Have you had enough of this party yet?”

The question didn’t sound like a question, and by the tug on my elbow, I didn’t need a map to figure out what she meant.

A New Life (part three)

“Well now, Marty Pitchford. May we step down from the formalities and get back to a first name basis?” She shoots me a playful glance. “Or will you doom me to the shackles of everything that’s horrid about the corporate mentality and kiss my ass like everyone else?”

I hesitate. What the hell do you do in a case like this. I know in the past I would kiss her ass. I left that life behind. Now, I work off the premise that if my past life sucked, I must work to change my thinking. That means go for broke, which precisely describes my possible future. “Ok Marci. May I escort you and your exquisite ankles to the party? We’ll just throw out that ass kissing part.”

“Wow. My first name. I didn’t know how much it meant to me until now.” Her eyes lit up in a smile that matched the one on her lips. “By all means, let’s walk in arm in arm with heads held high and jolt the gossip mills into maximum production.”

As she locked her arm in mine, we both stepped forward, we both slipped, and nearly fell. We grabbed onto each other for support and exploded with laughter. After we stabilized, we proceeded to walk, gingerly, to the party. “As long as we keep our feet under us, we’ll make it without any broken bones.”

“Hell, I’d welcome a broken bone right now. It’d get me out of this damned party.” Marci’s attitude settled into a quiet resignation as we approached the door to the party banquet hall.

“I thought you made this party mandatory,” I state, confused by her reluctance.

“I did – for morale purposes only. There’s nothing here for me but to fend off the advances of overpaid executives and to suffer the jealous looks of the women.” I help Marci out of her cloak.

She’s decked out in a bright red, curve accentuating dress, the aforementioned heels, and earrings color coordinated with her lipstick and dress. “Heck, I don’t see why all the executives don’t hit on you.”

“Most of them do, in one way or another, even some of the women.” She winks at me and I note the glint of that playful smile I witnessed outside. “Most think they want me, but it’s the power that draws them.” She hesitates for a moment, then adds, “and the money.”

I shrug off my coat and flip my hat to the man collecting everyone’s outer apparel. This evening will prove to be far more interesting than I’d imagined as Marci retakes my arm…

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A New Life (Part Two)

Marci opens the meeting with the usual corporate format – minutes, old business, new business. Boring. I don’t belong here. Why I’m the only one who sees this flabbergasts me. She sits at the head of the long, oak table with twenty-one executives training forty-one eyes on whomever speaks.

I own the roving eye. I check out Marci’s mannerisms every chance I get. The nuance of how she rolls her pen idly in her hand, then taps the point on her notepad every so often. Her brush-back of the blond locks that seem to always threaten her eyes. The way her eyes betray the smile on her face.

She does not want to be here. I feel it. I see it. I identify with it.

Outside, snow flutters by the window, presumably to fall another thirty stories until it come to rest on its frozen companions. There’s a party tonight and I must attend. At this point, I cannot tell whether Marci knows I exist. I would never be so presumptuous as to think she doesn’t know my name, but I feel stupid for my obsession with her. Maybe I need a shrink.

The meeting ends without me bumbling through anything, which I view as a major plus. Marci leaves through the side door that leads directly to her executive suite. I leave with the peons, herding out into the corporate corridors. I head home to change into something more ‘party’ appropriate.

* * *

Late again. I slow down as I pass the full length mirror. Tux with tails, handkerchief in place, fedora in hand, I’m ready to go. I snatch my London Fog trench coat off the living room chair and sail out the door. A wall of cold air greets me as I maneuver the four steps to the sidewalk. My right foot slips on some ice, but I gracefully catch myself.

A quick glance around the neighborhood tells me no one noticed, not that it would matter to anyone but me anyway. I place a little pop into my step. After all, Marci will attend the party.  My first opportunity for social interaction with her I choose to look upon with anticipation.

Hopefully she won’t be a stuffy, corporate type whose turned off by my shoulder-length hair and my unconventional thinking. Of course, why should she even speak to me? Why would she lower herself to my station in life?

Crap. While I’m answering these questions with a million absurd answers, the street sign says I’ve gone too far. I attempt a majestic about-face, I whirl around on my left foot, and unlike the porch a few moments ago, this time I experience no graceful recovery.

As my feet elevate and I sense the cold, solid ice beneath me, my world kicks into some sadistic slow motion fall. Very disconcerting. I hate falling. Even though everything happens so fast, time appears to go so slow.

“This is going to hurt,” I think to myself.

“No shit,” I answer.

The thud of my back on the black ice shoots my breath, a white puff of air, into the night. I stare up at the flakes twirling down. I hope nothing busted but my pride. I struggle for another breath, drink in the frozen stab of oxygen, and exhale slowly, like a deathrow inmate with his last cigarette.

A shrill peal of suppressed laughter bursts on my ears. I don’t bother turning my head, mainly because I want to find out if I can. Nothing to do but play this out and try to save face – at least as much face as one can when they’ve taken a classic dive to the pavement.

I take stock. My hat rests on my right cheek. My vision of my merry tormentor is conveniently blocked by the brim. The woman audibly forces her laughs down to a mere giggle. Before I’m ready to confront her, an expensive pair of women’s black heels step around to the left side of my head.

“Wow. Those ore the nicest ankles I’ve ever met.” I figure I have nothing to lose at this point. The woman’s ankles most certainly do look appealing. She bursts out laughing again. So much for savior-faire. I remain on my back feeling the cold seeping into my spine.

My spectator regains some control and asks, “Is there something down there of importance, or did you hurt yourself?”

I determine my ego prefers at this point to stay anonymous. I decide to make another attempt at a smooth answer. “Well, you see, I have recently been hired by the most respected research and development company in the United States, So I feel it my duty to explore all aspects of life anytime it hits me. And, boy, did it ever hit me this time.” I chuckle at my ridiculousness.

“And just what would you be researching on the cold, hard ice this evening?”

I glance again at her lovely ankles. This must be fate. Might as well… “I would be sorely remiss if I did not give full attention to ankles such as these. Why, I could get fired for passing up the opportunity to find where they lead.” I feel my face flush with heat, but part of me champions my boldness.

“Hmm. You’re in tails, obviously on your way to a party, and you are dallying in the street, nearly literally, with a pair of ankles? Not wise, especially if this party is mandatory.

“Hey, I report to the CEO in person, so how precarious can that be? I mean, if they think enough of my research proposal to have me report to her, how expendable can I be? After all, I truly have not been blessed with the presence of such perfect ankles my entire life. “

“My, my. aren’t we the complimentary one?”

I like what I hear, so I rise up to my left elbow. I wince from the pain in my backside. I push myself up to my knees and gratefully take a slim, finely gloved hand up. On the way up, even through her coat, I note the perfect ankles happen to be attached to a perfect body. I stand, stooped over a bit as I work on regaining my breath. I manage to mutter, “thank you.”

“Was the fall truly that embarrassing, or are you too scared to speak to a head as eloquently as you speak to ankles?” I hear the mirth in her voice and I fear another attack of laughter.

I straighten up as I reply, “Well, uh, yeah, embarrassment is why, but it is an embarrassment that I had to fall for, I mean in front of, such a beautiful woma – Oh my god!” I know I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my adult life, but the words tumble out of my mouth like a rocket at full thrust. “Marci, uh, Miss Pickering, uh, I am so sorry, I mean, I did not know it was you, um I, um…”

“Does this mean my ankles have lost their luster? They were perfect specimens a few moments ago.”

“Well, no ma’am, I mean, how could they be, it’s just that…”

“Just what?”

Time to bail out and cut losses. “I did not mean to offend you. I tend to be a bit silly and too playful at times. I hope you will accept my sincere apology.” I hope the conviction in my voice carries enough weight to save my job.

“I will not accept that apology,” she stated with the practiced air of a powerful CEO. “And the main reason I won’t accept it is I was not in the least offended. In fact, I haven’t had this much fun since before my father died. He always kept me laughing.”

“Thank you Miss Pickering.”

“You have me at a bit of a disadvantage. I know you meet with the Board, but all I know is your last name is Pitchford.”

“Marty, ma’am, Marty Pitchford.” I extend my right hand to meet hers.

A New Life

I slip around the hallway corner into another long corridor. She reaches out her left hand to a doorknob, and in my mind, I freeze every detail about her. I marvel at her beauty. To list her attributes would require endless description. Far simpler to note her flaws, which in essence, only support her elegance.

A small section of her hair tends to fall across her left eye when she becomes agitated or animated about something. She dresses not to compliment. She does not smile nearly enough. She’s my boss.

I chuckle at the ‘long list’ of her flaws. I also look back at what happened over the past year and I realize I never really lived while with Jessica. I constantly put out fires on one hand and attempted to start blazes on the other. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I understand the meaning of desire – its subtleties, its ability to unseat logic, and its nuances that sneak into the heart.

My job switch definitely came at a critical turning point, shortly after Jess and I divorced. I knew the moment my eyes received the gift of her face my destiny lay with Marci.

Marci. I roll the name over my silent tongue a few times as I make my way past her door. I feel stupid. A schoolboy smitten by the class vixen. I feel teenage angst yet I’m thirty two. I dread opening the door to this meeting. I like the sound of the name, ‘Marci’ bounced off my name, Marty. They feel like the perfect match.

Some manner of miracle must occur to keep the wrong words out of my mouth. I desire to dazzle her with brilliant repartee, but I know my tongue will stumble and some garbled blurb will proceed from my throat and the snickers will flit around the table like evil butterflies that taunt their counterparts in my stomach.

In R&D, the unstated rules of the game demand professionalism, sharp observation, and an ability to focus. At least these make up the rules I’ve observed the past eight months. I’m not a scientist by trade, but I do love to tinker with concepts and possibilities. To be honest, I still wonder why Human Resources chose my resume and then chose me for this position.

I feel like a wildcard, a joker among royalty. Outranked at every turn, I know I offer little to these meetings other than ‘out there’ possibilities. HR must covet my knack to question anything, along with my ability to back up assertions with sound logic.

When Marci’s in the room, though, I tend to lose my competitive edge. I’m a bit too laid back for this crowd anyway. Just wait until I spring my theory of out-of-body time travel on them. No, maybe the time is not right just yet. I may have survived eight months, but something so nutcase-sounding as that could pink slip me real quick.

No, I’ll stick to the script of the mundane and throw in my outlandish observations. Who knows, maybe today I’ll get the chance to impress her. Did I mention she owns the company?

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