A Little Healthy Competition | A Short Story

If he thought, for one second, that he was going to win…she was about to prove him wrong on so many levels. She’d had her eye on this client for months and she’d schmoozed the bastard more than she cared to admit.

In her old life, she’d have sent one of the boys who protected her after the rude competitor who hadn’t found a low he couldn’t beat. In her new life, real estate sales in the cutthroat world of the 5 burrows, she had to deal with the schmuck herself.

Over the past six weeks, the man stole her uber, “accidentally” spilled red wine on her during a sales function, and spread a rumor that she had mono. Motherfucking mono. Four years spent as one of the highest paid call girls in the city and that rat bastard saddled her with a high school kissing disease.

No imagination.

Today, she’d dressed to kill. Wearing one of her favorite Jackie O dresses, her long blonde hair in a classic chignon, and her mama’s pearls.

The potential client, born in 1947, might be impressed enough to end her agony.

She walked into the refurbished office building with her head held high. This deal could end up netting her six figures.

As she waited for the elevator, her arch nemesis stopped at her side. “You have got to be kidding me, honey. Do you have a PI following me or something?”

Frowning, she turned her head and took in his classic 1950s attire complete with a three piece worsted wool suit and watch chain. Hair slicked back, the fucker looked like Cary fucking Grant.

Pressing her fingers to her temple, she sighed. Maybe she really wasn’t ruthless enough for all this high society dealing. When the elevator opened, she got in, pressed the floor, and stared at the tips of her perfect retro pumps.

“Hey…”

“Yeah?” She asked him without looking up.

“I uh…I think I might be taking this thing too far.”

“Sure.” Part of her wanted to get off at any floor and make her way from the building.

“Listen. I haven’t had much experience with being legit. I don’t really have the background. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. You look real pretty. I know you know that but I want to tell you anyways.” Gone was the polished Connecticut diction. He was straight outta Brooklyn.

“Thank you. You look real nice, too.” For just a moment, she let her Texas twang free and his eyes went wide.

The elevator doors slid open and he gestured for her to go first.

When the client’s receptionist showed them into the conference room with a smile, Mr. Fitz had another man with him.

Hudson Winters. Jesus, she should have left.

Introductions were made and Hudson didn’t drop so much as a hint that they knew one another. She’d never been so grateful in her life. He’d always been a stand-up guy, clawed his way up from nothing according to gossip, and might not be the type to hold her past against her.

After asking the two realtors a few questions, the older gentleman said, “I like you two. Remind me of me when I was young. I lied about the deal. It’s not six figures.”

He waited for one of them to flinch but they didn’t because a deal was still a deal. A smaller commission was still money in the bank.

“You’re both ruthless. I like it. Good looking and driven. There’s plenty to go around and I want you on this together. Hudson will manage the project and you’ll take your orders from him. I don’t have the energy I used to so he’s doing me a favor. Don’t fuck up.  He doesn’t have an ounce of mercy.” He winked. “Love your retro looks.” There was a heavy pause and he added, “The deal is seven figures.”

She thought she might have swayed on her feet.

“Be here at the same time next week to get your marching orders on the pre-construction phase.”

They walked back to the elevator after dazedly shaking hands and thanking him for the opportunity. Once the doors closed, they looked at each other and laughed shakily.

“I need a drink.”

He grinned. “I’ll buy the booze. You buy the food.”

“Deal.”

It might be the start of something awesome and a little evil.

© Shayne McClendon

If you love short stories (and I know you do), check out Quickies – 2014 Edition and Quickies – 2015 Edition. The first has more sex but the second has a lot more insight into upcoming universes.

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