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Post-coital Tristesse — Word Count: 30,225

Lila leaned against her lime green BMW, examining her perfectly polished nails. She sighed loudly. She had been waiting in the parking lot of the Patman Canning factory since sunrise, getting up extra early to make a special effort on her appearance and to have Lucinda change Marshall.

I wonder when he’s going to bother to show up, Lila mused, reaching into her authentic Prada purse for her sunglasses and slipping them on. It looks like the underlings are showing up for work on the — ugh — assembly line. She shuddered as beat-up Hondas and Fords pulled into the parking lot, carrying their owners to another grueling day of work.

After what seemed like hours, they were followed by a vintage black Porsche, squealing into the parking lot as it took the turn a little too fast. Lila straightened up and pulled down the neckline of her minidress so it showed off an ample amount of cleavage. If there was one thing Bruce couldn’t resist, it was a nice set of tits, Lila remembered. They look like two bald toddlers butting heads with each other, she thought, looking down at her breasts. Perfect!

Bruce pulled into the parking space next to her. Lila tried her best to look bored.

“Lila, what are you doing here?” he said snidely as he got out of the Porsche. “Don’t tell me you’re looking for work, too.”

Lila stuck her nose up in the air. “Bruce, you of all people should know I don’t work,” she replied. “Although I do have a … business proposal for you.”

“Business. Right,” Bruce said, crossing his arms over his chest and looking her up and down. But Lila barely noticed his look of approval. She was too busy staring past him at the passenger that had just hopped out of his car.

“Lila!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” Lila said, staring from Elizabeth to Bruce. “Is this some sort of elaborate walk of shame thing?”

Bruce snorted. “Do you honestly think I would walk anywhere?”

Elizabeth nodded in agreement. “Yes, he’s right,” she said. “This was more of a drive of shame.” She started to pull something out of the car, what appeared to Lila to be a huge pad of paper.

“You can leave that, Elizabeth,” Bruce said, stopping her. “That’s what Roger, Winston or one of my other underlings is for.”

Elizabeth gave him a grateful smile, but underneath it, Lila could detect a smoldering desire. Elizabeth and Bruce are fucking? Lila thought, shocked. Jessica and Bruce, I could understand, but Elizabeth and Bruce? That is totally gross!

“Of course, Elizabeth,” Lila said, trying to regain her composure. “I thought everyone knew what underlings were for. I guess you just don’t have what it takes to be wealthy.”

Elizabeth looked hurt, as if Lila had slapped her across the face. Lila saw her exchange a quick glance with Bruce.

“So what exactly is this business proposal?” Bruce asked, locking his car door. The three of them began walking toward the entrance to the factory.

“Well, it’s very … confidential,” Lila said smoothly. “And private.”

“Lila, that’s the same thing,” Elizabeth pointed out.

Lila shot her a look of annoyance. “I know that,” she snapped.

Bruce held the door open for Elizabeth and directly followed behind her, but when Lila tried to follow them through, he let go of it. Lila caught the door before it hit her square in the face. He’s such an asshole, Lila fumed. Why do I want to hate fuck him so bad right now?

She hurried along behind Elizabeth and Bruce, taking short quick steps in her four-inch stiletto heels. “So are we having a private meeting in your office, or what?” Lila demanded, following them into the elevator.

Elizabeth pushed the button for the fifth floor and turned to Lila. “I think you’re going to have to wait,” she said. “Bruce and I have a very important meeting scheduled first thing this morning.”

Lila stared at her, open-mouthed, as the elevator doors opened. “But I’m Lila Fucking Fowler!”

Bruce nodded at Elizabeth. “She does have a point,” he said. “Besides, the charts for your presentation won’t be here for a few minutes.”

They paused at the door to Bruce’s office, and he turned to Elizabeth. “Why don’t you go to your office and relax for a few minutes?” he asked, kissing her on the cheek. Lila shook her head in disbelief. “This meeting should only take 45 seconds.”

“All right,” Elizabeth said reluctantly. “I’ll see you soon.”

Lila followed Bruce into his office and shut the door behind her. In the split second before he could turn on the lights, she had wriggled out of her minidress. As the lights came on, Lila blinked in surprise at the two additional occupants of the office.

Bruce burst into laughter as Winston and Roger applauded Lila’s lingerie-clad body. Mortified, Lila grabbed her dress off the floor and held it up to cover as much as she could.

Bruce nodded toward Roger and Winston and tossed his car keys to Winston. “I need one of you to get Elizabeth’s stuff out of the car for me,” he said.

“Not it,” Roger said quickly, not taking his eyes off of Lila’s body.

Ugh, I can’t believe we dated for, like, five minutes in high school, Lila thought. Roger is a total secret perv. But he is rich…

“I’m not going,” Winston said, settling back into his chair. “This is just getting good.”

Lila’s face turned bright red. It’s bad enough that Roger’s seen me in my underwear, but Winston Egbert? Even if he is kind of cute these days, in an emo sort of way, she thought.

“Fine, stay, then,” Bruce said, taking a seat behind his desk. He indicated to Lila that she should sit in the chair between Roger and Winston, and she gingerly lowered herself into it, clutching the minidress to her slender figure. She crossed her legs, nervously swinging one stiletto-clad foot. “So you had some business you wanted to talk to me about?”

Roger and Winston continued to eye Lila’s rack. She took a deep breath and tried to ignore them. “More of a merger, really,” she said.

“I bet,” Winston said, raising an eyebrow at Roger over Lila’s head.

“What kind of merger?” Bruce demanded, crossing his arms.

“I’m talking about building a Fowler-Patman empire,” Lila said. “If we were to get married—”

Bruce interrupted her with a loud laugh. “Marriage? Good one, Lila.”

“It would be strictly business,” Lila said coldly. “Believe me, I’m not interested in humping up on you for the rest of my days.”

Bruce smirked. “Yeah, I’m sure that old guy in the wheelchair is a really good lay,” he said. Winston laughed, but tried to pass it off as a cough when Lila shot him a nasty look.

“Not that it’s any of your business, but he is,” Lila said, sticking her nose up in the air and pulling the minidress slightly higher to cover more of her breasts.

“Besides, what would it accomplish?” Bruce asked. “I can’t think of a single reason why I should hook up with a nouveau riche piece of ass like you.”

“Well, for starters, it would keep me looking fabulous,” Lila said, tossing her hair. “It’s not cheap to maintain this kind of beauty, you know.”

“And?” Bruce prompted, raising an eyebrow.

“And I could continue hosting the best parties in town,” she continued. “Do you know how much it costs to book The Droids these days?”

“You have access to The Droids?” Winston blurted out, immediately trying to smooth over his excitement by clearing his throat and trying his best to look bored.

“Get to the point, Lila,” Bruce said testily. “What’s in it for me?”

Lila rolled her eyes. “Trophy wife,” she said in an exasperated tone.

“Not interested,” Bruce said.

Lila smirked. “You honestly think Elizabeth would make the perfect trophy wife?” she asked.

“I’m not interested in a wife — trophy or otherwise,” Bruce shot back. “I get plenty of ass without having to resort to marriage.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Lila said, standing up haughtily. “I forgot — you’re the Sweet Valley date rapist.”

Bruce stood up, his face a mask of anger. “Get the fuck out of here,” he growled, pounding his fists on the desk.

“I’d be happy to,” Lila said, sweeping out of the room with as much dignity as she could muster, considering she was wearing nothing but a skimpy bra, thong and heels.

* * *

Maria had eaten the pancakes, but Bruce hadn’t come back — and he hadn’t brought Winston. She was bored. Pacing around the warehouse, she wondered when someone would come back and get her.

What if Bruce has forgotten about me? she thought, worried. Or what if he’s trying to talk Winston into seeing me, but Winston doesn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore? What am I going to do?

She couldn’t even tell how much time had passed since she’d been taken to the warehouse. Maria’s stomach growled, reminding her that it had been quite some time since she’d eaten.

“Michael’s going to be so worried,” she whispered out loud. But even as the words left her lips, Maria knew it wasn’t true. Their marriage had been broken for a long time, it was fairly obvious. It would probably just make things easier for him if she never came back, Maria realized sadly.

Sitting down on the cold concrete floor, Maria began to cry.

* * *

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04 2011

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