Adultery the Catalyst

Adultery the Catalyst

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

A former top photographer’s model, now married, commits adultery and that launches her into an exciting new chapter in her life as she heads into a divorce, a new country of residence and a challenging career.

Summary

A former top photographer’s model, now married, commits adultery and that launches her into an exciting new chapter in her life as she heads into a divorce, a new country of residence and a challenging career.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Adultery the Catalyst

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 28, 2017

Reads: 360

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 28, 2017

A A A

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Chapter 1

A small advertisement in the high fashion magazine at the beauty salon where Arlene Taylor-Cabot waited for a pedicure caught the eye of the pampered 38-year-old fading beauty:

Day/Evening companion for adventurous woman while hubby is exhausting himself on mini golf tour or trekking inland on manly pursuits. Confidentiality and satisfaction guaranteed. Email for references and Agendas.  Casey James, Port Douglas, Queensland Australia.

Arlene smiled, wondering what Casey’s motive really was: Sweaty and messy no doubt.

She considered the claim, ‘Satisfaction guaranteed.’ The grubby man’s advertisement suggested adult random sex was alive and well in Aussie.

One of the few things Arlene had never tried was a liaison while on vacation.

At home, she’d had the occasional fling with one of her husband’s friends and had been naughty with a couple of her best female friends but on vacation she tended to be circumspect to avoid risks including brutality  

Her husband Keith spent most of the working year sitting on his ass as an attorney, and  when on vacation tended to act like a young guy on steroids, feasting daily on adventure, booze and bimbos. Yes, they often went their separate ways at vacation time.

Well, he worked hard and Arlene knew/suspected he ripped into bimbos like that twice a year and on returning home he had to present ‘clear’ STD check results before Arlene would open her legs for him.

If Keith died over-stretching himself with a couple of young bimbos (or whatever), he’d leave behind additional insurance to top up his normal cover and presumably potential new husbands would line up for his attractive widow, a former model who was wealthy in her own right.

When Keith decided to go hunting in Alaska with three pals for two weeks, Arlene thought of that man in Port Douglas who’d advertised to escort single women on adventures. She returned to the beauty parlor and found the magazine containing his advertisement.

The grubby man had listed a website and Arlene noted it, thinking if he bothered with a website he was likely to be a permanent resident rather than cheap jerk on the make and always on the move to escape his latest shady exploits.

That evening when Keith was working on briefs in his study, finishing off the bottle of red wine he’d opened for dinner, (Arlene had drunk mineral water) she went to the kitchen and booted her laptop.

Arlene’s breath caught when the ‘grubby’ Australian’s web page filled her screen. He appeared quite tall, lean and bronze with devouring blue eyes, square jaw and a cynical look around the mouth of gleaming teeth he’d fit in well with high society on Manhattan.

She stared, recovering from her surprise and not surprised that her nipples were pushing against her negligee.

“Why hello Mr Beautiful,” she purred. “Oh God, is my dream vacation about to happen?”

Perhaps not because the thought of his lean groin pushing into women client’s he didn’t know was a tad off-putting; um, probably more than a tad. Anyway he might be fully booked several years in advance,

Arlene hit the ‘Day Options’ button and smiled when finding Seduction was not listed. For $A600 a day (the opening page made it clear the service provided only for the daily needs of one female client at a time), the client could choose from: Tramping, Bird Watching, Fine Dining, Golf, Beachcombing, Waited Upon in Quiet Solitude, Jet Ski-ing/Snorkeling, Fishing, Crocodile Spotting/River Cruising, Ocean Boating, Shopping, Great Barrier Reef Adventure.

Most impressed, Arlene wondered what it would be like shopping with Casey James.  While being waited upon in quiet solitude suggested seduction was a subtle choice for the client, none of the activities suggested a bit of a romp could be available. Perhaps not on the Crocodile Spotting option anyway.

She phoned Keith two rooms away and, checking his diary, he said the nights he’d be away on his Small Group Hunting Safari for 10 nights commenced on the 11th of next month. Arlene said she’d searched the Web to see if she could be away on those nights on a Small Group Garden Tour.

“Are you sure darling – you companions are likely to be boring elderly women.”

“Whatever gave you the idea that elderly women are boring darling?”

“I was thinking of my mother and my elderly female clients.”

Arlene suggested perhaps the minibus driver would be a young virile male and Keith replied she was fantasizing but perhaps she better take protection with her.

How cynical of Keith, Arlene thought. That was one of the reasons way she’d never loved him.

She’d decided when in her late teens that she’d only marry for love, but when ending her career as a photographer’s model after her parents died from a gas leak when asleep in their vacation apartment in South America, she panicked when confronted by the experience of feeling so alone and gutted.

One late Keith, who’d taken over from his father as their attorney, arrived to comfort her and stayed the night, beginning their countdown to marriage.

 

 

The next morning after sending her enquiry about adventure in Queensland, Arlene found an email had arrived from Casey James. His tone immediately repelled her:

Yes, I am available on those four days you enquired about. But first, let me make myself quite clear. You sex-starved American women responding to my advertisement have this weird idea that I’m a hunk with a long dick just waiting to dick clients into the vacation of their lifetime. However, I rarely dick women and when I do it’s entirely my choice. Look up the appropriate pages on the Web if you are looking for a gigolo.

Casey James

Livid at being brushed off in that manner, Arlene stomped around the house dusting, unable to believe that any male could be so arrogant and rude. She finally was settled enough to sit down and write a courteous reply.

You arrogant and rude man. I shall not require your companionship for my little adventures while in Port Douglas. Please keep that tiny dick of yours in easy reach of crocodiles when feeding them, you disgusting man.

Arlene Cabot

She read her response, counted to fifty and reread it, satisfied that’s how she wished to tell the grubby man exactly what she thought of him. She sent it off. Two hours later she was reading his response.

Dear Mrs Cabot

Re Your Adventures

Your response indicates the type of right-thinking woman I seek as a client. Please confirm the days you require x $A600 a day including all travel, meals and any fees and list the activities you desire and your address here in Port Douglas. Also your flight arrival details at nearby Cairns and. the time you’d like me to call for you each morning. Fill out the client schedule on my Web Page and use the secure payment option to pay 20% deposit of the days you will require my service by credit card. That will confirm your booking. Pay the remainder for the total days you require on your arrival in Port Douglas.

Casey James

With a finger over the Delete key Arlene paused to reread CJ’s response and her eyes lingered on Your Adventure. How could she have a twosome adventure just by herself? It was imperative to hire CJ to benefit from his knowledge and she had noted he would call each morning and that supposedly was to emphasize he had no intention of sharing her bed.  

Did it matter he appeared arrogant and rude and sex wasn’t on the agenda? Probably not. Well, at least she had a good idea of what she would be getting – a guy with an ego as big as his boots.

She booked Day 1: 36 holes of golf at the Mirage Resort course with a light lunch between the two rounds. Day 2: Great Barrier Reef. Day 3: Shopping. Day 4: Fellowship with CJ beside a pool or perhaps picnicking in the shade somewhere exotic with tropical birdlife in the trees.

She paid the full amount for four days under his patronage of $A2400 via a company specializing on online money transfers and sent CJ her schedule, thinking the service needed to be of professional high standard to justify his exorbitant fees.

Next morning his reply was in her mail box, thanking her for the booking and payment but suggested switching the reef trip to the first day because she could be exhausted after two rounds of golf after one day which could spoil the reef adventure.

She smiled, thinking CJ would picture her as a fat rich New York woman rather than how she saw herself – a fit gym bunny. Not having worked for six years, Arlene had worked hard on her fitness to shape her body for life providing she also kept largely to her healthy eating regime. She replied to CJ she accepted his suggestion although he should not doubt her ability to engage in high-energy outdoor pursuits.

*  *  *

Casey, who worked remotely as a manuscript editor for Daydreamer Books International, heard the incoming email alarm and finished working the chapter he was editing for publication. He smiled when he read that the dame from Manhattan classified herself as being fit. Well, that would be a change from some of her New York contemporaries he’d taken on adventures, most of them choosing adventures beyond their capabilities.

When this Cabot woman had given him a brusquely rude dumping he’d thought she’d not be run-of-the-mill because there had been no demand for an apology or mealy-mouthed groveling for him to fit into her schedule. He’d had three rotten encounters with women from the Eastern states recently, hence his brush-off.

The Cabot woman was the first to receive that ill-advised email. Casey had been considering limiting Americans to the generally more relaxed Californian women in future as his diary was pretty full with clientele of preferred origins from South Africa, New Zealand, France, Scandinavia, Germany and Australia of course, and with careful screening, Asia and Britain.

The problem with American women arriving with great expectations had arisen from a good-looking and horny Chicago magazine journalist who went on the croc spotting day with him and then lived with him for three nights before going back home and writing about her ‘fabulous month in Australian’, being very indiscreet about the men who’d balled her.

The Cabot woman sounded okay. If she were horny he’d find her a bedroom partner, not that it was part of his usual service but she’d obvious wanted professional service and expected to be lonely while her old man was doing his thing.

He’d though she was genuine when she requested 36 holes of golf. That had indicated to him she had endurance and believed she could cope with tropical heat. He hoped she was a good golfer and drank cool water rather than alcohol otherwise she’d be a washout on the reef trip. So, she thought he had a small dick. Perhaps if he liked her he might adjust her thinking about that!

Casey grinned and returned to his editing work.

*  *

Arlene spent a morning reading up about Port Douglas, noting it was about 45 miles from Cairns International Airport. Her accommodation overlooking the beachfront was roomy and classy and the pool looked wonderful. It was just a short walk to the small town that was studded with restaurants. She had high expectations for this vacation because it was a long way to go for just nine days. with the flight from JFK to Sydney via LA taking 22½ hours.

With 10 days to go. Keith advised he’d confirmed everything.

Arlene emailed that she would arrive in Sydney on Friday week and would wind down there for a couple of days. She included her flight arrival time at Cairns early on Monday and asked that he meet her at the airport. She would quickly sign in to her accommodation and they could leave to be in time for the boat taking them to the Great Barrier Reef.

He replied within hours saying he’d meet her at the airport and asked her to email her mugshot so he could recognize her.

A mugshot? She thought that must mean a photograph and sent him a digital copy of a recent one of just her taken at a cocktail party by a commercial photographer.

His brief reply left her scratching her head.

My God Arlene.

Casey.

What on earth had he been expecting – a witch?

She didn’t reply but felt good as she suspected his ‘my God Arlene’ reply was his delight at finding she was not an over-weight New York matron. It was the first time he’d become slightly friendlier in his emails, using her first name. She touched her left breast slightly, realizing she’d done so instinctively.

That raised an eyebrow.

 She had another look at his image on his website and thought he could be in with a chance if he were a good boy. He appeared to be forty and wasn’t carrying the worried married look.

The time arrived for them to depart.

On Thursday morning Keith was picked up at 5:45 in a mini-van with his pals for his Alaskan hunting safari. He wished Arlene well on her gardens tour and was out the door in a rush, to return to kiss her goodbye as he often did as an after-thought.

She left for JFK late afternoon for her 22½ flight to Australia with a 1½-hour stopover in LA.

 

 

Chapter 2

Arlene recognized the face of her escort as hewalked straight up to her at the Townsville Airport in north Queensland. 

Obviously appraising her, keeping his face neutral, Casey held out a hand to be shaken, and said, “Good morning Mrs Cabot – you look as lovely as this morning in this lush setting in paradise.”

Ignoring the hand Arlene said, “Forget the formalities Casey. You are my escort for the next four days am a little familiar peck on the lips would be quite okay.”

He hesitated and then stepped up and obliged.

She opened her lips slightly in the hope he would respond to while taking in her exotic French perfume and he might press into her, ever so slightly. But no, even his kiss was neutral.

Oh well.

They arrived at his luxuriously appointed white SUV.

Casey received a mental tick by opening the passenger door and handed her light bag to her when she was seated, there being no talk between them. 

 Casey pulled down her seat belt and she made no effort to assist and arched forward slightly as he reached across her to clip her seat-belt but somehow he managed to avoid brushing across her breasts. Perhaps he was familiar with female sexuality.

Take it carefully, don’t rush, she cautioned herself. Eventually he might give you what you want if there’s no another woman breathing down his neck.

They chatted at ease and as he pointed out something of interest through his driver’s window she had a chance to scan the width of his impressive chest and felt her thighs tighten.

She chided, Arlene you whore!

“Arlene, I’ve changed back to golf today because your arrival time here we were out of synch with early morning tourist boat departures for the reef.”

She thought why was he no longer calling her Mrs Cabot? Omigod, she might have made a small gain.

“That’s okay, I need to reply on your judgement because this country if foreign to me, but I really like the almost bubbling atmosphere around here and it’s very colorful and deliciously warm.”

“Warm it is now but it will become hot. We are almost 550 miles above the line of the Tropic of Capricorn just outside Rockhampton to the south-east. Do you have a current golf handicap?”

She said yes – a six but if he wanted her to play off the men’s tees she’d play on a twelve.

“Men’s tees? Does that mean you can really smack your drives?”

“Feel my upper body strength she laughed,” noting he suddenly tensed.

“I play off the men’s tees whenever my husband and I play as a twosome.”

“That would save a lot of fucking around,” he said casually and noting her surprise said, “Sorry, we Australians can be a bit casual with language. I should have remembered you are American. Playing off the same tee will be more efficient, less er messing around.”

“I knew what you meant. Is that bird a black-necked stork?”

“Yes,” he said. “Good spotting.”

*  *  *

Their golf cart with two sets of clubs awaited them at the Mirage Country Club’s resort golf course.

“These are soft-flex shaft clubs – I would like stiffer-shaft women’s clubs as I will be playing off the men’s tees.”

“Right I’ll change them,” Casey said, releasing the set and carrying it back into the pro-shop. He emerged two minutes later with a set of Taylor-Made clubs, similar to her custom fitted Taylor-Made clubs she had at home.

Casey, who played off a handicap of fifteen, suggested they play off the stick (no handicap), apparently thinking his client was in an unfamiliar environment and on an unfamiliar course and would still stiff from long hours of air travel two days earlier.

He must have wondered about the wisdom of his generosity when he saw Arlene wind-up into three practice swings.

She teed off first and with his superior strength into a well-coordinated swing his ball rolled almost 50 feet beyond Arlene’s from the 1st tee. However, they both arrived on the green of the 465-meter No. 1 in three, Arlene landing much closer to the hole. She was down for a part-five while Casey managed a six and on the par-3 second she had an easy birdie while he took four shots. Casey finally nailed her and won by three shots after Arlene finished in the water on the 10th and 16th, accruing penalty strokes.

“That was wonderful – what a magnificent course,” she enthused. “You played better than I thought you would taking me on at scratch on your handicap.”

“No way was I going to be beaten by a woman,” he grinned.

“Congratulations,” she said, holding up her lips to be kissed and was obliged.

“Do you usually go around kissing strange men?”

She laughed and said he didn’t appear to be strange to her.

“I set out to enjoy myself in your company.”

He raised his golf cap and scratched underneath it. “How far did you expect to go in enjoying yourself?”

Arlene clicked her tongue and said naughty boy and gave him a couple of light pats on his thigh. They drove back to the clubhouse silently, enjoying the vista and lost in private thoughts.

 

 

After a leisurely lunch, they were out on the course again with the temperature climbing but still short the day’s expected high of 85 degrees.

While Casey was off to the left playing a shot, Arlene hurriedly removed her bra and without thinking tossed it into the tray under the windscreen instead of stowing it in her bag. Casey returned and saw the strap hanging down.

“It’s hot all right,” he said, nodding at the bra.

Coloring, Arlene nodded and said she was sweating.

“Me too, you’ve done the right thing. Remove your knickers when I’m off playing my next shot and they you’ll be much more comfortable. Drink plenty of fluid – there are toilets up ahead.”

“Thanks for the advice,” Arlene said, wiping her forehead and reaching for the drink flask.

She played her next shot and when Casey parked to play his shot he parked  the cart with the back of the vehicle facing where he would play from, maximizing the privacy for Arlene. He did that without saying a word. She removed her panties and had her shorts back on before he returned, walking very slowly.

“Cute,” he said.

She flushed, looking at her very brief lacy panties on top of her bra. She didn’t reply, looked straight ahead but wearing a little smile he’d not miss if he were looking for a reaction.

As they continued Arlene learned that Casey, a former magazine chief sub-editor in Sydney, now edited fiction manuscripts for a New York publisher on contract.

Arlene had not heard of the publishing company and asked why would they send manuscripts to Australia for editing.

“They send out that work to avoid using expensive in-house office space for such work, and whether I’m nine city blocks away on Manhattan or nine thousand miles makes no difference to them. It’s only a Send button away by email contact.  I worked sub-editing for 18 months on the Financial Times in New York and 3½ years on the Daily News in New York and so am Americanized in language and editing styles. My ex-wife was American.”

“Ex you say?”

“Yeah, she became involved in a group of loose women and eventually paired off with one of them. I wasn’t sorry to see her go and I was left with some assets. I tend to have trouble picking good women and now only have a couple of favorites who are there for me whenever the desire is there.”

“Daily.”

“Cheeky bitch,” he grinned and his face changed and he apologized. “Pardon me, that’s Aussie vernacular.”

“It’s fine by me. Just be yourself.”

“I um already have been, you sitting beside me sweating without bra or panties.”

Laughing but not looking at him, Arlene attempted to give it her best shot.

 “Is that being yourself?”

“Guilty ma’am,” he said as they both watched a group of parrots flutter overhead like a bunch of rowdy ruffians just as they arrived at the cart parking bay.

“Like a beer and then a swim, if you don’t mind wearing a commercial laundered swim suit?”

“What, go into the clubhouse all sweaty without bra or panties.”

“I have no objection and I presume I’m the only one who matters. There’s a garden bar under shade cloth. Anyway, we’ll shower first.”

“Well, that’s different. I pay for the drinks because I beat you by two strokes on that round which means you won the thirty-six holes by a shot, an admirable performance.”

*  *

“These are classy units in a great location,” Casey said as they approached apartment block.

“Yes, and I have a premium unit booked on the 3rd floor with sea views and away from the pool as night noise from the drunks can be a problem when attempting to get to sleep. May I take you out to dinner tonight?”

Casey grinned but said his rule was not to fraternize with clients.

“But you do occasionally break that rule?”

He colored and she caught his nod.

“Will you stay the night with me?”

Miraculously he just avoided hitting the gate post.

“That really is fraternizing.”

“I know and don’t habitually commit adultery. But I knew from viewing your website and exchanging emails apart from the one unpleasant one, I’d enjoy being in your company and decided on the flight here that if I liked you I’d be prepared to go to bed with you.”

“W-what, you that that with your h-husband sitting alongside you?”

“No but he’d be chatting up an attractive cabin attendant when flying to
Alaska with three buddies to go hunting. He plays around a bit, in compensation for working such long hours I figure.”

“You don’t mind?”

“Yes, I do, but I know it’s not something he’d wish to discuss with me and he attends to my needs and we actually get along very well, more like buddies than husband and wife I guess.  Our marriage is convenient for me and exposes me to a great number of lovely people. I also live in luxury.”

Casey lifted his golf cap and scratched his forehead. “I’m not sure about staying.”

“If you’re not sure then don’t bother. I’m not of a mind to commit half-hearted adultery.”

“That’s my concern, you are married.”

Arlene smiled sweetly.

“The offer is on the table my lovely man. Take it or leave it.”

Casey directed his blue almost grey-eyed gaze at her firmly, and Arlene admired him for that.

“I don’t think I should.”

Her light blue eyes held his gaze. I’d like you to reconsider. Think about it on the drive to your home and call me.  I leave you with this thought. Ever since I made my booking I have thought and thought about ‘Day 4: Waited Upon in Quiet Solitude’ and being repeatedly fucked by you in paradise.”

“What?”

“You heard and I only used that word because I know you are an Australian.”

Arlene jumped out of the vehicle, closed that door, opened the back door and closed it after pulling out her sports bag and the one travel bag while Casey remained in the vehicle.

“Thanks,” she said, blowing a kiss through the open front passenger window.  “Call me without embarrassment and if it’s the wrong decision for me, so be it. I promise not to be bitchy with you. I’ve had such a lovely day. Oh, you can still allow me to take you to dinner and return to your home unsullied.”

He sat looking a little shell-shocked, but when Arlene waved, he waved back.

She disappeared without looking back.

*  *  *

Casey drove the short distance home slowly to provide more thinking time. His main concern was economic survival.

That magazine bitch from Chicago had savaged the American side of his business, her disclosure sending a flood of fat-ass American matrons who fancied themselves as lovers when most of them probably only knew about opening wide, moving their ass a bit and throwing in a few grunts. That was not for him.

Therefore, turning down offers of sex turned them bitchy. Most of them were not fit enough to partake in action adventure and all they did was to take the boat trip out to the reef and sat about, not wishing to go into the water, and knocking back booze and then on the day of the ‘Waited Upon in Quiet Solitude’ option, grumbled that they felt they had been cheated because no sex was on offer.

They returned home after going elsewhere to tell their travel agent the Port Douglas sojourn was the pits and some even began stating that on website discussion groups. His American business took a hit. To counter that,  he began attempting to screen applicants.

If he had sex with Arlene, would she go back home and sell her story? He needed this one-on-one adventure package with wealthy female clients because his editing work income was still not large enough to support him totally.

He’d tried male hosting as well when he first began in tourism business but surprisingly they generally had turned out to be more difficult to cope with than females.

Casey waved at cab driver he knew and thought, why would Arlene bother to try to sell her story about her Port Douglas adventure? She appeared to be wealthy, not a money-grubbing journalist and wanting sex because she was hungry for sex rather using it for some underhanded purpose. He pulled out his phone.

“Hi, what are you doing?”

“Should you be asking that to a woman in her bath with itchy fingers?”

Casey’s mouth braked to a sudden halt.

“Huh?”

“Yes,” she laughed, “I’m out to have sexual relief one way or the other.”

Swallowing hard, Casey said he was almost home. He wished to advise he’d have a shower and then a nap for an hour and he’d be at her unit at 6:00. He’d strip and she could have her way with him and they’d then go to dinner or alternatively they could go to a bar and warm up a bit, have dinner, go for a walk and then slowly walk back to her unit and then let it rip.

“Let it rip? That sound’s a mite dangerous.”

“You’ll be unharmed,” he laughed.

“I shall be ready at 6:00 to walk to a bar,” she said. “Until then, you lovely man. Oh, my hand is back with her sister behind my head.”

Casey flicked his phone shut, grinning.

 

Chapter 3

Arlene answered the light tap on the door, hair piled up on her head the best she could manage and shoe-horned into her black lace cocktail dress. She held up her arms and he walked into her, her arms locking around his neck and pulling him down to her puckered lips.

 She felt her unrestrained breasts squash outwards as he pressed into her, knowing he would be aware of that movement as well. She then felt his fingers searching for the feel of a panty line and finding none continued his roam over her butt and stopping when he felt her stocking tops. He’d now know exactly how she was dressed.

She opened her mouth a little and their tongues touched, sending shivers through both of them. As they unfolded she was pleased he didn’t whisper “No panties” as that would have been unnecessary, uncouth as well as telling her something she already knew and if he was clued up enough he’d realize his exploring fingers had virtually seared through her dress as they made their discoveries.

“I really would like a mouthful of tit but should we go?”

Knees transmitting the silent message they were teased well enough to buckle, Arlene wondered what to do. Should she pull a breast out for him to suckle or was he hoping she would say, “later”. Before she could answer he spun her around to face the door and handed her the clutch bag from the side table.

“Thank you for not berating me,” he grinned, eyes glued on hers as he moved in, and that allowed him to enjoy the reaction when his fingers closed lightly against her vulva – black lace preventing absolute contact.

“Oh, you naughty man,” she bleated, and was kissed, thankful that he was also holding her steady. She just had time to press against his fingers a little before they were withdrawn.

She imagined rather than felt the blood rush to her breasts and vagina but didn’t need to feel it to know it was happening.

“Come on,” said the big tease pulling her forward with some effort because in her mind she was already back-pedaling to pull him into privacy to reach for his zip.

It was a hot evening but Arlene felt hotter.

“I’m perspiring,” she confessed.

“Don’t worry, we’re in the tropics. We’ll hit the first bar and cool down under air-conditioning. You’ve got me doubled up painfully in my underpants.”

“Me!” she cried. “You bit tease, you’ve gotten us both excited. Dig down a free it, I won’t be embarrassed.”

He hesitated so she cupped him and said, “Gawd, what’s all this? Now I’m embarrassed by my very stupid email comment about a tiny dick.”

Casey chuckled as he pushed a hand down between his belt and body to sort out his undercarriage.

He grinned: “No offence taken.”

They walked arm-around-body to the bar where a couple about their age greeted Casey, surprised by his entrance and were stunned by the American beauty.

“You look quite familiar to me – oh God, you’re Arlene Taylor,” said Sydney fashion writer Malvina Mackay.

“I’ve been Mrs Taylor-Cabot for the last six years since my I retirement,” Arlene smiled. “You have good memory recall.

Another couple arrived to join them and Casey said to them, “Guys, this is my cousin Malvina is a fashion writer, based in Sydney and husband Sterling Mackay is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands. And this is a client, Arlene um Cabot from New York. Arlene’s husband Keith is in Alaska with three mates hunting, and Arlene was my client today – we played thirty-six holes at Club Mirage.”

He then introduced the other couple who lived locally to Arlene and Malvina.

The two other women conversed with Malvina over drinks about clothes and make-up trends and the guys talked fishing and they all walked to a restaurant to dine together and had a wonderful evening.

As they were leaving the restaurant Malvina asked, “When does your husband return from Alaska, Arlene?”

“He’s away for another six days but I’m here for another three days and will return to Sydney for a couple of days before returning to New York.”

“Then would you and Casey like to be our guests tomorrow – we’re staying at the Mirage Resort as we do when up here.”

“I can only speak for myself, I’d like that, say late afternoon as we are out on the reef from mid-morning.”

“Oh, you’ll love that – one of the world’s great holiday attractions. Casey, would you bring Arlene to us and stay for dinner tomorrow?”

“If that’s what she wants.”

“Isn’t he such a lovely man Malvina?” Arlene said huskily.

“Oh, Arlene, aren’t you having a lovely holiday?” Malvina giggled.

The two women hugged.

“What are those wine-inflicted women on about?” Sterling asked.

“Wouldn’t know, beats me mate,” Casey said straight-faced.

 

Returning to Arlene’s villa hand-in-hand with Casey she said, “Malvina thinks we are doing it already – does that embarrass you?”

“Nah, she’s a real lively one with the morals of an alley cat.  She’s calmed down during the past three years since she married Sterling who’s as straight as a gatepost. We think he grabbed her thinking it would be good for his image as they are always attending highbrow social functions. Neither of them will say anything if they meet your Keith.”

“That’s a relief. Will you stay the night?”

“Yes.”

With a small cry of mounting emotion, Arlene swung around into him, pulling out a breast, “Please suck it baby, mummy wants you to fill your mouth. Ooh, that feels so lovely. Nip me if you wish but please try not to mark me. Ooh.”

Although Arlene’s breasts were modest, unlike those of his usual choice of casual bedfellows, it was more than a mouthful so Casey groaned appreciatively, winding up Arlene even more. Now in the relative security of the entry porch to her apartment building, she placed her hands onto Casey’s shoulders and lifted up and threw her legs around his waist and clamped them.

“Fuck me,” she panted, holding on with one hand while hauling down the other side of her dress and then pulling up the bottom of her dress and bunching it against their bellies. “It’s years since my juices have flowed like this.” she wailed.

Casey unzipped and dug out with difficulty an erection that he fleetingly thought had the unlikely combination of ‘pulsating soft-skinned steel’. He grinned with pride and grinned again in awe as Arlene’s hand encircled it and began stuffing it where it was meant to go.

“Oh. this surely can’t be happening to me,” she screamed in delight.

The bedroom light of an enjoining villa went on and a woman called out, “Are you all right young lady?”

Casey and Arlene froze.

Arlene replied, “I’m fine thank you ma’am, just being entertained,” and used her free hand to pull Casey free with a splosh and slid her feet to the ground. She unlocked the door and pushed the groaning Casey inside.

“Bloody animals,” snapped a male voice from above.

Arlene said brightly, “Remember you were once young sir.”

Slamming the door shut behind her she went after her prey.

*  *

It was daylight next morning when Arlene found herself being shaken awake.

“Ooh,” she groaned. Opening her eyes,she found she was on the hallway carpet strip. “Why am I on the floor.”

Casey, holding the side of his head, said, “We were high on alcohol last night and we slept here on the floor after we fucked ourselves legless. You remember, don’t you?”

“Vaguely,” she said, cradling her head. “Oh, I wanted it to be slow and romantic. You took me like an animal.”

“Oh yeah?” he said with a lopsided grin. “Well, truly which one of us was after it like an animal?”

“I’m sure one of us is correct,” she said. “What is the time?”

“Time to go. Dunk in the shower and dress, grab a warm wrap. We’re late and have to drive like the clappers to Cairns to get to the boat in time. It leaves at 8.30.”

“We’ll take a later one.”

“This cruise goes to the best location. Only the best for my client. You have a great body.”

“Yeah, well that thing of your is not stiff so calm down. Carry me to the toilet.”

 

 

They arrived in Cairns and Arlen moaned, “I can’t go, I feel sick.”

“Drink your coffee. You’re only carsick through me driving like crazy along that windy stretch of road.”

“And passing vehicles dangerously.”

“Only when the road ahead was clear and my vehicle has power to burn and I’m an ace driver.”

“I can’t remember you being much of an ace last night?”

“That was because you were on fire and took command.”

“Oh God, the forgotten slut in me re-emerged.”

“Slut? I don’t think so. You are amazing and it’s years since I’ve experienced a lady in full cry. It was wonderful.”

“Really? I’m feeling better.”

*  *

“That was one of the greatest days of my entire life,” Arlene said wearily as they reached the SUV late afternoon. What did the guy say on the video on the catamaran – 1500 species of fish, 350 different kinds of coral, 4000 species of mollusks and 10,000 species of sponges – I’ve never seen anything quite like that.”

“Well we never see everything around us at the best of times and remember the area of the marine park encompassing the Great Barrier Reef is half the size of Texas.”

“Ah, yes. It would take a lot of snorkeling to cover that entire area. I couldn’t get over the huge number of different nationals about our craft. It was like the United Nations. It was such a wonderful day.”

“What was your favorite fish?”

Arlene frowned. “It’s difficult to say really, there were so many. I did love the swarms of tiny blennies, the butterfly fish, the angel fish of course but I suppose the really cute one was the clownfish.”

“Most of the women I take out end up nominating the clownfish.”

“Do you also fondle their breasts underwater?”

“Client confidentiality prevents me from answering that question either way.”

They exchanged smiles.

“Let’s go to my place and sleep and then when we awake have leisurely sex, the kind I love,” Arlene said sweetly.

“Are you sure about that?” enquired Casey, an eyebrow raised.

 

Later they went off to their dinner at Malvina and Sterling’s apartment.

 

 

Casey and Arlene had sex, long and slow and several times, including on their final day together, having a picnic on a small, deserted beach where they decided to remain nude all day and left the beach in time for her to pack and be driving to the airport to catch her late flight to Sydney.

 

 

Chapter 4

On the long return journey home, Arlene resolved to forget about Casey as soon as she could. She told herself it was not the most wonderful vacation romance she’d long dreamed about. It was a forgettable affair. “A most forgettable affair,” she said aloud, lying to herself, in despair.

“What was that?” Keith asked drowsily.

“I was thinking about just one moment of real pleasure during my boring gardens tour,” she lied. “It was beside a man-made waterfall and below it the fish were in myriad colors, rather tropical looking in fact.”

“As you say dear.”

Arlene felt her pounding heart and thought that was a close shave.

If Keith found she’d been fucking a man for four days and three nights their marriage could be terminated. She smarted. Well, goodness knows who he was banging on his hunting tour. Perhaps they had a female guide. He appeared to have lost weight – the scumbag, she thought, thinking she should end their marriage.

She dropped off to sleep smiling, as she had been thinking about putting flowers into vases in the lounge and kitchen.

Two weeks went by and at last she’d forced her thoughts of Casey from her mind. With that disappeared the occasional throbbing she felt within her groin that she’d experienced when being with him and feeling desire rising.  She had been such a raver.

Arlene had noticed that while there had been physical connection with Keith, she’d felt the emotional connection was missing, not that it ever had been huge. She also forced that issue from her mind. She decided to look for a job and found nothing that interested her.

Yawning and stretching after returning from the gym, Arlene grabbed her coffee and went off to boot her computer. There was one email that had arrived overnight, from Malvina Mackay. Arlene felt a surge of excitement and began reading.

My Darling Arlene

Although we only met three times, I feel I have bonded to you like a sister. We had such a lovely time together. Cousin Casey turned dispirited and grumpy after you left his arms. I know I shouldn’t be saying this but do you really feel a similar connection when you are in the arms of your husband. There you go, I’ve said it. Whenever I saw you and Casey lock eyes I’d almost wet myself. My feeling was you two were make for one another. God, the intensity.

Sterling and I am both well and I’m so glad he met you because your vitality in conversation seemed to pull him out of his conservative shell a little. And here was I thinking I was the only person except his mother who could tease him and he’d appreciate it. The truth is you had him eating out of your hand.

What has reminded me of you was Casey called me two nights ago. He’s been so busy with clients from Germany – someone posted on a Holiday Adventure website an expensive day out with him and how she was heaped with pleasurable adventures and sights shed never before witnessed in being taken to the Daintree Rainforest.

Two other women added their comments and Casey is now hot in Germany as a one-on-one guide.

Well, this is the bit I must tell you. He said he was sad and lonely after his short relationship with you and was thinking perhaps he should start looking for a wife so he phoned me for advice. I know I shouldn’t have said this to him but I told him to wait for you, to give it up to a year. I almost thought he was sobbing when he expressed gratitude for me giving him that advice. Advice? You probably think me and my big mouth. But I knew I was telling the truth, advising him from my heart. Love – Malvina.

Arlene’s bottom lip began to tremble. Oh God, why did Malvina have to do this, bringing back Arlene’s very forgettable man!

She ran to the shower, crying.

It had been an upsetting shower. As soon as Arlene began soaping her breasts the image of Casey with his mouth around one of them leapt into her mind and she felt powerless to stop it. Fearfully she soaped between her legs and to her relief all she pictured was driving along in the SUV back to the village of Port Douglas, feeling very sweaty and leaning towards Casey and smelling his sweat and loving it, thinking very naughty things.

Arlene re-read Malvina’s email and dwelt on the final two sentences: ‘You probably think me and my big mouth. But I knew I was telling the truth, advising him from my heart.’

She tried to find other meanings in the link between both sentences but failed. Clearly Malvina had been sensitive while hoping she’d said enough to stir the pot and Arlene would be unable erase Casey from her mind.

“Oh God!” she wailed, picturing a close-up of his face.

Dear Gorgeous Malvina

You naught bitchy (I think that’s how Australians speak to one another with familiarity) reminding me of my wicked affair that I have tried desperately to exorcise from my mind, but it continues to lurk despite my best efforts. You friendly email and sharing your thoughts has triggered a deep feeling within me for you. Yes, let’s regard ourselves as sisters. With only two brothers, I’d really treasure such an association. I will be frank: I know now, clearer than ever, that I don’t love my husband but I am too cowardly to ask him for divorce so. there we are.

Arlene continued to write a long email, never once mentioning Casey or expressing her feelings in that direction.

The two women slipped into the habit of communicating by email each Sunday.

Three months later, Malvina called Arlene by phone and they chatted with delight, emotionally freed from the stiltedness of written correspondence.

“Darling, my real reason for calling is to advise I have been a naughty girl. A two-person interviewing panel from Sydney will be in New York next Monday interviewing two applicants for the position of director of the Training Standards and Welfare Board for Amateur and Professional Models.”

“It’s a new Sydney-based national organization being set up by the Federal Government to meet concerns over the wide diversity of training methods and standards of model training schools and the working conditions and eating disorders associated with male and female models. An ‘all in one basket’ as the media has dubbed the initiative. But nevertheless. it is almost ready to be launched with a $4 million annual budget.”

“That’s interesting by why are you telling me this?”

“Oh, yoru interview time is 2.30 on Monday. I will email full details in a minute.”

“But why?”

“Because I have moved wheels within wheels and had an application filled out and forwarded on your behalf.”

“But you know nothing about me?”

“I know little about your modeling background I grant you but I did provide a character reference to the person who filed your application whose name must remain anonymous. That person had a computer technician find your former website which was full of information pertinent to your application.”

“You mean a person on the inside?”

“Darling Arlene, would I be a dumb enough bitch to admit that?”

They talked through the issue and Arlene finally agreed to attend the interview, accept that if called to Sydney for a final interview she would then have the choice of going or opting out.

“Although I agree to be interviewed, this is ridiculous – a waste of other people’s time.”

“Please don’t be grumpy Arlene but accept your interview as a finalist is simply a formality. My associate in the know says even without your business management degree, you would still be the outstanding applicant – pass the questions with political nous and the job will be yours.”

“But, but…”

“I suggest you begin talking to your husband darling, asking him about his attitude in becoming your ex-husband.”

The call was disconnected and Arlene went out to walk off her trauma.

 

 

With miraculous timing, Keith tapped the tabletop nervously on Thursday evening after finishing his bottle of wine.

“Ah, Arlene.”

“I’m still here Keith, that’s a full bottle of red you have consumed tonight.”

“I’ve met someone else.”

“Oh, a new prospective client. That should be profitable for you to be mentioning it.”

“No, you fool, I’ve met another woman,” he said crossly. “Sexually.”

Arlene was rather shocked simply because her husband never spoke to her about his other woman. She must have looked really shocked because Keith attempted to pat her hand but it was abruptly pulled away from him.

“You swine.”

“I know dear but sometimes these things happen. She traveled in the same aircraft home with us from Alaska. I stayed that night  with her in her Eastside apartment.”

“You fucking cruel and insolent beast!” Arlene said, jumping to her feet and pouring the remains of the salad over his head but not bashing him with the bowl because it was a piece of fine crystal.

She sat down and watched him clean part of his head and face with his napkin. She handed him hers to finish cleaning up, wondering why she was putting on this performance instead of being deliriously happy.

“Aren’t you going to rage and cry?”

Arlene’s bottom lip trembled but she held firm.

“No, you are such a beast why should I cry over you? I want a divorce.”

“God,” he said, wide-eyed. “I had no idea it would be this easy.”

“Well, it is easy because I’ve never really loved you and even far less so in the past couple of years.”

He looked so hurt she almost felt sorry for him.

“I want Sam Gamble as my attorney to represent me in our procedures for divorce. All I want is unencumbered title to this apartment, and our investment apartment  and to the beach house in Hawaii and for an agreement for you to pay all legitimate outgoings on those properties unless I remarry.”

“Re-marry, who would want you?”

Arlene astutely chose that moment to burst into tears.

Keith looked uncomfortable and waited patiently for her to settle.

“You are entitled to a share in our investments and other assets.”

“I know,” Arlene said, wiping her tears away. “Plus anything else you have hidden away from me. But let’s part amicably and with you agreeing to my terms just given for settlement. I require you to shift into the spare room tonight and leave this apartment by Sunday night.”

“Fine, that’s fine with me. I have somewhere to go although I didn’t expect to be going there this early.”

“How long will we have to wait for the Court to dissolve our marriage?”

“Perhaps six months if we are lucky on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown with no children and full settlement has been agreed to and all papers have been filed correctly.”

“Is that quick enough for you?”

“The speed of the process is out of my hands; we are at the mercy of the process and the Court. We should live separately, of course.”

“That’s fine,” Arlene said. Don’t scrap with me over final settlement of assets if you wish to expedite things.”

“Yes of course and what is your future after we do this?”

“I might go to Sydney as I really like the place and try to find a job that will allow me fast and conditional entry for ultimate citizenship. But who knows, I might settle in California,” she lied.

Arlene sighed. “Very well, let’s divorce because we both believe our marriage is over.”

“Okay, and you are letting me off lightly. You take the three properties you’ve named and I’ll enter into a legal agreement in that respect but I don’t accept I need to meet all legitimate outgoings until your next marriage, if there is to be one. You are financially well off in your own right. At the same time. I offer to assume responsibility for all marital debts and taxes and I want you out of here to live somewhere else by this Sunday. Are you happy knowing that we have other assets established built since our marriage and that I’m the winner financially in this agreement?”

“Yes, just get this over with and don’t attempt to contract me after Sunday except through Sam Gamble. Good luck in your new life.”

“Thanks. Go in peace.?”

 “Thanks Keith. Off you go until Sunday; I’ll clean up here.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, go.”

After switching on the dishwasher, Arlene went to her computer with a brandy and searched websites to begin building her knowledge updates about proper nutrition, eating disorders, study options for young people wanting to become models, current requirements of model agencies for A-class model types, job opportunities and anything else that could help her answer any question thrown at her at interviews.

She now had personal incentive to win that career opportunity that had popped up.

 Next evening, she decided to search Australian websites and finally found what she wanted: The Commonwealth Training and Welfare Board for Amateur and Professional Models of Australia (CMTWBAPA).

There was a warning notice that the site was still under construction but she found information of interested already posted, including the job specification for the director of the CMTWBAPA who was expected to be appointed by the end of next month.

Just before midnight she called Malvina.

“Hello darling.”

“God, Arlene. I was just thinking about you – I’m almost to begin my lunchbreak and was thinking I should email you everything likely to be helpful to you in your interview. I know this is pushy but…”

“So, you want me living in Sydney?”

“Yes, oh so much.”

“That’s sweet of you Malvina. Please answer this, because it’s a worldwide search for this new position, does that imply automatic residency for the chosen applicant of good character who has no criminal convictions or is politically obnoxious or a potential threat to the nation?”

“Yes, um subject to approval after Immigration vetting. Oh sorry, if you had applied for the application form you would have received documentation about that. Do you know anyone living in Sydney besides me and Sterling?”

“Yes, actually I do – three people I went through college with: Miles Marks, he was studying architecture, Robyn Wall who seemed more intent on seducing ever male in sight but she did graduate in something – oh yeah, art history, and Rebecca Plowright, who was a drama queen of note. Are they any use to me?”

By then Malvina was panting, desperate to reveal all.

“Rebecca Plowright, she’s a yank who grew up in Queens. I drink with her and other TV people at least once a month – she’s in charge of Channel 7’s variety productions. There is a guy who heads Miles Marks and Partners, architects. That firm is presently being lambasted for building the fifth worst looking office block in the CBD.”

“That’s probably my Miles although I’d lost track of him in recent years. His penchant was to increase useable floor space in commercial buildings by placing most of the steel strengthening on the exterior and he’s won international awards for his design. He also qualified with a master’s in engineering construction.”

“That’s the one – the steel on the outside of MacMillan Tower looks like a spider-web and the project has been dubbed by the media as Spider Tower and it looks set to become advertising agency haven. Those dicks love it.”

“Dicks”

“Oh darling, that’s Aussie for males who are a little off-center, like creative people in advertising who think they are God’s gift to civilization.”

“I understand what you mean. So, what about Always Open Pussy as Robyn Wall was called at college?”

Malvina screamed with laughter.  The one I know of may not be the same as the person you knew.”

“Does she have red hair and is big boned?”

“Yes, definitely. But you will be disappointed in her – you’ll think of her as an academic. She continued her studies when she arrived here and gained a PhD in education. I’m on two community committees with her and she and Ted her husband live only two doors along from us. I’ll put in a good word for you, discreetly of course.”

“How can she help me?”

“I shouldn’t say this…”

“But you will darling, you always do.”

“Husband Ted Copeland is vice-chancellor of one of our top universities and is potentially your boss – he’s inaugural chairman of the Model Training and Welfare Board. Just how well did you know Robyn at college?”

“Well enough for us to still exchange cards at Christmas and birthdays. She called on me a couple of years back when she was home visiting her parents. This is a little embarrassing…”

“But not embarrassing enough not to tell me?”

“Um, I stayed with her in her family’s cabin one during Spring Break and her younger brother showed up. The next day she set off in the canoe and he and I somehow ended up in bed. She arrived back at caught us at it and thought it was hilarious.”

“Oh Arlene, you are such a scream. Well, I’ll mention your possible arrival here and tell her you are asked me not to mention that you knew her in case she told Ted as she might remember something nice to say about you.”  

“Oh, do you think you should say that?”

“She’ll probably not mention that to him but if it does it will only raise his interest in you by a notch and that’s hardly unfair to other candidates, well as I see it.”

Malvina asked did Arlene really want to relocate in Sydney.

“Yes, definitely, even if I don’t have a rat’s ass chance of being selected.”

Malvina squealed in delight and then added, “A rat’s ass?”

“I’m attempting to speak Australian.”

“Arlene, may I tell you I don’t think that’s an Aussie expression.”

“Then what is it?”

“You tell me, you said it.”

 

On Friday, 10:00 at night in Port Douglas, Arlene phoned Casey. “G’dday, cobber.”

“Good evening, I guess you have the right number or are you pissed?”

“It’s daytime in New York and I’m Arlene.”

“Arlene? Oh God. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Just calling to let you know that one way or another I intend settling permanently in Sydney. I signed papers today to facilitate my eventual divorce from my husband and if you are interested in relocating to Sydney I would be very interested in setting up house with you.”

“You mean live with you?”

“Yes, or take the guest room if you wish.?”

Casey hugely disappointed Arlene by saying, “Well, I’ll have to think about it.”

But two seconds later said he’d thought about it.

 

“The answer is yes, as I don’t mind relocating and finding a new vocation. So when will this happen?”

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5

Monday arrived and Arlene grappled with the problem, dress up or dress down or go for a compromise.  She thought she should call a best friend for a second opinion but said no, she’d dress up elegantly like the high fashion model she had been, beautifully made up but she would show no airs or graces. She’d just act naturally.

She arrived with time to spare for her confirmed 2.30 appointment at the lovely art deco Beekman Hotel and reached the suite precisely at that time.

A guy aged about fifty greeted her, introduced himself as Byron Hall and they chatted as they walked to his colleague who was pushing sixty. She smiled be made no effort to stand as Byron introduced her to Mabel Harrington. Mabel quickly established herself as team leader.

“Mrs Taylor-Cabot, we have observed you have had an illustrious career as a top-line photographer’s model and have been retired for almost seven years. Why would you want to rejoin the workforce and to achieve that, relocate in way-off Australia?”

“Mrs Harrington, I am single-minded in my quest to take this brilliant job opportunity. I have retained my deep interest in modeling and fashion and believe I have the qualifications to achieve the role satisfaction in becoming your director of this most worthy institution that your board is establishing.”

“The location of the workplace is of little consequence to me. I have visited Sydney and Northern Queensland, read and researched about Australia extensively and Sydney is where I wish to be in order to re-start my working career with distinction. I should mention that my husband and I have filed for divorce after I found there was another female in his life who was more than just a friend.”

And so the interview continued for one hour and twenty minutes until Bryon Hall asked, “A final word from you Mrs Taylor-Cabot. Shall we say, a powerful summary of your appeal to be considered for this position.”

“Oh, I make no appeal to take that position Mr Hall. I am here to augment my written application and to answer any doubts you may have about my suitability. I have the appropriate credentials to fit this position. It’s as if the job specification was written for me, and me alone.”

“All I wish to add is this: I have engendered a deep desire to relocate in Sydney and have friends there. My husband and I have no children and I ask that you please modify my application to note a very recent change: My husband and I have amicably decided to go our separate ways by seeking a divorce. Therefore. my desire to relocate and throw myself into a new challenge has increased immensely. I have reverted to my former surname of Cabot.”

“We shall advise you one way or the other within the next seventy-two hours Mrs Cabot,” Mrs Harrington said. “I must say you interviewed exceptionally well. Good luck.”

When Arlene returned home to the empty apartment, her phone went and she took the call from her settlement attorney, Sam Gamble.

“Hi, can you come in the morning for a discussion of a proposal someone wants to put to you?”

“Keith?”

“Yes.”

“He wants our rental apartment?”

“That’s very astute, Arlene. He’s been looking around and is rather perturbed and dissatisfied. Could we leave the discussion until you meet me?”

“Okay – how is 7:00 am?”

“Arlene!”

“All right, 9:00.”

“Perfect – I serve coffee and warm rolls.”

Arlene roamed through the apartment thinking of the stress about placing their apartment on the market. She sighed and thought if Keith wanted to buy it he’d better offer market price. She’d want half of the estimated value of $17,000,000 as it was Upper East Side, and only eleven months since an almost total refit and would be sought-after.

She wondered if Keith lady friend had seen through it – probably that very day when she had been at her interview. Keith would have thoughtfully called the apartment phone and received no answer.

*  *  

The hot pastries were delicious and Arlene pigged out on two, pleasing Sam. “I have an offer from Keith who wants to purchase your entire interest in the apartment where you two have lived as soon as the Court signs your divorce is finalized.”

“Very well, I’m open to a realistic offer.”

“Does that lack of enthusiasm indicate an unwillingness to sell?”

“Not necessary?”

“I see. Well, it’s an unconditional offer to purchase your entire interest in that real estate, with a clause inserted whereby Keith undertakes to pay all legal fees and all other disbursements.”

“In your opinion is it a good offer?”

“Yes. Take a look at the offer.”

“No, please tell me.”

“Eight million, two hundred and fifty thousand. That is the figure midway between two very close professional appraisals.”

“Conducted without my prior approval.”

“I believe so. Did you leave Keith with entry keys?”

“How silly of me.”

“Quite.”

“Sam, I think that sounds quite a fair price but I need to be compensated for being dislodged from my home. If he rounds up the price to buy my out to $9,000,000 I would sign.”

“Should I go through and discuss that with him or should I call you at home?”

“No, let’s close the deal now. As my attorney please persuade your partner to compensate me.”

Sam returned.

“He agrees.”

“Fine Sam, call me in when you there is paperwork to sign.”

*  *

Incredibly, good luck continued to go Arlene’s way. She regarded it as amazingly good luck. At 6:30 that evening she took a call from Bryon Hall.

“Hi Arlene. Mabel and I would like to meet you again as soon as possible.”

“I can come now if you wish.”

“Just a minute please. Look, let’s meet  back at the hotel at 7:00 tonight for a video-phone link to our chairman in Sydney.

“Mabel and I did not disclose we are actually board members of the models Training and Welfare Board.  It’s just gone 8:30 am in Sydney and we have just finished a telephone link up with our chairman and reported our findings on our five interviews in America. He’s decided he’d like to view you by video link while talking to you. Obviously. this means you are the front-runner candidate. It should only take a few minutes and then may Mabel and I take you to dinner?”

“Yes, of course. I would enjoy talking to Australians.”

“Talk to Ted Copeland like that and he will be delighted at our find,” Bryon said.

At that Arlene’s heart began to race. As soon as Bryon had addressed her as Arlene instead of Mrs Cabot she guessed something was up. The position of director was in the bag provided she impressed the chairman.

 

 

At the hookup between New York and Sydney, Ted Plowright, who looked close to fifty, greeted Arlene warmly.

“Hi team and Arlene. I’ve been hearing most encouraging comments from my team about you Arlene. Please call me Ted.

“Thanks Ted. I guess this link-up is an encouraging step for me?”

He laughed and said the report he’d received was that Arlene appeared to be a person who operated off the front foot.

“I guess what you’ve just said confirms that. You also have the personal appearance we were seeking for our principal officer in this pioneering initiative of the Australian Government. Stand up and give me a twirl.”

“No thank you Ted. I fear the next request might advance to being asked to remove my dress and ear-rings.”

Arlene was conscious of Mabel and Bryon on each side of her had sucked in deep breath.

“Oh, very correct and austere Arlene but I suspect that’s not the real you. The report says you have a trim figure so I apologize for my playful comment.”

Almost eight minutes later after receiving answers to short questions ranging from Arlene’s concept of what would be required of her in such a demanding position interfacing with the personal lives of models and those who hired them to her basic knowledge of the Australian people and their political systems, Ted appeared to be winding up. He asked, “Why have you not claimed a close personal relationship with my wife during your four years you spent together at college?”

“It seemed irrelevant to my application and would seem to me as clawing for an unfair advantage over other applicants. I want to be selected on appropriate background, qualifications and perceived merit.”

“Ah, very impressive. So where does that leave us?”

“I imagine you have crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s and have approved me as the board’s inaugural director, that being the purpose of this final interview, is it not?”

Ted cleared his throat and grinned.

“Welcome to the team Arlene. Mabel has the draft contract of engagement that runs for four years. She will go through it with you and you have seven days in which to renegotiate clauses and accept. We will appoint an attorney…”

“Don’t bother to do that Ted. Mabel can refer anything we disagree on to you as arbitrator. I accept the offer of becoming your board’s director. Sydney is where I desire to be and I feel this position has been created for me.”

“That’s wonderful Arlene. We’d like you here by the 20th of next month at the latest. You will have a couple of days to settle in and then there will be a media conference at which the Federal Government will use to win praise for its humanitarian initiative to improve the lot of amateur and professional models. Expect some opposition of course because opponents believe the creation of the board is a, and I quote, ‘A disgusting waste of public money’.”

“But believe me when I say general public approval is behind us and that’s why we have spent heavily to find the right person to direct board activity. I look forward to meeting you face-to-face.”

“Thanks Ted. Please say hi to Robyn. I’m excited about meeting her again.”

“Excellent, I’ll do that. Please keep in direct contact with Mabel who as a former federal Minister for Vocational and Further Education, now retired, and is our deputy chairman and one of two Government appointees to the board. Bryon is chief executive of the Textile Fashion Promotion Council of Australia and is the nominee to the board of the Australian Design and Fashion Industry Association. I had asked them to only disclose to applicants being interviewed that they were acting on behalf of our board rather than actually being members of the board. I guess you were smart enough to visit our website before your interview.”

“Of course, wouldn’t all applicants?”

“I doubt it,” Ted smiled.

He thanked Mabel and Bryon for their brilliant work in coming up with the best candidate and faded from view.

 

 

Over dinner Mabel said three things that interested Arlene.

“All other applicants interviewed dressed down, so I was left with no burning impression of how they would look in representing the board at very formal occasions. You on the other hand appeared before us and looked simply stunning.”

And then: “Bryon and I agreed you didn’t falter once during your interview. It really was a class act and indicated you had prepared yourself thoroughly and that was something high on our list of priorities. These coming two years present us with a huge challenge of establishing the authority of the board in a very loose-knit industry environment littered with shady operators where abuse of drugs, liquor and infliction of personal abuse are by no means uncommon.\.”

“Australia doesn’t have that to itself,” Arlene said wryly. “As I indicated in my application, I had also worked occasionally in Japan, Italy and France.”

But what really interested Arlene was these comments.

“I was astonished to learn you had sufficient control not to say to Bryon and me that you personally knew our chairman’s wife.”

“Robyn is the driving force behind Ted as he’s rather single-minded and correct in everything he does. He employs Robyn as his personal assistant and she is brilliant in sweeping the path clean in front of him in the face of difficulties as he’s not politically astute but plays the team game well. So, in that sense and with academic qualifications in law and finance, he’s well suited to be our chairman and socially Robyn will ensure he shines. But that won’t surprise you because you know Robyn well.”

“Yes, she always did display the ability to handle men very well,” Arlene said, screaming in laughter within.

Back in her apartment, Arlene called Casey, not bothering to figure out what time it would be in Queensland.

“Hi Aussie?”

“Arlene?”

“Indeed, and I have no idea of what time it is where you are?”

“It’s very convenient. My client is at the toilets at the bird sanctuary where we’re having lunch. I’m winding down my business, have accepted no further bookings since we last talked and my website has been taken down. When will I see you?”

“I’ve landed a high-profile job in Sydney, staring on the 20th of next month and expect to arrive in Sydney about the 10th.”

“Oh great, and keep me informed. What kind of job have you landed?”

“It’s to do with models and their training standards with an enterprise set up by the Federal Government in Canberra to developed standards of professionalism across the entire country.”

“Oh, you mean the Commonwealth training and welfare agency for models?”

“Yes. and how do you know about the creation of that authority?”

“It’s being set up by the Federal Government as a quango and a row about that has been big-time in the newspaper from Brisbane that I ready daily and on TV. It seems the public is mad about the cost of setting up such an outfit for a dozen or so models, calling it a terrible waste of taxpayer money.”

“Casey, in Australia hundreds of male and females are employed as fashion models and in other aspects of modelling including aged people hired by agencies to be photographed in ads or to appear in say TV ads for advertisers and of course children are trained as models too.”

“Oh, and what job will you have??

“I’ll work in head office administration.”

“What doing, interviewing models about their working conditions?”

Arlene said something like that; she’d know more at the time of signing her 4-year contract.”

“Where would we live?”

“I’ll be on the Internet in a day or two looking for a rental apartment. I’ll need to soak up the Sydney scene before buying a property. You may live with me.”

“Great and keep in touch; here comes my Japanese client, all smiles. Keep your pussy warm for me, Arlene. Bye.

“Omigod, haven’t I gotten myself a sexy and incorrigible Aussie,” Arlene giggled aloud, switching off her phone. “Perhaps I might like him enough to live with him permanently. He might decide to marry me once he really gets to know me. Who knows? I do know the thought of finding a new husband in Australia appeals to me as my ultimate goal. Committing adultery with Casey was the catalyst to me being in the position where I am today. He deserves to be my first priority.”

She sighed and thought those were interesting conclusions that had raced to her mind. Well done, Arlene. She was on a big wave, stepping up in life.

 

 

The End


© Copyright 2017 Grigor McGregor. All rights reserved.

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