One Way or Another
It had been a long difficult flight but now she was finally back home in Miami. The trip itself was bad enough, but that damn pilot would not take no for an answer.
It was not that he wasn't good-looking, cute almost; there was nothing about him that turned her on. That and his constant whining when she turned him down finally caused her to tell him that if he did not leave her alone she was filing a complaint with their union rep. Mollie knew how that would turn out, she would be re-assigned and he would keep flying. At this point she did not care.
Five years she had put up with more shit than she had in her first eighteen years; and what did she have to show for it: Nada. She shared an apartment with three other FA's, had little saved and outside of free travel and time off in exchange for sleepless days and nights every few days she was a wreck with not much to show for it. She should have stayed in College and been a doctor or even easier, married one like her mother wanted her to do.
If he had been stationary a few feet either way, Mollie would have never noticed the man standing in the aisle. It was like there had been a crowd of passengers there at one time and now he still was in the same place, looking at the screens with flight information. She just wanted to get home but, hell, her training seemed to kick in and she turned back towards the man.
"Do you need any help Sir?"
"Ja. I am looking for where to go for my plane. I was looking around, waiting to have the time gone and now, poof, I lost where I must go."
In decent German, Mollie asked a few questions, then a few more as the man began spouting off a torrent of information to someone he might talk to in German.
When he identified his destination as in Alabama, Mollie shook her head and said. This is the EAL Terminal. We don't fly there. You probably want the 3-B or the 4-A. Which city are you going to?"
He said "just outside Birmingham but did not know exactly where. He could call his sister to have her check where exactly he needed to go or where the plane was. She was to be there anyway but, you know how a women gets at times, she sent him instead.
Mollie laughed. "Been there, in my case no work no pay. The way things are going this job will go away soon anyway. C'mon, I'm off duty for a week or so, let's go to the main concourse and call you sister and find your plane. At least it's not a wife that I have to worry about with you, is there?"
"No, no wife. Ah, you make joke, Ja?"
"Ja. In a way. Besides, there is probably someone waiting outside that I do not want to see. I can't seem to get rid of him and don't know why he keeps bothering me to go out with him? Maybe I can pretend your my boyfriend and he'll leave me alone."
Karl took out his cell phone and called his sister while Mollie put her arm in his. They started walking to the concourse.
Under the sound of the airport, Karl mumbled something in German that sounded like, 'Perhaps you should peek into the looking glass and see why a man would do almost anything to be with you.'
Even if she did not get everything that he said correctly, it was enough to bring a smile to her face. She also found she was pulling her whole body closer to this man she had just met, pushing one of her best assets into his chest...
He started talking on the cell. "Ja. Ja. Nein." ... and continued to tell the phone things. He handed her the phone saying, "Erica, my sister, she wants to speak with you. I am sorry, I do not even know your name, beautiful lady."
Mollie reached for the phone but was now looking at the man's face. Had he called her 'beautiful'? She started speaking into the phone in her best German.
"Could you speak in some other language better, perhaps French, Spanish or even English. No I am not a purple cow!"
It was said in English and now Mollie was turning all shades of red. "I'm sorry. I did not know if you spoke English or not. Your brother does not remember what flight he is on or where the plane lands. I am just trying to help him!"
"My brother would forget to tie the laces on his boots. I love him anyway. He tells me you are very beautiful. Good, he needs a beautiful woman to tell him what to do. So, what is your name?"
This was a very strange conversation. "Mollie."
"Tell me beautiful Mollie, would you take care of my brother for me? He might have a MBA from Wharton but he is useless without a woman doing everything with him. It is always business for him. I sent him there in-place of me. Daddy left me the American firms, his are in Europe and Asia. A woman in Europe and Asia are not taken seriously. There Karl does not need much English, so it works well for us. So Mollie, Karl says you have some time free to go with him, help him then he will bring you home where we can talk about a few things. Ja. You will be well paid even if you decide not to stay on with us in some capacity."
"You are as crazy as your brother, He just met me at the airport and you are just a voice on his phone. Now you want me to take him to Alabama and then come see you about a job?"
"Ja. Exactly right. In what you do for your job today, do you not have to be a good judge of people very quickly?"
"Yes, of course."
"In what we do, this is the same with us. Karl, that's the dummy probably staring at you with his mouth open, said you offered to help him out of the goodness in your heart. Is this not so?"
"Well, ha, I guess it is so, yes."
"In your heart, do you feel my brother and I are lying to you or would hurt you in any way?"
"Damn it no, but..."
"So, think of this as a sort of a holiday for you. Everything you do or need will be paid for and I can guarantee you will have the time of your life. Have my brother buy you something to wear for the meeting today, don't worry, the plane will wait. It is at Gate 1, ground level in terminal 4-A. Do you have passport and ID papers with you?"
"Yes, I never leave home without them, not in a job like I have."
"Good, we will get you some clothes for evening and day wear on the way to Berlin. Do you prefer London, Paris or Milan for your formal wear? No matter, I shall have the plane stop at all three and a car waiting to take you shopping. From the way Karl sounded, I think he would buy you anything you want so if you see something else you like have him get it for you. How old are you Mollie?"
"A might personal Erika, don't you think?"
"Not at all, I just know that once you are here and if you do not fall in love with Karl, we have some cousins who would want to meet you and let you choose someone else. I just wanted to present some close to your age. Karl, I fear will be too shy to seduce you unless you choose him yourself. I just feel having you in the family would be a good thing! Think of any alternative to Karl as only a business arrangement though. Ja! With Karl you would be 'family', with the others, close but no cigar. It is like the eggroll in a Chinese dinner there."
"And how old are you Erika? You seem too eager to see me?"
"Silly girl, I told you, we make a judgment about people very quickly. Karl has already sent me 2 or 3 pictures of you on his phone. Besides, it is easy for one she-wolf to recognize another. Beautiful does not begin to describe how you look though. I look forward to meeting you, it is that something you call a 'woman's institution'".
"You mean intuition!"
"Ja, that too. Now please give my brother back the phone, I need to tell him what we are doing. Oh by the way, in the meeting today you may spend up to $10 million to buy the land we need there. It is the same amount I would limit myself too. I will tell Karl to let you do this for him. I want to see how you will do in the future role I plan for you. You are like sent by the gods for what we have planned to get into."
Karl got his phone back. I had to sit down. Things were starting to spin, they were going too fast for me. I looked at the man, his face, tried to listen to what he was saying, the way he talked, gestured and kept looking at me. At some point a frying pan seemed to hit me on the head. 'He's the one you goof', I said to myself. My eyes watered. He gently stroked my cheek, wiping away the tears. I was a goner.
Karl told me a few things as we continued walking to the right terminal this time. Their firm was Daimler AG, Airbus, in the Aerospace group, in particular, had been sold and now changed the financial structure thus freeing up quite a bit of Daimler capital for other things. Airbus's future was now linked closely to the EU not run by Daimler alone anymore. It's success or failure would now affect nations instead. Some parts of the Aerospace Group were kept but meant to become part of a new venture, the rest which were not kept but part of the Aerospace group, had been sold to Kaga Heavy Industry, Mr. Mori Kawajima was the new owner.
This move now allowed Daimler investment monies now be spent not only to fuel automotive and truck growth but in new opportunity markets as well. Just as Mollie instinctively knew the airline business was going to shrink, so too did Karl and Erika know their best markets. This concentration in automotive and other moves would propel them forward in the car and truck markets as well as those new fields they went into. Some new ventures were where their knowledge and expertise in automotive alone would not be enough to succeed though, Mollie would be their missing link on those. It was not what she knew, it was her looks and her ability to judge people instantly that would make her successful for the family. Like most fathers before theirs', everything was left to Karl and her. They had and would continue to place 'family' first.
One new field they wanted to dominate in combined Military, Robotics with pharmaceuticals. It seemed funny upon reflection to many that what many had tried to strip away from Germany in the past, was now becoming a mainstay for growth and providing a new future for Germany. Daimler would try to combine pharmaceuticals and weapons into one industry. She shook her head. With Mollie, several new and improved ideas had come to mind. 'Yes' she thought, 'Ja' this Mollie might be just what would keep her brother better focused and the keep the 'old men' who ran the extended 'family' businesses compliant; all would follow the commands of a beautiful woman, especially if...
Mollie would have no previous history to sweep under the rug either and with the Daimler name and their combined fortune behind her a move into this future business would not dare be opposed internally if she were really a part of the Daimler family, not just associated with it.
Even though on the other side of the globe, she had seen in Mollie the same things Karl had. Mollie was like them, able to judge people at a glance and soon would have to make decisions just as quickly. We would see now, she would have her chance today with the land and if she came to Germany. The $10 million was nothing for Erika to learn more about Mollie. If this Mollie could think on her feet like Erika thought she could, eventually Mollie would be controlling Billions for them. More importantly, before she would turn her loose on her own both Karl and Erika would need to be certain of her allegiance to the family and to them. Yes she had a dream, a plan and was not afraid to move on them, but she was not stupid.
When they entered the main concourse area of the airport, several things happened. Six large men and two women walked up to her and Karl, he nodded to them, then he and I fell in between them. He knew them and obviously was in the right place this time. The 'dread' of Mollie's airplane life, that pilot, was now walking her way. She clutched quite tightly onto Karl's arm as the stubborn pilot yelled for them to stop.
Mollie turned pale. She did not have to say anything, the ghastly look on her face was enough. As the pilot approached, our dolt Karl nodded to two of the bigger men towards the pilot, and expected them to be a little more to resistant than this slip of a girl. As Mollie almost hide behind him, Karl put his arm around her and turned them towards the pilot to watch what happened.
Few words could be heard, but the sheer mass of that human roadblock stopped the pilot cold. He tried to move first right, then to his left around the two bookends; but at each move met the two men. One of the women, the one wearing a earpiece, had asked Karl and Mollie what was going on and after a few unkind words from Mollie, Karl told Marta, for that was her name, that the pilot just would not leave Mollie alone. He also whispered something else in her ear.
She smiled and walked to the three men. Few words were exchanged then Marta came back.
"It is taken care of."
"What did you say?"
"Merely that your Fiancé and you were not interested in anything he might have to say. That further discussion could be done on the subject but that the two blocking him did not understand English, very much, but Bulgarian. I think he will not be a bother any longer."
From pale to beet red, was the best way to describe the colour in Mollie's cheeks. Karl was laughing. Marta said, "I think only 'your new Fiancé' wants to monopolize your time now.
She took Mollie by the hand and two of other men followed them. She had obviously been on the phone with Erika. "I will take her shopping here to get something for the meeting today, Karl go to the plane first, we will be along to meet you when we are done. Now 'schnell schwager', we have more stops to make now on the way back to Berlin."
Marta said;; "Mollie, Inga here will take your personal information, call your place and explain your change of plans, including to resign from your 'former' work if you want. Think of her as 'our' PA. Those two shadows with us are mine, they are Hans and Felix, the others are usually for Karl' so who you end up with may change. Inga will also give anyone you say a way to contact you anywhere we go. your mother and father for example. Erika asks for you to be treated like 'family' so I will pay for anything you want until you meet Erika in Berlin and make the arrangements to do so yourself, when I or Karl may not be nearby. Come, now we shop! To save a day or two travel, London will take your measurement and send them on to Paris and Milan to ready some clothes while we fly there for you to look at them. The 'Family' is holding a private party the night after the one Daimler AG is having to introduce the new management team and Board. Since father died and Airbus has been sold off there have been many changes, with more yet to come. Erika thinks it may be good to introduce you then at both; assuming you are agreeable to some things. We will have to sleep on the plane going back to save travel time; Erika is quite impatient to meet you. She has some plans for you my dear."
In such a short time her performance this afternoon seemed to no longer be in doubt. Mollie was more confused than ever. Things were going like in a whirlwind for her. The calming influence took over though when Karl came over, kissed her cheek and told her their meeting had been the best day of his life. He looked forward to a future together with her.
That changed everything Mollie had worried about. Marta said, "Shop, plan for things later. Karl is yours to 'give away', I have never seen Karl so happy before."