Gage smiles as he takes the key to the storage locker he just bought. His high bid being only 45 bucks. He always loves to find these kinds of deals. He had all his apartment furniture from a storage locker he bought for 10 dollars. He couldn't think of anywhere else he could get leather couches and recliners, a refrigerator, a new mountain bike and boxes of old books for only 10 bucks.
Gage takes the history of the payments from Mr. Gamble, the owner of the storage warehouse. As he scans the monthly payments that ended abruptly six months ago he unlocks the door. He folds up the paperwork and stuffs it into his back pocket and slides the steel door so he can see what his money just bought him.
He steps in and picks up the only content of the huge empty and dusty room, a black velvet box with a gold lock on the side. He flips the little slip lock and opens the lid. Gage sighs audibly when he sees the jade decanter, safely cushioned in black silk. He slams the lid shut and tucks it under his arm as he walks out thinking, win some lose some.
He climbs into his old Dodge and makes his way home. An old warehouse converted into loft apartments. It was old but wide open. He loves open spaces, lots of room to move around in. After moving in he realized there was a vaulted ceiling and decided to remodel. Now he had an upstairs bedroom that overlooked the livingroom and his desk. It's cluttered surface, covered in work he still needed to get to soon.
He sighs sitting down at his desk. His laptop beeping at him incessantly as he lays the box on top of a pile of print outs of code he still needed to go through. He looks over all the work he still needs to do and lays his head down on the desk, banging it a few times to knock some sense into his mind.
He leans back in his leather executive chair, rubbing his forehead where he hit it too hard once and lifts the box off his desk, turning it over in his hands. He looks over it, for any kind of hint of something worth the forty-five dollars he spent on it. Gage opens the little gold lock and lifts the Jade decanter out of it's contoured prison. He sits it up on his desk and turns it this way and that, looking at the intricate design over the surface.
He shrugs and puts it in his kitchen, figuring he can use it when he gets a date one day. It might look nice with some red wine in it, he thinks, as he tosses a few dirty dishes into his already over-flowing sink.
He wipes his hands off on a dirty towel and tosses is over his shoulder, tipping the bottle over, the top popping off. The sound makes him swing around in time to catch the bottle before it falls off the slanted counter top.
There's a slight shaking in his hand and sits the bottle down thinking it must be the adrenaline starting to pump at how fast he had to move. He braces himself with one hand on the edge of the counter and the other on the front of the fridge as the whole apartment starts to shake.
"Earthquake? In Michigan?" he asks aloud to no one.
Gage's eyes track the bottle as it floats up to hover just at chest height and levitate there. He slowly reaches out a trembling hand and grabs a hold of the slender neck. All the shaking instantly stops and a blonde haired woman in a sweat suit stands before him, smacking gum, and generally looking annoyed.
"You're... You're... You..."
"Yeah, Yeah," she sighs out rolling her eyes, "I'm a genie. You get to make one wish." she drones out in a monotone voice but stops abruptly raising one finger in the air right in Gage's face.
"ONE! And No wishing for more wishes. It's against the rules."
"Rules?" he asks confused, thinking that genie's didn't have any rules.
"Yes, Rules. You know things you're not allowed to do." she replies sarcastically as she spits her gum out onto his floor.
She begins once again in a bored voice rolling her eyes, "Rule one, Now that I'm out of my bottle, virtually homeless, you have to put me up until such time as you make your decision. Just keep in mind that I will pop up from time to time in the most of inopportune moments."
"Rule two, I can't bring people back from the dead. It's messy and I don't like doing it so DON'T ASK."
"Rule three, I can't make anyone fall in love. I'm a genie not Cupid. If you're looking for love call him and leave me alone."
"Rule four, you can't wish for more wishes. Only one wish, per master."
"Rule five, you have exactly," she looks down at her watch that is counting backwards,"23 hours and 54 minutes to decide on your wish. If you haven't made a decision by then I will pick one for you. Ok, those are the rules. Now, do you have a toilet I can use?" she asks, looking around the apartment.
"Yeah, over there." Gage mumbles, pointing towards a closed door.
"Thanks." she replies, walking over to the door and opens it, scrunching her face at the interior.
"I think I'll hold it, another few years won't kill me." she mutters, closing the door and plops down at his desk instead.
"Ok, let me get this straight. You're," he points to the blonde rummaging around on his desk, shuffling already scattered files, "a genie and I'm your Master. I get to have one wish, no matter what it is."
"Not." she goes to interrupt.
"I know, the rules. Ok, so almost anything, and I have one day to decide what it will be."
"You got it, Master. Now, you got any money? I wanna go get a pack of smokes.Three years without a cigarette was too much for me." she asks standing up and holding her hand out.
"Wait, why should I give you money? You're the genie here, just," he waves his hand in the air, "make some appear."
"Who do I look like Seigfried and Roy over here? Do you see any white tigers around me? Umm, No. I can't grant wishes for myself only Masters, ok? So give me ten bucks and point the way to the nearest store."
"Damn, I don't believe this..." he grumbles, taking his wallet out of his back pocket and fishes out a ten dollar bill.
"Thanks, now where's the nearest store?" she asks, snatching the money and slipping it inside her pants.
"About two blocks that way." he instructs point to the south.
"See ya in a sec." she snaps her fingers, vanishing.
"Somebody slipped me something and it's just now taking effect. That has to be it. I mean, a genie? Come on, next thing you know I'll be talking to myself." he says out loud, plopping down in his chair that's still warm from when she was sitting there.
Suddenly his arms were full of his genie, her legs over one arm and her back pressed to the other. Her hands holding a beer, open, and a pack of Marlboro reds. She finishes chugging her cold beer and looks at his shocked face.
"Oh, sorry." she excuses herself and rises from his lap, to stand in front of him.
"So, you got a name or do you want me to call you Master?"
"Um... It's Gage, Gage Jefferies." he answers holding out his hand to shake.
"Nice to meet you GageGage Jefferies."
"No, just Gage Jefferies."
"Oh, sorry, in my line of business you tend to meet some people with weird names. But yours is nice. It suits you. Not like Alahendro, man talk about a jackass. He was the kind of man who made a rat look good enough to kiss."
"Um, I hate interrupt your trip down memory lane here. But do you have a name or do I call you Genie?"
"Oh yeah, Name's Rachel, but you can call me Genie if you want, go by both actually.There have been some masters that rename me after their girlfriends and that kind of thing."
"You don't get out much do you?" he cuts into her rambling again.
"You could say that. What year is this by the way?"
"It's January 2001."
"Man, really? 2001, huh? Well I guess I lost that bet." she mutters flipping open the pack of cigarettes. She tosses it into the air and catches it in between her open lips and lights up.
"How did you do that? Some kind of Genie trick?"
"Nope, it's called a thousand years with nothing to do. Then I got hooked on daytime TV. I never should've granted Martin's wish to take Another World off the air. Two and three o'clock just haven't been the same since."
Rachael walks around the loft touching things as she goes and finally sits down on the leather couch, stubbing her cigarette out into a dead potted plant beside the phone.
She rolls her eyes slowly, pursing her lips and drumming her fingers on her knees.
"So... what do you wish for?" she asks tilting her head and eyeing the man sitting at the messy desk.
"I don't know. I mean, there is so much I'd like to have and do. I just don't know."
"Hey, don't sweat it. Take your time. Well, don't take your time, you know what I mean."
Rachael nods her head as she looks around the loft. His unmade bed in the corner, with floor to ceiling windows on either side. A dresser and chest of drawers against one brick wall. A few paintings of this and that hanging in no particular order.
"How about a house?" she suggests looking back at Gage, still at his desk.
"Nah, then you have property taxes and insurance. Not too mention neighbors."
"O-kay." she murmurs drumming her fingers on her thighs again and yawns once.
Gage watches riveted to her breasts as she stretches her arms above her head and yawns one more time. He leans forward with her as she bends down and removes her tennis shoes and curls up on the soft black leather couch. He steps over to the edge and lays a quilt over her sleeping body. He sweeps a few tendrils of curls out of her face and whispers, "Good night"
He decides that he needs to clean this place and sets about finding the mop and bucket. Once the kitchen is done he tackles the major job of his bathroom. He wipes the mirror off one last time and smiles at his smudged reflection. He starts striping off his clothes intent on taking a shower.
Gage checks the water temperature one last time before stepping into the bathtub and pulling the tab to start the shower going. He braces his body on his arms on either side of the nozzle and lets the hot steamy water wash all the grim and sweat of the day away.
He reaches for the soap and finds none there.
"Damn, I wish I had..."
He swings around and comes to face to face with Rachael, both naked but only one wet with water running down his back. His hands cover his groin and his face is frozen in shock that she is in here. In his shower with him. Naked and looking at him.
"What the hell are you doing in here?" he demands, his hands still holding himself.
"You were wishing for something. Hello? Genie here." she answers sarcastically and begins to roll her eyes but stops titling her head and admiring his muscular chest covered in a nice mat of dark curly hair.
The dark brown hair matching his head, both on his scalp and from what she can see that he's trying to hide.
Rachael snaps her eyes up to Gage's and can see that he's angry at her interruption.
"Hey, don't get all bitchy. I told you earlier that I would be popping up at the most inopportune times. Is it my fault you weren't listening? No. " she snaps her fingers and vanishes with a muttered 'jerk' still hanging in the steamy air.
Gage moves his hands and leans against the cool wet wall of the shower. The hot water still beating his back muscles that are beginning to relax. He bangs his head a few times, thinking about how much of jerk he was to her. I'm sure she didn't want to be summoned from her sleep to be standing in my shower with a stranger. Both of us naked to boot. I WAS a jerk, he thinks, as he softly hits his head a few more times.
He turns back into the spray, facing the nozzle. Behind his eyes he pictures Rachael's body standing once again before him. Steam caressing her bare skin as she stands with her shoulders relaxed and hands hanging loosely by her sides. Only this time with him reaching out to touch her blushing skin, her face, to look in her brown eyes and see his lust for her body matching hers for his. Leaning in and kissing those full lips, that purse when she thinks.
"Man, I wish that..."
"Listen, you've got to stop wishing for things in the shower, if you don't want me here." she protests behind his back.
Gage swings around again and sees she has covered her eyes this time. And this time he doesn'tcover anything with his hands. Instead reaches out and touches Rachael's cheek, brushing her hands away. He leans in and kisses her lips that are slightly parted, her eyes wide in shock.
Rachael closes her eyes but for only a moment, enjoying the soft tender lips that are kissing her so sweetly. She reaches out her own hands to feel his wet body, but stops and clenches her hands into fists and keeps them at her sides. When he breaks the kiss and pulls away from her lips and face she snaps her fingers, vanishing into the mist.
"Rachael?" Gage calls out and then thinks about what they just did. Everything in him wanting that to happen, over and over again.
"Yes, Master?" she answers from the other side of the closed shower curtain.
"Um... Rachael... I um... Just wanted to say... Well, I'm sorry about that. You know, what happened. The kiss, I mean." he stumbles out and slaps his forehead at how much of a dufus he must sound like.
"May I make a request, Master?" Gage finally notices how she calls him Master, and not Gage like earlier.
"Sure." he answers a little shaky.
"Would you mind if we went out tonight? To like a dance club or something? If you haven't made your decision by then." she asks straightening the crumpled dirty towel on the rack. She smiles at how he had cleaned, or tried. She snaps softly and the rack displays two navy blue fresh towels, hanging side by side and a terry cloth robe to match, hanging on a hook beside the shower curtain.
"Ok, if you'd like. I know a club we can go to. It's really loud though, are you sure you want to go to some place like that?" he asks, running a hand threw his short dark brown hair.
"It's better than where I've been don't you think?"
"Yeah I guess you're right." he mutters filling one hand with shampoo.
Rachel walks out of the warm moist bathroom and into the large open living area. Giving the cluttered room the once over she snaps and everything instantly finds it's correct place. Even the cluttered desk is straight. All files in the correct folders and pages in order. She shrugs and snatches her cigarettes off the corner of the desk and lights one as she eases down into his leather desk chair.
She looks down at the sweat suit she has on and decides she needs to go shopping for something to wear tonight. Rachel swivels the chair and begins to rise up when Gage walks out of the bathroom, wrapping the belt around the robe she conjured up for him.
"Master, I need to go shopping for a dress or something to wear tonight."
Gage goes back in the bathroom and carries his jeans out as he digs his wallet out of the back pocket again. He takes out his American Express and hands it to her. Before she can ask he just points northeast. Rachel nods and looks up into his brown eyes before she snaps, leaving him alone once again.
He sighs heavily plopping down into his chair. He grabs his glasses from off his desk thinking how he had better get some work done or atleast clean up his desk. That's when he sees that Rachel did it for him already, just like she had left two clean towels and a nice soft robe, smelling of Downy fabric softener for him in the bathroom.
He turns on his computer and starts finishing a few projects he's been putting off. Gage glances at his watch every few minutes, after the second hour passes he starts getting a little worried. It took her like three seconds to get a pack of cigarettes and a beer earlier. Where the hell is she?, he thinks chewing on the end of his black ballpoint pen.
Gage shuts down the laptop and gets up from the chair. He starts up the wooden stairs, leading to the bedroom and his closet. He looks back over his shoulder for just a second, silently wishing she would come back and never leave again. He shuffles the last few steps and opens his closet and picks out a pair of black dress pants and a midnight blue dress shirt.
He turns to toss the clothes on his bed and sees it's made as well as everything is clean and put away. Even his dirty clothes hamper is empty and he didn't even know he had a hamper. Much less that it had a bottom to it. He grabs a pair of dress shoes and tosses them beside the bed. He checks his watch again for the 100th time, frowning at how long she's been gone. Only five minutes more than the last time he checked.
"I'm back, Master" Rachel announces, sitting the three shopping bags on the black leather couch.
She looks around the quiet apartment then snaps her head up to the balcony when she hears him calling her name.
"Where've you... I mean, what did you end up buying?" he stubbles out, leaning against the wrought iron railing.
"I gotta dress! I haven't had a new dress since I was with Arron!" she exclaims smiling brightly, lifting her small shopping bags in the air for emphasis.
"I thought we could get some dinner before we went to the club. How's that sound?"
"You mean, like Dinner and Dancing? Isn't that what people call a date?" she asks innocently, looking up at Gage.
He blushes a little at how it does sound like that, because that is what he meant it to sound like. He had actually found the guts to just jump in head first into the dating pool.
"Yeah, I guess it is."
"So, you're asking me out on a date?" she asks still a little confused.
"Yeah, I guess I am. Would you like to go out with me?"
"Yeah! I mean, I'd like that. Um... I'm going to go change. See ya in a sec."
This time she didn't vanish, instead just casually strolled over to the bathroom and closed the door behind her. Gage hung his head down and took a deep breath, unable to control his nervousness when ever he looked at her smiling face, or her laughing eyes. He walks back the ten steps to his bed and starts getting dressed to go out with his Genie.
Rachael takes one last look in the bathroom mirror and shrugs at the reflection. She opens the door and stops, snatching the small red purse that matches her dress, off the counter. As she walks into the living area she digs her pack of cigarettes out and takes one, lighting it. As she blows the smoke out she stops hearing Gage in the kitchen, dropping something.
"Are you alright, Master?" she asks seeing the look on his face.
"Um, yes I'm fine. You ready to go?" he squeaks out looking her over.
His eyes widening a little more with each inch they travel over her shapely body. The four inch red heels that make her calves flex. The shimmering hose on those shapely legs, that seem to go on forever. The flowing skirt part of her dress stopping just a few inches above her knees. Her blonde hair having that windblown look as it hangs over one shoulder, begging for someone to run their hands threw it. Her full and rounded breasts threatening to burst from the tight top that criss crosses in the front and around to the back.
Rachael notices his black sport coat and takes her cigarettes out of her purse and hands them to him, asking he would mind holding them for her so she wouldn't have to carry a purse. He nods and takes them, slipping them in an inside pocket.
She takes his hand in hers and faces him, looking in his eyes that she's almost level with. Her heels making her a few inches taller.