She swore to herself: "Damn! That damn light again!"
Her 'chariot', as she sometimes called her almost ancient car, was showing the 'check engine' light again. She'd had it worked on, and paid money, that she couldn't really afford, to have that done, and now the damn light is on again.
Usually, she knew by then, the light didn't mean much, wasn't really serious. Then the car quit; it just kind of drifted to a stop and she shepherded it to the side of the road.
"I guess it meant it this time!" Janet said.
Right then, Janet Worshek was on the way to pick up Alice Mae from school. She had a standing agreement with her supervisor at work, Warner Ltd, that she'd pick up Alice Mae and put in the amount of time she missed. Alice Mae spent that time in the section of the plant that was meant for watching worker's children. It worked out well for her.
Janet, a lovely 32 yrs old at the time, was a petite blonde. She had the figure of someone who worked out. She was into yoga and had studied martial arts for a good while. She tended, though petite, to be big in the breast, and was altogether pleasing.
She was also tickled to have been hired in the pr and sales department of Warner. It was such a grand place to work. People who worked there were all quite pleased with their relationship with the boss, Jason. He treated everyone, individually and in groups with kindness and attention.
In addition, she'd been out of work for a good three quarters of a year, causing a real financial crunch for her and her Alice Mae. It had been a severe time of pinching pennies, no luxuries, like new or even adequate car/transportation. It was a time to live through, and now with the new job, it might just begin to get better but Janet knew that the 'better' was still a long way away. She had obligations that she'd incurred, during the no job time, and those were first on her agenda. She was working on those.
Janet had married into a rather old Boston family but Roy, her husband, had proven himself to be fairly shiftless. He had some old money behind him, though not as much as he liked to think and lead people to believe.
The message that the money had run out, that he'd given Janet about 13 months ago was a bit of a shock, and then he was gone on what he called 'an adventure' with friends. Janet never heard from him again.
Roy's Mom, who truly disliked Janet, and considered her a few social ranks 'below' the family, simply showed both Janet and the Alice Mae the door.
Truth to tell, Janet was happy to be away from the old witch and they went to a different part of the country and were on their own. She, indeed, had no close family left but they were slowly making it together.
During her time unemployed, she ran up debts with people who were simply nice to her and she made it one of her priorities to pay those debts first of all.
There were debts for furniture for their apartment, and others that had occurred, for the damn car, for instance. The amount wasn't huge, several thousand dollars but Janet had been grateful for the love and concern of others during her difficult times.
"And now this 'damn, damn, damn' car," She fumed, although a small inner voice told her, spoke to her saying that getting this upset with it wasn't going to change a thing.
She acknowledged the voice but was still upset. She simply didn't know what to do about Alice Mae.
Jason Warner, big boss and owner of warner Ltd, was just then deep in a report about some business opportunities that they were opening in the Eastern part of Europe. He was pleased with the perspective.
For occasions like this, when he had some reading to do, he chose to let his 'man' Ralph do the driving. He normally drove his own car but today it was Ralph and the Benz limo, a black beauty that Jason loved.
He happened to glance up, as they were driving toward home, and noticed the car stopped by the side of the road. He was surprised, as soon as he saw the woman standing there.
He knew her! She was 'one of his'. That was the thought that crossed his mind, as he asked Ralph to stop.
"I know that woman," Jason said, "She works for me."
Ralph pulled onto the shoulder of the road and both he and Jason got out.
Janet was really relieved to see Jason Warner get out of the car. She'd only met him once but saw him around the business any number of times.
"Mr. Warner!" she said, the relief in her voice.
He walked over to where she was standing and he said, softly but pleasantly: "It's Jason!"
"Jason," she repeated with a smile.
"Your car?" he asked.
"Yes, recently had it worked on but the 'check engine' light came on again. Normally, when it does, it's still drivable but today it just stopped."
"Ralph," Jason said, turning to the chauffer, "Will you make a call about Ms. Worshek's car?"
She broke in then, with an apology: "Please, it's Janet."
"Yes," he said, "Janet."
(Of course, it should be said, Jason Warner recognized Janet. She hadn't worked for him long but he knew his people; he especially knew the pretty ones, like Janet Worshek. He smiled inwardly at that thought.)
Ralph made the call and then Jason said: "Where to? Home?"
"Oh, no," Janet said, "I'm on the way to pick up my daughter Alice Mae at school. I do in the afternoons and she will use the family play room at work, while I finish my day there."
"Ah, I see." he said. "Well, Ralph, we'd better go and fetch Alice Mae from the school."
"Oh, thank you!" Janet said, truly grateful.
Janet got into the sleek and beautiful car and settled back, looking around her then with a smile on her face.
"This is so lovely," she said.
"Yes," he answered, "It's what I use, when I have some work to do. I have this prospectus for a buy out in the Czech Republic that we might be interested in."
"Yes," she responded. "I heard a rumor at work about that possibility."
"Well, I've been looking it over and like what I've seen," Jason said next.
Then he had a thought. "Say," he went on, "How about if we pick up Alice Mae and go for a treat? I think that I'd like to run these prospectus items past you and get your opinion. Can we?"
"I'd like that, Mr ... er ... Jason," she said, causing him to grin at her.
They pulled up in front of the school just about in time. Janet got out of the car and waited by the side of the car until she saw Alice Mae running toward her.
"Mommie!" Alice Mae said but stopped short, when she saw the kind of vehicle that her Mom was standing by.
"What's this cool, cool ride for?" Alice Mae said, with an all out grin.
"The car broke down," Janet said, beginning her explanation.
"Again?" Alice Mae said.
"Again," Janet said, "And Mr. Warner was nice enough to give me a ride to come and pick you up."
"You mean 'THE' Mr Warner?" Alice Mae said, grinning.
Just then Jason got out of the back seat of the car.
"Alice Mae Worshek," Janet said, "Don't you make a scene!"
It caused Alice Mae to grin at her Mom and then she turned to Jason and said: "Mr. Warner, thank you for taking care of my Momma."
"Well, it certainly seemed as though someone needed to," Jason said. "The car and her being stranded and all."
"Yes," Alice Mae said then, "And no one to meet me at school."
"Exactly," Jason said, "No one to meet you at school."
"But look at this car," Alice Mae went on. "It's just lovely, lovely."
Jason turned to Janet then, who was watching the interplay between her, as usual, almost outrageous daughter and Jason Warner.
"Well," Jason said next, "I've suggested going out for a treat now. Your Mom and I need to bore you with some business talk but a treat?"
"Grand," Alice Mae said, and surprised both her Mom and Jason by grabbing him for a hug.
"You're so nice," Alice Mae said, in the midst of the hug, that caused Jason to simply grin at Janet, who was watching and smiling, and then kiss Alice Mae on the top of the head.
"And, by the way," Jason said, as the hug broke up, "This is Ralph my absolutely everything guy."
Alice Mae had her hand out to meet Ralph, who took the hand and said 'hi' to Alice Mae, a grin on his face.
"Okay, everyone," Jason said. "Load up and it's ice cream for all of us."
"I'll make sure that a friend of mine comes to look at her car; I'll get it taken in to his garage," Ralph said.
"Thank you, Ralph," Jason said, and was echoed in that 'thanks' by Janet also.
They went to a nearby ice cream parlor and ordered their treats. During their time there, Alice Mae had all sorts of news about the new math items that she'd been introduced to that day.
"My daughter the math wizard," Janet said, getting a grin from all of them.
Then Alice Mae suggested that she take a treat out to Ralph, who was outside with the car.
Jason gave her some money from his wallet and she went to take the treat to Ralph, who was appreciative.
While Alice Mae was gone, Jason looked at his watch and said: "I'm afraid that I don't have time now for the perusal of the Czech thing. How about dinner? We could do it then."
"I'd like that," Janet said.
They made the arrangements then. He had Ralph drive them home and they went home themselves.
They'd agreed that it could be a pizza dinner, one of Alice Mae's favorites. He took his own car, later in the afternoon, and went to where Janet and Alice Mae lived. Once he was at Janet and Alice Mae's tiny apartment, they ordered the pizza and Jason sat with Janet to talk to her about the Czech proposal.
It was Jason's intention to become familiar with the Czech proposal himself, by explaining it to Janet. He was, however, surprised by the comments that she made, and the questions that she asked.
"Well, isn't this a treat," he said to her.
"I owe you an apology," he said, "I was all prepared to take one of the new gals from the pr and sales department and talk down to her about our business expansion and here you are showing an amount of savvy that I'd expect from a top executive."
Janet smiled at him and said a soft 'thank you.'
(She did, of course, have other kinds of secrets but wasn't just ready to spring them on Mr Warner, Jason, just then. She thought that she'd wait for other surprises.)
They worked for a while and then had the pizza. It was a treat for all three of them. Alice Mae, who seemed to be really struck by Jason Warner, sat and grinned at him a great deal.
"I like you," Alice Mae pronounced, during the pizza meal.
"Why, thank you," Jason said, "I like you too!"
"You're so nice to me and my Momma," Alice Mae said next.
"Honey," Janet chided her.
"Oh, it's okay," Jason said, "She's just my pal and she's helping my ego."
They all three laughed at that and Janet simply nodded her head.
It was then that Jason got a phone call. He spoke for a bit and then hung up.
"That was Ralph," he said, "I'm afraid that your car is dead, dead, dead."
"Oh," Janet said, "I was afraid of that, and just when we're beginning to see some light."
"Momma," Alice Mae said, "I'm going to go and do some of my homework."
"Fine, love," Janet said.
Alice Mae insisted on a hug from her Momma and then a hug and kiss from Jason.
Janet then sighed and went into it, all of it: the Boston family's rejection of her, her scatter-brained husband and his leaving to go on a kind of a drug seeking venture with 'friends', and the subsequent move and their struggle to get themselves set up with a normal kind of life.
He listened patiently and said then: "Well, let's at least begin by taking care of your transportation needs."
"Oh, thank you," Janet said.
"Ralph and I will be here for you in the morning; we'll drop Alice Mae off at school and take you to work. We'll work this part of it out right away."
He was as good as his word. The next morning he and Ralph, in the limo, picked them up to take Alice Mae to school.
Alice Mae asked if she might be allowed to sit in the front seat with her 'pal' Ralph. Jason said that would be fine and Alice Mae joined a grinning Ralph in the front seat.
Jason was a very methodical man. It's how he got along so well in business. It's how he built up his successes. He knew that he was really taken both with Janet and Alice Mae but he was determined to look at those feelings, test them and work with them in the very same methodical way.
He maintained a good relationship with all of his people and it was under the guise of such general relating that he kept Janet Worshek within his sights constantly.
He tested his feelings and the undeniable connection that he wanted with her, before allowing himself to do anything about it at all.
At work that day there was a great deal of meeting and discussion about the Czech proposal. Jason was pleased with the way that it was coming together but thought that they still needed some other kind of perspective.
Later in the day, he went into the office that Janet shared with two other gals. He felt himself to be ready.
"Ms Worshek," he said politely.
"Yes, Mr Warner?" she replied, as politely.
"Shall we go and fetch the whirl wind named Alice Mae?" he asked next.
"A wonderful idea," Janet said and they were off to get Alice Mae.
It was another day for mid afternoon treats.
While they were having their treats that day, Jason brought up the subject of the Czech proposal.
"I really appreciated your perspective and questions about this," Jason said to Janet.
"I've been thinking about it since then and maybe we need to do something about getting you more involved," he said.
Janet smiled. "I'd like that," was her reply.
"Well, I have a proposal," he said, "In order to get some atmosphere, why don't we, the three of us, go out to dinner at 'U Stvorskova'?"
"Oh, we love Czech food," Janet said, and the plan was made.
(Janet was determined that evening to spring her surprise for Jason Warner. She thought it might just help both of them.)
Jason was alone, when he picked them up for their dinner at 'U Stvorskova'.
When they were seated, a waiter with a thick accent came to the table and asked if they wanted something to drink.
It was then that Janet made her move.
She knew that Jason wanted a beer to drink, since they'd talked about it, and then she proceeded to order the drinks in flawless Czech.
Jason just sat and stared.
She smiled at him. Even Alice Mae figured out what her Momma had done. She'd heard her Momma speak Czech any number of times. Even she was learning some Czech these days.
"My god!"Jason exclaimed. "My god!"
Janet smiled at him again.
"That was or at least sounded flawless! You speak Czech that well?" he asked, still a bit shocked.
"Yes," Janet said, "My Babba taught me."
"Babba?" Jason asked.
"Grandma, my Grandma Alicia taught me Czech. I use it now and then but my Czech is fine. It never really fades," Janet explained.
"Well, well!" he said. "What a fortunate, fortunate time for your car to break down. I would never have suspected any of this otherwise. That was fantastic."
"Thank you," Janet said.
"Tomorrow, we need to talk and do a little planning," he said. "I already liked your questions and ideas about our proposed Czech Republic venture, and this makes it even more special. We need to talk about this!"
"I'd be pleased to," Janet said, smiling at him.
The waiter brought their drinks. Jason was then once again vocal about how special it was that Janet spoke Czech.
"Got what I wanted," he said, grinning.
"Got what I ordered," she said.
"Yes, that's right," he said. "My own Czech specialist right in house! How great is that?"
"Is that what you want me to be, Mr. Warner?" she asked.
"Yes," he said, and, nodding his head, went on: "At least that!"
She smiled and said: "Good! That's what I want too."
They had a very nice dinner and then Jason drove them home to their apartment.
"How about a good night hug?" he asked of Alice Mae.
She grinned at him and then had him in her clutches, hugging him.
"You just be nice to my Momma," Alice Mae said.
He bent down and said: "I will treat her the greatest; you'll see."
"Good," Alice Mae said, "Then you get another hug from me, and a good night kiss."
"Great for me," he said, getting the hug and the 'good night' kiss from her, while Janet looked on and simply smiled.
"Have time for coffee?" Janet asked.
"Yes," he said, "I'd love it."
"Give you a chance to say a proper 'good night' to the princess," Janet explained.
"Makes it worth it," he replied.
They went into the small apartment and the first order of business was to begin a bath for Alice Mae.
Janet quickly made a pot of coffee and then went off to oversee the bath, while Jason had his coffee.
"I'll join you in a minute," he said.
It was only a short time later that Janet came into the kitchen with an all shiny Alice Mae, now dressed in her flannel night gown.
"Look who's all clean and sparkling bright!" he said, getting an appreciative grin from Alice Mae, who now insisted on a hug and a kiss 'good night' from him.
"Good night, love," he said, as Janet led her off to the bedroom.
Janet was soon back and said, upon entering the kitchen: "You treat her so nicely! I appreciate that."
"She's a love," he said.
"It was so hard on her, I mean Roy's family not wanting anything to do with us and all."
This now was making Janet a bit emotional and he responded by getting up and putting his arms around her.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered, "Just a bit overcome by your goodness with my Alice Mae."
"Well," he reiterated, "She's like her Momma, a true treat."
Janet grinned at him.
They sat then and had coffee.
"Tomorrow Ralph and I will be here to take Alice May to school and you and me to work," he said.
"Thank you," she replied.
"We need to talk about the things that have happened; we'll do that tomorrow. I need to think just a bit but we'll go over these things tomorrow," he said.
"Good," she replied, "I'll like that."
"Maybe I should stay and tuck you in also!" he said.
She grinned at him. "Lovely idea! But maybe not this time."
"No, I guess not," he said, grinning at her, though both of them knew he wasn't really kidding at all. "No need to rush, is what I'm thinking."
"Yes," she said, "No need to rush."
Then they paused at the door to the apartment. With little or no thought or preplanning, they were simply entwined together. She was pressing herself against him and he had his arms around her, hands in the middle of her back and was holding her.
They kissed. It was simple, at first, yet a real revelation for both of them.
"Oh!" she sighed, when the kiss was done.
"Yes, I guess," he agreed. "Need to think about that too."
"Good night, Jason," she said.
"Good night, Janet," he replied.
"Spi sladky'," she said. "Sleep well."
He grinned at her, as she shut the door and went inside.
Jason did indeed have a long night of thinking and planning. It seemed so strange that at one and the same time, with her, so many things seemed to be coming together. As he thought, he outlined in his mind plans that he intended to implement beginning tomorrow."
He was nothing if not decisive, when he'd made up his mind about a venture. It always worked in business for him, and that was precisely what he was planning about Janet and Alice Mae.
Janet didn't quite know what to expect. She was in her office, which she shared with two other young gals. They were, at the time, talking and having coffee. When the door opened. I was Jason.
"Uho," one of them said, "Look busy it's the boss!"
He laughed along with them and said a cheery 'Good Morning, ladies."
"Good morning, Mr. Warner," they all said together.
"May I please borrow, Ms. Worshek for a bit?" he asked pleasantly.
"Please don't bed, spindle or mutilate her," one of the gals, Lori, said next and went into giggles.
He grinned, and stuck his hand up in the air: "I make that a promise."
Janet got up from her desk and said: "Sir?"
"Yes," he said, "I'd like to talk to you in my office."
"We're praying for you, Janet," the other gal, Stephanie, said, getting a grin from Jason and a giggle from Janet.
They walked slowly to his office. At one point, when they were in a corridor alone, he said to her softly: "It took all my energy to not grab you for a kiss right there in your office."
She giggled at that. "That would have caused a stir!"
"Probably!" he said, "I'm on my good behavior, and it's business that I want to talk about."
"Yes," she responded, "Business."
"Though haven't forgotten that kiss for even a nano-second," he remarked.
"No," she said truthfully, putting her hand on his arm, "Nor have I!"
"How's my darling of darlings, by the way?" he asked.
She giggled behind her hand, knowing whom he meant but still said: "Oh, I'm fine!"
He laughed and then said: "Okay, then how's sweet Alice Mae?"
"She's great," Janet said. "Told me this morning about how excited she was to be getting a ride to school with you and Ralph and the limo. It's really made her day."
"Good," he said, "My only aim!"
At that point they finally had gotten to the office suite at the top of the building, where he had his office.
"June," he said to his secretary, "I'd like about an undisturbed hour. Take my calls please."
"Of course, Mr. W," the secretary said.
"You know Janet Worshek, don't you June?" he asked then.
"Yes, sir," June said, "We've met; hey, Janet."
"Hi, June," Janet said.
June got a smile on her face next and said: "Janet, he's been very calm all morning. You're probably not in trouble!"
He laughed and said: "Everyone's on my case today!"
"Just keeping you in line, Mr. W," June replied calmly.
"Guess I need that!" he admitted and showed Janet into his office.
As soon as the office door was closed, he grabbed Janet and was kissing her.
She came up from the kiss surprised, with it written all over her face. She was broadly smiling.
"Calm?" she asked. "That's calm?"
He grinned and then she got on her tip toes and kissed him back.
The kiss went on and he whispered to her: "No bending, spindling or mutilating just now!"
"No, not just now!" she said. "We'll practice those things later."
"We will!" he said.
Before he let her go, she whispered to him: "Let me just hold on for a moment and soak in how wonderful this feels, how lovely and gentle and how unexpected!"
"Lovely idea," he said.
When they finally broke the hug, he said: "Okay, back to work."
"Yes, sir!" she said getting another grin from him.
"Okay," he said, as they were sitting in an alcove off of the side of his office, where there was a small table and chairs around it. "Let me talk about this for a moment."
As he talked, he fetched a folder from his desk.
"I've thought about this, and here's what we're going to do. I have to say that I was impressed, first of all, by our discussion about the proposed Czech project. You showed some really good insight and your questions were right on. So, this is what I intend to take to the board. They will back me up on this; there's no doubt about that."
He paused then and looked over the documents in the folder.
"I'm going to promote you; I want you to be my assistant. We'll give you the office next door that joins mine on the left side."
Janet had a surprised look on her face, and then she put her hand to her mouth in the surprise.
"Oh," she said.
"We can begin to work together on strategy for the Czech project today. Here's the package that we're going to offer."
Now it was surprise number two. It included a raise of over $20,000 for Janet. She was temporarily shocked by it.
"Also," he pointed out. "We have a long standing policy of providing cars for our senior management."
Janet simply was agog at that point.
"Here is the list of dealers we work with. Contact any of them. The guidelines indicate a cap of $50,000 but buy what you want, even if it's over the cap."
"I don't know quite what to say!" she said.
Then she got a sly look on her face and said: "Do I have to do anything dirty?"
He simply laughed. "It's hard to stay ahead of you."
"I'm sorry," she said but he held up his hand and said: "I considered putting in a clause that you'd have to take your clothes off in my office periodically but my better judgement intervened."
"Sounds like a delicious idea." she said.
"Hold that thought, please," he said then.
"I will; and I'll stop getting us off the track," she said then.
"You'll need to pick your own secretary," he said, "Or we can share June, while you get settled. And we can get you set up in your office today. I will want to get together with you this afternoon and we can talk about some details of the project. I'll fill you in on all of it."
They were finished at that point, though Janet's head was certainly spinning. He walked her out of the office and they went back to the office she'd shared with the other two.
When they got to the office, both Lori and Stephanie looked up.
"Ladies," Jason said, "I'm taking Janet with me."
"Oh," Lori said. "What did she do?"
"She's going to be my assistant, in fact," he explained.
Then he turned to Janet and said: "Can I take anything for you? I have someone coming to see me in about 15 minutes."
"You go," she said, "I'll be fine with this; there isn't much."
She got a hug then from each of the girls in the office. They told her how pleased they were for her.
As she took her things to the new office, her own thoughts were swirling and thundering across her mind. She knew that she'd have to talk to him.
She took time, with the help of June, to get her office settled.
"I'm so at sea with this," Janet confessed to June.
"You'll get settled and you'll be roaring in no time," June assured her. "That much about you I can guess and I know that I'm not wrong."
They ended with a hug and June saying a heartfelt: "Welcome, Ms Janet."
"No, no," Janet said, "Please it's Janet, not Ms Janet."
"Aren't you nice!" June said and went to her own office.
Janet sat back in her desk chair then and simply looked around to let it all sink in.
Jason came back in a few hours. Lunch?" he asked. "They'll send something for us, if you wish."
"Oh, that'll be nice," she said. "I have some questions, both business and, um ... personal. If you don't mind."
"You have all my intention," he said.
They did in fact order salads then, his a 'cobb' and hers a 'caesar', and they settled down in her office to talk.
She led off: "I was wondering exactly what to do about a car."
"Easy enough," he explained. "Just go to the dealer, one from the list and shop."
She got a broad smile on her face.
"Know what you might want?" he asked.
In fact, Janet and Alice Mae had already done some dreaming out loud about things to buy, once Janet had a decent job. They had indeed talked about a car.
"Yes," she told him. "Alice Mae and I have talked about this. We'd like a Honda SUV."
"Great," he said. "Go to Stimson"s and talk to Jim. He'll get you straightened out."
They left the topic there for the moment.
She blushed then and asked: "Do you mind if I ask a personal question now?"
"Not at all," he said, smiling at her.
"Is it, I mean, should we kind of not be personally involved, if we're to work together like this?" she asked, afraid of his answer at this point.
His reply shocked her out of that kind of thinking. "Hmm," he said, "Tell me what kind of panties are you wearing?"
She put her hand over her mouth and began to giggle.
"Maybe I'm not wearing any!" she shot back at him, and he grinned at her.
"You evil man," she said to him, laughing, as she got up and walked toward her desk.
He had her by the hips in an instant. She began to squeal and put her hand over her mouth to stifle the sound. Meanwhile, he had hauled her skirt up to show her pretty pink, nylon panties.
"Proud of ourselves?" she asked.
His answer then was simply to kiss her. She clung to him and kissed him back. During the kiss she moved a hand and raised her skirt up to her waist, giving him a chance.
He had his hands down on her panty covered butt then, and finally slid both hands down inside her panties.
"Mmmmmmm," she said, "Like that, boss man."
"Me too," he said to her, his lips to her lips.
"Dinner soon at our place?" she asked. "I know that Alice Mae wants to get her hands on you again."
"Perfect idea," he said.
After one more kiss, he paused and said: "Yes, we do need to do some work this afternoon."
"Grab ass is finished?" she asked.
"Yes, for now," he said.
"I'm going to pout now," she told him.
"Good," he said, "Got you where I want you."
"Yes, yes," she said, "No pouting and work now."
As a matter of fact they did sit down for a good long time and he went over the details of the proposed Czech acquisition. She took notes and asked questions at times.
They worked on the design that they intended for the purchase meeting and both of them were pleased with where they came out with the design of the project.
"We'll want to show this to the management team meeting. It's scheduled for tomorrow morning. You okay with that?" he asked.
"Well, I imagine that I'll be a bit nervous but 'yes', I'm fine with that," she answered.
"Give them a chance to meet you and you a chance to meet all of them too," he said.
"I'll need some time to go over this and get it in shape to present it," she said.
"Fine," he said, "I'll leave you to it now."
"Fine," she echoed.
"Any chance of taking your pink panties with me?" he asked.
"None whatsoever," she said, grinning.
"I'll get you," he said, "And your panties."
"That much I'm counting on," she said, brushing his lips with hers, before he left.
She worked then on the presentation she'd be making to the management team the next morning. It went very well for her. She designed a lead in with the name of the company in its Czech context, all the while thanking her lovely 'Babba' for her Czech education that was proving so helpful.
He came into the office later, and said: "Time."
"Time?" she asked.
"Yes," he said, "For you and Ralph and me to go and sweep that Alice Mae off of her feet at her school."
"Oh, yes," she said, "I was so intent here that it slipped my mind."
"Good that I'm here then," he said.
"Yes, good that you're here!" she answered.
"Do I get your panties for remembering?" he asked pleasantly.
"No, you don't," she answered as pleasantly.
But as they were walking toward the door, she raised her skirt to show him the wiggle of her butt cheeks beneath the pink nylon of her panties.
"You're being cruel now," he whined.
She grinned at him and went to give him a kiss.
"You're lovely to tease," she said.
"I'll still get you," was his declaration then.
"I'll still look forward to it," she answered.
They went then to pick up Alice Mae from school. She came bounding toward them, when she saw that they were there again with Ralph and the limo. She hugged her Momma, and then Jason and, this time, included Ralph in the group that she was hugging.
"Ralph!" she said with joy.
"Ready?" Ralph asked.
"Yes," she said, "May I ride in the front with Ralph?"
"Yes, dear," Janet said and it was settled.
They stopped for their treat on the way home and then Ralph and Jason dropped the two of them off at their apartment building.
"I'm sorry but I have a few things that I need to do," Jason explained.
"We have to do some talking too," Janet said, leading Alice Mae toward the door of the apartment building, her arm draped across Alice Mae's shoulder.
"School was?" Janet asked, when they got into their apartment.
"Great," Alice Mae said, "We learned some new stuff in math; I'll show you."
This was a part of their routine. It helped them to be in touch and stay in touch; it also helped Alice Mae, since it gave her the chance to explain her new math stuff to her Momma.
They sat for a good hour and Alice Mae went over her math stuff, doing most of her homework in the process.
When they were finished, Janet said: "Okay, sweetie, we need to talk. There are things that I need to tell you."
"Oh, news?" Alice Mae asked.
"Yes, news," Janet affirmed.
Janet made herself a cup of Irish Breakfast tea, with sugar and evaporated milk, a true comfort drink, and they sat to talk.
"Well," Janet began, "Let me tell you what's happened today."
She went into all of the events of her day with Alice Mae, who was truly excited about what had happened for her Momma that day.
"Good for you," Alice Mae said.
"So, that means that on Saturday, you and I can go car shopping!" Janet said, a note of triumph in her voice.
"Oh, I love riding with Ralph," Alice Mae said, "But won't it be nice to have our own car?"
"It really will," Janet said. "This opportunity is a really good one for me, for us."
"Yes, Momma," Alice Mae said, "Good for us."
They were hugging then.
They were both up and excited early that Saturday. They'd gotten themselves dressed and were looking forward to the day.
As they were getting things all set, there was someone at the door.
"I'll go," Alice Mae said, and squealed in delight, when she found Jason at the door.
"Momma," Alice Mae called out, "It's the Jason."
"The Jason?" Janet responded with a laugh and then she was there with the two of them and hugging Jason. He was carrying a bunch of bags.
"First breakfast and then shopping for a car?" he asked pleasantly.
"Wonderful," was the response of both Alice Mae and Janet.
He proceeded them to the kitchen where he showed a variety of things, including scones, and croissant sandwiches of eggs, ham and cheese.
"Lovely," Janet said, "I'll make the coffee. Thank you so much."
She was hugging him then, and following her it was Alice Mae hugging him.
"Thank you for being so nice to us," Alice Mae said.
"It's so easy for me to be nice to you," was his response, that got him renewed hugs from the ladies.
When they'd finished their breakfasts, with declarations about how excellent it all had been, they trooped out the door.
Jason had his private car that day, and drove them to Stimson's to look at the Honda SUVs.
Jason was warmly greeted by Jim, the boss, and then he introduced both Janet and Alice Mae, indicating that the car was for them, and that Janet was his assistant.
"The bill will simply be paid by the company," Jason said, and Jim just shook his head. They'd done this kind of thing before.
They had a good selection at the dealer and, since Janet had selected the make and model of the car, she said that Alice Mae could pick out the color.
In the end, Alice Mae picked a red SUV. Both Jason and Janet agreed.
Jim told them that the car would be ready for them that afternoon, in about a couple of hours.
It left Janet and Alice Mae truly excited.
"In the meantime," Jason said to them, "I want to take you and show you something."
They settled down in his car and he drove them to the western suburbs of the city.
This was, for Jason, a kind of calculated risk. It was part of the plan that had been forming in his mind. He ran the question past himself about whether it was too soon or not but, at least in his feelings, it didn't seem to be 'too soon'.
There was, in that part of the city, an old, extremely large house, set up on its own land, with a rambling drive up to it and land on all sides. It was simply called locally 'the House on the Hill'. It had been there as a feature of the local landscape since the past century.
Janet and Alice Mae, who had indeed heard of 'the House on the Hill', were non-plussed, when Jason turned into the drive.
"Um," Janet finally asked, "Do you live here?"
He grinned at her and shook his head 'yes'. Janet and Alice Mae just continued to stare at their surroundings.
They passed a gardener on the way up the twisting drive. The gardener simply waved to them. Jason waved in return but Alice Mae and Janet also waved.
When they arrived at the house, Jason parked in front of the main door. Both Janet and Alice Mae were staring.
He smiled at them. "Like it?"
"Oh," Janet said, "It's ... it's rather wonderful."
Just then the front door opened and an elderly lady walked out. Jason turned to her and said: " Mrs Winthrop, this is Janet Worshek and her lovely Alice Mae."
"Miss Janet, Miss Alice Mae," the elderly lady said, "It's so nice to finally meet the people that Mr Warner has been babbling about so much."
Janet looked at Jason, who simply smiled at the revelation that Mrs Winthrop had made.
"They bought a new car today," Jason explained and have to wait now a couple of hours 'til it's ready."
"Good," Mrs Winthrop said, "Time for tea then. Would that be okay?"
"Fine," Jason said, and looked at Janet, who said a soft: "Yes, thank you."
Mrs. Winthrop then turned to Alice Mae and asked: "Would you like to help me put on the tea?"
"Oh, can I, Momma?" Alice Mae asked, all excited.
"Yes, sweetie," Janet said.
After they'd gone, Janet and Jason wandered into the front foyer. He touched her arm and said: "I've wanted to show you this. Hope you like it."
"Like it," she said, "It's positively gorgeous."
"Momma's pride and joy," he said, as they looked around.
They'd gotten through part of the 'tour', when Mrs Winthrop announced that the tea was ready.
"And thank you for bringing my helper," Mrs Winthrop went on, indicating Alice Mae, who stood grinning and wearing an apron, tied up around her armpits.