He bought her to save her. That started the ball rolling. And the wall came tumbling down.
“George, hey, you got a minute? You’re not going to believe this. Remember, you owe me a favor. Keep that in mind so at the end of this call you don’t tell me to go pound sand. OK, so I ran to Wally World for a couple of dock lines for the boat. I saw this cute little red head crying on the bench out front with a sign that said Girl Scout. Not Girl Scout cookies, just Girl Scout. I asked her if she was OK, and this mean, nasty looking lady told me to move along if I wasn’t buying. I said how much. She said 300 for the afternoon. I offered her a thousand bucks now and $19,000 after she signed adoption papers turning her girl over to me. She started laughing and said ‘Deal’. Now I need some help. I think I just bought a little girl. Says her name is Brenda. Brenda Worton.” My friend George was a judge and a golf buddy. He’s a better judge, but then I’m not good at golf either. I just love the game.
“OK Chuck, first, how old is she.”
“Fifteen, almost sixteen. In two months.”
“Wow. OK, here’s the deal. Believe it or not, it’s not illegal to pay money to help someone out of a bad situation. It IS illegal to accept money to pass that person along. To sell them. You are bad. She, the mother, is a felon waiting to happen. OK, here’s what you do...” And he went on to tell me my future.
The story of Charles, Charlie, Collier, just kept getting weirder. One thing I could say though, there was never a dull moment.
“Brenda, you OK?” We had just gotten out of the taxi, walked down the dock and climbed over the gunwale of my boat.
“Yes, sir. I think so. I guess so. Why would you do this? I reckon you’re my father now, huh?”
“Guardian, protector, provider, any number of titles, but father? I dunno. I just didn’t want that lady, woman, whatever, ughh, hard to call her that, to pimp you out.”
“You mean my aunt? My father’s sister. Got custody when I was thirteen, almost fourteen. Two years ago. Two long years.” She shivered. “Do not want to face that again. So, what am I doing here, on a boat, on the river, watching barges go by.”
“Before I answer that, Brenda, I need to know how long that’s been going on. Her selling you to strangers at Walmart.”
“That, sir, was the first time. I think I’m very lucky, if you saved me, or very unlucky if you bought me. Mr. Collier, I’m, what they would call, on the river, in the day, unsullied. Yes, sir, I am unsullied by any man. I guess that won’t last long.”
“Miss Brenda Worton, I do declare I hear venom in that voice of yours. Trust me sugar, I am working with a judge to keep you off your back, not making it worse. I’m not making any demands of you other than to clean up after yourself, but I’ll need some cooperation. There are going to be people asking questions and wanting answers. If you want to stay free, and out of the foster system, answer them. Truthfully. With Brenda’s answers, not with what you think Charlie wants you to say. OK?”
“Yes sir. Again, why are you going out of your way to help a trailer trash piece of shit like me?”
“Promise not to laugh?”
“No, I don’t promise. Not at all. This is a weird situation. I’m gonna laugh if it’s funny. Sorry. I want to start our (air quotes) ‘relationship’ out with honesty.”
“OK, I’ll give you that one. I have a thing for redheads, number one. Your hair is beautiful. Authors would call it the color of a new penny. You are a very, very pretty girl, Brenda. Gorgeous eyes, cute little button nose, kissable lips, and you would have been sucked up into the sex industry faster than your aunt could have saved you. Second? This is the one that will hurt me if you laugh. Your eyes. When I looked at you, sitting there in tears, I wanted to help. Your eyes said you needed help. Your eyes asked me to help you.” She smiled at me. I continued, “You didn’t laugh.”
“Nothing to laugh at. As soon as you looked at me, I felt safe. When you handed Lucy the money, I exhaled. My fear released itself from me. I walked away with you willingly. Because of your eyes. I guess I’m just as weird as you are. Mr. Collier...” I interrupted her.
“Charlie, Brenda, or Chuck, but Mr. Collier is a little formal for this situation.”
“OK, I like Chuck. Chuck, I had nothing to lose by coming with you, but your eyes showed kindness. Safety. I don’t know how. They say the eyes are the window to your soul. Your windows were clean and bright and cheery. Lucy was going to have me fuck the first guy with three hundred bucks or blow the first one with a hundred. Yeah, your eyes looked better than anything I was facing.
“OK, here’s the deal. We’re going to Quincy and going shopping. You game for that?”
“You understand I have nothing. I thought I mentioned that, but I have nothing. Not even enough change for a phone call.” I handed her three quarters. “Oh, cool. Now, I need twenty bucks for a taxi to the nearest pay phone. Do they even have those anymore? Thank you for the symbolism, though. You’re a class act, aren’t you?”
“I try. Actually, I try pretty hard.”
“What do you do, Chuck? Besides buy little girls and rush them off their feet to your humble aquatic abode?”
“Think, usually. I’m on a sabbatical right now. I have a problem to solve, and I can’t seem to get over or through it. I hit a wall. I don’t even think about it now. I’m just running from it for a while, then I’ll come back and start beating on it again.
“A problem? Personal problem? Work problem? Money problem?”
“Yes, no, yes, no. It is a problem. It is not a personal problem. The only personal problem I have is loneliness, and that doesn’t bother me much anymore. After enough time, you get numb to it. It is definitely a work problem. I’m in the middle of a project. An invention, if you will, and I need to figure out how two things can work together. I’m having a problem with that. I think it’s solvable. It’s not like turning lead into gold. It’s more a matter of numbers and such. Money problems to me are like personal problems. Won’t happen. I’m lonely, but I have enough money to eat and buy gas for the boat. I can go somewhere and meet different people. I’m fine. Yes, no, yes, no.”
“Wow. You really don’t have any intention of raping me and leaving me for dead, do you?”
“Nope, just trying to help a little in my corner of the world. Your room is down and on the left. It’s not very big, but it’s private, or you can use the bench seats in the galley. I have the cabin up in the bow. You can go look around while I get us underway. I’m going to head us up to Quincy for a couple reasons, but one is to get you away from your aunt. I don’t think I like her.”
“Join the club.” She went below. “I’M SLEEPING IN THE KITCHEN?”
“Galley. The galley, and that folds out to a really big bed, and is fairly comfortable, from what I’ve heard. But, no, your berth is behind that little door further back on the left.”
“OK, Sounds good. Wow, about the same as my room in the trailer. Only nice. This wood is pretty. Are you going to buy food, too?” She was standing down below looking up at me.
“Whatever you think we need. We’ll be here a few days before we leave.”
“Yeah, leave. Head south. The Gulf. The Bahamas. Anywhere but here. I was leaving here when I found you. I stopped in to buy some ropes. Shit. I forgot the ropes in all the commotion of buying a street urchin. I still need those ropes. These are a little worn. Oh, yeah, I still want to leave, but I have to make sure It’s legal to travel with you before we leave. I guess I should have cleared that with you first, huh?”
“Why? You bought me. Fair and square. What about school?”
“Just the fact that you asked makes me think you care. Internet. Home school. Something. Anything. Where are you at with schooling, anyway?”
“High School Junior, in September. Honor Society. It was going to be my way out, until you ruined that by absconding with my physical being into your nether world.”
“College scholarships? A Plus system? You were planning on them? I’ll make you a deal. Finish your education and I’ll fund you through your doctorate, as long as it’s a US school, or something I agree to.”
“This isn’t real. You’re going to rip my panties down and rape my virgin body any second now, aren’t you?”
“Oh, I guess I’m the talkative one now. Chuck, why are you doing this, really?”
“Trying to help someone. Someone cute. Well, pretty. Or pretty cute. Brenda, I’m using you. I’ll admit it. You are beautiful distraction and I think I can help someone, too. Good enough?”
“It has to be. It’s the answer you gave. I can’t deny it. It’s yours.”
“OK, we’re leaving now.”
“Hannibal in the rear-view mirror. Lately, I haven’t been able to imagine that. I like the sound of it, though. Chuck, when you do rape me, will you be gentle?”
“Isn’t that like saying ... Never mind. Brenda, if anyone rapes you, or takes you against your will, it won’t be me, and it probably won’t be on this boat, if I’m on it. If I need to do something along those lines, I can call any number of people, or get me a (air quotes) ‘date’. Do I need to stop at the chastity belt store and hand YOU the key?”
“No. You made your point. Chuck, why aren’t you married or have a woman with you or anything like that?”
“I do. I just bought one. Ah have all the womans ah needs.”
“Stop. I’m serious. I’m not stupid. You’re obviously wealthy. You’re easy to look at. Probably smarter than the average On The Run clerk. Why are you lonely.”
“I work too much. Girls want to be the center of attention. I can do that, until I get an idea, then my idea is my center, until it runs its course. It would take a very special woman, an intellectual equal, maybe even someone to work with, to make it work. She may be out there somewhere. Until then? I’ll fish, and think. And buy purdy liddle girlies. Did I bite off more than I could chew here? Would you rather go home and get rid of the guy in the boat?
“Not yet. Still considering my options.”
We got through the lock, reaching Quincy, just upriver, then docked and got tied up. I hit my Uber app and got us a ride into town. We went out back to Kohl’s, shopping for her. I wish Penney’s was still around. They had everything we were looking for. She needed everything, too. Then we hit Wally World for personal items and some food. We used ice and coolers to get the cold stuff back. She almost pooped her britches when I asked her what kind of beer she drank.
After she stopped choking she said Coors Light, so I got a case of that, too. I didn’t make any comments about getting her drunk first, THEN fulfilling her nightmare. I just let it go.
I got a text from George. He said it would be a week, and everything would be final. She wasn’t being adopted, so much as emancipated. I was listed as the employer, and she was in Home Schooling. I knew he’d come up with something. ‘Congratulations, it’s a girl’, he said. Then he said I was fucking crazy. True that. But a little girl wasn’t being forced into sex, putting out for money. We got our loot and headed back to the boat. It’s a 43-foot Tiara. Not big, by any means, but big enough for me. It got a lot smaller when I brought her on board. It wasn’t really a river boat, but when I ran away from my problem, I flew to the ocean, then had a stupid idea to get a boat and come home, then go back. It’s been fun. I don’t feel I made the wrong decision ... Yet.
We unloaded onto the boat, got everything somewhat organized. She needed some of my closet space for her stuff. Mostly blouses and a couple jackets. She had some skirts and slacks on hangars, too. Pretty conservative dresser for a teenage girl.
“Can you take notes, and type, and keep a calendar and things like that?”
“I’m a slave girl to a pirate ship’s captain. Why would I need administrative assistant skills?”
“You are being emancipated. That means you need to have a job. And a place to live. I have need of a Personal Assistant, a PA, and there’s an open cabin off the galley.
“Oh. Was that the job interview? Or...”
“Yes, that was it. Here’s my phone. Call Sally Hernandez, she’s my HR director. Tell her you’re my PA. and answer all her questions. Tell her George is working on the Birth certificate. You have a permit or anything?”
“Yeah, I do. Never thought I’d use it for anything. Lucy never let me drive. Good thing. Her car was a mobile wreck. It’s ringing. Hello? Sally Hernandez, please? (Pause.) Yes Ma’am, it’s his phone. He handed it to me and told me to call you.”
“HI SALLY! HOW’S ROBBIE DOING?!?” I yelled, over Brenda’s shoulder.
(Pause.) “She told me to tell you he’s coming home next week.” I nodded at her. “He nodded. I didn’t hear any noise, so I guess that’s good.” Giggle. (Pause.) I know, huh! (Pause.) Oh, yeah. I’m his new PA. (Pause.) Brenda. Brenda Worton. (Pause.) Yes. Missouri. P1178356. It’s just a permit. (Pause.) Fifteen. Sixteen in a couple months. (Pause.) August 15th 2002. (Pause.) No, Ma’am, it’s not a joke. Maybe if you call ... George? He is working on some paperwork for me. Mr. Collier just said it’s Falstad. George Falstad. (Pause.) Yes, Ma’am. His judge friend. (Pause.) OK, I’ll be here. Nowhere else to go. (Pause.) Yes, Ma’am. If you say so. (Pause.) Bye, now.”
She handed me my phone, pulled my ears until I was face to face with her and kissed me. Softly, and more than just a peck. “Sally said to kiss you for asking about her son. She said it’s almost like you care or something. Then she said you were batshit crazy for hiring a little girl to be your PA. If I wasn’t starting to enjoy the job, I’d agree with her.”
“What part of the job is it that you like already.”
“The kiss. Even if it was from someone else.”
“Sally is over fifty, and her son, Robbie, is in Afghanistan. He’s a major in the Army.”
“Oh. OK. Lesson number one. Don’t assume anything. Got it. Hamburgers and broccoli and cheese for dinner?” I nodded. “It’ll just be a few. They’re those microwave things I bought. Go relax topside and I’ll bring it up to you. Want a drink or anything?”
“Yeah, actually, but I’ll wait ‘til after. We can relax together and talk. There is still a lot of Brenda I want to know about. Water would be fine for now.”
We ate dinner on the cockpit table, then had an after-dinner drink, her one of her silver bullets and me a splash of Lagavulin, a 16-year-old. I did learn a lot about her. It made me surer I’d done the right thing. Looking back, I’m still surprised she hasn’t bolted and run. I mean, having your aunt, your legal guardian, your own family, basically sell you to a stranger for 20 grand. Not really even that. Just a thousand dollars and the promise of the rest to come. That has to be telling.
“I’m better off, you know. Even if you chain me up in your cabin and turn me into your play thing. Lucy didn’t care about me. She was keeping me from reaching any better life.” How in the heck did she know what I was thinking? “It was in your eyes. The way you were looking at me. You were probably wondering if you had done the right thing. You could have just called the cops, but she would have talked her way out of it somehow. If you meet any of your promises, I’ll have a doctorate in some engineering field and in the meantime, until then, you’ll have a PA. As you already know, I am Brenda Worton. Lost my father to a boating accident 6 years ago and my mother, two years ago, to a self-induced run in with a bridge. In any case, I have nothing that wasn’t provided by my father’s sister, my aunt Lucy. She used to be OK, but the meth is starting to affect her pretty badly.
“I’m a straight A student, I like softball, but for some reason can’t dribble and I hate to run, so after school activities were limited. I read, voraciously, and am the recent victim of a case of human trafficking, slave trading, or employment fulfillment, not sure yet which. Now, will you tell me about the man that bought me?”
“I didn’t buy you and I’m not a human trafficker or slave trader. You did get one thing right, though. My PA slot is filled. You are now gainfully employed. At least as soon as George can find your birth certificate and we can get an I-9 and some tax forms filled out on you. Until then you’re in limbo, somewhere between a kidnapped child and a personal assistant to a tech mogul.”
“You admit it then?”
“Yes, I’m a tech mogul!” I said, causing her to laugh.
“No, that you kidnapped me.”
“I will not admit to that, and should have used the term ‘at risk child relocation’ or some such.” She giggled again. “I am principal of Collier Enterprises, Incorporated. An engineer and inventor at heart. I have fun making stuff. I’ve never been married, but cornered and almost trapped, until my work schedule turned out to be something she couldn’t handle. I’ve had a couple more try for the money, but their eyes give them away.”
“My birth certificate is in an envelope in the top drawer of my dresser in a shabby little trailer with a hole in the floor next to the toilet where it’s rotted out. The toilet will fall through one of these days. After pondering that, I’m thinking, maybe, somehow, I may be better off. I mean except for the whole human trafficking angle.” She giggled again.
“I didn’t...” She interrupted me.
“I know, sir. I get that. I’m teasing. Now ... This is either the biggest miscalculation of my short life, or several hours overdue, but thank you. Thank you for caring enough to save me from a certain hell. Life would certainly have to go downhill after what she had planned.”
“You’re welcome, Brenda. As long as you are OK, and happy, I made the right decision.” She hugged me and went below. I heard her brushing her teeth, flushing the head, then pulling a blanket out moving about in the little room off the galley.”
Finally, I had the opportunity to take stock of what I did today. I don’t think I believe what happened, but it did. I have to believe it, though. It wasn’t a dream, or a nightmare, and I actually called George. Worse yet, he returned my call and was going to help.
I had made the purchase of a very pretty, red haired, green eyed, female specimen of the human race. She was rather small for her age, I think, not that I have any knowledge to base it on, but at about five feet tall, she seemed a little height challenged. But, she was gorgeous. Magazine model material. We bought her a lot of clothes today. I hope she wears them instead of the jeans and old ragged t-shirt and flannel shirt she was wearing when I found her. And those shoes. More like worn out work boots. We’ll see in the morning.
I headed below, closing the hatch behind me, and getting a drink on the way to bed.
“Are you here to finally pillage and plunder my virtue? The fairytale over and the nightmare starting.”
“No, Hon. Getting a sip of OJ and heading to bed. The fairytale continues. You figured the head out earlier, I guess.”
“Yes. Not too much different, and I could actually sit down without worrying about it falling through the floor with me on it.”
“That has to be a plus.”
“It is. Thank you again, Chuck. See you in the morning.” She padded back to the bunk, leaving the door to her cabin open. I took care of some evening, pre-sacktime, activities, then hit the bunk and again pondered the day. It seemed like I was rehashing the same question over and over.
But, I must not have pondered long, because I heard the alarm go off then. Up and at ‘em! I looked in on Brenda, but her cabin was empty. Coffee in the galley. Hmmmmm. I grabbed a cup and went topside.
“Good morning, gorgeous. How are you feeling after your first day of captivity?”
“Just fine, Captain No Beard. Or should we say Captain Whiskers. You could use a shave. Hope the coffee is OK. I couldn’t go back to sleep this morning, so I got up and quietly rummaged the stores. Found the fixings, and the pot where you stow it. Bunn. I had to look it up. You left your tablet on the seat last night. I guessed at the swipe pattern. I’m terrible, aren’t I? So, I looked it up, got it plugged in, thankfully we’re on shore power, or I wouldn’t have known what to do. I’m rambling like a nervous little girl, aren’t I?”
“Keep going. I love the sound. You have an amazingly pretty voice. Do you sing?”
“I sing along with the radio at times. Especially Holly Fields and Taylor Swift, my favorites, I guess. I have no idea how well. Other than in class, music class in school, I’ve never sung for anyone. I guess I sound better than some.”
“Understood. Oh, and no, you’re not terrible, by the way. As my PA, you have access to all my secrets. Seriously, there’s will be nothing I hide from you. My life is pretty boring. Good guess, too. Not very original, though. I might want to protect it better, or just not lose it. Either would work. Interested in a good breakfast? Elsewhere?” She nodded. “Go clean up and change. I bought you some clothes yesterday and I would imagine you’d like to wear something besides those again.”
“I wanted to shower first, but didn’t know if I should. I know you have limited resources on a boat.”
“Do your thing. We have shore water available and a pump out on this dock. We’re fine. If we can’t find a full-service marina while we’re moving, and feel the need, we’ll jump ship and find land accommodations. We’re good here, though. You go first, I’ll follow, then we’ll take care of the boat and I’ll teach you about your new home. Are you feeling OK enough yet to take me up on my offer?”
“Let’s see what breakfast brings. Remember, I haven’t gotten out much. If you feed me bilge swill, I’ll probably not wish to hang my hat on your mast, Cap’n!” She giggled and took off below, taking her cup with her. I heard her rinse it and set it in the sink. Doors opened and closed, water ran, then stopped, then ran again. She’s bright. Navy shower. About fifteen minutes passed. A vision came through the hatch.
“Oh my God, Brenda, you are beautiful. Seriously.”
“Thank you, Chuck. The look, your eyes, I feel beautiful right now.” She twirled for me.
She was wearing a pastel mint green tight-fitting cap sleeved T and a matching hair band. The white cotton spandex short shorts and natural leather strappy high-heeled sandals topped the whole thing off. She was stunning. I hated to focus on it, but her body was amazing. Legs going on forever, enhanced by the 3-inch-high heels. Her thighs disappearing magically into the shorts without a mark, blemish or any distraction, front or rear. And speaking of rears, her bottom was magnificent. A classic bubble butt, rising to a narrow waist then out again to her wonderful bust line. For such a young lady, her breasts were perfect. Probably a B cup or a little more, but high, round, and just perfect. Her bra style could not have been a better choice.
“So, you approve? Not going to take me back to Lucy this morning?” I nodded, then shook my head, and smiled. Then grinned. “Go clean up and take me to breakfast, sailor.” She reached over to get my coffee mug and when she was within range, I reached out and set my hand on her hip. She shivered, but didn’t pull back.”
“You are a beautiful woman, Brenda. Stunningly, marvelously gorgeous. Thank you for letting me help you. I feel blessed that you’ve given me the chance.”
She kissed me on the top of my head. “Thank you. You’re not exactly chopped liver yourself. Go!” As I stood, I saw her eyes watering. She pushed me away to the hatch and turned to the back of the boat while I left.
I came back up, purposely making us out to be the Bobbsey twins. Green pastel button up, untucked, white shorts and boat shoes. She had regained her composure, temporarily, then broke out laughing.
“If George sees this, he’ll put you in jail for child endangerment. We look so cute. Every old lady in town is going to want to just pinch our cheeks. You look nice, though.”
“Thank you, Ma’am. I look like crap in your presence, but thank you. I hit my Uber app when I got out of the shower. Let’s walk up, shouldn’t be too long.”
We had her, yes, her. It was a lady driver. Doesn’t happen often. We had her take us to IHOP. We were going shopping at the center across the street again afterwards. I had an idea. I was going to see how far I could take this. Tonight, if I could manage it. It may be a huge and utter flop, but what the hell. You only live once.
“Well, it’s not exactly bilge swill, but, I don’t know.” She smiled, then sipped her coffee, then her cranberry juice, then her water, and repeated that cycle while we talked for a while. “It seems too good to be true, but it’s happening. Will it always be like this, or am I missing something. I think I like this job.”
“First, you are totally missing something, and life with me will be nothing like this. In the fall you have to go to school after breakfast. Other than that? Look, Brenda, this is a vacation. When you’re juggling appointments with two suppliers and two customer agencies, while doing your calculus homework, we’ll see how flippant you are about it.”
She laughed. “Touché. Got it. Lesson number two. Use your free time wisely. He’s going to put your skinny ass to work pretty soon.”
I whispered across the table. “It’s not skinny, Darling. It’s perfect.” She snorted while sipping her water and almost had a mess on her hands, but recovered well.
“Finally, it starts. The verbal assault leading to the desecration of my maidenhood and purity. My virtue is under attack.”
“Don’t get carried away. I’m just telling you you’re gorgeous. All over.” She smiled and mouthed, ‘Thank you, Sir’.
We paid and left for a walk across the street. She was amazing in her high heels. Her legs really were fantastic, and she handled walking the distance well. I asked her about it. “Sophomore play. My character was in heels all the time, so they let me take a couple pairs from the costume department to practice in. I like them. I even wore them at school sometimes. Lucy never saw them, though. That would have not gone over well, I’m sure.”
“Well you look amazing in them. And walk like a practiced runway model. Brenda, you really are an amazingly beautiful girl.”
“Thanks, Chuck. A girl never gets tired of hearing that.” She held my arm tight to her and kissed it right above the elbow where her lips could reach. “What are we shopping for, anyway.”
“I am doing some future planning, and need to work on wardrobe and social interaction with my new PA. She’s new to the job, and to the industry, so I just need to help with some prep work.”
“In other words, ‘shut up and follow me, I’ll tell you what I want you to know later’. Something like that?”
“No, I will never treat you that poorly. Ever. Now shut up and follow me. I’ll let you know what we’re doing when you need to know!” She laughed so hard I thought we’d never get across the parking lot.
“My new boss is a certified dufus!”
We went into Kohls, looking for a nice dress, and saw a few. One that she really liked, and she looked amazing in. I asked her to get it, for me. Blushing, she said she’d need a bra to wear with it, due to the halter cut of the top, so off we went. Then, while we were looking for shoes, I told her when we got settled, I’d take her shopping and find exactly what she needed, for every occasion. She looked at me questioningly. “I mean, you’ll need stuff. I want you to have what you need. That’s all.” She nodded, still a quizzed look on her pretty face.
“Come on,” I said, tapping my phone’s Uber app. “Look at the shoes here, then I’m taking you to the mall for a bit. Let’s just look around. You never know what you can find on a treasure hunt.”
“Aye aye, Cap’n. Let’s sail this smarmy port.” I chuckled with her at her antics. God, she’s cute.
She found a pair of comfortable three and a half inch pumps, half inch platform, in plain black leather. The kind you could wear with anything. She said she wanted them because they felt like bedroom slippers walking in them. I thought that only happened in golf shoes. We hit the checkout, paid and left with our purchase, Uber waiting patiently
At the mall, we found another couple of beautiful outfits, this time a blue one and a black one, both having sexy mesh and lace insets, but instead of her deciding, I had her get them both. I told her we’d find the time and place to wear them. My ‘trust me’ was met with more pillaging and plundering jokes. We found shoes, as well, dyed blue 4-inch pumps to match, and a pair of black sling back, and ankle strapped, peep toes, with a little bow, that were just perfect for her little feet and long legs. Then I surprised her by taking her to Victoria’s Secret, handing her a black card, telling her to knock herself out, and not to forget stockings and such. I called a young lady over, a sales associate, and asked her to help my new PA with whatever she needed. The girls’ eyes lit up. I couldn’t tell if she was on commission or just found a doll to play dress up with. I found out it was both. I walked away, and made a couple calls. Sally had talked to George, who had a friend of his helping to get all the paperwork ready. There was a visit to her home, and the birth certificate and a couple of other things were in an envelope in the top drawer, just like she said. The detective, another friend of George’s asked to be left out of the loop next time someone had to go back to that house. That was an official visit. I convinced George to ask the cops to lighten up on her, Lucy, until I could pay her, and keep my word. Then they could do whatever they wanted. I’m sure my new Personal Assistant would wash her hands of the whole family. At least I hoped so.
I heard my name being called, so I went over to get Brenda from the store. She had a few bags, one of which was bigger than the others. I raised my eyebrow. “Oh, they had a clearance sale on shorts and tops. The Pink line. They had some cute ones, cheap, and I think my new boss will like them. We’ll see.” I smiled. I thanked the girl and handed her a twenty. Then I consolidated some bags, set them on a bench and tapped on my Uber app.
“Back to the boat, First Mate?”
“Aye, Cap’n. Thanks for the clothes. You’re going to spoil me.”
“Yes, I am.” I grabbed her stuff and we walked through the mall, out into the sun, and a waiting Uber. Neat, same lady as before that took us to IHOP. It’s not like Quincy would need a lot of them. It’s not a metropolis like San Diego or New York. As we approached the car, I realized we’d been holding hands since we left the bench outside the lingerie store. My heart clinched a little and I felt butterflies in my chest. Wow. Just like a teenager.
Back at the dock, we got out, took care of our driver, then headed toward the boat. This time I noticed when she held her hand out for mine, and they joined. She looked up at me and smiled. Once on the boat, she hung the dresses up, removing all the tags, then I showed her around the boat, to include the generator panel. She’d mentioned it, so I thought it pertinent. We untied and moved the boat over to the fuel dock, filled up with diesel and water, then I showed her how to use the pump out hoses and connections. She agreed, yucky job, but someone had to do it. If I was busy, she could handle it. She was by no means a prissy bitch. She made that known. She’d pull her weight.
I got on the phone and found a dinner club we could go to that evening. When I told her what I had planned, she was excited. She made us a sandwich and some chips to split for a light snack. When we were done, I thanked her, then reached out and squeezed her hand. She stood, gathered the paper plate and napkins, and leaned over to kiss me. Just a small one, but it was a kiss, not a peck in haste. A real kiss. “You’re welcome. Any time. I’m going to wait until we get back to worry about cleaning up. Do you mind if I read on your tablet for a while?” I picked it up off the seat next to me and handed it to her. “Thanks. When are we leaving for our date?” She giggled.
“About seven. I have a reservation for seven thirty and the band starts at nine.”
“OK. It’s three now, so plenty of time.” She turned her head down to the tablet and was punching, swiping, and nodding like she knew what she was doing. “Interesting list of customers, Mr. Collier. Special Programs, Electronic Warfare Office, National Security Agency. This is going to be an interesting job, isn’t it?”
“Just wait until you’re old enough for a security clearance and can accompany me to meetings and such. Until then, you’ll still know what I’m doing, but not what they do with my products. Believe me, you won’t feel deprived of information. I take it you’ve decided.”
“When you reached out for my hand in the mall. I knew then. I’m going to give you the chance to prove yourself to me. I’m also going to work it the other way. I need to convince you that I’m worth keeping and not just a cute red headed bimbo. Next time I ask you to tell me about yourself, though, be a little more forthcoming. I had no idea that Collier was that big. Well not big, but substantial.”
“I was easing you into it, but I have help. I don’t run all three shops myself. I don’t have much input, actually. I have people.” I chuckled. “Yes, honey, I’m one of those people that has people for that.” Then she giggled.
“What am I getting into here.” She went back to her reading. “Wow. I have a lot to learn.”
At about six, she went down to get ready. She asked me to give her a little privacy and locked herself in her cabin when I went down to change. I was done first and waited to meet her in the cockpit, I was wearing a suit and a green tie I thought would look OK with her dress. Oh my, I had no idea. No one would see it anyway. They’d all be looking at her. She came up wearing the green halter dress. A shining sleek form fitting piece that came to mid-thigh. She was wearing stocking, off black, most probably, and the comfortable thin platform pumps. Light make up with a mint green eye shadow, barely there. She looked delicious. I would be so proud to have her on my arm tonight. The pictured definition of ‘arm candy’.
We locked up and walked up to the parking area to meet our ride. It was set to arrive at seven. I was right about not many Uber drivers in Quincy. She greeted us, same lady, once again, and said she jumped on the ride when it came up, figuring it was us. She complimented us on our appearance asking if we were headed to something or somewhere special. My PA just said, ‘first date’, giggled, then thanked her for her compliment and we were off.
We had a nice dinner, and shared a glass of wine with and desert. Well, I made it look that way. She drank the wine and I had a double Crown rocks. The band started playing so I asked her to dance. She knew this was going to happen and even after the warning about stepping on my feet, she did extremely well. She had a natural rhythm. And felt marvelous. We danced two sets, even trying some gentle swing, with her catching on pretty quickly. This was going to be a nice fifty years, if I could get her to want me as bad as I was wanting her right how. If only. A man can dream.
It had started raining while we were inside, but we app’ed for a ride anyway, a different driver this time. Maybe our other one needed some rest! We were let out as close to the dock as possible, then I took my jacket off to hold over my date’s head, while we carefully dashed to the undercover helm of “Charlie’s Angel”. I got us inside, none the worse for the wear. Attempting to choose for us, I asked her to put on one of my t-shirts, as a pajama top, and join me at the helm table for a nightcap, but she declined. Not the nightcap, just the T-shirt. I asked her for her dress, through the door, as I was going to have it and my rained-on suit dry cleaned tomorrow. She passed it through, and out of some masculine testosterone prehistorically engrained action, I held her dress to my nose. It smelled of her. The aroma of her I remembered when we were dancing. When she was close enough to kiss the top of my head. Her smell. I will never forget that scent. Purely, entirely, originally, and uniquely hers. And I loved it. It didn’t make me hard, it made me yearn. This girl was my destiny. I knew it.
“That’s not kinky at all.” She looked up at me, giggling. “Smelling a dress that I’m not wearing any more. Nope, perfectly normal. How about a trade. I want that T-shirt you’re wearing.” I looked at her with a question. “Now.” I took it off and handed it to her. “Thank you.” She scrunched it up and put it to her face, drawing in a big whiff. “Yes, just like when we were dancing. You smell good. Very good.” She stepped away and threw it into her cabin on the berth. “Now we’re even, except I want that back. You may not get yours back. I haven’t decided yet.”