Boston Solutions Incorporated
Copyright© 2009 by Lazlo Zalezac
Claudia held out her hand admiring the rather substantial diamond affixed to the band of gold on her finger. Denisa had been quite correct in how Phil would react to a special cheerleading session. It was amazing what a short cheerleader outfit could do to a man when the woman inside it wasn't wearing panties. So what if it wasn't the most romantic proposal in the world. He had followed through with the ring.
The door opened and a smallish woman with a limp walked into the reception area. Claudia glanced up at the woman thinking about all of the unusual characters who passed through the office in search of solutions to their problems. It was only when the woman stopped at the desk that Claudia noticed the jagged red scar that ran across the woman's face. The woman asked, "Is Magus available?"
"Sure," Claudia said. It wasn't going to be difficult figuring out what this woman wanted considering the limp and the scar.
"Good. I was in the neighborhood and thought he would like to go out to lunch," the woman said.
"Lunch?" Claudia asked wondering if she had heard correctly.
Magus appeared at the door of his office and said, "Ah, Cassie. What a pleasure to see you. I was thinking of swinging by your office to see if you wanted to go to lunch."
Magus approached the woman with his arms outstretched. She held open her arms to accept the hug from Magus. Cassie said, "Great minds think alike."
Hugging her, Magus asked, "Did you get the roses?"
"I did and they were beautiful. All of the women in the office were so jealous," Cassie said. The smile on her face radiated happiness.
"I just wanted you to know that I had a wonderful time last night," Magus said. He gave her the kind of affectionate kiss that didn't belong in an office.
Claudia frowned at seeing Magus kissing like that. He didn't approve of public displays of affection. She asked, "Last night?"
Magus said, "Tell Stephen that he's in charge until I get back from lunch."
"You never go out for lunch," Claudia said.
"You need a new receptionist if she can't keep track of you better than that," Cassie said to Magus. Turning to Claudia, she said, "I'll have you know that he came by the office the other day for a late lunch."
Magus looked at Claudia's left hand and said, "I see that you finally tried using the cheerleader outfit on Phil. I would have mentioned it months ago, but it has been fun watching the two of you dance around. Too bad Denisa spilled the beans."
"You knew?" Claudia growled.
Magus shook his head and said, "Poor Phil. Appearances aside, he's really just a nerd at heart. He spent his whole adolescence lusting after cheerleaders. Now he's marrying one. It just makes you think, doesn't it?"
"Why didn't you tell me?" Claudia asked.
"I was wondering if you would ever figure it out," Magus answered.
Claudia turned to Cassie and said, "If you want my advice, stay as far away from this man as you can. He's sick and twisted in his mind."
"Magus? I've been dating him for years," Cassie said.
"That can't be. He hates women," Claudia said.
Cassie laughed and said, "Are you kidding? Magus loves women."
"Are you ready for lunch?" Magus asked.
Cassie answered, "Anytime you are."
"Who is she?"
Phil, who had just entered the office, looked around. Confused at not seeing anyone else in the office, he asked, "Who?"
"Cassie!" Claudia said.
"Cassie was by here?" Phil asked with a surprised expression on his face.
"Yes. Who is she?" Claudia asked.
"She's Magus' girlfriend. She just got back in the States," Phil answered. "I thought you knew about her."
"No I didn't," Claudia said. "What does she do?"
"She's in the same business as Magus except completely different," Phil answered.
"Explain that," Claudia said.
"Magus fixes problems that are primarily situational in nature. Cassandra fixes problems that result from a lack of resources. She's an international broker of goods," Phil said.
"Oh," Claudia said.
Phil said, "She was injured on her last deal. Her car was blown up. I can't tell you how upset Magus was. He worked with Interpol to catch the bad guys. Needless to say, none of them got away."
"Was she in the Middle East selling weapons?" Claudia asked thinking about all of the bombings in the news that took place there.
"No. She was in Italy making a deal involving a couple of boats," Phil said.
"That doesn't sound dangerous," Claudia said.
Phil said, "It was a lot of money."
"How much money?" Claudia asked.
"Her fee was fifty million dollars," Phil said shrugging his shoulders.
Claudia was silent for a minute. She asked, "What about Margo White? Why did Magus hire Margo White for an evening if he has a girlfriend?"
"I'm sure that Cassie was there," Phil answered.
"That's sick," Claudia said.
"The idea of Margo and Cassie in a threesome with Magus is disgusting," Claudia said. The idea of her look-alike having a threesome with Magus nearly made her ill.
"Margo White is majoring in business with a minor in international law. I'm sure that they talked about some issues of importance to Cassie," Phil said.
"She's a prostitute," Claudia said.
Phil said, "That doesn't mean that she isn't a smart person. Darla Darling provides escorts to some of the wealthiest men in the world. She's not going to send a stupid little hick girl to serve as an escort to the head of a large multinational company."
"Stupid little hick girl?" Claudia asked. Her voice had dropped to temperatures comparable to liquid nitrogen.
Phil muttered, "Magus is right. I do get stupid around her."
"Do you want to explain that?" Claudia asked.
"Have you talked to your mother about the wedding plans?" Phil asked.
"She's flying here next weekend," Claudia answered. She didn't notice Phil wiping his brow.
"I assume that she'll be staying with you," Phil said. For the next twenty minutes the two discussed the logistics of having Claudia's mother visit her. Once he deemed it safe, he fled the office claiming that he had work to do.
The brunette walked into Solutions Incorporated wearing clothes that cost as much as a luxury car. Everything about her was exquisite; every nail was polished to a perfect shine, every hair was in place, and her makeup was exactly just so. She had a figure that women have killed for and were found not guilty on the basis of justifiable homicide. Needless to say, Claudia immediately disliked her.
As if she was talking to an earthworm, the woman asked, "Is Magus available?"
"No. I'm afraid that he's out of the office. Titus is available," Claudia answered.
"I want Magus," the woman said.
"I can make an appointment for you to see him tomorrow," Claudia said. It wasn't clear when Magus was returning from lunch.
The woman said, "Have him meet me at the French Garden Bistro for lunch tomorrow."
"He only works from his office," Claudia said.
"This isn't about business," the woman said.
"It isn't?" Claudia asked.
"This is a social engagement," the woman answered.
"Does he know you?" Claudia asked.
The woman said, "Not really. You see, I was at a charity event last night and overheard him talking to this frumpy little lady. I just had to meet him, but by the time I got over to where he had been talking he was gone. Well, I'm not the kind of woman to let a little adversity stop me from getting what I want so here I am."
"And you want Magus?"