Domestic Assistant Wanted
“Domestic Assistant wanted to help care for six bedroom estate on lower west end. We are a career minded couple with a teenager that visits periodically, responsibilities would include cleaning, cooking, occasionally cleaning our cars (not strictly necessary, but would be a bonus). The occasional massage might also be requested. A uniform is required and will be provided.
Pay to be negotiated in person but will be paid in cash at the end of each week and your taxes can be handled by our accountant for free. Live in is an option if we find you to be a good fit for us after a trial period. Open mind and communication skills are required. Please don’t send an email if you’re not able to fulfill those requirements.”
Kimberly Williams wheeled back from the computer after sending her email, combing her long straw blonde hair back with an audible sigh as she looked towards the cupboards, already knowing full well what she’d find there; nothing.
Like the pool of past due bills cascading down her desk into the trash, she could feel a rumbling tension in her stomach when something above her creaked. Old man Vickers was awake it seemed. It wouldn’t be long before her landlord would come down to bug her about rent, but what the hell was she going to say? She’d run out of ‘I’m trying’ chances long ago and ‘just one more week’ was probably out the window too.
Kim scrubbed her face with her palm, muttering, “forty and broke. What a fucked up joke, it wasn’t like I picked up the weed and took a toke.” It was barely six in the morning and alone in her little one bedroom apartment she may as well have been on the moon for all the support she was going to get. A less cynical soul would have called it the starving artists’ life. Idiots who didn’t understand just how much starvation could suck the interest – and will- to create art in the first place. Her stomach rumbled quietly to remind her of that very problem.
“Bah.” She hoped out of her chair and wandered over to the fridge, finding a jar of pickle water in the bottom shelf. The only thing left in the old Vlassic jar were some seeds and the green water used to keep them fresh. Her bright green eyes lingered on the jar dubiously. Really? Was she really going to do this?
Kim brought the jar to her lips and held her breath. Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine vegetable juice or something- just as the liquid touched her lips her computer chirped its lonesome sound of an email received.
It couldn’t be. Could it? The ad had been posted less than ten minutes ago- she wandered over to the computer on shaky knees. Her brows raised when she saw the subject: “RE: Domestic Assistant – 40/S/F” Kim wasn’t one to pray but her mind belted out a quick Hail Marry from what she could remember of it as she clicked through the interface to open the email.
I hope you are well and thank you for the kind words about being specific; it’s a skill that’s served me quite well during my time in the Army and now in my civilian life. I didn’t expect such a quick response but your enthusiasm makes me think we’d get along quite well.
If you’re not busy, I’d like to meet you with my wife before I have to leave for work. There’s a cafe on Oak street we usually have breakfast and we’d be delighted for you to join us so we can discuss the preliminaries of the job and see if we’re a good fit.
Just let me know!
Her heart slammed against her ribs like the beating of a war drum, adrenaline surging through her as she mashed the reply button as quickly as she could. She went to type but realized she was still clutching the pickle jar. She threw it over her shoulder without thinking- dammit! – but there was work to be had! She could clean it up later-
This was too important.
Kim’s fingers flew over the keys, clacking out a reply that she hoped sounded professional and intelligent. Occasionally she muttered her thoughts into the ether. “Good house keeper. No references. . .” certainly not her own apartment “if you’re not satisfied, don’t pay me. . . Happy to meet you, thank you. Be there soon. . .” and send.
The screen on her computer plunged into darkness. The power LED on the front of the tower likewise went dark. She looked over to her nightstand to find her alarm clock as black as her monitor. The power was completely cut off.
Instead of pouting or cursing, though, she through her fist into the air in victory. “Fuck you, Agro-Power! I have a job interview!”
Kimberly spun the chair, hopped up- her left foot splashed into the wet spot left by the pickle juice. It was going to be a day of mixed blessings, it seemed. . . “Fuck.”
To say that Oak street had a bustle about it would have been a disservice to bursa escort the rest of downtown- the modest two lane avenue overlooked most of the downtown area near the bus station, making it something of a people watching destination. What it lacked in high profile luster, it made up for in rustic charm with little mom-and-pop stores selling everything from antique furniture to old records. It was a hipster’s paradise, but for the most part only collectors frequented the quiet street.
Kim liked to think it was because of the economy, but the reality of it was that most people simply couldn’t afford to be collectors themselves and so only the more affluent shopped here. Of course, the little cafe in the middle of the strip could have easily confused people to that truth; dozens of college age kids were sharing stories in the open air patio over espresso and finger foods as she trundled by in her old Pontiac Grand Prix.
She’d done her best to clean up before she left, yet something in the back of her mind kept nagging at her even while she slid into a parking place. Her hair was tucked neatly into a pony tail, bangs looped slightly to frame her face in its best light. She was still relatively young looking- and some might say acting- but with a little touch of make up and lip gloss, she actually managed to pull off the ‘I can still be 30’ look to a T.
Kim glanced around to make sure no one was watching and rolled down her window. After another glance around she climbed out of the car, silently praying her thick ass wouldn’t accidentally dislodge the lock on the door again. It’d taken her hours and several wire coat hangars to get it to lock consistently and she didn’t have time to fuss with it now. Once out, she smoothed down her blouse and checked her reflection in the window.
“You can do it. . .” she whispered to her reflection as she took another second to get her blouse to lay just right over her generous bust. Not too flashy, just a glimpse of cleavage; respectable to the end. The way it hitched in around her waist a little added to her curves as well, giving her a slight but appreciable hourglass silhouette, leading smoothly into her tight but comfortable jeans. Everything about it said modern, independent woman; at least that’s what Kim heard. “Chin up, smile.” She checked her teeth, licked her lips and turned towards the cafe.
She’d been to enough job interviews to know what to say, how to say it and what lines they always wanted to hear- she was prepared in every way she could be. The sooner she got the job, the sooner she started making money, the sooner she could get back to writing and- this time- hit it big. Just that little bit farther. . .
Kimberly stepped into the little eatery looking about for anyone that looked like he might have been a military veteran. Amongst the college kids, it should have been shooting fish in a barrel, but much to her bemusement, everyone looked as though they belonged there and since she hadn’t bothered to explain what she was going to be wearing. . .
“You’re an idiot.”
After a few seconds of glancing around she approached the counter, checking with the barista to see if anyone a bit on the older side had come in. “Sure,” she said. “Talking about El and Sylvia? Yeah, right over there.”
“Thanks.” Kim turned to the dining area to find the table and almost stopped mid stride when she saw the woman sitting alone- bronze skinned, dignified with a tiny streak of grey brushing the tips of her shoulder length brown hair. She couldn’t have been more than thirty, Kim guessed, judging by her sharp features and vague air of exotic heritage Her gaze was turned to whatever she was reading on her tablet, but even at a distance Kim could see her mismatched eyes; the right eye green and the left mocha brown. She looked perfectly at home here with her copper polyester blouse and frilly lace around her modest bust.
The real surprise, though, came when Kim approached. The woman, Sylvia, looked up at her and for just the briefest of seconds there was a flash- curiosity- demand- judgment. Just as quickly it was gone leaving a chill in the air between them. Kim put on her best smile, offered her hand. “Hello there, I’m Kimberly? About the housekeeper?”
Her voice was soft and airy yet somehow able to wear down Kim as though she was nothing with a few simple words- “My husband will be along.”
Kim pursed her lips slightly. “All right, ice queen.” of course, she couldn’t very well say that. “Sure, mind if I sit?”
“I’d rather you didn’t.”
“All right, then. . .” It was time for a different approach. “Ah, mind if I ask what you’re reading? You seemed pretty engrossed.”
Sylvia looked up briefly, her gaze swept Kim in a shark-like, dismissive manner as if she could read the older woman’s entire life history by glance. Finally she turned her bursa escort bayan tablet off, intertwined her fingers and leaned forward, pressing her breasts right up against the lip of the table. Kim couldn’t help but glance. “No offense, but I think we might be wasting each others time.”
“Neither of us like liars. Your email said you were forty and that you had experience.” She canted her head slightly as if demanding an explanation. Kim reached for her wallet. Some part of Sylvia’s attitude made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, some part of her was enticed by the idea of a strong woman’s presence. . .
The other, more rational parts of her mind, told her that this bitch was going to be a problem. She handed over her ID card with a wry smile. “I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.” She smiled when Sylvia held the card up to check the picture against her. After a few seconds she slid the card back towards Kim. “Still not convinced?”
“I’m warming to the idea. . .”
“Score one for the home team,” Kim mused. A presence approaching her from behind bristled her nerves just as the woman with the mismatched eyes looked over Kim’s shoulder. She smirked a bit.
“Elliot, this is Kimberly.”
After a moment Kim turned to face the man she’d been trading emails with, already offering her hand with the most professional air she could muster for herself. The sales pitch she’d prepared mentally died on her lips, though, when she saw the tall, powerfully built man. “Christ, you didn’t say you were a Greek god. . .”
It wasn’t often that Kim was caught off-guard, at least that was the lie she told herself time and again as life threw one curve ball after another. But standing in front of the tall, broad shouldered Elliot McKenna, the forty year old woman’s knees were trembling like a teenager on prom night- even so, she managed her best smile. “So, did you have to pay to have your name changed when you turned eighteen or was it just a happy accident?”
A flash of confusion rippled over his bronzed face, yet the way his features crunched up in bemusement only managed to swell his presence. His toned body was barely contained in the creases of his immaculate blue dress shirt and traditional khakis, couple that with a haircut that accented the best parts of his forty something years. “What’s that?”
Kim paused for the briefest second and gave her best winning smile, “well, you know how in olden times, a person’s last name reflected someone’s trade?”
“I didn’t, but go on,” Eliot offered a good natured smile.
“Ah, well. . .” she cleared her throat, her courage vanishing under the weight of the man’s warmth. She couldn’t risk this job with one of her stupid jokes; she needed a different tact. “I was going to suggest you were probably born Elliot Centurion after the Roman officers. . . You know, military and all.”
It sounded lame to her ears even before it left her mouth but Elliot gave her a faintly reassuring smile, motioning to the table. When they sat down, he introduced Sylvia with a motion. She’d gone back to her tablet, though, clearly more interested in whatever she was reading. When it was clear she wasn’t going to participate, Elliot looked to Kim. “So you mentioned you didn’t have any experience housekeeping professionally. . .”
“Ah, no. No, but you’ll find I’m a very fast learner. I once- uh. . .” she cleared her throat. “Like I said, I’d be willing to work for a week for you, no obligation to pay me if you’re not satisfied.”
His gaze swept over her casually, thoughtful. “What were you going to say?”
“Oh, nothing. I was just rambling- I do that when I’m a little nervous.” Kim tried for her best winning smile even though she didn’t believe it in the least. There was no way someone like this would just hire anyone. He was successful and cool enough that he didn’t have to settle for anything but the best.
As if reading her thoughts, he cupped his glass of coffee and drummed his fingers against the side, still assessing Kim. His gaze lingered for a moment longer than strictly necessary, perhaps measuring something in his mind- she straightened subconsciously to try meet his expectations; she arched her back a bit to really emphasize her generous bust, smiling faintly. Pride had gone out the window with the damned pickle jar.
“I’ll be honest,” he said, “I’m not sure what you would think of our requirements. . . You see, I have a thing about people telling the truth and speaking their mind. So, when I ask someone what they mean, I kind of hope they’ll give me the respect I give them.”
“Well, that was unexpected. . .” The look he wore wasn’t frightening in any way, just firm, but something tingled in the depths of Kim’s soul; she’d been around enough artists to know consistently weak people when she met escort bursa them. But Elliot?
He was a different breed altogether.
Kim actually had to work herself up to meet his gaze, finding it warm and even slightly playful, not at all what she would have expected. “Ah- well, sure. Fair enough. . .” What was the point in lying? “A couple of years ago I forged a CV, references and a diploma to apply for a chemical engineering job. I actually got it, too. . .”
Elliot arched a brow. Even Sylvia glanced up, curious.
“I ah, I held it for about a week and a half.”
“You got found out?” Elliot sipped his coffee.
Kim felt a familiar heat rising on her cheeks. “No, I completely wussed- erm. That is to say, I decided I was better off not doing it. I was keeping up with the project, I mean I spent a lot of nights studying. But in the end, I just didn’t feel right.”
It was Sylvia who broke the momentary silence, “what was your team working on?”
“Ah, bio-plastics using a crystalline structure. They were meant for linings in things like tankers. They were making some pretty awesome strides, too, but-”
“No, see. The right answer is ‘I had an NDA’ and can’t talk about it.”
Kim’s cheeks flushed even hotter.
“I don’t think this is going to work,” the woman with the dual colored eyes went back to her tablet, having passed her judgment. Elliot gave her a brief glance before he looked to Kim with an apologetic expression.
Was that it? Really?
When no one said anything, Kim held her breath. Another beat passed and no one spoke. She shook her head. “That’s hardly fair, I barely know you, but-”
“There’s a certain level of discretion we’d need from a potential housekeeper, miss Williams.” Elliot said over the rim of his cup. “I’m afraid she’s right, I just don’t want to have to wonder if-”
“It was public knowledge.” Kim lied. “They were working with grants from the local college and humanitarian agencies. The idea was to develop a cheaper coating for use in third world nations for stuff like biological waste.” The blonde spread her hands on the table. “I write a lot more stories than I tell, so when I say that not only can I do the job but I can keep my mouth shut about it, you can be assured I can. . .”
Elliot leaned back in his chair looking at her for a long moment. The air was so thick she could have strangled it and she found herself wanting to- she needed this job too badly to just let it slide by. But in his eyes he saw a lingering doubt. Even before he said “I think Sylvia and I will talk it over and get back to you, miss Williams. We still have a few other emails to go through.”
“S- Sure. Sure, I understand.” Kim exhaled a steadying breath as she rose. “Ah, I’m nearby if you decide you want another meeting in short order,”
“We won’t,” Sylvia supplied without looking up. Elliot leaned towards her and murmured which met with a sharp glance from his wife.
Reluctantly and as though her entire body was made of lead, Kim hauled herself up out of the chair. She pushed it in neatly and made sure to thank them both again for their time on the off chance it would do any good. Her mind was swimming with doubts and fears when she turned to leave- so much so that she didn’t even see the man eating his breakfast in a chair behind her. She bumped into him causing him to drop his fork. Without thinking, she bent to pick it up and muttered an apology on her way by.
What the hell was she going to do for food? For gas for the Pontiac? God, for rent?! Kim hugged herself, rubbing her arms as her mind worked furiously to come up with ideas. But before she made it back to her car she heard Sylvia’s firm voice behind her. “Kim.”
The woman strolled up to her with a folded scrap of paper. Their gazes met, a flicker of annoyance in Sylvia’s. She offered the paper. “Be here in an hour. I’ll show you around.”
“There’s a uniform, I’ll give it to you at the house-”
“A- Are you sure about this? I mean, not that I’m complaining, but-”
“Don’t interupt me. You’re going to have to learn how to conduct yourself, but if it doesn’t work out after a week, I’m not going to pay you, simple as that. That’s what you offered, right?”
“Y- Yes, I did! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m sure,” Sylvia said, already turning away. Kim couldn’t help but notice that subtle flash of curiosity, of interest, that lit those mismatched eyes for the briefest moment before the 30 something looking woman looked away. It wasn’t Elliot’s appraising gaze. It was the gaze of a triumphant panther who’d just caught herself a cougar.
Kim bit into her lower lip in the wake of the younger woman’s retreat into the cafe, wondering just what she was getting herself into with this couple. More than that, she realized it wasn’t just the relief of having food money that warmed her spirits; she was genuinely curious to see what would happen with this woman. It seemed like it was going to be a day of possibilities.