With the morning's budget meeting over, Jordan Fairbanks slipped into his office to be alone. The room was dim, but with a pull of a string the blinds opened and light poured in. From here on the twenty-fourth floor of Steele Financial, Jordan had a spectacular view of downtown Atlanta, a sight that often strayed his mind from work. But he had things to do now, and he wasted no time admiring the cities intricacies. Taking a seat behind his large, mahogany desk, Jordan stared at the piled up paperwork. He didn't know where to start.

"Mr. Fairbanks?" Cecile Thomas, the office secretary, waited in Jordan's doorway for permission to enter.

"Come in Cecile." He said without looking up.

Cecile walked inside, her light blue top and denim mini-skirt snuggly fitting her tiny frame. She held out a manila folder to Jordan, "I know this is just what you want, more work," She could see he had enough on his plate already, "But don't kill the messenger."

Jordan offered his full attention to her now. He took the folder reluctantly.

"It's okay. I know you're just doing your job." He smiled.

"Well, thanks Mr. Fairbanks. I'm glad I have you on my side."

Jordan returned to his work, but Cecile still lingered.

"Is that a new picture, Mr. Fairbanks?" She asked, reaching out for a small, silver frame shaped like a heart. In it was a photograph of Jordan and his wife, Danielle.

"Hmn?" He looked up again, "Oh, yeah. It's from our vacation last month to Colorado. That was a blast."

Jordan's desk was filled with pictures of him and his wife. In fact, his entire office was a shrine to his marriage. Every week there was another picture. It was, in a way, a challenge to try and pinpoint which one was the newest addition to the ever-growing collection.

Seeing Jordan was busy, Cecile blushed and left the office. She couldn't help, but be attracted to Jordan. But he was the building's forbidden fruit—everyone wanted him, yet no one could have him. And the pictures—how they tormented those like Cecile who wished they were the ones with Jordan, skiing in Colorado or swimming with the dolphins in New Zealand.

By himself again, Jordan remembered he needed to call his wife. Hardly having scratched the surface of the day's work, he put all business aside and dialed home. A few rings later, Danielle answered.


"Hey there babes," Jordan was beaming, as if his wife was actually there with him to see his reaction, "How's my favorite lady?"

"Uhh," A pause, "I'm fine honey. Shouldn't you be working or something?"

Jordan frowned, "Am I not allowed to take time out and call home?" He held his newest photo. How beautiful Danielle was, her tan skin and flowing brown hair only enhanced by the white snow. With his thumb, he stroked the picture.

"Oh don't be silly Jordan. When are you coming home today?"

"The usual time," He said.


"Well, I thought I'd leave a bit early since we're having the Jones over for Dinner. That's actually why I called…do you need me to pick up anything from the store for tonight?"

"I don't think so." There was something in Danielle's tone that seemed off. A hint of something lurked there that was out of place.

"Are you okay?" Jordan asked, picking up on the subtle change.

"I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be okay?"

"It's nothing." Jordan was facing his window when he noticed the reflection of Cecile in it. Swiveling around in his chair, he held up a finger for her to hold on.

"Well, I'll let you get back to work honey." Danielle said at length.

"No don't go. Hang on one second babes, okay?" Jordan held the phone down and placed a hand over the receiver, "Yes?"

Cecile's cheeks were flushed bright red, "I'm so sorry to interrupt. I was told to deliver this memo to you—a reminder about today's meeting with Mr. Purvis." She quickly handed him the note and ran out. At her desk, she continued to scribble out various versions of her name. At least it was her desired name: Cecile Fairbanks.

"I'm back. Had to tend to some business. You there?" Jordan waited, but got no response. There was a sound in the background before the phone was picked up again.


"I'm here. Where were you?"

"I had to pee and I couldn't hold it any longer."

"Oh. You're not on the cordless?"

Danielle coughed, "I'm in the bedroom. I was still sleeping when you called."

"Oh you lazy thing!" He teased her, "It's nearly eleven."

"I know, I know. I'm getting up now." She assured him, "So I should probably go and get ready. I need to clean the house and then start cooking for tonight. Have a great day Hun."

"Aww, leaving me already? You're the only thing distracting me from all this backed-up paperwork. Or vacation really got me behind. But it was worth it."

"Of course it was. You'll never catch up though by talking to me. So get busy!" She laughed weakly on the other end and Jordan did the same in response. He watched tiny cars roll by on the streets below.

"Guess I'll let you go." Jordan said mournfully, "Who loves you?"

"I don't know," Danielle played along with Jordan's daily game "Who?"

"Well me, of course!" He kissed the phone, and after a second Danielle did the same.

"Bye. I'll have everything ready when you get home. You might want to call the Jones just to make sure they're still coming. I haven't talked with either of them for a few days about it, and I'd hate to cook a big meal for just us two," She stopped briefly, "On second thought, don't call them. I will."

"Okay…" He leaned back in his chair, "Love you. Bye."

He hung up the phone and stood, walking out of the office to get a cup of coffee. Coming out, Cecile quickly hid her small notepad devoted to her fictitious marriage to Jordan Fairbanks. She offered him a warm smile as he passed, but he didn't seem to notice. That's how it usually was. She went back to naming her kids—Jared, Morgan, and Kyle Fairbanks. Yes. That was perfect.

Meanwhile, Danielle placed the phone back on its hook and rolled over, "Sorry about that. It was just my husband." She smiled and finished making love with Samuel Jones.