"I am Casanova."
"there is nothing in the world of which he is not capable". Count Lamberg wrote that he knew "few persons who can equal him in the range of knowledge and, in general, of his intelligence and imagination".
Stepping into the bathroom, I scrutinized my tired reflection. I usually considered myself a handsome man, although I remained humble. However, the past few days were beginning to wear on my physical attributes. I hadn't renewed my gym membership, nor did I have my hair trimmed.
Not the Shane Matthews that everyone knew.
As I straightened my crimson tie, I turned my back to the bright vanity mirror. Glancing at my watch, I had twenty minutes to get across town for my meeting; a meeting I wouldn't mind missing.
"Honey, can you stop at the store for me." I heard my wife call from the bed. Stepping in the doorway, I looked to her as she still lay in bed. "I need hot dog buns."
"Hot dog buns?" I shuffled my keys in my pocket. "Can't you just get em' on the way to work?"
When I finished, she rolled over to glare at me. I knew that look; she wasn't asking me to stop at the store, she was telling me too. Which I had grown used to over the past two years but never seemed to learn.
"Sure." I sighed, as she rolled back over onto her side. "Anything else?"
Switching the bathroom light off, I wandered out into the dark living room. Turning on the lamp, I looked around for my briefcase. Noticing it out of the corner of my eye, I snatched it from the end table and hurried down the foyer. Setting the alarm, I headed out the steps down the cobblestone path. Pulling out my keys I unlocked my Porsche before opening the door.
Yes, I said Porsche. Growing up in middle suburbia, the only Porsche I had was on my calendar. But when I began working for New York Unlimited, the first thing I treated myself was a jet-black, six-cylinder Porsche with leather interior.
I rode around the streets of Los Angeles finally in style. To took pride in my work, and too pleasure in all the benefits.
Backing out of the driveway cautiously, I pulled out onto the street. Dialing my cell phone, I listen as it rang continuously.
"New York Unlimited, Jenna speaking."
"Jenna, are the clients there yet?"
"Uh, no Mr. Matthews. Would you like me to give them a call?"
"No, I'm going to be a few minutes late. If they get there call me."
Clicking it off, I dialed Greg's cell phone number. Greg LanCaster there was plenty things to say about him. He had stood at my wedding and even become my business partner over the past few years. He was much like myself, however unmarried. And that wasn't surprising, because he had a different woman every week.
Coming off the elevator I darted quickly to the left towards my office. When I did, I noticed Jenna jump off her seat towards me. She was a gorgeous woman; which was the reason I hired her. She had the most voluminous breasts, and Greg agreed.
The downside was she was too stupid to alphabetize or use the copier. Nevertheless, she was nice to look at after a hard day of work.
"Mr. Matthews, good morning." She smiled at me, as she handed me a cup of coffee.
"Is this fresh?"
"Yes, sir." She followed close behind me.
Oh that was another good reason to have her around. She could make coffee like a God.
Opening my office door, I headed directly for my desk. "Are the clients here?" I looked at her as I sat my briefcase on my desk.
"No sir." She stood at the doorway, obviously afraid to come in without being asked.
"Where's Greg?" I wondered, as I separated the folders on my desk.
"I'm not sure sir."
"Find him." I demanded as she quickly disappeared from the door. Plopping down in my swivel chair, I read through the papers that I had typed up the night before.
Looking up to the door, Keria was giving me a mischievous smile. Although there wasn't a great difference between Jenna and Keria, I always favored Keria more. Why I wasn't so sure, I figured it was because Keria was easy, a tramp per say. Jenna was to nervous to give it up, where Keria was more than willing to upper her status.
"Keria. What a lovely surprise." I said flatly, returning my focus back to my papers. As she closed the door I leaned back in my chair.
"I missed you last night." She rested her hands on the front of my desk, her cleavage in full view. "I thought you were suppose to call me."
"I forgot." I said bluntly, as I tossed the folder onto my desk. She was too stupid to get the point, but I applauded what intelligence she did have. "You know, my wife."
"Oh." She bit her lip, "So what about tonight?" She stepped around my desk and spun my chair around towards her.
Although I was no at all interested in her offer, I couldn't help feel slightly tempted. Looking her over, admiring her body she rested her knee on my thigh.
"What do you say?" She leaned inches from my face, her eyes on my lips.
"He says no." Greg opened the door suddenly, as she slowly backed away from me.
"Get out." Greg told her, as she glared at him.
"Asshole." She muttered as she closed the door reluctantly behind her.
"What the hell?"
"We've got bigger issues." Greg tossed the papers on my desk. "Read this shit."
Scooting to the edge of my chair, I skimmed over the typed pages.
"When did you get this?"
"This morning." Greg paced back and forth, "When the clients did show on time this got sent to my office."
"Just wait a second, calm down." I told him, as his pacing was beginning to make me feel panicky.
"Calm down?" He stopped abruptly, "Shane we spent a lot of money trying to get these people on board with us. And now they're refusing to come on the account."
"It doesn't make sense. Why wouldn't they want too?"
Narrowing my eyes, I read over the paper once again.
"I don't know Shane, you tell me."
Leaning back in my chair, I thought hard. And then it hit me. "Someone tipped em' off."
"What do you mean? About the fact that we're about bankrupt?"
"Shit. Shit. Shit." Greg stomped his foot. "No nobody is gonna want to get on board with us. We're poorer than shit."
Ignoring Greg's ranting and raving, I thought about a solution. That was the difference between Greg and I. He was over dramatic, although a great businessman. But over the years I learned that screaming and kicking your feet gets you no where.
There's always a way to fix something. Even if it's not legal, it's still an option.
"First we have to figure out who tipped them off. And then we go from there." I know it wasn't a full proof plan, but it was a start.
"What we going to do in the mean time."
"Well…." I stood from my chair. Looking out at the skyline, I rubbed my chin.
"If any of our other investors find this out we could lose more clients. And then that means we have to file for Chapter 11. And I'm sorry man but I -."
"Shut up." I finally snapped at him, "We just have to keep these paper from getting out. And figure out who sent them."
"Okay, okay." Greg took a seat in the chair, "What are we going to tell Duncan about the Chinese clients that just didn't show?"
"Tell him that they didn't give us a big enough offer." I nodded, feeling good about my plan.
"What about Jenna?"
"What about her?" I scowled at him, "What does she have to do with this?"
"She gave me the files this morning. What if she read em'?"
Crossing my arms over my chest, I took a deep breath. "Don't worry about Jenna. She's to stupid to understand it anyway."
"Yeah, but you never know man."
Looking to him, I agreed. "Take her out tonight, see if she knows anything. If she does, we'll figure out what to do then. But if she doesn't, then it's better for us."
"I'm not sleeping with her." Greg huffed while shaking his head.
"Uh, yes you are." I told him more firmly, "This will cover our asses."
"But she's just so -." His hands flung around in front of him, "Boring."
"Hey, she might be a wonder in bed. You never know."
"She better be." Greg sighed, "I need a good piece of ass anyway. All this shit is got me wound up."
"Don't worry about it. Just keep your ears open."
"I can't believe this; why would someone do this. Especially us." Greg questioned.
"It doesn't matter, all I know is that whoever it is they want to ruin us."
Later that night, around eleven o'clock I decided to hit the bar without Greg. He had followed my instructions and had a date with Keria planned that night. While they were hopefully getting it on, I decided to enjoy a few beers and think this all over.
And maybe get lucky myself.
Taking a swig of my beer, I looked down at my left hand. Setting it in my lap, I slipped off my wedding band and stuffed it deep into my pocket. I usually didn't wear it, for the obvious reasons.
However, sometimes it came in handy. I had discovered over the years that a majority of women found it to be a turn on. The idea of sleeping with a married man made them feel naughty and attractive. Other woman found it to be disgusting, but that didn't bother me because it was all about the majority.
"Long night?" The bartender wiped the counter in front of me.
"You know it." I chuckled at the thought.
"I feel for ya man, really." He tossed the white towel over his shoulder.
"No problem." He wandered down to the end of the bar.
Staring down at the foam that settled on the top of my beer, I wondered how many it would take me to get drunk. I hadn't been drunk in months, mainly because work was hard enough sober. And besides, it was going to take more than a few beers to get me drunk.
Looking to my right, a beautiful woman dressed in black took a seat a few barstools away. She was an amazing looking woman. With her petite frame and her long blonde hair, she was my weakness. I had dated, slept and dumped several women in my twenty-three years.
And even so, it was always hard to hurt the sexy, blonde ones. They were intimidating, I think that was why I was attracted to them so much. And that's half the reason why I married one.
Watching her, I studied her discretely. I assumed she was alone, which was clearance for me. Within seconds, I saw her look at me through the corner of my eye. She was scouting me, just as I did her. The only difference was I was better at it.
After a few minutes, I glanced in her direction and met with her eyes. I gave her a half smile and even a short nod before quickly turning away. Greg had called the technique "Play and walk away." However, this time I was not going anywhere I was just leaving the bait.
Some men would by the lady a drink, maybe send a message along. However, I didn't need outside sources to keep her interested. All I had too do was lock eyes with her.
I heard a soft voice from beside me. Trying my best to act surprised when I looked at her.
"What can I do for you?"
She was even more beautiful up close; she had the iciest blue eyes, which sealed the deal for me.
"I was wondering if I could buy you a drink?"
"Not that I'm saying no. But don't the guys usually buy the women a drink?" I raised my eyebrow at her.
Looking down at her hands, she bit her lip, which Shane was very familiar with.
"So you're buying then?" She smiled flirtatiously.
"Sure, why not."
As she took a seat, I waved Charlie down my way.
"What can I get you?"
Looking to the woman at my right, I narrowed my eyes at her. "How about an Apple Martini for the lady. Does that sound good for you?" I looked to her.
"Absolutely." She nodded, as Charlie made her drink.
"So, what's a woman like you doing out this late?"
"A woman like me?"
"Yeah, a woman like you." I repeated smoothly, "You obviously work."
"Oh God, is it that obvious?" She laughed, as Charlie sat the stemmed glass in front of her.
"No, not really." I assured her, as she took a sip of her martini. "It's common after a hard day at work."
"I take it you work?" She held her glass in front of her, as she crossed her legs.
"Yeah, too much."
"Oh me too." She laughed.
"I'm Shane." I finally introduced myself; it was a rule of thumb, never introduce yourself until you've broke the ice. And after you do, you're pretty much cleared for landing.
"Yup, that's me. And you?"
"I'm Zoey. Zoey Jameson."
Zoey - I made a mental note. The good thing about Zoey's name is that it was unique, definitely not confusable. I had learned not to rely too much on names but other physical characteristics. Mainly because at one time I was sleeping on and off with two Amber's.
They were both stunning, but very different. Blonde Amber was more into the sensual parts of sex. Black haired Amber was more about the sex in general. She wanted it there, then and two minutes later.
Well, a long week of switching off I had confused the two. And let's just say Blonde Amber got more than she asked for.
"Now Shane, do you have a last name?"
"Matthews." I replied, before taking a gulp of my beer.
Two Apple Martini's and three beers later, Zoey and I made it back to her place. As the minutes ticked by, I had learned a lot about her. That was the thing about women, you asked them about themselves and they're more than willing to tell you.
And besides, it makes you look interested which indeed I was.
She lived on a quiet cozy side of Los Angeles, definitely not what I expected. As I wandered about her living room, I took the time to admire the pictures on the mantel. She was definitely single; no pictures of ex-boyfriends only family, friends and pets.
And that was good for me. I didn't need to sleep with a woman with extra baggage. I had enough of my own to deal with.
"Nice place." I slipped my hands deeper into my pocket. Feeling my wedding ring, I cursed at myself for making that key mistake. I usually would lock it in my glove compartment for safekeeping. It certainly would ruin the moment if seen.
"Did you do the decorating yourself?"
"I like it." I admitted, which I really did. "It's very homey."
"Yeah I painted and redid it all myself. Took a lot of time." She came out into the living room, now out of her heels. She was much shorter than me, but still a comfortable height.
"Well, looks good."
"Thanks." She smiled, "Would you like anything to drink?"
"Yeah, why would you want something to drink? We just came from the bar." She chuckled, as she took a seat down on the couch.
Turning around, I smiled at her. That was important; never stop smiling. I learned that women counted a lot on actions, if I frowned all the time she might feel less confident.
And we didn't want that now.
"I'm really sorry, I haven't done this in awhile."
Taking a seat on the couch beside her, I was unclear on what exactly she was talking about.
RED FLAG – I felt the color drain from my cheeks.
"Not that this is a date or anything." She quickly recovered, as did my color. "I just haven't been out on the scene much."
"Nothing wrong with that."
"How old are you?" She asked me, obviously curious.
"Twenty-three. What about you?"
"Same." She nodded, "You probably date all the time."
"No not really." Which was the truth; I didn't date. Yes I was married and I did sleep with other women, but I was strict on the no date, no relationship policy.
And that's the way I liked it. No strings attached.
"Really? Now that surprises me." She awed, "You seem like the type that would."
"I would, it just work ties up a lot of my time." I lied partly.
"Me too. There's just not a lot of time in the day."
"I agree with you there."
"I just got out of a serious relationship a year ago."
RED FLAG – This one had baggage that was clear.
"Yeah?" I went on, becoming less interested in her by the second.
"Um hmm…." She licked her lips, "It was hard, we were engaged and what not."
Looking at her face, she was avoiding his eyes. I could tell she was still in the grieving process, which explains what she was doing in the bar.
She wasn't out for a drink she was out for rebound. Which was perfect. I was her cure to getting over the loser. And she was my, well one nightstand.
"What happen? I mean you don't have to tell me if you don't want too. I totally understand."
"He was a loser. All he did was bring me down." She explained, occasionally looking at me. "Why am I telling you this? Why would you care, you don't even know me." She stood up from the couch.
Following her lead, I was careful of my words. "It doesn't bother me, really." I reassured her, as she turned and looked at me. "I know where you're coming from."
I really didn't know, but she didn't know that.
"I want to ask you something."
"Go ahead." I insisted.
"If I kiss you. What happens?"
YELLOW FLAG – This question caught me off guard. Usually women didn't ask such a question because they didn't get the chance too.
She had me thinking on my toes for a safe answer.
"I don't know, what do you want?" I asked regrettably, realizing I sounded like a male hooker. "I mean…" I stammered while rubbing my forehead.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked." She apologized, "It was a stupid question." She turned and walked for the door.
Grabbing her arm gently I pulled her back. "No, it wasn't. It was a good question. I'm just not sure how to answer it."
I was starting to wonder if I had more drinks than I thought.
"I'm not sure what answer I was looking for." She shrugged, "I'm so stupid. So stupid."
Unsure of what to say, I grabbed her hand and pulled her against me. Looking down at her lips, I waited to see if she'd make a move. When she didn't, I leaned in and kissed her. She quickly went along with it and began walked backwards down the hallway.
My eyes were closed but I knew where we were heading. Knocking hard into the doorway, we maneuvered our way through into her bedroom. There at the end of the unmade bed, she ran her hands up my chest as I pulled the straps to her dress below her shoulders.
Laying her down on the bed, I was careful not to put all my weight on her small body underneath. Her skin was unbelievably soft against my rough hands. And the sweet smell of her hair was even more appetizing. Kissing her along her neck, she guided my face to hers and began kissing me again.
No more worries, only pleasure. And that's the way I liked it.