Knowing that she’s depressed after her breakup, Saige’s boss, Malcolm Brodie, invites her to go out and have a few drinks. Brodie’s such a player, Saige’s mom suspects he wants more than friendship from their night out.
“Brodie’s coming by later to take me out for coffee. We were supposed to schmooze with some clients tonight and I forgot.”
“I hope he understands.”
“Of course he does. I don’t know what you have against Brodie. He’s a really nice man.”
“Your really nice man has a bad reputation, dear. Women all over town talk about Malcolm Brodie as if he’s either God’s Gift to Orgasms or the Devil Incarnate. Sometimes both.”
“I guess it depends on your perspective. He’s a brilliant architect, creative, talented, precise, inventive….”
“Okay, you’ve sold me. He’s a talented man. So what’s his interest in you?”
“He’s my friend, Mother. Can’t I have a guy friend?”
“Like Malcolm?” She scoffed into her glass of wine.
“Brodie. He goes by Brodie. Only his mother calls him Malcolm. He’s the most considerate boss I’ve ever worked for. We’re really a team. You know I’ve gotten five raises in the last year because he told Mr. Winchester he couldn’t survive without me? How many men do that?”
“Men who want to get into your pants do that.”
“Mother! If he wanted in my pants that badly, he’d have been there already. He doesn’t have to buy his way in. He has a policy not to date women he works with.” She giggled, nearly spewing her wine. “He told me once if he dated me, he’d have to fire me. He needs me more as an assistant than a girlfriend. I think my panties are safe.”
“Yes, but do you want them to be?”
“Brodie’s gorgeous, Mother. He’s successful, bright, witty and everything any woman in her right mind wants in a man. And I’m in love with Ben. Quiet, self-effacing, jobless Ben. He’s going to lose the apartment. He hasn’t got money to pay rent.”
“Does he have access to your bank account?”
“No. You told me to keep my money separate. I’ve always followed that advice.”
“Thank God for that! Now, eat. You’re skin and bones.”
“I dunno, everything?”
They ate and chatted quietly, gazing at the view as the night descended over the lake. The lights from Lita Brodie’s house winked at them across the water. Lita was Brodie’s mother.
A famous super model, she still looked fabulous after nearly thirty-five years in the public eye.
“Lita’s giving a party tonight,” her mother raised an eyebrow. “I wonder why your boss isn’t there.”
“He doesn’t see his mom socially very much.”
“Oh? You’d think he’d use her connections to further his career.”
“He doesn’t need Lita for that. He does fine on his own. A lot of people don’t even know he’s her son.”
“Honey, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think you had a thing for your boss.”
Saige threw her napkin at her mother as she cleared the table. Blair didn’t have a dishwasher, so she stacked the dishes by the sink and started washing them.
“Sweetheart, I’ll do that.”
“No, I’m going to earn my keep. If I barge in on you unexpectedly, it’s the least I can do.”
“Go get ready for your date.”
“It isn’t a date.”
“Go get ready for your not-date. Didn’t you say he’d be here around ten?”
“It’s twenty til. I know how you like to be prompt.”
“Oh, I wondered if I could show him around? He’s seen the outside of the house and loves it. Would that be okay?”
“Sure, honey. Who knew I was living in an architect’s dream house?”
Saige giggled, tossing down the dish cloth. She redid her makeup and put on a clean pair of jeans and a clinging coral top with a scoop neck and short sleeves. Grabbing a jacket and her purse, she flopped on the couch to wait for Brodie.
She heard him coming before he arrived. He drove a powerful sports car with a V8 engine. She could hear the thrum of the engine. He pulled into the driveway as she opened the front door.
“Hiya, Brodie!” She waved. “Mom said to come on in and have a look around.”
“Cool!” He hopped out of the car, jogging up to her.
“Oh, I feel under dressed. Look at you!”
He was dressed in an elegant charcoal three piece suit. It had a superb fit and was expertly accessorized. One thing he’d learned from his super model mother was how to dress.
“I’ve got a T-shirt in the car. Don’t worry, I’m toning it down. I can’t go like this to Kelley’s, they’d throw me out.” He winked, following her in the house.
“Hello, Blair.” He greeted her mother with a hug and kiss. “You look lovely this evening. Thanks for letting me ogle your abode.”
“You’re welcome, Malcolm.”
“Brodie, please. Only Lita calls me that. It makes me feel like I’ve been a bad boy.”
Saige’s mother giggled, blushing at his flirtatiousness. If there was one thing Brodie it was good at, it was charming women.