Austin heads home, sharing the leftovers with his driver. When he gets there, he finds Dwight hanging out, playing music while he waits for Austin. Dwight watches while Austin sets his alarm, and goes home.
Austin woke before his alarm. He turned it off and got up, feeling better than he had in several weeks. He had something and someone to look forward to. The prospect of seeing Liat made him smile. He hoped that saying something to Sandy would help. He was tired of getting used to new people every few weeks. It was disconcerting. A real man wouldn’t go through women so quickly, at least he never had.
A player would, but he wasn’t a player. He liked a steady woman. Unfortunately, the ones he’d met lately hadn’t been so much interested in his personality as what he did for a living. The idea of being the girlfriend of a famous actor made all the difference. Women who wouldn’t have looked at him twice otherwise, were flashing him from the crowd and trying to get in his pants. That was fun for awhile, but it soon lost its appeal.
He shaved and showered, seeing that someone had replaced his scented shampoo with unscented. Probably Dwight. He took care of those troublesome details. Having an assistant was wonderful. His memory tended to edit small details, but Dwight remembered everything. He made a mental note to thank him.
A quick breakfast of leftover scones and tea completed his wake-up process. There was a tap at his door—That’ll be Dwight checking on me. He answered with a grin.
“All set. Thanks for checking. And thanks for the shampoo.”
“Doing my job.”
“Yes, and I’m grateful for that, too. You see to the details. It’s bloody marvelous.”
Dwight chuckled. “Want a ride?”
“The car is coming, isn’t it?”
“I can call and cancel. We can ride in together.”
“Okay. Let me get my phone and wallet.” He retrieved them from the bedroom, putting them in the pockets of his jeans as he strolled to the door.
Dwight was in the hall, concluding his call.
“What’s going on? You rarely want to drive in together. You say we see one another all day.”
“We’re going to have a chat.”
“Must we? What about?”
That got Austin’s attention. He sat up, giving Dwight all his attention.
“I called Sandy last night and told her what you said. She was delighted, though we both sense it won’t please Irving.”
Austin made a disgusted noise. “God himself wouldn’t please that man.”
“Are you kidding? He is God.” Dwight chuckled.
“Must have missed the memo on that.” Austin paused, waiting for Dwight to continue. When he didn’t, Austin decided to prompt him. “Well?”
“She’s been waiting for you to say something.”
“All this time? That’s what they wanted?”
“I don’t know. That’s what she wanted, anyway. She said she’ll take it up the ladder.”
“Meaning what, exactly?”
“She’ll call her boss—our boss—the producer.”
“Can we complain about Irving the same way?”
“Oh, you don’t like pervy Irv?”
“Not entirely, no. He’s rude and condescending, as if I’m not smart enough to understand him.”
“You’re smarter than any ten people put together. He’s the idiot. Just because he’s got his PhD in film, he thinks he’s someone.” Dwight gave an expressive shrug as he turned into the studio lot.
Stopping at the gate, he flirted with the guard on duty. She was a woman of medium good looks and a muscular build. She’d always scared Austin a little. She smiled and laughed at Dwight, passing them through with ease.
“How do you do that?” he asked. “Flirt with women, when you’re gay.”
“It’s easy. I pretend they’re men with boobs.” Dwight chuckled. “It’s all acting, dear. Like I used to do, before I came out.”
“Out? Oh—yes, I see. You’re very good at it. I don’t chat up girls well.”
“You seemed to be doing all right with Liat.”
“She’s easy to talk to. She thinks I’m funny.”
“Me? Least charming man I know.”
Dwight shook his head. “Go on thinking that, sonny boy. It won’t get you laid, but might keep you warm at night.”
“Have I mentioned, ever, that at least ninety percent of what you say completely baffles me? And the other ten is hazy.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes