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Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Twenty-Three)

The Return of Jack Collier
A Jack Collier Story
By Brett N. Lashuay


Last week’s entry can be found here.

Chapter Twenty-Three: I Got a Man

 

No it’s not that see you don’t understand. How should I put it? I got a man.

Positive K

 

 

            I am not a weak and feeble woman. I am a business owner and I have worked for a hard as nails private detective for many years now. I know what I’m doing, and I know what I can handle. Not only that, but I am fully aware of who and what I am. It took me a long time, and getting hurt more than a few times, but I know who and what I am now.

 

            Yes, I am bisexual. Yes, I am submissive. Yes, I like being stripped down, made to wear a dog collar and then forced to crawl around on all fours liking cream out of a dish. I like doing that. I like being spanked and I like being told what to do. It gives me a shiver in places that even naughty girls don’t talk about to have someone snap an order at me. It’s part of my make-up, part of who I am.

 

            However, I like deciding who gets to snap the orders at me. I like doing it for who I decide I’m going to do it for. When I’m not with someone, I don’t respond well to being told what to do. Someone once explained that it required someone who had a stronger will than theirs for them to be dominated, and they so enjoyed finding that stronger willed person. I sort of feel like that I guess, because I don’t respond to people who are trying to act like they’re stronger or are behaving like the person with the collar should automatically respond to the person who wears a leather vest. There is a huge difference between someone like Jack and almost everyone else in the world. He’s got such a strong presence he doesn’t even have to do anything to make you feel smaller than him, he just has to arrive.

 

            I don’t like presumptuous men either. I’m not fond of women who presume, but I can’t stand men doing it. Men look at me, and too often they know that I’m a submissive and they try to presume how I’m going to behave in response to their attempts at dominance. Peter Kurbisesser was being dangerously presumptuous. He’d been acting like he was going to inherit Jack’s throne since I’d first hired him, and that by acting like that I was going to swoon at his presence. He hadn’t really pushed it to a point that required disciplinary action yet, but he was getting close.

 

            He had a regular habit of coming to the main office, Jack’s office, and trying to talk me into closing it and letting a man take over the operations of the company. The man he had in mind was himself, and he also thought I needed a man to keep me warm at night. He had a man in mind for that too. He was a pretty good agent, and mostly I could brush him off, but he was an irritating little twerp.

 

            As it happened, that day he’d come to the office to tell me how I should get rid of Jack. He didn’t take the gentle hints I was dropping that this wasn’t a matter for discussion, and he kept going even after I told him that we were done. I don’t like yelling at my subordinates, but I was getting close with him. He was being such an insufferable little prick, it was driving me mad. And for him to act like he had some sort of right made it even worse.

 

            “I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be paying out this much for someone who isn’t even bringing in any money,” he said. “He’s been a leech on you for years Debs.”

 

            “Don’t call me Debs,” I said through my teeth. “I have told you that it is none of your concern.”

 

            “It is my concern,” he tried sounding defensive, like he was about to tell me that he was just looking out for me. “I work here too you know. I’ve got to look out for you, make sure the company doesn’t go under.”

 

            “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” I snapped. “You don’t know anything about Jack, and you sure as hell don’t know anything about me.”

 

            “Now Debs,” he said putting his hand on mine. “Don’t be like that.”

 

            “Don’t call me Debs,” I shouted. “And don’t act like you’ve got some fucking right to…”

 

            I didn’t finish because the door swung slowly open at that point. Jack has never let me replace the big wood door with a glass door, so I didn’t see him coming from the elevator. Normally he takes the stairs, which means he passes the window next to the door before opening it. He’s taken the elevator a few times since his return though, which makes me think there must be more lingering pain than he lets on.

 

            The door swung open slowly and he looked at Peter and then at me. He had a look in his eye, something like mingled annoyance and overconfidence. It’s hard for him to be overconfident, since he has so much to be confident about and normally his self-image is down near my ankles. Granted, if it’s at the level of my ankles it’s probably trying to look up my skirt, but it’s still pretty low.

 

            “Well hello,” he smiled at me and then looked at Peter. “Who have we here?”

 

            “This is Peter Kurbisesser.” I told him. “He works in our satellite office.”

 

            “Does he?” Jack asked.

 

            “For the moment.” I growled.

 

            “Ah,” Jack nodded slowly. “Has your paycheck bounced Mister Kurbisesser?”

 

            “No,” Peter said, looking confused.

 

            “It arrived late?” Jack asked.

 

            “No.”

 

            “So you are being paid, regularly,” Jack stated.

 

            I sort of wondered if Peter saw the trap and was trying to be clever or if he was really too dumb to see where Jack was leading. It could have just been that Jack worried him, he worried people sometimes. Particularly at times like this when he was looking both friendly and dangerous.

 

            “Yeah,” Peter nodded. “But I’ve got to look out for Debbie’s interests.”

 

            “Oh,” Jack nodded back. “Are you fucking her?”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Boning,” Jack said. “Sticking it to her. Are you putting your pork steeple in her gut locker? Sticking the tube steak into her flesh cave. Are you cleaning her chimney with a bald chicken? Putting your sausage in her pickle pocket?”

 

            “What?” Peter asked.

 

            “Are you having sex with this woman?” he put his right index finger into his curled hand and then pointed at me.

 

            “No,” Peter said, looking shocked.

 

            “Do you have any sort of relationship outside of work with her at all?”

 

            “Well–”

 

            “No,” I asserted.

           

            “So maybe you don’t know her reasons for the things she does,” Jack said. “And maybe you should worry about pissing off the boss instead of how the business is fairing.”

 

            “Look, you’ve been taking advantage of her generosity,” Peter accused.

 

            I thought Jack was going hit him or something, the look on Jack’s face was half surprise and half amusement and I swore that I thought he was going to grab Peter by the hair and smack him into my desk a few times. Instead he just shook his head and looked at me, smiling.

 

            “Debs babe, could you file this contract?” he asked as he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and slid it across. “We’re going to need to make some real accounting of the figures in there, but half of the Piper Pickle fortune is probably going to be sizable.”

 

            “Huh?” Peter’s voice was small. “Half of Piper Foods?”

 

            “And our retainer,” Jack said pulling a thick envelope out and dropping it on my desk. “These are supposed to be about two million in bearer bonds. That’s to help fund the recovery operation, but I think old man Piper is trying to pay off some of the bills incurred by the coma inducing event.”

 

            “I’ll get them turned in,” I said having a look at them. Two million one hundred thousand dollars worth, which is a shit load of money to be handed all at once. Last year we’d brought in four million dollars from our three offices, but to have almost half of that handed to you all at once was something else.

 

            “You need something Mister Kurbisesser?” Jack asked.

 

            “What?” he asked.

 

            “Do you need anything?” Jack asked again.

 

            “I guess not,” he said.

 

            “Then you’d better go,” Jack indicated the door. “We grownups have real grownup work to do.”

 

            “I–” Peter said.

 

            “And don’t ever let me catch you calling Debbie anything like ‘Debs’ again. You don’t get to call her little pet names because she isn’t your pet. In fact, don’t ever let anyone catch you acting like you’ve got anything going for you around here besides being employed. You’re not the boss, you’re a paid employee. You don’t set policy you don’t know how much we’re making and as you were acting like such an unlikable fuckbend before I came in I must assume concepts like loyalty are alien to you so I won’t even bother trying to explain that one. Now go back to your office and think about how you’ve just been told to fuck off by the guy who has just now brought in more money in retainer than you’ve made in billable hours over the course of your life.”

 

            “Sorry,” Peter said looking at me and then at the floor.

 

            “Go on,” Jack said gesturing to the door again, “shoo.”

 

            “Sorry,” Peter said again and shuffled out.

 

            I was sort of sorry to see him humiliated like that. He deserved it and it needed to be done, no doubt, but you don’t actually like seeing it happen. Jack watched as the door closed and I could see his shoulders bunching up under his shirt.

 

            “Should I do something about him?” he asked.

 

            “No,” I said, giving my head a shake.

 

            “You’re sure?” he asked. “I’m not sure how much your girlfriend would like to hear about him slagging off your boyfriend.”

 

            “He’s a good agent, and he doesn’t know about either my girlfriend or my boyfriend,” I told him. “People in the office have no business knowing anything about my private life.”

 

            “None of them check up, just to make sure?”

 

            “If they did, they would be gone,” I told him. “I don’t like people prying.”

 

            “Ashamed of me?”

 

            “I don’t need people asking questions,” I said. “I don’t need people assuming things about me. I like things kept private. It’s bad enough some guys get it into their heads that they’re going to be my new beau whether I want them to or not.”

 

            “Well I don’t want that either,” he said. “Maybe I should explain things?”

 

            “I think you’ve proven to be the big seller this week,” I reassured him, grabbing the papers. “Speaking of which, Peter Piper is going to give us half his kingdom?”

 

            “That’s what he claims,” he said. “Although I wouldn’t go picking out drapes for our side of the castle just yet. I’ve got to go out to California and you’ve got to make sure a more legal document than that one comes along stating exactly what we’ll get and how he intends to pay and so on. The securities are nice, but I want to make sure we’ll actually get paid if this job ends up costing more than it needs to.”

 

            “Do you think that’s going to happen?”

 

            “Did the last job with them end up costing too much?”

 

            “Well,” I said and sort of let him eye me after saying it.

 

            “I told him to get some contracts over to us,” he said. “That reminds me, I’ve got to make some calls.”

 

            “Oh?” she asked. “To who?”

 

            “People,” he said walking to his office door. “Oh, and if I’m going to drive across country, do you think I could borrow your car? I’m not to keen about taking the Hudson for that long a trip.”

 

            “Why would you drive?” I asked, having to lean across my desk to see him going through his door.

 

            “Guns, knives, shovels, rakes and implements of destruction,” he said. “Got to tote my gear.”

 

            “We have people out there with those things.”

 

            “Not as good,” he let his door close behind him.

 

            I got up and walked around the desk, even though I knew it was a breach of etiquette. I opened the door of his office and found him opening his safe. I think the safe might be the oldest thing in the office. I’m also pretty certain that he managed to get the price he did because Butch Cassidy once blew it up and it was stuck back together improperly. I’ve always sort of thought that you could probably yank the door off if you gave it a good jerk.

 

            “We’ve got people to do this sort of thing,” I told him.

 

            “Our people are going to Banbury Cross,” he said as he opened the door of the big green antique he called a safe. “I need them to go to Banbury and look around down there. I need them making a big sign of doing it too, because I want people to think that’s where we went.”

 

            “Why?”

 

            “So people will think I don’t know what I’m doing,” he said. “Someone needs to drive my car, very carefully, down there too. They’ll think I went with the car.”

 

            I knew I was going to let him borrow my car, and I knew it wouldn’t be coming back in working order. I looked at the computer in front of me and wondered if I couldn’t blackmail him into buying me a new car. Or maybe I could even get him to get me my own classic. I decided the first thing to do was to call Shiri in San Francisco and tell her he was coming and then start looking for cars that he could buy me in California. It wasn’t a question of would my car come back or not, it’s how badly he would smash it up. It might not even be too wrecked to drive home, but I wasn’t going to chance it. I would make him get me a new car. He owed me anyway and while he might not be aware of it, it was more Motor City than making him get me a ring.

 

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November 27, 2010 - Posted by | Fiction, Jack |

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