Rated R, NSFW
Read previous chapters or from the start here: Blythe and Mac’s story
I wasn’t sure if I was more disappointed or relieved that Mac disappeared for two weeks. Well from my life anyway. Tom came by for the final layouts, plans, source lists, and budget proposal. Since then Tom has been my only contact on the project. He was unusually jovial and I was warming back up to him as a human. I suppose everyone says something rotten from time to time. I know I have. I’m sure I’m holding an unnecessary grudge so I decided to let it go. I wondered if I can at least enjoy Tom’s company since I’d still be working with him as the renovations took place. Once they were complete and the grand re-opening was over, I could put Mac and Tom behind me.
I decided to talk to Mr. Seagate about not assigning me to either again. Unless I was demanded or specifically requested that shouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t think Mac would bother. Maybe the shiny new idea of dating me wore off. Maybe Lila came back to shake her fake tits in his face. I chuckled at that thought and covered it with a cough.
“As I was saying Blythe I’ve fallen in love.”
Tom. Apparently, he’s a romantic, or just plays one really well. When he’s not a chauvinistic sexist pig cliché of a man.
“When you first said under the stars, I figured it would be weird or cheesy like in those themed chain restaurants pretending to be a rainforest.”
“They are popular for a reason.” I countered. I actually liked those places. They were the best place to take my nieces; the target audience.
“I’m sure they are.”
Ooh Tom looked like he swallowed a snarky comment. He was making an effort to behave.
“The hardest part of the installation is complete.” He said while glancing at his Baume & Mercier watch.
Complete? “So the renovations have already begun?” This was news to me. I didn’t expect it to be so far underway.
“Yes. We tore the place apart the day after we had lunch there. As soon as we had the bones of your idea the following day, we had the carpenters in. Any changes you suggested could be easily accommodated. Mac wants this place up and operational as soon as possible. The lighting was installed yesterday.”
I nodded that sounded like Mac. “I’d like to see it.”
“That’s why I’m here.” Tom smiled. “Now that we’re down to the finer details I want you to come by and make sure it’s standing up to your vision.”
Finer details? Already? Technically I should have been there from day one. Whatever the client wanted I suppose. Or was I supposed to insist? “Alright Tom I’ll follow you to the sight. I have an appointment later and need my car.”
“Works for me.” He stood and we left. I was excited and nervous to see how far they were.
My mind raced as I drove. Would Mac be there? No. Probably not. He was a busy man and had other ventures. Tom was overseeing the project, as was his job. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what Tom’s job is. Part of me didn’t want Mac to show up. The other part, the part that seemed to be insatiable was practically praying he’d show up. Just for an eyeful or if I’m lucky a touch. Yes I’m pathetic, I’ve come to terms with it.
All the necessary permits were posted in the front window. Construction workers moved about like they were performing a well rehearsed dance. I put my hard-hat and work boots on. No way was I ruining shoes or my feet for fashion. I may look silly in a pencil skirt and work-boots but I like my feet puncture free.
The place had been gutted. The ceiling was resurfaced to the dome shape to allow for the star projections. Painted a flat black with a clear reflective coating. The pinpoint lights would reflect and resemble real stars of various sizes and twinkle. The coating would ensure the twinkle effect and it was what I was most anxious to see. The dining area was set away from the walls out of arms reach by the fake patio railing. They had already laid the intricate stone patio flooring. The path would wind between the tables. The fixtures to hold the plants were being constructed and looked perfect. The large windows had blackout blinds for when the restaurant was full of diners. Otherwise they would be open to give light to the plants.
There were also sun lamps for during the winter. The greenery would be complementary and strategically placed to provide dining privacy and ambiance. If done properly the maintenance would be minimal. The artist constructing the cityscape backdrop was the real find. She and her partner were making a three-dimensional view that would from what I could see be absolutely perfect with the lights out.
“Oh Tom it’s coming along perfectly.” To say I was excited would not be enough.
“I agree.” Tom nodded. “An outdoor patio indoors. We leaked this and the information is spreading like wildfire.”
“Skeptics and enthusiasts all pouncing I bet.”
“We were able to procure the tables you recommended. Mac was blown away by the artistry.”
I smiled. An indulgence on my part. Lawrence’s husband Kevin was the artist who made the tables. He was skeptical at first – reluctant to sell his artwork to a restaurant. Until I showed him my design. Then he was all over it and his hesitation landed him a nearly double commission. I wanted to steer the conversation away from Mac.
“I can’t believe how far along the work is. It’s months ahead of scheduled.”
It was and it showed just how determined Mac was to fast track this project. A costly decision and it explained the multiple work crews.
“This must be exciting for you.” Tom took my safety hat and hung it on a peg along with the one he wore. “I heard you got promoted because of this job.”
“I got promoted because I earned it.”
“Yeah but didn’t you get promoted the day Mac approved the plan and insisted you design it?” Tom said as we walked out into the late afternoon sun.
I had, but I also put in a lot of time and effort to get where I am. Years actually. I thought about what and how to say so without sounding defensive. “I have no idea if Mr. Waterstone influenced my boss’ decision or not, but I’ve worked hard to even be in line for that particular promotion. I’d like to think I earned it.”
“Fair enough. Hey I…”
I turned to face Tom ready to shut him down, but he looked like he wanted to say something important. Fine. I let him talk.
“About that day in the restaurant. I was out of line.”
“Are you saying that because you want to or are you being told to?” Unfair but I had to ask.
“I didn’t know you were listening.” Tom said as his eyes darted over my shoulder to my left. Fidgety means he’s probably lying.
“I shouldn’t have and that’s my shame. But not knowing I was listening? That’s the funny thing about it Tom. You said something mean and since you thought you were alone, you meant it. You know nothing about me to pass judgment. That sort of snobbery is why there is equally cruel judgments made on the wealthy.”
Tom nodded and rubbed the back of his neck. “I know and God knows I should be less of a prick but I tend to speak before I think.”
“No! Really? You?”
“Sarcasm is ugly Blythe. I also wanted to… you know, apologize for that and for bringing up Lila and ruining things.”
“Whoa stop right there Tom.” I held up my hand and he shook his head quickly. What an odd thing to do. “You didn’t ruin anything. There was nothing to ruin in the first place. Honestly I’m glad you said what you did.”
He was widening his eyes and clearing his throat, I suppose he doesn’t really want to hear what I have to say. Oh well. I was going to say it regardless.
“Because you saved me the embarrassment. See, you said it would be slumming and Mr. Waterstone didn’t argue. Slumming or not, joking or not it says a lot.”
Tom threw his head back and looked to the sky. “Blythe you’re oblivious.”
“Whatever Tom, thanks for showing me the progress. I have to go.” I spun on my heel fast and took a step right into Mac.
To be continued…
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