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John Marion Francis

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Politically Homeless - a five year Odyssey across three cont
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Born in the Armenian diaspora, a young girl leaves her birthplace and community for an expatriate assignment in Africa. She seizes the opportunity to travel across three ..  
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Katy Wilson is looking to work her way up in the RKC corporation and determined to get in the exclusive RKC Executive Club. But there's one thing stopping her. Her new boss's wife Vivian.

 

Chapter 1 – The Interview  
 
The Red Kiss Cosmetic Corporation is one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world. It makes an estimated two billion dollars in annual sales. It employs over eight thousand people worldwide. Its corporate headquarters is located in downtown New York in the RKC Towers . Its offices consume the entire building and runs around the clock like a Las Vegas casino. “Beauty Never Sleeps” is the motto you seen when you come through the main entrance. 
 
Deep within its organization is the exclusive Red Kiss Executive Club. You don’t ask to join, they ask you. The only way in is by exclusive invitation and no one knows how that process works. You can’t miss them because the members wear the coveted RKC Black & Gold diamond ring.  Mark Strausen is the President & CEO. He’s a very tall 6’5” handsome gentleman with strong sculptured features; jet black well groomed hair, the perfect smile, deep dark eyes, and always well dressed in black custom tailored suits.  
 
He’s holding interviews today for an executive assistant. So far none of the applicants have really sparked any interest or made him sit up and take notice until today. Today a very striking woman walked into his life and shook his world.  
 
“Mr. Strausen, your last appointment is here.” Said his secretary over the intercom.  
 
“Thank you Carol, send her in please.” he said standing, adjusting his tie and cuffs waiting for her entrance. The door slowly opened with a gloved hand. She walked in taking slow strides toward his sprawling desk. Mark was immediately mesmerized and smitten. She is dressed in a black mini one piece, black stockings,  mid length black gloves, a small black clutch under her arm, red lipstick, and shoulder length curly auburn hair.  
 
“Hello Mr. Strausen, I’m Katy Wilson.” She said pulling off her gloves reaching out to shake his hand in total confidence that she had his undivided attention. He was almost lost for words, a very rare occurrence for him. He reached out and shook her hand.  
 
“Hello Miss. Wilson , please have a seat. Can I get you anything to drink.” He offered while walking towards his fully stocked wet bar.
 
 “No thank you, I’m good.”  
 
“Mind if I…” he started.  
 
“Please help yourself, I don’t mind. I’m sure it’s been a long day filled with interviews and here I’m the last one, you must be exhausted.” She said looking him up and down as he stood with his back to her fixing himself a drink.  
 
“Up until now I haven’t really seen anyone quite like you. You must come from good stock.” He said dropping a couple of ice cubes in a short tumbler; pouring it half full with scotch. He walked over to his desk and took his seat.  
 
“Well, my father was a full partner with the Smith, Wilson & Kline law firm just a few blocks from here.”  
 
“Yes, I remember having a few dealings with them over a couple of competitor acquisitions. How is your father if you don’t mind me asking?”  
 
“He’s doing fine. He’s getting ready to retire. Thanks for asking.”  
Mark couldn’t take his eyes off of her as she looked intently at him when she spoke throughout the interview. Everything about her was made of the woman in his dreams. Her laugh, her smile, her eyes, the crossing of her perfect long legs, everything is perfect and in place. He knew before the interview was over that she was “the one”.  
 
“Well Miss. Wilson , when can you start?” he said with a smile standing to shake her hand.  
 
“You mean I got the position?” she gasped.  
 
“Yes, unless you have a better offer, the job is your if you want it. But I understand if you need to take some time to think about it.”  
 
“No, um, I don’t need any time to think about it, yes, yes I accept. I can start on Monday if that 's satisfactory?” she said smiling pulling on her gloves.  
 
“Monday it is then. Just spend a few minutes with Carol to fill out some basic paperwork on your way out and I’ll see you on Monday.” He said smiling and thankful he hadn’t giving the job to someone else. ‘she’s perfect’ he said to himself ‘just perfect’.  
 
Chapter 2 – Funny seeing you here 
 
It's been two days since his interview with Katy. He couldn’t get her off his mind. He day dreamed during meetings of what it would be like to be with her. Even at the RKC Club meetings she was caressing his mind. His wife Vivian didn’t mind him bringing new girls into the club, but having an affair was not an option. Vivian is known for her jealous rages over any woman that tried to come between them or over flirted with Mark. But just as a quick as she went off she would be apologizing and patched things up. Mark actually liked her little tirades because it often led to awesome make up sex.  
 
It’s Friday and Mark is off to his happy hour haunt called The Realm. It’s a night club around the corner from the office. He goes there while Vivian is at her weekly total body spa treatment. He liked hanging out with the young RKC Club members and mingling with the “outsiders”. The place is packed as usual, the music is blaring from all sides, big screen TV’s displaying war and violent film footage.  
 
“Scotch on the rocks Shelia!” He shouted to his favorite human blond bombshell bartender. He looked around at the crowd. “This is the life and we walk among them and they don’t’ even know it.” He said to himself feeling the pride of how far through evolution he and his clan had come. Back in the old days they wouldn’t dare come out in day light much less dress in suits and run businesses. ‘It’s a new age and a new time.’ He toasted to himself holding his drink up in the air. Just as he was putting it down he heard a familiar voice.  
 
“Mister Strausen?”  
 
Mark is stunned and can’t believe his eyes. It’s Katy standing next to him with a Martini in her hand swaying to the music in the background looking intently at him as she did in the interview.  
 
“Katy?” he gasped in disbelief.  
 
“Mister Strausen, I can’t believe you’re here. How are you?”  
 
Again Mark is almost at a loss for words. What was it about her that just stops him dead in his tracks? No other woman has this affect over him, not even Vivian.  
 
“I’m, I’m fine and you.” He said quickly trying to gather his composure.  
“Good, good. I’m looking forward to Monday. I’ll be on time, I promise.” She beamed.  
 
Mark is like putty in the palm of her hands but she isn’t aware that he is. She’s dressed in a black one piece latex mini dress that cupped her butt, a blonde wig,  four inch spiked strappy heels, and red polished fingernails.  
 
“What?” she asked in a coy tone looking at him over the top of her Martini glass smiling.  
 
“Wow, what a difference from two days ago.” He said looking her up and down. She could feel his gaze fixed on her.  
 
“Well, it’s Friday and I’m out with my girlfriends, you know just have a little fun and celebrating my new job. I’m sorry if I’m offending you. You probably have a professional expectation that must be maintained at all times if I’m to be your assistant” She said looking down at the floor in near tears.  
 
“Oh no, no, no, no, Katy, please” he said holding up his hand… “I’m a modern man and these are modern times. Look around you, most of the people in here are my employees. Some are dressed in far more “out there” outfits than you.” He said trying to assure her.
 
 “Really? Are you sure?’ she said reaching for a napkin touching up her eyes.  
 
“Really Katy, it’s okay, now go back and tell your friends that your entire evening is on me, whatever you want.” He said putting the tip of his index finger under her chin waiting for her smile. Slowly she began to gradually smile feeling that Mark was not lying to her.  
 
“You are a great boss Mister Strausen. I wont let you down, I promise.” She said smiling walking backwards before melting into the crowd. She blew him a kiss just as she faded out of sight.  
 
Mark just stared at her until she was no longer in sight. ‘Shit, this is all I need.’ He said to himself ordering another scotch.  "...This is all I need."
 
Chapter 3 – Let’s do lunch
 
It’s Monday morning and Mark is up earlier than usual having coffee and reading the paper.
 
“You’re up early.” Said Vivian coming downstairs walking into the kitchen.
 
“I have a conference call with Nico and Natasha in Germany.” He said trying to sound official while controlling his anticipation of seeing Katy.
 
“Oh, what’s going on?”
 
“They want to go over the new magazine ads for the Fall issue. It’s going to the printers in two weeks.”
 
“Well, have a great day, tell them I said hi. I’ll be in later this afternoon around two o’clock.” She said pouring herself a cup of coffee then picked out the fashion section of the paper before heading for the living.
 
“Okay, see you later.” He said grabbing is brief case and keys. 
 
The office is already filled with RKC executives busy looking intently at their PC monitors.
 
“I’ve got a ten million dollar order, yeah baby, yeah!” shouted Vilhelm, one of Marks top producers.
 
“My man!” shouted Mark giving him a high five as he passed by.
 
Mark changed his shirt and tie when he got to his office. He didn’t want the scent of Vivian’s perfume linger on him today. ‘Today is all about Katy’ he thought to himself while buttoning up the fresh new white shirt. He keeps a private locker of a dozen shirts and ties in the bottom of the wet bar.  
 
“Mr. Strausen, Katy is here.” said Carol over the intercom.
 
“Thank you Carol, give me five minutes then send her in.”
 
“Yes sir.”
 
Katy sat quietly on the large high back leather chair and stared at the large black door of his office. She was dressed to the nine’s and ready to blow him away on her first day. Her father took her shopping over the weekend. She’s dressed in a stunning white Donna Karan with a large four inch black waist high belt, black gloves, black and white Manolo Blahnik high heels, and a matching Dolce&Gabbana bag.
 
“Mr. Strausen will see you now Miss. Wilson.” Said Carol in a soft voice.
 
“Thank you Carol.” She said standing adjusting her belt before going into Mark’s office.
 
“Good morning Mr. Strausen.” She said extending her hand to shake his. He just stood and looked at her. He couldn’t find the words to respond. She was more striking that he ever imaged.
 
“My, my Katy, you are dressed to kill this morning.” He finally said slowly releasing her soft hand.
 
“O’ I bet you say that to all the girls around here Mr. Strausen.”
 
“Trust me, you look awesome. I took the liberty of ordering coffee and tea, would you like a cup?” he offered looking at the tray.
 
“Yes, but please, allow me. After all, I am your assistant.” She said.
 
His eyes followed her as she walked over to the tray and pour them both coffee.
 
“Sugar?” she looked over her shoulder at him. He grinned admiring her slender hips and perfect calves. She knew he was looking at her. 
 
“Yes, two please.”
 
“Here you go. So what’s on our agenda today?” she said handing him his coffee then sitting in the adjacent chair next to him.
 
“Well, I had Carol upload my full schedule in your blackberry that you must have with you at all times.” He said handing it to her. “Our first appointment is an hour. I’m meeting with some new buyers from Macy’s.”
 
“Yes sir, Macy’s one hour.” She repeated back to him scrolling down the appointment list on the blackberry. 
 
“Then I have a meeting with my banker after that. You won’t need to attend. Then off to lunch.”
 
“Lunch? Am I attending lunch?” she said looking up from the blackberry. Mark smiled and nearly laughed a little at her question.
 
“You don’t have to. It’s just me. I’m going to The Capital Grille.” He said wanting to ask get to go with him but held back.
 
“Great place. It’s daddy’s favorite.” She replied smiling.
 
“Well, if you don’t have plans, you’re free to join me if you like.” He finally asked sensing it was now or never.
 
“Sure, my day revolves around you. I want to learn as much as possible.” She said.
 
“Excellent, then let’s say 12:30 we meet in the lobby?”
 
“12:30, lunch, it’s in my blackberry.” She said smiling taping the screen.
 
Mark’s on cloud nine. His day has started off just as he planned. Their meeting with the buyers was a chance to see her in action and she was flawless. Mark is eyeing the clock as the meeting with his RKC staff was coming to an end. ‘Shit, come on 12:30’ he thought to himself watching the red second hand on the clock sweep around in what seemed like an eternity.
 
“Well, if we have nothing else to discuss, meeting is adjourned. Keep up the good work.” He said standing watching the clock as he walked out the door. ‘Good, I’ve five minutes to spare.’ he thought to himself.
 
“Carol, I’m stepping out for lunch. I'll be at the Capital Grille.” He said walking quickly past Carol’s desk.
 
“Yes sir Mr. Strausen.” She replied handing him his blackberry.
 
Mark watched the numbers trickle down. He stepped out of the elevator and began looking around for Katy. ‘Where is she?’ he thought as he began to feel a wave of panic wash over him. The elevator bell dinged behind him. He turned around. Out stepped Katy with a smile.
 
“Been waiting long?” she asked smiling putting on her gloves.
 
“Not at all. Just got off the elevator myself.”
 
“Shall we go or has something come up?” she asked.
 
“Nope, not at all. My driver is waiting out front. After you.”
 
The Grille is filled with very familiar faces as Mark and Katy walked to his private table. Heads were turning as Katy strutted by. She has all the men checking her out. 
 
“How are you today Mr. Strausen.” Said Peter the owner
 
“Very good Peter. Peter, this is my new assistant Katy Wilson.”
 
“I’m familiar with her and her father. How are you today Katy?”
 
“Doing good.”
 
“Your usual Mr. Strausen?”
 
“Yes”
 
“And Katy, how about you?”
 
“Tea please with two lemon wedges.”
 
“My pleasure.”
 
* * * * *
 
Vivian arrived at the office at 1pm and went to Mark’s office.
 
“Hello Carol, is Mark in?” she asked pausing before opening his door looking at Carol. Carol was in shock and didn’t know what to say. Vivian wasn’t due to come in to the office until much later. She knew she hadn’t met Katy and the way Katy is dressed today shit would surely hit the fan.
 
“Carol, is Mark in?” she repeated.
 
“He’s at lunch Mrs. Strausen.” She said trying to not look her in the eye.
 
“O, with who?” said Vivian with a smile and slight concern.
 
“A Miss. Wilson, his new assistant.” Said Carol. 
 
Vivian tightened her grip on the door handle then glared at Carol.
 
“Who the hell is Miss. Wilson and when did he hire her?” insisted Vivian feeling her jealousy building.
 
“She was hired late Friday afternoon. She started this morning.  He’s been interviewing applicants all this week.” Said Carol trying to calm her down. Vivian released the door handle.
 
“Where did they go?”
 
“The Capital Grille.”
 
“Well, I guess I’ll go meet this Miss. Wilson since no one around here seems to inform me of the people we are hiring.”
 
“Yes Mrs. Strausen.” Said Carol in a low voice.
 
“And don’t you call him and tell him I’m coming either, you hear me.” Said Vivian pointing her finger at her then turned away.
 
“Yes Mrs. Stausen.”
 
Vivian is fuming. She rushes to the elevator and impatiently started pressing the button. "Come the hell on!" she screams.  She heads straight for the front doors and to her private car.
 
“Take me to The Capital Grille now and hurry it up.” She barked out at her driver.
 
Chapter 4 – “So, who’s your friend!”
 
Carol knew Vivian was going straight to The Capital Grille and blow a gasket of epic proportions. Vivian’s threat of not calling Mark is very real, but she is loyal to Mark no matter what the circumstances are. She watched the elevator numbers trickle down to make sure Vivian was gone before picking up her blackberry. ‘Three, two, one’ Carol recited to herself then quickly sent a text message to Mark. ‘RED BULL-911 – DART! She quickly typed on the screen then pressed send.
 
It was their secret code that they established whenever Vivian was on a rampage. DART meant, Delete After Reading This. She sent the same message to Peter at The Grille. Peter was use to getting these text as well. Mark made sure that he was on the “alert” list.
 
Mark was about to order when his blackberry hummed with the alert. His expression alarmed Katy.
 
“What’s wrong?” asked Katy looking at him then at his blackberry. 
 
“We have a situation. I’ll explain later, but for now follow my lead and do exactly as I tell you.” He said as calmly as he could not sure how much time they had before Vivian would arrive.
 
“Sure, what do you need me to do.” Said Katy reaching for her purse.
 
“My wife is on her way here. Remember when I said she comes with a warning?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Well, she is on her way here with a chip on her shoulder. I want you to go to the powder room and wait there. Someone will come in and let you know when to come back to the table. When you meet my wife just go with whatever she says, show her respect and follow my lead.”
 
“I understand.” Said Katy scooting out from the table then headed straight for the restroom.
 
Mark looked up towards the front at Peter. Peter was looking down at this blackberry then looked towards Mark’s table. Both their eyes synched up as they nodded to each other. Just as Peter turned around Vivian is storming through the door.
 
“Good afternoon Mrs. Strausen.” Said Peter as pleasantly as he could.
 
Vivian held up her hand and made a bee line straight for Mark’s private table. Mark pretended to be reading the menu.
 
“Hello Mark, where’s your friend!” she started in on him.
 
Mark calmly put down the menu and looked up at Vivian.
 
“Hello darling, my friend?” he calmly replied.
 
“Cut the shit, you know who the hell I’m talking about. Your new little tramp!” she firmly said with her arms crossed scanning the room glaring figuring she was hiding at another booth.
 
“Vivian, I’m having lunch with my new assistant if that’s who you’re referring to. She’s dropping off the contracts from her fathers law firm, Smith, Wilson & Kline. Her father is Steven Wilson, remember him? He was at our company anniversary party. They’re firming up the our new deal with Japan.” Said Mark coming up with a quick small lie.
 
“Why didn’t you tell me about her? You had all weekend. What bull shit story you got for that one?” said Vivian figuring she had him in her cross hairs. Just as he was about to answer Katy came to the table with an legal sealed envelop in her hand.
 
“Mrs. Strausen, well at last I get to meet you. My father has told me about you and here you are. He raved about you after meeting you in person at your companies anniversary party. I’m glad to be part of the team.” 
 
Vivian sized her up before responding. She really admired her stunning dress and the Dolce&Gabbana bag. She figured Katy is “daddy’s little girl” and would give her anything she wanted. But she had to make a statement and mark her turf. She demanded respect.
 
“So, you’re the new hired help.” She snipped at her.
 
“Why yes Mrs. Strausen, I started this morning. I’m dropping off the contracts that my father has reviewed and Mr. Strausen asked me to stay for lunch to go over them. Care to join us?”
 
Vivian had no defense for both of their stories. Everything looked legit and she couldn’t counter with any type of defensive response. 
 
“No thank you, I’m on my way to meet with the ad agency people.  I’ll grab a bite to eat there. We’ll visit later, let’s say 4pm my office?” she said putting on her coat buttoning it up looking at Mark then back to her.
 
“Yes Mrs. Strausen, 4pm, your office, got it.” Said Katy entering the meeting in her blackberry.
 
“Very well, Mark, I’ll see you later.”
 
“Okay honey.” Said Mark standing up giving her a kiss. 
 
She smiled, hugged him and whispered in his ear. “I love you, you know that don’t you?”
 
“Yes darling and I love you too.”
 
Vivian left without any further words.
 
Katy looked at Mark and smiled. The backup planned had worked. Peter had one of his staff take a legal envelop with blank paper in it to Katy in the bathroom with instructions on what to say. Mark had his blackberry on “talk” so Katy and Peter could listen in on the conversation.
 
“So, how was I?” asked Katy smiling.
 
“Perfect. You followed along just well.” He said pushing aside the fake contact and envelop.
 
“Good thing she didn’t look inside the envelop.” She said smiling knew she had won his complete trust and confidence.
 
“Yeah, she would have went completely off and you would have been fired.” He said feeling he could now trust her with anything, even if it means covering up for any story he tells. Peter came over to the table.
 
“So, what are we having today.” He asked smiling and winking at Katy.
 
They order lunch and discussed how she should handle the meeting with Vivian at four o’clock.
 

Chapter 5 – The Meeting

Vivian is pacing in her office chomping at the bit to meet with Katy. She keeps looking at the clock. “You’d think she would be early for our first meeting.” She said under her voice glaring at the clock for the tenth time.

“Miss Strausen, Katy Wilson is here.” Said Marsha her assistant.

“Give me five minutes, then send her in, thank you.” Said Vivian walking over to the window looking out at the city. “That’ll teach the little tramp who’s boos.” She said smiling to herself. She waited six minutes then paged Marsha to send her in.

“Good afternoon Miss Strausen.” Said Katy walking in stopping in front of her desk.

“Good afternoon Katy, please have a seat.”

“Thank you.”

“So, how was lunch?” Vivian asked as soon as she sat down.

“It was very good. It’s my father’s favorite place. I wasn’t expecting Mr. Strausen to pay for my meal. I could have easily had it charged to my fathers house account.”

“Don’t worry about it. After all it was all business right?” She said hoping to trip her up.

“Yes it was. I dropped the contracts back off at my fathers office afterwards.”

Vivian could feel the back of her neck getting hot. The more she looked at Katy the more peeved she was that she was at lunch with Mark. She wanted to make sure that Katy wasn’t trying to turn it to something more.

“So any more lunch plans this week?” Vivian asked glaring at her.

“Not that I have scheduled.” She said calmly looking at her blackberry. Nope, none so far. Carol uploaded his complete schedule into my blackberry and there’s notlunch listed.”

“His complete schedule, why do you need his complete schedule?”

“Mr. Strausen said that I’m to know his complete schedule at all times and to never be without my blackberry.” Vivian’s eyes widen at her response then she leaned forward over her desk.

“Look, just so you and I are clear on one thing, you are his executive assistant and nothing more. If you have any other plans, be advised that I act swiftly and don’t need his permission to fire you or anyone else around here.”

“I clearly understand Miss Strausen. My plans are to grow with the company. I don’t see myself as an executive assistant forever. My educational background is in International Business and law and I think I’ll be an excellent asset to the company in other areas in time.”

Vivian calmed down after hearing her response, especially the part about not being his executive assistant forever.

“Well, I think in time you’ll be able to move up in the company. I know I seemed a little over protective of Mark today but I just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression of seeing you two together. I’m sure you can see my point.”

“I completely understand Miss Strausen. Really I do.”

“Good, then I think that we’ve ended our little meeting on a good note.”

“Indeed we have Miss Strausen. You have good evening.”

“You to Katy and thank you for coming by.”

Katy left her office with a wicked smile on her face as she stood waiting for the elevator. “That bitch doesn’t have a clue about what I’m up to and she hasn’t seen nothing yet.” She whispered to herself looking at her reflection in the mirrored elevator doors. The doors opened with no one in the elevator which is what she was hoping for. She pressed P1 (Parking level 1) instead of going back to her office then pressed a speed dial number on her blackberry.

“Hello Mark? I’ll be at the Realm in twenty minutes.”

Chapter 6 – “Vivian will never find out”

Mark was very impressed with the way Katy handled herself at lunch. Being put on the spot like that and following the ‘on the fly plan’ further reinforced his decision to hire her. Well that and being drop dead gorgeous. He texted her to meet him at the Realm after her meeting with Vivian. He wanted to know how the meeting went and to make sure that whatever she discussed with Vivian would match whatever he would say to her later tonight at dinner. He knew Vivian would be grilling him about their lunch. He could see Katy walking towards him. He waved at her from his private table.

 
“Hello Mrs. Strausen.” She said sitting at the chair across from him. Mark looked at her with craving eyes.
 
“Hello, so how did it go.” He asked regaining his composure.
 
“Very well, I said and did exactly as you told me.”
 
“Did she buy it?” he asked anxiously downing the last of his scotch and ordering another one and a Martini for her.
 
“Hook line an sinker Mr. Strausen.” She beamed feeling proud of herself.
 
“Excellent. Good job.” He said handing her a Martini then picking up his scotch to toast her. “To your first day and a job well done.” Katy looked Mark in the eyes.
 
“To a long relationship at RKC.” She said clinking his glass.
 
“About RKC…” Mark started…”Have you heard about my Exclusive RKC members only club?” he arched is brow looking at her over his glass waiting for her response.
 
“No, not really, I’ve seen some of the others wearing a ring like yours. But I afraid I don’t.” She said looking and pointing at his ring.
“Well, it’s by private invitation only. No one ever knows when or if they’ll get an invitation, but I think you’re on your way to being a good candidate for membership.” He said sitting back looking intently at her. Katy knew a little about the RKC club. A couple of the guys were talking about the club in the break lounge. She flirted as much information from them as she could. She knew they had been checking her out.
 
“I hope that one of these days I’ll get the invitation. I’ll continue to work hard to prove to you that I am worthy of being a RKC Club member.” She said crossing her legs, looking directly into his eyes as she took a sip of her Martini. She could feel him coming onto her and more importantly wanting her more than Vivian.
 
“Good things come with hard work and you’re on the right track. Keep up with me and covering my tracks like today and you’ll go far. As my executive assistant, you more power that you think. But I’m sure in time you’ll learn how and when to use it. You will know more about me than any one else. Carol has been with me for eighteen years and she is indispensable. Stick with me and you’ll become indispensable too.” Said Mark trying to gain her confidence and loyalty.
 
The word “indispensable” was exactly what Katy wanted to hear. She could see her charm was drawing him to her but knew more time and demonstration of her loyalty would be required to make sure she would get an invitation to the RKC Club.
 
“Don’t worry Mr. Strausen, you have my absolute devotion and loyalty to you and RKC. I’ll never let you down.” She said with a wicked smile crossing her legs again. He looked at her long perfect legs then back up at her.
 
“And what of my wife Vivian?” he cautiously asked. Katy knew exactly what he was asking.
 
“Like you said earlier today Mr. Strausen… “she paused and took the last sip of her Martini then stood up to leave. “All I have to do is; do as you say and follow your lead when it comes to her. I think that solves that problem don’t you?”
 
Mark grinned a devilish grin looking up at her. “Katy, we’re going to get along just fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
 
“Until then, enjoy the rest of your evening Mr. Strausen and I’ll see you in the morning.” She said walking backwards so he could get a good long look at her then turned away.
 
Chapter 7 – “I’ve got him wrapped around my finger…”
 
It’s been three weeks since Katy started and she has been proving herself to be more and more valuable and loyal to Mark. Mark is throwing a big bash for the sales team to celebrate a record sales breaking month this weekend at his mansion. Katy reports to his office for a review of today’s itinerary.

“So, what do have on the agenda today Katy?” asked Mark watching her dangle her shoe while looking at her blackberry. His eyes follow her long legs up to her thigh high black stockings with lace scallop edging.

“We have two meetings this morning an hour each starting at ten o’clock, lunch, and then you have a meeting with your father at three at your country club and that’s it. I’ll be meeting with the caterers at three, the florist at four and I’m done for day.”

Mark could feel his lust for Katy building up to a near fever pitch thinking about seeing her at the mansion this weekend. He’s been pushing his sales team to reach sales goals so that he could put on this party just to be her. This weekend is to be the weekend he wants to take things to the next level and feels she’s ready.
 
“So are you excited about the party this weekend?” he asked trying to get a feel for her mood.
 
“O’ yes Mr. Strausen, I can’t wait. I’ve been shopping around for the perfect gown but haven’t found anything that has really hit me yet. I’ve narrowed it down to three. I’ll make up my mind by tomorrow.”
 
“Excellent. I’m sure whatever you decide it will be ravishing. By the way, good job on the Japan deal. They signed the contracts last night. I received the confirmation this morning.”

“O’ my God they did? That is so awesome. My first deal.” She said making small claps with her hands. “I’m glad I hit one for the team.” 

Mark stood and came around his desk and sat on the left corner near her. She looked up at him. Mark felt like a majestic warrior being so close to her. He looked down at his RKC black and gold ring.

“Well, I think somebody might be getting closer to getting one of these soon.” He said looking at her slender neck and shoulders then into her blue eyes. He wanted to show her the tips of his fangs but felt all things would come in time. Her eyes lit up as she looked at his ring then slowly up to his gaze.
 
“I’m working hard to earn one Mr. Strausen. I’ll be worthy, you just watch and see.”
 
Mark arched his left brow, smiled and stood in front of her as she began to stand up to leave. They were standing so close together he could feel her breast slightly pushing up against him. She intentionally waited for him to stand first so she could get this close. She flipped her hair over her shoulder. The view of her white slender neck was intoxicating.
 
“So, I’ll see you in conference room three in thirty minutes?” She said turning away reaching for her portfolio and blackberry.
 
“Yes, in thirty minutes, see you then.” Said Mark watching her leave.
 
Katy slowly closed the door behind her keeping her eyes on him smiling. Carol is busy filing some papers when she came out. ‘I’ve got him wrapped around my finger and he wants me real bad, I can feel it, but I need to keep him on the edge until this weekend.’ She thought to herself strolling down the hall. ‘It’s time to crank up the heat.’
 
As she walks past Vivian’s office she glares at the door. ‘As for you bitch, he’s going to be mine soon enough.’
Chapter 8 – The meeting with Lord Marcus Von Strausen
 
Marc went to meet with his father at the country club. The RKC Country Club is one of the best tour eighteen golf courses in the city. They acquired it ten years ago and had it totally renovated. The secret RKC clan meetings are held below in the royal lair forum. It spans the full length of the ten thousand square foot country club above. There are five private chambers, two ceremony chambers, and the grand coliseum room. Mark could see his father in the library. He’s a very tall man standing six foot eight inches, long jet black and silver grey hair, steel grey eyes, and a full black and grey beard. He’s in very good shape considering he’s over four hundred years old.
 
“Father you wanted to see me?” he said walking up to bar fixing himself a drink.
“Mark, good to see you my son.” His father said looking up from the fireplace. “Please come join me. How you are doing?”

“Fine father, business is good, Vivian, well Vivian is Vivian, and I have a new assistant that is working out, she is really grabbing the bull by the horns.”

His father smiled… “Grabbing the bull by the horns? I’m sure by that you meant business. I know all too well of Vivian’s temper. Her half human side gets the best of her whenever she sees you with another woman. But you’d think by now she would know that the Von Strausen legacy requires us to have several women to bare our children. That is how we have survived and evolved over the centuries. Without the breeding we would not be able to walk in the light of day, eat table food, and prosper on the surface through the RKC Corporation. Where does she think the ability to have the “good things in life” come from?”

“I know father, I know. But it is through her that we started RKC remember?”

“Yes I do and she’ll never let us forget it. However, she still has not bared any children. Not one!”

“Calm down father just be patient. We will have a child one day.” Said Mark sensing his father’s frustration.

“This Katy, Katy Wilson, I hear she is from good stock.” Said his father going over to the fireplace and stirring the coals.

“Yes she is. I’m considering bringing her into the clan.” Said Mark pleased that his father brought her name up.

“I think this would be good for you and the clan if you did. You have my blessing.” Said Marcus turning away from the fireplace and embracing Mark. “I want you to bare children my son. I want to see my grand children before I’m far too old.”

“Now father, don’t talk like that. You will easily live another four hundred years and your arms will be filled with grand children.” Said Mark looking into his fathers eyes.

“Well, don’t worry about Vivian; I’ll have a talk with her.” Said Marcus walking over to the bar… “I’m sure she’ll see things my way.”

“Father, I can handle Vivian.”

“No Mark. I will have a talk with Vivian and that is final. She will not defy me or my decisions. I’m still Lord of the clan and what I decide is final and will not be challenged. Am I making myself clear son?”

“Yes father.”
 
 
Chapter 9 – “I need someone I can trust…”
 
Vivian is pacing in her office wanting for Trevor to arrive. “He better get his ass in here in the next five minutes or I swear I will…”
 
“Miss Strausen, Trevor is here to see you.” said Mary her executive assistant over the intercom.
 
“Excellent, send him in.”
 
Trevor came in and stood in front of her desk feeling Vivian’s gaze wash over him. ‘What is this about? Am I getting fired?’ he thought to himself waiting for her to speak. He’s been with the company for four years and one of Vivian’s many legion of brown nosers. She chose him for his chiseled handsome model looks, blonde hair, blue eyes and he’s single, a big requirement for your plan.
 
“Trevor, please have a seat. Don’t worry you’re not being fired.” She said smiling feeling in complete control. “I’ve had my eye on you for some time now and whenever I’ve needed someone for special assignments, you come through for me.”
 
“Thank you Miss Strausen.”
 
Standing up to come around to the front of her desk to face him, she continued… “I like loyalty and I have always rewarded loyalty haven’t I Trevor?”
 
“Yes Miss Strausen.”
 
“Well, now I need someone for a very special assignment. Someone that is willing to be my most trusted liaison. Is that person you Trevor?” she said coming back to her chair taking a seat.
 
Trevor could feel his heart pounding hard in his chest. Small beads of sweat began to form over his brow as he prepared to answer. He knew any answer other than yes would mean he would be branded by her scarlet mark and he’ll never get into the RKC Executive club.
 
“Yes Miss Strausen, I’m the person for the job. You have my absolute confidence.”
 
“I knew I made the right choice.” She said leaning forward… “Now here’s your assignment. First, what we talk about from here on is strictly between us. You are not to speak of your assignment to anyone.” She said pointing a finger at him. “I’m sure you know of Katy Wilson, my husband’s executive assistant?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Do you find her attractive?” she said with an arched brow.
 
Trevor’s heart skipped a beat at the question. He thinks she’s hot and had thought about asking her out but decided it wouldn’t be a good idea being that she was Mark’s assistant. Others have tried to make conversation with her from time to time but she politely shuts him down. It’s like she’s on a mission but no one knows who she is pursuing, definitely not any one around the office that he could tell. She did speak to him a couple of times in passing but that’s about it.  He looks back at Vivian.
 
“Yes Miss Strausen. She’s a very attractive woman. I’ve thought about asking her out but haven’t gotten around to it.” He responded cautiously.
 
“Well, now it’s time to get around to it. I want you to try and gain her interest. I think if you increase your efforts you might get her attention.” Vivian can see the concern on Trevor’s face then continues…
 
“I’ll cut to the chase Trevor, I think she is trying to start something with my husband and I don’t like it. I can feel it. I don’t know what she’s up to but I’m going to put a stop to it!” Vivian could feel her jealously rising faster than she could control it. The sheer thought of Katy being in Mark’s arms makes her feel like a volcano deep down inside. 
 
Trevor now realizes that he is in a no win situation. He knows too much to back out and if he did she’d fired him on the spot. Then he quickly realizes the opportunity to move up in the company and to get in the RKC Club is presenting itself now more than it ever will. If he did this for Vivian he’ll be set for life. Trevor calmly smiled and leaned forward.
 
“Don’t worry about that problem anymore Miss Strausen. You got the right person for the job. Nothing else needs to be said. Consider it done.”
 
A slow grin begins to form on Vivian’s face as she looks at him. She could feel his greed feeding his motivation which is what she was counting on.
 
“Very well, then I expect reports every two days from this day forward.”
 
“Yes Miss Strausen.” He said standing buttoning up his blazer.
 
“And Trevor?”
 
“Yes Miss Strausen.”
 
“Do you have an invitation to the party this weekend at the mansion?”
 
“No I don’t.”
 
“Well, see Mary on your way out and she’ll see to it that you get one. I expect to see you there.” She said feeling that he would keep Katy busy at the party. “That’s all, you can leave now.”
 
Vivian went over to the wet bar and poured herself a drink, took a sip and felt her confidence rising… ‘Now let’s see the little whore wiggle her tight skirt wearing ass out my grip now.’
 
Chapter 10 – “Hi, I’m Trevor…”
 
Trevor went about the rest of his day trying to figure out how to get things started between him and Katy. He knew she went to The Realm club for happy hour nearly everyday. ‘Perhaps a few drinks and some sweet talk might open the door a little. I’ll drop by there after work and see if she comes by.’ He thought to himself watching her walk down to her office.
 
Katy walks into her office and sees a large gold box with a wide black ribbon on it. “What’s this?” she said walking towards it smiling. She pulled on the bow and lifted the lid and gasped at the beautiful Jovani evening gown and purse that’s inside. She lifted it out of the box and held it up to herself. “Oh my God this is so beautiful, just beautiful.”  Her phone rang.
 
“This is Katy.”
 
“Do you like it?” asked Mark.
 
She recognized his voice. “Do I like it? I love it! You didn’t have to get me this for me. Daddy was going to buy my gown.”
 
“Well, I made a few calls and found out that this is one of the three that you were considering and it’s my favorite. I thought this one said Katy the most. I hope you don’t mind.”
 
“O’ of course not Mark, I mean Mister Strausen.” She couldn’t believe she called him by his first name, but thought afterwards that it was a good test to see if she pulling him any closer to her.
 
“It’s okay I think we’re beyond the formal names. You’ll know when to turn it on and off. I’m sorry I didn’t get you shoes.”
 
“Don’t worry about the shoes. I have plenty of shoes in the closet that will match this gorgeous gown. I can’t wait for tomorrow night. You’re the best Mark.”
 
“Well only the best for the best. You have a wonderful evening and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
 
“Okay, you too.”
 
Katy picked up the box, gathered her things to leave for the day. Trevor saw her leaving with the box heading for the elevator. He figured it was best to just show up at the club rather than ask is she was going. He watched the elevator numbers trickle half way down then made his way to the elevators. ‘Come on damn it.’ He said under his breathe pressing the down button several times. Finally the doors opened he dashed inside hoping the others riding down wasn’t going to press any other buttons except Parking Level 2. Fortunately no one did.
 
He could see his car but could hear a couple of other cars coming from below in the lower levels. He quickly got in and sat low enough to see the other cars passing by. Katy’s was the second one. He started his car and pull out shortly behind her and followed her a couple cars back in traffic. “Perfect she’s turning right and heading for The Realm.” He whispered to him keeping an eye on her car. He slowed down long enough for her to park then pulled in and parked two cars down.
 
Katy is at the bar ordering a drink. Trevor sees her then begins approaching her slowly.
 
“Hey Katy, funny seeing you here, mind if I join you?”
 
“Sure, have a seat. What’s up?”
 
“Just stopping by for a cocktail or two before heading home, had a good day. I’m making my goals this week.”
 
“That’s good. Keep up that pace and you might get “the invitation” if you know what I mean.”
 
“Yeah, I can only hope that happens one day. I’ve been busting my ass for four years and haven’t got one yet but I got a feeling one is my near future.” 
 
“Well, I just started with the company so I don’t see one coming my way for a while.”
 
“You never know.” He say’s finishing off his drink. “Mind if I buy us another round, my treat.”
 
“Sure, I’ll have an Apple Martini.”
 
“So, you got a date for party this weekend?” he said finally getting around to his assignment.
 
“Well, sort of.” She said thinking about the gown Mark got her as she answered.
 
“Sort of? Can’t make up your mind or waiting for someone else to ask you?” He was hoping she would say who “he” is so he could report back to Vivian.
 
“Well, I guess you could say we’re going to meet at the party.”
 
“I guess that’s a date.”
 
“Why are you asking?”
 
He couldn’t believe she asked him the magic question. It’s the perfect lead in to asking her out for a date. If he could tell Vivian that he has a date with her she would be pleased and he would be that much closer to getting his invitation.
 
“Well, I was thinking that maybe we could take in a movie or something some time.” He braced for her answer. He figured he had a fifty fifty chance that she would say yes.
 
Katy thought about his offer and figured she could use him to see if Mark would have a reaction to her going out with another guy. ‘Well, I said I needed to crank it up a notch and this is my chance.’ She thought to herself before answering.
 
“Sure, check with me next week. I’m thinking maybe dinner?”
 
He smiled liked like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.
 
“Dinner it is. Do I make arrangements at the office or call you?”
 
“Hold out your hand.” She said pulling a Sharpie out of her purse then wrote her cell number on his palm. “There, if you lose it, then it wasn’t meant to be.”
 
“Well, that’s the good thing about a Sharpie, the ink last a long time.” He said feeling like he was holding the heart of his kill in the palm of his hand. This will be undisputed proof to Vivian that she can count on him to get to Katy.
 
“Well, thanks for the cocktails. Call me next week and we’ll see where we go from there.”
 
She said finishing the last of her Martini and feeling her mission was accomplished. ‘Poor little idiot didn’t even know I was playing him from the beginning.’
 

 

Chapter 13 – “Everyone, everyone, the ball is officially underway”
 
Three chime tones sounded repeatedly as the passing butler circulated throughout the crowd striking brass bells with wooden mallet.
 
“Everyone to the main ball room please. Everyone to the main ball room please.” he repeated as he continued to walk throough the moving crowd.
 
Lord Von Strausen walks up the podium and taps the mike.
 
“Is this on?” he said smiling at the laughing crowd as they began to applaud.  “Thank you, thank you, you’re too kind. Please be seated. Welcome to our home and our The RKC Ball where we reward our outstanding employees. Before we get started I’d like to thank our fine staff for once again putting together a fabulous gala for us. Please give them a hand…”
 
Vivian is eyeing Mark and Katy from across the room. Katy looks her way and smiles. “Yeah, go ahead and smile while you can you’re going to get yours and soon I guarantee it.” She mutters under her breath glaring back at her. Mark keeps looking ahead at his father. Katy excuses herself and leaves for the restroom. Vivian decides to follow her. Katy is touching up her lips when Vivian walks in glaring at her in the mirror.
 
“You just think you got it all figured out don’t you?” started Vivian grabbing her by the arm turning her to face her. “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”
 
“Now Vivian, don’t be mad, I’m only going after what was yours and making it mine.” Said Katy looking intently into Vivian’s eyes while forming a smug smile.
 
“You little bitch! Don’t think for a moment that Mark’s father can protect you forever. There are things about me that you don’t know and trust me I’m going to get rid of you just like all the other little whores that try to come between Mark, me and RKC. O’ and here’s a little something I bet you didn’t know…” she paused then smiled… “RKC exist because of me. I’m Mark’s first and only wife so you can just get those thoughts of him divorcing me to marry your little prissy ass out of your mind.” Katy smiled at her…
 
“Well, I appreciate your little speech Vivian, really I do but, this doesn’t concern you. I’ve got Mark and daddy wrapped around my finger and there’s nothing you can do about it. So why don’t you step aside and let things take its course. I know… why don’t you go find yourself a nice little young stud and leave us alone.” Said Katy sarcastically glaring at Vivian.
 
Vivian crossed her arms… “So, you think you got it all figured out don’t you. Well hear me loud and clear, this isn’t over not by a long shot. I have my ways of getting what I want. Think about it… I built RKC before you and Mark came along and none of this would exist if it were not for me. So if you think you can just waltz in here and take what is mine you’re sadly mistaken honey. Just watch me.” Vivian stormed out of the bathroom and went back to the reception.
 
Katy just stood for a moment and looked in the mirror. Her confidence is shaken by Vivian’s last words ‘I built RKC before you and Mark came along and none of this would exist if it were not for me’. This is a small detail that she didn’t know. A small wave of panic slowly passed over her like someone had just walked over her grave.
 
‘Well, I know one thing for sure; once I have his baby she can’t ever touch me.’ She said smiling to herself and pursing her lips. She went back to the reception to go join Mark.
 
Chapter 14 – “Mark we need to talk.”
 
Vivian walked up to Mark and asked him to dance…
 
“Of course Vivian.” Mark answered and led her out to the dance floor.
 
“So, your father filled me in on your arrangement.”
 
“Vivian, my father is just growing impatient with us not having his first grandchild. I tried to reason with him but he shut me down and insisted that he is taking matters into his own hands.”
 
“I know, he gave me the same speech too. He just wouldn’t listen when I tried to tell him that the operation last month was successful and in a couple of months I can get pregnant. I swear sometimes I hate him.”
 
“You don’t really mean that do you?”
 
“No, it’s just that he doesn’t trust us to work this out and that just makes me so mad that he is interfering in our lives once again.”
 
“We can get through this Vivian. Just trust me.”
 
“Do you love her?”
 
“Look at me; I’m only doing this out of respect for my father. He’s a proud old man with a big house and no grand kids running around at his feet. After he gets his first grandchild he’ll leave us alone. But to answer your question… no, you have been my first love.”
 
“I was so hoping to hear those words Mark. I know that everyone thinks I’m the queen bitch around here, but I will protect what is mine. Before you came into my life I had everything but felt like I had nothing. I’m a very proud vamptress although I’m half human I still carry the blood line of my clan in me. I promise you I’ll give you the child you and your father want. I swear it.”
 
Mark began to doubt his feelings for Katy after hearing Vivian’s deep words. He had no idea that she felt this way. They mostly talk about business most of the time when they’re together. It has been years since she has spoken so passionately about having a child and the clan.
 
He held her back and looked into her eyes. She smiled and titled her soft slender neck offering herself up to him. His fangs slowly began to extend the closer he got to her neck.
 
“O’ yes Mark, take what is yours.” She whispered pulling her hair away from her shoulders and moving closer to his mouth.
 
Mark couldn’t resist her yielding to him. He began remembering how young and sweet she was when he first took her. She was the sweetest virgin he had ever had. He suckled her several times that first night and made love to her like he never had before. She makes him feel like the proud leader of the clan that he wants.
 
“Do it baby, no one can see you…” she whispered “Remind me of my first time with you…”
 
He couldn’t resist the last words from her lips. Slowly he began to nuzzle her ear. “That’s it baby, nice and easy…” she murmured. Mark softly began piercing her slowly as she gently levitated off the floor. Her blood is as sweet as his finest wine. “I’m always your Mark don’t ever forget that...”
 
Katy is in shock watching Mark and Vivian locked together in their embrace. Tears began to well up in her eyes. She could feel her heart and soul pounding with the pain of seeing them together. She started taken fast short breaths and began to feel faint.
 
“Noooooo!!!!” she screamed at the top of her lungs then collapsed to the floor. People quickly began running to her side.
 
“Give her some room, back up!” shouted a woman holding her hand and stroking her forehead.
 
“Katy!” shouted Mark as he left Vivian standing on the dance rushing to be by her side. 
 
“Get out of the way!” he shouted pushing and pulling people away in his bath.
 
“Katy? Katy? It’s me Mark don’t worry sweetheart I’m here.” He said as Katy began to slowly open her eyes. She could see Mark’s face.
 
“Take me home, I don’t want to be here anymore.” She whispered to him.
 
“Of course sweetheart but for now just lay still for a moment.” He said picking her up in his arms carrying her over to a sofa in the den.
 
“Everything will be okay, I’ll be right back. I’ll go summon my driver.” 
 
Mark ran outside to signal for his driver. Vivian walks into the den then slowly closes the doors behind her and walks up to Katy.
 
“Well little Miss Katy, as you can see he will always desire me.” She said pointing and tapping her neck where Mark had just suckled her.
 
“So no matter how much you may think you got him wrapped around your finger, I’ve got him in the palm of my hands so don’t ever forget that. O’ and when he’s with you tonight remember one thing, he just got done doing me first so that means you’ll be getting the leftovers…”
 
 
Coming up next!
 
Chapter 14 – “Be gentle with me, it’s my first time”

 

       Web Site: Sealed with a Red Kiss

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Reviewed by Mary Coe 7/4/2009
Very good job on this. Looking forward to chapter 5.

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