If you enjoyed this story and it's companions and want more... We are currently adapting these stories as Audio Dramas! So, you can hear Teri, Danny, and everyone else as these stories are woven together in an on-going radio play! And it's not just what we have of these stories, oh no... The audio series will go above and beyond what's on these pages. We're very excited about it and thought we'd share this with our readers who have been so supportive and patient with us.
For more information, please visit pendantaudio dot com and please have a listen to the other shows as well, the people at Pendant Audio are so multi-talented and their shows are very entertaining! (And you may hear me and Parsley acting in them, as well!)
REDUCED TO THIS
By Angel Sentier and Lady Parsley
This movie sucks. Teri glanced at her cell phone. The glowing numbers told her that she'd been sitting for a full fifteen minutes waiting for Chloe to come back from the bathroom. That bitch. She ditched me! She sighed and looked back up at the movie screen, crossing her arms resolutely. Well, I am going to watch this movie if it kills me.
Fifteen minutes later...
"This movie may very well kill me," she said, not bothering to keep her comments to herself anymore. It's not like anyone was really interested in the flick. Well, with one exception...
"Oh, my God," said Princess from the other end of the row. "This movie is soooo good! I mean, I like it so much!"
Teri leaned her head over to roll her eyes at the bleached blond bimbo. "You would, Princess," she said.
"Shhh!" she hissed. "I'm trying to watch the movie! Rude, much?"
"Whatever..." Teri sat back in her seat and took a long swallow of soda.
Up on the screen, Alexei had just found his family massacred, Batman-style, having shown up just a little too late. He was currently going on a killing spree, trying to get revenge on the corrupt ex-Interpol agents.
"Yeah, and who didn't see that coming?" Teri asked to the open air. "Five bucks says he kills some innocent guy and gets the guilt trip that gives him a noble purpose for the rest of the movie. Any takers? Anybody?"
Nobody spoke up. She guessed because it was probably too much of a sure thing. "Oh, well... So much for making this movie somewhat interesting."
Another fifteen minutes later...
"I don't want to replace your family, Alexei," the tawny bombshell in the slowly-being-removed catsuit was saying. "Just give me the chance to help heal your wounds!"
"Yeeeeeeeah, riiiiiiiiiiight!" said Teri, slouching low in her seat, unable to find the energy to sit up any longer. "Who talks like that during sex? I mean, really. If it's good and it feels the way it should, then your vernacular should only consist of 'yeah,' 'more,' and 'now.'" She took another sip of soda and found it empty. Suddenly, getting more to drink was way more important than seeing the last fifteen minutes of the movie. "I don't need to see the credits. Then I'll know who to kill..."
She hoisted herself out of the seat and made for the lobby. She paused momentarily when she saw at the concession counter Ginger's other assistant, Daniel Peer. He was bent over, giving something on the counter his utmost attention, which afforded her quite a candid look at his ass. She sighed, contentedly. I hate to see him go, but I love to watch him leave...
Locking that away in the 'pretty file,' she came closer and saw a calculator, an exacto-knife, and a box of Whoppers which he was reading like a book, all spread out before him.
Not wanting to break his concentration, or maybe just to freak him out, she tiptoed up to him and whispered close to his ear, "What are you doing?"
He started slightly. "Teri!" he exclaimed, further betraying his shaken composure by using her first name. "Oh, I mean... Ms. Snowden."
She shoved him in the shoulder. "I've told you before, you don't have to call me that. Now what the hell are you doing with an exacto-knife and a calculator in the middle of a movie theater lobby?"
He sighed, looking back at the box. "I'm trying to figure out if one serving of Whoppers has one hundred and twenty-three calories, and there are forty-six Whoppers to a box, and three servings per container, how many times do I have to cut one in half before Ginger can eat them?"
Teri shook her head. "I can't believe she has you out here, calculating Whoppers. It's not like you're missing anything inside, but still..." Her expression softened a bit. "You know, if you worked for me, I'd never make you do this. You know why? Because I'd eat the whole box." She reached out and grabbed one of the Whoppers, popping it in her mouth before he could stop her.
"No!" he said. "My calculations!"
She laughed lightly. "I helped you. Give her fifteen."
He punched the numbers in the calculator, and a relieved smile broke out across his face. "Thank you," he said.
"No problem." She gave the concessionist her cup for a refill of Coke, then looked back at Daniel who was still standing there. "Don't you need to go give those to her?" she asked.
He only looked moderately guilty. "I'm... taking a break."
"When you work for her, I can understand." She took her Coke back, thanked the teenager, and turned back to Danny. Suddenly, she could think of nothing more to say. "So..."
"So... How are things?"
"Good. Good. Movie sucks, but I'm good."
"Great. Yeah. And business?"
"It's good, it's pretty good." There was a pause as Teri took a gulp of her soda, glancing around for something to comment on. Finding nothing, she said, "Um... How are things with you?"
"Good! They're good. Ginger's a bitch, but you know... It's a living."
"Yeah, uh-huh." Pause. "Uh... Business?"
Teri tapped her foot nervously. She waited a few seconds, then blurted, "Is it just me or does this conversation suck?"
Danny breathed a huge sigh of relief that he'd apparently been holding for a while. "I thought it was just me..."
"No, it usually takes two to make a terrible conversation." Though, she had no idea why whenever she spent more than five minutes with Danny Peer, all her smart comments just went right out of her head. After that, she was hard pressed to think of anything beyond how great his ass looked in those pants. He didn't seem to fare much better, if their current conversation was any indication.
However, before they could get any further, the doors of the theater opened. The movie was over. Teri sighed and shrugged at Danny.
"Back to the grindstone."
He nodded, somewhat unhappily. "Well..."
"N-nothing," he said, shaking his head.
As Teri watched, and people were beginning to come out of the theater, Philip Carter Grayson walked in to the theater through the front doors. She huffed. "Not even he could stand that awful coma-inducing movie." Unable to resist, she lined up with a bunch of others to meet him. If nothing else, this was how she could get back at Chloe for ditching her.
Nearby, Ginger came out of the theater and sauntered directly up to Danny. Teri shook her head as the poor man practically cowered before the woman. Ginger's piercing tone carried effortlessly, so Teri heard everything she said.
"Forget that," she said, waving a hand at the perfectly separated Whoppers. "Get me a diet soda."
Ginger turned away and Danny, with an expression of extreme annoyance, bowed mockingly behind her back. When the red head unexpectedly turned back around, he pretended to be tying his shoelace. "My soda, Peer!"
"Yes, Ginger..." He went back to the concession counter.
Meanwhile, Teri turned back around to end up face to face with the movie's star.
"Hello," he said with a disarming, flashing smile. "I'm Philip Grayson."
Teri took the proffered hand and shook it firmly. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Grayson. Teresa Snowden, Premiere Advertising."
His expression lightened to one of acknowledgement, recognizing the name of the ad firm promoting the movie. "Ah, Premiere! What did you think of the movie?"
With a wide smile, Teri cheerfully said, "I think it was rather like someone with dysentery crapped in a bucket, then splashed it in Jackson Pollock-like fashion all over the movie screen."
Philip blinked, his mouth falling open slightly. "Wow," he said, finally. "Your view is... new, refreshing, and... rather disturbing."
"Thanks!" She pumped his hand a few more times. "Good luck at the after-party!"
He nodded, too stunned to do much else. "Thanks... Tamara."
As she walked past the concessions again, she noticed Danny crumpled on top of the counter, moaning and shaking his head back and forth. "No... No..." was all he seemed to be getting out.
She went to him again and patted his back. "What's wrong, Danny?" she asked, concerned.
He looked up at her, dismayed. "They're out of diet soda. Out. It's gone. Do you know what that means? Ginger's going to kill me!"
"It's not your fault they're out of diet..."
"Do you think that'll stop her?" he asked.
"Peer!" bellowed Ginger from the other end of the lobby. "Where's my soda?"
Danny actually flinched. Teri looked from him to Ginger and back again. She looked at the half-drunk soda in her hand and inspiration struck. And if it worked, she'd get something in return... "If I get you out of this soda mess, you have to take me to lunch."
His eyes widened slightly, but then he shook his head. "Ginger will still--"
"Oh, no, she won't," said Teri. "I'll make sure of it. Deal?"
He shrugged and took her hand. "Deal."
She grinned at him, then marched right over to where Ginger was standing. She took a long drink of the soda, and smiled sweetly at the woman. "Mmmm... You know, Ginger, this diet soda is really something."
Ginger's violet eyes slid over to Teri. "What?"
"Yeah. I usually drink the leaded stuff, but I see you drinking this all the time and I thought to myself, 'you know, I admire Ginger soooo much, I should try drinking her soda.'"
"You what?" asked Ginger, suspiciously.
"Well, you're such a great ad agent, and I figured, the more diet soda I drink, the more like you I'll become."
"Why are you telling me this, Snowden?" she asked, annoyed.
"I'm saying that I probably should have stopped after the sixth or even the seventh diet Coke, since by then it was mostly carbonated water, hardly any syrup at all, but I wanted so much to be like you, Ginger, I figured I'd just drink them dry!" She tossed back the remainder of the soda, making a show of licking her lips. "Mmm! Now, that's some good soda!"
Teri had to resist giggling with glee as she watched Ginger just become angrier and angrier before her very eyes. She fairly shook, her hands balled into fists, and her full red lips had curled back slightly into a tiny snarl.
Danny took that moment to approach cautiously and say in a small voice, "Um, Ginger... They're all out of diet soda."
"Oh, that's too bad!" said Teri with false sympathy. "Well, I'm sure there's plenty of regular soda left... That is, if you want to sink to my level."
And just as Teri expected, Ginger ignored Danny completely and focused all of her rage on the woman before her. "You bitch! You did it on purpose! You've always wanted everything that's mine!"
Danny glanced around them, beginning to look nervous again. "Ginger... Maybe you should lower your voice..."
"Shut up, Peer!" she said, not even bothering to look at him. "You've always been jealous of me! Because I'm better than you!"
"Sure, Ginger," said Teri, perfectly calm in the face of the storm. "You're such a better agent than me. Is that because you proof-read your own copy and type up your own proposals? Oh, no, you have your assistants do that, like Danny."
"I'm more successful!" Ginger said, practically spitting out nails. "You'll never get where I am!"
"Ms. Carlyle," said someone behind Ginger. "You should calm yourself!"
"Don't tell me what to do!" she yelled, but her focus was still on Teri.
"If I recall," said Teri. "We're about at the same level."
"Not for long!" Ginger sneered. "I'll get the promotion because everyone on top likes me! And then you'll be answering to me, Snowden!"
"Now, do they like you because of what you do for the company, or because of your extracurricular activities?"
"Shut up! Shut up!"
"Ms. Carlyle!" exclaimed a new voice from behind her.
"Will you shut up, you idiot!" Ginger finally turned to see who it was that was ordering her around, and to soundly tell them off, and found two of the big executives of the company standing behind her, stern expressions on their faces.
"Ms. Carlyle," said one. "You have made a scene."
"Ah... Ah..." Ginger mouthed helplessly like a beached fish.
"We expect better from our employees," said the other. "Especially from you, Ms. Carlyle!"
Both of them glared at her, and then walked out of the theater without another word. Ginger stared after them, still apparently at a loss for what to say. Teri patted her on the back consolingly.
"Well, in the immortal words of Stewie Griffin: I'd love to stay and chat, but you're a total bitch." And with that, she walked off, tossing the empty soda cup into a trash can. She threw a look over her shoulder at Danny, who was moving a safe distance away from Ginger. "Lunch," she said, happily. "Call me!"
Since she no longer had a companion for the after-party, Chloe had probably long ago called a cab and gone home, Teri walked to the parking lot and climbed inside her green Saturn. She wasn't really dressed for an after-party, anyway... It was, at the very least, a buttoned shirt affair.
"She did it on purpose!"
Danny closed his eyes for a moment, gritting his teeth, as Ginger continued to go on about the soda incident. The others in the limo, Staci and Jason, and Princess and the hapless model wanna-be she'd suckered into coming with her, were hanging on her every word. All Danny wanted was to get to the after-party as soon as possible. Once there, Ginger would have to put on her 'nice face.'
"She deliberately baited me, knowing I'd lose my temper, and in front of the executives!" Her fists were clenched so tightly, Danny was sure her nails were going to cut through her skin at any moment... "I swear, one of these days, that fat bitch is going to get what's coming to her!"
Here it comes, he thought, dreading this moment.
Ginger turned to him, pointing one long, perfectly painted nail directly in his face. "You will find out tomorrow, the second you get into the office, where we stand. You do your little suck-up routine and find out who's first in line for the promotion!"
"I've already done my 'little suck-up routine' every day this week," said Danny, quietly. "They're going to catch on sometime!"
"What the hell do I pay you for?" she asked him, but he knew she wasn't expecting an answer. "I pay you to be my informant! What I need to know, you get for me! I don't care what you have to do, if you have to suck somebody's dick, I suggest you get yourself some knee pads and change your name to Mr. Hoover!"
Princess, in typical fashion, tilted her head, a look of confusion spreading across her features. "But... his name's already Peer..."
Ginger turned her glare to the blond. "You are only allowed mono-syllables for the rest of the night, Princess. Phrases are to consist of no more than six words."
Her eyes widened, her bright pink lips parting in indignation. "But that's not fair!" She paused, counted on her fingers, and made a face when she realized she'd just automatically done as Ginger commanded. "Damn..." She pouted for a moment before the confused look returned. "What are the knee pads for?" She counted again and struck her tiny fist on the seat next to her. "Damn!"
Staci rolled her eyes. "You should know, Princess..."
Jason leaned back, resting an arm on the back of the seat behind his date. "Why don't you just get Chloe to do it?" he asked.
The brunette made a face like she'd just walked into the grand ballroom and smelled cabbage cooking. When she turned to look at him, however, that expression melted to one of saccharine sweetness. "Jason," she said, placing a French manicured fingertip to his lips. "Shh... The girls are talking." She looked back at Ginger and rolled her eyes. "Well, Ginger... What are you going to do about Snowden?"
"I don't know yet," answered Ginger, and it was clear from her face that it was an answer she did not like giving. "But I'll think of something..." She sat back in her seat, her fists finally coming unclenched. "By the way, all of you find your own way home. I'll be taking the limo."
Danny resisted the urge to roll his eyes. As usual, the paragon of grace and virtue is thinking of everyone but herself...
Staci grinned. "Who will you be going home with?"
The redhead tossed her carefully styled locks. "Without a doubt, the movie's star."
"Philip Grayson?" asked Princess excitedly.
"No, the other star," she replied, nastily. "And those weren't mono-syllables." Princess lapsed into silence as Ginger turned her attention back to Staci. "He was on the rise before, and now that he's got the Oscar under his belt, he's skyrocketing. I plan to grab on, ride him for all he's worth, then ditch him before he hits rock bottom. He's British, did you know that? He could be knighted. Then I'd have a retirement plan!"
"I thought you already had a retirement plan..."
"Mono-syllables, Princess! Do you even know what that means?" She huffed in annoyance, then looked back at Danny. "Peer, I'll only need you for when we get in. After that, make yourself invisible. Understand?"
Danny sighed. "Yes, Ginger."
To be continued...