A/N: Here is the next one shot in my latest ten block. Although this is probably not what I would have posted today if I had been the one to choose, it's Jules' birthday, so she's queen for the day. With that in mind, she voted for this little ditty to be posted. As for my last one shot, I'm thrilled that you all enjoyed reading Polly so much. I must admit that it's fun to write Elizabeth somewhat bad every now and again. ;) She does it so well, too. Anyway, happy Wednesday and happy reading! Enjoy!
Obtaining a Mistress
A One Shot
FNF#37: All of our young lives, we search for someone to love, someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope, all the while wondering if somewhere and somehow there is someone searching for us.
Brenda Barrett's husband was driving her insane. Marriages were supposed to be forever and about love, but theirs was one of convenience. At the time when they exchanged their vows, she had believed herself to be sick and dying from a slow, torturous mental disease, and Jason had been the one there to offer his support, his friendship, his promise to have her committed when the time came. Although he wasn't completely altruistic, for he had agreed to help her in part to keep her away from his best friends' marriage… not that she was interested, his heart had been in the right place. And, now, after being married to him, she could admit that he did have one – a heart, in fact.
However, her disease had been a lie, and she was no longer dying (as far as she knew), and she wanted out of their marriage, but Jason wouldn't annul their union. Oh, he had excuses galore. Despite the fact that she wasn't sick, she could still go after Sonny, and Carly was still threatened. Of course Carly still felt threatened, though! The woman was an insecure social climber who was afraid of losing her gravy train, and she knew as well as Brenda, Jason, and the rest of Port Charles that Sonny would always have feelings for her. The point was that, even if he threw himself at Brenda's feet, she no longer wanted him.
Jason also claimed that an annulment wouldn't look good to his associates. They believed that their marriage was real, and, if they were shown otherwise, they might take the deception as a breach in his and Sonny's loyalty. If the other men in the business couldn't trust them, things would get messy – for everyone, including Brenda herself.
And those were just two of his excuses. He had a complete arsenal full of them, but she knew the truth. The real reason that Jason didn't want to leave her or allow her to leave him was because he had gotten comfortable. At first, she had just annoyed him. After all, they were total opposites. She bathed; he showered. She liked to shop; he liked to piddle around in a bike shop. She was human; he was a robot. They clashed about everything, fought about everything, and couldn't agree upon anything.
But then they had found a rhythm, and, though it was flattering to realize that Jason didn't want her to leave because he would miss her, the truth of the matter was that neither of them really had much of a life while they were together. They didn't date, they didn't go out, and they didn't really have any friends. Brenda wanted to fall in love again someday, and she couldn't very well do that when she was married to a mob enforcer. Men didn't even look twice at her, let alone dare to glance at her cross eyed. Plus, she wanted to get married, she wanted to have a couple of children as long as that somehow didn't involve squeezing them out of her own body, and she wanted a dog, too. None of those things, not even the pet, were possible if she was married to Jason Morgan.
Eventually, she thought that her husband would get lonely… physically. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, Jason was an attractive guy, and she had heard the stories about him that everyone else in town had heard. Basically, he was a male slut with a penchant for bar skanks, but he didn't even go to Jake's anymore, and he never brought home women to the penthouse. Not that she expected him to, for, if nothing else, Sonny had impressed the idea of respecting women unto his second in command, but they had been married for nearly a year, so surely Jason was just about ready to jump out of his skin with sexual frustration. After all, she was!
When she had started to decorate his penthouse, transforming the previous barren space into a luxury apartment complete with artwork, knickknacks, and the proper accoutrement of linens, china, and even those miniature soaps that were too small to be practical or usable, she had been fairly certain that her spouse would have a conniption, especially since she was using the hitman's money to purchase everything, but Jason had barely seemed to notice the changes to his penthouse, and, when she finally asked him about them, he just shrugged and said that they were fine, that they made the place seem more like a home.
A home. A FREAKING HOME?! Since when did Jason Morgan want a home? He was a man with little to no connections to bind him down to one place. On any given whim, he would hop on the back of his motorcycle and head out of town for a week, a month, hell sometimes even a year. He wasn't supposed to like the fact that his towels now coordinated with his sheets, and he sure as hell wasn't supposed to actually use and enjoy the chaise lounge she had put outside on his terrace. She had even once caught him watering the flowers and potted plants she had situated all over the apartment, and that was when she knew that she had to take action.
Apparently, if it was up to her old childhood friend and adult frienemy, they would remain married indefinitely. Not only did their arrangement relieve the pressure from Sonny and Carly's marriage, but it also seemed to make Jason himself feel content. He liked the company oddly enough, despite the fact that it was hers, he seemed to excel under the normalcy that their lives had come to reflect, and he had become complacent, too comfortable to seek anything more in his life than a marriage of convenience.
However, lucky for Jason, she was anything but complacent. Brenda Barrett, for she refused to go by her married name, because alliteration had such a nice ring to it, wanted it all, and she wanted it all for her husband, too. So, if he wasn't willing to fight for his future, then she would fight for both of theirs, and the first thing she had to do in order to secure it was get a divorce. Once they were both free, they would be able to pursue the lives they both deserved. The only problem was that Jason hadn't once even yelled at her, so she had no grounds to leave him. What she needed was for him to provide her with a reason to leave him, and the best option she could think of was for her spouse to have an affair. That was why she was currently interviewing women to find him a mistress… not that they knew what position they were really interviewing for.
Initially, she had just wanted to put an ad in the personals. SSSRWM (simple, single, sexy, rich, white male) seeks SSSWF (single, slightly slutty, white female) who likes grease, both of the vehicular and cooking varieties, beer, and playing pool to split up his marriage. However, despite the fact that the ad had a certain ring to it, Brenda had nixed that idea. It was too obvious, and it left behind too much evidence of her manipulations. She needed Jason to believe that he had fallen in love on his own without too much interference from her, and taking out a want ad to find him a mistress was definitely more interference than the blonde would accept.
So, she moved on to 'Plan B.' As a former world renowned model, she had many current responsibilities. Though she didn't work professionally any more, she still did the occasional charity event, she had tons of fan mail, and there were even offers for her to star on a reality television shows that she had to turn down. The correspondence for such things was not overbearing, but no one else needed to know that. It was highly feasible that a woman with her public persona would need a personal assistant, someone who could handle her private, business affairs and keep her personal life from falling into disarray. Plus, Jason had the money to pay for such a thing, and her idea was that she would hire someone under false pretenses, make sure that they were her husband's type, and then sit back and watch the sparks fly with just a smidgeon of matchmaking help on her part.
It – her plan – was perfect… or so she had thought before she had started to interview the women who were applying for the 'job.' For one, she refused to hire a blonde. Though she knew that Jason had a history with the fair hued of Port Charles, Brenda felt it would be an insult to her if he went from a brunette to a blonde… even if their marriage was a fake. And she refused to hire someone stupid either, not only because, again, it would slight her, but also because there was no way she would be able to put up with an idiot for several weeks while she forced her husband's hand and made him cheat on her. She had her standards for her spouse even if he didn't have any of his own.
Waving over the waitress so that the younger woman could refresh her coffee, Brenda poured over the resume of the next candidate that she had received prior to their meeting that afternoon. While, initially, she had possessed high hopes for job applicant number seven, after meeting the first six, her anticipation had been slashed to pieces. At least applicant number seven didn't have any typos… or lipstick stains on their resume, and it wasn't printed on paper that was covered in hearts, or flowers, or shoes.
The girl was a part time college student studying art, and she had past charitable experience working with both Lucy Coe on the sets for the Nurses' Ball and in the local homeless shelter, leading rape support groups. While her grades weren't Yale worthy, making Brenda feel inferior, the applicant seemed smart enough and probably quick on her feet, two things that, she felt, meshed well with Jason's personality. While he was intelligent in his own way, he wasn't pretentious about it. Plus, the young woman wasn't shy of hard work either. Since she was just a teenager, she had worked as a waitress, putting herself through college when she got older.
And then applicant number seven walked through the door. She was cute, and bubbly, and bright, possessed a great sense of casual yet simple style that screamed of class and taste, and she was a brunette, and Brenda herself almost fell in love with her. Jason Morgan was one lucky bastard.
Elizabeth Webber was confused. While ostensibly she was on a job interview, applying for the position of Miss Barrett's personal assistant, she felt more like she was on a blind date… a very wrong and nightmare inducing blind date. The questions Brenda asked her, for she insisted that they call each other by their first names, were personal rather than professional, and the older woman was smiling like she was about to end a six month long sex drought. It was all rather bewildering, and, frankly, despite the fact that the job would be such an upgrade from her current waitressing gig, she was about to walk out on the interview.
Cutting through her thoughts, she heard the former model ask, "so, tell me how old you are."
"I really don't see how that is relevant, and, besides, legally, I don't have to answer that question."
"Oh, I know that," Brenda waved off her concerns. "And, trust me, if anyone is edgy about her age, it's a supermodel, especially a former one, but I have a legitimate reason for asking you this." The college student remained silent, forcing her interviewer to disclose of her legitimate reason. "Because of the lifestyle I lead, you, as my assistant should you get hired, would occasionally be required to attend certain social functions with me, and there, at those functions, alcohol would be served. I need to know if you are legally old enough to drink."
"That's perfect," Miss Barrett beamed. Continuing on, the famous brunette insisted, "now, what are some of the things you like to do for fun?"
"And how is this pertinent?"
"Wow, you're really putting me through the ringer. I'm not quite sure who's being interviewed here, you or me."
"Frankly, neither do I," Elizabeth admitted. "I've had more than one bad interview experience in my past, but nothing has ever come close to being this inappropriate. If I didn't know better and if you were a man, I would think that you were trying to pick me up and not hire me for a job."
"Now, where would you get a ridiculous idea like that?" If the college student didn't know any better, she would have thought she heard a nervous tone to Brenda's forced laugh. "First of all, I used to be married to Jasper Jacks, and I was engaged to Sonny Corinthos."
"Are you threatening me, Miss Barrett?"
"What," the former model blurted out, obviously shocked. Her eyes bulged with distress too genuine to be forged, and she leaned across the table as if to impress upon her young interviewee her sincerity. "No, I'm sorry. That was not my intention. I just wanted to assure you that I'm not interested in you that way. I like men, preferably very rich, handsome ones."
"Alright, I can accept that, but then why aren't you asking me any questions that pertain to the job for which I am applying for." Becoming insistent, the young artist pressed. "You haven't once asked me if I can type, if I can handle basic accounting duties, if I can keep track of and arrange a busy schedule."
"I know, and I'm sorry." If she didn't know any better, Elizabeth would have actually believed the other woman's contrition. "Miss Webber, I'm going to be frank with you," Brenda Barrett admitted. "You're right. This has been a sham of an interview, and that's because the job that you're applying for is a sham, too."
"I knew it," the twenty-two year old exclaimed, already reaching for things to stand up. Once she had gained her feet, though, she felt a surprisingly strong hand reach out and grab hold of her wrist.
"Please, don't go."
"And why should I stay?"
"Because I realized, while interviewing you, that I can't find a mistress for my husband without your help."
Feeling astonished by the former supermodel's confession, Elizabeth found herself falling back down onto her chair. "Excuse me?"
"It's a really long story, and I promise that I'll tell you everything later, but what is important is that you accept the position of my assistant. I'm not organized enough to do this properly, and, after talking to you, I know that the rest of my life is probably in equal disarray. I need your help, Elizabeth."
It was crazy to consider the woman's offer, just as, she suspected, the woman herself was slightly insane, but she was so sick of waitressing. Plus, an increased salary meant more money for school and more money for art supplies, and, maybe, she'd be able to afford to move out of her cramped, drafty studio and into a real apartment. With those advantages in mind, the younger woman found herself asking, "what would my salary be?"
As she watched the wheels turning in Miss Barrett's mind, she knew that the other woman had not even considered that question before she began her interviewing process. Finally, the model answered, "sixty thousand, plus bonuses for holidays and a job well done when I'm finally free of my marriage. Oh, and a free apartment. My husband owns his own building, so it's the least I could do."
If she didn't know what was on the floor of Kelly's, Elizabeth probably would have fallen over. "And benefits?"
"Health, dental, vision, retirement, life insurance," the married woman offered. "Whatever those who are under the employ of Corinthos and Morgan get, so will you… only better, because Bernie, that's my regrettable husband's accountant, he likes me. I flirt with him, make him feel young, and he gives me whatever I want. It's a mutually beneficial relationship."
"Just as ours will be, Miss Barrett," she agreed, reaching across the table to shake the older woman's hand. "You just hired yourself a new personal assistant. Congratulations."