Jonathan and Samantha had exuberant smiles on their faces as they walk in the glass elevator of the Eton Parkview Building where the Bower Agency has moved its new location. With the big success of the business, Angela decided to move the Ad agency to a more elegant and upscale 30-story building still within the exclusive business district of Manhattan.
"Oh wow! Look at that. They even have a waterfall inside", pointed 10-year old Jonathan as the elevator slowly moved up.
Instead of the traditional lifts, Eton Parkview had built their elevators with glass on every side that would enable people to admire the extensive lobby tiled in marble and the small waterfall situated between the Italian café with the back Italian dining tables and the building reception area.
"Everyone here is dressed to kill", piped in 13 year old Samantha as she admired the magnificent surroundings and the people walking around the lobby from the elevator.
"I knew you kids would love the new office that's why I decided to treat you for a snack at the revolving restaurant at the penthouse on the top floor", said Mona.
"It's the first time I've been here since you moved two weeks ago", replied Tony silently taking in the atmosphere of the place.
"This place must be costing Angela a fortune to hold her office here", he continued.
"Well, I wouldn't know. I was never good in accounting", smiled Mona. "I'll show you the office later after we get a parfait or a crepe fondue. It's on the 25th floor. The same floor as the outdoor swimming pool on the plaza", continued Mona.
The gang reached the penthouse and went inside the revolving restaurant. Jonathan and Samantha excitedly ran to one of the vacant black leather couches by the window. The restaurant was a bit empty except for a few young professionals at the table near the piano.
"This restaurant probably gets busy at night with the piano and the jazz band", said Tony seating across Jonathan.
A waiter in a black tie approached them with the menu. The restaurant has a top to floor wall to wall glass window that would allow you to enjoy the spectacular view of Manhattan as it gradually spins while you enjoy good music and a sumptuous meal.
"I'll have the strawberry and mint fudge sundae with extra cherry on top", said Samantha.
"I'll just have a double chocolate ice cream with whipped cream and candy sprinkles", said Jonathan.
"Well, I want my usual dessert mango crepe ala mode. What about you, Tony?", asked Mona. Tony was standing by the window watching the crowded streets and the Statue of Liberty from a distance.
"Do you have a frappucino?" The waiter nodded, took their orders and left. After a few minutes of enjoying their snack, Tony looked out and noticed they have their view on another side of the building. He got up to get a better view and saw that he was overlooking the poolside. Mona called out that they were already leaving the restaurant. Tony was about to follow when he noticed Angela having some drinks with a few businessmen in suits by the poolside.
"You go on ahead, Mona. I'll just stay here a few more minutes. I'll just meet you and the kids at the office. It's at the 25th floor, east wing, right?"
He went back on observing Angela. She was wearing a long-sleeved cream coloured blouse on top of slacks, 2 shades darker than her blouse and an elegant black cape-like wrap that drapes around her neck, flowing to her shoulders and back. He noticed that throughout the conversation, the guy in a grey suit kept touching Angela's face, pushing a strand of her wavy blond hair, or laughing at something then touching Angela's shoulders in the process. Tony felt a wave of jealousy overcome him. How many times had he felt doing those things but couldn't? Angela looked uncomfortable but tried her best to hide it, thought Tony. Would she react the same way with me? The group started to move their way inside the building. The same guy in grey suit put his right hand on top of Angela's lower back as though to guide her in as they walked inside.
"Mother, You wouldn't believe where the annual Ad Congress is going to be held this year!", exclaimed Angela excitedly as she burst in to the living room the next day and seeing Mona lying back on the sofa with a fruit shake in hand. Angela took the fruit shake from Mona's hand and took a sip.
"Hey, make one yourself. Well, tell me. Is it in Paris? Brussels?" asked Mona taking the drink away from Angela after she took one sip.
"Disneyland!" asked Jonathan jumping up from the Indian-seating position on the carpeted floor playing scrabble with Samantha.
"C'mon Jonathan, grow up. How can a conference be held in a theme park", said Samantha, "it must be in Hollywood!", she screamed excitedly.
Jonathan gave her an exasperated look that says 'that's even worse'.
"Even better", smiled Angela, "it's going to be in a 7-day Caribbean Cruise!"
Mona smiled gloriously, "You mean the conference will take place in the ship as you have fun under the sun?" Angela nodded excitedly.
Just then Tony walked in from the kitchen upon hearing Angela's news. "Here. Have a drink", handing her an orange juice.
"Oh, thank you, Tony, how thoughtful of you", replied Angela pausing to take a drink of her orange juice, "Its a 7-day cruise that starts in Miami, then docks in San Juan Puerto Rico, then stops at St. Thomas, and St. Maarten before bringing us back to Miami. Imagine that, mixing business with pleasure. Oh what fun all of us Ad Executives is going to have."
Everyone looked excited about the news except for Tony. "Ay-Oh, oh-ay, you mean you'll be stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for days with that rotten dirty old man colleague of yours that keeps making a pass at you", asked Tony in annoyance.
"You mean, Mr. Walters? He never made a pass at me. He is interested in me because he has this crazy idea that if we get married we will have a conglomerate of renowned Advertising Agencies, with our brains and creativity, you know. But he has never crossed the line. I can keep him in an arm's distance. Nothing I can't handle", said Angela.
"No, not Mr. Walters, he's 20 years older than you. He can't be serious about thinking of you and him-Man, I don't believe this. You mean he too?" replied Tony.
Mona replied, "What do you mean, not Mr. Walters. Who are you referring to as the 'rotten dirty old man' he's the only old man that's trying to get into Angela's sk-" "Mother!", scolded Angela, "the kids!" Mona gave them her devilish grin and kept quiet.
"I was referring to that guy with the long curly black hair-", thinking about the man in the grey suit the other day, "broad-shoulders, blue-eyes, and a very charming smile", finished Samantha for her father with a big dreamy young girl's eyes.
"Yes," Tony glared at Samantha. But she still smiled back at him with starry eyes oblivious to his father's annoyance, "he doesn't look like an old man, dad".
Mona teasingly piped in, "You bet he isn't. He's got a butt-"
"Mother!", scolded Angela. She gave them her impish grin once again. Angela turned to Tony with a curious smile she said, "How did you meet Todd? I don't remember you two having met. You were still at the restaurant when Mom and the kids met him the other day. Tony didn't want to admit that he's been spying on Angela. For the past three days after he saw Mr. grey suit, he insisted on picking her up and he arrives 20 minutes earlier just so he could watch her with the other Ad Executives from other big companies discussing the Annual AD Congress by the poolside.
"How did he become 'Todd' while the other colleagues are Mr. Walters and Mr. Anderson?" asked Tony.
Angela managed a pleased smile. Since when had Tony started acting jealous? "Relax. There's nothing between us. I just call him Todd because he's one of the young executives closer to my age. He's fresh sometimes but harmless."
"Oh, yeah. You thought Jack the Ripper was harmless and why does he keep touching your shoulder every time he strikes a conversation. Why does he always have to help you up when you stand up from your chair and touch your back when he walks beside you, you're not an invalid", stated Tony.
"Tony, don't talk to me that way", said Angela.
"Oops. Lover's tiff. Let's go", said Mona standing up and taking Samantha's arm. Angela glared at her. She smiled and sat down again.
"Look, Angela. I'm sorry. I was just worried about you. You know being there all alone in that ship with no family to look after you. Anyone could just pick the lock on your cabin. Do you harm and throw you overboard."
"Tony, that's a morbid imagination. You don't have to worry about me. I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
"So I was thinking", continued Tony as though he didn't hear Angela, "I should just come with you to oversee things and keep those rotten old men's hands off you. What do you say?"
"What!", exclaimed Angela.
Tony gave her one of his puppy dog eyes look that often melts her heart. He looked at her pleadingly while waiting for her reply. It sure would be nice to have Tony around, thought Angela. Honestly, I don't know how much longer I can keep Todd at arm's length without being mean or without breaking their business relationship. Angela managed a smile.
"All right, Tony. You can come with me."
"All right!" he shouted excitedly.