“I don’t understand what the old coot is up to. Doesn’t he realize this little endeavor of his is going to cost us twelve thousand? And he won’t even let us into the fucking production house to see what the hell he’s cooking up.”
“Jerry, look at it this way. Everyone thought he was crazy at first when he started with the monkey business. Look how well that turned out. He damn well lined your pockets with cash and enough credits to buy three houses! Give him a break.”
The two men had been arguing over breakfast. Not only was the coffee cold, but also were the unfinished eggs. Not that either of them liked the synthetic eggs anyway. Especially at the Delhouse Diner.
“What the hell, is this decaf? It tastes like Decaf!” Jerry swung his head around, looking for the waitress with the big hips and blonde hair that served their table. He saw her out chatting near the big brute of a cook.
She wasn’t much of a pretty thing. Her eyes had been altered to a green which didn’t take completely; giving them an almost split pea look. Her hair was long and greasy, and her nose seemed permanently stuck up in a rather bitter attitude.
“Will you relax? You probably need decaf anyway. Though not sure how you could tell with this stuff.” Christian looked into the white cup at the brown liquid that seemed opaque as tar. “Why is everything synthetic these days? What happened to a good old cup of Joe?”
“Joe got canned. It’s cheaper and easier to go synthetic. Anyway, back to business. What are we going to do about Don?” Jerry gave up his futile attempt to signal the waitress and resorted to chewing down a few stale biscuits.
The Delhouse Diner; a dying breed of low quality, old-fashioned fast food joints in the area. If it wasn’t for the notorious habit of businessmen being rather cheap and clingy to their cash they wouldn’t even be in business. Condemned with the likes of Taco Bell, Fast Eddies, and of course Burger King.
“Nothing we can do really. They gave him the grant money so he must have something impressive. We’ll wait till he’s ready to show us. Meanwhile we still have to look at hiring someone to handle the repair work while he’s off overseeing this project.” Chris moved his coffee aside, sick of the bitter taste and instead sipped at the glass of ice water. That was the only thing he secretly hoped was synthetic.
For a while they both sat there in silence. Jerry, the louder of the two obviously still disgruntled about the whole situation. The sweat from his forehead beading around his creeping hairline.
Chris seemed almost his son in appearance. Younger and well kept. He even had less frown lines and wrinkles. He even dressed younger and more appealing in a matte black business suite with soft blue shirt and silver tie. Jerry on the other hand was in a tan and bland sports jacket and white shirt, topped off with a gaudy stripe of a tie.
“Excuse me, gentlemen?” A woman well dressed in a dark green business outfit and thin-framed glasses, an attire to put them both to shame, stood to the side of their table. Her legs were long and fitted nicely into the color of mocha pantyhose.
“Can’t you see we’re a little busy?” Jerry grumbled before taking a long look at her. “Then again, you are a pretty little thing aren’t you?”
“Please, don’t flatter me…” the sarcasm in her voice was rather refreshing as she set down a small briefcase, pushing away the cold eggs and almost toppling the sugar bowl into Jerry’s lap. God knew he needed it. “I’m with the stockholders. I’m the new financial adviser and attorney.”
“They got a lawyer? When did they get a lawyer?” Chris looked at her with raised brow. Although he wasn’t sure why, the hairs at the back of his neck started to stand at attention.
“They always had a lawyer. You just weren’t doing anything until now important enough for them to send me.”
Both men looked at each other, seemingly with the same concern ringing in their minds. The funds. The grants. Maybe they were getting cut off, however why would they send a lawyer for that? Normally it was just a pointed letter and then the bank accounts decreasing as everyone and their dogs pulled out of stocks and sold off their inventory.
She stood there looking at the two for a few minutes, expecting either one to actually say something. When nothing was said she took matters into her own hands and cleared her throat.
“Anyway… I’m going to be around for a few months. Checking on current projects, and on business practices. You will give me clearance on these areas?”
Jerry nodded his balding head quickly. The sweat was gathering more and threatening to slink down into his bulgy eyes. One word seemed to be written across his face. Lawsuit.
“Good. Here is all the necessary paperwork from the Stock-holders as well as your annual funds.” She dropped a clean tan file down, brimming with the boring reports and tax information. It looked quite similar to Jerry actually.
“I expect you to have my clearance badge and paperwork released to me sometime tomorrow?” She was already pulling the briefcase off the table, and already assuming the answer.
“Er.. yeah sure. Sure.” Jerry waved a hand and shuffled through the papers quickly. Stubby fingers searching for any mention of her.
“Umm Miss? What’s your name anyway?” Chris bleated out as he again pushed his discarded coffee away from him and fixed the table up the way they had it before her appearance.
“Jamie Sidler. Good day gentleman.” She didn’t turn to look at him as she said it. Simply walked away from them with the loud click of heels across the tiled floor. Her pace was quick, efficient. Just like everything about her had seemed.
“Jamie? Sounds to me like a god-damn butch.” Jerry sneered when the tinkling of bells wired on the top of the Delhouse Diner door finally stopped.
“What in the world was that all about?”
“Who knows Christian, but we got the paperwork.” Jerry’s finger smudges were marring the light brown of the file folder. “No stupid lawyer is going to interfere with things. We’ll show her around, give her the pony-ride till she gets bored and gets a real job.”
Chris grabbed his jacket and slipped out of the booth tossing a few credits and cash onto the table before sliding his arms into the soft confides of his coat.
“Where you off to?” Jerry looked at the cash, trying to count out if he was paying for his own meal, or both of theirs. In typical Chris style, there was enough to cover both meals and a decent tip.
“Work. You know that thing we are supposed to do when we get to the office?”
“Work is overrated.” The other chuckled as he too grabbed his coat and took the hint. “Okay okay, I’m coming.”
“Don’t forget the file!” Chris called back as he held the door open watching the other man grunt and groan.
“I won’t forget the god-damn file!” He called back as he was already turning and heading back to the table to grab it. “Some days I wish we didn’t need any stock-holders. A bunch of pains in my ass.”
Chris let Jerry out the door first and had enough time to smile and nod at the waitress, “Thanks for the meal Janet, take care of yourself.”
She smiled back, with the slightest of blush forming. Her dark green eyes seemed to sparkle a little bit with the compliment from her best customer.
“Sorry about his decaf.” She started with a bit of a grin. “Really, it’s just he’s so rude! My word he seemed to think this is the Silverhorn or something!”
“Don’t apologize. If I was in your position, I likely would have done worse…” He winked at her.
He always enjoyed the atmosphere here, even though the food had a lot to be desired. If he could, he would tip them both more then he did. Just to make sure the small diner remained open.
He didn’t have time to socialize right now however, and forced himself to say goodbye and leave before Jerry could yell at him to catch up.
Both men walked side by side, chatting loudly about local news and business finances. She watched them walk down the business district to their offices in the New Life Towers.
She had seen it before once, while taking the long way to work. It was huge, tall and seemed made mostly of a composite glass that was tinted. She wondered what the view was inside and just how much they could see from up there without the worry of others peering in and being able to see them at their most private.
A giant tower made of almost all glass. Perhaps Chris would be able to see the diner from up there as well. Or even the stars, a very rare thing anymore to see under the haze of the city fog.
“It’s funny ain’t it Bear?” She leaned on the counter and watched them disappear into the fog and a bend up past the first block. “The company must have over a thousand employees for paperwork and all the little things. But those two men seem to think it’s all theirs.”
The big man grinned as he carefully washed out a few of the glasses. Setting them back into the cabinet to his right.
“Makes ya glad its just you an’ me don’t it Janet?” He threw her a flashy grin that she adored. His grin could make all the Jerry’s in the world fade away.
“Sure the hell does.” She laughed before tossing another towel at his head. “I don’t think I could deal with anymore then you. And I certainly couldn’t be like one of those suits… hardly any of them are even tolerable. I could never imagine living like that.”
“That makes two of us.” They both glanced outside, towards the haze of fog, pollution, and the looming sky towers.