“So, how was your day? Did you finish your work, or do you have more for later tonight that you have to do?”
“I am done for the day. I thought we might stay in. Perhaps I can cook for us, and we can enjoy our new place. How does that sound? I also have something specific I want to talk about with you, that you might find intriguing.”
“I like that idea. I did some shopping with Bowen earlier, and he showed me the best spots to get meat and produce near to here. We also went to this bakery…the smells were totally amazing and reminded me of my mom’s cooking when I was little.
“I really think I am going to enjoy this area, Quip, and the exploring I can do. It will take me some time. But tell me, honey, what is the intriguing thing we needed to discuss?”
Quip pulled EZ a little closer and inhaled her wonderful female scent. “Let me go get us some wine, and I’ll come back and tell you.”
After he returned with a bottle and two glasses, he filled them both and placed his arm around her. Quip began, “I wanted to talk more about the subject we discussed at dinner. I know that you were annoyed with me. Please understand I am simply trying to protect you, not keep you out. Just so you know, Julie and Juan are having some similar struggles.”
EZ’s eyes darkened a bit, and she curtly nodded but didn’t speak.
Quip kissed her head and moved his hand on her shoulder in what he hoped was a reassuring gesture. “Sweetheart, you are a highly intelligent woman that has achieved quite a lot in your short life. You are a master of your trade and have continued to learn from one of the most well-respected men in the field of telecommunications, who is certainly someone I have not only admired but have worked with over the years before knowing you even existed. Your daddy, Andy, has you in his organization because he also respects you and needs you. However, Julie came up with an idea that she asked me to present to you.
“Julie is putting together a small team that is to provide some specialties that will complement the overall family business. She is doing this so she can take some time and be with the children, while also keeping herself busy with work. Toward that end, she felt her business plan called for some unified communication expertise and wondered if you might consider working for her and her team.”
EZ was surprised by the offer. When Quip had started this discussion, she had no idea that this was to be the direction. She looked up at him and said, “Does that mean I can work mostly from here, or locally anyway? Will it help you and your efforts?”
Quip chuckled, “Yes and yes. You will have a chance to pursue more on your avenues of expertise, and we will indirectly work together. It is still a need-to-know job, like how Andy and I have worked together over the years.
“This brings me to my dilemma. If you want to do this, then I or we will need to speak to Andy and get his approval. I am thinking, since he added on Carlos to take up some of the work load, it might be good timing. However, I am also mindful that he is taking care of Su Lin during her recovery and reeducation. Ever since she did that experimentation that clobbered her memory, especially her technology expertise, you, as well as Andy, have been taking care of her.”
EZ was thoughtful for a few minutes. Quip was wise enough to let her digest the idea. Then she started asking some questions and for clarifications on the role. Some he easily answered while others, he suggested, might be better to quiz Julie on the specifics. As she thought more about it and heard more, she seemed more excited and animated.
Finally, she looked at him with her beautiful eyes full of love. “Honey, I like it. I will call Julie and get more details, but I think it could work. I will try to minimize my pestering of you as well. I truly understand you want to protect me.
“How about you go fix dinner, I’ll call Julie and, if everything is still golden, you can call Andy after dinner.”
Quip gave EZ a focused stare and asked, “How about for dinner I whip up one of my famous dishes. We’ll begin with some pâté de foie gras for an appetizer, then some fresh steamed mussels, rice pilaf, quail eggs with asparagus all gently steamed with butter and all washed down with my finest but, alas, my last flagon of vintage port?”
EZ stared in amazement. She finally questioned, “Quip, you can whip that up with little or no planning for our dinner?”
Quip returned her gaze with a slight twinkle in his eyes as he replied, “No, since I don’t have any of those components. Our cupboard is bare. Can you make do with tomato soup and stale crackers instead? We might be able to split a grilled cheese sandwich if I can use the heel of bread, which I will hide inside.”
As the realization came over EZ that he was teasing, she smiled. Quip grinned and pulled her into his arms and kissed her passionately. Temporarily sated, he commented, “I’ll make something nice for dinner, sweetheart, not to worry. Oh, and can I ask, when did you want to put curtains up? The spectators across the way are giving us high marks on eroticism and lovemaking techniques, judging from the numbers being displayed in each window.”
Wide-eyed, EZ turned her head to gaze out the window, closed her eyes and slowly stated, “I knew there was more to do on the room. Crap!”
Quip comforted, “I think nines and tens are fairly respectable scores, sweetheart. I wonder how the video will do on the Internet. You know it really turns me on when you talk dirty. Let’s see if we can get those ratings up with our next round! Huh, what do you say, babe? I expect we’ll get a whole new dimension on ‘Welcome to the neighborhood’ gifts.”
EZ sprang from the bed and snatched her robe up, desperately trying to retrieve some feminine modesty as she placed a call to Bowen to ask about curtains. Quip grinned and waved back at the spectators from the retirement home. In one of the windows, a sign read, Same time tomorrow?
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