Revenge is Sweet
To prove how much I adore all of you - - I made this the longest chapter to date!Oh your questions are so good - I hope this answered a couple.
Your summaries make me smile so much that people are starting to wonder if I'm okay.And when you tell me your favorite part or line - I make a mental note to put you on my Christmas card list.
I always knew you readers were gracious, but to be a part of this in this way has really touched me.Revenge is Sweet
The only thing that the incumbent Mayor of New York City could be certain of was that it was going to be a rough fight to be reelected. He had done a good job by most standards, but NY was a tough town and you could never do everything that needed to be done. When he had said those words to the woman of his affections, she suggested he not make that his campaign slogan. He would have married Helena Wells in a minute if he could, but as soon as he got close to her, she pulled away. He had to settle for the occasional dinner which was always great for his stance in the polls the next day. Having Helena on his arm was the best boost his campaign had. Unfortunately, the only way to get her on his arm was to take part in a charity function or event that was dear to Helena's heart or give in on something she wanted the City to do. When she was insisting that Tesla have his own exhibition, it took some string pulling in City Hall. The Mayor was more than willing to help Helena – but all their meetings had to be over dinner. More than once, he joked and told her she ran Wells Corp and not New York City. He found no comfort in her retort of, 'not yet.'
Now Helena wanted to bring precious works of art on a tour throughout the City. The well-to-do collectors with their expensive art work weren't in line signing up for such an idea. So tonight's dinner was an opportunity for them to talk with Helena to see if she could convince them there was a security system out there that would make it impossible for anyone to steal their precious Rembrandt or Picasso as it toured the streets of Brooklyn.
Perhaps if Helena had had a better day, she might have been more cordial in her attempts to persuade. Helena was frustrated on a level she had never felt before and she couldn't connect the dots. The only thing she did know was that since Myka Bering came into her life, it was as if all the rules were changed.
Helena was going out to tonight to set the well-to-do's straight ….and anyone else in her path.
Sam knew that it didn't sound romantic, but the Bull and Bear restaurant was one of the best steakhouses in New York. More importantly, it was right in the hotel where he had booked a room that cost him – even with his friend's discount – a good chuck of money. It was worth it, he thought, because Sam was on a tight budget and schedule. He couldn't be running to New York every time Myka had a meltdown. He knew in his heart that Myka Bering was the best thing that ever happened to him. He had his share of women, but none were as bright or funny as Myka. Growing up in a house filled with boys, Sam lacked the finer skills in negotiating a relationship with a woman. He decided his parent's marriage worked out just fine, so he set out to do the same. Sam forgot that times had changed and women wanted more. Myka wanted more. Every time he asked Myka what it was she wanted, she wasn't sure. So Sam figured he knew how to make it work. Just because all the rules had changed, didn't mean you couldn't make them work for you.
As soon as Myka stepped into the massive lobby with the vaulted ceilings, she knew she could afford this dinner, but Sam could not. He must be out of his mind, she thought. Then she remembered Sam's extensive network of friends who worked in security and figured somewhere in this hotel was a former agent who got Sam a good deal. This was New York, she thought. So many people coming and going dressed to the nines to the various functions in the hotel. Besides the fine dining, there were several rooms with events going on in them.
The "Traveling Art" dinner was in the Grand Ballroom which pleased Helena because she knew that room well. She knew exactly where the exits were. Myka made her way to the restaurant a little before eight and watched as the wealthy couples made their way to the ballroom. Myka had those Cinderella dreams when she was kid and wondered what it would be like to go to one of those events. She smiled as she envisioned herself there, but the image disappeared when she thought of Sam. Why couldn't she hold onto that image and include Sam? It was the damnedest thing she thought as she made her way into the restaurant.
As soon as Myka came into the room, it light up for Sam. This was the woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with, he was certain. He kissed her as she got to the table and sat across from her. The candle on the table lit up her face in a soft glow and Sam's heart melted.
"Bunny, what happened today?" he asked when they got settled and he ordered a bottle of wine.
"Oh, Sam, it was awful. I don't know…. I don't really want to talk about it," Myka said holding onto this hand across the table.
"Crazy boss?" he asked.
"Yeah," Myka gave the short answer. She wasn't up to admitting she had been part of a scheme.
"Law is like that, you know that. It's why I always thought you'd be happier….," Sam started.
"Sam, I know what you're going to say. If I wanted to teach, I would teach," Myka said and startled him.
"Sure, Bunny, I know," he said back deciding she really was upset.
Myka was more quiet than usual over dinner, but Sam didn't notice because he filled the gaps in the conversation with talk about his job and how hard it was lately. Myka smiled and listened politely, but wasn't really paying attention. Her mind was somewhere else as they enjoyed the meal Sam ordered for both of them. Her mind was on what she was going to do tomorrow when she woke up. How could she just walk back into her office as if nothing had happened? She hadn't technically been fired, and yet it was clear to her that she could never work with or for her boss again. She would write a letter of resignation tonight and decide in the morning how to get it to Helena. She could have it messengered or she could just march right up there, push her way into her office, and shove the paper in the crazy bitch's hand and say, "THERE!"
"What? There what, Bunny?" Sam asked because Myka had said that out loud.
"What?" Myka asked surprised by his question.
"You said there!" he prompted.
"Oh, yes. There…. There…. is what I want….. for dessert," Myka smiled uncomfortable and pointing to the cake on the table next to them.
Sam smiled and wiped his mouth with the linen napkin. "I have a surprise for you, Bunny," he said from across the table with a gleam in his eye. Myka hated it when his eyes got like that.
Sam met a friend of his who ran the security detail for the Mayor of New York. He was there that night to oversee an event the Mayor was at. He suggested that Sam bring his date after the dinner was over to mingle among the crowd and dance. There would be so many people, they'd never be noticed. Sam thought this would be the best way to get their romantic evening kicked into high gear – dinner, wine, dancing… and then dessert.
"I really just …want cake," Myka said.
"I know and you shall have it, but first – we go dancing," Sam said motioning the waiter for the check.
Myka wanted to offer to pay because she knew this was more money than Sam spent in a week on food. He had a good job, with great benefits, but it was the government after all – an employer not known for its high paying salaries.
"Dancing? Oh Sam, I don't want to go dancing. I am exhausted," Myka tried.
"Not to worry," Sam assured her while he paid the bill. "You're in very good hands."
Helena had arrived at 8:15 and slowly made her way to the Grand Ballroom. Pete was in his tuxedo and was as comfortable in it as he would have been in a strait jacket. It was the same problem his mother had every year when trying to take the family Christmas picture. "Just sit still please," his mother would beg to no avail.
"How did you manage to get married, Mr. Lattimer?" Helena asked as they made their way up in the elevator.
"I knew there was ….," he caught himself when he saw the raised eyebrows on his boss. She knew exactly what he was going to say.
"Well, perhaps we can find you a rich bored woman tonight darling," Helena said as the door opened.
Pete thought better than to say ...'wait, aren't you a …..'
Helena walked through the crowd until the Mayor was in her sights. She kissed him on the cheek, greeted the people around him and then set out to do what she did best –convince people her way was the best way. Even people, who were determined not to participate in this ridiculous program, were suddenly willing to listen to what the ebony eyed woman had to say. Helena lathered her words with her British accent that made many of her phrases sound more like melodies.
"Believe me, I know a thing or two about being cooped up," Helena said to the patrons.
Helena was losing patience in spite of the success. Truly, she didn't want to be there. She didn't know where she wanted to be, but it was not here among the masses.
When one man hesitated to share his Monet with the exhibition, Helena leaned into him and told him he was a heartless individual who would rot in hell for his selfishness. The Mayor grabbed her arm in time to laugh and smooth things over.
"Don't worry, Donald, Helena is just anxious to have your art be a part of such a great cause," he said as he tried to calm one of his largest contributors.
"Helena! Donald does not like being spoken to …," the Mayor tried to say.
"I do not care what that man, nor any man in this room cares to hear," Helena said back in a tone that made it clear she was done for the night.
"Come dance with me. One dance," he begged her, not to improve her mood, but because it was the perfect photo op.
Helena was about to protest and explain that wild dogs could not get her on that dance floor when something caught her eye. The area was very crowded, but she was certain she saw someone.
"Yes, let's," Helena said, grabbing the surprised Mayor and taking him to the dance floor.
"You're leading again, Helena," the Mayor complained as she glided him towards the area she wanted to be.
Sam had practically dragged Myka into the Grand Ballroom, but once she saw the opulence and grandeur, she was a willing captive. This is the room she dreamed about when she was a little girl. This was the room where the princess danced and met her prince. Myka felt as if someone had lifted her up and transported her to her childhood dream.
"Oh Sam," she said as he took her in his arms as they began to make their way around the floor.
The Mayor had hoped that tonight would give him an opportunity to ask Helena an important question. She seemed to be acutely aware of what showmanship was all about and so she would understand that he thought she could help his reputation a great deal. All she would have to do is agree to tone down the antics of her affairs and spend more time with him. In exchange, he would see to it than any proposal she had about the City – would make it through any red tape. If she found it so appalling, she could break their arrangement, but not until after he won the election. It seemed like an equitable agreement to him.
This lack of insight would be the reason he might be a one term mayor.
When the orchestra saw the Mayor was taking the floor with his guest of honor, the music changed to the prearranged song he picked out. The violins swelled and the soprano took the stage and began to sing the words to "Unchained Melody."
"Oh, my love, my darling I've hungered for your touch A long, lonely time."
As Helena pulled her unaware party across the floor, she tried to put a plan into place. Something about catching just a glimpse of Myka made her feel uncertain. She had just talked resistant art lovers into loaning their precious possessions, and yet she couldn't think straight about this. She turned the Mayor around so that she could see Myka and Sam. What the bloody hell was he doing back? She didn't like him.
"And time goes by so slowly And time can do so much Are you still mine?"
"Helena," the Mayor whispered in her ear. "You're hurting my hand," he said of her grip that was crushing his knuckles.
Myka loved this song ever since she heard it in "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze.
"I need your love I need your love God speed your love to me"
Myka leaned into Sam and put her head on his shoulder, but suddenly she could smell the beautiful aroma that was very familiar to her – in a haunting kind of way. She pulled back and took a deep breath. It wasn't coming from Sam. It wasn't cologne ….it was perfume. It was very strong and the more she inhaled, the more it drew her to it.
"Are you ok?" Sam asked as Myka twisted her head back and forth like a bloodhound on a scent.
"What? Yes, of course," Myka said embarrassed by her action.
"And you think she would be thrilled to dance with me?" the Mayor asked Helena for clarification. They were only a few feet away.
"She's my chief counsel, under me. Does whatever I say," Helen said as she insisted he ask Myka for a dance.
"And you want me to just cut in? They look like a very cozy couple," the elected official noted. Helena did not appreciate his assessment.
"You're not doing this just so you can dance with her boyfriend, are you?" he laughed and then caught the dead stare Helena held the man in.
"Oh, yes, I can't wait to get my hands on him," Helena said in a sinister voice.
"Don't hurt him if he's a democrat Helena," he kidded.
When Sam told Myka that the Mayor of New York City was walking toward them, Myka could not have cared less. She was still trying to figure out where that perfume was coming from. It was getting stronger.
"Ms. Bering, I have it on very good authority that it would do me a world of good if I cut in and asked you to dance," the Mayor said cordially.
Sam was so impressed that the Mayor wanted to dance with his girlfriend that he practically handed Myka over.
And then Myka saw her.
When the Mayor stepped aside to extend his arm to Myka, Helena appeared. Myka stared at that fair skin that glowed in the dim lights, and that black hair that cascaded down and she remembered what it was like to have it flow against her skin. The aroma that had captured her was Helena's Chanel No. 5 perfume -and Myka actually gasped when she saw her.
How could the woman who had brought her so much pain be such a sight for sore eyes? How could she do that to her when she didn't even seem to look at her?
"It would be my pleasure," someone said, but it wasn't Myka. She was speechless. Sam had relinquished his girlfriend so quickly he had hardly noticed who was going to dance with him. Then he saw Myka staring – intently – and caught sight of what had her attention. He was confused why Myka didn't look mad thought. She looked ….if he had to say…enamored. How could that be?
Helena smiled at Myka as she took the Mayor's arm and watched as they faded into the crowd. Then she turned and looked at the man who was standing by himself in the middle of the dance floor.
"Mr. Martino, I never expected to see you again so soon," Helena said smiling. "Shall we?" she asked waiting for him to catch on that they were the only couple out on the dance floor not dancing.
"What? Oh yes, sure," Sam said not sure how he felt about Myka's boss. He took a hold of Helena's waist and hand and started to move around in the square that constituted his dance move. Finally, he worked up the nerve to say something.
"Myka tells me she had a rough day at work," he said to Helena.
"And you rode all the way from Washington on your white steed," Helena smiled. The sarcasm was lost on him.
"Well, Myka needed me," Sam said with pride.
He couldn't explain it, but he felt certain competitiveness with this woman who was trying to lead him around the floor.
"You're an interesting sort, Mr. Martino. It's as if you time traveled here from the early 20th century," Helena remarked.
Sam laughed. "You think I'm old-fashioned."
Helena raised her head and gripped him in those black pools. Then she leaned in close and said, "I think you're a self-absorbed misogynist who isn't good enough for Myka, but that's just my opinion," Helena whispered in his ear.
"What? I'm sorry, with the applause, I couldn't hear you," Sam said to Helena as the song ended.
"I said, it does not matter what I think of you, Mr. Martino, it only matters what Ms. Bering thinks," Helena smiled cordially.
"Oh she's crazy about me," Sam said. "As I am about her."
Visions of that punching bag popped up in Helena's head. She had the urge to snap this man right in two.
The song was over, and people were dispersing. Myka returned with the Mayor. When she caught sight of Helena with Sam, she immediately scanned Sam's entire body to see if he was hurt.
"I wonder if I could steal Ms. Bering away for just a moment," Helena said looking directly at Myka.
Myka wanted nothing more than to say 'Go to Hades, Helena Wells,' but felt her head nodding yes, of course it would be okay.
"So you're a democrat, right?" the Mayor was asking Sam as he brought him to the bar.
'Oh this is going to be good,' Sam thought as the Mayor droned on. 'Myka will give her boss hell and get all fired up and then we'll head upstairs.'
Helena walked over to an Exit that she knew would lead them to a small room where they could talk. Myka followed all the time wondering which thing she would say first to her boss. Maybe she would just tell her she was resigning or tell her what an ass she had been or …..or tell her that she wasn't taking that kind of crap from her even if she was her boss or maybe she would …..
Helena closed the door to the private dressing room that was provided to her by the hotel staff. Sincere apologies never came easy to Helena. She took a deep breath.
"Myka, I wish to apologize for today…..," Helena started, but suddenly saw Myka coming at her.
"Oh bloody hell, she's going to hit me," - is the thought that raced through Helena's mind. She backed up against the wall expecting her face to be slapped.
Then she felt the softness of Myka's lips on hers as her head banged against the wall from the impact. Soft hands grabbed Helena's jaw as Myka pushed her mouth down on Helena's with force.
"Bloody hell, she's kissing me," was Helena's next sweet wonderful thought.