Sugar Daddies (Chapter 1.01) #1 - The Spencer Series
April’s morning sun invaded the privacy of Mercy’s bedroom as she ran the brush through her wavy, long blonde hair. The odd tear still slipped from her ocean blue eyes, caught on her long lashes and then trailed down her high defined cheek bone. Her lips coated in a deep beet red lipstick still slightly trembled in despair.
Realizing that no amount of makeup was going to hide the effects of the hours spent crying. Mercy stood to her full length, taller than most girls, and checked her outfit in the mirror. The long ivory V-neck sundress hugged her slim waist, then flared down beyond her hips to dance around her ankles. The black cover up, belt, purse and shoes completed the outfit. Mercy was unaware of the haunted vulnerability she portrayed, making her seem much younger than her twenty-five years. She sighed and swept out of the room.
“So out of nowhere last night, while we were having after-dinner drinks with my parents, he tells my father how happy it would make me if my father would make him acting chairman in L.A.” Mercy exasperated. “Then he turned to me, patted me on the knee and said ‘it’s okay honey, your dad needed to know’. Then he winked at me!” Mercy threw herself down on the couch, utterly sickened by Roger’s behaviour.
“Oh my god.” Beverly choked, her brown straight hair cascading about her shoulders as she shook her head, sitting back in her chair.
“Your father couldn’t have been too pleased?” Carmen asked from behind a desk, her blue eyes searching Mercy’s face for an answer. Her long red fingernails ceased their incessant drumming, totally blindsided by her friend’s confession.
“On the contrary, he was rather pleased! He thought it very fitting that his future son-in-law take over the most prestigious office in the company, since he himself cannot leave Edmonton.” Mercy stated, biting her lip. “I really thought Roger was different, I mean, we dated for a year before we were engaged and he was very understanding why we have waited so long to get married.” How could I have been so gullible again? Her mind reeled.
“So then what happened?” Beverly listened intently.
Mercy stood up, towering over the girls where they sat, and began pacing the room. “I was shocked, speechless at first. I let the charade continue, I couldn’t very well start an argument with my mother there. She would have had a seizure. I listened while my father and my finance planned my life in L.A. feigning interest until it occurred to me that my interest didn’t enhance the discussion.”
Mercy walked to the wall of windows, her eyes blurring as spots of rain danced on the side walk, her misery as dreary as the day outside. She half turned to the girls and looked at each of them with hurt in her eyes. “I listened for another forty-five minutes then whispered to Roger I had a headache, which at that point was no longer a lie. He quickly excused himself, and I offered to walk him to the door. I waited for him to put his coat on, playing the doting bride to be. He leaned in for his goodbye kiss and the sound of my hand striking his face seemed to be the loudest sound I have ever heard.”
“I’d of loved to see his reaction?” Carmen stifled a laugh behind her hand, her jet black hair bobbing about her chin.
Numbed Mercy continued. “I stunned him, I think? As I took off my engagement ring and bawled his fist around it, he never said a word. He just stood there looking at me. One second it was a look of contempt because I was taking this opportunity away from him. The next second it was indignation that I thought I could do better than him. Like he was a god, and I was more than lucky to be marrying him. I opened the door and told him to use it. Then I left him standing there, and I climbed the staircase to my room.”
“Have you heard from him? Have you told your parents?” Beverly asked.
“I haven’t talked to Roger directly, although he left several messages with the house staff. I tiptoed into my mother’s room last night. While I cried and she listened. She understands I want to marry for love, someone who wants me. She gets it.” Mercy sighed, walking back to the couch to sit. “My father on the other hand, this morning was far from understanding. He had talked at length with Roger this morning before I got to the breakfast table. He was irritated with me. I could tell but refrained from yelling because it would upset my mother in her room. He spoke of me getting too old to be choosy, how it is natural and expected for any man I marry to take a powerful position in the company, then he ordered me to reconcile with Roger. He compared it to a dowry! Can you imagine?” Mercy buried her face in her hands, tears escaping her eyes. She began again, only this time in a whisper. “I’m to be a trophy wife, the icing on the cake. It’s so humiliating.”
The overwhelming defeat in Mercy’s voice struck both girls. She had never sounded so miserable. Beverly rushed to Mercy’s side and drew her friend into her arms as her own green eyes welled with tears for her friend’s anguish.
Carmen took on her normal optimistic attitude. “Being gold and sweet doesn’t sound too bad to me!” Carmen tried to lighten the mood, eyeing both of her friends, then continued more seriously this time, “Give it a few days, your dad will get over it. Maybe he didn’t say it in the right words, but I think he’s worried about you. Your mom is getting sicker with each day, and he’s not getting any younger. His mortality is catching up with him. You’ll see he’s not focused on you, you’re just the vessel of his frustration.”
Mercy straightened from her friend and she helped to blot the running make up and tears. Mercy searched Beverly’s face for a response. “I agree with Carmen.” For a lack of anything to add on her own behalf and aware that the girl’s lunch break was almost over and the time was approaching to get back to work, Beverly added. “So cheer up and let’s get back to work.”
With that said, the girls began cleaning the make shift lunch room, which was actually no more than a glorified storage closet with windows. The girls had begun using it shortly after Carmen had started working with them, when a shift in offices had occurred and this room had been designated for over flow furniture and files. It gave them privacy to speak freely amongst themselves without others intruding, being that Mercy was the boss’s daughter no one questioned them using it.
Mercy worked diligently at her desk, attempting with little success to stay focused on the details of yet another charity event her father had planned for the fall. He delegated projects to Connie Dover, his female assistant. She took care of the flowery projects, decorating new hotels, designing landscapes, planning company functions and charity events, which now had Mercy cursing. These were things her father saw as women’s work. Pretty, and beautifying, were fluff jobs a woman could handle.
Connie loved her job, it was being his assistant that would take her farther eventually, or so she thought. Mercy didn’t have the heart to tell her that this was probably the end of the corporate ladder for her. She respected Connie and received the respect of an employee, not as the boss’s daughter. When trouble rolled down hill, they never spared Mercy from it. When Mercy was given praise, it was genuine, not brown nosing. These were things Mercy admired and respected from her father’s assistant.
“Mercy, your father wants a breakdown of costs for the charity event assembled for his nine am appointment tomorrow. Do you have the staffing figures finished?” Connie’s voice entered her thoughts from the intercom system.
With a finger Mercy responded. “Almost, but I’ve run into a delay. The bartenders are requesting an automatic gratuity be added into the drink prices. So I just finished with Josh Frankford. The guy you set up to do the pricing on the drinks and merchandising. He was able to work on them, so now the bartenders have agreed to our original quote plus three percent.” Her statement ended, Mercy removed her manicured finger from the button.
“Don’t bother. Three percent will not cut it. Our budget can’t afford it. Let me call Dale, from the bartender service, myself and talk this out with him. For god’s sake, this is for charity. At this rate there will be nothing left for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.” Connie countered.
Mercy had known that it would be unacceptable to her boss. Although all details were handled by her support staff, Connie always changed everything. Three percent was unreasonable to Connie, and she would probably get it down to one or two percent. It was in an argument that Connie proved she could be as shrewd and cunning as any man in the business world. Maybe even better.
Mercy strode from her desk with the budget in hand to Connie’s office, placing it quietly on the desk while the woman bartered on the phone. Silently she left the room, closing the door behind her.
An energetic force invaded the lobby office Mercy occupied, like a circus of activity, breaking the stillness of the secluded offices. Its name was Carmen, and the ever prefect Beverly followed her. Mercy often tired from just watching Carmen.
In a big booming, off key, off tune, and off tempo voice, her friend exploded. “Closing time, open all the doors and let you out into the world.”
“Shh! Connie’s on the phone.” Mercy darted a look toward the door, worried that her friend’s outburst had interrupted Connie on the phone.
Quieting her voice, Carmen added. “Then let’s tiptoe out before she notices you’re gone. It’s Friday night and I can’t wait to begin my weekend of relaxation!”
“I can’t leave yet. I got a couple things to do, but I’ll see you tonight. Are we still on?” Mercy sighed, wishing she could leave with them.
“Of course, a Friday night of girls pampering themselves is just what the doctor ordered. Just come over whenever you’re ready. Carmen and I will pick up some snacks. Meet you at our place later.” Beverly finished, entangling her arm in Carmen’s guiding her out of the offices.