by Karen Singer
Chapter 52 (Monday – week 8 part 2 of 8)
The minute Mel walked through the door to her office, she was accosted by Andrea. “Harry Feinbaum has called twice for you already. He wants you to call him back immediately!”
Mel stopped in shock. “Harry Feinbaum? Old Man Feinbaum? Not Dick?”
Andrea nodded. “Harry!”
“Damn! As if my day hasn’t started off bad enough already. Okay, thanks Andrea. I’ll call him right away.” As Mel trudged back to her office, her mind continually tried to figure out who in her client list would have attracted the attention of Harry Feinbaum! She dumped her purse and laptop bag on her desk, looked up the number of what was arguably the biggest and most prestigious law firm in that part of the country, and dialed. She spoke briefly to a receptionist before being put on hold till “Old Man” Feinbaum could come to the phone. While she was waiting, she pulled her laptop out and turned it on.
She didn’t have to wait very long till Harry Feinbaum himself finally answered her call. “Mel! How have you been?”
“Fine, Mr. Feinbaum. How about yourself?”
“Doing fine, Mel. Just fine.”
“And Dick… and his family?” she asked.
“All fine too. The kids are growing too fast though. But it’s nice to have grandkids around once in a while. How about you? Any kids yet?”
“No, Mr. Feinbaum. I’m not married yet.”
“Shame,” Harry replied. “Family is important! Any prospects though?”
Mel really wished they could get past this friendly bit. “Um… Let’s just say I’m working on things.”
“Well, good luck with it. Like I said, family is important. Your father knew that. He was a good man, good lawyer too. I miss him.”
“So do I Mr. Feinbaum. So do I. Um… not to cut this short, but what can I do for you?”
“Mel, are you familiar with Sunshine Corporation and Green Growers United?”
“I’ve heard of them. But I couldn’t tell you much about them. I know they’re big though.”
“Very big!” Harry replied. “Sunshine is buying Green Growers.”
She knew that mergers of this type were the main staple of what Feinbaum’s firm handled. “So? What does this have to do with me? As far as I know, I don’t represent anyone that works for either group.”
Harry was confused. “Represent?” But his confusion only lasted a moment. “No Mel, you don’t understand. We’re representing Green Growers in this. We’re not interested in any individuals not on the boards of directors.”
“So let me get this straight, you’re not pressing any kind of action against one of my clients?”
“Action? No, of course not!”
Mel was relieved. “Then what can I do for you?”
“I’m looking for your help.”
“My help? With the merger?”
“Exactly! Our contract man quit very suddenly last night, leaving us in the lurch so to speak. Your father always said you were great with contracts, and Dick threw your name out as a possible alternative.”
“But Mr. Feinbaum, I’m sure your firm has any number of contract specialists right there that you can choose from.”
“We do, but I’d like somebody fresh on this one. Mel, I don’t have to tell you what the fees would be for something like this. This merger is worth billions!”
Billions! But that was it in a nutshell. That was the real reason he was calling in someone from the outside. He needed a patsy… a fall guy... just in case something went wrong. And if it did, her reputation as a lawyer would be pretty much ruined. “And when is this thing supposed to take place?” Mel asked.
“We’re to the point where we’re sure we can finalize it the beginning of next week.”
“Next week! And you’re calling me in now? That’s ridiculous!”
“Sorry, Mel. Like I said, our guy quit quite suddenly last night.”
“Ugh!” Mel grunted. “There can’t be much left to do.”
“Not a lot. Just a few pesky little details. Can you be in our offices by ten?”
“Of course. You need to get up to speed fast.”
That was an understatement. “But I’ve got clients!”
“I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time you had to rearrange your schedule.”
Ugh! If it had been anyone else, she would have declined immediately. But the first thing her daddy had taught her when she came to work here, was that you “never” say no to Old Man Feinbaum! “Okay,” she replied reluctantly. “I’ll be there.”
She hung up the phone. Damn! And next week she had cleared her schedule just so she could devote it all to Sissy and winning the bet! A distraction like this was the last thing she needed! And what a distraction it was. Huge!
She picked up the phone again and punched Andrea’s number. “Andrea, better clear the decks. We got trouble in River City!”
Chad had been working for almost an hour when he heard Robin calling him. “Sissy. Get over here.”
Quickly, Chad got up and went over to her cubicle where he curtseyed. “You called?” He curtseyed again.
“Of course I called!” Robin replied. She looked at him. Not wearing the skirt helped a lot. He looked much more stupid without it. She pulled one of the baby bottles out of his diaper bag and handed it to him. Then she pointed at the floor. “Drink!” It was all she needed to say. As he was getting down on the floor, her eyes happened to glance at the hair bow. She was tempted to put it in his hair right then. It would be something she could get away with. But she decided against it… for now.
Chad wasn’t happy about having to drink another bottle already. And this was his fifth one of the morning – already. He had so much liquid in his system still that he hadn’t even started to try to hold back. And now Robin was making him drink another one? Between her and Mel they were making things impossible for him!
He suddenly realized that he had been peeing again. He had almost missed it because he was too preoccupied with thinking about other things. He knew he wasn’t always noticing any more when he did pee, especially when his diapers were already wet, which was ninety nine percent of the time. Peeing automatically was becoming way too much of a habit! He decided then and there that he would have to try to hold back more now, despite how much liquid was still in his system. The only problem was, that he had just finished peeing, so he didn’t have any need to go again, and no need to hold back just yet. He only hoped he would notice before the next time he had to pee.
When he finished his bottle, Robin sent him straight back to work again – still without his skirt.
Mel was lost… mentally. She was sitting in the richly appointed meeting room at Feinbaum’s offices along with a large team of obviously powerful lawyers. All men. All wearing beautifully tailored expensive suits. She felt like a fish out of water – totally! She had a mountain of paperwork on the table in front of her. Two bigger mountains on the floor behind her. How was she supposed to get caught up before the beginning of next week?
Harry Feinbaum was sitting in the chair at the head of the table, but it was his son Dick who seemed to be running the show. “And that’s about it,” Dick Feinbaum finished up. “Slatter said he’d have the updated agreement to us no later than Wednesday, so till then, you all know what you have to do. Let’s get to it.”
With that, the meeting ended and everyone got up. The very handsome, and not to mention very married, Dick Feinbaum stayed behind and walked over to Mel. “Glad to have you in on this,” he said as he shook Mel’s hand. “You can imagine what a surprise it was when our guy suddenly quit last night. No notice. Not even any warning.”
“I can imagine,” Mel replied. “You can’t imagine how shocked I am to be here.”
Dick smiled charmingly. “If your half the lawyer your father claimed, then you’ll do fine,” he replied.
“So Richard Slatter is drafting the agreement? And he’s on the other side?”
“That’s the story. You know him?”
“A little. Through my father. The guy’s a legend. I think he even wrote one of my law books when I was in school.”
Dick nodded. “That’s the guy. At least you know what you’re up against.”
Mel nodded. “Yeah. A legend!”
Dick laughed. “This is the big league now.” He looked at the pile of work Mel had on the table. “Can I get someone to help you with all that?”
Mel looked at the mountains of paperwork on the table and also on the floor behind her. “You better. In fact, I hope I don’t have to rent a truck to get it all home!”
“Just wait right there and I’ll send one of our staff in to get it down to your car for you.”
“I appreciate it,” Mel replied as she heard the faint sound of her phone buzzing in her purse. Dick Feinbaum took off as she dug it out. “Hello?”
“Where have you been, girl?” Gloria’s voice asked lightheartedly.
“Ugh! Busy! I’ll tell you about it at lunch.”
“Good! Because I want to hear all about your date.”
“And I want to hear all about yours too. How did it go by the way?”
Gloria paused before speaking. Her voice wasn’t nearly as lighthearted. “Let’s just say that I was a little too nervous, and he was a lot more handsome in person, so I drank way too much, and… well, since I knew I’d never see him again, I took way too much advantage of the situation.”
“Huh? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I made a total fool of myself and not only threw all caution to the wind, but I went more than a bit wild and tried to make up for all the sex I haven’t had in the last few years! I was a total slut!”
Mel was shocked. “Okay…” she said cautiously. “This I have to hear all about!”
“Well, I’ll warn you, it’s going to be very ‘X’ rated!”
Robin glanced at the clock on her computer. Break time. She got up, checked her face and hair, and grabbed Sissy’s skirt. A moment later she was at his cubicle. “Break time, Sissy.”
Chad turned around in his chair just as Robin threw his skirt at him. He was quick to get it on again and relieved the moment it was in place.
“Let’s go,” Robin said as she turned on her heel and led the way. Quietly, Sissy followed behind her. The moment they reached the next hallway, Robin paused a moment to let him catch up. They walked sided by side, but silently, all the way to the break room.
Chad was more nervous than ever about being at break today, for several reasons. Mainly, he was nervous because of his fingernails. The other reason he was nervous was because of Derek. Would Derek show up today? Once they got to the break room, they joined the short line for coffee. He knew Robin wasn’t going to let him go without any, so he grabbed a cup and filled it. He held the cup so as to try to hide his sissy fingernails as much as possible. Maybe nobody would notice. There were doughnuts in a box beyond the coffee. He ignored them as he waited for Robin to fill her cup. He expected Robin to grab one of the doughnuts, but all she did was to look at them – a bit longingly. Together they headed for the women’s table.
As the others arrived and sat down, Chad did his best to keep his hands low and in his lap so his fingernails wouldn’t be noticed. Every time he lifted his cup to drink, he worried more about someone else seeing them. Once or twice, he did see a woman staring at his hand as he held his cup to his lips. Did they see what was on his nails? Fortunately, they didn’t say anything.
Robin sat back and relaxed a bit as she talked casually with a few of the women. Out of the corner of her eye though, she noticed how Sissy was handling trying to hide his nails. Well, unfortunately for him, that would never do! She leaned over to whisper quietly to the woman next to her. “Did you get a good look at Sissy’s nails today?”
The woman immediately looked around Robin, trying to see better. “I can’t see them. They’re in his lap.”
“Ask him to show you the design on them.” Robin whispered.
“A design?” the woman replied with interest. “I’ll bet it’s pretty! He always has such beautiful nails.”
It was all Robin could do to not break out laughing. “Ask him,” she prompted.
Since there were other conversations taking place around them, the woman leaned across Robin and asked softly. “Sissy… Let me see what’s on your nails.”
Chad nearly had a fit! His luck had run out and he knew it. He looked at Robin to see if maybe she could help, but instead of help, she had a very pleased smirk on her face. She had prompted this! He just knew it! Holding his cup in his right hand, he slowly and tremblingly extended his left hand towards the woman. The woman’s sudden loud gasp of surprise stopped all conversation as everyone looked to see the woman staring at Sissy’s hand. Quickly, Chad retracted his hand and hid it again.
“Set your cup down,” Robin told him, “and show everyone what you did to your hands!”
Chad nearly spilled what was left of his coffee as he set it down on the table. Trembling more than ever with embarrassment, he held both hands out over the table so everyone could see. The women practically climbed all over each other to get a good look. The shocked exclamations and comments were only what he expected.
“What on earth made you decide to do that to your hands?” One of the women asked.
Chad looked up at her, totally embarrassed. “It wasn’t really my idea.”
Chad shook his head. “No, it was… kind of…”
“A dare?” someone tried to finish for him.
He was going to pounce on that one and go along with it, but he caught sight of Robin’s face first. He shook his head. “No. More of a… suggestion.”
“To do that? My God! It has to be awfully embarrassing!”
Chad nodded. “It is!”
“So what made you do it?”
Chad just shrugged. “Trying new things I guess.”
Robin knew that his answer wasn’t exactly the truth, but she liked him taking the responsibility instead of throwing it on someone else – in this case, Mel.
“I think I’d remove it quick if it was me!” one of the women suggested. “I mean, any other name would be fine. A bit juvenile perhaps but still, Sissy isn’t the kind of name that would be best for… you.”
Chad would like nothing better! “I would, but… well… I kind of promised I’d leave it,” Chad replied. It wasn’t quite the truth and he noticed an odd look from Robin after he said it.
“Whatever for?” another woman asked, totally shocked. “Do you know what it looks like?”
Chad finally pulled his hands back and hid them in his lap again. He nodded sheepishly. “Yeah.”
“Say it!” Robin commanded.
Chad just looked at her shocked. Did she really want him to admit what he was?
“Tell them what you think it looks like!” she said again.
Unable to look any of them in the eye, he looked down into his lap and said, “It makes it look like I’m a sissy.”
“Damn straight it does!” One of them exclaimed!
“And you’re still not going to remove it?” another woman asked.
Chad looked up briefly, then over at Robin, then back down into his lap while he tried to figure out how to answer that. “Sometimes… people like me… have to put up with a lot.”
This time Robin did burst out laughing, although everyone else looked shocked.
“I have no doubt about that!” someone replied for all of them. “But this?”
Chad just shrugged. “It’s actually not much worse than some of the other things I’ve been through.”
The woman shook her head. “Well, you wanted this life, but if it was me, I’d still get rid of it.”
Chad only nodded.
Robin had no doubt though that now there were questions in every woman’s mind. Questions over whether he was a sissy or not. Questions that none of them probably had the courage to ask. But they were questions that they would discuss privately with each other all over the company.