Alina Adrift Pt 2, a short story by KiwiDreamer. Date added: 2012-05-16. Times viewed: 935.
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- Intro: The executive chairman of the Ad Agency senses that Alina has the qualities that make things happen creatively and she appears to interface well with people, a great mix. So will things happen for Alina? Oh yes.
After the introductions were completed the panel convener Bobbie Whyte asked, “Why did you approach this particular agency?”
“I’m aware of its branding for motor vehicle clients particularly cars and SUVs Mrs Whyte,” Alina said, parroting what Glen had advertised during the night when they were resting between bouts.
“You may call me Bobbie. And you have worked in motor vehicle advertising?”
“Never and that’s why I’m here. I’ve had no opportunity to create vehicle ownership campaigns and decided I ought to apply for that opportunity right at the top, with this agency.”
A smartly suited thin guy with a pencil moustache asked, “What is a MacPherson strut?”
He was the MV and boat section manager Murray Jack and Alina was cross he hadn’t asked what was in women’s minds when they went vehicle buying. The others wouldn’t be technically savvy.
“It could well be Lord MacPherson’s walk after shooting an eighteen-pointer stag Mr Jack but I rather think you require the answer that it was a design developed many years ago by Earle MacPherson. It is a widely-used car suspension system that uses the axis of a telescopic damper as the upper steering pivot.”
“That’s an excellent answer that indicates some depth of knowledge. Name three major attributes behind the success of best-selling cars.”
“One, brand image. Two, design and simplicity. Three, color range.”
“Are you sure color range is important?”
“Women figure prominently in well over 50% of car-buying decisions Mr Jack. I’m sure that fact answers that question.”
“What about us, advertising and promotion?”
“We are part of the mix Mr Jack performing the role of attracting attention to information about vehicles in arresting ways and placing particular makes and models squarely in the public’s eye. But as you well know we don’t create the vehicles, make or refine them and neither do we make the buying decision in the sales office or at the end of the demo run. What we do is sell the message of behalf of clients better than they could do it themselves.”
“Excellent answers. I find you impressive Alina.”
“Impressive enough to have me on your team?”
Murray looked startled. “Really I can’t answer that… it’s not my direct role.”
Bobbie said, “I invite you to answer Murray.”
“Yes there is an aura about you and I’m sure it’s certainty rather than over-confidence,” Murray said, borrowing the words Glen had used the previous evening over a couple of drinks. “I believe you will give our team additional punch.”
“Punch?” Bobbie said frowning.
Murray thought crap, what had Glen meant when he’d said that? Oh yes.
“Alina would add among other things a female perspective. Guys you’ve just heard her say why she highlighted color. And there is this pragmatic thing she has to add to her creativeness, something that comes from her Dutch/American heritage.”
Bobbie nodded. “Well you’ve convinced me Murray. Any further questions or any challenge to Murray’s interest in hiring Alina?”
Alina’s breathing rate stalled.
There was no further comment so Bobbie said, “You’re hired Alina. Please go with Maggie and she will go over the contract with you that we have already prepared. Our suave Glen Armstrong also got to me.”
As Alina walked to the elevator with the manager of HR she said, “What is Bobbie’s position in this agency?”
“Executive chairman. Her family and the insurance company her father heads owns 61% of this agency.
“I should think Bobbie didn’t altogether trust Glen’s judgment of you as being a perfect fit for our operation. That’s why she replaced our usual convener today.”
“Don’t worry, Glen and Murray went through college and university together. You will have unprecedented assistance from your two business godfathers. Neither will have the wish to show Bobbie they were wrong about you.”
Feeling that omigods must not be overdone, Alina just sighed.
After reading through the contract, with Maggie pointing out parts of importance, Alina was satisfied and more than satisfied with her salary with a review twice yearly.
“Now you take it to your attorney…”
“I don’t have one. Do you assure me there are no hidden jags in it?”
“Absolutely. It’s our standard contract.”
“I’ll sign now.”
“Well come through to our attorney.”
Alina’s next call was Murray who was surprised to see her.
“I didn’t expect you to arrive here until Monday.”
“I’ll start tomorrow if that is okay with you.”
“Really? That’s wonderful. I suggest for the first two weeks you just listen and observe. I’ll pair you with Archie Lund. He’s long in the tooth but as sharp as a tack. Arch will get you up to speed very quickly. Come through and meet the team.”
The guys mostly looked at Alina’s tits and then seemed to shrug, perhaps giving her a couple of days or even a week before she fled the specialist section. This was macho territory, a man’s world.
Murray had expected this. “Alina used to be a weekend rally driver and only quit when her best friend and co-driver was killed when they skidded on ice and thudded into a bridge. Before that happened she’d won two limited class rallies in state events and scored a credible fourth in the open class that had a field of forty-eight entrants from four states.”
The guys looked at Murray and saw he was serious. They grouped around Alina and began introducing themselves.
The three female assistants in the department then introduced themselves and appeared pleased to have a female account manager in the section. Archie Lund then took her to coffee and gruffly invited her to call him Arch.
“Have they brought you in to replace me?”
“Oh god no Arch, I’m the new girl on the block and I was told I would be paired with you because you are the best.”
He smiled bleakly and said, “Girl you have a smooth tongue. You ought to be in advertising.”
Alina managed a smile but was worried about Arch’s absurd notion she was a threat to him. “Arch I like cars, I drive cars but I no F-all about writing an original ad for a car company or convincing a client to take a risk and do it our way.”
“We don’t write the ads or creative the film or audio clips. We have copy writers and a creative department to do that. We in here anchor our agency’s relationship with each client and liaise with clients, managing their needs.”
“I know but I’ll also want to write ads because I’m a creative person although I accept the engine-room for me is account management. I’ll refer to my text and visuals as drafts and that should keep the knives out of my ribs and back.”
“So you think you know F-all do you young lady? I’ll be surprised if you really believe that. Now allow me to tell you how I operate and how I want you to fit into my way of doing things. Cross me and you may as well ask Murray for a transfer to another section.”
“That’s bullshit Arch. Screw up with me and management will have questions about you. They want me to succeed, not to be spat out the end of a demolition derby.”
Arch grinned. “You’re even smarter than I thought you’d be. I welcome you as my sidekick. Lund and van’t Hoff doesn’t have a good ring to it though.”
“What about Lund and Hoof?”
Arch thumped the table and let rip with a big belly laugh.
The PA watched Alina approaching and smiled.
“Congratulations. You look like a fixture here already. Love the dress. He’s waiting for you, champing at the bit. An email has come through about your appointment. Please go straight in.”
“Thank you Liz. Um something is on between your boss and me.”
“I didn’t know but guessed it would be. He’s a lucky man.”
Alina winked and went in. Glen rushed around his desk to kiss her.
She smiled and said it was all due to his manipulations.
“Rubbish, if anyone had been unsure about you that would have been the end of it. You have something of a track record, you were impressive, the recommendation from Maggie Stockman after her analysis was you were worthy of hiring and Bobbie was keen to have another female account manager. You will be aware what experts say about timing. Well the timing of your application to be hired was spot on.”
“I still wish to thank you.”
“Well come on. There’s something I wish to show you and no it’s not my dick. Oh I have to be back here at 4:00 to support Bobbie and the CEO at a meeting with a disgruntled client. She says our campaign bombed because we used unpopular colors when depicting the range of leggings. Our research department insists they did the groundwork and found out expectations of the next best thing in colors.”
“Colors won’t be why the product is not selling well darling, the problem is timing. Things like leggings are a one season’s wonder; they’re already so much last year.”
Glen stared at Alina and slowly smiled. “You go and chat to Liz while I grab Bobbie and the head of research. What you have just said, if we can substantiate it, will save us facing a 20% refund that would cost us just over $250,000.”
“Get research to call six floor managers at department stores and simply ask them why the leggings are not selling. Their responses will be more credible than my opinion.”
“Jesus,” Glen said, hurrying off.
* * *
Alina eyed the gray concrete building, a former warehouse now divided into five tenancies, four being small service businesses and Glen’s being the only residential conversion.
She said, “God what a massive error of judgment choosing to live alongside a car paint shop, a home decorator outfit, a sewing machine servicing shop and a house alarm sales and installation outfit.”
Glen said, “These subdivisions are larger than they appear to be. I live upstairs and play downstairs.”
He pushed a button on his hand-held electronic door opener and the roller door cranked upwards as they walked forward.
Alina stopped and said, “Oh my, you little honey. Pre-WW2 judging by the chassis.”
Glen was almost bursting to tell her but thought this was the test: Just how much did she know or what she just a dame trying to get in with the guys by judicious use of pieces of information? He impatiently waited.
Alina was ignoring him, her eyes flittering across to the sides of the enclosure, looking at the pieces of disassembled vehicle stacked up against the walls on one side and on temporary shelving on the other. She was probably scanning to ensure there was a good clearance for the working area around the chassis. There was heaps of room.
The lights were not yet on and she looked into the gloom beyond and seemed to freeze, nose pointing forward like a hunting dog, although what else could it be with her looking in that direction? Glen felt his entire body tingle and though this was almost as good as sex, waiting to see if she could hit the jackpot.
She charged forward like an infantryman, circled the object that was the body of the vehicle, snapped a look at the rear, took in the side and stopped at the front to little more than glance at the mounted head lamps, grill and curved bumper and then looked back at Alina and said, “You beautiful nostalgic man.”
He grinned and called what was the vehicle.
She rattled it off: “1936 two-seater Ford V8, five window, series 68 standard, unmodified, little rust, prime for a rebuild and that obviously why it’s being disassembled.
“You have the choice of an authentic restoration or a partial restoration with modern refinements.”
“Okay Miss Motorhead, and what do you recommend?”
“Partial restoration and then putting in a new engine, modern braking system, modern head lamps but leaving them free-standing to retain the authentic original exterior appearance, new radio/cd, air-con, power-steering and of course the suspension upgraded, new seats, trim replaced.”
“But I wouldn’t have an original?”
“Who cares apart from Motorheads? Or perhaps you wish to enter classic vehicle motor shows or enter the occasional Tour d'Elegance?”
“What you say makes sense,” he said, scratching his head and admitting he’d been deferring making the decision.
“Well don’t listen to me. I would add that a faithful restoration would take one to perhaps three years longer.”
“I know. Will you come here and live with me and work on my vehicle with me?”
She didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
Grinning, Glen held out his arms and Alina ran to him.
Alina, ignoring her panties on the floor that had been ripped off her, clambered on to the sofa on her knees and didn’t have long to wait.
Glen blew on to the fat and excited pussy of the young woman, who groaned “Oh delicious” and widened her knees and groaned again as Glen gently bit into the swelling lips. She began stretching a tit by the nipple, head thrown back, mouth open wide, eyes closed.
At least the eyes being closed meant she didn’t have to look at Glen’s untidiness in an apartment that screamed to be redecorated.
Alina felt something much larger than a finger push against her slit and it slithered in like an uncoiling snake. Her eyes flew open in horror but closed again when she re-established where she was and what was happening to her.
Her heart-beat raced.
“Oh gee, you have a wonderful cunt,” Glen whispered, stretched over her back and grabbing a shank of her blonde hair.
Alina sighed into a sweet ripple of orgasms.
Later as she watched Glen wiping his dick she said, “I’m still groping to comprehend why you think I’m tight.”
“Alina, you and I will probably fuck sixty times a month minimum so do you really feel you ought to be dwelling on the semantics of whether you are a vice or a cave down there?”
“Uh, of heavens, what can I say? Oh I know, of course I agree with you. My desire to please was running away on me. Sixty times a month you say?”
“That’s the minimum.”
“Oh and no maximum. Well that will be just dandy.”
* * *
Alina had noticed what the females were wearing when in the agency for her selection/rejection interview and the previous day when she began work there. And so arrived on her second day wore a black hi-cut leather jacket, a long lilac t-shirt, white boot-cut stretched jeans and platform tan sandals, choosing to display her femininity rather than style. She’d wear top rack clothing when booked to meet major clients.
Every office has a clown and Bob Marks called as she entered, “Jeepers Alina this is a workhouse not a fashion department.”
She used her standard putdown. “Bob your zip’s undone and it’s hanging out.”
Turning white Bob clutched his groin and with everyone laughing he was man enough to concede. “You’re too smart for me Alina. Welcome to the team.”
Archie Lund arrived thirty seconds behind her and complained, “Jesus Alina, how will we get work done with your trussed all tightly like that?”
Aghast, Alina said, “Oh I’ll go to my hotel and change.”
“Nah just wear something even tighter tomorrow and have more flesh showing.”
Everyone laughed including the three female assistants that Alina would find did much more than fetch coffee and run messages for the account managers. This larger office was structured very differently to the two agencies she’d worked with previously.
“Go round the room and talk to everyone individually to be filled in what they do,” Arch said as soon as Alina sat beside him.
She fumed what a waste of time. But to her astonishment she found it amazing how varied the work was with one guy working on a campaign for the opening of a new dealership in Kentucky, another working with a client announcing the launching of a newly designed 45-foot motor sailer suitable for charter fleets but the really big one was two guys working on a huge Boat Show in Florida.
Ninety-minutes later Arch yelled, “Come on Hoof, we’re off.”
The other half of the team of Lund and Hoof grabbed her handbag and raced after the disappearing Arch.
They went by Yellow Cab across to river to Jersey City.
The new girl to New York asked the driver, “Do you know a guy called Jake who drives one of these Yellow Cabs?”
“No ma’am. Have you any idea how many Yellow Cabs service Manhattan each day?”
“Um 500. There appear to be a lot of them.”
“More than ten thousand, that’s how many so even if you knew Jake’s other name, it would be unlikely I’d know him.”
“Golly, New York’s big,” Alina said.
They were taken to the boardroom where seven guys were waiting. The guy who stood first to greet Arch frowned at the site of Alina and said there was no need for Arch to bring his PA.
“She’s my partner on this project. She’s creative, brimming with ideas.”
Alina looked nervously at Arch who introduced her to the chairman of the executive committee of the planned inaugural New Jersey New Age Motor Show.
“Stand guys and say hi to Miss Alina van’t Hoff.”
The guys stood, chorused “Hi” and sat.
“Call me Alina she said. I haven’t been briefed. So do you guys know anything about organizing a successful motor show?”
They looked at each other and one of them said, “We think we do, and we all have been to the New York Motor Show several times.”
“Thank you for being honest with me sir. Well that’s why you have engaged our agency. Our job is to make this event sing and not to ape what they do across the water. Take it from there Arch.”
“Er we are here to be briefed.”
“Then why do a briefing if they don’t know about organizing a big event. My professor was formerly one of this country’s greatest event organizers in his day and I wrote my thesis on events organizing. We already know what you guys want. You want great responses from vehicle suppliers. You want those turnstiles ringing your event into profitability by the end of opening day Friday. And by closing on Saturday night you want damn-all complaints. But above all we have to come up as a team with an arresting theme to underpin the whole event to ensure it doesn’t topple into disaster.”
Even Arch appeared slightly stunned.
“Er yes, that’s it in a nutshell,” said Gus Allen, chairman of the steering committee. “We thought we should run Saturday and Sunday.”
The guys nodded.
“Guys a quarter of NYC will leave the city from late Friday afternoon. Do you really want those high-powered people with money slipping through your fingers? On Sunday a quarter of NYC will go to church or be booked to visit mother and another half will be sleeping off hangovers or gone fishing. So do you really want your Sunday show looking like a 70-year-old women’s collapsed bosom?”
“Hell no,” Gus said and his executive team shook their heads, agreeing with him.
“Right unless you have something to say Arch…?”
“No I’m done.”
“We have enough info from you guys to work up a solid first-stage brief which will focus on the concept, but we need to look at the venue at the start of our next visit to you next Friday. I wonder what one has to do around here to get a drink?”
“Meeting over,” Gus said. He opened two wide doors to expose a well-stock bar.
An hour later when returning to the office Arch said, “I was impressed but do you really thing you know what you have grabbed by the tail?”
“I think so. A 3000lb bull probably. But have faith Arch. This is what I was born to do.”
“Oh Jesus,” Arch sighed. “Oh who was supposed to be in charge back there?”
“Who needs a team leader when all of us there made useful contributions? And Gus is left thinking he’s the leader.”
Arch looked rather dazed.
Five days later Arch made the presentation to the motor show executive although it was all Alina’s work, from the draft text and imagines to final approval of the finished work.
“No I can’t do that,” Arch had said when Alina gave him the notes for the presentation. “This has been your baby and your fingerprints are all over it.”
“No I want you to present and if it bombs you carry the can.”
He grinned. “You bullshit almost as good as any man I know. This is your ploy to save me from embarrassment.”
“Arch you were in advertising before I was born and you have done some wonderful work but are being over-run by time and change. You have some time left to run and I want you to induct me properly, being my master tutor. I’m still wet behind the ears and we both know it.”
“Well I’ll think about it.”
“Arch I’ve been to our company attorney. Miriam will do the work to have my name legally changed from van’s Hoff to Hoff. I want you to get our business cards printed emphasizing we work as a team, Lund & Hoff.”
“I make no apologies for sounding egoistical Arch but I know in my heart I’m destined to be a top operator in advertising because I have a mind capable of dreaming and thinking advertising creatively but you’ve got something I haven’t got… a wealth of experience in client liaison and the knowledge how to get out of tight corners when things go wrong, such as when the client says what’s this crap you brainless moron. At my age I haven’t learned to deal with rejection.”
“Well I’ll think about it.”
“Arch doesn’t look for the dark side. There’s no chance of you putting me seriously wrong. You are here working at the age of sixty-seven because the bigwigs know you more than pull your weight and in some areas they might see you as being irreplaceable. You teach me and allow me to accept what I need to take aboard and have confidence in me to make those decisions. Come on Arch, make the decision.”
“Yeah?” Alina screamed and kissed the balding plump guy, startling everyone round them.
An hour later Arch and Alina were in the media room to make a trial presentation to the Ray Pinter, the agency’s vice-president responsible for manufacturing, agencies, distribution, on-sellers, retail and marketing, Ray Pinter and Murray Jack plus the director of creative and copywriting. The executive chairman Bobbie Whyte strolled in just as they were about to start.
Arch began the presentation saying the team of Lund & Hoff had decided that motor shows were organized on a predictable format. They had decided to present something different. He looked at Alina to do the next piece.
“The truth is guys is the tradition has been motor shows designed by guys for guys and it’s timely to step back a little from that notion just as the motor industry is acknowledging that their vehicles are no longer about selling sculptured steel and horsepower,” Alina said faking a yawn. “Oh here are a couple of things you might not know.”
Up on the screen flash two claims:
‘A tad over 50% of the population is female and females buy vehicles.’
‘It is believed some 80% of buying decisions by married couples about personal vehicle ownership are made influentially by the female.’
Arch smiled. “That made us think. One half of the team decided the theme of the New Jersey new age car show should have the theme, ‘Women and Cars’. I have become sold on the idea. It’s so creative, so timely.”
“Oh muscle cars will receive mention in the promotion,” Alina smiled. “We must not forget the guys. So here’s what Arch and I have come up with.”
The next ten minutes was a screen display reinforcing the Women and Cars theme, with a logo and varies types of print ads, banners, billboard and a film clip that began with a woman in furs and a fur hat driving an open Model T in 1912 and ended with a famous actress proudly driving her diminutive hybrid car.
The most enthusiastic response from the onlookers was, “It looks good and very professional.”
Alina glanced at Arch in dismay and he shrugged. They went out for lunch.
“Oh god, have we goofed?” Alina said, big-eyed.
“Where did you get the ‘we’ from?”
Alina suddenly looked ready to strangle him so Arch winked at her and said, reassuringly, “This is where experience comes in. At the weekend get your hair and face and nail done and arrive at the TV studio Monday evening in a rented Porsche. Bill that rental and your beauty treatment to the agency and I’ll get Murray to sign it to go through for approval.”
Murray briefed Alina about his Second Phase plan.
Next day they presented to the board organizing the show and they all looked pleased and Gus Allen the steering group chairman smiled and said, “Who are we to argue guys, you are the professionals.”
While Arch thanked Gus for his kind remarks Alina concentrated on not having a nervous pee.
On Monday evening Gus Allen and Alina appeared on the magazine segment that followed the early evening news.
Presenter Mandy Kincorth made the introductions, calling Alina a former weekend rally state champion and viewers saw the photograph Arch had obtained of Alina being presented with a winner’s trophy.
“Well Mr Allen. Why emphasis on women on this motor show planned for New Jersey?”
“Perhaps Alina should answer that.”
“It’s not been done before, although pretty women have been draped over hoods in the past.”
“So you’ll be using some older and notable women?”
“That’s under the wraps until we begin promoting this great New York event Mandy but you are entitled to think of famous female motorists and not only racing car drivers.”
“Oooh, that sounds interesting. What do you drive Alina?”
“I came here in a Porsche. What do you drive?”
“Oh a lumbering Jeep.”
“Omigod. And what color?”
Mandy colored and said black.
“Omigod Mandy, how could you? Your husband chose that vehicle for you didn’t he?”
“Um yes,” Mandy said, appearing slightly flustered. “Well what would you suggest I drive?”
“I read in a women’s magazine your husband is a hugely successful litigation attorney and you TV peak hour presenters are paid fortunes. You need a car that matches you, sexy and sleek are two words that jump to mind. I’d say a Ferrari California.”
“Omigod, my dream car. You know it and yet I have never spoken about that. But do you have any idea…?”
“Approaching two-hundred grand but being a star you could win a big discount. Drive your dream Mandy. All women should. My mom dream is to drive a small hybrid and this is what this car show to be staged in eight months’ time is all about, to say to women, ‘Darling here is your dream car’. Oh the other half won’t be forgotten because there will be sleek performance sedans and muscle cars there for our male darlings to drool over but they must not drool on the paintwork.”
“Oh Alina you are so refreshingly different, so refreshing. Where did you find her Mr Allen?”
“The agency Alina works for is teamed with the guy who does the advertising for my chain of dealerships and Alina turned up with him at the inaugural planning board meeting.”
“The women on that board must have been delighted to see Alina arrive.”
“Er we are all guys. We were aghast but Alina soon had us won over. You see Arch Lund her senior has the wisdom from solid grafting experience and his own brand of flair and Alina, well she is just Alina. She knows nothing really but creative ideas just topple out of her. They combine brilliantly and now call themselves Team Lund and Hoff. Alina picked that idea up from pit crews when she was a rally driver.”
“Oh time’s up. This could go on for hours. You last word Mr Alina?”
“Alina should have the last word; she’s female.”
“Well we pose no threat to the New York International Auto Show. We are just New Jersey doing its own thing at a different time to the big NYC event. So come along when we open and although she doesn’t know about it, yet we hope to have Mandy Kincorth there with her dream car and my mom being handed the keys for her wee electric town car that I’ll buy for her. I’ll be asking Gus here for a discount. Thank you for hosting us Mandy. Take a tape of this segment home to your husband in case he missed the show.”
Smiling beautifully, Mandy said reading from the script that had been prepared with the assistance of Archie, “Well that’s all folk. The New Jersey Find Your Dream Car Show will be staged in mid-October.”
Alina was in a bar with Glen next evening when Arch called her. He’d been watching ‘Mandy Kincorth’s Spotlight’ on TV.
Arch sounded elated. “We have established our Find a Dream Car branding. Mandy Kincorth has just ended her show saying they’re received more than 700 telephone calls, letters and emails about the dream car interview the previous night.
“Mandy says that response is astonishing with perhaps half the responses saying she was irresponsible thinking of spending $200,000 on a car or pleading to give that sum to the charity they supported plus a couple accusing her of being fiscally reckless. But she said she really liked the email from Betsy of Ozone Park who wrote, ‘I agree with my husband on this. He said go for it girl. By the way we drive a battered 1998 Ford’.”
During the next few days Mandy Kincorth became the most talked about TV host in America and her comments in the media were obviously restrained, no doubt her TV station executives and her peers apprehensive about the money being paid to top TV presenters. But on the following Sunday night she appeared on network TV for thirty minutes facing a panel of supporters and detractors. She was invited to make a brief opening statement.
“This whole thing has gotten out of hand. I give generously to charities and just because I’d like to buy my dream car it doesn’t follow I must give more donations to charity. Such thinking is absurd. I also wish to point out I don’t tell other people how they spend their money, if they are lucky enough to have a surplus, so why should they do that to me? It’s just not right and it makes me angry. I say MYOB. In case some people don’t know what that means it means Mind Your Own Business.”
During the ‘roasting’ many of the detractors exposed their absurdity or hostility or bigotry.
Mandy remained calm throughout and at times injected humor. At no time did she call any of her opponents fools.
When the moderator, a clergyman, summed up the debated, announcing it simply represented a divergence in opinion never likely to be resolved, he invited Mandy to make a final comment in the wake of accusations that in spending so frivolously she would not pass through the gates into Heaven.
“I think we ought to ask ourselves, why did Cleopatra make the choices she did? Thank you.”
Even the moderator looked bewildered by that conundrum.
One major New York newspaper came out next morning publishing a large photo of the most attractive brunette presenter asking, ‘Is TV’s Mandy our new Cleopatra?’ A rival newspaper took the scholarly approach and using a similar photo of Mandy attempted to summarize some of the major situations that Cleopatra V11, last Pharaoh of Egypt, faced and what her decisions were. Most of the TV critics called the debate a draw and suggested under extreme provocation Mandy had behaved with restraint and totally professionally.
Within a couple of days the fuss had died.
* * *
At that time Alina shifted into Glen’s apartment. They went home from the restaurant to bang in bed to celebrate their union but both had consumed too much liquor and had the sense to know to back off and choose sleep instead.
Glen awoke next morning thinking something was biting off the tip of his dick and was relived to look down and find it was just Alina giving him a wake-up call. He pulled her around and they completed a sixty-nine, Glen having his face drenched and Alina choking and spitting.
Alina emerged from the bathroom wearing overalls and apparently nothing else.
“Come on Lazy Bones,” she called. “”Let’s begin working on the Ford. We have an hour before we need to leave for the office .”
“Oh darling, I was building up a horny Joe waiting for you to return to bed.”
“You may set it loose this evening when it can play till it droops.”
* * *
On Monday, Team Lund & Hoff introduced Mandy Kincorth at a lunch with the motor show steering group. They were delighted with Mandy because she was so charming. The men waited anxiously to be told what this was about.
“Alina and I wish to gain approval to rejig the already approved name and theme of your grand event,” Archie said. “Mandy is prepared to contract with us to be utilized in having her name, photo and personal appearances incorporated into your grand event. Alina believes it should be called ‘Mandy Kincorth’s New Jersey Dream Car Show’.”
“In return for that involvement Mandy will donate her name and services for our promotions in return for being presented with her dream car at the opening night. Mandy and her husband are prepared to pay a substantial amount towards the ownership of that vehicle on the understanding that all promotion of Mandy and her dream car ceases sixty days from the date of the car being presented to her. Mandy’s husband will negotiate with you guys and the dealership supplying the vehicle. He insists everything will need to be done properly to avoid the IRS screaming hey where’s our cut? So a value of the time and Mandy’s professional involvement will have to be itemized and be part of this contract. We three will go over to the bar while you toss this around.”
Gus looked round the table and saw the smiles and nods. “Wait you guys, my team approves these changes and suggestions in principle. We will of course expect to have the controversy over Mandy and her dream car to be raised dramatically and effectively and for her to use her influence to have that Friday night opening televised.”
“Yes guaranteed,” Archie said. “Did I hear someone mention champagne?”
Gus grinned and raised his hand. Two waitresses hurried over.
As weeks went by Alina was winning more of her own accounts, although she still worked with Archie on the big ones. Archie wouldn’t step outside of auto and boating but Alina was prepared to give anything a go. Potential clients approaching the agency for the first time were asking for Team Lund & Hoff.
The director of sales and marketing of the TV station than employed Mandy approached the agency. Simon Greer asked for Team Lund & Hoff and when the receptionist said Mr Lund only did Auto and Boating Simon asked, “And Miss Hoff?”
“She has energy to burn. She rarely turns down any new client.”
Although Simon was fifty-one he almost jumped in shock when Alina entered the interview room and was introduced to him. She seeped sexuality and her breasts were straining her bra dangerously … he was quite sure about that. Her skin looked near perfect and her blonde hair had a glorious sheen.
Simon wondered what he was on but couldn’t remember popping any pills that morning. Anyway, it didn’t matter. He had a young new wife who was keeping him drained, so to speak.
As they sat he said, “Miss Hoff?”
“Simon please call me Alina.”
“Our station is rated number eight. We’d like to be taken to the number one spot.”
“Dream on Simon. Give me the rating figures.”
Alina studied them while Simon studied her. What a creep, she thought, aware he was mentally undressing her while conscious this approach by the TV station meant big money to the agency.
“These figures indicate to me that even if your investors fronted up with millions there’s no way you will supplant any of the big three. I can get our research department…”
“No it’s fine. We already have that information.”
“Well it’s possible I could help drag your station into number six spot but that’s been pragmatic. We should aim to fifth spot. If we keep fire in our bellies we could grind into 5th rated station.”
“Before developing a proposal Simon I would need to study your operation including your people, read your station’s mission statement and read reports by your own people and advisers to find where your station’s strengths and weaknesses lie.”
“I thought as much.”
She smiled and said, “You have the brain to be heading sales and marketing.”
Simon glanced at his watch. “Flattery will get your everywhere Alina. May we go to early lunch?”
“Yes of course and thank you. I suggest you dwell on your station’s perceived weaknesses in this briefing. If we are to progress swiftly just keep reminding yourself this is war: it’s your station against your rival stations. Oh I feel a little uneasy about the way in which you look at me. It’s okay to look at me as a sex object if that’s your inclination. But I’d prefer you settled for a couple of quick glances and then keep your mind focused on our discussion.”
Initially he looked ready to protest strenuously but then, “God never have I had a woman I’ve just met say it’s okay to look at her, um, breasts.”
“That’s why they are there Simon,” Alina smiled, using her customary counter devised to ease tension. “But please understand I don’t use sex to get business and you have the sixty minutes over lunch to decide whether or not we work together on this. I take it you don’t require permission to engage us on this particular consultancy?”
“No it’s my decision and the outlay will be within budget to my department’s engagement of outside services. But as for making the decision I’ll require more time.”
“But I don’t Simon. My time is previous to me. You decide within the next sixty minutes or alternatively dump me right now.”
He frowned but pitched for the agency, not yet with a signed contract, to pay for the meal. “A great chicken salad washed down by a dry white is what I have in mind Alina.”
“Very well but let me make this declaration. I possess a bias to feature Mandy Kincorth prominently in any campaign we mount.”
“No problem. We regard Mandy as hot property.”
“I have another client who has contracted Mandy to feature in its motor vehicle project.”
“We are aware of that and that makes me think you’ll work real hard to make Mandy even more prominent that she is now. In other words I see no conflict of interest.”
“Oh excellent. Let’s make this project really take off Simon.”
Mandy drafted a proposal for a film clip that showed a changing montage of activities associated with the TV station and towards the end the first montage changing into a second, the second montage began spinning and fading and the face of a pretty TV presenter would appear and she would announce, ‘Good evening New York, this is Mandy Kincorth who tonight talks to some people behind the headlines who are making things happen’.
She then drafted another two-minute promo giving examples of top news stories the station had either being first to release to the public or had developed significantly.
Other promos would be drafted as full-page newspaper ads and Alina arranged for a leading women’s magazine to do a cover story on the private like of Mandy Kincorth, something that had not been done because Mandy was very private about her home life. Alina had yet to tell Mandy about this.
Midway through this planning, Glen was approached and with the chairman’s support was appointed to swap roles with a senior vice-president of an advertising company in Los Angeles that was around the same size in billings as Dougal and Hudson. The VP was due to be appointed executive chairman of the Los Angeles agency in eight months’ time and the board wanted him to build relationships with agencies in NYC and to study the way they handled accounts.
“I’m sorry Alina,” Glen said, breaking the news to her. “This whole thing was presented and tied up during the last four hours. I leave next week. You can stay at the apartment of course and there’s no requirement for you to work on the coupe.”
“I’ll need something to do,” Alina said, still reeling in shock. “Six fucking months without you. Oh god.”
“Find a temporary lay,” Glen said, not having expected Alina to take the news so hard.
“I-I’ll be okay,” she said dully.
“You can visit me for a long weekend,” he said cheerfully.
“No I’ll phone but I’ll not visit.”
Glen laughed and said she’d change her mind. Five days later he was gone. Alina had flown to Boston early that morning on business when he went to the airport to catch his LA flight.
On Friday Mandy called her. “Simon has just told me your man Glen has gone to LA for six months.”
“Yes,” Mandy said sadly.
“Oh darling, I’m home by myself all weekend. Come stay with me. Let’s go shopping.”
“No thank you.”
“Alina don’t be such a stupid bitch. You need company, someone who understands. You are coming here. If you fail to turn up I’ll put a couple of security guys on your tail to bring you here with orders not to rough you up too much.”
“Do we have a date?”
“Okay come in here to the studio to watch Friday night’s show live and then we’ll have drinks. You’ve been in here sniffing around so many times half the people already know you.”
“Fine, I’ll do that,” Alina said. Only then did she realize a weekend with Mandy would provide the opportunity she’d been looking for to get Mandy to agree to the big interview. It was time the interview was scheduled.
* * *
They arrived back at Mandy and her husband’s huge and ornate apartment rather drunk.
“Darling I must look after you,” Mandy said, in a sugar-coated voice.
A few minutes later, her panties down around her ankle Mandy bent and asked could she finger Alina’s pussy.
“Stop this inane action Mandy.”
“What? Oh darling allow me to heat you up. I can’t help it if I’m bi. You just have to be tolerant and when I use my strap-on you won’t know if it’s Glen or me.”
In less than ninety seconds Alina was out of there, apologizing for her abrupt departure but explaining her emotions were in catastrophic orbit.
Mandy cried and said she didn’t understand; all she wanted was to fuck.
Relieved to be back at Glen’s apartment, Alina tidied up the place and then gathered her things and packed.
At the agency next morning she went to Maggie Stockman and handed across her resignation.
“You can’t resign,” Maggie said, quite appalled. “We have so much riding on you.”
“I find I’m no longer compatible with advertising and social life in New York. If you wish me to spell out my reasons then take breach of contract action against me and have the media listen to my every word breathlessly.”
“That is very unprofessional of your Maggie.”
Four minutes later Alina was called to Bobbie Whyte’s office.
“We need to talk darling. It appears someone had screwed up. I’m willing to increase your miserable salary of $110,000 to $180,000. We have so much riding on you. Clean up your two major accounts and then you’ll be free to resign at a time suitable to us all.”
“I thank you for allowing me to work here Bobbie and thank you for the opportunities I have been given. But alas I find myself being severely corrupted and am not prepared to tolerate that. So I regret to say it’s goodbye Bobbie.”
Alina walked out and Bobbie screamed, “Your bitch, I’ll see to it you’ll never work in advertising again in all of America.”
Alina kissed and said goodbye to Arch. He’d already heard the whisper and knew to say the right words.
“Just do what your heart says darling; it will not let you down. You are one of the most influential persons I’ve ever met during my career. Goodbye and good luck.”
Alina didn’t bother to clear out her desk. She just left, her heart feeling heavy.
She found Jake’s number on the list in Glen’s kitchen by the house phone, never having looked at the list before this. The cab driver’s name surname was Lyon.
She called and recognized the voice when he said “Jake speaking.”
They chatted and he phoned back after Kitty said they could go out to dinner at short notice. The three of them had a great night out at what Jake and Kitty said was the best for food and service of any Italian restaurant they’d ever at and as well, was unbelievably palatial.
As the couple was leaving in a cab Alina thrust an envelope into Jake’s hand and kissed him once again and said, “This is a wee appreciation for you greeting my so kindly on my arrival in New York and pushing Glen to get me that job. You were so wonderful.”
Jake was driven off protesting and would have found 1000 bucks in that envelope.
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