Irene and Cary, a short story by Rico.Viejo. Date added: 2012-07-17. Times viewed: 2263.
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- Intro: Can your boss be your favorite wife? What's the awful truth?
"Perfect!" she said. "People tell me I look like Irene Dunne and you certainly look like Cary Grant."So he'd been told. By lots of girls and a few men. He waited."Or would you rather I look like Audrey Hepburn or Ingrid Bergman or Eva Marie Saint or Katherine Hepburn or Grace Kelly?""Irene Dunne," he agreed, although she wasn't oh-so-cool: she looked like she was wound up like a steel spring, like the young Katherine Hepburn always did."I'm Marcy." Big smile. Big eyes."Hi.""They haven't told you about me?" Bigger eyes."No.""I'm fully informed on you, Mr. Bruce Compton. We're going to be working together. Things will be different but they'll still be the same." She gave him the Irene-Dunne 'I love you, you dumb lunk, look'."Everybody makes me watch those movies.""Come with me," she said, grabbing his hand tight and dragging him to the apartment door and out onto the landing. She let him go. "Want to show you something," she said, starting rapidly up the stairs. "It's a climb, but aerobics are good for you," she gasped back at him.When they got to the top—three more flights up, she said: "It's not locked," she said. "Pick me up and open the door and carry me through. I want to see if it can really be done." She looked like she was going to leap up and rest on his hip, like Gelsey on Mikhail."Maybe if I unlatched it; then I could push it with my foot.""Party-pooper! Then let's make it a test of your endurance after climbing three flights of stairs.""Did I? I was so interested in your pretty little ass I didn't notice.""Good to hear. Pick me up. Maybe you can sneak a grab in the process."Once inside, he set her back on her feet. "No lights," she said, grabbing his hand. "Come this way." She pulled him to a glass door in a wall of glass, opened it, and pulled him outside onto the roof. "Isn't it wonderful?" she said."Makes me feel like Gene Kelly or Jacques Tati.""The view!"He had to agree."What's wrong with me?" she said."Nothing!""Then what's wrong with you?""Huh?""Alone in the dark with a girl and you don't make a move?""The girls always kissed Cary first," he said.So she kissed him first. Not at all the way Grace Kelly kissed Cary, the cat-burglar,—on camera. There was no fake jewelry, no fireworks, but they ended up on the bare mattress. All the way from the roof to the bed, while she was frantically kissing him, she was pushing him toward it. Minor problem at the angle-iron sill at the glass door. At the bed, she released him to undress herself, then she started undressing him. "Can't muss his perfect hair. Can't wrinkle his perfect clothes," she repeatedly advised herself. She'd rush back and forth to a table in the dim room, to arrange their clothes on it. When she had them both naked, Marcy did a flying leap onto Bruce that crashed them onto the mattress, Marcy on top. "Irene makes the first move," she was repeating, as she arranged 'Cary' properly, with her fingers, so terribly impatient 'Irene' could envelop 'him'.She had swung her body around and taken 'Cary' in her hands. She talked to 'him': "Got a foreskin, have you? Push it back. Got to clean you up, can't have you staining Bruce's pants. Don't get hard, now. Irene will have to wait 'til later. Yum yum." She licked and sucked 'Cary' clean, then blew her breath on 'him' to 'dry him'. She sat up and gave 'Cary' a dismissive pat."Little Irene is already in love with little Cary and wants him struggling in her embrace again," she said. "But I think Marcy and Bruce should get dressed and go back to the party."They immediately split up when they got back inside.Jack Bennett, Bruce's boss, found him and took him aside." 'Jack' ," he started. (There are men who think there's no value in remembering other men's names. They call them 'Man' or 'Buddy' or 'Pal' or 'Sweetheart', what have you. Jack's name for every man was 'Jack'.) "Look. I shouldn't have told you. It was all set, but I shouldn't have.""What are you talking about?""Well, it's like this, 'Jack'. Ah. Your promotion.""My promotion. What about it?""It's off, 'Jack'. Came down from on high this P-M.""Why?""The usual bullshit. Fresh ideas, new insights. They've brought someone in from the outside for the job.""They're not happy with my work?""They love your work!""Maybe some other agency will love my work," Bruce said."Don't quit on us, 'Jack'! They've agreed on the raise. You'll get the money, just not the V-P and the office.""Humph!""There's more, 'Jack'.""Yes?""You'll be working for a woman. A pretty woman. Rumor has it she fucked her way into your job. Here she is, now."Marcy walked up."He's told you," Marcy said to Bruce. "You won't like working for me. You'll hate it. I guarantee it.""I'll let you talk," said horrified Jack, rushing to leave them."Do you want to have our first argument or go back upstairs," she said, sliding her finger along the edge of his shirt collar and licking her lips. "We may be enemies, but Irene and Cary won't be."Bruce left Janey, his sister, to have their apartment to herself. Sounds like a Hugh Grant movie? Janey is not goofy-looking at all. Quite pretty, with the dimple in her chin. She just doesn't have the best job.Bruce helped Marcy clean up the old artist's studio and moved in with her.While things were all drop cloths and paint cans, she said: "When you lick my nipples, suck them, too.""Do this, do that! Do I do anything right?""You do things right, Darling, but you could do things better. At work, too."In bed the first morning they woke to not smell paint, Marcy said. "There'll be others. I want you to know.""Others?" said Bruce, unbraiding one of her pigtails."Other men in this bed with me. You visiting Janey. Don't stop with my hair.""Why? Something wrong with me?""There'll be nights I won't come home, weekends I'll be away. I want you to know. I want you to be prepared. I want you to love me anyway."Bruce started on her other pigtail."Love you?""I meant let Cary and Irene continue their affair. We don't want to get involved. Don't get sulky. Don't get jealous. You've fucked married women, haven't you?""Yes.""Were you jealous when they were off, probably, definitely, fucking their husbands? Same thing. I have 'husbands' to fuck. That's how I get ahead. I'm good at my job—you might even admit it. But I'm in a hurry. I don't want to be a V-P. I want to be a C-E-O. I'm going to fuck my way to the top!""You're a real shit, aren't you," said Bruce."Speaking of shit, maybe Cary wants to give Irene a break and take a stroll up the dirt road?""Fuck you!""Oh? We're getting mad? Let's see ... suppose I'd just come home from a 'job interview' and you knew, what would you do?"Bruce was silent. That's probably what he'd do."Some details: The guy was a short, fat, little guy. I let him hold my hand at cocktails, and feel my knee at dinner, while we talked about my being his C-F-O. Then we went up to his suite for an all-night, in-depth interview.""He's expensing a dinner, just for a fuck.""That's a risk I take. But he knows he only gets one test-ride.""Who'd you fuck for this job?""Brad.""You're still fucking Brad!""Occasional meeting in the boardroom. Oh, look at Cary! Irene will be so happy! And so will you, Bruce. Take out your jealous rage on me!"After a delirious fuck, Bruce said: "C-F-O. You, a C-F-O.""Good position to be in if he does a Nelson-Rockefeller on top of me. Then just change the 'F' to an 'E'," observed Marcy, as she licked 'Cary' clean.
Until Marcy had a weekend 'interview'. By Sunday afternoon, Bruce couldn't take it. Many exhausting hikes up and down the five flights of stairs, breath-recovering drives in his car across town, then three flights up and down to get his stuff to his old apartment.Monday at 10, Marcy called him there: "Where are you? We have the McCarey & Kanin presentation this afternoon.""You take it. I'm taking a little vacation from work and from you.""From me, okay. From work, not without my say-so.""See you around, slut!""Something I can do without anybody else's say-so is fire you! You're fired, Bruce. Enjoy your vacation and don't come back to the office. Security, downstairs, will have your stuff. I'll box it up myself! I'll mail you your last check myself."When her furious voice stopped replaying in his head, Bruce relaxed to plan his vaycay. He was well-fixed for the moment. Maybe he'd take that trip to China he was going to take before Marcy showed up. Maybe he'd see what Patagonia was like. Maybe St. Petersburg.What he ended up doing was sitting in his apartment watching a lot of old movies, waiting for Marcy to call to invite him back to work, maybe back to her bed. That was 'The Awful Truth': they were in love. And they hated the idea of it.He got the call, but it was from Jack Bennett: " 'Jack' ! Marcy's up and left. We were glad to see her go, but things are chaotic. Please come back. You've got her job, her title, her salary—and you're going to be pissed when you see what it was. What do you say, 'Jack' ?"Bruce said: "Yes."It was two months later when Bruce got a call: "Jack said you got my job! I'm so happy for you. And I'm so unhappy without you! I've got a director's job open. Would you be willing to come over—expenses-paid—for an in-depth interview? Please do! I'm at the top, Darling: no more interviews.""Yeah, what the hell," Bruce said, pretending to be unexcited. He'd desperately missed her. He'd swim across the Atlantic to be with her."You'll come?" cried Marcy. And then she cried tears of joy.After a hasty discussion of tickets and flight schedules and ground transportation, Marcy said: "I've let Irene know. She was terribly unhappy. She can hardly wait to hug Cary again! Have you told Cary?""Yeah, he's excited, too.""Plan to stay, Darling. Irene and I will make Cary and you never want to leave us again. I'll be your favorite wife. And she his!"
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