“Yes, that’s what I’m afraid of. She’ll be a distraction, Charlie.”
“I can’t believe you’re saying this, Mr. Feminist.” Well, it had been a while since Ken was chided with that title. All because he stood up against the sexual harassment the secretaries and assistants at Lois & Bachman were dealing with from a former agent. “Come on, Kenneth! It’s the new millennium. Women can be hard-hitting real estate agents too. Hehe.” Charlie looked over his shoulder and to his youngest son. “Did that sound convincing, David?”
“See?” Charlie chuckled. “Even David’s on board.” His voice dropped into a more serious tone. “I want to make sure there’s no mistaking my intent here, Andrews.” How many iterations of Ken’s name were they going to go through? “I. Want. Her. If I find out you didn’t meet her tonight to offer her a job, I swear to God, I’ll put your head on a spike.”
Charlie wasn’t playing around, either. He often kidded with people he liked – which included Ken – but he could be ruthless when necessary. The only reason he cut that agent was to avoid the legal charges heading his way. If Charlie Bachman said he wanted Lana Losers on his payroll? Ken would do everything in his power short of holding a gun to Lana’s head to make it happen. The figures Bachman were offering were not chump change, either. No doubt their biggest competitors would try to throw their own figures at her, but Ken doubted they would come close to a million on sign and a hundred and fifty grand a year to start with. That was almost as much as Ken made before commissions.
“Ah,” Charlie stood up with the help of his son, “I can’t wait to say I have that hot piece of ass making me richer. Watch out, son, you might have a new stepmother soon.”
Ken managed to maintain his composure until his boss and accompanying son were far enough away to not pay him any mind. Once he was alone, he threw his bags together and hunted down an old colleague of his. Anything to take his mind off Lana.
That late afternoon marked the final formal event of the conference. Everyone who cared to attend filed into the biggest room to watch Lana Losers accept her award as the best-selling real estate agent in the designated region of New England.
Since everyone with a working libido had a crush on her, the room was packed.
Ken heard the whispers as he sat toward the back by himself. “That Lana sure is a hottie,” two men in front of him muttered. “I hear Lois & Bachman are going to make an offer.” They glanced back at Ken and then kept their mouths shut.
“Is it true that Esperanza Realty has already offered her a job? Roger Prescott is going to be rich from the headhunter’s fee on that one.”
“There’s going to be a bidding war between Holts & Graham and Boya Realty Group.”
“I’ll eat my hat if she isn’t competing against us here in Manhattan in less than a year. Because what we really need right now is a ringer against us and Lois & Bachman. Those assholes are enough of a problem.”
“How do you think she sells so much? Does she actually offer sexual favors to get an edge over her competition?”
“How have you never heard of this woman yet? She’s going to be bigger than Madonna at Madison Square Garden.”
“I know an easy way to take someone like her out of commission. Put a baby in her.”
The uproarious laughter that caused gave Ken a headache. He was glad when the room was quieted so the chairman of the conference could give his speech and introduce Lana to receive her reward.
She had changed since Ken last saw her. A navy blue dress wrapped around her curvaceous figure, showing enough cleavage to entice her enemy without being too garish. Black slingback shoes graced her petite feet as she stepped onto the stage. Lana flashed the whole room a grin as big as her personality before stopping to pause for a picture. She shook the chairman’s hand and received a framed document citing her accomplishments for the years 2002-2003. More photo ops. Every flash of the camera and the ripples of applause that commenced only made her face light up more in genuine pride.