Barfly: Chapter Fifteen

“Let me in the goddamn building.”
I stared at the buzzer and then hit the button to let Mika in.  She did not sound in any better mood than when she had left me on Monday.  It was now Thursday and she seemed even more pissed than before.  Sighing, I saved the work on my laptop and then closed it.
“Was that Mika?” Stellan asked as he walked out of my bedroom.
I nodded.
“She didn’t sound like she was in a good mood.”
“No, she didn’t,” I replied.
“Think I’ll make it to the elevator before she sees me?”
“You want me to stick around?”
I shook my head.  “I’ll call you afterwards.  You’re going to be late for work.”
“You sure?”
Stellan smiled and kissed me.  “I was hoping you’d say that because that woman scares me.”
I opened the door and pushed him gently out of my apartment.  “You better hope the elevator is slow today then.”
“I’ll have my cell phone on me.  Call me when she’s left the building.”
“I will,” I replied and straightened his tie.  “And seriously, you’re going to have to stop looking so damn hot in suits.  I can’t take it.”
Pushing my hands away from his chest, Stellan kissed me on the forehead.  “Good luck.”
I watched him walk down the hall and then closed the door to my apartment.  Leaning against the door, I realized I wouldn’t have the time to get fully dressed.  I guess Mika would just have to can me dressed in my bathrobe.  At least I would be comfortable I thought.
A heavy-handed knock from the other side of the door made me stand up straight.  I took a deep breath and centered myself.  Once I had fought of the urge to scream, I turned on my heel and opened the door for Mika.  “Good morning.”
“Yeah, whatever,” she replied, shoving her way past me.
Okay, so maybe my urge was to cry instead of scream.  I was more scared of Mika than Stellan was right now.  “Can I get you anything?  Coffee, water, tea?”
“No,” she answered.  “Shut the door.”
Sighing, I reluctantly let go of the door.  It was my one way out of the apartment besides falling sixteen stories to my death via a window.  As it latched, I turned and looked at her.  “Are you sure I can’t get you anything?”
“Positive,” she answered as she rummaged through her overpriced and cutting edge fashion bag.  “Here,” she said and slammed a bottle of champagne onto the table.
I looked at the bottle and then at her.  “Huh?”
“Get two glasses.”
I edged away from the door to retrieve two glasses.  “What’s this for?” I asked.  “I don’t think there’s a reason for champagne if you’re about to shit can me as a client.”
I put the two glasses on the table and watched as she eyed me.  Both her hands were on her hips and the evil stare she was giving me made me want to run screaming after Stellan and beg him to hide me in his office.  “Really what?”
“You are a fucking moron.”
I just stared at her.  “Okay.”
“Why would I be a shit canning you?”
I folded my arms across my chest.  “Um, I don’t know Mika.  It was the last thing you said to me on Monday before you stormed out of the restaurant.  Then you don’t return my calls, emails, or texts.  There’s several reasons right there.”
She rolled her head from side to side and then dropped her hands from her waist.  “I’ll tell you what I don’t like and that’s you sending your unfinished manuscript to an editor.”
“I knew you wouldn’t send it.”
“You’re right, I wouldn’t.  I didn’t.”  Grabbing the bottle of champagne, she peeled the foil off and then popped the cork.  “You did.  Behind my back.”
“Great, we’re celebrating because I went behind your back and you’re not letting me go as a client?”
“What happened to your hair?”
Reaching up, I ran a hand through it and sighed.  “I have bed head.  I was rudely awakened by a buzzer this morning.”
“More like, that’s sex hair.  Where’s Stellan?”
“Luckily, he made it to the elevator before you arrived.  You scare him more than Satan.”
Mika sighed.  “That’s unfortunate,” she said as she filled both glasses.  “I figure you’d want to celebrate with him.”
“Celebrate what?”
“Your unfinished work is going to be published,” she answered, holding out a glass of champagne to me.
I felt my mouth fall open.  “What?”
“They loved it.  She loved what you sent, she loved the synopsis, she loved the marketing, she loved it all, and she even loved that you sent it behind my back.”
Pulling out a chair, I sat down at the table with a sigh.  “You’re joking?”
“Does this look like a face of a joking agent?”
I looked up at her and shook my head.  “You kind of have the same face all the time.”
“I managed to get you eight days to finish the manuscript.”
I nodded.  I wouldn’t need the eight days, but I wasn’t going to tell her that.  “And they’re okay that it’s not in my normal genre?”
Mika nodded.
I had so many questions but couldn’t find the words to ask them.  I took the glass of champagne from her hand and downed it in one gulp.
I nodded.  “You’re not lying to me?”
“No,” Mika answered as she refilled my glass.  “I’m serious.  They loved it.  They loved the characters.  They loved the writing.”
“And you?”
A smile slowly crawled across her face.  “I enjoyed the character who I was an apparent inspiration for.”
“So you read it?”
“Yeah, after I got a phone call from our friend who was so screaming with excitement about the project, I had to.  You wowed her, and after I read it, I called her back.  You had wowed me too.  It might be in a genre you don’t normally write it, but it’s in a genre that is always selling well, and even better, it’s damn funny.  I think I could I get you movie deal out of it.”
I downed the second glass of champagne.  “All I want is to see it in print.”
Mika pulled the chair out next to me and sat down it.  “He is your muse isn’t he?”
I nodded.
“Does he know?”
I shook my head.  “No.  I don’t want him to know.  I don’t want to jinx it.”
“Dinner tonight at Chateau Blue.  A car service will be here to pick you up at seven sharp.”
I nodded.
“I expect Stellan there as well.  Maybe Walsh and Maddie.”
I looked at her.
“No buts.  You’re celebrating together.”
“I just started seeing him.  I don’t want to scare him away by meeting family.  You already scare him enough.”
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is an excerpt of the rough draft and not the final version