Lucky, Lucky LukebyEgmontGrigor2011©
Jasper K Collins fired Luke Coleman indirectly. Jasper told his seven department heads at the end of the weekly executive meeting. "Now return to your offices, call one person of your choice in and fire him or her, saying to those lazy jerks times are tough and that Mr Collins ordered that seven people, one from each department must be fired."
The unlucky guy in pre-production department was Luke Coleman.
His manager said, "I'm sorry Luke, but you are fired. Pick up your termination payment from HR on the way out."
"Why me Jack?"
"I don't have to give a reason beyond you are the unfortunate victim of company downsizing. Now fuck off Asshole. I've never liked you because you make your job look too easy."
Luke picked up his termination payments, joining a line of four other unfortunates and two more lined up behind Luke.
When the fired crew trooped outside most drove off, the females and one of the guys crying and that made broad-shouldered Luke sighed. This certainly was a black day for them and especially that guy already suffering because Eva (real name Evan) was unlucky enough to display feminine characteristics including raw emotion.
He began crossing the road to the phone box when he was hit by a car.
The driver applied the Ferrari's brakes hard and Luke leaned into the path of the car and was scooped up and he slid over the hood to bash against the windscreen, hurting his right elbow just as the car stopped with the tires screeching.
The red and purpled faced driver, dressed in an expensive suit and with his shirt open and tie undone blustered, "You were jaywalking. If my paintwork is scratched I'll have you jailed."
Sliding back down, careful not to damage the paintwork with buttons or his belt buckle, Luke pulled out his phone and checked that it was working.
"Who are you calling?" the nosey driver slurred.
"The cops; you're drunk."
The change in the driver's attitude was remarkable.
"Here buddy, take all the cash I've got."
Luke, still rubbing his elbow and feeling some parts of him would be bruised, thought was it worth a few bucks for letting the guy off. Well yes. He grabbed the money and the driver eased into his car and accelerated off, tires smoking, and the vehicle slewed and hit a thick solid wood street light pole and the back of the car just behind the driver's seat crumpled.
Rubberneckers slowed traffic and Luke jumped into a cab to get out of there. They passed the car and it looked expensively damaged. The unhurt driver of the Ferrari stared at the damage picking his nose.
Luke left the cab on the fringe of Downtown, paid the driver and went to a street pay phone after checking his own phone for the number, and made the call. Using a gruff tone he said, "Mrs Jack Fryer?"
"Yes," said Luke's boss's wife who worked from home.
"I want you to know that your husband is fucking my wife Samantha and she's confessed your sneaky asshole of a husband has been at her for months. Our kids are devastated."
Luke then cut the call, grinning and thinking Jack would arrive home for his dinner only to have his ass kicked and then possibly be head-butted and his bawling wife, plotting immediate divorce, would the scream, "Who the hell is Samantha?"
After coffee and a snack and counting the money the driver had given him, it came to $780, Luke had the fleeting thought he could throw himself in front of cars and make a great living. He went to another public phone two miles away and this time used an
Rather effeminate voice.
"Joyce Collins speaking," the woman answering the call said, smothering a yawn.
"Oh Mrs Collins, I'm sorry, I expected Jasper to answer the phone if I called at this time. Oh sorry, it's not Saturday is it? Has he told you about me?"
"About you, how would I know when I don't even know who's calling?"
"Oh I'm Bubba Jones, an old college pal. Jasper and I weren't particularly successful at hitting on the girls at college and, well, I guess you know the outcome of that and you probably know he has a great butt. We've got together a couple of times earlier this year to renew our former intimacy and we both agreed it was the best sex we've had for a long time. He suggested we must get together more often to screw and of course I agreed totally and came up with the idea of having a threesome with you..."
Mrs Collins let out a gut-wrenching cry and cut the call.
Luke hoped she would only rant at her husband rather than grab the meat tenderizer to hammer Jasper's balls flat. It was being rather optimistic to expect those two malicious calls would result in two divorces but who knows? Those jerks had no right to fire Luke Coleman on a whim.
Well what now? It had all happened so quickly that Luke had no idea. He'd been the company's designer of new products and product developer. Workers with his talent were scarce and he'd believed his job was secured even through the next Great Flood or lesser world catastrophes.
He went home and told his mom and she hugged him to her skinny frame and said she and his father (a police sergeant) would support him until he found work.
"On one condition Luke and that is you must stop having sex with your sister."
Mae was waiting for his reply and so the guiltless Luke hung his head and murmured, "Okay mom, I won't continue doing it."
"Thank you. I was worried about you doing that to Jennifer because my brother used to bang me and I feared we could be breeding in a family tradition."
Luke had no idea why his mom would think he was getting a leg over Jennifer who was even thinner than his mom, skinny arms and legs and nipples without breast development; it would be like banging a skeleton. Anyway guys banged their moms, not their sisters right? God so Uncle Harry used to bang his sister, Luke's mom? Uncle Harry was an animal.
Three days later after reading the newspaper his dad had left messed up on the sofa, Luke left for a much larger city 150 miles away. The newspaper reported that the number of people nationally being thrown out of work as the result of the world economic downturn was reaching distressing levels.
Yeah right, thought Luke. He was still distressed at being fired but knew sitting around wouldn't get him replacement employment.
He sighed heavily when reading the statistics for manufacturing and top of the list of people in industries being laid off were production designers.
Fucking high school career advisers had 'warmly recommended' he seek a design degree because he'd been very creative since a young kid at making his own model cars, boats, trucks and airplanes. He gained a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts degree and since then had designed household and patio utility furniture and three ultra-modern barstools that had sent the company's sales soaring and the company had had filed for the patent on the design of one of the stools.
Luke left home hoping to get lucky and design something more essential to humanity than utility furniture. The 28-year-old still had the secret desire to design the world's best piece of bedroom furniture that couples would rave about because it was suitable for comfortable copulation in twenty or more positions. But would his mom be proud of that achievement? He sighed and boarded a bus, sitting next to a sweaty fat guy who obviously enjoyed garlic.
The guy left the bus at the first stop about a half-hour into the journey and his seat was taken by a chatty woman who had the annoying habit of continually stroking his arm. That well-time stroking gave Luke an erection he maintained until she fell asleep when he was on the verge of exploding. That was an entirely new experience because until then Luke had always avoided embarrassing himself by developing an erection in any public place apart from the female toilet at the office when invited in by some attractive female to satisfy her needs.
On this occasion Luke was very lucky. The woman slept all the way until the journey ended at the bus station at Sharrock City.
As they disembarked, the woman asked, "Would you like to come home with me?"
"No thank you Mrs Field," Luke lied hastily. "My mother will be waiting for me."
He grabbed his bag and disappeared into the crowd, relieved to have escaped her clutches. But he didn't go too far, aware that cheaper rooming houses tended to be near bus and rail stations. Luke booked into Mrs O'Reilly's Home for Young Gents, hoping 'young gents' didn't mean homosexuals. His goal was to find suitable work quickly and then upgrade his living accommodation.
Victoria, the consultant at the job placement agency where Luke had registered, described his chances of returning to industrial design work at the moment as being highly unlikely. She invited him back next afternoon and in the meantime would review his academic and work record and see what she could find that might interest him.
Luke dug his hands in the pockets of his brown jacket and began walking off and thinking the lazy woman would flick through her screen when he arrived next afternoon and was waiting to be called to her office, and she would pull up a couple of listings such as truck driver and high school janitor.
"Oh Mr Collins... Luke... please come back to the office.
Luke turned and saw the overweight but pleasant bespectacled face of Victoria just outside the entrance to the ground level agency waving.
Huh, had she suddenly remembered the bonus attached to filling the vacancy of high school janitor?
Luke went to her, his face impassive.
"I might have something for you."
He thought no thanks Victoria, you're wearing a wedding ring.
In her office she sat beside him and pulled the monitor screen around to face them.
"A Mrs Sandra Holmes requires a driver for six weeks, living on site and eating with her. The offer is a thousand dollars a week and the driver may have to work some hours every day and of course be on standby 24/7 unless making special arrangements. No other fringe benefits are offered and the driver would be expected to keep both vehicles clean and tidy and in good running order."
"This is an offer that interests me. What does Mrs Holmes do?"
"She's runs a furniture business for her father who has a number of companies."
Victoria brought up a photo of Mrs Holmes' home.
"Mrs Holmes' is a widow. He husband who was an attorney was killed in a small aircraft crash last year. She still lives in the same home at Ashleigh Heights."
It was a single level quality home, obviously architect-designed. Luke thought he could be comfortable there, particularly if he had the run of the property. But what was Mrs Holmes like?
"What is Mrs Holmes like?"
"Well apply for the position and you possibly will find out. Like many of our clients seeing personnel, this listing was conducted via emails. We did receive a photo of Mrs Holmes as part of ID security but that material is confidential to the agency."
"Aw come on Victoria. Show it to me unless you think I'm a stalker or womanizer."
"My impression of you is nothing like that," Victoria said.
She hesitated and Luke looked at her and said please.
Mrs Holmes looked attractive and perhaps no more than thirty-four.
"She looks okay," said Luke casually, thinking no way should he say she looked gorgeous. "At least she looks trustworthy. Yeah I should take a look at the setup."
"You mean an interview at her home?"
"She says here she would interview any candidates at her office and she's interviewed four applicants."
"Please advise her that I wished to see where I would sleep and hang out. Take my photo with your phone camera now and perhaps she might decide I'm trustworthy."
"She's bound to think that," Victoria smiled. "You are a nice looking young man and do possess charm."
Luke had finished eating lunch in a café and was waiting for another coffee when his phone went.
"Hi it's Victoria. Mrs Holmes will meet you at her home at 313 Clifftop Drive, at 6:00 today."
"Thanks Vicki. Did she sound interested in me?"
"Yes and she said the other applicants checked out as deadbeats. At least you assume some authority in attempting to dictate where the interview should be. That's all."
"Thanks Vicki for coming through for me."
Luke watched Mrs Holmes struggle to get out of the cab and he soon saw why. She had her left knee in a brace and walked with elbow crutches.
"Hi Luke," she called, as the cab drove off and he approached her.
"Here give me the door keys and your hand bag and shopping bag."
"Okay," she said cheerfully. "If you are to drive me I have to trust you. Please call me Sandra. It will be six weeks before I can drive."
He opened the front door and Sandra went in and called him to come in.
"Make yourself comfortable while I change."
"Can I fix you a drink?"
"Yes coffee please. You could find a beer in the fridge if you don't want coffee."
"Just water," he said defensively and she laughed and said it wasn't a test, he should grab a beer.
Sandra came into the kitchen wearing shorts and a top and sneakers. The blonde had great legs and breasts that deserved a second glance. Or a fondle. He looked at her friendly face instead and liked the wide mouth and cool blue eyes.
"Why are you sitting here instead of out in the sunroom?"
"I'm waiting to be interviewed."
"Oh there's no need for that, I called your mother."
Luke stared at her.
She explained the agency's report included the phone number of his next of kin, his mother and father. So she called his mother about Luke and received a great report.
"I'm keen to hire you Luke. Everything appears to stack up well. Come out to the sun room."
"I'll grab a beer and fetch your coffee," he said and she smiled.
Later after Luke looked around and saw the swimming pool, he raced back and said he accepted the deal. She said done and although it was probably illegal, she would not register Luke as an employee and would pay him cash $1000 at the end of every seven days.
"When can you start?"
"I'm at a rooming house. I think I have to give a week's notice but..."
"Fetch my handbag from my bedroom Luke."
Sandra handed him $500 and said to take the SUV and end his occupancy at the rooming house and spend a more comfortable night with her. He could then begin work in the morning.
Luke drove off and wondered what the hell had she meant by spending the night with her: did that mean in her more comfortable house or in her bed?
He returned and she smiled and said, "All done" and he handed Sandra $250 back.
"God it must have been a dive," she said.
He grinned and said it would be more comfortable with her.
The 2nd bedroom was across from Sandra's was roomy, comfortable and looked out on to the pool. Luke had a comfortable night and slept well and shortly after dawn put on swim shorts and opened the glass sliding patio door and dived into the pool.
He looked back when resting after five lengths and saw Sandra standing in her dressing gown, resting on her crutches, watching him.
"Good morning, you swim very stylishly."
"I was coached at school and college."
"May I join you?"
Well he could say yes of course, or it's your pool or he'd get out and give her privacy.
Instead he said, "Yes providing you're not nude."
She laughed and shrugged out of her gown and stood in a two-piece swimsuit, too big to be called a bikini.
She walked down into the water, sat on a step and removed her knee brace.
Luke swam over to her.
"Am I permitted to say you have great legs?"
"Well they are lovely. What happened to your leg?"
"I slipped entering the pool at my parent's home and landed hard on the knee two steps down and partially ruptured the quadriceps tendon."
"Well yes and I did scream a bit. I'd thought I was tough until then. Well I've been told the prognosis indicates I'll escape the need for surgery although I'm close to borderline. Providing I follow orders I should be driving in six weeks."
"Is removing the knee brace following orders?"
"Yes, providing I keep the leg fully flexed. This is the first time I have been in the pool. I was told not to attempt this unless someone was in the pool with me."
Luke smiled and said then he was welcome to be in the pool.
"Very welcome. I swim a lot so have missed getting into the water."
"What do I do?"
"Nothing unless I foul up and bend my knee accidentally and scream."
Luke looked at her knee thoughtfully.
"Why don't you buy another knee brace and used it in the pool and in the shower to avoid the risk of an accidental knee bend? A severe bend could undo your healing progress to date."
Sandra thought that was a great idea. She tried to swim but her legs began sinking and that rather unnerved her.
"We should get a couple of those floater things for your ankles that kids have," he suggested and she thought that was another good idea.
"Here I'll tow you about the shallows," he said, holding out his hands.
"No thanks, that won't be necessary."
He came closer and Sandra took a hand. He turned around and she changed her grip to his other hand and also took the other hand and Luke began towing blondie, having made their initial physical contact, and he wondered if that would progress over time.
Almost two hours later, Luke and Sandra left for her office in the SUV. Her other vehicle was a BMW Z3, not the ideal vehicle for a person on crutches.
"Your CV said you were involved in furniture design and your degree is in industrial design."
"You are aware I'm CEO of a company that makes furniture and about half of our business it to custom ordered?"
"I knew you headed a furniture manufacturing company but nothing was said about custom manufacture."
"I see and did you produce any unique designs?"
"Only the one so far, I was engaged in improving designs of existing catalogues but we received a demand for a, quote, exhilarating design of bar stools, unquote, and so managed to come up with something that pleased the client and the company has filed to patent one of my designs."
"Are you meaning the design called 'Cleo Bar Stool'?
"I read an article about it the other day on furniture trends quoting a guy Fryer."
"Jack Fryer was my former department head. I and six others were fired because the company was downsizing. He was lazy and I believe jealous of my success and so he put the skids under me when the boss, Jasper Collins gave the order seven people had to go."
"Oh I know Jasper. I have met him a couple of times at industry conferences. Not a most likeable guy I believe."
Luke grinned and said she had good taste and Sandra laughed and said she had the feeling she and Luke would get along very well. They drove into the big plant and Sandra pointed Luke to the parking space marked CEO on the immediate right of the entrance to the two-level admin building.
Fortunately for the CEO temporarily on crutches, the building had an elevator.
The 45-year-old PA Mrs Zimmerman boggled when told, "Rachel this is my temporary driver Luke Collins. Luke is staying with me so that's his address. Please take his details and arrange to him to have extensions to my fuel card and business credit card with a daily limit on the latter of $500 and get driving details from him and advise our insurance company that I am incapacitated to drive and that Luke will be my regular driver for the next six weeks."
"Yes Sandra, I understand."
"Come through when Rachel has finished with you Luke. Oh Rachel please issue Luke with a Visitor Pass, take his photo and email full details about Luke's temporary appointment to all department heads and managers. Mention he's a qualified industrial designer and has just arrived to live in Sharrock. There's no need to say he is staying at my home. Please issue him with a cell phone with my home, office and your numbers entered in the phone book. Is that a new dress?"