Letter to the Artist Ch. 02by1rndm1©
Edited by meathead96
"No Greta, I won't do it!" Jac stood up in anger, but winced slightly at the soreness that shot through her muscles due to yesterday's activities.
Greta was surprised, again, by Jac's sudden outburst. It seemed that any mention of that artist seemed to put her in a fit of rage. Greta was also mindful of the fact that Jonathan instructed her that Jerzy specifically requested her. "Well I suppose I can send Stacey instead..." Greta knew that Jac hated Stacey's superficial personality the most.
Jac suddenly felt sick at the image of Stacey interviewing Jerzy. The woman did not deserve the grace of her artist. She paused to collect herself, but she was seething against this trap.
"Is this Jonathan's idea or is it his?" Jac asked quietly still trying to contain her anger.
The tone of her voice and the emotion she was pouring made Greta suspect that there was something deeper going on between the two. Whatever it was, Greta was glad. Finally, someone was making Jac lively. Yes it was anger, but at least she saw signs of life in her cold associate editor.
"How in the hell should I know... or should I care? You're doing the interview. End of discussion. You'll find what you need here," Greta handed her Jerzy's contact. She headed to the door and paused. "Oh, and don't be late."
Jac watched Greta leave her office. Was that a wink? Jac pondered before reading her directive.
"Mother f---" she grabbed her purse before she could finish her profane words. She was to meet Jerzy at The Biltmore at 4:30 and it was already 4:20.
She ran out of her office annoyed and angry at the same time. She kept a standard of never missing an appointment or ever being late for one. She always met her deadlines regardless. And this stunt, his stupid little stunt, was making her lose even that standard.
After walking at great speeds, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic, Jac was now pushing the UP button of one of the main elevators of The Biltmore. She looked at her watch as she waited impatiently for the doors to open. It was 4:30.
She heard the familiar ring and the elevator doors opened. She was just about to step inside when the tall, hulking form of a man that was Jerzy Gorszewski emerged through the elevator doors.
"You're late," he said as he walked briskly past her.
Her frustrations were mounting. She was stunned at arrogance. She expected he would seduce her during the interview. Secretly, in the back of her mind, she waited for it. She did not, however, expect him to ignore her. He didn't even spare her a single glance.
"I wasn't really given much choice," she retorted defiantly as she stood rooted by the elevators. She watched him stride toward the main entrance. She knew he wasn't going to wait for her.
"Wait, where are you going?" she asked in annoyance as she began to follow him outside. She walked briskly in an attempt to catch up with his strides.
He had been ignoring her purposely. It was his plan to make her come to him. But the minute he set his eyes on her by the elevator, he knew he had to ignore her or else he would have pulled her inside the elevators and had his wicked ways with her. She wore a short summer dress; its dark green colors accentuated her reddish brown hair. The light and loose fitting dress revealed the creamy white skin of her slender thighs. He decided he liked that color on her, for it accentuated everything. Her skin, her eyes and her luscious pink lips. It was going to be a long and painful day for him.
He looked up the street and saw the upcoming bus just a block away. "I take it you've never taken public transportation before?"
"I don't see the relevance..." She saw his distant gaze and turned her head to see what he was looking at. There she saw the orange MTA bus heading their direction.
She whirled around and saw a smug grin escaping his lips.
"But the interview!" she stared in disbelief as he boarded the bus without even acknowledging her. Jac let out an exasperated groan and followed him in pursuit.
She didn't even stop to realize that one needed to pay upon boarding a bus. The driver rolled her eyes at her.
"Its fifty cents," the bus driver said with exasperation in her eyes.
Jac was annoyed. Who the hell carries change in their pockets? All she had on her was a one hundred dollar bill, her check book and her Master Card. She fished out her wallet and waved the one hundred dollar bill at the driver.
The bus driver laughed. "Lady! We don't give change. Now you're holding up my line. Either you pay or get off my bus!"
Jac was shocked in disbelief. She was about to storm off on the woman for talking to her that way when Jerzy stepped in and paid for her fare. He smiled at the driver and dragged her along by the arm. He sat her down in the back of the bus.
"There is a whole world around you and you don't even know it," he huffed at her as he stared into the distance. "You owe me fifty cents."
Jac laughed sarcastically as she fished out her moleskin and pen from her purse. "Can we please get this over with?"
"Put that away," he said, noting her moleskin. "Today you're just going to watch."
She laughed haughtily. "Listen, if you think you're going to tell me how to do my---"
"Have you ever just stopped and watched the world around you?" he asked quietly, interrupting her rant.
"What?" she was confused and taken by his question and was slightly annoyed.
"Look at that woman over there," he nodded his head to the young woman a few seats before them with a child in her arms. "What do you think her story is?"
Jac looked about the empty bus and found a young woman cradling a baby in her arms. The child was probably only a few months old. The woman looked so tired and haggard, but the twinkle in her eyes as she looked at her child made it seem that everything will be alright.
"I don't think about it," Jac said flatly as she ignored the look she saw in the woman's eyes.
Jerzy chanced a look at the beautiful woman next to him and saw the thoughts brewing in her eyes as she watched the young woman with her child. "You're not as cold as you think are," he said quietly to her.
It angered her that he knew what she was thinking. "I'm thinking she should have aborted that child. If she truly did love that child, she would have never thought of bringing up that child in this sad reality," she replied coldly. "Does that answer your question?"
"But you agree, you see the love she has for the child. To have given up on that child without giving it a chance to fight and live is the worst thing she could have done."
Jac remained silent at his words. She watched the woman again. She knew this was true. The woman's love for her child would be the one thing that would keep her going to give her child the best life possible. Despite the hardship, she would do it because of her love. Jac was suddenly envious of the woman. She had something to love. Something to live for.
"I never said I agreed to anything and quite frankly I don't---" her haughty rant ended when the bus hit a pot hole and her body was thrown closer to him. Her hand instinctively grabbed onto his thigh for support. She felt the hard muscles of his thigh and squeezed it absentmindedly, reveling at the feel of the heat emanating through his jeans
Jerzy nearly lost himself as the softness of her body pressed closely to him. The hand near his crotch had him hard instantly as he felt her squeeze inquisitively at his muscles. She heard a grunt and realized how close her hand was to his crotch. She immediately removed her hand and folded her arms across her chest trying so very hard not to blush.
She should be ashamed of herself for reacting to him so easily. How her body responded at the mere touch of him was annoying. Jerzy looked down at her and saw a blush creeping up her cheeks. He also couldn't help what he had been trying to avoid. His eyes traveled down lower. His height gave him a generous view of the tops of her breasts, which were now pushed together because of her arms.
He moved uncomfortably in his seat as he hardened even more at the sight of her cleavage. This was definitely going to be the longest day of his life.
"You're not trying," he warned her as he wound the disposable camera.
He thought she looked so cute looking like a petulant child
"Tell me why I have to do this again?" Jac felt like a fool holding up some sort of Polish figurine before the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park this time of day. First he had her take pictures at John Wayne's footprints at the Chinese Theater, next to a John Wayne impersonator, now this?
"Don't move!" he commanded before he took the picture. She just looked so damn beautiful with her hair up in a loose bun. There was a bead of sweat that ran down her neck and how he just wanted to lick that sweet spot and taste her again.
She walked towards him and handed him the figurine. She was in the middle of a mountain trail sweating her ass off and taking pictures with a figurine. This was most definitely the worst interview in her life. She was working down the main trail when she was suddenly hit by a memory.
In her youth she would go with her best friend Dagny, who belonged to a family of avid adventurers, to hike hidden trails around Los Angeles. She remembered the trail so well because it was the last time she talked to Dagny. It was her very own goodbye to her best friend when she gave up her fight to live years ago. Without thought, she moved past the tree line and began following the rarely traveled path.
It was nearly sundown and he checked his watch to make sure of the time. He wanted to catch the show at the observatory, but it seemed his writer had other plans. He watched her disappear into the bushes and he suddenly felt a momentary panic of the dangers that awaited her.
"Jac!" he yelled in an angry and scolding tone as he followed immediately behind her. He had to duck down a couple branches for the trail she was following was definitely unused.
"Will you calm down," she said as she ducked under a branch to reach a clearing that revealed an unobstructed view of the city. She stood there silently watching the setting sun.
Jerzy reached the clearing and the view it presented of the city was beautiful. The pink and orange and blue hues of the sky made it all the more breathtaking. He watched Jac's form against it all and everything else paled in comparison to her. He joined her in the clearing and stood closely beside her as he enjoyed the view in silence.
"My neighbor, he owns a cow. That's all he has now," he said quietly breaking their comfortable silence.
"You asked why I'm making you do all these things," he began again trying to explain. "He's never been to America. His wife always wanted to be a Hollywood movie star. She died two years ago. That figurine, it was hers."
Jac wanted to laugh at his honesty. This whole thing was all for a man who owned a cow?
"And John Wayne?" she asked trying to contain her amusement.
"When I was growing up, he would always tell me 'Get off your horse and drink your milk.'"
Jac couldn't help the smile that was creeping up her face. Who would have thought that somewhere in Poland, a farmer would be quoting John Wayne. Jerzy did not miss the smile that escaped her lips. He smiled to himself. He was getting close.
"I've forgotten how beautiful this is," she said quietly staring off into the distance.
He watched her intently. He wanted to kiss her desperately, but he restrained himself violently. It had to be her choice this time to come to him. How his hands itched to hold her small and delicate ones.
"You know I used to come here with my best friend," her gaze was distant as if recalling a fond memory. She let out a small laugh. "We'd ditch class and go for hikes. We were such nerds," she said as she pondered on their activities. While many kids ditched school to go to the mall or watch movies or drink alcohol and do drugs in between, she and Dagny would hide away in her own private stretch of beach and would just go surfing and read books and light a bonfire and pretend they were two castaways marooned on an island.
She looked up to Jerzy with a genuine smile on her face. It was a small smile, but it was real. "You know we would go down to my beach and ju---" Jac immediately stopped herself when she realized Jerzy was looking intently at her. He seemed happy for some reason. She immediately averted her eyes from him and again stared off into the sunset.
She looked so beautiful with that smile, Jerzy thought. He just wanted to hold her in his arms and have her smiling. He knew he would do everything in his power to have her smiling again. He wanted to say something, to ask her more about herself, but he knew this moment was much more important than any spoken word. They watched the sun set beyond the horizon, together, in comfortable silence.
"You're going to miss that show if you keep staring at something that's not there anymore," Jac said as she waited for him by the tree line. Jerzy sighed at her stubborn head and only smiled at her before entering the forgotten trail again.
Jac was so confused at her feelings for this man. She followed him close behind as he led them back to the main trail. She wanted to hold onto his arms, be held by his hands, but at the same time resented the fact that he made her feel this way.
She followed him close behind and watched his walking form. The top of her head barely reached his shoulders. She wanted to rest her head on his back and just hold onto him and stay there in that moment, lost in that embrace. She wanted to keep him away from those shallow people. They didn't deserve him. She just wanted to hold onto him. But she knew she couldn't. She couldn't weaken now.
She quickened her pace and soon overtook him down the trail. She couldn't watch him so closely. She couldn't bare it. She busied herself with the path toward the observatory, intent on purchasing the tickets for the show at the planetarium.
They sat in their reclined seats as they looked up at the dome of the planetarium where the stars were projected against it. It almost seemed real, as if they were outside gazing up at the galaxy itself. The woman who told the story of how the planets came to be had a soothing and lulling voice.
They were practically lying next to each other as they watched the projected stars surround them. She knew it was all an illusion created by technology to enhance the experience, but somehow, Jac felt so tiny and alone in this fake universe.
Her hand suddenly sought out Jerzy's. She felt his gaze shift to her, but not once did she take her gaze away from the dome. "Don't get any ideas," she said coldly. Jerzy just smiled silently to himself and squeezed and held on tightly to hers.
They were back downtown by 10 pm. The bus ride back was a quiet, yet comfortable one. They sat across from each other, the bus nearly empty at that hour. His gaze never left hers. He wasn't smiling physically, but she could see that his eyes were. He looked happy. Jac kept her face cold and distant. "You can't weaken now, not now," she repeated in her head.
They had just gotten off the corner of Pico and 12th Street and were making their way back up to Grand when a man poked his head out the window of a two story brownstone building.
"Yo! You guys here for the party?" the man with dreadlocks bellowed above them.
Jac ignored the man and kept going but Jerzy, amused, looked up at the man. "Yeah," he answered.
"Cool! Just go out back to the alley."
Jac looked back at Jerzy in disbelief. "You're not serious are you?" she looked up at the marquee on the building. "It says Venus Printing for crying out loud."
Jerzy just grinned at her, hands in his pocket, and proceeded to the alley. Jac let out, yet again, an exasperated sigh as she followed him into the dark alley.
The building was most definitely a warehouse. It had exposed wooden beams and painted white bricks. The place was old and dilapidated, but somehow everything looked cozy. There was one narrow hallway and the small warehouse was divided into three rooms.
Jac watched the people and her surroundings. She would never have imagined being present at a place such as this, through an alley. But she watched as people conversed among themselves easily without pretension. There were bands playing in each room and people were dancing... silly, but it was carefree.
Jac had been to many warehouse parties, but this one was genuine. There were no event planners and photo ops with the press and big names to drop here and there. They were just people having a good time to good music. She was beginning to like the cozy and intimate atmosphere of the place.
Jerzy headed towards the makeshift bar of one of the rooms to get some drinks when the bartender greeted him with a big smile. "You're Polish!"
"Yes," Jerzy replied in his native tongue.
"You are new in the country?" the bartender asked. It was the beginning of a conversation spoken in Polish.
"No," Jerzy smiled. "I'm just here for business."
"Gods, I am so happy right now! I have not met anyone from the old country in a while now," The bartender said with the most enthusiastic smile. "Ah! We must drink for the mother land. I have been meaning to share this vodka from Krakow. Its very strong." The bartender ran and disappeared in one of the rooms only to come back with a large and dusty bottle. "I am Iwan by the way," he said extending his hand.
"Jerzy,)" he said shaking the man's hand.
"So what business, if you don't mind my asking, brought you this side of the world?" Iwan asked as he poured them their drinks.
Jerzy smiled at Iwan and turned his head toward Jac, who was standing across the room. "That kind of business," he took a swig of his vodka.
The two men started laughing and Jac could not help but hear the booming sound coming from Jerzy. She watched him converse with the bartender and he seemed so at ease.
"You are a brave man," Iwan said as he poured them another. "She looks... cold. Don't get me wrong. She looks beautiful... but cold."
Jerzy chuckled. "You have no idea!" Jerzy looked at Jac again. She stood out among crowd. She looked like a cold and beautiful goddess that graced their presence. "She's warming up though. She just doesn't know it yet."
Iwan watched Jerzy stare at the woman with so much love that he couldn't help but laugh. "Brother, you are in so much trouble."
Jerzy chuckled and nodded. "I know. I know. But do me a favor. When she comes over, just play along."
Jac approached the bar and over heard them speaking in what she could only guess as Polish. She ignored Jerzy as best as she could and planned on ordering just a glass of water. She opted out of alcohol because technically, she was on the job. And quite frankly, she hated losing control of her mind and body.
Then she heard Jerzy mumble something in Polish to the bartender. It was obviously pertaining to her because the man looked at her first and then nodded to Jerzy.
"What did he say?" she demanded in a cold manner.
The bartender just smiled at her and said, "He said not to give you anything alcoholic."
Jac laughed coldly and glared at Jerzy. "Well in that case, give me the strongest one you've got."