Marriage Of Convenience

By: Cher Etan

“Found who?” Jaime Leary asked, obviously poised to be either excited or perturbed.

“The girl; the one who I can marry,” Jonathon said.

“What makes you say that? Because the last three times you told me you’d found someone they turned out to be a bust…don’t make me say Britney Marshall dear,” Jaime said.

Jonathon winced, “Please mother, no need to go there. This one’s different.”

“They’re all different. What was the one with the red hair called?” she reminded him. Jonathon closed his eyes.

“At least give me the benefit of the doubt that I learn from my experiences,” Jonathon said.

“Three times Jonny! Three.” Jaime repeated.

“Okay, well you don’t have to take my word for it, come to Atlanta.”

“Not right now dear, you know your father’s memorial is coming up. The Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund is holding an event this weekend. Did you forget?”

“No,” Jonathon mumbled because he actually had. His mother was very active in that community which was great, it kept the memory of his father alive. But it was also terrible because it kept the memory of his father alive. Sometimes Jonathon felt like they were living in a bubble situated just post-9/11 where they re-lived over and over again the day his father failed to come home from work. He still missed his father; his booming laugh and the way he was always ready for anything, be it wiping the dishes after dinner, playing soccer with Jonny after school or rushing into a collapsing building to save its occupants. He always felt inadequate to fill his father’s huge shoes; he just wasn’t the man his father had been.

Of course, this was severely reinforced by his grandfather who treated him like an errant child, not to be trusted with adult business. James Maitland was a movie star whose star had shone bright in the nineteen forties and fifties. He’d starred in several Hollywood features and made a buttload of money which he then proceeded to invest really wisely. As a result, he’d turned a few million dollars into a billion dollar empire which had its hand in several cakes. He was behind the production of some major box office hits, plus several emerging businesses that had grown to be household names. He’d never married, but one of the starlets he’d slept with had gifted him with a daughter in the late sixties. They weren’t exactly close but Jaime Maitland received all the perks that having a billionaire for a father could provide…except having that father in her life on a regular basis. Her mother was not a successful actress and eventually died of a drug overdose when Jaime was eighteen. She moved to New York from Los Angeles to attend the Lee Strasburg Theater and Film Institute at the aegis of her father. Mostly though, she just wanted to get as far away from him and the life as possible. She’d grown up surrounded by Hollywood excess, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and she was sick of it. She had a love of the arts and wanted to do something in that line but she wanted to do it away from the empty noise and artificiality of her life in Los Angeles.

She moved into a studio apartment in downtown New York and got a job at an art gallery. She and her school friends worked hard and played hard, frequenting the dive bars in SoHo over the weekend, wanting to mingle with the bohemians there. One such evening, she was on a date; having coffee with a man she’d met at the art gallery when she looked up and met the eyes of their waiter.

“And what can I get for you today?” he asked. He had piercing blue eyes, black curly hair and the body of a rugby player. Jaime’s mouth went dry.

“Er,” she said.

“We’ll have two cappuccinos and we’ll share a chocolate cake slice thank you,” her date cut in. The waiter, his name was Tommy Leary, did not break eye contact with her the whole time her date was speaking.

“Coming right up,” he said as he walked away. Jaime’s eyes couldn’t help following the sway of his extremely tight ass… until her date startled her by grabbing her arm. He began to regale her with tales of his yacht and sailing on the weekends and his last trip to the Bahamas. Jaime listened politely, all the while making plans to come back as soon as possible and find Tommy Leary again.

She came back the next day and asked for him by name. He emerged from the kitchen, a puzzled frown on his face, clearly not understanding what was happening. When his eyes fell on her however, the frown cleared and he smiled.

“You came back,” he said.

“Of course I did,” she replied.

Tommy straightened up, “I’m off at six, would you like to have a beer with me?”

Jaime smiled happily at him, “I thought you’d never ask.”

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