Elsie sat in the waiting room with her right leg balanced across her left knee. She sat there and read the latest celebrity gossip in the Who’s The Hottiest Hottie In Hollywood?? magazine. There were a lot of up and coming actresses who were dating this and that celebrity. Some at the same time. John Mayer’s name kept showing up, along with Benicio Del Toro’s.
It was the mental equivalent of junk food. There was nothing morally uplifting in the magazine, nor anything of any educational value. Nothing but salacious gossip meant to shock and appall and titillate the reader.
Elsie scrutinized the actresses’ dresses. Some were very daring. Others kind of ordinary and cheap looking. Others were so outlandish Elsie couldn’t help but wonder why the actress chose it.
One dress in particular caught Elsie’s critical eye. It was a white maxi dress dotted with sheer spots shaped like raspberries.
Elsie stared and stared at it.
Hildreth would probably like to see me dressed in something like this. Or maybe not. It would completely cover my legs.
But all of those see-through spots would be a bit of a tease. Maybe he would like it on me. Maybe he’d think it looks provocative. Who knows? His mind is a very strange place.
Elsie startled and set the magazine on the chair next to her. She rose to her feet. She stood at attention with her hands limp at her sides.
She opened her mouth to say, “Yes, Master” but then she remembered where she was – the Bedeck Your Soul jewelry store in Havaton.
She walked over to the jeweler, a plump, older woman named Judhai.
Judhai smiled. “Thank you so much for waiting.” Her voice was a strange mix of British and Indian. She enunciated each word with precision and care. It made Elsie think of a typewriter for some reason. “Your rings are ready.” She set two black ring boxes on the counter.
Elsie opened Box #1. It was her ring – smaller size, narrower band. She took it out of the box and read the newly inscribed words inside the band: Els. She smiled and returned it to its rightful home.
She opened Box #2 and took out his ring. The inscription inside his band was likewise nice and simple: Idiot.
I’ll never tell him that it’s there. It will be my secret for him to accidently discover. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. But it will be there for us to always remember.
“Do you like it? Did I do a good job?”
“Yes.” Elsie put the ring back into the box. “Very good. Thank you.”
Judhai smiled a brilliant smile and quickly wrote up the bill.
Elsie couldn’t help herself. She opened his box again and admired the ring inside. Gold. Sleek, silken gold. No patterns. No gemstones.
Just solid gold.
Just like him.
Hildreth is the brightest gold.
Hildreth removed his tuxedo slacks. “Well. That certainly didn’t work as well as I thought it would. Too bad. It would have been awesome. I’d whip off my tuxedo slacks….or wait. Do I let her whip them off?”
He gave it some consideration. It seemed to be very provocative either way.
“Huh. Anyway, one of us would tear off the poor darlings and ta-da! Boom! There they are!” He rubbed his hands down the sides of his leather-clad legs. “These smacking, delicious duds just waiting to be removed.”
He laughed as he imagined her reaction. “She’d be so mad at me giving her one more layer to peel. She’d probably punch me. At least, she would try. I’d block her, of course, which would just fire her further up, which would get me all steamed up.”
He imagined that scenario a bit too vividly. “Yeah, I probably don’t want to wear two pairs of slacks, especially with one pair being as close fitting at this. Things could get way too uncomfortable way too quickly.”
Hildreth grinned. “I will wear these for hunting. Elsie will go nuts, but oh. It would be so worth it.”
His phone rang and he answered it. “Hey, this is the Hildreth Mayhew Hot Lipstick Service. We gladly service any and all hot lipsticks.”
There was a long, long pause. “Mayhew?”
Hildreth stood at attention. “Master Shinowa.”
“Open front door. I am outside.”