Chapter 5, page 5

He didn't do a hard sell, just shook the floppy brown hair out of his kind eyes and explained, in his modest and slightly goofy way, what zDepth's multiplayer game was all about. When the crowds lagged, Rebecca and Howie chatted about the office, lightly touching on gossipy subjects, and then veered easily onto favorite movie, book and website topics, along with anecdotes from their respective childhood, hers in a remote mountain town, his in an edgy northern city.  "It rained all the time," he mentioned, "so I'd do a lot of puzzles and fool around with electronics."
   "It was hot all the time, so I'd make doll houses by the river," Rebecca remembered, a rush of fondness for her childhood warming her to the story. "The dolls were rolled up leaves with stick arms. Their beds were moss I'd peel off the big rocks."
    Rebecca asked how Mikka was adjusting to Bears River Elementary and got a full report on her 5th grade academics and antics. "I loved 5th grade," said Rebecca. "We ruled that playground!"
   When Gina and Molly appeared to relieve them of booth duty, Howie asked "Wanna grab a bite to eat?"
   "Oh!" flushed Rebecca, "I'd love to, but I've got to get back to the hotel. Tark has a press meeting this afternoon."
    "I bet he does," grinned Howie, inexplicably. "See ya'!"
    Rebecca hurried back to the hotel. She needed to shower, change, do her hair and make sure the press packets were orderly and fanned out on gleaming table tops, along with business cards and water bottles that bore the zDepth logo.
    Over dinner that night, strangely just the two of them, a journalist arranging to meet instead at the Hard Rock Cafe later, Tark complimented Rebecca on her recent performance. "You've really got this stuff down, Rebecca. I can use you on other projects. There'll be travel, of course, and more compensation."
    The evening passed with a thrill. They sped from venue to venue in Tark's flashy car, parked and fetched by valets. Rebecca felt surrounded by glamorous people who were on the knife edge of all the latest technology, a youthful, smart, and wealthy crowd. She proudly overheard Tark say "She's my personal assistant. Owns a lot of land in the Sierras. Beautiful land, water rights."
   They arrived back at the hotel late, giddy on champagne and white powder sniffed off a mirror. Tark, his tie loosened, hair mussed, pushed Rebecca as if they were dancing, through his room door and onto the bed.  "Leave the pearls," he said in a husky voice as she slipped off her blue spandex dress.
    Tark was deft and authoritative. Rebecca felt graceful, then unleashed, and then completely satisfied.  They made love twice more that night, in different positions and fully naked, so unlike the time with J.D., her t-shirt and socks still on.
    "I want you," Tark mumbled in a brisk tone reminiscent of their early morning scheduling briefs, "to get waxed. Go to the hotel spa. They'll do a full bikini. You'll be smooth as a peach." and then a deep breath, "And never pass gas near me, ever. I can't stand that." Then he was silent, sound asleep.
    Rebecca lay still next to Tark, shock stifling what might be a sob or guffaw.  He wanted her waxed? He didn't want her to fart? How could she not, on occasion, slip up.  What would the consequences be? Rebecca eased herself out of bed, gathered up her things and went back to her room to pack.

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