Flash: Clear Glass

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Hey, Amanda.” Jeff tilted the sleeping baby at the laptop, the five month old sound asleep. “Mandi says ‘hi’.”

“Somehow I doubt that.” Amanda eyes softened looking at the little girl.

“No, I distinctly remember hearing her saying ‘tell Mommy I love her’ between the diaper changes and spit-up.”

Chuckling, the woman on the other side of the world took a sip from a red mug she had stolen from his kitchen. “I don’t see how you get any work done with a baby around.”

“It helps to work from home.” Jeff shifted his daughter for a better hold. “Takes longer to put in an eight-hour day; I still got another hour before I call it a day. But I can still get the work done. The challenge will be two months from now during the installation in Los Angeles for the new VP; my mother is flying out to help with that.”

“I liked meeting them.”

“Yep, well, that was over the Internet. You haven’t gone through the Reid Grilling, Mistress Troglodyte.” Rocking the baby, Jeffrey continued. “My brother and sisters in-laws are still recovering, and Min-ju married in over a decade ago. So, what is the big news that kept you away yesterday?”

“Two pieces. First, I hate you.”

Jeffrey swallowed, suppressing the flinch from the pain the words inflicted. “Isn’t it suppose I’ve got two pieces of news, one good and one bad. Which one do you want first?”

“Nope, because you are going to think they are both good news.” Amanda snarled, though a teasing twinkle played around her eyes. “Aksel, not so much. In fact he and my doctor might just fly out to clobber you.”

“Why … You’re pregnant!?!” The baby’s eyes opened at the loud noise. Jeffrey immediately rocked and cooed at her until the eyes closed again.

“Yes,” she hissed.

“But we used a condom and everything.”

“Not everything. I wasn’t on birth control yet.” Amanda growled into her cup. “The doctor took me off caffeine immediately. And he wants less stress this time because of Mandi’s low birth weight.”

“Good luck with that.” Jeffrey smirked at the computer screen, while walking over to lay the baby down in the crib. He returned a moment later. “The less stress, I mean, sweet cheeks. I know you can kick your caffeine habit whenever you need to, and anyone else who annoys you during withdrawal.”

“You aren’t going to go all googy-eyes and demand I marry you and give up this life?”

“Why on Earth would I do that? If anything, I expect you to demand to marry me someday and keep me alive in the style I’ve become accustomed. Making you sandwiches in the kitchen and babies in the bedroom.”

“That would need a prenuptial.”

“Of course.” Jeffrey jerked his head back as if in surprise that anything else could possibly be considered. “Gods always have pre-nupts, can’t go mixing powers without them.”

She laughed. “You are crazy.”

“And a god. I have that on good authority.” Jeffrey’s voice dropped an octave into his pretend seduction voice.

“Yes, a god.” Amanda rolled her eyes in response, smiling just for him, before her watch went off. She slammed back the rest of her weak tea. “Got to go.”

“Wait, what it the other thing?”

“I’ll tell you when I get off work.” Amanda stood, reaching for the off switch on the screen.

Jeffrey hurriedly begged. “Don’t make me stay up all night worrying about it.”

She sigh and settled back into the chair. “You know John Tennyson, the head of the International Division, retired.”

“Yeah, it’s why I have to go to Los Angles.”

“Well I was on the short list until they found out I got knocked up.” Amanda voice lowered into a snarl. “When I didn’t bother taking significant maternity leave and Copenhagen worked like a well-oiled machine through it all, I was put back on the list. In two months, I will be moving to Los Angles.”

“No! You are the next Vice President of International Activities?” Jeffrey’s with teeth shined against his dark skin, the congratulatory smile going from ear-to-ear.

“With Americans choosing? What do you think?”Amanda’s lips curled to show all her teeth in a very different expression from her lover’s. “They are going to bring Brian Jennings on permanently, and I will be his second. The one to do the traveling, since I speak the languages and have the degree in International law.”


Amanda’s eyebrows raised; Jeffrey never cursed outside of the bedroom. “I know why I am angry…” Her voice faded out.

“And you are going to do amazing, and you still just got a great promotion, and you will be in America. All pluses.” Jeffrey clicked off the pluses on his hand, then switched hands. “But (1) you deserved the International Division and to hold you back because of the baby is just stupid. Still we don’t know all the factors about the Board’s decision, so maybe it isn’t stupid. But (2) Brian Jennings is a stupid, more than. He is a crony-oriented, fucking idiot.”

“Tell me how you really feel.” Amanda looked at her watch. “I’ll catch the next train. It’s not like Aksel is there until eight anyway. What has he done to you?”

“Not him. The crony he put in place over technical.” Jeffrey pushed back his beginning afro, he really needed to get to the barber sometime soon, “Ralph Miller is not only a fucking idiot, but a misogynistic fucking idiot. He already got two of our best females to quit before Darsh and I put in a redirect on his email so all his communications go through us before going out to the group or being returned to him.” Jeff started pacing, glancing at the screen. “I’ve been promising everyone only two more months before we can get rid of Up-chuck Ralph.”

“Do you want the job?”

“Hell, no.” Jeff froze, realizing she had a genuine interest. “No, really. I would suck at it. I can muddle through, but it’s Trish who is basically running our department with Darsh and me doing the interference. I want to be home with the baby. Babies. Making sandwiches and coffee for my woman.”

“So who is Trish?” Amanda smiled her shark smile. “I might be able to get a crony or two in myself.”

Jeff imitated the expression. “The files will be in your in-box by the time you get to work.”

(Words 1079, first published 4/7/2019)


The complete Red Mug series:
3/17/19 – Red Mug
3/24/19 – Green Cheeks
3/31/19 – Copenhagen Blue
4/7/19 – Clear Glass
4/14/19 – Gold Bands

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