'King' Caine and Kitty
Mobile vehicle grooming business owner Bert Bartlett, rubbing an itchy ear, said to his wife Carolyn, "Take that new guy Luke, who started this morning, with you to fumigate Bruce Keyte's Jag. He needs to take VIP clients to view a property at noon today.
"Everyone else is out on jobs. Bruce's wife threw up in the car last night when they were coming home from a dinner party."
Carolyn snapped, "She's such a common bitch. Look, get someone else. I'm our administrator not one of your flunkies, and anyway I haven't groomed a vehicle for nigh on 10 years. Divert a duo from a less urgent job."
Bruce complained, "Fuck, you have become so uncooperative, Carolyn. There was a time when you'd wipe my dick after you-know-what."
"Yeah, well how long is it since you have engaged in you-know-what with me?"
Kitty, their red-headed 28-year-old, dropping in with her mum's dry-cleaning and said, "God, you two are at each other's throat again. Keep your mouth's shut if you can't converse civilly."
Carolyn snatched the two dresses from her tough-arse daughter and fled, yelling, "It's an emergency, your father wants you to take a new recruit to clean the Keyte's Jaguar after Phyllis emptied her guts over dashboard last night."
"Dad, that's impossible. I'm on my way to tennis coaching."
"Fucking women," Bert roared. "Do what your mother requested, otherwise leave home tomorrow permanently."
"Dad," Kitty protested.
"Just do it," Bert said, calming himself. "I'll phone the Sports Centre and advise you have gone for an infectious disease test."
Horrified and back-pedalling, Kitty said, "All right, all right. I'll do it but tell Gwen at tennis admin that I have bad period cramps."
"What are they?"
"Just tell her dad, there's no need for you to know. Is this guy one of your usual deadbeats?"
"He's Luke Caine. His dad is a pal of mine. You'll find him reading the Staff Manual in the smoko room."
Luke was reading the morning newspaper when at neat-looking chick with flaming red hair, oh and really cute tits, burst into the room and snarled, "Come on."
He leaned back, obviously mentally undressing her, and drawled, "Where to, honey?"
"To a fucking job, that's where. Now get off your arse and we're off."
"First, give me some ID and..."
The side of Luke's jaw felt inflamed and his right ear was ringing loudly.
Christ, the bitch had hung one on him.
He wound up a retaliatory punch and collapsed that intent immediately upon noticing she'd dropped into a defensive stance.
"Coming," he muttered, rising sheepishly. "This must be urgent."
They reached the clapped-out Holden ute (pick-up), as all other pristine-condition work vehicles to provide a first-rate company image, were out on jobs.
Gingerly rubbing his jaw, Luke thought it best he should not offer to drive. Besides, she was already climbing into the driver's seat showing an impossible length of perfect leg due to her fashion dress that appearing modelled on a tennis frock.
The woman backed the ute out of the wide doorless garage stall at speed, spun the vehicle around to face the street, and gunned the vehicle, turning recklessly on to Forsyth Street, the tyres probably smoking.
Christ, what a gal!
"I'm the co-proprietors' daughter Kitty Bartlett, filling in for an emergency. Who are you?"
He thought of saying Father Christmas but his sore jaw warned him not to be flippant.
"Luke Caine miss, the latest admirer of your perfect body."
"Luke, be warned, I'm capable of crippling you temporarily or permanently, whichever is required. I suggest you keep your nasty male mind to yourself and simply treat me respectfully; err imagine yourself as my favourite brother."
"Why are you kidnapping me?"
The vehicle wobbled as she was seized by mirth.
"Omigod," she laughed. "You do have rather twisted humour. In my experience, new-start employers are eager to please the boss's daughter. They don't expect to find from day one that she can be a real bitch."
Luke swallowed and reminded himself he had balls.
"I've just read the estimated 550-word Staff Manual. It stated new recruits would receive 2.5 days of tuition before being let loose on the public."
"Cripes mate, you are probably the only recruit in years who has read and digested my parents' Staff Manual. Well, here's the explanation."
"The Mayor of this municipality of Greater Sydney is one of the best property salesmen in all of Australia. He could sell an outdoor shithouse to a retiring Army General who had no intention of purchasing such a questionable and outdated liability."
"The Mayor married the best fuck any real estate office has ever had, but unfortunately she's near-brainless without style. Last night she threw up from the passenger seat of his premier-model Jaguar limo. He needs it at midday to take two Arab Sheiks and their bodyguards to inspect Cosy Cove, a non-surfing beach, and therefore is targeted for development as a new port for container shipping to ease congestion at Sydney."
"Ah, part of the Mayor's selling arsenal is picking up clients in his prestige limo?"
"Omigod, Luke, you were born with at least half-a-brain."
"Thanks for the compliment, Kitty. Look, treat this outing like you would our first sexual encounter. You lead and I'll apply the grunt."
"Omigod, are you a qualified professional sex tutor?"
Luke said indignantly, "No."
"Then how is it... oh, I know. You have amassed experience at dealing with females and, possibly, males, who are passionate about leading when having sex?"
"Yes," he said smugly.
"Well listened carefully. Try anything that appears suspiciously like a sexual overture on me and your dick will be ripped out by the roots and shoved up your butt"
Luke reached for the door handle figuring it would have safer for him to leap out than remain within reach of this maniacal misandrist.
However, alert Kitty catching his panic, punched the central locking control and sped the vehicle to 120 kph, making the jumping-ship alternative possibly fatal.
"Stay with me Luke. If Mobile Vehicle Grooming fails the Mayor in his hour of business need, our company is doomed in this city."
"Luke, how sensitive of you to say that. My respect for you has increased enormously."
He thought the lying, conniving bitch, but mouthed carefully, "That sounds rather complimentary."
The driver patted him affectionately, just above the knee.
Luke was horrified to feel an erection in the making. That was an invitation to be crippled.
He countered such possible provocation by returning to a safe level of penile flaccidity, simply by picturing the present-day gorgeous Kitty as an old hag by the time she was thirty-five.
They stopped in the compound of a non-descript warehouse on the fringe of the city centre.
"Why are we here?"
"This is the Mayor's home and on the far side of it is his office overlooking fairways of the Cosy Bay Golf Course where he does the majority of his finalising busines negotiations. Now behave respectfully within the presence of His Worship."
"You clown," she sighed. "Address me as Kitty."
"Okay, was your nickname at high school Pussy."
"Omigod, there's evidence of the existence of the other half of your brain."
Luke stood eyeing the gunmetal blue Jag when Kitty said, "Unload the vacuum cleaner from the back of the ute, Luke. One would think you've never seen the top model super-class Jag favoured by Middle East nobility."
"I've ridden in it many times, even driven it twice when the Mayor was too pissed to climb aboard unaided."
"Bullshit," she laughed.
Mayor Bruce Keyte emerged from the warehouse home and ignored Kitty, saying in surprise, "Hi Luke, what the fuck are you doing hanging around Kitty. Is she banging you?"
"Nah, Brucie. Just started working for her old man this morning. You know I like keeping mobile with flexible hours, and have negotiated that in my contract."
Kitty, with her mouth still gaping, finally said in astonishment, "Y-you two know one another?"
"Oh, hi Kitty. Yes, when Luke was a kid, he delivered my morning newspaper right to the front door for four years just because I was his father's golf buddy and when our four was short of a player, Luke would fill in for us. The kid has been a scratch player (on zero handicap on all rated golf courses) since he was fifteen but has no ambition to become a golf pro. He just liked working flexible hours and heading for the beach whenever surfing conditions are optimal."
Kitty made the astonishing connection.
Turning to her companion, she cooed, addressing the 24-year-old natural blond with new-found respect, "Omigod Luke, you are probably 'King' Caine, one of our local surfing legends."
"Yeah, I suppose that refers to me, but that bullshit promo is simply news media drivel generated by the surfing magazines spilling into newspaper and broadcasting media and stimulated when I'm short of cash and compete to take out an event or two that have attracted surfing pros."
Bruce smirked, "Kitty, you are hearing how it is from the modest Luke 'King' Caine. He honestly believes he's almost a nobody but happens to take out a surfing comp title and has chalked up five holes-in-one during rounds in golf, two of those witnessed by me. I apologise Luke for suggested Kitty was shagging you."
Alarmed, Luke backed further away from Kitty but she laughed and said, "Stay Luke, you are not the aggressor in this instance. We'll get started, Bruce. Dad says this one is on him because of the numerous new clients you have referred to mum and him."
"Oh right. Say, how is your mum?"
"Whose fucking her these days?"
Kitty turned scarlet and told the Mayor to cease making such an assertion. She looked and saw that Luke was studying his sneakers intently.
* * *
The duo's teamwork to clean and sanitize the interior of the limo was underway, with Kitty telling the new guy what to do.
Before long, Luke said, "Your attitude toward me has changed dramatically; you are now giving me velvet glove treatment."
"Am I?" she said behind her antibacterial face mask, assuming that was the end of that.
But no, he embarrassed her by conducting himself as if he was a prosecutor in court.
"Initially, you thumped me and treated me like I was shit and you were the Lady of the Castle."
"That's an exaggeration."
He struck, "So you didn't smack me across the jaw?"
"Of course not, I just slipped and..."
She halted on the lie and said, "Sorry, I was under pressure at the time. Come around this side of the car and I'll kiss your jaw better."
"God, one moment you are a Kung Fu exterminator and now you are an apologetic crawler just because you've discovered I'm the stupidly nicknamed named 'King' Caine."
"I'm sorry, I'll try to be a better person."
"Stop this farting around, Kitty. Just be your natural self. Your looks will get you by even if you are a temperamental bitch."
"I'm not a..."
"What, are you saying you are not temperamental?"
She sighed and said she acknowledged that she acted like a temperamental bitch at times.
"Great, that confession means you on the road to recovering your status as a decent person."
She hissed, "I've confessed nothing. It was just a small comment from me explaining how it is."
"Have it your way."
There was silence as Luke continued working outside the vehicle on the loose floormat mat from the passenger's side that he had scrubbed clean and was now using the hair dryer that Kitty had produced and connected to the car's built-in cigar-lighter.
"Very well, you win. I meant it as a confession."
Luke said good girl, making her wince, and added it wasn't a fight but rather two adults attempting to correct one of the flaws in Kitty's persona.
"Flaws, I don't..."
She sighed and said yes, she had flaws; she had heaps of them.
"Fucking oath, I believe you. But you'll find that generally they are easy to exorcize."
She said triumphantly, "You've just used foul language."
"I know but I'd never use it in front a lady," he said, grinning.
She wound up ready to give him a tongue bashing but caught the grin, realizing that she was being deliberately provoked.
They left, with Mayor Keyte pleased with the 'like new' result.
Kitty was considering the quietly-delivered unsolicited mayoral advice she'd received: 'If you're looking for a pleasant, solid-as-a-rock guy to share your bed, consider Luke as a top prospect.'
Luke a choice contender? Omigod, the Mayor had possibly hit on something. The more she thought about it, Luke stood head and shoulders as a person above most of the guys she'd romped with.
However, he didn't have a decent job, was a few years younger than her and appeared to be a little bossy, but so what? Those things could change.
Kitty nodded in emphasising her satisfaction. And the truth was his appeal appeared to be improving by the passing moment.
She decided to speed things along.
"What are we doing this afternoon?"
Disappointingly, she was ignored. But just as she was about to unleash a verbal slap, Luke said, 'Sorry, the radio is turned low and I was straining to hear the 11.55 surf report for coastal New South Wales.
She was riveted and said, "And?"
"I'm taking the afternoon off. The swell off McMaster's Point is building and by mid-afternoon the waves are expected to be half-decent."
"You can't take half a day off for recreational pleasure on the first day on your new job."
"Oh," he said softly, and added creatively, "I was thinking of asking you to come with me and meet guys that I regularly surf with and most will have babes with them who don't surf."
"I'm calling dad," Kitty said, heart racing.
Omigod, she'd found someone who would be perfect to improve her techniques on a board. She called her father.
"Dad I want your approval..."
Luke could hear only her side of the conversation.
Her father's reply made her crunch, "Of course, it's Kitty. Who else would call you dad without announcing herself in any other way?"
"Dad, the Mayor was thrilled with the results of our efforts and I thought you would want Luke and me to take the afternoon off instead of hitting you for a cash bonus. I'd noticed that bookings for this afternoon were light."
"No, we are not going to golf. Luke doesn't visit museums so thought I would take him to our city's Early Settlers' Museum."
"Yes, I agree, dad. A little bit of culture has never hurt anyone. Great and thanks, dad. No, I won't need to pack condoms, because my current sexual loyalty lies with two of my close girl-friends. Yes, that's the guarantee of unwanted pregnancy. Bye."
She smiled at her companion, "All approved."
"Great Kitty. Um, are you really bi-sexual?"
"Fuck no, and are you not gay, are you?"
"Not a chance and even in groupies, any guy who puts his penis against me risks having it pulled of by the roots and shoved up his arse. Now where did that brilliant suggestion come from?"
Kitty giggled happily.
"I need to call home to pick up gear," she said.
"That's fine as I need to drop in at my family's home."
Kitty had remained in the ute as Luke ducked in to collect his beach gear including two surf boards. As they drove off, she said, "Your family home looks rather posh."
"Yeah, a little. Mum received a 25% share in her maternal grandfather's estate with the other 75% held by her sister, a doctor, and a finance company."
"Trethewey Rural Estates comprising five large sheep, cattle and cropping farms and mum receives a minimum annual payout of $50,000 even in years of bad drought from cash reserves, and in a great year receives up to a max of $250,000."
"Cripes, what a grandfather to have."
"Actually, he died eleven years ago and grandma went two years before that. Mum bought me that ute in one of her good payout years."
"Luke, why is it you only have casual employment rather than being devoted to establishing a worthwhile career?"
There was no reply.
"Luke, do you intend answering that question?"
He replied that it was 'work in progress', that at the end of last year he'd completed his formal educated to establish the basis of a career.
He didn't offer further enlightenment.
"Are you in trouble?"
"Yeah, from being over-questioned. You are delving into my private life."
That may have been the beginning of the end to their relationship had Kitty merely shrugged and said something like, 'Well what should be talk about that isn't so privately penetrating?'
Instead, she pushed on aggressively.
"I reckon I'm entitled to dig into your personal life because I'm your new girlfriend."
His head swung around to her in shock.
"Your girlfriend?" he spluttered. "Where did you get the impression from?"
"Consider what has happened, Bozo. You keep looking at my tits. We have conversed at least until just now extremely compatibly. You probably like having sex. I adore having sex and we began working naturally as a team once I had slapped you across the jaw. And this is only our first day together."
He turned again to face his tormentor.
She, grinning, poked her tongue out at him.
His shoulders slumped. He released a big sighed and grinned.
"Okay, be my current girlfriend and see if I care. The position is vacant at present."
Kitty said, "And I wonder why?"
"Kitty," he gritted and she hastily said, "Sorry."
He asked, "May I ask, gently, why you are not working in a permanent job?"
"It's because I'm between jobs. A week ago, the successful tax consultancy in which I was a partner was dissolved in a takeover transaction and I'm one of the partners invited to join the takeover group of professional consultancies. I negotiated to start work with them at the end of this month."
"What, to give yourself a break?"
"Yes, and to attend tennis coaching in the morning and to play golf in the afternoon, like real ladies do."
Kitty smiled slyly and asked, did that increase his interest in her.
She said she also was open to an offer of coaching to improve her surfing ability.
'King' Cain patted her on the knee, grinning and muttered, 'Cunning bitch'.
At that, Kitty realized he wasn't the part-brainless pushover that she'd figured he was within minutes of their first meeting.
She said casually, "Have you trained in martial arts?"
"Yeah, a bit."
"And you have a code that says you don't hit females?"
"Yeah, unless they are highly trained and are unduly aggressive."
She sighed, doubling confirming that she wasn't dealing with a Bozo (Aussie slang for a social idiot).
"Exactly what did you mean earlier when we said you completed your formal training. Did you complete a tertiary diploma in something like basic plumbing?"
"Yeah, something like that."
"Luke!" she commanded.
"I graduated with a master's degree in Marine Science."
She gaped, and said quietly, "I guess you are taking a year off before working to specialise in coastal environment management?"
He said, gaping, "Who told you that?"
"I'm not just pretty with cute tits and an aggressive nature, my new boyfriend. I possess a well cultivated brain, I believe."
"And you speak fancy and with good reasoning," he acknowledged and received an appreciative pat high above the knee.
Kitty was pumped, knowing that Luke's interest in her was ballooning.
* * *
Kitty and Luke arrived at the fairly sparsely populated beach and two cries of, "Here Virgin" directed Luke and his companion to where his buddies and detractors were gathered.
"Why do they call you virgin?" Kitty asked carefully.
"It's because I'm unusual. I don't bang just any babe who hits on me."