wilcard by juleshg

9 Oct

Marcy whistled as she walked home from the dry cleaners.  Earlier in the day she had been nervous as she headed off to her lunch.  June had sounded so distracted when she called to invite her to lunch that Marcy had wondered if the gig was up.

Marcy had been friends with June Watkins for three months.  She had first seen her picture on Iain Sommers’s desk one afternoon when she had gone in to get an expense report signed.  As usual, Iain had barely glanced at her as he looked over the paperwork, so she took the opportunity to look around.  On the credenza were two framed photos:  one of Iain and Emma Stone, his then girlfriend, and one of Iain with June Watkins.  While the photo of the mother and son was a few years old, Marcy immediately recognized the woman as one of the ladies-who-lunched who visited the yoga studio at her gym.

Well, well… it looked like she and Iain Sommers were about to have something in common.

Marcy had been fascinated by Iain since she first laid eyes on him on her first day as an administrative assistant at Marsters, Stone and Shore but Iain had never given her a second look.  Her colleague Susan shook her head and smiled.  “That’s Iain Sommers, don’t bother.  First, he is living with the CEO’s granddaughter and second, he would never stoop to dating someone from the secretarial pool.”  Marcy simply nodded and thanked Susan for the warning.

Maybe Marcy-the-typist was beneath Iain but Marcy-who-lunched-with-his-mother was going to be a whole different story.  The next day she unfurled her brand-new purple yoga mat on the floor behind June Watkins and complimented her on pants she was wearing.  The week after, she positioned herself next to June and commented on how gracefully the older woman moved from one position to the next.  Within the month they had been regularly meeting for coffee after class and June was telling Marcy all about her wonderful son.

Their first set-up had been a disaster.  Iain had been cold and just short of rude when he saw that his mother had invited Marcy to dinner.  A few moments into the evening she overheard Iain in the kitchen with June as he accused Marcy of using his mother to “improve her station in life”.  Marcy feigned horror and embarrassment as she apologized profusely to June.  “I am so sorry June,” she lied.  “If I had any idea that your son was Iain Sommers I would have never agreed to come to dinner.  He is practically my boss.”

In the end June had sided with Marcy and told her not to be ridiculous.  She was her friend and she was staying for dinner – June would hear no arguments about it.  She also apologized for Iain’s behaviour and told her privately that he was under stress because things here not going well with Emma.

The lunches with June continued and Marcy did her best not to meet Iain’s eye as he gave her dirty looks at the office.  Whenever she had documents he needed to sign she asked a colleague to go for her.

Three weeks later she received the corporate memo from Marcus Stone announcing that Emma was moving to Chicago.  Iain returned to the office looking sullen and tired but no one dared to mention it.  Usually the women in the office noticed every move Iain made but since the break-up everyone was careful to keep their eyes on their computer monitors when he passed by:  everyone but Marcy.  She would simply look up at him and smile sympathetically before returning to her work.

At their lunch date Marcy nodded quietly as June told her about Emma and Iain breaking up during their trip to Europe.  “That’s horrible.  I noticed that he was looking distracted but I had assumed that he was just finding it difficult to manage their relationship over a long-distance.  What a shame.”

June looked up at her coolly.  “Really?  You and I both know the truth Marcy.  You don’t feel bad at all.”

“Well, she is all wrong for him,” Marcy said quickly.  “You have said it yourself, he deserves better.”

“Someone like you?”

“Yes,” Marcy said holding her head up high and staring the other woman in the eye.  “Someone just like me.”

June laughed.  “I was right.  I wondered at first if you had it in you.  I even talked to Marcus Stone when I realized that you and Iain worked in the same office.  He assured me that you had a good background, a good education and some interesting references.”

Marcy was relieved.  Apparently June had figured out her scheme and approved.  June Watkins would make and excellent mentor and mother-in-law.   She would also be a formidable opponent if crossed and Marcy knew that she would have to be very careful.  A starter-husband like Iain would only be around for a few years before she would move on to someone more successful.   I would be a difficult transition to manoeuvre without making an enemy of June.

But June of all people knew this marriage would not last forever.  June herself was already working on her next trade-up and Marcy wondered if she would still be in the picture when June finally landed Marcus Stone.  Marcy was glad that she did not have to tip her hand and admit that she already knew about the budding relationship between June and her son’s boss.

Marcy had a lot to learn but she was no amateur.  It was nice to have a wildcard up her sleeve.

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