The important dude sat opposite me in the limo, confident and just a tad patronizing, flanked by his PR handler and the most amazingly beautiful woman I’d ever met.
He was the CEO of a big multinational and I was covering his company’s new product line. His only available timeslot was the early-morning drive to the airfield, so here I was, scooted in next to his grownup son.
We did the usual feint-parry-thrust of the civilized CxO interview. I was fishing for quotes, not front-page blood, and we both knew it.
His son, rangy with surfer-blonde hair, watched his father and kept his mouth shut. The PR handler chittered and spun the background noise that reporters quickly learn to ignore. The gorgeous woman, the CEO’s executive assistant, tried to fade into the background.
She didn’t do a very good job of it.
She was Elizabeth Taylor before the aging freak show: Flawless porcelain skin, glossy raven-black hair, an old-fashioned hourglass figure with violet–truly purple–eyes. I didn’t stare, but I had to work at it; I’d seen Barbie dolls with more flaws. She spoke in low tones with a plummy English accent, and had a warm, inviting smile that stopped just short of her eyes.
Those eyes never left her boss; she anticipated his needs like a geisha. A cheat sheet, a bottle of water, a bite of croissant–he reached, and she had it there.
The limo found the jet and we wrapped up the interview; the CEO gave me the ritual CxO hearty handshake, motioned to his assistant to walk him to the jet, and that was that.
I settled back in the cushions, nodded as the PR handler read off a checklist of stuff she’d research and get back to me. The driver started the engine for the ride back to town.
“Wait!” said the son, urgently, “Dad forgot this! Can you take it to him? Tell him it’s from Mom.” He handed me an envelope. “You’re nearest to the door.”
That was a bit odd, but I’d never seen that kind of corporate jet up close, so I obligingly took the envelope and got out. I walked around to the back of the limo…and found the stunning assistant lip-locked to the CEO, just out of our sight. One of his hands was up her skirt, the other inside her blouse.
She started when she saw me, and flushed. He merely looked annoyed. I handed him the envelope, “You forgot this,” and he stuck it in a pocket. The assistant smoothed down her skirt and walked with me back to the car. Neither of us said a word, just climbed inside.
I glanced at the son; he stared back, levelly. The corner of his mouth turned up, just a bit. “Thank you,” he said quietly, and we started the drive back to town.