Previous chapter: Chapter 1: My Own Personal Planet
Editor’s note: This chapter was written by Lou Berger. Lou is a Denver-based writer who lives with three children, two Sheltie dogs and a kink-tailed cat. He’s been wrinkling his nose at pond scum his entire life.
Bob pulled up fifteen minutes later in a low-slung red sports car, the engine burbling with understated power. Topher opened the passenger door and slid inside, pulling the door shut.
“You drive this?” he asked, a note of incredulity creeping into his voice.
Bob checked his side mirror and pulled into traffic expertly, wasting no motion. “I work for you because I like it, boss. I don’t do it for the money.”
Topher began to reply with a smart remark but bit off his retort. Bob had come highly recommended and had passed the background check with flying colors. He felt his face burn with embarrassment as he realized that he really knew very little about Bob, after all. “Thanks for coming to get me,” he said. Bob nodded, never taking his eyes off the road, and smiled.
“No problem, boss,” he said, putting a slight emphasis on the final word.
Topher leaned back in the seat and accessed his glasses to review his presentation notes. “The Mayor’s office, please?”
Bob pressed the pedal down and the car leaped forward, powerful rumbles rising into a banshee scream as the car tore down the road.
Seven minutes later they pulled up at the Mayor’s office bulding, where a sharply dressed woman in a business suit awaited them. She glanced at her wristwatch and frowned as Topher unfolded himself from the low-slung vehicle. “Give me an hour, would you Bob?” Topher closed the door gently and watched as Bob maneuvered the car into traffic with practiced ease.
He turned to the woman, grinned his best boyish grin and held his hands up in surrender. “I am so sorry,” he began, then stopped when he saw her expression.
“Never mind about that,” she snapped. “Let’s get to the meeting.” He followed her into the building’s lobby and up an antiquated elevator to the fifteenth floor. She didn’t say anything on the ride up and wordlessly invited him to exit once the elevator doors squeaked open.
Topher walked down the hallway and through the glass doors of the mayor’s office, then followed the woman to a conference room. The ...