Authors: Andrina Coy
“Forget I just said that. I’m tired, maybe still a little drunk. I just need to---“
Porter moved toward Mattie far too quickly for her to react. His right hand circled around her back and drew her against his body as he lowered himself to kiss her gently on her forehead, her nose, and then her lips.
“I want that too, Mattie. I’d love to spend as much time with you as possible if you’ll let me. We don’t have to do the video. I can tell Oleg it’s off. That we both need more time to think about it. Is that what you want me to do?”
Mattie put her forehead against Porter’s chest, trying to hide the tears that were forming in the corners of her eyes.
“I think I do, Porter. You sure that’s going to be ok? I don’t want to get you in trouble.”
Porter hugged Mattie more tightly as he kissed the top of her head.
“It’s no trouble at all. Can I see you again tonight? We could eat dinner here if you want, just hang out.”
In her entire adult life, despite the many sexual exploitations she had engaged in, Mattie Martinson had yet to have a man ask her if she simply wanted to hang out – and mean it.
For some, Porter’s request might have meant little more than a kind gesture, but for Mattie that kind gesture meant everything to her. The hard and indifferent outer shell she had manufactured to protect herself all these years from getting hurt now melted away as she felt Porter’s heart beat gently moving against her right cheek.
“Yeah, I’d like that a lot. See you at six?”
Porter kissed Mattie on her left cheek and then gave her another hug before he moved toward the door.
“Awesome. I’ll bring a pizza and some beer and we can just…talk.”
Mattie smiled, hoping she didn’t look too pathetic standing there with a blanket wrapped around her and her eyes glistening with stubborn tears.
“It’s a date, Porter. See you then.”
After the door closed, Mattie Martinson stood very still with her eyes shut tight as she silently processed what she knew was happening to her. She then dropped the blanket from her body and began to dance in place, her arms rising above her head as her face broke out into an exuberant grin.
Despite all her best efforts over many years, Mattie Martinson was undeniably falling in love.
Porter Voss was nearly a hundred yards from Mattie’s apartment when he made the call to Oleg, knowing that doing so in the morning assured he would get the Russian’s voice mail. Oleg rarely woke up before noon.
“Yeah, Mr. Teplov, this is Porter. Uh, a bit of bad news. We’ve decided to hold off on doing the videos. We need more time to think it over. I’ll be at work today, but you can call and leave a message on my voice mail if you have any questions.”
Am I really ok about passing up a hundred thousand dollars just to make a woman happy?
His own question caused Porter to momentarily stop walking and look up into the clear morning sky above him. The answer arrived quickly, eliciting a surprised and satisfied grunt from him as it did so.
Yeah, I am.
Mattie showered and dressed quickly, actually excited over the prospect of going to work for the first time in a very-very long time. Just before heading out the door, she decided to give Kelly a call, hoping her friend would pick up so Mattie could apologize to her for the other night at the pub.
On the third ring, Kelly answered.
Mattie smiled to herself before answering, happy to hear Kelly’s voice again.
“Yeah, it’s me. I just wanted to say something before you were out the door for work. You have a minute?”
Kelly’s tone was cautious, but not unfriendly. Whatever anger she had earlier seemed to have dissipated.
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Well, I’m sorry for how things went down the other night. I know you felt weird about it, and I can be a real cold bitch about that kind of stuff. I should have been more sensitive to how you were feeling. I don’t want it to get in the way of our friendship, ok?”
There was a long pause before Kelly replied, but when she did, Mattie was shocked at how happy her friend sounded.
“God, I’m so glad you said that, Mattie! I was the one being a bitch about it. We got a little crazy, whatever. The fact is, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I’m thinking about it right now. If you ever want to, you know, do it again some time…”
Mattie giggled as she held her phone to her ear.
“Why Kelly, you little slut!”
Now it was Kelly’s turn to laugh.
“Yeah-yeah, well it’s your fault. You created a monster!”
“Text me after lunch?”
Kelly happily agreed.
“You bet. Have a great day, Mattie and thank you for calling. I really mean that.”
The call was ended, leaving Mattie to look at herself in the small mirror that hung in the hallway near her apartment door. As a gesture of her good mood, she wore a bright red blouse and tight black dress slacks and a matching pair of black heels. Her dark hair was tied back in a tight, professional looking bun. With a final smile for her own image staring back at her, Mattie opened the door.
She didn’t see the face of the man who stood outside her entrance, rather only feeling his hand push her firmly back into her apartment with enough force she fell down onto the tiled hallway floor, her left ankle twisting painfully beneath her.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
Mattie looked up to see the face of Oleg looming above her. He appeared both angry, though also concerned she had fallen.
“I am sorry, Mattie, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Oleg extended his right hand to help her up as Mattie’s temper continued to flare.
“Well you did hurt me you asshole! Why are you here? This is MY HOME!”
Oleg held up both his leather gloved hands and then pointed toward the hide-a-bed couch in the apartment’s main living area.
“Please, a moment of your time. Just a moment.”
Mattie glared back at Oleg and then winced as a hot poker of pain shot up from her injured ankle when she put weight upon it.
“You have five minutes, and then I’m calling the cops.”
Oleg nodded as he waited for Mattie to sit down. He remained standing, still looking apologetic and also nervous.
“Is this about the videos? Did Porter call you?”
Oleg nodded again, his eyes already pleading with Mattie for her to reconsider the refusal Porter’s message indicated.
“Yes, he left a message. He said you needed more time to consider it.”
Mattie nodded while rubbing her left ankle.
“Yeah, that’s right, what the fuck business of it is yours? You have no right to come into my home like this, Oleg. If you want to talk with someone, it should be Porter, not me.”
Oleg waived a finger at Mattie as his tongue made a soft clicking sound.
“You know that’s not true, Mattie. Porter is simply doing what he’s been told. I come to you because you are the one making this decision, not him.”
Mattie stood up, ignoring the pain in her leg.
“Yeah, I don’t want to do the videos anymore, so what? Get your ass out of here!”
Oleg shook his head as his eyes narrowed, the apologetic tone turning angry.
“It’s not so simple, Mattie. I have obligations. I made certain promises to important people, and your videos with Porter were to help me to meet those obligations. Did Porter tell you how much money I was going to pay him to be filmed with you?”
Mattie shook her head.
“No, and it doesn’t matter. I’M NOT DOING IT.”
Oleg stared at Mattie as his voice lowered to a near whisper.
“One hundred thousand dollars cash.”
Mattie blinked several times, not believing what Oleg just told her.
Oleg sighed, suddenly looking tired and rumpled despite being dressed in a beautifully custom tailored pinstriped navy blue suit.
“I don’t bullshit about money, Mattie, particularly about
Mattie slowly sat back down, wondering why Porter would give up so much money so easily.
He didn’t even argue a little about me not wanting to do the videos. A hundred thousand dollars! Holy shit!
“I am here to make a direct proposal to you, Mattie. I hope to secure your unwavering willingness to proceed with tonight’s filming. I have a Japanese distributor already familiar with Porter’s work willing to pay me a very nice sum to have three entirely new videos featuring our mutual acquaintance. Porter has clearly taken a surprisingly strong liking to you. That’s not difficult to understand – you’re a beautiful woman. What I propose then is to pay you the same sum – one hundred thousand dollars for three videos.”
Mattie wasn’t surprised how quickly she answered. It was her old self, colder, more calculating, and relishing the idea of being paid so much for something she might have done for free. Her initial refusal had less to do with newfound morality as it did her desire to have more control. Oleg’s arrival this morning and his generous offer gave Mattie that sense of control and thus the motivation to accept.
“Agreed – a hundred thousand dollars for each of us.”
Oleg’s smile indicated his great relief in hearing Mattie’s willingness to participate in the filming.
“You will speak with Porter yourself and get his approval?”
Mattie waved a dismissive hand at Oleg.
“No worries, the only reason he was saying no was because it was my idea. He’ll not only do it, but will be happy to. We haven’t actually fucked yet, you know. He’s gonna be very into it.”
Oleg nodded his head and then extended his right hand to shake Mattie’s.
“Very good, we have a deal then.”
Mattie prepared to shake Oleg’s hand and the paused.
Oleg frowned, appearing nervous once again.
“Is something wrong?”
Mattie reached down to touch her ankle, wincing as she did so.
“Yeah, I’m going to have to miss work today. That means you owe me a day’s wages plus the hundred thousand. Just make it $200 and we’ll call it good for hurting my foot.”
Oleg grunted as he reached into his right pants pocket and withdrew a sizeable money roll and then took out two crisp hundred dollar bills and handed them to Mattie.
“You are an interesting woman, Mattie.”
Though Mattie’s mouth smiled, her eyes were devoid of emotion.
“Not really, Oleg, just a bitch who wants what is owed her. Now that we’ve made a deal I want you to understand something. You are to never come here again without my permission, do you understand?”
Oleg offered Mattie a short bow and then an even shorter smile.
“Of course, I apologize for doing so this morning. Don’t forget to call Porter soon and let him know we have come to an agreement.”