Illusions begin, p.3
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       Illusions Begin, p.3

           N.L. Greene


  “Morning Ma’am,” the security guard greeted her as she came through the revolving door of the massive building in downtown Manhattan.

  Becky let out an exaggerated sigh, “Ralph, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Becky? I am entirely too young to be called ma’am!” she said as she pouted her lips at him and gave him her best puppy dog eyes.

  Ralph couldn’t help but to chuckle at her overly dramatic display. “I know ma’am but if the boss heard me call you anything else, I’m sure I’d be fired.”

  Becky scanned her badge and walked through the turnstile while waving off Ralphs comment. “Oh he would not! It is my name after all and we’ve known each other since I was a little girl. You didn’t call me ma’am then.” She raised a defiant eyebrow at him.

  Becky had known Ralph since as far back as she could remember. He was an older man now, probably sixty years old, but he had been the security guard in this building since he was in his early thirties. Anyone that even walked near this building regularly knew Ralph. He was a friendly man who always had a smile on his face, a kind thing to say, and a helping hand if you needed it. He was also still in pretty good shape for his age. He was tall, maybe six-one or six-two, ex-military, and still had the muscle to prove it. Above all, he was loyal to a fault.

  “Yes ma’am, I know that. But now you work here and it’s my job to maintain a professional relationship with all the employees, even if I did see them in diapers.” He follows his statement up with a wink, letting her know how much he really did care.

  Becky couldn’t help but to smile up at him. “Well okay, I guess.” She sighed in mock defeat before taking a firmer stance and wagging a finger at him. “But if I see you later at the market, you better not call me ma’am!”

  He chuckled again. “Yes ma’am.”

  “Grrr,” she growled at him before turning to the bank of elevators behind her and pressing the button. She could still hear Ralph chuckling as the doors opened and then closed behind her. It made her smile.

  That is, until the elevator stopped on the next floor and a new occupant joined her. “Well hello gorgeous. Why the big smile this morning?” Her smile immediately faded as she turned to look at the man that was now beside her. She watched with narrowed eyes as he pressed the button to the top floor of the building and then turned and offered what she was sure he thought was a seductive smile. She rolled her eyes, turned back to stare at her distorted reflection in the doors, and prayed for the elevator to move faster.

  “Good morning Lance,” she said stiffly. She felt him move closer to her and stiffened even further, knowing that he would touch her.

  He didn’t disappoint. He leaned in, his hand moving to the small of her back, his lips moving just a breath away from her ear. “What’s wrong darling? You aren’t happy to see me?”

  She shivered in disgust. “Please, do not touch me.” As hard as it was for her, she remained still, making him be the one to move away from her, standing her ground, and not giving in. He snickered like he knew her thoughts, but removed his hand and took a step back. Lance wasn’t naïve to her feelings for him. She had made herself quite clear when she found him with another woman.

  She had been the naïve one then. Her parents and Lances’ parents had been lifelong friends and although he was ten years older than her, he had always been a presence in her life. As a young child he teased and tortured her, just like an older brother would. But when she began to develop into the beautiful woman she was now, he began to take notice. He became more protective of her, watching her all the time, and keeping other boys away. Then, once she turned eighteen, he began to pursue her. He bought her gifts, took her out to nice dinners, on dates to the museum, and treated her like a royal princess. Both of their parents were thrilled that they were dating and after a year, they began making wedding plans and business mergers. Becky didn’t care though. She was nineteen and in love with a handsome, charming, successful man; one that she had known her entire life and trusted without a single doubt.

  Their relationship was near perfect. In fact, the only thing Lance seemed to be bothered by was the fact that she was saving herself for marriage. They didn’t exactly fight or argue about it, but he didn’t exactly agree with her decisions either. He begged and pleaded, coaxed and tempted her, trying to get her to change her mind, but she wouldn’t give in. She should have known that a twenty-nine year old, charming, handsome, and successful man would not be content waiting for her. Thankfully she found out before it was too late.

  On the evening they were going to officially announce their engagement, their parents threw them a party. Everyone who was anyone was there, including some very beautiful women. Becky walked in the women’s bathroom to witness one of those women on her knees in front of Lance with his pants around his ankles. She definitely wasn’t so naïve that she didn’t know what she was witnessing. Nor was she passive enough to let it go. She walked right up to the pair, both so lost in their lust that neither noticed her approach. She calmly tapped Lance on the shoulder. When his eyes opened and focused on her, she slapped him in the face and told him to never speak to her again.

  She had been heartbroken, but proud of herself for standing up to Lance, until she spoke with her mother about it. Her mother informed her that sometimes men needed those sorts of pleasures and that she should be thankful Lance was not asking it of her. Becky was appalled. She would not marry a man that cheated on her, no matter how much her parents wanted her to. She knew that if Lance was unfaithful now, he would only continue to be and that wasn’t a marriage Becky wanted. Her mother didn’t seem to understand why she was being so stubborn and her father didn’t know all the details so he continued to try and talk Becky into taking Lance back. It took almost a year, but she finally got her parents to quit pestering her about it and back off. She knew they hadn’t given up entirely and that they were just biding their time, but she would take it for now.

  If she could only get Lance to back off too.

  When the incident first happened, he sent her flowers, chocolates, jewelry, anything he could get his hands on it seemed, in hopes of her forgiving him and taking him back. Then he begged and pleaded. He apologized and blamed the woman, saying she came on to him and he had been drinking so he didn’t realize what he was doing. When she still wouldn’t give in, accept his apology and move on with him, he became very angry. That was when she learned that not only was he a cheater, he was also an arrogant pig that did not like to be told no.

  He yelled and threatened her until she finally started making some threats of her own. Knowing that she was daddy’s little girl and his key to a partnership in this law firm, he finally backed off enough to allow her to sleep at night. But she still didn’t trust him and knew that he always had an agenda. She tried to keep her distance but that was proving difficult since they worked in the same building.

  “Still a cold bitch I see,” Lance sneered, dropping the sweet act and effectively pulling her from her memories and thoughts.

  “Hmm,” was her only answer. She learned long ago that ignoring him seemed to be the best route to take.

  “One day,” he said under his breath as the elevator door opened onto her floor. She ignored him and stepped off, but she knew the thought of his threat would stay with her for the rest of the day. He had made many before but they were coming more and more frequently. She knew it was only a matter of time before Lance snapped and took it out on her. She wasn’t entirely sure of what he was capable of, but she needed to figure out what to do before that happened.

  She tried to push it to the back of her mind for now, as she made her way to her office. She absently said hello to her receptionist, quickly moving past her, not feeling up to faking a cheerful conversation at the moment. As she turned the corner she let out a sigh. As if dealing with Lance first thing this morning wasn’t enough. Now she had to deal with the slave dr
iver too?

  She pasted a smile on her face and squared her shoulders as she approached him. She thrust as much cheer as possible into her greeting. “Good morning Daddy.”

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