Cody walked briskly across the seemingly endless hall at Avenue Plaza to beat his 9:00 am deadline. There had been traffic almost all week because the interstate had been under repair the entire month after it had been scraped off by the heavy July rains. He hated the town, and he loved showing it. It was too hot and too crowded, but he had to start somewhere. The small apartment that he had rented about a hundred kilometers from the city was getting on his nerves. His neighbors were mostly college guys who raved all night. His wife had nudged him on moving to a quieter neighborhood, but he couldn’t afford it just yet. He was lucky she never stayed for long because her job schedule wouldn’t allow it. But she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met, and he was lucky to have her support. When he finally got to his manager’s office, he was restless. As usual, Gordon, his manager, was in with the two agents from Outspace Records. He suppressed a smile as he walked in with his hand stretched out.
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“Hey, guys, sorry I’m a bit late. The traffic is a killer. Shall we get down to it?” he asked as he sat comfortably on the huge mahogany armchairs dotted across the room.
“Alright, Mr. Cody, as we had discussed on the phone, we want to sign you up for the yearly tour across the States. Your work is pretty awesome, and we’d like you to accompany us for this,” Brian, one of the two Outspace guys, said.
Cody beamed up and exchanged glances with his manager. He had finally gotten the break he had dreamt of for so long. The manager gestured to him to sign the contract as he stood up to collect the papers from his desk.
“But there’s a catch, Mr. Cody,” Brian said, cutting him short. Cody sat back and turned attentively toward him. “We know you’re married. That won’t play well with you. You’ll have to convince the people otherwise. So you’ll have to pretend you’re not.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me, no offense. How do you expect me to bury her?” Cody asked both confused and surprised. He looked at his longtime manager for support, but his eyes were blank. He exhaled and sunk in his chair. He could notice that this too was a break for the manager who could do with an office makeover. The paint on his office was barely hanging on to the walls, and the seats had become hard from wear. Today he had on a khaki suit which showed signs of aging too. The cuffs had lost their luster, and so had his Thai tie. His cigar box had been long empty and now served as a seat for the paper-punch.
He cast a glance across the room and felt the stiff air enveloping him. How long had they struggled? How long had they held on to his dream. Mr. Gordon still believed in him. None of his singers were doing a fine job, and he could see that Cody’s style was different. He had tried getting every record label to give them a chance but to no avail. Because of this, they had resorted to small-time record houses that promised so much but delivered so little. Cody had been performing in small stripper joints for a year and a half before moving upstate to the much tastier Hotel Rue whose contract was due to expire in a few months’ time. He performed there every Saturday, and the crowd loved him. But how long was he supposed to sit and wait for a miracle? His performances were getting stale, and the management was getting tired of his demand for a higher pay.
“Alright, I’ll take it,” Cody said finally as he grabbed the papers and signed the contract.
”Well, Mr. Cody, we’ll get in touch with you.” Brian concluded with a smile before he hastily shuffled the papers into his stuffed briefcase. They shook hands, and the two agents walked out.
As soon as they had left the office, Cody walked slowly to the door and shut it. He went straight for the fridge in an adjoining room. He opened the fridge and fished out some ice cubes. He took the scotch bottle from atop the fridge and poured generous amounts on the two tumblers that had been with them through the whole five-year hustle. He dropped three ice cubes into each of the tumblers and watched as the gin sunk them to the bottom. He smiled hard, and his heart raced a little. This was a drink of victory, and they both deserved it. He walked back to Gordon’s office and handed him his drink. They looked at each other and smiled satisfactorily before they clinked their glasses.
“To the bright future ahead!” Cody said before taking the drink in a flash. The strong scotch burned his eyes and more so his throat as it seared its way into his stomach. The first sip always caught him off guard, but that was the beauty of the merry. His eyes instantly welled up. The sting of the strong drink uncovered his real tears.
“You’ll be fine, buddy; it’s been a long way coming. Just make sure you handle that matter about Lilies. I know it’ll be hell, but we can’t quit just yet,” Gordon said as he got from behind his desk and walked up to him. He placed his hand firmly on his shoulder to reassure him and then walked over to the table for more scotch. Clearly, he needed the alcohol more than Cody.
In the morning, they went over the contract until they were certain that there were no loopholes. He would be getting $50,000 a week which was way better than the $2,000 a week that Hotel Rue was paying him. All he had to do was go on a nine-month tour across the United States and do what he did best. The contract also offered recording deals for two albums after the tour. His manager could handle the rest. There was nothing more he could have asked for, but he knew he was good. If Outspace could fly for eight hours just to sign him up, he was damn good. By lunch time, they were through. He walked out of Gordon’s office with a smile ready to break the news to his wife. He chose the stairs over the elevator and ran down the steps to the ground floor before halting at the lobby to catch his breath. The lady at the reception recognized him instantly and blushed. But he couldn’t encourage her, not today. He smiled back and walked out the front door. The sun bit his face, but he didn’t mind. The town noise brought him back from heaven, and he walked briskly to his car. He drove all the way to Humphrey & Charles on 5th Street where his wife was and parked just near the exit. She’d be ecstatic about this new opportunity and picking her up from work would give them their own private celebration. He wanted to kiss her and fondle her supple breasts, but he had to wait because she still had four more hours until her shift was over.
When he got in the sedan, he was grateful that the windows were tinted so he had a bit of privacy himself. He lowered his trousers to the knee and whipped out his cock. It was hot and throbbing just at the thought of fucking his wife. He just had to get a release! He reached over to the glove compartment and retrieved some baby oil that his wife used to moisten her lips and applied it generously on his hot cock. The parking lot was deserted save for a few teens loitering about, so he could lose himself in his desire. It had been so long since he and Lilies had spent some time together thanks to her crazy work schedule and terribly untimely cycle.
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