Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

Jiles Mclean’s reputation preceded him and along with his resume and list of accolades, it was easy to ascertain why he had been hand-picked for the job. Melanie Tribune was looking forward to meeting him in the flesh since she expected their styles would mesh nicely.

Melanie was no slouch either. At 26, she’d kept her eyes on the prize, as they say, and consequently had risen quickly within the company to become one of the most productive leaders in the industry. Her expertise was sought after by everyone in the business. She’d heard the talk but didn’t pay it much heed since it was the dedication and hard work that had gotten her this far. And she was good at the job, but more she loved it!

After breaking up with Justin, she’d dived into work as a saviour of sorts and it had eased the pain until she no longer noticed it. He was done, gone, erased from every vestige of her being. The only remaining thought was never to leap again, diving in headfirst had been a mistake they’d both shared.

When Jiles caught sight of Melanie Tribune, he’d been stunned. He’d half expected a middle-aged woman since she had a no-nonsense reputation, was a go-getter, got the job done, and was one of the best in the business and he’d looked forward to meeting and working with her on this project.

To his mind, she was simply stunning. At first glance, he’d guess she was of the same age as him. He loved tall women and she had to stand five-ten in her stocking feet. Even in high-heels, she was shorter than he was by a good two inches but he usually towered over everyone at six-two. She was slender with curves in all the right places and blue eyes that could nail you to the wall no doubt either in the heat of passion or cold anger and he found himself intrigued.

Jiles held out a hand and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Miss Tribune.”

“Likewise. Your reputation precedes you and it’s stellar. And call me Melanie, will you? Otherwise I tend to feel ancient and I’m not.”

“I don’t stand on ceremony either, it’s Jiles.”

“Jiles then, I missed lunch and breakfast and,” peering at her watch she noted it was nearly four-thirty, “and it’s heading toward dinner. Would you mind if we take this meeting in the Saint Francoise Restaurant downstairs, I’m literally starving at this point.”

“Not a problem, please lead the way.”

They arrived within a few minutes and obviously knew her well and she was well-liked since she was greeted with a warm smile and the gentleman gently took her hand in his and bowed, a gesture Jiles hadn’t seen in years but it seemed appropriate somehow. The mutual affection was apparent in Melanie’s voice when she asked, “Jacque, any chance my usual table is available?”

“Most certainly is Mademoiselle.” And with that, he led them to a table in a corner with an excellent view of a well-manicured garden and striking architectural detail.

“Delightful! You can almost smell the aroma from the flowers from here,” Jiles stated, delighted at the little piece of heaven they were able to witness and enjoy.

“Trust me, it is as heavenly as it looks.”

When the waiter arrived, Melanie ordered the cold salmon, rice pilaf and vegetable platter and glass of white wine. The waiter turned to the gentleman and waited. “Steak, medium rare, baked potato with the trimmings and a glass of red wine, please.” He looked at the waiter and thanked him. Melanie liked that he wasn’t the least bit snobbish.

They carried on with small talk until the meal arrived and then got down to business. It seemed that the outline she’d provided for the architectural job was spot on. Jiles was used to clients indicating they wanted one thing, then either changing their mind or not wanting what they’d indicated, at all. This wasn’t the care here. Melanie knew exactly what she wanted and was descriptive in every detail.

“I think I’m going to enjoy working with you, Melanie. You communicate exactly what you wish. You do understand though, I will brook no arguments once the design is finalized. When we hit upon an agreement with the total project, I take over and it becomes mine.”

Between bites she smiled, “I heard that about you and I’m good with that. I don’t stick my nose into anything once the plans are finalized. I’ve only done so once when the architect was going over budget and changed the plan which was an inferior look to what I’d specified.”

“That would be expected but I guarantee you that once I agree upon a price I stick with it. If it comes in over budget I eat the cost because I guarantee my work.”

“Good to know.”

When the meal was finished, they headed back to her office where they burned the midnight oil going over every inch of the plans from beginning to the finalized look. They smiled at one another and shook hands. “Your good,” she said.

“Well, the feeling is mutual. It wonderful to work with a knowledgeable client for a change, one I don’t have to baby through every detail. I also like a clear direct approach, as it saves time in the long run.”

“I do as well. I think this should work well.”

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