LILA – Short Story for the Coffee Break

Lila – *fiction based on a real person, for whom I’ve drawn up a personal profile* (Artemis-type)

BLURB:

Lila Banks is an under cover F.B.I. agent with financial training and a mission to get under Andrey Jones’ skin, a high profile stock broker suspected of foul play. She first tails him with the cap pulled over her face from the car, coffee-to-go and a camera. She watches him for a few days, then goes at the same gym as he. Tall and young, athletic and jovial, she finds him attractive against her best wishes. In another few days she infiltrates his gym-friends, and gets recommended for a job at his company. This scene depicts their pivotal moment, their first interview revealing that the mystery of Andrey Jones goes deeper than she’d expected.

***

Andrey Jones looks incredible in his designer suit. I know he’s a dish under it, I’ve seen him work out at the gym and, yes, I’ve slobbered.

“Miss Lila Banks,” he walks to me, hand outstretched. “Nice to meet you in proper clothes.”

I straighten up and fight back the flush. He beams a perfect smile at me, and I stick up even more. That beautiful masculine face and those dark eyes have an effect I haven’t been forced to endure since my teens. I was never good with crushes. My face burns – the flush sure won the battle.

“Have a seat,” he motions to the sofa. I pull stiffly at my skirt and cross my ankles like the lady I’m not. I’m sitting sideward to the glass door I entered through, quite close to it, and glance at my reflection. Enough to make sure the blond-white bun is in place, no loosened strands, electric blue eyes sober and opaque.

Andrey Jones takes a broad chair across from me, the impressive skyline behind him. It enhances his impressive persona.

“I’ve read your CV,” he begins, making himself comfortable. “Which I wouldn’t have done without Tom’s recommendation.”

I’ve flirted a bit with his best friend at the gym to win his favors, which Andrey Jones subliminally scorns me for. At the gym he’d only accepted I submitted a CV drying his sinewy arms with a towel, barely looking at me and addressing only Tom. I try on a reserved smile. “And which I deeply appreciate. I know you’re a very busy man.”

“Indeed.”

Smart-ass. I clear my throat.

He speeds over the pleasantries. “I want to talk about your financial tracking experience. You mention it, but don’t go in depth. It’s a pretty general term.”

I shrug. “Define in-depth.”

He smiles that charming smile of his again, which I now begin to understand – it glosses over his impatience. There’s something sly in his expression as he leans forward and pours us both a cup of hot coffee from the pot his middle-aged secretary had brought in. I admire him for the choice, honestly.

“Lila,” he says, “I may call you Lila, yes?”

I keep my back straight and invite him with a reserved nod. “Andrey.”

He grins. “I see. Tell me Lila, do you believe having me sweat for details serves your purpose? It’s you who applied for the job, not me who tendered.”

“Tom said you needed a good financial analyst. I’m a great financial analyst.”

“A bold statement. Then how come you’re in need of a job?”

“I’m not,” I reply automatically and switch on the back-story set in place with Chief Schwarz. “I’m currently working for Jinx Enterprises, Assistant Head Analyst, but I hit a dead-end. Pay won’t go up no matter what I do, and the glass ceiling hardened. It’s impenetrable from this point on. Your enterprise is smaller, chances higher. I mean, I’m now negotiating directly with you, the owner. I analyzed your ascent, and I’m confident you’ll be huge in five years max. And when that happens, I want to be well seated at a big desk.”

He stares hard at me. He’s not used to women sounding like this, I guess. Indeed, he confirms, but in a way that strikes me dumb. “Well, there’s a blonde, young and hot as hell, talking like a veritable Wall Street jackal.”

“Now, now,” I suppress a shocked smile only with difficulty. I put up my palms in virtual protection. “No need to go sexist on me. Just tell me you don’t need my services, and I sprint out the door.”

“Oh, I need your services Agent Lila Banks,” he slurs and leans forward with elbows on his knees, looking mighty sexy as his eyes lock on mine and make my heart drum in both attraction and anxiety.

“Excuse me?”

“Yes, I know who you are, Lila, and why you’re here. I know you followed me for days, and I know the F.B.I. suspect I haven’t hit the jackpot regularly on Wall Street only ‘cause I’m damned good. I know you’re not wired now, nobody expected that I’d open up from the first, and that’s why I’m only gonna say this here and now – indeed, it’s not luck and it’s not my special talents. I’m an agent too, only not for the F.B.I. I’m bigger. Much bigger. I need a financial tracker, yes, because I need to know who the Jinx are paying for pharmaceutical developments that bug people’s DNA in ways that you wouldn’t believe if you don’t see with your own eyes.”

“Try me,” is all I can say. My words come out as a mere whisper. How he knows all this doesn’t matter. The only fact of importance is that he knows.

“Everything at its time. Here’s the plan Agent Lila Banks – you go back to your people, and you tell them you failed. I know that’s hard, they’re not used to you failing. Tell them I didn’t hire you. Tell them I want you to go out with me and give me insights from your work with the Jinx before I make a decision – yes, I’m aware you’re the best tracker I’ll ever get. That will force them to infiltrate you with Jinx for real. Which, at its turn, will give you access to their files for real. I call you one Friday evening and we meet for wine, a cozy fireplace and good conversation about your findings.”

He pauses, dark stare intense on my face. My blood races through my veins.

“Why the wine and all?” I mutter. “We could just have that conversation, then you hire me.”

“You’ll go out with me,” he decrees, low and luring.

“Why?” I insist. He inspects me for moments that feel like an eternity, drilling through my otherwise icy surface right to the Vulcan at the core.

“Because you’re a very special woman, Lila Banks.”

***

UPDATE – Lila’s whole story has been published in the Christmas Story Book for Adults.

Pic source.

16 thoughts on “LILA – Short Story for the Coffee Break

  1. great! 🙂 well written as usual. Short but on the point. I would love to read more about it. Currently I am reading the Executioner. Please keep on writing stuff, because I would miss reading your great gift!

  2. Very good, Ana! Sharp wit and excellent dialog. I like how Lila lets her personal interest off the lease while playing her role to get the job. When her cover is blown, she holds on. I get the sense she is willing to play Andrey’s game. I would definitely like to read more of this story.

    1. Thanks so much Hyperion! It means a lot to me. I’m going to post two more stories this week, one today and one on Friday or Saturday. One of them should be of particular interest to you 🙂

      1. You are very welcome Ana! I am really excited about this. I’ll try not to chew my finger nails while I wait 😀

      2. I’m working on your profile right now. Should be done by tomorrow afternoon (It’s evening here, so just another day). It’s fascinating! You have great contrast between the most tender nature possible and an innate talent for violence. Fascinating, I haven’t seen such contrast before.

      3. After I do the profile I’ll spend some time with your writings. Try to go even deeper. Then I’ll write my version of Hyperion, if I may 🙂

  3. Very good story.

    You know I came across a poster in a bank back in Edmonton once that read, Your DNA Is Your Data.

    That stuck with me because I thought there was something really sinister about what that bank poster said.

    Implying something that went deeper.

    And this short story- sometimes in art or literature, you can hit on something that actually happens in the real world and a writer or artist’s muse is able to pick up on it.

    You know I wouldn’t be surprised if through nanotechnology, the technology doesn’t already exist to bug someone through their DNA.

    1. You might want to check The Executioner then – the first 50 pages on the Novels page should be enough to get a feel of where the story is getting at. The Executioner is based on what can be done with the DNA and, through that, with the human body. There is much research I drew on for that one.I’ve had access to much info through my mom, who’s a doctor, and the hospital has been my baby sitter for many years. Later in life I took the research further. Really happy you enjoyed the story, Chris! I’ll be over for my own dose on your blog in the next work break.

      1. I’m reading Dragons almost every night when I go to bed. Love them! Yourvampire stories are day reads because they uncrease my forehead during work, makes it all more bearable.

      2. Yes, that’s why I call it a vampire novel rather than a horror novel because most of my vampire novel chapters are humourous.

        I do have the occasional horrific Edgar Allan Poe H.P. Lovecraft Stephen King style horror chapter
        once in a while.

      3. You have a unique style that I find absolutely fantastic. I’ve never read something like that before, and the humor is terrific. And I don’t usually use big words, don’t like to waste them. But I’ll always have big words for Daniel and you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s