James Ripper lifted the cigarette to his lips with a shaking hand. He took a puff but it did little to sooth his stress. He had had another panic attack today and had to leave work. Now he sat alone on a bench in a deserted park, the overcast sky doing little to lighten his mood. A female jogger jogged by and winked at him. He smiled.
"She's way too pretty for you." James nearly jumped out of his
seat. A woman had somehow placed herself on the bench next to
him, arms resting on the top of the bench, nearly touching him,
without him even noticing her.
"Excuse me?" He said. She smirked and lowered her sunglasses, which struck him as odd because there was absolutely no sun. She had bold blue eyes that made goose bumps cover his skin.
"On a scale of 1 to 10 on attractiveness, you would hit only about a 5, maybe a six on a good day, she is easily an 8, 9, but I wouldn't give her too much credit, she was wearing makeup while jogging..." The girl put her hand on the opposite of her mouth as if to shield it, "So she might even be uglier." she whispered with a sarcastic tone. James just stared at her, not sure how to respond to the insult.
"What's your point?" He said weakly, not confident enough to defend himself. She rolled her eyes.
"You're ugly. But it's an ugly shallow world we live in." She leaned in closer to him and hissed in his ear, "Get used to it." James Ripper got mad.
"I don't have to take this!" And stood up in a rage. A hot dog vendor stopped and looked at him in concern "Are you okay man?"
"Yes" James hissed through his teeth and went to give one last angry look at the girl but she was gone. He looked all around the park but there was no sign of her. He put out his cigarette and left.
The next morning James sat by himself on the bus, staring out the window, wishing he had brought some coffee with him to work. Today was going to be a long day. His brief case that was resting by his foot fell over. He leaned down to pick it back up and when he came back up the girl was sitting next to him. He jumped out of his skin.
"What the hell!" The other passengers turned and looked at him in
question as the girl smirked. Her sleek raven hair was pulled
back into a high pony tail but her sunglasses were gone. She put
a finger up to her lips and did a muted 'Shh'.
"Get away from me..." James Ripper growled. She cocked her head and a crooked smile began to form.
"Don't flatter yourself sweetheart. I've been here all along, and frankly, much more aware of my surroundings. You on the other hand...moping out the window on a rainy day, perhaps pretending your life was a sad music video, is very pathetic."
"What do you want from me?" James seethed.
"I want you, James Allen Ripper, to get yourself together and stop being the pathetic, ugly useless waste of space that you are,"
"How do you know my name, what are you some kind of stalker, is this a joke? Is this funny to you? Insulting me and trying to freak me out? Do you think--"
"SIR, we are going to need you to calm down, you are frightening the other passengers." The bus had stopped without James even noticing. The 300 pound bald black bus driver loomed over his seat.
"And who are you talking too?" James thrust his hands in her direction.
"Her!" The bus driver furrowed his eyebrows.
"There isn't anybody there son." James looked in shock as there
was no one there. He sat up and looked behind him but she was no
where to be seen.
"You must have seen her, black hair, petite," The bus driver waved his hand and silenced James then leaned very close.
"I don't know what kind of drugs you've been doing boy but you better get off my bus." The bus driver straightened himself back up. "Now" And headed to his seat. James stood up and followed then got off the bus, the driver shaking his head in disgust as he got off.
James shaking fingers flew over the keyboard in his cubicle. His day had only continued to worsen from the bus incident. At work he had spilled hot coffee all over himself, got yelled at by his boss, caused a scene by accidentally knocking someone else's papers all over the place then someone smacked him with the door.
It was the final stretch and all he could think of doing was
finishing then going home to sleep. Or get hit by a bus, which
ever seemed easier by the time he left. He distantly heard the
clicking of heels coming from down the hall. He didn't look up as
they neared his cubicle, too focused on his work, he didn't even
really notice the raven haired girl as she thrust a brand new
coffee in his face. He slowly peeled his eyes off the screen and
then nearly screamed again and threw himself back in his chair
but managed to keep it silent.
"Get out of here or I'm calling the police for harassment!" His hissed, but he kept his voice down so people in the surrounding cubicles wouldn't hear him. She sighed then placed the coffee on his desk then peered at the computer.
"Whatcha doing? Billing?" She made a face. "Fascinating."
"Get out." James growled. He was feeling bold. She must have been only 110 pounds, he had about 60 on her, and he was also much taller. She cocked her head. The mischievous gleam her eyes had before suddenly disappeared and they turned unimaginably cold.
"Feeling bold, Ripper? How long did it take you to build up that much confidence, a week? Did your mom tell you you were special this morning? Or maybe another sympathetic girl winked at you again?"
She leaned over him so close that their noses where nearly touching.
"Which one is it, boy?" She snarled. His shoulders sagged, defeated.
"What do you want?" He whispered. She snapped back up, the mischievous gleam returning.
"The obvious of course." He looked up at her.
"And what the hell is that?" He breathed, exasperated.
"To save you." She said, sitting on his desk and crossing her legs.
"Save me from what? Other people?" He narrowed his eyes.
"Are you trying to be some kind of guardian angel?" She chuckled and jumped down and made a point to invade his personal space. She walked behind him and started to play with the notes he had up on his wall.
"Well?" He asked.
She turned her head slightly and he could see a smirk cross her face.
"No, I am not trying to be a guardian angel, I can't protect you from other people, I simply just want to protect you from yourself."
4 four Months later
"Tell him his methods are out dated and can no longer be applied to help this current situation." She hissed in his ear.
"Mr. Harrison, you're methods are out dated and no they can no longer help us with our current situation." James Ripper calmly said, the raven haired girl, Blaise, whispering all the answers in his ears.
Mr. Harrison sat back in his seat and huffed.
"Well then Mr.Ripper, what would you propose we should do then, perhaps in a more modern way?" He said, his voice filled with sarcasm.
"We can't move back, so the only solution is to move forward, big steps, big change. The people will adapt." Blaise whispered.
"Moving back isn't an option, we need to move forward, big steps and big change. The people will adapt." There was a stir as several members of the board murmured to themselves about his idea.
"People don't like change..." Said Mr. Bryan.
"But people need it." She hissed
"But people need it, whether they like it or not." James said flatly. Blaise suddenly moved from his shoulder and he glanced up to see her slowly move across the room. She went to the exit and jerked her head. She was telling him it was time to go. James cleared his throat.
"Well, gentlemen, my time has run up and I need to go, but I promise you that what I said is a valid point and needs to be considered." He nodded his head. "Good afternoon gentlemen." Then he took his coat and left. Blaise was waiting for him by the elevator.
"Good job Ripper, I think some of them are afraid of you now." He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye an waited for the doors to open. When they finally did he stepped on and she followed.
"But I have to say, I don't like that George guy very much." James raised his eyebrows.
"You mean Mr. Harrison."
"No I meant George." He rolled his eyes. No respect for anyone, that girl.
"You're point?" She gave him a dirty look then shrugged.
"Nothing, other than that I look forward to the day he gets eliminated."
"No one in particular, but if he was off the board then everything would be moving so much smoother." The doors opened and James put in an ear piece and pretended to greet someone while Blaise patiently waited for him to acknowledge her.
"What do you suggest we do?" he said, looking directly at her, but did not stop walking.
"Well, since you clearly don't have what it takes to kill a man, I think you just need to get him off the board. He's the only one who seems to constantly object you. Get him out of the way." James paused as he unlocked his new Mercedes and sat in the drivers seat. Blaise took shot gun and put her feet up on the dash. He rolled his eyes. It's like she lived to get under his skin.
"Fine, what's the plan?" He asked, starting the car. She was playing with his sunglasses in the mirror and making faces. She shrugged.
"Dig up some dirt. Anonymously expose him."
"What if there isn't any dirt? And why anonymously?"
"If there isn't any dirt on an 71 year old half a billion aire with three wives then I my interpretations of all those creepy politicians were way off." She turned he head to him.
"If you live to be 71 there will be dirt. And anonymously because you don't want to turn the board against you. Get it? Got it? Good." She turned back and started playing with the rest of the sunglasses. He just smiled and shook his head. What a nut.
3 weeks later.
Blaise yawned and stretched, nearly punching James in the face as they sat in the crowed room waiting for Mr. Harrison's emancipation from the board. He swatted her hand away and she just smirked and then put her feet up on the seat in front of them. Apparently Mr. Harrison had been quite the little bully when he was younger, nearly killing a kid. Not to mention a couple of obscene affairs with girls more than less half his age. His kids had also said he was quite the drunk. Not that any of this was true, well his kids did say he was often found a little past tipsy, but James new that Mr. Harrison was actually a decent man.
Well not anymore. Everyone made faces of disgust as he came into the room and tried to defend himself. He was voted off, only a couple people had wanted to keep him on. Blaise started fidgeting and loudly blowing her bubble gum as someone started making another speech about how they valued class very highly and so on. James looked back at her and she was filing her nails. He rolled his eyes. Finally the meeting was over and Blaise sighed.
"Finally." And sauntered off leaving James on his own. He went to quickly follow her, no longer confident with himself to be independent. But just as he was reaching the exit of the building he bumped into Mr. Harrison. The old man poked his finger into James chest.
"I know you did this boy. I know there is something off about you, and I'll be there the day you snap like a twig." The old man's lip curled.
"You'll get what you deserve."
"And so will you you disgusting waste of space." Blaise snarled in James' ear.
"And so will you you disgusting waste of space." James said smoothly, only adding a little venom. Mr. Harrison narrowed his eyes and stepped aside and James went out the door, ignoring Mr. Harrison's glare boring into the back of his head.
He walked to his car and started it up and drove back with Blaise in silence. Near the end of the drive Blaise piped up.
"What's eating you?" She asked, almost in a pleasant tone. James didn't say anything as he parked his care and got out.
"Well?" She asked again with a bit more attitude. He stopped and looked at her.
"Bull." He sighed. Blaise slowly walked over to him, running her fingers across the hood of his car and stood directly in-front of him.
"I thought you had left me to myself back there." He said slowly. She smirked then playfully leaned against him and rested her head on his shoulder and looked up at him and flashed her charming crooked smile.
"Oh my sweet hearted Ripper, you are never alone."
1 Year Later
"I now give you ladies and gentlemen, the Remarkable Mr. Ripper!" James Ripper took the stage and made a speech about how happy he was to have even been elected onto the board, let alone run it. He smiled into the crowd and in the front row sat the Blaise, her long sleek hair was finally down and she wore an elegant black dress. She winked and downed her champagne and gave him a big thumbs up.
After his speech, which Blaise helped him write, everyone applauded and he got off the stage. A few minutes later he was surrounded by his peers, all holding glasses of champagne. Blaise whispered a joke piece by piece into his ear, causing everyone to throw their heads back and laugh. Suddenly a man tripped and spilt champagne all over James and Blaise. James vaguely recognized him as Tom White.
"Sorry Mr.Ripper! I am so sorry!" Blaise looked absolutely disgusted, her lip curling.
"It's okay Tom..." James said sincerly.
"Okay, sir!" Blaise continued to look disgusted as he hurried off.
"I don't like him." She said coldly.
James Ripper sat at the head of the table, Blaise next to him, reading the papers with her elbows on the table while humming a song he vaguely recognized. While the members of the board talked Blaise would comment with helpful information and the meeting went by very quickly. Tom White stopped James in the hall.
"Sir, can I speak to you privately?"
"Of course Tommy!" James said happily and they walked into a deserted room.
"What's on your mind Tom?" James asked warmly.
"Well, sir, please don't get mad, but several people have claimed to have seen you talking to yourself-"
"He's testing you, Ripper." Blaise hissed.
"And, well I have even witnessed it before and I just want to know that it's all about."
"Are you sure I didn't have an ear piece in?" Blaise said.
"Are you sure I didn't have an ear piece in?" James repeated.
"Um, I'm not sure sir. Yes that must be it, wow I feel stupid now. Terribly stupid question sir, very sorry." James smiled and clasped his shoulder.
"Its fine Tommy, honest mistake." Tom smiled and walked off. James turned to Blaise who had her arms crossed.
"He needs to go." She said. James walked over to the elevator and pushed the down button. A moment later it opened and they both stepped on.
"What do you want to do this time? Blackmail, turn the board against him? What could it be?" James said sarcastically. Blaise gave him a harsh look.
"Death." James snapped his head around.
"I am not killing for you!" Then, without warning, the elevator stopped violently, throwing Ripper into the corner. The lights started flickering rapidly and suddenly Blaise pinned him down, snarling.
"You do what I tell you to. You kill who I want you to kill. Got it? I brought you all of this success and I can take it all away. Tom White is a problem and he needs to be eliminated. End him or I will end you. Comprende?" James nodded rapidly and the lights stopped flickering, and Blaise was gone. He stood up as the elevator doors opened and several people stared at him as he hurried off, murmurs of someone pulling the emergency lever on the elevator spreading through the crowd.
That was the last memory James had before everything went to hell. The diner party, shoving Tom off the balcony, the murder investigation, the interrogation that he seemed to black out, then he somehow ended up in an asylum, solitary confinement, meds three times a day.
He laid on his bed and turned around, only to come face to face with Blaise.
"Are you gonna help me out of here?" He whispered. Instead of producing some snarky comment she just looked sad and sighed.
"No." She stared directly into his eyes.
"You're alone now."