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Corrine called this morning, before Mercedes showed up. When Eleanor answered the phone, Corrine recognized her voice, said her name, and spoke in a tone she would use with her equals, not her inferiors. Eleanor is quite sure she could get a job with this woman, it's just a matter of making the right move at the right moment. When Mercedes finally does come in, Eleanor tells her about Corrine's call, that her friend wants to meet with her about the house in Tahoe. Mercedes is dismissive, saying she has more important things to do. She's too important, it seems, to call her friend herself, and tells Eleanor to do it for her, at the same time complaining that Corrine only wants to see her to get music industry gossip. That is just fine with Eleanor, every opportunity to interface with Corrine is a good thing: the sooner she can move herself into a better position financially, the better.

She wishes Mercedes would get on with her 'important business' but she's hanging around, pestering Eleanor wth questions about her 'boyfriend'. Mercedes really does seem to have developed a little crush on Justin since seeing him at the charity ball: she finds opportunities to tease Eleanor or question her about him. Eleanor couldn't possibly be jealous over something so pathetic, but it gets annoying in it's persistence. "You never told me what he does," Mercedes smirks & Eleanor cringes. The dom thing cannot be spoken of, and that's why he has the bouncer job, so there's an answer to questions about his employment that doesn't put people off. At least, not regular people...Eleanor does not want to admit to Mercedes that her lover is a bouncer in a seedy bar, she wouldn't even want to say he was a bartender at a swank club, it's all service industry. "He's a performance artist," she says, and in some ways, that's almost true. Mercedes smiles and suggests they could do an article about Justin's work in the magazine, it's like she's trying to make this difficult for Eleanor. "I don't think I-he-I would be comfortable with something that smacks so much of nepotism," the Eleanor stammers, hoping she won't have to weave any more lies onto this.

When Mercedes finally left the office, Eleanor called Corrine & told her Mercedes wouldn't be available this afternoon, and then, deciding she needs to get out from under Mercedes as soon as possible, she tells Corrine Mercedes suggested she meet with Eleanor instead. "She said no such thing," Corrine laughed & Eleanor was sure she'd completely blown it, "She's out meeting her drug dealer or a gigolo, or both, knowing her, and she just told you to blow me off," Corrine says, and Eleanor cannot deny it. Then Corrine tells her to meet her on the Sunset Strip for coffee before her spa appointment.

Corrine tells Eleanor that her assistant editor, newly pregnant, has decided to take a leave of absence. "It's such a shame," Corrine sighs, "The girl had worked so hard & come so far in her career, and now she's leaving it behind." This is exactly the opportunity Eleanor was looking for, and immediately sympathizes with Corrine, pointing out that she wouldn't make that choice. In fact, since she plans to not have children, the choice would never be there to make. Corrine smiles & nods, and starts asking Eleanor about her education, her experience, neither being particularly brilliant, so Eleanor focuses on her work for Mercedes' magazine. "But you didn't finish your degree..," Corrine says, inviting Eleanor to explain. It isn't easy, admitting dependence on her parents, but it is only fact, she could not afford school without her parents money. "I know your family's type," Corrine says boldly, "They don't cast off their own lightly: whatever did you do that they would set you adrift penniless without even your degree behind you?" Eleanor sighs; Mercedes, though a bitch, was able to sympathize with Eleanor's situation, Corrine will not be so sympathetic, Eleanor is sure. But what lie would sound better and still be plausible? "My parents disapproved of my....partner," Eleanor says, uncomfortable with the juvenile sounding 'boyfriend' & unable to come up with anything better on such short notice. "Oh," Corrine says, drawing the syllable out, "Well that's just sad. That kind of prejudice makes me so angry." It takes Eleanor a moment to realize that Corine interpreted 'partner' as a lesbian relationship: it really was a poor word choice. But the mistake works in her favor, Corrine is supportive, so Eleanor doesn't correct it. "But whatever made you think you could have any kind of career after throwing off the advantages you were born with?" Corrine asks. "Money isn't the only advantage I was born with," Eleanor says, raising her chin proudly, "I can make it on my own." Corrine laughs deep in her throat. "I like you, we'll talk again," she says as she shakes Eleanor's hand & heads off to her spa appointment.

Eleanor returns to the office in a glowing, rapturous mood...every move she's made has been the right one so far and she's sure this could lead to a new employment opportunity very soon. Mercedes of course is still out, so Eleanor starts working on her resume: this may have been her only job, but she singlehandedly put together an issue of an art magazine. Just describing her responsibilities here fills a whole page. When the phone rings, she has this momentary hope that it is Corrine, but the ragged, desperate voice on the line when she answers makes her forget about her hopes, "I need you to leave there now & meet me at your place," Justin says, breathing heavily, panicked and shaking, "Please, Elle, something's happened and I need you," he begs. "I'll leave right now," she promises, and rushes out of the office without even a note to Mercedes that she's left early.


Meet the Characters & Read the Stories. Stories are for Mature readers, and may contain content not suitable to children under 16 or more sensitive readers. Tour Sim L.A.: visit the lot screenshot galleries, get links to objects sites. (Lots available for download at calisims yahoo group) All the Misc. stuff: Out-takes section, Links, Calisims award, Contact info