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Sonny McCain’s fair hair always looked unruly, his pale blue eyes against a tan looked reasonably ‘cool’ but unfortunately his wide mouth drooped at one corner, meaning he missed out being handsome. However some females tended to think there was something about Sonny that was loveable.
Sonny’s two brothers and sister were highly personable and great looking but Sonny was his mom’s favorite although she didn’t know why.
At the post-grad ball Sonny with his master’s degree in business administration didn’t have one partner; he had two. Both fellow graduates, Becky and Karen, had wanted him to partner them so they approached Sonny together and asked him to pick one of them. He grinned.
“Look I’ll take you both but one of you will have to disappear after we leave the ball.”
The two women shrugged and smiled as if they already had worked that out.
That night proved to be a defining point in the young man’s life, teaching him that the conventional attitudes to sex were unnecessarily restrictive and that three could be just fine in certain situations.
* * *
Sonny’s father Grant McCain owned and operated the ‘Paddington & District Star’, the city’s evening newspaper that was struggling to survive against the national economic decline affecting evening newspapers because of television and social changes. The Star also had strong competition from the ‘Billingsgate City’s Morning Enquirer’ in the larger city only sixty miles to the north. Once Sonny gained more experience in editorial Grant intended to reduce his involvement to being company chairman and managing editor, handing over the very profitable commercial printing side of the business to Sonny who would eventually head the company. At least that was the plan.
On his first day at work Sonny’s mother Peggy dropped him off at the office; after six years fulltime at university of rising early and falling asleep late he had a new regime to learn.
“Right darling,” said his mother kissing him fully on the lips, her hand placed over his heart and her own heart pounding because of such close contact. “Do what you father says and don’t go around lording it because you are the proprietor’s son.”
“Come on, give me another kiss.”
“Don’t you love me anymore,” Peggy said, eyes dilating.
“Sure do mom.”
“Well kiss me, put your hand on my breast; you know that sends shivers up me.”
“Aren’t I rather old for this sort of full on mother-son thing?”
“You’ll make my cry darling.”
“Aw, we can’t be having that, can we? Are your tits getting bigger?”
“Breasts darling. Yes, I’m putting on age weight all over. Haven’t you noticed?”
“You still look perfect to me, mom.”
“Oh you devil, now off you go and have a nice day.”
Sonny went off thinking his mom really had to wean from him. The other day when he arrived home he had this distinct thought that she came within an ace of attempting to take him to bed; all the signs where there. Perhaps she needed professional counseling?
Since the age of fourteen Sonny had worked on the newspaper, starting in the printing works first for pocket money and accepting as heir apparent he ought to observe carefully how everything worked and pick up skills and as well become educationally qualified to become a top businessman. That was fine by him; he had no intention of leaving Paddington. He was left as the only sibling interested in carrying on the business started by his great-great-grandfather. His two brothers lived overseas and his sister was a junior partner in a law firm.
Sonny turned to wave goodbye to his mom in the car who was looking at him, wiping her eyes. He then headed inside the building to editorial.
Chief reporter Tim Giles looked at Sonny approaching and then looked pointedly at the huge clock that ruled the newsroom routine: it was 9:10. Start time was 7:30.
“Out finding an early-morning front page lead without the benefit of my guidance McCain?”
Sonny looked at the veteran newsman and said, “Tim, please give me a week to adjust my time-clock. Then I’ll be revved up to fulfill you every need as my boss. How’s Nancy?”
“Pregnant but it couldn’t have been you; I’ll mangle the scumbag when I find him. She’s marrying Ivan Hurst.”
“Wow, she’s lucky; she adored him at school. How did she manage that?”
Tim lowered his voice. “His mother and I are, how do you say, wink-wink.”
“I’ve learnt at university it pays to have influential friends in high places, Tim, but didn’t realize that’s how you rope them in.”
“Smart-ass and call me Mr Giles in the office understand?”
Tim hid his smile and looked at the list of assignments on his computer screen. “Let’s see if we need someone to walk the city sewers with an inspection team.”
Sonny looked uneasy but his face changed to relief when Tim said he should accompany Muriel White and photographer Jess Macdonald to a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce offices.
“I know Jess Antalya Escort but who’s this Muriel broad?”
“We only employ ladies in editorial McCain apart from you. Over there in the corner wearing a jockey’s hat.”
“I think it’s a fashionable hat imported from Italy.”
“Do you want to become our fashion reporter?”
“Then keep your critical comments to yourself.”
“Yes sir, Mr Giles.”
“That’s better. By Friday morning I want you starting like everyone else here at 7:30; is that understood.”
“Yes sir, Mr Giles.”
“It’s Mrs White. What do you want?”
“Er I’ve forgotten,” Sonny sighed, dragging his eyes away from her gaping cleavage; he was ready to roll. “Oh yes, I’m new and Mr Giles has coupled me to be with you today.”
Muriel looked up to take a real interest and flushed. “Oh God,” she wheezed. “Coupled?”
“You’re the boss’s son, aren’t you? We were told to expect you and to treat you as a spy.”
“I’ll make up my own mind,” Muriel said, reaching across her desk from her handbag.
“You can trust me. If you decide to have a piece of me I won’t breath a word to your husband.”
“You’re cute sonny, but not that cute. What’s your name?”
“Your real name smart-ass?”
“Sonny!” screamed photographer Jess Macdonald racing up, camera bag bouncing against her very ample right hip. She grabbed him in a bear hug and smeared his face with lipstick. “It’s so lovely to see you again. I knew you were starting with us today; keeping gentlemen’s hours I see. You’ve met Muriel. She’s new and very sweet but, alas for you, untouchable I believe.”
Turning to Muriel, Jess said that she and Sonny use to be a number until the field came into his focus. “Oh, and of course when I started putting on weight. He likes them slim with big boobs… er, just like you.”
The slim and big boob Muriel stood up and said, “Well, that’s of no interest to me. Let’s go gang.”
“Oh goodie,” Jess burbled. “We have you for the morning Sonny; how lovely.”
They walked to the meeting room late because the two women kept looking in store windows.
The chairman stopped talking to glare and then announce, “The Press has arrived. Because the Chamber is a democratic society they are entitled to report anything they wish unless you rise and specifically ask me to rule that any particular comment is confidential and ought not be published. You abide with that don’t you, er, Jess?”
“Yes Mr Philips-Brown, my colleagues and I agree.”
A group of farmers had applied to the City Council to run a Sunday market; the Council had agreed subject to approval of the Chamber. The meeting was between retailers against the move and representatives of the farmers seeking the Chamber’s endorsement.
The issues were discussed and a deadlock reached. “Well unless anyone has anything further to say I’ll have to deliver my decision on behalf of the Chamber,” Mr Philips-Brown advised.
Sonny, with his mind newly trained to approach problem-solving by paring it to main issues and pushing emotion to the side and then progressing analytically, raised his hand.
“I’m sorry young man but you have no status entitling you to speak,” the chairman said.
One of the two Chamber members sitting on the panel with Mr Philips-Brown said: “Let him speak, Herbert, He’s Grant McCain’s youngest kid whose arrived back with his degree and will be running the Star soon and will doubtless become president of this Chamber one day. His name is Sonny McCain.
“Mr Philips-Brown, Billingsgate has had two farmers’ markets at weekends for as long as living memory and both are very successful and well-liked. I suggest this deadlock between our farmers be put to test to determine when opposition by retailers who are worried about noise, mess and the attraction of undesirable people is justified. Advise the Council of the concerns of retailers and suggest the market be licensed for a month’s trial with the condition imposed that the stallholders’ group engage street cleaners on contract at the group’s expense and undertake in writing to pay any costs the council wishes to pass on for the reinstatement of Fitzherbert’s Green. For that of course the group will need a guarantor. My father will gladly accept that objection as a Saturday market will add character to the town square.”
“Thank you Sonny,” said the chairman, looking over the top of his brown-framed spectacles.
“Good work Sonny; he’s smiling so your suggestion will be accepted,” Muriel said. “As soon as Jess takes her pic of the two leaders with the chairman you grab the happy farmer’s chief and I’ll take the disgruntled retailers’ chief; we’ll only want thirty or so words of strong quotes from each of them.”
The farmers’ group leader Ben Hackshaw shook Sonny’s hand while slapping him on the back. “Well done young man; I couldn’t see that deadlock being broken and knew the panel would feel obliged to take Antalya Escort Bayan the side of their own members under those circumstances. You’re a hero and must come to the opening day of our trial.”
Sonny thanked Mr Hackshaw and after tossing the farmer a few questions was finished. “My daughter is searching for a good-looking bloke like you. She’s just graduated from agricultural college and has found most of the guys she knew before going away are either married or turned gay. Perhaps you should come to our farm and meet her.”
“That’s a nice thought, Mr Hackshaw but just tell her I’m interested and suggest she call me at the Star and ask for Sonny McCain.”
“B-but it’s the guy who organizes the date?”
“Not necessarily, Mr Hackshaw; times are changing. My photo will be on the business section of tonight’s Star as coming on board at the newspaper. If she feels her hormones react she’ll call me.”
“Now look here Sonny, I wasn’t meaning she’s looking for…”
“Nor I Mr Hackshaw. What I said was simply a figure of speech.”
Just at that moment the chairman slapped Sonny on the back and leaned across in front of Sonny to shake hands with Ben Hackshaw, giving Jess her front page picture to go with the story Muriel would write, combining Sonny’s contribution.
Meg Hackshaw walked out to the roadside mailbox to fetch the afternoon newspaper for her mom. She didn’t bother unwrapping the plastic protection membrane because she was gloomy because nothing simply nothing was going on around here once she came in from working on the farm.
“Thanks darling,” smiled her mom Rowena. “It’s so lovely having you home again. We must throw a welcome home party for you.”
“Who will come, married men with their trophies?” choked her daughter, turning to go to her room.
“Oh Meg, look at this. Your father is pictured on the front page and who’s this hubba-dubba.”
“Um, a good looking guy who could… well… let’s say a good looking guy.”
“Let me see. Ohmigod it’s Sonny McCain. He’s back in town. I went to high school with him. He’s so cute.”
“Who’s cute? Talking about your father again?” Ben sniggered, arriving on the porch off the kitchen.
“You take off those dirty boots and that ridiculous smelly hat Ben Hackshaw, snorted Rowena.
“I always do,” Ben laughed and can prove it; I haven’t been hit by your rolling pin in years.
“Grow up you two,” Meg smiled.
Ben whispered to ask Rowena what had brought Meg’s good humor back. Rowena shrugged and said she had no idea.
Meg was pretending to be reading the sports pages when her father picked up the news section, waiting for his coffee.
“Oh, look at this. I’ve made the front page again but this time it’s not to complain about the weather, lack of water, fallen prices or bird ‘flu. Don’t I look handsome?”
“Almost, especially without that ridiculous hat,” said his wife.
His daughter asked casually what did he think of the male reporter. Ben, busy reading the story, said he was okay and then remembered something.
“Oh, Sonny said for you to call him if you want a date.”
“What!” shrieked Meg and Rowena.
“Oh daddy, I’ll die. You told him I’ve been unable to find a guy?”
“No, I’d learned he was just back from university and said you’d just returned from ag college and found it tough socially because all the guys you’d known here were now either married or had turned gay.”
“I threw in the gay bit to make him laugh. He has great teeth.”
“Oh daddy, you’ve gravely embarrassed me. I’ll never be able to go into the city.”
“That’s fine, we’ll get more work done around here. There’s at least twenty hours’ work for you on the back-hoe in paddocks twenty one thru to twenty five for starters. Oh, he apparently is in the same situation of having to assimilate back into the community; he said if you were interested in saying hello or whatever you should give him a call.”
“The cheek of him. It’s the gentlemen who call when seeking a date,” Rowena said.
“Oh mom, times have changed. If a girl wants something these days she does something about it.”
“Well he’s not getting anything off you young woman.”
“He wasn’t been offered anything mom. He’ll know the rules. It stays locked up unless I give him the key.”
“Down mom and be a good girl. This is the twenty-first century.”
“Well, if you went to high school together how is it he didn’t know your name.”
“Perhaps daddy can enlighten us?”
“Oh, I only said my daughter without giving your name. Sorry Meg.”
“That’s fine daddy. Seven of my cousins named Hackshaw were at high school with me. Anyway, he wouldn’t have remembered Meg Hackshaw as my tits were scarcely visible before he left for college.”
“Cool it mom.”
“Very well dear. Are you going to call him?”
“Why don’t you pass me the phone mother dear? And would you two not pant while I’m talking to him. This is embarrassing enough. Escort Antalya But to avoid being pestered with questions I’ll put the phone on speaker.”
“Thank God you still have the grace to feel embarrassed,” Rowena sighed.
Ben had found the phone number for Editorial on page two and read it out to his daughter.
“Sonny McCain please.”
“We don’t have… oh, I’m told we do. He just started this morning. He’s gone home but will be over in the bar. Editorial head for the bar like flies as soon as the paper comes out. He has to buy the first round because his photo is on the front page… that’s tradition. Oh, here’s his cell phone number. I’m told he has been given his phone. Have fun talking to him. Alice has just whispered he’s terribly sexy. Hold it, Alice will switch you through now. I’m new so don’t know how to do that yet. Bye.”
“Nice front page photo of you with my dad Ben Hackshaw.”
“Oh, you’re the daughter looking for a free meal and drinks in return for hugs and kisses?”
“He told you that?”
“No, he said you felt socially ostracized.”
“Liar, he doesn’t know that word.”
“No you fool, ostracized.”
“Sorry he said something about all the guys being either married or had turned gay, I think the gay bit may have been a joke.”
“It was. I regret calling you a liar.”
“Can you think of a better way of saying sorry?”
“Yes take me out for a good time Saturday night.”
“Okay, what’s your name Miss Hackshaw?”
There was a brief pause. “Oh, skinny Meg Hackshaw with the big mouth who could run like the wind and swim fantastically.”
“Aggressive because you stood up to the guys, giving them better than the lip they gave you. You were the first female I ever heard use the word fuck. If I remember correctly your usual way of addressing us was ‘you fucking louts.”
“You remember,” Meg sighed, waving frantically at her mom who appeared ready to erupt.
“A sporty girl with great personality even if you were two grades behind me. How could I forget?”
“I think I remember you,” Meg giggled. “You best come in when you arrive to pick me up Saturday. Mom will want an inspection and dad will welcome someone to have a beer with.”
“Okay 7:00 then. Just a T-shirt and jeans or do you want top shelf?”
Watching her mom nodding vigorously at the mention of formality, Meg deliberately said, “Let’s keep the high rolling stuff in case we date again. I better go now, my mom is making me castrate yearling bulls that are annoying her heifers. Bye.”
But instead of ranting, Rowena said gently, “You fucking idiot. He’ll know we don’t have yearling bulls on a cropping farm. What does he think of you now?”
Father and daughter looked at her, mouths open. Rowena never used bad language; never!
* * *
Sonny was pleased with his first day on the Star. “Front page on your first day. It’s you who is the star,” clucked his mother, smothering his face with kisses and pulling his hand on to her breast. His father was in his study. Oh God, thought Sonny, feeling the nipple up hard against his hand being pressed down on the breast.
“Mom, cool it. Go fuck dad. I’ll get dinner ready.”
“Sonny,” she whispered, but he’d walked away. Now highly aroused by the rejection she went into the study and locked the door, much to the surprise of Grant who found his zip being pulled down. Normally sex was a bedtime activity. Obviously something he flicked her switch. Grant could have wondered, one of her women’s magazines perhaps?
Living in mixed apartments where the females expected the males to pull their weight with chores as well as to pull down panties, Sonny had become a very accomplished cook. He rather liked it because skill was involved. He’d not become very skilled at pulling down panties because his target usually had them down and unbuckling him in a studied drill of continuous economic movement to achieve their goal.
As he prepared the meal he smiled at what he’d achieved on his first day. Everyone in the newsroom know knew him or remembered him and he’d received several calls from managers and supervisors in various departments to welcome him back and to congratulate him on solving the stand-off at the Chamber of Commerce to bring credit to the Star. Even his father phoned him.
He was aware that Muriel was finding it hard to continue her indifference. Back at the office he’d stood behind her, watching her bash out her story and then leaning right over to help proof read after she’d added his contribution. Her body had heated up in the rush to meet the deadline and, he guessed, because of his very close proximity, and the heat released more of her applied perfume and some of her natural perfume, and that combination appealed to his natural instinct.
She’d turned to say that was all, she was sending the story through to the news editor when she noticed his gaze centered on her lips. Sonny heard the tiny gasp and her full lips parted slightly, prepared for the kiss. But he smiled and pulled away and thanking Muriel for her cooperation and great assistance. He’d decided she was married so must not be lead her astray.
* * *
Tim Giles had approached Muriel and Sonny after they’d filed their story.
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