You might recognize me, either from the society pages of the Bridgeport Daily News, or maybe my many tabloid covers of Sim People, or maybe it’s my last name that you recognize. That’s right I’m a Bergeron as in heir of the Bergeron empire. My father owned Bergeron Industries the biggest technology company in the world, the one that put Apple out of business. And me? At 18 I was a billionaire. I mean, before the incident. But I’ll get to that.
…. I think you get the idea. Like I said, that was before in incident. I guess I should have another word for it because the “incident” makes it sound trivial and simple. My father’s death was anything but simple. The cleaning woman found him dead at his desk a bullet in his head. The security system has been conveniently disabled and the police had no leads. Or if they did they were paid not to use them. I’m going to tell you all a fact that unfortunately dominates the seedy underworld of Bridgeport. Money talks. Ethics, morals and even laws go out the window for the right price. But who would want to kill my father, you ask? The list of people who held personal grudges was short, but the list of people who would want to murder a billionaire technology CEO, is not.
The pressure was on to make an arrest. So they arrested me. After the farce of a trial I had enough. I packed my necessities into the lambo and left. Crossing over the bridge, speeding away from the city lights at 80 miles an hour, I never looked back.
I had signed the papers and was officially a part of Sunset Valley’s Fort Gnome military base. I had been there for hours and I was famished. I needed to find myself at a table at the nearest restaurant, I’d learned a lot in becoming a reformed playboy, but cooking still wasn’t my strong suit. The restaurant, Leo’s was one I’d never been to before. I wish I’d been in sooner.
She was standing behind the counter laughing with a customer. I felt compelled to talk to her. I had to know her, had to meet her.
“Can I help you with something?” she asked, smiling at me with a curious look.
I realized I was staring, “I— yeah— I could I get a burger please?” I recovered quickly giving her a one sided grin that showed off the dimples in my cheek, a lady killing grin.
“Sure thing, I’ll get that right out for you.”
She came back a few minutes later with a piping hot burger and fries.
“Thank you,” I put my hand on her arm and she looked down at it but didn’t shake me away or say anything. She just looked at me, like she was searching my face for answers to unspoken questions. For a long moment we just looked at each other.
“Oy! Antonia! You’ve got customers waiting!”
She shook her head as if to clear her thoughts and headed back to the front of the restaurant.
“Antonia, wait,” I grabbed her wrist, “I’d like to take you out sometime, what do you think?”
She gave me a knowing smile, “Not tonight romeo. Besides I know alll about your reputation with the ladies Bergeron.” I watched her walk back to her car, dumbfounded. So she knew who I was… This was going to be a lot harder than I’d imagined.
She grinned, “Hey there Romeo”
“What are you doing here?” I ran a hand through my hair trying not to seem too anxious.
“I thought a year was long enough to make you wait. I thought I’d let you take me on that date after all.”
I was floored, “That’s… really?”
“Come on Bergeron I’d have thought with your romantic repuataion you wouldn’t be surprised”
I gave her a sly smile despite myself. “sweetheart you don’t know the half of it. Let me grab my car”
“Did you have something in mind?”
“Actually… I do. How does heading down to The Lagoon for some dancing and drinks sound? ”
She smiled, “Sounds great”
“Has anyone ever told you you’re incredibly good looking?” Antonia wrapped a lock of my hair around her finger as she looked at me.
“I might have heard it a time or two”
She laughed putting a hand on my arm then pressed her lips against mine. They were soft and warm and still ahd the sweet taste of alcohol on them. She parted her lips a little an invitation for me to deepen our kiss. My hands tightened on her waist as our tongues met. She broke away breathing heavy and laughed, “I think I need another drink”
“I’ll meet you at the bar” I needed a moment to compose myself. This wasn’t at all what I had expected for our first date. When I did make it to the bar, Antonia was dancing on top of it. She climbed down heels slipping a bit on the floor.
“Whoa, you okay?” I asked steadying her with a hand on the small of her back.
There was a determined look in her eye as she leaned up and kissed me tangling her arms around my neck. She leaned against the wall for support. One hand slid up into her hair the other down to her hips. I drew back from her lips and began trailing kisses down her neck. First the edge of her jaw then the curve of her neck behind her ear, down to the hollow at the base of her neck. She let a little moan escape her lips,
“Let’s go back to my place” she whispered.
She didn’t have to ask me twice.
The cab was speeding away from the Lagoon towards Antonia’s and I was beginning to have second thoughts. Of course I wanted to be with her, lay with her. I could only imagine what it’d feel like to touch her bare skin. But I didn’t want it like this. I wanted to know that she wanted to be with me because of me, not because she was drunk. I don’t know when that had happened. Without even knowing she was doing it Antonia had turned me into another person.
“My bedrooms upstairs,” she was slurring her words a little
“Shhh” she put a finger to my lips. “just meet me upstairs in a minute”
When I went upstairs I found Antonia in only her underwear sitting on the edge of the bed, “Come here” she patted the space next to her.
She stood up pulled me in close until we were chest to chest. “Don’t you want me Kent? I’ve seen the way you look at me.”
I groaned, my hand found it’s way into her hair again, “Of course I want you. Do you know how long I’ve wanted this? But not like this. Not drunk”
She sighed, putting her head on my chest, “You’re much sweeter than they give you credit for you know”
I kissed the top of her head. I rummaged around in her drawers until I found her some pajamas and pulled them over her head. I lead her gently to the bed I turned to leave.
“Wait, Kent, please stay”
I lay down with her on the bed. Her head on my chest, our legs intertwined. Her fingers found mine and laced together. I heard her breathing deepen and slow and knew she was asleep.
She sat down in the sand and motioned for me to sit with her. I took her hand stroking small circles with my thumb. For a moment she looked surprised then relaxed into me her arm around my waist.
“You see that bright star right there?”
“Look closely and you’ll see that it’s part of a bigger constellation, Andromeda. Do you know the story of Andromeda?” She shook her head no, “Andromeda was a Princess the daughter of Cassiopeia,” I pointed out the constellation as I spoke, “Cassiopeia was vain and bragged about her daughter’s beauty angering the sea God Poseidon. He sent a sea monster to ravage the Ethiopian coast where Cassiopeia and her husband ruled. The only way to stop the monster was to sacrifice their daughter, Andromeda. So they chained her to a rock and left her for a monster,”
“Don’t worry it gets better. So while, Andromeda’s just hanging out naked waiting to be eaten, Perseus comes along fresh from chopping Medusa’s head off and saves her. They eventually get married even though she’s promised to someone else. And when she died she was put in the sky near Athena.”
“I see it, it’s like she’s chained to the rock.”
“Exactly. My father told me that story. He loved Greek mythology.”
“I’m sorry about your father Kent. That must have been hard. I couldn’t believe when I saw on the news that you had been arrested. No son could kill his own father.” She squeezed my fingers.
“Antonia? Can I ask you something?”
“Is it all right if I kiss you now?”