Mindy Parker was sure her party would be amazing. She had planned everything down to the last tee, and now just had to get it all put in place before the event itself, tomorrow evening. She was currently at the hairdresser’s, getting her hair re-foiled with golden highlights, so all her friends would think it was sun-kissed.
“So, Mindy, tell me more about this party!” Viktor, her hairdresser, had come back with the blue dye. Mindy was never quite sure why it started blue but finished blond, but that was why hairdressing was best left to the professionals, as far as she was concerned.
“Well, I’ve got the most gorgeous dress, it’s got tiny spaghetti straps because strapless is so two years ago, but someone didn’t tell Rodeo Drive and everything this season was strapless again! You would not believe how much effort I had to go to find this dress,” she said. “Naturally, I had to accessorize, but that’s why daddy increased my allowance this month so I could get an extra special outfit! After all, I’ve still got all my usual expenses to pay for as well! Life doesn’t suddenly become free just because I’m getting my twenty-first birthday party!” she said.
“That is so true. So who’s going to be your plus one? Dish!!” Viktor said. Mindy was fairly sure that he wasn’t actually gay, since she had seen him with at least three different girlfriends over the years, but he was definitely the campiest straight guy she had ever met.
“Well, that’s another story completely; see, I was originally going to invite Troy but he started seeing Jessa and she was, like, so inconsiderate! I asked her if she could just stop seeing him for a couple of weeks, I mean, hello! It’s my twenty-first birthday, that only comes round once in a lifetime! So anyway, she totally ditched me by saying she wouldn’t stop seeing him so I couldn’t ask him to be my date for my birthday! I was, like, so bummed that I ate an entire gallon of ice cream. Ohmygod! I still need to lose three pounds before tomorrow!” She paused for breath and looked down at her stomach. All she could see was the virtually nonexistent fat.
“Head up, please, Mindy. Have you tried that new alkaline diet?” Viktor asked. “J Lo was in here last week and she’s swearing by it!”
“Ohmygod! I so totally got the book and all the little leafy things but Maria or whatever her name is—our cooking lady—she did not know what to do with it and I couldn’t explain it to her because I don’t speak Mexican. So anyway, coming back to my dates, after I got wholly rebuked by Jessa about Troy, I asked Toby—you know, he had a bit part in the Spiderman movie. He’s the one with the killer tan and he was in that surf documentary when we were all in high school. So now he thinks he’s like, an accomplished actor, and I was like, hello! Toby, the music videos I’ve been featured in get way more airtime than your loser-y dorkfest, they’re like on continuous loop on MTV. But then, he took it all personally and got way defensive so I had to ditch him as a prospect, so then I met this guy Marty in the mall but he was a complete stoner, and I was like, what does it take to find a reasonable, rational, normal guy around here who can take responsibility for himself and sweep me off my feet?”
“Yeah, it’s definitely slim pickings at the mo. So are you going on your own?”
“Yeah. No date to my own party, how pathetic is that? Oh well, I’ll still have my besties at my side!” Mindy said.
After she was finished at the hair salon, Mindy drove her Mercedes SLK convertible straight back home and immersed herself in the party preparations. She’d hired a team of five men to help her, along with the regular staff. This was the most work she’d done on a party, and since her parties were the only time she ever did any work, she was almost running on empty. After two years without a steady boyfriend, she was counting on this party to replenish her lonely soul. If only she could get the lighting right in the hall, then she knew without a doubt that she’d be able to attract a good prospective boyfriend.
“No, they need to twinkle. Twinkle. Twinkliamo?” she hazarded. She had learned French in high school, and hadn’t been very good at it, so Spanish was completely beyond her. She spun around when someone tapped her on her shoulder, then had to stop and catch her breath.
“Miss Mindy? The ice sculptures are arrived.”
A Latino man was standing in the hallway, looking ripped. Mindy could see his black T-shirt straining over the sheer bulk of his muscles. Add to that a stylish shaved head, deep brown eyes that a girl could get lost in, and that beautiful caramel skin tone, and he was enough to make any girl swoon. She had a sudden mental image of him bending her over his knee and giving her a very thorough spanking, before taking her and making her come on his cock.
Slowly, Mindy dragged herself back to the present. There was no way she could be attracted to the employees. Even the hot ones. Her father would cut her off.
“Okay, sure, I’ll go look at them. Like, who are you again?” Mindy asked, feigning indifference.
“I’m Jorge, I’m the gardener. I’ve been here since two weeks,” Jorge said. His accent was like drinking a cappuccino. She could feel her pulse racing and a feeling of warmth spreading in the area where she’d had a Brazilian wax earlier that day. Yes, it was clearly caused by the Brazilian, she told herself.
Mindy rolled her eyes to cover up her attraction.
“Well, Jorge, which room are the ice sculptures arrived to?” she asked, purposely imitating his bad grammar. She unconsciously smoothed her hair.
“They have been in the dining hall,” he replied.
They were standing on wooden plinths, eight feet tall and not what she had ordered.
“Oh my God!” she screamed.
She walked all the way around them. They were definitely not what she had ordered.
“No, no, no, these are all wrong! I wanted two giant horses, not freaking unicorns! This is a disaster! Oh my God, the party is ruined!” She started hyperventilating as Maria ran for a paper bag.
“We could break off the horns, then they looking like horses?” Maria asked.
“Don’t be stupid, that will be so obvious. Even the shape of the legs is wrong. They look like they live with a freaking elf!” Mindy wailed through the paper bag, then looked around for someone to blame. “Who signed for these?” she demanded. “I want to know who signed for these travesties of art!”
“I did,” Jorge said.
“Then you’re fired!” she snapped. For a brief second, a stern look crossed Jorge’s face, and Mindy’s heart skipped a beat. She suddenly felt wrong-footed, and couldn’t hold his gaze. She hesitated.
“Miss Mindy, you can’t fire Jorge. He is working for your daddy,” Maria said in her soothing voice, pulling Mindy’s thoughts back to the present. Mindy felt out of control of this whole situation.
“Grrrrr!” Mindy stamped her foot. “Fine! You ruined this. You can call the company and make them fix it. Actually, I’ll do it myself. At least they’ll understand what I’m saying because I speak American.” She pulled out her cell phone and dialed the ice sculptor. Maria threw her hands in the air and stormed out of the dining room.
“Michelangelo! It’s Mindy Parker. Yes, they’re, like, here in my house. Listen, that’s so what I’m calling about. There’s been a little bit of a misunderstanding. See, I ordered horses and these are very definitely unicorns, so imma need you to take these back and send me out what I ordered.” She paused, listening to the voice at the other end of the line. “What do you mean, you can’t take them back? As if! Like, hello! They’re not what I ordered. We totally had a contract and you’ve so not fulfilled it.” She listened again. “I didn’t sign for them! I would never sign for something that I didn’t want! No, I didn’t. No, I didn’t. I so did not! You have to take it back.” She paused. “Well, Jorge was incontinent!… Yes, that’s what I meant! He doesn’t speak any American and he didn’t know what he was signing, that voids a contract under state law.” She listened to the response. “Then I am so going to sue your ass so hard that you won’t be able to buy a big enough freezer to keep your ice blocks in! This is a major disaster! You have totally ruined my twenty-first birthday party. I hope you rot in hell!” She hung up and rounded on Jorge.
“Get rid of these… monstrosities,” she ordered.
“Straight away,” he said. Even though his words and demeanor were acquiescing, there was something unyielding in his eyes; Mindy took a step backwards as she felt her nipples harden in her bra. She hoped the bra was padded enough to stop anyone seeing what had happened.
Mindy refused to give into the attraction, and stalked off in her Miu Miu heels to tell her father about the ice sculptures.
The sweeping staircase up to the first floor usually eased Mindy’s troubles—it had always made her feel like a princess in a fairytale castle—but today it was just an inconvenience as she made her way to her father’s office. He often worked from home, ensuring he actually got to spend any time there. He was a lawyer, and a very highly paid one at that. Usually he had several cases on the go at once, and sometimes his legal secretary came by to do anything she couldn’t sort out via email. Mindy’s mother had left them for an eighteen-year-old pool boy and moved to St. Tropez years ago. She never wrote.
Mindy knocked on her father’s door.
“I haven’t got time!” he growled from inside.
“You should!” Mindy declared, marching in anyway. “That dumb new Mexican gardener has ruined my birthday, daddy!”
“You mean Jorge? He’s from Bolivia…” Mr. Parker began.
“Whatever. I need two emergency ice sculptures for poolside, otherwise I’m not going,” Mindy said.
“You can’t miss your own twenty-first birthday, pumpkin, you said it’s going to be the highlight of your social calendar,” Mr. Parker said. “And think of all the money I’ve spent on this—ten thousand dollars is a lot of money to some people.”
“Yeah, like, peasants,” Mindy replied flippantly.
“You can’t plan a party at your own home then refuse to go,” he reiterated.
“Then get me two ice sculptures.” Mindy stamped her foot.
“Mindy, pumpkin, I don’t have time for this. Here’s my credit card, charge it to that, but you’re just going to have to sort it out yourself. I’ve got to have these depositions ready and signed by Monday.”
“Great. I guess it’s down to me to fix it. You should totally fire him!” Mindy marched out of his office and went to her room, already dialing her reserve ice sculptor.
“Hello, Montolio? It’s Mindy Parker. Yes, that Mindy Parker. How quickly can you get me two ice sculptures? What?! My party will be ancient history by next Tuesday!” She hung up the phone and flopped back on her four-poster bed. On a sensor, the sixty-inch flat screen TV popped up from the foot of the bed, turned itself on, and tuned itself to Mindy’s favorite channel. She gazed at the screen wistfully. Her party was supposed to be the biggest night to remember, and instead it was going to be a total fail.
Suddenly, an idea hit her. She sat up and reached for the TV tablet controller, which was basically an iPad that could change the channel. She opened the Internet on the TV screen then typed in ‘statue hire company’ before hitting the search button. Mindy dialed the first company on the list.
“Hi, I’m looking to hire twelve oversized glass statues for a party tonight. Yeah, six to eight foot is perfect. When can you deliver? Yeah, seven statues will actually be fine. It’s 1432 Beaumont Drive.” She gave them the credit card details, then hung up. Maybe seven statues was overcompensating a little. Mindy didn’t care. She had thrown money at the problem and now it had gone away.
Mindy jumped up and squinched her toes in the extra-deep pile carpet on her bedroom floor. Everything was going to be fine.
She ran across the landing, which doubled as a portrait gallery, and tapped on her father’s office door. On getting no answer, she tiptoed in and replaced his credit card. He waved her out.
“Charlie, you gotta give me more time…” She was surprised to hear her father say such a thing. Usually he was so forthright with negotiations. He saw her hesitating at the door and threw a pad of sticky notes at her. He didn’t intend to hit her; he often did this as a signal that she must go out of earshot if he was in an important call. She was gone before the sticky notes hit the door.