Nick Tanner laid his old-fashioned desk phone back in the cradle and checked his expensive pocket watch. It was three minutes to midnight and he was still at the office, feeling impatient.
In three minutes, it would be his birthday…
And he would be two thousand years old.
He watched as the hands on his Graves Supercomplication watch pressed closer to midnight. He had picked it up at an auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva the previous month as a pre-birthday gift to himself. Expensive artifacts fascinated him, and the idea of owning a watch that could not only keep time and date into perpetuity but also plot the movement of celestial bodies, made the timepiece too tantalizing to pass up.
At exactly one minute to midnight, Remy burst in with the rest of the young men that made up the Handsome Devils Modeling Agency. All of them had smiles on their faces, and they were all heart wrenchingly beautiful, even for fallen angels.
They were all wearing tuxedos for the occasion.
“You surprise me,” Nick said to them, rising from his black leather office seat, “I certainly didn’t expect you to remember.”
“How could we ever forget?” Merlin answered, as he and Cotton placed champagne glasses on the teak desk. “You’re our leader! We wanted to wish you another year of glorious conquest and acquisition. 2017 already! Do you believe it?”
From behind the two men a grey eyed serious looking Cotton said, “It’s time!”
Together, all seven of them counted down the last 10 seconds. Remy and Jude especially enthusiastically, since they’d already been drinking. Then, auburn-haired Force popped the cork and poured the sparkling effervescent drink down into the flutes, passing them around.
And everyone exchanged smiles, raising them up.
“To Nicholas,” Fletcher shouted into the huge space of the richly appointed office, “Our mentor, our leader, our brother in arms. May he rule this earthly plane forever!”
“Hear, hear!” the others echoed, downing their drinks in turn.
Outside the huge double paned bank of windows behind Nick’s desk, an immense jagged streak of lightning forked violently across the deep blue velvet of the night sky, followed by a clap of thunder that shook the expensive high-rise to its foundations.
Nick smirked at the others.
“I think HE heard you,” he said.
Taffy Sinclair grabbed her camisole from the floor where it had fallen and brought it over her head, then bent over to snatch her thong off the floor.
“Lovely view,” said a voice behind her.
She whipped around quickly. Her dark-haired lover, John, was sitting up on the ridiculous bank of pillows she loved to keep at the head of her queen-sized bed. He looked sleepy and sexy as he patted the space beside him on the silk sheets.
“I bet you want to snuggle,” he said.
Taffy looked at him, narrowing her eyes.
“John, you know I have to work,” she said. “Some of us have a day job!”
John moved to the edge of the bed, hanging upside down over the side and trying to grab at her.
“What’s a day job?” he asked.
Taffy sniffed. John was a trust fund baby and had an online business. He never had to get up before the crack of noon. And as much as she wanted nothing more than to crawl back into the shelter of his well-muscled biceps, she just couldn’t.
With the threat of pending layoffs at the magazine she worked for, ’AU CLAIR’, she had to make sure she showed up every day on time.
“Sorry,” she said regretfully, hating to see the disappointment in his gorgeous green eyes, “I’m running late for a meeting with Tris, my editor, and she’s making an important announcement today. Methinks heads are going to roll—hopefully not mine!
“You know your way out John…don’t forget to lock up!”
Taffy made it to the office with two glorious minutes to spare, which was great because she desperately craved the last-minute cup of Starbucks Sulawesi she hastily poured from the office coffee dispenser.
When she took her seat in the conference room, she had just enough time to take two quick swallows—black and sweet—from the decorative Styrofoam cup.
Tris Mellon breezed into the conference room trailing the scent of a signature fragrance the magazine had an advertising account with. Au Clair received a fair amount of swag from their advertising clients. Tris usually took the best and would set out a basket of the remainders for her employees to fight over.
Taffy looked around. There seemed to be a few less employees present—and where was her best friend at work, Noelle?
“Well,” Tris greeted them, “I am pleased to announce that the bloody carnage of having to lay off some of you is over. If you are sitting at this table, you still have a job. Some of your job descriptions will be amended to include new duties formerly performed by your coworkers who received pink slips. Most of them went straight down to the unemployment office.”
Taffy felt her heart sink in her chest—Noelle must have been laid off and left before she arrived. The thought of what her friend must be going through eclipsed her own relief at not being one of the unfortunate employees that had just gotten their walking papers.
She couldn’t imagine what Noelle, a single mother and a kind soul, must be going through.
“Now onward and upward,” Tris continued, sliding on her Tiffany reading glasses and picking up a sheaf of papers.
“We have a new contract with Handsome Devils Modeling Club to provide male models for the new Icelandia Fashions shoot. These are trending wildly, especially the men’s division! I need someone level headed to meet with potentials from Handsome Devils and choose three or four plus develop some theme with appropriate sets for the shoot that won’t involve travel and won’t cost us an arm and a leg.”
“How about me?” Taffy’s coworker, Sherron B, spoke up, waving a beautifully manicured hand casually in the air, “I’d love to do it Tris, I have some ideas already!”
“Or me,” Devon Jones, one of the most fashion savvy employees on the staff proposed, “I know how to wrangle male models. I’m the obvious choice here.”
“Yes, Devon…we know you can handle males…” This got a titter from the employees because Devon made no apologies for his multiple affairs with male models and spoke about it openly. “But I wanted someone fresh for this one.…
“So, I’ve decided to put our girl Taffy Derringer on it. Taffy? Feel up to the task?”
Taffy was so startled that she could hardly find her voice.
“Oh yes, of course, Tris! Thank you for your confidence in me! You won’t be sorry!” she managed to blurt out. Everyone was staring at her as if she had suddenly grown two heads. Of course, they were. She was the most junior of staff members and they were shocked at Tris’ choice.
“Oh, my dear,” Tris said contemplatively, “I want you to understand something. At this point in time I have no confidence in you…you are as yet unproven. I am giving you this plummy assignment in order to prove yourself. Trial by fire as they say.
“And if you fail or disappoint me in any way it will be your job!
…Do we understand each other, my dear?”
Taffy flushed and nodded, feeling as though she’d overstepped, and sensing the sniggers among her fellow employees. Probably most of them were betting that she’d fail at her first big assignment. And she wouldn’t have the assistants and scouting staff she would normally have had for an assignment this big—most of them had been given their walking papers this morning.
“You may choose one assistant, only one, Taffy,” Tris continued, “Think carefully and let me know who you choose. You have six weeks to get this under wraps.
“Start now! This meeting is adjourned! Scatter back to your desks, all of you!”
Taffy called Noelle as soon as she found a free minute. She had already booked a meeting with Handsome Devils Modeling Club for later that afternoon but inside she was grieving for her friend and just plain worried.
When her call went directly to Noelle’s voice mail she nearly panicked, then remembered that Noelle was probably filing for unemployment, she would have to catch up later. Taffy resolved to get a bottle of good wine and some Chinese carryout from Noelle’s favorite Asian restaurant after work and show up on her friend’s doorstep.
She may not have been able to spare her friend the pain of being fired but at least she could be a shoulder to cry on.
Sitting in the austere waiting area of Handsome Devils Modeling Club, Taffy crossed her shapely legs, then uncrossed them, then crossed them again to the other side.
There was something unnerving her and it had nothing to do with the normal jitters she had anticipated feeling since being handed her first big assignment for Au Clair.
She looked around her. The room was huge, the black and grey furnishings set off by silver accents smart and trendy.
But the place was quiet…too quiet.
The receptionist, whose coloring was so pale-platinum hair pulled back into a bun, white blond eyebrows and the palest skin she’d ever seen-had been crisp and to the point, telling Taffy that she was expected and to please have a seat.
Was the receptionist an albino? Taffy could have sworn she had red eyes.
And another thing—shouldn’t the Handsome Devils Modeling Club have been busier? There was an unearthly silence and Taffy was the solitary guest seated in the waiting area.
For a multimillion dollar agency, it seemed, well, odd. And the atmosphere was positively funereal.
At the end of the spacious room the receptionist, who was wearing a head set, looked up suddenly and motioned Taffy forward.
“Mr. Tanner will see you now,” she intoned. Taffy felt a slight chill go up her spine as she approached the reception desk and realized she’d been right:
The receptionist’s irises were positively crimson.
Taffy followed the receptionist as she pressed a button and a slate grey door slide sideways into the wall to admit her.
“Straight down the hallway,” the receptionist told her.
Taffy nodded. As she walked past the receptionist, their eyes met briefly and she could have sworn that not only were the girl’s eyes crimson, but that they also had variegated flecks of golden fire in them that seemed to sparkle with their own prismatic light.
‘Wow’ Taffy thought to herself, contacts lenses must have come a long way since she was in college.
The short hallway to Nicholas Tanner’s office was 15 feet long and opened into another impressively large space. Just the fact that this business occupied that kind of square footage in the world’s most expensive city spoke of vast wealth.
There was a man behind the desk, and he was facing away from her as she walked toward the massive teak desk. Beyond the floor to ceiling window he seemed to be looking out of, she could see a grand view of Central Park, perhaps the grandest view she’d ever seen since arriving in the city.
She frowned for a moment taking in the view as she realized, at this address, there shouldn’t have even been a clear view of Central Park…
The dark gentleman sitting in the chair spun around and stood, leaning over his desk and offering his hand.
“Call me Nicholas,” he told her, “And you must be Miss Derringer from ‘Au Clair’ I presume?”
“Yes,” Taffy answered, taking his hand hastily. She was so taken aback by his good looks that she was nearly rendered speechless.
He was very dark, hinting of perhaps Eastern European heritage. His skin was light olive, and his eyes a golden-brown color. His hair was combed back with the use of some hair product but she could tell it was fairly long. He had a short, impeccably groomed beard and mustache, and she could see impressive muscle definition beneath his white expensive looking shirt, tucked into a pair of nicely tailored trousers.
His sleeves were rolled up to just above the elbow, and when he smiled at her, his teeth were white, his lips perfect.
His touch confused her, though. It wasn’t what she expected—his hand was stone cold.
He gestured to one of two chairs in front of his desk.
“Now give me some idea of what you’ll require from us, although I have to warn you beforehand, we don’t do background. We have only seven male models under contract.”
Taffy was surprised. All the modeling agencies she’d ever been around generally had a stable of at least a hundred, many had multiple hundreds.
“Why only seven?” she wondered aloud.
Nicholas smiled again, and Taffy melted, her stomach tilting. He was so gorgeous that it was hard to focus when he smiled.
“Because we have, quite simply, the best. The most perfect specimens. Perfect faces, perfect bodies.
And several different types and colorings, for variety. I think when you meet them you will see what I’m talking about.”
Nicholas leaned forward and pressed a button.
“Lilith, would you send the models in please,” he said.
With barely a pause, a group of men came through the door to Nicholas’ office. The first in was an auburn haired, slightly scruffy ginger with a mustache and a short beard. He winked as he kissed the hand Taffy offered him.
“I’m Force,” he told her.
“No last name?” Taffy wondered out loud. Looking into his amazing blue eyes, she could feel charisma oozing off of him.
“No-just Force—that’s my real first name. I dropped the ‘Michael’ and ‘MacDougal’, my middle and last names, when I signed on with Handsome Devils,” he told her.
Taffy didn’t answer—she was already envisioning a shoot with Force wearing an amazing suede, fur and embroidered parka that she needed to shoot for Icelandia.
The front of the parka would be open, of course—showing off his excellent torso. Right down to the ‘V’ of his pubic area.
She could pair the parka with Icelandia’s whisper thin, khaki suede pants that were obscenely low slung across the hips.
Just his coloring would be brilliant against a white, artificial snowy backdrop. She was convinced he could sell those pants…
Or anything else for that matter.
Taffy dropped his hand then, embarrassed that she’d held onto it for so long.
“Nice to meet you,” she said. Her voice sounded lame even to her own ears. Sternly, her inner take charge girl, told her that she’d better get a freaking grip because she had six more hands to shake.
The next model to come up to her and offer her his hand had tousled light brown sun streaked hair in a barely tamed mop, a mischievous smile and mesmerizingly light green eyes. He was of a slenderer build than the rest but still well-muscled and broad across the shoulders.
“Merlin Jones,” he said, with a twinkle in his deep set eyes, “At your service Ms. Derringer.”
He bent his head to graze the back of her hand with his lips. Taffy felt a slight electricity course through her as he did so.
“What an interesting name,” she remarked to distract herself from his obvious charms, “Is it your real name?”
“Yes goddess,’ Merlin assured her, “And I think it fits, because, well, I’ve been told that the way I photograph is sheer magic.”
Taffy joined the young man in a laugh.
“Well, that remains to be seen, but kudos for your swagger,” she told him, smiling.
Next up was a very dark haired young man wearing a white shirt with billowing sleeves, the front of it open to his navel.
Of course, Taffy’s eyes traveled past his navel, causing her to blush yet again when she realized it.
When he took her hand, there was a strange jolt of electricity, stronger than the one she had experienced with Merlin, and she got a slight static shock.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, “I’m Fletch—Fletcher Rothschild. I’m wired rather strangely—people often get shocked when they touch me. I end up apologizing a lot!”
Taffy looked into Fletch’s eyes: they were the delicate grey of the ocean on an overcast day, or before a storm. His hair was blue black, long and wild, the kind of cut that could be styled a thousand different ways. He looked as though he might have had some Native American ancestry, though his skin was pale as milk.
Her first impulse was to want to run her fingers through it. There was a sensitivity about his face, and some kind of deep soul wound that was reflected in his eyes beneath the thick curly lashes.
“Pleased to meet you,” she told him, and at the sound of her voice, he squeezed her hand reassuringly.
By the time he let go, she inhaled a little noisily. She’d forgotten to breathe.
The next to step up introduced himself as Remy. He was very dark and sultry looking, with eyes dark enough to pass for black, and the beautiful shaped lateral lips of an Egyptian prince.
“Remy,” he told her, with an unmistakable air of self-confidence, “Pleased to meet you, Ms. Derringer…Taffy. Is Taffy a nickname? Just wondering….
“And if you don’t mind me saying so, love your eyes. Cat’s eyes I’d call them…something feral there, I think?
“What do you think, Ms. Derringer? Do you like all the questions I’m asking you?”
Taffy felt her mouth starting to hang open. What was it with this particular group of men? She was in the fashion industry. She should be used to being around beautiful men by now.
She decided to focus on his question about her name.
“Taffy is Scottish or Welsh, actually,” she told him, “It means ‘beloved’ or ‘darling’. It was my grandmother’s name.”
“Ah,” Remy said, turning her hand over and kissing it, “It suits you!”
The next Handsome Devil to come forward had the dark good looks and demeanor of a dangerous bad boy. At least, that was Taffy’s first impression of him.
He was a man of few words.
“Jude,” he told her, “Can’t wait to start.”
The model who introduced himself as Cotton was an amazing blonde Adonis that reminded her of Thor... only with a Southern accent.
He was followed by Merlin…a lanky young man with blue violet eyes and interesting tats wearing his luxuriant long brown hair in a man bun.
Last but certainly not least was a handsome exotic looking male model who introduced himself as Alexavior. He certainly had his own look: tawny hair nearly to his shoulders in a dozen different shades of blonde and brown, eyes that were an amazing tourmaline color, and just the right amount of facial hair to make him ’scruffy-chic’.
He was breathtakingly gorgeous. A tawny creature that seemed as if he might shapeshift into a Lion at any moment.
As he took her hand his voice was quiet and deep.
“So honored to meet you Taffy,” he told her, looking into her eyes.
Taffy felt as though she were drowning in his unusual eyes.
“Are those contacts you’re wearing?” she asked,” we might be shooting in a huge hangar and its very cold outside…not to mention we will be bringing in snow machines for the shoot. It will be wet and cold. That’s why I’m asking…”
“Ali,” he told her, “Everyone calls me Ali!”
“And you don’t need to worry,” he continued, “I don’t wear contacts!”
By the time the meeting was over, Taffy felt both completely spent and also so overstimulated that nothing short of sky diving would have relieved the sense of pressure that had built up inside of her.
She still was determined to see Noelle…but she had to make a necessary pit stop first. She was hoping that John was still at her apartment.
Nothing but a good hard fuck would take the edge off her crazy day, and she HAD to have one.
CHAPTER TWO: EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES
Taffy bit down hard on John’s shoulder, causing him to grab both cheeks of her ass in a grip that was just short of painful.
“Fuck me,” she said breathily.
It had been ages since she’s felt this way about sex. She had settled into a comfortable and fairly satisfying routine with John. But this afternoon, her libido seemed to be out of control.
So out of control that she wished John had two dicks. She would have taken both of them at once.
John seemed delighted with her new sexual persona.
“Don’t worry, baby,” he told her, his voice a sexy rumble, “I will fuck your tight little pussy raw. You won’t be able to sit down at work tomorrow…or wear panties!”
“Fuck me harder,” she answered.
For the first time since she’d been having sex, her body was covered with a fine sheen of sweat.
‘Welcome to the Sexual Olympics’ she thought with satisfaction as John thrust his generous cock in and out of her.
When she came, she felt as though as though he had hit her cervix with the end of his penis, and she saw stars.
When she was too tired to move any more, though still strangely unsatisfied, she drifted off for a power nap, her head on John’s chest.
Only to be awakened by her phone alarm going off.
“God!” she said, sitting straight up, “I have to catch up with Noelle! Do me a favor and call ahead to Qui’s-I need to take Chinese with me. Order two of the #3 combo to go…pretty please! I’m running late!”
John shook a finger at her.
“Relax! You need to relax more, Taf! And more sex like we just had…that would lower your stress level to a remarkable degree!
“I know you care about Noelle. She’s a sweetie. But you can’t protect her from life! Just be her friend, that’s all you can do!”
“I know,” Taffy answered, twisting her hair up in a scrunchy and fishing around in her purse for a lip gloss and applying it, “All I can do is be there for her. Such a bad break, though. It was her dream job, you know.”
“I think I will go feed the dog,” John answered, “Unless you want to climb up on me again. I think I feel something stirring.”
Taffy looked over at her lover. He was smiling and a portion of his anatomy below the waist was rising and tenting the sheet.
“I’ll take a rain check,” she told him giggling and throwing on a jacket.
“Go feed your dog!”
Two taxi rides later, one for a quick stop to pick up the Chinese and another to Noelle’s apartment building, she had knocked on the door and was greeted by her friend. Noelle had obviously been crying, her gorgeous dark eyes were puffy and red. As soon as Taffy set the cartons of food on the counter, the two women embraced.
“I’m so sorry!” Taffy told her, “I could kick myself for running late this morning! Tris must have administered her hatchet jobs quickly!”
“She didn’t even tell us personally,” Noelle replied with a mournful tone in her voice, “She sent emails! GROUP emails! How embarrassingly impersonal can you get?”
Taffy shook her head.
“WOW—that is cold! Even for Tris! The question is…what is your next move?”
“Well…I filed for unemployment—but that will only last for so long. I’m trying to look on the bright side. At least, I’ll get some time with the little monster while I’m looking!”
Both the young women looked over at Noelle’s son. He was fast asleep holding a worn stuffed bunny rabbit with one ear half torn off.
“I forgot the wine,” Taffy said as she sat at Noelle’s kitchen bar and started digging into the food, “I meant to bring some.”
“Never fear,” Noelle told her, “I have a bottle in the fridge that I was keeping for my next hot date! Of course, he never materialized!”
She got two wine glasses down from the cabinet and poured them each a glass. The rubellite liquid had a fragrance.
“Oooh –what are we drinking?” Taffy asked.
“Egri Bekiver,” Noelle answered, “Bulls Blood! It’s Hungarian…and for some reason my favorite. It’s the perfect balance between sweet and dry…
“But the more important question is—what shall we drink to?”
Taffy though for a moment, then she had it.
“To the future! Full speed ahead for both of us…
“…and the Devil take the hindmost!”
Taffy finally got up after she had punched the snooze on her alarm three times. John was snoozing away, and she had just a slight headache from her ‘liberation’ party with Noelle the night before.
Breakfast would be three Advils and a black coffee.
Standing in front of her walk-in closet, she sighed. She would need to choose her outfit carefully for her first day after getting this choicest of assignments-her first assignment that she was completely in charge of. She had to dress the part.
She selected an ecru business suit of comfortable material that she would wear over a lacy silk tank. It had just the right amount of sex and professionalism and today, with only one assistant, she would be doing a lot of grunt work for the shoot herself: setting up location and equipment.
Her assistant had to be great with the extraneous equipment that she needed for the shoot, namely the snow machine. Taffy had no idea how the technical elements would work. Icelandia was flying in their own person to do wardrobe for the different shots, so that was helpful.
She shuddered involuntarily, then caught herself. This was a big deal and she didn’t have any time for nerves.
She stepped into the shower and decided she’d overslept too much to wrangle her hair, so she would put it up in a sleek bun. That would be more businesslike, anyway. She hoped Tris would be in a better mood and vowed not to do anything to antagonize her high-strung boss.
In the shower, she remembered her fierce lovemaking session with John the previous day. She was still ‘saddle sore’. He had given her his best performance in bed to date.
She had to wonder why she’d been so horny. Maybe she’d needed to get rid of the tension of the workday…maybe. But she thought it might have something to do with her meeting with the all-male modeling agency.
The models had all been ungodly gorgeous. Every one of them in a unique way. Taffy was so used to pretty people that she should be jaded by now, she figured. But they had been somehow different, this group of gorgeous men.
And Nicholas Tanner? Even for the head of a modeling agency, he was handsome enough to model himself…in fact she thought he would look stunning in the men’s faux fur Icelandia was providing. It was one of their flagship pieces for the shoot. The thought of those piercing eyes peering out from the hood of the fur parka…he would look like a man with a haunted soul. There was something about his face that was princely, and at the same time vulnerable.
As if he needed something, she mused, perhaps something that only a woman could give him.
On the taxi ride to work, she tried to recall more about the previous afternoon. She really only had a budget to hire four of the models from Handsome Devils.
Snapping open her slim briefcase, she removed the portfolio that Handsome Devils Modeling Club had given her. It contained the seven essential shots of each of the models she’d met: a close-up head shot, a full length shot and a full length ‘nude except for briefs’ shot. Aside from those fashion shots, a commercial shot, a smiling shot , and a strong closing shot were all essentials. Spreading them out in her lap, she tried to relax and see which photographs caught her eye in a special way.
It was almost an intangible quality. Some models had it, that rare quality that made anyone else looking at them look twice and then not be able to break away their gaze.
Unfortunately, try as she might she could not eliminate any of the Handsome Devils Models. All of them seemed to have that hard to define extra ‘je ne sais quoi’. All of them were amazing, even enthralling looking.
Sighing, she decided to think outside the box.
Only unseasoned models, in her experience, would ever agree to do what fashion photographers termed, “background”. Most of them wanted front and center in any shoot. But she had the feeling Nicholas Tanner might acquiesce to a deal where she used each of them for a main shot and let 2 to 4 of the others serve a backdrop.
There was something else, too. The male models she’d been introduced to seemed incredibly comfortable with each other. Almost as if they were part of the same family.
Like they were brothers…or at least part of the same tribe. They weren’t snotty or competitive like other models she’d been exposed to…it was puzzling. She’d never seen such a cohesive group.
By Taffy’s estimate, Tris had wanted to give the feature 5 pages, and that was being generous. To convince her to give up another two pages of Au Clair for the Icelandia shoot would probably take a lot of convincing…
But Taffy was determined to move heaven and earth in order to get it done.
Two hours and four cups of coffee later, Taffy finally got what she wanted, along with more threats from Tris. They’d argued back and forth for over 45 minutes. It was in Taffy’s favor that she already had many of the shots set up in her head—she was able to sketch them out on a storyboard for Tris before approaching her.
In the end, Tris had to agree that her shoot was promising. For their part, the models at Handsome Devils Modeling Club had agreed to take a 30% cut from the usual dawn to dusk fee so that all of them could be included somewhere in the fashion layout.
So far everyone including the client, Icelandia, was on board. The tension was getting to Taffy, however. She’d taken to carrying a PRN prescription of Xanax with her at all times, even though she was not a pill popper and fundamentally disagreed with the concept of taking calmative medications, her doctor had prescribed them after she’d broken out in hives and had a hike in blood pressure due to job stressors.
So Taffy viewed it as a necessary evil, certainly a better alternative to breaking out in splotches periodically.
She’d developed the habit of checking in with Noelle every day around noon. To their collective relief, Noelle had gotten a quick approval for unemployment insurance to kick in, so she was going to be okay for the next few months. She would have to job search of course, but when Taffy saw how quickly Noelle adapted to spending more time at home with her son. She was secretly happy that her friend had gotten a break from working.
She’d even contemplated offering Noelle the option of moving in with her. Noelle’s toddler son, Michael, that she’d nicknamed ’Minion’ was a handful, for sure. It was a relief that they could stay put for a while.
But she would under no circumstances see them homeless, and would put up with any inconvenience necessary to make sure Noelle and Minion had a roof over their heads…a nice roof!
Noelle answered after two rings.