Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac
Claudia Alford was a very attractive young woman in her late twenties. Blond haired and blue eyed, she had kept the figure that had made her the head cheerleader in high school. Seeing Claudia in a bathing suit was often taken as proof that there was a God. Fortunately for the marriages in town, modesty prevented her from wearing anything other than a conservative one piece bathing suit.
There wasn’t a man in New Millville who didn’t lust after Claudia and she knew it. Knowing it and acting on it are two different things all together. When it came to dealing with wolves, Claudia was most often found standing next to the wife of the wolf. Single men who came chasing after her were soon introduced to her husband, a rather large and intimidating man. Her husband had a reputation for being extremely jealous and controlling despite the fact that it was unnecessary. The fact of the matter was that Claudia was a one man woman and willingly did all that he asked.
A woman of Claudia’s beauty could easily gain the animosity of every woman in town. Claudia had escaped that fate. One reason was her attitude about infidelity, but the real reason was the fact that she was the sweetest and most even tempered woman anyone could meet. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Even jerks were turned away with a graciousness that was disarming.
Everyone loved Claudia. Thus it was a surprise to everyone in the library when Claudia came storming into it one morning. She stood there in the middle of the room glowering at everyone and everything around her. Once she was sure that she had everyone’s attention, she shouted, “I want a book on divorce!”
“What?” Wanda asked. She had recently returned from her visit to see her husband in the hospital in Germany and wondered if she had missed something important.
“I want a book on how to get a divorce! There’s got to be a Do-It-Yourself book on getting a divorce,” Claudia said.
Having read many articles about DIY divorces, Wanda said, “I suggest that you go to a lawyer.”
“I can’t afford a lawyer,” Claudia said. As soon as the words were out of her mouth she broke down in tears.
The sight of the sweet woman in tears nearly broke Wanda’s heart. She led Claudia over to her office and closed the door. Leaning over the young woman, Wanda asked, “What’s the matter?”
“My husband is a cheating lying bastard,” Claudia answered.
“How do you know that?” Wanda asked.
“I caught him in bed with our next door neighbor,” Claudia answered. She sobbed and then said, “It wasn’t the first time I caught him cheating on me.”
“I’m so sorry,” Wanda said. She couldn’t understand why Claudia’s husband would cheat on her. As much as Wanda loved her husband, she would understand if he dropped her to be married to Claudia. In fact, she was pretty sure that if she was into women she would drop her husband for Claudia. She didn’t think any human being could resist Claudia for long.
“What am I going to do?” Claudia asked.
“I can think of only one thing you can do,” Wanda said.
“Call Solutions Incorporated,” Wanda answered.
Claudia said, “I don’t have any money.”
“A consultation with Magus is only ten dollars,” Wanda said. She understood how Claudia could think a visit to Solutions Incorporated would cost hundreds of dollars.
“I don’t even have ten dollars. My husband doesn’t give me any money,” Claudia said. She started crying even harder.
“Stop by the bank and get some money out of your checking account,” Wanda said.
“I’m not on the checking account,” Claudia said.
“How do you buy groceries?”
Claudia answered, “I have a credit card with a three hundred dollar limit on it. I use it for food and gas. My husband checks every expenditure.”
Wanda grabbed her purse and pulled out a ten dollar bill. She handed it to Claudia and said, “Go over there now.”
Claudia said, “I can’t take your money.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Wanda said.
Magus listened to Claudia’s story. When she finished telling her tale of woe, he said, “Stand up.”
Claudia stood up. She was wearing a skirt that came to above her knee, a tight fitting pullover blouse, hose, and high heels. The skirt and blouse were a vibrant blue that complemented her blond hair and blue eyes. By any stretch of the imagination, she was a stunning woman. He said, “Turn around.”
Claudia turned around. When she was once again facing him, he said, “You’re a very attractive woman.”
“Thank you,” Claudia said. She had felt like a piece of meat.
“That is a problem.”
“It is?” Claudia asked. No one had ever told her that being attractive was a problem.
“Yes, it is. It would have been better if you were plain looking,” Magus said.
“Will you wait in the reception area while I investigate what to do about your situation?” Magus said.
“Can you help me?” Claudia asked.
“Don’t worry about that, I can solve your problem,” Magus answered.
“Great,” Claudia said.
“Now go wait in the reception area,” Magus said. He watched Claudia walk out of the room. Once she was gone, he shouted, “Stephen! Get in here!”
Stephen left his office and nearly tripped upon seeing Claudia seated in the reception area. In a typical male fashion, he walked into Magus’ office with his head swiveling so that his eyes remained on the beautiful woman. He nearly broke his neck trying to turn it too far.
Once in the office, Stephen said, “You bellowed.”
Magus held out a fifty dollar bill and said, “Take Claudia out to lunch. Bring me back something.”
“What would you like?” Stephen asked. He could barely believe that he was going out to lunch with the gorgeous woman in the reception area.
“You know what I like. Pick something out for me from wherever you take her,” Magus answered.
“Don’t forget to bring back a receipt. This is a business lunch,” Magus said.
“Yes, Sir,” Stephen said snapping a salute.
“Go forth and graze,” Magus said. He pushed the button on the side of his desk and waited for his desktop to move out of the way and for the projector to start. He was busy typing before Stephen managed to get out of the room.
An hour later, Claudia was back in Magus’ office. She had been sitting there nearly two minutes waiting for him to say something about her situation. He kept glancing at her and then shaking his head. She nearly jumped when Magus looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Igor!”
A very large man entered the room through the door behind the desk. He looked at Magus and then over at Claudia. He cracked his knuckles. She stared at the huge man wide-eyed. His hands were as big as her head. In a gravelly voice, he said, “My name is not Igor.”
“You look like an Igor,” Magus said dismissively. Gesturing between the two people in his office, he said, “Claudia, Phil. Phil, Claudia.”
“Nice to meet you, Ma’am,” Phil said while giving her a curt nod of his head.
“Nice to meet you,” Claudia said wondering if she would get used to his gravelly voice. She hoped that he was a friend because the alternative was a very frightening thought.
“Igor, take her to her house and pack up all of her clothes,” Magus said.
“What?” Claudia said.
“Don’t worry about it, Claudia. I’m sending him with you, for your safety. Igor is my security guerrilla,” Magus said.
Phil rolled his eyes at being called a security guerrilla. He muttered, “I’ve got to come up with a reply to that.”
“I can pack up by myself,” Claudia said. She didn’t think her husband would get violent.
“You may not realize it, but you are in grave danger. You husband is an immature insecure little man. He is the type who will react violently to any sign of independence on your part,” Magus said. When he had investigated their finances he had been shocked at how completely dependent she was on him. It was likely that he was going to extend his control over her life in a more physical manner with time. The only thing stopping him was her father. Her father would kill him if he ever hit her and her husband knew it.