New Horizons Ch. 25-30

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Chapter 25

Alex looked at her watch for the fifth time since she had entered her father’s office. She was used to these weekly check-ins being a grueling affair, but with her mind so distracted by thoughts of a certain brunette, it felt almost excruciating to still be sitting there.

Rick was leaning on his usual perch by the window of Simon’s office and his attention looked to be about as focused as Alex’s was.

“I think that about covers it for now. We’re in good shape on Death of a Salesman with the reviews in. So on to the winter gala. We’re confirmed on the date?” Simon asked Alex.

“November 13. It only gives us two weeks in between the gala and Quinn’s opening night, but we had to move the entire Winter Series timeline up to account for the final show. The set is a bit more extensive than we were expecting and we need more load in time. But the invites are out and the main players we would expect to attend have confirmed.”

“Young artists think they need so much pizzazz. Good directors need the stage and the actors,” Rick said from the window.

Alex was used to comments like that from Rick. The man often spoke in platitudes and he couldn’t seem to understand the value of anything that pushed the traditional theatrical envelope. Alex was the one that pushed for shows that were more experimental. And while the set for the last show of the Winter Series may be elaborate, it all was part of the brilliance of the production.

But Alex didn’t feel the need to debate Rick or her father on program decisions. They’ve made it clear that the Winter Series was hers. She worked for months to painstakingly choose the best productions to bring in. And while she may have been a bit biased towards Quinn’s show, she was also incredibly proud of the two other artist groups coming in. The last one that Rick just mentioned were a rising group from Berlin and it was a coup for Horizon Theater Group to even secure the contract.

“Two weeks isn’t much time to drive buzz about her show. How are you planning to sell tickets?” Simon asked.

It took everything Alex had in her not to roll her eyes at her father’s condescending tone. He knew very well that the Winter Series sold out almost immediately after the shows were announced at the gala. For the audience, it wouldn’t matter if there were two or three weeks in between the gala and the first show. But she also knew that his question was more of a jab at Quinn’s show than anything else.

“Quinn’s show won’t have any trouble selling out. She’s one of the biggest names we’ve had in this theater in years,” Alex replied in what she hoped was a bored tone and not a defensive one.

Simon looked at Alex for a moment with his usual fake smile—

the one that never seemed to reach his eyes.

“A model is not a name, Alexandra. I hope you’re not putting too much faith in this experiment.”

“This has nothing to do with my faith. Even Janet has said that she’s received more interest from the media around Quinn’s show than any other.”

Alex knew that she was pushing where she shouldn’t— Simon’s ego was not something that people generally played with. And if she thought for a second that her faith in Quinn’s show was just driven by her desire for the other woman, she wouldn’t have said anything. But her father’s comments had no founding in anything solid.

She took a steadying breath before she answered him even though she knew from a lifetime of experience with her father that she probably wouldn’t be able to hide her actual annoyance.

“Janet has secured a Times feature that will be coming out on Quinn’s show the day after the Salesman closing, which should give her a bump even before the gala.”

“We’ve never announced the Winter Series programming before the gala. That’s highly unorthodox.”

“The world is changing dad,” Alex said and internally relished in the way he seemed to cringe slightly at her use of “dad”. “How audiences get their info and the things they want to see is changing. We should take advantage of the buzz Quinn’s show will give us. The earlier we announce, the easier it is to do that. There really is no reason to wait until the gala just because that’s what we’ve always done. We’ll still be announcing the second two shows at the gala.”

“I’m not sure I agree with you, but the Winter Series is yours. We’re putting our trust in your hands,” he replied but his tone made it obvious that he didn’t trust her at all.

“If we expand our marketing into new channels, we won’t need to rely on the subscription model as much, which we all know is struggling for Horizon,” Alex continued.

She knew they’d been on this merry-go-round before, but Quinn’s show was the perfect example of how she was trying to veer the theater into the future.

“She’s not wrong, Simon,” Rick said and Alex once again appreciated his presence in these meetings.

Rick was an interesting mix of artist Gaziantep Elden Para Alan Escort and businessman, which was why he made a strong Executive Director for so long. He understood the financials of the theater much better than her father. Simon Anders was born with money and had no sense for the intricacies of Horizon’s revenue streams since he didn’t really manage them— Alex did. It’s the reason Broadway investors loved him so much— if Simon liked the artist’s concept, he’d fund the show with no questions asked.

If it were only Alex in his office, Simon would probably just put his fingers in his ears and refuse to listen. At least he pretended to behave in front of Rick.

“And a feature in the Times is a new channel?” Simon asked his daughter, ignoring Rick’s comment.

“No. That’s just the exclusive to kick things off. A feature in the Saturday paper still means something. But once that runs, Janet’s marketing team will coordinate with Quinn’s team and they’ll leverage her highly influential social media channels to create an online campaign.”

When Simon just stared stubbornly at her from across the desk, Alex finally let her annoyance show.

“That’s on the internet.”

“I know that, Alexandra,” he replied in an icy tone.

Alex knew when to push her father and when not to, and by the look of rage simmering just under the surface, she knew now wasn’t the time to keep pushing. Simon never lost his temper outright. He always managed to keep a calm demeanor even when he was cutting someone down. But she knew his facial expressions well enough to know that she was about to get an adult version of a spanking.

“If you don’t trust me on this, then trust Janet,” Alex said in a much less combative tone. “She’s never failed us before. Nobody knows the New York audience better than that woman.”

Alex watched her father glance over at Rick and the two shared a look she couldn’t recognize. She knew her father and Janet had always had a tumultuous relationship since Janet had never really approved of his marriage to Alex’s mom. But professionally the two seemed to work seamlessly together and Alex just hoped Simon wasn’t about to make some change in PR agency just to spite his daughter. She had always gotten the sense that Simon never warmed to Larry because of how much time Larry spent with Alex over the years and the same could be said for Janet.

She intentionally didn’t mention the fact that the Times feature would also include a quote or two from her, knowing how that would go over. But not for the first time, the whole interview idea made her stomach tighten in anxiety.

Simon began to shuffle the papers on his desk, one of his usual signs that the meeting was over or at least his attention on it was over. Alex picked-up her laptop and stood.

“I’ll send you both the timeline for the next 30 days once I get back to my office. I’ll also send you the agenda for our meeting tomorrow on the spring show. If we want to tease that show at the winter gala, we need to make a final decision,” Alex said as she moved to the door and put her hand on the handle.

“The decision has been made so we don’t need to have that meeting. I’ll see you at the restaurant tonight at 8,” Simon said, avoiding her eyes to look down at some script in front of him.

Alex immediately dropped her hand and looked back over to Simon. When he didn’t look up from his desk, she looked over at Rick who seemed to be focused on smoothing down his tie.

“What do you mean it’s already been decided?” she asked.

“I mean Rick and I made the decision already.”

For a moment Alex just stood there staring at them both. It’s not unusual for Simon and Rick to choose the programming for the Horizon produced shows, especially if they’re the ones directing it, and Simon was directing this one. But given her hand in the Winter Series, plus the fact that Simon had asked her for recommendations for the spring show, she assumed she would be involved.

“What did you decide on?” she asked, curiosity winning over her frustration in being left out again.

“David Coe’s new work,” he replied without elaborating.

Alex had trouble schooling her features and simply narrowed her eyes at her father in confusion.

“It just had a sold-out run in London. He chose Horizon for his New York debut,” Rick added in an obvious attempt to appease Alex.

“That’s in England,” Simon said, giving her a small smirk from his desk.

She had been waiting for a verbal retaliation for her comment earlier and there it was. Now the anger simmering in her gut had nothing to do with being left out of the process and entirely to do with the choice itself.

“I know that, father,” she said, mirroring his words from earlier. “Did you look at the options I sent you?”

“Yes. And we decided that this show was the best suited for our audience,” he replied.

“Coe’s play doesn’t have any female characters. Not to mention some of its more controversial themes have been called archaic by the media.”

“The decision has been made. Once you are leading things, you can make all the arguments you want. For now, we made the decision as the two heads of this theater. You have the Winter Series.”

Alex’s heart skipped a beat at his words. It could just be her father’s way of getting her out of his office, but he has never mentioned her stepping into Rick’s role before and this was at least a small hint that he’s thought about it.

“Are you saying you’re considering me for Rick’s role?” Alex asked, glancing over at Rick as she said it to see if she could gauge a reaction.

Until now they had been circling around the topic and she had never directly asked. But with Rick in the room with her father, she figured it was the best time to see if she could get any indication on her future.

“Of course I am, Alexandra,” he replied as he stood from his desk. “But this meeting has run over and I have an appointment to make.”

Alex gave him a small nod, deciding not to push the topic any further and tried not to let him see how his words affected her. She also knew he didn’t really have an appointment to make, but always left the theater in the late afternoon to go meet with his rich theater buddies.

She gave one last look to Rick who gave her a small wink. She tried not to read too much into that, but there was a small kernel of hope growing in her mind that her father’s statement and Rick’s warm demeanor might mean something significant.

“I’ll see you both tonight at the restaurant,” she said, leaving the office to go back to her own.

Before she was even back to her office, she pulled out her phone to text Quinn. With back to back meetings yesterday and Quinn in rehearsal, she hadn’t been able to see the other woman since their date and she was more than eager to lay her eyes on the brunette again.

Alex: Are you still here?

Alex was barely inside her office when a fast reply came from Quinn.

Quinn: Yes, Diego just left. I’m taking a call with my team from the rehearsal room. And maybe waiting for a blonde bombshell to come kiss me.

Alex: I haven’t seen any of those around here.

Quinn: Then find a mirror.

Alex: Very smooth.

Quinn: You’re not the only one with game Ms. Anders

Alex smiled widely as she sat back down at her desk. She may not have seen Quinn since their first date, but they had kept up a constant conversation thread over text, and the easy banter was just making her miss the brunette even more.

Alex: Noted, sweetheart.

Alex added a wink face to her text, knowing what kind of reaction both the term of endearment and the emoticon would elicit.

Alex: When is your call done?

Quinn: Ten minutes…did you get a permission slip to come see me?

Alex: No, but I’m going to anyway.

Quinn: I’ve always loved a bad girl

Alex: Shouldn’t you be paying attention to your call?

Quinn: Why? They’re just talking about me, and not to me. I doubt they’d notice if I hung up

Alex: Pay attention to your call. I’ll be down soon.

Quinn: Bossy, bossy.

Alex: I think you like it.

Quinn. I know I do. Come boss me around in person.

Alex’s insides went from warm to hot in an instance and she had to squirm to relieve the throb that hit her pussy the moment she read Quinn’s text.

The sensation of being perpetually turned on was something Alex was still getting used to. She had never met anyone who she wanted this much, this often. But she now knew it wasn’t just about sex. She craved these moments of fun banter and romantic intimacy just as much as she craved seeing Quinn naked again.

Since their first date, Alex had felt lighter and happier than she had in years and she was determined to hold on to that.

Alex: On my way.

Chapter 26

“I was too listening. I heard everything. It was riveting,”

“Then what was the last thing we discussed?”

“That you’ve canceled all my media engagements for forever.”

Quinn picked up the phone she had resting on the bench in her rehearsal room and walked over to the mirror. She knew there was no real point in trying to convince Mikey that she had been paying attention to their team call, but she wasn’t ready to completely concede. It was more fun to tease him.

“Not happening,” Mikey replied into the phone.

“I don’t think we were on the same call then,” she said as she gave herself a quick once over in the mirror and tried to brush some of her whisps back into her hair band with the hand not holding her phone.

Alex had already made it very clear that she was pretty much attracted to Quinn in any scenario, but the brunette wanted to see that hungry look in the blonde’s eyes again so she figured a little extra primping wouldn’t hurt.

“We discussed the winter gala. It’ll be on November 13 across the street from the theater at the same restaurant that hosted the opening party you went to,” Mikey went on.

“Right, right,” Quinn replied distractedly.

“And next week is your interview with the Times. Alex will be joining you for that.”

Mikey’s voice trailed off and Quinn’s attention was immediately back on their conversation with his use of Alex’s name.

“Wait, what?” she asked.

“I had a feeling that would get your attention. And now I know why you seem so distracted. I’m guessing things are headed in a positive direction on that front?”

Only Mikey would ask her if things were headed in a positive direction instead of just asking her if she had fucked Alex yet. He was always so damn proper.

“Yes, good sir. They have progressed splendidly and positively and we are now courting.”

“Anyway,” he said with his usual sigh. “She’ll be at the interview with you. She may answer a few questions about the winter series and bringing your show to Horizon.”

Quinn’s mind was finally focused on the phone conversation and not her reflection and she moved over to the wall so she could lean against it.

“That’s interesting,” Quinn said.

“I thought so too. She doesn’t seem like the type to do interviews.”

“Does Alex know?”

“It’s this Monday so I assume she does. Janet said they have weekly meetings.”

At that moment Quinn heard a soft knock on the door and Alex was standing in the doorway with a sexy, casual smirk on her face. Quinn pressed a button on her cell to take Mikey off the speaker phone as she let her eyes roam up Alex’s body.

“I have to go,” she said into the phone and she already knew Mikey would be able to detect the lower tone her voice suddenly took.

“Tell Alex hello from me,” he replied.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He gave a quick laugh. “Sure you don’t. Talk later.”

Quinn let her phone drop to her side as she continued to stare at the woman standing in the doorway. Alex had looked so casual the last two times Quinn had seen her that she forgot how hot the blonde’s “professional” look was.

Today Alex had on black slacks, a silky black blouse, a fitted black blazer, and a pair of sexy, closed toe black heels. She didn’t have any color on except the gold watch on her wrist. Her hair shone against the darkness like a ray of sunshine and Quinn felt her pussy clench with need.

Alex’s pose, with her hip cocked to one side, only enhanced how entirely confident and sexy she looked.

“Sorry, I thought you’d be done by now,” Alex said in a soft tone and Quinn didn’t miss the way the blonde’s eyes roamed her own body. But she knew her casual t-shirt couldn’t compare to the sophisticated woman in front of her.

“I was actually just talking about you,” Quinn said, trying to shake herself out of her obvious ogling of Alex. She finally put her phone in the back pocket of her jeans.

“To?” Alex asked.

“Mikey. He says hello.”

“I think one of these days I’ll need to get to know him better.”

Now Quinn felt more than her pussy clench. Alex always seemed to surprise her lately and she felt her stomach flutter at the woman’s words.

“I’d like that,” she replied, smiling warmly at Alex. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

Alex didn’t respond right away but came further into the room and closed the door. She moved over to the wall Quinn was leaning against but didn’t come close enough to touch. Instead she leaned her right shoulder against the wall so she could face Quinn. Quinn changed her position so she could mirror Alex’s and now they were facing each other.

“I can’t stop thinking about you either,” Alex finally said with a tenderness that didn’t seem to fit with the domineering outfit she had on. “What were you and Mikey talking about?”

“The Times interview on Monday. I didn’t know you were making a guest appearance,” Quinn replied with her own smile.

When she saw a look of worry flash across Alex’s face though, she wished that they hadn’t broached this topic and were back in fun, flirty, banter land.

“Are you ok with that?” Alex asked, her voice thick with obvious anxiety.

“Of course. I think it’s amazing you’re getting credit for what you do here. But I guess when Mikey told me, my first feeling was surprise that you wanted to do it.”

Quinn watched Alex’s face, which seemed to vacillate between concern and indecision.

“I don’t know,” Alex said, looking down instead of at Quinn.

Quinn scooted closer to Alex on the wall so she could finally, grab and hold the other woman’s hands.

“What don’t you know, babe? Talk to me.”

“Janet thinks that if I’m featured in the article as part of Horizon’s recent success, that my father will be put in a corner and will have to give me Rick’s job. Courtney thinks she’s right.”

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