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Week 33: Paisley & Trinity

(Trinity takes care of Paisley with a cold)

“Oh, no. What are you doing out of bed?”

“Going to work,” Paisley replied as she walked toward their closet. 

“Absolutely not. Pais, you have a hundred-degree fever, can hardly talk, and look like shit. I can say that because I love you.”

Paisley coughed in response.

“Get back into bed,” Trinity ordered and pointed toward their bed.

“Trinity, I’ve worked on this proposal for weeks.” She sniffled. “I’m not letting a little head cold get in my way of presenting it.”

“Fine. If you can stand still without wobbling on those legs, not sniffle or cough, and run through the intro of your presentation with me for one solid minute, I’ll let you give it today.”

“That’s-” Paisley coughed and teetered on her feet. 

“Yeah, you’re going back to bed. Come on, babe. Help me out here.”

“He wouldn’t reschedule, Trin. He didn’t have time. I just need to make it through one hour. I’ll down some meds, have some water, and put in a coffee IV. I’ll be all good.” Paisley coughed again.

“Babe, no. I’m serious. I love you. I’m serious. So serious, I just said it twice. Bed. I can do this one without you. I have the presentation you made memorized because you made us rehearse it so many times.”

“He’s a big fish, Trin.”

“I know. And we’ll catch him. It’s a Zoom meeting, and the deck you made is perfect. Just let me do this. I’m going to tuck you back in and make you breakfast. You’re going to eat that breakfast and sip the tea, not coffee. Then, fall asleep. I’ll come back in after and wake you up to tell you how it went.” She took her wife by the hips, walked her back over to the bed, and helped her get back under the covers. “I’ll make you lunch and get you into a hot bath. Whatever you need.”

“He isn’t a fan of women,” Paisley said. “Already we’re at a disadvantage.”

“I know,” Trinity replied and moved the blanket up to Paisley’s neck. 

“And he’s going to tell you that his budget is half of what it is.”

“I know, babe. I’ve got it.”

“Fine. But if we get him, Trin, it’s huge.”

“We could actually take a vacation?” she joked. “Now, close your eyes and try to rest. I’ll be right back.” She leaned down and kissed Paisley’s clammy forehead.

After getting her wife’s breakfast, Trinity headed to the home office and turned on the computer. She pulled up the presentation Paisley had worked tirelessly on for weeks, trying to get them this big client, and she wished they would’ve been able to reschedule. She knew how much Paisley wanted to be the one to give it. She’ll do the best job she can, though, and hopefully, they’ll land the business.

“Hello,” Trinity greeted when the prospective client joined the meeting. 

“Hello,” he greeted back gruffly. “I only have forty-five minutes, so you can begin when you’re ready.”

“Oh, right. Okay. No problem.” Trinity hadn’t expected them to spend half the meeting getting to know each other, but a little small talk would’ve been nice. 

She shared her screen and just as she was about to begin the introduction, she saw someone else enter the meeting. They hadn’t turned on their video, but the name they’d used to login was in white on the black screen.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hayes. Did you invite someone from your staff to join us?” she asked.

“No, I didn’t see the need. Your email stated you’d charge me nearly double what I can afford. I’m only taking this meeting out of courtesy.”

Then, it dawned on Trinity. 

“Um… right. It’s someone from our end. No problem. Let’s get started. I know you only have forty-five minutes here.” She clicked to move from the cover slide to the overview slide. 

Then, she heard a cough. Jane had gone off mute. Then, Jane went back on mute like she’d pressed the off-mute button accidentally. Trinity gave the introduction and dove into the proposal. Mr. Hayes asked a few perfunctory questions and she answered them well, she thought. Jane, for her part, went off mute one other time but didn’t make a sound and quickly went back on mute. Trinity wrapped up her presentation and began discussing the pricing for their consultation services.

“That’s twice as much as I’d pay with someone else.”

“And we give you more. That’s how it works: you pay more, you get more. You’re a businessman. You know that. We do the on-site, and this price includes a return visit, which the other guy doesn’t offer.”

“What if I don’t need the return visit?”

“You won’t pay for it. And if you take that out, which I’ve already done for you, we don’t cost much more than the other companies you’re looking into.” Trinity put up the next slide, which she’d prepared minutes before the presentation with the new numbers on it. “So, up to you, Mr. Hayes, but we’d love to work with you.”

“Send this to me, and I’ll let you know,” he said and hopped out of the meeting in an instant. 

“Paisley Jane!!!” Trinity yelled. 

Then, Jane disappeared from the meeting, too. Trinity closed the computer and hurried to their bedroom, where she found her wife closing her laptop.

“Where did you even get that?”

“I had it in here already,” Paisley replied as if it were obvious and coughed. “That slide wasn’t in my presentation.”

“God, you’re annoying. Computer, now!” Trinity held out her hands.

“Fine.” Paisley handed over her laptop. 

“Sleep. Now.” 

“Fine,” Paisley repeated.

“You are such a bad patient.” Trinity laughed.

Then, she got an email notification on her phone. Paisley took it from Trinity’s pocket and unlocked it using her own face.

“I’m surprised it even recognizes you with how sick you look right now.”

“It’s him.” She smiled up at Trinity. “He’s in.”

“Good. Now, sleep.”

“I love you,” Paisley said.

“Yeah, yeah, PJ.”

The Misperception - Prompt IV
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