Be Afraid, Freud, Be Very Afraid
Elsa Crane Assumes the Position
Since I just had sexy limo driver, Nick Chase, on the couch for coffee and a little psych session, I figured Elsa Crane might be in shortly. I’m pretty sure the two are driving each other crazy in oh so many ways. I know Elsa Skypes Rita Holly every morning, so she may not need my ear quite as much as Nick does, but Rita is sort of her boss, so hanging with the writer might be just the ticket.
KD: (I let her into my suite at the Elara. She offers a grunt of a greeting and pushes on into the lounge) You got here fast, Elsa.
Elsa: I’m just one floor up. (Instead of settling on the couch, she paces in front of the window. She’s wearing cut-off shorts, flip-flops and a faded red tank top with no bra. She looks very much like she might have just gotten out of bed.)
KD: (I know the Elara is Elsa’s run-away place) Bad night?
Elsa: You have no idea. (She keeps pacing and gives her bottom a quick rub) I lost a bet with Pike and ended up getting my ass beat in his dungeon. Sadistic bastard. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Nick Chase saw it from the control room.
KD: Did that bet have anything to do with Nick Chase?
Elsa: Pretty much. I need caffeine in the worst way. (Before I can tell her the coffee has been in the pot awhile and I’ll make some fresh, she grabs a cup fills it, and I cringe as she drinks it half down black, thick and well-stewed. Then she refills it and continues pacing, cup in hand.) Anyway. I bet Pike that Nick Chase wouldn’t come back after what he saw at the Cosmopolitan the night he shagged Tanya. I couldn’t imagine him coming back. I mean he was so straight laced. He felt guilty for fucking Tanya, for God sake, and Tanya’s easy.
KD: I think he felt guilty because Tanya lost her job.
Elsa: Oh pa-lease! Don’t start in on me. You think I don’t feel bad about having to let Tanya go? You think I want her to lose her bonus. Do you know how many times I’ve looked the other way while she blatantly broke the rules and got away with it because she’s good at what she does? This thing with Nick was just the last straw, and he was collateral damage. God I feel bad about that, but they’re both adults, and now he’s going to try and fill in for her. Can you imagine? Nick Chase getting naked with someone and doing the old in and out … in front of a scope … for a client … (suddenly she seems breathless) I mean can you imagine?
KD: Clearly you can.
Elsa: (She gulps down her coffee and even I feel the burn as she drops onto the sofa and winces, then rearranges her tender bottom) Okay sure. Nick Chase is hot. Everyone at Mount Vegas would fuck him in a New York minute, alright? … Including me. But this is not the job for him. The man’s not an exhibitionist.
KD: That’s not what I heard. I had coffee with Pike earlier this morning. He says you set Nick up, and in spite of everything, the man rocked it.
Elsa: Pike has a big mouth. (Runs a hand through long, thoroughly bed-headed auburn hair) Okay, look, I did set Nick up. I had Beetle and Deb from the team … well I guess you could say I had them reward him. I mean I didn’t think he’d take them up on it. I figured as soon as they dropped their clothes and came on to him, he’d run for the door.
KD: But he didn’t.
Elsa: (Squirms on the sofa) No, he didn’t. I think he was trying to impress me with how worldly he is. In fact I got the strangest feeling he was performing for me. Before you say anything, there’s a helluva difference between having sex in front of me and a couple of my people and performing in front of the scope for a total stranger who’s paying Mount Vegas a whole lot of money to watch.
KD: What? You think he’s not sexy enough?
Elsa: Hell no! He’s the hottest thing I’ve seen in ages. He flat out sizzles. It’s not that. It’s just I don’t think he can let down his inhibitions enough to do what he’ll have to if he’s going to fulfil Tanya’s contract. And we can’t afford him freezing while one of our paying clients is watching through the scope.
KD: And yet, you hired him.
Elsa: Yes I did. In a weak moment I hired him.
KD: Will the two of you be acting in any fantasies together?
Elsa: (She stands to pace again) I don’t think that’s a good idea.
KD: Why, Elsa? That’s his job, isn’t it? You perform with the rest of the Mount Vegas team. What makes Nick Chase so different? I mean if he can do the job, hooray for him. Hooray for Mount Vegas.
Elsa: (She just stands at the window with her back to me)
KD: You’re attracted to him.
Elsa: (She turns to face me and starts pacing again) Of course I am. We all are. But it’s more than that. You know me, KD. It’s what I want to do to him that frightens me, what I feel when I watch him, even when he’s not doing anything. There’s something about him, and that’s just a complication I don’t need.
KD: And yet you’ve taken him onto the team.
Elsa: Christ, KD, I’m hoping that wasn’t a mistake. I’m hoping I’m doing the right thing.
KD: Remember, he volunteered, Elsa, and if what Pike tells me is true, then his little performance last night should tell you that he’s sincere and that he’s willing to try.
Elsa: So why the hell does that worry me so much? (Her phone pings in a text and I wait while she looks at it.) That’s Pike. We’re having problems with the set up for Mrs Bromley’s fantasy. I’ve got to go. Wish me luck where Nick Chase is concerned.
(I call out my best wishes, but she’s already through the door and gone in typical Elsa Crane fashion)
See more of Elsa Crane in book two of The Mount series – Fulfilling the Contract.
Excerpts from this interview were first posted on Liv Honeywell’s blog 21 February 2014.