14 And Justley For All

Mr. Coffee: So Mini Trite – whom most others refer to as Apollo – turns to the arts as an untapped source of talent…and to a surprising new confidante, to whom I have no objections…

Nobody seemed to believe Apollo when he lamented that his life sometimes truly sucked.

It always appeared that maintaining his pride and rising above the ranks of office butt monkey just wasn’t in the cards for him, even though he was no longer the most novice legal greenhorn at the Wright Anything Agency since the arrival of Athena Cykes.

On paper, it seemed as though all was just ducky for Mr. Chords of Steel. He was working for a renowned law firm with his lifelong idol, and a cheeky but lovable magician whom he adored like a sibling. Also, he was pretty much best friends with the stunning redheaded yellow attorney, whose constant coquettish antics, (such as asking to see the tattoo on his derrière!) left him crimson-faced and tongue-tied, for reasons he presently decided would be best not to contemplate, because mixing business with pleasure was probably NOT a wise idea.

But right now he had more pressing problems. Such as the fact that Athena had recently gotten him to finally profess he was a complete pushover for Trucy and couldn’t say no to her request for anything at all. This included any time the teen needed a magician’s assistant, no matter how harrowing or death-defying the stunt was!

Naturally, word of his invertebrate status had gotten back to Phoenix, and hence, Maya, the boss’s not-so-undercover girlfriend (why couldn’t those two shamelessly flirtatious lovebirds just admit they were an item already? They were fooling no one!) that the Clarion of Revelations was a World-Class Marshmallow when it came to the ladies.

So of course, the plucky village leader had to find to capitalize on this somehow!

“Nick!” The Master of Kurain turned Local Community Theater Director was squealing at her not-so-secret lover while looping an arm around the unsuspecting red attorney’s shoulder. “This guy is perfect, I’m telling you! He even understands ladders!”

Apollo attempted to maneuver away from the surprisingly strong arms snaked around his neck of the petite spirit medium and failed miserably.

“You mean ‘stepladders’?” He muttered under his breath, for no reason at all as it turned out Maya was barely listening as she continued to chatter excitedly to the blue attorney, who was up to his eyeballs in paperwork on his desk.

“We’ll talk about that later, Polly,” she dismissed.

Maya blissfully ignored the scowl Apollo gave her for addressing him by the degrading nickname he had finally acquiesced to only let TRUCY call him and continued to prattle to Phoenix.

“Right now, I want to take him with me to The Penrose Theatre. I have all the parts cast except the lead in my stage play: DUELING SPIRIT DESTINIES: TRIUMPH OVER TRIALS &TRIBULATIONS IN QUEST OF JUSTICE FOR ALL! Your protégé, Nick, shall be the perfect final addition as my Pink Princess! I can just feel it!”

Apollo felt his horns drooping. The Pink Princess?! Wasn’t bad enough that his employer saw him as his own personal Josephine the Plumber since he was permanently on toilet bowl duty despite no longer being the latest member of the agency?! Now he was about to be further emasculated by playing a GIRL?! What if he had to KISS a guy while in drag?! What would Athena think?! And Trucy would never let him live this down in a million years!

This really bit the big one!

The gamin let out a long-suffering sigh. Mia’s revered Slender Palm Lily, which had once a gift from her boyfriend, Diego Armando, would have been as long-dead as its original owner by now, were it not for him, as the spiky fringed lawyer was the only one who took care of it!

Still, he didn’t really mind tending to the cherished plant of Phoenix’s beloved late mentor. The Cordyline stricta was quite lush and beautiful, seeming to thrive under his TLC, and was certainly preferable to working his biceps into a frenzy scrubbing the toilet!

He continued eyeing his boss with pleading eyes, trying desperately to telepathically convey his blatant reluctance to the older man about his willingness to partake in Maya’s latest whim.

Luck appeared to be on Apollo’s side for once, as Phoenix appeared to be unyielding on the subject.

“No dice, Maya.” The spiky-haired man crossed his arms and shook his head. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to find another leading lady for your production.”

Maya’s chin began to wobble dramatically as she let out a heart-wrenching whimper that would’ve rivaled that of a stray tramp begging for table scraps.

“Sorry Maya,” Phoenix replied firmly, averting his gaze away from his girlfriend’s puppy dog eyes. “But I need Apollo here. After all, SOMEONE has to clean the toilet, sort all the documents, water Charley…”

Her boyfriend attempted to ignore the liquid pools imploring him and swiveled his eyes towards his agonized employee.

“Um, Apollo, why are you making that face?” The legal legend asked blankly, misreading the reason for Apollo’s pained expression. “Do you need to go to the bathroom or something?”

“Niiiiiiick!” Maya wailed plaintively. “You big meanie! If you don’t let Apollo be in my play, it will be a complete flop! Will Powers is already playing the Steel Samurai, so I can’t ask HIM! The tickets are already sold out!”

Phoenix groaned and closed his eyes.

“I’ll be ruined without my main star!” Maya cried, her eyes welling up as if on cue. “My name will be mud! I’ll be blacklisted! Snubbed forever by the theater community!”

“Maya, please…”

“It’s either Apollo or you!” Her lower lip began to protrude into an adorable pout. “Your choice, old man!”

Phoenix emitted a barely audible sigh of resignation. He’d never been able to say no to Maya, and he never would.

“Fine. You can have him.” He shrugged at the look of horror on his employee’s face at this betrayal of brotherhood. “Just try not to break him!”

“Alright, it’s a deal!” Maya beamed, her tears vanishing as suddenly as they arrived. “A star is born!”

“Wait…WHAT?!” Apollo shouted helplessly as she began dragging his protesting form out the door. “NO! HOLD IT! I OBJECT!”

“No…you human,” Phoenix smirked, giving the boy a mock salute. “See you in the stage lights, you feisty samurai heroine!”

“Let’s go, Polly! Let’s see if I can squeeze you into that pink metal bustier!”


“The play should have been called FAREWELL MY DIGNITY!” Apollo grumbled sometime later. “Do you have any idea how badly that metal armor chafes my skin?! Somehow Klavier found out about this and instead of calling me Herr Forehead I’m now Fräulein Forehead!”

There was a sympathetic silence from his dialogue partner, and the red attorney reached out a loving hand and tenderly stroked the potted plant’s leaves, which seemed to be nodding in commiseration despite there being no breeze in the office.

“This is height discrimination, I tell you! I know Miss Maya purposely picked me to fill in the girl lead because I’m short enough to fit into the costume! I just know I’ll be even more of a laughingstock when all is said and done! I mean – Will Powers is my on-stage love interest!”

Charley rustled slightly again, this time brushing his leaves against the lawyer’s burning cheeks as he recounted the shame of the dress rehearsal.

“You’re the only one who listens and doesn’t mock me, Charley,” Apollo lamented. “Seriously, you’re the best. My favorite member of this agency by far!”

The red attorney smiled ruefully as he crouched down and watered the soil of his confidant.

“I think the reason you grow so well in my care is all these long heart-to-heart talks we have. Plants thrive when you talk to them, right? It feels so natural for me because as far as I’m concerned, you’re more anthropomorphic than vegetation! But that will be our little secret, OK?”

Feeling emotional, he wrapped his arms around the bottom of the terra-cotta container in a warm hug.

“I honestly believe that YOU are the only one who truly understands me. I love you, Charley the Plant.”



Heart-Warming Java Shots Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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