Fit for the Job(5)

By: Darien Cox


Jay stared at him, feeling trapped and unsure.

“Were you unprepared for a summer commitment?”

Jay cleared his throat. “No, it’s not that. Welcome it actually. The thing is I’ve never trained a child before.”

“Oh. Well Sassy’s not exactly a child, she’s a teenager. Practically an adult.”

“Yes, I understand, but her body is still growing. I’ll have to do a bit of preparation. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather hire someone who specializes in teen fitness?”

He shook his head. “I’m not the boss, my wife is. And she wants you. Do you think you’re up for it?”

Jay hesitated for only a moment. He needed the money, bottom line. He had a cushion, but lived in terror that the lawsuit would wipe him out if he lost. “I’ll need a note from her doctor. I should really talk to him or her.”

Eben smiled. “No problem. I’ll have him call you, will that work?”

Jay nodded. “Sure, yeah, that would be great.”

“There will be some confidentiality and contract forms for you to sign as well. I can have a courier bring them to your place tomorrow. Of course you’re more than welcome to have an attorney look them over before signing.”

“Oh, um...that’s probably not necessary. I’m sure it will be fine.”

Eben looked at Jay expectantly. “So all that’s left is to talk money. If you’re interested, that is.”

“Um, I am, but just one more question. Has Sassy got any special requirements? I mean, is she training for a particular event, or is this a basic fitness regime you’re looking for?”

Eben’s tight body relaxed and he sighed, shoulders slumping. “My daughter...she’s put on a bit of weight.” His eyes lifted to meet Jay’s gaze, and he looked sad. “You understand what that’s like for a teenage girl. Imagine what it’s like for a teenage girl who’s the daughter of two famous parents. She’s taken to hiding out in her room. It’s not good for her.”

Jay nodded. “I see.”

“Sassy is spending the summer with me this year. Her mother is doing a film in Australia right now. School’s out, so she’ll have the rest of the summer free. Perfect time to work on herself.”

“Yes, I understand.”

Eben lifted his arms and dropped them. “I can guarantee employment for the rest of the summer. You can arrange things with Sassy and decide how to handle her workouts, and I think...” He reached for a note pad on the table. Pulling a pen out of a drawer, he scribbled a number on the pad and slid it over. “I think you’ll find the compensation adequate.”

Jay stared at the number and his heart pounded. The anxiety he’d been feeling over the threat of losing his money melted away like a warm wax. The amount Eben was offering was exorbitant. “Wow,” he said bluntly.

“I know it’s generous, but there are a couple of things required that might seem...unconventional. But I want to be straight with you.” Eben rubbed his forehead as he looked down, seeming stressed suddenly.

Jay shrugged. “Okay. What is it?”

Eben looked at Jay. “You’re probably used to setting schedules and organized training, but Sassy is an unpredictable kid. She can be...difficult. I’m not sure you’ll be able to get her to stick to a definite schedule, and that’s fine with me. But the bottom line is I want her off her ass this summer. She needs the exercise or she’ll just get more depressed. Is there any way you’d be able to stay here, with us? We’ve got a pretty nice guest house out back. If you’ve got a mortgage or rent somewhere else we’ll pay it during the time you’re with us.”

Jay scowled, his brain struggling to take in this new information. “You want me to live here while I train her? That’s...unusual. I mean, I don’t live far from here, I could come daily.”

The actor sighed and looked down at his fingers, wringing his hands. “Things are a bit complicated right now with Sassy. Also, we’ve had some confidentiality problems with past employees, people leaving without a word, taking things, leaking information.”

“I would never do that,” Jay said. “I’ll sign whatever you need me to.”

“I know,” he said, holding his hands up. “That’s not my main concern, I trust you, and you’ll have your own space in the guest house, come and go as you please. But with Sassy’s unpredictable nature, you may have to chase her down to get her to work with you. If she’s being a bitch one morning, I wouldn’t want you to be running back and forth if she decides she’s up for working out later that night or something. This is as much for your benefit as hers. You can set your own hours, as long as you get her to do something physical, preferably every day.”

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