NYSD readers may recall an early contributing weekly series "The Adventures of Dickey Scott." Dickey Scott, the creation of a New Yorker named Scott Briggs, was a kind of roman à clef about a personal trainer working in the gilded halls of Manhattan's higher social circles. Once upon a time, in real life, Mr. Briggs was one of those personal trainers. He discontinued the series a couple of years ago when he sat down to "write the book" about Dickey Scott. Today, Feel the Burn is completed and now available.
Once Parker finished knotting his tie, he grabbed his suit coat and left the room. Anika blew Dickey a kiss and slithered out of the shower without saying a word. Feeling stunned by what had just occurred, Dickey simply finished his shower and got dressed as if on remote control.
Twenty minutes later, he was about to escape the scene of the crime when Anika stopped him in the foyer. She had a pink, monogrammed towel wrapped around her body and a white one around her hair. Her only accessories were her reading glasses and her palm pilot.
“Dickey, I’m glad I caught you before you left. Can we change Monday’s appointment from the morning to afternoon? I have a bikini wax with Heather at the spa that morning – it’s the only time she can fit me in this week.”
“A bikini wax in October? Are you heading to Palm Beach without telling me?”
“Dickey,” Anika began with a smirk. “Bikini waxes aren’t only for looking good at the beach.”
“Silly me,” he replied, checking his palm pilot. “Two o’clock is all I have this Monday.”
“Perfect. See you then,” she said, turning away, occupied with her palm pilot.
“Anika,” Dickey called. She turned back to him. “I have to ask. It’s been three years. I’ve been training you for three years. Why today?”
Anika smiled and took a couple of steps towards him. “A lot of reasons, I suppose. First and foremost, you’re not involved with anyone right now. I might derail a lot of men’s fidelity but not yours, darling. Dickey smiled, only half believing her comment. “Plus I had a vicious fight with Parker last night, which always makes me horny. Not to mention Carl Rhoades’ arousal at my see-through unitard on the elevator – you know I have a bent towards narcissism, Dickey.” He nodded. “And of course, the fact that you were in my husband’s shower while he was standing in the next room. The danger of going down on a handsome man with Parker in the next room was more than I could resist.”
Dickey chuckled at her rationale, fighting off a blush. “If you remember Anika, when you first asked for my training services, that day at Tod’s, you said the reason for leaving your former trainer was sexual tension. Is that going to be a problem with us?”
Anika smiled broadly and stepped close to him, putting her left hand on his cheek. “God no, Dickey. I was just being clever, flirty. I live for sexual tension. You should know that.”
Dickey simply nodded and kissed the back of her hand. “See you on Monday,” he said.
Anika giggled at his gesture and blew him a kiss just as Parker entered the foyer from the kitchen. Dickey watched as they passed each other in the grand hall, neither of them seemingly aware of the other’s presence.
Chapter 2: The Jewish Cary Grant
Charles liked it the second he walked through the front door. The modest, century old, cedar-shake house on Toylsome Lane, only blocks from the ocean, in the exclusive town of Southampton, New York, was perfectly proportioned with square rooms and three exposures visible from the entry hall.
“It just came on the market yesterday,” the Chihuahua-like real estate agent whispered, darting her eyes towards the front door, as if afraid that another agent might walk in with a ready-to-buy client.
Charles simply smiled before heading to the kitchen. The agent scurried behind. “The owner of the house died six weeks ago,” the agent said, once she caught up with Charles. “She was a widow and she kept the house in pristine condition as you can tell.”
Charles nodded in the affirmative. All the cabinets and door pulls were fifty years old and looked as if they had existed in a vacuum. They showed little to no sign of age and even the appliances – which appeared untouched – seemed perfect for a “mid-century modern” antique show. “It is in amazing condition,” Charles said, mostly to himself.
“Wait until you see the master bedroom,” the real estate agent beamed, touching Charles on the arm.
“Let’s go have a look,” Charles replied, patting the woman on the hand. The gesture left her flush.
“The Jewish Cary Grant” is what one society columnist had called him. “Levine, as in the divine, Charles Levine,” another columnist had coined. And indeed, he fit the bill. The dashingly handsome man with liquid, brown eyes, salt and pepper hair and large yet even features had been a heavyweight in New York legal and social circles for years. He made partner at his law firm by the age of thirty and over the years established himself as a leading philanthropist in the New York area. His political connections ran deep and no one was surprised when he turned to a career in the courts and quickly climbed the judicial ladder. He was forty-two when he made it to the New York State Court of Appeals and few people had any doubt that he would one day be tapped for the United States Supreme Court.
But in the fall of 2004, Charles seemingly perfect life was derailed when his wife of thirty years, Fiona, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died eleven months later.
Charles was devastated and quickly made an emotional decision to sell their twelve room apartment on Seventy-third and Park and move lock stock and barrel to Albany, stunning New York society – especially the women, who saw the best catch in a decade slip from their grasp and head upstate.
Since then New York society has heard nary a peep from him. But word of Charles Levine buying a home in Southampton – the summer enclave of the entire Upper East Side – would surely spread like wildfire and the eligible women – no, all women – would be filled with hopes and fantasies once again.
“It’s exactly what I want,” Charles declared, after only spending twenty minutes in the house.
“So you want to put in a bid?” the agent asked, breathlessly.
“The asking price is fair. So let’s go with that,” Charles chimed, smiling at the Chihuahua who was practically coming out of her shoes.
“That’s very kind of you but I have to get back upstate,” Charles said, shaking her hand (which she wouldn’t wash for a week). If you could just send the paperwork to my work address that you have on file, I’ll take care of everything expeditiously.”
“Of course, Mr. Levine,” she gushed, still holding his hand.
Charles pulled away and left her standing in the door as he climbed into the limousine that would take him to MacArthur airport in Islip, New York, for his journey back to Albany.
Friday, November 9, 2007