Writing Prompt 12: Eminence gris character

Day 12: A first lady is sometimes referred to as éminence grise when she uses her position to affect policy without an official title.  Create an éminence grise who could powerfully, but quietly, shift the plotline of a novel.


How was the mtg?

The text buzzed across his screen as he finished gathering up his notes.  His heart skipped a beat; it was from her.  It had been an inspirational meeting.  His ideas and innovations were accepted and agreed on by his boss and the CEO.  This was a big step.  He was already progressing through this company, and he was currently working on a big project in which could bring in even more money and even more prestige for the company.  His wife was proud, and his mistress was more attentive than ever before.

He was on top of world.

His next step was to begin implementing his plan into the current system, and begin observing the progress.  Walking back to his desk, Elle, his young secretary, congratulated him on his successful meeting, and updated him on his missed calls.

In his office, he began drafting up the process for application for his plan, and he prioritized calls, appointments, and tasks.  At the top of his list was an appointment with a crucial financer for the project.

Great – they liked what I suggested. 

He dialed the number, and on the third ring, he reached the secretary, who then directed him to the head financer.  They discussed how to set up the appointment, and based on the success of the meeting, a dinner meeting was scheduled for the days hence at a prestigious restaurant.  This financer appeared to be excited about this deal, and expressed he was looking forward to the dinner meeting, and further developing the relationship between the two companies.  When the call ended, he leaned back in his chair, and gazed out his office window, observing the skyline outside.

“Sir, your wife is on the line.”  A buzz from Elle, disrupting his reverie, sent a ripple of irritation across his features.

Taking the call, his wife asked how his day was going, how his meeting went, and when he expected to be home for dinner.

Yay – let’s do dinner.  My place, 5?

Nestling his phone in his shoulder, he confirmed the invitation, and told his wife that he needed to stay late, again.  With a pang of guilt, he heard the baby cry in the background, and a resigned sigh told him it was okay.  But, he rationalized, he needed to de-stress before he came home, so he could be more attentive.  He promised himself he would be home before seven thirty, before his wife put the baby to bed.   He ended the call by expressing his love for her and promised he would be home as soon as he could.

A few hours later, he was waiting for her to finish dinner as he enjoyed a glass of red wine.  Leaning in, while standing near the stove, she kissed him.  Her floral smell, and blonde curly hair, entranced him, and the smell of steaks on the stove, made him hungry, in several ways.

“So, tell me about your master plan?”  She coaxed, setting the plates on the table.

He explained his step-by-step plan, and his upcoming meeting with the financer.  She watched him with deep eyes, and didn’t ask any questions until he finished talking.

“Is this meeting a good idea?  I’ve heard not so great things about them ….” She paused, clearing the dishes, and pouring more wine.  “But I trust your judgement.”

This confused him, but the feel of her hand against his shoulders centered him.  Yes, he was sure about this.  When he mentioned such, she just smiled at him.  However, there was now doubt in his mind.  His coworkers and his boss believed in him, but not having her believe in this judgment made him feel unsteady.

“I’ve also been meaning to talk to you,” she perched on the chair again.  “Your secretary, Elle?  I’ve been hearing from some friends who know her, that she’s developed a crush on you.  This makes me nervous.”

The true intention of this conversation hung in the air; she didn’t like Elle.  He expressed that he couldn’t fire her, and even if he could, until there was valid reason to do so, he wouldn’t.  Her cheeks flushed pink.  He had upset her, and suddenly, the night had soured.

He was beginning to doubt his plans with work, and now he had upset his mistress.  The wine tasted bitter in his mouth.

It was time to go home, and sleep, for tomorrow was a chance to start again with clear thoughts.

Though, in the morning, things felt worse.  She hadn’t texted him since he left last night.  He was becoming nervous about his dinner meeting when he hadn’t been before.

And, his wife found her texts.


How would you guys answer this prompt?  What kind of character would you create for this?

Ciao for now,

Xx Julia

P.S. Check out my “review” blog: a girl reviews!!

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