The Jennifer Chronicles - Volume VI
April 18, 2010Auld Lang Syne, Part III
When I arrived at the office, I deposited my goods and chattel on my desk. I fixed two steaming cups of coffee and headed down the hall to see my boss, my Svengali, my mentor, my Yoda in a black two piece suit complete with red power tie, Peter Duncan. Slicked back jet black hair, strong jawline, piercing dark eyes wrapped in a six foot package with a trim waistline. Yoda eat your heart out. The best part of all this? We both understood he was hot, so he never bothered with the cheap, pond scum come ons. He didn't have to. And he knew it. And if he ever did make an offer, that was a bridge I was afraid to contemplate, never mind cross.
Lucky for me, not only was Duncan a class act, he exhibited yet another man rule I had come to learn. When it comes to business, guys turn off everything else, and I mean everything. They're on the hunt, scenting for the kill. And by nature, men are not multi-taskers; they only hunt one thing at a time.
He looked up as I entered the office. Leaning back in his chair, he waited as I gingerly set the cups down on his desk. For a moment we stared at the rising swirls of steam, then he leaned forward and took his cup.
"Did you do something wrong?" he asked, but there was a twinkle in his eye and a half smile forming on his lips.
"Not yet," I answered. "Maybe later."
I waited for the pleasantries part of the conversation.
"How was your holiday? Didn't your mother get married?"
I felt sorry for Duncan as he sat there with furrowed brow, straining to remember a shred of social information; a man built for business transactions, not actual human contact. Was there a deeply sensitive man underneath that cold, hard, "don't screw with me" exterior? I thought any sensitivity went out in the monthly alimony envelope I mailed to his ex-wife.
I put him out of his misery. "Holiday was fine. Mom got married. One of the relatives tried to make off with three pounds of shrimp in her purse."
Duncan raised his eyebrows.
What can I tell you? I thought. That's life in the burbs babe. Next time, don't ask.
"And you?" What the hell. Sometimes I amuse myself. I waited for the one word answer.
"Fine," he said.
Duncan was more dependable than a Timex. He handed me a thick pile of folders. "I'm sorry I had to disturb your vacation. Negotiations start tomorrow at nine a.m."
New Technologies had acquired some small companies with niche software that had gone mainstream. The next target had some kind of voice recognition program that had everybody's shorts in a knot. I can estimate the hours of work I'll have by the weight of the folders. My arms were already straining under the load. I would be up all night.
"How does it look?" I asked.
"The acquisition will be done by New Years Eve," Duncan said.
It wasn't a question, a pontification, or a belated Christmas wish. The hunter had spoken.
I nodded and peeked inside the top folder. I looked up to find Duncan considering me with a crooked smile. I froze.
"Glad you're back Joan," he said, his voice soft.
Usually a look from Duncan made a person want to run and hide. I didn't want to do either; his look was making me warm all over.
"Thanks," I murmured, feeling a little unsteady on my feet as I left his office. Maybe Duncan could multi-task after all? Focusing on the ache settling into my arms, I decided I couldn't. It was time to get to work.
Next Week: Auld Lang Syne, Part IV