The Other C-Word(111)

By: MK Schiller

“Samantha, you shouldn’t be in here after hours.”

“I know, Walt, I’m sorry.” I felt as if I’d been caught by my dad. My lust deflated like an old tyre. I shimmied up to a semi-vertical position. “Can we please keep this between us?”

“You shouldn’t have taken him into the vault. Me and Tommy have been watching you through the windows.” Behind Walt, his young assistant Tommy waved.


“We have to tell Mr Taylor.”


My head swam. Swam from Sam. Swam from my blood having travelled south in gleeful anticipation of ending a year’s worth of celibacy. Swam from accidentally getting caught making a live porno. I pushed Sam off me and pulled my skirt down.

Walt gave me a comforting smile. After all, we were buddies who chatted about our mutual hatred of the same TV shows. “It’ll be okay. He’s not going to fire you…probably. Are you drunk?”

“Would that make it better?”


I squeezed out a breath. “I’m whatever you need me to be for this to go away. I’m sorry. So sorry. Come on, Sam, let’s go.” I took Sam’s hand and slunk from the room, eyes falling to avoid meeting Walt’s gaze and Tommy’s creepy grin. I wanted to explain that I usually did not engage in public lewdness, but I kept my wanton mouth shut.

My desk of pain stood right outside Oliver’s office, so I grabbed my purse and coat while Sam waited in the shadows. I hustled to the elevator and stabbed at the down button. Naturally, it took forever to get there. Three sets of eyes stared at me. I studied the single dent in the elevator doors, perhaps caused by a ruined secretary of Christmas past. Tommy’s rapid breathing rattled in his lungs.

The doors slid open, thank the gods. Sam and I got in.

“I’m sorry. This is all my fault,” he said.


His eyebrows rose incredulously—he probably had not expected me to agree with him. “In my defence, chaos does seem to follow you everywhere you go. You can’t even eat without creating an office incident.”

“What a charming observation.” The wet spot on my sweater pressed soggily into my skin. Traitor. Perhaps it was the sweater’s fault. “I’m sorry to have ruined your evening.”

The elevator sang and hit bottom. The doors had barely whooshed open when I shot through them. In the lobby, he caught me by the arm and turned me around with gentle firmness. “I never said you ruined my evening. Quite the opposite, actually.” Dropping his hand, he sighed and asked, “Can I call you?” It was the first uncertain sentence he’d said to me all night.

“Sure. Let’s go make out at my mother’s house next.” It wasn’t really fair to blame him, but becoming office gossip—again—would put a girl in a mood. And I might have just lost my crummy, yet necessary job.

Stalking into the cold, grey Los Angeles rain, I let the sky dribble on my face. Happy freaking holidays. I wondered how this night could get any worse.

One should never wonder that to oneself, FYI.

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