The Other C-Word(8)

By: MK Schiller


“I’m more comfortable in a suit typically, but I’ll probably take advantage of jean day. I have a question for you though.”

“What’s that?”

“Does casual usually include garter belts?”

I almost slammed on the breaks. Did he really just say that to me? “That’s highly inappropriate.”

He chuckled. “Well, maybe you should lower your skirt so I’m not distracted.” I looked down on my lap and sure enough, my skirt had ridden up, revealing the bottom of my garter where it attached to the hose.

I lifted my ass in the seat, trying to maintain my speed, and attempted to lower my skirt at the same time.

“Let me help you. You’re driving,” he offered, moving his hand towards me. I slapped it away.

“Stop it! You know you’re in dangerous territory here. Ever heard of sexual harassment, buddy?”

He grinned boyishly. “Yes, of course I’ve heard of it. In fact, I was just thinking that you might be sexually harassing me.”

“What?”

“Well, you’re the one who hiked up her skirt. I’m just observant, that’s all.”

“Trust me, it wasn’t for your benefit. Now, I’ll forget this, but please stop…observing me.”

“I’ll try, but it’s difficult.”

“Anything else you want to know about besides the status of my undergarments?”

“I hate to veer from such an interesting topic.”

I shot him a cutting glance, and he smiled, somewhat apologetically.

“Okay, sorry. So what is your position?”

I sighed, both relieved and anxious about the change of topic. “Well, I’m kind of displaced right now.”

“Displaced? How so?”

“I am—or rather I was—the assistant to Ronald Bellman, but he left. He was the head of marketing. They haven’t replaced him yet, so I’ve been helping out other departments.” It was all busywork, so I knew my days were numbered, even if the company succeeded through the wisdom of this arrogant dick sitting next to me.

“Why did he leave?”

“He got fired for making a comment about my garter belt,” I snapped, relishing the opportunity to smirk back at Rick.

My comment didn’t faze him, but only managed to amuse him more. “I’ll try to remember that, Marley.”

I hated the way he said my name, slower than the other words within the sentence…stretching out the syllables in that sexy voice of his. Actually, I loved it, which was why I hated it. It evoked a visible shiver, which I was sure he noticed. I decided it was best to stay focused on work topics only. “He went to work for that company with all the American Flags in their ads and no American clothes in their stores.”

“Oh, I see. Well, that must be difficult for you.” He ran his hands through his hair. It’s funny how it all fell back in the same perfect pattern, like I’d instinctively known it would. I wondered if it did that when he got up in the morning. I sat up straighter, realising I was being precarious. I never crushed on guys like this. In fact, I made it a rule not to.

I didn’t have to respond to him because my phone started ringing again. The caller ID flashed that it was my mom…again.

“Are you going to answer it this time?” His question sounded more like a command, and I didn’t appreciate it.

“No!” I didn’t mean to shout, but I did.

“I really think you should, Marley. It’s the second time she’s called.”

“Do you answer the phone every time your mother calls, Rick?”

His expression shifted immediately and his voice became sombre. “I wish I could. My parents passed away ten years ago.”

Open mouth—insert one finely crafted Louboutin.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, but it might be important. You should answer it.”

Well, what else was there to do but answer it? I pushed the accept call button on my phone. “Hi, Mom,” I answered, trying to sound chipper, hoping to God she would not embarrass me.

“Hi, honey, did you make it to the airport?”

“Yeah, I’m headed back to the office now.”

“So, do you have the cheapskate with you?” Oh Crap!

“Mom, you’re on speaker phone!”

“You should tell a person these things. Sorry, Mr Cheapskate.” Oh no, she didn’t just say that…did she? Every part of my body cringed simultaneously. Rick laughed though and it was an honest laugh, not uncomfortable or tense.

“No problem, Marley’s mom.”

“Mom, is there something you needed?”

“Oh, I just wanted to remind you about the fitting for the bridesmaid dresses. Stevie wanted to make sure you weren’t late.”

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