A quick glance and a big smile from the security guard dwarfed by the slab of granite he sits behind, she smiles back and notices he has the same tie clip on he wore for the holidays.
” Early morning meeting ma’am?”
” Yes, just a little earlier than usual. Have a good day.” Reaching for her access card she scans it and goes thru to the elevator bank.
” You too ma’am.” he says looking at those high heels. He wonders if they cost as much as his entire closet full of clothes.
Dropping her keys and bag on her desk she hears voices coming her way down the hall.
” Oh, your here already.”
” Yes, I got your text last night and set my alarm for stun this morning.”
” Stun? I need that setting.” He always had something witty or absurd to say and usually at the most ridiculous times. She liked him. He was fairly new to the firm. Word was his dad was a big hitter way back and the Wharton connections he kept didn’t hurt.
” Is The King of the Free World meeting with us?”
” I set it up with him last night when he dropped me off. I am expecting him and don’t give me that look.”
” What look?
” That, are you being a good girl look.”
” What me. I know you are a good girl.”
” Ok you two enough with the he said she said or did she or did she not talk. Is there anything specific I need to bring to this meeting?”
” Just your brilliant mind and all the coffee you can find in the office.”
Just as it came out of his mouth he regretted saying it. He would have to make it up to her. She would not appreciate the suggestion that she get the coffee. They had joined the firm at about the same time and she was clearly brilliant. The underlying theme of the two ladies in his presence was one of eat or be eaten . You could see it smell it and almost taste it on them both.
” You know I think they may have brought in some new types of coffee. Let me check and I will bring some to the conference room. See you there in a few minutes.”
Both ladies just stared at the back of his head as he turned and drifted away and then they caught each others glance.
” So I take it by urgency of this meeting you think we may be headed for some trouble with 229 West?”
” We are about to get our asses handed to us if we don’t get a clearer idea of where we are.”
” I thought there was a meeting yesterday and it was moving forward with little to finish up.”
” I was at that meeting and it almost fell thru because of a certain lack of preparation and basic knowledge of the facts.”
” Wow, really that bad. What happened?”
” I shouldn’t say, but I was not the lead in that meeting.”
” How did you handle it?”
” Mostly with silence. Let me put it this way. If your own ass is on fire you should at least acknowledge it not just help it keep burning.”
In the elevator he checks his phone for anything out of the ordinary other wise he will forward it off to be taken care of. It’s almost seven and for some reason there seems to be some sense of urgency about the 229 West deal. Not sure why because the meeting seemed to go pretty well yesterday. Stepping off the elevator he smells fresh coffee. Thank God someone is on top of something in this office. Coffee. He moves towards the conference room and that beautiful coffee smell. He finally got some descent sleep last night for once and feels especially on his game for this early in the morning.
” Well good morning how is everyone on this frosty morning?”
” Couldn’t be better great to see you this morning”
It’s that kid. He’s not really a kid but he sure as hell acts like one. I guess when there is not much pressure with daddy’s money you don’t need to be too serious. “What’s up sport good to see you.”
“Hey, great to see you I missed you yesterday at the office. Long day?” How long even his wife doesn’t know. How can she stand it?
” No, not really I had a few client meetings and decided to stay out of the office to save time.” God that bitch is in my shit all the time. If she were just that little bit prettier and nice he might actually try to like her. She and super sport seem to be pretty tight.
” Hi, how’s the coffee?”
” Feeling a little less dangerous after that first cup.” He slowly looks at her from top to bottom. All business even with those two red toes peeking out. He’s not close enough to smell what she’s wearing today not yet at least. “What do we need to accomplish here. I thought we were pretty close on this deal.”
She holds off for a second. Looking waiting breathing and then she stands up. “This deal is just about dead.”
” Dead? It’s not even close. Were we not in the same room yesterday.”
” Apparently not.” She steps in a little closer and starts to raise her voice quietly. ” What kind of shit show was that yesterday? I have never been so embarrassed not only for myself but for our firm. You made me sit there and watch them take you apart like a fucking two-year old. Did you have any idea what the fuck you were talking about? Did you even look at the contracts and deal sheets?”
He stood there cup in hand and silent. She had never raised her voice to him. She had never talked out of turn. She had never stepped across the line ever.
” Excuse me. Wait a minute. Are you calling me out? Are you questioning my strategy and tactics?”
” Strategy and tactics. Is that what you are calling it?”
The door handle clicks and they all turn to see their boss standing in the door way.
” Hey, I thought I heard voices in here. We are all at it bright and early this morning. Anything special I need to know about?”
She steps forward and smiles. ” No, we are just doing a little follow-up on the 229 West deal.”
” The 229 West deal. Oh ok sure. Keep me up to speed and why don’t you come to my office after lunch and we can talk.”
” Great will do. I will see you after lunch.”
She turns back and no one has moved. He sets down his coffee cup and steps towards the door. He pulls it closed behind him without a word.
She looks to the other two and says ” Sorry, that didn’t come off the way I wanted it to.” Picking up her things she walks out of the conference room and leaves it silent.
” Now it’s on. I have never seen her like that.”
” She usually gives me some kind of hint about what’s going to happen but not like that.”
” She didn’t say anything when I went to get the coffee?”
” Not really. Do you think this is a personal thing.”
” No, no way she is not that stupid. His rep is legendary. He plays the big hitter and from what I hear he is the big hitter.”
” Yea, I have heard some things too. He has done some of the biggest deals at this firm. He is kind of untouchable.”
” I’m not sure anyone is untouchable.”
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