“Well now, Marty Pitchford. May we step down from the formalities and get back to a first name basis?” She shoots me a playful glance. “Or will you doom me to the shackles of everything that’s horrid about the corporate mentality and kiss my ass like everyone else?”
I hesitate. What the hell do you do in a case like this. I know in the past I would kiss her ass. I left that life behind. Now, I work off the premise that if my past life sucked, I must work to change my thinking. That means go for broke, which precisely describes my possible future. “Ok Marci. May I escort you and your exquisite ankles to the party? We’ll just throw out that ass kissing part.”
“Wow. My first name. I didn’t know how much it meant to me until now.” Her eyes lit up in a smile that matched the one on her lips. “By all means, let’s walk in arm in arm with heads held high and jolt the gossip mills into maximum production.”
As she locked her arm in mine, we both stepped forward, we both slipped, and nearly fell. We grabbed onto each other for support and exploded with laughter. After we stabilized, we proceeded to walk, gingerly, to the party. “As long as we keep our feet under us, we’ll make it without any broken bones.”
“Hell, I’d welcome a broken bone right now. It’d get me out of this damned party.” Marci’s attitude settled into a quiet resignation as we approached the door to the party banquet hall.
“I thought you made this party mandatory,” I state, confused by her reluctance.
“I did – for morale purposes only. There’s nothing here for me but to fend off the advances of overpaid executives and to suffer the jealous looks of the women.” I help Marci out of her cloak.
She’s decked out in a bright red, curve accentuating dress, the aforementioned heels, and earrings color coordinated with her lipstick and dress. “Heck, I don’t see why all the executives don’t hit on you.”
“Most of them do, in one way or another, even some of the women.” She winks at me and I note the glint of that playful smile I witnessed outside. “Most think they want me, but it’s the power that draws them.” She hesitates for a moment, then adds, “and the money.”
I shrug off my coat and flip my hat to the man collecting everyone’s outer apparel. This evening will prove to be far more interesting than I’d imagined as Marci retakes my arm…
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