was of mixed feelings as he went up in the lift. He was
exuberant that he had been excluded from the downsizing. At
least that is what he assumed since his name wasn't on the list.
But what if he had gone for lunch in the cafeteria. Several, who
weren't twelfth floor workers, would be there, they too would be
downsized though they weren't on the list. He might have been
one of them.|
Edelweiss was sad to think of their leaving. He knew some of them by sight and some well enough to call by name. There was one young lady who he would have liked to be able to call by name, the one with the willowy figure and long shiny hair. Maybe, just maybe, she would go somewhere else for lunch today or maybe she would stay to finish up some work at her desk.
The cafeteria would be used because it was a place that was designed to get messy and to be easily cleaned. The offices and the cubicles were not a choice location, blood and entrails all over the files and the carpets. Not to mention possible damage to terminals and the, heaven forbid, loss of corporate data.
Quietly Edelweiss stepped from the lift into the executive parking level. Unthinking his hand slowed the closing of the doors, his mind on Rowena. Rowena, short dark hair, full bodied lips. Lips of honey and hunger as they tried to devour him in the trees, behind the ball field, during the company picnic. Rowena worked on the twelfth floor.
Though he hadn't seen her since the picnic he had had many visions of touching a communicator and contacting her, but always failed in the actuality of the act. Just as he had failed in the act in the trees.
Edelweiss had gone over it a thousand times in his mind and knew that he could do it right, if given an opportunity for a repeat performance. Embarrassment forbade him the ability to make the call that was required to implement the repeat performance.
A soft plop, as Jena's body hit the floor, brought Edelweiss out of his reverie. Spotting the weapons in the hands of Degutis and Hines he squatted behind a vehicle. He hadn't seen Jena and his first assumption was that they were here to get him.
His first reaction was to turn back to the lift but as he reached it he couldn't recall the access code. If he dialled it wrong it would give out a warning beep. They obviously hadn't seen him or he would be dead by now. But was it him they were after? If they wanted him why wouldn't Monsieur Lapin simply have told them he was coming up the lift.
If they hadn't seen him then they wouldn't know he had seen them. Making sure they weren't looking towards the lift he turned his back to them and kicking the door to make it sound like it was closing he spoke, "OK. I'll meet you on the roof pad," then turned and walked to wards the vehicles.
But which vehicle, they were all the same style and all the same colour? Forcing a smile, he spoke to Degutis and Hines, "Nice day gentlemen." as he pulled the key out of his pocket.
Thumbing the activation button he pointed the key, so they wouldn't realize that he didn't' know where the vehicle was, towards the ceiling. The signal started and unlocked a vehicle to his left and, turning his back on the two security officers, he threaded his way between a row of vehicles, never noticing the body on the floor.
Unfamiliar with the controls, having never operated a vehicle before, he, in a quivering voice, commanded, "Roof top pick up."
The vehicle responded by, locking the doors, lifting off the floor, threading its way over other vehicles, ascertaining the traffic patterns outside, and then exiting through the side of the building.
Once the vehicle was high enough that Degutis and Hines could no longer see him he didn't need to actually go to the roof but he let the vehicle finish his original command and, after it landed on the roof, collapsed in the contoured seat, taking time to regain his sanity.
Any semblance of an appetite was totally lost. He surmised, however, that Hines and Degutis might still be watching from below. He told the vehicle to proceed to Maxim's, although even the thoughts of topless waitress wasn't enough to shake him out of his what if's.
What if Hines and Degutis checked the time the last lift stopped at that vehicle level and noted on their chronometers what time he had appeared. It would be quite easy for them to do as they would have access to the computers that controlled the lifts.
By the time Edelweiss was deposited at Maxim's the what if's had him so wound up he was sitting in a booth nursing a drink before he realized who his waitress was. Her voice slowly penetrating his blue funk, he started to lift his head.
His eyes rose as far as her cherry red nipples and then stopped. Edelweiss had been to many restaurants and night clubs and had seen hundreds of breasts but he had only, in his entire life, ever had the fortune to actually have nuzzled two, other than his mother's. He would never forget them.
Eventually he recognized Rowena's silken voice, though it sounded rather perturbed. Slowly, tearing his eyes away from her mammae, he looked up to see her glaring at him. "If you are quite through ogling me, Mr. Corporate Hero, would you mind giving me your card so I can start your tab."
Taken off guard and totally embarrassed, Edelweiss could do little more than stammer, "Ro...Ro.. Rowena."
"Oh, so you do remember me. What with your big promotion and all I thought maybe you had forgotten my name along with my number."
Edelweiss took out the card that Monsieur Lapin had given him, "I didn't for.. forget. I.. I."
"Yes I know. Big hero, big promotion," Looking at the card, "Lot's of beautiful women in the upper offices. Why would you want to remember me?"
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