Media or not, they were getting a thrashing very suitable for printing and full of easy to recognize adjectives that required no explanation or long winded diatribes.
It was her smell that led him, more than the sound of heels which had now stopped. Getting up his nose hit cooler air, and the slight hint of cleaning disinfectant was no barrier to rose perfume that hung in a cloud. The aroma huddled, scared off by the metal and plastic surroundings, and he used it to track her.
“Hello, Geoffrey,” a voice sung. “You’re hard to find in his maze. How do your rats do it?”
Geoffrey spun around. Diane. Diane Chesterfield, the Chancellor’s secretary and gatekeeper of his sacred schedule and audience.
“Saw that lovely head of yours coming, and thought I’d surprise you.” She came around from behind a mainframe and leaned up against it as if at a party and relaxing over a glass of wine. She was definitely not the type to drink beer- too mundane and fattening.
Her black linen dress was demure but striking against Nordic skin and topped off by black velvet shoes not normally worn in the workplace. He snapped his head back up to her face and tried to wipe the confusion off his face.
“Have I bothered you at a bad time?” she asked knowing damn straight he could not be honest while on the job.
“Course not,” he lied. “Did I forget to reply to an email?”
“No, you’re very good about that.” She stressed the word ‘very’ and stood up to wipe any wrinkles free in her skirt, patting the short skirt down around her thighs. “The Chancellor needs to see you first thing in the morning tomorrow before his regular meetings start. 9AM?”
She raised her chin to look up at him, her peaked lips fending off a smile. “I hope the early morning will be acceptable? I believe it will only be an imposition to you? No one else will be angry at me for setting up the early affair?” she confirmed with her gaze, her eyes looking at his clenched knuckles.
Geoffrey cracked his knuckles wishing he could use one of the computer dollies and move her out the door. Gritting his teeth to moderate his tone, he replied. “Of course. The Chancellor is a busy man,” and so am I he thought. “I’ll be there.” He paused. “Normally such things are set up by email. Is there a problem?”
Diane looked at him and shook her head, letting her long blond hair swirl. “Of course not, Geoffrey, no problem that I can see at all. But this is a very important meeting and David wanted to make sure you would be there. With the lateness of the day, I promised to hand deliver the request.”
Geoffrey let the coolness of the air get to him. “Everything is okay?” It had to be about his grant. Something this big could only be very bad or very good news. He was not going to accept bad news when he was this close. David had to agree.
“I’m sure you and David will be able to see eye-to-eye on things. Just promise me, Geoffrey, you will be there. It would be very bad for you if you were late.” She winked at him. “Why don’t you escort me out now?” She put out her hand, making his chivalrous training kick in to take hold of it.
Geoffrey reluctantly took the offered hand. She squeezed in close to him as if concerned the floor might rupture under her feet and send her plummeting into the earth’s core. “I don’t know how you put up with it Geoffrey. It’s so cold here. Makes me want to grab hold of you to stay warm.” She rubbed her body up against his.
Geoffrey nearly pulled her arm out of the socket trying to get her to the exit. The warmth of her body felt foreign to him, and not in a good way. She was toxic to him and all he had locked up. He needed her gone.
“Ouch, Geoffrey,” she whimpered. “You’re hurting me. You’re too strong for your own good.”
“You said you were cold,” he pointed out gruffly.
“So gallant, Geoffrey, but really it wasn’t a complaint.” She squeezed his hand. “Tell me you never wondered how hot this room could get when two bodies rubbed together. Question of physics or chemistry?”
Geoffrey was caught off guard; something Diane was innately good at doing to him. “Physics,” he answered as if instructing a student.
“No chemistry at all? Isn’t that what they call mutual attraction?” She wiggled her wrist out of his grasp and cupped his balls, massaging the pleats out of the front of his scrub pants.
Geoffrey tried to jump backwards, but her fingers kept him trapped unless he wanted to tear himself. “Let me go,” he growled.
Her hand stayed right where it was. “Oh come off your high horse, Geoffrey. I’ve seen the way you look at me. You don’t lie well when you think no one’s looking back.”
“You dress to be looked at,” he squirmedd, trying to shift his hips to avoid fingers seeking out internal folds of pleated skin.
“You still look. No one’s making you give me those long inspections when you think I’m paying attention to the Chancellor and not you. You spend a bit too long to simply take notice of me.” Her fingers let go as she pushed him up against one of the supercomputer housings. Her shorter body enough momentum to tip him backwards when all his focus pointed to his groin and balls rising up in height.
Geoffrey got his breath back on an even keel as he steadied his feet. “What do you want Diane?”
“Stop getting me to do the dirty work for you. I know you want me, but you want me to say it for you. Little boy antics are not becoming in a grown man of your intelligence. Your brain is one of your selling features; don’t castrate it for an easy out.” She rubbed against him, and hiked her dress up to just below her panty line.