Thursday, May 05, 2016

Chapter 41: The Fox Project

"Meredith, we need to know if you still have the drafts of the Fox project." It was Marylyn from the compliance department.


"But you worked on it with Liam, didn't you?"

"Only briefly. We were both pulled off of it after a few weeks. I was moved to another job, and Liam was sent to open that new office. I think Clancy Williams took over, but don't quote me on that."

Clancy was the perfect answer. Notoriously disorganized, Clancy could work on a project and finish it... then promptly lose everything and forget he ever had the job. The company was trying to fire him, but the wily old man was too clever to give the company a leg to stand on. He would give Marylyn the run-around until she thought that she'd lost the project.

"Are you sure?" The woman's purr rubbed me the wrong way. I can't stand pencil-pushers to begin with, and Marylyn was the ultimate bureaucrat. The woman didn't do anything that wasn't in the handbook, and she was well known for her nit-picking.

"Marylyn, I don't have the damn project and you know it," I snapped. "Now please let me get back to my work and stop leaving umpteen messages about things I didn't work on!"

"I'd be a little nicer, dearie. You may be in another division and under a new boss, but you aren't out of the water here yet."

"What are you talking about?"

"They dumped your old hard drive, sweetie. There's some interesting information on there, did you know that?"

"I shopped on E-Bay and e-mailed by friends. Try not to steal my credit card numbers."

"Don't waste your time with humor, Hagan. It's a poor defense. You were very involved in a few jobs that are now being questioned."

But not the big one. Not the Fox project. I handed that over before they started to ask for too much from me and before I had to tell them no. "Let them question, then. I have nothing to hide."

"Liam might."

"Then call Liam."

"Scuttlebutt is that you two are more then friends."

"For God's Sake, Marylyn! I'm ending this conversation! Tell those damned old hens that you smoke with that they need to find something better to do with their lives then make up stories about people who aren't there to defend themselves!"

Monday, May 02, 2016

Chapter 40: Respite

"You look thinner."
"This top's too large. That's all."

Winn was somewhat satisfied with that remark, but I'm not sure she believed me. I've been eating. Honest. I think it was just what I was wearing, a ratty old t-shirt and worn capris that have been washed so many times they're like a second skin. There's really no need to dress well when one's weeding the yard and hanging out with a friend.  Then again, perhaps I have lost weight again.  With everything going on at work, I've been running on either nothing or an occasional can of Pepsi.

Coincidentally, Greyson -- of all people -- remarked the other day on the power that comes with starvation and how he didn't quite understand it. This as he ate a giant steak sandwich from the bar next door while I had a salad.  What is it with men and weight?  Liam said he loved my curves.  Reed encouraged me to diet more often.  Now Greyson is talking about it.  Well, not about me.  About an ad campaign he's in charge of.  He was baffled by the client's insistence on what he called "mutant stick-thin women that don't exist in nature."

"You got me," I said, laughing at his description.

And he was off again, expounding on "size negative-two aliens" that were airbrushed into existence by men who didn't have the sense to look at the human body.  I just kept laughing.

It felt good.