But then, a thought strikes.
“Why do you think I’m going instead of Jane?” I ask Melissa like she has some secret information I don’t.
“Keith did say she was out today. Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen her in over a week actually.”
“That isn’t that strange though. Her desk is upstairs on Keith’s private floor. Maybe she’s been coming in early and staying late? The spring line is due out soon.”
Mel shakes her head.
“Yeah, but when was the last time you got an e-mail from her? Doesn’t she usually pass down all her menial tasks to you?”
I know this is true and grit my teeth. Melissa’s right, but I hate hearing it spoken out loud sometimes. Resolutely, I open my e-mail and scan for anything from Jane. Interestingly, I have to scroll back more than ten days to find any correspondence directly from her. Plus, everything recent has been from Corrine and has been blind copied, so I don’t know who else is on the chain.
“Maybe she has that virus that’s going around,” Melissa offers.
Mel rolls her eyes.
“How do you function in life without ever reading the news?”
I merely smile.
“You know I hate to read sad things. My social life is depressing enough; I don’t need anything else to bring me down.”
But Mel shakes her head.
“The new virus seems like it could be kind of serious though. It started in China and appears to be pretty contagious. China is shutting down a bunch of public buildings and has banned large social gatherings. The U.S. government is keeping a close eye on it here.”
“If it’s that serious and Jane has it, shouldn’t they let us know since we work with her?”
“That’s a good point. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’s getting a boob job. You know, that woman is seriously jealous of your girls. I swear I’ve caught her staring at your cleavage multiple times.”
I don’t blush this time because my girls are the part of my body that I like the most. They’re big but still perky, and I wear tighter tops sometimes to show them off.
But then, I stand up.
“Okay, we can talk about my boobs as we walk. Ready for lunch? I need to pick stuff up for the boss today, so I better get on it.”
“Sure thing. Just let me get my bag and round everyone else up.”
I smile and pick up my Betsey Johnson purse before going over to wait by the gray elevator bank that will take us to the street. What does Mr. Commons want? I smile to myself, and decide to get him something special.2KeithA new shoe design sits on my desk taunting me, waiting for my approval. I have 73 unread e-mails, 53 of which have been flagged as important by the sender. There’s a problem with one of our canvas suppliers in Tokyo. Legal is concerned because one of our truck drivers was pulled over for drinking and driving in Atlanta. And to top it off, HR says Jane quit because of a ‘hostile work environment’ and is asking for six months of severance.
WTF? Six months? But I told them to give it to her because I didn’t realize she would get attached so fast. I was definitely not hostile to her in any way, but her expectations were completely out of whack. She expected me to introduce her as my girlfriend at business meetings just because we were sleeping together. She knew she wasn’t the only woman I was seeing; she screens my phone calls for Pete’s sake.
I probably should stop having casual sexual encounters with my employees but it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. I make women’s shoes. I’m surrounded by beautiful women. I have messages from Erica, Virginia, Monica, Tanya, Ashley, Sophia, and Candy blinking on my phone at this very moment. They all miss me and expect me to call next time I’m in town. Faces flash through my head but I seriously doubt I could match the face with the name.
My intercom buzzes. I desperately need a vacation.
“Yes, Corrine?” I ask mildly.
“The arrangements have been made. Miss Laine will be accompanying you to Tahiti. Shall I have a car pick her up or have her take a taxi?”
“Corrine, of course you should have a car pick her up. Why the hell would you expect her to take a cab?”
I can almost hear my employee grimace on the other side even if she doesn’t answer my question.
“Kelsey is competent and punctual, so she’ll be there on time. Is there anything I need to have her prepare for your meeting in Tahiti?”
“No, thanks. I have it covered.”
Then I hang up and my thoughts drift to the luscious Kelsey Laine. I can’t seem to get that red polka dotted dress out of my mind. Or the woman who is wearing it.