I held up a finger and caught Connor’s eye.

“Hold on one sec, Klaus – don’t go anywhere!” and then Connor swiped the phone screen, presumably muting the call. “What’s up?”

“If you want him to come in, you’ve got to be nice and ask him,” I whispered, even though the call was on mute. “I know what Mr. Westerholtz said, but if you order Klaus around, he’ll turn it into a… a pissing contest.”

Just for a second, I was going to say ‘penis-measuring contest,’ but that wouldn’t have been ladylike.

And I didn’t want to give Connor the impression I was thinking about his… uh… you know.

Because I wasn’t.

Except for that peek below the belt at the beginning.

And, since I was almost going to say ‘penis-measuring’… maybe I was thinking about his just a little bit right at that moment. In an abstract, totally metaphorical kind of way.

Totally metaphorical.

Anyway, Connor suddenly burst into a full-on grin. He turned back to the phone, swiped it off mute, and almost shouted, “Alright, Klaus, you heard your boss, get your ass back here right now.”

My eyes bugged out.

He did exactly the OPPOSITE of what I just told him!

And he was having a great time doing it. Connor looked like a five-year-old boy hearing the funniest fart joke of his life as Klaus snarled, “W-well, ABOUT that – what EXACTLY is it you need me for?”

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that, Klaus. You just get back over here pronto.”

I glanced at Stanley. If I looked anything like what Stanley looked like at that moment, we were both about to poop bricks.

“I don’t like your tone,” Klaus snapped.

“Yeah? Well I don’t like your attitude. Dave basically – oh, that’s right, that’s Mr. Westerholtz to you.”

I was covering my mouth with both hands by now.

Stanley was shaking his head slowly in that Roy Scheider in Jaws, glassy-eyed ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat’ kind of way.

Connor looked like he was having the time of his life.

“Anyway, Dave basically said that when I say ‘Jump,’ you ask, ‘How high.’ And you’re not asking ‘how high’ yet, Klaus.”

“This is – this – Mr. Westerholtz wouldn’t – ” Klaus sputtered.

“Of course, if you want your assistant Lily to handle what I need, we could do that, too,” Connor suggested in a suddenly conciliatory tone.

I almost screamed, Say WHAT?!

Stanley looked over at me like, Girl, you better get your ass outta that water before Jaws gets you.

Klaus went silent.

“…is Lily there?” he asked warily, with definite undertones of fear.

Connor winked at me. “She’s over by the elevators. You want me to go over and let you talk to her?”

“…yyyyyyes. Yes, why don’t you do that,” Klaus agreed. The relief in his voice was palpable.

He obviously didn’t want me to hear his utter humiliation over the last couple of minutes.

If he only knew…

“Okay, hold on,” Connor agreed, then held up a finger shhhh! to his lips as he grinned like a madman.

Stanley was looking at me like, Too late. Here comes Jaws.

Connor waited about ten seconds, said, “Here she is,” and then handed the phone over to me.


“Uh, hi, Kl – Mr. Zimmerman,” I quickly adjusted.

Damn it, I almost gave it all away!

Klaus didn’t notice, thank God. He was a little preoccupied.

“Thanks for NOTHING, Lily. Now this little – ”

“Still on speakerphone, Klaus,” Connor called out helpfully.

I would have laughed if I weren’t so horrified at my situation.

There was a brief pause.

“…ah, situation is a bit more pressing than I originally thought,” Klaus course-corrected. “I need you to take the gentleman back to the office and show him whatever he needs.”

“Uh… anything?”

“Well, I don’t know about ‘anything’ – ”

“‘How high,’ Klaus. I’m not hearing ‘how high’ yet,” Connor spoke up, then choked back his laughter.

Exasperated, Klaus snapped, “There are too many confidential files, too many sensitive – ”

“We can call Dave again,” Connor offered. “Or… you can come in and get the files for me yourself.”

There was a long pause on the other end. Klaus was obviously thinking about his options: avoid a potential reaming from Westerholtz, or perform a little CYA.

“The CEO has instructed me to give Mr. Brooks whatever help he requires, Lily,” he finally said. “So do whatever he asks.”

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