It was eleven-thirty in the morning, Hillary was by the elevator just about to press the button to go down, she wasn’t keen to go and see Barry, not after the rumours she had heard about him and his busy hands, but at the same time she didn’t want Mr Miller yelling at her again not after what she just had to go through, not so bad? She thought what was Simon seeing that she didn’t, was it because she was female, she was confused now by the extreme reaction from her boss, maybe he was in the dog house with his wife and was taking it out on her. The elevator pinged and the doors began to slide slowly open, just as she was about to step in a hand reached across and grabbed her by the wrist, she looked up and saw it was Mr Miller, “Oh sir, I’m sorry did I forget something?” Hillary asked in a puzzled voice “No Hillary” replied Mr Miller, “I just wanted to apologize for my outburst in my office, it was uncalled for and I’m sorry” this took Hillary back momentarily, she thought to herself, so you should be you miserable shit, but Hillary wanting to keep her job and being as polite as she was just gave him a smile and said “No sir its fine, you have a stressful job I will have to be more careful” Hillary stepped in to the elevator and pressed the number three which then light up as the doors closed, Mr Miller smiled to himself and realized he had himself a fine new employee. As Mr Miller turned his back and began to return towards his office he failed to notice the stare from Simon if he had laser vision Mr Miller would have been slain upon the floor, was this jealousy or something far more sinister.
The front doors slid open at the main entrance of Starlight electronics, they where big steel framed doors with thick re-enforced glass taking up the centres, surprisingly secure and virtually indestructible, “Good morning Mr Jones” a clear high pitched voice said as Bill walk towards the reception desk, “Oh good morning Gwen” he replied, “Is there any information for me” he said in a knowing way, there was never a morning that there was no information regarding clients, contracts or suchlike, “Yes sir, I’ve had it all sent directly to your office, would you like coffee brought up to you sir?” she said, “lovely, maybe a muffin too Gwen, I skipped breakfast this morning” he said, well aware he could have anything he wanted at the snap of a finger, “certainly sir, I’ll have Lucy bring that too you right away” Gwen replied, Bill slid a newspaper from the desk and waved it at Gwen in a thanking motion as he walked to the glass stairway which went straight up in a spiralling fashion, even though the majority of the building was constructed in glass, like most modern office buildings are, he never felt comfortable walking up a see-through staircase seeing the ground moving further away as he went up, but he was well aware that appearance played a big part in business. As soon as Bill’s foot touched the first step Gwen was on the intercom to Lucy, “Hey lazy b****, Billy boy wants a coffee and a cake, hurry up” Gwen snarled, the complete opposite to her previous complexion to Bill’s face. Bill arrived at the top of the stairs Lucy was tottering along in ridiculously large heels barely able to stand straight, carrying Bills coffee and swinging cellophane bag containing a cherry muffin “Hello Sir” she said to Bill, “Ah good morning Lucy, would you like me to take that from you now?” Bill said, ever the gentleman, “Oh no sir please let me take it to your office” she replied, “You really don’t have to, you where a lot quicker then I expected” Bill replied, “I don’t want to disappoint sir” Lucy said was a smile “I can’t see that happening” he said with a wink, Lucy went bright red in the face, completely embarrassed, she looked down unable to look at him, Bill just smiled and took the the coffee and muffin from her “thank-you Lucy” Bill said and turned to go to his office which was in the far corner of the busy open planned floor, again his office consisted of glass walls, fortunately it had blinds.
The elevator pinged once again, this time it was for the third floor, Hillary took a deep breath and waited for the doors to slide open, as they did a short man around five foot six was standing the other side, he was of plump build wearing thick bottle top glasses, he gave Hillary a grin which made her skin crawl, “Hello there, I’m Barry I understand you have come to give me a hand” he said, “um yes that’s right” she said “great, follow me” Barry said as he walked around the corner, she didn’t have to walk fast as Barry seemed to plod at a very casual pace, he went in to a little room, it was a bright white room with shelves down both side walls the middle was a large Xerox machine, “here we are” he said, “I, I mean Mr Miller needs this sheet photocopied one thousand times, do NOT look at what is on the sheet, understand?” he said in a suddenly authoritative tone, “Oh yes certainly sir” Hillary stuttered at the slight shock of Barry’s serious statement, “oh you don’t need to call me sir, I’m just Barry, I’ll keep an eye on you and see back here when I get the chance, any questions?” he said, wanting to get rid of him as soon as possible she quickly shook her head in the universal sign for no, “OK then, I’ll leave you to it” he replied, turning on his heel he plodded out the way they came in, looking dauntingly at the machine she wasn’t fully sure how it worked, but didn’t think it would be too difficult, she lifted the lid of the Xerox machine and placed the sheet under it, she bit her lip lightly wanting to turn the sheet over, she resisted and closed the lid, looking at the light up display screen she typed the number required, one thousand of one sheet, seemed an awful lot but she shrugged to herself and didn’t think about it.
Bill went in to his office and sighed at the thought of another day, he placed his coffee on his desk and sat down in his brown leather reclining chair, he was about to reach in the bag containing his muffin when a light tap on his door made him sit up, “Hello?” Bill answered, the door opened an inch and a light voice spoke through, “ Your wife is in a much happier place now, do not follow me, for you shall be rewarded in time” “What?” Bill initially said, before jumping up and dashing to the door, he peered out expecting to see somebody there, but to his surprise nobody was near, he shouted across the office “Hey anybody see who was at my door?” “no sir” a skinny pasty man said standing by a water fountain, “anyone?” Bill asked in a confused voice, “no sir, we try not to disturb you first thing” a middle aged woman in a navy trouser suit responded, “OK, thanks” Bill said as he closed his door and went to sit down again, what did he mean, My wife’s in a happier place? Bill mused over what the stranger had said, thinking he was probably part of an office prank, but didn’t like the mention of his wife in such a context, I’d best ring her or I’ll not be able to think straight, he thought. Picking up the phone he dialled the code to make outside calls followed by his home number, he could have had the receptionist do that but didn’t consider a need when he was quite capable, the phone rang, then rang and rang continuing to do so until it cut to the answer phone, “Hi you have reached the Jones’ we cant come to the phone right now please leave your name and number and we’ll call you back” Bill just hung up the phone, “she must be busy or out somewhere” he said to himself, “I’ll try again a bit later. In actual fact his wife had not gone anywhere, she was…pre-occupied at that current time, Bill decided he’d best start some work.
Hillary was looking around the white room with selves while she waited for the machine to copy the sheets, she was unaware of a presence creeping up behind her, she then saw a shadow appear on the wall in front of her, she quickly spun around expecting to see Barry, to her surprise she saw Simon, “Hi ya luv” he said, “what are you doing down here?” Hillary said “came to see if you where OK, making sure the new girl isn’t getting a hard time” “no I’m fine thanks, but I best get on with my work” she said “don’t look very busy at the moment” he sniggered “well I’m waiting for these” pointing at the copier, “plus Barry might come back and I’d probably get in trouble” Hillary said “oh don’t worry bout him he’s harmless, don’t listen to the gossipers in this place” Simon said “anyway maybe I’ll see you later” he said as he disappeared as quick as he had come, Hillary was not sure about him and wanted to keep at a distance if possible, as she turned back to watching the copier a firm smack across her backside made her almost jump in to the air, “how’s it going sweetie?” it was Barry, gossip wasn’t true? She thought, Hillary turned and glared at Barry “How dare you you dirty old git!” She said in a spitting tone “what?” Barry said in an almost crouched position with his arm up ready to block any possible attack, “If you ever touch me again I’ll twist your bits off, do you understand?” and she quickly picked up the copied sheets and strolled out of the room with a thump of adrenaline going through her, she felt good for doing that but hoped she hadn’t caused herself any problems.