Jeremy hit the elevator button to go to the third floor. He hummed as he felt the rise. It wasn’t really a tune; it never was with Jeremy. He couldn’t sing a note and his humming was no better, but he loved to annoy anyone who was in earshot. The elevator stopped with a bump and the doors parted. He step out and turned left. He entered the ‘Thomas and Chadwick at Law’ offices and tipped an imaginary hat at the secretary.
Jeremy banged the girl’s desk with his fists. “GOOD MORNING, AINSLIE!”
As usual, Ainslie was drinking her morning coffee when Jeremy came in. He had timed his greeting just right; the cup almost to her lips. Jeremy strutted into his office and closed the door behind him.
The answering machine blinked. He ignored it and flicked through a pile of mail and office memos. He switched the computer on, removed his designer suit jacket, and expertly tossed it across the room where it landed neatly on the cloak hook. He smacked his lips, belched, and flopped into his newest piece of furniture that reclined all the way back. With his head almost level with the top of his desk he lifted his feet and crossed them over; resting them on a manila folder beside his father’s picture.
“Well, Doctor Jeremy James Chadwick Junior.” He patted his chest. “Why does your father still employ that dumb blonde?” He chuckled at his own joke.
Jeremy yawned and stretched his arms. He bumped his graduation photo that stood on the ‘L’ shaped desk. He polished the glass with the sleeve of his shirt and replaced it so that the photo faced the door. “A pass mark is all I needed, and here I am. This is the life.”
Presently, the computer screen came to life and beeped to announce a handful of email notifications. He didn’t bother to check them. He pushed his unruly fringe from his eyes. “Boring emails,” he snuffled. “There’s always an announcement of a law change or a meeting with a pitiable client. When do I get the really big paying clients, Daddy O?”
Easing into an upright position he thumped the intercom. “COFFEE, PLEASE.”
There was a small pause before a squeaky—“Yes, Sir”.
“Man that girl is so dumb.” He returned to a reclined position and lit an imported cigar. Jeremy never sucked in the disgusting smoke. He just let the cigar roll across his lower lip controlling it with a trained tongue.
A rap on the door broke his concentration. He caught the cigar gingerly between his fingers. “Come in.”
Ainslie entered—her face flushed. “Your coffee, Sir.”
“Ainslie, how many times do I need to tell you to wear a clean blouse every morning? There must be a coffee stain on every one you own.” mmm... he thought. She is kind of pretty. Probably in her mid-to late twenties. No wonder the old man goes for her.
Jeremy poked his finger at a coaster with the family crest embossed in fake silver.
After placing the mug gently on the coaster, Ainslie left in silence.
“Lighten up, girl,” he muttered at the door.
With the coffee mug in one hand and the cigar in the other, he eased gently back to a comfortable position.
The door flew open. Jeremy lunged forward spilling scolding coffee down the front of his trousers. With a yelp of pain he struggled to stand but in the rush he tipped the chair over and landed in a heap on the floor. The black liquid stained his clothes and the cream-coloured carpet.
“What on earth are you doing?”
Jeremy scrambled to his feet. His face hot. There before him stood his father, Dr. Andrew Thomas PHD, and the blonde bimbo. “Hello, Father.”
His father shook his head. “We came in here to see if you wanted to go with us to take Ainslie for a drink. She finished her law degree with honours. Andrew and I have decided to take her on as a junior partner.” He sighed heavily and shooed Ainslie out of the office. “We’ll go soon,” he told her. He closed the door before continuing. “Son, I’m disappointed—embarrassed too.” He nodded toward his business partner.
Jeremy pulled the sticky shirt away from his body. “Sorry, Dad. I was...”
“You were messing around, just like you did right through college. Now, clean up this mess and take your belongings home. Ainslie will need an office.”
They left. Jeremy stared at their backs. “Ohhh...”
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