Well, this is boring.
I pick at my nails, frowning at the chip in my beautifully crafted pointer finger. I worked so hard just to keep it looking perfect and rounded for this occasion and now, sitting here, waiting, I’ve gone and broke it… I let out an exasperated sigh.
I’m alone in this large corner office space. The visitors chair is uncomfortable and I feel like my butt is going numb. Who puts an uncushioned chair in an office building anyway? Offices were designed for sitting, shouldn’t all chairs be padded? This is already taking longer than it should have. I don’t want to be here by choice; he won’t want me to be here, but it was bound to happen. Incompetent fool.
I let myself in early, and now I regret it. What happened to being fashionably late? I stand up as my patience begins to wear thin and walk over to the large desk facing inwards. There’s nothing on it of personal touch except for a single picture frame of a girl, smiling, flaming red hair falling about her shoulders. She’s beautiful, I guess, by some people’s standards. Something about her smile bothers me, but I resist the urge to frown at her, lest I develop wrinkles.
Hmm, I wonder why he’s got this here anyway. He didn’t seem to be the attached sort when I first met him. Maybe I overlooked that detail. I tap my fingers on the desk impatiently, looking out at the sun burning orange on the horizon. The ball of fire in the sky irks me, just like being here instead of doing my own thing. I wish I could snap my fingers and make it disappear, but I can’t, at least, not yet.
The clock on the wall ticks by aimlessly until my attention focuses on the door rattling as a key enters the lock and it swings soundlessly open. I adjust my face to appear pleasantly surprised and at the same time, irked at having to be kept waiting.
“Good evening Mr. Tryst,” I smile professionally, tilting my head ever so slightly; I am here on business, after all.
He stops in the doorway, my presence in his office must surprise him. Good. I like to keep them surprised. He pulls the key from the lock and clicks the door shut behind him as he heads across the office to his desk chair.
“Good evening. I wasn’t expecting an appointment today. Who might you be?” He asks, hands lightly tugging the open flaps of his suit coat straight and buttoning it closed.
“Oh, we haven’t met before,” at least, I doubt he’d remember the first time we met. I didn’t really introduce myself. “This was somewhat of a… last minute urgent matter. It’s regarding the assignment you’ve just returned from,” I say as professionally as I can manage. He gestures for me to take the seat in front of his desk but I decline. My blood boils as I watch him pull out the chair and take a seat. I turn around, shifting my weight from the desk edge to my feet. I prefer to stand.
His eyebrow cocks upwards. “My assignment? How might you know about that?”
I flutter my eyes to the window, hiding my sarcastic eye roll. I would rather appear like I am fluttering rather than annoyed. “We share the same boss, Mr. Tryst. I’m from Internal Affairs,” I suppress a fake giggle. I watch him from the corner of my eye for any reaction, but he just grins like a fool and nods. Hooked.
“I see. We’ve not met before. A shame. You’re stunning. Well, what can I help you with today, Ms…” he pauses, waiting for me to give him my name.
“Carvier. Ms. Carvier,” I answer flatly. I see the moves he’s pulling. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ll play his game.
“Carvier,” he repeats slowly.
“Well, first off, I’m told you were careless. You let one of the bosses precious collections get away. He’s not too pleased.” I say with a little disappointment in my tone. I would not have been so thoughtless if I had been the one in charge, but that’s why I’m here now, to clean up the mess. As always.
“I didn’t let anyone get away. They jumped. That was not my doing,” he says with a gleam in his eye. “Ms. Carvier, you have the most interesting eyes. Let’s discuss this over a drink, shall we?” He offers, leaning forward and resting his elbows on the desk. He gives me a small wink like he thinks I’m into him. I laugh inside.
I shift my gaze to his hands and force a smile. “Mr. Tryst, I’m not finished, and I’m certain you don’t want to discuss this over a drink, in public,” I say as if I’m trying to be courteous. He leans back in his chair, watching me closely. He still doesn’t take me seriously. What is with men these days?
“As I was saying,” I continue, “the one who got away wasn’t one of your little pesky newbies. It was the British girl. She is far more valuable than your fling with the fire thing,” I say. Maybe that was a bit too personal. It’s hard to hold back.
The corner of his mouth twitches as he smiles. “I see. I was unaware that I was in charge of her. How am I responsible for this disappearance?” he asks.
“She was in the holding cell next to your little experiment. According to the boss, you left her unattended. The building was compromised and the children from the Guild found it, along with her. He blames you.” I report, shifting back into my professional tone.
“That’s hardly my problem,” he wafts his hand as if to push away a bad scent.
“I wouldn’t be so sure, Mr. Tryst.”
“Please, call me Logan,” he grins.
I barely manage to contain my sarcasm. “Logan,” I grit. “I’m only the messenger. I’m here to tell you to be careful, or the boss will, I dunno, dispose of you. He’s not happy. Unless you can retrieve the girl, there may be consequences. Those are his words. Not mine,” I say to be clear.
He stands from his desk with a friendly smile and steps toward the door, hand extended as if to lead me away. “I thank you for the warning. I’ll be sure to recover this valuable item for the boss. No hard feelings?” he says hopefully.
I twist my lips into a smile, trying to appear flirtatious again. “None taken.”
“Would you still not like a drink? Tonight?” he asks again. Pushy indeed.
“I’m sorry Mr. Tryst -”
“Logan,” he interrupts.
“Logan,” I correct myself. “I am very busy tonight. I’m sorry. Maybe some other time,” I dismiss.
“Sorry to hear that. Another time maybe.” He accepts.
“Perhaps,” I smile pleasantly. “Oh, there’s one more thing,” I say, turning in the doorway, hand on his, holding the doorknob. He stops, waiting for me to continue. “The boss doesn’t like to be kept waiting, as I’m sure you’re aware. You have three days to get her back…” I pause for dramatic effect as his smile twitches again. “Unharmed.”
“Thank you, Ms. Carvier. I’ll be sure to get the project in by Thursday. Thanks for coming all the way up here. Have a good evening,” he says, as two office staff pass by in the hall.
I nod and leave, not waiting for the door to shut. I glance at my broken nail with a sigh. Guess I’ll head to the nail salon and get a new one.
I place my forefinger and my thumb together, forming a circle over the chipped nail. A faint purple light glows between them, in the space that I’ve created, and the nail fades to nothing, revealing my plain nail underneath. The rest of my hand is perfectly manicured and makes my plain nail stand out like a sore thumb. I suck my teeth at the sight and shove it into handbag bag to grab my cell.
Guess I’ll call Hyuang Yee to get a new one tonight. I’m impatient.
By Kayla West