They loved staying in bed together but that wasn’t where they did it. They did it on the floor, in his car, and in the shower. They did it in the closets, on the kitchen table, and on the stairs. Sometimes they did it several times a day. They were that hungry for each other.
One day she said that she didn’t want to do it for a while. A short time later they broke up. They cried. He said that he wanted to do it one more time. She turned her back to him and said, “That’s impossible.” He got angry and then they screamed at each other as he took his things from the closets, the bathroom and the kitchen. When he left, he threw his keys on the floor.
He hadn’t been back there or seen her since, until tonight. Allison was startled to see Tim at the door and with her secretary. Tim thought that his ex-lover looked awfully good. She wore a slinky, blue-green shift that clung to her hips and outlined her ribs. Tim had always liked the way she dressed. He remembered a black negligee that had places for her bare breasts to come through. He wondered if she still decorated her nipples when she wore it.
The sight of him stopped Allison. She hadn’t thought of him in almost a year. Allison tried to be very careful to keep her business and private relationships separate from each other. Her secretary, June, had never spoken to Tim or even heard her boss make reference to him. June had simply told him that they were going to her boss’s party. He hadn’t really asked any questions about it. She hadn’t gone into detail.
“How very strange to see you here again,” said Allison. The look on his face told her that he hadn’t expected to see her either. He managed to mumble hello. She wondered briefly if he really could have been dense enough to walk up to the house that he used to share with her and not realize where he was. She knew that Tim had a tendency for being obtuse, but this was unusual even for him. “I always knew that June had good taste,” Allison said with a smile and a voice that seemed incompatible with her thoughts.
June looked back and forth between them. “You’ve both met, haven’t you?”
Tim smiled at the two women. “I didn’t realize that you worked for Allison MacNamara, ” he said.
There was an inevitable pause where no one knew what to say. June’s first thought was about whether this was going to somehow affect her job. Then she began to wonder about Tim and her boss sleeping together. Then she thought about whether they should leave. Clearly, she didn’t want to upset Allison MacNamara. She’d be out on her ass on Monday.
Allison turned squarely to June. “You know most everyone here. Make yourselves comfortable and I’ll be sure to see the both of you a little later on“
Tim’s gaze involuntarily followed her hips as she walked away. He should have realized that June would be watching him, but all his mind could picture was a small red dagger that was tattooed about three inches below her waist.
June said, “Let’s get something to drink,” and took Tim’s hand. He was still looking at Allison as they walked over to the bar. She was wearing the crescent moon earrings that he’d given her.
The house was expansive. The living room was sunken down three steps and highlighted by a huge fieldstone fireplace. Sometimes on hot days, Allison liked to do it in front of a fire. They would get slippery with sweat and then burst into a waiting shower for their climax. Allison was nervous as she watched them. This could turn out to be embarrassing. The business side of her disdained embarrassment, but what was embarrassing the internal hell out of her right now was how excited she was to see him again.
Finally, Tim focused his attention on June. She was smiling. He thought she looked fresh and pretty. He wanted to explain, but people were coming over to them and she was introducing him. He listened to their conversation and added an occasional word of agreement. Then they were moving away and June led him into a curved alcove where he and Allison had done it standing up.
She was smirking now. “Where do you know Allison MacNamara from?” There was a spark in her eyes. She was beginning to find the thought of Tim and her boss amusing.
“About two years ago, we used to date,” said Tim.
“And?” said June.
He gave her an innocent smile. “What?”
“Tell me about it.”
“We saw each other for almost a year and then broke up. I haven’t seen her since.”
“You seem upset,” she said.
“No, I’m just surprised. I didn’t even realize where we were.”
Allison watched them talking in her alcove. Tim had put on a few pounds, but the weight looked good on him. He was wearing clothes that she hadn’t seen before. He stood straight without seeming stiff. She liked the way he held his drink. June was a pretty girl. Her Ivory Snow skin and chubby breasts must be very attractive to Tim. She wondered how long he had been seeing June. She hoped that he wouldn’t tell her too much about them. It might be easier to simply transfer the secretary, but that could make matters worse. Allison knew that if you pissed off your secretary, she was sure to badmouth you.
About thirty people had showed up for the party. Allison had been given permission to pay for the gathering out of her expense account. It was recognized in her office that affability was good management policy.
She wished there were some way for her to hear what he was saying to June. This had never happened before and it made her uncharacteristically uncomfortable. Allison moved off and tried to occupy herself with something a little less disturbing, but her eyes kept returning to the alcove and involuntarily examining Tim and how he looked with her secretary.
She decided that the best way to go was to say something briefly to June tonight and then decide how she intended to deal with it on Monday. She wanted this worked out discreetly. When she saw that Tim had drifted over to the fireplace and was talking to Josh Lowe, she moved towards June. Talking to Josh was safe. He didn’t let anybody get too many of their own words into a conversation and didn’t seem to listen that carefully to what was being said. “Let’s step over here for a second, shall we?” she said as she took June back into the window seated alcove.
They sat at right angles to each other. Allison adjusted her gold crescent earrings without remembering that she’d gotten them from Tim. She began, “Knowing Tim, I’m sure that you weren’t aware that we’d had a love affair…”
June interrupted, “I never would have brought him here if I’d had any idea that the two of you had been involved.”
“Be that as it may,” Allison continued in her best -professional voice, “it would seem to be in the mutual interest of everyone’s comfort if nothing was said about the coincidence.”
“That’s true, Ms MacNamara,” responded June. Her secretarial manner was meant to convey support and loyalty.
“Why don’t the two of you quietly decide to scurry off before too much longer?”
“That would be no problem, “said June as if she was being asked to work overtime.
“We’ll talk more on Monday,” Allison was smiling warmly.
“I’d say that I owe you one, but under the circumstances I’m not sure that’s the correct way to put it.”
June laughed nervously. “I see what you mean,” she said. She thought that it would be easy to get Tim out of the party. She wanted to go to bed with him that night anyway. She’d put on silk underwear and perfumed herself extensively in case things had worked out.
June and Tim had sex in his bed. The unfamiliarity of each other’s body quickly excited them. She laid on her back with her hair feathered against the pillow. He pulled on her nipples with soft tugs. She wondered if he looked the same to Allison MacNamara when she had been underneath him. There was a certain added satisfaction after she orgasmed.
* * *
At ten o’clock on Monday morning, Allison asked June into her office. She told the secretary to leave her pad at her desk. They had coffee.
June had asked Tim about his relationship with Allison MacNamara a second time. She wanted details. He told her that Allison was hot beyond cooling. He told her that Allison could be unusual in her appetites. June’s mouth had dropped open, and Tim laughed harder than she’d ever seen his laugh before. June just couldn’t imagine her boss as a hot commodity. She had remembered once hearing Josh Lowe and two other junior executives talking about Allison. One of them had said that Allison’s problems with them stemmed from the absence of a stiff one in her life. The others agreed. But Allison MacNamara had always been decent with her. She didn’t take advantage of her and use her to cover mistakes. She overlooked some of the petty details that her male bosses accented. The weekend left her unsure of what this would mean for her.
Allison gave her a warm smile that June knew to be professional. It was, none-the-less, comforting. June returned the smile and Allison began talking. “I hope that your Saturday night wasn’t too inconvenienced. It’s just that I was rather surprised to see an ex-lover there with a co-worker,”
June noticed her temporary elevation to equal status. She sipped her coffee quietly and waited to see what Allison would say next.
“I hope that I can rely on your discretion in this matter. I don’t believe that who you see is any of my business, nor do I think that my private affairs should become a subject for water cooler discussion. It may seem that I’m making too much of this thing but there are people in this office who would have a field day with the information. It just wouldn’t seem normal.”
June felt instantly relegated back to the ranks of a subordinate. She put her coffee cup down and said, “I don’t see that we have a problem. I’m not particularly interested in passing the details of my love affairs around either.”
Allison agreed. “I know,” she said. “In a way this whole thing is kind of funny and silly at the same time that it’s serious.
“I should tell you,” said June, “that I enjoy Tim’s company. I hope you don’t see it as a problem that I’m going to continue to see him.”
“He’s an intriguing man,” said Allison, “if a bit of a bumbler.”
June didn’t feel comfortable discussing Tim with Allison, but if that’s what her boss really wanted to talk about. She felt saved when the telephone rang. June answered it. It was Harry Wiman’s secretary, Mary. She told June that the conference call that was to be held with the Cleveland and St. Louis branches was ready and that she was signing Allison’s line into the hookup. June said, “Wait a second, I’m not at my desk.” She informed Allison of the call and went out to her phone to complete the hookup. They didn’t speak about it anymore that day.
Allison had just taken a long bath and was sipping a glass of Frangelica when the phone rang on Monday night. It was Tim. He told her that he had been thinking about Saturday night and hoped that he hadn’t caused any problems for her. “No, there aren’t any problems, but I was surprised to see you.” She went on to say that she thought it strange that he hadn’t been aware that he was at her house.
“I’ve got a bit of a confession to make,” said Tim. “I did realize it was your house when we got there. I suppose I was curious about you. Anyway, I let it happen. I thought that you looked quite elegant.”
She laughed. “Why thank you. You looked good too.”
“There have been times when I’ve regretted the way that we ended things, “he said.
“Endings often seem more final than they are,” she said.
“How would you feel about having dinner with me?” he asked.
“Under the circumstances,” she said in a measured voice, “I don’t think that it would be appropriate or possible.”
They had dinner on Wednesday night. She knew that he wanted to sleep with her. They certainly weren’t going to meet to discuss his adventure with her secretary. She wore a proper blue dress with crotch less panties underneath.
He was waiting at the bar when she arrived. The private room atmosphere that the place offered was perfect for them. He was dressed in a pair of finely tailored slacks and a sport shirt. Her stomach was fluttering when she sat next to him. She was acutely aware of every motion that he made. He was direct.
“I know that you aren’t sure that this is a good idea,” he said.
“No,” she answered. “I know this isn’t a good idea.”
“I saw you, and I just didn’t want to let the opportunity slip by.” He looked into her face. “Allison, you’re the most exciting woman that I’ve ever met.”
She was flattered and a bit apprehensive. As the evening progressed, she kept waiting for him to talk about his relationship with June, but he didn’t. He followed her home and they made love on her back porch. They were good together, as always.
When he came into the house, she said, “What are you intending to do about my secretary?”
“June and I don’t really have anything going on,” he said.
“Does she know that?” said Allison.
“Then just end it with her.”
Tim agreed without hesitation. They had a drink. “I’ve been studying erotic dances,” she said with a naughty smile. “Would you like a demonstration?”
Two days later Tim brought some of his things over to her house. Their intercourse was more intense than it was the last time. They reveled in each other. Her supply of imagination and new ideas was as inexhaustible as his stamina.
Tim didn’t call June during his week at Allison’s. His reasons were vague. Allison kept telling him that she wanted him to be fair with June although she also told him not to mention her name. On the third day of the second week, June called a secretary that she knew from Tim’s office. It had been through her that she had met Tim. He had picked them up at a downtown happy hour. They had partied and then he had treated the two of them to dinner. He asked each of them to dance. When he danced with June, he had told her that he wanted to see her again. She had answered that she didn’t know. He smiled and said, “I’ve waited all night to be able to ask you that question.” June was swept away. She thought that it was true, but she was trying not to let on that she believed it.
She called her friend in Tim’s office and told her about Tim suddenly being among the missing. She asked her friend to find out what she could, She couldn’t believe that he hadn’t enjoyed sleeping with her, She knew when she had satisfied a man.
The return call came right after lunch. There was only one piece of information. He had temporarily changed his private number. She stared at the number after she wrote it down. Her face was hard.
That Friday, June sent a request to Harry Wiman’s office that she be transferred. She told his head of staff that she would be more comfortable working for a man. When Allison questioned her about the abruptness of the change, she said, “There’s a lot of pressure working for someone on the way up, like yourself. I want to work in less intense surroundings.”
Allison didn’t believe a word of it. She tried to be sisterly and asked what the problem really was. June was proud of herself for not giving the bitch the slightest indication that she knew anything. Allison asked, “Do you know where you’re going to be reassigned?”
“I was told that Josh Lowe was going to be needing a secretary in two weeks. That will be about how long it will take me to turn things over here.” June smiled and held out her hand, “It’s been quite an experience to work for you.”
There was little question in Allison’s mind that she knew about them. Too much of this was coming from out of nowhere. Secretaries didn’t like change and Josh Low was no prize. There was a part of her that was happy that June was gone, but she was uncomfortable as to the reasons. The worst part was that she was falling in love with Tim again. It was even stronger than it was the last time. He enjoyed her diversity. She didn’t feel smothered. He was quiet and he was her equal. A briefly flickering voice told her to end the relationship because it had crossed over into her professional life
Harry Wiman, in his late fifties, was a conservative man, but also someone who understood the need for evolutionary change. When the mores of the marketplace dictated that he have a visible female executive or be grouped with those companies considered discriminatory, he recruited Allison. She was very bright and ambitious and bore a striking resemblance to his daughter. Harry was proud of the way things had worked out.
Allison MacNamara, Josh Lowe, and Tom Fitzsimmons sat in front of his desk as he began his prepared remarks. “The Board of Directors and myself have decided that we are ready and most needful of a new Vice President in charge of Special Projects. Our sponsorship of athletic and artistic events has begun to give us a reputation and prestige that will keep this corporation growing at a rate that will insure additional prosperity for everyone in our corporate family. The Board has nominated you three as being the best and most deserving of our junior executives. Only one of you can have the position. Going in, I want you to understand that the two people who aren’t chosen will be transferred to branch offices. This will cut down on friction and make room for a new trio of people who, like yourselves, have earned a chance to move up. At this point, you can remove your name from consideration and stay on in your present capacity. However, once we’ve agreed upon entering the selection process, the wishes of the Board about anyone disqualifying himself or herself from the competition are clear.” Harry stopped and gave them an inspecting gaze. “Are there any questions at this point?”
Tom Fitzsimmons was a married man, thirty-eight years old, with a ten-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. He presented an outstanding appearance, worked long hours, was consistent but lacked corporate inventiveness. Josh Lowe was here because he deserved at least one nomination in his career. He wasn’t outstanding, but he had friendliness and a congeniality, which had staying power. He had cultivated his share of allies and friends.
Fitzsimmons was the first to speak. “What kind of branch office position will be offered to those who aren’t promoted?”
Wiman indicated that he understood the nature of Tom’s concerns. “At least a district manager’s duties and quite possibly control of a branch itself.”
Allison felt confident when she sized up her competition. She smiled to herself. She had been wondering the same thing that Fitzsimmons asked about, but she would never have let her first comment be a timid “what if I lose” kind of statement. The positions would be considered lateral moves, but they weren’t at corporate headquarters,
Josh Lowe was next to speak. “Mr. Wiman, I’d be happy to serve this corporation in any of the three capacities that you’ve mentioned, and I’d like to first thank you and the Board for so honoring me. I can give you my answer right now. I’m in for the process all the way.” He emphasized the smoothness of his all the way intentions with a palm down gesture that made a smooth cut through the air and capped off with a thumbs up signal.
Allison spoke easily and distinctly into Harry Wiman’s smiling face, “I think that it almost goes without saying that we all feel honored. I’d simply like a little more of the detail about the selection process.” She didn’t feel fearful or anxious. She was interested, but it was important to appear circumspect with regard to having the right information to make a proper decision. She felt certain that Wiman was the person who was actually making the decision and that he would appreciate her stance.
“The Board of Directors would like each of you to select and develop a presentation for this corporation’s involvement with a here-to-fore untapped area of special projects, a long-range area where we could make a wise investment of resources and pioneer something that would be more uniquely identifiable as a project of Worth Corporation.
Allison felt even better. The project was tailor made for her talents.
“I’ve made arrangements to have each of your major areas of responsibility transferred to other people. That is, once you agree to become part of the process. There won’t be much time for you to complete your proposals. The Board and I are both anxious to settle this move as quickly as possible. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is in six days. The meeting has been expanded to include a working lunch at which these proposals will be presented. A decision will be made and communicated to you at a time no later than the conclusion of that week’s business.” He smiled broadly and looked at the three perspective vice-presidents. “Let me assure you that, in my opinion, the Board won’t really be able to make a mistake. I have no doubts about the qualifications and abilities of any of the three of you. For the rest of the day, I’d like you to simply consider your options. I’ll expect to hear from each of you tomorrow morning.”
That night she told Tim that a project that was going to occupy all of her energy had come up at the office. She told him that she wasn’t going to have any time for anything else for a while.
“Are you telling me that you’re done with me again?” said Tim. He was trying to sound steady even though he felt punched in the stomach.
“That’s not it,” she said emphatically.
“Then what is it?” he said. His face looked fierce. Similar to when he was about to have an orgasm.
She told herself that he had a right to feel rejected, but there wasn’t anything that she was gonna do about that right now. When she didn’t have anything to say, he said, “I’ll take my things out of here tonight.” She wanted to tell him that this wasn’t what she meant. It was what she needed though, so she sat there looking confused.
He got up and started for the bedroom. He was surprised when she followed him. “I must have been crazy to want to get involved with you again,” he said without looking at her.
“Nothing bad has to happen here, Tim,” she said. If he had been listening he would have heard a struggle in her voice.
“Well, then why the hell won’t you tell me what it is you’re talking about. It sounds an awful lot to me like something that I’ve heard before.”
“It wouldn’t change anything, and you know how I feel about talking about what happens at the office.” She knew that it sounded stupid, but she found herself saying it anyway. After she said it, she knew that it was what she believed.
“For Christ’s sake.’ I feel like I’m involved with somebody who works for the CIA or the Mafia. You know,” he delivered his Michael Corelone impression, “Don’t ask me about my business,” It looked funny and she laughed in spite of the situation.
“Great!” he fumed. “You think that my concern over our relationship is funny. I guess you think it’s really hilarious that I was going to ask you to be my wife?”
She stopped laughing. “That’s really nice,” she said softly. “And if you’d ask me in a week, I think I could give you a better answer than I can right now.” Then she decided to trust him. She told him about the competition. She came close to him and put her hands low on his waist. “If you want me for a partner, then you want a woman who’s always going to need a certain part of her life separate from the rest.”
There was a connecting hall between the bedroom and the den. He pulled her down onto the floor. He was very hot inside of her. They went slowly at first and then ferociously. She held herself up into the air, so that he could get deeper inside of her. He dug his nails into her hips and slapped her behind hard as they climaxed. As he gradually softened inside of her, she told him that she was in love with him. Then he got dressed and left. Afterwards, she was unable to think about the presentation. Tim had actually proposed to her and what was even more astounding was that she was going to say yes. This week was going to be even harder on her now. She didn’t allow herself any close friends, so there was no one she could call and tell about her dilemma. She fell asleep wrapped around pillows that she doused with his cologne.
The next morning she was ready to go to work. There were three possibilities that she wanted to brainstorm. Her first idea entailed a label of business wear that could be created and styled in conjunction with the designer’s label “Executives of Worth.” She liked the sound of it. Her second idea was the creation of the Worth Museum. It would consist largely of papers and artifacts from the great minds in business history. Her third notion was The Worth Film Institute. It would combine technological R&D with opportunities for filmmakers who presented optimistic visions of a corporate future.
By the time she’d finished her lunch, she’d made up her mind. The line of clothing was a good idea for a different occasion. Conceivably, it could be the most profitable, but it lacked the prestige that Wiman was after. Besides, to some on the Board it might appear too womanly to suggest a line of clothing. She was trying to avoid unnecessary prejudice. She had decided that she could effectively combine her second and. third ideas. What Wiman wanted was a place in history. She would go with it.
The end of the workweek found Allison in good shape with her project. She had spent all of her waking hours on it. It was going to be a competent presentation. Her estimates were that the first phase could be mapped out over a period of three years and cost approximately $ 15 million. The beauty of her approach was that after the name of the project had been established and initial procurements were made, other sponsorships would be made available to the corporate community.
She told herself that she’d earned a treat. She wondered if she would able to get in touch with Tim. When she allowed herself to think about him, she realized that she was horny for him. There was still work to be done, but it was a matter of filling in details. She put in a call to his office.
“I’ve had nothing but you on my mind all week,” he said when he got on the phone.
She whispered even though the door to her office was closed. “Can you come over for breakfast on Sunday morning?”
“Are you sure?” he said.
She teased. “Be well rested,”
“I’ll be there by nine,” he said.
“Even earlier,” she said with huskiness.
She laughed and whispered. “Let’s be a little more civil than that. I need some time to get ready for you.”
Within two hours of the conversation, Josh Lowe was listening to a tape of it. He had bugged her phone the day after the meeting with Wiman and after a conversation that he’d had with his new secretary. He had straight out asked June if she could tell him anything about her ex-boss that could be helpful. At first June had been reluctant to answer, but he put a hundred-dollar bill into her hand and told him that his new loyalties were to him.
June took the money. “All I know is that she spreads her legs like a slut and that she doesn’t care who she steps on in the process.” Then she related the story of what had happened to her and Tim. She told him what Tim had said about her appetites.
Josh had June put in a call to the detective agency that he’d used when he got a divorce from his first wife. He gave them an address and a time. He wanted audio and video. They told him that it would be no problem, but that there would be an added cost because of the short notice. Josh said that he would be happy to pay as long as he got results,
Allison was wearing a dress based on designs created by Pauline Re’age. Last night she had reread the novel as she went to sleep. She opened the door for Tim just as he was arriving.
* * *
The videotape was delivered to Josh Lowe’s house late Sunday afternoon. He put it on immediately. He saw Allison dressed in a satin gown that exposed her breasts and was folded up to reveal her front and rear. She answered the door and Tim kissed her immediately, “I want to treat you like a king this morning,” he heard her say. She led him into the bathroom with the sunken tub. The tape switched to another camera as Josh watched Allison bathe and oil Tim’s body. Tim was smiling and his eyes were half closed. When he came out of the tub, she brought him to her bed. She patted his body dry. She used her hair to dry him in intimate places; She patted him down with powder and quickly messaged him. She rubbed everywhere, lightly and quickly. She kissed across his belly and said, “Your breakfast is ready.”
The camera shifted back to the dining area where Allison served Tim breakfast. While he ate, she waited on her knees. She gazed at his mouth and stroked herself as he chewed the tropical melon that was diced on one of the plates in front of him. Occasionally, Tim caressed a part of her body. She held herself up so that he could touch her wherever he wished. Sometimes he fed her small pieces of food. At the conclusion of the meal, he pushed his chair back from the table and she crawled between his legs. What followed caused Lowe to lower the volume on the VCR for fear of being overheard by his second wife or their children.
On Monday morning he made an appointment to see Harry Wiman as soon as it was convenient. Wiman was concerned by Lowe’s request. He hoped that there wasn’t going to be a problem. The Board meeting was scheduled for the following day. Lowe had always been a loyal employee.
Wiman saw him at 9:45 that morning. Lowe came into Wiman’s office with a serious look on his face. He sat down in one of the chairs that made up the conversation area off to the side of the boss’s desk. “Josh, can I get you some coffee?” said Wiman.
“I would appreciate that very much, but please sit down and let me serve you. I’ll feel more comfortable with what I have to show you.”
“I don’t care for any coffee just now Josh, but by all means help yourself.”
“Mr. Wiman,” he began with a hard swallow, “I’ve been made aware of some very disturbing and potentially damaging things. Because I know you to be a gentleman, I’m reluctant to bring this information to you, but because I’m first and always a company man I feel I must.” He took out videotape from his briefcase. Next to it was a written report.
“I should tell you right off that I didn’t solicit or in any way gather this information. It was given to me by my secretary, June Wally, who had very different motivations for wanting me to see this.” He stopped and parenthetically added that June had previously been Allison MacNamara’s secretary.
“I don’t mean to seem to be in a rush, “interrupted Wiman, “but get to the point, Josh?”
“Can I use the wall unit, Sir?” asked Josh Lowe.
Wiman gestured him ahead without answering this time Josh started the tape. Wiman leaned forward and gaped at Allison. Neither of them said anything for about twenty minutes. Then Wiman said, “Please turn that off now, Josh.”
“Mr. Wiman, I was also repulsed by the content of this tape. My secretary brought it to me over the weekend. She explained that after Allison MacNamara had seduced the man that June was seeing. The secretary had asked to be transferred. She told me that she had learned from a friend of hers that worked at the man’s company that they had stopped seeing each other, and so she had him followed to learn for herself. This was the report they had given to her.”
“Josh, do you expect me to climb into this pile of manure with you?”
Harry Wiman stared at an obviously shaken Josh Lowe. “I just didn’t know what to do, Mr.Wiman. The boss snapped on his intercom and asked that June Wally be sent to his office immediately. “I would like you to give me this tape, Josh. And I would like to know if there are any copies.”
“I don’t really know. I don’t think so Mr. Wiman.”
“I should hope that there aren’t any.”
Wiman’s secretary announced June. She came into the office with a nervous smile on her face. However, there wasn’t the slightest hint that she thought she’d done anything wrong. Harry looked sadly over at Lowe. Josh hadn’t figured out that this harebrained scheme had not only cost him a chance at the promotion, but that in all likelihood, it had also cost him his job.
“Do you know about this video tape, June?”
“What tape is that, Mr. Wiman?”
Josh looked over at her and said, “It’s alright June. I’ve told him everything.”
Wiman picked up the report and looked at the cover. “Do you know of a Cooperman Detective Agency?”
“Yes sir. I think that’s the place Mr. Lowe asked me to make an appointment on Friday last.”
“Thank you for your time, Miss Wally. That’s really all I need to ask you about.”
When she left, Wiman turned to Lowe and said, “Josh, I’m going to let you resign because I’ve always thought you were a good man, and I want to save you embarrassment. I also want to assure you that if anybody else ever comes by this information that I will personally ask that criminal charges be filed against you after I punch you in the mouth.” He paused and sighed. “When you leave the office please write your letter and take whatever time you have coming commencing immediately. If you do all of this without incident, within thirty days you’ll receive my letter of recommendation. If for any reason this doesn’t work out, I’d suggest that you not use me for a reference.
Josh was sweating and rubbing his hands. “Mr. Wiman, I was only doing what I thought was best for the company.”
“I’ve not lost my temper yet, Josh, but if I have to ask you to leave again, it will be more difficult for me to not tell you that you’ve brought a new spelling for the word low to my mind,”
It was a difficult afternoon for Harry Wiman. He called Allison up that evening, He asked if he could come over and see her at her home. She was startled but said that she’d be waiting for him.
Allison put down the phone and turned to Tim. “My boss is coming over,” she said.
Tim’s face showed concern. “The night before your presentation?”
“Something’s wrong,” said Allison. “I think I want you to stay out of sight.”
“Are you gonna put me in the closet, Allison?”
“Maybe later,” she said smiling. She was none-the-less worried.
Wiman arrived about thirty minutes after his phone call0 Allison invited him down into the living room. Wiman stared off into the dining room area for a moment before he sat down.
“Is there a problem with the presentation, Mr. Wiman?”
“Possibly, Allison. What I’m here to talk to you about is unpleasant but never-the-less necessary.” He shifted in his chair and looked toward the bathroom. “Someone has invaded your privacy. In fact, invaded the privacy of your home. You’ve got every right to charge this individual with a crime. Unfortunately, he’s a colleague at Worth and any legal action that you might take would affect the company in the most adverse of ways.”
“I don’t understand what you’re telling me, Mr. Wiman,” Allison was scared. She wished Tim wasn’t in the other room. Then she wished that he were sitting there beside her.
“Josh Lowe has had a tape made of you and your lover having relations. He showed it to me this morning. I apologize to you for having seen any of it. But I’m afraid that we could conceivably have an image problem here.”
Allison knew that an image problem was code for saying that she’d made the company look bad.
Wiman continued, “I’ve asked for Mr. Lowe’s resignation, but I’m not certain of what he’ll do.”
Out of the corner of Allison’s eye she saw Tim walk out of her bedroom. He walked up to Harry Wiman and introduced himself. “Mr. Wiman, my name is Tim Landcraft, Allison’s husband. I hope you’ll excuse my eavesdropping on the conversation. My wife and I had decided to keep our marriage a secret until after her presentation, but under the circumstances, I thought you should know.
Wiman’ s face brightened like that of a little boy who has gotten the gift he never thought he’d have. “You don’t know how happy I am to meet you, Mr. Landcraft.” Wiman shook his hand. “I’m chagrined at the circumstances. I hope that you’ll accept my apologies. He looked at each of the people and said, “On second thought, I see no problem at all here.” Then he hurriedly added, “Unless you wish to pursue this…” Allison shook her head in a negative gesture. Wiman put out his hand. “Mr. Landcraft, you’re a lucky man.” When he realized what he’d said, Allison saw him blush. He started for the door and told her that he’d see her at the office in the morning.
After he was safely out the door, Allison hugged Tim and said, “Now you really are stuck with me.”
“We’d better make arrangements to get married as soon as possible,” said Tim.
Two weeks after Allison got the promotion to Vice President, Harry Wiman ordered June Wally fired. He didn’t like loose ends.