Lucas – Chapter 5

The next day he didn’t get to work until about ten o’clock. He looked like he had been celebrating all night. It brought a smile to Lucy’s face. He hadn’t even walked in, still in his jacket, he leaned against her doorframe and watched her. When she realized it after a moment, she turned to him.
„Coffee?“ She asked, standing up before answering.
„Thank you, later. I want something else from you.“

She sat back down, swinging her leg over her and, as always, enjoying his rapt gaze on her legs.
„I’m listening,“ she challenged him with a smile as he looked into her eyes as well.
„I want something from you. Something that when I say it, your first reaction will be ‚no‘. But I’d like you to at least think about it.“
She smiled:
„Is there something I should do or say?“
„Hmmm, basically say, but I’m going to want some action.“
„Then try.“
She was still smiling.
„E-e. I need to increase the chances of a ‚yes‘ first.“

She pushed herself more comfortably into the chair. She smoothed her skirt and folded her palms over it. He watched her thoughtfully for a moment and then began:
„We know I’ll be seeing you at four today…,“ he hesitated. He found the right word at the same moment she did, „Listen,“ he finally said accurately when she said, „Torture.“
Smiling, he lowered his gaze for a moment.
„Lucy, I’ll only be as mean to you as you’ll be stubborn. „
„Sure,“ she agreed sarcastically.
„Okay, we can probably agree that there’s a small chance that something might go down today that you won’t like.“
She couldn’t help but nod.
„Possibly you’ll be very uncomfortable, possibly scared.“
So far she hadn’t been afraid, but his attempt at psychological terror had proved very successful. Before she could say anything, he continued:
„Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a handbrake in reserve.“
He stilled and watched her reaction. She understood, but let him continue. „Choose your word. Any one, however nonsensical. One you don’t use in common speech.“
„I see. Classic stop sign. Like ‚Air Force One‘.“
„Okay. Do what I want you to do now and I’ll promise you that you can use Air Force One one time today. If you say that, I’ll stop doing what I started, or threatened to start, at that moment. And I won’t try it again today.“
She paused and asked:
„What can I use it for?“

He was beginning to understand that she was using the head, so he didn’t have to guess what he meant by the question.
„One particular activity. You can’t cancel a group of activities like tying or asking questions. Just one specific tying, or one specific question.“
She reached for her coffee cup.
‚What does he want that he’s willing to trade that for a stop sign? If I don’t give it to him, he’ll ask after four. From what I’ve seen on his computer a couple of times, he knows some pretty successful methods of persuasion. And he knows it, too. Which means he needs something he can’t ask an accurate question about. But he’ll try it anyway. I may get a stop sign now for an answer I’m not sure he’ll get out of me anyway…´
She took a sip and studied his face. He was silent and waiting. She stood and held out her hand to him:
He smiled and held his out to her. He squeezed her palm only gently, as if he was afraid he would break it. He held it in his hand and brought it to his lips. He leaned down and gently pressed his lips to her small fingers. He didn’t take his gaze from her face as he did so. He lifted his lips a millimeter and commanded loudly:
„Show me the papers of the car you’re driving.“
„Fuck!“ She exclaimed, wrenching her hand away.

He smiled triumphantly, stretched and waited. She slammed her cup on the table, clenched her fists, and turned away from him to the wall.
„Bastard,“ she ground out through her teeth, quieter now.
‚If I give him the papers, the excuse about the rental car is over. Not only will he find out who the car belongs to, so he can just Google the name of the company and he’s by my side, but he’ll also find out that my already not exactly average Bavarian has everything under the hood but average… He has no way to ask about that. I can still avoid the torture of answering the exact questions and not having to find this out. I keep losing and he finds out more than he ever should, but he doesn’t have to find out everything. I still have a chance…´´
She slowly turned to him. With a satisfied, smug smile, he watched her internal struggle intently. There was a wonderful mixture in her eyes – anger, disappointment, determination, fear and courage all at the same time. A tempting combination for hand-to-hand combat. She took a deep breath:
„Air Force One.“

He rolled his eyes in surprise. He really hadn’t expected this.
´I want that technician’s license! She can’t do this! …why she couldn’t. I said today, not after four… I can’t not acknowledge her… I can take it by force… Bullshit. I’m not a groban. …Little bitch… Does she really think I’m not going to ask her at four if this car is hers and what type it is? …or, if she’s really as smart as I suspect she is, what’s in that registration?´
He opened his mouth, but then hesitated. He ran the tip of his tongue over his upper teeth, then bit his lip. He nodded:
„That’s the answer, too.“
She nodded, too, and gave a resigned wave of her shoulder. He took a step closer to her. She flinched, but didn’t back away.
„You have no idea,“ he whispered, „how much I’m looking forward to the afternoon.“
His smile didn’t bode well. She lowered her gaze, and he turned toward his door.
„I’ll have that coffee,“ he reminded on the way to his chair.

When she returned with the cup, he was sitting at his desk, tapping away at the keyboard in concentration. She set the tray down and when he paid no attention to her, she silently returned to her seat. He seemed uninterested in company, so she immersed herself in accounting for his expenses. After a moment, she heard him close the door on himself, which she didn’t like very much. He didn’t keep secrets, he rarely did. Mostly predictably-his office was soundproof. He might as well have been firing a cannon in there after he closed the door and no one would have noticed. Plus, when he had the door closed, no one was really allowed to open it. Not even her. No matter how badly someone was burning, he just had to wait until Lucas opened the door himself.

Not long after that, the HR assistant appeared in her doorway. She stood close to her and whispered:
„Are you in trouble?“
Lucy hesitated:
„Um, I don’t know about that… Why?“
„Your boss asked for your CV.“
With a sigh, she rested her head in her hands:
„What else?“
„Well, he was checking to see if you have a parking space assigned to you.“
„But you don’t. You don’t even have a car,“ she shook her head incomprehensibly.
„I don’t know what he was thinking,“ Lucia lied. „But he has a closed door. Shall I call him?“
„I don’t know, that’s not what he said…“

At that moment the door opened and without going through it Lucas could be heard returning to the table and sitting down.
„Lucy?“ He shouted.
„Um, yeah, boss?“
„I’ll have someone bring me something in a minute, have her come straight in.“
Lucia looked at her colleague and grinned:
„The HR assistant is already here.“
Pushing back his chair, footsteps. Pausing in the doorway, he leaned against the doorframe, ran his gaze over both women’s faces. He steadied himself in Lucy’s eyes:
„I suppose you’ve had time to chat.“

Unable to hide her smile, she just bowed her head. He also had a hard time hiding his amusement, yet he turned seriously to the HR manager:
„You miss probably forgot that you’re supposed to bring the papers directly to me and not spread the word about what it is.“
The girl stammered in stress:
„I, I… it…“
After a few seconds, Lucy looked up at Lucas. Without blinking, he stood, giving the HR girl a hard stare and letting her stew in her own juices. He was clearly enjoying this.
„Excuse me… I’m sorry…“
The girl didn’t know how to get out of this anymore. Lucy realized that he obviously had no plans to pardon her so soon. A split second, an idea, and she snapped out of it:
„She didn’t tell me what she’s got in her hands.“
Lucas gave her a long disbelieving look, another one back to the girl.
„That’s right, I didn’t tell her what was in my hands, really!“
He took the papers from her hands and waved for her to leave. She made it in expectedly record time.

He leaned towards Lucy. He thought for a moment and then slowly spoke in a hushed voice:
„Lucy, I wouldn’t dare lay a hand on a colleague in my life. And certainly not on you. But you were the first to break basic points of work etiquette, you couldn’t expect to get away with it. So now I warn you for the first and last time: If I hear one more lie from you, I’ll make you take off that racy ass of yours and I’ll put ten punches on it with my own belt! So I would suggest you rethink your battle plan for today. Ten blows for every one lie. If you don’t change your ways, you really won’t know at the end whether you want me to cut you down in one fell swoop, or whether you’d rather start your work day with a minor spanking for two weeks.“
She held her breath. Blood pooled in her face, she tried with all her might not to look as scared as she now felt. He gave her one more warning look and walked away to his room.

It was quiet until lunchtime. Then he got up from the computer and, placing the package of papers on her desk, asked:
„I need this by the end of the week. And book me a table at Le Monde for two.“
He left so she could calmly begin her tasks.

…to be continued

Shopping cart