David Dumbar had plodded through the years without much fanfare. He'd been at the same company since forever. UNICORP was a large and torpid organization, the sort of place where a dull, straightforward cove like David could fester away unobtrusively in middle management. His last promotion had been a decade ago. His next move would be a decade from now and that would be retirement. David knew this and so did all of his colleagues. DD was part of the furniture. He didn't mind.
His personal life was uneventful and dispiriting. He had a couple of male friends but neither were close. With women, well it just hadn't happened. A brief relationship many years ago with a rather spooky nurse who'd lived in the same block but since then nothing. She hadn't been especially great looking either. David wasn't good around attractive members of the opposite sex. He'd never had any success with them and a lifetime of deprival and disappointment in that area had seeped through his bones to the point that he tended to shy away from even thinking about it. David avoided wherever possible the close company of sexually desirable women. It was better that way.
It wasn't always possible however. Occasionally fate decreed that David Dumbar's path would rub with that of a nubile, easy-on-the-eye female. And never was that more true than on this particular day in June.
David was interviewing for a new secretary because Janis was emigrating to join her grandkids in Australia. She was leaving at the end of the month, which was now the end of the week and it was already Thursday. Tomorrow was Janis's last day.
Replacing her was not easy. David had seen candidates over several weeks and none were suitable. He'd been starting to panic and then, yes, finally! This afternoon had yielded a result. A fellow DD. Dorothy Duke. She was perfect. She reminded David of dear old Janis. Dorothy had the same unassuming but stolidly competent aura. Her resume had everything he was looking for and their conversation went well. Dorothy left David's office in virtual possession of the job.
"We'll get the written offer out to you tomorrow, ok?"
Dorothy smiled. "Great!"
She looked pleased and grateful as she exited. David was pleased and grateful too. He'd gotten tired of the process and felt relieved to see the end of it.
He turned to Janis, who had agreed to sit in on the interviews.
"Thank heavens for that," he said.
"I know! I was beginning to think we'd never find anyone."
The two of them chatted a while about Dorothy Duke. How she fitted the bill in every respect.
"Still have one to go, though, don't we?" David said. "The Mexican girl."
David retrieved a one-pager from the papers on his desk and peered at it over his spectacles. He checked his watch. "Merciana Melendez. Five o'clock. So that's in, what, twenty minutes."
"Guess it's too late to cancel," said Janice.
"More's the pity."
"Very young anyway, if I recall," Janice said, frowning. "We only shortlisted her because we were getting desperate.
"How old is she again?"
"Nineteen. Looking for her first job."
"Well it won't be this one. Vacancy filled. Poor girl. Seems unfair to waste her time."
"And ours," said David.
"Yours," corrected Janis.
David looked quizzically at her.
"I have to get going," said Janis. "Told you earlier, didn't I?"
David had forgotten but he remembered now. Janis had an appointment at the hairdressers. Wanted to look her best for her leaving do tomorrow.
"Oh yes, of course," he said.
"So you'll have to deal with Miss Melendez by yourself. That's ok, isn't it?"
"No problem at all."
"Ok, so see you tomorrow."
David's phone went a few minutes after Janice had left. It was reception. There was a Merciana Melendez to see him.
She was early but David decided to go and get her straightaway. He was keen to get this over with.
He rode the lift down to ground and emerged into the reception area. There was just the one person waiting there.
"Miss Melendez?" he said, approaching her. The girl looked up and smiled.
She jumped to her feet and proffered an elegantly manicured hand. Her nails were painted a striking shade of cerise. She was medium tall and dressed beautifully in dark grey skirt, white silk blouse, smart killer heels.
"I'm David Dumbar," he said, shaking hands in what he hoped was a firm and businesslike manner.
In truth he was feeling nervous about interviewing the girl. He hadn't been until he'd seen her but he was now. Reason being that she was terrific looking as well as nicely turned out. Exceedingly pretty, flawless sultry complexion, voluptuous figure, just all round gorgeous!
"That's what people call me. Mercy."
"Ok, er, Mercy."
David was stammering slightly. Thought he might be blushing too. Pull yourself together, he admonished. He felt a little foolish. If anybody should be nervous it should be the interviewee, for christ's sake.
The girl didn't seem nervous though. She seemed friendly but at the same time cool and self possessed.
As they travelled up to David's floor, the 5th, he found himself chattering inarticulately about nothing in particular. He was behaving like a dork, but he couldn't help it.
He cursed inwardly at Janis for landing him with this. None of the others they'd interviewed had been lookers by any stretch of the imagination and he had not imagined that this final one would be. It would have been considerably easier for David if Janis had been there too. If he'd known he would have insisted on it, hair appointment or not.
But David was aware of something else too. Mixed in with the unease and the anxiety there was excitement. He was trying to quell it but not really succeeding. His blood was pumping wildly at the prospect of being alone in his office with this drop-dead young woman. Did he want to stick to his original plan of a very short conversation where he gently but firmly told Miss Merciana Melendez thanks for coming but the job was gone? David wasn't sure.
They exited the lift and walked across the open plan to David's office on the far side. Cue a ripple of appreciation from the guys out there. Some murmuring, wolfish grins, mouths falling open. David had expected this but was annoyed nonetheless. Somebody actually whistled, would you believe. Unprofessional or what. David kept his eyes fixed straight ahead and pretended to be oblivious. He hoped the lusty attention wasn't making the girl feel uncomfortable. He glanced at her to check. She was walking confidently, swinging her hips in her tight skirt, and grinning at the guy who'd just whistled. Not so uncomfortable then. Ok.
David ushered her into his office and closed the door.
"Sorry about that," he said, sheepishly.
The girl gave a sly knowing smile. "It's ok. I'm used to it."
David's mind reeled for how best to respond.
"Um, guess so," he managed, after an awkward silence.
"Why thank you," she pouted prettily. "Such a sweet thing to say."
Had he meant to kick off with a clumsy compliment on her looks? No he had not. This was going off the rails already.
The peculiar combination of embarrassment and anticipation intensified.
"So, Merciana," he started up again.
"Mercy. Call me Mercy."
"Mercy. Please er ... please take a seat."
They'd conducted all the other interviews around his desk but this time he was pointing to the L shaped couch in the corner of the room. Why was that? David didn't bother lying to himself. He didn't want his view impaired.
Mercy looked over there. "Cosy," she said, sounding amused.
David sensed that the girl had sussed him. She knew the type of thoughts he was having and she apparently didn't mind. Ok, so where's the harm then? Not as if he was going to molest her or anything. Just snatch this chance to ogle a delicious young thing who he'd never meet again, nothing too sleazy and obvious either, half an hour of chit-chat and then it's goodbye and move on and back to normal. Well almost normal. Janis gone but replaced by someone very similar. Mousy middle-aged Dorothy Duke to start next week. Maybe on Monday if they could get the paperwork done sharpish.
Except that the prospect of Dorothy Duke suddenly didn't seem quite so appealing. Even less so as he watched Mercy sashay over to the couch. Jesus, that skirt. It was above the knee and clung like a second skin. David gazed in anguished longing at her gently swaying buttocks and her smooth luscious legs.
Mercy settled herself comfortably down. She slowly and rather sexily crossed one leg over the other, snug skirt riding up her thighs. She made no attempt to pull it down.
David looked, he couldn't help it. When he dragged his eyes back to Mercy's face he found her staring right back at him. She was smirking slightly.
David tried to hold her gaze but looked away quickly. He might be the interviewer here but he didn't feel in charge.
"Would you like a coffee?" he said, fighting for some composure.
In his struggle not to stare at Mercy's fabulous legs he found himself looking intently at the floor.
"I would, David, yes," Mercy replied, cool and crisp.
"The machine is just outside. I won't be a second," he said, making for the door.
"Oh Mr Dumbar?"
"Yes?" he said, spinning around.
"Haven't you forgotten something?"
"Um, have I?"
"Don't you want to know how I like it?"
"My coffee. How I like my coffee."
"Oh god, yes. Forgive me."
.... There is more of this story ...