I'd been working for the company for a few years and feeling pretty secure in my position. The work was exciting and fresh, and from my healthy annual raises, I knew I was valued as an employee. One day when I got home, I noticed that I'd left a pen - which I'd gotten from our supply room - in my pocket. No big deal. When I threw it into the kitchen drawer, I noticed that it joined almost a dozen other pens from work. Was I subconsciously stealing supplies? I viewed myself as an honest man. Well, kind of honest, given a series of extramarital couplings. But the babysitters who seduced me and that bossy stranger in the gynecologist's office were almost beyond my control. At least, that was my story and I was sticking to it.
Over the next couple of months, I made sure that I left pens from work at work. Then around the house, I found myself scrounging for pens. Whenever I needed one, I couldn't find any. They weren't magically disappearing.
Annie was too young. There was only one reasonable explanation. "Harriett, have you seen my pens?"
"Are they yours? I didn't know I was prohibited from using them."
Everything had become justification for an argument. "I meant, pens I brought home from work."
"From the kitchen drawer? I take one when I need one."
She must have left them behind or lost them because she had taken all of them. So I decided that the next time I went to the supply closet at work, I'd take a box of pens, bring it home and put it in my desk drawer, not the kitchen. That would be a whole lot more efficient than taking them home, one at a time.
The next day, I waltzed into the supply room, took a box of pens and walked back to my desk. No big deal.
As I left my cubicle to go home, a man in a double-breasted suit blocked my path. "I need to check your briefcase."
I'd splurged on an expensive brown leather briefcase with brass locks when I got my job. "Uh, sure." I popped the clasps and opened it for inspection. My nose detected the new leather briefcase smell, or perhaps it was just my active imagination.
"Hmmm." The man lifted the box of pens up in front of my face. "You should know better. So what did you do with the other office supplies?"
Millions of butterflies flitted around in my stomach. Would taking a box of pens lose me my job? How stupid! "What other? I just needed a few pens-"
"A box full?
"Okay, I'm sorry." I could have taken them home one at a time over a two-week period not have been detected. So much for efficiency.
He folded his arms over a developed chest. "So how did you get the calculators out? One at a time or the carton of a dozen all at once?"
"I didn't take any calculators. I don't do arithmetic at home." Except for counting up the women who want sex with me. That was a growing number, and my only opportunities. Harriett had taken down her shingle.
"Well, if not you, someone else, but you're a prime suspect." He pointed at me with the box of pens, not his finger. "We'll be keeping an eye on you."
I pulled my suit jacket tight to fight the chill of his words. I'd be under scrutiny? For a lousy box of pens? I wasn't going to take the wrap for large-scale theft. Someone else was doing it, and I was determined to find out who.
I decided to keep my own supply room vigil. If I was being watched and hanging around the supply room too much, I'd be incriminating myself by my behavior, so I was stealthy about it. And whenever I visited the room, I updated a personal inventory of the expensive items in a small notepad in my suit jacket pocket: calculators, desk clocks, leather binders, the desirable stuff for a thief. Yes, I got the notepad from supplies.
Over a two-week period, I detected a pattern in my inventory history. The thefts happened late in the day or overnight. That meant either an employee or the cleaning crew. I decided to set up a sting operation, staying a bit late each night and making a legitimate visit to the supply room, in case Mr. Double Breasted was watching.
Two nights later at 5:30 PM, I went down to the supply room for replacement batteries. My wireless keyboard and mouse required three each. The batteries had legitimately registered 'low' so if confronted, I had the bad batteries in my pocket as proof of good intentions.
The room was already occupied. A young secretary who always wore black was in the room holding a shopping bag. I'd had only a couple of opportunities to work in her vicinity, none of them positive. Most of the time she worked alone in a corner cubicle, one that faced windowless walls. Her black outfit was her exclusive wardrobe, matching her sullen attitude. She didn't seem to want to be working here, or maybe anywhere. Her distain for her co-workers was palatable. Her hair was always pulled back tight into a bun, pulling her eyes apart. Oh yes, and thick lensed glasses in a black frame.
My appearance startled her. The shopping bag fell from her grasp. Packages of Post-It notes, boxes of pens and markers and four electric pencil sharpeners tumbled onto the floor.
"What are you doing?"
"Oh my! Oh yes. This is very awkward." She looked away, avoiding eye contact.
"Awkward? Stealing is illegal, not awkward. Do you know they thought I was the thief? What's your name, so I can tell the office manager?"
"Miss Thrope. Miss Anne Thrope." She shook, probably from nerves. She'd been caught, red handed. "I'm so sorry."
"You can show it by putting that stuff back."
"Oh yes, of course." She knelt down and gathered the items at her knees.
"And never doing this again." From behind, I had my first opportunity to examine her body. I knew staring at my female co-workers would get me fired, so I avoided any obvious opportunities. This time, it was just the two of us, and she had her back to me, muttering continuous apologies.
As she put the items back, I viewed her in profile. A pretty nice body, with a round ass and modest tits. I wondered how she looked with her hair down. Given the lack of sex in my life, those horny thoughts were not unusual.
"I am so sorry. I shouldn't have done this. I need to stop doing this. Please forgive me."
I was tired of her remorse. "Just go to the office manager tomorrow and confess. You'll feel much better."
Her voice became strident. "No. I need to be punished right now."
"Huh?" She was no child and I wasn't her parent. What was I supposed to do, put her on a 'time out'?
Her eyes were aimed at the floor. "I need to be punished, just like the last time I was caught."
.... There is more of this story ...