165. - Lucien
I follow every little movement Bethany makes. Every twitch of her fingers, every nod of her head, I try to get familiar with it real quick so that I can predict what she's going to do next. Because knowing what someone'll do next is very useful when planning to kill them. So far, I've thought of seven different ways to do it. Continiously slamming her head down on the table is the top contender, though slowly choking the life out of her while I instruct Emma to scoop out her eyeballs is a close second.
Where the fuck is that Geoffrey? Then, to my horror, I realise that his arrival may make things worse. There may be two of them. Until then, Bethany shows no signs of slowing down.
"See, even a look in those dreamy eyes might set you off! One moment you're in a meeting, next thing you know you're dragging her down to the bathroom for a quick schtup, which is never as subtle as you think it to be."
I clench and unclench my jaw, only to clench it again, about to ruin my chances at this job for good by yelling at her, when the door opens. Emma exchange a quick look, both looking equally terrified, because neither of us is optimistic about this man. He looks just as professional as Bethany does, but it's clear that doesn't mean anything. The man assesses the situation for a moment, his face betraying nothing. Bethany has taken a seat on top of the table, her legs crossed as she sips her water; her blue eyes are drilling into our new companion, as if she's daring him. He doesn't say anything, causing Bethany to roll her eyes in an exaggerated way.
"Well? Did you bring the paperwork?"
Geoffrey hands it to her, looking uncomfortable. She doesn't seem to notice and if she does, she ignores it. "Wonderful! We just need a few little signatures and you two can go off upstairs. Granted you keep it all in your pants."
"Signatures?" It's the first word I've said in ten minutes, my voice hoarse. "That sounds like a contract."
"Well, duh!" Bethany says cheerfully, hopping onto the ground. "You don't think we just take your word for this all, do you?" She hands both Emma and me a wad of paper, easily fifteen pages thick. Emma frowns, flicking through it. I imagine she's having similar thoughts to mine. "Of course we don't! We've seen it happen before, lads. You say how well behaved you are, how you're grown adults and how you can constrain yourself, you won't even so much as look at him!" She makes gestures, her entire upper body swinging from left to right and back with each option. "And at the drop of a hat you find yourselves in conference room seven, under the table but with the door unlocked, because the possibility of getting caught is part of the thrill."
Because that's definitely the most logical course of events. I look at Geoffrey again, who just looks like he wants nothing more than to disappear. I can't blame him.
"So," Bethany continues, clapping her hands together. "We find that this little contract helps people actually keep to their promises! And you know, we wouldn't bother with all this official mumbo-jumbo if it was just a low-key relationship between two equals, but..." Her eyes land on mine and she looks at me like a lion does its prey before pounding on it. Only Bethany wouldn't go in for the kill. "That's not the case here." She spins around, going for yet another cup of water. "So all you need to do is do a few little signatures, an initial here and there, and all is done!"
"What happens if we break the contract?" I ask.
"Ah, you know. A warning, permanent supervisor, suspension, termination." She makes a rolling motion with her hand. "The usual."
"THe usual?" Emma repeats, appalled. "We weren't told anything of a contract! This thing is seventeen pages!"
"Oh, you silly! That's not all part of the contract! We also printed the basic rules for you. You know, to look back on should you feel any..." Her eyes land back on me, my stomach turning uncomfortably. "urges."
Casual sexual harassment aside, this whole conversation seems vague and inadequate, but the forms we have to sign seem authentic and complete, so I sign. Emma does the same. Bethany claps her hands together again, squeeling as if we've just signed a marriage contract. "Well, of you go then! I'll make sure these get to administration. See you in a month for the first check-up! Or earlier, if you make the mistake of thinking you've found privacy." Another wink and I'm an inch away of initiating murder number three, which consists of slowly peeling off her fingernails and having her choke on them. Emma manages a semi-polite goodbye and ushers me out. For a while neither of us says anything, too shocked by what just happened. In the elevator up to the fourteenth floor, Emma turns to me.
"Was... was that real?"
"It can't be." I shake my head. "That cannot be how our HR operates. This must be some sick kind of prank."
But the contract we signed were legally binding, so it really can't be a joke. I shake my head, still trying to comprehend what the fuck just happened. "I'm going to look into reporting her. Or is that too drastic?"
Emma looks uncertain. "I dunno. Maybe. I mean, people have said worse things to you..."
I snort, giving a nod of 'oh absolutely'. "Still though. She's reprimanding us about being professional while saying all those things." I run a hand through my hair, straightening my back as the elevator rolls up to our floor. "I'll ask Selene if she knows anything about other incidents. Not our main worry right now."
"How are we going to do it?" Emma asks, just as the door slides open. Luckily the elevator doesn't open right onto the floor where everybody is, so we can create a little distance between us before facing people.
"E-mail." I say. "An official e-mail and if there's any questions they can come to be personally. Unless you want to do a spoken announcement, I honestly don't mind. But I figured this would get us less of a backlash."
The moment we step into the view of others, all eyes are on us. I have no doubt some of them follow me online, because I don't monitor that, which means they've seen yesterday's post of me kissing Emma. More so, they've probably kept track of the entire drama unfolding ever since Gabriel's video. And they've shared it. I try to ignore it, to just head to my office with my usual business stroll, but every eye that's not on Emma, is on me and vice versa.
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