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from Horror Collection by Steve Boseley



Malcolm looked up from his desk. He looked at the cup of coffee that sat on the corner of his desk; a film had started to form, and he stirred it with his pen before picking it up. “What?” He knew it was unprofessional to shout across the office, but Chantelle had been getting on his nerves all day. All week, if truth be told. How anyone so young could rise to office manager was beyond him. He probably had more years experience than she had, well, years. If his manager was going to shout out of her office to him, he was going to shout back. 

“Could you come in here for a moment?”

Malcolm took a sip of his coffee before standing up. It was stone cold, and he spat it out into the bin beneath his desk. Why he thought it would be anything other after he had just stirred a film from the top of his drink baffled him, but it was just typical. All he needed now was a telling off from some peroxide blonde that was young enough to be his daughter. He let his office chair spin as he walked away from his desk. If she was going to hit him with some bullshit problem, something that he had forgotten to do, or some more made up crap about his work ethic, he was ready to tell Chantelle what she could do with her job, and it might require her to use some lubrication. He didn’t need this job. Well, he did, but he didn’t need a telling off from someone that applied fake tan before she brushed her teeth in the morning. He padded across the office and knocked twice on his manager’s open door before stepping inside.

“Malcolm, look at this,” she said, holding out a single sheet of copier paper. There appeared to be some numbers down one side and part of a graph. The heading marked it as belonging to the Entec account. There were several large black smears running down the centre of the report.

Malcolm took the offered sheet of paper and held it out in front of him. He turned the page on its side and squinted at it. “It looks like the projections for next year’s Entec account.” He turned the page again and held it up to the light. “It’s kinda hard to tell with the smudges.” He handed the paper back.

“Exactly.” Chantelle snatched the paper back and crumpled it into a ball, depositing it in the bin at her feet. “Gemma gave me this earlier. Copier’s broken.”

“Okay,” said Malcolm. How this was his problem, he had no clue. He was not the copier’s keeper.

“Do you think you can have a look for me?” Chantelle gave him a look that said that this really wasn’t a request.

“Why me? Can’t Gemma do it?” The last time he had opened up the copier he had managed to cover himself in black toner, destroying a shirt in the process. And shirts weren’t cheap.

“But you’re so good at it.” Chantelle inclined her head and batted her eyelashes.

Malcolm shuddered. Chantelle was not his type. If he wanted someone that put his nerves on edge when he spoke, then Chantelle was probably the one, otherwise, not so much. He couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or not, but suspected she wasn’t which was infinitely worse. He was old enough to be her grandfather. Father,he corrected himself. How could she even think batting her eyelids at him would help make his mind up? So, what? If he fixed the copier, she’d sleep with him? He had to admit that he didn’t know her well enough to answer that question, but he suspected the answer was no. Gemma, on the other hand, she was an entirely different prospect altogether. Not too you, not too old. As Goldilocks would have said, she was just right. Tall, slim-waisted with big tits. Not so big that they were out of proportion with the rest of her slender frame, just perfect. Not that he was shallow, they shared similar interests, and often spent time talking about films and books that they had seen or read. She genuinely seemed interested in his opinions, and that was as big a turn on to Malcolm as fantasising about having her by herself in the boiler room. Perhaps if he helped Gemma out, she would consent to going out to dinner with him. She wasn’t in a relationship, what would stand in their way?

“Okay. Just because you asked nicely. I’ll go take a look.” Once upon a time he had removed some jammed paper that had got caught in the rollers inside the machine. It had been a straightforward task to open the front of the ageing device, locate the offending piece of paper, then tear it out from between the rollers that had snagged it. It didn’t make him a NASA engineer, but if it got him a dinner date with Gemma, let them think that.

He closed the door as he left, and walked over to Gemma’s desk. She watched him as he approached.

“So what’s the deal with the copier?” Malcolm asked, leaning down to her. When she sat upright, he could just see a couple of centimetres below the waist of her skirt. She was wearing something black and lacey. He shivered again, this time for different reasons.

“It’s just printing those streaks when I try to copy somethi...

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