Our staff meeting generally landed on the first Tuesday of every month. Any kind of rescheduling resulted in making the receptionist feel as if she had to juggle balls as she attempted to rope every department head in on the same day, a nearly impossible task. I, Seth Slater, was the assistant to one of the department heads. The best one, if you asked my opinion. The woman was wise, humorous, and rarely judged others.
She was also so laid back that the some of the employees secretly referred to her as ‘The Hippie.’ They had names for all the department heads. The Irish Temper, The Tycoon, The Overachiever, The Flower, The Mouse, and Nearly St. Nick. Only half of the department heads had assistants to call their own. Though it took me a few months per person, I managed to get along with most of them.
One of the other assistants had a fifty-fifty chance of either impressing me or aggravating the daylights out of me. His name was Liam. He was the kind of person that had a blinding personality. Over-confident, over-friendly, over-energetic…and overly-annoying, if you asked me. Don’t get me wrong, he had his moments. Anyone could clearly see that he was a born leader and would take over his department head’s position seamlessly when his boss retired. But, he was also lazy when it came to documenting, always charming his way around the office asking others to do his paperwork for him. Those kinds of charms never worked on me. We had worked together on a few projects before, and he pulled his own weight each time.
The staff meeting for that Tuesday had butterflies squirming around in my stomach in pure nerves. My department head, and the best boss I ever had, was going to retire. That meant that, if everything went well, I would take over her position. It was what I had been groomed and trained for over the past five years that I had worked with her and the company. I had the perfect suit set aside for the meeting. The suit jacket and pants were a dark grey with softer gray pinstripes. The button shirt was a dark teal and the tie was black. The pants were always a little tight, due to my ample backside, but I’ve had the same issue with the majority of my work pants.
I had on my favorite pair of boxers, not that I believed them lucky or anything. They were black with printed pokeballs everywhere. Stop judging me, they gave me confidence. Speaking of confidence, I was all but brimming with it when I entered the building. The butterflies were still there, but they were dwarfed by the feeling of accomplishment and progress. This was bound to one of the best meetings of my career. The receptionist reminded me that the meeting would be held in fifteen minutes. I flashed her a smile and thanked her and then walked over to my office. I quickly grabbed the notepad and clipboard that I always used for the staff meetings, but my comfort-grip pen slid off its holder onto the floor. With a soft curse, I bent down to get it and was mortified by a ripping sound.
But, that particular mortification was nothing compared to the low whistle that I heard from behind me.
“Flashing your pokeballs? Are you trying to ‘catch’ me, Seth?”
I let out a low groan as I stood back up and turned around to face Liam, my face burning with shame. “This isn’t funny, Liam!” I hissed, forcibly keeping my tears at bay. “Why do these kinds of things keep happening to me during the worst of times?” My mind was racing as I tried to think of what to do. My gym bag had a spare set of shorts and sweatpants, but that was most definitely not suitable for a staff meeting. Maybe if I wrapped the arms of my jacket around my waist? That’d probably draw more attention than the rip!
“Hey, hey,” Liam called out in a rare soft tone of voice. “Calm down. I actually have a spare set of pants that you might be able to pull off. Granted, they’re not…”
“I’ll take them!” I responded unflinchingly.
An expression of slight shock formed on Liam’s face before he rubbed the back of his neck. “Alright…if you’re sure.” He conceded.
Ten minutes later, my face was still slightly flushed as I walked into the conference room and took a seat next to my boss.
“Wow, nice bold statement there, Seth. Didn’t know you had it in you.” She teased in a whisper.
“This day couldn’t end fast enough,” I grumbled under my breath as I pointedly tried to ignore the smug and salacious expression on Liam’s face. Just who the hell kept a spare pair of leather pants in their office?
The other department heads and their assistants filed in and the staff meeting finally began. On the one hand, I was grateful to Liam. On the other hand, I was still quite mortified at the stray thought that he somehow managed to get me into his pants.
(a/n: Below is my interpretation of these two.)