Business As Usual
This is another piece to my ongoing story called Weathered. You can find more pieces to it here. This piece happens immediately after the elevator scene.
“Please don’t make me have to do this again. Please tell me you have the permits with you and you are here in this building somewhere?” Blair’s hands shook as she held the cellphone to her ear.
“What happened? You still haven’t told me. You sound really shaken up. Are you okay?” Bill’s voice filtered through the earpiece, calm and collected.
“No. If I have to be honest, I am not okay. Just, please, take the meeting for me. I need a few minutes before I can go in there.”
“Are you going to tell me what happened?” He felt guilty as he spoke. He knew full well what had happened in the elevator, and knew exactly what was still to come.
“Later, yes. Right now, I just need to put it out of my mind and focus on the board meeting. Okay? Please?”
“Ok. I’ll go run some interference for you. I do have copies of all of the permits, and everything is in order, just as it was before this morning. Relax. It will be okay. I’ll see you in a few minutes?”
She blew a long sigh before answering. She had been holding her breath and hadn’t noticed until that very second.
“Yes. I’ll be there in a few minutes. And Bill? Thanks.”
“Sure thing, sweets.”
The phone clicked quietly as she placed it in her pocket. Her eyes drifted once more to the broken briefcase. They flooded with water, just rising to the surface, but she shook it off before it could overflow her lids. Instead she diverted her attention to the floor, scanning the walls for a restroom. Her query a success, she moved quickly across the space.
“Where is your client, Mr. Fortune?” The older man peered over the rim of his glasses.
“She’s had a slight emergency. She will be here momentarily. I am authorized to proceed in her stead.” He passed a pile of paperwork to the two gentlemen sitting in the room. “If you will take a moment to look through them, you will see that all the permits are there, and the construction is in fact, very simple. The biggest project is the living fountain, but as that is a work of art rather than a construction project, so we do not need a permit for that. Do you agree?”
“Hmmm. Perhaps we should look these over in detail before making that decision, yes?”
“Fine. Ms. Weathers can give you more detail on the living fountain, anyway. Please, take your time.”
Bill looked at his Rolex as the words rolled off his tongue. He had hoped that this would be an in and out meeting, as it usually was, but someone must have made some mischief because they were literally reading each and every page. Their heads turned slightly as Blair entered the room, perfectly coifed, no visible sign of distress. This was just one of many reasons why Bill admired Blair. He had to admit the woman was tough. He found himself wishing that he could know her without all the strings that were attached.
“My apologies, gentlemen. I appreciate your waiting for me. Shall we proceed?”
This is in response to prompt #50: Please don’t make me…