He appraises me fully, now his professional decorum has given way to his own private view of my physical attributes: the silky auburn hair against my shoulders, the slick, painted form of my full lips– moist and parted slightly with anticipation,–the vulnerable, pale delicacy of my throat, the plunge of my sheer neckline stretched tightly over lace-cupped breasts.

His gaze finally lands on the hem of my skirt. I push the fabric flat against my thighs with my palms and squeeze my knees tightly together, sitting up straight now–eyeing him carefully.

He starts to pace back and forth in front of me, likes he’s giving dictation or addressing his project team. I try to place the scent of his aftershave…reminiscent of hard-soled leather shoes and new car upholstery.

“We need to diffuse this situation right here and now. You can’t just walk around dressing the way you do…in those mini skirts and hump-me shoes, and not expect this kind of thing to happen.”

He starts fiddling with the knot in his tie, yanking it away from his neck as he clutches his front button placket and begins to work his shirt out of the waist of his trousers with the other hand.

“What are you doing!?”

“What I should have done this morning…” he starts toward me now, thick fingers poised against his shiny belt buckle.

Springing to my feet, I make a lunge for his desk and grab the phone.

“Your days are numbered here anyway, you little harlot. I’ve already heard complaints about you. Not just your attire, either.”

“You’ve got a lot more to lose than I do…” My eyes scan the directory for the magic extension number.

“What are you going to say? I harassed you?? This is exactly why we have a policy in place…so things don’t get out of hand. Besides, I’m the injured party, here!”

I set down the phone, but I keep my hand on it. “What is it going to take for you to let this go? What do you want from me?”

He slumps into the chair by the door. We both pause, listening to our co-workers on the other side of the wall, gathering their things, saying their goodbyes.

“Christ, I bet you’re not even wearing underpants right now. “

His voice is softer now and he shakes his head, running his fingers through his salt and pepper flattop.

“Does that bother you?”

His face is flushed and he turns away, muttering.

“It’s obscene.”

“Well, for your information…I am wearing proper undergarments.” I sit on the edge of the desk now, my skirt stretched tight over my hips, accentuating the aforementioned curves.

“We need to preserve some decency in a business environment. These distractions…they cost this company, hours of…” He trails off, eyes beginning to wet at the corners– but riveted in my direction.

“Hours of… of lost productivity…” He goes on. “It’s….”

The sodden white triangle of lace slips smoothly down my legs– and placing a hand against the desktop for support, I step first one high heel out and then the other.

To be continued…