My new boss is the most perfect woman I’d ever seen. Wisdom dictates one doesn’t get involved with a colleague, but surely taking along a six-pack of her favorite beer when I deliver a report to her home after work won’t be misconstrued?
She invites me to stay for dinner. One thing leads to another, and we start doing things together outside the office. But as the weather cools and the holidays approach, she decides she wants to take our relationship to the next level. Do I?
I don’t know what possessed me that first night. I was bringing a report to her home. She’d asked me to deliver it because she’d need to review it before a meeting in the morning. But there I was standing at the door of her house with a six-pack of her favorite beer in my hand. Well, I thought it was her favorite. I had heard her discuss beers at a luncheon we’d gone to and I had searched all over the city to find the European beer she’d mentioned. It had been a little more pricey than I’d imagined but if it got her attention, maybe it would be worth it. If nothing else; I could use the extra credits at the job. It might keep me from getting RIF’d.
Then the door opened. She stood there with a quizzical look on her face. Her clothes were definitely not what I’d expected. She had on a pink sweat suit and high-topped sneakers.
“Hi,” was all she said.
I shifted my feet nervously. “Hello. I brought the report. And I brought this for you to celebrate the Anderson contract,” I said, holding out the sack containing the beer.
“I’d forgotten. That shows where my head has been. Come on in,” she said, stepping back to allow my entrance.
“No, no,” I said, shaking my head, “You must be busy. I just thought you might like this.”
“Come on in,” she insisted. “Have you eaten? I was just sitting down to dinner and there’s plenty. I hate eating alone.”
So I walked into the living room. It looked like her. The furniture was sleek, the colors deep and warm. I handed her the beer.
“My favorite,” she exclaimed as she took it out of the sack. “Where did you find it? And it’s cold! It’ll be perfect with dinner.” The smile on her face could have lit up the Capitol Building. “Take your jacket off and have a seat there in the dining room.” She went toward the kitchen while I shed my jacket, laid it on the arm of the couch, and went into the dining room.
She was there immediately, placing another setting on the table, then going back to get the food. She returned with a large casserole dish that smelled delicious.
“I didn’t ask but I hope you like seafood. This is a hot seafood salad. I got the recipe last summer when I was in Seattle,” she said as she took her place at the head of the table.
“I adore seafood. I could eat it at every meal,” I answered, hoping it was the right thing to say.
“Excellent,” she replied, giving me that beautiful smile, “Seafood is very healthy for you.” She scooped a large spoonful of salad onto my plate.
I took a bite, blowing onto it to cool it. “This is wonderful,” I exclaimed. “What’s in it?”
“There’s scallops, calamari and lobster, and a whole lot of other things. I had it at a sweet little diner out on the peninsula when I was in Washington State and I fell in love with it,” she answered. She screwed the cap off one of the beer bottles and handed it to me. “I always make a big casserole so I have leftovers the rest of the week.” She chuckled with a light lilt. It lit her face. She raised her bottle and tapped mine in a toast. “I had this beer in New York a few years ago. It’s woodier than most.”
“It’s very earthy,” I said, after taking my first sip. “I’ve never had it before.” She looked at me sort of quizzically, so I added, “I heard you mention it at that luncheon with Ray.”
She smiled a very pleasing smile at me.