“What can I do for you?” Ever the submissive. She hated herself for it, and yet it was who she was. Even worse: “is there a problem?”

Bob leant across to her. His brow was red. She tried to turn her mind away from his unwashed odor and avoided looking at the sweat stained underarms of his crumpled shirt. Only then did she notice that his breath wore the unmistakable air of a lunchtime session at the pub. His faced glowed from the warming aftermath of his beer.

“I’m sorry to have kept you.” He leered at a secretary through a crack in the door. “How’s Ian?”

She let out a gulp but was determined not to get upset over that bastard, and instead stared forwards.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I forgot. Whatabout.. Whatabout the children?”

“I don’t have any children, Mr Charleston.” Every time it was the same. Did the man turn off his brain before he spoke to her?

“Really? But I thought.. No matter. That wasn’t why I asked you in.”

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