66. I know what you’ve been doing!

It was a really busy day.
The studio was stacked out with work.
Account Executives would burs through the door every five minutes demanding their job get top priority, and the phone didn’t stop nagging.
Soulless Boss was running in circles and screaming, handing down all the grief that was raining on him.
I, however, had discovered a nice sunny spot outside, just out of view of the security cameras.
No breeze, very little traffic noise, no agitated dick heads getting all worked up over some shitty credit card mailing.
I had my eyes closed, smiling.
The bricks of the factory were warm on my back.
blackbirds were marking their territory with song.
Good tobacco smoke was in the air.
Very nice.
Wait a minute…
Tobacco smoke.
I didn’t see any smokers.
I opened my eyes.
“Hello Lucifer. Enjoying the weather?”
“Shit the bed! Hello Abbott. You startled me.”
Abbott is a printer. A big, easy going kind of bloke.
I’d felt little uneasy around him after he disclosed a rather unsavoury piece of information a while back, but we were cool again.
He leaned against the wall next to me, a little too close, to be honest, but I knew why.
I checked his position.
Yup, he was just out of view of the security cameras, too.
Respect, Abbott.
“Yes, Lucifer, I like the weather, today. It’s kind on us patrons of the weed, and those who respect it.”
He winked at me, removing a fleck of tobacco from his tongue.
I smiled lazily.
“Nothing wrong with smoking, Abbott. I used to smoke a little myself, but had to quit. I never became rabidly opposed to it like some folk. Can never understand that. Why suddenly detest something you once loved?”
“It’s all about respect, Lucifer. You might not smoke, but you still respect the tobacco, still respect the smoker. Perhaps those who once loved smoking now hate it as they might hate a woman that they can no longer have; with a jealous hate. Perhaps they hate smokers for staying with that woman, for tasting the forbidden fruit, for living in sin…”
He chuckled to himself, exhaling grey tendrils like a mellow old dragon.
Had to hand it to him.
Abbott had a nice turn of phrase.
“Guess you’re right. Sometimes I miss smoking. Times like now. I could really enjoy a cigar. Smoking a cigar in the sunshine is one of life’s great pleasures.”
“I’ve got a panatella if you’re interested?”
“That’s kind of you, Abbot, but I’m ok. Like it or not, I’m going to have to get back to work at some point.”
I half closed my eyes again, and leant back against the warm bricks.
Abbott took a long, measured pull on his roll up, and looked up at the sky, shaking his head.
“Yes, Lucifer, these evil swine work us like dogs. Like dogs! What job have you got on at the moment?”
“That mailing for NastiBasterds™ Credit. They’re breathing down my neck for it.”
” NastiBasterds™ Credit? When is that due out?”
“Oh. Who’s the account executive for that particular piece of dross?”
“Cleopatra. She’s phoning very two minutes demanding to know where her job is.”
Abbotts eyes widened.
“Cleopatra, eh? Small world! I was at a dinner party last Saturday and she happened to be in attendance!”
“Yeah? Which party was that then?”
“It was over at Harrogate. Do you know the Phillipsons? The husband is a big noise in marketing.”
“Nope. Not the sort of social circle that I get invites from.”
“You’d fit in a treat, Lucifer! I’ll get you an invite for the next soirée. Well, she was there, Cleopatra, with her fiance. Tony, I think his name was. lovely couple. I’d just nipped to the lavatory, and I came back to find my wife with them.”
“That’s a coincidence. What did Cleopatra have to say?”
“She couldn’t talk at the time, as she was eating.”
“No, my wife’s pussy.”
“Beg pardon?”
“My wife’s pussy. She was eating my wife’s pussy.”
“Fucking hell. Didn’t anybody else in the room have something to say about that?”
“No, no! Of course not. They were too busy screwing each others brains out!”
“Hmm. It was one of THEM parties, wasn’t it, Abbott.”
“Is there any other kind?”
“There is, actually. There are the kind of parties where female acquaintances don’t eat out your wife’s fanny in the middle of a room full of strangers fucking on the furniture.”
“They sound like dull parties.”
“They’re not too bad, to be fair, but there’s probably not the element of excitement that you’re used to. Cleopatra, eh? She doesn’t seem like the type. But then again…”
“Oh, she’s hot to trot, Lucifer! She was eating that fanny like a dog with a hot chip.”
“Nice image. And what was her bloke doing while all this was going on?”
“Wanking, naturally.”
“Naturally. I won’t ask what you were doing.”
“Well, I couldn’t ignore that little pink treat winking up at me…”
“I’m gone. Work to do…”
“…I asked her fiance’s permission first…”
“You gent, Abbott. Look, I’d better be getting back…”
“It was incredible, tight as a Scotsman’s fist…”

I got back to work.
Abbott had unsettled me.
After five minutes, who should walk in but Cleopatra.
“Soulless Boss! Where on Earth is that work for NastiBasterds™ Credit that I’ve been waiting for? I’ve got a courier in reception waiting for it!”
“We’re working on it, Cleopatra!! It’s Lucifer’s job but he’s… back! Lucifer, where the fuck have you been?”
“Typical. Cleopatra, you’d better talk to Lucifer. I’ve got a meeting to get to.”
She came over, acting very prim.
I couldn’t look her in the eye.
“When will this be ready, Lucifer?”
“An hour.”
“I haven’t got an hour! The courier is here, now!”
I shrugged.
“Can’t work any faster. It’ll be an hour.”
“That’s not good enough!”
I glanced up at her, and just a I feared, the graphic image that Abbott had painted flooded my mind.
“What are you smirking at, Lucifer?”
I know what you’ve been doing!
Her eyes narrowed.
I know what you’ve been doing!
She stared at me, hard.
My eyes gave it away.
“I know what you’ve been doing!”
She gasped.
I’d said that one out loud.
I turned back to my work, looking guilty.
“Email me when the job’s ready,” she muttered, and walked away.
I watched her leave.
I know what you’ve been doing!
I know what you’ve been doing!
Ten minutes later Soulless Boss took a call.
He hung up and shouted to me.
“No rush on that job, Lucifer! It’s going tomorrow. Cleopatra’s had to go home sick.”
Oh dear.
I felt a bit guilty.
Who was I to judge her?
If she wanted to get bummed by vague acquaintances while muffing out their wives, then that was her business.
Maybe I was jealous, looking down on somebody for tasting the forbidden fruit, for living in sin…
Fuck it.
At least the job wasn’t needed any more.
While Soulless Boss wasn’t looking, i snuck away, out into the sunshine.

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