the delivery by juleshg

11 Apr

“Samantha, would you come in here please.”

Peter closed the envelope and held it up as his assistant entered the office.  “Where did you get this envelope?”

“It was on my desk when I came back from the coffee shop.  I know that you were waiting for information about the Hall deposition so I brought it in with your coffee and left it on your desk.” 

“Who signed for it?”

“I don’t know,” she said as she shrugged her shoulders.  “I was out so I just assumed that one of the other assistants signed for me.  Usually Sophie keeps an eye on things while I am away from my desk and I do the same for her.”

“Go ask Sophie who delivered it and when,” Peter said abruptly.  Samantha looked confused but got up immediately and did as she was told.

As she closed the door behind her Peter opened the large envelope once again.  It was a plain manila — not the type of package he would expect to receive legal documents in but Samantha was new and likely did not know better.

The glossy eight-by-ten photos fell onto his desk and he flipped through them once again.  The first shot was of him and a woman eating lunch in the back corner of a dark restaurant; him holding hands with his lunch companion; a quick kiss on the sidewalk out front; and finally one of him and his companion walking hand-in-hand into a nearby hotel.  He recognized the images immediately.  They were taken last week, during his business trip to Boston with his paralegal. 

He shook the envelope one more time and a small note fell out.  It was red marker scrawled on yellow lined stationary.  “Is this why the new wife is hidden away at the mall – so she won’t catch you in your escapades? “  There were no threats, no ultimatums but Peter felt a cold chill run up his spine.

Lindsay…  They had been married for less than a year and he had been sure that everything was under control.   When they first met she was his housekeeper and she had asked him about working at the firm when she tired of cleaning houses.  He told her it was impossible because of the firm’s ethics policy but nothing was further from truth.  While the firm specialized in sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal cases, at least half of his partners were currently married to former assistants and just as many were fucking other members of the staff behind their wives’ backs.  It was an irony they frequently chuckled about over scotch and cigars.

He wondered if he should talk to the other partners to see if they too had received a mysterious envelope today.  Maybe it was an attack on the firm:  it was an idea that had merit.

It could also be his ex-wife.  The bloody woman was trying to get more money for Sarah’s private school and dance competitions.  At sixteen, his daughter was already costing him a fortune and college was still years away.  He would not put it past that cut-throat lawyer Susan had hired to pull a stunt like this to get some leverage.  Lord knows Susan had never forgiven him for all of the indiscretions during their marriage.  To ruin his relationship with Lindsay, that would be icing on the cake.

Peter got angrier with every passing minute.  He worked hard to orchestrate things so that Lindsay was removed from his day-to-day life.  He had encouraged her to take a job so she would be unavailable for lunches with the other partners’ wives.  He bit his tongue when she found the position at the mall as the assistant manager in a teen boutique.  While the job was an embarrassment, he knew that Lindsay’s new younger friends and lunches at the food court would never interfere with his own lunch-hour plans.

No matter who was responsible for this special delivery he had to keep the whole matter as far away from Lindsay as possible.  He could not afford another messy divorce or another alimony payment.

There was a quiet knock on the door and he looked up to find Samantha sticking her head around the corner.  “Sophie said she did not sign for any envelopes this morning.  I also went to talk to the receptionist and she has been at her desk all day.  She has signed for five packages and none of them were for you.”

“Thanks,” he said with a sigh.  This was definitely not good news.  Whoever was playing this game was closer than he had imagined.

(to be continued tomorrow …)

**********

Lindsay fidgeted with the buttons on the blazer of her new wool pant-suit.  It was hot, uncomfortable and had cost her the last three paycheques from the boutique but it was all worth it.

Today she slipped on the‘uniform’ and walked right past the receptionist at the firm without attracting so much as a second glance.  She looked familiar enough after meeting the woman at the firm’s Christmas party but knew that she would never be able to pinpoint her in her new office attire. 

Moments ago she had seen Samantha at the cafe across the street and knew that this was her window to move.  She strolled right past the receptionist and down the long corridor to Peter’s outer office and dropped the envelope on the desk. 

She wished she could be a fly on the wall in Peter’s office this afternoon as he wracked his brain trying to figure out who was responsible.  She knew that she would never be on the list of suspects.  Peter had greatly under-estimated her trying to tuck her away in a dead-end job at the teen store.  She may not be a candidate for Mensa but she was no fool – and she was definitely smarter than the dim-witted paralegal who believed that Peter could love her.

Peter did not love anyone.  Lindsay had always known that. 

We first met Peter, Sarah and Lindsay in Week 2 — Lindsay Lahann

 

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5 Responses to “the delivery by juleshg”

  1. jmforceton April 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Yes, you sucked me in. No way I woyld have stopped reading at this point.
    Its got to be Samantha or someone else is lying. Need more data.

  2. ingridfnl April 13, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Yay Lindsay! I love that you took Peter’s perspective for the first half of the piece. . . his distorted sense of self-importance and his reasoning for not wanting Lindsay to find out about his indiscretions. I’m also glad that Lindsay turned out to be so savvy… What is she going to do next?

  3. juleshg April 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    I have to tell you, Lindsay really surprised me. When I saw her in the cab driving away and realized that she was the one who had delivered the photos I was a little shocked. I think there is a lot behind the innocent mall manager that we have not yet seen.

  4. jmforceton April 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. behind the scenes by juleshg | the character project - June 20, 2010

    […] This lunch date with Peter takes place one week before The Delivery. […]

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