Office Duties #8

Book Cover: Office Duties #8

The scene complicates for poor Sam as loose ends come undone.

Friends are threatened and relationships complicate as anger and confusion run high. Davies promises her the world when all she wants is answers while office politics turn deadly. Everything comes to a head as motives are revealed and revenge is served cold.

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Sam groaned as she rolled over and cuddled her pillow. She was too comfortable to get up and go to that hellish workplace. It was much better if she’d just stay in bed all day and pretend to be sick. Then she’d have the entire weekend to herself without any crazy coworkers, psychotic supervisors, or amorous employers.
Then Sam remembered she did have the weekend to herself. She smiled and dug deeper into the covers. She’d survived her first week of the new job. Well, barely, but a miss was as good as a mile. Now she could reward herself by spending as much time as she wanted in bed sleeping off the exhaustion she now felt.
She would have enjoyed such a day if it weren’t for the rumbling noise in her stomach.
Sam sighed and flung aside the covers. There was just no arguing with her belly lately. That thing was too insatiable not to appease.
She stretched and noticed there was some inflexibility at her midriff.

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She glanced down and frowned at the slight bulge in her shirt. She pulled back the cloth and her jaw dropped to the floor.
There was a small, firm bump in her stomach. It wasn’t like she’d just eaten a ton of food like last night and her belly had momentarily stretched. There was a permanent, inarguable extension at her waistline.
“What the hell?” she muttered to herself.
Sam gingerly reached down and drifted her hand over the small ball which she seemed to have swallowed. It was tight and didn’t bend at her touch. The skin was firm and stretched, and her belly button was distended outward.
This just had to be a nightmare, or some sort of bad effect from eating too much food. Maybe that was it. Maybe she’d eaten something that really hadn’t agreed with her and now she was severely bloated. Maybe some exercise would work it off.
Sam swung her legs over the bed and pushed off. It was definitely a little more difficult moving around with such a waistline, but she managed to get used to it as she tried doing jumping jacks. Unfortunately she was out of shape and out of practice, and after a few she was huffing and puffing like the last dinosaur.
“All right, maybe try something easier,” she encouraged herself.
Sam knew she was desperate, terrified even, but she had to try do to something. Otherwise she probably would have fallen in full blown panic and been calling 911 for an ambulance to come take her to the hospital.
This time she attempted to do some stretches, and started out by trying to reach her toes. She’d always been elastic, so this had never been a problematic exercise. Now, though, she had that obstruction and her fingers were a few inches from her feet when she finally gave up.
“Okay, how about jogging in place.”
She pumped her arms and tried to evenly breath as her feet moved up and down to a silent rhythm. She was still doing it a few minutes later when her stomach rumbled its displeasure at her neglect. It was probably a good idea to stop because her feet were starting to kill her. The floor wasn’t soft enough to be pounding on without a mat beneath her.
Sam went out into her kitchen and was reminded she hadn’t cleaned up after her last gorging as the empty plates and bowls greeted her eyes. She waved her hand at them as though to make them disappear and she started rummaging through the cupboards. As she knew from last night, there were only a few boxes of cereal left and some of those had been opened. She downed them one at a time and still picked through the drawers and her pantry for something, anything to eat.
During this desperate need Sam heard her apartment buzzer ring and she glanced over at the door. She sure as hell wasn’t expecting any visitors at all, much less today, and the mail didn’t arrive until later. She closed the cupboards and tried to neatly stack the dishes as quickly as possible, but the person on the other side buzzed again before she was done.
“Coming!” she shouted.
Abandoning the mess Sam walked over to the door and looked through the peephole. She frowned when she realized it was Mr. Smith standing in the hall waiting for admittance. He was holding several bags in both hands, and the creepiest part was he was staring straight at the peephole. She cautiously opened the door part way and peeked her head out. She wasn’t really dressed for visitors, either.
“Good morning, Miss Olsen,” he pleasantly greeted. Sam nearly missed the words when her nose smelled the scent of food wafting from the bags. “Mr. Davies instructed I bring you some nourishment, as he assumed you were perhaps out of food by this time.”
“What?” Her mind was a little foggy with hunger, and she was a little confused by what he’d just told her. Davies had expected her to be out of food? “How’d he know that?” Smith smiled, and she wasn’t sure if she liked that look on his face.
“I believe he intends to explain that to you personally later this day.” He held up the bags and cocked his head to look inside. “Would you be willing to let me set these items on your table? They are not as light as they looked.” They actually looked pretty heavy. The bags bulged out in all directions and he had at least five in each hand.
“Oh, sorry!” She opened the door and he stepped inside. She made sure not to lock the door behind him, just in case he was going to leave soon. “You can, um, put them on the counter.” The table was still full.
“My pleasure.” He set them down as instructed and glanced over at her dining area. She followed behind him, mostly at the beckoning of the food. “Would you care for me to wash your dishes?” he offered. “I would be very glad for the task, as Mr. Davies has also instructed me to remain with you until he arrives.”
“Wait, what?” This was information she really would have wanted before she let him inside her apartment.
“I am to stay he-”
“I get that part,” she angrily interrupted. “But for how long is that?”
“I’m afraid even I don’t know the answer to that question, Miss Olsen.” He wasn’t wasting any time solely talking. The man had already picked up a number of the plates and was moving the whole mess to the sink. “But if you do not feel comfortable having me in the apartment, I can sit out in the car until I am called for.”
“No no, it’s fine.” That sounded too mean to make him do that, and he was doing her a favor by cleaning the dishes. There was also the aroma of food, and she was nearly driven to distraction by the smell. “Is all that for me?” she asked as she nodded to the pile of bags. “I mean, was any of it yours?”
“I have already eaten, so the entirety of those packages are yours to have.” He smiled again when he noticed her eyes hungrily dart over to them like they were a kill waiting to be devoured. “You may have them at any time, though most of them are breakfast meals.”

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