Chloe barely checked her watch as she came flying into the parking lot of the big glass office building. When she looked up,
she saw the stupid man step into her path. Closing her eyes and holding her breath, she stomped on the brake. Her hands shook
like an addict without his fix. Slowly, she opened one eye and peered at the very angry man in front of her.
Because she had her window down, she heard his every word very clearly.
“You dumb broad, what the hell do you think you’re doing? You could have killed me.” Chloe tuned him out
as she looked in the mirror and noticed that her make-up had started to run. Damn it, she mentally cursed.
“Of all the stupid, irresponsible—“
Chloe had enough. Rolling her window down further she shouted, “Look, Mister, if you’d been watching where you
were going, we wouldn’t be having this problem. Now if you’d kindly accept responsibility for your own stupidity
instead of blaming me, we could both get on with our day.”
Chloe stifled a laugh as she watched the man turn a whole new shade of red. She hadn’t known it was possible for a body
to turn quite that color. It was too bad she had nearly run him over, he was kind of cute. His dark hair hung loose at the
collar—not too long and not too short. He was built but not in the muscle bound maniac kind of way. In all his huffing
and puffing, he wouldn’t hold still long enough for her to determine his eye color, but she was quite sure it was a
“You’ve got a lot of nerve, lady!”
“So I do. Now will you move it?” She shouted back.
Finally, the man stepped out of her way and she gunned it to the parking spot she’d just seen open up.
Chloe shut off the engine to the old clunker she drove. It had definitely seen better days. A month ago, the air conditioning
had crapped out on her and she didn’t have the money to have it fixed. Hell, she didn’t have money period. If
she had enough left over after paying her rent and utilities to buy bread and peanut butter, she considered herself lucky.
Such is the life of the starving artist. Chloe thought dramatically. Little jobs here and there had gotten her by, but after
her last terrible experience, she was ready for something stable. Even if it meant her career in art would have to wait.
Reaching for her handbag, she pulled out a compact and dabbed some of the pressed powder on her shiny spots. A little of her
shining red lipstick and she was ready.
Chloe stepped out of the car and pulled her black mini skirt down to a respectable length. The low cut red blouse was the
perfect accent to the slinky piece of fabric covering her nether regions. Maybe it wasn’t appropriate for a job interview,
but Lacy, her best friend, had told her to be simply irresistible. The only way Chloe knew how to do that was with her body.
When she made herself up right, she knew that men would be panting after her with their tongues wagging. She hoped that was
true of one Mr. Gabe Anderson.
Five minutes late wasn’t too bad considering what she’d been through. The rude man that nearly gave her a heart
attack had thrown her off her schedule. Maybe she could just explain and he’d have a chuckle over some people’s
inability to watch where they were going and get down to the business of hiring her.
The elevator dinged and Chloe stepped in. On the third floor, she stepped out and turned right as she had she had been instructed.
When she found the door that said “Anderson Law Firm” she stopped, cupped her hand in front of her mouth and exhaled.
Inhaling with her nose, she smiled. Still minty fresh, even if a touch of nicotine dulled down the zing of the mint.
Satisfied that she was ready, she pulled open the door and stepped into the small office. There was a wide-open space where
she assumed she would sit once she was hired. The furniture was ghastly with its dark brown hues that reminded her of dog
poo. On the plain ugly wooden table, there was a stack of magazines that looked as if they’d been chewed over by rats.
There was a couple of terrible paintings hanging on the wall and a coat rack that looked as if it could compete with the Leaning
Tower of Pisa. Off to the left was a room that held a bunch of boxes stacked from one wall to the other. It was stuffed so
full the door couldn’t be shut. She took a step forward and looked into the tiny room on the right and she saw a small
refrigerator, coffee pot, and a microwave. Paper plates sat empty and dirty on the counter.
The room right in front of her, behind the desk had the door closed. The nameplate read Gabe Anderson, Attorney at Law. “Well,
Mr. Anderson, it looks like you need me as much as I need you,” she muttered as she stepped forward to knock on the
“Come in.” The deep male voice that was vaguely familiar to Chloe called.
Chloe reached out and turned the handle, her excuse on the tip of her tongue ready to escape. He spoke first, “I’m
sorry, I’m not quite ready for your interview. Some nut tried to kill me in the parking lot.” He hadn’t
turned to face her yet, and he didn’t have to. A knot of sorrow welled up within her because she knew that once again
she wouldn’t be getting this job.
“I’m really sorry about that, Mr. Anderson.” Chloe said, a hint of embarrassment in her voice.
At that, he turned and looked up at her. Recognition dawned in his eyes. “You,” he said in a voice that reeked
“Me. I’m the nut that tried to run you over.” Chloe tried to hide the sheer humiliation she felt.
“What are you doing here?” He turned such a violent shade of red, Chloe wondered if he was having a stroke or
something. But she discounted the notion when he sputtered on. “Did . . . did you follow me?”
Chloe swallowed the lump in her throat, “No. I . . . you . . . the paper . . . ”
“What are you mumbling about? Maybe you need to be behind the wheel, nearly mowing people down to speak clearly.”
Chloe found her dander being fluffed again and she couldn’t just stand there and let him insult her. It wasn’t
in her character to take a beating and not land a few punches of her own.
“If you hadn’t walked out in front of me, we wouldn’t be having this problem. Didn’t your momma ever
teach you to look both ways before you cross the street?”
“Where’d you get your license from? A crackerjack box? Everyone knows you are supposed to yield to pedestrians
and for God sake, you don’t fly through a parking lot at eighty miles per hour. And leave my momma out of it.”
“I was going sixty.”
“What?” The man looked at her incredulously.
“You said I was going eighty, I was going sixty.”
“Good grief, what does it matter? Either way it was too fast. Did you follow me up here to clarify how fast you were
going when you tried to kill me?”
“I didn’t follow you, and I didn’t try to kill you. It’s not my fault if you are suicidal.”
She smiled sweetly at him. “Now, I’m here because there was an ad in the paper,” Chloe held up the wrinkled
paper she had clutched in her palm. “I’m assuming you are Mr. Gabe Anderson, Attorney at Law.”
“Absolutely not.” He turned away from her, obviously dismissing her without a thought.
“I have an interview scheduled.” Chloe said quietly.
“You had it,” He turned to her once again. His fierce expression hadn’t changed. “In the parking lot.”
He enunciated each word in a fast-paced staccato.
“But, I need this job! You obviously need the help.”
“I don’t need your help.” There was a hint of humor in his voice.
“You think someone else’s desperation is funny?” Chloe felt outraged. “Well let me tell you, Mr. High
and Mighty lawyer man,” Chloe took a breath and ignored the fact that he had picked up the phone and punched in a three-digit
number. “You’re no better than anyone else. You put your underwear on one leg at a time too.”
“Yes, please send someone up.” He said into the phone.
Chloe eyed him cautiously. She wasn’t about to get thrown out of here. “Call off your little minions, I’m
leaving! In my opinion, you can rot!”
Chloe stormed out of the office just as the security guard stepped off the elevator. “False alarm, mister. That crazy
ass in there is paranoid!” Holding her head high, she strode past him and punched the down button with as much dignity
as she could muster. It wasn’t until she was safely ensconced in her old clunker that she felt the crushing blow of
losing out on the job because of her big mouth. Her mother had always told her not knowing how to hold her tongue would get
her in trouble, and so it had—more than once.