“My business deals on a referral only basis. I don’t accept walk-ins. If you dislike that, you are free to take your business elsewhere. No, you will take your business elsewhere.” Her voice was soft but firm, like a gun hidden in a muff.
Her order was met with screams and rants and threats that got louder as shadows filled the door window. The door schwoomed open to reveal a slightly taller than average woman in a figure hiding black bodysuit with a striped, knee-length dressing robe hanging open with the belt loosely tied around her waist and knotted out of the way. She strolled across the almost empty receiving area, her bare feet silent on the spotted Phenomal floor. A Faustenaled behemoth stumbled behind, trying to engulf her presence through sheer fury. His face shone with the telltale purple sweat, giving him a Lisa Frankenstein look with his Orange Sun skin.
When Mrs. Bordelon reached the exterior door, she walked straight through into the hallway; the automatic door nearly scraped her arm as she passed. The scoelpin head lumbered after, his shouts little more than inarticulate sounds. The hall door shicked closed, the Silensulation barely bringing quiet to the waiting room. And then, actual silence.
The clock bleeped steadily. Three after five. Five oh three and ten seconds. Twenty seconds. The door opened and closed as Mrs. Bordelon glided directly to her office. Her hands at her hips in hidden pockets, she was as still as a hound who had spotted a rabbit.
“I’m sorry. The Agency’s closed,” Mrs. Bordelon said. She looked over her left shoulder, staring through half-closed eyes which seemed more than capable of sussing out my exact nature and desires.
“Um, I’m, I’m sorry, uh,” I brushed frantically to tuck my bangs securely behind my ear. They fell stubbornly in place over my eye. Then she was in the chair next to me. Her hands gently placed mine in my lap, where one of her hands remained to still any nervous fluttering. Her other hand gently traced above my eye, settling my bangs out of the way before it traced down my cheek to my chin where she slowly guided my head to meet her stare. I froze and stopped trying to sink into the bench.
Her face was unreadable, but soft, like undisturbed sand in a garden. Her eyes darted back and forth between my eyes before resting thoughtfully. She stared at me for several minutes, her hand gently but insistently holding my face for her observation.
“Do you know Dorothy? Lovely girl, isn’t she?” Mrs. Bordelon’s hand released my chin and dropped to join her other hand in holding mine.
“What? No, I…” I couldn’t follow what she was doing. She dropped my hands and sat upright, her face closing like curtains blocking the outside world. “I mean yes? I, uh, Quinn, yes, he told me to say that, um, he’s a friend of, uh, Dorothy, and that she’s as lovely as, um, as you are…” I shrank into the bench, still mumbling slightly.
She smiled languidly and stretched on her chair, hooking her right elbow around the backrest. She crossed her legs, her foot less than an inch from my knee. “Yes, Quinn is quite charming, isn’t he? How’s the bassin doing? Everything still quiet with the Minnie?”
“Yes, he, uh, when I came to him, he, um, told me how you had helped him out with his, uh, situation. He, he said to say the chickadee is quiet but that he and his schnauzer are living happily with their new yard. Green and flowering, too. Yes.” I rushed faster and faster, hoping the right words would come out better that way.
Mrs. Bordelon turned her head and stared across the lobby and beyond the opposing wall. She chewed her lower lip. With a large exhale, she rubbed her lips together and looked back at me. I couldn’t stand to watch her watching me for another moment and looked at her hands holding mine. I flexed my hands to get enough space to withdraw from her grasp. She held firm but gingerly rubbed her thumb across the top of my hand.
I risked a glance at her face and she was watching mine through those half-closed eyes. Her mouth was in a matching half-smile, rounding out her face into an unusually calm but also steely expression.
“Let’s go discuss the terms of my employment, shall we?” In one smooth movement, she somehow both stood and pulled me along with her.