The Strike

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The rain splattered hard against the window glass. Jason tugged at the ropes leading to the blinds and let it fall away, dropping the slats down to block out the miserable weather. The thought of being stuck inside the administration office building, playing watchdog held no appeal. At least the weather was crappy and he wouldn’t be missing any golfing opportunities. Why’d the damn union have to pick this time to strike? Why’d he have to take the damn management job anyway? He tried not to think of the answers.

“Hey, Jase! Ready to make the rounds?” called out Dan Rogala from the doorway. “I’m gonna have to get going soon and I want to show you around before I leave.”

“Sure, Let’s do it,” Jason shrugged and followed after Dan.

Ever since the union went out on strike, management had kept a skeleton crew inside to keep watch, making sure that overzealous strikers didn’t do anything stupid. Now that the weekend had come, the skeleton crew was cut down to the bare minimum and Jason was one of the few remaining on the lookout. Jimmy Dixon was supposed to be on watch with him but his wife had gone into labor and there was no one else to stand in for him. So, it looked like he would be on his own.

“I hear that they have a couple people out in the plant,” Dan said as they strolled along the walkway that looked out over the factory floor. “You might want to check in with them when you have a chance. Now keep an eye on the doors at the end of the hall.” Dan pointed to a set of doors ahead of them before entering a stairwell. “I hear that there’s a couple of volunteers from accounting too, keeping an eye out upstairs. Let’s see if we can find them.”

Dan and Jason looked around throughout accounting and human resources and the general administration offices but found no one. There were a few lights on and it looked like someone had set up in the human resources training center, but no one answered when they called out. So they wended their way back down to the front lobby. Dan fidgeted while he waited for the escort van.

“You bring all your stuff like they told you?” Dan asked.

“Yeah, sleeping bag, duffel bag, all that crap.”

“You’re lucky they laid some food in too,” Dan chuckled. “Four years ago we were starving!”

Jason chuckled along with him. Her remembered walking the picket line four years ago and wondering about what went on inside. Now being a part of the inside crew didn’t seem like the party he had thought about back then. The price of wanting to be successful. A white van pulled up close to the door.

“Well, here’s my ride,” Dan said happily. “You got your cell phone and emergency numbers and all?”

“Yeah, all set,” replied Jason.

“Have fun!” Dan said as he pushed his way out through the revolving doors.

Fun all right, Jason thought. Some kind of fun! He walked back around to the main conference room. There was a comfortable couch and a television along with the big table and chairs. A small kitchen was just through a passageway. He carried his backpack into the kitchen and stowed away a few things in the fridge, including a couple of beers for the ball game on Saturday. He went back to the conference room and marked off the inspection tour on the checklist, then turned on the TV. Just the six o’clock news at this hour. A rerun of Different Strokes was on another station.

Suddenly he could hear a voice calling out. “Anybody ’round?” Maybe it was the guys from accounting. He went to the doorway and looked down the hall.

“Right here!” He shouted, moving down the hallway. “Where are you guys?”

“Over here!” someone shouted out.

When he rounded the bend he was surprised to see a couple of women, perhaps as startled as he was. One was Mary Lou, an older heavyset gal he knew from accounts receivable. She was a real nice lady who was always upbeat. He didn’t know the other one who was younger and slight. They were both wearing sweatshirts and jeans.

“Well, Jesus H. Christ!” Mary Lou exclaimed. “Why don’t you just scare the crap out of me!”

“Sorry,” Jason said apologetically. “They told me someone from accounting was here but Dan and I didn’t see anyone on the last round before he left.”

“Yeah,” said Mary Lou, the older lady. “We were out looking for you I guess. We’re the only other ones up front. There’s a crew out back. Dave Johnson and Kyle Massey and one of the other supers.”

“Well, thanks. It’s nice to know I’m not all alone. This place is kinda creepy when it’s empty like this.”

“Say, do you know Diane?” Mary Lou asked, indicated the young woman beside her. “She works with me in Receivables.”

“I can’t say that we’ve met,” Jason said looking closer but still drawing a blank. “How are you?”

“Don’t you remember me?” Diane asked, looking somewhat perturbed. “A couple of weeks ago you had some shipping papers I needed. You made me come downstairs to pick them up.”

“I’m sorry, but I really don’t remember,” Jason said, feeling the warm flush of embarrassment fill up his cheeks. “I’m usually pretty good at remembering people.”

“Well, I remember canlı bahis you,” she said crossly, but then warmed up to show a sly smile.

“All the young girls remember you, Jason,” Mary Lou chimed in.

He chuckled feeling more embarrassed. He had overheard some talk in the break room a couple of times but had always thought of himself as pretty average. He was okay looking, tall and slender with blue eyes and a full head of dishwater blond hair, but not what he thought of as a heartbreaker or anything.

“Okay, shy boy,” Mary Lou chuckled. “Lookey here, Diane! We got him all embarrassed. He’s blushing!”

“So, what do you do for dinner around here?” Jason asked hoping to change the topic.

“Probably nuke something in the micro,” Mary Lou said matter of factly. “The strikers usually make trouble over pizza deliveries. I heard they eat the pizza and send in the empty box and make you pay for it!”

“I’ll tell you what, I’ve set up camp in the front conference room,” Jason began. “There’s a big screen TV with Surround Sound, and the kitchen right next door is stoked up nicely. Why don’t you ladies come downstairs for dinner?”

“Sure, sounds like a good plan to me,” replied Mary Lou. “What d’ya say, Junior?”

“All right,” nodded Diane.

The ladies agreed to meet him back downstairs in about a half hour for dinner. Jason got busy fixing the meal. With everything started, he decided to freshen up. After washing up, he broke out his electric razor and put on a clean shirt. He was back tending dinner when he heard Mary Lou’s voice.

“Hey, Good Looking! What’s cooking?”

“Some noodles, a big jar of Ragu and voila! We’re eating Italiano.”

“And best of all,” Mary exclaimed holding up a large bottle of Chianti. “Junior, here smuggled in a bottle of vino!”

Mary Lou took the spoon from Jason’s hand and pushed him toward the door.

“Why don’t you two go make the rounds and get acquainted, while I finish up in here?”

“Okay,” said Diane, taking his hand. “Come on, shy boy, and show me the ropes.”

He shot her a quizzical glance as they strolled down the hallway and along the corridors making a loop around the perimeter. They casually checked to make sure that the office was secure. They made some small talk regarding their situation.

“This really sucks,” Jason lamented. “There are a thousand other places I’d rather be tonight. I’m sure you two would have other plans as well.”

“I don’t know,” Diane replied. “Having a nice dinner with new friends is always fun.”

Jason kept his pace with hers and found himself having to slow down. Obviously she wanted to take her time. They walked along the back corridor slowly in silence, and then went upstairs. Reaching the top, Jason held the door for her. She scooted through and shot him a sexy little smile.

“You know, I’m really sorry, Diane,” he said, letting the door close. “But I just don’t remember you.”

“Maybe this will help you,” Diane said, stopping to pull her long straight brunette hair back behind her head. “Now picture some thick horn rimmed glasses and a dumpy old business suit.”

He tried to visualize her with glasses and suddenly the image appeared in his mind.

“Oh, now I remember. I was really busy that day and you caught me in the middle of a big sales negotiation. I’m sorry, but you were only in my office for a minute.”

“Well, like Mary Lou said, we all remember you, Jason. In fact, I volunteered for this shift when I heard that you were going to be here.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because you’re cute, and nice, and besides, a girl doesn’t have to tell you everything.”

“Why aren’t you wearing glasses?”

“I’ve gotten contacts since then.”

They were now along the corridor from which they could see the manufacturing area. He could see a group of guys sitting around one of the work cell break areas, watching a small portable TV.

“You know, we oughta invite them up front.”

Let’s not and say we did,” Diane answered, taking his arm and pulling him away before he could get their attention.

“No offense or anything, but that bottle of wine isn’t all that big and besides, I’m not very good at sharing.”

Jason regarded her for a moment then moved on to complete their circuit.

“Now that I think about it,” he said. “I do remember you. You were wearing a dark blue business suit with a frilly white blouse. I remember thinking that the skirt was too short.”

“Why? Didn’t you like my legs?”

“No, your legs were just fine. It was just that I remember seeing the lace tops of your stockings while you were sitting down waiting for me to get off the phone.”

“Oh, so you were looking. Let me add observant to the list of quality traits.”

They looped around the upstairs offices; she showed him where Mary Lou’s office was and the Controller’s office where she was going to sleep.

“Hey, this is nice,” Jason said looking around the spacious office. “Old Man Allar’s got good taste. Looks like you should be comfortable.”

“It was Mary Lou’s idea. She said I should have a private office bahis siteleri with a lock, just to be safe. She’s such a prude.”

They wended their way back past Engineering and down the main staircase, careful to check all of the exterior doors.

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” Diane asked as they moved through the lobby.

“That’s a strange question,” Jason said, curious about her reason for asking. “I used to, but it never worked out. Let’s just say that I’ve never been real successful in romance. I always seemed to fall too hard into love, which scares ’em away, or when I’d try to take it easy, they think I’m not interested and go look elsewhere.”

“Oh, poor Baby!” she said with a phoney little laugh.

“Hey, no pity needed. I’m used to it. I’ve accepted it. I can live with it.”

“Sounds like you haven’t met the right kind of women.”

Another guy might have said something smart to her, but Jason kept his thoughts to himself. Maybe she knew what it was, because she laughed. He did notice her smile, a very nice warm smile. They passed through the final set of doors and discovered that Mary Lou had dinner ready as they returned to the kitchen.

“I thought you two had gotten lost,” she remarked. “What’d you do, find a dark place to start necking?”

Jason looked back at her somewhat embarrassed, but smiled when Diane broke out in a hearty laugh.

“Don’t I wish?” Diane laughed out. “In my dreams. I’ve been following this guy around for weeks and he still hasn’t noticed me.”

Not sure what to say, Jason laughed along with them. They seated themselves around the mahogany conference table and toasted their serendipitous dinner. The delicious pasta and wine went down easily and soon they were sitting around feeling stuffed. Mary Lou was the first to get up.

“It must be the mother in me, but someone’s got to clear the table,” she said, scooping up the dishes.

“Let me help,” offered Jason.

“That’s okay, honey,” she insisted, waving him off. “Relax.”

Jason and Diane took their wine glasses and moved over to the couch. He was careful to sit on the other end away from her. She curled up into the corner of the overstuffed cushions, like a cat, her long fingers curling around her glass of wine. Mary Lou soon rejoined them as they turned to one of the Friday night news shows. She sat between them and poured the last of the Chianti. They talked a little about the bank fraud controversy that was being covered on the Tube. The wine and companionship had made them forget about their circumstances for a while. Mary Lou poured the last few drops of wine into her glass and sipped it down.

“I’d better pitch this,” she said. “Maybe I’ll take it back to the recycling bins.”

When Mary Lou got up to toss the empty wine bottle, Jason noticed Diane had stretched out her long legs along the couch. When she saw that he was checking out her legs, she smiled and spread her knees apart slightly. For a moment it was almost like she was giving him a beaver shot. Her tight blue jeans gave his imagination a nice hint of what her legs looked like. The subtle mound of her pussy was plainly visible.

“Penny for your thoughts?” she said flirtatiously flipping her hair over a shoulder.

“I’m just wondering what you’re up to, Diane,” he remarked. “It’s obvious that you’re flirting with me.”

“Is there anything wrong with that?”

“No, I can flirt with the best of you. It’s just that I keep asking, ‘why me?’ It’s not like I’ve ever given you encouragement.”

“Jason, I’ve had my eye on you since I first started here,” she began. “In fact, you were the first person I met when I started. You held the door for me when I was coming in on my first day. There was just something about you that caught my attention and hasn’t let go.”

“I’m just being a gentleman. Just doing what my momma taught me.”

“I know. That’s part of the charm. You’re a straight shooter, you don’t mess around with the girls at work, you work late hours and lots of Saturdays, and you don’t have a girlfriend.”

“You seem to know a lot about me.”

“I know everything about you. I know where you park your car, which pair of shoes you’re likely to wear. You’d be amazed at what someone can learn about you by being observant.”

“I’m not sure I understand all this,” Jason said. “But have you been stalking me?”

“I wouldn’t call it that, Jason,” she laughed. “Let’s just say I’ve been keeping a careful eye on you.”

“I’ve got to admit that I don’t know what to say. In a way, I’m sort of flattered. But why me? There must be a dozen guys in this company just as eligible and probably a lot more willing than I.”

“Don’t you see it? They aren’t you. Oh, sure Justin is a real cute guy, and Ehren is so dreamy, and Matt has a butt that is so sweet,” she began, ticking off the other single guys. Then she stopped and looked at Jason closely. “But, they’d all stick in at any warm port in the storm if you know what I mean. I’m looking for a guy who’s different, and when I find one, I don’t mind doing anything to get him, if bahis şirketleri he’s worth it.”

Jason looked away for a moment to let her words sink in. She was something else all right. He had felt a little creeped out when first finding out about her crush on him, but as she told him more about her reasoning, it seemed to make sense. And he did have to admit that she was a rather pretty girl, her face so nicely animated as she spoke. A few minutes later, Mary Lou returned and announced that she was heading out for one last round of guard duty before settling in for the night with a Tom Clancy spy novel.

“I’ll come with you, if you want” Jason offered, getting up from the couch.

“That’s okay, honey. I’ll buzz you if I get lost or something. Are you coming, Junior?”

“In a minute,” Diane replied, rising up from the couch.

She was very catlike, Jason thought. Very smooth and graceful in her movements, like a ballet dancer.

“Hey, thanks for helping with dinner, Mary Lou,” he said.

“Wasn’t nothing,” Mary Lou said brushing off the compliment. “I ought to have you over to our place for a real Italian dinner.”

After Mary Lou had left, Jason felt a little nervous standing so close and alone with the lovely Diane. He started to tidy up the conference room by wiping the table.

“You know, that can wait till later,” Diane said.

“Yeah, I suppose,” he replied moving toward the door. “Come to think of it, I had better make my own last rounds before turning in.”

“What are you doing afterwards?” Diane asked, moving closer to him and blocking his path to the doorway.

“Bedding down, nodding out,” he said. “By myself.”

“Really doesn’t sound too exciting.”

“Considering the circumstances, you can’t really expect anything more.”

“I don’t know about that,” she said with a sly smile of her face. “Why don’t you meet me upstairs, let’s say in twenty minutes or so?”

“Would that be cool?” he asked. “I mean, is that allowed?”

“Who’s going to know? Besides, I have a little surprise for you.”

“What’s that?”

“Come up and find out. It’s a surprise.”

Jason thought for a moment. What kind of trap was she laying for him? Or was it a trap at all? Did it really matter? Why did he always have to overanalyze things? Why not see what her little surprise was?

“Okay, twenty minutes.”

She gave him a sweet smile and a flirty little finger wave and slipped away. He shook his head and laughed to himself. She was a cute little thing; her slim figure and big dark eyes were very appealing. Her long dark hair was full and lustrous. And there was something to the way her mouth curled up when she smiled. Aw, hell, Jason, he thought. Don’t think about it! Like the commercial says: Just do it!

He slowly made the rounds of the lower front office, checking on closed and locked doors and windows. Everything seemed real quiet. The rain hadn’t stopped but it didn’t keep all of the picketers away. A handful in long ponchos were circling out by the front drive, looking pretty bedraggled at that. He checked the side door that Dan had reminded him about. He even took the time to check in with the guys out back. They invited him to join their card game, but he declined.

He started up the back stairwell to the second floor and worked around through Engineering and slowly toward the management and accounting offices. The light in Mary Lou’s office was off and he thought he heard the sound of Mary Lou snoring. He chuckled to himself and strode along the corridor around toward Bill Allar’s office. He could see that there was a light on. Not too bright: must be a desk lamp, he thought. The strains of some smooth jazz were drifting down the hall as he drew near. He reached the office and taking a deep breath, stepped through the doorway. In the shadowy light of the small desk lamp he could see Diane sitting on the edge of the desk, legs crossed, reading a magazine. She looked up and smiled when he stepped out of the shadows toward her.

“Well, it’s about time,” she said. “I don’t like being kept waiting.”

“I’ll bet you keep all your boyfriends waiting when they come to pick you up.”

“Sure, but that’s different because I’m a woman.”

“So I’ve noticed,” Jason said with a nervous laugh. “So where’s my surprise?”

“Why don’t you have a seat over on the couch and I’ll get it for you.”

Jason stepped over to the couch and sat, hunching forward, elbows on knees, and hands folded.

“Sit back and relax,” Diane said softly. “I think you’ll like this.”

He scooted back more fully onto the couch and leaned back. She set down the magazine and slipped off the desk. She looked at him closely and stepped over to stand more than an arm’s length away.

“That’s better,” she said. “Just relax. This is what I call my special surprise. You don’t have to say or do a thing.”

Placing her hands on her hips, she began to sway in rhythm to the music. She ran her hands down her slender thighs and back up toward her waist. She slipped them up over her sweatshirt and gently cupped her breasts through the bulky fleece. Up they moved to her neck and then running them up through her hair she fanned it out and let it fall back again. She bowed her head forward and then tossed it back, her long dark silky hair fanning out.

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