Nick placed a resume in front of Evan and took a seat across from him. “I think this is our guy.”
Evan looked down from his computer and picked up the paper, eying it closely. “I hope so. I feel like we’ve conducted twenty interviews in the last two days, and they’ve all been terrible. It’s funny how someone can look so good on paper and be so terrible in person.” He pictured himself as the biggest culprit.
“I’ll set it up.” Nick grabbed the piece of paper and stood to leave. “Any chance we can get Natasha back in here while I’m making phone calls? I’m feeling a little fat.” Nick rubbed his stomach with a wink.
“Don’t count on it,” Evan chuckled. “Once we hire a fresh face in marketing and make up for lost profits, I’ll get your girlfriend back in here.”
“I’ll get to work then!” Nick left with a wide grin.
Evan leaned back in his chair with closed eyes and folded his hands behind his head. His job was on the line if he didn’t hire a new Marketing Director soon. Two weeks earlier, Evan had to fire the head of Marketing after the man failed a drug test. As it turned out, he was dealing drugs in the firm’s parking lot to several homeless people who had migrated to the area when the adjacent town banned panhandling. As a result, the increasing homeless problem affecting his neighborhood was now affecting his job.
Evan’s phone dinged, alerting him to an incoming text message.
Hi baby. Do you want to double date with Natasha and Matt tonight?
Evan looked at the time on his computer. It was 4:30 PM on Wednesday. The last thing he wanted to do was have dinner with Natasha and Matt. Frankly, Matt’s egotistical behavior bothered him, and he didn’t like to be around the guy. Evan hesitantly responded to Emma’s text message.
Hey babe. Trouble at the office so I’ll have to work late. I’m sorry. Can you stay over at my place Friday night? Love you.
Evan felt guilty for turning Emma down, but considering he was stressed about work, he wasn’t lying when he indicated there was trouble at the office. The last thing he wanted to do, though, was take his stressful week out on Emma.
She responded right away that she would miss him and see him Friday.
Satisfied with her response, Evan set his cell phone back down and then dialed Nick’s office phone from his. “Did you get the interview set up?”
“He’ll be here at 8 AM tomorrow,” Nick responded.
“Perfect.” Evan placed the phone on the receiver and stood. He needed to de-stress but was worried about running into Matt at the gym. His thoughts turned to dontaskdonttell.com. Besides a good workout session at the gym, meeting a woman online proved to be the next best thing to calm his nerves. Shaking those feelings aside, he grabbed his car keys and turned his office light out before heading to his car.
Evan pulled up to a brown house with a circular drive and turned off his ignition. Aside from a stray dog in the neighboring yard, the dimly lit street was quiet, with nobody in sight. He hesitated before stepping out of his vehicle. It was risky going to a woman’s house only fifteen minutes from his, but it was already 9 PM, and he had an important interview to attend early the following day.
Evan stepped out of his car, shutting the door quietly behind him. He straightened the collar of his red shirt and ran his fingers through his hair before approaching the front door and knocking. He could hear footsteps quickly approaching from inside.
The door opened, and a pretty woman with long brown curls greeted Evan. Her green eyes lit up when she saw him. “Hi, come in.”
Evan stepped over the threshold and looked around the dimly lit living room. The room was small and sparsely decorated but clean.
“Did you find the house, okay?” The woman asked, beckoning him to follow her to the sofa.
Evan nodded. “I did.”
“Please sit down. Can I get you anything to drink?”
“Do you have vodka and tonic?”
“Yes! Two vodka tonics coming up.” The woman grinned and rounded the corner, out of Evan’s sight, presumably to the kitchen.
Evan looked around the living room. Aside from a brown leather sofa and matching recliner, a large screen TV sat on the floor with a PlayStation in front of it and a floor lamp beside it. That was it. It reminded him of his own sparsely decorated bachelor pad and indeed not a home where a woman would live alone. Evan felt his stomach tighten in knots.
The woman came back into view with two glasses of vodka. She handed a glass to Evan and then sat next to him, taking a sip from her glass.
“Thanks.” Evan took a long gulp. “Do you live here by yourself?”
“Oh, no.” The woman smiled and shook her head. “This is my boyfriend’s place. Oh, but don’t worry!” The woman reached out and touched Evan’s arm with a smile. “He knows you’re here, and he’s fine with it. He likes me to entertain here because it’s safer for me. You understand, right?”
Evan’s brows narrowed. “Is he here now?”
“Yes, but he’s in the bedroom, so don’t worry. He won’t come out here unless I scream bloody murder or something.” She laughed and took another long drink. “Should we get started?” She placed her hand on his leg and started to drag it up to his thigh.
Evan pulled away and cleared his throat. “Maybe this is a bad idea. I’m not really into an audience.”
“I should have told you he would be here. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. I understand. You can’t be too careful.” Evan smiled and then finished his drink, attempting to calm his nerves.
The woman stood and reached for Evan’s glass, taking it from him and setting it on the floor along with her own. “Just try to relax.” She pushed him back onto the couch and straddled him, leaning in to kiss his ear.
Evan moaned. This is such a bad idea.
The sound of a door closing interrupted his thoughts, and he pushed her off his lap. “Listen, I’m sorry to waste your time, but I need to go.”
She plopped herself down on the couch with a frown, seemingly defeated. “Your loss,” she muttered and reached for her vodka glass on the floor.
Evan quickly stood and moved to the front door.
A man came around the corner and stopped in his tracks when he saw Evan. His mouth dropped.
It took Evan a moment to realize who the man was. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Rage filled Evan’s body as he tensed up, raised his fist, and took two steps forward to throw the first punch as the woman screamed bloody murder.