Brent gritted his teeth when he saw Hannah step out of the elevator wearing her bicycle
helmet and Nikes. Just the sight of her would irritate him to a point of distraction. He wasn’t sure
why everything the woman did bugged him, but she rattled him, and he couldn’t stop obsessing
about the woman.
Before Hannah started to work in the office, they’d been a pretty tight group, meeting at the
bar after work or hitting the chicken joint for wings at lunch. Slowly she wove her spell. Brent
was convinced she was a witch. Pretty soon half the staff began to follow her to yoga classes,
foregoing the after-work drinks, and frequenting the vegetarian salad bar she favoured. She’d
even convinced management to turn the office green with a company mandate to recycle.
He had to admit there was an ethereal quality about Hannah that aroused his curiosity when
he was introduced to the new marketing manager. There was nothing pretentious about the elfin
girl with green eyes. Hannah wore her waist-length, auburn hair loose or tied up in a ponytail.
Her porcelain skin needed no make-up . Except for lip gloss, she came to work each day freshly
scrubbed, smelling of Ivory and a lavender mist that Brent found intoxicating.
Before she started all the nonsense about saving the earth, Brent was considering asking
Hannah out for a date, but it became pretty obvious they weren’t compatible. He liked to party,
she was always talking about meditation. After a nasty client left the office, she’d lit a packet of
herbs and walked around the office trailing smoke behind her, even going so far as to walk into
the boardroom while Brent was gathering up the papers from the meeting.
“What the hell are you doing?” Brent barked at her.
“Purifying our space. That man was evil. I’m simply smudging to remove the negative
In the bar, later that afternoon he was complaining about Hannah to the last of the guys that
hadn’t succumbed to her charms.
“Did you smell the crap she was stinking up the office with?”
Rob agreed with Brent, but was too busy lapping up his two-for-one Happy Hour cocktails
to add anything to the conversation. It was David that interrupted Brent’s tirade. “You do know
she’s got a thing for you, don’t you?”
“That’s bull. Where’d you conjure up that line?”
“I didn’t make up anything, Brent. I heard Hannah talking about you at lunch.”
“Lunch? Are you telling me she’s got you eating tofu too? What happened, did she drug you?”
“Give it a rest, bro. An occasional vegetarian meal wouldn’t hurt that gut of yours either. Hey,
look at me. I’ve already lost ten pounds, and I’m telling you, the food is good. Don’t you want to
know what she said about you?”
“She probably called me a Neanderthal. Whenever she’s around she looks at me as if I’m
dragging my knuckles on the ground.”
David laughed and reached for his beer. “Close. She said you reminded her of a grizzly
Brent guffawed. “Sure, that speaks volumes. She’s got a fetish about hairy predators.”
David joined in the laughter, but then said,” no Brent, it was the Mona Lisa smile and the fact
that she said she’d feel safe in those arms.”
The three men stopped joking. “She’s one hell of a broad,” David said.
“Maybe, you should join us for lunch tomorrow,” Rob suggested.
“You too? Traitors. Both of you guys are sucking up soy?”
“Yeah, so,” David said. “It tastes pretty decent with those shitake mushrooms and the view
ain’t half bad.”
The men finished their drinks and paid the bill. Rob looked over at Brent and nudged David
with his elbow. “So, will we see you at lunch tomorrow?”
Brent only hesitated for a moment before answering. “Yeah, I’ll be there.”Tags: Mona Lisa, new, work