Friday, September 5, 2008

Santa's Helper

"So, Nicole, I guess I'll see you at the house." Steve Marco stepped around the perfume counter and walked toward her.

Steve made her skin crawl. As the floor manager, he ensured everything ran smoothly and every customer's needs were satisfied. A good-looking man, Steve stood an even six-foot in height, with thick black hair and brown eyes. Numerous times, he'd try everything from stroking her leg during an appraisal, accidentally brushing her breast when supposedly reaching for something, or Steve's all time favorite move of removing lint and strings from the back of her outfit, using the opportunity to grope her ass. No matter what Steve did, it turned her off. He was nothing like David. David was a gentleman. He never touched her or stared at her until she thought her clothes would evaporate. His voice always held gentleness and kindness when he requested something, not filled with innuendoes as Steve's did. David always gave her just enough attention to want more--like the butterfly kiss.

She walked around the stock boxes, placing a barrier between them. "Yes. I'm just going to finish putting up the colognes, then I'll be leaving."

Moving closer, he leaned on the top box and placed his face directly in front on hers. "I could stay and help you. I'd be happy to put things wherever you asked. Wherever you wanted," his voice dropped, hinting at his blatant meaning.

"No, thank you, Mr. Marco." She gave him the same singsong voice she had placed upon his mother earlier.

"Steve." Reaching his hand out, he slid his fingers down her arm.

Nicole snatched her arm away.

Not deterred, he continued, "When are you going to give in, Nicole?"

"Never." She turned away from him and began shuffling the bottles of perfume around on the shelf, knowing when he left she'd move them all back. However, she was willing to trying anything to get him to go away. "Our relationship will always remain professional." Unlike the one you're having with the rest of the saleswomen. More than one time she'd overheard the subtle sounds of sex going on in his office when one of the other women was supposed to be taking her break.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him gaze at her long candy cane, stocking covered legs underneath her green skirt.

"How can you say such things to me dressed like that?" Steve's hand attempted to grab the hem of her skirt.

Nicole smacked it away. "Oh, it's very easy."

"Be careful, Nicole, that you don't bite the hand that feeds you." He gave her a leering smile.

She placed her hands on her hips and told him, "Be careful, Steve, that you don't get yourself a lawsuit."

He staggered back with his hand over his heart, pretending she had pierced him. "Oh, darlin', you said my name."

Nicole rolled her eyes at his antics.

"Steve."

A deep menacing voice called from behind her, sending heat sliding along her spine. Turning around, she gazed at David across the glass countertop. Her heart felt as if it almost stopped. David looked angry and another look settled deeper in his eyes, but she couldn't read it. She wondered if he thought the way his mother did, that Nicole had her eye on his older brother.

"Let's go, Steve. I need to stop by my house and pick up my gifts before we head over to Mom and Dad's." His gaze shifted away from Nicole as he looked past her shoulder to his brother.

He didn't even acknowledge me.

"No problem, baby brother."

"Ahh!" Nicole squeaked as she felt the sting of Steve's unexpected swat on her backside. Whipping around, she gave him a fierce look.

"See you later, sweet cakes." Heading toward the door with his brother, he called out, "Maybe we'll finish what we started."

"In your dreams," she mumbled as she watched the two brothers walk out of the store and lock it from the outside.