Ellen gulped loudly. Here he was, intimidatingly handsome and foiling her best laid plan. She shifted her weight and put her arm up nonchalantly against the brick wall.
"Why, Jonathan Miller," another gulp, "How in the world are you?"
He looked at her silently for a moment with his arms crossed. "I've been doing all right. How about you, Ellen? Here to see your brother?" he asked.
She nodded a weak affirmation.
"Let's talk in my office, Ellen, I've got something to discuss with you," he said suddenly, steering her through the traffic of the junior high boys. The sweaty scent of adolescence pervaded the air of the hallway. He breezed past the secretary without hesitation, closing the office door with a quiet click.
"Have a seat" he invited. She obeyed, shifting her fanny pack slightly to the front. He sat up straight behind his large, stark desk, then began again. "I've heard that you're working for Fit for Life these days. Do you think you can help me with a problem?"
She leaned forward in interest, embarrasment suddenly gone. He continued, " We've been having some discrepencies in our paperwork. As you probably know, the school has purchased some materials for our health classes, paid for by the state. I personally never see the money, but I do like to look over the expenditures and make sure that things are right. It seems that Fit for Life has been routinely getting more from the state than they should, yet our shipments of materials are still exactly what is ordered." He paused, noticing the sparkle of excitement in her eyes. Here was a clue she hadn't banked on! "I'd sure appreciate any help you could give in directing me to the right person or department. I want to get this figured out before we place our next order, if possible."
Ellen stood, "Absolutely. If you could just send any documentation to my email, it'd be a big help in tracking down the problem. I'd be happy to take care of it for you". She handed him a business card. It was deceptively plain...containing only her name and email, next to a small logo of binoculars. He glanced down at the card he now held in his hand. "Ellen Muriel Bartelle; e-mail: email@example.com", it read.
A quizzical look came over his face. "Is this your work email address?"
The question didn't intimidate her, for awkward as she could be, she really knew how to make an exit. She slipped on a pair of knock-off black rhinestone sunglasses, then said to him, "It's the address I use for my work, yes," she evaded. "Thank you, Jonathan, you've been helpful...very helpful. I'll get back to you as soon as I find something out for us...for you".
He mutely handed her the packet she had forgotten to request, looking keenly into her chocolate-brown eyes. She turned and slowly maneuvered out the office door, once again ignoring the secretary, shoes squeaking magnificently with every green-tiled stride.