The Smell Of Blood – Part 1

Ellen braced herself as she stepped off the lift. Construction had been going on for weeks just outside her office block and the construction workers were pigs. The wolf whistles didn’t bother her; it was the numbered signs they held up as women passed. She was just headed into the gauntlet when her phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hey there Ellen. Are you on the bus yet? Feel like kicking your heels up?”

Ellen stopped to hear what her friend was saying over the din. “Hi Anne. Sounds tempting. Oh, what the hell, why not. Where should I meet you?”

“How about Flannery’s? It’s just up the street, eh?”

“Sounds perfect. See you there.”

Alleluyah! she thought, as she made an about face and headed in the other direction. So long, troglodytes, see you Monday. She felt lighter as she strolled the few blocks to the pub, stopping to admire the display in Lacey’s window shop as she went. She made a metal note to try on that little number from Cue on Monday.

Ellen was first to arrive. She pulled up a bar stool and ordered a glass of chardonnay. She took out some notes for a meeting she was chairing on Monday and began going over them while she waited.

A few minutes later she sensed something odd and looked up. Nothing seemed to be amiss, but, eeewww… creepy dude alert! A greasy looking little man in a dirty grey suit across the room was eying her up. She gave him a small sneer and went back to her notes.

“Hey girl, been here long?”

“Hi Anne. Nope, just a few minutes really. Get yourself a drink.”

She glanced over at the man again as Anne went to the bar and noticed he was still staring. She rolled her eyes and looked away. Hopefully Anne’s arrival would discourage him.

Arriving back at the table Anne dropped into her seat and heaved a sigh. “My god, what a week! I’m so glad it’s over. How was yours?”

“Not too bad. I have a big meeting on Monday with some of the folks from the network, so I might have to do a little work over the weekend, but it’s all good. Thanks for saving me from the construction workers.”

“They still giving you grief,” Anne chuckled. “How much longer till that building is finished?”

“Looks like at least a couple of weeks. Anyway, now there’s a creepy guy across the room checking me out. Honestly, what’s with men?”

“Honey, you’re a hottie. And you know deep inside you love it,” Anne laughed aloud as she glanced over at the guy. “I see what you mean. He sure is interested. Maybe we should hold hands or something to discourage him.”

Ellen shook her head. “Just ignore him.”

As they caught up on the day-to-day minutiae of each other’s lives Anne noticed the creep never took his eyes off Ellen. “I hate to break it to you, sister, but that guy is still checking you out. You wanna go somewhere else?”

Ellen finished her wine and signalled the bartender for another. “Nope. I’m not gonna let myself be bullied. If I start now it won’t end. Just ignore him, he’s a loser.”

Anne shrugged as Ellen fetched the next round. They went on with their conversation. They had one more round and were about to call it quits when the stranger rose and appeared to be approaching them.

“Oh no, he’s headed this way Ellen.”

“Don’t look at him. Keep talking.”

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