Jamie always hated meetings. She had a real aversion to them. Most of the time they were pointless and resulted in a nonstop bitching session. The problem with this “huddle” and God how she HATED that corporate bullshit term was that it was taking place on the old, abandoned Mezzanine floor.
Two years ago, when she was new to the company, she recalled a conversation in the elevator with one of her colleagues. She couldn’t figure out if he was kidding at the time or if he was serious. “No one ever presses the M button unless they are invited on to that floor.” “Really? What’s there? All of the corporate secrets?” Her colleague locked eyes with her. “It’s a regular floor. Just a couple of offices that no one uses and a conference room.” Curiosity piqued, Jamie couldn’t help but press the subject further.
“That doesn’t make sense. Why would you not use the space?” “I don’t know. I’ve never been on the level myself but I hear there is quite a bit of construction going on. I guess it’s closed off for safety reasons.” Still finding this explanation peculiar, Jamie decided to let it go. Maybe one day she would be able to investigate the mysterious Mezzanine floor on a lunch break. No one would know and what would be the harm in it? If anyone caught her, she could say she was lost.
The Mezzanine area had slipped her mind until today when she got the invitation in her email. She put the finishing touches on her latest project, printed it out, grabbed her coffee mug and headed for the elevator. As she walked toward the lobby, she couldn’t help but notice that no one else was leaving their cubicles. There were other people on the invite, at least she thought she saw other names. Perhaps they were already waiting in the conference room.
She pressed the elevator button and as if by magic, the doors opened immediately. This was a rare occurrence. Elevators were a tough commodity to come by when you were late for work. She stepped inside, pressed the large M and watched as the doors closed.
Jamie’s office, well her cubicle (she wasn’t important enough to have four walls and a door), was located on the 15th floor. The Mezzanine level was actually the 13th floor but in order to not frighten people the owners of the building decided to give it a fancy name. Her thoughts interrupted by the doors opening, Jamie stepped out into the dimly lit hallway. Taking a deep breath, she looked around.
The first thing she noticed was the uncommon quiet. She had been to many floors within this building and all of them had a buzz. Not this one. Shrugging it off, she proceeded down the hall. Finally, she reached Conference Room 1301. She opened the door.
In the middle of the area was a huge mahogany table with chairs for twenty people. It looked like a typical conference room. Nothing seemed amiss. Jamie wondered why no one else was here yet. Did she have the right location? According to her watch, the meeting was going to start in five minutes. She could feel a sense of panic building in the pit of her stomach.
To quell her nerves, she opened her presentation folder and began to go over her bullet points. Her focus drawn to her notes, she didn’t notice that she wasn’t alone in the room anymore.
“Ms. Davis?” Startled, Jamie raised her head and found herself looking straight into the eyes of an incredibly attractive man. Flustered, she almost knocked over her coffee mug. “Hello. I didn’t see you come in.” The man nodded.
“I saw you were engrossed in your presentation so I thought I wouldn’t disturb you.” “Thank you for that.” “My pleasure. I am Ian Rogers.”
“Uh, Mr. Rogers? As in CEO, Mr. Rogers?” “That is my father who is the CEO. When he is away attending to certain interests, I deal with his meetings.” “Oh.” Jamie scans the vacant room. “I am sure you are wondering why you are the only attendee?” “You could say that, Mr. Rogers.”
“Well, I…. that is my father and I decided that you were the only person necessary for this particular tête–à–tête.” Ian’s soft voice was rather soothing. He’s obviously English, Jamie thought. “In answer to your question, Ms. Davis, I grew up in London.” “Oh, I couldn’t quite place your accent.” Did she ask him where he was from? At this point, she was so uncomfortable she couldn’t remember.
Ian stood up and begin to walk around the room. “You have been with this company for two years, correct?” “Yes.” “Do you like it here? Is your work satisfying?” He turned around, his preternaturally blue eyes scanned Jamie’s face. Taking a deep breath, Jamie replied, “I do enjoy being here.” “Good. It is always nice to know what your employees think.” Ian smiled. Jamie began to feel light headed. Something about his smile….
“Did you want to hear my presentation?” “No, that won’t be necessary. I know all about it.” Now Jamie knew that was impossible because she had finished it late last night and hadn’t shown it to any of her co-workers. “How?” She was finding it increasingly hard to speak let alone form coherent thoughts in her fog induced brain.
The last thing that Jamie remembered was Ian’s deep glowing red eyes. Weren’t they blue? She felt someone gently tapping her on the shoulder. Turning around, she saw her co-worker Derek standing next to her. “Late night?” Disoriented, Jamie shook her head. “Was I sleeping?” “You dozed off.” Jamie looked around and noticed most of the cubicles were vacant. “Where is everyone?”
Derek smiled. “At the meeting.” “Meeting? We have a meeting?” “Yes. We better hurry or we’ll be late.” “I don’t remember getting a planner for that, Derek.” Her colleague was already on the move. Scrambling to keep up with him, Jamie tried to remember what had happened. She boarded the elevator with Derek. “What floor are we going to?” Derek turned around and Jamie found herself face to face with Ian Rogers. “Why Jamie, you already know that answer.”