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She waited a moment before answering his knock. She stood behind her desk; it was good to impose herself from the start. At 5 foot 10 inches in her stockings, she could, with her killer heels, tower over any man in her section, which suited her just fine. She made sure her crimson satin blouse was tucked tightly into the top of her straight black skirt so that it strained across her broad shoulders and ample breasts and emphasised her narrow waist. Smiling slightly at her image in the mirror at the side of the room, she adjusted her straight black fringe into its accustomed severe line and ensured her hair hung straight down each side of her angular face in perfectly symmetry. She knew her nicknames, from Morticia and Cruella at the kindest end of the scale to the other extreme that questioned her sexual preferences and even suggested psychopathic tendencies. But she didn’t mind. If that image ensured her section stayed at the top of the company’s nationwide performance charts, then long may it continue. And every part of that image was carefully crafted and maintained, because she was accustomed to getting what she wanted. Which brought her back to Dave.

Come in, David,” she snapped. Before he could close the door behind him, she stopped him with a raised hand. “Put the ‘meeting in progress’ sign on the door, will you?”

He did so, noting that the sign also forbade anyone from entering. Which did nothing to ease his nerves. He moved to stand in front of her desk, but a perfunctory wave of her hand directed him round beside her.

Here. I want to show you this.”

She moved a sheet of paper with a spreadsheet to her left, so he could stand beside her and look down upon it. As he did so, she sat down, so that he could not just see the paper but also right down the front of her blouse, at the lace edge of the scarlet bra the pushed her breasts into a cleavage that was tight and – she knew with smug assurance – usefully impressive..

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