“Humble Apologies” – he cut in, grabbing her hand.
“That’s troublesome, Sir.” – her voice was soft, yet strong.
He let go of her hand. She swiftly stepped out from the room. The steps, in bare echoes had sounded out and faded as she cut corner.
“What a fair lady.” – said his colleague. But the way it was said was demeaning.
“Eliah, you better not offend serious ladies. The way you spit things out of that mouth are in no way of the level of your status.” – Jerome pointed out.
The shuffle of the papers was breaking the silence.
“Sir, the Writer has arrived.” – Handmaid had announced.
“Send him in, Helga.” – Eliah had waved his hand.
“Pour me some” – Jerome handed Eliah his glass.
“Fetch some yourself! I’m not a maid!” – Eliah gave a laugh.
A man had walked in – his suit had buttons undone, maroon embroidered scarf at his neck. He went to the drinks and poured one for self.
“James! You old fox! Just in the doors and already reaching for that drink. Is it not too early in the day?” – Eliah was laughing.
Jerome stretched his hand with a glass, waving at James. He swiftly took it – pouring one there and getting another full glass for himself.
“You should have seen that Publisher. Absolute spit image of Your fathers cousin. The really evil one.” – James paced about, handing glass to Jerome.
“So it went well or it went to gutter?” – Eliah let out a giggle.
“It went well, just that he made me shit my pants a few times. You know, as they do, before giving their verdict.” – James puffed out as he reached out for some smoke.
“So finally your scrutinising work will see the light of day in faces of many readers.” – Jerome was finishing up with his paperwork.
“He’ll be boasting of it in no time. You just wait!” – Elian was once again having his fun.
“You sure know no end of picking on people.” – Jerome looked up for a moment at Eliah. – “James, have you had lunch yet? Should I request to prepare some?”
“Rather not. I still have Lilly to see.” – James puffed smokes as he drank.
“You better keep it up. Performing duties and all.” – Eliah kept on going with his humour.
“You really should pay more attention to self, as you are sure to have Joanna on your back.” – Jerome was signing the last of papers.
“Gosh darn, Jerome! Don’t remind me of my wife! Not when we’re having fun!” – Eliah protested.
“You really asked for it.” – James gave Jerome a pat on a shoulder, – “Have to go now, ladies, so you better miss me well.”
He was near the doors when he turned around:
“Brother, you better think for a wife yourself, or dying alone in the midst of servants is not best way to go.”
“I’ll give it a thought. Greet Lilly from me.” – Jerome looked at James’ back, as doors closed.
“What a man – that one!” – Eliah laughed, – “Always moving!”
“You’d be better at starting to move as well, before your Jim is going to fetch you on dear wifes requests.” – Jerome grinned.
“As much as I’d like to prove you wrong, but you’re right.” – Eliah got up, took coat and left.
“Finally silence.” – Jerome thought as he flipped papers.