‘I don’t need time off – it’s just a stomach bug I picked up. I’ll be as right as rain tomorrow.’
She willed him to return to his office, but he lingered at the door for far too long. Had it only been a couple of days ago when Thomas was in her arms? As they lay together, contented, she told him the truth about who got the job. It was the only time she divulged confidential data.
It wasn’t her fault the younger man was successful, but Thomas raged all the same. He pushed her away when she went to comfort. She fell against the corner of her cabinet, and it caught her on the leg. It was an accident nothing more.
Thomas wiped her leg tenderly with a damp flannel and the pain started to subside. ‘I’m sorry I hurt you. It’s just with this job I could leave Martha.’
Elizabeth startled at the bright light in the bathroom. She refused to look in the mirror and chose to stare at the floor. ‘There wasn’t much I could do to change his mind.’
‘Your opinion has always mattered to Simon – so why doesn’t it now?’
‘I’m as disappointed as you are Thomas, but there’s nothing I can do.’
‘I want our new life together to start Elizabeth darling – don’t you want the same?’
‘I dream of nothing else. The funny thing is Simon is moving heaven and earth for the young man. His wife is pregnant and even though the other assistant manager has left, the job doesn’t start until January.’
The flannel removed he washed out the blood. Applied pressure to the cut again, his hands were gentle. This time the bleeding stopped and only a small scratch was left behind. Out of the medical cabinet, he retrieved a box of plasters. Only a tiny scar, it would probably be gone in a week.
‘Have you sent the confirmation letter out yet?’
‘Not yet, Simon wanted me to send it on Monday.’
‘But what if he wasn’t able to start the job?’ Thomas gently put a plaster on her leg. ‘You are responsible for typing the letters up for Simon. All you need to do is change the date. After all, you’ve done it once, the second time will be easier.’
A few numbers altered on the first page was all that Thomas asked of her. It was then up to the current candidate to refuse the job or not. It wasn’t her fault if he chose his wife over a promotion.
The decision was now made.
She peered around her boss’s door but chose not to loiter. ‘The printer isn’t working. I will print the letter next door and put it in the post while I am there.’
‘That would be good Elizabeth and after that why don’t you go home?’
‘I am feeling a little tired.’
Elizabeth threw her mobile in her handbag. She grabbed her umbrella and set the document to print. As it turned off, her computer shuddered. In a few short moments, she would have committed a sackable offence.