So Close Ch. 01bygyynb©
Matt Taylor's day started like any other. He woke up cursing, and reached over and slammed his hand down on his alarm clock. Five more minutes he thought to himself. When it went off for the second time he sat up abruptly. If he didn't get up now he would be late for work, and his hateful troll of a boss did not need any more reasons to get on his case. He tried to stand and immediately found himself on the floor, in a tangle of blankets and pillows. Cursing for the second time in five minutes, he untangled himself and headed for the kitchen. There was no way he was going to try and face the morning without at least half a pot of coffee flowing through his system. As he walked down the hallway to the kitchen he found himself wondering, as he did every morning, if he should call in sick.
Matt was not a morning person. Why people thought it was normal to rise at what were, in his opinion, ungodly hours to join the rest of society in trying to make their way to work baffled him. What was so important about being anywhere at 8:00 AM anyway? He would be perfectly willing to work a few extra hours if it meant he could get a few more hours of sleep, and he had a sneaking suspicion that others would be too.
When Matt finally made it to the kitchen, he was awake just enough to notice that something was not quite right. He knew he was tired, it had been a long night, but there was no way that he had already been out and made coffee and not remembered. Yet there was what looked to be a fresh pot on the counter. He inhaled deeply, savoring the scent. Matt was a coffee whore. He'd had his first cup at the tender age of 14, and hadn't looked back since. He went to the cupboard and pulled down a coffee mug, wondering vaguely at the time which one of his friends had let themselves into his house this time. He looked around and didn't see anybody, but that was normal. Matt had a few friends who frequently let themselves into his home when they needed something, usually a place to crash after a hard night of partying.
Shaking his head at the thought of yet another hung-over friend passed out somewhere in the house, Matt poured himself a mug of coffee and made his way back down the hall to the bathroom. He nudged Duke with his foot on the way by. The black lab opened on eye to look at him, before sighing and going back to sleep. He was used to his owner's mood in the morning.
Matt sighed when he reached the bathroom. Drinking deeply from his mug, he wondered to himself why he went to work every morning. He hated his job, he really did. He took a few minutes to stare at himself in the mirror. Blue eyes looked critically back at him. He took in his brown hair and stubbly face and thought to himself, God I need to shave. At 24 Matt had been living on his own for quite a while. He examined his hair, as he did every morning, for any signs of grey. Seeing none he smiled and picked up his tooth brush. He studied himself further as he brushed his teeth. Matt had a strong face, with a square jaw and cleft in his chin. He had a dimple on his left side that poked out when he smiled, and a grin that could warm the coolest of hearts. Matt was a handsome man and no trouble getting attention from other people. The best part was that he had no idea of the effect he had on people. He was funny, warm and kind hearted, and got along with most people in his life. Matt had a good life. He had a good job, good friends, great family, and a great dog. What more could a person want, Matt thought to himself. For just a minute he felt a twang in his heart. He had all off the good things in life, all that anyone could ask for, but he was lonely. He had yet to find that special person, to fill the void in his life that no amount of family or friends or family could fill, and every once in a while, not often but occasionally, Matt wished that things could be different. Shaking his head, Matt smiled. I wonder how long I've been standing here feeling sorry for myself he thought.
He placed his toothbrush on the bathroom counter and turned to start his shower. Letting the water warm up, he stripped out of the boxers he wore to bed and drank from his mug again. He waited until he could see steam rising from behind the shower curtain and stepped into the shower coffee in hand. Letting the hot water pound on his sore muscles, he took another swig of his coffee before placing it on the shelf in the shower. Humming to himself, he picked up his shampoo and was just pouring it into his hand when the curtain was ripped to the side. Turing around, startled, he saw his friend Alex standing there, grin on his face and coffee in his hand.
"What the fuck dude," Matt yelled. "You scared the shit out of me! How many times do we have to go over this? Stay out of my bathroom!"
Alex just grinned back at him, slowly drinking his coffee. "Can you keep it down a little?" he asked. "You are going to wake up Jan; she's passed out on the couch."
"Whatever," Matt replied. "I wouldn't have yelled if you didn't scare five years off my life. Showering here, can you close the curtain please?"
"No problem dude," Alex replied. He closed the curtain and put his coffee down before turning to the toilet. "I have to use the bathroom and James is taking up the other one."
"Jesus, how many of you are here?" Matt asked. He accepted that it was just going to be one of those mornings and hustled to wash his hair. He was seriously in danger of being late for work if he didn't get the show on the road, and he knew that giving into Alex's need for early morning conversation would just slow him down. He rinsed his hair and picked up his body wash. He worked up lather in his hands and starting soaping himself up, starting at his neck and working his way down.
"Just the three of us." Alex said before he flushed the toilet. "The party went till about five in the morning, and there was no way any of us could make it home. If you didn't want us here, you shouldn't have given us all keys." He said, smiling. Matt just rolled his eyes, and quickly rinsed the soap off himself. He took another minute to just enjoy the warm water and drink the rest of his coffee. Cup empty, he shut off the shower and held a hand out to Alex.
"Want to hand me my towel?" He asked Alex, who plucked the towel off the rack and handed it to Matt.
"Sure, no problem man," Alex replied. "What's the plan for today anyway? You're never up this early without a good excuse."
"What do you think," Matt answered. "I have to go into that hell-hole I call a job and make a living so I can afford this house that you people like to use whenever you feel like it."
"But it's Saturday," Alex whined. "Who works on Saturdays?"
"People who don't have a choice obviously" Matt said, while drying himself with a towel. He had known Alex for years, and was not ashamed to be naked in front of him. Alex was more of a brother than friend; they had seen each other at their best and at their worst. Alex was one of two people that knew he was gay, and it didn't faze him a bit. Wrapping the towel around his waist, he stepped up to the sink to shave. "I need to go into work today and try and get ahead, or else I'll have to hear it from The Dick on Monday morning." The Dick was Matt's boss. He wasn't necessarily a bad boss, he ran the company like clockwork. The publishing house was making more money now than it ever did. He ran a tight ship and expected the people who worked for him to respect the job as much as he did. It was when he felt that people weren't keeping up with their workloads that things got bad. The Dick, aka John Hogan, had no patience for people who couldn't carry their workload. In his opinion, if you couldn't do the work you wouldn't have been hired in the first place. Matt and John had gone round for round a few times on this issue. As John's personal assistant, Matt had a lot of responsibility. He was expected to keep track of the phones, files, manuscripts, scheduling, plus the things that just come up day to day. If clients had specific requests, Matt was the one who made it happen. John surprised Matt one day by hiring two more assistants, presumably to help Matt keep up with his work.
Of course the hiring of these assistants didn't really change anything. Matt still carried the majority of the workload. In his opinion his boss couldn't have found two more useless people if he tried. While Matt spent his days trying to keep up with day to day tasks that were expected of him, Dumb and Dumber, as matt called them, spend their time either on the phones or socializing with the other employees. Matt had yet to see either one of them put in an honest day's work. Matt didn't dare say anything to John though; he had seen too many people on the receiving end of Johns rants, and having received a few himself he was in no hurry to hear another one.
"You do enough work there during the week don't you? He has two other assistants Matt, are they going in this morning too?" Alex asked. Matt could tell by Alex's tone that he was getting annoyed listening to Matt. Matt couldn't blame him really, he was annoyed at himself. He had complained about this job for years to Alex, yet stayed with it. Matt picked up his shaving cream and squirted some of the white foam into his hand. Spreading it onto his face, he picked up his razor and starting shaving before he snapped at Alex.
"What am I supposed to do Alex, quit my job? You know I can't do that. I have bills to pay like everyone else and this job is getting that done. The money is good, and so are most of my coworkers. I can't help it if the other assistants that work there are stupid as fuck and couldn't get their heads on straight if their lives depended on it. If they went in this morning, they would just fuck everything up and I would end up having to fix it on Monday anyway. This way I give up a few hours of my life and the work gets done!"
"Why is there so much yelling?" Jan asked from the door way. She was a short woman, barely standing over 5'3. Her long brown hair was mused from sleeping on the couch, her hand currently holding onto the side of her head, looking a little nauseous. Her green eyes looked weary ad she gazed at Matt and Alex in the bathroom. "I really wish you two would shut up, my head is killing me. Matt, where is the Advil?"
"Same place as it always is Jan, counter over the kitchen sink." Matt answered quickly, feeling slightly guilty for waking her up. There really was no need to yell at Alex, he was frustrated with his life and took it out on the people around him. He watched Jan stumble down the hall and turned to Alex. "I'm sorry for yelling at you. I don't do mornings very well, especially work mornings."
Alex's easy grin returned. "Oh please, as if I don't know this already. No worries. You best get moving though bub, before you're late for work."
Matt looked at his watch. "FUCK!" he yelled before bounding down the hallway. "I have to be there in 20 minutes!" He raced to his bedroom and opened his closet. Thanking God it was Saturday, he quickly pulled on a pair of boxers, black jeans and a blue button down long sleeve shirt. He ran a comb through his hair before running back to the kitchen. Jan and James were sitting at the counter and watched, amused, as Matt dug through his cupboards looking for a travel mug for the rest of his coffee.
"Hey guys! Bye guys!" he said, pouring his coffee and making his way to the door. He slowed down long enough to grab his bag before he was out the door. If he hurried he would have just enough time to grab a beagle on his way to work. He opened the door and quickly walked down the steps. He was halfway down the walk to his driveway before he smacked his forehead and ran back to the house. Opening the door he yelled inside, "Can someone feed Duke please?" before slamming the door and making his way to the car. He knew his friends well enough to know that the dog would be watered, fed and well played with before they made their way to their own homes.
Matt jumped into his car and turned the ignition. His old beater Honda sputtered to life, and Matt jammed it into reverse, tearing out of his driveway. As he sped down the road he thought to himself, I knew I should have called in sick today.
He arrived to work at 7:57. Sighing with relief at not being late, he punched his code into the time clock at made his way to the office. The good thing about being here on weekends was that Candy was not. Candy was, well, annoying for lack of a better word. She was blond and perky; with beg breasts and an even bigger mouth. She worked the phone at the front desk of the publishing house, and her voice grated on Matt's nerves. It reminded him on nails on a chalkboard. That bad. She constantly winking at Matt and shoved out her chest whenever he was around. She couldn't seem to take the hint that Matt wasn't interested, and kept trying to get his attention. Every time she leaned over his shoulder to point to something on the desk or computer screen, Matt wanted to poke her in the boob with his pen, just to see that would happen. He was fairly sure that if poked hard enough, you would be able to actually watch them deflate. There was no way that those puppies were real, and poking them was the only way Matt was willing to find out if they were.
He took the elevator up to the 11th floor, and was surprised to notice that when he got there the office lights were still on. Somebody must have left them on last night, Matt thought. Stupid asses must be looking to get ripped a new one. The Dick was famous for his blowouts about leaving any equipment on when the day was done. He walked into the kitchenette that was to the side of the office and was pleasantly surprised to find that someone had already made coffee. Hmm, he thought, I guess dumb or dumber must be here. He grabbed a mug off the rack and filled a cup. He opened the fridge and took out the milk, pouring a dash into his coffee. Not having had nearly enough coffee this morning he took a deep swallow, only to spew it into the sink. It was horrible! The coffee was so thick you could have walked on it. Fuckfuckfuck Matt thought. There was only one person in the office that made coffee this bad, and Matt was now really regretting coming into work. There goes my Saturday, he thought, as he turned to see who was coming around the corner. There, will a pissed off look on his face, was The Dick.
Matt gulped when he saw the look on Johns face. Oh God what is his fuckin problem Matt wondered.
"Mr. Taylor," started John. "I'm glad you're here. Can you explain to me exactly why the budgeting reports I asked you to do two days ago aren't on my desk yet?"
Probably because I'm the only one who does anything around here Matt thought. "I was just about to get to that sir; I know they were supposed to be done by Friday but..."
"But what?" John demanded. "I just hired two, not one but two, more people for you to delegate some of your work to and it still isn't getting done! Are you telling me that you can't handle your job? Every time I look out here the other assistants are on the phone, and I am going to assume that is for work purposes, because I know you wouldn't just let them sit around doing nothing. You wouldn't waste my money like that. So I'm asking again, where is my report?"
"I'm getting to it right now sir. I apologize" Matt replied. Inside he was fuming. You're going to assume it's for work purposes? You would know it wasn't if you decided to get your head out of your ass for five minutes and ask how the new assistants are working out. God forbid you admit that you might have made a mistake in hiring those two morons. "Can I get you anything while I'm here Mr. Hogan?"
"A decent cup of coffee would be good, if you think you can manage that. I don't know what's wrong with that machine but the coffee tastes awful. And when you bring it to my office, you may as well bring your notepad, I have some things for you to take down." John answered.
"Right away sir." John left the Matt alone in the kitchenette to make the coffee. Not a thing wrong with the coffee machine, thought Matt, but I can think of a couple of things that are wrong with you. Starting with the stick you have shoved up your ass. I'm sure if you look really hard you may be able to find the vibrate function.
Matt got to work making the coffee. Soon the heavenly smell off coffee beans was filling the kitchen. Matt inhaled and sighed. He had been planning on staying for a few hours, but he could tell already that it was going to be another full day's work. Coffee in hand, he grabbed his notepad on the way by his desk and looked at the door in front of him. John Hogan CEO. Fuuuuuck Matt swore in his head. Better just get this over with. He knocked on the door.
"Enter." He heard from the inside. Tucking his pad under his arm he opened the door and walked in. John was on the phone, and motioned for Matt to sit down. He placed the coffee in the desk in front of Mr. Hogan and sat down. While on the phone, John took a sip off the coffee. His expression showed the quick surprise he felt at how good the coffee was. He raised his head to meet Matt's eyes, before returning them to look at the manuscript I front of him. That meant the coffee was good.
While John was on the phone Matt studied him, while pretending to look at his note pad. Hogan was handsome enough, Matt guessed. He had always had a fascination with people watching, and this wasn't the first time he looked at John. Hey, he may have been a dick, but he was a cute one. Matt guessed John stood at about 6'2, just an inch or two above Matt. He had a full head of dark hair, and a pair of piercing green eyes. Normally those eyes were darkened in anger, but when they weren't they were a light shade of emerald green. On the few occasions that John laughed his eyes sparkled. He had a solid build, without being too thick. He had muscles, but no so many that he looked like he spent hours at the gym. Matt was into muscles, but only when they were to the slimmer side. Not that he should be thinking about John's muscles. Whoa, where did that come from, Matt wondered. He shook his head, and tried to keep his mind on the work in front of him.
John was still on the phone so Matt stood to walk around the office. He glanced back at John who pushed his chair back and put his feet of the desk. Today, like every other day John was wearing a suit, with a vest instead of a jacket. Hmm, I love a man in a vest, he thought. I wonder what he looks like without the vest. And the shirt, and the pa...
"Everything alright over there Matt?" John asked. Matt jumped, startled, blushing at being caught daydreaming. About his boss of all people. I need to get laid, he thought to himself.
Yes sir, sorry about that sir." Matt sat back down. "You wanted be to take some things down?"
John gave him a look that made Matt nervous. Oh boy, he thought, he's angry at me now. Perfect.
"Yes. It's mostly just a shopping list. One of the partners is retiring and apparently we are expected to throw her a party. Go get all the supplies we will need. Call a caterer and ask if
they are available next Friday night. Order a cake and other deserts and alcohol for later on in the night. Don't forget the Champagne. I don't think I need to tell you again to finish that budget report. Also, call the different departments and make sure they know about this party."
"Alright Mr., Hogan, I'll get started on the party list on Monday. Anything else?" Matt asked, hoping there wasn't. The list wasn't too bad; Matt still had a hope of getting home in time to enjoy his Saturday.
He should have known better.
"No, it will not be done on Monday," John half yelled at Matt, "Do it today. I've seen how long it takes you to do a simple report; you are not putting off preparing for this party until the last minute. Get it done today!"