That Time Merit Was In a Band (Part 3)

This is the third and final part of our exploration of That Time Merit Was In a Band. This story held the kernel of Merit’s character, and a lot of campy laughs, as well as appearances by some names you’ll recognize from the CV world.

Here are Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them.

Enjoy Part 3 in all its campy glory!

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The room had to be the office, although it wasn’t so much a room, actually, as the back quarter of the building’s first and second floors. A partition had been built separating it from the rest of the club, but the exposed brick walls and tile floors were the same. Pendulum lights hung from the ceiling above us, and a large, glass desk on tubular steel columns sat near the back wall. There were three conversation groupings in front of the desk — two modern leather and steel chairs directly before the desk, another grouping of angular furniture surrounding a gleaming black table in the middle of the room, and, nearest the door, a set of two wide, leather benches that faced each other. The entire space must have been at least 60 feet long.

By the time I’d surveyed the room, Greer was thumbing through materials on the desk at the other end of the space, his back to me.

“I could waste less of your time if you’d quit ignoring me,” I heard myself say. Apparently, I’d opted for the direct route. Good to know.

I suppose he found what he was looking for, as he’d grabbed a manilla folder and was heading back toward my end of the space. He still hadn’t spoken. I forced myself to stay still, to stand straight, to will him to speak to me.

Still looking down at the folder, he stopped three feet in front of me and glanced up.

“My time is precious, Ms. O’Connell,” he said. Greer took this turn at sizing me up, his eyes raking my figure from my pink, patent heels up, taking long seconds to return to my face. The sensation wasn’t so much that he was checking me out, as that he was evaluating me, sizing me up, as if I was a potential enemy.

“I heard your band.” He’d said “band” derisively, as if he was doing us a favor by using that word.

“And?” I asked.

“And, that was enough.” He started back toward the door, his arm brushing mine as he passed me.

“Are you capable of speaking more than a handful of words at a time?” I asked him. That stopped him. He turned, and glared at me over the top of his glasses.

“Yes,” he said with a charming smile. “I am.” He paused. “Ms. O’Connell.”

“That was still only five,” I said quickly. “Surely a man of your entrepreneurial prowess can count higher than that.” I regretted the words the instant they were out of my mouth. I had a temper that I was usually able to control; while his holier-than-thou crap was irritating, he was a potential employer. A realization struck me—I was going to be the subject of one of those cautionary “How Not to Get a Job” stories. Bloody hell.

Greer had apparently reached the end of his leash; the smugness disappeared, replaced by an almost tangible anger. I jumped into the silence before he could say anything I’d regret hearing.


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