To Joan’s surprise, she ran into Carl at the exact same spot as the previous day.
“You’re off work, Joan.”
Carl looked at her with a grin.
“Yep. Just knocked off.”
She felt that something was amiss but couldn’t quite place her finger on it.
“How do you know my name?” she asked in astonishment.
“Your boss mentioned your name during our discussion.”
Carl pretended to be chummy with their boss.
With that, Joan didn’t dwell on the matter. After all, since she was a member of the staff, it wasn’t surprising that he knew her name.
“What are you doing here? The office is closed.”
Since they’ve met a couple of times, he wasn’t really considered a stranger.
“I’m waiting for someone, and she’s here now,” Carl joked.
Studying her surroundings, Joan took a while to realize that there was no one else there. “You were waiting for me?”
“Yes, I was.” He was grinning from ear to ear.
Hearing his words, she became even more perplexed. Her impression of the man was quite good, and he didn’t seem like a fickle person, so it didn’t cross her mind that he was trying to court her.
“Well, your boss and I confirmed a deal earlier today. The actual details and the final contract are to be discussed further. Your boss asked me to look for you to talk things through, so I waited till you got off work. I was thinking of treating you to a meal so that we can talk about the contract.”
At that moment, she sensed that something was amiss, but she couldn’t tell what it was.
“But why didn’t my boss tell me?” Joan questioned.
“Perhaps he was too busy and forgot all about it.”
Carl deliberately tried to sound casual as he added, “Ms. Joan, do you have time now? I would like to discuss the contract with you. If it’s not convenient, I can come back tomorrow.”
Carl was obviously good with words.
Since he seemed as though he was only interested in the deal, Joan lowered her defenses.
After a short pause, she consented to his request, “Let’s talk about it now. But we will skip the meal, yeah? I’m going home to have dinner with my boyfriend. We can find a place to sit down and discuss.”
Carl eagerly agreed to her suggestion.
Before setting off, Joan sent a text message to Larry: Hey dear, I’m with a client right now. I may reach home a little later than usual, but I’ll be back for dinner. Love you.
Then, she turned to Carl and said, “Let’s go. There’s a café right beside the office. We can discuss there.”
“Sure, let’s go.”
Thus, the two headed toward the café.
However, Joan failed to notice a mysterious shadow creeping past behind them immediately after they started walking. The shadow lurked in the dark for a while, observing their movements before following them.
“What would you like to drink?”
Carl’s tone was nothing but gentlemanly.
“I’ll have an earl grey latte. Just to make it clear, the drinks are on me, okay?” Joan chuckled.
“No, that won’t do. I’m the guy here, so I have to pay the bill. No questions about that.” Carl smiled.
“No! You’re our client. I have to foot the bill. Besides, I’ll be sure to get the company to reimburse me.”
Joan made it clear that she was here on business terms.
Seeing that she was persistent, Carl stopped insisting.
Both of them then took their seats.
“By the way, we’re about to sign off on a deal, and I don’t even know your name yet.”
Joan was quick to jump straight into work. After all, Larry was still waiting for her at home, so she had no time to waste.