Xena Rules Leslie without kids.

Leslie C. McCarthy

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(c) Copyright 1998 by Leslie C. McCarthy

A faint fluttering started in my stomach as my receptionist brought the last client of the day, my secret passion, to my office.

"Ben, how nice to see you again. Coffee?" I asked as I gestured for him to sit down.

Disposing of the preliminaries, we got down to the business of tax planning for Ben's flourishing dental practice, addressing each item on my list in turn, deductible expenses, health insurance for employees, Keogh accounts, profit-sharing, the benefits of becoming a corporation, and we were almost through when, to my horror, the fluttering in my stomach that I had assumed was caused by my unspoken, (and apparently unreturned) attraction to my client, turned into a very audible growl, not unlike the one my cat makes when displeased about something, and I realized that I had neglected to eat lunch yet again.

Every time I get near this man, something embarrassing happens to me. First, on my way to greet him in the waiting room on his initial visit, I catch my heel in the carpet, reel drunkenly through the doorway, and end up clutching wildly at him to keep myself from falling. Generally viewed as a suave business woman, at our next meeting, I put the entire staff into hysterics by leaving the ladies room, sweeping through the waiting room giving gracious smiles to the clients, and going on to my office, all blissfully unaware that I had my skirt tucked into my pantyhose. How I was able to face him after that, I'll never know.

"It's getting late and it sounds like you could do with something to eat," Ben said with a sympathetic smile. "Join me for dinner?"

Kismet must be making up for all the disasters by giving me this chance with the man of my dreams.

Lingering over coffee after a wonderful dinner, we got to know each other a little better. Marathons are his favorite sport, whereas mine is sunbathing with a book in hand. Navy blue is his favorite color, mine is fuchsia. Othello is his favorite play, but I detest Shakespeare. Parachuting out of a plane is something Ben has always wanted to do, while I suffer from a fear of heights. Quebec is his favorite place to visit, but he doesn't think they should secede from the rest of Canada. Reflecting on the fact that I like anywhere that is hot, has sand and salt water, and I couldn't care less about their politics as long as I could take my cat with me, I realized that we really didn't have a lot in common. Still, that just made him even more attractive, and the feeling seemed to be mutual. The opposites attract bit I suppose.

Under a full moon, (Kismet again,) we strolled back to my apartment and I invited Ben up for a second cup of coffee. Vowing that nothing would give him greater pleasure, he followed me in.

While the coffee was brewing, I anxiously awaited my cat's decision on whether or not I could continue to see him.

Xena shot out from under a chair and sank her claws into Ben's rear end as he was bending over to scan the titles in the low bookcase, then disappeared from view as he leaped up with an outraged howl, hands clutching his injured backside. Yielding to her unmistakable rejection of him as a regular visitor to our home, I reluctantly escorted Ben to the door, muttering apologies. Zero hour with Xena, attack cat, has once again left me without a date.

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