A bit late today, been drowning in images for the book cover for the next episode of City of the Wiccad. But we finally got words out, and Rachel wanted a little more of her time working at the dig site. Enjoy.
She Can’t Relax
Sometimes a person can mean well and yet be absolutely clueless as to the problem they were causing. Other people know full well how uncomfortable they are making someone else. They know and they keep doing it.
Rachel wasn’t sure which one this was.
She was showing Grant Matheson, of the University board, around the dig-site. Herger was away, he’d left with the most beautiful woman that Rachel had ever seen on an urgent personal matter, and Rachel was left to run the business side of the dig, while Matthew ran the dig side of things.
Mister Matheson, no please call him Grant, was there mostly as a photo opportunity. He was busy smiling at the camera as if he himself had done all the hard work to find the wonderfully preserved remains of this small Viking village. And he seemed more than happy to keep Rachel as a pretty face in the pictures too.
Much to the disgust of one of the other girls on the dig who muttered loudly enough for everyone to hear that she’d look better as the face of the finds. As usual, she was ignored.
Grant’s hand started to slip lower down Rachel’s back and she found herself frozen. This man was in control of her job and her income, she really could not afford an incident or to lose her job. She was not going to rely on her brother to help take care of Shaun’s school fees; which is what she was saving for through this contract.
But she was also not comfortable letting Grant’s hand slide any lower.
Matthew was observant as ever.
“Mister Matheson, I think you need to remove your hand.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Matthew, I did not realise she was your girlfriend.”
“She is Rachel, and it’s not the point if she’s anyone’s girlfriend. You should be treating her with respect.”
There were gasps from the others, Rachel felt pride in Matthew for doing the right thing, even if she should have done it herself.
“Oh. Of course. I apologise, Rachel.”
“Thank you,” Rachel replied. She was slowly learning not to say things like ‘It’s okay.’ Or ‘Don’t worry about it.’ Such things never encouraged people to actually change their behaviour, in fact, they let them off the hook of responsibility. Ger and Matthew were both two strong forces in getting Rachel to stand up for herself.
Grant seemed to be genuinely sorry he had behaved inappropriately and Rachel wondered if he might have learned something. This was hardly the first instance of such casual inappropriateness that she had encountered with some of the older members of the faculty and board members.
Rachel continued the tour and when Grant was ready to take his taxi back to the airport again he apologised once more.
“No harm was done,” Rachel smiled. “I’m glad that you, at least, understood.”
“You say that as though others haven’t?”
“Well, Mister Matheson, Grant, I am not the first woman with an association to the university to have been touched in ways she was not comfortable with.”
“Yes, I see.” Grant nodded. “I realise now I’ve done this often, and no one has ever pointed it out to me before. That is something in itself that we can work on, perhaps something you might be interested in assisting with when you finish this contract. The university could use you.”
“Thank you, Grant. I’ll definitely be considering it.”
Farewells were made and Rachel returned to the tent that was Herger’s office, and hers as his assistant. She sat down at his big desk and let out a sigh.
The offer of work after this was nice. They did not have long left on the dig at all now, which was one reason Herger had gone on holiday with his beautiful girlfriend. Not that Rachel was jealous, or bitter. It wasn’t as if over the course of this contract she had fallen head over heels in love with the professor who was her boss. It was not at all like she was dreaming of him nightly.
And it was not as if she’d hoped the pretty woman choked on some loose dirt and had to be flown away to leave Herger behind.
Not at all.
“Don’t stay in here all night again, Rach,” Matthew said poking his head inside. “I have no plans to come and wake you from another nap at the desk.”
“I promise, Matt. I’ll head home shortly. I just need to type up some notes about what Mister Matheson said and send them to Herger.”
“I’ll hold you to that, or I’ll hold you to me.” Matthew flashed a grin and winked at Rachel turning her cheeks a brilliant shade of pink. She blushed most every time he jokingly flirted with her.
“Goodnight, Miss Marsters.” Matthew winked again and left her alone to work.
Rachel turned on the laptop and opened an email addressing it to Herger. The usual greetings out of the way she began to type up any information he might need after the visit. The whole time though her mind was wandering to Herger suddenly arriving back and bursting into the tent, pulling her from the chair to place her on the desk before he kissed her soundly.
She always had her little daydreams. And when she got back to her room she would take a shower, not just because she was all dusty from the tour either.
Being in unrequited love with a side of lust with her boss really sucked.