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Fifteen Minutes

Page 2

Mark Haines

Tim spoke up. Feel like a coffee? he asked, going to the door.

Yes, said Phil, whose gaze turned to him, then shifted back to the bedroom. Certainly comfortable, well-furnished, a soft, large bed, too many pillows, a rather out-sized television, laptop on the table, a few thick bestsellers. A slightly acrid smell came from a nearly empty wine glass. Some of Tim’s clothes were negligently strewn about – he wasn’t the tidiest of men. It was the abode of a prosperous man in his mid-thirties, a well-paid IT professional who only needed to attend his office once a week for an hour-long meeting. The rest of the time he worked from home as he liked, provided his targets were met. And they always were met.

When Tim returned with the drinks, he sat at the desk by the window, quite near to where Phil was standing, and looked up at him.

I think you know I want to say something, don’t you?

Phil gave a small nod, seeing the moment was not to be avoided.

Tim cleared his throat, his usual assurance disappearing. Look, I know it’s only a short time we’ve known each other…but I’m feeling really…really… good about this. I think I’ve… reached a point where being a… partner…appeals to me. You can go on meeting people, doing the business, moving on and around for a long time…if you want to… I don’t think I want to, any more…

Phil listened, feeling both cornered and unwillingly impressed. Tim’s voice, so often cool and languid, actually trembled. His eyes, too, had a kind of anxious eagerness, which the other did not fail to mark.

You’re a terrific guy Phil, I can really see us making a go of this. But of course you have to want it too…feel ready…

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