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Colorado Game - 30. Chapter 30


That Monday I woke up early. It was still dark and I listened to Ross's regular breathing close beside me. His warm breath occasionally touched my cheek and I snuggled a little closer to his warm, sleeping form. As always, on the slightest movement I made, he stirred and mumbled in his sleep, but he slept on. Or so I thought.
I liked this time, right before the day started. I never used to wake up so early but Ross was an early riser and I somehow adapted. Sometimes we'd make love; he liked it in the morning. So did I.

"Hi," his whispering voice suddenly sounded, close to my ear. "Why are you awake? It's not even light yet."
A hand of his crept onto my stomach and rested there, the thumb slowly caressing the skin.

"D-day," I whispered back, causing his to softly chuckle. His lips kissed my ear and I sighed when he obviously was going for the jackpot. I snickered. "Now? Of all days, you want now?"

"Definitely now," he replied. He did some more things near my ear and I started to softly chuckle myself, playfully pushing him off. "You have a one-track mind, Forester."

“Guilty. And you need to relax. You'll be fine."

"I wanna sleep," I claimed in a halfhearted attempt of an excuse.

"No you don't, you want me deep inside of you and make you think nothing for an hour."
Yes, I would.

"An hour? Hah, ten minutes, tops."

"Ooohoh... you'll pay for that."


I arrived at Warner Gaming a little before 9am, and I wished that I could say that their building was a hideous monstrosity of glass and steel. But to my surprise, they were located in an old converted fire station and a beauty at that. A plaque on the front of the building told me that it was built in 1876, and from the looks of it, it had recently undergone heavy renovation. Some scaffolding still remained on the far corner.

Several employees passed me by as I looked at the building and I noticed that most of them were dressed casually; actually, there wasn't a suit in sight. The two combined, building and employees, made me feel a bit more at ease about what was going on inside. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all and all my trepidation had been in vain.

I followed two young women inside and entered the lobby, announcing myself at the desk, which was placed right smack in the middle of what used to be the garage. Behind it, a gigantic glass wall rose from floor to ceiling, effectively closing the lobby from the actual work-floor behind, but I could clearly see the employees working. And laughing.
Especially that last made me feel even more at ease; this company wasn't at all what I had thought it to be. The impression I got from Ross and his mother, and from a few others like Joey and Eric, was that the people of Warner Gaming were cold calculating sharks, untrustworthy. As first impressions go, that wasn't at all what I was seeing here. But okay, they usually didn't deal with the ‘common' employees but with the suits from upstairs.

I made my way to the waiting area, a comfortable collection of sofas and chairs, and took a seat, looking around a little more. As far as I could see, there was only one entrance to the work-floor; a set of double doors to the right of the reception desk. Behind there, one level up, I saw offices. Not closed ones, as most of corporate America is used to, but in the same style as the lobby; floor-to-ceiling glass. I could see right inside one of them, there was no curtain or shades. My guess would be that the higher-uppers worked there.

I didn't have to wait long. It took five minutes for someone to come and get me. He was an elderly looking man, distinguished and elegant. Like me, he wore a suit and also with a turtleneck sweater. The only difference was the color; mine was black, his was white. He was a little shorter than me, sported a pearly white trimmed mustache but the most important thing about him was his open face; his blue eyes shone bright in deep sockets, keen and alert, and the smile on his lips went all the way up to those two blue orbs. I could tell, just from that, that he enjoyed life to the fullest; I took an immediate liking to him. It was a shame, really, when he spoke up to announce his name.

"Mr. Norcross? Welcome, welcome, I'm Walter Warner but please, call me Walt, everybody does. I'm very pleased to finally meet you. I'm a fan of your work."

My hand halted in midair, as did the greeting smile I had plastered onto my face. So this was the man that Kyle Garcia cheated on Ross with...

Walter, or Walt, slowed his approach and gripped my hand, as if he hadn't noticed my hesitation. I was sure that he did, though; his eyes told me as much. They lost a little of their shine, like he was somehow disappointed. His hand was warm and firm; good grip, not too hard not too soft. I felt like one of them old water-pumps, the way he was flapping my arm up and down.

"Please, come... I'll show you around, give you the grand tour." I mumbled something of a greeting and followed him through the double doors. There he halted, spreading his arms wide. "Well, this is it, basically. Here's where the magic happens. Well, most of it, anyway."

He laughed. The sound of it was quite infectious; pleased but not arrogant and a bit funny sounding. The kind you join, whether you want to or not. I actually had the beginnings of a smirk on my face. Walt pointed out several other departments, all teams of several people. I shook a lot of hands in a really short time and I couldn't remember any names afterwards. But the faces were all the same; these were people who loved what they were doing and really went for it. No nine-to-five mentality, I could tell. These were people, men and women (surprisingly there were more women), who would stay until the job was done. They were all young, most of them my age, and everywhere I went, I heard Walt this, Walt that. No ‘Mr. Warner' or ‘sir'. He introduced me to my team, a guy named Mason and a young girl named Jodie, and I put down my bag at the station I'd be working on. Our ‘office' was closed off from all the others, since we were working with sound. The walls were soundproof.

By the end of the ‘tour', Walter stopped at the bottom of a flight of stairs leading up to the offices on the first floor.

"Okay, now we get to the hard part; the suits. I prefer to stay down here with you youngsters, but alas; each his domain. Let me just warn you beforehand; none of them actually bite."
He chuckled at his own joke and I couldn't help but join in as I followed him up.

The first office we entered was Walt's own office. It was located in the furthest corner of the building, way in the back. His aide, Jane or Jeanie (couldn't really tell) was a big woman. And when I say big, I mean big. Her heritage was African American and she had the fullest lips I've ever seen on any person. And when those parted, honey; close the blinds, and boy, did she have attitude. Attitude of the good kind, though. As soon as she opened her mouth, there was a waterfall of words and it didn't stop until we walked out (and even then I could still hear her).

The next few offices contained departments as you will find in any other office. It wasn't until the last when Walt finally stopped and waited, turning around to face me.

"I'm sure that you have been warned about the person you are about to meet. I could tell you that he is not that kind of person but that is not for me to decide; you have to make up your own mind about him. All I ask is that you allow him to show you who he is and what he does. That is all I ask. Can you do that?"
I bit my lower lip and looked at the name on the door; K. Garcia.

I gave Walt a short nod. I thought I could do that.

andr0gene 2004-Present; All Rights Reserved
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