Bert and the Luscious Manacle
Chapter 1. Bert and the Luscious Manacle.
“Hi there big boy.”
Bert looked up cautiously from his intent study of the carpet. “Hello, miss,” he croaked, his hand straying to the tie around his neck. He tried to ignore the way his heart hammered wildly in his chest as he gazed upon her generous curvy figure. She pouted her dark red lips suggestively as she swung her legs slowly onto the seat of the red vinyl couch and rested her head on the padded armrest. A husky moan escaped those lips as she stretched her arms above her head, causing the thin fabric of her skimpy dress to be drawn even more tightly against her bosom. She smiled as his jaw momentarily dropped, and his hand fell away from his tie. A faint breeze drifted in from the open window, and penetrated the filmy material of her clothing, causing her nipples to harden.
Bert tried to look away, but then her legs parted ever so slightly, while at the same time bending at the knees. “Why don’t you come over here and talk to me handsome?” purred the purple clad temptress. Mesmerised by the way her skirt gathered into a pile of silky folds around her waist, Bert approached the couch. As he lowered himself onto the couch next to her, she grabbed his right hand and placed it over her warm centre. His fingers tentatively brushed against the thin lacy material of her panties... “Bert, where the hell are those estimates for the next quarter?” she whined loudly.
“Bah!” Bert exclaimed, waking up with a start. He raised his head from the now crumpled pages of a report, to find the research coordinator fast approaching his cubicle. Mrs Manacle pounded down the corridor, the sound of her stiletto heels striking the floor sending him into a pile sorting frenzy. “Ah Bert, hard at work I see,” Mrs Manacle said breezily as she came into view. He stopped typing and looked up innocently from his computer screen. “Yes, Mrs Manacle ma’am,” he stammered, flushing slightly as he briefly made eye contact with the object of his recent fantasy. “Ah, estimates, yes,” he mumbled as she watched him expectantly, tapping her sleek foot impatiently against the leg of his desk.
After fumbling through the assortment of files on his desk, he triumphantly produced a stapled wad of pages and handed them over. “Good, Bert,” she drawled as she flicked through the neatly laid out pages. She looked up and rewarded him with a tight smile. “So, what are you working on there?” she asked, leaning over the desk and nodding at the computer screen. “Oh, just a report on…” he faltered as he looked up and found himself staring into the opening of her crisp white blouse. “On buying trends,” he managed to answer, returning his gaze hurriedly back to the computer screen. “Well, I’ll leave you to it then,” she said in a dismissive tone. In a flash of smart camel cotton polyester and black nylon stockings she was gone. Bert sighed with relief and vigorously rubbed his face and scalp, mentally chastising himself for falling asleep at work and having disturbing erotic fantasies about his supervisor.
“I don’t know how you get away with it buddy-boy, I really don’t.” Bert looked up to find his friend Henry smirking and shaking his head in the cubicle directly across from his. “You could have warned me,” Bert hissed in reply, scrunching an old dusty post-it note into a tight little ball and flicking it across the passageway. “Hey,” Henry said in protest as it collided into his forehead. “You just wait mate,” he threatened jokingly, wagging his right index finger at him. “Oh, I’m scared,” teased Bert, ducking his head to avoid the incoming ball of paper.
“You know, I do believe it’s time for a coffee,” Henry suggested, making a show of looking at his watch. “Yes, I believe you’re correct,” Bert concurred, rising from his swivel chair and stepping around his desk. “So Bert, how do you get away with it?” Henry asked as they made their way to the staff brew room.
“Get away with what?” Bert asked innocently back.
“Oh, you know, fall asleep at work on a regular basis and still get your work done sufficiently so that Mrs Tight Arse doesn’t go ballistic at you.”
“What do you mean, “fall asleep on a regular basis”? I admit I occasionally have a nap…”
“Occasionally have a nap?” Henry blurted out loudly before he could control himself. Checking to see if anyone had noticed his outburst, he continued in a more subdued voice as they entered the empty brew room. “My friend, I have made a point to record the number of times you nap at your desk, just so that I could be sure I wasn’t judging you too harshly…”
“Aw, how nice,” Bert murmured, bending slightly to retrieve his mug from the cupboard under the sink.
“Yeah, thanks. Anyway, over the last two weeks you’ve fallen asleep at your desk at least twice a day, and up to three times on two separate days.”
“Really? I didn’t realise I was doing it that much,” Bert mused, sounding mildly concerned as he passed Henry his mug.
“Honestly, it’s no exaggeration. You know those mysterious phone calls you tend to get seconds prior to Mrs Maniacal Manacle arriving at your desk, that disconnect when you finally answer?”
“That’s you?” Bert guessed.
“Aw thank God. I thought maybe I had a psycho lusting after me. Er, by the way, thanks,” he added, accepting the proffered milk carton.
“That’s okay, but you have to tell me, what’s the deal, why are you falling asleep so much, and how do you manage to get your work done?” Henry asked, settling his steaming mug carefully on the table in the centre of the room and taking a seat.
Bert pursed his lips together thoughtfully and considered his answer. He owed his friend some sort of explanation, even if it couldn’t be the truth. “Well,” he drawled as he sat down next to his friend, “I have been staying up late a lot, playing computer games, visiting chat rooms, that sort of thing. I just keep losing track of time, and before I know it, it’s one, two AM, and I finally start to think about going to bed. It’s entirely my fault.”
“Is that all?” asked Henry, sounding disappointed.
“Er, yeah, sorry if it’s not juicy enough for you,” Bert replied, frowning. “Don’t worry, I plan to control myself more in the future, and go to bed at a more reasonable time.”
They both fell quiet and watched a poorly acted scene of the midday movie that was playing on the television. Bert idly drummed his fingers against the side of his mug, silently relieved that Henry appeared to accept his explanation. “So, are you doing anything tonight?” Henry asked abruptly.
“Nothing special,” Bert replied carefully as his friend continued to study the screen.
“Well, do you want to go for a drink or something? You could buy me a few drinks in appreciation for the many times I’ve saved your arse over the past two weeks.”
“Yes, I suppose I could,” Bert drawled, answering Henry’s cheeky grin with one of his own.
“Good, I’ll meet you at the Shattered Lad at seven. We can grab some grub while we’re at it.”
“Fine,” Bert said casually, while he mentally reviewed his schedule. He was free for the next couple of days, with the exception of an arranged rendezvous with someone called Bob on Sunday. “Do you think Mrs Manacle might be out too?” he asked suddenly, as images from his latest fantasy came to mind.
“Well, you never know, but I kind of doubt it,” Henry answered, eying his colleague suspiciously. “You don’t seriously fancy the iron lady do you?” he asked in a hushed voice, nudging Bert with his elbow.
“Me? No, don’t be silly,” said Bert, laughing weakly. “What would be the point? She’s happily married to the big boss man. You know what happened to the last office worker who tried to get into her pants.”
“Yeah, poor sap,” murmured Henry with a sigh, remembering shy nervous Cyril from accounts.
“Yes, it was pretty harsh, what happened,” Bert added, glad that the subject had shifted slightly. “He shouldn’t have lost his job for making a pass at the big boss’ wife.”
“Oh come on Bert, you don’t really believe that story do you?” Henry snorted.
“But Mrs Manacle said…”
“Yes, I know that’s what she told hubby dearest, but frankly I don’t buy it.” They both fell silent as a noisy group of co-workers entered the brew room. Taking a final swig of coffee, Henry rose reluctantly to his feet. “Well, no rest for the wicked, eh? I’ve got to use the little boys’ room, so I’ll catch you later.”
“Okay,” Bert replied, looking doubtfully at the scum that had formed on the top of his coffee. Grimacing, he gulped down the lukewarm contents of his mug and slowly got to his feet. Making tut-tut sounds under his breath, he picked up Henry’s forgotten mug along with his own and took them to the sink. “Only two hours until home time,” he thought as he rinsed out the mugs and put them away.
“That’s a very human thing to think.”
“Shut up,” Bert thought in response to the whiney little voice in his head.
“You really do have a thing for that bitch on heat, don’t you?”
“Don’t talk about Mrs Manacle like that. She’s a respectable lady,” Bert thought back, scowling. He hastily left the brew room and made his way back to the relative privacy of his cubicle.
“Your friend Henry doesn’t seem to think so.”
“He’s entitled to his opinions,” Bert thought guardedly, returning nods of acknowledgment to a couple of passing co-workers before squeezing into his cramped cubicle and sinking gratefully into the swivel chair. “At least he helps me out occasionally,” Bert added silently, idly opening a file on the computer and scanning its contents.
“Well, I’d wake you up, but you keep having these really vivid fantasies about Mrs Manacle in skimpy clothing…”
“Shut up Felix,” Bert thought tersely, sorting through the jumbled mass of papers on his desk. A sigh escaped his lips as he found the latest survey and prepared to correlate the responses into a neat table. “Which of the following features appeal to you in relation to the brand of feminine hygiene product you commonly buy?” Bert read under his breath. “It could be worse you know,” Felix whined, intruding on his thoughts. “The council could have arranged for you to work as a chiropodist or something. This has to be better than staring at people’s smelly, sweaty feet all day…”
“I don’t really mind the work,” Bert thought defensively, cutting off his detailed description of chiropody. “It just gets tiresome sometimes, entering row after row of figures into the computer.”
“Don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon.” The little voice was almost warm and friendly, purring gently in his consciousness.
“Yes, I’ll miss our friendly discussions,” Bert thought with a hint of sarcasm.
“I’ll miss your pornographic fantasies.”