Annie and Dan Pt. 01

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This story has a long buildup before anything sexual happens; please be patient.


Chapter 1

Dan did one last pat down of his jacket to make sure he had everything he needed for the day, locked his Bronco, and headed quickly through the rain for the platform. The rain was more of a solid drizzle, all too common for this time of year in the northwest. Although he normally would have driven with this being first day at his new job, he wasn’t a fan of traffic, and the new office was on the other side of the city.

The train ride in would give him some time to sketch some new design ideas that had come to him during the sleepless night, something he wasn’t accustomed to. It must be the new job, he thought to himself. He wasn’t one to change jobs often, but he was feeling stagnant with working on the same product line for 5 years. He had some new ideas which were entertained by management initially, and he was ever hopeful until he received the same comments about his furniture designs not being in line with the direction the company was going.

Direction? Ha, the mid-sized furniture company hadn’t moved in any direction for years. They had their designers, their clients, and the same products from when he first came on 10 years ago. His loyalty had kept him there the last few years; his eagerness for some change, however, drew him to a smaller company that promised him that change. His departure wasn’t a surprise to his colleagues; many were feeling the same way.

The train pulled in to the station empty as this was the first stop on the west end of the city. Actually the station was closer to the rural suburbs than the city, bordering farmland on one side. The first few miles of the rail line cut through several patches of forest in addition to the agricultural fields that were all but dormant this late in the fall. In a few minutes this would all change to the city skyline. Increasingly, the car filled with more passengers as the train encountered more densely populated areas. He looked up, surprised to see how full it was and decided to stand, giving up his seat to a woman wearing a uniform to a large grocery store chain. He received an appreciative smile in return, to which he nodded and smiled back. He looked around the car noting the large number of women and older passengers standing, and the many Millennials, particularly the young men, sitting in their own world, earbuds in, tapping away on their respective devices, oblivious to the notion of being a gentleman. Dan just shook his head and grabbed the upper handhold as the train lurched forward.

The car emptied rapidly as it passed through the city center, and Dan reclaimed his seat. The darkness of the morning commute gave way to the winter gray that takes hold of the city for months on end. Through the condensation on the window, he could make out his new workplace while the train slowed nearing his stop.

Not many people got off, but there weren’t many still aboard at this end of the line. He realized that he had covered all but one stop on the Black Line train and that he was nearing the rural suburbs on the east end of the city. Lost in a bit of thought, he nearly didn’t notice the young woman getting off at the same time. Dan stopped just in time, allowing her to pass through the exit doors first; a smile and a nod were exchanged. They exited and went separate ways, she towards a coffee house around the corner, he to a fairly nondescript office building back a few blocks.

Dan was met at reception with a big smile and given a quick tour of the office space. The young receptionist, Beth, was cute, Dan thought. He followed her through the building enjoying the view from behind as they navigated the halls from the management offices to sales to his area, design. The room was large and had several workstations and drafting tables, although no other designers were there at the moment.

“She’s at the production facility right now. There was an issue with a new piece they’re working on,” Beth shared, obviously noting his confused look.

The final area she took him to was the boardroom. Finally, a room fit for a furniture design company. The table was a 15 foot slab cut from a single tree. Dan walked up to it and dragged his hands along the grain.

Beth walked him back to the design studio and helped him get onto his workstation.

“Todd, our IT guy, will be in around nine to get you fully setup.” She smiled as she left, and he noticed she had a very pretty smile. He also noticed she was rather well endowed, particularly for her small frame. Her sweater was definitely taut across her chest. He felt a little bad for noticing the latter, but, hey, he was still a guy.

Dan settled in and went through some catalogs of theirs while waiting for his fellow designer to show. He was impressed with the work, but he knew he could incorporate some nice changes.

A bit after Todd helped him get everything ankara escort set up, which was not much more than network and email accounts, Erin, his fellow designer, showed up and introduced herself to him. Wow, another attractive colleague, he thought. Erin was as tall as Beth was small; she was close to his 6-foot height, although, to be fair, she was wearing boots with a bit of a heel on them. She seemed energetic and confident, something he liked in a woman. She also had great ass, something else he liked.

Erin was walking him through some of the design files on the computer when Patty, the owner, came in to announce a staff meeting. He had already met Patty as she was the one that had hired him. She was in her fifties and attractive in her own right. It was her eagerness for new ideas that led him to taking this position. She had inherited the business from her father after his passing a year ago. He had built a successful business, even if wasn’t large and growing. The business had a good reputation in the local area and had many repeat customers. Patty wanted to take the company to the next level, to become a regional company, not just local. She and Dan both thought his coming on board was a great move for each.

Chapter 2

“Dammit!” Annie swore as she fought back tears. Why today of all days?

She tried the key again. The engine turned and turned but wouldn’t start. Grabbing the steering wheel and shaking her body in frustration, she broke down and cried.

It was times like this when she missed her dad the most. It had been a few months since he died. He was her rock, and now it seemed like everything was crumbling. Between his death, a new job, moving in with her boyfriend, Kevin, and now car issues, Annie was stressed more than she had ever experienced before. Normally very independent, she now realized that she needed him more now than ever. He could talk her through issues, whether it was school, work, car problems, and even relationships. She had thought it odd that she could talk to him easier than her own mother when it came to these, especially relationships. He had an honest perspective that she admired. He didn’t always take her side and would call her out if she needed it. Her mom, on the other hand, would take her side relentlessly. Annie learned when to ask which parent for help. If she needed encouragement and a morale boost, mom was there, a cheerleader if you will. Her dad was there for honest advice, whether it was what she wanted to hear or not. She needed her dad this morning, and not just about the damn car.

Wiping the tears away, she tried one more time, and the Bug sputtered to life. “Thanks, dad,” she whispered through a few more tears, sure she had a little help on that last turn of the key. “I know, I need to take it in soon.” And she would as soon as she had time.

She pulled out of her apartment complex on to the dark, rainy streets. She smiled as she turned on the wipers, and they cleared the window streak free. This was the last thing her dad helped her through on her the Super Beetle, a car they worked on through high school. She called late one night in the rain from the auto parts store for some help in getting the blades swapped over. She laughed off the men behind the counter who offered to help ‘the little lady’ get them installed; she could do it herself. But she couldn’t, something wasn’t releasing like she thought it should. She wasn’t going to go back in to the store and admit she needed help; the stubborn side of her shining through. So she called her dad, realizing she could have figured it out eventually, but he enjoyed helping her out. The car thing had brought them closer when she first started taking an interest in his projects when she was younger. Those were some of her fondest memories of him. He walked her through the swap over the phone, and, in between coughs, asked her about her life.

“Fine, everything is going fine,” she lied and felt a little bad about it. With the cancer spreading, she didn’t want to worry him any more than needed. In fact, she had just moved in with Kevin, and things weren’t as great as she hoped. She viewed this as the next step closer to marriage, but he was done courting her. The spark wasn’t growing; if anything, it was fading. She felt like she didn’t see him any more than when they lived separately. It seemed more of a convenience for him than anything else. She wanted it to work, so she put in extra effort to move things forward.

“Really, Sweetheart? How’s the new living arrangements going? Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, okay?”

How did he know? How did he always know? And he did, sometimes even before she did. She assured him that everything was going well and wished him a good night.

She started taking the train to her new job on the other side of town; the Beetle had stranded her during rush hour a few weeks back, and she wasn’t willing to risk it again. That was a bit of a nightmare çukurambar escort and an awakening of sorts for her.

“C’mon, Kevin! I’m stuck on the side of the freeway. Can’t you come help?”

“I would, baby, but I’m stuck on the jobsite. I can’t leave now, you know that.”

“Alright, I know; I’ll call a tow truck. I love you.” She hung up before he responded, partly because she knew he wouldn’t respond in kind. It gave her an excuse as to why she wouldn’t hear him say it; he rarely did. He did love her, but he was a bit distant at times. However, it didn’t help that now was one of those times. She had hoped that after her dad passed, Kevin would step up to be her rock. Not quite.

The mechanic did a temporary fix and explained the costs to do it right, money she didn’t have to spare now. With her new job, she’d get it done soon, but for now she relied a bit more on mass transit.

She pulled in to the transit station and parked as the light rail pulled in. Hustling, she just made it into the car before the doors closed. Looking around, the car was about half full. Unfortunately, there was an open seat here and there but nobody she felt comfortable sitting next to. This mass transit thing was new to her, and being a young woman, she wasn’t yet ready to sit next to some stranger. She opted to stand, noticing a slightly older guy give up his seat to a middle-aged woman in grocery store uniform. She smiled at the gesture. It reminded Annie of her dad; he would always hold a door open for a woman or give up a seat to an elderly person, no matter their status. She didn’t expect that same treatment, she was too independent for that, but the gesture would have been appreciated.

She looked over her shoulder and saw some guys her own age, and they were all too self-absorbed to even notice there were others on the train, let alone give up their seat. Maybe that’s why she appreciated older men.

The train emptied as it reached the eastern part of the city. She sat, looking out the window as they passed the mall and industrial areas. She glanced to her left, seeing the man now sitting again. It looked like he was writing or maybe drawing in a notebook. She wondered what it was when he looked up; immediately, she changed her gaze to out the window. She felt her cheeks redden as a slight smile came across her lips.

The train stopped, and she worked her way to the exit. She noticed him coming toward her from the other side of the exit. He looked up at the last moment and stopped, letting her go first. She looked at him and smiled. He smiled and gave her a slight nod. Annie walked past him and turned to get some coffee before heading to work. She smiled again as she imagined him wearing a fedora and tipping it in addition to the nod. She looked back to see him walking the other way feeling slightly disappointed she wouldn’t see him again.

Coffee in hand and this morning’s car issues temporarily behind her, she walked into work. It was odd that Beth wasn’t at the front desk when she arrived, but Annie didn’t put much thought into it. She had a lot to do with the bookkeeping being as messed up as it was. The old man hadn’t kept up with the times and modernized the books into software; that was her task with the new owner, his daughter, Patty.

Beth came by a little while later, asking her if she had met the new designer. She hadn’t so Beth went on to describe him as a bit older, maybe mid-thirties, big yet solid build, and good looking. He wasn’t Beth’s type, but she knew that Annie had a thing for older guys like this. She wanted to see Annie’s reaction but didn’t get one.

Annie didn’t want to seem too excited by Beth’s description. She pictured the guy from the train but didn’t want to get her hopes up. Hopes up? What hopes? She wasn’t looking for anything. Was she?

Curiosity got the best of her, and she took a trip to the break room to top off her coffee, peaking into the design studio on her way. She smiled at the coincidence but couldn’t bring herself to go in and introduce herself. He was going through some catalogs laid out on one of the desks and didn’t notice her walk past.

Annie received a knowing smile from Beth as she walked by on the way to her own office.

“Oh, knock it off, Beth. I was just getting coffee!” Yeah, that’s it, she was just getting coffee.

“Whatever! He’s cute!” replied the much shorter Beth. Even in heels, she was still 3-4 inches shorter than both Annie and Erin. She was a bit closer to Erin, although she often wore short heels of her own, so it was deceiving. Looking over the desk as Annie walked past, Beth noticed she was in flats, as usual. Between the height and bigger overall build, she was dwarfed by the new girl. She made a note to ask her what she does for a workout; the jeans she normally wore always showed off her butt, something Beth usually noticed about other women. She thought her own butt was dikmen escort shapely, but small, and didn’t add a lot of curves to complement her top half. It made her large chest seems that much more disproportionate.

Annie just smiled and kept walking, quickly getting back to work and distracted by actual work.

An hour or so later, Patty came by to tell her and Paula that there was an all-staff meeting shortly in the boardroom.

Paula was in charge of sales. She had been around the office the longest, yet still less than a year. Dave, Patty’s late father, had hired her to try to increase sales at trade shows and online. She was often traveling to regional trade shows, yet not a lot of sales came from them. The online portion helped, but Patty thought more should be occurring at both. Paula was often frazzled about something, if not work, then her personal life. Annie was already getting tired of the drama but was able to tune her out and respond with a short “uh-huh” every now and then. Paula was 40-ish, twice divorced, and probably a decent looker in her day, something she seemed to be hanging on to.

Paula and Annie walked in together, sitting together at Paula’s insistence. This always annoyed Annie. Being the newest employee here, well, before the new guy anyway, she wasn’t confident enough to push her away. Beth and Patty came in next, and Todd, the IT guy, was busy getting a projector hooked up for the meeting. Erin, Dan, and another guy came in.

Erin quickly went to Beth, sat and whispered something to her that made them both smile. Dan sat in the empty seat on the other side of Paula, who quickly introduced herself. She then leaned back and introduced Annie to Dan. They gave a smile to each other, and sat in silence as Paula gave Dan the lay of the land, at least according to her.

Annie sat and listened to her drone on and on. She thought that this was Paula’s one time to be smarter than someone, so she’s taking advantage of it. This brought a smile to her face, but she felt a little guilty about it. She’s normally not a catty person, but when someone gets on her nerves she gave herself permission. Her mind drifted back to the new guy, wondering if he recognized her from the train earlier this morning.

“Let’s get started,” Patty spoke over the small conversations in the room. “I’d like to introduce our newest member to the team, Daniel Remington. Daniel has been designing for nearly 10 years and will help Erin take us in a direction of new designs and new markets. Welcome, Daniel!”

There was some light clapping and murmurs of welcome from everybody. Dan leaned across the table and shook hands with the other man that Annie didn’t recognize. He heard him introduce himself as John, the head of production. She now understood why she didn’t recognize him; his office was over at the production facility.

Everyone sat back down as Patty turned over the meeting to John. He brought up a slideshow showing the changes to the new equipment at production. This didn’t mean much to Annie except for now seeing all the equipment that matched the bills that came across her desk. She didn’t think it meant much to Paula either as she was still trying to visit with Dan. He, on the other hand, was trying to pay attention for he wanted to know what he had to work with. She smiled as she heard the familiar ‘uh-huhs’ that she often said herself to Paula. She glanced over and made eye contact with an obviously frustrated Dan, and both let a quick smile come across their lips.

Following the meeting, there was some more chit chat about backgrounds and their respective paths to their new employment here. Erin and Beth stood up, asking the rest if they wanted to go for lunch to which most agreed. Dan stood, followed right after by Paula and Annie. Paula slipped a bit on heels that were a bit high for work, but to Annie, most heels were too high. Dan adeptly reached out and caught her arm. He then moved her chair as she stood up.

“Thank you,” she blushed at him as she stood. Dan smiled and nodded in return. Annie smiled at his gesture, but secretly wished it was her receiving the attention.

A few minutes later, Erin, Beth, Paula, Annie, and Dan met in the lobby to walk to lunch. There was a tasty little hole in the wall around the corner that the girls had been to a few times before. Dan held the door as they headed out into the rain. They all walked quickly with Paula struggling to keep up in her heels. Annie finally got a chance to make some small talk with Dan, but it was short-lived. He abruptly quickened his step a few paces to hold the door for the group. Paula beamed at the gesture, thinking it was directed at her specifically. There was that smile and a nod again.

They each ordered at the counter and found a large booth to sit at. Annie slid into the bench seat next to Erin as Paula slid in next to Beth. Annie hoped Dan would slide in next to they could finish their conversation. It wasn’t an important conversation, but they had found a small connection in the small town she grew up. As he approached, Paula slid tighter to Beth and patted the seat next her. To Annie’s small frustration, he slid in next to Paula.

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