A Needle Pulling Thread

“Well, I’m off,” he said, pausing at the wall of her cubicle.

“Do you have the tickets?” she asked around the pencil she held clamped in her teeth.  Her eyes didn’t leave her monitor and her fingers danced a jig.

He patted in several places and located them in his inside breast pocket.  “Got ’em.”

“Have a good time.”  She gave him a wave of her hand and a quick glance, then went back to her screen.  Suddenly her head turned to him again, she put the pencil down and rose out of her chair with something that looked like horror.

“Wait, wait.  What is this?” she demanded, coming toward him.  She picked up the hem of his suit jacket, revealing where the lining had come loose and was dangling.  “You can’t go out like that,” she said.

“Yeah, I know,” he said sheepishly, “it ripped this morning.  No one will notice.”

She gave him a withering look from under her eyebrows.

“Or will everyone notice?” he added.  He fought the urge to squirm.  She had the uncanny ability to make him feel fifteen.

“You’ll notice,” she said softly, pulling him by the hem closer to her desk.  She rifled in a drawer and came out with a small sewing kit, something she might have taken from a hotel room.

“Is it easier if I take off the jacket?” he offered.

“Just hold still,” she admonished.  In less than three minutes a needle was threaded and the lining hemmed with quick, competent stitches.  She leaned to bite the thread off, and then secured the needle in the ruffle on her cardigan before she looked him over.  “That’s better,” she murmured, her strong hands brushing once down his lapels and then one brisk whisk from his neck out over his shoulders.  “Now you’re perfect.”

“Thank you,” he said, strangely touched.

She picked one last bit of invisible something off his sleeve and smiled.  “Go get ’em.”

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