Club Desire(3)

By: Amy Brent



She had an iPad resting on her thigh and tapped her long nails to the screen, taking notes as I answered her inane questions about the future of tech and this and that and blah, blah, blah.


I’d been interviewed hundreds of times over the years. Interviews bored the shit out of me, but Denny insisted that it was good for marketing and Sammy said it was good for business, so I plastered on a smile, worked up what little patience I could, and gave them the answers they expected to hear. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing controversial, nothing too revealing about our future plans. It was basically, “All is well because IDS is on the job for our thousands of big clients.”


End of story.


Yawn.


At least Stacey was smoking hot, unlike most tech writers, and if my potential-fuck-meter was not failing me, she was also giving me the eye from behind the fashionable black-rimmed glasses that she wore. She probably wore them because she thought they made her look smarter, not because she needed them to correct her vision.


Okay, I’m also a bit of a cynic.


Sue me.


“So, you’re saying that the threat of a major hack is not a concern for you or your clients?” She was asking the question when I brought my focus back around to her voice rather than her tits.


“I’m saying that it is no more of a concern today than it was a year ago,” I said with a sigh that probably made me sound even more bored than I actually was. “Hackers are a constant threat. They always have been. They are like self-replicating cockroaches. You will never be able to stomp them all out because if you kill one, two more immediately take his place.”


She smiled at me. “Self-replicating cockroaches?”


I didn’t smile back because I wasn’t making a joke.


“The key is to make sure your systems and software are prepared and secure against whatever threat a hacker may bring. It’s all about preparedness and response. And if you are hacked, it then it becomes about how quickly you can deal with the hack, seal the hole, and repair the damage.”


I’d said those words in so many interviews now that they rolled off my tongue like the freakin’ Pledge of Allegiance. I thought about printing them out and just handing them to whoever was interviewing me to save myself a few gusts of breath.


Stacey tapped away on the iPad. When she looked up, I forced a smile and said, “That’s enough heavy shit. Ask me something fun.”


She gave me a wary look. “Something fun?”


I spread my hands and let my eyebrows go up. “Ask me something no one has ever asked me before.”


I was sitting behind my desk with the wall of tinted-glass behind me that looked out over the twenty-acre IDS campus. Located in the hills overlooking Silicon Valley, the campus looked more like a park than the headquarters of a billion-dollar tech company, with its meticulously-manicured lawns and hedges trimmed to resemble woodland creatures and buildings made of mirrored glass that blended rather than marred the landscape. I had personally conceived the layout and design of the campus and after three years of construction, we had opened the doors almost a year ago and consolidated most of our five hundred employees there.


“The campus is amazing,” she said, staring past me at the green and blue beyond the windows, searching for a question to ask that wasn’t on her prepared list. “I understand you designed it all yourself.”


“Ah, I just sketched it out,” I said with a dismissive wave. “Someone much smarter and more talented than me did the work.”


“You’re being modest,” she said coyly.


“Am I?” I picked up a thick rubber band that was on the desk and leaned back in the chair, rocking, stretching the rubber band between my fingers. I rolled it around my fingers, keeping my hands busy. I had the attention span of a gnat and the only thing that I had found to help me focus was to keep my hands busy so my mind could stay on point. Still, I couldn’t help but stare into the blue eyes staring at me from behind the pair of black-framed glasses, imagining doing things much more fun than this boring, fucking interview.


“I’ve been asked that question before,” I said, my voice taking on a daring tone in a last-ditch effort to make the conversation interesting. I glanced at my Apple watch. “Time’s running out, Stacey. Last chance to ask me something really interesting.”


She took off the glasses and set them on the desk, then turned off the iPad and slid it into the computer bag that was sitting at her feet. “All right then, Mr. Hanson, tell me about Votre Désire. Or what some call Club Desire or Club D.”

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