Will Noble hated ties. He used to wear them all the time, but in the last couple of years, they went the way of the pinstripe suit. Fiddly things they were. If his superiors and students were happy with him in khakis and jumpers, it was fine with him. Today however, he and the rest of his department were lunching with the St. Edmunds University Board and he needed to dress like a grown up. He never really understood why, no one paid much attention to him. The board was primarily made of ladies and gents of a certain age and income. Widows outpaced the widowers 3 to 1 and the board lunch was essentially Speed Dating with the geriatric set.
He frowned at himself as he fixed the Windsor knot. He ruffled his hands through his wayward brown hair and then fixed his cuffs. Not bad, he thought. "Morning cheerful," said a sleepy sounding voice calling from under the covers. "I know you hate Tie Day," came a voice from under the covers. Rose Tyler Noble peeked her head out and looked at him sympathetically.
"Eh, it's once a month. I can play nice with the luncheon crowd, they're nice enough. I'm a humanities professor and I would just rather be teaching, that's all." Will lay down on top of the covers next to his wife, hands behind his head. "You know, you could come with me....you're so much better chatting up the ladies, and I would get to have lunch with you." Rose rolled her eyes. Her darling Will could be such a wheedler.
"Nope, we've tried this before," she said poking him in the chest. "The ladies all want to gawk at your gorgeous bum and try to pick me and my outfit to pieces. The men stare at my cleavage, which just makes the ladies mad. Then, just after the starters, you will get a mysterious phone call that gets you out of dry chicken and even drier conversation! After 30 minutes, you swan back in time for pudding. Not gonna happen." Rose looked at Will who was assembling the perfect look of innocence. "Besides, I have afternoon tutorial for the kids and a paper to work on." She laughed as he made his sad, puppy dog eyes that much sadder.
"Roooose, c'mon. Tie Day isn't really that bad."
Day 143 3:45 pm
Rose had just seen the last of the youngsters in her afternoon reading tutorial off. They were on Chapter 7 of "My Father's Dragon" and all were progressing nicely. They were nearing the end and she was musing about which book to choose next. Will wandered in from his office behind the circulation desk with a blank expression on his face. "What's with that face?" asked Rose, rising to greet him. "Was it Tie Day?"
Will looked absolutely haunted and was the color of old oatmeal. "I've met this universe's version of Cassandra at the board luncheon."
"What, flat, bitchy, needing moisturizer? That Cassandra?" asked Rose.
Will let out a breath. "Well...not a trampoline, but she is taut. Her nose has had so much work done I could see clear up into her sinuses!" He shuddered at the memory, it had not done anything for his appetite. "Definitely bitchy, a widowed past her prime trophy wife, Carla something-or-other. She spent much of the luncheon trying to press her formidable breast implants in my face. She goosed me while we were posing for a group portrait and tucked her phone number in my pocket." He collapsed onto one of the squashy armchairs by her desk.
"I think she's killed my libido."
He wasn't kidding thought Rose later after Will had gone up to bed. A glass of wine, a scanty nightgown, and significant amounts of snogging did not end as she had hoped. The mojo had left the building with Carla the Aged Cougar.
"I hate Tie Day," stated one overheated and frustrated Rose Tyler Noble.
It had taken Will nearly a week of long, punishing jogs through the moor to exorcise all thoughts of Carla making sure he didn't lose her phone number by literally manhandling it firmly into his front trouser pocket. The mojo was back, now he just had to make it up to his poor Rose. He noted the time and started tidying up his desk. He was bent over a low desk drawer when he heard his door open. "Hey love, I'm almost done here, how was your class?"
"Hello there," purred an unpleasant voice. Will's head shot up, hitting the underside of the desk so hard he saw stars in orbit. Through the haze of pain, he saw the most unwelcome sight of Carla the Trophy Wife. He stood up trying to regain some dignity.
He rubbed the rapidly forming lump on his head. "Um, hello Mrs.?"
Carla moved over to his desk. "Mrs. Wilton, but you can call me Carla."
Will moved keeping the desk between himself and the scary lady. Really, there's only so much silicone lips could hold. Her mouth ballooned with injections and her lips practically bounced as she smiled at him. A scary smile so full of pink lipgloss. "So, ...Carla, how can I help you?" WAs he squeaking? He was pretty sure he sounded squeaky and panicked. Lovely-there goes the dignity. Carla edged closer and Will continue to move away.
"Well, I was wondering how I might be able to help you, Dr. Noble." Her lips literally flapped together as she spoke. "I have an impressive amount of money left to me by my late husband, and it's just sitting around in piles." She leaned over the desk, her ample bosom reaching farther than the rest of her. She brushed her coarse, brassy blond hair behind her ear. "I need to invest it in something, I thought you might be open to seeing how it could be best used." Her fingers crossed over the desktop to begin a slimy crawl up his arm. "I wonder," she slurred through her giant lips, "if you had any ideas."
"Oh, I've got plenty of ideas Carla!" came a voice from the doorway. "First, you can get your manicured claws off of my husband. Then, we can talk about your need to invest. I do believe my afternoon tutorial for the at-risk children of St. Edmunds would be a wonderful place to start." Rose looked at Carla wistfully. "Of course, I could always ask Mr. Wilton. It would be hard though with the dementia and the hearing loss. How is the poor dear? Has the Viagra helped at all?" Carla began to straighten up and square her shoulders. "Oh never mind," continued Rose as she came around to stand next to Will. "I'm sure I can send the papers through to your first husband's adult children. I believe they've been looking for you ever since he was mysteriously hit by a falling chandelier."
"It happens," shrugged Carla.
"Yeah, but twice?" answered Rose back. "I suggest you take your inflatable lips and overgrown boobs out of my husband's office and not return." Carla turned and tottered out the door on ridiculously high stilettos. Will took a deep breath and leaned against a bookshelf as Rose slammed the door behind the evil woman.
"Once again Rose, you have saved me from a fate worse than death," he said. "What a vile creature." Rose cuddled up against him.
"You're safe now. I got a heads up from James. He saw her heading up as he was leaving." said Rose. "Apparently, Mrs. Wilton there made a name in the tabloids a few years back, before we got here. The title was something like 'The Centerfold and the Septuagenarian!'"
"Rose, you can't possibly think that I would ever..."
She cut him off with a kiss. "Of course not, but she did steal your mojo and made me very unhappy once already. No second chances, that's me!"
Fortunately, Will and his libido made a full and speedy recovery. The next Tie Day, and every one after that, Dr. Noble always made an appearance with his favorite plus one; and if he got goosed during the group photo, it could only be blamed on his favorite pink and yellow girl.