Lisa came in, happy, singing. "You are looking at a very happy photographer."
"And why is that?"
"Guess who I had lunch with?"
"The Prime Minister?" Annie teased.
Lisa giggled. "No, silly, Brian."
"Did you remember to eat?"
"Er, not exactly."
"Well, you'd better grab something from the canteen, otherwise, you'll get light headed."
"I need to reassign you, Lisa, I'm sorry," Annie told her.
Annie explained to her, "Della Rodini specifically asked for you. She's giving Roger a hard time."
"Oh. Did... ah... anyone come by this morning, Annie?"
"Your Hanson came. Miss Rodini kidnapped him." They laughed together for it was well known that Della Rodini was a barracuda when it came to handsome men, and to be blunt, John Hanson was extremely handsome. Oh, yeah... big time.
"At least he came by." She stood staring out of the office. "Speak of the devil..."
Annie whispered, "Him? Already? I thought she'd have him occupied until at least two."
"Guess he doesn't have any staying power." They laughed again.
Hanson came to the door. He had heard them laughing and looked first at one and then the other. Neither ventured anything. "Hello, Lisa. Annie, she's ready for the shoot." Annie goggled at him. "What?" he asked in innocence.
"I'm ready." She grinned in delight at the tall man. "You're like Brian, aren't you?"
"I don't think so." He listened to them giggling like school children and asked, "What?" which set them off harder. He asked gently, "Are you coming, Annie?
"I have budget reports," she answered, fighting her laughter.
"I still have you under surveillance," he teased.
"I am sure you can find another source of amusement, Mr. Hanson. I don't need to be the butt of your jokes."
"You're not..." Hanson began.
"Surveillance?" Lisa asked.
Annie said coolly, "It's his attempt at a joke."
"No. Well, yeah, but a nice one, don't you think?" Hanson lifted one brow.
"How very Star Trek of you. Now go before the 'star' comes looking for you."
Hanson bowed slightly and left.
The building held three floors and a basement. Although Post Sunday Magazine only occupied the first floor, they did have storage in the basement. Annie went down there close to quitting time to check on old budget reports. Something didn't jive on the new one. She finally found what she was looking for and started back to the elevators.
"Annie?" Hanson called.
She sighed. Well, it was the end of the day and he would be going now. "I'm over here." His grinning, very tall, form came around the corner.
"I thought you'd be gone by now," she said calmly.
"I thought we could go out for a drink... me beer and you coffee or soda?" He grinned again, that half twisting of his lips that tickled her heart.
"I have meetings tonight, sorry."
"No you don't," he announced gravely. She looked a him sharply. "You just don't want to go out with me."
"Look, we don't click. It's no big thing."
"We got off on the wrong foot. You didn't like the pub. We could go somewhere else."
"You promised your friend you would come in and apologize. You did. You can go home with a clean conscience." She pushed the elevator button. It opened immediately. She got in, followed closely by Hanson. The doors closed. She could smell his scent, his wonderful man scent that threatened to overcome her.
Hanson wasn't sure how to reach her, but he realized he really liked this woman who bore so much and still walked tall. He tried again. "I know I came originally because Brian made me, but..."
The elevator stopped; the lights went out and then came back on... weaker.
Hanson could hear the panic in her voice as she pulled out the phone and hissed, "Hello? Hello?"
Someone finally answered. "Security..."
"The elevator stopped. You have to get it going." Her voice quivered again.
"I'll have to get the company in; our handyman's already gone."
"Thank you." She hung up and went to a corner and sat down, drawing up her knees, placed her head on them.
"Are you all right?" Hanson asked.
"Yes... No... I don't like small places." Her voice shivered.
Hanson sat down by her and drew her to him. She resisted at first and then melted against him. "You're not alone."
"This doesn't help!" she protested.
"Yes, it does," he said gently and kissed her. To his surprise she did not fight him at first. She finally pulled back.
"Don't." She tried to move away from him.
"If you don't want to, we won't. Let me hold you."
"That's not a good idea."
"Why?" he asked gently. He saw her flush and understood. "I understand." He pulled out his cell phone and called Brian. "This is Hanson. We need help, asap."
"Where are you?"
"We're caught in a elevator that won't move." Hanson gave him his location.
"We'll have a specialist there immediately."
As Hanson hung up, Annie told him, tears in her eyes, "Thank you."
He touched her cheek gently. "You're very welcome." He pulled her close again. "We go out tonight..."
"No," she argued pushing against his rugged chest.
She ceased trying to get away. "Okay."
He repeated, "We go out tonight."
"Where?" she asked softly.
"They're playing old songs in the Park."
"Oh, I'd like that."
"The moon is full and there's a breeze."
"A mild one?"
"Yes. The sky is full of stars." He heard her sigh. "I spread a blanket out on the grass and open the picnic basket. I have a small bottle of champagne. I pop the cork and pour it into the two glasses you're holding."
"What are we celebrating?"
"Your going out with me." She laughed against his chest. He continued softly, "I think I recognize the song they're singing."
Annie suggested hopefully, "Smoke gets in your eyes. I like that one."
To her surprise, he sang softly, "They asked me how I knew... My true love was true... I of course replied... Something here inside... Cannot be denied."
"You know it!"
"Oh... John... Then what?"
"I kiss you... like this..." And he kissed her in the elevator. She moaned and then pushed him away.
"That's not a very good idea, John."
"Oh, but we're on a date and everyone kisses on a date."
"Now what are they playing?" she asked in a shaky voice.
Hanson sang, "The day is my enemy, the night my friend... For I'm always so alone... Till the day draws to an end... But when the sun goes down... And the moon comes through... To the monotone of the evening's drone... I'm all alone with you."
She murmured, "Jerome Kern."
Hanson murmured close to her ear, "Time and again I've longed for adventure, Something to make my heart beat the faster. What did I long for? I never really knew. Finding your love I've found my adventure, touching your hand, my heart beats the faster, All that I want in all of this world is you."
"Jerome Kern again."
Grinning in delight, Hanson sang, "Somewhere, someday we'll be close together, wait and see. Oh by the way, this time the dream's on me. You take my hand and you look at me adoringly but as things stand this time the dream's on me,"
Hanson laughed. He sang: "A B C D E F G... I never learned to spell... At least not well... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I never learned to count... A great amount... But my busy mind is burning to use what learning I've got... I won't waste any time... I'll strike while the iron is hot... If they asked me, I could write a book... About the way you walk, and whisper, and look."
"Rogers and Hart."
"Give me a kiss to build a dream on, and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss."
"Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby & Oscar Hammerstein. "
She buried her face against him and started to shiver in fear. Oh, God!
"Show me the road, sir," Hanson sang in a cockney accent. "Show me the road to Gilgarth. Me wife, she is waiting..."
Annie laughed, a little shakily, but it was still a laugh. "Oh, Hanson, it's 'Me wife and kids, they are waiting...'"
"You knew that though. Thank you."
"I help you stand and we dance, there on the grass. I hold you tight and you melt in my arms."
"Do I?" she asked wistfully.
"Yes," he said in a hoarse voice. His hands tightened on her arms in a very manly, wonderful way.
"I wish..." she began.
Someone knocked on the elevator door. "Anyone in there?"
Hanson yelled out. "Yes!"
"Half a mo' then!" The door was forced opened. It was hard going, but it was open. They were between floors. Hanson lifted Annie up into waiting arms and when she was free, pulled himself up and out.
Lisa and Smith were there. Lisa was holding a sobbing Annie. "What did you do to her?" Lisa demanded angrily.
"Nothing, honestly!" Annie said quickly, through her tears. "He helped me."
"She's claustrophobic," Hanson explained.
Annie almost laughed. "We went on a date."
Lisa was shocked, "What? When?"
"In there. They were playing music and he sang to me." She regained control of herself. "He kept me calm. Thank you, Mr. Hanson."
"Anytime. But, please, call me John."
Annie nodded. "John..."
You know, they really do play music at Everts Park."
"I know. I go there sometimes."
"Would you like to go with me tomorrow night? Please don't say no."
"Will you sing to me again?" Annie asked softly.
"You want me to?" he asked softly.
"Yes... please. I like the way you sing."
"Then I'll sing to you again..." She nodded. He grinned at her, that beautiful grin that got to her every time. He saw and rejoiced. "You know, the night is young. We could take in a movie. They re playing the old Floodtime with Gordon Jackson and Rona Anderson at the Seeley."
"I like them. I would like to go." He reached out and took her hand, and they rode off into the sunset... er... they left the building and got into Hanson's car.
And then they rode off into the sunset.