It didn't dawn on Terri exactly how devious and oily Steve Flemming really was.
"He brought us coffee. I like him." (Terri)
"Yeah, well you like bath salts, so you're basically an idiot." (Ollie)
She didn't understand. Terri had never picked up on the undercurrents of intrigue or the subtle hypocrisies of politics, and so she was perfectly oblivious to the reasons that everyone around her seemed to despise Steve Flemming. Theirs was a world of backstabbing and betrayal, which was a good reason to distance herself from it as much as possible, and that was why she had appreciated the gesture of being brought coffee.
It was thoughtful. It was simple. It was upfront.
Rather like Steve.
He struck her as being easy going and honest, not like Malcolm who was forever curled up like a snake ready to strike. You only had to look into his steely eyes to see the cogs turning – how can this be used to my advantage? – and Steve was the polar opposite. He was friendly and easy to connect with, rather like the political equivalent of Mr Chips, so Terri was fully prepared to like him.
Still, something about the exasperation in Ollie's voice, and the knowing look in his youthful eyes made Terri wonder. She thought about the conundrum of their changed office dynamic until her daily horoscope arrived in her inbox.
All is not as it seems; trust your head, and not your heart.
Terri remained uncharacteristically quiet for the remainder of the day. Instead of chatting and giving advice, she was showing a rare level of interest in her surrounds. When Steve had snapped she had been shocked – it was like the transformation from Dr Jekyll to My Hyde – he had retained his sycophantic charm and faux politeness, but there was pure, poison anger simmering underneath the surface.
Terri still didn't get it. At least he tried to keep a reign on things and remain civil, even if that did make Steve a hypocrite. Or maybe he was having a hard time adjusting. After all, they had spent the day going behind his back and asking Malcolm for permission to do everything that he suggested.
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