The first text message arrived at two o'clock.
"Are you excited for tonight? We are. xoxo, the Heart Squad."
Kurtzburg was less rattled about this one. It was his work phone. It wouldn't have been hard for the Heart Squad, whoever they were, to get it.
A picture followed. It was a close-up of the flame-haired model kissing the camera with the other three girls in the background behind her.
All four women were exceedingly attractive. They looked just like the women you saw on TV gliding around the swanky parties. Starlets. Celebs. 'It' girls. Ironic given that his own profession, which also shared the same two letters, was often at the opposite end of the spectrum when it came to glamour and social skills.
Then it clicked.
If they looked good enough to be TV people, they might be TV people. Which made this a... Valentine's Day prank? Yes, that sounded plausible. Probably one of the cheap'n'nasty reality TV shows. Kurtzburg had no idea which. He didn't watch much TV nowadays, preferring instead to spend his leisure time playing videogames or solving coding problems. He also had no idea why they'd singled him out.
Okay, he did. It was because he was fugly and surrounding a mumbling fugly with four bombshell beauties would make for appropriately cringe-inducing TV.
He had no idea why they'd singled him out in particular.
Oh well, that mystery would have to wait for later. He had to fix this bug before the end of the day.
Betts came back with the box of chocolates and a guilty expression. The tray was empty. For all of Betts's talk of sharing them with the whole office, Kurtzburg doubted the box had even left the QA section. He didn't mind. Given their suspect origin, he hadn't been planning on eating any of them.
* * * *
Kurtzburg got another text at three.
"We're going to have so much fun together."
You're going to be so disappointed, Kurtzburg thought, deleting the text.
Another at four.
"We'll be waiting for you outside after work."
You'll be waiting a long time then, Kurtzburg thought. Judging by how this bug fix was progressing, Kurtzburg didn't think he'd be finishing until at least eight. He wasn't too thrilled about it. He'd been looking forward to getting a few hours in on the new space Civ game, Master of the Crimson Nebula.
"It's almost time. We can hardly contain ourselves. Can you?"
The innuendo was obvious. Kurtzburg felt it in his loins anyway. Despite not being the most active in that department, he still retained some sexual desire. He really wished he lived in a world where four hot girls would whisk him of the street and take him out on a wild night of partying and debauchery.
This was not that world.
Kurtzburg was not a chump.
He was also too busy anyway.
He looked at the screen. Goddammit. Comment your goddamn code, people.
The messages stopped after five-thirty. The office had already emptied out. Kurtzburg was the only one left still tapping away at his keyboard.
He did feel a little sorry for whoever was behind these Valentine's Day fun and games. They must have realised something had gone wrong by now. That Kurtzburg wasn't coming out or had already given them the slip.
Sorry, hah. What was he thinking? They were likely only doing this to set him up for embarrassment... or maybe even worse.
Shame though. He would love a wild, sexy night with four hot, gorgeous women.
Yeah, right. Like that would have actually happened. He wasn't a chump.
He got up and trundled to the drinks machine to pick up a can of Red Bull. Caffeine makes code. He looked at the screen and focused on the problem at hand. It was trickier than he'd first thought, but he felt he understood the problem now. He reckoned he'd be able to fix it before leaving tonight.
He checked in the solution at 8:31. Half an hour later than he'd estimated, but not too bad. He got up and stretched. Most of the office was dark. Kurtzburg packed his things together, walked to the exit and switched off the lights. His stomach rumbled. Maybe he should have eaten some of those chocolates after all. He could pick up a kebab on the way home.
He walked down the stairs and out the front entrance. The night was a little nippy. He adjusted his coat and turned right. His bus stop was at the end of the street.
A shape flowed out of the darkness and stepped in front of him. It was the tall and busty flame-haired woman. She was still wearing nothing more than a longcoat over frilly pink lingerie.
to be continued...