Terence had elbowed both Pete and Martina out of the way when it was time for Heather to do her own trust fall to ensure he got to cradle her in his arms. He followed her up the ladder on the ropes course, nearly tripping her up, he was so hot on her heels. At dinner, he pulled out Heather’s seat as she was trying to sit down--which resulted in a spilled soda and awkward looks from the rest of the Webmasters United team. Over beef stroganoff, Terence enthused about the day’s events, reminding everyone that this retreat was his idea.
“Don’t you all feel closer now? As a team? I know we’re a company, but it’s almost like a family thing. I’m feeling it? Are you feeling it?”
Terence’s zeal was met with silence.
Martina looked at him with pity and Pete frowned and seemed slightly bewildered by the family comment. Gary appeared indifferent. Did he even notice that Terence was talking? Heather made a mental note to watch Gary a little more closely. Was he this much of a non-person in the office and she just hadn’t noticed it until now? Heather turned her attention back to Terence who was trying desperately to make eye contact with someone.
Finally, as office manager and unofficial cheerleader, Heather felt the need to break the silence. “I do feel like we got to know each other a lot better today,” she conceded. “I’m proud of what we accomplished.”
There actually had been some great moments. After using some real ingenuity and teamwork to conquer the obstacle course, John had informed them that they were the fastest group to complete it all year. An impromptu performance of “We are the Champions” and countless high-fives followed. And when they were working on the ropes course, Pete had frozen once he got to the top of the ladder. But they were able to talk him through his minor meltdown together and he had gone on to finish the challenge. Heather had always scoffed at the term, but she had felt some real synergy going on with her people. There would be some definite positives to report to Taz when he showed up in a few days.
Heather had worried all day that Terence had taken some kind of romantic interest in her, but after the comment about family at dinner, she wondered if maybe he was just incredibly lonely. He had suggested this trip after all, knowing full well what they would be in for. Heather started making a mental list of what she knew about Terence. He never took time to make personal calls at work. Heather was positive he didn’t have a girlfriend. And he had mentioned several months ago during some watercooler talk that his fantasy D&D group was dwindling; he lamented that so many of his friends were being lured into online gaming instead of showing up for the face to face encounters.
Besides Terence’s physical nearness freaking her out much of the day, Heather was also peeved that with him as her sidekick, she had hardly had a chance to get friendly with Lars at all. She had watched as Martina had chatted him up all day. Despite Martina’s advances though, Lars maintained his professionalism.
Heather leaned back in her chair and studied Lars from across the dining room as he restocked the hot chocolate packets in preparation for tomorrow’s breakfast. Maybe she could just enjoy the eye candy from afar. She was here with a mission after all. She wanted to really impress Taz with all they had done. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt their business if they did end up becoming a better team and company when all was said and done.
Heather stood up. “Well, I’m headed up to my room for a little quiet time and then I’m going to bed. I hope my muscles let me move tomorrow.”
There was an empathetic murmur from her coworkers. For a group of tech geeks who had little experience for the outdoors, they had really pushed themselves to the limit.
Terence hopped up. “Will you allow me to escort you?”
“No!” Heather emphasized her response by holding up both hands in a universal stop gesture. She was ready for a break. But after witnessing Terence’s hangdog look, she smiled kindly and tried to soften the blow. “I genuinely appreciate the offer though.”
Terence returned the smile as he sank into his seat. “Good night, then.”
Check back tomorrow to see if Terence can make any headway with Heather or if will Lars make a move.