BATON ROUGE, LA—Employing a silly voice and jocular manner to suggest a lack of serious intentions, Dennis Vukelich, 29, pretended to hit on a woman he'd like to hit on for real Monday.
"Ah, at last we're alone," Vukelich, a due-diligence manager at C&H Accounting, jokingly told coworker Aimee Broussard in the office copier room. "I've waited for this moment all my life."
"Let's make beautiful music together," continued Vukelich, holding a stapler like a microphone and launching into a rendition of Barry White's "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe" while Broussard laughed.
"Dennis is so funny," said Broussard, who met Vukelich in February when she joined C&H Accounting as an administrative assistant. "He cracks me up so much."
Several weeks after meeting Broussard, Vukelich began pretending to pursue the 26-year-old blonde.
"Aimee is a really great girl," Vukelich told coworker Bill Pearce during a recent after-work get-together at Bennigans. "She'll be a wonderful mother to our 10 children."
Broussard, who was sitting within earshot at the time, playfully slapped at Vukelich, prompting him to pretend to pour his half-empty Corona over her head.
Like Vukelich, Broussard is single, having recently ended a two-year relationship with her former live-in boyfriend. But despite Broussard's eligibility, and Vukelich's frequent complaints about his lack of a girlfriend, Vukelich said he has no intentions of pursuing her.
"Aimee and I are just good friends," Vukelich said. "Besides, she gets asked out by tons of really good-looking guys. She probably wouldn't be the least bit interested in me. Then again, we do have pretty undeniable chemistry."
In addition to his blossoming friendship with Broussard, Vukelich has been cultivating his friendships with other coworkers of late. Though he had never before thrown a party at his apartment, Vukelich has hosted three coworker gatherings since Broussard joined the C&H Accounting team in February. This summer, he was also instrumental in organizing three weekend outings, one of which was canceled when Broussard was unable to attend.
"Aimee has really been a great addition to our gang at work," Vukelich said. "It's good to have someone new around to motivate us to do things."
Carl Gaston, a due-diligence senior at C&H, encouraged Vukelich to open himself up to the possibility of a relationship with Broussard.
"Dennis should just ask Aimee out already," coworker Carl Gaston said. "He's always joking about it, but he should just do it."
Vukelich rebuffed Gaston's suggestion.
"Oh, come on!" Vukelich said. "Maybe in the future something might develop. But for now, it's not even a possibility. Unless she hit on me first so I knew she was interested."
Attempting to explain why he and Broussard get along so well, Vukelich cited their common interests.
"Aimee comes from a small town, and so do I, so we can really relate on that level," Vukelich said. "There's other stuff, too, like TV shows we both watch, and restaurants and music we both like."
Vukelich said he possesses other qualities that make him attractive to Broussard as a friend.
"I may not be the best-looking guy in the world, but in friendships—and many relationships, too, actually—that doesn't matter so much," Vukelich said. "Women look for other things in a man, like a sense of humor and a kind, generous nature. And Aimee definitely knows I have those things."
Now entering its 10th month, the friendship continues to grow. Last Friday, Vukelich invited Broussard to attend a Paul Simon concert with him—the first time he has asked her to do something outside of work as a pair.
"I had an extra ticket, so I figured, 'What the heck,'" Vukelich said. "No reason to waste it, right?"
Unfortunately, Broussard had "other plans" the night of the event.
"Dennis was sweet to offer, but I lied and said my mom was in town," Broussard said. "I just don't think I could handle him for a whole night alone. At work, with lots of other people around, he's great. But for us to go to a concert or something, just the two of us, that'd be kind of weird."