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I enjoyed and appreciated all the feedback sent to me, and I bow in humility to everyone that took the time to shoot me an email about my work.
I take all critiques and suggestions in mind when I’m writing, and I encourage you to send me your opinions, and be as detailed as you’d like to be.
I had to cut this chapter in half, for it was threatening to be really long, and I worked it in a way so that you don’t feel disconnected at the end, or overwhelmed where the next one starts. Chapter Five is currently in the works, and two more future chapters are being plotted and outlined in between breaks.
Again, thank you for reading, and lots of love!
Being realistic was the backbone to Marc’s thinking process. He didn’t sugarcoat bitter facts, didn’t waste time on pretty clichés and words when he could be doing something, and didn’t play games…well, the last one was true until the night he dove head-first into that tryst with Jillian Zahra.
He knew going in, that it will be a short-lived affair, and assured himself repeatedly that -come next Monday- he was going to clear things out with her. Tell her who he was, how meeting her in that bar was no accident. It never did work that way, though. Maybe it was him, maybe it was the sex…the mind blowing, bone melting dirty sex, but he just couldn’t bring himself to reveal his name and position knowing full well that Jillian would end their association on the spot, and never want anything to do with him on a personal level anymore. She was that kind of employee; slaving, by choice, in her quest for excellent output without relying on any handouts. He did his homework on everyone working for his father before agreeing to assume the old man’s position. He also knew that their official introduction was imminent, and that she was going to be shocked, or pissed…or both. Well, she was both, and he told himself he was prepared for it all along, but it didn’t feel that way after all.
The tangy taste of her pussy lingered under his tongue, and he could still smell her on his clothes, feel the smooth puffy lips of her cunt on his lips, chin, and cheeks.
“Fucking hell!” slamming his office door, he stared blindly at the panoramic view his windows provided of the city, and wondered for the hundred and fiftieth time why he was so agitated by her expected response. Was some part of him wishing she’d forgive his little faux pas and just say something like, “Water under the bridge! It’s cool, but we can’t do the nasty anymore” and they’d resume their lives? Or was he secretly hoping she’d carry on with their arrangement with added clause; keep the sex out of the office where they’re both genial, professional colleagues, but still see each other after work? The latter presumption sounded better since he already knew that he didn’t want the sex to end.
He heaved himself heavily in a chair, and booted the computer on the desk watching his scowling reflection on the crystal screen go from black, to blue with his operating system’s logo greeting message, then finally settle on the computer background that held the company’s name in loopy silver letters.
He’d dug his own grave, and wasn’t proud to admit it, but took full blame for it. He also knew that he screwed himself royally because she could walk out on the company at that critical transitional point, turning things inside out, upside down, and ass backwards all at the same time. The thing that bothered and puzzled him the most however, had nothing to do with work, and everything to do with the fact that she might never forgive him. She was stubborn, and he was in purgatory. The way things escalated, taking over his self control, the fact that he found himself constantly thinking about her -not always in a sexual way, but with genuine interest in her as a person- indicated that his only option was to fry in his own hell over this.
Resolutely, he steered his thoughts in a professional direction again. Still frowning at his screen, he pulled up his email application, and hit compose, trying to come up with a short message that explained that her position with the company was intact, and she had nothing to worry about in that respect.
“This job is my life.” She had said, and he knew -based on the quality of her work, and everyone else’s recommendations- that she meant that.
“Jesus!” he pinched the bridge of his nose briefly, before sliding his fingers up to rub his forehead irritably. He should’ve told her that very first time at the bar…and sacrifice all that intoxicating, wild sex? His brain questioned, would she have said “yes” back then if she knew him? Maybe come up with an arrangement similar to their original one?
The answer was a resounding “No” and he knew it. Still, it didn’t explain why he acted so irrationally; reckless, feckless, and untamed in his indulgence. He never had trouble getting women; his position, güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri looks, and money made it almost too easy, yet he still took that nosedive and messed around with his own employee.
He tried to word together that email while trying to banish the niggling sense of guilt he felt by telling himself that she had overreacted. He argued that she should’ve expected an unpleasant issue to arise after her unaccountable decision to pick up a stranger and suck his dick for him. She’s an intelligent, grown woman who knew exactly what she was doing when she made a witless, wanton decision to have fun, he told himself, and was lucky it was him she propositioned and not some demented psycho who wanted to chop her u—he couldn’t complete the thought…the idea of someone getting their hands on her made his head and temples prickle with an angry, stinging ache, and he didn’t even want to consider the possibility of her getting hurt by someone.
Still, he shouldn’t experience remorse or dwell on the what-if’s that fixed nothing. What happened, happened, case closed. He’ll just have to talk to her later -when she was more receptible- and help her see things from his perspective.
Later proved to be less than five minutes later as he, impatiently, dialed her office extension only to get her secretary who told him that she left for the day. That’s cool, he’ll try the next day.
But she called in on Tuesday morning, telling Helga that she didn’t feel well as her summer allergies were acting up, and she won’t be able to make it in.
“She’s not sick.” Helga crossed her ankles after seating herself in the chair across from his desk. The portrait of high fashion propriety, Dorothea Darby of Berryville Arkansas, has been Helga Bloom for the past twenty-five years. And for the same twenty-five years, she has worked for the Dussant’s, maintaining a firm grip on the company’s ins and outs, as well as being embraced by the family as one of them. She once told Marc that babysitting him when he was a kid was the closest thing she ever got to having her own child, as she often expressed no wish to have any children that mirrored the big, poor household of her childhood, but he suspected there was more to the story, yet kept his nose out of her business.
“She never misses work, reason or no reason,” she continued, “I remember when she came to work after her Caribbean trip where she got food poisoning. She looked green in the gills, but put in a full work day even after I tried to coerce her into going home for some rest. Jillian is the definition of a workaholic. Her whole family is like that. They get together every Sunday for brunch at The Russian Tea Room where I think they brag about who put in the most hours at work that week.”
“You’re the same way, Helga.” He sat back in his chair, and mused at how the older woman had managed to look the same for a quarter of a decade with her dishwater brown hair cut short and curled at the ends towards her chin. If she had any wrinkles, they were skillfully covered by her tasteful makeup that was always applied the same way, never varying in colors or style.
“Yes, but I’m not twenty-eight with a dancer’s figure, and exotic looks and need to get out there and start dating.”
She waved when he squinted “Jesus, Helga!”
“Oh c’mon, I have eyes and ears, and I know how guys drool over girls that look like her.” Then she fixed her pale eyes on him pointedly, “I’ve seen the way you look at her, young man, and I have to warn you, she’s a good girl, and you shouldn’t mess with her.”
Good girl…Jillian. Right! He shrugged, “I don’t mess with anyone that doesn’t want to be messed with.”
His defensive response got him pinned by the old woman’s gaze for a few long moments, and he felt like he did when he was twelve and got caught -by her- drinking from the whiskey bottle he managed to smuggle from the liquor cabinet, “What did you say to make her angry?” she said at length, and he fended himself, “I didn’t say anything to her, you told me she’s your top manager, so I went to see her earlier this year, and we stayed in contact.” It wasn’t a lie, just the paraphrased truth.
“Smyth told me you’ve been to see her at her apartment.” She said referencing the apartment building’s doorman and his big mouth, and Marc nodded, “Yeah, so?”
“So you pissed her off, haven’t you? What did you do to her?” the woman wouldn’t quit, and he really didn’t want to talk about this as he started to feel like such a heel for corrupting Good Girl Jillian with his profligate ways, “For the love of God, Helga, she called in sick, how’s that my fault? Maybe she is sick, and couldn’t bring herself to come to work. Maybe she has some sort of woman emergency or something, how would I know?” liar, liar, liar, his conscience chanted as he went on, “If it makes you feel any better, I’ll call her at home and check on her.” He conceded, but his companion was güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri still unconvinced when she murmured, “Do that.”
“She probably doesn’t want to be bothered, but I’ll be nice.”
Her hands that were clasped in her lap, moved to the arms of the chair “Do whatever it takes, just bring her back; she’s my right hand.” He nodded, and she went on, “She stumbled upon us about five years ago when she submitted her résumé for a receptionist position. I heard her speaking to that dolt they had in human resources back then, and she sounded so fluent, so knowledgeable, but he kept making excuses, so I stepped in and took a look at her CV and coversheet, and I knew, I just knew she was made for something better, that she was capable of giving all she could to this company.” She smiled reminiscently, “She was desperate; she had a modeling portfolio, and some experience doing social work ’cause she was working for the city at the time. But she had a business degree from Columbia that was being wasted on her dead end job. I took her in, and she never disappointed me. Bring. Her. Back. Marc.” She closed with a chastising demand.
He was silent for a minute, absorbing it all and mulling over the new insights he had into her life, “Did she want to be a receptionist or a model?” he asked, his curiosity getting the best of him.
“Both, anything. I told you, she was desperate for a job with decent pay.”
“She wasn’t living in your building at the time.”
“No, I helped her get her flat about a year after I hired her.”
Another pause, “You said she had a modeling portfolio? I thought she worked for the city before coming here.”
A slow smile showed a straight row of teeth that was very lightly glazed by the yellow stamp of smoking, “She modeled lingerie in college.”
Whoa! “She mod- uhm,” he cleared his throat, “modeled lingerie?” the ache in his head was beginning to intensity in the dull throbs at his right temple.
“I thought that might get a rise out of you!” Helga chuckled mercilessly at his squirming, “What’s going on between the two of you?” the subject change was sudden, and unwelcomed as it made him resort to lying again, “Christ, Helga, we had a couple of drinks then talked shop, would ya let it go?”
“Apologize and make it right.” She breathed rising from her chair, “We need that girl here.”
He grumbled something about how she always assumed it to be his fault, even when he was in the clear, and she merely gave him another one of her all-knowing looks that shut him up.
“Bring her back.” She pronounced with a finality before walking to the door, but a quick thought rose to the surface, and he called out, “I’ll have to ask you to stay out of this,” he didn’t want her to question Jillian about the reason behind their little tiff, “This is my soup to stir, I’ll work it out with her.” But the woman was exasperatingly insistent, “I’ve had your cooking, you can’t stir soup for shit, buddy boy, if you don’t get her back, I will.” Her roots that she’d buried diligently were still deeply planted in the south as her southern accent made a rare appearance announcing how serious she was.
She was very wrong on several matters in her argument; Jillian wanted her job and loved it, she wasn’t going to leave just like that. And Marc’s cooking has evolved since he was a nine year old who burned scrambled eggs, and charred a pan of bacon strips…he was old enough to burn bridges instead, and set ablaze the launch of his new job with one lousy lie that kept on growing.
He didn’t want to use one of the company lines to call her speculating that she’s screening her calls, and would disregard any one that came from him. So he grabbed his cell phone and dialed her number for the first time ever, even though he programmed it with his contacts hours before first meeting her in February.
“Hello?” she answered on the third ring, and sounded perfectly fine.
He could hear the TV through the line, and an incessant chant of Jerry, Jerry, Jerry brought him up to speed, she was watching trashy daytime television! “Jillian?”
“This is she,” she answered, and he heard a clank, and a soft clattering before the TV volume was turned lower, “I’m sorry about that, go on.” she apologized unnecessarily, and he didn’t have to wonder long if she recognized him and was being magnanimous, because the minute he enquired, “How’re you feeling?” she murmured what he thought sounded like “The audacity!” before hanging up on him.
“Oh c’mon!” he dialed again, but got busy message, so he waited a few minutes while going through some papers then dialed again and got a this subscriber is not available at this time recorded message that didn’t even allow him to go to voicemail. It must be some number blocking app, he concluded as he sat stewing in the big office. As if to punish and torment him, the memory of their first encounter played in his head again. güvenilir bahis şirketleri And again, he wondered how and what he could’ve done to make things different.
He’d stepped off the elevator that night prepared for a standard business introduction over a drink, nothing that he hadn’t done before. His eyes scanned the people sitting in the dim, yet outrageously suggestive lights, a mixture of purple and red that made the whole place seem so surreal. He felt a heaviness in the back of his head relaxing despite his intent to stay shrewd and courteous. He wasn’t big on those exclusive, hip bars and clubs, and preferred regular sports bars, or round-the-corner type old fashioned jazz bars with live performances.
Where is she? He knew how she looked like from pictures at various company events, and sought out a tall svelte-figured woman, with Mediterranean coloring. He scoffed at his automatic search around the isolated corners, a woman like her wouldn’t be hiding in the shadows, he told himself and walked over to the far part of the round bar. He shot to kill, his gaze landed on a woman in a tan or buff colored business suit with dark hair that the lights reflected against making it seem prodigious and wild as it fell down her back and around her shoulders.
Her heels looked too high to be walked on, stilts, he thought to himself watching her cross her legs, and hook her left heel through her stool’s stretcher. He smiled unconsciously, striding across the black marble floor his eyes glued to her plump heart-shaped ass encased in the pale beige material of her pants, and displayed delectably on the stool’s seat. She had her jacket in her lap, and was looking through one of the pockets. Her action automatically prompted him to reach into his own pocket for one of his hard candy chocolate mints.
She swiveled in her chair, having dropped something, and Marc reached down just in time, and had to search with his eyes for a second before he found a small black hair clip.
“I believe this is yours.” It was comical, the way he knelt on one knee holding the ridiculous plastic clasp with the black teeth opening and closing it with one eyebrow raised.
“Yes, thank you!” she plucked it from his hand, her eyes studying him quickly, before she draped her blazer on the back of her chair. It covered the view of her lush backside hiding it from the other occupants of the room, but didn’t erase the sexy image that was now engraved in his mind.
“I never really understood women’s need for all of these extra accessories,” he declared claiming the seat on her right without an invitation, and she gave him a sidelong glance with a small grin, “They’re necessary when we want to look pretty for you.”
He watched her gather small locks of hair from the top of her head and the sides, and clip them together and away from her face, “You don’t need any help to look pretty for me.” he found himself saying, and wondered where his filter had disappeared to.
Of all things women have ever done when he flirted with them, she snorted and rolled her eyes muttering something under her breath, but was unable to hide the small smile that kept tickling the edges of her mouth.
His mouth was acting as his unofficial commissary, letting out all the thoughts that he didn’t need to voice to a businesswoman that represented his company, “I bet you’d look even prettier without all that stuff,” he gestured her clothes, “I’m even willing to participate in an experiment just to prove it to you.” He pushed the round mint around his mouth with his tongue, and imagined hearing it clicking against the inside of his teeth.
She touched the tip of her tongue to the corner of her mouth chuckling lightly and turning away from him, and he nudged her with an elbow, “I’m serious, I’m all in when it comes to helping folks.” Stop talking!
“Thanks, but no thanks.” She finally managed to hold her grin in check, and took a sip of her drink.
“Boulevardier?” he gestured to the classic thick glass, and she nodded, “I don’t do sissy drinks.”
“No you don’t,” he agreed, “Can I buy you another one?”
He gestured the bartender, but she shook her head, “One’s enough, I’m driving, and I buy my own drinks.” She shot him a steady stare, “Again, thanks but no thanks.”
“Bourbon Manhattan,” he said to the bartender then turned to her, “I like responsible drivers, you get a gold star.”
She did that light snorting thing again, and shook her head amusedly, “I don’t need your gold star, I have too many.”
She was a smart ass, but so was he, “Oh yeah, did you give them to yourself?”
She made a funny face, “Of course, the front of my refrigerator is practically golden now.”
It was his turn to chuckle and shake his head. He liked her already, she didn’t sound like the everyday girly-girl that melted visibly at his first attempt to flatter her, yet she was very much a girly-girl with her lightly applied makeup, the cute trinkets of her jewelry, and that hair clip that seemed to matter so much to her. Even in that formal pants suit, she managed to look extremely feminine, and her yellow shirt complimented her olive skin, and he found himself admiring it despite the fact that he didn’t care much for yellow.
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