New Woman – Chapter 2

I barely slept last night. The constant images of Vicky’s lips on my own replayed in my head disobediently whilst I tried to erase the memory. What was I doing? This was not the way I behaved with a man let alone a woman. The first time Jonathan and I were intimate, I had done intense research in the way to kiss and how a man would like to be touched – ridiculous as it seems, he was my first boyfriend and with no siblings, I had to depend on a number of articles to be my guide. However, I’ve just moved to New York and here I am acting out of character, way out of character! So many thoughts were running through my mind, reminding me of the previous night, that I could barely concentrate on anything. I could barely allow one emotion to run through me because I started to think about things like Vicky’s lips on mine, remembering how soft they were on my own, how my body vibrated in unexplainable excitement and warmth, and instantly I regret even doing it in the first place and wish I could bury myself under the sheets so that I didn’t have to come out until I forgot about last night.

It didn’t help that my head felt as though two mine workers were hammering at my brain trying to find gold. I found myself wincing at the pain amongst a number of other memories which I tried to forget. I knew that I had to get up soon for work, but the thought of even raising my head felt impossible and facing Vicky today, did nothing to encourage me to leave my white silk sheets. I closed my eyes, trying to focus on eradicating one problem in hope that would make any future plans easier to organise in my head. Firstly, I needed to locate some paracetamols. There was no way I was going to have an internal war with myself when I had a splitting headache. Slowly I sat up, instantly gripping my head when the throbbing intensified due to my elevation. Taking deep breaths, I slid out of bed and carefully made my way to the bathroom, remembering the floor pattern as rising my head to look directly in front of me, would have only made everything worse. After making my way to the bathroom safely, I opened the mirror cabinet and grabbed the only tablets in there.  Feeling far too awful to make another journey to the kitchen for a glass of water, I popped two pills into my mouth and gulped the water from the taps of the sink. Once the bitter pills made their way down my throat, the image of Vicky arose in my mind. What was I meant to do? How was I meant to act with her now? Did she ever consider that before throwing her lips on mine?

My forehead tightened as I remembered another detail from last night, I’m sure she mentioned she had felt attracted to me for a long time hence why she was unsure of how to behave with me? If I took what she said into consideration that would mean, from when I first arrived in the office she had started having feelings for me? It all seemed to surreal to believe. I could imagine telling Jonathan what had gone on yesterday and him turning around and blaming me for my boss kissing me. I scoffed thinking about Jonathan and instantly regretted it as the mine workers bounced around in my head, causing me to wince. Bloody Jonathan, how could we be in a steady relationship for a few years and the time when I start to progress in life, that is when he decides to give me an ultimatum? I looked at myself in the mirror, looking at the way my brows furrowed in annoyance and the way my mouth frowned as I thought about the way in which Jonathan failed to get in contact with me after I left for the job. After staring at myself for a few minutes, I realised that I had transferred my anger, shame and guilt to Jonathan. If he had been caring, if he had stuck by my side, maybe I wouldn’t have found myself here, clutching onto the rim of the porcelain sink, my head pounding and my heart racing after every thought of Vicky. I had no right to blame Jonathan, if anything he would laugh and say the infamous, ‘what did I tell you’ line – but who else could I blame?

I dragged my feet as I walked back to bed and gently sat on my bed. I grabbed my phone and noticed that soon enough if I didn’t start to make a move towards the shower, then I would have to call into work and let them know that I won’t be showing up. And even though every muscle in my body craved for me to get back underneath those sheets and get lost in my unconscious, something within me stopped me from doing so. I had to remain professional. Maybe because I was one of the youngest of the bunch at work (bearing in mind the team was all nearing the same age), but I felt I had more to prove. I was the one with the least experience, yet still managed to find myself in a position where someone who had years under their belt should have been. I had to prove not only to myself (and the imaginary Jonathan in my mind) but also to Vicky. I needed to show her that no matter the curveballs thrown my way, my head was still in the game and I would fulfil any promises I made.

With very slow movements, I made my way back to the bathroom and ran the hot water in the shower. Watching the water spray out of the mouth of the shower hose relaxed the miners in my head. I stripped out of my pyjamas and stepped into the shower slowly, enjoying the hot water beat against my skin. Breathing slowly, I thought about nothing apart from the water being sprayed against my skin – it was much needed. The silence, the calm because I knew after I left my apartment, I would have to face the storm I wasn’t prepared for.

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It took longer than normal to get to work, but as I stepped through the glass doors of Building 59, and swiped my ID on the barrier sensor I knew that I had to put on a brave face. Even though I couldn’t think of anything better than hauling a taxi and returning home. Instead I put on a bright smile and walked out of the elevator meeting Kirsty, the receptionist by the welcome desk.
“Bloody hell, how do you do it?”
Paranoia claimed me as I tried to decipher what Kirsty had meant. Do what? Had Vicky gone around and told everyone we had shared a kiss yesterday night and now Kirsty was wondering how I could show my face in the office the next day? Too stunned to speak and too scared to hear what her next line was I stood in front of her in utter silence, bracing myself for her next words.
“I mean, we all drank so much yesterday, yet here you are looking like you never went out and got the best sleep ever.”
A nervous chuckle escaped my lips as I remembered that she too was there yesterday, dancing the hardest on the dance floor. I shrugged my shoulders whilst signing in.
“Trust me, I don’t feel as good as I look.”
“I wouldn’t have guessed that you felt like shit.” She said taking a long gulp of water, whilst taking a tablet. I waved her goodbye and made my way to my desk, dreading seeing Vicky as my desk was the closest to her office. I couldn’t face any awkward situation and didn’t think I had the energy to. Once I got to my desk, Eileen was first to greet me with a disgruntled face.
“I feel bloody terrible Rebecca…you know when you think to yourself ‘was it really worth it?’ – yeah that’s my thoughts now.” She said slightly perching on my desk.
“Yeah, I seriously contemplated coming into work today – I feel like absolute crap.” Eileen looked at me deeply and then shook her head.
“Would have never thought you have a hangover, you look too good to be feeling as crap and you say you feel.”
I chuckled slightly, booting up my computer. “Don’t us females try harder when we know we look even more worse than usual?”
“No honey, that is you only. How did get home anyway? I should have texted you, but I had to share a cab with the girls because I could barely stand once I left.”
“Just a taxi.” I said avoiding any eye contact, hoping she could notice the lie.
“Did you see Vicky, she left shortly after you and I thought she may have caught up to you?”
“Nope, didn’t see her. I got a taxi quickly lucky for me. Anyone get lucky yesterday?” I asked her hoping to get her to switch topics and talk more about herself and her experience yesterday night.
“Nah,” She said shaking her head and getting up from my desk, slowly making her way back to her desk. “sadly, I was banking on someone to get lucky…even a cheeky kiss would have been exciting!”

She turned from me and walked to her desk as I looked back at my monitor. If only she knew that a ‘cheeky kiss’ was shared last night, but between the two people she would have least thought would have shared an intimate meeting.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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Countdown [Part 2]

Last night was difficult for Anna and the cycling had only done so little to settle her nerves, which left her too restless to sleep. All night she stayed awake, remembering that night seven years ago. The memories fresh in her mind, reminding her who she used to be and who she is now after what had occurred. Her life was no longer the same. She was no longer the same. She was eroding away in front of her own eyes and there was nothing she could do to stop what seemed to be the inevitable. Dammit, she muttered to herself in her bed. One night was all it took to have her clutching onto her sheets again for dear life, when she was in no apparent harm. She thought about the letter again and the photo and shock inwardly. It was stressful enough to not know whether this was a just someone with sardonic humour, but something in the back of her mind screamed alarms.
The same voice that screamed alarms seven years ago, but she ignored. Anna had learnt her lesson and she learnt the hard way. She’d find herself rummaging through her memories to see if she knew the man in the photo, but nothing came to mind. Instead she’d try to remember the man laying dead in the picture and then remember Detective Sutherland.
There was something about Sutherland that made Anna feel protected. And that alone was what was scaring her. She barely knew the man, let alone spoke to him. But the aura that fed off him was something she treasured, a feeling she had no awareness that she desired, but had wanted so deeply. Anna wasn’t prepared to teach today, with her mind still wandering back and forth between Sutherland and the photo, she wasn’t focused enough to prepared students for upcoming exams. But she was sure as hell she wasn’t going to stay at home, where there was definitely no escape of the events of last night and Sutherland. She began to clear her mind and focus on the paperwork that was stacked on her desk as her students were reading, when the door knocked. She looked up to see Mike standing in her doorway, with that grin that made her skin want to turn inside out.

“Miss Phillips can I have a word outside please?” Anna excused herself from the class and made her way outside, hoping Mike wasn’t trying to ask her on yet another date, because she didn’t know what other excuse to give him to avoid his proposal. It was bad enough he kept asking knowing she wasn’t interested in him, but being her boss made everything more difficult. Mike didn’t know when to take the hint, especially when it came to Anna, and he didn’t seem to read expression very well too. Because if he looked closely for just a second, he would realise every time he spoke to Anna, she’d recoil within herself. Every time he stepped just a little too close to her, she made sure the gap between them was more than big enough to give her the space she needed. So whatever Mike thought he was seeing between himself and Anna was far from reality.
“What’s the issue?” Anna asked looking at Mike. He shrugged, directing her towards a figure that was behind her with his gaze. She turned around to see Detective Sutherland, standing just as large and confident as he did in her living room the night before.
“I have no idea, but I do hope you’re not starting trouble Miss Phillips – you’re too much of an asset to lose.”
She cringed at his comment, knowing what he meant and faced the detective.

 

Sutherland, who had caught every meaning to that slimy principals comment, clenched his jaw, watching Anna attentively to see if she’d received his subliminal meaning. When he saw her slightly flinch and turn away from him, he decided to react the same, there was no need to fight this woman’s battles just yet – even though he wanted to. No matter how much he tried to fight it, it was the first time in a long time he wanted to protect any woman who wasn’t family or his partner. The world was a cruel place, it gave when it wanted to give and took when it wanted to take. He thought of his life only just a few years ago and grew stiff at the sour memories. He needed to pull himself together, this was no time to reminisce on the past and the ‘what could have’s’, instead he focused on the now, and that was finding out more about Anna Phillips and who would send her a picture of a dead man.
“I have a few questions to ask you Miss Phillips, is there somewhere private we can talk?”
Kane wanted privacy, with the principal still lingering around like an unwanted smell, he didn’t want to ask anything that could possibly cause complications to the investigation. Anna looked towards the class and Kane.
“I hope you don’t mind sparing 30 minutes, I’m in the middle of teaching. But after, I’ll be free to answer any of your questions.” Kane nodded then faced the principal.

“Is there a place I can wait until Miss Phillips is finished?” He nodded and began walking down the corridor. Kane could destroy this weasel who thought he was a man in a second if he truly wanted to. Not only did Kane tower over him, but is was clear enough that physically, Kane weighed and worked out more than this principal did. As the man continued down the corridor, leading Kane further away from Anna, Kane dared to turn around to catch one more glimpse of Anna and did he catch an eyeful. Not only did her pencil skirt accentuate her curvaceous body figure, but the shirt she wore grew tighter around her breasts, almost making Kane salivate. Like a dog, because I’m behaving like one. Kane shook his head, trying to focus on the matter at hand. But when Anna hadn’t entered the classroom, he realised she too was watching him. When he caught her eyes staring at him, she disappeared in the classroom without giving him a chance to react. The principal led him to the waiting room outside of his office.

“Sorry,” Kane spoke. “Does Miss Phillips have many friends here?”
“A few,” the principal replied nonchalantly.”She does her job and leaves. I’d consider myself one of those few she classifies as a friend. I’ll always look out for Miss Phillips.”
Kane’s body tensed, this man was more than interested in Anna. It seemed he would do more that the average to get her attention, which made Kane dislike him even more.
Through gritted teeth Kane spoke, “what about teaching?”
“Oh, Anna always goes that extra mile for her students, there’s no doubt in that. She is definitely an asset to this school and losing her would be a major loss for me.”
How much more could Kane take before his primal instincts took the better of him. He took a deep breath and continued.
“So you’d say she’s a good colleague?”
“She’s amazing. Just very quiet.” A woman spoke from behind Kane. He turned around and was met by a tall, slim ebony beauty. She greeted him with a smile and stuck her hand out for a shake.
“I’m Toni, Mike you have a call on line one.”
In a flash Mike the principal disappeared into his office, leaving Kane standing alone with Toni.
“I’m –” Kane wasn’t sure what to address himself as. He didn’t want Anna’s business spreading like wildfire, and he wasn’t sure what the repercussions would be if he told Toni who he was. “I’m an old school friend.”
Toni smiled whilst looking towards Mike, who was now behind his desk, chatting away on the phone.
“Mike’s odd, don’t mind him. We’ve all guessed he has a crush on Anna, but if she’s going to ignore it, then so will we.” Kane looked at Mike then shook his head.
“A little unprofessional, don’t you think?”
“Hell, when it comes to Anna, the man acts like he’s never seen a woman before.” She huffed and continued. “Chasing like a dog without a leash, it’s embarrassing. The man just doesn’t know when to stop.” Kane made a mental note of Mike, and thought to conduct a background check on him when he got back to the office.

“Does he behave like that all the time?” Kane asked, partly to keep the conversation going, whilst wanting to know more about Anna.
“It went up a notch when Anna’s ex split with her…that was years ago now. But ever since then, Mike never stopped trying.”
There was an ex, Kane made another mental note and decided to ask Anna when he saw her. His phone vibrated in his pocket, whilst he was just about to continue his conversation with Toni. He grabbed it, seeing the caller ID and decided that the conversation could wait.
“Sorry excuse me.” He left the building, praying his partner Charlie had some good news about the case.

Our Secret [Part 2]

With the presentation checked and completed, I was sure that the strategies I’d planned for Miss Woods would have her pleased. I smoothed the crease in my skirt and took a deep breath. It wasn’t as though I was nervous because I still failed to grasp the understanding of my dreams, It was the actual fact that I might become a PR to the famous Sienna Woods. This was more than just a huge deal for me. It was an opportunity that if I somehow messed up, could impact my career negatively. Not that I was ever too indulged into my career, but it seemed that having being presented with such an opportunity did wonders for the way I viewed my job. The many doors that would fly open if this meeting went well today kept my nerves at the edge of their seats.

I looked down at my attire, assessing whether I’d dressed appropriately. A blouse and skirt was more than appropriate. But maybe because my client was the Sienna Woods, nothing in my wardrobe seemed to be good enough. I fiddled with the buttons on my blouse and straightened out my skirt once again, when a cough filled the room. My head shot up, and there she stood with Kasey. Dressed in a sky blue designer dress, that hugged her figure in all the right places. My eyes involuntarily travelled down her body, noticing the white heels that probably costed more than my whole outfit. She looked even more stunning in reality than in the movies she starred in. Another cough pulled me out of my daze.

“Cleo, this is Miss Sienna Woods.” He directed her in my direction. I made my feet move forward, with an outstretched hand.

“Sienna would be just fine.” Our hands met in a firm handshake, whilst I tried to keep my gaze on her face. Her smile was infectious and reached her eyes, making her instantly more likeable. I hadn’t handled such a client like Sienna Woods before, but I wasn’t going to let her status frighten me.

“I’m Cleo Dane, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Her smile brightened up ever so lightly. I signalled her to take a seat as I loaded up the presentation, giving her a brief introduction on what my expertise were and where I planned to take her image.

It was a long process, and required me to talk her ear off for most of the time, but in the end she was more than on board with the plans I’d set for her. After Kasey had taken Sienna to the exit, I’d begun packing some spread sheets and documents away, preparing to head to my area to start working on the ideas set for Sienna. As I’d finished gathering the paper, Kasey appeared in the doorway.

“You did an excellent job Cleo.”

“Aw, there’s no need to thank me Kasey.”

“There is! Because of you, Sienna Woods is now apart of our clientele, that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for you and all the hard work you’ve put in.” A smile crept onto my lips. Knowing the time I spent preparing the presentation was actually beneficial reminded me how pleasant this job truly was. I gave Kasey a nod, ready to use this energy into creating a plan that would build Sienna Woods, when Kasey stopped me.

“Nearly forgot, Sienna Woods gave me this,” He handed me a card that had information typed on it and then a hand scribbled number written at the bottom. “Sienna asked me to give you this. It’s her personal number – she really liked you Cleo. This is only the start of something amazing. Well done on the good job.”

He walked back to his office, leaving me staring blankly at the card Sienna had left for me. I looked at the information typed, whilst memorising the number written at the bottom of the card. Noting how my heart thudded a little harder as I thought of Sienna Woods praising me to Kasey…working with Miss Woods was going to be very interesting.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Job Offer [Part 1]

My mind kept telling me I should turn away and run, but every muscle in my body refused to obey my command and instead, I stayed sat in her midst. She looked at me numerous amounts of times, biting her lip every so lightly every time she took a glimpse at me, but that wasn’t what had my heart jumping. It was the way she managed to slide her fingers past the lace of my dress and in-between my bare thigh.

I thought about telling her to stop, but then her nails grazed my heated skin and I found myself grasping involuntarily. I had wanted more and she knew of this. I wasn’t even sure why I had wanted more, but it was as though she knew exactly how to make me dissolve under her touch. She gave me a side-glance, causing me to bite my lip as I tried to regain focus. I wasn’t even sure if she was what I wanted, I had never ventured like that with a man, let alone woman, yet she wasn’t giving me a chance to think. With her fingers crawling up my leg, leaving traces of desire and fire via her touch, my breathing increased ever so slightly. Loud enough for us to both hear, but quiet enough for no one else to notice.

Eventually, her wandering fingers found there way to my disobedient hungry heat. I hadn’t known I was holding my breath until she had now turned her full attention to me. Feeling light headed, she used her free hand to pull my bottom lip free out of the hold I had on it and whispered ever so lightly.

“Breath.” It was only then my lungs began to work again. Taking in more air than needed and with the same speed taken, the air rushed out of my lungs, burning my throat as I tried to work my voice into saying something. With her fingers slowly stroking the wet heat that came from in-between my legs, she moved closer to me, bringing her lips close to my own. Without moving, I watched as she grabbed a handful of my hair and wrapped it around her fingers. Her eyes roamed my body, taking it all in before coming back to my eyes. She smiled and in sync, came close enough so our lips were barely touching, whilst her fingers had found their way through my lace thongs, and between the damp crease that had grown even more famished.

She traced her finger along the crease of my sex, making me shudder uncontrollably under her touch. She watched me as I attempted to digest everything, finding it hard to comprehend what she was exactly doing to me. Just as I began thinking about the many ways I could pull myself away from the situation, she parted me with her index finger and gently petted the ball that had grown erect. My back arched almost instantly, my body pleaded for more whereas my mind had finally begun to register what was occurring. She gave me a small smile, and strummed the hard ball faster and a little rougher than before; causing me to grab the nearby pillows, in hope some of my frustration would seep out through my fingers and into the couch pillows. But that did nothing to decrease my desire, as my lips parted in an ‘O’ shape when her fingers had travelled further down, nearing where my disobeying body had ached to be fed.

She tightened her grip on my hair, then plunged her finger deep within my drenched, salivating sex. A moan forced its way out of my chest that was quickly suppressed by her lips. Soft, but wet had kept our taboo going on for longer than it would have if my scream had made the ears of the others. Her tender lips kissed mine, both lips dancing together to the music of our ecstasy, whilst her finger had travelled depths that hadn’t been explored in far too long. Her finger, more welcomed than any other, had no difficulty in finding its way around my heat. Swimming its way through my moans and grasps, then stopping when it came across the bubble that held so many foreign feelings. It became hesitant at first, then slowly began stroking and pushing, causing me to clutch onto her shoulders, as her fingers had vigorously started to move faster around my hidden bubble. Before I could subdue my scream, she fully covered my mouth with her own, eating my screams, waiting patiently till the shudders had come to a halt and my body had stopped trembling.

She bit my bottom lip whilst smiling as she removed her finger from the place that treasured it the most. Giving a brief look at the others that seemed to be asleep on the floor, she sat on top of my still trembling legs and grabbed my left hand. She placed my hand on her neck, and slowly pulled it down towards her chest, with her finger glistening in the light. She placed my hand on her chest that had been rising and falling at a fast pace, then allowed my hand to cup her breasts. They felt tender and smooth under my touch, apart from the diamond that stood firm through her thin t-shirt. My eyes stayed focused on her nipples that seemed to get harder under my glare, until she spoke breathlessly.

“Rub it.” I used my thumb to gently rub the tip of her nipple as she threw her head back, allowing the pleasure to run through her spine. Whilst her head was still hanging in pleasure, I decided to pinch her nipple ever so slightly, using the same technique that turned me on, with her. She jumped and held my hand, moving her hips against me getting me stirred between the legs again. Using my right hand, I ran my fingers down her chest, ignoring the breast, as my left hand had focused on them and moved between her thighs, shocked that she had gathered juices.

I walked my fingers between her thighs and into her waterfall that was still producing more juices for me to travel through. With my left hand, I tugged her nipple lightly, causing her to grasp. I pulled again, harder this time then penetrated both my index and middle finger through her folds and into her sweet love. She hummed in pleasure as I moved my fingers through her folds, moving deep within her depths and then back to her walls. She opened her mouth to take small breaths, as I began increasing the speed, making sure I watched her face intently to be sure what both my fingers were doing was what she wanted. Rolling her nipple between my fingers and performing a come hither motion inside of her, had her thighs clenching around my hand. She grabbed onto the backrest of the couch and slowly lifted herself away from my fingers, meeting my thrusts as I continued to penetrate her faster. With her breasts now lightly bouncing around in my hand, I found it difficult to play around with her nipple. So instead, I pulled her closer to me and placed the hardened nipple in my mouth, proud and surprised on the strangled cry that burst through her lips.

I used the base of my tongue to lightly caress the hardened nipple, enjoying the feel of the hard diamond against my rough tongue. Our movements sped up, sending her closer towards her release. The motion in my fingers gained speed, whilst exploring every inch of her, whilst her thighs shook as she continued to slam back onto my penetrative fingers. I used my teeth to gently pull against the rock in my mouth, causing a strong wave of trembling to embrace her body. For a few seconds she remained hovering on top of me, shaking uncontrollably, until it came to a slow stop. She slowly descended onto my laps, letting her muscles become relaxed so that I was carrying her entire weight.

After a few long minutes she lifted her head to look at me. Passion and desire still written in her eyes, but now something new shone in her eyes. A look of satisfaction had been apparent, and I couldn’t help but mirror her expression. There were a number of mixed emotions that were running through my head, but at the look she wore and the way she made me feel both overruled any doubt that was currently swimming around in my head. All of a sudden a loud beep had begun ringing, stirring those who were asleep on the floor before us. Panic arose, as I knew we didn’t have enough time to gather ourselves, without them noticing that something had gone on between us. I attempted to locate the beeping noise, when my eyes slowly opened.

It was 6:30AM and time to wake up. The alarm beside my bedside had starting ringing, interrupting another heated dream I had. It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in a daze of emotions and desire the morning following a dream involving a woman. I wasn’t even aware when the dreams began. It didn’t even have to involve anyone I was familiar with, just a woman who had captured my eye during the day, would find her way in my dreams, hair between my fingers and tongue dancing with my own. And with each dream, I was always the one being pulled into the sexual activity, never instigating but always participating. I tightened my already closed eyes, wishing I could get a few more minutes of sleep, knowing sleep had been a disturbed feeling every since I had these intruding dreams pierce my subconscious. But, with the second alarm buzzing loudly I knew it was time to finally get up, earn money and then drag myself back into bed for another restless night.

 

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During work my mind constantly drifted towards my dreams, making me question my sexuality. I wasn’t a lesbian, in fact, I’d had a recent partner who’d made me somewhat happy, until work had forced me to depart from the relationship. My job required too much of my time and I was aware of this, but he wasn’t. Up until recently, I was entirely sure that I was attracted to men and men only. Not like I’d pursued another relationship after the last one, but I hadn’t questioned what my preference was. However, after the dreams I wasn’t so certain. I never really looked at another female in the way to have made me feel as though I was attracted to them, but my subconscious was either playing a prank on me or trying to tell me some vital information that I was oppressing deep within myself.

I looked up from my computer, realising the email I should have sent to a client fifteen minutes ago, still stood static on my screen, waiting for the sentence to be complete. I inwardly sighed and rested against my chair, when I felt a presence behind me. I turned my head to meet Elise, a friend and colleague of mine, beaming a smile at me.

“You are far too happy in a place like this, what’s got you smiling? And can I have some?”

Elise spun my chair to face her properly and chuckled lightly at my expression of being forced to changed direction.

“You can’t tell a living soul!”

“Tell a living soul what?”

She placed both hands on the armrest of the office chair and brought her face close to mine. Memories of my dream flashed back into my mind, making me retreat almost instantly.

“You’ve got to promise me Cleo, you can’t tell anyone!”

In an instant, my hands flew up as though I was surrendering and nodded my head profusely.

“I promise, scouts honour.”

She slowly moved back, checking that nobody was listening and then returned her position in front of me with that same beaming smile.

“I found myself a new job!”

“Congrats!”

I jumped up and gave her a hug. Being the first colleague to approach me, Elise and I had grown quite close during our years at ‘Beverly & Co’. And as much as I was happy to see her move onto better things, it just meant my time here would instantly get dull. And with no one to take my mind off of the constant nagging clients, it would turn into a nightmare working here. As we held each other in a tight embrace, her chest rose and fell in excitement, causing me to feel her breast against my own. The image of me devouring a hardened nipple came into mind, causing me to stiffen instantly. I wasn’t sure whether the image of me being with a woman had me frozen, or the fact that it had caused my stomach to perform a pleasurable roll. Either way, Elise had sensed my distance and pulled away from me to watch my face.

“You okay? I hope you’re not upset that I’m leaving?”

I pulled myself out of my thoughts and looked at her, smiling.

“Well I can’t say I’m entirely happy you’re leaving. You were amazing to me and it’s caused us to have such a friendship I’ll treasure forever. It just sucks I won’t get to see you all the time.” I performed a fake pout that made her shimmering eyes form tears.

“Stop it. We’ll still talk and meet up, I treasure your friendship too Cleo.”

I wiped a stray tear away from her face and gave another hug, this time shorter and not as intimate as the last one, before that caused my body to react in ways that I didn’t understand.

“I’m sure of it. Look, stop crying before Kasey comes in here and starts asking questions. I’m happy for you and you should be taking this new step with happiness.” She sniffed away a few more loose tears and then lightly tapped my shoulder.

“It was your fault I got all emotional.” Wiping her tears with the back of her hand, I rub her shoulder gently and allow her to compose herself.

“Super glad for you Elise.” She nodded and with a last quick hug, she began walking back to her area of the busy environment of ‘Beverly & Co’. Just before she completely left my vision, she bounced back.

“Oh! Before I forget, a bunch of us are getting lunch together. You have to come since it may be one of my last…” Now it was her turn to pout, I rolled my eyes and nodded, knowing I had emails and calls to make, but knew it’d be Elise’s last lunch with me so I was glad to slack off just for a little bit.

Lunchtime was busy and it was Nick’s bright idea to head to ‘Café de délicieux’ to get food. But as soon as we had gone inside, we almost regretted the idea. The line to be served had extended to the entrance of the café and there were barely any tables to sit at.

“Okay, bad shout. But we might as well wait here.” Nick shouted amongst the loud customers.

“I do have clients to attend to if you didn’t know.” Halle rolled her eyes, replying to a email on her phone.

“So do I, that Miss Uptom is one pain the neck.” Nick shook, visibly irritated by his client.

“Ugh, can we not talk about our clients. I’m with Nick, we might as well stay and enjoy this free time.” Elise shrugged.

“You know what Elise, you know what I like. You order my food and I’ll find us a table.”

Swimming through waiters and waitresses, I attempted to locate a table enough to fit the six of us. But, after a few ‘excuse me’s’ and ‘sorry’s’, I gave up and began heading back to the queue, when I bumped into a waitress, dropping her tray of cutlery’s.

“Sorry.”

She bent down to pick it the scattered contents, mumbling a few insults, most probably, and then stood back up again.

“Thanks for the help.” The waitress said with a small smile on the side of her lips.

“Oh, sorry. I was looking for a table and didn’t see you.”

“It’s pretty busy during the lunch hour, getting a table is difficult. Maybe if you’d helped me with the cutlery, I may have been able to get you a seat.” She winked an eye at me and continued with her journey, leaving me frozen in the place we’d met. Was she playing or insulted that I’d offered no help? I eventually walked back to the queue, where the line had only decreased by a few people.

“No seats I’m afraid.” Everyone groaned apart from Halle whose eyes were still glued to her phone.

“I guess it’s a takeaway. Damn Nathan is in trouble with the police again, it’s definitely a takeaway for me.” I felt my phone vibrate a few times, but decided to ignore it whilst Elise frowned. I gave her a light nudge and smiled, hoping the line didn’t take too long as duty was calling me too.

 

*                *                *                *                *

 

It was getting late and nearly everyone had left the office as clients and events never slept. I normally preferred to finish all work in the office, but after finding myself daydream one too many times, I realised I too, would have to take a number of paperwork home. There was a light cough that causing me to look up.

“Cleo I need you to do a favour for me?” Kasey stood, giving me a small smile.

“Kasey, whenever you need me to do something for you, it means a lot of sleepless nights.”

Kasey wasn’t a typical boss who failed to communicate with his team. If anything he understood us and was willing to teach us in areas where we lacked knowledge. However, even though everyone may have played and joked around with him, respect was still visible and no one ever attempted to cross the line.

“I know Cleo, however, you’re a very good worker and this favour is more of an opportunity for you…well the both of us.” I turned in my chair and faced him properly.

“Okay so what do you need me to do?” He entered the cubicle and leant against the desk.

“Recently our profits have been increasing and I’m more than aware that if it wasn’t for my team, those profits would be non-existent. However, I’ve gathered that the area you handle is currently becoming more popular.”

“Event managing and PR? I assumed that was a steady sector that neither grew or fell?”

“Well, ever since the Winston brothers hosted that ‘Great Gatsby’ themed event and invited nearly everybody in the industry known to man, it boosted the way events could be ran.”

“I see, so what do you need me to do?”

“I need you to host a presentation to a potential client, your potential client. This client is a big deal, for the company and for you too. They’re were looking for someone who acquired your skills and I thought of you.”

My spine shot up as I realised what Kasey was telling me. This was an opportunity that could jet off my career. It could be the first step of many more if I accepted the offer.

“My potential client?” He nodded smiling at my interest. I bit my lip nervously and thought about the prospect thoroughly. It’d mean I’d work double shifts, and probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to myself. However, the money opportunity is one only a fool would pass and it could be the beginning of something amazing.

“That’s if you think you have the ability to successful fill the role. But there wouldn’t be a reason for me to think of you, if I didn’t believe in you.”

I nodded, appreciating Kasey’s belief in me and understood that there could be no way I could pass this offer up. I smiled and stood up.

“You have me sold. Who’s the client and what’s the presentation for?”

He chuckled and straightened his posture. “It’s Sienna Woods.”

Her name sounded familiar to my ears… then I realised where I recognised her name. She was the actress who had recently received a golden globe for playing the lead role in a horror film that had released earlier in the year. My eyes grew in shock after realising how big the opportunity was and how bad it could end if I didn’t successfully do well enough with the client.

“Yeah, the Sienna Woods. So make a presentation on potential steps she could make for her career, look at her image, if there’s any places she needs work, then you tell her. Don’t be afraid of her status, but don’t be forceful, make sure she’s on-board with all of your ideas. She is your biggest client.”

I nodded and grabbed a notepad to jot down things to research and to conduct a background search on Sienna.

“Oh one more thing,” I looked up at Kasey. “She’s coming in at one o’clock tomorrow, so make sure everything is prepared by then.” He smiled and left my section heading back to his office. Tomorrow…I guess I won’t be leaving work anytime soon.

 

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