A Boss, A Mentor, A Lover Ch. 03byjohnwhoknew©
The major deal Carrie and I struck with the national phone service provider put her in line for a promotion. The northeast regional director was retiring, and Carrie was the front-runner to take his place. I was rooting for her to get the position and continue her ascent, but secretly I was somewhat disheartened that I might not be working with her directly anymore. The regional director, while still assigned to the same building I was, would be reporting directly to corporate and would mostly just oversee my department, not work directly with us. Because of this, I was a bit torn.
Carrie had been a great boss. Professionally she was fair and even-handed, and she'd mentored me and helped boost my career in unimaginable ways. But personally she was even better. Not only did I trust her completely, but after we'd struck that big deal recently, we spent the evening celebrating our success by sharing an unbridled night of passionate lovemaking.
The sex had been incredible; it was something I'd never imagined we'd do. I'd lusted after her for years, but I didn't realize she felt even close to the same for me. When the moment arrived that we forgot our inhibitions, the result was an unabashed, sensual feast – we let years of longing and fantasy explode out of us. It was a night I would never forget.
In the time since, though, we'd never brought it up. We didn't flirt or acknowledge that that passion had ever existed between us. We both just went back to work and carried on as before. Business as usual, so to speak. At times this could be torturous, but I knew it was for the best. She was married after all, and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize her marriage, or her career.
Now Carrie was openly interviewing for the regional director spot and the outlook was good. She called me aside after a meeting one day to speak to me alone. "Hey Jim, listen," she whispered, "if I get the regional position it's going to leave my job open. I want you to apply for it."
This took me by surprise. "Seriously? I don't know if I'm ready. You really think..."
"Oh shut the hell up, Stillman. You're ready. You know you are. And I'd put in a recommendation for you."
"Thank you, Carrie, that... seriously... means a lot."
We shared a moment together after I said this. Our eye contact was meaningful, and the air grew thick with tension between us for the first time in the weeks since we'd fucked. Carrie finally broke the moment when she said, "Well, I can't go counting chickens just yet, let's wait and see if I get the position. You might just be stuck with me for a lot longer."
"Christ, would that ever suck," I joked, giving her a devious half-smile.
"Asshole," she retorted, returning my smile before she spun on her heel and walked away, her gorgeous ass swinging seductively with every step. She looked back after several steps and winked. She knew I'd be standing there admiring her perfect form. The gesture filled me with a momentary pang of both lust and sadness. I was going to miss this comfortable, teasing rapport we had together if she got the director job.
And sure enough, any trepidation she may have had about not getting the position was relinquished just three days later. Corporate chose her to be the next regional director; it really had been inevitable. The team was incredibly happy for her, myself included, even though I was a bit sad to lose someone who meant as much to me as she did, both professionally and personally. But I was committed to not letting her know this. I was going to show her only how happy I was for her. Then there was the situation about me applying for her job. Corporate had decided she'd stay in her current position for two weeks to help interview her replacement and get the last few logistical matters in place before she went to her director position. I turned in my application and made my intentions known.
Several days later I had my interview with her. When I entered her office I got a bit of a shock. Carrie was wearing a new suit. She had always dressed impeccably well, but this particular suit was something new entirely. She'd clearly stepped up her game. She must have gone to a high-end store in Manhattan and gotten this one tailored specifically for her. The steel gray suit clung perfectly to every curve, accenting her hips, waist and ass as she rose up off her chair to greet me. Even the jacket hung off her shoulders perfectly, and draped casually over her breasts to accentuate them. The skirt stopped about an inch above the knee, sexy yet not unprofessional, and revealed black pantyhose on her lower legs. The effect was breathtaking. She looked simultaneously stone cold professional, yet erotic. She'd even tied her hair back tightly behind her head, so that it lay perfectly flat, to complete the tough as nails business look. As we shook hands I'm sure she could tell how taken aback I was. I stammered a bit, much more than I should have if this were merely an interview with someone I'd worked with for years, and her slight, knowing smile affirmed for me that she understood why I was flustered.
The rest of the interview went well though. At points she would swivel in her chair and cross or uncross her legs, giving me glimpses of her well-shaped ankles, calves and thighs just above the knee, all accented perfectly by the tantalizing pantyhose. I glanced down every time, enjoying the beautiful views offered to me. I knew she noticed me admiring her, just as I knew each view was a little gift just for me. But I answered all of her interview questions honestly, and we had a great professional give and take conversation.
She informed me that corporate would probably call me in for a second interview, but that she would report favorably on our meeting. I thanked her and got up to leave, but paused for a moment after our handshake. I wasn't sure if it was foolish, or if the timing was absolutely wrong, but I couldn't stop myself from saying, "And by the way... amazing suit." I looked her up and down as I said it, drinking in the effect the suit created. I didn't do it in a lascivious manner at all; it was an honest compliment from one friend to another.
Even so, her breath caught for a split second as she exhaled, and I knew she had appreciated the compliment. She nodded slightly and replied, "Thank you, Jim," as she smiled at me. I returned her smile and left her office. It was yet another deliciously awkward moment between us. As I returned to my desk, my mind was momentarily flooded by images of when I had undressed her in that hotel room, my hands under her skirt squeezing her soft, shapely ass, tearing the buttons of her shirt open, ripping her panties off with my teeth. I quickly pushed these thoughts from my mind and got to work; I was going to have to get over that shit quickly now that she was leaving. That little fantasy was not going to happen again.
Two days later I had my interview with corporate. It went very well, but I couldn't quite tell how they felt about me. They had been complimentary and very supportive, but they didn't give anything away. The next day Carrie called me into her office. She had another impeccably tailored suit on, not quite as perfect as her gray one, but still it sent my mind spinning. She must have gotten several new suits in preparation for her new gig. I'm sure they must have cost a fortune, but they served their purpose. It was clear she intended to up her game and send the statement that she was in complete control of every aspect of her life and job. I quickly regained control of my own head so as not to betray how turned on she always got me. God how I loved an intelligent woman who knew how to handle her power, and Carrie was the absolute epitome of this.
She explained that corporate had narrowed her replacement down to two candidates: me and a guy named Martin Wells from our Kansas City office. They would make their decision by Friday, her last day. Martin had a few more years of experience on me and was generally well-liked in the company. "Look, I put in a good word for you, and told them they'd be crazy not to go with you," she said. "I raved, actually. Really the only thing I didn't tell them about how phenomenal you are is how incredibly well you eat pussy." She laughed but hearing her say this sent a whirlwind of excitement through me. I felt my cock twinge instantly when the word "pussy" escaped her lips. The shock of it sent me reeling for a turn, but I tried not to show it. I laughed as well, albeit somewhat awkwardly, and smiled at her, wondering if she noticed the twitching in my crotch. She returned my smile with her wicked grin and said, "But I would have if I thought it would better your chances of getting the job."
"Well, thank you Carrie," I finally stammered after a moment. "You've done more than I could have ever asked for. I don't know how I could ever repay you." I turned to leave her office, but stopped at the doorway and said, "But let me know if you ever want me to prove how good I am down there again," nodding my head and lowering my eyes toward her crotch. "I mean, you didn't even let corporate know? Come the fuck on!"
I laughed to let her know I was kidding, but Carrie put both hands on her desk to steady herself and I noticed her legs spreading slightly. "Don't... fucking tempt me, Stillman," she replied, putting a heavy emphasis on the first word. Both our eyes narrowed into a longing stare. This was the first time we'd acknowledged our sex since the night it happened, or the palpable desire still lingering between us. I smiled and started to walk away, but she called to me, "Oh and Jim... good luck walking around with that, by the way." She nodded toward my crotch just as I had to her a moment before, and the irony certainly wasn't lost on me. The reference to my rather obvious hard-on was comical and quintessential Carrie.
"Yeah thanks," I replied, "I'll just be at my desk trying to subtly jerk off unnoticed – hold my calls, please." We both laughed and I left her office. God, was I ever going to miss her.
On Friday, we threw a going away party for her in the afternoon. She had the brazen audacity to wear that perfect gray suit one last time while she was still my boss, the one I had complimented her on during my interview. I was sure this was no coincidence; she wanted to torture me just once more before she left. She could always be counted on to bust my balls; it was one of her most endearing qualities.
As we were about to enter the conference room where the team waited with her congratulatory cake, she pulled me aside. "Listen Jim, I just got off a call with corporate two minutes ago. They're going with Martin; they want me to let the team know. They're going to call you later personally to explain. Jim, they love you. They think you're great. They just want that little extra experience Martin has. I'm really sorry."
"No, Carrie, don't be. I'm so grateful for everything you did to try to help me get the position. And Carrie, I'm unbelievably thankful for everything you've done for my career, everything you've taught me. I never could have gotten to this point without you. And I'm fine, seriously."
"Are you sure? This really sucks. I'm pissed off they didn't take my recommendation."
"No don't be, I'm fine, really. C'mon, you've got cake waiting for you." She complied reluctantly as I pushed her into the conference room where everyone was waiting. She received a rousing ovation as she entered; everyone on the team respected her. Even though she could be a hard-ass, she never did it disrespectfully. We were all going to miss her, no one more than I.
During the party I kept thinking about how I'd lost out on the position. I wasn't unhappy, but I was definitely disappointed. That disappointment was adding to a day that was already going to sting; losing Carrie was tough enough. She kept shooting appraising glances at me during the party. I could tell she was wondering how I was handling the bad news. I kept trying to show her convincing smiles, but I wasn't sure how well I was doing.
Toward the end of the party, Carrie announced that Martin from Kansas City would be taking over as manager of the department. Much to my surprise there were some disappointed groans and glances in my direction. I hadn't made it public that I had applied for the position, but it was a small office so I'm sure most people knew. And to hear these subtle signs that maybe some folks had been hoping I'd get the position actually made me feel a bit better. But Carrie did a good job of being diplomatic and assuring everyone that Martin would make a good manager and that we were poised to continue accomplishing great things. She had interviewed him by phone and said that in her dealings with him in the past he had proven to be smart and very capable of good leadership. I hoped she was right; she was going to be a tough act to follow. She was the consummate professional: fair, even-handed, intelligent and creative, all wrapped up in an incredibly shapely body, complemented by an impeccable sense for fashion and carried around with an air of confidence – it's no wonder I lusted after her so badly. She epitomized the word "sexy" to a tee.
The party ended and the team made their way up one-by-one to congratulate Carrie and wish her well. I cleaned up the plates and silverware and was the last one left in the room after everyone else had personally thanked her. She approached me and said, "I can tell you're disappointed, Jim."
"Is it that obvious?"
"No, I just know you too well. I can tell." She took another step toward me, giving another appraising look. She did know me too well. "You should be disappointed; you have every right to be. You did enough to earn this position and I honestly think it should be you."
She nodded. "Just don't get discouraged. Keep doing what you're doing; keep getting better day by day. Everything I've heard about Martin is that he's a great team player. I'm sure he won't stand in the way of your growth, so just keep progressing. And you'll do great things." She paused for a moment, then added, "You already have."
The atmosphere in the room grew thick. We stood only about an arm's length apart, and our eye contact was fixed and meaningful. I didn't quite know what to say, so I went with sincerity. "Thank you Carrie, once again, for everything."
"You're welcome, Jim. Thank you as well."
"And thanks also..." I hesitated, not sure how, or even if I'd be able, to say what I wanted to say next.
After a moment, she broke the awkward silence. "For what, Jim?"
"Because you look so impossibly fucking sexy in that suit." I blurted it out uncontrollably, every syllable rushed so that it became almost like a single, drawn-out word. She exhaled sharply. After a moment she broke eye contact, looking me up and down, and stepped suddenly close to me. I grabbed her by her hips and pulled her into me authoritatively. She pushed her face into my neck and wrapped her arms around my back. I wrapped my arms around her as well and squeezed her tightly. My cock became instantly engorged. She pushed herself into it and held me tighter, feeling the full length of my erect shaft between us, her breath hot against my neck. I pressed my face into her hair, smelling its sweetness.
I ran my hands down her back onto her hips again but then pushed her slightly away. I was intoxicated, barely in control. I just wanted to grind my crotch into hers, feel the softness of her mound against my hard cock. But I couldn't, not here, not now. As she pulled her face from the crook of my neck I bent down slightly and our cheeks brushed together. Our lips brushed against each other as we passed, but at that moment we became keenly aware of where we stood. If anyone passed by the hall to the conference room they would see us pressed together through the window, our lips brushing against one another. We both took a step back and exhaled deeply, trying to catch our mutual breaths. I was battling the desire to pick her up and throw her on the table, and tear that incredible suit off of her, now a symbol of how badly I yearned for her, yet would never be able to have her. After several tense moments of calming our breathing, I finally said to her, "I'm going to miss you, Carrie."
"I'm not dying, Jim. I'll still be here in the building, just, you know, on another floor."
"I know," I replied, "but I'll miss you just the same."
"God, you are so sweet," she whispered. She reached out her hand and I took it. But instead of a handshake we stood holding hands for a moment, staring into one another's eyes. The moment was indescribably sexy.
After a minute, I lifted her hand to my lips and kissed it softly. "Good luck, Sterling," I told her, and, smiling, walked out of the conference room. I didn't have the strength to turn around and look at her again; the moment had overwhelmed me. I ached for her, but it was time to let her go. Walking out of that office was one of the hardest things I'd ever had to do.
Things were a bit strange over the next few weeks without Carrie around, but I can't say they were bad. Martin joined the team after Carrie's departure and he was a damn good boss himself. He mainly stayed out of my way; I think he recognized that I had good experience and knew my role well. Early on he looked to me for advice on how to work with the team, and he often sought my guidance on some tough decisions. I really respected him for that. It would have truly sucked if he had come in and tried to be Mr. Swinging Dick around the office, barking orders and trying to intimidate everyone. But that wasn't his style or his personality. He treated everyone with respect and soon the team was working quite well together.
I missed Carrie though, badly. I'd see her on occasion around the building, and she'd always stop to talk. She was very busy so our chats were usually pretty brief, but it was always a pleasure to see her.
After several months I started to notice a slight change though. When I'd see Carrie, she was now starting to look more strained. I could see a certain tension in the way she carried herself, the way she walked, that I had never noticed before in my years of working with her. I chalked it up to the added stress of her new position and blew it off; after all, I only really saw her on occasion anyway. How could I judge what she was feeling?
Then one day, about ten months after Carrie had taken the regional director position, an unexpected opportunity presented itself. The phone service provider that Carrie and I had won as a client was looking for a new pitch. It had been a year since we'd started working with them and they were ready for a new campaign with fresh new ideas. Martin called me into his office to explain the situation.
"So here's the deal, Carrie has hand-selected one person to work the account, Will Myers from her team. And she's asked me to select one person from my team to work with the two of them. This one's a no-brainer, you're the guy. You cool with that?"
"Of course, yeah, I mean, I've worked that account before obviously."
"Yup, it's a can't-miss from where I'm standing. So I'll let Carrie know you're on it, and she'll probably call you to set up some meetings so the three of you can get ready for the pitch next week." The plan sounded good to me, and it would be great to get to work alongside Carrie again, even for a brief time. I didn't particularly like Myers much; he was a bit of a prick, but if Carrie recommended him then I'd get past my shit and be professional.
Carrie did call me to set up the meetings, but she sounded rushed on the phone so we didn't talk much. During the meetings, though, it was just like the good old days. Carrie and I had great energy as we bounced ideas off each other. Myers, to his credit, did add some solid creative stuff, when he could stop fixating on himself long enough to think objectively for five minutes. But for the most part he just stayed out of the way while Carrie and I did our thing, brainstorming and throwing out cool, creative ideas.