tagNovels and NovellasAftermath Ch. 01-02

Aftermath Ch. 01-02

byAylahAyres©

1

Fingers splayed as I put her palms against the glass, stoking my burning need to touch her, into urgency. I pressed my chest against her back as I cup hers with one hand while the other holds the heat between her legs. We are so close to the same height that it enables me to completely enclose her body to mine. In this position it felt like her body was mine. This moment, I owned this woman. Passively she tilted her head offering more of herself to me. The sight of her long slender neck, the feel of her shaking with pleasure beneath my hands was the final thread snap of my self control. I tore her blouse open as I dragged my teeth along her neck. I yanked it off and threw it on the floor beside us. I slid my hand in one motion down the front of her; from her chest to the frilly tops of her underwear. I molded myself to her again; only this time we began to move in a slow and shaky rocking motion. At the end of each hip thrust it sent a building of pressure. The need for release. Our breaths were becoming ragged with that need. Feeling desperate to fill...

Lillian!"

Opening my eyes I saw the end of a yellow tie and a man's crotch covered in grey tweed, the puffy kind where it hides the shape and size. My eyes followed the tip of that tie to the end. My own personal yellow brick road. 'Jesus, snap out of it Lily' I thought to myself. The top of the tie led to a genuine look of concern on the face of a generically handsome guy. The kind you would expect a successful, wealthy, yet humble man of thirty-five to have. One hand was on his hip while the other ran through his hair. He looked stressed out. I wondered just how stressed out he would be if he knew he had just interrupted me remembering fucking his lively wife on his desk on Tuesday.

"Mr. Swanson, how may I help you?" I said, my tone guiltless as a Nun with a dripping candle stick. Inside, I was feeling rather sheepish.

"I need you to get a hold of Ranes and tell him I won't make it. He'll just have to take care of his own mess. That's my final word. See that he gets it. Oh, and Lily, come into my office in five," he said. He walked into his office closing the door behind him. 'Shit, shit, shit!' I looked around tugging at my ponytail nervously. 'Did Sherry tell him?' All I could think of as I panicked was her whispering in my ear in a husky breathy voice as she drove two fingers inside me saying 'I wanted to beat him to the punch.' My afterthought was, 'What the hell was that anyway? Do they have some competition going?' My mind was racing. I dialed Ranes' number while thinking to myself, 'Worst case scenario is he knows, I lose my job, I find another way to meet my deadline. Or, he could have a contract put out on me. Swanson has the money.' The phone was ringing. 'Come on, Ranes! Answer!' I tapped my pencil against my bottom lip. 'It would be a terrible inconvenience for my future plans if I had an assassin after me.' The phone clicked into his voicemail.

"Hi Ranes, it's Lily. Swanson says you're your own man. If you need help let me know. I think I'm getting fired so call my cell." I hung up. My intercom lit up. Mr. Swanson stated coolly, "It's been six minutes."

Swanson was sitting at his desk when I walked into his office, clutching my note pad as if it would stop bullets. His blue eyes were burning a hole into me as I was looked in them for a clue as to what he knew. It was a bit of an awkward moment, though not quite as awkward as my mother walking into my apartment while I was fucking her yoga instructor with a strap on while wearing a cowboy hat. Being my Mother, she didn't yell or cry or scream running away covering her eyes. She laughed. An unrestrained laugh. The kind where you hold your sides, eyes shut tight, while a tear falls down your cheek because you are laughing so hard. I had to give away the hat.

I cleared my throat to stifle the chuckle that was creeping out of my mouth. "Is something funny?" Swanson asked breaking the silence. I shook my head.

"I fired Cameron today." He paused when I didn't say anything. "She told my wife I slept with her at work. If I had I slept with her I wouldn't have fired her if that's what you're thinking." I shook my head no. He gave me a strange sideways glance. "So, Tuesday I let Sherry go through the security tapes to find out if I had been with her. She told me she accused you of the same I thing. She sends her apologies. She had no right to take you into my office, to attack you like that."

I was completely dumbfounded as to whether or not he was bluffing to see if I would confess. I hadn't a clue if we were playing a mental game. 'What could he possibly benefit from that? If so, 'Game on' I thought to myself.

"Did you watch her attack me on the tape?" I asked, calling his bluff. He leaned into his desk straight backed, folding his hands on the top of his desk. His eyes were searching my face.

"No," he said. "I hadn't thought to. Is it that bad?"

He frowned deeply, looking concerned. Not concerned for me or his wife; he looked concerned for himself. I was continuing to give him my straight up, stone cold face.

"Not at all. If I had a woman like Carmen supposedly confessing her sins, my spouse's secretary who I think is attractive would be the next logical assumption. I told her the truth about what I think of you." I gave a half smile of apology. It didn't that he didn't know why. I just felt I should apologize for something.

He stared at me, mouth open slightly, "Really?" He questioned. "What are your thoughts of me Ms. Scott?" I shook my head and wondered if his comment was a pass. He frowned. "Tell me what you told her." He gave an odd smile of encouragement.

"All right Mr. Swanson. I told Sherry that as long as I have worked here I have never so much as received a phone call from a potential mistress asking for you. That as far as Carmen was concerned, she's an opportunist. I have watched her make passes at you—sometimes they were subtle, sometimes they were bold. I told her that when they were subtle compliments and flirtations that you ignored them. When they were not so subtle or physical, you had seemed to be annoyed and more bored than anything." Wanting to know what he was thinking I stopped myself from elaborating. I could see him digesting my words. He was breaking them down as if he was searching for what was not said. His facial expression showed he knew I was hiding something. Isn't everyone?

He straightened in his chair. "Lily, your job is not on the line. I'd like to know everything that you said to Sherry. Please." He gestured for her to go on with his hand, "continue." He folded his hands again. I think he did it when he was unsure of what to do with them. I was more than positive he heard the breath I was holding as I released it with quiet relief. I felt that he should know. I was a lot of things. I knew who I was even when I did things the general public would see me punished for, but I was honourable. This man had a right to know his beautiful Sherry was a vengeful bitch who felt she had been betrayed and felt she needed to retaliate. It was the very least I could do before his end.

"I'll tell you the rest under one condition." His eyebrow twitched slightly. He was not a man that took no for an answer, ever. "I want you to write on this piece of paper," I slid my blank note pad and pen to him, "that you will not, under any circumstances or by any means, have me killed or harmed or harm me yourself." He stared at me. He simply just stared. He was either very good at deception or he was thinking nothing at all.

'Why am I telling him?' I asked myself. 'I am one of the good guys, that's why.' I felt my resolve whenever I t had this thought. He picked up the pen and rolled it in his fingers while staring into my eyes. I felt the smallest rush of adrenaline as if my body was preparing itself for absolutely anything. He put the pen to the paper and scribbled on it. He paused to read it again, and then signed his elegant signature. After replacing the pen on the paper he flipped it around then slid it back towards me. I tilted the paper so I could read it and still see his hands in my peripheral.

I Derek Swanson will not have Lillian Scott harmed or killed by any means in any way.

Derek Swanson

He reached into desk to offer me a Virginia slim. I took one and he handed me a crystal ash tray that was a sparkling rainbow of colors in the sunlight that beamed through the windows of his all-glass corner office. He offered his lighter to me. I leaned in. I love it when men are chivalrous.

"I explained to her that I had slept with Carmen." His face remained neutral, much to my surprise. "I also explained that she was the type of passionless woman who was a terrible kisser and was an even worse lay. She is the lay-down-and-take-it sort of woman. Even if she had weaseled her way into your pants I was certain her looks were the only thing going for her." I had already figured he would see the tapes and what Sherry had done and reacted, so why the hell not go all the way. "I told her that Carmen's perfect tits were bought and that I would rather have a spitfire in my bed like Sherry rather than Carmen any day. I'm positive you felt the same. I reminded her that you are a powerful and intelligent man who does not put up with shit." I took a deep drag of my cigarette as though it would be my very last.... "I had my way with your wife for the first and only time that day in your office. She loves you very much and believed you were sleeping with another woman. She said she wanted to beat you to the punch."

I gathered my things as I put the cigarette out and stood chest forward and chin up. "I'll clean out my desk and be gone by the end of the day. I won't insult you by apologizing because I'm not sorry. You're wife is a delight and you're a lucky man. You should try to fix things and make it work. She's worth it." I waited at the door to see if he would, or even could, reply. I also did not want him to think I was running away. For the first time since I stepped into his office his eyes left mine to look at his wedding ring. He spun it on his finger. I slipped out because I sensed his need to be alone with his thoughts.

I walked to the supply room to find an empty box to put my things in. 'I'll just have to find another way to finish.' I thought to myself as I shuffled through the empty boxes in the corner of the storage room. I picked up one with a lid only to turn around and crash into the IT guy Josh, who got me this job.

"Jesus, Josh! What the hell?" I yelled. He picked up the crunched box that I had dropped and handed it to me. He grabbed me by the shoulders, giving them a little shake. It vibrated through my whole body.

"Lily," he exclaimed, "I need your help! I am freaking right out! I got the ring, the reservations— she doesn't suspect a thing. The only thing I don't have is the guts to go through with it!" He was so intense anyone could see just how desperate this poor guy was. He tilted his head giving me that I'm a cute sad puppy take care of me look. It was then I realized Josh knew me all too well. 'Damn it.' I thought. I wanted to get the hell out of this office before Swanson came out of his. I hated shopping and having to deal with very awkward moments that I cannot run away from.

"Come on, Josh, walk and talk." He grabbed the box from my hands stepping aside so I would take the lead. It was one of the things I liked about him. He simply accepted that I was more Alpha than he, no annoying challenges, he knew where he stood with me. He had a wholesome confidence going for him. It was a natural sweetness that was teetering on geeky. It made me adore him sometimes.

When he used it to his advantage, such as now, it reminded me that yes he was innocent and sweet, but he was also clever in his own way. His soon to be fiancée Melissa was lucky to have him so completely in love with her. Even though I did not know what true love felt like or even to be just in love with someone, I could see it in other people. I reached my desk and Josh stayed quiet while I was lost in my thoughts. He was probably thinking that I was dreaming up some master plan. The trouble with being clever and having a brain that worked faster than most was that it took me on random tangents that have nothing to do with the problem at hand. The upside is that I usually find my way back to the problem with a solution quicker than most would on a single train of thought. I sat down at my desk and began to put my files in the box. 'How do I make this the perfect night for both of them?' I looked at Josh with the puppy look and thought 'light bulb'.

I put my hand out. "Josh, give me the ring."He gave me a confused look, but like a good sub, he did as I said. I took the ring out of the box. 'Perfect,' I thought.

"You have to set the mood to the ring, Josh." He listened as though I was some expert on how to propose to your girlfriend. Fat chance of that. "If you can do that subconsciously, she'll believe that the ring is perfect." The Human psyche is something I am a bit of an expert on—it was how I landed my real career in the first place. The ring itself was delicate, pretty in an antique sort of way. It looked as though it came from a time when craftsmanship meant more than the size of the rock. Now they put enormous rocks in boring molded bands and call it beautiful. Mass production is not meant for an engagement ring. I looked closer at it. It had intricate loops and swirls of gold and white gold that held precious little diamonds at a distance that would make the ring twinkle as though it was made only of diamonds. The center diamond had to behalf a karat timeless round cut. It was hands down the most beautiful diamond ring I have ever seen. "Oh, Josh, it is beautiful. If she says no I'll say yes," I joked. I pulled him into a hug over my desk. He looked so relieved I wanted to laugh.

He chuckled. "Well the guy you sent me to, he's a genius. When I first met him I thought you hated me. I thought why else would Lily send me to such a weird, crazy guy?" I cocked an eyebrow at him with an amused smile on my face. I let him continue. "I went to his apartment, which was weird too, and I sat down in his living room that looked like a 1950's movie set, and he asked me a lot of really personal questions. It felt like an interview for a biography."

I smiled at him, "That is rather strange. I know I should have warned you about him." I laughed.

"The jeweler made me explain my relationship with Mellissa and how I felt about her. All I could think the whole time was, 'Is this what therapy feels like?' He was a total whack job." He laughed. "He gave the ring to me at cost! I couldn't believe it. He said I lighted his heart anew. What a weirdo, eh?" I nodded and smiled, knowing how unique the jeweler is . . . and that I paid the difference in cost. Josh continued. "He's a wishy-washy kind of guy but man is he good. The ring does show how I feel about her. He gave me the recording of my interview and said I should give it to her. How do you know this guy anyway?"

I burst out in a hearty laugh. "I was walking down 6th by Denny's and saw this guy in a bowling shirt juggling boxes across the street. Papers were flying out of them. He was trying to pick them up sideways while still holding his boxes. A cabbie came flying around the corner. I didn't have time enough to warn him so I ran at him. I tackled him onto the sidewalk." The image made me smiled. "Papers, boxes, and his feet, flew straight into the air." I laughed. "It looked really funny, in a cartoon sort of way. The look of shock on his face was priceless." Josh shook his head with a half grin. He had known me long enough to know that tackling some random man on the street is not out of the norm for me. I cannot help myself. Too many people just stand and watch, it's just not something that is in my makeup to do.

"So that's your big secret," Josh roared with laughter. "You know all the best people because you assault them."

"And just think, I only choose the best of the best to be my friends." I replied. I watched pure happiness flood over his face. The honesty of the statement left me feeling awkward and vulnerable. It took effort not to stuff my hands in my pockets and shuffle my feet. I shuffled through my day timer instead. "All right, down to business." Apparently Josh knew me well enough to know that I didn't do mushy moments very well and stayed silent.

"We want to portray romance with tons of simple but surprising details. I have a great idea. I know how much you spent on that ring so how about this. My wedding gift to you will be to plan the perfect day." His eager grin from ear to ear was thanks enough. I love seeing people I care about truly happy. "I'm going to take care of everything. The only thing you have to do is follow orders."

"Really?" He asked, "That would be..." I put my hand up to silence him while I picked up my cell and dialed. Listening to the phone ringing I thought, 'What the hell, I'll finish this job and it alone pays for it. I'll just have to take a bigger contract next time.' I didn't like taking too many out of town jobs, too many fudge factors.

"Hello?" Melissa, who as always happy, answered.

"Mells? It's me. Josh asked me to call." I looked up at Josh and put my finger to my lips to keep him from saying anything. "We just had a major server crash at the office. He has to cancel Saturday. He's up to his neck in cables and wires right now. We stand to lose a major account if he can't get it up and running by Monday." Josh remained silently but I could watch every emotion play on his face. Confused, intrigued—slightly pissed. He stayed silent, smart boy.

"Oh that's awful!" Melissa exclaimed. I didn't want her asking any questions so I spoke before she could.

"So listen, Sweets. He doesn't want you to spend Saturday at home by yourself so he's paying for us to go to the spa for the day." He mouthed a confused I am? I shook my head. "What do you think? Want to come? I had a crap day and I could really use my friend." I thumbed through my screen's rolodex, multitasking. I couldn't help it. I can't watch TV without doing something with my hands either. It drives me crazy to be idle.

"Of course I will!" Mellissa exclaimed, "Are you okay? Can I help? Do you want me to come over now? Do you want me to come get you at work? I can leave in ten and I'll be there in twenty and..." All I could do was shake my head, 'god I love this girl' I thought before I stopped her frantic rant.

"Mells," I chuckled, "It's okay. I swear. A girly day on Sat would be great. I was thinking coffee; shopping, spa . . . Josh had to put a hundred down to reserve the table which he won't get back so I get to go in his place." I pulled out a fifth card from my rolodex, 'Oh yeah, I'm the best,' I couldn't stop myself from thinking.

"Are you sure he can't make it? I'll talk to him. Maybe he can meet us afterward?"

"Swanson is really bent out of shape today. He wants this done. It's going to take a miracle or Josh to get it fixed." I smiled at Josh knowing he was enjoying the false praise. "I will pick you up at your place at eleven or so Saturday morning, all right?"

"Are you sure you're okay?" Mellissa asked. "Do you want to go out for drinks tonight? We can round up the crew and just hang if you don't want to talk about it. I know sometimes don't talk when something's really bothering you. So how bad is it? Distraction or discussion?"

I thought about it. I could tell her half my problem. I contemplated. "You're a true friend. Just you and I going for drinks sounds like what I need. The tub of ice cream in my fridge remains safe." She snorted a laugh.

"That's a great plan. Hey Pan?" She asked. I smiled at the nickname.

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