Call Centre Confessions Ch. 02byexiledmaster©
Next day I had that experience of having woken from a dream, grasping at a memory but unable to reach it. I was in the shower before I was able to coherently remember the team night out, and make a timeline out of what had happened.
Not how or why it had happened. I couldn't make sense of that, but definitely what.
I have no illusions about my desirability as a physical specimen. I'm not going to be persuaded that I'm so physically attractive that someone would be overwhelmed with lust at the sight of me.
The first alternative answer, that Andy had been turned on by my personality, required a re-appraisal by me of my relationship with her – professionally distant would have been my assessment, and I'm usually quite self aware.
The other alternative, that I was presentable enough, and desirable enough, and civilized enough, to fill a need, was the one I wanted to think about least. Loneliness does that to you. It was just after eight a.m., and I sat down at the kitchen table to try and sort out my day, and what to do about Andy.
I had no regrets, don't get me wrong; I've had my share of zipless fucks, and I've been in plenty of situations where what you are (erect and available) is more important than who you are, but this was different. I had to go into work on Monday and share the building with her. I could hide in the ops room on the first floor and pretend nothing had happened, but that would be sure to be a disaster. Moments like that are made for fate to intervene, for every computer on her team to crash, or the phone system to pack up, or even for her just to need some advice about how to make Microsoft Office work
But on the other hand I couldn't contact her at home. Not without knowing in advance what might happen if her husband answered the phone, or saw a message on her mobile...
I didn't quite prevaricate. I made breakfast; wholewheat toast, apple juice, a couple of slices of cheese on the toast. I took my work mobile out of its charger and switched the ringtone back on, acknowledging that I was on call for the day. I thought about checking my emails, or wasting time online, but decided instead to spend some time in the workshop before making my ritual Saturday morning phonecalls.
My workshop is in the garage. When I was a kid I used to call a small space under the stairs in my parents house a tool shed. It's evidence of a compulsion to be useful and productive, but at least I recognise it for what it is. My ex-wife used to complain that I was never content to have nothing to do. She's right, but what she saw as a fault I see as an asset.
In my spare time I make and restore furniture. Nothing too exotic, and not too much soft furnishing. Just the sort of stuff someone with a reasonable workshop and some bench joining skills might make. And I manage to sell most of the stuff I produce. Some of it, the run of the mill stuff, a friend sells from a stall on Tynemouth Station on a Sunday, and at any craft fair that will have him. He's a sculptor who doesn't have a lot of success but makes a living by carving mock Gothic wood mouldings. Add some of his mouldings and trim to carcasses put together by me and you can have a good approximation of old library and church furnishings. Nothing exceptional, but pretty enough for the average household. I had a reading desk to finish for him, the sort of thing you might find in a church in front of a clergyman's chair. Not a complicated piece of furniture, and likely to end up in someone's hallway as a repository for gloves and keys rather than holy books, but thirty pounds worth of timber and six hours of time would see me £100 better off.
Not all my furniture could be sold on Tynemouth Market though. Not with an accurate description, anyway. I got the idea from one of the Lovejoy books, where the old rogue was talking about a Berkeley Horse. (The antiques conman has a few of these odd kinky moments in his books; funny how much you read and what you remember on long night shifts in an RAF comms centre). It may look like an eccentric towel rail, but it's actually a flogging horse, intended to secure the victim so that they can't squirm about too much. For the part time devotee of spanking having a punishment frame that looks like a towel rail or a clothes horse is bound to be an advantage when showing the in-laws or more inhibited friends round the house.
So that was how I got started, making dual-purpose towel rails and clothes horses and advertising them in contact mags. Not because I was particularly obsessed with spanking, (although my ex-wife didn't wholly object) but because it was a way of experimenting with things that other people didn't make and getting some money back. That's partly a fib of course; it was a chance to be part of a community of people who were talking about or having sex; more sex or different sex to the mundane stuff that the Sun promises to make better in a four part series from Monday to Thursday...
Seven years down the line and the range had expanded to include chairs, modified dining tables, a chaise longue, coffee tables, and my particular favourite, a set of library steps. You know the type of thing; it looks like a backless and armless seat, with just one pole to steady the user, but folds open to make three steps to enable avid readers to reach the top shelf. The latest version of the library steps was in the garage workshop waiting to be collected. To a casual eye the holes for attaching ropes or cuffs were just ornate decoration; the leather trimmed seat on top just a comfort feature, the padded treads of the steps an attempt to reduce noise in a quiet environment. To my eye the additional pole for users to hold onto as they climbed added symmetry and safety; the wooden rod that slotted through and into the other upright was obviously a safety device to stop a distracted reader from stepping off the edge of the platform. Of course, it also meant that the steps had a perfect H frame to hold a kneeling supplicant in place, the rod pressing down on their back, while they were being dealt with, but you'd need a kinky imagination to come up with such an unusual use for such a simple device. Wouldn't you?
The reading desk though was just that; four legs, square tapered, a rectangular box and a sloping lid with a bead along the bottom to stop a book from sliding off. All that I had left to do was to fit the lid hinges and cut the rebate into which the carved decoration would fit; careful work that required attention to detail and the absence of thought about other things.
By ten thirty I'd finished and had applied the first coat of stain. I sat down, phoned my daughter in Germany before she went to soccer practice with her new dad (or Thing, as she loyally called him) then decided to shower before my mind wandered too far into the past. One of the penalties of loneliness is you that experience everything in the context of being lonely. My ex lives with an American clerical officer on a USAF base because he was more exciting than me; if my mind wanders I forget that she's allowed to have different tastes, to feel that I'm not perfection itself. There are people walking round free who prefer IKEA furniture to the hand made stuff I make; that's their problem...
I could have been kidding myself about why I needed the shower; my hands smelt of pine resin and woodstain, but I was sure I could smell someone else on them as well. I lowered my head under the showerhead hoping to clear my mind as well as my skin.
It didn't work. I could see Andy bending in front of me, her hips raised, her back a concave arch as she reached forward for support with one hand while opening herself up to me with the other. I wasn't even sure if I was remembering her or imagining her as I might want her again, but the thoughts wouldn't go away. I can't claim I was in the best of moods when I went into the bedroom to dress; jeans, a polo shirt, deck shoes. Routine is supposed to be an antidote to distraction; an armful of laundry and a plan to tidy my CD collection, again, were interrupted by the chirruping of the work mobile.
A text message from the helpdesk; one of the ACD's was showing unusual results; could I get to a terminal and check up on it? I could; there was one I could use in my dining room, but I kidded myself that once I was at work I would feel more professional, less like a man who's surprised by a need he didn't know he had. So I locked up the house, made a quick phone call to my Dad's answerphone, then set off in the Volvo
At work the problem took no more than ten minutes to fix. I was able to do it from my office cum server room, without even talking to colleagues. Back in the dim and distant past the banking centre had been a processing centre; Securicor would turn up with bags of cheques and credit card slips from shops and businesses, and rows of clerks would sit at desks and encoding machines to sort and process them. That was why the centre had, behind an airlock arrangement of doors, a secure room with a walk in cupboard that was built by a company who specialized in safes. The cheque processing moved, but that only made room for a secure complex for the IT kit and phone system. I could sit at my desk and check a CCTV system that covered all three floors of the centre, or pivot the external camera to watch the traffic queueing to get into the metro centre. Or I could sit and stare in surprise as Andy stood outside the airlock, buzzing to be let in.
I felt nervous, scared and turned on. And worried. All those fears about what might arise from an affair with a colleague were lurking just under the surface. All the same I let her in, and tried to look relaxed and cool. Except she looked ravishing again. Utterly ravishing. She was wearing the longest skirt I'd ever seen her wearing, a mid calf skirt in a peasant style, plain white, with lace trim. Over it she was wearing a loose blouse, autumnal colours in thin vertical stripes. It was the first time I'd seen her without heels as well; the white leather flip flops were stylish and cool, but was she sending me a signal? Could she know that I preferred her in heels, but would choose the flip flops over any kind of shoe that covered her foot?
One of the weaknesses of looking for signals is that you can end up with too many signals, and not knowing which are significant. She sat on the edge of my desk, perched there, looking comfortable and self assured. So why wasn't she saying anything? I decided to make the running.
"I enjoyed last night"
The ice being broken she seemed relax a little.
"I did too. I like a good night out."
Was she being flirtatious? Telling me she was used to spontaneity?
"Me too; mind you last night was special..."
I tried hard to keep my tone light as I said that. The lightness of tone didn't seem to have worked.
"I got home and was hoping you'd forget it."
I can't say I was surprised, but only because I didn't know what to expect, so nothing could surprise me.
"I'm sorry to hear that Andy. I can promise never to mention it, but I can't promise to forget it."
Stamping her foot in heels would have been sexy, angry or determined.
Stamping her foot in leather flip flops looked silly.
"Don't flatter me..."
"I'm not. I'm a realist. I've always liked you, I've always thought you sexy and if you'd asked me before yesterday if I'd have settled for just one night with you I'd have said yes. But I'd prefer more..."
"And why do you want more?"
Now, I'm not a psychologist, but her response was more defensive than angry or defiant.
"Well now, I've worked with this sexy woman who I've watched walk round the building and I've thought about what she might be like in bed, and now I've seen her coming I'd like to test a few more of my ideas about her."
She nudged me with her knee; a signal full of contradictory indicators, playful but angry, amused but defensive. For the first time, there was a hint of a smile. It took me until then to notice that her lipstick was more subdued than normal.
"I don't believe you. You're embarrassed at what you've done and you're scared I'll be a bunny boiler. That's what you call angry women isn't it?"
In return for the kneeing I shoved her thigh with my elbow.
"If you're angry I'll take the blame Andy. I was hoping I'd been good enough to leave you wanting more..."
"Don't mess me about. You don't know what I want, and you don't know what I'm really like." I sat back, and shrugged my shoulders as best you can sitting in a chair.
"So you tell me what you want Andy. You liked me last night because I could listen to you. Try me out today. But make your mind up if you're angry at me, or angry and I'm available..."
Sometimes Andy's expressions can take you by surprise. She's a hard headed manager, and ultra professional, but there's a girlishness to some of her expressions that can leave me wondering if she is as worldly or as tough as she'd like to appear.
"Don't do this to me..."
I was going to go for the shrug again, but stopped short. The distress sounded genuine.
"Andy, I'm being as honest as I can. I don't want to hurt you or cause you hurt..."
"And I'm trying to tell you I enjoyed last night, but I can't cope with the questions it asks me."
They call it active listening on the floor of the call centre, asking quick questions that make the other person disclose a bit more about themselves.
"Like what does it say about my marriage, or me?"
"You can have the crude answer to what I've learned about you, or you can use me as the sounding board for things I think you know yourself already."
And that seemed to be the key.
So she talked.
No flirtation, no attempts to catch my eye or to divert me with body language, just plain unadorned language. She talked about a loving marriage with not enough sex, and the worry that life was passing her by. She talked about feeling guilty, and feeling angry that her husband hadn't commented on her being late, or dishevelled. She hinted at suspecting that he knew and didn't care. As she talked she shuffled backwards on the desk so that her feet were off the floor; it was instinctive to turn my chair towards her, and to lift her feet into my lap.
Her response was tactile, and leisurely. Her feet moved across my groin, then settled on my thighs. I looked at the way my hands could encircle her ankles, my thumbs overlapping my fingers to the second joints, then stroked my fingers over the bones in the arch of the foot. She talked again about marriage and guilt, but more reflectively.
I waited for her to talk herself out.
"You keep talking about emotions like guilt Andy. I think it's time you thought about things like honesty and responsibility." I'm not sure that she was that impressed by my choice of words, but I ploughed on regardless.
"Your husband has to take some responsibility for your being unhappy about your sex life, and you have to ask yourself how important honesty is, or what impact it will have on him if you tell him."
She wriggled her toes, but left her feet in my lap. I don't think she was too uncomfortable with the situation, or with my grip on her ankles.
"Are you telling me to lie to my husband, or to rub his face in it."
I moved her feet so that the ball of her left foot rested on my cock.
"I'm saying it's not black and white; it's a choice you have to make depending on what you think the outcomes will be. If you want that to be about guilt that's your choice. You've no need to rub his face in it unless you decide that's what he most wants."
I'm not sure if she noticed where her foot was for the first time, or decided to let me know she'd noticed.
"So to cut this short, you're telling me I don't need to feel guilty, and that you'll shag me if I want you to..."
"Today yes, but tomorrow I might be more demanding."
Her eyes were brown but sparkling, as if a switch had been flicked. The previous night came back to mind again. Her foot would have had to be insensitive not to notice the change in my cock, thickening and beginning the process of becoming erect.
"Ah, but where can we do it?"
I'm not suggesting she was being coy, but I don't think she'd considered the possibility that I might seize the moment. With one hand on each of her ankles as I stood up from my chair she had no choice but to lean back on the desk and allow her skirt to rise above her knees. She managed to say the words here, and now, as if they were questions, but by then her legs were either side of my hips, her skirt up to her waist and my hand on her thong. She wriggled down, her hips snaking along the desk, so that her shoulder blades were flat on the desk, then put her hands by her side. I wasn't going to let her get away with a totally passive acceptance of my wanting her.
"Go on Andy, you know you want to show me your tits; open your blouse..."
She hesitated, but I held my hands still at her crotch until she co-operated.
Once her fingers began to undo buttons I pulled the thong aside, and used my thumbs to part her labia. She didn't make any noise, just moved her hips to open herself to me. Her hands had opened her blouse; her bra was thin white material, unshaped, that she easily pulled down to reveal her nipples.
Time compacted. It took less time to get my trousers down and to free my erection that it's taken to type these words. It's hard to make sense of the fact that I could be rubbing my cock against her pusssy and clit at the same time as I was leaning forward and asking her to make her nipples hard for me. Harder still to explain that at the same time I was trying to calculate the right degree of urgency in my voice, so she would understand that it was just a request, but one that I wanted obeyed.
In my mind even as I slid inside her I was measuring the way she gripped her nipples, the force she used, the look on her face as I ground my crotch against her pubic bone. But she did as I asked, and after the first thrust she pushed up to meet me; when I moved her legs to open hew wider to me she collaborated; when I started to thrust at her urgently, turned on by the situation and the opportunity she started to tell me she was coming, and that she was turned on, and that she wanted me to keep going.
Actually 'keep fucking going' were the words.
Keep fucking going.
So I did, right past the moment where she arched her back and pulled at her nipples, past the squirming half twist of her hips, past the shaking loss of control in her pelvis, past the flexing, squeezing pulses of her inner muscles, right to the point where I came inside her, leaning backwards as if simultaneously trying to get my erection further into her and to keep my balance at the same time.....
And I felt deeply, enormously, grateful....