Power Plays Ch. 02byvirginiaraine©
(Author's note: Power Plays, Chapter 2 of 3 - you may be lost if you haven't read Chapter 1 yet. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!)
I sauntered across the room, coming to a stop in front of Madison's desk, dropping the folder with a loud 'splat'. Then I stood there, crossing my arms over my chest waiting for Ms. High and Mighty to look up.
After a moment, Madison turned her attention from her computer back to me, lifting one eyebrow in question. "Yes?" she intoned.
"I'm waiting for an apology," I snapped out, too upset to be intimidated.
"I cannot imagine what for," Madison said calmly, reaching over to pick up the artwork folder. Her total lack of concern for the situation was baffling me, throwing me for a loop. I felt as though I was treading on slippery ground. Was I crazy for being upset over this? Or was this the way things were done now and I hadn't gotten the memo?
"You left last night without so much as a good bye! What was that? Do you have any idea how RUDE that is? Or is that your M.O.? Fuck unsuspecting employees and then leave them hanging? I've half a mind to march right over to H.R. and let them in on your little game!" My voice was getting louder, and I was working myself up to a good rant, flinging my arms about me, when Madison suddenly stood up and walked out from behind her desk.
"Be quiet!" she growled out. Madison strode quickly across the office, shutting and locking the door when she reached it. Then she turned to face me, walking back across the room until she stood in front of me. Her face was composed, but I could see the hard glitter of anger in her green eyes.
"First of all, I do not need to explain my actions to you," Madison began, speaking with a calm tone of voice. "Second of all, I was not aware last night that you were my employee, so your threats are meaningless; but that is now neither here nor there. You obviously enjoyed the little scene at the bar, yes?"
"Well, yeah!" I snapped back. "Until I find that I have been rode hard and put away wet, used like some common whore and then left behind like trash! And I think you DO owe me some explanations! You've had your fingers inside me for fuck's sake!" We were standing a couple of feet apart, facing off like boxers in the ring. I was ready to punch her lights out, and was so mad my hands were shaking.
"You are not trash, Claire." I blinked in confusion at her soft voice. "You may stop yelling at me, because I guarantee that will not make this conversation any better," Madison said. "Sit down there and let us talk about this like mature adults." Madison gestured to one of the wingback leather chairs in front of her desk. Huffing my breath out with impatience, I sat down; mostly because my legs were shaking. I waited for her to take the other chair.
Madison sat, crossing her slim legs, and faced me with total composure. In the face of her serenity, I felt like an impetuous child, sulking because my mommy had taken my candy away. I took a deep breath, and told myself to listen to what she had to say.
"Let us skip the little injured-lover scene that you are obviously contemplating," she began, looking directly into my eyes. Her face was a mask, giving nothing away. I blushed, and I glanced away from her, trying to calm myself down. She was right – this was not the time or the place for a yelling match. I would call her a fucking bitch with the utmost maturity I could summon up.
Madison continued, "I am sorry you are upset that I left last night." I snorted in agreement. "But be honest with yourself, Claire. Are you upset that I left, or upset that you didn't get more of the same?"
I gaped at her in disbelief. How could this woman be so nonchalant about the whole thing? I was pissed beyond belief, but refused to sink again into yelling. But shit, she was right – I did want more and felt slighted that I didn't get what I thought had been silently promised to me. I thought very carefully over my words, trying to find the same level of serenity that Madison presented.
"I felt used, then dismissed. I don't care what you say Madison that was extremely rude. You don't strike me as an uncouth person, so I suppose I am at a loss to understand why you would do something like that. Is it some kind of power trip for you? Do you do things like that regularly? Find unsuspecting women to wrap around your finger, get them hot and bothered and all worked up, then walk away from them?" I kept my voice level, but the cynicism was still dripping from my lips. I narrowed my eyes, waiting for whatever bullshit she would throw at me.
"I would not say I do it regularly, but it is, as you say, a power trip. Yes Claire, you were used. I used you to bring myself pleasure, but also brought you pleasure as well. You enjoyed the using. You cannot say that I was unfair in that, no?" Madison explained.
I nodded to agree. She certainly got me off, with no move on her part for reciprocation. At least she admitted the truth that she had used me. That was more than I had hoped for, better than I expected. But I wasn't letting her off the hook that easy. "True – I had pleasure. Obviously you know that. However, I don't understand why you left so suddenly, without a word. Do you have any idea how that made me feel?"
"That is what your issue is?" Madison asked. I nodded again. "I do not make a habit of explaining my actions to people – a necessary side effect of being a powerful accomplished woman. But since we have a complicated situation here, I will this once do so for you."
God, she was full of herself. But I had to admit to myself, she still exuded that same aura of power and command that had so enraptured me last night. Her demeanor, her tone of voice, her expression – all of it worked together to make me feel as though I were a peon supplicating to my queen. I sat quietly fuming, fighting against her overwhelming presence, and waited for her explanation.
"A 'power trip', as you say, is a very intoxicating addicting thing," Madison began, her eyes closing briefly and her mouth pursing in contemplation. "I enjoy turning women on, bringing them pleasure. I also enjoy leaving them wanting more." Madison shrugged one delicate shoulder, opening her eyes to look at me with that frighteningly direct gaze. "This is what I did with you. I had every intention of returning to Fatale's again, and seducing you again. Your responsiveness to me was very gratifying. I enjoyed you immensely. Now I don't have to wait to find you again."
Unbelievable! Even as a part of me quickened as I remembered my response to her, my pride was injured, and I was not about to let her think she had any kind of control over me, that I was a toy she could pick up and play with at her whim. Seduce me again? She was out of her mind if she thought I would let her touch me again! "And what makes you think that I would give you the time of day, considering what you did?" I asked with a mirthless smile.
Madison blinked, and her expression was completely confused; as if she couldn't imagine me refusing her. "Because you will. Because they all do. Do you not understand your own nature? Whether you realize it or not Claire, you like being dominated. I recognized that in you, and used it my advantage and my pleasure. It will not be so difficult to entice you to do so again," Madison answered with confidence.
I stared at her again, my mouth hanging open in shock. Did she really think I was that easy? WAS I that easy? The question staggered me. I sat back for a moment, thinking about what she said, the anger draining away as I contemplated her words. Yes, I really did enjoy the submissiveness of my actions last night. Yes, I totally gave in to Madison's power. Even now, her aura was seductive...it would be so easy to give in and agree with her. But my damn pride wouldn't let me.
"I think you think too much of your own skill and prowess, Madison," I said levelly. "Besides, now that we know about our work connection, it would unethical to continue any relationship. I would think you would be worried about a sexual harassment lawsuit at the moment!"
Madison flicked her fingers at that, as if brushing away an inconsequential gnat. Apparently she wasn't worried about a lawsuit. "Relationship?" Madison queried. "I never mentioned a relationship. That is not my intention."
Confused, I asked "Then what exactly IS your intention?" Didn't she just say she would 'entice' me again?
"Merely to continue in the same vein," she answered.
"Huh?" I asked. Maybe the last dregs of anger and adrenaline were making me dumb, but I couldn't follow what she meant.
Madison sighed with patience. "My dear, I can see you need it spelled out for you. How wearying. Very well, my proposal is this: you continue to come to me when you feel the urge for an explosive orgasm. I will provide it. That is to be the extent of our 'relationship'."
My brain fuzzed out. Really? Her apparent disdain for me, mingled with her obvious attraction for me were like oil and water; how the two merged together to form a subtle seduction was beyond my understanding. Hundreds of questions fought for expression in my head. I hurled a couple out there.
"Isn't that against company policy? I mean, you're supposed to be evaluating me as an employee; won't that affect your judgment? What if others found out? I'm just supposed to pop in every couple of days so we can have sex on your desk? And what do you mean 'because they all do'? How many women have you done this with? Were they employees of yours too?"
Madison held up one hand to stop the flood of questions, and looked at her watch, obviously growing tired of our conversation. It infuriated me that she felt this was so not important. I wasn't quite sure why I continued to stay in this office, listening to her crazy talk. But she spoke of craziness with such aplomb, it made me feel like I might be the crazy one. She treated me as if I wasn't worth the time of day, as if I was a bothersome child. But in the next breath, she would compliment me and pique my attraction. I think it was the weirdness and confusion of the situation that kept me from leaving.
"Claire – I am sure you are the soul of discretion. I certainly will not be talking about this at company meetings. As for policy – I OWN this company; I can do what I want. I assure you that my judgment has never before been clouded before by whatever may have transpired between myself and a young employee. How many others is not a concern of yours. And as for us having sex on my desk – that is not how it will work. I will fuck you; I assure you that you will not be fucking me. Do you have any further questions? I have a meeting in five minutes with the Mendelssohn people."
I stared at Madison, incapable of speech. She was off her damn rocker! To offer me sex, orgasm-on-demand basically, then brush me off like a servant; my equilibrium was all thrown off.
"Madison," I began, not sure what I was going to say, "you're nuts. And a fucking bitch." There, I had managed to call her a fucking bitch with maturity.
She sighed a long-suffering sigh. "If you like. I am also the best fuck you'll ever find," she said confidently. She looked at her watch again, then back at me expectantly. "I do have to excuse myself. Go on and deliberate with yourself," she continued, standing up and walking back around her desk. "Eventually you will see it my way. Your nature will dictate that. Try not to take too long though...I do not have patience for blushing naiveté. I expect better from you, Claire." As she said this, her attention was already bent to the Mendelssohn file; her absentminded assessment and dismissal continued to keep me afloat in confusion.
I stood up, looking at Madison in disbelief, and then walked slowly out of her office like a zombie; dazed by the implications of what Madison offered.
By the time I got back to my desk, I was a seething ball of emotions. Anger, desire, wounded ego, excitement, thoughts of revenge, thoughts of dirty nasty office sex; all of this was combined into one huge mass of feelings I could not sort out thoroughly enough to identify. I did what any normal woman would do in a similar circumstance: I called my best friend.
"Julie, emergency lunch confab," I said when Julie picked up her extension. "I need to talk!"
"Sure Claire. Meet you in the cafeteria in 10 minutes?" Julie said. I agreed and hung up, grateful that my friend was nearby and willing to listen.
Over iced tea and salads, I gave Julie the whole story: how I had met Madison at the bar, the hot bathroom scene, and the coup de grace in Madison's office this morning.
"Jules, what should I do? Should I quit? Or stay on and pretend like nothing happened? Take her up on the offer? I mean, who wouldn't want orgasm-on-demand? "I asked urgently. "God, I'm so confused!" I dropped my head into my heads, groaning as I grappled with all the implications of the scene in Madison's office.
Julie was smiling at me as I finished my lament.
"What?" I asked, peeking at the small blonde between my fingers.
"I think it's funny! Sorry Claire, I know you are pissed and confused...and she is a total bitch, I agree. But really, it's like a Greek tragedy or something out of a sitcom! The whole situation smacks of Demi Moore and Michael Douglas in 'Disclosure'. Shit, Madison even sort of looks like Demi Moore!" Julie was close to giggling.
"Julie, I swear to god if you start giggling I will dump my salad over your head," I threatened. But she had a point about Demi Moore – that was why Madison looked familiar to me last night. Madison looked like the famous actress, but with a darker complexion and a slightly more exotic cast to her face.
Julie sobered, but remained amused. "Really Claire, look at this objectively. You had a hot little interlude with a total stranger in a bar. Turns out the stranger is your boss. Not your fault, not her fault. Now, she is offering to continue whatever it is, no strings attached. Your only question is do you want more of the same?"
"But what about the ethical aspect? Are you seriously on HER side?" I asked. "It can't be a good idea to have sex with your boss!"
Julie pursed her lips at my implied accusation. "It's not about choosing a 'side', it's about doing what you want to do," she said casually. My mind tried to wrap itself around the idea that JULIE; small, sweet perfect little Julie, thought this was a good idea!
Julie continued, unaware of my shock. "Claire – she's done it before. At least I think so...I've heard rumors and whatnot. You know the usual office gossip. But there's never been any scandals, no harassment suits...I really think she is capable of keeping the two things separate, as long as you are," Julie said in a low voice, leaning across the table so nobody else could overhear. "There were a few girls last year; I swear all of them were spending way too much time in Madison's office."
"And?" I prompted, eager to hear more.
"And nothing," Julie said with a shrug. "One of them still works here, but she doesn't see Madison as much as she used to...I guess it ran its course. The other two have great jobs at other firms...and I think I remember hearing that Madison had gotten them the positions."
I sat back, sipping on my iced tea thoughtfully. Was it possible? Could Madison have a bunch of women that she fucks? Employees or non-employees? Did she show them preferential treatment? Was this whole thing common company knowledge? Did I want to be her latest conquest? What a damn mess.
"I guess I've got to think about it," I said to Julie. "I must admit in complete honesty – she is so hot, so powerful, so in charge...it would be easy to do what she wants. But I'm not sure if it's the best idea. And her snobby attitude really pisses me off."
"You do whatever you think is best Claire," Julie said. "You know I'm right down the hall if you need to talk again. Do you still want to do lunch this weekend?"
I told Julie yes, and we made tentative plans to visit our favorite Italian restaurant on Saturday. I gave my friend a quick hug when we parted ways outside the cafeteria, and headed by to my desk to work.
I spent the next couple of days keeping mostly to myself and keeping my head down. I tried to stay away from places in the office where I thought I might run into Madison. And I certainly did not return to Fatale's. I really had not made up my mind about what to do, though Madison's proposal was usually at the forefront of my thoughts. To be honest, she was about all I ever thought about; even my dreams were filled with frustrating sexual images of the erotic woman. But I no idea what to say or do if and when I ran into her. I needed time to straighten it all out in my head.
But by Friday afternoon, I had run out of time.
When I returned from lunch, I had a message on my desk from Eric: "See Ms. Stone in her office ASAP." Uh oh.
I went immediately to Madison's office, feeling like a prisoner headed to execution. As I tapped on her door, I still had no idea what to say to her.
"Come in," I heard her smoky voice say. Oh god, that voice – I had forgotten how damn sexy it was. I swallowed hard and stepped into her office. She was seated at her throne, and looked up expectantly as I walked in.
"You wanted to see me?" I asked, clearing my throat over the lump that had suddenly appeared.
"Yes Claire. Eric told me that you had a large part in the creative team that was assigned the Baker account. I wanted to thank you for your participation and your great ideas – we landed them as a new client yesterday." Madison smiled a genuine smile at me.
Flustered, I stuttered through my response. "Uh, yeah. It was nothing...I mean...just doing my job..." Hastily I cleared my throat again and shook myself mentally. "What I mean to say is Thank You. I enjoyed working on the team, and I 'm glad that Morris & Stone has a lucrative new client." There, that sounded much more adult and civilized. I wasn't sure what it was about Madison that made me feel like a bumbling teenager, but I resolved to myself that I would get over it. She was just another woman. An extremely hot, powerful, successful and demanding woman; but still just a woman.
Madison smiled again. "Just so. Keep up the good work."
"Is that all?" I asked, hesitant.
"Yes, unless you had something else to discuss?" Madison replied easily.
"Well – I was wondering if you called me here to...well, ask about the other...did you want an answer..?" I said, unsure of the ground I was walking on. Damn, I was doing it again.
"Claire, would you close the door please?" Madison asked. I did as she requested, then returned and sat down in the same chair I had sat in 3 days ago. What was it about her that made me so unsure of myself, so nervous? Desperately I searched for the confident woman inside myself that I knew to be there.
"Dear, we are both grown women, full adults. We are not teenagers. Please ask me whatever it is you need to ask me." Madison said with a tolerant smile.
I took a deep breath and centered myself. She was right. We could talk about sex without blushes or stammering. "I had thought you called me here to discuss your offer of mutual pleasures between us."
Madison replied easily, "That was not my intention, but we can talk about it if you like. I have some time."
I nodded, feeling much more in control of my actions and my words. I liked this Madison, she was helpful and nice; it was much better than the condescending Madison I had seen earlier in the week. "I am very unsure of what to do."
Madison smiled again. "What is it that makes you hesitate?" she asked. "You enjoyed my actions the other night. I am not sure why you do not want more of the same?"
I thought about it, chewing my lower lip as I did so. I noticed Madison looking at my mouth, and made myself stop. Calm, cool, collected I reminded myself. I could do this.