Anil and Marketing, Ushabyshaunreagh©
The Chairman of the Board of Argent Inc. was a bear of a man and had a reputation as a bully. He looked, when he came through the door of the hotel suite, like both. A bear and a bully. Anil, Usha and I bowed. It was the great man's first time in Singapore. We were staying at the Shangri La Hotel. We had the Moonlight suite. The slide show was set up in the bar alcove, off the dining area. The projector sat on the bar itself, the screen against the opposite wall. One large easy chair was set out in front of the bar for the great man to sit in. Anil had joked that it looked like a throne. I had shushed him to silence. (Great men have ears, everywhere.)
'Who're you,' he growled at me as he came through the door and we bowed. But his eyes were on Usha.
'Peter Dunn,' I told him, holding out my hand. 'I'm from the Swiss office, Geneva. This is Anil Mhurta. It's his Spring Collection we're viewing. This is Usha, his wife.' Usha was helping us lay out some of the clothes, then she would leave
'Models?' he snapped, eyes staying on Usha.
'Two,' I responded, beginning to be embarrassed on Anil's behalf. The poor guy had only been married a matter of weeks, but the chairman's eyes were all over his wife like greasy hot gravy. If it had not been for this special presentation to the Chairman Anil would still be on his honeymoon. (Usha was a stunner. Whoever got married to her deserved a long honeymoon, in my book.)
'Let em go,' the Chairman snapped, his eyes (thankfully) releasing poor Usha. 'What's her name?' he nodded at Usha.
'Usha,' I said, repeating what I'd already told him. 'Usha Mhurta, Anil's wife,' I added, pointedly, hoping he heard me this time.
'Usha can model,' he said, making for the bar.
Anil's eyes caught mine. 'Help!' they said.
But what could I do? I was finance. I was only here to work out the figures with Anil if the Great Man decided to buy his collection. There were three levels, at least, between me and the Board. Usha just stared. First at the back of the huge man, then at her husband, then -- pleadingly -- at me. I had to do my bit. 'Usha's not really a model,' I tried, following the Chairman to the bar and wondering if I was about to be cut down to size by this man, with the fearsome reputation.
He ignored me. Choosing instead to throw at Anil, 'You think your wife looks good enough to model your clothes?'
Anil stared at me. The Chairman reached the bar, turned, and snapped at Anil: 'Well?'
Anil glanced at Usha. So did I. Voluptuous curves you wanted to hold. Kiss-me quick lips. A secretive fuck-me expression, and huge brown eyes that whispered, Bed! Usha looked well good enough!
'Of course,' said Anil, 'but ...'
' "But" nothing. If she's good enough she's good enough. Usha it is.' And with that he reached for a bottle of Bourbon. I went to help. Usha's huge doe-like eyes flitted from husband, to Chairman, to me. But what could I do? I got the tray of ice from the fridge behind the bar.
I was on my second drink. I think we all were, when Usha was off getting changed. The chairman, after spending an age on the clothes set out on the bed, had carefully selected a silver knit silk dress. Both Anil and I breathed a sigh of relief when we saw what he chose. We had half expected him to kit Anil's gorgeous looking wife in scanty lingerie, or something you could see through, but he didn't. The dress he chose would cover most of her obvious charms. It was high collared, ankle length, had buttons all the way down the back. (Anil had to slip out for a minute, to help her do them up.) I thought she'd look safe in that -- but boy, was I wrong!
When she came through the door the knitted silk had taken on a form-hugging slinkiness which set off her curves to an almost indecent degree. Her earlier suit had shown more leg, but the silk of the dress clung like a second skin to every inch of her. And every inch of her was spectacular! She had her hair drawn back from a lovely face, eyes done up just so. Under the rimless glasses she wore she looked like an innocent girl, but once you got lower -- Look out! Down below she exploded into shape like an animal. You wanted to eat her!
'Can you work a projector?' asked the Chairman of the Board, seeming not to notice how she looked. I closed my mouth.
"Yes," I replied.
"Not you. The lady,' snapped the Chairman.
'I don't know,' she stammered, clearly nervous, eyes darting towards the projector that sat on top of the bar. 'I've never tried.'
'Anil,' the Chairman shot him a glance that could have been friendly, or threatening, or challenging -- it was difficult to figure which. 'Show your wife how to operate the projector. We can do the slide presentation first, then move on to the clothes.' With that, he turned to me. Anil and Usha forgotten. 'So, Dunn,' he said -- I was on last name terms, I noted, unlike Anil and Usha. But in fairness, I hardly looked like Usha. And Usha wasn't mine! -- 'Talk me through the presentation.'
So I did. We were trying out some new manufacturers for a range of 'Trendy' outfits for Summer. All were based in Udder Pradesh, in Southern India, which is where Anil was from. We were trying to sell the Chairman on the idea of expanding into India to take up the slack caused by the recent closure of some Chinese and Philippine factories. Anil, and Usha -- whose family was heavily involved, financially, in one of the factories -- were here to promote the products. It meant a lot to them. Hence the importance of this meeting.
I finished my spiel. My own position was neutral. If it made financial sense to buy the collection I was all for it, but I didn't get involved with the products, nor the style, (at which the Chairman considered himself the ultimate expert in any case). The Chairman knocked back his drink, hauled himself from the throne-like chair in front of the bar like a buffalo lurching from a mud hole. The chair was aimed at the screen on the opposite wall, its back to the bar.
'You ready?' he snapped at the others, making for the bottle of bourbon.
'Yes,' replied Anil turning from the bar. Usha now stood behind it, remote control in hand, projector in front, looking nervous. And stunning!
'I'll stand, you sit,' said the Chairman, pouring himself another drink and having Usha put the bottle back in the shelf behind the bar. Anil stared at me. There was only one chair, the throne. We'd brought through from next door. It was meant for the Chairman. That and a couple of bar stools that hardly looked able to take the great man's bulk. I tried to help.
'We though you might like the chair,' I suggested, half expecting to be ripped to shreds. But he didn't rip me to shreds.
'Prefer to stand,' he said, elbow on the bar. 'Anil can sit on the chair.'
I gave Anil a shrug. He took the huge chair with its back to the bar. Sank into it.
'You can comment as we go,' said the Chairman. 'Ready when you are.'
And that was that.
I went for the lights, turned them down. Went back and stood at the end of the bar, nursing my drink. Usha flicked on the first slide. Anil started to talk about the clothes on the model in the slide. I took another sip of my drink. 'Focus's off,' said The Chairman. Everyone froze. 'Talk on,' he went on, conversationally, no sign of this temper we'd expected. In fact, he sounded relaxed. But the focus looked fine to me. Next thing I know he's rounding me to get in to the back of the bar. Where Usha was.
Once into the small space behind the bar he towered over Usha like a grizzly bear. She was staring at the apparently 'out-of-focus' projector as if it were a snake about to strike. The Chairman, stretching around her, started fiddling with the focus. Little on the screen seemed to change. Usha held still, the control in her hand. Anil prattled on about the dress on the screen and the material it was made of, and the details of the seam work, and the stitching, and the length ... etc.
'Okay,' said the chairman. Anil started to turn.
'FACE THE FRONT!' The Chairman roared, freezing us again. (Now THAT was the Chairman I'd heard about, I thought, holding steady as a rock.) 'YOUR job, Mister,' he was addressing the back of Anil's now quivering head, 'is to look at the clothes on the screen, and tell me why I should buy them. You can't do that if you're looking back here. Capiche?'
'Yes sir,' said Anil, ears red, head resolutely pointed at the screen.
'Right. Go on then.'
I could see Anil swallow. 'Next slide,' he said nervously.
Click! There it was, next slide.
Anil resumed his commentary, but his voice had lost its fluency. He was clearly as nervous as hell. Just as his wife was. Movement behind the bar made me flick a sideways glance. The Chairman had an affectionate hand on Usha's shoulders. I glanced away.
' ... of the twin-stitched hem,' said Anil, followed by a lot of other stuff. Then, after he had finished with the slide, 'Next slide,' he instructed.
The Chairman's hand was moving on Usha's shoulder. A soft caress, it seemed like, though with hands that size it was hardly likely to feel like eiderdown. Usha kept her eyes on the screen, and her attention on the control in her hand, and -- I got the feeling -- on the back of her husband's head. The Chairman's hand left her shoulder and wandered down her back, tripping over buttons as it went. Oops, I thought: the Chairman had clearly noticed how good Usha looked in that dress. Now he was doing a pretty thorough job of checking she was in there. His hand, now at the small of her back, slithered round her waist and eased her more in front of him. Usha's feet shuffled in the direction he wanted her to go. As if she were a tackled player with a ball, being edged towards the touch line. (The Chairman the toucher in this little game.)
'Next slide,' said Anil as his wife, with commendable control, both changed the slide and leant into the Chairman's embrace. His great head went down to her neck and started to nibble her. She stretched her head out the way to make it easier for him, eyes firmly fixed on the back of her husband's head. Anil's commentary was losing its nervousness now that he was into his flow. His tone was becoming almost eager -- though not as eager as the Chairman's hand on his wife. Now it was curled round a buttock, moulding it (eagerly) as if checking to see it was all there, and sufficiently young and firm and shapely.
Usha's eyes caught mine. 'Do something,' they screamed. But what could I do? So I gave her an encouraging smile. 'Be brave,' it said. Or something. She returned her attention to the screen, clearly distraught at her situation, and probably disgusted -- I'm guessing here -- not merely with the Chairman, but me as well. A minute later she changed the slide. Anil carried on talking. His commentary was starting to enthuse, but was anyone listening?
Although my eyes were fixed on the screen, because of the shortness of the bar, and my position at its end, and the angle of where I was in relation to the screen, it was impossible not to be aware of what was happening behind the bar. I tried not to notice, of course, but I couldn't fail to observe that the broad fingers of the Chairman's right hand were now toying with a button on Usha's dress. The one right over her bottom, in fact. I wondered if his toying might open it.
His hand slipped inside. Usha didn't react, as if her concentration on the screen and her husband's commentary, and the flawless changing of the slides as he told her to change them, might somehow nullify the fact that this large strange foreigner had his hand inside her dress, and, from the bulging activity within the knitted silver silk, was obviously fondling her buttocks as if it were mounds of particularly delectable dough. Her shoulders moved in response to the hard-working hand on her sensitive parts at the base of her spine.
'Change slide,' ordered Anil, now into the swing of his sales-pitch, as the Chairman loosed another button at the back of his pretty wife's dress. I lifted my eyes to the Chairman's head where it buried enthusiastically into the pretty wife's neck, and found to my momentary horror, that he was looking right at me. He had a hand inside her dress, was fondling her panties clad buttocks -- or perhaps he was inside those too; his lips were kissing the skin of her neck, just below her ear -- and his tongue as well for all I knew; yet here he was, looking straight at me as if he were keeping five balls in the air, and wanted me to see how clever he was!
I didn't know how to react.
He loosed another button on her dress.
It was as if he was making an announcement: This is me, Chairman of the Board, enjoying the pretty wife of the commentator in the big chair out front. If you were as successful as me, you could do this too. See it and weep!
For some obscure reason I felt I should respond in some way, so, somewhat aimlessly, I nodded at the man. then I looked back to the screen.
The slide changed.
Though in no way trying to spy, I could not but be aware that the pretty projectionist was concentrating, almost as hard as I was, on the new image on the screen in front of her husband. Both of us were gazing, rapt, as her husband told us what to look for, what to take note of, while the Chairman eased her round in front of him, withdrew his hand from whatever it had been engaged in, inside her dress, and began, in businesslike fashion, to open the rest of the buttons that held her dress to her body.
Her eyebrows, I noted -- it was not something I could miss -- were now arched a good inch above the delicate frameless spectacles that perched on her pretty nose. The eyebrows were arched with astonishment. Astonishment that she should have a job to do, change the slides, and her husband should have a job to do, explain the slides, and yet the one for whom all this job-like industry was being expended, was more interested in opening her dress, and feeling her body.
Soon the dress was open, flapping loose on either side of her delectable shoulders, and the Chairman's lips were at the base of her neck. His groin was pressed against her buttocks. She was wearing a thong, I noted: another something it was impossible to miss. It was red, and brief. Her buttocks were enticingly bare.
I tried to focus my attention on the slide. (I did. I really did.) But with all the activity taking place a mere foot from my side, it was difficult. The Chairman leaned back, licked his lips and let his eyes roam the newly unveiled view of his pretty projectionist's back. (I have to say, it looked damn good.) Usha's legs were long and smooth -- held tightly together, I noted. The buttocks were pert and firm. The waist was slim, the back smooth, the shoulders square, arms over the bar, controls for the projector clutched tightly and protectively in both slender hands. Her eyebrows had returned to a position of 'at ease'. Or resigned acquiescence for the moment, perhaps?
I wondered what was happening in her mind. She no longer bothered to look at me. Deciding, I suppose, that I was much too much a spineless employee of the Great Man, (who had just unbuttoned her dress, kissed her back, and fondled her buttocks,) than a gentleman whom she might expect to rush to the aid of a young married woman in distress. (Like her.) And I suppose, in this summation, sad to say, she was probably right.
The Chairman, as if overcome by the extravagance of choice revealed by his opening of her dress, shook his head, put both his hands on the full round mounds of her buttocks, and started to caressed them with relish.
'Next slide,' said Anil.
His wife squeezed the control clutched tightly in her hands as the Chairman squeezed her buttocks, clutched equally tightly in his. The slide changed. The Chairman leant forward and kissed her on the smooth skin of her back, just above a slim red bra-strap. Then he started to suck the strap. As he did his hands took on greater urgency. Pressing and kneading and squeezing her. Forcing her up against the bar, then to one side, then the other, then pulling her back into him. She went with the moves, neither resisting nor encouraging. Just being there. The object, as it were. The object of the Chairman's now clearly aroused, 'requirements'.
A broad hand snaked out from between the two now tightly conjoined bodies -- him around her like a spoon around an egg -- and snaked into the gap between the folds of her dress and the curve of her side, and disappeared into her dress-draped front. Movement under knit silk folds showed activity over a breast, a breast already shown within the silk knit of the fastened dress to be both plump and shapely. Usha's eyebrows leapt again. Two more astonished arches over the top of the neat rimless glasses she continued to wear with such school-teacher grace. (For that's what she was, when not helping her husband sell clothes.) I closed my mouth.
'Next slide ...'
Usha pressed the button, her torso squirmed, the eyebrows curled, the lashes fluttered briefly, and then the next slide came on. 'This outfit ...' Anil started, lecture status firmed, as his wife's mouth opened, then closed, and furrows appeared on her brow. Both the Chairman's hands were round her front, over breast, across stomach, down towards legs. It was difficult to tell what was where, with the folds of the dress now copiously draped around her front. But there was activity.
Activity intimated both by the movement I could see beneath knitted silk, and the emotions at play on her face. Usha was not unaffected by all that was going on. All that was touched, caressed, and squeezed and roughly groped. Nor did she know how to cope with it all. A hand that fondles a breast as eagerly as this large man was fondling hers, must have some effect (if anything I'd read about women was true -- and some of it, surely, must be).
'Next ...' said Anil, sounding like a General, (as his troops were being liberally mauled behind enemy lines). His shapely troop changed the slide at the exact same moment as the Chairman chose to unfasten her bra. It was clearly front-fastening. I only became aware of what had happened when the taught red line across her smooth chocolate coloured skin around the back suddenly lurched, then hung in a lazy (and clearly redundant) loop. His hands were cupping her breasts devoid of cover. The were feeling -- I suddenly realised --pretty Usha's naked breasts in a manner so thoroughly intimate, and personal, that in all probability he was the only person to have done so, since her marriage -- other than Anil, that is. Since the start of their courtship, in fact.
That could have been years.
Yet here she was now -- when her breasts, she would no doubt have imagined, had been given over, exclusively, to Anil -- with this large (very large) foreign stranger, using them as intimately as Anil ever had, with no permission granted whatsoever -- other than the permission (she must be thinking) that she was apparently granting, by letting him continue to arouse her.
Was she being aroused?
I glanced, searchingly, at her profile. Above her neat glasses her eyebrows were all at sea. One twisted up, the other angled down. Her eyes were closed. Tightly closed. Squeezed shut, in fact!
'Next slide ...'
The eyes flipped guiltily open. Looked vague. Disturbed. Filled, in fact, with unease. She pressed the button. Watched the screen. Saw the change. Then opened her mouth, and gasped. Then closed her eyes again. The Chairman was now caressing all the parts of her I couldn't see beneath her dress around her front. But it was clearly having some effect. I glanced at her feet. They were apart, and had a large size thirteen loafer between them. And a big bent knee was high between hers. Hers seemed weak, but it hardly mattered, he had her so firmly moulded against him she could have lifted her feet from the floor and she would not have dropped an inch. Other than onto his thigh between her legs, snugly ensconced, high up, between her own.