Bliss Ch. 01bywanderingmindgames©
Bliss. Seems an odd way for me to feel, doesn't it? Considering I'm nude and hanging over the back of a plush chair, my knees on the arms, while the man I love alternates between caressing and spanking my ass. I'll even admit it's an odd way to feel, and I understand you might be dismissing me as a kook (or a kink). A year or so ago, I might have thought the same way. Actually, if I am to be honest, I would have thought the same way. I was an attractive, middle-aged woman (still am, as a matter of fact). Long legs, slightly larger than average breasts (100% natural, thank you very much), 45 but looked late 30's at most, a well proportioned size 10. And more on the pretty side than plain. I had my fair share of both suitors and lovers, and a fully active social life. But love – and life – is funny. Maybe what seems like a choice in love is really fate? And maybe – just maybe – if you heard the whole tale you would be more generous in your assessment.
It all began last April – I can remember the day clearly. It wasn't raining out, not really. It was schmutzing. You know, that kind of heavy misting, particular to Seattle in the spring, that just hangs in the air until it finds something to stick to? It had been schmutzing out all morning, the view of Elliott Bay and the ferries I usually enjoyed from my desk distorted by the water collecting on the windows. I turned back to my computer screen and re-read the email from Ian, my boss. The promotion I wanted, the one I worked so hard for, the one I was so certain I deserved, was offered to (and accepted by) one of the executives from the London office. To add insult to injury, the transplant would be in the office today. I deleted Ian's message and went back to looking at the watery ferries outside my window.
"You have a minute?" Krissie, my assistant, called from my doorway. I turned around and motioned for her to sit down. "I just need you to go over the final invoice for the toothpaste ad?"
"Sure," I said, taking it from her. I scanned it quickly before signing the bottom for her. "Okay," I said as I passed it back to her, "you're good to send it out."
"Thanks." She got up to leave and stopped. "Oh my god, Mel, who is that?"
"I have no idea," I said as an impossibly sexy man walked past my office. He had an overcoat over his arm and a very expensive looking briefcase in his hand. We watched him talk to Emma, Ian's admin, before continuing to his door. He knocked and went inside. "I think that may be our new Executive Vice President."
"Oh," she said, giving me a sad smile. "Sorry about that, Mel. The job should have been yours."
I waved her off as if it didn't matter, but I was secretly pleased. There's nothing like a loyal employee, is there? She went back to her desk and I went back to looking out the window, fighting the urge to pound my fists on my desk in a tantrum. The idea made me laugh quietly, and I finally got back to work.
Ian buzzed me about an hour later to come in to his office. I told Krissie to put through any calls for me – even if it was a telemarketer – and walked down to Ian's office. Emma waived me on and I paused for a moment outside his door. I could hear them both, the new VP's voice deep and rich, his accent even more pronounced against Ian's soft lilt. I knocked lightly before opening the door.
"Good morning, Ian," I said.
"Mel, please, close the door and come on in," he said. The new guy stood up as I came in, glancing at Ian who remained seated in his big chair. "This is Malcolm White, our new Executive Vice President. Malcolm, this is Melody Williams, Senior Account Executive. She's the 'go-to' girl for problem sales."
"Pleased to meet you," I said, holding out my hand to shake. He was tall, at least 6'2", and well built. He had dark, wavy hair that fell across his forehead, accenting big green eyes. "Welcome aboard."
"Thank you," he said, taking my hand and bowing slightly. His hand kind of convulsed around mine, making me blush a bit. "It is very nice to meet you." His eyes slowly traveled all over me, as if he could see under my clothes and wanted to get an eyeful. "I've heard quite a bit about you," he said at last, dropping my hand.
"Oh?" I said, taking the chair next to his and trying to sound nonchalant.
"Yes. I heard you should have gotten this promotion instead of me."
"I hadn't heard that," I said, looking him in the eye. My cheeks reddened a bit; I could feel it but was powerless to stop it.
"Hadn't you?" he asked, smiling. His teeth were the tiniest bit crooked, with a slight gap in front, and as white as could be. I couldn't stop staring at him. I shook my head.
"As I already explained to Malcolm, you are not one to hold a grudge," Ian said.
"No, I'm not."
"So you will be perfectly fine with having him shadow you, to learn the practices we use here and get to know our clientele."
I couldn't say no, could I? It would have looked bad. And, since I am being honest, I liked the way he looked at me. I nodded.
"Excellent. Malcolm, I'll show you around a bit and we'll get some lunch, then I'll drop you in Mel's capable hands. Sound good?"
"Sounds wonderful," Malcolm said. I stood to leave – I'd worked for Ian for a long time and knew when I had been dismissed – and he stood, too. "I look forward to getting to know you," he said, taking my hand again and giving me another slight bow.
"Excuse me," Ian said, grabbing a folder. "I need to make sure this gets mailed out today. I'll be right back, Malcolm." He walked out the door, not even giving me a second glance.
"If he's paying for lunch, make him take you someplace nicer than Dick's. If he does take you to Dick's, make him take you to the Queen Anne one and not the one on Capitol Hill," I said, smiling at Malcolm. "There's no place to sit up there."
"I'll keep that in mind," he said, squeezing my hand as Ian came back in. His eyes were roaming again, almost greedily, and I was enjoying every moment of it.
"Thank you," I said, not sure if I was thanking him for his manners, taking my job, or looking at me like I was his personal feast. I walked out, allowing a little more sashay than usual.I hoped he was watching.
I went back to my office and called Krissie in. If I was going to play hostess, she was going to play, too.
"Yes?" she asked, taking her normal chair in front of my desk.
"It seems Ian wants the new VP to shadow me for a day or two," I told her with a shrug. "I realize that's going to put a burden on you, and I don't like it any more than you do, but my hands really are tied on this."
"It's alright, Mel," she said, smoothing her skirt. "I really don't mind." I raised my brows at her, but said nothing. "What's he like?"
"I don't really know. I haven't seen enough of him to form an impression," I lied. I had definitely formed an impression of him, but wasn't going to tell my assistant that. "He's polite. Has an accent. Well dressed."
"He's handsome, too," Krissie said, blushing. I just shrugged again, thinking I would call him sexy before handsome, but didn't say anything. "Is he gay?"
"I don't know," I said. I hope not, I thought.
"I hope not," Krissie said, echoing my thoughts. "But he probably is," she added with a sigh. "Every time we get any kind of eye candy in the office, they're gay."
"Krissie!" I said, laughing. "If he is gay, please try to not show your disappointment so plainly?"
"Of course," she said, laughing. "How long is he going to be shadowing you?"
"Ian didn't say. But he will be starting this afternoon when they get back from lunch, so you might want to clear your desk as much as possible in the interim."
"Alright," she said, standing up and turning to go.
"Krissie," I called, pausing for her to turn around and look at me, "if it gets to be too much, just let me know. I will have his assistant help you out."
"Thanks, Mel," she said, giving me a smile and heading out.
I pulled out the soda file, burying myself in the proposal and pushing thoughts of Malcolm White out of my head. I worked through my own lunch (I usually do, though – in that respect it was an average day) and didn't realize Ian and Malcolm hadn't come back until Krissie came in to say goodnight.
I stayed a while longer, finishing up the glossies for the proposal and wondering if I was more relieved or disappointed that they never made it back. I finished up and left, shutting down the lights and locking up as was my habit when I was the last one out . As I waited for the elevator, I decided I was a bit more disappointed.
I wasn't disappointed for long, though. The elevator doors opened and Malcolm was there.
"Oh, hello," I said, standing aside to allow him to get out.
"Hello," he said, striding towards the office doors without even giving me a glance. I thought perhaps his politeness and friendliness was dependant upon his superiors being around to witness it. He grabbed the handles and tried turning them, but of course they were locked. I stood and watched him, the elevator doors shussing closed behind me. He shook the doors, almost angrily, as if their being locked was in direct disobedience to him. "You have a key," he said without turning around.
He stood a moment longer, staring at the door, before turning to face me. "Would you be so kind?"
"Certainly," I said, brushing past him. I unlocked the door and turned off the alarm. "Will you be long?" I asked as he moved towards Ian's office. He ignored me and went inside, coming out quickly with his overcoat and case. "You may lock up now," he said, walking past me to the elevators.
"Thank you," I said snidely. I should have been angered by his behavior and tried to act accordingly, but I felt really confused. I re-set the alarm and was locking the doors when I heard the elevator close behind me. "Fucking douchebag," I muttered, really angry he couldn't at least hold the elevator for me.
"Excuse me?" he said from behind me. I was so convinced he had left it scared me, and I turned around and jumped, giving a breathless-sounding 'oh!'. He smiled, holding open the elevator door, and asked if I had thought I was alone. I nodded, cheeks bright red, and walked past him in to the elevator, pressing the button for the lobby. I leaned against the wall and looked down at my feet.
"The lobby?" he asked, pressing the button for the garage and letting the doors close. He leaned against the wall opposite me, putting his briefcase next to his feet.
"I take the bus," I said. I risked a glance at his face and he was staring at me, a smile in his eyes but not on his lips. I immediately dropped my eyes again.
"How environmentally friendly of you," he said. I shrugged but didn't speak. We rode in silence for a moment before he spoke again.
"Is it an American custom to not speak or make eye-contact in elevators?"
"Not at all," I said, giggling and glancing up at him again before looking back down at my feet.
"I see." He crossed his legs. "You are just really fascinated with your footwear?"
"I'm flustered," I said, looking at him. "Because I called you a douchebag."
"A 'fucking douchebag'," he said, smiling with his eyes again.
"If you must be exact."
"Indeed." His eyes began their travels again and I felt goosebumps on my back. I looked over his face carefully, noting his long lashes, the way his lips look like a kiss, the thick but neat brows. I was drawn back to his eyes as they wandered all over me. I must have been breathing a little harder – I didn't notice it but he did. "Are you well?" he asked, his eyes suddenly meeting mine. "You're flushed."
"I like the way you look at me," I blurted out without thinking.
"Tell me why," he said as the elevator reached the lobby. He stepped in front of me, his eyes smiling and holding mine captive.
"It feels like a caress," I said quietly. I stepped around him quickly and hurried out the door to Third Avenue. The evening was mild – the rain had stopped at some point that afternoon – and I decided to walk a bit before catching the bus. I started north, and thought over what had happened. I couldn't believe I had been so frank with Malcolm. I wanted to continually slap my forehead until it made welts, like those monks that flogged themselves in the Dark Ages. I settled for marching up to Pike, muttering under my breath how stupid I was the whole way. I stopped, looking around and noticing for the first time people were looking at me funny and giving me a wide berth. I decided to head down to the market. I got a nice pastrami on marbled rye and caught a cab home. Dinner, bubble bath, some light-hearted TV – that became my plan to forget the day.
It worked until I got in to the office the following morning. There was no sign of Malcolm, and I had an email from Ian that he wanted to see me first thing. I sat at my desk for a few minutes, rubbing my temples, trying to get my nerves under control. I was certain, quite certain, that Malcolm had contacted Ian last night to tell him how his star Senior Account Executive behaved. I was certain that – if I wasn't being fired outright – I was being demoted. I buzzed Krissie and told her I was going in to a meeting with Ian and to hold all my calls. I got up – surprisingly steady – and walked over to Ian's office. Emma looked up and smiled at me, waving me right in to his office. I knocked lightly and opened his door, my palms sweating so badly I had trouble grabbing the handle to turn it.
Ian was on the phone but waved me in. I took a chair in front of his desk and waited for him to finish up, fighting the urge to wipe my palms on my skirt. "I agree with you completely," he said, smiling at me. "As a matter of fact, she just walked in." He gave me a wink and I smiled back at him tentatively. "I'll mention it to her now, Malcolm." My stomach seemed to fall down to my toes, and it was all I could do to keep from groaning. "I'll see you when you get here," he said after another moment or two and hung up.
"So, Mel, you made quite an impression on our new VP," Ian said, leaning back in his chair and resting his chin on his steepled fingers, looking at me seriously. Well, as seriously as he could. He was about 5'4" and quite effeminate – serious for him often bordered on the ridiculous..
"About that, Ian," I started, clearing my throat.
"He thinks you should be the one to go after the maxi pad people," he said, smiling.
It took a moment before I realized what he had said. I was so certain – so very certain – he was about to demote me I believed he said I should go work with the mail room people.
"Really? That's fantastic!" I said once I had finished my internal reality check.
"He wants to work it with you, starting today. You can give Fred or Alisa the soda account and get started this morning. He had a last-minute realtor issue, but should be in the office in an hour or so."
"He wants to work it with me? Or he wants to watch me work it and put his name first?" I asked, skeptical.
"His words were work it with you, Mel. If something else is happening, let me know." I nodded. Ian may be a lot of things, but first and foremost he was fair. In fact, he was the fairest boss I'd had. "I don't think that will be an issue, though. At least not according to his reputation." I nodded again. I had checked him out on the intranet and he seemed to be a fair guy, sorely missed by the London office. "This is what you wanted, Mel."
"I know, Ian," I said, beaming at him.
"It's huge, Mel. Huge. Don't fuck it up."
"You know I won't," I said, getting up to go.
"That's our girl," he said, making me laugh.
I walked back to my office feeling lighter than air. There was a familiar ball of excitement in the pit of my stomach that felt like I just took a major drop on a roller coaster, and I felt almost giddy with it. I stopped at Krissie's desk and told her to give the soda account to Alisa – Fred was bogged down already – and to get the complete ad history for the maxi pad company (I won't drop names, but they are in direct competition with the one wanting women to really enjoy their periods) for the last 10 years. I went in to my office and logged on to the web, Googling everything I could about them and taking notes.
"You don't waste any time," Malcolm said from behind me, making me jump in my chair and knock over a cup filled with pens. They scattered and rolled off the desk.
"Sorry. You surprised me. I didn't hear you knock." I babbled, getting down on all fours and crawling about, gathering the pens and putting them back in the cup.
"Because I didn't." I looked back at him over my shoulder – I was still gathering errant pens at this point – and saw his eyes were glued to my rear end. I could also see he was enjoying the view. It thrilled me. Hell, it aroused me. I turned away, smiling, and gathered the rest of the pens. I put them on the desk and stood up, smoothing my blouse and slacks as I brushed past him to sit back down. And God help me if I didn't make sure to turn so it was my ass that brushed against him.
"How shall we configure ourselves?" he asked, leaning against my desk and looking at the few knick-knacks I had on my shelves.
"Excuse me?" I said, sure I missed something he said.
"For working together. How shall we seat ourselves?" he replied. He was looking at me like he had the night before, his eyes smiling but his mouth serious. Did he know what I had been thinking?
"Right. Of course," I said with a slight shake of my head. "Let's bring a chair around and we can just sort of share the workspace?"
"Sounds good." He grabbed a chair and brought it next to mine. "May I?" he asked, sitting down and picking up the pad I had been using to make notes.
"Please," I said, nodding at him. I watched him as he scanned my notes (chicken scratches, really; I think much faster than I can write and it shows), his face remained expressionless until the end, when he put the pad down and noticed me watching.
"Good job, Melody. You've really gotten a lot of background done."
"I've been wanting to go after them for a long time."
"Tenacious. I like that," he said, giving me a wink that made me catch my breath. "What are you thinking?" I started talking, getting up and pacing around my desk, as he took notes.I won't bore you with a minute-by-minute replay (although I could, it seems like every moment is burned in to my memory, maybe because it was the first time we worked together, maybe because it is Malcolm), but needless to say we worked well together that day (and every other day, too, for that matter). It seemed like any time I came to a wall, he was already on the far side of it, and vice-versa. I think that's why it all seemed so easy with him, we're compatible, we are equally bright and creative, but in slightly different ways, so we compliment each other. It's exhilarating in it's own way.
Malcolm left around five to have drinks with Ian. I stayed a little longer, finishing up a few things before I left to have dinner with my best friend, Tony. Weird, thinking back to it, I realize that while I did tell him about the new VP (and how it wasn't me), I didn't really tell him. I didn't tell him he was sexy, I didn't tell him I looked at his lips and longed to feel them at odd places on my body. I wanted to, but I didn't. I figured it was a school-girl type crush, and it would pass.
We worked exclusively together nearly every day for the next three weeks. Sometimes I would be pacing and speaking, brainstorming with him, and I would glance at him to find he was... ogling me, and I would lose my train of thought. Or I would find myself inching closer to him, drawn by his delicious smell. Soap and cologne and sweat...his smell was 100% male. But nothing ever happened. He never made a move and I...well, I just figured it was better that I didn't. Something about Malcolm made me think he did not like pushy women. And as the time passed, I just figured it – this undercurrent of sexual attraction – was all me. Until one day, about two and a half weeks later. I came in extra early after stopping at a QFC to buy every women's magazine I could find. When Malcolm got in I was sitting back in my chair, my feet up on the desk thumbing through a 'Cosmopolitan'.