I Like My Coffee BlackbyMila_York©
No, it wasn't love. If anything at all, it was an addiction; maddening, exhilarating, yet very much an addiction. No doubt, I will survive. I will get through this sickening withdrawal, and the day will come when I walk into the office and don't expect to see Zack sitting at my desk, teasing me for being five minutes late. I've always been five minutes late to work, every single day of the five years at QOL Advertising. Now, I will have to start coming on time, just to get over the memory of him, standing from behind the desk in his always neat but affordable-looking suit, taking my designer blazer off, and handing me a cup of coffee, no cream or sugar.
"I read somewhere that people who like their coffee black are more likely to be psychopaths," he threw in casually on his second day of work, broadcasting a most naive smile, not showing any signs of distress or anxiety of a typical intern. It was then that I opened my eyes in shocked surprise and looked at him for the first time. Of course, I've looked at him before, but I didn't really see him. I didn't feel anything when Zack greeted me on his first day: he was just another intern, coming through the ever revolving doors of the firm. He was taller than average, pleasant to look at, with a broad smile on his boyish face - that was all that I noted to myself while shaking his hand. Was his palm warm or cold? Was his handshake firm or sluggish? - I simply don't remember, because it didn't matter. He was just another dandy boy, who'd take my efforts to teach him for granted, who'd waste my precious time and be gone in six weeks. So I hardly thought of him as a handsome young man - or even a human being for that matter - just another bullet point in my job description.
He spent much of his first week listening, asking questions when necessary, demonstrating his desire to learn but not coming off as too eager. Unlike most interns these days, he had his cell on silent at all times, safely tucked into his pants pocket. That back pocket on his ass... It drew my attention more than once, and I'm ashamed to admit it. How could I even let myself be attracted to him, subordinate, a decade younger than me?
It was him who put the idea in my head, as-a-matter-of-factly, as always, over a friendly lunch. Yes, we became friends. He didn't have boundaries and managed to cross mine. With him, I've let myself be too friendly too soon.
"I used to date a woman who was a decade older, he said in a leveled voice, unwrapping his Philly Cheesesteak sandwich - "but you wouldn't approve of my choice."
"Why?" I asked simply, not thinking anything into the statement then - "because she was that much older than you?"
"No, because she was my boss."
"You both could have lost your jobs over that," I muttered, finding nothing else to say.
"Wouldn't have been a big deal" - he gave me a sly grin, rubbing his chin in amusement - "it was a summer gig anyway; I was a summer camp team leader, and she was the lead counselor."
Silly me, how could I be so stupid as to swallow that bait? Oh no, he wasn't testing my moral principles. He was very expertly appealing to my sense of self-perception: I was an older - read more experienced - woman, with some level of control over him.
Was it then that I looked at his ring finger? Of course, there was no wedding band on it - he was too young to be married - but there was a little scar right under the knuckle, which ignited my imagination and paved the road for temptation.
As I watched his big-knuckled hand moving away from his clean-shaven face and toward his mauve shirt, undoing the collar, I kept musing how he might have got that scar. Was he careless with some sort of tool? Was it an accidental glass break? Was there a lot of blood? Suddenly, I pictured a sexy looking lead counselor, taking his bloody hand into hers, pressing the white gauze firmly to the cut, assuring him that it was not too deep and would heal nicely. She was probably wearing shorter than appropriate denim shorts, her boobs somewhat covered by a low neckline t shirt but pushed up all the way to the chin, some sickly-sweet antiperspirant mixing up with her sweat and making him dizzy. Maybe, they were a little buzzed. It is so easy to underestimate the effect of a single beer in the heat of a summer night.
Did he kiss her first? No, he's too good to make that mistake. He probably just stood there, silently, impersonating innocence itself, letting her get ensnared by the enticing proximity of his sweaty body. And she was sure to cave in. It wasn't until she told him to take his shirt off that he intended to do so. And then he did it slowly, grasping the collar of his polo and pulling his head though first, then his arms. Of course, she lurched forward too quickly. She didn't have time to think. She didn't want to take the time to think. She didn't care about the million reasons she had not to do it.
She closed her eyes the moment he pinned her to the wall and offered her tongue eagerly the moment he forced his mouth onto hers. For a brief second, shame cut through her foggy mind as his nimble fingers touched her down there, but she nipped that useless feeling in the bud, twirling in delight. No he didn't push her down onto the squeaky bed, and there was no table to bend her over. He fucked her right there, from behind, pressing her blood stained hands to the shabby wall.
"Ski accident." He reached over for the napkin.
"I'm sorry?" I snapped out of my head-trip.
"The scar on my hand? I got it in a ski accident," he said, giving me that lewd smile, as if he knew exactly what had just happened in my mind.
I saw that same smile on his face when I touched him for the first time. He was trying to upload his presentation to the company portal when a pop-up window asked for my credentials. As I rose slowly from my chair, I expected him to get up and move out of the way. Of course, he didn't do that. He kept his hands on the keyboard, so I had no choice but to touch him or redefine boundaries by asking him to move. So I leaned in, my left elbow grazing his arm, my pinky touching the scar above that knuckle. I blushed, not because of that harmless physical contact, but at the realization of my arousal. It must have been the intensity of cascalone and bergamot in his cologne that made me feel that way. I wanted him to raise the stakes. I imagined him freeing his hand and touching my thigh, under the stretch twill skirt... I might have even rocked my hips a little. The file finished loading, and I had no choice but to go back to my desk, feeling like an idiot, with unsatisfied yearning between my legs. The craving was so intense that I had to go to the bathroom and stick my hand under my skirt, into my panties. I wished I were in my bedroom, with my luscious silicone friend, so I could safely and freely indulge in the eye-crossing pleasure. But I wasn't, and I had to settle for a thirty-five-second rushed release.
That day, I couldn't stop thinking about him even after work. I gobbled up my take-out dinner while proofreading his presentation, took a long shower, and slipped into my bed, completely naked. I closed my eyes and tried to remember the scent of his cologne while rolling a condom over my battery operated friend. I bought a three-pack on my way home thinking that I wouldn't have sex with Zack without proper protection, and I wanted the experience to feel as real as possible. I teased myself a little, rubbing the vibrator over my clit in circular motions, then shoved it inside in a sudden and forceful motion, opening my knees wide, yielding to the imaginary pressure of his hips. The muscles inside clenched around the stiff shaft and I felt my back arching. I shoved it in even further, to the point of uncomfortable, and imagined him whispering into my ear, "Damn, you are so tight."
I am pathetic. I can't stop thinking about him even though it's been twelve weeks since he accepted that job offer with our biggest competitor and moved on. A formal handshake and a polite thank-you was all I got in return. I feel betrayed. And it's not the fact that he jumped ship that makes me grind my teeth. It is the ease with which he said good-buy, the resolution with which he turned around and walked away.
I don't even know what it is that I miss. It's not his body, for I haven't known the feeling of his body against mine. Is it his presence in the office? The sound of his voice? Or maybe, it's that elation that I felt catching his coy glance on my ass. Oh yes, I have done it at least a dozen times, I have assumed that sexy butt-in-the-air pose while pretending to look for something in the file cabinet in front of his desk. And he knew damn well what it was that I was really looking for.
I am pathetic. This morning on my way to work, I saw an ABT delivery truck stuck at a traffic lite. The guy behind the wheel was hot, and young, and reminded me of Zack. So I couldn't help but stare at him until the traffic light turned green and the truck took off, the note on the side of it laughing in my face, "your satisfaction is our goal."
I am pathetic. I'm stuck in my office at nine-thirty on a Friday night, on a freaking Valentine's day night, simply because I have nothing better to do. No one else, just me and the solitary desk lamp in the twilight of the empty building. Loneliness... I feel loneliness in my room... I wish I had someone waiting for me, yearning and longing, getting stiff in his pants in anticipation of a steamy night. Forget the flowers, forget the dinner, and screw the teddy bear, really, just the masculine body heavy with need.
I stand up, trying to ease the stiffness in my shoulders when suddenly a very familiar baritone nearly makes me jump out of my skin.
"I didn't have a slightest doubt that I'd find you in the office, even on a beautiful rainy night like this. You know, for the hours that you put in, you are grossly underpaid."
I lean over my table, feeling faint, goosebumps covering my back. That voice alone makes me shiver, and those dark brown eyes that see far too much about me almost make me sick to my stomach.
"Za...Zack? How did you get in here?" I have to control my voice. How has he come in without me noticing? Is it really him or have I started hallucinating because of long hours and sleepless nights?
"John's let me in. I was hoping he'd be the one on duty tonight."
"One day he'll get in trouble," I say coldly, taking a paper off my desk and heading over to the file cabinet. This is a perfect excuse to break the eye contact and regain my self-control. Damn it! I must look like an idiot, the way I turned my back on him!
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with helping an old pal out" - he laughs, rocking in his chair - "you know, you work too much, and you worry too much."
Holding off on turning around, I stay bent over, aimlessly shuffling through the papers. Why did he come here? I wonder if he is staring at my ass...
My hands start trembling as I hear his confident footsteps behind my back.
"I think we both know that you don't need to file your grocery list with the legal documents," he says smirking, taking the paper out of my hands and placing it on the desk.
Oh yes, it is him and he caught me red-handed! I blush, at a loss for words.
He kneels and leisurely picks up the pen that's rolled off the table just a moment ago, his gaze pausing on my knees and meeting my eyes. This lewd smile on his face, the way the night lights sneak in through the windows and reflect off his moist lips, the intensity of cascalone and bergamot in his cologne - it all makes me suffocate. Why, why does he have to smell so good and so... male?
"It's a crime to be alone on a night like this," he whispers in my ear, and I see the awareness of my thoughts on his face. If it is possible to pass out from an overwhelming intimacy, I must say I am pretty close. My hands are still shaking, my knees are weak, and I have nothing close by to lean on. Nothing, but him...
"Are you cold?" he asks, having noticed that I'm trembling, and I see that same smile I've seen so many times. What is he doing? I let out a long sigh.
"I... I have plans for tonight," I blurt out in some sort of stupor. I have absolutely no plans for tonight, or any night for that matter! Damn it! Why did I say that?!
"That's a bummer" - he steps back, and I see disappointment on his face - "I was hoping to take you out for a drink."
"I have half an hour," I say too quickly, fearing that I've blown my chance already. A chance at what? I wonder at the same time. Do I really need to subject myself to the same torture all over again? Wouldn't it be a lot smarter to just quit cold turkey and not go for another fix?
"Frankie's across the street?" he asks, gallantly helping me into my coat, his hands pausing on my shoulders for a tad longer than needed. What is he doing? I let out another long sigh and grab my purse.
"Sure," I try to keep my tone measured, feeling excited and apprehensive at the same time.
Frankie's is good, Frankie's is familiar territory, and going out of my comfort zone is the last thing I need right now. Another plus, it's a bar and deli type of place, so it won't feel awkward on a night like this. A big minus, there's that busty bartender working on Friday nights who uses every opportunity to stick her hooters into Zack's face. Honestly, I am not lacking in that department myself, but I don't put it out there like she does, and I don't throw myself at random guys like twenty-some year olds do. Gosh, I sound like a grumpy dowager! The truth is I envy her. Samantha - I think that is her name - exhibits this uninhibitedness that I'm lacking. The ease with which she flirts with guys - it is no more difficult for her than popping a bottle open. How many times have I caught men's eyes on her curvy body, simple black t-shirt perfectly framing her bust, pink or red lace bra propping her cleavage up? And although I personally think it's a sign of bad taste when a woman's bra juts out for everybody to see, it hasn't failed to draw Zack's attention.
My tension eases a little as we step outside and get swallowed by the foggy drizzle. The car headlights reflecting off the wet, grey asphalt and the smell of spring dampness - it doesn't feel like February at all. My nostrils flare a little as I inhale cascalone and bergamot mixed in with the tiny water droplets suspended in the air. I don't know if it's the weather, or his smell, or the whole love is in the air night, but I close my eyes and imagine Zack stopping me in the middle of the street and pressing a minty kiss onto my chapped lips. Yes, I have noticed him discretely popping an Altoid into his mouth as we were leaving the office. I blush and clutch my purse even harder.
We cross the street and approach the neon pink letters flashing in the bar window, a logical choice of color on a night like this indeed. Zack pulls on the heavy wooden door, and the smell of close air filled with alcohol and sweat insults my nose. I hesitantly set my foot inside and wince, either at a sudden change of atmosphere or at the sight of Samantha wearing a pink tiered mesh ruffle skirt and cupid wings. Damn it, I can't compete with that!
A quick glance around and I suddenly realize that there is plenty of lovebirds, laughing and having loud conversations, drunk with alcohol, or love, or both. This is quite different from the quiet and formal atmosphere of a business lunch that I was hoping for. The realization makes me flinch.
"Let's take those two seats?" Zack gestures to the two distant bar stools in the corner, having noticed my uneasiness. I nod yes and follow his lead, forfeiting our usual spot at the front.
The moment Zack sits his perfect ass on the padded leather top, Samantha slides two coasters in our direction, flashing her ample bosom in his face.
"What can I get for you two?" she asks almost purring, stealing a quick glance at me and returning her catlike green eyes to him.
"Port for you as usual?" Zack momentarily directs his glance to me, a big grin adorning his gleeful face. Seriously, what is it with guys and boobs? A fat bonus wouldn't bring the same amount of joy to their faces!
I nod yes, my lips pursed.
"Port wine for the lady and a Canadian Club for me."
"Straight up, on the rocks, or with a twist?" She winks at him.
"On the rocks." He gives her a devilish smirk and finally turns over to me. "So, putting in long hours?"
I take my port wine and empty half of the glass in one gulp. It takes me a moment to suppress a bout of jealousy. Why has he come here? Why has he asked me out? Is it simply because he felt obligated after everything I've done for him?
"It's always busy in the beginning of the year." I finally find my voice. "But I'm sure you know that because judging by your outfit you are coming straight from work yourself."
"Yeah, I've been busting my ass for the new boss lately."
"Is she deserving of all your efforts?" I ask half-jokingly, another jolt of jealousy already pricking my conscience.
"He is a total asshole, but I'm learning a lot." Zack smiles, rolling the ice cubes in his glass using his index finger. "How's your new intern? Is he as handsome as I am?"
"He is practically an Abercrombie and Fitch model," I say biting on my pinky, alcohol slowly but surely untying my tongue.
"That good looking, huh?" Zack slides the empty glass across the counter, using a universal hand motion to order a refill on my drink. I should really slow down on that. I don't trust myself around him when I'm sober, and god only knows what I'll do if I'm not.
"Yeah, that good looking, and just as dumb." My voice is already louder than it should be.
"I'm sure it's not that bad" - he laughs out loud - "it took you a while to warm up to me too."
"Who says I've warmed up to you?" I tease him in return. "You just have thick skin and go full speed ahead no matter what."
But ultimately, he is right. I try my best to keep the distance, for work and leisure don't mix well in my mind, or - to be precise - didn't mix well in my mind before I met him. Damn it, what is it about him that makes me lose my head?
"How's personal life?" I ask as a matter-of-factly, almost through my second drink. "Are you seeing anyone?"
"Nah, I barely have time to sleep, let alone have a relationship. You?"
"As a matter of fact, there is a guy that I really like." I avert my eyes, blushing, tracing the rim of the glass with my index finger.
"Do tell." He tries to keep the conversation light, but his voice hardens with an emotion I cannot quite define. Could it be jealousy that I sense? Could he be into me?
"What do you wanna know?" I look up at him again, biting on my lip.
"Three things you like about him." He finally gives me his undivided attention.
"Ok" - I pause for a moment - "he is determined... funny... and has a really nice ass." Yep, it is official, I am drunk. Drunkity drunk!
"Sounds like you are really into him." Zack puts down his empty glass, a note of disappointment ringing in his voice. Jealousy? Is he really jealous?
"You have no idea," I whisper having leaned in. "Oops." I lose my balance for a second and have to put my hands onto his thighs in order to steady myself. His pupils widen as he grabs me by the shoulders. I close my eyes and inhale his aroma, fighting the urge to press my lips onto his. He's breathing heavily, and I get wet at the thought of him following me into the bathroom, closing the door and pinning my body to the wallpapered panel. I think about his left hand sliding under my skirt and imagine my fingers undoing his pants first, then my own blouse and bra, presenting him with a marvelous view of the hard nipples.