Stolen Moments Ch. 02byTyr51©
"Okay Folks!! This meeting's adjourned. I'll see you all next week and look forward to hearing about your progress!"
The room filled with the sounds of chairs scraping backwards on the hard wood floors as the weekly department meeting broke up and the employees returned to the drudgery of their daily tasks. Suzanne shuffled her papers a little absently and began arranging them back into her portfolio. Nope. Wrong order. She took them out and rearranged them. Put them back in her portfolio... closed the bindings with a snap. She hardly noticed her boss sit on the table next to her paperwork but looked up as Sherry came into view.
"Suzanne? Everything okay?"
"Oh yes, sure it is. How are you?"
"Fine. Fine. Look, if something were wrong, you know you'd be able to talk to me about it, don't you?"
"Of course I do Sherry... is there a problem?"
"No, no, not at all."
"Is something wrong with my work?"
"Suzanne, you know that's not what I am saying. I've just noticed you've seem a little preoccupied. It's not really a work issue. I just wanted to make sure you knew you had a friend if you needed to talk about anything."
Suzanne started collecting her things off the desk.
"Thanks. I appreciate it. Really." Suzanne smiled cordially. "I've had a few things on my mind lately, but nothing worth mentioning. So...unless you needed something else?"
Sherry got off of the table and went to erase the whiteboard filled with the red marks of strategic planning.
"Nothing else." Sherry reached out to give Suzanne's sholder a pat. "Sorry to have bothered you with it. You have a good afternoon, and I'll see you at the Team J meeting this afternoon."
"No bother," Suzanne assured. "Have a good morning!" Suzanne forced herself to look sprightly as she left the room and began her trek down the hall back to her cubical. Her mind turned inwards as she passed by the beige walls and under the florescent lights that seemed to pervade so much of her existence. @#%$. Something was wrong. Something had been wrong for about a month now. But she hadn't realized she was wearing it on her sleeve for everyone to see.
She had not known what to do that evening. Somehow she made her way home. She threw herself on her pillow and cried, and didn't bother to analyze why. She had considered calling the police. But what would she tell them? And what would they think of her? She put it off for a day. She almost asked security to walk her out to her car, but instead opted for always going down the elevator with a group of chattering co-workers. They offered some modest form of protection, and their inane discourse helped to block up the memories of the 3rd floor-parking garage. She put it off for another day. Then another. Soon a week had passed and she had still not told the police. "Silly now, to call them so late. They'll wonder why I didn't call right away." Suzanne never even bothered to pick up the phone.
Past main administration, she gave a wave to the receptionist, and the elevator lobby....
Her life had changed in other ways. She listened. She had always prided herself on hearing what others had to say, but she started listing to the how of it now. Every man she passed, she listened to see if she could recognize some tone, some inflection that would give away the game. It never came. The weeks passed and her memories of the events only grew stronger. One evening, while she was masturbating alone in her apartment, her cat shut out on the other side of the bedroom door, her thoughts kept slipping back to that half an hour... and she stopped, startled. It was becoming more like that these days....an obsession....a memory that seeped into her every thought, and didn't turn her stomach. And then her stomach would turn at her realization that it hadn't before. Suzanne simply didn't know what to do. There was nothing she could do. She had never been so frustrated in her entire life.
Walked past the business library and past marketing....
Suzanne stopped suddenly. There. And looked up, startled. The hall was empty. But she had smelt it. Suzanne shook her head and inhaled deeply. No. Nothing there. She took a step back and inhaled again. Nothing there either. But it had been there. It had come and passed. And it was unmistakable. The barest hint of clean soap, warmth and that cologne that was burned upon her memory...
Suzanne stood very still as her heart rate sped up. He was in the building. He had to be.
Her rational mind warred with the rest of her. Surely more than one man can smell like this!!
Suzanne put her hand up to her head and shook it in an attempt to clear it. A co-worker passed by.
"Yeah...just got dizzy. It's nothing. Thanks though."
Suzanne made her way back to her desk post-haste, but her eyes were open now, and alert. And her ears listened for any mans voice that resonated a deep baritone.
She arrived at her desk.
Oh great. Mail.
The bane of her existence consisted of sorting this daily horrendous pile. Don't know where to send it? Give it to Suzanne! She'll sort it! Never mind that her title is not "Mail Clerk." She plopped herself down into her chair and steeled herself to just get through this odious task. "This," she thought, "is normal. I'll think about this."
This goes to Sherry. This goes in the Trash. Marketing! How many times have I told them! Me. Mine. Also mine. Oops! This goes to Michael. Personal and Confidential?
Suzanne held up the padded envelope. It didn't feel like a document...But there is was. Addressed to her. Suzanne. Personal and Confidential.
She pulled out her letter opener and went to town on the package. She ripped open the top and looked inside. And immediately shut the bag with a gasp.
No way to be sure of what it was from that cursory glance. But whatever it was, she was not taking it out in her cubical, where everyone could see. What in God's name could it...
Suzanne stuffed the envelope under her arm and made her way to the ladies room. She entered the restroom, and looked under all the stalls, quickly ascertaining that she was indeed alone. And she took out the contents of the bag.
It looked like a small item made of black lace. Her thoughts were confirmed as she unfolded it.
She was certain it was a bra. At least most of it. It looked like a bra. But there were no cups. Just black lace, and a shelf. And no cups. Her mind raced to what she would look like wearing it. It would support her nicely. An under-wire, and it looked like it would give her very pretty cleavage indeed.... but her nipples would be bare. They would rub against whatever material her shirt happened to be, and they would be noticeable through the gossamer cloth of her blouse. How could they not be? And the constant friction of the moving cloth...
Suzanne shivered. She had thought about buying one a million times... but she could never really rationalize having such a piece of decedent underwear in her drawer. She crumpled it into her hands and held it against her breasts. She leaned against the cool wall near the sinks, feeling her cheek against the tile, and stared blankly at the wall. Who would have sent such a... But she knew. The question was why.
In a sudden inspiration, she decided to check the envelope again for a clue. For anything. And it was there, in the form of a folded piece of yellow paper....
She opened it. Read, and re-read the words:
"Here is a replacement for the undergarments I ruined. Not nearly as much material, but I think you'll like it. I expect you to wear it tonight when you meet me for dinner.
P.S. I didn't include any underwear, you don't need it. But those thigh highs are more than welcome to come along."
Suzanne was shaking. Meet him for dinner? Where??? When??? The she looked at herself in the mirror.... flushed. Her cheeks were rosy, but with excitement or embarrassment, she did not know.
Wait. She should be horrified. She should go to the police. She had a writing sample. This man had stolen her, restrained her... And made her feel things she had only imagined. Oh lord... Made her feel things she had read about a million times in those romance books she hid in tumbled piles under her bed.
He hadn't hurt her. Would he? Could she trust him? Of course she couldn't.... so why was she so upset that he had not given her more specific instructions?
Suzanne felt an overwhelming need to cry. Why all this? She was a career woman. She always had been. She looked in the mirror again.
At 5'6" she was about as normal a height as anyone could ask for. And while her weight was not anything close to a model's, he was by far in the prettier majority of people you passed in the street. She was fit enough, although there was no hiding her hips and the breasts. In all honesty, she looked like the girl next door. Maybe she wasn't beautiful. But she was surely pretty enough. Her alabaster skin, and her hair hinting at red made up for a lot. And her grey eyes were deep.
But why now? And why this way? And why wasn't she horrified?
Suzanne splashed some water from the sink onto her face and onto the back of her neck. She grabbed some paper towels and dried herself. She looked into the mirror one last time. Straight into her eyes.
"Suzanne... if you find out where this is, you have to do it. You can always leave. But you have to know who he is."
She put the items back into the envelope, caressing them in a way as they went securely back into their hiding spot. And she left the ladies room, making her way back to her workspace.
She put the envelope in her locked file, where she kept her other private items.... money...pictures.... feminine products and a collection of books to read through lunch. And put the key on her key ring. No need to keep this in the lock.
She went to her computer and checked her email program. It was always open on her desktop. She used it to hide her other applications when she was doing personal business on the computer. She couldn't remember if the Team J meeting was at 2 or 2:30. They kept changing their mind.
Then she saw it.
Her Calendar on outlook was blocked off from 7PM till midnight today. She hadn't put it there. Someone had added the appointment. The shaded grey area said simply: Dinner.
She clicked on the appointment. It contained directions to a restaurant named "Pagiani's."
Her heart stopped.
"Oh my good Lord." Suzanne thought. "He works in the office."