tagGroup SexValentina's Valentines

Valentina's Valentines

bytomlitilia©

Valentina had been married and divorced at a young age. Now at 40, she felt that she was in many ways happily married to her career. She was an efficient woman and she knew this was the reason for her success. After single-handedly raising a daughter while struggling through law school in Italy, she had successively built up her career as a business lawyer. She had found her calling in intellectual property law and started climbing up the company ladder of an international patent firm. She loved this line of work, largely because it meant she got to meet a lot of creative people. Eventually, she had made the transfer to the companies US based headquarter, and while it had been a struggling to move continents with a child, she had never regretted this.

Around the office, she was facetiously referred to as The Cleaner. She had got the nickname from her ability to fix problems within the company, and she would regularly be sent out to local branches to shape up the business. This had got easier over the last couple of years because her daughter had gone off to college. The past year she had spent most of her time at the company's Oregon office, which had rapidly been losing money. It was a small branch with around ten people and she had questioned the decision to save it. The board had however decided that it was important to have representation in the area.

The branch had turned out to be in worse shape than she had imagined, mostly due to bad management. As always, she took charge of the situation. She had fired the boss and placed herself as a manager. The decision hadn't been all popular and the senior staff had soon left. They had claimed it was out of loyalty with their former boss but it had been obvious that they also had a problem with working for a female manager. She had no patience for such behavior and was glad they had quit by their own device.

After a few chaotic weeks, she had been left with just six employees, all guys and averaging at around ten years her junior. These younger employees hadn't had any problems with her as a woman, but she could tell there was quite a bit of hostility. She figured they were all afraid to lose their jobs and the previous manager had created an infected work environment with unhealthy competition. They were even fighting over the same clients.

A turning point occurred when one the employees, Adam, had come close to a nervous breakdown. She had noticed that he had been performing poorly and when she had called him into her office to discuss it, he had been close to tears. He explained that his wife had just left him and he was having problems keeping it together. He had been so sure that he was about to get fired that he suggested he should go pack up his things.

While Valentina was known to be demanding in terms of her employee's performance, she was in no way a cold bitch. One of the qualities that made her so efficient was the fact that she was a compassionate woman and could read other people. Rather than firing him, she gave him a week off to sort out his situation. She made the rest of the staff handle his clients, and for the first time they managed to act as a team. The way she had handled the situation made them feel like she was on their side, restoring their long-lost faith in the company. When Adam returned, he brought her flowers to thank her for her support. She thought that it was a bit unprofessional, but still appreciated the gesture. It had served to break down a barrier between her and the staff.

They could soon see that she was in fact saving their jobs and they were very thankful that she was taking charge of the situation. She would be the one to call the shots, and as no one questioned this, she was happy to keep the work environment rather informal. Because the branch was much smaller than what she was used to, she had gotten to know the staff better. They had grown very fund of her, and she of them. They had been lacking good mentorship, and she was happy to give it to them.

She also knew that even though the branch had been losing money, it wouldn't be a good idea to cut back on expenses. Instead, she had invested in small company gym. This allowed people to stay longer, and it also served as a means to blow off some steam when needed. Occasionally, she would think to herself that this investment was also a bit selfish. First, because she liked to keep in shape herself, but she also had to admit that it was nice to look at the guys sweating it out. They would even push each other to work out harder, and she had noticed that most of them had got even fitter over the year. She adhered to the notion that it's a bad idea to "shit where you eat," but nevertheless appreciated the eye-candy.

The initial hostility had been replaced by respect, followed by a sense of friendship and even a bit flirtation. She wasn't the only one sneaking peaks around the office and she had often noticed the guys checking her out. She was used to this and it wasn't surprising -- she was a sexy woman and she was aware of it. Her looks had in no way diminished with age and the increased confidence had made her even more attractive. She was in many ways the epiphany of a strong, independent woman. Even though the work climate was informal, they would all stick to the habit and dress professionally, which for her usually meant a tight skirt and blouse. While rather strict, it showed off her legs and curvy figure and she enjoyed the appreciative looks she got.

Some of the guys had even hinted that they would like to take her out, but she had politely let them know that she wasn't going to date her employees because it was against the company policy. It had been tempting though. She was all happy to be on her own, but she found the lack of sexual attention challenging. It was hard to fit in even casual relationships with her busy schedule. She had thought that her sex drive would diminish with age, but if anything it was just getting larger. Spending most of her time around an office with six hot young men hadn't helped either.

Her time there was however now coming to an end. The branch was back on its feet and she had groomed Liam to take over as branch manager. At 34, he was the oldest of the guys and the natural choice. She had sensed that he doubted himself but she was confident he would do just fine.

Not wanting to make a big fuss about her leaving, she had decided to just have a small party at the office after work on her last day. Being unattached, it didn't cross her mind that this was February 14th. As far as she knew, the guys were all single too, but she still felt bad when she realized she had picked Valentine's day because she knew it was considered a big day for dating in America. Still, none of the guys had complained and had all been quick to accept the invite.

As most work parties, it started off pretty formal because it's hard for people to discard their work roles and relax. Always planning ahead, Valentina had supplied a wide selection of beverages and after a few drinks, the guys started loosening up. They had turned the meeting room into a party area and some festive music was playing through the sound system. Still, the mood was somewhat dampened. This got particularly apparent when she at one point returned from the bathroom and found them all just sitting quietly.

"What's up guys?" she asked.

"I guess we're all just a bit worried about what's going to happen now that you'll leave," said Liam.

"Oh, nonsense," she replied, shaking her hand to emphasize her words. "You'll do perfectly fine without me."

"Maybe," Adam said. "We're still going to miss having you around, though."

"That's sweet of you," she said and laughed slightly. "I'll miss you guys too."

She meant it. Too much of an asset to dedicate all her time to this branch, she had gone back and forth between this and the main office over the past year and she seemed to get a lot of energy from being around these younger men. The age difference wasn't huge, but she found it refreshing compared to the headquarters. And while she was used to gaining the respect of her employees, she felt that she had formed a special bond to this bunch. She'd gotten to know all of them quite well over the past year.

First, there was Adam, who had been quite emotional after his difficult breakup. He had confined in her, probably because she was the only woman at the office. At first she had been a bit uncomfortable about being his shoulder to cry on, but she had decided that the most efficient way to get him back on his feet was probably to let lend him her ears. She had even shared some of her experiences from her own divorce, and it they had become good friends in the process.

She had also spent a lot of time with Liam because she had prepared him for taking over management. She had been a bit surprised that he so openly had confessed his doubt about his own suitability for the job, but she had figured that he probably just trusted her enough to be honest about it. She knew that he was prepared for the task and she could proudly say that she was responsible for it.

At 27, Dave was the youngest of the bunch. He was bright and very creative, but impulse control wasn't his strong side. She had often had to make him stay focused on his current task, sometimes making her feel like a stern teacher. He had taken her criticism well though, thankful that someone was actually giving him some directions.

Eric was a bit of a technology geek, but far from the stereotype. He was very fit and always dressed sharp. She had noticed that clients were often surprised by the level of detailed understanding he had about technological inventions they wanted patented. She had enjoyed discussing such matters with him herself and felt that she had learned a lot from it. It was obvious that he had ambitions and he gratefully accepted all her advice on how to advance his career.

Of the lot, Mitch was the one that had taken the longest to get to know. He was a bit of a cowboy, and she had originally mistaken him for a macho-man -- something she really didn't care for. She soon realized that his attitude was a result of the unhealthy competitive culture the former management had created. After making him relax a bit, she discovered that he was a very sweet and charming man. She managed to bring this out in his communication with clients and they were both pleased to see that this his female client base had gone from zero to over 50%. He had really come out of his shell lately and she found him to be a real gentleman.

Finally, there was Julian, an Argentinean man and the accountant of the branch. He was quite flirtatious, and had repeatedly asked her to go out dancing him, which she always declined. It had become a bit of an inside joke, where he would pretend to be heartbroken every time she turned him down. It was all in good spirit though and they had also bonded over the sometimes frustrating situation of living in a foreign country. As her experience was longer, he had been thankful for some of her advice.

Looking around the room, she was feeling rather sad about leaving them now.

"Let's just have a fun evening tonight, OK?" she said, realizing that the comment was as much meant for her as it was for the staff. Knowing that she still needed to boost Liam's confidence she continued. "And you really shouldn't worry. Liam is well prepared to take over."

The guys nodded in agreement. They knew her shoes would be hard to fill, and didn't want to put more pressure on him. After a moment of silence, Dave spoke.

"Yeah, but he won't be as nice to look at."

He always had a tendency to talk before thinking. Realizing that his joke was a bit inappropriate, his face reddened and the rest started laughing more at his predicament than his joke.

"I don't know about that," Valentina said and quickly realized that it could also be interpreted as inappropriate. Not wanting to linger on the sentiment of her comment, she changed the subject.

"I'm really sorry about scheduling this party for Valentine's Day."

The guys all reassured her that they didn't mind.

"It's silly," Eric said. "Like all most traditions, it's just a bit of commercialism hidden under a thin layer of obscure superstitions."

Everybody laughed at his cynicism, but they seemed to agree with the sentiment. Valentina thought to herself that they might be taking after her workaholic lifestyle. Why else would they be so happy to stay for a work party on this romantic day?

"Well, to make it up to you, I've bought you all some Valentine's gifts," she said and disappeared briefly to collect a trolley full of gift baskets. They were really just intended as farewell presents, but when she realized what date it was, she'd bought a range of Valentine's cards and stuck them in the baskets. As a joke, she had used a marker pen to change the name Valentine to Valentina on all of them. Some just said things like "Happy Valentina's Day," but others were more cheesy. It had crossed her mind that these could be interpreted as inappropriate romantic invitations, which wouldn't go down well with the company policy. To circumvent this, she had written their names on pieces of papers and placed them in a jar. No one could accuse her of coming on to one of her employees if she picked them at random.

With the guys sitting down in front of her, she started the lottery. The first name said Adam, who was quick to collect his gift but before sitting down, he stopped and turned to her.

"Can I hug you?" he asked.

She laughed at his question but still accepted it.

"Why not?" she said and held out her arms. It was a warm, affectionate embrace.

She had noticed over the years that people seemed to like hugging her. Growing up in Italy, she was used to more physical interaction, so this wasn't in particularly strange for her, but because she figured it was because of how her voluptuous body felt against theirs, it was sometimes a nuisance. At this point it was however all welcome.

Naturally, the rest of the guys also hugged her as they collected their gifts. She wasn't left unaffected by the embrace of one hot guy after the other and thought that she really needed to find time to get out in the dating scene again.

"Do people celebrate Valentine's day in Italy?" Mitch asked.

"Hmm... I guess, but not in the same way as here?"

"How so?" Mitch continued.

"Well, it's just different traditions I suppose. I don't really know that much about it... I once read that people used to believe that the first unmarried person you saw on Valentine's Day would be your future partner."

"Really, and who was the first person you saw today?" Eric asked cheekily, suddenly far more interested in the customs surrounding this day.

"Well, let's see... I guess the first ones I saw that I know are unmarried would be all of you guys when I walked into the staff meeting this morning," she said and giggled nervously when she realized the connotation of what she had just said.

There was a bit of chuckling from the guys, followed by a moment of silence as the meaning of her words was sinking in.

"In Argentina..." Julian said, putting down his drink and holding out his hand invitingly. "In Argentina, we always go out dancing on Valentine's Day."

"Of course you do," Valentina responded with a knowing smirk. Her instinct was to say no, but then again, she had been the one to suggest they should try to have fun tonight.

The guys all helped out in creating a little dance space and Eric raised the volume of the music. It was some old funk song, but Julian still decided to swirl her around the floor in a tango, making the other guys laugh at the sight of him finally getting his long requested dance.

When the song ended, he thanked her for the dance with another tight embrace and before she got a chance to sit down, Mitch stood up and bowed for her.

"May I have this dance ma'am?"

How could she turn him down? He grabbed her around the waist and started waltzing her around like they were on some barn dance. The other guys encouraged them by hollering and whistling. As she expected, the rest of the guys wanted their turn as well, and with different levels of grace they all got their chance on the dance floor. It was challenging for her to move around in her business clothes and high heels, but she was having a great time.

To match her skirt, she had accessorized her outfit with a black scarf, fitted around her neck as a bow tie for her white blouse. She removed it before sitting down, feeling flustered after six dances. She knew it wasn't just from physical exhaustion. None of her cavaliers had exactly crossed the line of feeling her up, but they had all taken the opportunity to squeeze her body tightly against theirs. It was all good fun but it was still having an effect on her. It had been a long time since she had taken the time to enjoy the attention of any man, and now she apparently had six Valentine dates playfully wooing her. Feeling a bit wicked, she smiled to herself and proceeded to undo the top button, secretly enjoying the attention it attracted from the six pairs of male eyes in the room.

"It's nice to see you letting your hair down," Adam said and smiled at her.

He would have meant it figuratively, but she could tell a few of her black curls had escaped the otherwise strict creation she always kept her hair in around the office. They weren't exactly being formal anymore so she decided she might as well let it down. As she untied her hair and shook it out, the guys all looked at her curiously. It was like she was shaking off her role as their boss.

"Are there any fun Valentine's traditions in America?" Julian asked.

"Where I grew up, it was considered bad luck not to get a kiss on Valentine's Day," Adam said tongue-in-cheek.

"Nice try," she responded with a giggle. "But I'm not going to kiss you."

Adam pouted his lips and pretended to sob. She decided to play along and comfort him.

"But it's just because it's against company policy, of course."

The mood was getting quite flirtatious and she felt that she probably should stop it. Then again, it was her last day, and it was just a bit of harmless fun. She was very much enjoying herself.

"It says here that in some European countries, women used to write down the names of their admirers on papers and let faith decide on whom their future husband should be," Dave said, reading from his phone.

She laughed and explained that she had no intention of remarrying.

"Maybe you could just pick a name for a little Valentine's kiss," Adam continued. "You know, for good luck."

"Yeah, we have a jar right here," Dave added on.

She should probably have ended this flirting game right there but as she was thinking it over, she left a long enough pause to reveal that she was interested. When she then tried to laugh it off, the guys had been encouraged enough to keep trying.

"Come on, it's just an innocent kiss," Julian said.

She knew that a simple "no" would have made them all back off straight away. Yet, for reasons she couldn't quite understand, she was intrigued.

"I would," she said, inadvertently admitting that she was intrigued. "But like I said, it's against company policy. I think I could lose my job if I kissed one of my employees." The last part probably wasn't true, but she felt she had to come up with some strong argument, primarily to convince herself it was a bad idea.

"But as of today, you're no longer the manager here, right?" Adam said.

"Yeah, but it still wouldn't go down well I think," she responded, laughing at their persistence.

"But how could you be held responsible if you picked a name a random?" Eric asked,

"And it's not like anyone would find out," Dave pointed out.

"But I would know..." she said, again thinking too long before she responded to fool anyone she wasn't interested.

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