tagInterracial LoveVision Ch. 02

Vision Ch. 02

byMsLuLuX©

In my absence, they've come up with the brilliant idea of shared community service in the form of office events, birthday's retirements etc; compulsory team-building bullshit in this cliquish cult.

They seem to be going to great lengths to make our new CIO whose name escapes me feel welcome. I did vet him so I'll play nice today.

Everyone's always pretty nice to the IT department, it's small, they work very hard, and, like God, they see everything.

He's lucky, I'm still waiting for my birthday pizza and we're coming up on my birthday again in a few months. I must be tired because even in my head that sounds damned whiny.

I don't know why I care. I hate celebrating my birthday. It'd only serve to engage my gag reflex.

Actually, I kinda missed this place. Granted there still aren't enough black people around here. But given how much of the US population we actually comprise, I don't know what I expect. As exasperating as it is, this is probably a fair representation of us as a whole here in the US demographically speaking.

America has its finer points though. Dependable water-pressure, Basketball, commercials, driving on the right side of the road, though as a lefty I must admit to liking the left hand drive, well heated rooms, our obnoxiously thick pizza dough. BBQ chicken on pizza?

Good ol American junk food, pizza, ice cream and soda. Mmmmm . . . will have to pay a visit to Mary Angela's, I could really go for a cheese steak and a pint of coconut pineapple Haagen Dazs.

My irregular period's about to make an appearance I think, and considering what I almost got up to in England I am glad to see it.

Lying right next to him and dreaming about his hands and mouth on me. I cannot believe that I almost . . . I wanted it so very badly. Six days alone with a handsome stranger and I lost my mind. It was that way of his of watching me, intense enough to make your hair stand on end.

And that hard and narrow body of his - I generally like my men a bit broader but he was lanky and elegant, the body beautiful; long ropey muscles, hard and wiry, a runner's body. I was practically out of control towards the end. His patient teasing and pleasing was sending me over the edge, that and the kissing.

Besides, that fucker actually tried to flip the script on me! Using sex as a negotiating tactic for information.

Where do you live? Do you have brothers and sisters? I know you have a sister; you gave her your hair appointment. Where'd you grow up? Ever been married?

A million questions and all too personal. Like seeing me naked and knowing my real name wasn't enough. He just wouldn't let up. I ended up locking my purse and passport in the hotel room safe for privacy's sake.

And so I did what I had to - got him liquored up on good scotch, he's a damned lightweight, go figure and left for home in the middle of the night on a plane going east to west.

I liked him, I did. He was fun and gentle and sexy. First man I've liked in years.

But there was the black & white issue. I'm not 'kill the white people' with mine, but I do have 'bad white days'.

Not very many having been abroad for so long, and steering away from anything but financial and business news but still, I have enough going on in my life without that.

Though honestly I was so caught up in everything else going on I'd never really considered the race issue At all until he started talking of home and mentioning the future.

It's neither here nor there now; it's over and done with and though I feel somewhat regretful my life is really too full right now and I find that I am glad we didn't exchange information.

I'm glad for this dude and his day of pizza but his staring is starting to become embarrassing which evidently he fails to realize. If I don't give in and look directly at him he'll go away.

I don't think I have anything on my face and I'm fairly certain I've managed not to drop anything on my shirt. It's probably my hair. It's not exactly professional but c'mon I'm wearing Prada I can have deconstructed hair in a suit like this. It's called style. I've done my time and am home for the foreseeable future. I can let my hair down or rather not, for a bit. I missed my fro. Besides, my scalp is sore from wrestling my hair into submission every other day. I'm done with that for a minute.

Not to mention the sublime pleasure of being perversely other in this WASP environment is just too good to pass up on a Monday. Yep, I am fucking out there today and because I work my ass off around here there's not a damned thing anyone can say. He's still staring. I don't know why and don't care. Whatever his particular problem is he needs to get over it. Without contact lenses I have no peripheral vision whatsoever. Exasperated, I turn to look at him and give him what for and I'm stunned.

"What the hell are you doing here?"

"It is you!"

"I work here."

"I'm D. Wilde."

"You're Dax Wilde?" I sound crazy as hell.

He nods slowly. "And you're L.J. of the emails?"

"Lou James."

There's a pause.

"D.W.?"

"That's me. What's with the hair?" I swear he's looking at my hair like I've got a knife stashed in my fro.

"This is America. What?"

He smiles. Oh god no! Not the smiles. That fucking dimple. Not here. Not at work.

"My hair is the least of it. No wonder the concierge thought we were together, the firm has an account there, which you were clearly using as well. Shit shit shit and fuck!" I've really stepped in it this time.

We pointlessly shake hands. He looks deceptively wholesome and non-threatening in khaki's and a button down white shirt and brown oxfords, nice shoes. How on earth could I have forgotten a name like that? Wilde with an 'e'.

I know now that I absolutely need to come home for a while. I've started missing details. I never miss details. I'm paid damned well not to.

They actually took my advice and hired him. He's qualified, more than, we were lucky to get him. But our HR department is not known for their expertise.

Look at them over there. David and Kelli, up to no fucking good. I'm not back for a hot minute before their bullshit starts up again. I so have not missed that.

And now there's this to deal with. First person I happen to fool around with on a business trip turns out to be a goddamned co-worker no less. Never a break.

There's nothing for it but to laugh it off and try to keep it civil and professional and try my damnedest to pretend we don't know what each other looks like naked.

--

They are having an office birthday party for me, their version of southern hospitality. Which, while very kind, I am not exactly looking forward to; these events can be awkwardly uncomfortable. An hour of forced conversation with people you wouldn't talk to outside of work. They're not easy these middle southerners.

But it's been a while now and I've finally settled in and decided it's ok. My favorite BBQ chicken pizza has been ordered and an ice cream cake purchased.

I look around the table and stop doing a double take. No way!

She's wearing glasses and the hair is different but it's her. I'm not hallucinating. That hair is a lot to take in; a seriously luxuriant mass of uncultivated coils and curls, with a few spirals and ringlets framing her pretty face just so, all lips and cheeks. It's definitely her. Down to the four freckles high on her left cheekbone. I can only blink as I look at her.

A Lawyer. I guessed correctly. I don't know what I imagined but it wasn't this. Immaculately dressed if not positively severe; black slacks, black shirt, and black leather wing tips. A lawyer, with hair like that?

Intent on eating. Unfazed by the fact of my blatant staring which I cannot help as she really does draw the eye.

Tucking two napkins into her shirt she picks up a slice and takes a hearty bite, chews thoughtfully and nods her appreciation.

"This was a good choice. I've not had this before." She sighs appreciatively.

I recognize that sigh. I've been hearing it in my dreams.

June's caught me staring at her boss and is smirking. I put my head down and tend to my slice. The IT department is very small, so various people around the office have been invited to this small gathering.

There are quite a few people I recognize. I know Matt from the 18th floor and June from Human Resources. I've seen Blanca around she's from the Dominican Republic I think, attractive with her pale skin and dark hair. The strawberry blonde whose name I can never remember and David her colleague, lawyers I think.

Small talk ensues and sure enough we get around to politics.

"Lou what do you think, have business owners made it solely on their own merit with no help or what?"

He seems to be deliberately baiting her. He and Kelli have expectant looks on their faces.

Putting down her second slice, she takes off her napkin, wipes her mouth and regards him quietly before responding.

"The United States is in no way the paragon of democratic perfection it purports itself to be. This country, like many others, is founded on the misfortunes of others. The difference is the rest of the world isn't as hypocritically delusional about their origins as we seem to be.

First - Kill off most of the indigenous people round up what's left, shuffle them across the country in what's basically a death march, deposit them on arid, infertile land and leave them to fend for themselves, and in the end pat yourselves on the back for giving them casinos and sovereignty on the stolen land.

Then - Ship in a bunch of stolen people to work the stolen land, treat them worse than animals for a few hundred years while you build an empire using them as an invaluable free labor base.

After a bloody war and much griping, grudgingly grant the stolen people their civil rights on paper and then barely acknowledge it or bother to enforce it another 100 years or so and never recompense them, but with the election of a black president pat yourself on the back and proclaim that we now live in an egalitarian society.

Take your show on the road around the world, doing sundry nasty and unpublicized things for which you denigrate other countries under the auspices of it being for the greater good of all when in fact it's for the personal enrichment of a select few. "

Pausing, she snorts derisively in David's direction, raking him with her eyes.

"God bless America! I love it, I do. But anyone in this country, black, white or otherwise, with enough high handed hypocrisy to genuinely think that their good fortune didn't come at the expense of someone less fortunate than themselves is delusional at best and blindly arrogant at worst."

The table is quiet.

She looks at him with a slightly raised brow. "Are you entertained, David?"

He laughs. "Always Lou."

"Anytime." She gives him a tight smile.

Not sure what that was really about but she's clearly not inclined to make nice.

She stands. "I for one am now ready for something sweet. If the cake's anything like the sample it's delicious." She turns to me. "You like cake right?" She knows damned well I like cake.

"I do. But I could have really gone for some salted caramel gelato." I give her a quick wink.

There's a quick barely perceived intake of breath as with a slight narrowing of eyes she quickly leaves the room. Run, run little girl.

--

"There's a broad cyber-security issue and our not using a next-Migration endpoint security solution beyond traditional anti-virus software is problematic. We've already had several confidential client documents be corrupted by malicious hackers. So it's been put to me to pass this message on to the rest of in-house counsel, do a better job of keeping your things under lock and key, if you don't know how, we will teach you and it will be your responsibility to embrace and implement these changes.

In the meantime, don't be waving your documents around like Peyton Manning trying to get an extra two yards.

Circulating hand-written notes via inter-office mail and dictating responses to your assistant rather than drafting responses are two prime examples. I'm not naming names, but you know who you are.

Next, the old way of handling things, instead of using software solutions for managing ethical conflicts, is staid and outdated if we keep working like this we're going to get trounced. While we're better than our predecessors, we've still not developed as positively or as quickly as I'd hoped.

Simply calling Mr. Merris just because he's the oldest partner in the office for confirmation that we have no ethical issues regarding complex, multinational deals, this method is no longer an option." She looks pointedly at David and Kelly.

On a positive note, since we've started using a matter-centric interface, handling workflow based on individual subjects, our knowledge management has vastly improved. I think we can all say that increased mailbox size has made life somewhat easier. We've been in limbo over the past two years technology wise and so most of us if not all of use simply took ownership and purchased smart-phones addressing the blanket issue of substandard, work-only devices.

While it's worked out greatly and put an end to the carrying of multiple devices everywhere, it pretty much put everyone on the hook for buying a smart-phone, which was never our intention and so I'm pleased to announce that we will all be receiving new iPhones. Each of you will be assigned someone from the technology department to acclimate and assist you with transferring data and phone numbers.

The only stipulation is that you are required to start entering and tracking time using the phone. There's an app and you are encouraged to use it.

Going forward, if we're to lean towards the more technological side of things in our business dealings we need to start looking at our IT department as more of an asset than an expense."

Exactly what I said to her via email as she hammered me on costs. Unbelievable!

"With that, I'd like to turn things over to Dax. He too has been traveling abroad and meeting extensively these last 6 months to get us the best in software and help us with an international project.

In acquiring him we've reached a new level of agility and flexibility, as we are able to work with secure access to sensitive information from just about any and everywhere.

Having observed us for the last year or so, he has made some implementations that I'm sure we'll all benefit from. With a well-planned strategy and an end-to-end solution to mobilize desktops, apps and data we can proceed to transform the attorney/client experience and drive business growth and differentiation.

We are now effectively mobilized and meeting client demands for information security and protection. The phones, tablets and or laptops will be part of this effort. It's been a bit of a slog, but I'm pleased to announce that billable hours are up and client anxiety is down. I am looking forward to leaving the management of IT in his very capable hands and concentrating on other matters. "

Gesturing, she sits back and gives me the floor.

"I'd like to talk about the software just mentioned." I start presenting only to be stopped by her assistant coming in with a message.

"Dax, I'm sorry, can you hang on for a bit, this will only take a minute and I don't want to miss anything."

Going to a phone in a corner she presses a blinking button and starts talking gutturally in what sounds like German.

I'm glad for the interruption as it gives me a moment to reflect.

I can't believe she spoke of me in such glowing terms, nothing at all like the verbal smack down the little ball buster gives via email. I truly resented her the first couple of months and wondered what I'd gotten myself into.

She's arrogant, doesn't mince words and seems to know everything - a true lawyer. I worked a few Christ-like miracles in month 3 saving the firm millions and agreed to travel to oversee some European projects so she backed off a bit but still. Thank God I've seen her naked, or I'd probably hate her.

Admittedly though, her being a hard-ass has pushed me to be better, more on my game. The last guy left a hot mess and because I'm not strong on legal expertise per se it was decided she would oversee my operations for a year. I forget the term they used, but it feels like an extended probationary period.

They cajoled, wheedled and pled, met my concessions and finally offered to pay so much that I just gave in. Not many firms outside of big cities pay so well and offer so many perks. Besides my parents are here and my brother's just up the road in DC, it's ideal. The only thing I miss about California is driving down PCH and the shabu shabu.

----

Having been given the special torture of heading one of their many charity drives I've chosen the United Way project, it always feels good to be able to give back and they seem to do a lot of good. Besides it drags me away from the mind-numbing drudgery of project management. I'm in the break room posting campaign posters.

Upon leaving, I round a column and there she is: standing by the window, hand in pocket, sipping water staring out at the parking lot. I've not seen much of her since the implementation meeting.

If I didn't know better I'd say she was avoiding me. We work on the same floor and I never see her. Which is odd considering the ladies room is not far from my office. I don't know where her office is. I've looked her up in the employee database. There's a picture with the profile. Pulled back hair, fierce eyes. Lou James, Chief legal counsel.

"Hi."

She turns with cool eyes. "Hey, how's it going?"

"Fine."

"Good."

She goes back to gazing out and sipping her water.

Another severe black suit. The shirt is austere but gauzy enough to be almost transparent. I wonder if she's aware? The pants hugging her bottom thusly aren't tight but they seem so minutely tailored I wonder if she feels the seam between her legs. You'd never expect it from such an outfit but it pushes the sex button in an undeniably compelling way. I'm curious about the shoes. Shiny black patent wingtips, a humorous quirk? There's a small jacket draped over the back of a chair.

This is the first time we've been alone since London. She seems relaxed and doesn't flee at the sight of me, so there goes my avoidance theory. Doesn't exactly ignore me but appears bound and determined not to acknowledge what happened. Granted, conditions have changed and she's a consummate professional. But we need to at least talk about it.

I think about it all the time. The brown golden skin, the way she responded, the sighs and moans, the pouting, the taste of her. She's very passionate. This strictly professional routine doesn't fool me. If anything it makes it worse. It has to have at least crossed her mind.

Six glorious days of waking up beside her only to find her gone on the last morning, no note, no trace, no goodbye. Something precious lost and then immediately found again is not a situation to be ignored. I've made up my mind to approach her when Matt comes in.

He's got promotional campaign material as well to put up. He's part of the United Negro College campaign. He claps me on the back.

"My competition!"

He spots Lou in the corner. "But I have Lou on my side."

She arches an eyebrow and looks at him. "Is that right?"

"Right, that is. United Negro College fund. A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

"Like you'd know." She snorts.

"Ms. Motherfucker! I have missed your special brand of bitch."

"I know." She smirks.

He laughs heartily. Quite the back and forth. She's almost smiling. What's going on there?

"I wish you luck, but I don't give to the United Negro College Fund. Never have, never will. I thought you knew that Matt?" She looks at him.

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