Reluctant Pleasure Ch. 02byCharmingVixen©
Amethyst headed straight for the restroom after stepping off the elevator. She passed a few employees on the way and exchanged polite greetings, but no eyebrows were raised or glances too long so she could only assume she still looked halfway presentable.
Amethyst entered the restroom and was relieved to find that she was alone. She quickly took her appearance looking for any signs of the exchange that had taken place in the elevator. Aside from uncommonly flushed cheeks and a few wisps of loose hair she looked normal. Damn Damien for taking her panties. Now she had to walk around all day feeling exposed. Damn, damn, and double damn.
Amethyst smoothed her hair down, quickly washed up, and returned to her office. No sooner had she sat down than one of her junior employees appeared, Cameron. Amethyst had received a short bio on each of the staff members in her department and knew that Cameron had begun working at Perucci Industries soon after graduating college. He was very bright, but was still on a junior level because he had much to learn as he worked the corporate ladder. He could spot a problem in a minute, but was rarely able to solve it independently.
Amethyst turned an easy smile on Cameron, inviting him to come in. Cameron came over to her desk with a smile of his own, which was somewhat more personal than professional, but open and welcoming all around.
"Amethyst, I know it's your first day, but Damien only hires the best, and I have a slight problem," Damien started, laying a mock advertisement on her desk. "This is our latest ad for the 'Oooh' campaign," he started. "'Oooh' is our latest perfume that we--," Cameron stopped abruptly as Amethyst raised her hand.
"I know what 'Oooh' is," Amethyst informed him. She never took a job without learning about every aspect of the company and the products and services it offered. "Oooh" was geared towards vivacious women of all ages who wanted to proclaim to the world through scent alone that they were something special to be "Oooh"ed and aaaahed over.
Amethyst smiled up at Cameron to lighten the blow she had dealt him. It was a minor putdown, but still she wanted to maintain as pleasant a relationship with the staff as was possible during her short time there.
Amethyst turned her eyes back to the advertisement and studied it with a practiced professional eye. "Looking at this ad, you probably are wondering why the colors aren't melding well together and what you can do to fix it, yes?"
Cameron looked at Amethyst with new respect and awe at her summary. Amethyst could see the glint of professional admiration tingeing in Cameron's eyes and smiled to herself. Junior staff were so easy to read.
"That's it exactly," Cameron admitted, just as Amethyst had assumed he would.
"Well," Amethyst began, "The two shades of pink and light cream are trademarks of the product so they can't be pushed aside, and the eye catching orange is a diversion tactic to draw the eye to the billboard and page, but as you've already surmised, the two cannot go together, so something has to give and it must clearly be the orange."
"I agree completely," Cameron insisted, "But what can replace it that is both eye catching and complimentar?"
"Nothing," Amethyst summarized. "So I would propose dropping the orange background, changing it to cream with a matte undertone to contrast with the gloss, and blow the bottle up to a life size image and wrap a naked woman around it with a piece of lavender cloth blowing off her exposed thigh. That way we won't have to worry about the background catching the eye, we can do it with the bottle and the woman, plus that has the advantage of putting the product in your face."
Cameron looked at Amethyst in amazement. What she was suggesting was perfect, but he hadn't expected a woman to go for the sex sells sales pitch, or to come up with a feasible solution so quickly. "Perfect," Cameron sighed, almost drooling over the perfection that was Amethyst. Cameron turned to leave.
"And Cameron," Amethyst entreated, catching Cameron's attention, "Make sure she's golden and curvy. No sticks," Amethyst finished with a wink.
"No problem," Cameron insisted, leaving her office looking as though he had been granted the sun.
Amethyst turned to log on to her computer, wasting a few minutes thinking about Cameron as she waited for it to load. She loved dealing with people like Cameron, so easy to control and non-threatening.
Amethyst immediately accessed Microsoft Word and began typing her resignation. It was such a shame too, she thought to herself. The money was great, she liked the staff she had met so far, and the work would prove to be both interesting and challenging. Amethyst sighed and continued typing. She reviewed her letter twice, made a few changes, and printed it. Amethyst signed the letter and sent it via confidential inner office to Damien.
Amethyst turned away from the computer, determined not to think of Damien again, and tucked down into the pile of awaiting work in her inbox. Some of it proved self explanatory, and she knew enough from her research to complete it on her own, and some of it she had to confer with her assistant on. Amethyst finished up shortly after three and stopped to take a lunch break.
Amethyst wandered across the street to a coffee shop and sat down with a Danish and a cup of coffee. She pulled out her cell phone to call Rose about her wok schedule. Rose picked up on the second ring. "Hello," Rose answered.
"Hi Rose, it's Amethyst. I appreciate your interference last night. You were right about it being easy money, and I'm glad I took it." Amethyst hastily stopped talking, and Rose didn't feel any need to fill in the silence, so remained silent and allowed it to stretch.
"Is there something else you want to say, Amethyst? It's not like you to call me and waste my daytime minutes breathing in my ear."
Amethyst laughed at Rose's candidness. "Yes, I guess there is," Amethyst started, taking a deep breath before continuing. "That guy from last night, Damien, he just so happens to be my new boss. I've handed in my resignation, and will therefore be available full time again in two weeks. In the meantime, lets just stick to Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, okay?"
Amethyst waited quietly, praying all the while that Rose wouldn't ask any questions about Damien. Amethyst's prayers went unanswered as Rose filled the silence with a dozen questions at once.
"What kind of boss hires his own employees for a lap dance? And why was he at a strip joint if he is so wealthy? He is wealthy isn't he? You did say on Thursday that you were working for Perucci Industries, right? They haven't gone bankrupt have they?" A slight pause. "No, that's silly. If they had gone bankrupt then they wouldn't be hiring new staff, but honestly, how can you be so calm about it? Afterall, he is your boss."
"Yes, he is my boss," Amethyst began hesitantly, less than anxious to plunge into the aforementioned conversation. "He didn't know I was his employee when he bought me, and neither did I know he was my boss. It doesn't really matter; I'm serving my two weeks notice, and I'm leaving. End of story."
"Yeah right," Rose scoffed down the line. "If he actually lets you leave then I'll buy you a house for Christmas. A man doesn't ask as many questions as he asked me about you last night after you left when he isn't interested. And rich people don't let their interests walk away, they pursue them and conquer. You're playing with fire Amethyst. Let today be your last day."
"If I walk out, I ruin my reputation, and quite frankly reputations in the marketing world don't get much better than mine," Amethyst defended. "And besides, nobody conquers me. Worse case scenario we have sex; I move on. I didn't come down in the last shower. You know my rules Rose; I never get involved."
"Yeah, I know your rules," Rose derided, "But men like Damien can make you forget your own name, much less any artificial rules you have in place to protect yourself from being hurt."
"Yeah, well we'll see. Look my lunch is almost over, so I gotta go," Amethyst said by way of closing out the discussion.
Rose showed no inclination to end the conversation and kept right on talking. "No 'we'll see.' End it today, or become some rich man's play thing."
Amethyst tried a different approach to end the call, quickly regretting that she had even mentioned the subject. Sometimes Rose had a dog with bone mentality about certain conversations and one was likely to die before she let it go. "I have a project due shortly, so I really do have to go so I can finish it," Amethyst lied.
"I don't believe you, but I'll see you in a few days anyway, so I'll let you go for now," Rose graciously offered.
Amethyst was willing to take any reprieve she could get. She quickly ended the call and walked back over to the Perucci Tower pondering Rose's advice.
When Amethyst walked into her office it was to find Damien sitting behind her desk looking over one of the proposals she had prepared for a client earlier in the day. "You do excellent work," he commented, "Now close the door."
Amethyst stood in the doorway frozen in surprise. Damien rose from behind her desk and moved over to the door, closing it himself. "Would you care to have a seat while we have a little discussion."
Amethyst moved over towards her conference table, but only to get away from Damien's forceful presence.
Damien followed her over to the table sitting directly across from her. He threw an envelope on the table between them. "Care to explain what this is," he asked.
Amethyst didn't need to open the envelope to know what was enclosed. It was her resignation letter.
"No," she replied with fervor. "I think you're smart enough to interpret the document yourself."
Damien turned a sardonic smile on Amethyst. Too much misplaced passion. Passion he could handle; her misguided intentions to leave he could not. "Do you recall signing a contract with my company last week when you accepted this position," Damien asked, managing to sound only mildly interested.
Amethyst looked into his olive green eyes, feeling a sliver of apprehension race down her spine. Who had eyes that color, she wondered to herself losing track of the conversation. It really was a nice color. She could probably use it in one of her ads if she wanted, with some crème and . . . Amethyst searched her mind for the third color to add for an exciting trio.
Damien noted the distant look that had crossed her face, and decided to wait it out and see how long it would go. He wasn't to know that Amethyst frequently drifted in and out of thought puddles, as she called them, when it was regarding work, or that the wait could be as long as an hour.
Crème and . . . hmm . . . Amethyst continued to ponder. Black would make it too dark, beige would make it too boring, grey would make it too depressing. Damien cleared his throat to catch her attention, noting the startled look that crossed her face, quickly followed by one of mass concentration as she tried to recall the last thing that had been said. She knew they had been talking about her resignation. Her eyes fixed on the envelope on the table praying for remembrance.
Damien took pity on her and repeated his question. "Do you recall signing a contract when you accepted this position?"
"Of course I do," Amethyst snapped, not liking to have been caught splashing in thought puddles.
"Damien offered a slow smile. "Good. Then I'm sure you understand why I can't accept your resignation at this time."
"Excuse me," Amethyst interjected with more attitude than was seemly, and less respect. "I read that contract thoroughly and no where did it say that I couldn't terminate employment whenever I wanted. If I recall correctly it indicated that this was 'at will' employment and could be terminated at any time with two weeks notice by either party."
"Yes, you recall correctly," Damien agreed. "But it went on to say in the very next paragraph that if you resigned within the first year, you wouldn't seek employment with any of Perucci Industries' competitors."
"So," Amethyst queried, not understanding his point. There were other jobs other than marketing that she could tap into for a year.
"So," Damien started, taking his time delivering his less than pleasant news, "Perucci Industries has their hand in almost every pie. There isn't a business in the city that is not in direct competition with Perucci Industries, therefore, you can't get another job for the next year, and if my hunch is right, then you can't afford to quit this job."
Amethyst recalled the clause as soon as Damien restated it. She had ignored the clause as being of no importance to her situation since she had intended staying for at least the next two years. If she quit, then she wouldn't be able to accept another job for a year. Working for Rose was great, but it just wouldn't get her the kind of money she needed in time. Amethyst bristled at being so neatly trapped.
"Well then I guess I have to stay," she agreed, "But let me make myself clear in saying I by no means intend to enter into any relationship with you aside from our professional one," Amethyst avowed.
"I would expect no less from you," Damien acquiesced, "But let me also make myself clear," he started with menace. "I will pursue you for my own personal ends outside of our work environment and there is nothing you can do to keep that from happening."
"Well, good luck to you," Amethyst sneered, "Because I'll be leaving from here to go directly to my other job most nights, so I doubt you'll have ample opportunity to pursue me as you assume."
"You will quit that second job," Damien demanded.
"As it happens, I will not," Amethyst flatly refused. "You may have some say over what happens here at work, but you have absolutely no authority over what I do when I leave here."
Damien chuckled in the face of her fury. "That's where you're wrong, Amy. Section 4 of your employment contract indicates that you will not engage in any behaviors outside of your work hours that will reflect poorly on your public image, which is in direct connection with Perucci Industries."
Amethyst felt her anger rise to new levels as she listened to him spout his hypocritical bull dust. Was he not bound under a similar contract? Didn't all employees sign a somewhat similar contract?
"So it is okay for you to parade around in the gossip columns with a thousand different lovelies on your arm, and have the tabloids speculate that you sleep with every one of them? That does not violate the good public image clause," Amethyst railed.
"Certainly not," he replied, the very picture of calm in the face of her agitation. "It makes me enigmatic, and therefore always newsworthy, resulting in Perucci Industries always being newsworthy. It's good PR. However, as the CEO of this organization, I am not under contract."
"Yes, but –" Amethyst began.
Damien ruthlessly cut her off. "I am not discussing this further with you," Damien coldly rejected. "Quit that job by the end of the week, or I will sue you for breech of contract, and if I have to drag your name through the mud to get you where I want you, then I will do so."
Damien stood up and moved to exit Amethyst's office. Amethyst stopped him in his tracks, trailing him to the door and grabbing his arm, as he moved to open the door.
"You have a hell of a nerve threatening my life with your callous ways," Amethyst threw out, determined to make some sort of stand, to show him that he couldn't maltreat her so.
Damien turned towards Amethyst and grabbed the hand she had dared to touch him with, pulling it behind her back along with the other one. "Only touch me, when your touch is motivated by passion, when you want me naked driving into your sweet flesh," Damien instructed.
Amethyst froze under his hands, afraid of the turn the conversation had taken. The breath stuck in her throat at their close contact. Still, Amethyst put up a token effort to pull back.
"Don't waste your time," Damien directed. "Now that I have you in my arms, I would hardly be so foolish as to let you go without retracting some sort of payment for my efforts. I won't rush you into sex, although we've done everything but, but I will taste your passion again," he informed, brushing his hand over the curve of her hip. Amethyst jerked beneath his caress, helplessly moving closer to his virile strength.
"What's this," Damien questioned, sotto surprised, as his hand discovered she wasn't wearing any panties. "Interesting that you're not wearing any panties."
"Because you took them, you basta—." Damien cut off her insult with his mouth. Deriving great pleasure from relearning the contours after their brief first kiss earlier in the day. Damien traced the crease of Amethyst's lips. Amethyst moaned helplessly, enjoying the benefit of his cultivated skill and his dark passion.
Damien pulled back, wanting to see Amethyst's response, to see if she was as lost to her desire as she seemed. Amethyst was still pressed closely against him of her own violation begging for more, but her eyes were spitting daggers. "You bastard," she finally managed to throw at him.
"I'm a bastard because you were out to lunch for almost an hour and didn't think to go buy any more panties," Damien taunted questioningly. "Or is it that you hoped I would come back and you wanted me to have easy access to this sweet flesh," he asked, punctuating his words with another wildly impassioned caress, letting his fingers drift up under her skirt. Damien pushed two fingers deeply into Amethyst, gratified when she moved against his caress begging for deeper stimulation. Damien obliged, adding a third finger, forcing them deeper inside her waiting, pouting flesh.
"Tell me you need this," Damien invited.
"I can't," Amethyst protested. "It would be a lie," she denied him, still moving against his amorous touch.
"What do you need then," Damien asked in frustration. "Do you need to have the eyes of a million men who are willing to pay for kicks upon you? Is that why you work at a strip club, and thought to refuse to quit that excuse for a job?"
"Don't you dare belittle what I choose to do with my time outside of working here," she rebelled, pressing her hands against his chest to put some space between them. "You don't know anything about me."
"And you won't tell me anything, so where does that leave us," he asked, firing his response with the deadly accuracy of a sniper. Therein lay the problem. She was locked up as tight as a clam, and he couldn't pry any information from her. "Tell me what you're afraid of," he encouraged. "Trust me," he entreated.
Amethyst tried harder to push herself free, but the lower half of her body had a mind of its own and was still pressing demandingly against Damien. Amethyst groaned in the back of her throat at her weakness. She couldn't seem to make her flesh obey her and separate from the source of its pleasure. She really only had one other option to end the current line of questioning. Besides, it was no hardship as badly as she wanted it.
Amethyst reached behind her and unzipped her skirt, bearing with fortitude the short loss of contact as Damien released her so her skirt could slide unbidden to the floor. "Have sex with me," she tempted.
"Right here, right now," Damien questioned.
"Right here, right now," Amethyst invited, letting her own hand tangle in her dark curls, before sliding in two fingers to make up for his neglect.
Damien was torn between a desire to teach her a lesson by walking away, and a desire to take her right where she stood. His desire to possess her beauty overruled his natural ruthlessness, and he pressed her up against the wall curving her leg around his waist and unfastening his pants before Amethyst could rethink the wisdom of her invitation.