Seducing Beauty Ch. 01byerossmantic©
"Don't waste your time," Steve volunteered as he showed Carl around the office. They both glanced at the statuesque young woman across the room. Her striking beauty captured Carl's attention. "Krasa is a tease," he informed.
"Her name is Krasa?" Carl asked.
"Yeah, he said. "I think it's Russian. She is the biggest flirt I've ever seen. She makes everyone think they have a chance, but says 'no,' to anyone who dares to ask for a date."
"Sounds like you speak from personal experience."
"Yeah, me and a long line of other guys. She uses the excuse of never dating anyone she works with. Men are like a game to her."
"She's a sight," Carl said admiringly.
"Like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre," he said. "Those big eyes and that smirk invite people to look at her all day long, but no touching."
"By the end of the week," Carl whispered to himself under his breath.
"What?" he asked.
"Oh, nothing," Carl said, not wanting to come off as arrogant to a new colleague on my first day of work.
"No, what?" he pushed. "What did you just say?"
"I said 'by the end of the week,'" Carl answered honestly.
"What, by the end of the week?" he asked.
"I'll at least have a date with her," Carl answered in a low-key way.
"Yeah, no," Steve said as he looked at Carl's mild-mannered average appearance. "Good luck with that."
"No worries," Carl said. He was glad to leave the conversation where it was.
"You're serious," he observed. "You really think..."
"Oh, I don't know," Carl said trying to deescalate the conversation. "I haven't even met her yet."
"Less than a week," Steve challenged, "and I'll buy your lunch for a month." He knew it would never happen. At least he knew it had never happened before.
"You're on," Carl answered with a laugh.
Steve showed Carl around the office and introduced him to those he'd be working closely with in their division. Employees were spread out across the large room in cubicles. Newest employees were in the middle of the room; those with the longest tenure had migrated from the center to prime locations near the windows. Krasa's location had moved toward the windows more quickly than most due to her persuasive influence over those who had the power to make those decisions. The best any of those with power got back were the wet dreams from their own imagination for how she might reciprocate their kindness.
"Carl, let me introduce you to ..." Steve started politely.
"My name is Krasa," the tall elegant vision interrupted taking control of the conversation. She worked to make her customary first impression. She took a quick look up and down Carl's body to size him up before focusing on his eyes to attempt to interpret his attraction. She could read a man like a comic book. She was used to experiencing them stammer for words when they first met her, mesmerized by her creamy skin, red hair, translucent blue eyes, large bright smile, magnificently displayed round breasts, small ass and long legs. She loved that moment when men became incapacitated by her lustful splendor. She felt beautiful. She felt powerful. She felt in control. She looked for it in Carl.
"Nice to meet you Chris," Carl answered intentionally as he put his hand out to shake hers. Krasa stood tall, almost six feet. She wore a low cut red silk blouse, black professional pencil skirt that fell almost to her knees and matching red three-inch heels. She was a vision.
"It's Krasa," she answered back disappointedly at his apparent limited attention to get her name right, let alone for her usually irresistible beauty.
"Krasa," he answered back confidently with his eyes glued to hers. She adjusted her stance to intensify the magnetic pull on Carl's eyes toward the curves of her body. He kept his eyes unmoved on hers. "That's an unusual name. It's like crass with an 'a?'" he asked.
Steve squirmed at the way the conversation was going. "There isn't a chance," he thought to himself as he took in Carl's second offense.
"Krasa," she corrected, attempting to put elegance into her own name by rolling the r slightly and placing an accent in her pronunciation at the end. Steve had never heard her pronounce it that way before. "It means beautiful in Russian."
"Interesting. I've never heard that name before." Carl answered. "Nice to meet you. Shall we keep going Steve?" Carl asked. "Excuse us," he said to her as he let go of her outstretched hand, leaving it in mid-air.
"Ah, sure," Steve said surprised. "Sure, right this way." They both took a few steps toward Carl's new desk. "What was that?" he whispered almost laughing at what just took place. "There's no way you're going to, you know."
"Yeah, probably not," Carl said coyly. His plan was underway.
Krasa stood stunned for a few seconds with her hand still in the air where Carl left it. "He's probably gay," she thought to herself quickly.
A brunette secretary carrying a heavy armful of files walked toward the two men. "Carl, this is Carrie," Steve introduced. She provides key support for our team."
"It's nice to meet you Carrie," Carl said. "I'd shake your hand, but we'd make a mess of those files."
Carrie laughed. "True. I look forward to working with you Carl. Welcome."
"Thanks and likewise," Carl said politely. She started to walk away. "Excuse me, Carrie."
Carrie stopped. "Yes?"
"I hope you don't take this wrong," Carl started. "And you probably get this all the time, but you are beautiful."
Carrie blushed at the complement. "What's to take wrong, Carl?" She looked up to see Krasa still standing at her desk only a few feet behind the conversation. She knew Krasa could hear every word. Carrie usually felt unnoticed being in the same room as Krasa. Carrie never felt unattractive, but neither had anyone wondered if she should have been a model. She relished the complement, especially in earshot of Krasa.
"Thank you," she said, "and married" trying to retain a hold on the files while showing her ring finger.
"Happily, I'm sure," Carl answered. "Only making an observation," he reassured.
"Thank you," she said again. "You probably say that to all the girls. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get situated," she said as she continued her way toward her desk with the files.
"Not gay," Krasa thought to herself, more confused. "And he doesn't say that to all the girls. Game on," she thought.
Four hours passed quickly for Carl in his first day being oriented to clients, company practices and meeting people. The time ticked torturously slow for Krasa. She didn't want to appear overly reactive by approaching Carl too quickly.
She thought he was an enigma. Normally a man's reaction was fast and obvious. She prided herself on her ability to control men from a distance, simply by her appearance and prowess. It didn't matter where. Her ability to captivate men happened in the most benign places, in grocery stores, in banks, in malls. Men would whip their heads around and stare. Some thought their gawking was inconspicuous, but were only fooling themselves. There would also be an extra bonus if they were with their wife or girlfriend, and to see them get punished by a slap or look.
Sometimes, if Krasa wanted a little shot of encouragement, she would entertain herself by walking in public places where the men easily outnumbered the women. It might be past a construction site or a sporting event. She especially enjoyed restaurants in the financial district at noon. She would get the reactions she wanted without trying. Sometimes she got lunch. She enjoyed the benefits without commitments.
Normally it was all just as fast and satisfying in the office. The first meeting with a man was always as predictable as ice cream melting in the summer sun. She would flash her smile, and the newbee would smile back, before dropping his gaze to her large breasts, tastefully exposed to capture attention. The gaze would often drop down her body before embarrassment would return their attention to her eyes. It would all happen in split seconds, but it would indeed always happen. Extra points were tallied in her own mind if she saw evidence of movement in the pants. She would smile at their return glance as if to say, "Enjoy it all you want with your eyes, because your imagination is the only thing you have that will ever touch me." At that moment, she considered herself done with them.
Carl annoyed her. "Who does he think he is?" she thought ironically. He didn't react like other men. "It's his first day. Where does he get off handling himself that way?" she kept asking herself. "Maybe that's it," she thought. "Maybe its because its his first day. Maybe he is overwhelmed taking everything in." There had to be a reason, and she had to find out.
Krasa stopped by Carl's desk after lunch. She leaned over as if she were having an important conversation, allowing him an ample view of her impressive cleavage and large round milky breasts. "Any questions Carl?" she asked flashing her smile. "Anything I can answer as you get situated?"
Carl glanced quickly at her unavoidable breasts before locking onto her pool-deep eyes. "Hi Krasa. Thanks for asking."
"It's the least I can do," she answered without moving from her exposed position. She was grateful he remembered her name. It was a start. "I remember when I started three years ago, how much there was to learn. Have any questions?"
"I do," he responded. "What brings you most fulfillment in your life?" Carl asked.
"What?" Krasa asked surprised. She was taken back by the personal nature and depth of his question. She anticipated a question about procedures, or clients or maybe taking a risk to ask her out for drinks after work.
"Fulfillment," Carl said again. "What brings you most fulfillment in your life?"
Krasa didn't know how to answer his question. She stammered to find words. "Ah, I don't know. Um, that's deep."
"Oh, that's OK," Carl said, simultaneously relieving and embarrassing Krasa from the moment. "Never mind. It's not like you had a chance anyway."
"What?" she asked shocked. "Chance for what?"
"It doesn't matter," Carl said politely. "I appreciate you offering your help. If I have any more questions, mind if I ask?"
Krasa felt confused. "What? Oh, yeah. Feel free," she said. She felt dazed.
Carl said, "Steve asked if I would check with him on something. I need to head over to do that. Thanks again Krasa." Carl got up, picked up a small stack of papers from his desk and headed toward Steve's cubicle.
"What just happened?" Krasa thought to herself, left hanging for the second time in Carl's first day. "Fulfillment? Chance for what? Did he think?" Krasa's head spun as she made her way from the center of the room toward the light of the windows.
Krasa couldn't shake the brief conversation from her thoughts the rest of the day. No guy had ever asked her what brought meaning in her life. She wrestled with how she would answer if Carl or anyone else asked her again. She struggled how she would answer it for herself. "Who asks that when they first meet someone?" she wondered out loud to herself.
"What did he mean that it wasn't like I had a chance?" she continued to ponder into the evening. Chance for what? Did he think I was trying to hit on him? She couldn't remember meeting a man who seemed as disinterested in her as Carl seemed, yet got under her skin like he did. The more she thought about it, the more it pissed her off. Who did he think he was? She couldn't shake the thoughts and frustration. Her usual self-satisfaction was invaded. She didn't sleep well.
Krasa showed up at the office early. She couldn't remember the last time she arrived before most of the others on her floor. She usually liked to show up late enough to make an entrance. She enjoyed people wondering what she would wear to work. She basked in the envy. Women saw her as untouchable. So did the men.
Today was different. She hadn't slept well. She bounced around her condo in the early morning hours until deciding she might as well get something done at the office. She wore a short tan skirt and semi-transparent white blouse with matching tan heels.
Krasa inconspicuously watched from her desk as Carl arrived and began his second day. People related easily to him. She was confused by her obsession with his disinterest when there were so many she easily captured by her attraction. "Why do I care what he thinks?" she asked herself. "He has no idea who I am, let alone how to find his way around the company," she thought trying to console herself. "He just doesn't understand my role in the office yet. He'll see," she continued in her own mind. "He'll see how I make my presence known, and how everyone responds. He'll learn," she convinced herself. She resolved to take every opportunity to strut herself around the office throughout the day in a display of her unspoken place at the top of the social pecking order.
Krasa felt proud of her accomplishments as the workday neared its end. Surely Carl had a better understanding of her significance and importance. It had been a good day. She felt puffed up and bolstered by her social dominance. She watched as Carl ducked into the staff lounge. She couldn't resist following him to test the benefits of her influence on his second day.
"Oh, hi Carl. I didn't see you in here," she lied. "Getting the hang of things?"
"Pretty well, thanks" Carl said. "It's Krasa, right?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered feeling the first taste of victory. New people always remember the names of the most important in the office first. Krasa instinctively raised her head proudly.
"You're pretty sure of yourself, aren't you?" Carl asked in a nonchalant way.
"Confident," Krasa answered quickly, suddenly feeling a little defensive. "Yes I am."
"Confident?" Carl asked.
"Yes. Why?" Krasa asked back.
"Oh, nothing," Carl answered. His voice softened.
"What?" she asked again.
"Really, nothing. Just an observation. I should keep my thoughts to myself."
"What thoughts?" she asked.
"Really, nothing" Carl repeated.
"What thoughts?" she demanded.
"There's a difference between confidence and arrogance," he answered with an instructive tone.
"What are you suggesting?" she said with her voice a bit raised.
"See, this is why..." Carl began to say in response to Krasa's defensiveness.
"What?" she repeated a bit louder.
"Being cocky is just a masquerade of insecurity," Carl continued calmly at her insistence. "It's an empty shell. Whether they know it or not, arrogant people tend to be posers, desperate that others don't see their true emptiness and insecurity. Ironically, self-absorbed people are obsessed with convincing others, and themselves, they are worth the attention. In truth, women (and men) who think they are 'all that,' usually aren't."
Krasa felt the sting of his words and audacity. She also felt discovered. How could he see through her like that? How could he know? Her heart felt more exposed than her body.
"Are you saying?"
Carl stood unaffected.
"I am not!" she blurted out unconvincingly.
"Did I say I was talking about you?" he answered. "But, then again, there you go."
"Damn," she thought. Her face turned red.
"Oh wow," Carl said, "Look at the time. I'm meeting someone for drinks. If you'll excuse me." Carl left without waiting for a response.
Krasa felt sideswiped again. It had been going so well," she thought. "How dare he suggest..." she couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence even in her own mind. "He doesn't even know me," she argued with herself, unconvincingly. "How did the success of the whole day get swallowed up in just a few seconds of conversation?"
Krasa was grateful for a full morning of scheduled meetings that consumed the first half of her mid-week day. The required distraction of meetings made her more productive. Of course, her work meetings weren't a distraction. Her growing frustration and obsession with Carl was. Somehow, her meetings felt like a welcome distraction from her strange new obsession with Carl.
Krasa was determined to avoid Carl at all costs. She would not allow him the opportunity to define or ruin her day. She planned her timing and movements around the office to intentionally avoid him. Near the end of the day, she recognized the irony of her strategy. Somehow, even in her determination to avoid him, he was still preoccupying her thoughts and actions. Like someone on a diet, she still found herself preoccupied by the very thing she was trying to avoid.
Carl spent the day learning client patterns and sales status. He worked closely with others in the division. Carrie was especially helpful with the inside information her role provided. During a break in their work, Carl took the opportunity to ask, "What's with Krasa? I noticed you two exchanged glances when we met on Monday."
"She's OK," Carrie said politely.
"The main thing you need to know about me as I get started here Carrie is I only function with complete honesty. I will always be honest and straight with you and I need you to be with me. Anything you say to me is always completely safe. I will always have your back."
"I appreciate that Carl," Carrie said feeling more relaxed by his sincerity.
"Look, based on the wreckage of men I've seen in her wake around here the last few years, my encouragement is not to go there."
"Why do you say that?"
"She is beautiful but cocky. She uses people. Men are like toys. I guess that must be one of the benefits of being that beautiful," she said almost in a tone of envy.
"She is beautiful," Carl agreed, "but I'm also getting the high maintenance arrogant feel too."
"Every guy wants her," she admitted. "Who can blame them? Heck, she's so beautiful even some of the women..." She stopped before finishing her sentence.
"Sounds like you might be one of them," Carl answered with a smile.
"No need to answer that," Carl said. "Thanks for your help with these files."
"Any time," she said a bit flustered by her close admission.
The clock crossed the 5:00 finish line. Krasa stepped into the elevator, ready to go home, and have a glass of wine. Just as the doors of the elevator almost closed, a hand reached in. "Hold the door," his voice said from the outside. Cold chills covered her body.
"Damn," she thought. Carl stepped into the elevator. "All I have to do is make it the few seconds in the elevator to the first floor, and I'll be out of here like a bat out of hell."
"Hi, Krasa," Carl said in his strong masculine voice.
"Hi," she answered, keeping the conversation brief to avoid any chance for one of his unsuspecting lobs to infiltrate.
"Haven't seen you all day," he said to begin small talk. "Almost think you were avoiding me." Krasa just smiled politely, resisting the urge to say something she would regret.
"I was wondering," he said.
Krasa watched the lighted numbers above the elevator doors slowly counted down as the elevator made its descent. "Come on," she thought to herself as the journey down kept being interrupted by stops to pick up other passengers. Krasa worked to ignore his approaching question.
"I was wondering," Carl repeated. "For someone like you, what is the one thing you would need if trapped on a deserted island?"
"What?" she thought to herself. "Who asks questions like that? What does he mean 'for someone like me?'" She felt caught off guard. The question was interesting, but at the same time she had no idea how to answer it. "One thing I would need?" she asked, trying to buy time.
"Yeah," he said. "On a deserted island."
"I don't know," she said stammering for words. The elevator reached its destination and the doors opened. People in front of her began to file out, providing her a way of escape. But somehow she felt she hadn't. She knew somehow his question would torment her all night.