Sex and the Office Ch. 01bysarahloveitt©
(This is a much-revised version of a story I wrote several years ago that I though worth reworking. There will be others to follow.)
Chapter 01: Shula
The first time Tony met Shula was the day he went to the Yorkshire office to look over his new position as Development Manager. The Sales manager was a charismatic guy in his late thirties with strong aquiline features. He'd seen life as a cattle drover in the Argentine for a couple of years and never let you forget it. One of the great survivors of this world. His name was James and he had a blonde secretary called Shula. Their relationship was a constant topic amongst his staff who would invent what they didn't know.
Shula was a single career woman in her early thirties and worked hard to give the impression of sophistication, professionalism and efficiency. When there was a bit of a panic on, this veneer slipped and a worried confusion took over. She had a caustic tongue when the mood took her and could be very belligerent at times, particularly to the other secretaries; she swore at them a lot.
Shula protected her boss from unwanted visitors or phone calls with firmness; it often took a long explanation before you could get past her desk into the inner office. She bowed to James's every whim. She filled his car with petrol and bought his cigars. She reminded him of birthdays and anniversaries and laughed at his jokes. Since Tony was a personal friend of James and not responsible to him, he enjoyed a less formal relationship with Shula and, when on their own, he could pull her leg and share silly rude stories, which made her giggle. She also kept him up to date with company scandal and the latest gossip about the scandals amongst the staff of which there were several. 0n those occasions she was just a giddy blonde passing on gossip with a silly giggle. They got on well.
Shula was not a conventionally pretty woman. Her sensible blonde hair-do, normally carefully arranged, had a habit of becoming slightly dishevelled when she was in a panic - her mood was often to be judged by the state of her hair - and she had pale blue eyes. A slightly twisted and upturned snub nose with a somewhat protruding lower jaw gave her a pugnacious, almost bull-dog look. Shula always dressed smartly and wore perfume with an expensive tang to it. Her figure was that of a young boy, really, with few discernible curves. She was about five feet seven inches tall.
To compensate for her lack of traditional femininity, she had developed a forceful personality with men, sharing jokes with them when appropriate and drinking halves of best mild beer. She had no boy friend that anyone knew of and no admirers that anyone had noticed; she just wasn't that sort of person. In those days, proper ladies didn't swear in front of men, but Shula did. Often! She was just one of the lads, in spite of her sophistication. Her male colleagues called her Angel-tits Shula behind her back. In fact, they had pet names for all the secretaries; Sexy Sheila, Ravishing June, Big Bum Barbara, Fornicating Fiona, and so on.
Shula drove a red mini. Her reputation was that of being one of the worst drivers of all time; no-one willingly sat in the passenger seat when she was at the wheel. She was mad. She drove with the same professional aggression she used in her office, keeping up a loud stream of verbal abuse hurled indiscriminately at other road users.
Each year, the Sales Division had a conference which ended with a dinner dance and booze-up. It was usually held in at a four-star hotel in the different sales centres each year. It was timed to take place near Christmas with the senior executives and top marketing managers invited to join in the annual fun and games. There would be about fifty people altogether. Shula had the responsibility for making the arrangements the organising the conference.
It had become the custom for the staff of each sales office to take part in a cabaret with some of the pieces - monologues, sketches or songs - specially written for the event. A friendly rivalry had sprung up between the offices for providing the best entertainment. This took place after the dinner when early drinks in the bar and wines during the meal had loosened up the atmosphere. By that time, the guests could be relied on to laugh at anything silly. And they did. They were then expected to decide which office had provided the best entertainment by gauging the volume of cheers for each office effort at the end of the entertainment. Only fifteen minutes were allowed each for office to perform.
Tony was usually drafted in by the Sales Director to prepare the material for the Yorkshire office and to organise rehearsals. That means that he was always invited to the annual do's and was given Shula's help to type out the scripts and copy them. The last conference was hosted by the Midlands office. A comfortable hotel in spacious grounds had been chosen for the occasion. Tony had produced some good material that year. Certainly, James was delighted with it and was looking forward to the evening.
Tony travelled alone to the hotel so that he could get back in his own time rather than have to rely on someone else. It was a cold day and getting through Wakefield proved a bit tiresome. When he finally reached the hotel it was already dark but there was time for him to settle into room number 9 (with private facilities), order a cup of tea from room service, run a hot bath and switch on the radio to hear the latest news. At half past six he went down to the wood panelled bar and said hello to a few colleagues who had already got their faces behind pints mugs of bitter ale. There was noise and laughter as they swapped the latest dirty jokes and company gossip. Or argued about who was behind the shooting of Kennedy or the merits of the Beetles latest hit.
The room was festooned with lots of cheerful Christmas decorations and a large log fire was burning in the old fashioned grate. There was cigar smoke hanging in the air. That smell always reminded Tony of Christmas. It was all very cosy and welcoming. He felt at ease and relaxed. Ian and Bill were standing to one side of the fireplace. He pushed through the others to join them, exchanging hellos and nodding greetings to others in the room. Ian was the Sales Manager of the Midlands office and Bill his senior technician.
"Hi Ian; Bill. How's things?"
"Wey-hey! It's ol' blue eyes himself. How's it going?" Ian teased.
"Fine!" Tony said, shaking his hand.
"What y're having Tony?" was bellowed from the bar counter "I'm just getting them in." He called for a pint of bitter.
"Well?" asked Ian "Good journey?"
"Bloody awful! It gets worse!"
"Wait 'til the new by-pass opens. Be OK then."
"Have you got some good sketches for us this year?" asked Bill.
"Wait an' see!" Tony grinned. "And are you both in good voice?"
"Wait an' see" laughed Bill. Arthur squeezed through holding a tray of four foaming pints. They were taken thankfully and immediately lifted to the lips.
"Hey! I say! Ravishing June's looking extraordinarily bloody ravishing tonight," Arthur said "I'm going to chat her up and see if owt's goin' - who's that she's with over there?"
Tony looked across to where Ravishing June was laughing with her mate Sexy Sheila with a middle-aged chap."That's Ferguson from the Marketing Research Centre. Have you not met him before?" Ian asked.
"Can't say I 'ave," said Arthur. I'll go an' introduce myself to 'im," he said with a wink. "Can't have these bloody outsiders muscling in with our birds. See you lot later."
"What on earth does he see in Ravishing June?" asked Ian shaking his head.
"A pair of bloody big knockers!" said Bill. "and that's all he has eyes for, particularly when she's flouting them, like tonight." Tony laughed. He was right. She had! "Hell fire! I'll bet she bruises her bloody knee-caps every time she unfastens her bra!"
They laughed immoderately.A gong sounded and, as everyone turned to see what was happening, a voice belonging to a chap in dinner jacket called out."Ladies and Gentlemen! Dinner is served!" There was a cheer from one corner of the room and a general movement towards the dining room. We three lingered by the fire with our pint glasses for a minute or two longer.
"What's on the menu tonight Ian? Usual Christmas fare?" Tony asked.
"There'll be a choice I expect" he said.
"Right! I'll join you later, lads. I see I'm sat with James. He's beckoning."
"You're welcome!" said Ian.
The meal was a jolly, often raucous affair. The wine flowed freely and after the cheese, the port and cigars were passed round the men with mints and cigarettes offered to the ladies. Then there was brandy or liqueurs with the coffee by which time everyone was feeling in a benevolent mood. Cheeks were red, foreheads streaked with perspiration and voices louder than usual.
The cabaret was announced by the voice in the maroon jacket which got the lads from the Midlands to their feet to entertain. They got plenty of encouragement and interjections and, finally, wild applause. Tony opened the entertainment for Bradford but, of course, everyone was waiting for the boss, James, to do his turn - a patter number they had written about the humiliation of having your name de-hyphenated, which was met with howls of approval. Some five of the senior managers had hyphens in their names, so the number went well. And so did Tony's patter number.
After the Yorkshire office was declared the winners of the cabaret, to a loud and noisy acclamation, a bottle of champagne was produced by the voice in the maroon jacket and presented to James by the Managing Director. It was promptly opened for the performers from Yorkshire, mixed with brandy into a lethal cocktail. Tony managed to avoid the celebration by slipping away to the toilet, accompanied by loud suggestive comments from other tables. Then the dance band struck up, the tables cleared, with jugs of foaming ale appearing on them.
And the night wore away to the strains of the quick step, slow fox trot and the waltz. The air was blue with cigar smoke. Eventually, some tottered off to their beds, the worse for the drink, having decided they'd had enough for one day. Others were dancing - if that's what the shuffling around could be called - smooching together through an alcoholic haze. The lights had been turned down low to hide their roving hands and indiscretions. The others were either propping up the bar in the next room or sat around in corners swapping stories.
By the time midnight came, it was hot in the room. Most had discarded their jackets. Everybody was well gone with the drink, the heat, the smoke and the noise of the band. Tony had joined Ian and Bill at a table at the side of the band, exchanging friendly banter about their entertainment. They were having a good laugh, congratulating each other on their performances, their words slightly slurred.
A break came in the dancing and Tony noticed Shula come into the room from the bar, clutching a glass. She stood silhouetted in the doorway, swaying for a moment, trying to pierce the gloom as she peered round the room. He thought she was looking for James but he hadn't been seen around for some time; not since finishing off the champagne and brandy. Shula spotted the three of them, waved, and came sloping across the room with a purposeful swing of the free arm.
"Look out!" Ian said. "It's Angel-tits Shula. I don't fancy that determined look on her face. "She's after one of us! And I don't fancy her - not the boss's secretary, thank you. I'm off to the bar."
"Me, too!" said Bill, moving away with Ian as a pretext for leaving me alone.
"Hi! Shula! what are you drinking?" Tony asked as she approached the table."This is Vodka" she said, and added "with lots of bloody tonic. So I suppose I'm half pissed. But I want a dance. Come on, Tony."
The band had struck up. She put her glass on the table and pulled Tony to his feet. She was a bit unsteady and he grabbed her round the waist to steady her. Although Shula was a fairly hardened drinker, it seemed that she'd probably had more than enough for one night.
"You know I can't dance!" Tony protested, putting his glass on the table.
"Neither can any of them on the floor," she snorted gesturing to the dance floor "so, bloody come on." The dance floor was filling up with other couples.
"Where's James?" Tony asked. Shula had been looking after him like a mother hen all day not letting any of the other women get too close."Gone to bloody bed!" she snapped.
Hello, Tony thought, she's in a belligerent mood.
"He's bloody gone to bed. Too much of that champagne and brandy I expect! Silly sod! Come on!" She dragged him onto the dance floor, put her arms round his waist and rested her cheek against his shoulder and started swaying her hips. The band was playing a slow fox trot.
As they shuffled round the dance floor Tony gradually realised that he could feel her nipples stiffening against his shirt. She was wearing a thin nylon sleeveless long dress with narrow shoulder straps and not much else. Tony tried to look down her dress but it was too dark to see anything resembling a nipple, stiff or otherwise. Tony pulled her in close and sang softly in her ear, to the tune being played.
"I'm looking for an Angel, but Angels have no tits, So until the day that one comes along, I'll make do with your deficits..." She giggled and nudged him with her elbows and rocked her body from side to side with the music.
"Don't be rude!" Tony felt her nipples rubbing against him. To his surprise, the friend in his groin did the same stiffening act. And she pushed her hips into him, rubbing gently. Hello! Tony thought, what's she after?
"The entertainment was very good, tonight." And I liked your song about a sliding rule," she giggled "but it was rude!"
"Supposed to be." he told her. "Made them laugh, anyway."
"Made me feel a bit on the fruity side!" she said quietly. "Do you know, I can feel your sliding rule right now. Getting longer and stiffer by the second." She giggled again.
"You're nothing but a prick teaser, Shula." he whispered to her, telling her off. "Just trying to get me worked up and then you'll leave me high and dry, you bugger."
She giggled. "Go on! You like it though, don't you?" she said. Tony was rubbing his hand up and down her back, trying to arouse her passion and to get his own back on her. Realising that he could feel no bra strap nor any knicker-top under the dress, he leaned his shoulders back and looked at her in mock surprise. "Hey! I say! Haven't you got anything on under this dress?"
"Not a stitch," she admitted with a so-there smile, "It's too hot and, besides, it feels sexy and rude. And you're getting as hard as a rock. And I'm getting very wet and squelchy you-know-where, and very, very fruity."
"You dirty sod!" Tony mocked. "Anyway, we can't do it here. Not here on the dance floor."
"It'd certainly cause a sensation if we did." She laughed in her girlish way.
"Perhaps we ought to go somewhere quieter where I can wipe you dry." Tony said half jokingly bringing his right hand between their two bodies to rub the palm over her nipple to tease her some more. She gave a faint shudder and looked at him thoughtfully with her head on one side for a moment as they continued to shuffle round the dance floor. Her pale blue eyes meditated for a couple of seconds."Do you know, I'd like that. Honestly!" She was serious. Then added "But I'm too scared." It was Tony's turn to look surprised. "There!" she said, "That surprises you, I bet."
"Scared? What're you scared of? Why scared? That's a funny word. You've done it before often enough, I'm sure."
She looked over each shoulder to make sure no-one was watching her, before putting her hand furtively between them, pressing against the hardness in his trousers. She looked at him with a suppressed smirk. "No I haven't! I've never done it at all. Not at all! I came pretty close to it once or twice, but I'm afraid I'm still a virgin - more or less."
"More or less? What's that mean. Either you're a virgin or you're not a virgin, you daft bugger!"
"Never you mind! What I mean is that I'm twenty-nine and never been fucked. Oops," she giggled, then turned suddenly serious. "Hey! don't go telling all the others, will you Tony? They'll all want to break me in!"
"Well! Bugger me! You surprise me sure enough," He couldn't really see many of the lads queuing up to fuck Shula. "Of course I won't say anything! Anyway, nobody'd believe me even if I did." Had Tony been sober he might have been embarrassed by her sudden forwardness.
"But right now, I really would like to feel that inside me," she breathed in his ear and rubbed her open palm up and down. "You're probably the only chap I know I'd let break me in, but I daren't. And I'm only saying this 'cause I'm pissed and feeling fruity. Tomorrow, I'll not dare look you in the face."
Tony looked round in a bit of a panic, but nobody was taking any notice. They were all concentrating on their own partners. Arthur had his hand inside Ravishing June's dress and was caressing her breast quite openly and nibbling her ear lobe. June caught me looking at them and gave a broad wink. She was clearly enjoying herself as well. Bill was drooling over Sexy Sheila in the corner, having given up any pretence of dancing. Her eyes were hooded and unfocussed with the alcohol.
"Look!" Tony whispered, "If you go on doing that, I'll end up doing something embarrassing in my trousers pretty soon."
Shula giggled. "Oo! Yes please!"
"So either give up, or come on! I'm going to my room. I've got a bottle of brandy and we can talk better there. If you're serious about being broken in, follow me when you're ready."
He led her off the floor to the table. Ian and Bill had moved off into the bar. Angel-tits Shula stood with a puzzled look in her eyes as Tony held his jacket in front of him to hide the bulge."That's if you really want it. Don't be too long. The room is number 9. But I shan't be offended if you change your mind, 'cause I know you're just a tease really." Tony took her in his arms, pressed against her, rubbing himself hard against her crotch to give her some encouragement.
She looked very uncertain. "I don't know if I've got the courage. I'm just nipping into the ladies." She suddenly left him.
Tony picked up his glass of scotch and stood for a moment watching the dancers stroking each other. Then he sidled out, with the occasional stagger, through the foyer, avoiding the bar. Taking the glass to the first floor, he wondered what on earth was he doing. He must be drunk to ask Shula to his room! Tony didn't really think she'd come, though. It was just her way of teasing. Nor was he sure that he wanted her to. It was just a way of teasing her back. But Tony had never for one moment thought of her as still a virgin; she was such a fun-loving lass. Was she having him on? he wondered.
Nevertheless, once in the room, he left the latch off and the door slightly ajar, just in case. He couldn't have her knocking on the door at this time of night.
After hanging his jacket in the wardrobe, Tony switched on the bedside lamp before turning the overhead light off. He sat on the edge of the bed feeling quite sober all of a sudden. Sliding off his trousers, he folded them down the crease and hung them on a hanger in the wardrobe. Then he took out the silk dressing gown and slipped it on. There was a clock by the bed head. Not midnight yet. He was surprised, thinking it was much later.
It was just then that the door swung open and Shula came in swiftly, closing it quietly behind her, standing with her back against it. Her face was flushed and her eyes had an anxious, wild look in them. She was breathless with excitement. Panting.