Everyday, she would get up to get ready for her job that she had wanted for a long time but now life just seemed to leave anything that even remotely resembled joy. So each day she put on her 'I am having fun face' and head off to work. She was wearing her navy blue pin stripe jacket with matching skirt and a white ruffled blouse, this always let enough open to expose something of her femininity. She pulled her nylons on and slipped on her navy blue heels. She kept her hair piled high upon her head, she was tall, slender and she looked good in what ever she put on but still she had no one that took a real interest in her.
She didn't really have time to date running a business and all. Her hours consisted of 8 am till sometimes 12 and 1 am. This was hardly enough time for her to shower and sleep. She pulled up to the office and parked in her very own parking spot. Got out of her car, stood up and pulled down her skirt, straightened it some and then went to adjust her blouse. As she was bringing her head up, she saw Cole, the mailroom boy standing on the top steps smiling and looking at her as he had so many times before. She was always unnerved by this she frowned and walked as fast as she could past him.
"Good Morning Miss Lee, you sure smell nice to day."
She would give a nod and continue walking. Once inside the building she headed for the elevator and when she turned around there he was still smiling and staring at her. "That is so rude that he looks at me like that, why does he do it?" She thought to herself. He didn't know anything about her except that she owned the company and she knew very little about him, other than he was a young black man and had been in some trouble with the law. She did notice something else his arms were well defined. "Maybe he worked out, or maybe it is just from his fighting", the last part made her frown.
She rode the escalator up to the 5th floor and headed toward her office. On her door it read, Ms. Candace Lee President of Love Co.
"Hello Jody. Any messages?" Jody thumbed through all the papers and said, "Yes one."
"It is from Mr. Gonzalez. He says that he would like to meet you at lunch to go over some papers with you."
"Forget it, there is nothing to discuss, and he is always touching me, I know what he wants to go over and I am not interested. Call him and tell him I can't meet him but I can discuss this over the phone." Candace also asked Jody to please bring her a cup of coffee and take her phone calls for about an hour so that she can get settled. She shut the door behind her.
At her desk, she just stared at the papers lying around and wondered where to begin. Knock... knock, the door opens and it is Jody with her coffee and mail of the day. "Thanks Jody." Jody smiled and turned around and left just like she came in.
It seemed like she just realized the sun was shining and she pulled the blinds open. She stared out the window and looked off into the distance, then down into the parking lot of her building. Sometimes she spent too much time thinking and then she would feel the tears well up in her eyes. "I run a company that deals with couples and yet look at me! I am alone."
She leaned into the window and stared in the yard below, the mail trucks were down below and the guys were unloading and loading them. Her eyes fixed on one of the guys, it was Cole, he had his shirt off and you could see the sweat beading up on his skin, She watched as he hoisted one bag of mail after another, his muscles would flex and release, she followed the curve of his back, lost in her thoughts, she began to fantasize about what he would look like in bed making love, arousing but also fearful, he came from the streets.
She comforted herself that he wasn't her type, as he probably didn't know the first things about tenderness. Still she watched him work. At one point Cole stopped, stood up, wiped his brow with his handkerchief, stretched, and turned to look directly at Candace. She jumped back, "OH NO I wonder if he saw me?" She sat back in her chair and felt so silly for watching him and for what she was thinking, and yes even feeling what she was feeling. After all she was at least twice his age. She laughed at the idea and went right back to her desk.
She got lost in her work as she did everyday and before she knew it, it was 5 p.m. and time for the employees to leave. Jody knocked on the door and Candace answered telling her to come in. Jody peeked her head in the door and said, "I am leaving now, is there anything you need before I go?"
Candace replied, "No thanks Jody, thanks for everything today and I will see you tomorrow."
Jody nodded and then said, "Goodnight."
Candace sat back in her chair and gave out a big sigh. She went over all the applications of men wanting women and women wanting men. She picked up the top application, looked over it. Seems this woman wanted a man who was sensitive, tall, brown hair, brown eyes, muscular, perfect body, romantic, generous, had a good job, and wanted to get married. She laughed and said under her breath, "Don't we all?"
Then she read one from a man and he wanted a woman who was beautiful that he could show off, someone who had a good paying job, 401 K plan, tall and stacked, no fat broads, someone who loved affection but also liked a little of S&M, B&D, and a woman who didn't mind taking care of the man. "Oh Boy, that might be kind of hard one to match up, sounds like a loser."
Money was money and if they were willing to pay the $1000.00 to have her find them a mate then who was she to care what they wanted? So much of this trying to match up couples and getting them ready for Jody to enter into the computer the next day. Around a hundred of new applicants were coming in everyday. "Amazing how many lonely people there are out there", she thought. Then she giggled some as she realized she was one of them. "I wonder who I would match me up with if I filled out one of these?" She wasn't even sure of what she would be looking for.
She had finally finished for the day; she looked at the clock on her desk. "Wow, it is 12 a.m., I can't believe I have been here this long." Then she scooped up the stack of applications, walked over, turned off the light, closed the door and locked it. It was always eerie to her late at night, the building would be empty and sounds seemed to duplicate. The sound of her heels would echo back at her and gave the feeling that someone else was walking behind her. She had to remind herself every night that it was just her own shoes she was hearing, but that did little to comfort her.
It was summer and the air felt warm and pleasant, but in the parking lot it was very dark except for 2 streetlights that was at both ends. Her car was parked close to a street light but even then there wasn't that much light and a lot of shadows, the cement echoed her footsteps. This was just a little easier to handle, as her car was only a few feet away. Once she could unlock her car she could get inside and feel a little safer. She walked fast toward her car and never wanted to run for fear she would fall and that would delay her reaching her car before sheer terror took over.
As had been every night, she made it safely into her car. She laid back and closed her eyes and reprimanded herself for being such a chicken. Never had anything happened that might influence such fear she felt every night. She was scared all the same, not sure if she knew how vulnerable she was by herself at night or if she felt she had been too lucky for too long. She started her car and drove toward home, not sure if she was more hungry than tired. She was so glad that she had at least bought a house that was only 5 miles from where she worked. There wasn't too much chance of her falling asleep at the wheel.
"Aww home", she said as she pulled into the driveway. Stepping out of the car onto her driveway she realized just how tired she was. She sometimes wondered how she managed to get up the few steps and into her home without collapsing every night.
Her house was warm, and it felt so good to be there. Mitzi, her cat came up and rubbed up against her legs as she always did to welcome the mistress home. A small meow meaning, "pet me" was the sound that Mitzi often gave to Candace. Candace bent down and picked up her feline friend and hugged her. "Oh you feel so good to hold, Mitzi". She put Mitzi down after a minute and went to open her a can of cat food. Mitzi watched Candace and her tail twitched in anticipation to be fed. Candace put the plate of food down and petted Mitzi once more before deciding to eat or sleep.
The cupboards didn't hold much except for some peanut butter, jam and a half loaf of bread. Her refrigerator had a few apples and 1 qt. milk. She grabbed an apple and headed up stairs to the bathroom to take her shower. She bit into her apple, it tasted sweet but somehow she was not enjoying it that much tonight,
As she removed her clothes she stood looking in the mirror, "I have a fairly decent body for almost being 50. My stomach is pretty flat, my breasts look pretty good, my ass is still grade A, *sigh* so why doesn't anyone seemed interested? I have been told I am beautiful by men but none of them would ask me out. I just don't understand".
She undid the pins in her hair and let her hair fall and she stood in the shower. With the shower on, and the hot sprays of water hitting her skin it gave the feeling of being stung but also like another sets of hands groping every inch of her. She closed her eyes and let the hot water run over her face and then she turned and let the massaging sprays hit her. She reached for the bar of soap and ran it over her breasts, and down between her legs.
Her mind jumped over to Cole and although the thought of him aroused her, she fought it off as being silly. Then once again she lectured herself, that he was too young, and too wild; he worked in the mailroom for crying out loud. She was his superior. But still the liked the way he watched her walk and always smiled at her and had a compliment for her, she just couldn't tell if he was serious or if there were more to the way he handled himself around her.
She dressed and went into her room and nearly collapsed on her bed in total exhaustion. She lay there and closed her eyes and it wasn't long before she was out. Her night came in stages of sleep and restlessness. She would dream of Cole's chest and how that excited her, but then they would shift over to being scared in the building, then she dreamt about looking at him looking back at her. His eyes, held some kind of mystery, and the hunger that she saw made her feel somewhat intimidated like a mouse that had been caught by a cat. Her dreams all night went from work to the sounds of her own footsteps in the parking lot, to the luscious body of Cole.
The Morning came almost as quickly as her sleep had, she reached stretched and laid in her bed feeling her body wake up. She pulled herself up and took a deep breath, yawned, stood up and headed over the closet to see what she was going to wear. This was Friday and it was one of the least stressful days. Tonight while she is home looking at applications, she can have a glass of Chablis, she loved the taste and it always made her feel so much more relaxed. But for now, she must make it through the day. She was still feeling a little drowsy from the fitful sleep she had the night before.
She had settled on a nice navy blue and white striped silk blouse, a navy blue skirt that hugged her well-shaped hips. She always felt attractive in navy blue; it seemed to compliment her skin tone and blonde hair. She made her way to the shower and when the cold water sprayed on her skin, she became very much awake. She always thought this cold morning shower was torture but then again it helped to wash away the night's hold on her. She went over her days schedule and seemed to feel that today would be a very easy day, then her thoughts rested on Cole. "Why was she so haunted by him?" What was it that made her feel intimidated but aroused? She shook her head to chase those thoughts away.
She got out of the shower and dried off, and went about the task of putting her hair up something she learned to do proficiently over the years. Time was always of the essence and so there really wasn't time to fritter away. She busied herself applying makeup also another task that she was quite adept at. She dressed, and touched a few drops of White Diamonds perfume on her wrists and behind her ears. She grabbed her briefcase, purse and headed out the door.
Once arriving, at her office, there was good old loyal Jody. "Good Morning, Ms. Lee" said Jody.
"Good morning Jody, are there any messages?"
"Not this morning. Would you like your coffee now?" Candace nodded to Jody, "Yes, thank you."
She sat down at her desk and took a deep breath. She took the applications out of her brief case and set them on her desk. There was a knock at the door, "Yes?" Jody opened the door and laid the cup of hot coffee on her desk. "Jody?" Said Candace. Do you date at all? I mean do you have a life outside of work?"
Jody looked at her puzzled for a moment and then said, "Yes I have a steady boyfriend, and in fact we are going out tonight." Candace seemed to blank out for a moment. "Is that all Ms. Lee?"
"Yes, that is all Jody, thank you." Jody closed the door quietly behind her. Candace felt even more lonely, she never spent much time thinking about a social life, her business was her life, had been for many years.
Candace poured over the applications and entered each one into the computer database. Jody knocked and carefully opened the door. "I am going to lunch now. Would you like me to bring you back anything?"
"Oh no Jody, but thank you." Candace leaned back in her chair, took a deep breath and looked out the window. There in the loading dock below were the guys unloading bags of mail. Although she was watching the goings on down below, her mind was on her social life, then she chuckled, "What social life?" As her mind came back to the present she realized that Cole was staring up at her office and what made it worse is that she had been smiling, and looking back.
She jumped back at her desk. "Damn him, why does he have to be so menacing? And why do I have to be so attracted to him?" "I own this company; I worked hard to make this a success. I deserve to have someone who is my equal. I sure wouldn't waste it on a mail room boy." Even though she said those things, she knew that the way he looked at her, and spoke to her made her feel exposed somehow. "I have to get over this." She spent the rest of the afternoon forcing herself to think about work.
She glanced down at the clock and it was an hour to quitting time. She pressed the button on her intercom, "Jody you can leave early if you want. Go home and get ready for your date. You have done a wonderful job today, thanks."
"Thank you so much Ms. Lee."
Candace could here the excitement in Jody's voice. "See you Monday Morning", Jody clicked off. The click of the intercom made Candace feel alone and empty. Candace sighed and went back to her papers. After a bit she heard the rustling of people getting ready to leave for the weekend. Once again she looked outside and saw that the loading dock was empty. This seemed foreign to her also; she was expecting to see the guys loading and unloading bags of mail and supplies. There was no one, a few papers on the ground shifted lazily from the slight breeze that had come up.
Candace got up to stretch her legs and walk around for a bit, she felt a small kink in her back; her knees seemed to feel stiff. Opening the door to her office she ventured into the work area. She was always pleased with her employees, they worked hard, they were early, everyone seemed happy and this alone made her smile. As she walked around glancing at each person's desk, she admired all the framed photos of husbands, children, pets, and families that decorated each desktop. All she had on her desktop was a picture of Mitzi her cat, a pencil cup with pencils and pens inside, a desk lamp and a clock. Not only was her desktop empty but so was her life.
She ventured down stairs to the employees lounge to get a little something from the vending machine. There didn't seem to be much of a selection, but the apple and chips were appetizing enough. She also grabbed another cup of coffee and headed back up to her office. The building was empty, and once again she could hear the echo of her footsteps. No matter how many times she heard this, she just couldn't get used to it. It always gave her the feeling like someone was watching and maybe following her.
Once she made it back to her office, she felt a little more relieved. She sat down in her chair opened the chips and took her first bite of the apple. It tasted so good, she was much hungrier than she realized, and she downed the apple and chips.
She thought that she might finish her applications tonight and be able to have the weekend to just do what she wanted, it never seemed to work that way though. She was going to give it her best shot. If she did finish all this work, then maybe she would take in a movie over the weekend. She knew she had laundry to do and cleaning up some. With her work schedule, she was home hardly enough to make a mess, but there was always dusting to do and some vacuuming, not to mention cleaning the litter box. Maybe she would even sit down and watch some old movies on TV. Once she finished eating, she went right back to her applications, and once again she lost all track of time.
As she entered her last application into the computer, she smiled and looked at her clock. "Oh no it is 2 am! Where did the time go?" She straightened up her desk, grabbed her purse, locked the door and headed downstairs to the front door. The place was empty and dark except for a few lights that were always on at night. The front light was always on but after she was outside and 15 feet away from the front door, it became dark again. There were always a few streetlights on but they didn't give off much light. She walked a little faster, feeling the need to hurry to her car for safety.
There were those footsteps again. She had to tell herself it was just the echoes of her own shoes, but this time there was something different. This time there were other shoes, she looked around and couldn't see anything except darkness, and she hurried even faster. The sounds increased, she dug her keys out of her purse, her heart raced and she screamed in her own mind. She made it to her car; her hands shook as she tried to get her key in the lock. Her key went inside the lock; she unlocked the door and opened it. But then a hand slammed the door shut, she turned and saw 2 guys standing there, they were smiling.
She fell back against the car; the one that stood in front of her looked her over as if she were naked. "Hey Lady, why are you out so late at night by yourself?" He emphasized the word "yourself". "Don't you know that it isn't safe especially for someone as pretty and rich as you?"
Her breath quickened and she froze, she wanted to scream but nothing would come out. Her thoughts raced and fear enveloped her. "Now we can make this real easy or we can make it rough."
"What do you want?" she stammered.
"Well let's see, we can either take what we want or you can pay us not to?"
"How much do you want? I only have $100.00 on me. You can have that, just take it and leave me alone."
The other guy moved in closer and leaned against her, his hand grabbed the buttons of her blouse. "Hmm I don't think that is going to be quite enough, I think we will take your money and take what we want." Just then the other guy yanked on her blouse and her buttons flew off exposing her bra. The tears started welling up in her eyes, as sheer terror took over.