Virtual Slavery Ch. 16bywltedford©
I knew I was in trouble when as the weekly partners' meeting broke up Jason delicately inquired if he might have a private word. Looking at him quizzically, I said, "Your office or mine," for though all partners were theoretically equal, some were more equal than others.
"Oh, yours is closer. That is if you don't mind."
"Of course not."
On our way past the open cubicles of the support staff, we made small talk.
I remember that it was a lovely late summer's day, and that as I entered my office I saw the replica of the schooner AMERICA under full sail on the harbor far below.
When I turned and sat down, not behind my desk, but at one of the armchairs to one side of the room, Jason sat at another, studied my face with his faded gray eyes, and finally said, "You look tired, Lynn, and, well, we have been wondering if perhaps too much responsibility has been forced upon you: the mutual fund; the partnership duties; the California expansion."
"We?" I queried.
Jason was my mentor. This was not pleasant for him. He actually cleared his throat before offering, "Well, some of the partners have approached me."
"It does not matter. More than one. Not many. A few."
"There is criticism of my performance?"
"No. Not criticism exactly. Concern. Concern that you have taken on too much, that you are working too hard, more than anyone should."
"Are there specifics or just generalities?"
"There is the Verspect IPO."
"You know no one could have foreseen the Russian currency collapse. Even George Soros lost a billion."
"Yes. But that is not all. I don't mean to pry, but as a friend, off the record as it were, are there any personal problems? Has Winston finally adjusted to Boston?
Is there anything I can help you with?"
"You know you haven't taken a real vacation since you two met, now more than two years ago. Perhaps you should take some time, a few weeks, and let us stumble on here as best we can, and relax and think things over. Maybe it is time you turned over the management of the fund to Charlie. You trained him. You know he is ready. And if we don't give him the opportunity I am afraid we will lose him to someone else who will. And there is California. You have been traveling a lot lately. Those transcontinental flights will wear anyone down."
His ancient hand, sun blotched from seventy summers at Martha's Vineyard, rested on the arm of his chair. I reached out and covered it with my own.
"Thank you for talking to me, Jason. I will give serious thought to what you have--and haven't said. I promise."
After he left, I crossed to the window again. Across the harbor, a 747 was taking off from Logan. In my mind, it was heading west.
I had initially submitted to Brad to preserve my career; now that very submission was jeopardizing what it had been intended to save. But in the meantime, values had shifted. I was addicted. Obsessed. I didn't know the right word. And I didn't know addicted to what. The sex? The submission? For although it was always extremely sexual, there wasn't always sex per se. At the dinner party where he made me serve naked and in chains, nothing happened beyond the stray hand cupping a breast when I bent over to place food on a dish or momentarily caressing my ass as I passed. But I was so excited, so aroused, knowing that everyone was seeing me that way, naked and chained. And I expected that after dinner they would use me. I was surprised and disappointed when they didn't. And that was just it: the uncertainty. It was incredible not to know what was going to happen. It was always different. Always unexpected. I could not give it up. And then, I realized, that of course, that was not my decision. Brad still had the photos, had far, far more than he had in the beginning. He would never let me go. The thought that I really was his helpless possession flooded my pussy. And he still hadn't even taken me back to his vault.
Closing the door to my office, I fell into the same chair I had been sitting in while talking to Jason, lifted my skirt and splayed my legs over the arms, and touched myself.
I would have to work harder. That was all. But right now I had to come. I am ashamed to say that Winston did not enter into the equation.
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