Authors: Hannah Ford
She wanted to find out.
But first, she thought of his voice. She thought of his dark eyes. The way he said her name. It was a shock to realize how wet she was after simply being on the phone with him. Nicole had never considered herself to be a very sexual person. In fact, she didn’t masturbate all that much. When Danielle had first moved in, she’d joked about all of her dildos and vibrators and had been shocked when Nicole revealed she didn’t own any.
“Don’t you ever get yourself off?” Danielle had asked.
“Sometimes. I just…use my hand.”
“And how often do you do that?”
“I don’t know. A few times a year.”
Danielle had been awestruck by that admission. “A few times a
? A fucking year?”
Nicole hadn’t been joking about her sexual proclivities. She didn’t think of herself as a prude, she didn’t have a problem with premarital sex or anything. She just wasn’t that into it all. She’d had sex with only two boys in her life. One had been her high school boyfriend, Tim, who she’d dated for almost four years.
The second had been Alec, a guy she’d only been on a handful of dates with her senior year of college.
In both cases, the sex itself had been forgettable; neither bad nor good. She certainly hadn’t achieved orgasm, another fact that Danielle found incomprehensible.
But lying in bed nude, after hearing the best news of her life and speaking with a powerful man that she practically worshipped—Nicole found herself incredibly turned on. To say this was a rare occurrence would have been an understatement.
And she was
wet. Her fingers traced around the edges of her pussy, the lips, so soft and tender and sensitive. She closed her eyes and heard his voice again.
The way he’d looked her up and down when she was in his office, as if evaluating her down to the last cell. In the end, he clearly didn’t find her disgusting. How then, should she take his evaluating gaze? How then, should she interpret this private phone call?
She dug her two fingers slowly into the moist crevice of herself, slowly penetrating the layers of flesh, going inside. She was pulsing with heat and excitement. For him. For Red. For the only man that had ever made her this hot.
After only a few minutes of slow masturbation, she came violently, her hips swinging into the air. She could see her pelvis in the full-length mirror across from her. Saw her buttocks lifting upwards, her skin slick with sweat as her hand rubbed her clitoris.
Oh god, she thought. What have I gotten myself into?
ood to see you
,” Glen Goldman said when she arrived the next morning at nine o’clock. He checked his watch. “From now on, please come in by eight o’clock. If possible, seven thirty.”
“Absolutely! I didn’t know—“
He smiled and blinked. “It’s fine. First day and all.”
“Mister Jameson didn’t tell me what time I should arrive,” she said.
Glen stopped blinking entirely. Which seemed to be a sign that something was truly amiss. “Mr. Jameson?”
“Yes.” She shouldered her purse nervously.
“Why would he have told you what time to arrive?”
“Because he called me to tell me I had the job.” She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, suddenly feeling like she was walking into quicksand.
Glen’s expression seemed to harden a little. “Oh. I see. Well, that’s highly unusual—normally an HR representative would have phoned you. But I’m sure he had his reasons. He always does. In any case, let me show you to your desk.”
He got up from his chair and escorted her from his office into the mass of cubicles where the lower caste existed. She would occupy a simple corner cubicle. It was bare, white, with a Mac laptop sitting open on the desk and a phone beside that.
“So, what should I do to start?” she asked him, putting her purse strap over the seat back and sitting down.
“I’ll bring you over some reading material. A binder with basic information about our company as well as some nondisclosure forms for you to sign, etcetera. When you’re done with the binder, come and see me.” He disappeared and came back moments later with an enormous, thick binder full of various forms and pamphlets and company policies.
He handed it off with a smile and a few blinks, then left her by herself. Around her, the cubicles buzzed with people gossiping, talking on the phone with clients, or simply working.
Nicole kept to herself, put her head down and got to work.
to grab a bite to eat?”
She glanced up to find Remi Danvers, the Art Director, standing in her cubicle entrance looking just as severe as she had the previous day.
“Oh. Is it lunch already?” Nicole asked.
Remi shrugged. “We’re flexible. It’s only eleven but I find that the cafeteria gets too crowded at lunch time, so I go early.”
“Sure, I’ll come. I don’t even know where it is.”
“Oh, you need the grand tour, then!”
Remi took her down to the fifth floor, which was taken up entirely by the cafeteria. The word cafeteria didn’t do it justice in actuality. It was enormous, with seating in four or five separate locals, some great window seats and some private booths too. There were no less than half a dozen food stations that served cuisine from different parts of the world. Italian, American, French, Asian, Middle Eastern.
Remi whispered to her. “The Middle Eastern food tastes like ox shit, but everything else here is fantastic.”
Eventually they both got their food (Remi had baked ziti, Nicole got a cheeseburger and fries) and sat down at a small table overlooking midtown.
“This view’s incredible,” Nicole said, biting into her hamburger. “And the food is good too,” she said through a mouthful of beef.
Remi nodded. She still had her sleeves rolled up and her shirt unbuttoned, but somehow she was less intimidating now. “You could do a lot worse than to get a job with Jameson. It has all the bells and whistles, in an industry known for its bells and whistles, if you know what I mean.”
“I think I do.”
Remi eyed her. “Are you really as naïve as you seem?”
“I—I don’t know. I guess maybe I am.”
The older woman speared her ziti and held it momentarily in mid air. “I’m trying to decide if you’re going to be ground up and spit out in a month working here, or whether you’ll be promoted to head of the division in the next year. I guess it’s a coin toss.” She ate noisily.
Nicole just shrugged. “I only want to work hard and do a good job.”
“Awww, aint that sweet.” Remi chewed and chewed and then her mouth closed and her eyes bugged out of her head. “Holy shit. He’s here.”
“Who?” Nicole turned to look.
“Who do you think?”
It was Red. He was with someone she didn’t recognize, a tall man with an enormous head. The two of them were walking right past Nicole and Remi.
“Keep your head down,” Remi whispered. “Don’t say anything. Don’t make a peep.”
She did as told. Picked up her burger and took a bite. Remi looked out the window.
Her heart was beating a mile a minute as the two men passed by her, and she didn’t take a single breath. And then it happened. Red turned and came back. “I thought I recognized you,” Red said, coming to stand in front of their table.
At first, Nicole thought he had to be speaking to Remi. But Remi was just looking down at her baked ziti.
“Me?” Nicole squeaked.
Red laughed heartily. “Yes, you. I see you made it to your first day of work in one piece.”
“Yeah.” What a dumb comment.
. Of all things, it made her sound so young and vapid.
She could smell his cologne. It was musky and fresh all at once. He smelled of power, of cigars and money.
“I hope everyone’s treating you well?”
“Yes. Glen and Remi have been amazing.”
“Glad to hear it. Why don’t you swing by my office today before you go home, and you can tell me what they have you working on?”
“Sure…Just go up?”
“Yes, just come up like you did yesterday.” He smiled at both of them and walked off.
When he was well out of earshot, Remi turned and looked at Nicole like she was seeing Elvis come back from the dead. “You’ve got to be kidding me. He just invited you to his office.”
“Is that bad?”
“How should I know?” Remi said, spearing more ziti. “I mean, I’ve been working here nearly six years and he only had me up to his office once, with Edward, when we were planning a pitch for a huge client.”
Nicole didn’t know what to think. Her palms were sweaty and her throat was tight and dry. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Do? Just keep doing whatever you did to get his attention in the first place.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Yeah, keep doing that,” Remi said, shoveling a forkful into her mouth and chewing like a cow.
of the day went by in a blur. She was reading the stupid binder and in between that, she made a few hundred copies of some presentation for Glen and then edited a few PowerPoint slides for Edward. None of it required too much brainpower, which was funny considering how picky the company was and all the hoops she’d had to jump through in order to get the job in the first place.
She’d been going through the motions ever since Red had told her to come up to his office at the end of the day. She was half-dreading it, but the other half of her was so charged up that she was making herself crazy.
Imagining different scenarios playing out. Picturing him kissing her. Or yelling at her. Or both. Imagining him telling her that he wanted to groom her to take over his company one day. The fantasies were out of control and she could barely take it.
In the bathroom, at around three that afternoon, she’d had an urge to go into one of the stalls and masturbate. That literally had never happened to her in her entire life. The urge to masturbate had never been much stronger than the urge to play a game of checkers.
She resisted, but it had been difficult.
Finally, six o’clock rolled around and Glen swung by, telling her she could go home if she liked. “Nice job today,” he said, blinking and smiling.
She grabbed her purse and immediately walked to the “special” elevator, the one she’d taken yesterday to get to Red’s office.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed the call button and soon the doors opened. The elevator operator was there, in his usual suit, smiling formally. “Mister Jameson is expecting you,” he said.
“Oh. Great. Thanks.” She licked her lips and tried to keep her knees from knocking.
The elevator arrived and she got out, walking down the familiar hallway and knocking at the heavy wooden doors. This time, Red opened the door himself. “There she is,” he announced, waving her inside. “Miss Masters, rising star of the advertising world, and cute as a button in her red pumps and pantsuit.”
She looked down at her outfit, feeling suddenly shabby. “Sorry, did I dress inappropriately?”
“Whatever gave you that idea?” he laughed. “Drink?”
“No, I’m fine, thank you.”
“I was thinking of making myself an extra dry martini, but it is a bit early in the week for that.” He smiled. “Have a seat.”
She did so, crossing her legs and trying to remain calm. Just don’t forget to breathe, she told herself. And remember, he liked you enough to hire you!
As if hearing her thoughts, he turned to look at her. “I’m glad you came to work for us,” he said. “I have a feeling you’re going to make a huge impression here.”
“Thank you,” she said, wondering what made him think that. He barely even knew her!
“In fact,” he said, sighing and sitting at his desk, “I want to get your opinion on something.”
“Okay…” she waited, totally unsure of what he was doing.
He spun his enormous computer monitor around to face her. And then he played an advertisement for her. It was only about thirty seconds long. The ad was for a Las Vegas casino, and it was about a bachelorette party having a grand old time; kind of a light-hearted take off on The Hangover. She laughed a little bit at the funny parts.
When it was over, he looked at her. “You’re the right age demo for this spot,” he said. “So what do you think of it?”
“I like it. Really cool.”
His expression darkened. “That’s not going to cut it at all, Nicole.”
“Did I say something wrong?”
He slapped the desk suddenly, so loud she jumped in her chair. “Perhaps I’ve made a mistake here.” He got up, smoothing his tie and looking at the floor, as if lost in thought. “I’ve made things a bit too informal, given you the wrong idea.”
She swallowed, her jaw trembling. How could things be going wrong yet again?
“I’m sorry if—“
This time he clapped his hands together. “You will call me sir when you speak to me, Nicole. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir. Of course, sir.” She was sweating now. Her forehead, under her arms, between her legs. She was sweating through her suit.
“That’s better.” His shoulders relaxed a little. He went to the bar. “Perhaps we should have that drink after all. What do you say?”
She wasn’t sure. It didn’t feel very appropriate, but then again, this was after work hours. So she nodded. “Ummm…yes sir. That sounds nice, sir.”
He began making them martinis while she looked on, her anxiety ratcheting up as he slowly created the cocktails. “You’ll find that I am a very difficult person to please, Nicole,” he told her, shaking the contents of one drink. “But when you succeed in pleasing me, you’ll find that I show my appreciation in ways that make it all worthwhile.”
She didn’t know what he meant. And she was more afraid of him than anyone she’d ever met.
He finished with the drink and brought it over to her. As he handed it to her, their fingers touched and it was like an electric shock. She nearly jumped.
“Taste it,” he commanded.