Authors: Ella Stone
“So, you don’t think I’m crazy?” I’m staring out Margie’s office at her cute new secretary. He’s twenty-two, blond, broad shouldered, dangerously well built and he’s got the prettiest blue eyes. He’s wearing an azure shirt/tie combination that brings those eyes up a notch from merely pretty to mesmerizing.
Margie leans in over my shoulder and we peer out at him, a couple of Siamese twins. “What I think ... is you have very good taste.” We both smile. “He’ll do you a world of good. Trust me.”
“But fucking the secretary ... it’s so cliché.”
“Todd’s my secretary, so it doesn’t count,” She elbows me. “Anyways, you’re not attached, it’s been almost a year since the divorce was final,” She looks at me and rolls her eyes. “And I haven’t once heard you talk about having anything resembling a good time in that lonely old bed of yours.”
“Thanks for making it sound so depressing.”
“You’re my best Ad exec. Not to mention one of my dearest friends. I need you to be happy.”
I glare at her.
“Okay, happier. You’re smart, sexy and successful. I want to see you enjoying all that.”
I stare as Todd leans back in his chair and scratches the back of his neck. Even his fingers are thick and muscular.
“But he’s so young.”
“He’s what, five years younger than you?”
Margie walks in front of me, blocking my view of hot little Todd and looks me square in the eye. “If you haven’t noticed, you’re freakin’ hot.”
I shake my head and smile.
“If I were a lesbian I’d be all over your ass. And If I weren’t still in the “happy” phase in my marriage I’d have bagged that fine young man his first day.”
I marvel at Margie’s resilience. She’s on her fourth marriage and yet she really thinks this one’s going to last. But she also thought that Brad and Jennifer would reconcile, and that shoulder-pads would make a comeback.
“You just need something to break the ice.” Margie punches a button and suddenly Todd springs from his desk and appears in her doorway.
His smile is fucking radiant, even better than his eyes. Of course the swells of his pecks heaving through the thin material of his shirt aren’t bad either.
“Would you be a dear and grab me a cup of coffee?” Margie says, her voice cloying.
“Right away, Ms. Fuller,” He turns toward me, “Anything for you, Miss Clark?”
“Oh, no ... I’m fine.” I look down at my still full mug of coffee.
“Right. I’ll be right back.” And he strides off to the break room.
I’m still watching the youthful jiggle of his ass when Margie pulls my mug from my hands and then unceremoniously dumps its contents into a potted palm.
“I guess I didn’t want that.”
“What you want is a fresh cup.” Margie hands me my empty cup and points in the direction Todd just went. “So go get some.”
Her tone of voice and the solicitous wriggle of her eyebrows make me laugh, and a flushed feeling rises up in my cheeks. I’m suddenly amazed at how much I really do want to follow Todd to the break room, to “break the ice.”
I don’t realize I’m already halfway there until I hear Margie calling, “That’s my girl!”
My skin starts feeling hot, and I notice I’m holding my breath. So I stop short of the break room door and take a long, deep breath. This isn’t the first man you’ve ever talked to, I tell myself.
But it is the first you’ve tried to seduce, “myself” says back.
Great, so now I’m talking to myself.
I put my hand out and push on the door. It opens and I start to walk in ... but then I stop, frozen in my tracks halfway in. There’s Todd, standing beside the coffee machine. But Max from the art department is pressed up against him, one of his hands planted on Todd’s ass, the other draped around the back of Todd’s neck -- his tongue vigorously working its way down Todd’s throat.
Silently I back out the door and turn myself around. I see Margie at her desk, the phone in one hand, the other gesturing an emphatic “What?” I wave her off and bolt back to my office, keeping my eyes down, not believing how shitty I‘m feeling, how horrible my intuition -- or my sexual instinct -- is. But then, at least I hadn’t gotten to make a pass at him yet. At least I don’t have that shame to live with.
I deposit my coffee mug on my Kenny’s -- my secretary -- desk as I lurch into my office.
“Miss Clark, would you like a refill?” Kenny asks.
“Let’s give them a few minutes to finish, okay?”
Kenny looks after me bewildered as I slam the door to my office behind me.
“You’re fucking kidding me!” Margie howls over the phone.
“Don’t I wish.”
“And Max, from art?” She clucks her tongue and I hear her crack her knuckles. “Now I know why he and the misses got divorced.”
“Can we just not talk about this?” I’m suddenly feeling cranky again. And I know that once Margie gets done mauling this business with Todd over, she’ll get right back to trying to set me up again. “I think this idea for the Morgan’s campaign is starting to come together.”
“That’s why I pay you the big bucks, babe,” I suddenly see her at the door to my office, her coat and purse on her arm, her cell phone lowering from her ear. “Just don’t work too late. You’ll never bag a guy like this.”
“Kenny’s helping me ... we’ll be done in no time.”
Margie waves as she slinks out of sight. I look out my window to see the sun already starting to set. The clock reads six o’clock. I hit the intercom button. “You hungry?” I ask Kenny.
“Indian or Chinese?” he says.
“I’ll make the call.”
I end up not eating even half of my sesame chicken. And no matter how much I stare at the computer screen I still can’t get my mind in gear enough to get the Morgan’s campaign up and running. My head’s hurting, my eyes are blurry, and my shoulders and neck are in knots. I drop my head down into the palms of my hands and groan.
I hear Kenny walk up behind me, and I smell the fresh coffee he’s brought me.
“It’s late. Maybe you should go home, get some sleep, work this thing with fresh eyes tomorrow.”
I feel Kenny’s hands press down gently on my shoulders, and then his fingers start to knead my tense muscles. He’s the best. I can’t count how many times he’s pulled me through these late night work attacks. Never complains, never fails to contribute, and he’s always there.
“What would I do without you?” I say, leaning back in my chair as his fingers work out the rest of my kinks.
“You’d probably have to see a chiropractor.”
And he’s funny. And good looking! Shoulders like a linebacker, flat stomach and lean hips. And somewhere in his angular face there’s a few freckles and bright green eyes.
Too bad he’s gay too.
At least with Kenny I’d known the moment I laid eyes on him. And that had been the plan ... at the time ... to not be tempted, to not even contemplate men. And for almost a year my plan had been working. At least until I watched Brokeback Mountain. Then I started reading Alice Hoffman books, and watching cheesy LifeTime TV Movies. Now I’m getting aroused just looking at the office eye candy, and I’m seriously considering ordering something very large -- that requires batteries -- off the internet.
It’s not fair! The one guy I finally get excited over turns out to be gay. And the only man who touches me -- and what a fabulous job he’s doing of it right now! -- even he’s gay. I know it isn’t politically correct or anything, but it would be so much simpler if gay men would wear a tag of some sort. Maybe one of those rubber bracelets, or maybe a special tattoo only women can see. Something in ultraviolet ink. Maybe a nametag that says, “I’m Todd, and I’m a homosexual.”
Maybe Kenny’s right. Some sleep could turn this around for me. Or at least stop the crazy thoughts form bouncing around in my head! Do I have any Xanax at home?
spot, causing me to lean into him and moan.
“Why are all you good guys unavailable or gay?” I say absently.
Kenny’s hands stop what they’re doing and he stands stalk still behind me, not saying a word. I suddenly wish I’d kept my big mouth shut. I’ve offended him.
I take a breath, trying to think up an apology, when suddenly Kenny starts rubbing my shoulders again.
“Actually,” he says. “I’m not gay.”
It takes a moment before his words register in my head, and my eyes snap wide open with a shock.
Kenny leans down until his lips brush against the flesh under my ear. His breath is hot and it sends a shiver through my body.
“And I’m available, too,” I can smell his aftershave, I can feel the heat his body’s giving off. “Completely at your disposal.”
I gulp. I feel my body shudder, and my loins quiver.
I feel his hands slide from their places on my shoulders and I suddenly feel a stabbing sense of abandonment. I hear his steps as he turns to leave.
“You should get some rest. Could be a real late night tomorrow.”
When I turn around he’s gone.
I’m exhausted the next morning when I roll into work. I’d slept all right, but my dreams wore me out. I dreamt of Kenny’s magic fingers. Over and over again the scene would start, his hands kneading my shoulders, then working down over my breasts, slipping into my blouse and teasing my nipples.
“Would you like anything else?” he’d inquire, his lips brushing the flesh of my neck.
But before I could answer I’d be in my office, alone again, and I’d hear him come in.
This dream went on and on, and when my alarm woke me up I was exhausted, and my sheets were not only uprooted and twisted all about me, but they were soaked.
Kenny isn’t at his desk when I get in. I feel a pang of disappointment, and then a flutter of relief. And then I see my coffee, steaming hot, sitting next to a vase of a dozen red roses.
Oh boy, this is getting complicated before it even gets past first base. I reach for the card but my hand starts shaking. Get a grip, I tell myself. I pull open the envelope to the card and read the hand written message.
Thanks for all your good work on my account.
We’ll have to have diner soon, and celebrate.
I’m holding my breath again, and suddenly I let it out. Again with the fluttering relief ... but the disappointment is more of a gong than a ping. Roger Stevens is one of the firm’s newest clients, and the ad campaign I’d cooked up to sell their line of women’s intimate products had gone over well in the market.
“Your meeting with Rayburn has been moved up.” Kenny says.
I jump and drop the card from Stevens on the floor. Kenny strides in, kneels and retrieves it for me, righting himself and then handing the card back to me. “They’re waiting for you in Ms. Fuller’s office,” There isn’t a trace of a smile, or any flirting in his eyes. Just the same old Kenny, ever present, dependable ... maybe I’d dreamt the whole “not gay” and “available” thing?
“And Grim from Haberdash Inc confirmed your lunch date, at Lamont.”
“Thanks,” I say, turning to leave. If it had been just a dream then my day was going to a lot less eventful than I’d hoped. And as I walk away I start to regret my choice in underwear. A sexy red, satin bra with a matching thong. The braw was gorgeous, but the thong was already riding up my ass!
“Miss. Clark?” Kenny says.
I stop and tentatively turn around. Could he tell I was wearing a thong?
“Your coffee,” Kenny scoops up my mug and hands it to me. Our fingers touch for a moment, nothing new, but I feel a definite zap of electricity, and not just static.
“Thanks,” I say, feeling kind of wobbly in my high heels, then backing out of the office. Kenny just stares after me, a quizzical grin spreading across his face. And then I see it. A flicker of want in his eyes.
Maybe I hadn’t been just dreaming?
At the meeting in Margie’s office I present my ideas for Rayburn. At first the Rayburn executive looks confused, but when I punch up the mock-up ad with the new slogan I’d cooked up, I can see she likes it. Margie takes over from there with more about the demographics they were looking to break into, and then a break down of the cost analysis. That’s when I start zoning out. At first I just start staring out the door to where Kenny is seated, pounding away on the keyboard of his computer.