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Prohibited Desires

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N&L’s Spa and Clinic was the new IT place to go to. With new equipment, renovated local and new personnel, it took no time for business to be as busy as ever. Those were good news for Lemuel, one of the owners. He had put all his time, effort, and savings into this new business. At 34, Lemuel was pretty successful, at least compared to most of us anyway. Always hardworking and full of innovative ideas, he was a consultant. If your project, idea, or goal was consulted by Lemuel, you could count on a big hit. He had this vision and insight other people simply didn’t.

Being a Latino resulted sometimes in people judging Lemuel. I mean a caramel, 6 feet, tattooed, brown-haired, hulky chunk of a man can be very intimidating for those men who aren’t exactly, you know, very sure of themselves. And for women, Lemuel was the sexy Latino god sent from the heavens. He would always get dreamy and lustful stares from every age group of women. Literally any age group. This was one of the reasons why he wanted to keep out of the front desk of the spa and more of a manager in the back office kind of thing. He wanted the success of the spa to be service enclined rather than “let’s go to the spa and see the Latin hunk”.

Lemuel was full of certifications. Never finished college, though. He thought that the whole structure was wrong. “You lose too much time in general classes and don’t get right to the important classes until the end. Doesn’t make any sense!“- he would tell his friends. He did have a point. While his friends were all in third-year starting full on their concentration classes, Lemuel had already three certifications, which are just as important, or more, in the business. He liked the duration and hands-on approach to the matter. Thanks to that, he has been very successful. And now his new business adventure awaits.

“Elora, pleaaaassseeee! You have to come with me! It took me ages to get that reservation and if I cancel I don’t know when will be the next opening. Pretty please! Don’t do this to me. Besides you really need it. I know how stressful your office has been lately. Come on! Stop making me beg.” Amanda, Elora’s best friend said.

Elora Nierling, the new Junior VP for ANX Mag. Spunky 29-year-old Elora had given a big name for herself in the magazine business. With studies in fashion, editing, marketing, journalism, among others, she was one of the most desired VP’s in the business. She had saved a total of 4 magazines and 2 papers. While you were under Elora’s leadership she would guarantee savings, gainings, and stability. She was the Queer Eye, What Not to Wear, Restaurant Impossible, etc. of the journalism business.

“Fine”, Elora said while rolling her eyes. She wasn’t honest about why she didn’t like the idea of going to the spa. Elora was very sensitive. She disliked random and strange people touching her. So going to a place specifically to do that, on purpose, made her extremely nervous. Literally, years had passed since she was in a spa. She barely liked going to have her nails and hair done.

“Be ready by 4:00 pm. We have to be there at least 30 minutes before so I don’t want to risk it, you know, just in case. Oh and also, the fewer clothes you take the better, so just take a dress or shorts, with as little layers as possible.”

“Wait, what? Oh hell no! Nope, I’m not going.”

“How is it that one of the most outspoken and outgoing people I know is also one of the shyest? Get out of that shell girl! You’re missing out on many good things. And I’m not just talking about the sex.“, Amanda bursts out laughing.

“Ugh! I’m hating this already. Just be here at 4:00. Bye!“, Elora hung up her phone and threw herself back at her bed. She rarely had free weekends, let alone a Saturday, and she was now going to spend it in a place full of people.

“They better give one hell of a service”, she mumbled to herself. She looked for a short spaghetti strap dress and some flats then got in the bath to start getting ready. Four o clock didn’t come late enough, Amanda was uber-excited thus she was squealing, this making Elora very annoyed.

“Hurry up woman!”

“Cheech, don’t get your panties up in a bunch! Are they giving free goodies or something?”

Amanda rolls her eyes. “Um no. I have been waiting months for this. So no one will ruin it, no one.”

The drive was full of Amanda’s chatter about how great the spa was, or at least had heard. The masseuse, bathtubs, jacuzzis, rooms, tables, she left no detail out. Also, there were rumors of the new owners, but not many details or any truthful information provided so it was discarded as a topic. When we reached the building I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like someone had turned a mansion into a spa. The building was only two stories tall but all the surrounding gardens and foliage in the entrance and the driveway were breathtaking.

"Are we at the correct address?"

"We sure are babe! Can't believe your mag hasn't covered this."

"I know! I'll have to talk with Phillipe about this. We should get an exclusive. Now I'm excited."


"Sir, there's a lady here to see you."

"Send her in."

Lemuel was intrigued. Who could be there to see him? What for? Was it a complaint? Was there someone hurt? Those minutes were killing him.

"Good afternoon, sir. My name is Elora Nierling, VP for ANX Mag."

"Nice to meet you Ms. Nierling."

"Oh please, call me Elora. No need for extreme formality. Your name is?"

"Right! Sorry. My name is Lemuel Ramirez, owner."

"Well, Mr. Ramirez, I'll make it quick so I won't keep you. I would like to feature you in our magazine. I haven't seen any type of interview in the media and would like the exclusive."

"What would be the terms?"

"Here is my card all the information you need is on it. Contact me later so we discuss them. Thanks for your time."

"Thank you Ms. Nierling, I mean Elora. Did you enjoy our services?"

"Very much so. Have a nice day.", with that Elora turned around and left.

Elora Nierling

Who is this woman? Was the repeating question in Lemuel's mind. As soon as she left he googled her. As expected all the information regarding Elora Nierling and her success was all over. He saw how she had grown in the industry, how she had helped save businesses, and also how she changed through the years, which had done her good. He couldn't believe that he had been to some events where she was the special guest.

"Tan cerca pero tan lejos". So close, yet so far.

A week had passed and Elora hadn't received a call from Lemuel.

"Are you sure you gave him the right card?" Amanda asked.

"It's the only one I have, Amanda. Besides, sometimes people aren't into the whole exclusive or public scene thing. I mean, it's not like he really needs it, the spa seems fine."

"I was looking forward to those free goodies you usually get your hands on," Amanda said pouting.

"Damn! I just received a text from Phillipe. We have a client crashing the office. Sorry got to go!" Elora said while rushing out of the cafe they used to hang out in since their university life.

Good thing Elora was always prepared. Life had taught her to always have an extra pair of shoes, blouse, pants, skirts, and or blazer in her car. Coffee spills, food stains, or any other accidents were not going to ruin her day ever, not after that one time she ripped her pants in a meeting because she got stuck on a nail in a broken office chair. She had to stay seated until someone bought her another pair of pants. Slightly embarrassed, she got to the bathroom and changed, thus swearing that would never happen to her again.
She was wearing a pair of leggings and an oversized shirt with some converse, not usual VP office attire. She opened the trunk and saw what clothing she had: a white button blouse, black blazer, and black heels. Perfect! Even though leggings were not an acceptable work attire the blouse was on the long side and helped to keep the professional office look while being extremely sport.

Off we go.

Once inside the ANX Magazine building, Elora greeted everyone as usual and got to the 5th floor. As soon as the elevator doors opened, Phillipe came running to her. Phillipe was her public relationist, so it's literally his job to attend the clients. She really didn't understand why he insisted on her being at the office.

"Are you in some kind of trouble?" Phillipe asked after eying me up and down. "What exactly are you wearing?"

"Oh give me a break! You texted me to get here ASAP with a bunch of sirens and SOS signs. What is it?"

" Well, there's this fine man in your office."

"Are any of our clients fine? Are you checking him out?" Elora said while laughing.

"Give me a break you would too, wait 'til you see him."

"About that, why exactly am I the one seeing him? If I recall that's what I pay you for, you know, relations with the public and clients. Ring a bell?"

"I know you won't be mad for this exception. Besides, he came in asking to speak with you directly," he said waving his hands and opening my office door.

"Sorry for the delay Mr. Ramirez, here she is. If you need anything and I mean anything don't hesitate to ask me." Phillipe said while eyeing him up and down, turning around and leaving.

As any important person in a company, I had a big office with a small couch, a big desk, and many windows. Very spacious. I loved a bookshelf wall I had. I literally had read all those books. Whenever I was stressed, I looked at the wall and it calmed me, didn't understand why really. So it was a must in my office no matter which company.

Once I enter the office there is a tall man standing in a dark grey suit, first buttons were unbuttoned which gave him a laidback yet serious business look, sleek brown hair. Wait, he seems familiar. As I approached him I recognized him.

"Mr. Ramirez from N&L's Spa, right?"

"Yes. Mrs. Nierling, I mean Elora. I'm sorry to come barging in on you like this. This is going to sound very unprofessional and irresponsible of me, but I seem to have lost or well misplaced your card. I did remember your name so I looked for your office address and here I am."

"Oh, I see. No problem Mr. Ramirez. Those cards are so small. It happens more than you think. So to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit." I said while walking to my desk to sit.

"Last time we saw each other you had offered an exclusive with your magazine and I wanted to take the offer. I wanted to discuss the terms, conditions, or next steps. It's the first time I'd do something like this for a business so I'm a little lost."

"No problem! Yes, the offer still stands. I was wondering why you hadn't called but now I know."

"Yeah, sorry about that."

"Well, I'll give you an example. We choose which package I will be having at your spa. I document my whole visit, do a detailed review about my experience, some pictures and/or videos are taken, and will be the front cover and a whole page in our magazine. Also, there will be digital media on our website, so a direct link to your spa will be provided that week for our readers if they were to view your page."

"Sounds amazing. Here are the different packages we offer."

Elora stretched her hand and got the binder. She read through four pages of different services offered at the spa. Is there anything they don't offer?

"Everything ok? I see your expression has changed."

"Oh yes, it is. This overwhelms me a little. I'm not into people touching me and have a hard time with it."

He started laughing softly. "Yeah, I understand the problem with that. How about this? Just tell me when you are coming and I will set up a package for you. I will personally assist you throughout the day."

"Assist me?"

"Yes, I will be your guide and masseuse. The only thing I couldn't do is hair and nails since it's not my specialty. Sleep on it and give me a call. Good afternoon."

Lemuel got up and Elora stood up with him. She walked in front of him and opened the door for him.

"I will get back to you Mr. Ramirez. See you soon."

"Please, call me Lemuel."

"Oh, before you leave." She walked back to her desk and took a card from the holder, "here, hopefully, don't lose it this time."

"Nos vemos luego, Elora"

She stood at the door and watched as he got into the elevator, turned around, and winked at her with a slight smirk on his face. With that, the elevator doors closed.

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