Pleasing the Boss

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Chapter 38

With the truth completely out about Ethan and Gabrielle, I can’t even begin to process how Travis had something to do with her demise. I mean when I told Ethan about my date with him, I figured his apprehension about Travis was just jealousy, but he knew the whole time. I should be mad that he didn’t tell me when he has the chance, but in my gut, I knew Travis wouldn’t have tried anything the first night. From what Ethan told me and what I experienced, Travis seems charming in the streets and a monster behind closed doors. I hope I don’t run into him ever again.

This new revelations manages to keep my head in a dark space, thinking about everything Gabrielle must’ve went through. I think deep down she loved Ethan, but couldn’t give up the addictive lifestyle that is slowly consuming Ethan’s life as well. I don’t want to be a part of that work on a permanent basis. It’s a good hobby, for it’s not something I want to carry on the rest of my life. I hope Ethan can see that now. I’m not Gabrielle.

At work for the following days, I think about everything as if it’s a movie, rewinding and restarted in my head over and over. I want to tell Anna about it, but the fact that I’d have to leave out everything about the club would make the story a little difficult to tell. I wish I could though.

At my desk, I turn in my chair and when I look at Ethan, I freeze when I see that his eyes are already on me. Before I can turn around, he waves me in. I make my way into his office and rake a seat in front of his desk. He stops writing on the paper he’s working on and leans back in his chair, crossing his fingers over his stomach. It’s almost like it was a matter of time before I’d end up in here to talk to him. I’m sure he sensed it. I’ve been tense all morning with thoughts swirling in my brain and the fact that I didn’t have coffee made it worse.

“Yeah.” I say, fiddling my thumbs in my lap.

“You look very pretty today.” Starting off with a compliment. Weird.

Though I did feel quite cute today. I put on a pair of cute black flair bottom dress pants, flats and an off the shoulder hippie type blouse with my hair in two French braids.

“Thank you.” I smile.

“So what’s bothering that pretty head of yours besides what I obviously know?”

“It’s nothing much. I know I can talk to you about anything, but I really want to talk to someone who isn’t in this club circle. Someone who can give me outsider feedback and as far as I know there’s only one person I can turn to for that.”

Ethan nod. “I presume you’re referring to Anna.”

“Yes.”

Ethan nods in a manner that I can’t completely read, but I know he isn’t saying something. If he doesn’t want me talking to Anna then he should tell me now before I make him angry by talking to her. I know he values his privacy, but he knows and trust Anna too. Ugh, I don’t know what to think.

“So, can I talk to her or not?”

“Sure, babe. I don’t mind. Anna has gained my trust. If it’s one person I want to be your confidant, it’s her. She’s very loyal.”

I breathe a sigh of relief.

“Thank you.”

I stay seated for a moment and Ethan raises his eyebrow.

“Anything else?”

“Yeah, about the club. I don’t want to quit the club all together. I want to do it in healthy moderations. So I was thinking, just to clear my head a bit, we can go this weekend. Nothing active. I just want to hang out and have some drinks. Maybe fool around a bit, but just me and you.”

“No Kate?”

I shake my head.

“I like Kate, but I want you. I enjoy having fun with her occasionally, but I don’t want her becoming comfortable being with us all the time.”

“I agree.”

“You do?”

“Yes. I was worrying that she was becoming a little too attached to you. She’s called me a few times asking if you’ve agreed to go back to the club. She spoke of trying out new things with you. It unsettled me a bit. I’m glad we’re on the same page.”

I nod and as I’m about say something, Anna comes through the office door with a small stack of files and her usual bubbly attitude.

“Mr. Sawyer, these are the notarize contracts you requested. I was heading this way so I decided to drop them off so I can talk to my favorite desk girl.”

I smile and stand as she hands the files to Ethan. He takes them and sits them on his desk.

“Thank you, Anna. We were just finishing up. You two should go to lunch together. Take 2 hours.”

“Really?” Anna asks.

“Yes.” He chuckles, softly.

“Wow, cool. We should go to that new place around the corner. I heard good things about it.”

Ethan reaches into his pocket, pulling out his wallet.

“Hear, take my card. Get whatever you like.”

“Um, is hell freezing over? Who is this man? What have you done with Ethan?”

I can’t help, but laugh at how dramatic she’s being, but I do think he’s being nicer than usual. Where is this coming from and what is he trying to do? I am never able to really see through him. Maybe he just wants me and Anna to be close since I want to talk to her about all this drama in my life.

When Anna and I get to lunch, no matter how hard I try, I don’t know where to start the conversation I want to have with her. Maybe it’s because I don’t want her to judge me or maybe it’s because we're in public. Either way, I’m just uncomfortable talking about it right now.

So to remedy that, I invite her over my apartment for a slumber party. To say she is thrilled is an understatement. When we first met, I remember Anna telling me that she doesn’t have many friends because the women at work were jealous of her closeness with Ethan. I can definitely understand that considering the number of smug looks I get every now and again from the ladies in the building. I can see why something as simple as a sleepover can make someone happy when they aren’t used to having good friends. I want to be that good friend for Anna like she’s been for me. That involves gossip and boy do I have a lot of it.

After lunch, we get iced coffee before heading back to work. I feel a lot better now that I will be able to chat it up about everything that’s been going on. It still makes me a little nervous wondering how she’ll react.

When I get back to my desk, there is a small box sitting on it. I look into Ethan’s office, he isn’t there. However, when I look at the card, I see it’s actually from Kate. For the first time in a while, I’m not thrilled about getting a gift from her.

I pop open the box and see that it’s a small tube of perfume. Obviously something expensive. Lifting the little bottle, I see a card underneath it.

I will not be attending the club with you, pet, but I want you to smell divine as usual. –Kate

Ethan must’ve told her that we want to go together and not with her. I must say I thought she’d be a little angry about this. It’s nice to know she’s taking it in good spirit. I spritz a little on my wrist and the scent is amazing. I’ve never smelled anything so sensual in my life. Wondering what the name is, I flip it over and the name on the bottom makes my heart drop a little.

The scent is called Obsession.

I honestly don’t think it’s a coincidence that she picked out this scent. Kate never does anything without good reason so this worries me a bit. Is it supposed to me a message or sign? Or maybe she is angry about not coming with us. Maybe it’s a threat.

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