The Arrangement (An Alternative Love Romance)

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Office Party

Selene stepped out of the room and Nick’s heart skipped a beat. The dress she wore for tonight’s event was emerald with silver and gold embroidery, the silky looking material flowing like water with every movement. It was fairly simple with off-shoulder sleeves that ended just past her elbows and gathered gently under her breasts with it’s empire waist. Her hair had been styled in an elaborate-looking hairstyle with silver and gold pins with emeralds dotting it. The multi-toned gold collar necklace he’d bought looked perfect with small earrings that matched.

It was a very elegant, sophisticated, classic look that suited her incredibly well.

“Wow. You look… wow,” was all he could manage.

Selene laughed at his reaction, walking toward him with a smile on heels that allowed her to stand almost level with his shoulder. “I take it you approve?”

Nick nodded as his eyes continued to tae in everything. “You’re breathtaking.”

Selene smiled in that somewhat shy way she did at the compliment. Anyone else got a smile and thank you, but from him, it had a far greater impact and often left her unable to reply.

“I have something for you,” Nick finally said, pulling a black velvet box out of his pocket. “It’s special made, so I hope you like it” he explained as he opened the box nervously.

Inside, a platinum ring held a cushion-cut emerald of very high quality that was almost the exact color of her eyes. Filigree patterns wrapped around the sides of the gem and onward to halfway around the band. Small white diamond chips were scattered within the pattern, giving it some added sparkle. Nick carefully pulled the delicate piece of jewelry out of the box.

“I brought them pictures to find a stone that matched your eyes,” he explained as he placed the box on a nearby plant stand. “I-I was going to wait, but I decided to do this early.”

Selene reached up and put a hand on his arm. “It’s beautiful.”

Nick smiled quickly, taking her left hand and sliding it up her ring finger. “I want everyone to see that you’re mine, Selene. I want them to know that you are the most important person in my life and that I… I care so very much about you,” he said as he struggled to control his emotions. “Not just mine because we’re playing a part, though, Selene,” he said, meeting her eyes. “I want this to be real. I want you to really, truly be mine. I want a future with you. I want to see where this can go., because right now the only thing in the world that scares me is the thought of losing you.”

Tears welled up in Selene’s eyes as she stared at him, speechless as her own emotions overwhelmed her.

“I know I’m a lot older than you and I know this won’t always be easy. But, I want to fight the fight with you and stand by your side as you face the monsters and I want to know that you’ll still be here once all that’s over. Maybe my age and experience will help me to be the man you need. Please, Selene,” he asked in a strained voice, “let’s do this for real. No more friends – I want it all. I want it with you, and no one else.”

Selene’s arms wrapped around him as she gripped him in a surprisingly powerful hug. When she felt she could speak, she pulled back and looked up at him.

“Are you sure? I – I’ve not really had much experience in this area,” she said anxiously.

“I can be patient. I will help you. But, I’m learning here, too, so I could screw up now and then,” Nick countered. “Please, Selene.”

“Do you think there’s really a chance it could work?”

“I am certainly determined to make it work. We can’t know if we don’t try.”

Selene nodded slowly. “I am scared of losing you, too. I’m terrified, but I feel things for you I’ve never felt,” she finally answered. “I think I do want to explore it further, as you say.”

“I will do everything in my power to never hurt you or let you be hurt again, Selene,” Nick said before kissing her passionately.

All the unspoken emotions flooded the kiss and the two lost themselves in a world of their own. The Earth no longer existed. There were no boundaries or walls, just them in pure, unadulterated passion. When they finally pulled apart, Nick noticed tears had been leaking from her eyes. He began to brush them away, a frown forming.

“They’re happy tears,” she said quietly. “You have turned my life almost into a dream. I’ve never felt so safe and… free.”

I love you, Nick almost said, but caught himself at the last second. “I’m happy to have the chance. I feel like I’ve been waiting for you my entire life.”

“I’d better go check my make-up,” she said with a laugh. “I’m sure you wiped away all of my lipstick.”

Nick smirked. “Yes, I did. They’re all puffy now, too.”

On the way to the party, Nick was flying high. Selene had agreed and she was now his as he was hers. Paul had been right, along with Rachel and Tom. They saw something he didn’t that told them that Selene thought more highly of him than he realized. He was glad he took the chance. Tonight, the employees, investors, and top customers would be there to see them together in their first appearance as a real couple. Not that he was going to tell anyone it had been an arrangement to benefit them both before now.

Now, they were a team with a future in mind.

So much for taking advantage of the break Selene provided to look for someone else. He hadn’t even tried. She’d had all of his attention before she’d even moved in, he just hadn’t wanted to admit it to himself.

“Our age difference doesn’t bother you? I mean, I don’t want you to feel like I’m..”

“Nick,” Selene started firmly, “I forget that there’s almost 20 years between us. I forget I’m not even technically old enough to drink.”

Nick nodded slowly as he considered that. “You’re right. You aren’t like any other 20-year-old. I forget it myself most of the time, to be honest. When you sleep, though, you look so much younger and small – even innocent. Though, having seen you naked up close and personal, I know you aren’t,” he added with a wink.

Selene’s cheeks colored as her eyes darted away. “Yes, well, I could have told you that before. Though, you’re the only one I’ve ever felt as if I could really trust. You’ve done more for me than everyone else combined for my whole life.”

“I want you to be happy, Selene,” Nick informed her. “I will do anything to see you happy. No cost is too great.”

Selene’s smile was both warm and shy. “I want you to be happy, too, Nick.”

Nick caught her gaze and brushed he backs of his fingers across her cheek. “You make me happy every day when I wake up with you in my arms.”

After fixing her make-up, Selene and Nick departed. On the way there, Nick could hardly take his eyes off her. She often admired the ring, then looked over at him with bright eyes full of happiness. Nick was over the moon. Selene was his. Tonight he would finally take her and show her how good it can feel when the man cares about you. He wanted to see that look she got when she was getting close, her head falling back with her lips parted in continuous moans.

Pressure in his groin drew him out of his lusty mental visions. He took Selene’s hand and placed it on his erect member. Selene gasped softly, her eyes widening slightly.

“This is for you,” he told her lowly. “This happens when I think of you naked, sprawled out on the bed, bent over, in the shower, and so many other things. If you’re really ready, tonight I want to be inside you.”

Nick watched her pupils dilate and heard her breathing pick up. She nodded, somewhat jerkily, her fingers sliding over the material where his member pushed against it..

“I’m ready,” she told him almost breathlessly.

Nick’s lips curved in a wicked smile. “Good. I am going to be anxious to leave early now, though,” he realized.

“How long do we have to stay?”

Nick sighed. “At least 3 hours. Speeches, bonus announcement, Secret Santa exchange, and so on. If we could leave earlier, trust me, there’s nothing I’d rather do right now than take you back home, but investors and big customers will be there, so I have to make sure they have time to say hello.”

Selene nodded before a smirk played on her lips. “I suppose you’ll have to keep yourself under control for a while,” she said with mild amusement.

Nick grumbled. “You don’t have to look so amused by it.”

Selene turned dancing eyes his way. “Your want is more obvious than mine, but don’t think that the idea of what will happen later has me…,” she looked away, “rather… aroused.”

Nick groaned and struggled to keep his hands to himself. “I want to yank that skirt up and make you beg me for it.”

A whimper escaped her at the rush of fluttering that flowed through her, causing her clit to tingle and the muscles inside of her tremble in anticipation. Nick reached out and drew her close enough to be able to speak in her ear, knowing his breath would trigger the sensitive nerves there.

“Tonight, I will give you all of me and take everything you’re willing to give. Then, you’ll be mine and I don’t plan on ever letting you go,” he whispered. “I will prove that to you.”

Selene almost jumped out of her skin when someone knocked on the window. She looked out and realized where they were. “I guess it’s time for the show.”

“No,” Nick corrected. “It’s not a show anymore. Tonight, we’ll show them all just how spectacular you are and why I utterly adore you.”

The door opened as Selene laughed, patting his knee affectionately. “Alright, Mister. Let’s get this night moving.”

Nick stepped out of the car before assisting Selene. The attendant nodded at them as they walked toward the doors. Inside, they were almost immediately greeted by an attendant who took their coats. Camera flashes went off around them, so Nick wrapped an arm around her waist and spun her, dipping her down low. Selene squealed, holding onto his jacket before she began laughing. Nick grinned as he held her there, giving her a wink.

“I’m sure it will make a good picture for the wall later,” he teased, before pulling her back up and setting her right. “Besides, it’s almost like having you under me,” he said much more quietly directly into her ear.

Selene did her best not to blush as she swatted his chest with the back of her hand. “Behaven” she scolded under her breath.

Nick laughed and wrapped his arm around her waist, waggling his brows at her. “Never.”

He began to lead her to the ballroom with her laughing at his silliness. To everyone who saw them, they looked deeply in love and completely happy with one another. Selene acknowledge everyone with a nod, wave, or ‘hello’ as they passed them, her smile a persistent presence. Her heart felt light and carefree.

Selene had tried hard to hold him at arm’s length. She’d tried to say that revealing her secret was a practical matter. She had repeatedly told herself this was nothing more than a strong friendship where sex was becoming a part of the picture. Nick’s affection toward her was innocent, and she was reading too much into the way he looked at and touched her. His kindness was friendly with no other motives. He’d een spending a lot of time with her to get to know her and his attention would wane.

She’d been lying to herself, or trying to. Now that she had learned the truth, a weight had been removed she hadn’t realized she was carrying. Nick seemed to be experiencing much the same thing. His wide smile and the sparkle in those sexy eyes of his was clear evidence of that.

Nick was an incredibly handsome man who didn’t look his age. He appeared to be the type of man who would age gracefully, with definite laugh lines around his mouth. She could almost see it, and allowed herself a moment to imagine something about the future. It was something she’d never allowed herself, if she’d ever even had time to worry about it. For once, she felt like there was something to look forward to.

Inside the ballroom, a tree stood proudly in one corner, over 20’ tall. The décor consisted of a variety of satin ribbons in red, green, and gold, along with crystalline snowflakes and icicles. Large, colorful tree ornament style hangings were suspended from the ceiling. They were antique in style, colored as if make of lead glass with intricate patterns.

Selene looked around, amazed and impressed. She hadn’t had any Christmas in childhood and after running away, she’d not had much cause to celebrate. This would be the first time she had the chance to really experience Christmas.

“It’s stunning,” she breathed.

“It is nice,” Nick agreed as he looked around. He then took Selene’s hand. “Come on. I want to introduce you to some people.”

Nick seemed to know everyone and made it a point to introduce her as his girlfriend, as if he were bragging about it. Many seemed quite pleased and smiled as they greeted her, though there were certainly a few less-than-friendly looks and a couple of cold brush-offs, but it was nothing she was bothered by, especially since most of those were women Instead, she simply ignored them and moved on. There were many people here, which was no doubt the reason why they used a ballroom for the party.

There were several she recognized from the restaurant, and a few knew her as well. Some were even quite friendly, many even giving her congrats on her promotion or commenting how lovely she looked. To Selene, a few nice people could make up for the assholes of the world.

Her favorite person was Keesha. The busty black lesbian was a real riot and full of sharp wit. They’d met a few times, but until tonight, they’d never really had time to talk. The pair were almost instant friends. Selene loved her slightly twisted sense of humor, and Keesha enjoyed Selene’s friendliness and easy laughter.

“I like her,” Keesha announced to Nick. “She’s a keeper.”

Selene blushed again and looked away. Nick, however, only laughed with a nod while watching Selene.

“Oh, I know it. I plan on keeping her a long time.”

“If you all get married, I know a fantastic wedding coordinator,” Keesha teased with a wink to Nick, glancing back at Selene.

Selene was doing everything to resist crawling under a tile somewhere. Marriage had never been something she’d ever considered. Of course, neither were relationships, but married seemed so… final. Like death, sort of.

“Oh, we’ll be needing one in the future,” he mused, not missing the shocked, wide-eyed expression on Selene’s face.

“We will?”

Nick nodded slowly. “I think so.”

“But I-”

“Excellent,” Keesha said with a few little claps. “Have you picked out a ring yet?”

Selene stared at him, anxious with her heart pounding in her chest. He couldn’t really be serious. They’d only just agreed to -

“My mother’s engagement ring, actually. I’ve been keeping it for years in case I found someone truly special,” he admitted, still looking at Selene.

She began to nervously fidget with the necklace she wore, looking around. He saw her bite her lip in the way that told him she was uncertain or confused about something and unwilling or afraid to ask.

“I want pictures,” Keesha said. “I want to see you all on your knee asking her all right and proper,” she teased, nudging Selene slightly. “Honey, there ain’t anything to be worried about. Bossman here is a good one.”

“Thank you for that,” Nick said, reaching to take Selene’s hand. He pulled her close to him. “Don’t be afraid, Selene. I’m not proposing tonight, tomorrow, or any time in the immediate future. But. That is what I’m aiming for eventually.”

Selene shook her head slightly and eyed him. “Don’t scare me like that. I’m not ready to think about that yet.”

“Key word here is ‘yet’,” Keesha teased.

“Don’t get him started again,” Selene scolded playfully. “The man’s already got too many ideas. Next he’ll be planning the number of kids we have and buying a house or something.”

Keesha laughed at Nick’s slightly guilty look, though he was grinning.

Soon, there were some speeches, a few awards for dedicated employees, and then it was Nick’s turn to get up there. He asked Keesha to stay with Selene before he strode over to the podium on the raised stage they stood on. Selene clasped her hands together in front of her as she watched Nick tell everyone what was coming up after the holiday was over. He went on to talk about the last year, then it was time for him to announce the holiday bonus’ they were getting. Apparently, they were all under the giant tree, where Selene had seen a mass of gifts. Now she understood why.

She discovered that everyone had received some fancy chocolates, a bottle of champagne, some gift certificates, and a bonus check that was enough to make Selene have to struggle not to react to. Five grand was a lot of money. She couldn’t remember having ever had that much at once. Or even in a span of months.

Then, there was a ‘Secret Santa’ exchange, that Keesha had to explain to Selene. She watched with Nick as people passed out gifts from several piles. After all, there had to be 300 people here, give or take. Everything was done reasonably orderly, though Selene found herself watching various people with amusement. Some clearly realized who their gifter was, other were happy or moved, still others were disappointed or even embarrassed over what they’d found. Mostly, the atmosphere was happy and cheerful.

“So, what did you think,” Nick asked on the way home.

“It was pretty cool,” Selene decided. “It seemed to have gone over fairly well, though there did seem to be a few who drink a bit too much.”

Nick chuckled and nodded. “Happens every year. I think it’s a type of tradition.”

“That’s a silly tradition. What if you embarrass yourself?”

With a shrug, Nick leaned toward her, stretching his arm out to rest on the back of the seat. “You get ribbed for a while, then someone else embarrasses themselves and you only get reminded at another holiday party.”

Selene eyed Nick as he moved even closer, closing the gap fully between them. “Nick?”

“Selene, do you remember what I said on the way there? About what I want tonight?”

Her breath caught and her heart skipped a beat, then he noticed her breathing quickened. Selene nodded once. “Yes.”

Nick’s free hand rested on her knee over the gown, sliding down to gather the hem enough to put his hand underneath. Slowly, his fingers drifted up her calf to her knee, then up her thigh. When he reached the top of her thigh, he brushed his fingers across her pussy before he cupped her. “Tonight, this is mine and I promise you that you won’t have experienced anything as good as what I’ll do to you.”

Selene looked at him with a deer in the headlights look, unable to respond. When he slipped a finger inside her slit and traced up and down along it’s length, Selene gasped and parted her legs further.

“You trust me, Selene,” Nick asked, lowering his face until their lips were but a breath apart.

“Yes,” she answered in a whisper, caught up in the hypnotizing movements of his finger and his proximity.

Nick plunged his finger into her abruptly, causing Selene’s head to fall back and her eyes roll upward. “This is going to be something much thicker in a short while,” he said as he began withdrawing his finger and thrusting it back in. “Would you like that? Me, nestled between your thighs, thrusting in and out of you until we are both covered in sweat and have cum several times. Mmmm… does that sound as good to you as it does me?”

Selene whimpered, nodding quickly, then moaned as he wiggled and curled his finger inside of her. Her fingers wrapped around his arm and shoulder, her hips shifting to allow him fuller access.

“Tell me, baby. I need you to tell me you want me at least half as much as I want you,” he insisted, allowing his lips to brush faintly across hers. “Say you want me and I swear I will take you to heaven tonight.”

“Please, Nick. I want you.”

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