Business and Pleasure
Did Gabriel just send me that?
Jade: Gabriel, you're still my boss! We can't!
Gabriel: That only seemed to turn you on before. Don't pretend as if this professional act is fooling anyone. We barely fooled Kelly this afternoon. I wanted us to be alone at that lunch. Or even better...somewhere private.
Jade: We agreed this was for the best.
Gabriel: I may have had a celebratory birthday drink or two on your behalf and right now I don't think we made the right decision about that.
Jade: I didn't take you for a drunk texter. I'm worried you might be regret messaging me in the morning, Mr. Howard.
Gabriel: I like it when you call me that.
Jade: well, i'll remember what happens when we're back in the office,
Gabriel: Good. I hope you had a nice birthday. If i had my way, you wouldn't be alone in your room right now.
Jade: why's that?
Gabriel: i'd drive there right now if I was sober to show you.
Jade: it's probably for the best. it's just turned midnight, and if i'm late tomorrow, i'll get into huge trouble.
Gabriel: your boss sounds like an ass.
Jade: Oh, he's the worst. He punishes me in the worst of ways.
Gabriel: maybe he secretly likes his badly-behaved assistant.
Jade: Maybe that shouldn't be such a secret.
Gabriel: i'm glad you liked the flowers. Though I wish I could give you a naughty present ;) Goodnight Jade.
Jade: Goodnight, Mr. Howard.
I'm getting awfully happy from a few messages. I wish it was my birthday everyday! I shook the thoughts out of my head. Suddenly, I get another message from Gabriel Gabriel: I'm getting a cab. See ya.
Gabriel: you have 10 seconds to stop me before I confirm the ride.
Oh my God! Gabriel wants me to come over! Jade: i won't stop you. in fact, i'm already searching for my fave lingerie.
Gabriel: So naughty. Be there in 15. As soon as he arrives, he doesn't waste time. He kisses me as soon as I open the door, and we walk toward my bedroom, stumbling with every step. I help him undress, taking in his slightly unkempt look, enjoying the desire in his eyes.
"You're so handsome."
"So are you. The sigh of you in that lingerie will feed my dreams for days to come.
"I dreamt of you too." I slide one hand down his toned abs, admiring every inch of his skin. He takes my hand in his and lifts it to kiss my palm.
"Happy birthday, my very dirty assistant. I wanted to do this all day long." He grabs my waist and pulls me into one long, sensual kiss. His tongue parts my lips, and a soft moan escapes me. His hands roam up and down my body, feeling up my ass, feeling up my breasts...He kisses my cleavage and goes to his knees to place kisses even lower, down my stomach to my panties, teasing me, kiss me through the thin fabric. I feel like jello in his hands, ready to let him use me in any way he ever wishes...knowing it will lead to nothing but absolute pleasure.
"Stop it. Gabriel...you'll drive me crazy."
"That's the plan, birthday girl."
I run my hands through his hair, feeling like my knees will give out if we stay like this. When he gets up, he lifts me in his strong arms and carries me to the bed.
"It's nice to see you speechless. When we're at the office, you always have a response ready...but now..."
"Now I'm smart enough to know we should kiss instead of talk."
He laughs, then lowers himself on top of me. "I love...the way you never disappoint me."
Oh my...I love for a second, he'd say he loves me.
Gabriel captures my mouth into another kiss, and his hands undress me until I'm naked. He follows suit, taking off his boxers and preparing. Then he's on top of me and inside me, bringing a moan to escape from my lips. He moves slow, then fast, then slow again...I lift my hips to meet his movements until he rolls over, so I'm on top of him. I run my hands across his firm torso, slick with sweat, and move until I can feel myself close to having an orgasm. He grabs my hips to control the speed, and after I cum, he flips us over once again, once again on top of me. He takes my hands into his, intertwining our fingers, and he kisses my neck while speeding up his thrusts again and again until he cums inside me. We lie next to each other after that, and I steal a glance at him. He looks so relaxed. So peaceful. He looks so handsome it makes my heart melt.
Afterward, we're both lost for words and he's looking for his clothes. "That was..."
"Amazing." He turns to look me in the eyes. "I won't regret this tomorrow. I hope you won't either."
"How could I? It's not every birthday that I get a walking sex god deliver himself to my doorstep."
He laughs. "Cheeky. Well, tomorrow...I actually have a hell of a schedule for the next couple of days. Perhaps that's for the best."
"To cool ourselves down?"
"I...agree. Back to being professional?"
"We can try." he slowly gets dressed...he then hesitates, placing a soft kiss on my lips before he leaves.
Well, I can say that was one birthday I'll never forget.
The next two days pass in a frenzy of meetings, with little to no contact with Gabriel at work because he's barely in his office. His routine morning e-mails give me no indication of his inappropriate late-night birthday messages and the sex that followed. It's as if that night was magical but never happened.
Was it just because he was drunk? Did he regent it? I could have spent the entire weekend over-analyzing the meaning behind all of it. But luckily, Melany's piano recital was the best distraction. Once I finish changing into a long, silky red dress, I hear the doorbell ring. That must be Byron. As I opened the door, I was right. "Hey, Jade! You look stunning. I love your outfit. It only adds to your natural beauty."
"Thanks, Byron. You look handsome tonight, too."
"Thank you. Melany is waiting in the car."
"Let's get going."
"Melany is amazing on the piano! I had no idea she was so gifted."
"I don't know who she gets it from. I'm as tone-deaf as a doorknob."
I laugh. "I find that hard to believe. I heard you singing to the radio when you were driving earlier."
"You heard that? I thought you were busy talking to Melany! I'm embarrassed."
"You shouldn't be-you have a lovely voice."
"You must be the first person who thinks that. Do you have any hidden talents? Aside from being smart, funny, beautiful..."
"Keep going- you're spot on, so far! "
"Melany! I didn't see you there."
"We were just saying how talented you are!"
"Yes, you were sensational on that piano."
"You think so?"
"I'm going to say hi to an old friend, then we ca get out of here."
As soon as he's out of hearing range, Melany smirks. "I overheard what my dad just said to you."
"Yes. He obviously likes you."
"I don't know..."
"I do. I haven't seen him like that with a woman for years."
"I'm glad to hear that, because I really like your dad too."
"That's great! I've been hoping he'd meet someone. I'm 17 now. I'll be moving to college soon, and I hate the thought of leaving Dad on his own. I just want him to be happy."
"He's lucky to have a daughter like you. I want him to be happy, too."
"So...will I be calling you stepmom any time soon?"
I gasp. This went way too far very fast.
"Good, because I think it would be frowned upon to have a daughter who's only a handful of years younger than me."
"We can be sisters!"
Byron rejoins us, visibly pleased to see us getting along.
"You two ready to leave?"
"We sure are."
We drop Melany off at her friend's house before heading back to Byron's place. I spend the car ride thinking about my conversation with Melany. I'm glad she's so welcoming toward me, because want to get to know Byron better. It feels nice to have a life outside work. To get my mind off the secret affair with Gabriel..at least for a while.
"Wow, Byron, your house is amazing. It knew it was big, from the last time I was here. But inside is even more breathtaking! And who's the genius behind the artwork? It's beautiful!"
"I wish I could take credit for it, but it was all down to my interior designer."
"Well, you have very good taste in interior designers."
He laughs, and I join in. "Why, thank you. I wish I had the time to enjoy it more."
"Too busy at work?"
"Work, the legal case, being Melany's personal chauffeur service...The list could go on! I'm hoping to slow down my pace soon."
"You're a good dad, and once we win your case, you'll be able to finally relax."
"I like the way you're thinking. Seems like I have excellent taste in lawyers too."
"I guess you do."
"Better still, why don't we rewind right now? I have a bottle of Italy's finest win and a heated pool with your name on it."
Wow. "That sounds amazing, but I didn't bring any swimwear."
"You're wearing underwear, right?"
"Then I'd love for you to stay a while. If you'd rather not go in the hot tub, we could just get cozy on the sofa."
"The hot tub DOES sound good right now."
He leads me to his garden, which is perfectly landscaped and equipped with twinkling lanterns. He directs me to a separate building, where his mini spa is. Then he leaves me as I strip down to my underwear and slide in. He returns a few minutes later in his swimming shorts, carrying a bottle of wine and 2 glasses in his hand. I try not to stare as he climbs in next to me, but I can't help but admire his attractive body.
"Cheers! To good times and excellent company."
"Thanks for coming to the recital tonight. I know it meant a lot to Melany."
"The pleasure was mine. She really is talented."
"I have no idea where she gets her gift for music. It's definitely not from me."
"What about her mom?"
"No, Carmen was never musical either. I sometimes wonder what she would think if she saw Melany perform. Would she feel proud? But she doesn't even know Melany plays piano."
"How can she not know? I found out within minutes of meeting Melany!"
"Exactly. All it takes is a conversation. But Carmen doesn't have time for even a simple "hello" on the phone."
"Yeah. Melany tries to be strong, but I know it affects her. She doesn't understand how her mom could just get up and leave her behind."
"What about you? You raised Melany as a single dad."
"It wasn't easy, especially trying to run my own business at the same time. I had to hire extra help. I try my best, but... I'm clueless when I take her shopping for clothes, she had to learn from her friends how to do her make up and she was to embarrassed to tell me about her first kiss. I was so happy when I found out she'd invited you tonight. She hasn't known you for long, but she already looks up to you."
"It's an honor. She's a great girl. And you've done an amazing job as her dad."
"Thank you, that means a lot."
"All of this stuff you're telling me, it would really strengthen your case in court too."
"I didn't invite you here to talk about work."
"Sorry, it's a habit of mine. I can never fully switch off."
"I used to have that problem too, but I'm changing my ways. Maybe I can help you."
Suddenly, Byron's hands are around my waist, pulling me from behind in between his strong legs. Before I can digest what he's doing, his hands move to my shoulders, and his fingers begin to work kneading circular motions down my neck and along my shoulder blades. "You've had a long, hard week. You deserve a break. Let me take all of your stress away."
The tension immediately disappears, and I relax into his body. "That feels so good. Without even thinking, I roll my head back onto his shoulder, freed of all shyness.
"How's the pressure?"
"Perfect." I glance up, only to catch his eyes piercing through the steam of the hot tub, He immediately loosens his grip on my shoulders and spins me around.
His face hovers inches from mine. I drop my eyes to his lips, and he follows my gaze. He pushes away the wet hair from my face, and lingers a few seconds longer before his eager mouth finds mine. His lips are soft and move gently against mine. But as I match his rhythm, his kiss becomes hot and heavy. He moves his hands around my waist and pulls my wet body hard against his. Our tongue meet in a frenzy, and every part of me is on fire.
I moan into his mouth as his hands are moving everywhere, my legs, neck, my back - where they linger on my bra clasp. And then the phone rings. No! Not right now! I try to ignore it, but Byron stiffens.
"I'm so sorry, that could be Melany."
"It's fine, I understand."
"I'll be right back, okay?"
"Sure." I wait in the pool, trying to hide my disappointment. Maybe kissing a client isn't a great idea anyway. No! Don't overthink this, Byron is a great guy.
Minutes later, he reappears. "That was Melany. She was supposed to stay at hr friend's house, but she's not feeling well. I'll have to pick her up. I'm sorry."
"Don't worry about it. I had a nice night."
"Me too. I'll show you where you can get changed and I'll walk you to your car."
*Next Monday, I'm back at work... "Good morning, Gabriel. You wanted to see me?"
"Yes. You don't need to hand in those reports this morning. I won't have time to check them until tomorrow."
"Oh. Did something come up?"
"A meeting got pushed forward."
"Byron. He should be here any second, actually."
He has a last-minute meeting with Byron? After our date, this could be so awkward. "I didn't know we were due to meet him. That's no problem, though. I'll be around if you need me."
"Great." He smiles at me warmly. "Happy to know I can always count on you." And then we're interrupted.
"If it isn't my two favorite lawyers."
"We were just talking about you."
"Sorry, I hope I'm not interrupting anything. The door was opened, and your receptionist told me to come straight through."
"You weren't interrupting anything. Jade was just leaving."
"That's a shame. I was hoping to see you today, Jade."
"Yes, you were?"
"Of course. I really enjoyed our evening together."
"I'm sorry-your what? Your evening together?"
"Uh, yeah. I believe I mentioned I was going to Melany's piano recital over the weekend."
"I vaguely recall it."
"Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. You really put my mind at ease about the case. Sounds like we have a real shot!"
"Jade, you shouldn't be discussing the case outside of the office and more importantly, without me. It's not professional."
"Oh no, it wasn't like that."
"I wasn't discussing the case, Mr. Howard."
"See me in my office after Byron leaves, please."
"I can assure you there was no discussion..."
"You can go now."
I force a tight-lipped smile on my face and turn on my heels, back towards my desk. I should have known it would be a matter of time before Gabriel tapped back into his second personality. Byron suddenly texts me. I'm sorry. I don't know what just happened, but I hope I didn't get you in trouble.
Jade: Oh...Don't worry about it. You didn't say anything wrong.
Byron: i still feel terrible. I'll put things straight with him.
Shit, this is not how my Monday morning was supposed to start out.
An hour later, after Byron leaves... "Jade, my office. Now."
"Gabriel, how many time do I have to tell you that I didn't discuss legalities outside of the office? I refuse to be disciplined, because I didn't do anything wrong."
"I didn't bring you here to discipline you. At least not in a professional sense."
"I can't continue doing this."
"Playing pretend everyday. I can't act like it doesn't bother me that you're seeing another man. I'm sorry for saying you'd acted unprofessionally. But also, I'm not sorry. It's time I faced the truth. We're so damn far past professional, and I'm not in the slightest bit sorry."