This wasn’t my first official job, nor my first corporate assignment.
This morning, when I walked into the S & H building for the so-called interview, I had expected it to be routined, monotonous, and bleak like the fifteen other “job interviews” I have had in the past. The thing I couldn’t predict, however, was this “small” anomaly, of a random hot guy who I almost fucked the other night, turning out to be my boss and make every waking second of my life into torture; unadulterated torture.
And if today’s encounter was any indication, I could only see it going downhill very soon.
A small anomaly that came with threatening consequences.
So, it turned out that this assignment wasn’t going to be as gloomy as the grey painted walls of the office where I was now waiting in, just a signature away from signing myself up for the clusterfuck that surely was going to do more than my head in.
I didn’t know for how long was I staring at that stupid grey wall until Diana’s loud voice pulled my focus back into reality, “Ms. Bradford? Ms. Bradford, are you with me?”
“Huh? Uh- yeah, I’m sorry, where do I have to sign?”
Diana placed the file on the desk, her olive skin brushed with a soft glow when she graced me with a sweet smile, “Nervous?”
I returned her warmth with some of mine, “Just a smidge, mostly still in awe of everything. I mean, not everyone gets such a prestigious opportunity.”
“I get it. Two years in this company, and it still feels unreal at times. But you’ll be fine. And I see you’ve already met Treyton.”
“Unfortunately...” I muttered under my breath.
“I heard that!” She snickered, “But don’t worry, I know Treyton can come off a bit intimidating and uptight but he is a sweetheart! I am sure you’ll warm up to him once you get to know him better. He is just a stickler for professionalism. Do your job properly and you’d be fine.”
Intimidating... Uptight... Professional... what?
“I’m sorry, do you mean Mr. Maynard?”
“The one and only,” she replied, chuckling to herself. After a few keystrokes into the system and taking print outs, she handed me a folder, “Keep this safe. This has everything you’d need for the time being.”
Just then her phone pinged with a message. Giving it a quick glance, she rolled her eyes. She muttered something illegible to herself before looking up at me with a sigh, “Looks like I’m going to be your tour guide today after all. Treyton can’t make it, he got called for a meeting last minute.”
And I breathed a sigh of relief at that news. The five minutes of alone time in the elevator was enough to short circuit my brain and put me off my game. Because, as much as my mind refused, my body craved him. I didn’t know what another hour with that man would have done to me.
Or my panties...
Shut up, you hormonal bitch!
But oddly so, a twinge of disappointment made its way nonetheless, confusing my frazzled brain even more.
It’s only noon, and I already needed a fucking drink!
“You off to space again, Ms. Bradford?” I shook my head briskly while she chuckled, “Let’s give you that tour now, shall we?”
The tour was almost an hour long and apparently, that was not even a quarter of it. I was going to get a proper orientation tomorrow or sometime this week. These were the parts I always hated about these assignments. I didn’t have to go undercover for every one of them, but companies preferred to keep espionage investigations discreet for the most part.
Thankfully, I never saw Treyton for the rest of the day. As promised, Marcus had picked me up after he was done with his meeting, but he couldn’t get my car from the repair shop which meant I’d need to pick it up myself tomorrow.
But, that didn’t mean he had forgotten to be the nosy bastard that he was though, tormenting me, especially since I told him about Treyton being my boss. Now here he was, rolling on the floor of our living room, laughing at my expense as I shared the tale of my misery. Fucking Asshole!
“I don’t understand what the heck is so funny? Can you be serious for one second, please?”
“Okay, sorry, sorry!” He brushed the tears from the corner of his eyes and pursed his mouth to stop himself, even though his shoulders were still shaking.
“Ugh, fuck you!”
“Eww, Aly! Now, that’d be gross! You’re like my sister and you know I’m neither into pussies nor incest!” He barked out the loudest laughter while I glared at him; Partly angry, partly disgusted.
I live with a fucking man-child!
“You know what? Forget about it!” I got up off the floor to stand, only to be pulled down again.
“Oh, come on, snoozy bear. You know I enjoy riling you up, but I promise I’m done. Hang on,” He shot off of the floor, making his way to the kitchen, “So, popcorn, ice cream or straight into the good stuff?” He pointed at the liquor cabinet and I chuckled.
“Ice cream is always a good idea... well at least for now,” I grinned, and he returned a while later with a bowl of puffy salted corn and a tub of Haagen-Dazs in hand.
“Now, spill. What’s going on in that head of yours.”
I took a spoonful of dark chocolate ice cream in my mouth; its cold, bittersweet flavor and creamy, smooth texture melting against my tongue, calming me a little.
“My head is a mess, Marcus. You know how important this is to me and he is going to be a big distraction.” A sexy as fuck distraction at that, “We can’t let any sort of prejudice or diversion affect our job in my line of work. It could compromise the entire assignment, not to mention, create conflicts of interest. I’ve worked so hard to be where I am now, and this job could be the breakthrough I need. But he is going to make it damn difficult. I know it!”
“And that he is your partner has only made things worse given his behavior today,” Marcus added.
He was silent for a long time, before asking, “Aloyna, I am going to ask you one more time, and don’t try to bullshit me like the other day, please. Are you really not attracted to him, in the least?”
I took another big spoonful of the icy goodness, and stuffed a handful of popcorn in my mouth for a good measure, prolonging it to stall him as long as possible.
“I could do this all night, Aly but you’re not getting away with it today,” Marcus smirked, catching me in my act and I rolled my eyes. “So, are you?”
“Maybe...” I admitted, my reply coming out muffled.
“What was that?”
“Okay! Fine! Yes, I am! Because I am a woman! I have needs and hormones and fuck me, that guy is so cocky and infuriatingly hot that makes me want to slap him and fuck his brains out at the same time! Ugh!” I groaned, pulling my hair in frustration after my rant and the over-explanation that he never asked for. I felt so out of depth.
“Slap him and fuck his brains out at the same time, hey? Didn’t know you were into that kind of kink, buttercup.” He snorted, earning himself a punch, “Ow- stop it!”
“Then quit spewing shit, Marcus!”
“Hey, come here. It’s going to be okay.” Marcus pulled me into his chest and I snuggled into him. I needed some bestie love and comfort right then, feeling so lost and somewhat scared at the prospect of what’s to come.
“I don’t know what to do. How the hell am I back to this again, Marc?” My voice came out small, fighting the lump forming in my throat.
“Oh, Aly. Is that what’s been bothering you, that the history will repeat itself? But, this isn’t the same thing though, buttercup.”
“Maybe not, but is it really not?”
“What do you mean?” He asked, confused.
“The circumstances might not be the same, but both my heart and career are at risk, just like the last time. I figured, after all these years I was better at gripping the handle on things, but here I am sitting ducks, clearly knowing what’s awaiting and I can do shit about it.”
I gritted my teeth, so angry at myself for feeling anything at all. I never seemed to learn my damn lesson. He squeezed my hand reassuringly, and a sigh escaped me, “I don’t like him, Marc. I swear, I don’t. But somehow he has this effect on me that makes me want to lose control, and I don’t like being out of control.”
Marcus chuckled at my expense, “Man, now I have to see this fine specimen of a man who left Aloyna Bradford this flustered.” I groaned, and he chuckled again. “But, in all seriousness, maybe that’s exactly what you need, Aly. What’s the worst that could happen, anyway?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle mirthlessly at his question, “Well, not much. We could lose our jobs and taint our reputation in the process. The agency would most likely let me go and I might be blacklisted, meaning my career would be over and I’d be lugging around doing something I probably hate for the rest of my life.”
“Damn, both of your careers would be absolutely ruined. Shit, Aly. I’m so sorry.”
“Tomorrow, I need to have a word with him. If we work together, we need to keep it professional. Strictly professional.”
“I think that’d be for the best, too.” Marcus agreed, and my heart sank at that thought. Usually, he talked me out of my own head, but this time he agreed. If that wasn’t a sign big enough, I didn’t know what was.
But, as he said, it was probably for the best. It had to be done.
The next morning, when we pulled up in front of my office, to say I was a nervous mess would be an understatement. Not only was it my first day, but I also had the sword of “the talk” hanging over my head. Only I could have such a colorful first day at work. Like the amazing best friend he was, Marcus walked me into the premises and pulled me into a hug before pressing a kiss on my temple.
“Don’t worry, Aly, and avoid him as much as you can until you talk to him. I’m sure he’d be understanding of the situation given you both have got a lot at stake.”
I nodded at his reassurance. “Besides, there is- hang on,” We were interrupted by his phone ringing, which he picked up at my insistence.
“Hello? Yeah, this is Marcus.” He frowned, looking at me oddly while continuing his conversation, “Huh, is that right? So, Shane was it?”
Shane; the name rang a bell but I struggled to place it for a while until Marcus gave me a death stare. The cute, shy guy who left our apartment in a frenzy after I walked in on him and Marcus that morning. He was also the same guy to whom I might or might not have sent a message from Marcus’s phone the same night. I might also have done something else that surely would piss Marcus the fuck off, but I’d take it.
Marcus looked at me as though he was going to eat me alive and I knew it was time to make a run, “Umm, Marc, I’m going inside, getting late-” I said, quickly retreating my steps away from him when Marcus mouthed, “I’ll kill you!”
“Sorry, Marc. I love you though!” I called out before quickly making my way into the building. I was so screwed.
I walked into the office a little before nine and there he stood, the bane of my existence in all his aristocratic glory. Grey dress shirt underneath his three-piece, looking absolutely pristine and I could feel my heart beat a little faster. Why did he always have to look this good?
Do not associate any more than required. Stay professional. I mentally schooled myself. No matter how flirtatious he acted, I would not reciprocate. Boundaries were needed to be drawn.
Taking a deep breath, I walked towards the elevator to stand beside him. His gaze flicked over to me for a brief moment before he averted them again, not even acknowledging my presence.
My eyes scanned the area, and given how early it was, few people had arrived yet. He had every chance to say or do anything without being noticed yet he didn’t. Maybe Diana wasn’t exaggerating after all.
Unless he was expecting a repeat performance of the ride up the elevator the other day. Oh, hell no!
But there was no harm in testing the waters now, was there?
“Morning, Mr. Maynard,” I greeted him once our gazes met for a brief second again.
“Ms. Bradford,” He greeted me back, his tone completely neutral and professional. But, something was different today. His eyes. His earthy brown eyes that held a glint of mischief every time they landed on me, were now distant and cold; his jaws tight and posture stiff.
Uptight... intimidating... Professional... Diana’s words echoed in my mind and I wondered if Marcus was right after all. Maybe I read way too much into this and Treyton actually meant no trouble, but my gut was saying otherwise. Something was amiss.
And before I could ask anything else, more people started pouring in, waiting alongside us. I had not expected our next meet to go this way at all and while I was grateful, it was still bothering me.
Moments later, the elevator door dinged open and we packed ourselves in with the rest and by the time it closed, the metal box was completely full, everyone squeezing in and forcing us to push back to the very end. It was then I felt the heat from a body behind me, and I didn’t need to turn to see who it was, his subtle woody cologne and smoky accent of his aftershave enveloping me. Fuck, he even smelled sexy!
There was absolutely no room in this confined space and his warm breath teasingly tickled the nape of my neck, threatening to rekindle the mellow spark that was lit after our last encounter. A shaky breath escaped my lips as I tried to regain some of the semblances that I was slowly losing with every torturous second of this long ride.
The door slid open to the fourth floor and I heaved a sigh of relief, thinking this would finally give both of us the much-needed space. But that didn’t last long when only one person got off for three others to join in, making my body press flush against the lean hardness of his chest. The swell of my curves brushed against the front of his pants and I could hear a small gasp leave his lips.
This intimacy between us was like the chill in the air, my skin breaking into goosebumps. I could feel a flush of heat between my legs with both of us standing so indecently close. I was curved into him close enough to feel the rapid rise and fall of his chest and I bit my lip as a very indecorous thought made its way inside my brain. Damn it! These damn hormones needed to take several seats!
My eyes flitted to look at the display watching each floor slowly tick by, trying to distract myself when I felt the tip of his fingers accidentally graze against the thin material of my pencil skirt; this small contact setting every inch of my skin aflame.
By the time I finally reached my floor, I knew my skin was flushed and I took in a few deep breaths to compose myself before quickly making my way out of the elevator.
Apparently, I wasn’t done torturing myself since I gave in to the desire of making a spectacular mistake of turning around to have one last glimpse of him. His face was just as flushed as mine when he messily raked his fingers through his kempt hair, the strategic placement of his briefcase giving away the effect this had on him.
But it was the raw, potent fire in his eyes which I knew mirrored mine that ran a shiver down my spine. Our gaze finally broke with the elevator doors sliding close, but the tension lingered, my body still feeling the tingle from his touch that ignited every little nerve.
Sigh. It was only 9 AM and my panties were already fucking ruined beyond use.
So much for staying professional...
This was going to be much, much harder than I had initially thought.
A/N: Could you feel the heat? I know one thing though, I definitely don’t want to be in Aloyna’s place now.
Who do you think would give in to the temptation first, if they ever do? They both seem pretty adamant about keeping things strictly professional and so far, they seem to be doing good, hey?
Wonder how Aloyna’s official “First day at work” would go. Any ideas?
And of course, there is that dreaded talk.😬
PS: Can I say, Marcus is the absolute best? 😍😂
Do share your thoughts and theories about the upcoming chapters.
Lots of love xoxoxo
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