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That night, after we fleshed out a draft for our contract, I asked to stay the night.

He said no.

Instead, he gave me his personal cell number and told me he wouldn’t see me for a while.

And I said, what the fuck.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean? He spends this whole time making kinky love to me and flirting and admitting to liking me in that way, and then all of a sudden dips out?

He only gave me vague details—that he’s going out of the country for a bit on business.

And it’s been two weeks now, and I haven’t gotten a single text, a single call. I texted like, twenty times, and left an agitated voicemail, and still nothing.

And I’m just—I’m supposed to be working. I’m supposed to be acting normal, too, but Tamara has noticed—I’m just so angry.

Not only that, but I’ve never felt more embarrassed, and honestly?


I feel foolish above all else, can’t believe I believed anything he said and never realized he must have been playing me.

And even now as I look back on our short time together I tell myself I never could’ve known—he was just too good.

I’ve been left hanging, after being led on this whole time, and the shame is killing me.

I have to tell somebody, and I know that somebody is Tamara. The woman’s a godsend—I don’t know how she tolerates me but I’m grateful.

And now I’m half way to her desk ready to blurt out every little detail because honestly, I just want to be close to someone right now. I need a hug so bad it hurts.

And just as I round the corner, he saunters down the hall, greeting Tamara and continuing his conversation with Whoeverthefuck he’s talking to. He either hasn’t seen me yet, or is purposefully avoiding me.

I can feel my face grow hot with a plethora of emotions, pushing past them with one side of my body practically glued to the wall, and my eyes to the floor.

Tamara sees me coming and frowns.

I guess I’m not that great at hiding it.

She gets up and steers me toward the elevator, jamming the button so the door closes before anyone else can come in.

“Sweetie what’s wrong, what’s up with you lately?”

I swallow thickly, wiping my eyes quickly. “You know—” I sniffle, backing up against the side of the elevator and crossing my arms over my aching chest. “- was short on money. And . . . I’ve done it before, so I thought it was okay . . . so I went to his house—and it was great but now he hasn’t talked to me and I feel so stupid—"

“Okay . . . okay,” she says, and I can’t even tell if she has any clue what I’m talking about because it was totally unintelligible.

I’m crying now, and I can’t help it, which does nothing if not further my embarrassment, but Tamara is really nice because she hugs me really tight and tells me it’s okay.

When the elevator door opens, we step out into the lobby, and she guides me to the lobby cafe with a comforting hand on my shoulder. In the midst of empty chairs at empty tables, and a bored guy sitting at the register on his phone, I tell Tamara about everything that’s happened in the last few days.

She’s shocked to say the least. “Oh my god you got with our sexy boss? That’s amazing. I’m jealous.”

It makes me smile, if only for a moment.

“Yeah and then he dubbed me. I feel so sucky right now Mare, it’s unreal. I wish it was unreal.”

“Hey, you’ll be okay! The sun’s gonna rise tomorrow, and the day after that, and life will go on. You’ll be okay; however this turns out.”

I nod, and think over her words. It makes me feel a bit better, alleviating only a bit of my anxiety, but a bit nonetheless.

“Thanks Mara.”

She gives me a pitying smile. “Any time, hon. So, um . . . we should probably get back before anyone notices we’re gone. We could get in trouble . . .”

“Shit, you’re right.” I stand, straightening myself up. “Do I look okay? Like, normal?”

“Yeah, you’re fine.”

And then we’re back up on the fifth floor and I have to leave Tamara at her desk.

“Thanks,” I say, but I feel empty as I walk away.

“Text me, okay?”

I nod, and head back to my cramped little cubicle. I’m ready to just sit down and wallow in my misery, but as I’m passing some guy that sits two cubicles over, he stops me.

“Hey,” he says, everything about him screaming boredom, “Boss was lookin’ for you.” He never stops walking, just slows down to give me the news and doesn’t bother making pleasantries.

I bite my lip as it quivers, turning back in the other direction, toward Lucas’ office.

Mister Phoenix’s office.

I stand in front of his door, stare at the gold-plated plaque on the dark wood that reads his name, and wonder what part of me I should show him first.

When I walk in, do I show him my anger? Or my tears?

My pain?

There’s no denying this this whole thing stings like a bitch—it hurts like hell. I just don’t understand what makes a person so okay with playing somebody like this. Does he think it’s some kind of game?

When I walk in, he raises his head immediately to look up at me. I’m not sure what I see in them, but they still remind me of grass in summer, just like they did that first morning we spent together.

“Marcus,” he says. Just my name, as if that’s all he has to say. He puts his pen down, unsmiling.

“Mister Phoenix,” I address, as coldly and hatefully as I can.

And then he frowns, pausing to look down at his desk and clasping his hands together at his chin.

I shut the door behind us . . . just in case. I don’t need anyone hearing about us, or being led on and ghosted would be the least of my problems.

“Sit,” he commands, but I’m done doing as he says.

I’m pissed.

“I’d prefer to stand, if you don’t mind.”

He sighs, running a hand over his face like he’s exhausted, as if he gets to be when I’m the one who got screwed over.

“Come here, then. Please.”

Against my better judgement, I step up to the desk, but stop. “You don’t get to order me around, you’re not my fucking dom,” I whisper harshly. I cross my arms, not only to feel more secure, but to hide my shaking hands. “Why the hell lead me on, huh? Is that how rich assholes like you entertain yourselves? Because newsflash, Money Bags, it’s not fucking funny.”

His jaw ticks, and he shuts his eyes tight like he’s centering himself, but I want to push him off the edge.

“I called. Did you even notice? I called and texted for two weeks, and you left me out to dry. I was even worried that something happened to you, but no, who cares about the poor little intern slut you took advantage of—”

“Marcus, that is enough—”

“For you, maybe, but I’m not done—” My voice catches in my throat against my will . . .

I’m crying.

I swipe harshly at my tears, knowing he’s inevitably seen them but feeling stronger now that I’ve wiped them away. “I really liked you. I believed you like a goddamn idiot, and the days before you left were the best I’ve had in so long. I want to know why. Why did you lead me on like that, if—” I sniffle, cursing the tears that pour down my cheeks uncontrollably. My voice gets higher as I speak, warning us both that I really can’t handle this. “if you’re just going to—”

Damn it, I’m so tired of crying today. It seems like it’s all I’ve been doing.

“Marcus, a lot has happened while I was—”

My voice is reduced to a weak whine, not nearly as powerful as I wish it would be. “I wanted you to—to be my dom. And maybe—more than that—but you just—”

And then my anger rushes back in a wave.

I circle around the desk, and as he stands to meet me, I push him back into the chair in a fit of anger. “You’re such a—an—you’re so—mean. You’re a liar—”

And then the next few seconds happen very quickly.

He grips my jaw, only just enough to start hurting, and as he does so, I fall forward onto my knees in front of him. He forces me to bare my tear-streaked face to him, holding me centered and silent with a single hand.

I must be a mess at this point, and as my anger fades to embarrassment, I realize how silly I have to look with a puffy, red, splotchy face, cheeks squished and making my face look even stranger.

And as he says this word, this one word, he says it with such force I feel it reverberating in every fiber of my being, every shaken bone.


I even hold my breath.

But even now, he doesn’t look cruel—instead, he looks almost uncertain.

I think I’ve missed something.

“Marcus, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I want more than for you to be my submissive, but I need to explain to you what happened recently.”

I frown. I want to ask what happened, but he’s still squishing my face. So, I’m patient, attentive—half because he seems sincere, and half because crying is exhausting.

He slowly eases off my face, his touch turning soft. I lean forward into it, hating myself for missing his touch, but he moves forward in the swivel chair and guides me with the same hand at my nape to instead lay my head on his right knee.

“At first,” he says, “I was just busy. That first week, I had set it up with one of my closest business partners to discuss an entire resort in one of the nicest areas in Bali being sold for dirt cheap—the owners had died, and their son had no idea what it was worth, just wanted it out of his hair—anyway. It had to be done fast, because we weren’t the only ones looking at the location, not by far. And then, as that first week ended, we made a deal. I got the resort, and things were looking up for two whole seconds when I got another call.”

He shakes his head, so I put a hand on the knee I’m laying on, and squeeze. He pets me a bit in thanks. I can tell that this next part is hard, and I already feel guilty for assuming he was a heartless monster of some kind.

“My father died.”

Everything is still for a moment, the weight of his words hanging in the air and settling on my shoulders. His father . . .

What can I say?

“And it’s not—” he pauses, looks so stressed, “It’s not what you must think either. We weren’t even close . . . I haven’t spoken with him in months, and before that, just as long. I just—I don’t know how to feel—”

I turn my face into his knee, want to hide there as I hate everything.

“Like, he’s never seemed to care, but the man still raised me, you know? He’s my dad. He was never cruel, just . . . aloof . . . and I swore up and down until last week that it wouldn’t matter one way or the other if he did finally go, just like I’m sure he wouldn’t care if it was me—” He stops himself. “I don’t know why it’s eating me up like this.”

I stay quiet, don’t want to interrupt, don’t want to ruin anything. I’m not even sure what words could possibly make this better.

“So the deal is done and I’m Bali, one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I just—I wanted my phone to stop ringing. It never stopped—all my life, the minute I was put in charge of this part of the company, the phone, ringing and ringing and ringing and it would never stop—not unless I made it stop, so I smashed it before I could think twice, and didn’t bother with a new one.”

I’ve moved on to rubbing my hand along his leg, trying to be as comforting as I can as I’m on the floor.

He sighs again, cups my cheek to coerce me out of my hiding spot in his knee. “I’m sorry. It was selfish of me to tell you all of these things—which have always been true—but then throw it away like that. Damn it, I’m sorry Marcus.”

But I shake my head, rise to my feet and hold his hand between mine. “No, I think—it makes sense, I would’ve done the same. It hurt, but . . . you’re hurting too. I think, in these situations, you could make room for a little selfishness. Being selfish for a while, when you need to focus on yourself—it’s not bad, doesn’t make you a bad person . . . I’m sorry I assumed you were doing it to be cruel. I should’ve trusted you.”

He shakes his head, pulling me closer to stand between his legs. “I can’t ask you to trust me like that considering how long we’ve known each other—and how long we haven’t.”

He leans forward, and rests his forehead on my stomach, wrapping his arms around my back hesitantly.

I let my hands run through his hair, don’t regret the way it gets messy.

“Are we okay?” I ask, looking out the window to watch people walk by a couple stories below. I wonder how many of them have felt like this recently, or ever.

“I want us to be,” he says.

I nod, and know he can’t see me.

“Me too.”


The next day, we’ve bounced back.

Maybe it’s partially due to loneliness and possibly a little bit of guilt, but we have.

We’ve sent snarky quips to each other through text, passed by each other’s offices and exchanged mischievous looks. I’m still tired from yesterday, but compared to how sucky of a day that was, today seems to be going by far smoother.

As I walk into the elevator, ready to give Tamara a little rundown on my queer sex-slash-love life, I get stuck with two other girls.

“Hey Marcus!” she says. The blonde—Isabelle. Her and Francesca are also on break I suppose.

We always make pleasant conversation, just enough to qualify as ‘friendly acquaintances’. They seem nice enough, but we never see each other often.

“Hey guys,” I return, and pull out my phone to act like I’m not listening to their conversation.

But I am.

“He called me into his office today—he told me a joke and we both laughed. He has such a nice smile, I swear.”

“Must be nice,” Isabelle says grumpily.

Francesca giggles. “Mister Phoenix is so hot, how much you want to bet he’s taken?”

He is.

“You should ask him super casually, like—” Isabelle attempts to imitate her friend. “Oh, hey Mister Phoenix, does your wife like this thing cause—”

Frankie shoves playfully at her arm. “It’s super obvious that way! I’ll just have to hope he brings it up in conversation.”

I didn’t expect myself to feel so attacked by their words, but . . .

He’s mine.

I’m wifey.

I keep my trap shut until they leave, and head straight to the cafe to gossip to Tamara.

As I rant furiously over a guacamole wrap, I catch the lily and wildflower bouquet out of the corner of my eye, and get an idea.

“What if I send him those flowers?”

She looks over at them and thinks over it. “That could work,” she concludes.

I smile wide, feeling the cilantro stuck in my teeth and reveling in her nose-scrunch of distaste. “Thank you for enabling me.”

“You’re welcome, I guess?”

At the end of our break, Mare goes back up while I speak with the sales dude.

As it turns out, the guy’s a hustler, and I’ve got to pay him twenty bucks to deliver it to Lucas’ door.

I negotiate it down to ten.

By the time it comes up, I’m back in my shared office, avoiding conversation with the guy I’m assigned to and doing the work I’ve been given. Everybody in the office sees this happen, and it’s extremely hard to hide the grin on my face.

The wildflowers bob and sway as that same cafe guy walks briskly through the middle of the office, scowl on his face. I almost feel bad seeing the dejected look on my coworkers’ faces, but I tell myself it’s better this way. Subtle, and to the point. She can save her pride, as well.

Mine, mine, mine, chants my greedy subconscious. Mua-ha-ha!

Not a minute later, I get a text.

I hope this is from you—otherwise, AWKWARD

I laugh.

You’re welcome, I respond.

I try to keep my smile on the down-low, only startling when my work phone rings. I scowl, picking it up and giving my monotonous, robotic drawl.

“Hello, this is Marcus Laine from Phoenix Enterprise, what can I assist you with today?”

“Come see me in my office please.”

He hangs up before I can say anything, and once again I have to force the smile from my face.

I walk in, and throw on a wide smirk as soon as the door closes behind me. “Hello, Sir.”

He shifts his attention from the flowers I sent, so give me an eyebrow that says oh, really?

“The flowers are nice. Any particular reason for them?”

Oh no. He’s on to me.

I shift on my feet. “Because . . . you like flowers?”

“You’ve answered my question with another question. Try again.”

I bite my lip. “I just wanted to do something nice for you!” Which isn’t entirely untrue—and the best lies come from truth anyway.

Oh no—I’m lying to my dom—this is so bad.

“Well—Isabelle and Francesca were talking about you! And you told Isa a joke and she laughed, and you laughed and—Francesca says she should ask about your wife, but I’m wifey and I can’t just say it, so I pretended like I didn’t hear, and sent you the flowers! Because you like flowers! And everyone’s happy now, and it’s a win-win!”

He sighs, running a hand over his face. He does that a lot. “What am I going to do with you?”

I take a hesitant step toward him. “. . . You can punish me?”

He freezes, and looks up at me—why did I say that

“That’s an interesting idea, Marcus. Come here.”

Nerves buzz in the pit of my stomach like an angry hive of bees—I do as he says.

“Kneel at my feet.”

I feel the heat rush to my face, kneeling with my knees apart and my hands flat on my thighs. “Yes, Sir.”

He lets out a deep breath, like he’s cleansing himself after a long day. I hear shuffling above me, and assume he’s loosening his tie. I wish I could see that—it’s got to be so sexy—but I keep my eyes on his oxfords and try not to do anything stupid.

And then I hear a button pop.

His pants?


“Suck it—slowly.”

“Y-Yes, Sir.”

I drag my eyes up to his length, as he lazily strokes himself.

“Um . . . Sir?”

“Yes, Marcus?”

I glance anxiously at the door. “What if someone walks in?”

He smirks. “Then you move under my desk and continue.”

I shift on my knees, pants growing tighter the more I think about the possibility of getting caught.

I’m not sure how to suck a dick slow, since all the guys I ever fucked with only wanted it quick, but I try and think of how I’d want it done.

So I lean forward, slowly, let him feel my breath on his skin. He lets out a shaky breath, giving himself one last stroke before fisting his hand in my hair.

I kiss the tip softly, and work my way down, lifting a hand to wrap around his dick and circle the tip with the pad of my thumb.

I can feel him relaxing into his chair. My cheeks tingle as saliva pools in my mouth—I give the thick base one last kiss before flattening a wet tongue against the underside of his cock and going all the way back up to the tip, giving it a suck before leaning back to take a breath.

My breathing is shallow and shaky—I swallow thickly before returning to my task, using my free hand to rub the aching erection I’ve got in my pants.

I gasp as he kicks my hand away with his foot. “Don’t touch it.”

I let out a small whine, unable to completely suppress it as the urge to touch myself becomes unbearable.

His tip starts leaking, so I spread it around to make him slick. I wrap my hand around him completely, before squeezing the base and guiding his tip to my mouth.

The reality of what I’m doing hits me hard so suddenly—a rush of warmth fills my lower body as I leak into my underwear. I take him as far as I can into my mouth, rolling my tongue along his skin and getting him hot. What I can’t reach with my mouth, I use my hand for, daring to look into his eyes just once—

They’re so intense, pupils blown wide and focused on me—I moan around him.

The action causes him to shudder, tightening his grip in my hair and making my scalp sting in the best way. It only makes me hotter for him.

I lift off him to breathe again, instead mouthing at his length with wet, swollen lips.

“Shit, babe—fuck, that’s good.” He uses his grip in my hair to pull me off of him. “Open,” he commands.

I accept him into my mouth, fighting to relax my throat as I gag a bit. He stands from his chair, making my head go back further with my mouth still full.

“Marcus—want to come in your mouth—urgh . . . okay?”

I let out another small whine as an okay—swallow to fight my gag reflex.

He cradles my cheek in his other hand with a feather-light touch, gentle, while he forces my mouth down on him with the other.

“Swallow it—”

He steps forward a bit, pushing his cock down my throat the deepest it’ll go and holding me there as he empties himself into me. It’s hot, burning hot as it sticks to the walls of my throat.

The salty taste makes me drool, saliva pooling in my mouth until it slips out at the corner of my lips. My knees hurt, and I’m so horny it hurts—there’s no doubt my face and chest are red as hell with the way I’m overheating.

I choke on it, drawing back until he slips out of my mouth, a tendril of what could be either saliva or come breaking and making me look even messier. I catch my breath, sucking half of him back into my mouth and gliding my tongue all over him, drawing out the last bits of his release.

I draw back again, and lean into his knee, breathing hard.

“Thank you, Sir.”


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