Enter The Nightmare...
All I could hear was his grunts as he thrusted in and out of me. The strength of his hands that held me down was like a vice.
‘I won’t open my eyes, I won’t open my eyes, I won’t open my eyes’ was my mantra for that moment. Constantly repeating in my head.
His breath smelt of alcoholic vomit and peppermint as it blasted on my face like a dragon’s fire. 'I just have to hold out for just a little bit longer.' I knew he was close. I felt him tensing up, and his thrusts were more needful.
“Look at me.” He breathlessly commanded. I just shook my head. “Look at me, my sweet; I need to see those eyes that captured me tonight.” I just couldn’t look at those green eyes. “I said open your eyes, or I will make this last all night.” I snapped my eyes open at his authoritative, grave tone, and I was met once again with those penetrating dragon-scale green eyes. He smiled and kept his licentious gaze on me. His thrusts became more forceful as the tears I was holding back started to flow, and my whimpers became louder. He leaned down and kissed me, never closing his green eyes.
“NO!” I sat up on the bed, screaming and thrashing my fists in the air. Suddenly, two strong arms wrapped around me, and I came crashing into a wall of a chest. A hand started caressing my hair, and a voice was trying to soothe me.
“I got you, darling. You’re here with me, Selin.” The tone was loving and full of compassion. “You are here with me.” The arms around me tightened, making me feel secure. “Are you able to connect with me?” the voice asked with the scent of salt and cocoa butter hitting my nose. At that moment, I knew who held me and where I was. I looked up and saw Tyler gazing down at me with his sky blue eyes. “There you are. Are you able to communicate?” I nodded.
“Hi, Tyler…” I replied in a whisper. He stopped petting me and rested his hands on my hips. “I’m sorry for waking you.” My eyes lowered, feeling ashamed of my nightmare.
“Don’t you dare apologize. How many times do I have to tell you? I. Am. Here. For you.” He playfully scolded me as he placed his finger under my chin, making me gaze upon his gorgeous face. “I will always be here for you.” He leaned down and kissed my forehead. “I will be right back. I am going to get you some water, and then we will go back to sleep. You have to be up earlier than usual.” He slipped out of bed and winked at me.
Tyler was the guy friend every girl wanted: protective, caring, excellent eye candy and unavailable, except that one night in Jamaica, but it was mainly because he was gay. This was our routine almost weekly ever since we moved. It used to be a lot more frequent right after the incident happened, but the meds, the move and good counseling from both professionals and loved ones helped me move on. At least, that’s what I was told I was doing for the past year.
Tyler walked back in and smiled at me with that boxer-dropping smile. He handed me a cup of water and leaned against the doorway, giving me something else to think about, the eye candy before me. He was 6’4” tall, tan with a surfer’s body, 8-pack and all. His shaggy dirty blonde hair and sky blue eyes didn’t help the quintessential Pro-surfer look. It made me giggle because, well… he was a Pro-surfer. Besides his looks, you would never have guessed it if you saw him at home, nose deep in Chaucer with a cup of Earl Grey. He rolled his eyes at me and slipped into bed, wrapping his muscular arm around pulling me closer to him. He nuzzled his nose in my hair, kissed my shoulder and we drifted off to sleep.
The following day I woke with a jolt from the noise of my alarm. As I wiped my eyes and tried to refocus, I could smell coffee and fresh bread. “Mmmm.” I groaned as I slipped out of bed and walked into my bathroom. Today was the day I would try to get a job at Gold Ventures, the largest corporation in the west. I have a Master’s in Marketing, but it’s hard to get into the industry without doing some bitch work. So here I was, getting ready to interview to be a CEO’s bitch. I was surprised that I got a call from Mrs. Kendal, the HR head at GV, only an hour after sending in my resume. The job was for me to be Mr. Gold’s assistant, his errand girl, his serf, but the benefits and pay were terrific.
I hopped into the shower and let the water wash away last night’s memories. After enjoying the smell from my coconut body wash and preening myself, I started styling my hair. I didn’t ever do much with my hair, so I figured just to blow dry it and brush my wavy curls tame. As I was finishing, I heard an annoyed sigh come from the door.
“Darling, you really need to do more with that mop on your head,” Tyler said, scrunching his nose and furrowing his brows.
“I don’t want to give them false expectations of my appearance, Tyler. I don’t gussy myself up like a peacock every day. I rather just show them what they are getting.” I retorted, slightly annoyed. I know he means well, but I never took more than 20 minutes to get ready, unlike him, who needed half a day just to go to the liquor store.
Tyler huffed, rolled his eyes and stepped behind me, looking at me in the mirror. “My sweet child, you never give yourself enough credit on how gorgeous you are. Hell, you were even able to seduce this Queen into bed with you for a night of passion.” He kissed my cheek, placed a cup of coffee on the bathroom counter and started working on my hair.
“Oh my God! You had to bring that up.” I blushed and covered my face. “That was a lot of Jamaican rum, and I was not trying to seduce you.”
He tugged my hair a bit, leaned next to my ear, and whispered seductively, “My point exactly; you weren’t trying.” I hated when he did that. He always knew how to tease me. It was a way for him to relax me when I was getting too far into my own head. I just relaxed my shoulders and let him work his magic on my hair as I sipped my coffee.
“Such a waste.” I coyly said as he finished.
“What is?” his eyebrow shooting up.
“You. You are such a waste. A sun god of a man like you, and you are completely unavailable to women.”
He rolled his eyes. “As you have experienced, no woman could handle all this.” He winked and then turned out of the bathroom. “Oh, don’t take too long. It’s raining outside, and traffic is going to be a bitch to get to downtown.”
I quickly looked at my strawberry dark blonde hair, now in a loose updo with a few wispy strands framing my face. ’ That boy sure knows how to do hair.’ I thought. If he ever stopped surfing, he could become that clichéd gay hairdresser. I kept my makeup natural and light; I loved how my freckles seemed to pop against my pale skin. I added some eyeliner to make my blue and silver eyes stand out, and voila, I was ready. I grabbed my leather messenger bag and keys, said my farewells to Tyler and headed out the door, munching on a thick slice of his fresh breakfast bread.
Thank the Gods the traffic was not that heavy, and the rain seemed to slow down enough that I was able to make it with 15 minutes to spare. I parked on the street and paid the meter. As I walked up to the massive building with the words “GOLD VENTURES” scrawled across it, I took in a deep breath and walked in.
“Hi, welcome to Gold Ventures! I’m Deadra; how can I assist you today?” the petite curvy brunette asked as I approached the massive gold reception desk. I think Mr. Gold took his name a little too seriously.
“Selin Silver to see Mrs. Kendal. I am here for an interview.” I said, trying to sound confident.
“Oh yes, Mrs. Kendal called down to let us know of your arrival. Take this card; it acts as your guest access pass. Just go over to the elevators and place it on the pad; it will take you to the correct floor. Once there, you will be escorted to Mrs. Kendal.” She handed me a small card similar to a hotel key, and of course, it was gold. My last name engraved across the middle. “Silver and Gold,” I chuckled and sang to myself.
Not lost on the reference, Deadra giggled quietly and hummed, “How do you measure its worth...” I nodded with a smile and headed off to the elevators.
As I walked through the building, I was amazed at the tech throughout. It almost seems futuristic. GV dabbles in everything from real estate to the Arts, but the industry they excel at above all else is the tech sector. I was very excited about learning from Mr. Gold and his fantastic team. The building design was sleek and modern, with hints of gold here and there, but the main thing I noticed was that everything seemed to have a purpose. No random fake plants or gaudy artwork to show off the owner’s wealth. If there were plants, they were real; they added to the air’s smell and feel. The art was with a message like equality, love (not sappy but pure), and overcoming evil and community. I got to the elevator and saw the pad to place my card. As I put my card on the pad, an elevator opened to my left and spoke?!
“Welcome, Ms. Silver.” A smooth female robotic voice said, “Please enter elevator three to head to the 80th floor.” My heart skipped a beat; 80th? I stepped onto the elevator, and I could feel it moving quickly up. I watched the numbers climb and noticed them go from twelve to fourteen. ‘Someone is superstitious.’ I thought with a grin. The elevator ride was swift and smooth; from what I understood, it was some sort of new magnetic technology. As the doors opened to the 80th floor and I stepped off, a young man, around twenty with curly red hair, stood there smiling at me.
“Hi! I’m Jeffery. I’m Mrs. Kendal’s assistant. I’ll escort you to her office.” His amber eyes sparkled with excitement for what I was not sure of. “Follow me, please.” He turned and started walking off down the hall before I could even say a word. As we continued to walk along the glass-walled hallway, I could see a large room with a massive bullpen. Instead of everyone cut off with cubicles, it was open and comfy. Large couches and LoveSac bean bags spread all about the middle of the room. On the borders were spacious desks forming a U shape around the lounging area. These desks seemed to be for secretaries or assistants of the people in the offices lining the outer wall of the 80th floor. Jeffery led me to a corner office where a plump middle-aged woman with long salt and pepper hair was.
“Rebecca, Ms. Silver is here for her interview.” He held the door open and motioned me to enter. “Good luck.” He whispered as I passed and closed the door behind me.
“Ah, Ms. Silver, such a pleasure.” Mrs. Kendal said as she stood up and shook my hand. “Please have a seat.” She motioned to a chair in front of her desk. “I must say your resume is impressive, but there is a gap in employment that concerns me. I realize you moved here about a month ago, but it seems to have been almost a year since you have worked. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a concern for me. Still, with your recommendations and outstanding education, I wanted to give you a chance. Please, I don’t mean to pry, but can you explain your absence from the workforce? Especially since all of your previous employers rave about you.”
’Wow, she doesn’t hold back, does she?’ I took a deep breath and started to get ready to utter my pre-prepared excuse when she held up her hand.
“Please don’t be nervous.” her face held such a motherly look.
I’m not sure what came over me, but I asked, “Do you want the truth or the BS I have prepared?” She grinned at me almost satisfactorily as if she knew I was going to spout some bullshit that most potential employees would.
“If you are willing…the truth.”
“I was raped a year ago. As you can imagine, it is … an incredibly traumatizing experience. I took personal time to heal. Once I decided, moving here would help me move on, I felt more ready to come back to work. ”
“Well, that is definitely a reason.” She looked at me with care, which was not what I was expecting. Most people their eyes show pity for me, but she cared. “So, with that out of the way, you will now be meeting Zac.”
“Zac?” I asked a bit confused.
“Mr. Gold. Zachariah Gold. Unless told otherwise, address him as Mr. Gold.”
‘Zachariah Gold’ the name itself spewed royalty. Then it hit me. I was going to meet him now?!
As if reading my thoughts, Mrs. Kendal spoke up, “I was just the first part of the interview, and since you answered all my questions to my liking, I will now pass you on to him.” The way she said it was almost as if I was to be presented to a groom at a wedding. “Don’t worry; all the rumors are not true about him. He is delightful once you break down a wall or two.”
Rumors?! I’ve only been here a month, and the only thing I’ve heard about him was he was ruthless when it came to his business, but nothing about him being a boss. Mrs. Kendal stood up and gestured for me to follow. She talked about GV’s multiple awards and achievements as we walked and welcomed me to call her Rebecca. We arrived at a singular elevator opposite the others; she placed her hand on the pad and said her name. The doors to the elevator opened, and we stepped inside.
“This is the elevator to Mr. Gold’s office on the 90th floor. He is expecting you, but I will escort you so you won’t feel too nervous.” She smiled as we walked down the aisle between desks and lounge areas to large double doors of frosted glass. ‘Surprised they aren’t made of gold.’ I thought. That’s when I took in the rest of my surroundings. There was not a single bit of gold anywhere, unlike the ground level. Then I thought of the 80th floor; no gold there either. Hmm, it must be for the public eye. The rest of the office building seemed more casual. Rebecca knocked on the door. “Zac, I have Ms. Silver here for her interview.”
I heard footsteps walk to the door, and it opened. There stood a god of some sort. At 6’5” with broad, muscular shoulders, firm tone arms, a perfect manly “V” waist shaped by his t-shirt and jeans… wait, t-shirt and jeans?! No suit? I started to feel somewhat overdressed in my black, knee-length pencil skirt and button-down white shirt. Then I took in his almost Nordic-like face. Tan skin, black wavy hair pulled into a ponytail and his striking turquoise eyes. He smiled as our eyes met. ’FUCK! How am I going to work for this man?!’ my internal dialog screamed.
“Hi, I’m Mr. Gold.” He held out his hand for a shake. His voice was deep and warm like honey.
“Hello, I’m Selin Silver.” I shook his hand, not able to say much more.
“Well, please come in and take a seat. I had some iced tea brought up.” He stepped aside to let me in. As I walked past him, I caught the scent of citrus and spices. ‘Is that him?!’ God, I could get used to that smell. I noticed the beverages set up on a small side table between two comfy plush chairs that were angled as if we were about to do a television interview. I walked over and sat in the chair to the left; he casually plopped into the chair across from me.
“Tea?” he nodded to the glass next to me
“Well, aren’t you the southern gentleman.” I said with my best southern belle drawl. I hoped this would help break down those walls Rebecca spoke of. It seemed to work as I saw one side of his lip curl up.
“My mama raised me right, ma’am.” He responded with his own attempt at a southern twang. I nodded, smiled and took a sip of my glass.
“Mmmm, that is very good. Thank you.” I said, placing my glass back on the table.
“Now, Ms. Silver.” He smiled as if he got the joke of our names meeting. “I will not repeat your discussion with Rebecca, so don’t worry about that. If she feels your lapse is justified, then that is good enough for me.” He seemed to study my face for a moment. ’Was I giving something away?’
“I have looked at your resume and talked with your references. From what I can see, you are a great candidate for the position. However, I pride myself on hiring people dedicated to their job and who will mesh well with our team. So please tell me some specifics about yourself. Things I can’t find on a resume.”
I was perplexed. I know he was expecting the run-of-the-mill answers. I figured I would take a leap. “Well, I moved here from Hawaii, which I know you can tell from my resume,” I wanted to jump the gun before he did, “to start a new. California was a good choice for my roommate, Tyler and I. It was perfect for both our careers.”
“Your roommate Tyler, yes, and what does he do that made California good for him?”
I smirked. “I bet you’re expecting me to say actor or singer, but alas, no, he is a pro surfer.” I beamed. There was something in his eyes I was not sure about, but it almost looked like curiosity. He studied my face with an amused smirk.