Ungodly long. A little bit of mature content there. It's a love story that is going to work out to be a trilogy if I ever get around to finishing the second and starting the third part. Hope you enjoy! Don't be hating on lesbians either yo.
It was six o’clock in the morning. Business professionals all over the world were waking up to the sound of their persistent alarm clocks. Some sat up to yawn and stretch their bodies awake, and others pushed the snooze button for another five minutes of tranquility. Outside the sky was a dull gray with a pink tinge in the east. The sun was starting its ascent into the sky, and soon would be high enough to peek over the distant mountains. By that time, thousands of suburban cars would have left their driveways and headed into the city.
Ellie heard her own alarm clock buzzing from across the room. For several seconds she tried to ignore it, rolling over in her bed and pushing her pillow over her ears to block out the sound. But it only got louder the longer she left it, and rendered the distorted pillow useless. Defeated, she disentangled herself from her bedding and crossed her rather large, expensively decorated room. As she mashed the off button, the hate in her eyes quickly turned into longing for the warmth of her sheets. But now that she was up, there was really no point in returning to her bed.
Well, this is really why I put it over here. I’d never make it to work on time otherwise.
She looked about her room, which was dimly lit by the weak sunshine filtered through her red shades. They covered her eastern-facing window, and only did this early in the morning. She was always rather childishly entertained by the effect it made on her possessions. It was one of the many things that helped to wake her up in the mornings.
Ellie was not nor had ever been a morning person, but her job as a marketing consultant for a large energy drink company required her presence at eight o’clock sharp. Her boss was a stern and punctual man, and she knew he would not tolerate tardiness. Grimacing to herself, she took hold of the hem of her tank top and pulled it over her head and off her body. Then she slipped her tiny shorts down her legs, stepping out of them as they hit the carpet. She finished undressing by giving her panties the same treatment. Her laundry left on the floor, Ellie stepped inside her bathroom for her customary morning shower.
This was also part of her waking up ritual. The cool water hitting her body awakened not only her mind, but all of her other senses as well. She felt the water bead on her skin and drip down her body. She smelled the wonderful aroma of her expensive grapeseed shampoo and heard the swishing of her fingertips agitating the shampoo into a lather. She saw, quite clearly in her mind’s eye, the erotic dream she had just been having. An unknown figure, tall and broad-shouldered, had swept her off her feet and into a soft and cushy bed, thereafter making passionate love to her. She only just now remembered the feel of rough hands on her breasts and hot kisses on her neck. She would have blushed had she not known she was completely alone. Instead, she made use of the dream to ensure that she would, at the very least, have a satisfying morning.
Fifteen minutes later Ellie turned the showerhead off and pushed back the damp curtains. Her body dripping with water, she dried herself off before stepping onto the fluffy rug just outside the bathtub. Then she went back into her room and to her dresser. The remote for her stereo was there, and she picked it up and turned on her favorite radio station. Dancing lightly to the music, she worked her towel into her hair so that it would dry quicker. Her auburn hair was sensitive, requiring expensive conditioners and oils, and could not stand to have a blow-dryer put to it.
In fact, Ellie was the kind of girl that could afford expensive things (thanks to her well-paying job), and she was not afraid to buy them if they suited her fancy. She was a sporadic spender, but never to the point of breaking her bank account. She was reasonable; she just liked to have high quality things. She also liked to have a home rather larger than she needed. What if she had a couple of friends or business associates stay the night? She needed space to accommodate them, and she had it. Though, she couldn’t remember the last time someone else stayed the night. Her last lover had left her years ago, unable to handle the neglect that quickly followed from her then new job, now current job. She had had to put in a lot of late nights at the office and all-nighters at home to impress her boss and be promoted to head of marketing. It had cost her who she (at the time) thought was the love of her life.
But now, things weren’t so bad. She had a great job (even if it did require long hours), her dream home, and she was rather young and beautiful. At twenty-seven, her body was slender and curvaceous, with swells in just the right places. And her career was really going places. She might make partner in a few more years. She put all of her energy into her work, and it helped fill the lonely hours. Certainly, she was always so tired at the end of the night that she didn’t mind the empty bed.
But she was reminiscing too much. Why? These were things she hadn’t thought of in ages. Perhaps it was her dream that made her think about love this morning. But love has its place in life, meaning nowhere in hers. At least, for now.
Ellie could see the sun starting to show from behind the distant mountainous terrain. It was like a signal to her that she needed to get going soon. All her thinking had distracted her, and if she didn’t hurry she would be late. She went into her walk-in closet and plucked at a medium-gray business suit, complete with blazer, blouse, and mid-thigh skirt. Thinking this would do for today, she emerged from her closet and laid the outfit on her still messy bed, for which there was no time to tidy.
Ten minutes later, she was trying to fit the stub of her earring through her piercing as she hurried to her front door. When she got there, she used the small windows in the door as a mirror in which to run one last check. Her hair was tidy and in a sort of bun, her suit was clean and pressed, and her jewelry all matched. Picking up the briefcase next to the door, she turned the knob and headed out down her walkway to the black Mercedes Benz parked in her driveway. The motor purred to life at the turn of her key and backed up smoothly. She shifted into drive and pushed the gas pedal, noticing as she did that she wasn’t too far behind her rich suburban neighbors. That was the perk in living in this upper class neighborhood: you could set your watch by the coming and going of cars, all of which were equally as expensive as her own.
As Ellie neared the main street that would take her unto the highway, she checked the clock on her dashboard.
Yes, there’s still time for some coffee.
However, when she pulled into the Starbucks parking lot she saw the drive-through was filled to the brim with the cars of similar-minded business professionals like herself. But Ellie was also stubborn, and wouldn’t let her upside-down café latte (with soymilk, a splash of vanilla, and extra foam) be taken away from her so easily. She pulled into one of the parking spaces and unbuckled her seatbelt gruffly.
It wasn’t nearly as busy inside as it was outside. There were a few couples here and there, apparently early birds, who wanted to get a jump on the day. They sipped at their coffees and teas, chatting about various articles in the paper. Ellie was envious at the sight of them, wishing she could sip that leisurely at her latte. But her goal was to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. She got into the line at the front counter and waited for her turn. In her mind, she kept repeating her order, over and over again, as though thinking about it would make it come to her faster. After what felt like ages, she was at the front of the line and facing the cute cashier.
“Hello, welcome to Starbucks. What can I get you?”
She looked fairly young, barely eighteen probably, and her body showed all the perks of youth even through her uniform. Her hair was chestnut and slightly curly, a lock or two falling out from under her hat at her ears. She had freckles though. Ellie didn’t like freckles on a girl.
“I’ll have a café latte with soymilk, a splash of vanilla, and extra foam. Lots of foam. Upside-down too, please.”
She waited as the girl (her nametag said Stacey) input her order and swiped her credit card. After receiving it back, Ellie stepped away from the counter and hovered around the pickup side of the counter. She had always liked to watch food service employees at work, her favorite being the Starbucks employees. She had worked at one through her first couple of years of college to help pay for her tuition, and she could tell when one of the workers was shaky from too much caffeine. The girl who took her order, Stacey, was not, but there was a guy towards the back she could tell was. She watched him wipe his brow on his sleeve and shake his head to steady himself. It made her laugh. Though, when she saw him walk forward with an order, she immediately stopped.
“Order for Danny, black tea with lime, please!”
He set it on the counter and walked away, not bothering to wait for Danny to come get it. Ellie looked around her, wondering where the guy was. She saw him slide out from a booth near the front and walk towards her. He was rather tall, probably close to six feet, with short, nearly black hair cut close about his ears and neck. He was wearing a leather jacket and extremely tight jeans, which showed, slightly obscenely actually, the bulge at his hips. She thought he was a rather interesting looking character, and that perhaps she had seen him here before. Covertly she watched him return to his seat, where he drank his tea with very professional looking man, who apparently had ordered nothing. She mused over this Danny’s features for a few minutes: his feminine cheekbones, long and slender fingers, and pinkish lips. He looked about her age. But there was something…slightly off about his appearance. Before she could quite put her finger on it, she heard her name and order called by the same overly-caffeinated guy.
Then she remembered she had to get to work. A quick consultation of her watch told her she better be quick. Praying that the traffic on the highway wasn’t too severe, she claimed her latte and hurried to her car.
The drive to work was uninteresting and uneventful, like usual. Ellie drove that route every day, twice a day, five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. And it was boring. The same billboards greeted her and vied for her attention, at which she always wondered why the government allowed such distractions. Surely, the one with the half-naked lady advertising Flesh (a gentleman’s club) was much more distracting than talking on her cell had ever been for her. Though, admittedly it had had much less effect on her concentration after the third or so time seeing it.
Such was the blandness of her journey to work that it was always somewhat of a relief to her when she arrived. At least here she was required to think on her feet and be creative. She pulled into her parking spot and shut the engine off, noting she was ontime.
Phew…now Mr. Jelf will be pleased. I don’t understand how he always seems to know when I’m late…
Inside the sizable building, clerks and secretaries were milling about, utilizing their last few minutes of freedom before hitting the grindstone. She smiled at them, remembering when she did such things during her first internship in college (after she had finished with Starbucks). But she didn’t have time to join them, for she had to take the elevator to the twenty-third floor to her office. As she waited for the door to slide open, she told herself that, being a high-ranking employee, she wouldn’t be well received by them anyway.
The twenty-third floor couldn’t come soon enough. Ellie barely made it out of the elevator and down the hallway that led to her office as the clock over Mr. Jelf’s door struck eight o’clock. People around her noticed this too and hurried into their offices. She saw the head of research wink at her before shutting himself into his. It made her laugh.
“Good morning, Ms. Roberts.” her secretary said brightly, giving her a smile.
“Good morning, Alice. What’s on my agenda for today?” Ellie decided that being polite and formal to her was the best tactic until the young girl got settled. After a month or so of working together, they could be less…cliché.
“You have a ten o’clock appointment with the CEO of Matterhorn to discuss possible advertising on their NASCAR…car. Then you have a four o’clock staff meeting with the marketing department to brainstorm about a new television advertising campaign. At five o’clock Mr. Jelf wants to see you to hear your pick for the company’s next series of ads.”
“In other words, he’s inpatient and expects miracles from us.” she muttered under her breath, but she dare not say it out loud. Alice was too new to trust with a statement like that. “Thanks Alice, I’ll keep that in mind. Hold my calls until Matterhorn arrives.” With that, she went into her office and shut the door.
God, peace at last.
She tossed her briefcase on her desk. The only things on it were her calendar, various pens and pencils, and her computer. There weren’t any personal items at all to be seen. She liked it that way, because she often thought of her work as her life. Though she didn’t like her boss, she loved what she did. The excitement and satisfaction she got from her successes (and she had rather a lot of them) were what she lived for.
Ellie sat down at her desk and opened her file of Matterhorn. It was a company that produced race-quality performance auto parts that could be used to modify any ordinary car into a champion. Or so, the description said. She never personally modified her car for racing purposes; she just never felt the need. But she could easily see the benefit sponsoring such a company would bring. Ignition energy drinks were advertised as giving the drinker an adrenaline rush similar to those experienced in extreme sports. She could easily spin NASCAR racing as an extreme sport, as well as tie in the speed and popularity of it to their product. It was a deal that would be good for the both of them. However, she wasn’t sure about sponsoring this particular company. It was a baby, barely five years old, and could possibly be unstable. Would it be better to sponsor a more established company? Probably, but she wanted to at least meet Matterhorn’s CEO before making any decisions. If she decided for it, they could hash out the details over lunch. Then she would have something more to present to Mr. Jelf than advertisement ideas. Smiling to herself, she pulled out file after file of information on Matterhorn’s staff, working her way up the chain of command. Just as she was about to open her file marked Matter, CEO, there was a beeping from her phone.
“Danny Matter, here to see you about the sponsorship, Ms. Roberts.”
Flustered, she looked at her watch again and saw that it was ten o’clock.
“Ah, send him in, Alice.” she replied nervously.
Ellie stood and moved away from her desk, intending on meeting her guest at her door, but she was clumsy and nearly tripped on her rug. Though she stumbled a bit, she managed to straighten up just as the door opened and in walked…
“You…!” she said unceremoniously.
“…me?” said the deep voice of her guest, wearing a look of slight shock to match.
“Yes, you. Danny, from Starbucks this morning.”
He smiled at her, seeming to understand what she meant. His teeth were very white, making his features look slightly more feminine.
“Actually, it’s Danni with an “I”, but everybody gets it wrong.”
She studied him frankly, completely forgetting proper business etiquette. He was still wearing his leather jacket and tight jeans. She imagined that the swell in his jeans was slightly more noticeable now.
“Ms. Matter, actually.” Danni chuckled. “You need not call me that either. Simply Danni will do, since you must know my choice of drink.” And with that, she extended her hand so that Ellie might shake it. Ellie obliged, now slightly confused. But she said nothing, and merely gestured at a set of comfy chairs set a ways away to indicate that they might sit and talk. Once seated, Danni made herself comfortable and surveyed Ellie with the same frankness she had received. Ellie couldn’t help but blush under such scrutiny.
“Danni, please. And yes, I am a female despite what my appearance might otherwise indicate. Being in the business of cars, you know, is rather a masculine trade.”
“Yes, I imagine it is...” she said, trying to recover.
“And might I have a name by which to call you? I have been told it is Ms. Roberts, but that doesn’t seem fair.”
Ellie blinked twice. She really wasn’t sure what to make of the CEO of Matterhorn. She had not been expecting this by far, and doubted she would have even if she had had the time to read the file. Danni’s appearance was outrageous in this world of business suits and ties. The casualty of her dress, while permissible in Starbucks, was almost an insult here. And that bulge in her jeans, what was that all about?
And then she remembered something she had not thought of in ages. She knew that some lesbians (the more butch ones of course) sometimes practiced what they called “packing” to indicate their preference to potential sexual partners. She guessed that Danni, who sported all the usual indicators of a butch, must be one of these women. She was packing a soft strapon to advertise her interest in them. And when she found a willing partner, she would switch it out for a dong much more suited for sexual activity.
Ellie felt a jolt run through her body at this thought. It went directly between her thighs, surprising her with its strength. It was a feeling that she hadn’t felt in a very, very long time.
“Er…my name is Ellie. Though, I’m not sure if Mr. Jelf would like it if he knew…”
“Well if that’s the case, I won’t use it in front of him.”
“I think that’s for the best” Ellie replied, giving Danni a small smile. She tried to ignore the gentle heat that she started to feel below her hips. “Down to business then, I think.”
“Yes. I feel that it would be mutually beneficial to our companies if there were to be a partnership between us. I’ve given the matter a lot of thought and research, and I’ve come up with a proposal for Ignition.”
“Go on.” Ellie said encouragingly, not entirely interested solely in what Danni was saying. Her voice was so smooth and deep, it made her want to hear more of it.
“I’m sure you are aware that we have put together a NASCAR quality vehicle using our merchandise. You see, Matterhorn does produce excellent parts. We have been approved for this years race season, we just need to raise the funds to run the car. I have secured sponsorships from both Verizon and Firestone, amounting to about half our proposed budget. It is my desire that Ignition supply the remaining balance.”
Ellie smiled, feeling herself slip back into her comfort zone. This was her element, negotiating and haggling over business propositions in her favor, and she was very good at it. She knew her goals and standards for the deal, and she couldn’t be sweet-talked into forgetting them. Not even for this handsome woman.
“And how much exactly are we talking?”
“Our projections indicate we are short two point seven million.”
“Now, Danni, why would Ignition give away such a large amount a young company such as yours? Your very presence here is proof that your marketing consultants aren’t satisfactory to you. Why should they be to me?”
“Actually, Ellie, it took much debate to convince Gerald to allow me to meet with you personally. It is not at all that I don’t trust him. I run my company with a very ‘hands on’ approach.”
“Do you now?” she inquired.
“Yes, I do. And that is precisely why you should invest with us rather than other larger and older companies. I personally handle as much of our business as I can. Our products are very reliable, and our customers are very satisfied. I have built this company out of nothing, from the ground up, and made it into the power it is today. Can you blame me for being overprotective of it?”
“No, I cannot. I can, however, blame you for thinking too highly of it.”
“That’s not what this is, Ellie.” Danni flashed her another dazzling smile, as if to show clearly this did not offend her. “I’m a realist. I enjoy simplicity in my life. I wouldn’t make something out to be grander than it is, I assure you.”
“And I’m to take your word on that?”
“Yes. If you take the time to get to know me, then I’m sure that will be more than enough for you.” Again, a dazzling smile, but there was something else hidden behind it. Was she teasing?
“You can’t be serious. You think I would trust the fate of three million dollars on your word?”
“Why not? Don’t I look trustworthy enough?”
Ellie watched as Danni’s fingers, that were so long and slender, slid through her short hair. They looked like a female’s, as did her lips. But her shoulders were broad and her hair was cut in a brutal fashion. The way she sat was even masculine: slouching lightly and her legs crossed, her right ankle on her left knee, like a man. Ellie could see her thighs were slightly muscled, and between them that swell of artificial flesh.
Ellie blushed again, but she wasn’t sure why.
“I’m sorry Danni, but you’ll have to do better than that.”
“I thought you might say so. You know, businesswoman are often dubious like that.” She shifted in her seat, pulling something out of the breast pocket of her jacket. Ellie craned her neck, the better to see the writing and charts on it. Seeing this, Danni laughed at her impatience and offered the papers to her. It turned out to be a complete diagnosis of Matterhorn. Everything was in it, their stock prices, profit margins, projected goals, growth patterns, lists of proposed projects and those currently underway, research productivity.
“Gerald was kind enough to print this out for me this morning. It contains all up to date information on my company. It hides nothing.”
Ellie accepted the papers without comment and began perusing it. The growth patterns were astounding. The company was already out of the red, something that usually took auto companies much longer to do. The research department was even more successful than Ignition’s, and there seemed to be a recent breakthrough that would be sure to earn the company more profits, which were already surpassing projected goals. Matterhorn stocks were skyrocketing.
“You may be impressed. However, that paper can’t tell you the most important information.”
“What do you…?”
“It doesn’t tell you, for example, how happy my employees are. It doesn’t tell you how often they come up to me saying they love their job. It doesn’t tell you what kind of camaraderie has developed between them. And, it doesn’t tell you anything about me.” Danni finished simply.
She was right. Ellie knew that these kinds of facts greatly affected the working environment and therefore productivity. She was constantly hearing from her coworkers what a slave driver Mr. Jelf was (not that she needed telling to know that), and how much more enthusiastic they would be about their jobs if their hours weren’t so hard. She even felt that way herself at times. Maybe this was why Matterhorn’s statistics were so excellent.
“So…what you’re saying is, looking good on paper only goes so far? It’s only half the story.”
“Of course. I take very good care of the research department, and they are happy when they make some new discovery to increase performance. They come scrambling into my office; they’re so excited to tell me. My marketing staff has such a blast testing our products, the better to understand and convey to people why they would want to buy them. This is what sets me apart from other companies.”
“And how am I to know that all this isn’t part of your fantasy?” she said, determined to find some point to argue.
“Like I said,” Danni replied, “spend some time with me. You will find that I’m very likable.”
Why is that smile so…wonderful?
“Well..I don’t have any appointments till four…” Ellie started to say, glancing over at the clock. It was already nearly lunch time! She had sat in this office with Danni for two hours and hadn’t realized it. Danni followed her gaze, smiling even wider.
“So then, you are free for lunch? I find that a stuffy office is not conducive to these matters.”
‘These matters?’ She must be crazy. Ellie thought, feeling flustered. She sure thinks highly of herself. How does that arrogance work so well for her? Ellie thought of saying no just to spite her, but she decided against it. A combination of curiosity of the woman and interest in the sponsorship prevented her from declining.
Danni insisted on driving. Perhaps it was only showing off her flashy sports car (which was modified using her products) that motivated her to do so. It was a cherry red convertible Mustang, and the engine was surprisingly quiet for a car that was so speedy.
“I don’t like the noise” Danni said simply when Ellie looked puzzled. “I think it kind of ruins the whole thing.”
They went to a place called The Melting Pot. Ellie had never eaten there before, but she had heard of it. It was a restaurant famous for taking ordinary food and charging an arm and a leg so that you could dip it all in a big pot of fondue. It didn’t sound very appetizing to her.
“It’s good, trust me.” Danni assured her. She refused Ellie’s protest to pick another place. “I’m paying, right? So I should get to decide where we eat.”
“No one said you had pay.” argued Ellie. The retort was somewhat childish
“Gentleman’s always pay for the lady.”
“You’re not a gentleman,” Ellie responded, raising an eyebrow, “you’re female.”
“That doesn’t mean I can’t be gentlemanly.”
“So picking the place we eat is gentlemanly?”
“I didn’t say I was gentlemanly all the time.”
Danni turned off her engine and shot Ellie a just-try-it look. Ellie sighed, but she couldn’t help but smile. The whole thing felt like it was a date, and she was the reluctant participant needing coaxing into being open-minded. But she had to admit, Danni made for a rather handsome date.
Inside The Melting Pot, everything was decorated in a modern yet casual fashion, and the interior was dimly lit with small lamps that dangled over the tables, giving it a slightly romantic feel. As they walked in, a waitress stepped forward and offered to show them to a table. Danni flashed her dazzling whites, and the waitress seemed to blush slightly. This confused Ellie at first, but then she realized that the poor girl must have mistaken her lunch date for a man, just as she had hours before.
“My name is Sarah by the way,” she said politely, after which sneaking a glance at Ellie. “I’ll be your waitress for this afternoon.”
Feeling that her realization had just been confirmed, Ellie followed Danni and Sarah to a table towards the back of the restaurant, which was set for two. She took her seat without comment, thinking it silly for her to be annoyed at the waitress’s honest mistake. Or maybe she was more annoyed that the girl liked Danni, she really couldn’t tell. Before she could work out which it was, Danni was chuckling again. Ellie waited until Sarah left them to decide on their meal to ask why.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well,” she said, coughing into her hand. “You’re jealous. It’s cute.”
“What? I am not.” Ellie insisted, though she tried to make it seem as though this was a matter of no importance to her.”
“You know, you can just admit it. I told you I was likable.”
“You’re arrogant is what you are.”
“The two aren’t mutually exclusive, Ellie.” Danni replied softly, giving her quite a different kind of smile. It was soft and sincere rather than charming. It caught Ellie off guard, and she was momentarily without retort. After a few seconds of silence, she blushed, acknowledging her defeat.
“Great, now that we’ve sorted that out, go ahead and order anything. Don’t even look at the price.”
Ellie eyed Danni carefully, who had the air of someone who was thoroughly enjoying herself. She was running her fingers through her short hair and looking over the menu idly. Ellie opened up the menu on the table in front of her and looked through it just for something to do. Her brain wasn’t taking in anything she looked at, she was thinking too hard about why she felt so childish around Danni. There was something about her that made her lose her cool.
“So…” Ellie started, trying to steer the conversation to a plane she was more comfortable with. “You’re a rather young CEO. Did you study automotive or business in college?”
“Neither. I’ve been studying cars ever since I was a teenager, and business is something that just seems to come naturally to me.”
“What did you study then?”
“Psychology.” Danni replied simply, amusement in her voice.
“I see. That would explain a lot.”
“Like what?” Danni teased. “Like how I seem to know you inside and out?”
“That’s not what I…”
“Either way, that has nothing to do with Psychology. I know you so well because I’ve encountered many kinds of people in my business dealings. Even people like you. Though, that’s not to say you aren’t unique in your own way.”
But before Danni could open her mouth again Sarah had returned to take their orders. Danni shot Ellie a satisfied look before turning to the waitress.
“Hey sweetie, well have some of your house garlic bread for appetizer.”
“Very good,” the waitress said, smiling. Ellie thought she looked stupid with her teeth showing like that. “What would you like to drink?”
“A pitcher of lemonade will do for us.”
Sarah scribbled on her notepad. After assuring them she would only be gone a moment, she glanced at Danni again and left them.
“What was that about?” said Ellie, a little more demanding than she intended.
“What was what about?” asked Danni innocently.
“’Sweetie’? And that look you gave her, I half expected to see you wink.”
“Maybe I’ll do that when she gets back.”
“You’re horrible!” Ellie exclaimed.
“My arrogance isn’t unfounded.”
“So you admit you’re arrogant.”
“I never denied it.”
Ellie eyed Danni, trying to think of a retort. Danni sat there, maddeningly smug, surveying her the same way she had when they first met. Then she had blushed. Now an odd chill creeping up her back accompanied the blushing. She hadn’t experienced that before.
“And why do you feel the need to order for me?
Danni merely shrugged. “Everybody likes lemonade.”
Sarah returned with their drinks and appetizer before Ellie could say anything more. She set them down on the table, fussing slightly about the pouring of their drinks from their pitcher of lemonade. Danni gave her a wink when she was handed her glass. Too Ellie’s disgust, Sarah blushed.
“And what can I get you folks to eat?” she asked as she clumsily pulled out her notepad again.
“I’ll take today’s special.” Danni told her, not even looking at the menu. Sarah smiled at her made a note. “I don’t know what the lady will be having though.” She looked over at Ellie, and Sarah followed her gaze.
“Er…” Ellie stuttered. In the end she gave in. “I’ll have the same.”
“Excellent,” said Sarah. “Two specials, coming right up. I’ll be back shortly to check on you guys.”
“Didn’t you want to know about my psychology skills?” Danni asked her, taking a breadstick and dipping it in the fondue.
“Didn’t you say they weren’t ‘psychology skills’?”
“True.” She ripped off a piece of breadstick and tossed it into her mouth. “I can see that you are very good at what you do, Ellie. You weren’t afraid to ask me the tough questions, and you didn’t take me at face value. You subtly played my competitors against me to get me on the defense. You also seem able to look beyond stock prices and see what lies ahead, for it is the future you plan for, not the present.”
Ellie was speechless, not really sure what to say. Mr. Jelf had certainly never pointed out these things in her. Her ascension to head of marketing was by her own force of will, not his recognition of her talents. She blushed.
“Ignition is lucky to have you.” Danni complemented.
“I have always done my best for the company.”
“Your talents are wasted there, Jelf cannot make Ignition any more than mediocre.”
“Then why do you want to do business with us?” Ellie asked, quite forgetting herself.
“I want to do business with you.” she said, “you were my interest in this company from the start. I met Jelf a year ago and knew it was not by his genius that Ignition thrived. And when I dug deeper into the company’s hierarchy I saw you shooting through the ranks. I looked at proposal records, and nearly everything you suggested became the core of ad campaigns. I went even farther back and saw every project you were apart of shine with success. Everything you touch turned to gold.
“So I made the appointment with you and went to Ignition with high hopes. And you didn’t disappoint. All my expectations proved true, you even surprised me a little too with your wit.”
Danni wasn’t trying to flatter her, for Ellie was well experienced in the ways of flattering. Many of her coworkers tried it on her in hopes of advancing on the wings of her brilliance. But she knew better, and anyway she doubted the CEO would stoop so low. It was pure observation by a unique mixture of business savvy and interpretation of subtle cues that made Danni say all this.
“I…don’t know what to say”
Danni surveyed her again, seeming to size her up. Perhaps, in light of her reaction, she was reconsidering her opinion of Ellie. Some small part of Ellie cried desperately at the thought. It was then she realized how much she had craved recognition, how much she yearned for it.
“You don’t have to say anything really.”
Just then, Sarah returned to check on them. This time Danni did not flirt with her, or even look at her, but dismissed her with a noncommittal wave of her hand. This small action seemed to underline the seriousness of Danni’s words.
“So…what now?” Ellie asked nervously. She was horrified to find that she nearly whispered the words.
“Well, it’s your call really. You haven’t told me whether or not you are willing to accept my sponsorship proposal. I believe that’s the next step.”
“Agreed. Ignition will be lucky to work with Matterhorn.”
“Well then” said Danni, a smile spreading over her face, “we enjoy our lunch. Eager though I am to get started, I have to remember that you may not want to jump right into working out the details immediately.”
Ellie raised an eyebrow. “And if I do?”
Danni looked at her, a slightly surprised expression on her face.
“I hadn’t counted on that, I suppose I underestimated you.” She tilted her head. “I have an appointment at two, I’m afraid, with a potential investor. I won’t be able to return to your office with you today, and I would rather you and I enjoyed this food without business talk.”
Then they were silent. They sat there, merely gazing at one another, for a few minutes. Now that she was up close to her, Ellie took the opportunity to study the details of Danni’s appearance. Her hair, though cut brutally short, had a feminine wave to it as it fell about her ears and eyes. She saw now that Danni’s eyes were a piercing gray she’d never seen before. Her high cheekbones gave her a youthful appearance, making her wonder for the first time how old Danni was. Her leather jacket was unblemished and looked expensive, with many threads sewn expertly into the piece. It was probably designer. Even though it looked to be a man’s jacket, Ellie could see where it curved out slightly, concealing Danni’s breasts. She wondered how she had missed this detail before.
Now that Ellie studied her, Danni looked to be a unique and seamless blend of male and female. There was a struggle of sorts between her masculinity and femininity, and the balance looked elegant no matter which side was winning. At the moment, Ellie could see the female inside Danni that she had missed at first. Her lips looked soft, warm, and inviting. Her hand reached across the table and took another breadstick from the basket. Ellie saw that her fingers were still long, but looked even more slender against the bread. Her mind began to wander to what uses those fingers could be put to, and what places those lips could touch. It was this that made Ellie discover her own dampness.
But then she changed. Danni’s eyebrows came together and an exasperated expression spread across her face. She looked like a man again.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” she asked, looking into Ellie’s eyes with her own piercing ones. Ellie just stared back, feeling entranced by them. It took a moment for her to pull herself together and make a reply.
“What about later?” Ellie asked suddenly and without explanation.
“…you want to eat later?”
“No, I mean, what if we discussed the deal later? At my place. I’m available…tonight.”
What the hell am I saying?
Danni stared at her, her chin resting on her hand, and seemed to consider her words. Her eyes unfocused, losing some of their piercing quality. Ellie bit her bottom lip nervously.
“I have your lunches, careful they’re hot.”
Sarah set up a stand and placed the great platter she carried on it. It contained two identical meals. The special, it seemed, was fried zucchini with snow peas, chicken, and shrimp in a white sauce. She took plates of food from the platter and placed them in front of Ellie and Danni, who both accepted them silently. Ellie looked over at Sarah in time to see her give Danni a politely puzzled look, which Danni ignored. She seemed too lost in thought to pay the waitress a compliment. Without anything else to do, Sarah took away her platter and stand, and left them alone again.
“Tonight. At seven then.” Danni said once the third wheel was out of earshot. “Your place…” Her voice trailed off. But then her eyes focused again and she looked at Ellie with a new character in her eyes. “I’ll need your address then.”
It was with mixed emotions that Ellie stepped out of the cherry red Mustang in Ignition’s parking lot a half-hour later. She looked back at Danni as she closed the door, looking for something in her face. Danni gave her a playful wink. Feeling her heart flutter slightly, she stepped away from the vehicle, and it roared to life and drove away from her. It pulled into the street and merged easily with the rest of the midday traffic. She waited until she could no longer tell it apart from the other cars before heading back to work.
Ellie took the long elevator ride back up to the twenty-third floor and made her way silently to her office. She didn’t’ even say a word to Alice as she passed her secretary’s desk and open the door to her office.
Inside, everything felt changed. The walls seemed charged with the electricity that pulsed inside her. She felt drawn to the couches and chairs on the other side of the room, the place where she had sat and talked with Danni. It seemed like along time ago that she sat there, treating Danni like any other business shark she came across. She didn’t think she could do that now, not after today. Danni had laughed at her, indulged her by answering her questions, analyzed everything she said and did. Did she really mean the things she said in The Melting Pot?
Of course she did she thought to herself. The knowledge was simple, easy, and she held unto it without any doubt. Danni really wasn’t the kind to “make something out to be grander than it is”, she had admitted as much herself. And Ellie believed her. Danni was right, spending time with the woman had only confirmed everything she said. She was honest, she was savvy, she was very likeable. Ellie wondered who else found Danni likeable. Surely the waitress at the restaurant, but she had gotten nothing more from Danni than a few smiles and a fat tip. Ellie had gotten praise from her. She had also gotten the promise of a visit in her own home.
Ellie blushed, but she did nothing to stop it, no one was there to see it. Her next appointment wasn’t for a couple more hours, meaning she had plenty of time to dwell on the young CEO and blush over the details of their time together. She thought about how their discussions were likely go that night. Wondering if she would be able to make it out of the office in time to be home before seven, she remembered she hadn’t gotten home from work before eight for more than a year. It put quite a damper on her spirits
The meeting with the marketing department proved fruitless. The people under her direct supervision were utterly devoid of the brilliance she possessed. Their suggestions ranged from vague to underdeveloped, and none of them rang of that marketing genius she knew she would immediately recognize. But she could hardly complain. She didn’t have any workable ideas to present to the group either, and anyway if she did they would only turn into bobble heads and expound her talents. Apparently they thought they could advance in the company if they brown-nosed enough. She ended the meeting much earlier than she had intended to, resolving to retire to her office and whip up something presentable to Mr. Jelf. As she got there, she couldn’t help but feel disgust for her marketing team.
I hope they realize that I know they don’t really believe the sun shines out of my every orifice…
As the little hand on her wristwatch neared the five, Ellie felt a confusion of emotions vie for priority. She had been counting down the hours till her meeting with Danni and was excited it was an hour closer. But this particular hour also meant she had to cope with Mr. Jelf. That man had a knack for making enemies. He always treated her like she was something of his exclusive ownership, like she was “his”. Ellie loathed the thought of belonging to any man, especially this one.
So great was her dislike for her boss that she was unable to push it out of her mind long enough to come up with a good presentation for him. At one minute to five, she admitted defeat and decided what she would have to do was wing it. Gathering her composure, she stepped out of her office and walked past Alice, who was already busy packing up her things so she could leave at precisely five. Ellie’s dislike of her secretary increased at the sight of her, and she knew exactly why.
As she walked up to the door to Mr. Jelf’s office, she knew what to expect. Before she could even raise her hand to knock, Mr. Jelf’s cold voice called out.
She pushed the door open and stepped into the dimly lit room of Mr. Jelf’s office. The view from his wall-to-wall window was the first thing that she saw, and it was very familiar to her. Currently the city landscape was dyed a deep red in the setting sun, which was approximately halfway hidden by the other buildings. She saw Mr. Jelf standing before his window, surveying the scene below him. She always imagined that gazing down at the people made him feel more important than he really was.
“Ah, Roberts. Right on time.” Ellie felt herself twitch. “So, what progress have you made for us?”
You mean for you she thought bitterly. She never liked the way he addressed her as Roberts, like she was his personal servant or something. It felt especially impersonal today after her friendly exchange with Danni, who she felt rather treated her as an equal.
“The meeting didn’t yield anything productive, sir. None of the marketing consultants, nor their associates, have come up with any viable ideas for next year’s campaign.”
It was rather pleasant to admit this truth to Mr. Jelf. Usually she would give only vague information and make it seem as though the marketing team was hard at work hashing out miniscule details. Not today though, she didn’t know what came over her. It was liberating.
“Oh?” he said maddeningly, turning his head to the side to peer at her from the corner of his eye. It made him appear even more arrogant. “So, you are behind in schedule then.”
“Yes.” Every word was a small victory to Ellie.
“And you think this is acceptable?”
“Well, I’m not really sure what you want from me. Would you rather I lied like usual?”
Finally he turned around fully to look her directly in the eyes. The way he did it was not at all the way Danni had done it. His small, narrow eyes were bearing down on her, but she held her ground. The age lines on his face were deep, his face contorted in contained anger.
“What I want from you, Roberts,” he began coolly, :”is for you to do your job.”
“How am I supposed to do my job when no one else will, Mr. Jelf?”
“What is this nonsense, you can’t even control your staff? Perhaps you aren’t fit to head the department.”
It was this comment that really set Ellie off. Though there was some truth to it, she could only do so much to make her employees work. It was his fault, not hers, that they felt unappreciated and underpaid. She remembered when she was in their shoes, how it had felt to work long hours with no extra pay. It had cost her a lover. How much was it costing them? She always did her best to rally them into action, but it never lasted long. She was tired of it, tired of being blamed for problems beyond her control, tired of fighting against his poor leadership so that the company would turn a profit. Danni was right, her talents were wasted at Ignition.
Then she knew exactly what to do.
Ellie made it home at quarter to seven. It was the earliest she’d made it home since her days as a mere intern. The shadows in her house were strange to her. The sun was only just finishing its descent under the earth, and the moon already shone weakly in the east. She flipped the light switch and light flooded into the room. Smiling to herself, she dumped the items she was carrying unto the floor next to the door and took a seat on her sofa. It felt really odd, she hadn’t sat in it on a weekday since…she couldn’t remember when.
Completely idle, her mind started to wander back to different parts of the day. She remembered the way Danni’s smile had dazzled her in her office at Ignition. She remembered the way she had blushed at the suggestive bulge in her jeans, which she had had difficulty taking her eyes off. She remembered the piercing gray eyes she had only discovered at The Melting Pot, which made her feel so vulnerable when she stared into them. She remembered all the smirks and laughs inbetween, and the wink she had given her in the parking lot. All of it made her feel the same sensations she had experienced just before inviting Danni to her house. On that occasion, it had been due to the rather inappropriate images that had been running through her mind. Now it was simply because of the woman herself. The woman she couldn’t stop thinking about all day, that had so flustered and embarrassed her. The woman that would soon be walking over the threshold into her home.
What would Ellie do when Danni arrived? This had barely occurred to her when she heard her doorbell ring, heralding the sudden arrival of the object of her obsessions. Feeling giddy like a schoolgirl, she stumbled off the couch to open the door. There, Danni stood before her in the same dress she had earlier: leather jacket and tight jeans, that enticing bulge still present at her hips.
“Erm…hello Danni.” Ellie said blankly, somehow stunned at her planned presence.
“Why so formal a greeting, Ellie?” Danni teased. “I thought we’d moved beyond such formalities.”
Ellie blushed instantly. She was unprepared for the flirtatious way Danni said her words, having been out of her presence for an extended period of time. She was so flustered she couldn’t think of what else to do but invite her in.
“Well…come on in.”
She stepped back from the doorway to let Danni pass her. For the split second that their bodies were close, Ellie smelled the pleasing aroma of her cologne. She wondered how she had missed this detail before as well.
“You have a lovely home here, Ellie. And such a rich neighborhood. I’m sure all your neighbors are snobs.”
“They are.” She found it much easier to just be honest till she could defend herself against Danni’s appeal. Though, she was not sure she really wanted to defend herself from it.
“My neighborhood is like that too, only richer and more snobby.” Danni took a quick look around the living room as she walked in deeper, examining the simple and expensively decorated walls. Then she turned around to give Ellie a smirk. “It really annoys the hell out of me.”
“Move?” Ellie suggested as she gestured to her couch, indicating that they might sit and talk. She was reminded forcibly of doing so that morning in her office. Danni obliged and sat, quite in the same way she had done before. Ellie suddenly realized she had also sat that way in Starbucks that morning. That felt like a year ago.
“Well, I like the house. So if I keep to myself I’m all set.”
“Oh I see.”
“Are you going to sit with me? You may as well be comfortable for the discussion.”
Again, Ellie blushed, but she didn’t think it was as noticeable as when she answered the door. She half-heartedly hoped her defensive mechanisms would improve as the night wore on.
“Right,” she said, slightly nervously, “about that…”
“Oh, have you changed your mind?” Danni gave her a curious look.
“Has Jelf denied the proposal? That guy couldn’t recognize a good business deal if it sat on his lap.”
“No, but I never got around to presenting the idea to him, so he might have denied it.”
Now Danni looked even more curious. It made her all the more handsome. All at once Ellie became aware of her own heartbeat, which she imagined was beating rather harder than usual, though seemed to have remained at the same pace.
What else is there to do than admit the truth?
Ellie didn’t know what reaction she had expected from the CEO, but certainly she had not expected her to smile sincerely (quite a contrast from her teasing one) and move closer to her on the couch. The move made Ellie’s attention slightly divided as she eyed the swell of Danni’s jeans for a moment.
“Well now, that is simply wonderful! Congratulations Ellie.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like I said before, your talents are wasted at Ignition. You are better suited in a company that values your abilities and challenges your creativity.”
“You didn’t say all that before.” Ellie said, taken aback.
“Well, how could I? You were Ignition’s, and I didn’t want to scare you off.”
“So whisking me away to lunch and flattering me wasn’t going to scare me off?”
“Quite obviously no, Ellie, or I would not be here right now.”
Must be those psychology skills kicking in she thought. Though, she couldn’t deny that Danni was right. And, that she looked exponentially more attractive with that expression on her face. Ellie shifted in her seat, bringing her ever so slightly closer to Danni and finding that she was once again damp. The discovery made her glance again at the place where Danni’s slightly muscled thighs met.
“I would give a great deal of money to know what you were thinking right now.” Danni said, her voice sounding different than Ellie had ever heard it. It was beyond flirtatious, it was breathy, bordering on sensual. Ellie looked up into Danni’s piercing eyes and felt the gentle warming between her thighs raise in temperature. It made her attention, which was already so fragile, divided.
“What should I do?” Ellie asked, rather like a child would.
“Come work for me.” The answer came quick, natural, as though Danni had had it holstered, ready to draw when the time was right. Ellie could only stare. “You have exactly the qualities that I value and look for in employees.” Danni elaborated, her voice changing again so that it was full of passion. The change was not unattractive at all. “I said before, my interest in Ignition was the chance to work with you. That is still true. I want to work with you, one way or another, and if it happens to be within my own company, well that’s an added bonus.”
Danni looked at her, her head tilting, seeming to wait for a response. When she got none, she went on.
“Actually, that’s a lie. My immediate plans were to work with you through Ignition first, to get a feel of you. My long-term plans were always to steal you away from the company for Matterhorn. But, I have this overwhelming instinct to take you now.”
The heat that threatened Ellie’s composure gained strength from these last words. Even though she knew they didn’t have that meaning, she couldn’t help but feel her desires grow and flourish. It was fabulous. She hadn’t been this turned on in years.
“…then take me now.” she replied, though nowhere near as collected as Danni had, nor with the same meaning. But the words came out before she knew what she was saying, and now that they were said could not take them back. Most of her didn’t want to anyway. Danni looked at her, comprehension showing in her eyes, but the rest of her outward appearance stayed normal.
“So, then you accept my job offer?” she asked, frustratingly cool and innocent.
“Yes.” Ellie replied immediately.
“Good. And don’t feel bad about the failed proposal, I no longer want to do business with Ignition anyway. I have other companies in mind that would better suit my goals. I will contact them at a later date.”
It was now that she changed. Though Danni’s words were professional enough, and her voice level, there was something erotic about her now. Ellie noticed it right away, perhaps because of her heightened state of arousal. Danni carried herself differently, sat on the couch differently. She really had a talent for shifting easily and naturally between perceptions. Ellie imagined she saw the woman’s thighs twitch and bring attention to the elegant swell of her jeans. Now Ellie gazed at it openly, not even bothering to feel the need to hide the act. Somehow, she knew that this was what Danni wanted her to do, and she obeyed immediately.
“Oh, you like that?” Danni whispered next to her ear. She had leaned in close to Ellie, who had been too distracted to notice.
“Yes.” Ellie replied, feeling the submissiveness of the words send a jolt through her body to her hips.
She made no reply, but reached out a hand. To her surprise, it was very warm. Danni sighed appreciatively into her ear, making her shiver. Then she moved closer to Ellie on the couch, turning her body to face her, and raised her hand. As she unclipped the bun, Ellie’s hair fell around her face in layers. Danni smiled and ran her fingers through her luscious locks. Ellie felt her fingertips move over her scalp, and it was her turn to sigh appreciatively.
Danni shifted again on the couch. She wrapped her arms around Ellie’s waist and seemed to draw her closer to her. Ellie felt the pull of her body, and she couldn’t have said if she moved herself unto Danni’s lap or if Danni placed her there. It didn’t matter. She settled her weight on the handsome woman’s thighs and let her arms rest on her broad shoulders. From here, she could see Danni smiling at her, and there were the unmistakable signs of desire in her expression. But Ellie didn’t look long. Soon Danni’s lips were upon hers, and Ellie closed her eyes, the better to feel the softness of them. The kiss was gentle, sweet, not at all what she expected from Danni. A tongue pressed at her lips, requesting entrance, and she parted them immediately. Then a hand tangled itself in Ellie’s hair and made her tilt her head, allowing the tongue to venture deeper.
Ellie could feel Danni’s smile change before she pulled away and kissed the now exposed skin. The lips were hot and moist against her flesh. Ellie arched her back slightly and tilted her head back as the kisses turned to nibbles, making her breath come quicker. It was pure heaven like she’d never experienced before. She was amazed that the effect was only slightly dulled by their layers of clothing.
Her body shuddered in Danni’s arms. Danni seemed to feel this, for she stopped her teasing and returned to kissing her. Ellie whimpered, not wanting the sweet torture to stop, but eagerly kissed back all the same. Danni’s lips were immediately replaced by her hands, which were like magic. Ellie felt tingles erupt everywhere they touched, as though her very flesh was responding to the woman’s charm. Ellie squirmed, feeling her desire multiply with each passing minute of this treatment, and she wondered how long she could stand it. She found herself running her fingers up the back of Danni’s neck and into her hair without meaning to. Her body was beginning to go into autopilot.
Danni stopped her assault again to kiss her once. She placed her hands on her thighs and wrapped Ellie’s legs around her waist. Next, her hands moved to her lower back, and stood up with Ellie in her arms. She held Ellie like this for a moment, biting on her ear playfully, and then whispered to her quietly.
“…where is your bedroom?”
“…last door…up the stairs…” she panted back, blushing to hear the passion in her own voice. She couldn’t help it though, and somehow, she didn’t care.
There was a firm yet comfortable something beneath her. It wasn’t level, for she knew that parts of her were higher than others. And, it was very warm. But she couldn’t open her eyes yet to see, she had to rely on her other senses to explore what it was. It smelled of leather and cologne. It was…moving slightly. She felt her head rising and falling softly. Then, she heard the gentle sounds of breath, which seemed in sync with the movements beneath her.
It’s asleep Ellie thought to herself fondly. And I’m sleeping on it.
Her eyes opened finally. She found that her cheek lay on a broad and powerful female chest. Her limbs were tangled with those of the woman she slept with. She could feel one of her hands being held, and the other pressed beneath her companion’s back. It was a rather comfortable way to sleep. She shifted slightly, intending on falling back into a deep slumber, but she felt the body beneath her shift too. Then again. Danni was beginning to wake up, and Ellie longed for her not to. She loved the feeling of being wrapped up in the strong woman’s arms, of resting comfortably on her chest, of being safe and cared for. They were feelings that she had long since forgotten about. She was not about to give them up, not now, not when she was still able to prevent it.
It was only a sleepy kind of noise, but Ellie knew it would get Danni’s attention, and it worked. Danni’s movements changed; instead of randomly shifting around she brought Ellie closer in her arms. Soon Ellie was encased in Danni’s affectionate embrace and being kissed on the forehead. Danni didn’t seem aware that she was awake. She squeezed the petite hand gently in her own larger ones, and her other hand lifted so that she could brush aside a stray lock of hair in Ellie’s face. Ellie sensed Danni looking at her, but continued to feign sleep. She was curious as to what would happen. Danni continued to run her fingers through her hair, but started to whisper softly to her.
“Such a small woman…” she said, seemingly to herself. Ellie had to fight very hard not to blush or smile. “So…adorable.” And then she said nothing.
The minutes dragged on, Danni now stroking her cheek in the same way she had her hair. Then she ran her fingertips lightly over Ellie’s lips, as though amazed at their softness. The touch was extremely sensual. Ellie tried to keep still, but more and more her body felt the need to move somehow. Her eyelids fluttered slightly, though Danni didn’t appear to notice. Her fingertips were now stroking Ellie’s neck, who couldn’t be still anymore. She shifted her body in Danni’s arms, trying to ease the heat she felt gathering inside her again. She didn’t have the energy yet for that again.
“Mmm…Danni…” she said sleepily, then moved up to give her a soft kiss. Danni returned the kiss perhaps even gentler than her.
“Ellie…” she said when the kiss was done. Her expression was so tender. Ellie had never seen it so full of emotion before. It startled her.
“I…that was…you’re amazing.” was all she could say. Ellie blushed and kissed Danni again. She knew the words were honest, but had something else on her mind that she had to bring up.
“I’m sorry that I ruined Matterhorn’s sponsorship. I hadn’t mean to-”
“No no,” Danni interrupted, “don’t be. I don’t care about that anymore.” When Ellie gave her a skeptical look, she added, “I’d rather have you now than the silly money.”
“By ‘have’, do you mean as an employee…or like this?”
“Both.” Danni answered, and she wrapped her arms tight around Ellie, bringing her closer to her so they could kiss passionately.
There was something changed in their kissing too, it was more natural. Their tongues passed over one another’s elegantly, their lips fit together more perfectly. And as Ellie’s heart began to beat hard beneath her breast, she felt Danni’s heart beating too against hers. It made her weak with happiness. She felt content in the knowledge that she wouldn’t have to come home exhausted to an empty bed again, not for a long time.