by EvelynC © January 2005
This story was supposed to end at the first part but my friends, Nancy and Dunan, kept asking me to resolve it. Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ella couldn't concentrate on the numbers before her eyes. Her fingers were making too many mistakes and she felt a headache building at her temples. Massaging the depressions at the side of her forehead, she wished the time would move faster so she could go home.
Natalie, one of the secretaries who worked on the same floor, passed by and said, "You don't look too good, El."
"Yeah. I've got a massive headache." Ella took off her reading glasses.
"Perhaps you should go home, I'm sure your boss will understand."
"What's wrong, El?" Her boss had come out of his office. Ella explained her eyestrain and he advised her to take the afternoon off.
Ella rang Dee while shutting down her computer. Her cell phone rang through to the messaging service. Ella then rang another number for Dee's colleague. He promised to pass on the message when Dee came back.
On her way down the elevator, she met Jeremy, one of the executives from the floor above.
"Hello, Ella. How are you? Haven't seen you in a while." He gave her a friendly smile.
"Hi, Jeremy. I'm fine, well, not so fine today. Big headache, small head." She joked.
"I hope it's not a migraine." Ella shrugged.
Holding the lift doors open, Jeremy asked, "Can I call you a cab or is someone meeting you downstairs?"
"I'll be taking the train home. It's too expensive to take a taxi."
"To Manly Heights? That's not far by car. I'd be happy to drive you." He offered, walking in step with her slow pace.
Ella shook her head and winced at the movement, "Oh no, I couldn't."
"Nonsense, you're in no condition to be victimised by our public transportation system." He guided her by her elbow to the car park, "I'm taking you home and that's that."
Ella was grateful for the lift. The ride home was smooth and cool, the quiet interior of the car comforting on her nerves. Jeremy didn't disturb her at all, only asking for directions once they reached her suburb.
He parked in the visitor's section and assisted Ella inside her apartment. The place was a modest size and slightly cluttered in a way that felt comfortable. There were obvious feminine touches around the apartment, like fresh flowers, colourful cupboards and family mementos in decorative shells.
Ella got him a drink as he looked around the place. He saw pictures of another woman repeated in photographs, a pair of large boots in the hallway and some sports equipment.
"I didn't know you played baseball." Jeremy said as he accepted a beer.
"That's softball and no, I don't play. The stuff belongs to Dee, my girlfriend." Ella kicked off her shoes and sat on the sofa.
"Is she the one in the photos?" He was walking around touching the furniture and decorations around the room. She did not notice his stiff posture. Smelling the fresh flowers, he said, "You must be really close, if she keeps her stuff here." Jeremy could not understand why Ella would allow her home to be used as storage, for dirty stuff too. Unconsciously, he pulled on the cuffs of his shirt and adjusted his pin-striped jacket.
"You could say that." Ella smiled in spite of her headache.
As if suddenly remembering the reason for his visit, Jeremy set his bottle down and took a stand behind Ella. He lightly placed his hands at her temples and started a slow massage. "I hope you don't mind but I'm pretty good at this, my ex-wife said I had magic hands. There's nothing as wonderful as someone willing to soothe your aches away at the end of the day." His hands were now working her neck and shoulders.
Despite her initial surprise, Ella couldn't help but groan in appreciation at Jeremy's skill. He was getting the kinks out in places she didn't even know were tense. Her head lolled on relaxed shoulders.
Leaning down to whisper in her ear, Jeremy said, "I would be happy to keep going. You've got a lot of tension in your lower back."
Drifting in a dreamy state, Ella almost said yes but Jeremy had already done too much for her. "I can't." She patted his hand on her shoulder, "you've done wonders for my headache already." Standing up, she smoothed her skirt. "You've been so kind to me, Jeremy, going out of your way and that wonderful massage … your ex-wife was right, you do have great hands. Thank you for seeing me home. I hope I can repay the favour one day."
"Well," Jeremy moved to stand in front of her and took her hand, "have a drink with me tomorrow and we'll call it quits."
"Sure, Friday night drinks are fun. Everyone will be there too." Many people congregated to the bars around the office after the last work day. Ella walked him to the door.
"Right." Jeremy drew the word out, "I'll pick you up at your desk." She waved him off.
After he left, Ella rang Dee again. She told her she wasn’t feeling well and not to bother coming over tonight as she was going to bed early.
"Are you sure you're okay? I could swing by after work and bring you some dinner." Dee asked.
"No, I'll be fine. It'll probably be too late then. You're the one who should get some rest, you've been working such long hours lately." Ella punched the timer on the microwave to heat up some soup. "And don't forget to eat."
Dee rolled her eyes, "Well, if you need anything be sure to call me, ok? Anytime."
"I will. Drive carefully."
Dee shook her head as she flipped her phone off. Ella would be fine. It was only a headache but she would check on her tomorrow.
A few hours later, Dee arrived back at her apartment. She grabbed the bag of takeaway food from the passenger seat and walked up the stairs. The television was on when she let herself in.
"Is that you, Billy?" Dee yelled from the kitchen.
"Yeah." Billy came into the kitchen with an empty bowl in his hand. Pointing at the bag, he said, "Is that dinner?"
"I suppose you're hungry even though you just ate?" Dee hung up her coat and keys.
Billy was already opening the food containers, "Building houses takes a lot of energy."
Dee felt her phone ring and she looked at the caller ID, "Hi." She answered. Mindful of her friend within earshot, Dee walked into her bedroom and shut the door.
Fifteen minutes later, she came out with her hair still damp from her shower. She wore her favourite leather jacket and heavy cologne. "Don't save me any food, Billy." She said as she put on her shoes, "I'm having dinner out."
"Say hi to El for me." He replied without looking away from the TV.
Dee paused for a second, "Sure."
A short while later, Dee and Lilian were enjoying themselves in her hotel room before room service arrived. When the food was served, they ate it naked, feeding each other in bed. Their carnal appetite would need sustenance.
Continued in Part 6
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