Disclaimers: Welcome to long awaited continuation
of Business Trip. The characters in this story are a product of a twisted life
and a fevered mind. © 2005
Love and sex: We are getting closer. If you are not 18 years of age or if lesbian romance is not your thing I advise you read no farther.
Violence: None I'm a lover not a fighter.
Acknowledgements: To my betas for all the help in making me look literate. A special thanks to my readers for sticking by me during this long dry spell.
You can feed the bard at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to join me at the Rising Phoenix: TheRisingPhoenixemail@example.com.
~ Business Trip ~
by Lady J
part 6 Back
to the Academy
I exited the conference room a warm laptop pressed to my chest, and a goofy grin plastered to my face. I must have been glowing with the satisfaction of a job well done. I had nailed it and I knew it. I can tell you there is not another feeling in the world to compare with succeeding at doing the impossible.
I couldn't help chuckling to myself at the thought of how this dignified exit differed dramatically from the frantic harried entrance Patty and I had made just half an hour before. We must have been quite a sight jetting out of the elevator like our asses were on fire. I ran down the hall juggling the laptop against my breasts with Patty following in my wake. I could hear the rapid foot falls of my Tonto behind me. I knew without looking that she was doing her own balancing act with the various binders and papers that would be needed in this meeting. When we got to the door I stopped short which made Patty run right into me.
"Ouch! What the hell? We're already late, why'd you stop?" she asked irritated.
"I can't do it," I muttered.
"Yes you can."
I looked at her for a long moment, took a deep breath, and squared my shoulders before entering the room. It took all the muscle control I could muster to not tremble noticeably. To me it felt like all eyes were burning holes into my flesh. As unreasonable as it sounds it felt like everyone in the room was sizing me up, evaluating me, and criticizing every move I made. These feelings of deep paranoia were exasperated by the waves of revulsion emanating from Russell's general area. His open disgust of me was palpable, which had systematically worn me down over the last number of weeks.
As I said before these feelings were totally unfounded. I knew I had everything under control. I knew every detail of this project like the back of my hand, so even with my computer going tits up I was confident that I could handle anything they tried to throw at me. So what power did this idiot hold over me to make me feel so small and so beaten? I made the mistake of looking into his cold dark eyes and at that point all I wanted to do was curl up and die.
It was at this low point that the eminent and boisterous Darrell Boggs stood up and with great panache removed his white Stetson before booming, "My My My…..You certainly do clean up real nice don't ya?" The big man then looked over at Jason. "You've got some real lookers in your outfit don't ya, Jay? And they're all smart to boot. You're a lucky man."
Sitting back in the large leather chair Jason beamed. "I guess I am."
Everyone laughed which set a light hearted tone for the rest of the meeting, which made me much more comfortable. Once back in my comfort zone I knew there would be no stopping me.
I had floated to the elevator on a cloud of happiness. Once the steel doors of the elevator whooshed shut Patty dropped her binders on the floor which brought me from my reveries with a jerk.
The excited blonde grabbed me in a bear hug bouncing up and down with joy before saying, "You did it…You so did it." Her cry echoed in the empty elevator. "You bowled everyone over especially Ms. Drakkon, though I would think for a different reason. Did you notice the way she was looking at you?"
"Jac? What?" I asked. I had been so focused on the presentations while trying to sell Darrell on some more upgrades that I really didn't look at anyone.
"She was looking at you like you were the last turkey leg at a Thanksgiving dinner."
I couldn't help but laugh at the absurd analogy while Patty leaned down to pick up the binders before the door opened at our floor. "Patty, you are an idiot."
"Am I?" she announced with skepticism. "You were too busy shining that laser pointer of yours into Russell's eyes to notice anything."
Smirking, I replied, "That was an accident."
"An accident? Right. If you did it once, you did it a dozen times," Patty cried.
"Hey, I apologized," I countered. "Besides he deserved it for being such a shit."
"Be that as it may, that woman has the hots for you," Patty sing songed the few syllables of this phrase.
"Ackkkkk." I walked into my office I placed Patty's laptop on my desk then turned to relieve her of the folders that she had been carrying. I placed the folders on the desktop then turned back to face my friend. I looked down at my borrowed ensemble and smoothed it before commenting, "I guess I do look cute."
"Cute??? You look absolutely edible. I know Ms. Drakkon thinks so too," Patty countered.
"You know I didn't know men's underwear could be so comfortable," I said hoping to derail any more talk of Jac.
"You're wearing Tim's drawers? I know I asked to borrow his clothes, but I didn't know he was going to give you everything he was wearing."
I couldn't help but laugh at the look on Patty's face. "He didn't give me the ones he was wearing. He lent me the pair out of his gym bag. They fit me like a glove, well except for the pouch in the front. Wonder what I could do with that?"
"Put your cell phone on vibrate and stick it in there...."
Blushing I said "Oh my god I can't believe you said that! But that does give 'reach out and touch' a whole new meaning."
"Hey I had to say something to get your attention you keep changing the subject. Besides I thought you would be happy that Jac was checking you out?" Patty asked while brushing past me to plop down into the one of the two chairs that stood in front of my desk. I walked around my desk and sat down.
Once sitting I took the folders from the top of my desk and leaned down to file them in my drawer. "Patty, I'm not saying I wouldn't be the happiest woman in the world if I thought that was true, but personally I think you're reading way more into a glance than is actually there."
Just as these words dropped from my lips I sat back up to see Jac standing behind Patty's chair. I had that open and close mouth carp thing going on when Patty leaned forward a look of concern on her face. "Jeezz,Kara, are you ok? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Well not a ghost exactly." Jac's smooth alto tones filled the room.
Patty, startled, jumped to her feet. "Ms. Drakkon I didn't hear you come in."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude."
"Not at all, Ms. Drakkon, please sit." Patty can regain her composure in a split second I always admired that about her since I'm sure I was still doing the carp thing.
"Thank you, but please call me Jacqueline," she said taking the chair next to Patty.
"It would be an honor. Thank you."
Looking over at me Jac pinned me to the chair with her clear blue eyes. "I just wanted to come down and tell you what a wonderful job you did, not only in that meeting but on this project as a whole. Jason is smiling so big I'm afraid his face is going to crack. He was going to come down himself, but I asked if I could be the one to tell you the good news."
Clink…Clink….Clink…..Thunk….Thunk….Thunk….There was no way in hell I could get my mind to turn over. I think my battery was dead. Come on! Wake up, wake up.
"Is she ok?" Jac asked Patty.
"It's just been a long few weeks. She's been running on empty for a while." Patty tried to explain while turning her face away from Jac and giving me her 'somebody's knocking answer the door' look.
I shook my head to regain some semblance of normalcy. "Sorry. Patty's right, this has been a really long haul for me and everyone else involved. Thanks for the kudos, but it wasn't just me. I have a great team."
"Then congratulations to you and your team. You all did an amazing job which brings me to the surprise. Darrell was so happy with the job you did that he has agreed to contract another multimillion dollar upgrade on the condition that you and your team are the ones to design and implement it. So are you game or have you had enough of working with me?" Jac asked her dazzling smile blinding me with its brilliance.
It took me a moment to digest what she was saying. At least the delay between her asking and my answer was much shorter. "Wow. That's a lot to take in all at once. Before I accept, how much time do we have?"
Jac laughed a hearty laugh. "You'll have plenty of time on this one, I promise."
"It's not going to start anytime soon is it?" I asked. I wanted to get to know my kids again. I wanted time with them and for myself to re-energize and regroup.
"No, it won't. The contracts have to be drawn up. The parameters of the job have yet to be defined and you know that doesn't happen overnight," Jac reassured matter-of-factly.
I sat quietly trying to wrap my mind around everything that was happening. Another project at this level was something I wasn't sure I wanted to be involved in again. I had done this as a favor to Jason, a reluctant favor at that. I had no idea at the time that this job would bleed me dry. So did I really want to commit myself to an even bigger project? I wasn't sure if I had another one in me. But on the other hand it was a chance to spend more time with Jac. What Patty thought not with standing, I had no idea if I would ever talk to Jac again once this job was wrapped up. The thought of not talking to Jac again was making me crazy.
What should I do? Just take this job because I want to be with Jac?
"Jac I don't know what to say…" I started, but was cut off by Jac.
"Jason said you may be reluctant to take on another job this size, so he wanted me to tell you that this would be the same deal as the last." Jac's countenance changed from happiness to concern as she continued, "I know this has been very hard on you and your family."
"Yes, it has been very hard and not just for me. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this one from the entire team," I explained.
"Well, if this is any example of what you and your team can do under extreme pressure, I can't wait to see what you can do when you have the sufficient time before the deadline. Kara, you're very good at what you do," Jac purred the last sentence in such a way that my knees went weak.
"I do the best I can no matter what," I commented still mesmerized by those beautiful blue eyes. "Can I sleep on this?"
"Sure you can. I'll tell you what, why don't I take you out to a nice dinner? Maybe I can persuade you to take us up on our offer," Jac purred.
"Aren't you going out with the billionaire boys' club tonight?" I asked.
"No, too much testosterone for me. How about it? We can go out for dinner and maybe consume a bottle of Dom while we talk." Looking over at Patty she amended her invitation, "Patty, you're invited too. I can use all the help I can get to convince her to take this job."
"I would love to," Patty began.
"I'm sorry I can't," I said over Patty.
"Why not?" Jac asked.
"Yeah, why not?" Patty piped in leaning forward aggressively.
"Pat, Jarrod's got basketball practice so there is no one to watch Mark or Ashley." I groaned. Why did I have so many kids anyway?
"Kar, I'll sit with the kids, no problemo." Patty smiled and winked at me. "I think Jacqueline can influence you without my help."
"But I need to drop Jarrod at the school…."
"Not a problem, I know where the school is."
"They will need to eat…."
"You have Pizza Hut on speed dial!" Patty cried annoyance rising in her voice.
"Patty, it would just be too much trouble." Trying hard to convey to Patty my climbing panic with my eyes. I mean going to dinner with Pat and Jac would work. Patty would be there to keep me out of trouble. But having dinner with just Jac could be disastrous.
Through gritted teeth Patty said, "It's no trouble at all I assure you. What are friends for if not to be inconvenienced every once in awhile?"
I knew by the tone in her voice and the expression on her face that I was going to lose this battle.
Looking over at Jac and plastering a smile on my face, I said, "Then I accept. I would love to go out tonight."
"Excellent. Since I don't know the area I'll let you pick the place." Jac smiled.
"All right. Is there anything you would prefer? Anything you don't like at all?" I asked.
"No, no preferences really. I'm pretty open when it comes to eating," Jac said while crossing her arms.
"What time do you want me to pick you up?" I asked with a tremble in my voice.
"How about eight?"
"She'll be there," Patty answered for me.
"Great. See you then." And with that Jac stood and was gone.
I slumped in my chair laying my head on the desk with a thud. I could see Patty's shadow move around my desk then felt her patting me on the back. "Awww my baby's first date in how many years?"
I jerked my head up and glared at my jovial friend. "I can't believe you just did that. Have you completely lost your mind?"
"What are you talking about?" Patty was aghast.
"I can't go out with her," I whined.
"And why not?"
"First, she's so out of my league it's not even funny. Two, she's a woman and no matter what you say there is no guarantee she thinks of me at all much less if she thinks I'm 'hot' or not," I said tears welling in my eyes. "Third and most importantly, she's a VP and my boss."
I felt my chair turning and then the placing of a soft hand on each of my knees. I looked up to meet caring green eyes. "Kar…do you have any idea what just happened here?"
I shook my head 'no'. So much had just happened that I just couldn't take it all in. There was too much emotion. I was saturated. I was overwhelmed. I was fried.
After a pause Patty began again. "Your temporary promotion has been made permanent. After this mission, should you decide to accept it, not only will your temporary promotion be made permanent but you'll be financially secure for the rest of your life. Just think, you won't have to worry about college educations, mortgage payments, or anything else you have struggled with over the last number of years. This is everything you have worked so hard for. This is everything you dreamed of for yourself and your family. I know it's scary, but it's time to come out of the shadows. Time to be the star you are, not just here at work but with Jac."
"No. Kar, everything in your life is coming together, why not Jac? I know you care for her. I also know she cares for you." I opened my mouth to protest when Patty placed a well manicured finger on my lips to silence me. "No, listen to me. Kara, I have been watching her watch you. I've seen that look before and there is no mistaking the source. Give this a chance. Give it all a chance. For heaven's sake I'm not asking you to jump her in the parking lot…it's just dinner."
"It's gonna take awhile for all this to sink in." I felt like I was about to fly apart.
"I know, baby, I know. So let's just take it one step at a time. Ok?" I nodded agreement silently and Patty continued, "First, let's tie up the last few loose ends on this one, and put her to bed for good. Then you have some correspondence to get to before we go. Then head home to get ready for your date." Patty smiled mischievously.
"Ack. Where should I take her?" I asked totally at a loss to make one more decision.
"Well, I wouldn't do Italian the first night. Too much chance on having an accident… sauces and all." Patty stood tapping her finger against her lips in concentration. "She's from California, so a nice little Japanese place may be in order. You know a place that serves sushi??"
I made a face. "I'll do a lot of things for love, but I won't eat bait."
"Well no one's asking you to, you big goober. Just thought it would be a good idea," Patty retorted.
"Sorry, yeah it is a good idea and I know just the place," I said as I thought of this small intimate mom and pop place I knew on the boulevard called 'Changs.' The food was always great even though I never did participate in the eating of bait. Yeah that would work.
"Well then it's settled. Let's get this stuff done so we can get out of here."
"Ok, but have you heard anything about my computer?? I'm going nuts without it," I asked. The computer had been down for days by this time and I was getting antsy to have my system back.
"I can give Tim a call and see what he knows about it. Oh, speaking of Tim he left you a message concerning the suit."
"What?" I asked.
"Dry clean it before you return it." Patty giggled as I followed her to her desk to finish the day, hopefully early.
This week had been a whirlwind of activity that had culminated with not only the offer of a promotion, but a date with the boss. I was still trying to let it all sink in while I dressed carefully. I mean it had been decades since I dated, and I wasn't really sure if I should go all the way to hoochie momma or just stop at hoo. I had to laugh at myself… how could I ever do hoo when I had no idea how? Looking through my crowded closet I uttered the words I never thought would pass my lips, "I have nothing to wear."
As I stood there staring blankly at my clothes donned in nothing but my bra and panties, Patty bounded in and bounced her body on my bed. "Well that's at look," she commented.
I looked over at her and must have looked truly pathetic.
"Poor baby you really are clueless aren't you?" Patty stood and walked over to where I stood in the bowels of my walk in closet. "Let's see what we have to work with."
It wasn't long before Patty had me dressing in a tight pair of jeans, a button up shirt open to the navel with a lace and silk camisole beneath. A pair of three inch pumps and a matching belt completed my ensemble.
I felt my makeup was just about perfect. My dark hair well, let's faces it, hair, never co -operates when you need it to, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Once all was done I walked over to the full length mirror to take a good look. My reflection in the mirror was pleasant if I do say so myself. I turned to the side looking specifically at the jeans thinking maybe they were a little too snug.
"Do you think these are too tight?" I asked Patty who had been planted in the center of my bed while I dressed.
"Naaa. They're sexy without being slutty. You're creating an aura of sultriness….a web of lust she won't escape from," Patty purred.
"Aura of sultriness….web of lust??? Patty, I barely have dust bunnies of desire much less webs of lust," I replied shocked.
"Well girl it's time to dust off that libido. Look at yourself. You look great, she's not going to be able to resist you."
I growled at her, but the reflection didn't lie. I had to admit even to myself I did look good. The children to my surprise confirmed that I did indeed look great. Yet when I slipped behind the wheel I wasn't so sure. The largest butterflies in creation were flapping freely away in my stomach.
"Get a hold of yourself. It's just dinner; it's not like you have a room at the corner motel. And let's face it, short of what I could have misconstrued as some good natured flirting, nothing has indicated that she has any interest in me besides a warm friendship. No matter what Patty thinks," I muttered to myself. "I have got to stop talking to myself." Thinking how pathetic I seemed just then.
The drive was uneventful though to be honest I don't remember the drive at all. I pulled into a space in the hotel lot and got out of the car. I sighed deeply trying to slow my heart beat as I entered the elevator and hit her floor number. The doors parted and haltingly I walked through. Finding her room number I stood before the door for long moments before knocking.
I wonder if it's too late to cancel. Come on, stop being such a baby and just KNOCK.
I knocked softly. Within seconds Jac appeared in the doorway.
"Wow, you look great," she said as she took me into her arms. My heart skipped a beat as I pressed her to myself. Her perfume was intoxicating and I felt myself getting heady. Again, very clumsily I broke our embrace.
"Uh, you look fantastic yourself." I had never seen her in casual wear before. During all the meetings and lunches she was always wearing power suits. She looked incredible in just a pair of tight jeans and a white oxford button down, her dark hair framing her oval face and those bright blue eyes that always seemed to be twinkling.
I saw a puzzled look cross her eyes as she shrugged her shoulders, and asked where we were going to dinner.
"We're going to a nice little place called Chang's. I hope Japanese is ok," I said unable to control the quiver in my voice.
"Sounds great. Let's go." She took my arm and steered me toward the elevators. We chatted blithely as we rode down to the palatial lobby. Taking my arm again we walked passed the front desk and out into the lot. I walked her to the passenger side of the car, unlocked the door, and opened it for her. Then stepped to the driver's side, entered, somewhat clumsily I might add, placed the key in the ignition, and we were off.
I was relieved that she kept up a constant conversation while I drove. We smiled and laughed for the fifteen minutes that it took to get to the restaurant. As I rested my hand on the gearshift she would place her hand upon mine as she spoke. I can not explain the sensations that went through my body every time she touched me. It was like electricity going through my body, a shock to every nerve ending. I never wanted her to stop.
Thankfully she didn't. When she would launch into a story she would gesture and laugh so infectiously I had to follow suit. Even better than that giddy feeling was the fact that as the conversation continued she would move her hand from mine in order to stroke my shoulder or arm. I was smiling so wide I thought my lips would cramp. I was so loving every touch every gesture, but at the same time I was keeping a tight reign on my own emotions and actions. I was so frightened that I would just lose control and try to kiss her. Oh man, would that be a faux pas of the first magnitude.
Will you relax, many women are affectionate and love to touch and be touched. What is the big deal? Just don't read anything more into it than there is, I thought to myself.
I actually was able to get to the restaurant with no incidents which I was happy about. I held the door open allowing Jac to enter. She smiled and winked as she entered the darkened establishments. It wasn't long before we were seated at our table.
Jac looked around and said, "Well isn't this romantic"
Her smooth alto tones resonated in my heart. I thought to myself, that's probably why I picked this restaurant in the first place. I could feel color rising to my cheeks, but Jac was nice enough not to comment on it.
Much to my surprise the dinner went very well. I was sure that I would do or say something stupid, but to my relief I never did, and if I felt I had she would just tell me I was 'cute'. She had me immediately at ease.
We drank Sake to excess while sharing stories about our triumphs, our failures, and our most embarrassing moments. I laughed till I cried and at one point almost upset our entire table, but Jac had quick reflexes so all was righted before it toppled over.
As we became more relaxed or more potted I am not sure which, we began to share each other's dinners. "No, no you have to try this." She would say before feeding me a morsel off her plate. This gave us an opportunity to look deeply into one another's eyes while occasionally touching each other's hands.
I felt the night a complete success since I managed not to spill anything on myself or the beautiful woman I was with. As we drove back to her hotel we were both still snickering at our stories we had told or was it because of the wine? I felt heady on the drive back though I knew it had nothing to do with the Sake and everything to do with the company I kept.
I was glad to feel her touching my hand, arm, and shoulder again on the drive back. At one point, when she placed her hand on mine I felt bold enough to stroke it with my thumb. I know I am such a coward, but give me some credit, I did finally touch her back.
All too soon we were standing in the hallway in front of the door to her suite.
"I had a great time," she said standing closer to me. "I'll see you tomorrow morning then right?"
She stood even closer to me. I was drunk.....drunk by the sake….inebriated by her touch….unhinged by her proximity…intoxicated by her scent …paralyzed by her beauty. I croaked out, "Yeah, I'll be there at the butt crack." WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?? "Ummmm sorry, I mean, yeah I'll be there first thing."
Jac chucked slightly. "It's ok, I understood what you meant. Well I guess this is good night then."
"Yeah, I guess so. Thank you again for taking me out. I had a great time." All of a sudden I felt like a thirteen year old waiting for her first kiss goodnight after a date. You know that awkward feeling you get after the first date--should I or shouldn't it type of thing. Hoping--no praying-- that the other person would make the first move so you wouldn't have to.
"Well it was time spent on someone so special," she paused for a moment. "I hope that I've influenced you enough to stay with the team?"
"Well it was a good time... but I don't know..." I flirted.
She sidled so close to me that I could feel her body heat. "Is there anything else I could do to seal the deal?"
Now I could have been suave and sophisticated here by taking her in my arms and giving her a kiss that she would never forget. That's IF I was suave and sophisticated, but as we all know I am more bumbling and naive than anything else. So true to form I just stood there like a doof, shaking and stuttering some kind of gibberish that even I didn't understand.
She chuckled in her throat before taking me in her arms. During this embrace I allowed myself to feel all the new, strange, and wonderful sensations that this amazing woman brought me. I pressed her body against mine. Her hair was so soft on my cheek. Her perfume was intoxicating me once again. Her breasts pressed against my own igniting a fire within my deepest being. A flame that I realized I was unable to control.
Just at that moment she pulled away still holding my hands. "Good night, Kara. Drive careful and I'll see ya in the morning," she said and kissed me on the cheek. Then this woman who had enchanted me turned and disappeared behind the door.
I was so stunned that it took me a moment of looking at the closed door to gather myself. I'm sure I stood there dumfounded for a good long time before I could turn away from that port. I walked slowly to the elevator, but not before I placed my hand softly upon the cold wooden door.
I must be insane.
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