Seattle Independent Comms is now mine. Well, 51% mine; the other 49% is owned by Old Man Roberts. I like him, he’s a decent human being, a man in his 70s who has the bad luck to have a wet fucker for a son.
Daniel Roberts is 48 and can’t tell his ass from a hole in the ground. That’s the reason SIC is failing. So far I’ve only met the two Roberts men. Mr Roberts Sr has been ill and handed over the day-to-day running to his jack-shit of a son. You can imagine how much Roberts Jr likes me; and you can imagine how much I don’t give a fuck. I’m intrigued to learn that Roberts Jr doesn’t own any part of the company – his father must know what a fuck-up he is. And speaking as someone who is a multicolored fuck-up, I happen to know what I’m talking about. But I’m not a fucking idiot – not like Daniel S Roberts.
I haven’t told my parents anything about my plans. Dad made it pretty clear that he wasn’t interested and mom will just worry about me. Elliot, however, is pretty fucking mad at me. He keeps telling me to call them and that dad’s sorry for what he said. Whatever. He can tell me himself. He knows my number. Mia has been hassling me with texts and emails and leaving messages every day. I’ve emailed her back, but have been carefully neutral in the information I’ve given her.
I’ve found an apartment but I can’t move in until next weekend. Elliot’s apartment is, of course, empty during the day and I make sure I’m out by the time he gets home of an evening. Mostly I don’t get in again until he’s gone to bed. But that routine is getting pretty old. I can’t wait until I’ve got my own space.
So it’s Monday morning and I’m going to meet the rest of the SIC management. They’ll get one fuck of a wake-up call when they see who’s their new boss. I insisted that neither of the Roberts told any of the staff about me; I want to see the honest reactions in everyone’s faces – that will tell me a lot about the people who will be working for me.
There are three people for me to meet: David Rintz, head of IT; Marco Gambatti, head of sales; and Ros Bailey, head of R&D.
We’re waiting in the meeting room as they file in. I can see them wondering who I am and for what reason they’ve been summoned here at 8am on a Monday morning. Old Man Roberts introduces me and I see the shock on all their faces. Bailey hides it the best and gazes at me coolly. Rintz seems confused, a look I’ll get to know increasingly well from him I think, but I see Gambatti throwing an appalled look at Roberts Jr. Interesting. Looks like he thought he’d be running the company with Junior now Old Man Roberts is mostly out of the picture. No you fucking won’t.
Other than telling them my name and the fact that I’m their new boss, I arrange to meet separately with all of them. It doesn’t take me long to figure out that Rintz is a well meaning but inept manager. He’s been promoted beyond his ability and is much happier taking orders. That’s ok for now, but he’s not the person I’m going to need to get the job done. He’s worked for the company for 22 years. It’s going to be an expensive redundancy package and at 52, he doesn’t have much chance of getting another job. Not my problem.
Gambatti tries the one-of-the-guys approach. Who the fuck does he think he’s dealing with? I pin him down on his poor sales record and he tries to fob me off saying he’s got a big contract with a retail chain. The truth is he’s tried to get an appointment to see their chief buyer but has got nowhere. Fucking lightweight. As I tear his carefully constructed tissue of lies to pieces, he starts to sweat. An hour later he walks out of my office, ashen.
Ros Bailey is cool, calm and collected and, a first for this company, knows what the fuck she’s talking about. Her interest in research, development and innovation is genuine. She’s got a good team working under her, producing impressive results. I can’t understand why she isn’t heading up R&D at some international company – she’s that good. I dig a bit deeper; she fends me off without breaking sweat. I start to enjoy the cut and thrust of our discussion – she has no trouble keeping up with me – another first for this company. But I’ve got her figured out: glass ceilings. Ms Bailey suffers from being a woman in a typically male sector. And, from her utter lack of reaction to me, I suspect she’s gay. That might sound pretty, fucking arrogant, but it’s only stating facts. I’ve gotten pretty good at working out the shallow fuckers who are only interested in the pretty packaging; those people mean less than fuck-all to me. Ms Bailey is different. Plus she’s intelligent and more than capable. I shall keep my eye on Ms Bailey.
The next few days are a whirl of meetings and introductions and reading reports and analysing spreadsheets. Unfortunately Roberts Jr is the head of finance: what a dick. His system, if you can call it that, is a fucking car crash. His forecasting is a complete fiction and his business plans are – well, shit. Between him and Gambatti, the company is in freefall. Roberts Sr recognises this: that’s why he nearly bit my arm off with gratitude when I approached him with my offer.
For the rest of the week I work 19 hours a day. But even after that I can’t sleep at night. My brain is whirling with ideas and issues, problems and solutions; I feel like my head will fucking explode.
“Come on, bro, it’s Friday night – let’s do something!”
Elliot tackles me as soon as I walk in the door.
“You look like crap and I could use a drink.”
“No thanks, Elliot, I’ve got to sort my shit out for tomorrow.”
“Don’t bullshit a bullshitter, bro. You’ve only got a suitcase here: it’ll take you all of five minutes to sort out your stuff. Come on, do me a favour: mom’s been nagging at me to talk to you. She misses you – dad, too. And Mia is driving us all crazy – crazier.”
I can see he’s not going to let it go and I know I need to switch off for a few hours so I take a quick shower and pull on my jeans and a black T-shirt. Elliot drags me out the door before I can change my mind.
We go to a small Italian restaurant near his place. The food is good and I start to relax slightly. We discuss Elliot’s plans for his construction company and his interest in alternative technologies. Then the real reason for his insistence on coming here becomes apparent.
“Look, mom really wants you to come to the annual fundraiser a week Saturday. She made me promise to talk to you about it.”
“I can’t, Elliot, I’m too busy right now.”
“Too busy for your family?”
“That’s below the belt.”
“Whatever. I think you should come, sort things out with dad. At least give him a chance to apologise.”
My hold on my temper is more fragile that I’d realised. I don’t need anyone telling me what to fucking do! I feel fury building up in me and I know I have to leave or I’m going to lose it big time. I pull some notes out of my wallet and throw them on the table.
“Come on, Christian!” Elliot calls after me, but I’m out of there.
I stride up the street seething. I want to hit something so fucking badly I jam my fists into my jacket pocket in case someone so much as looks at me the wrong way. I barely notice where I’m going and forty minutes later I find myself a couple of miles away from Elliot’s apartment and outside a place that I’ve been to once before with Elena – a BDSM club.
I hesitate for less than a second.
The music is pounding and the club is full of S&M wanna-be’s in all the leather bondage gear. But I know that the serious shit goes on downstairs.
The maitre d’ is a woman in a red bondage corset; she sums me up immediately.
“You looking for some action, handsome?”
“We’ve got a couple of subs-in-training that might suit you? Follow me.”
The downstairs rooms are small, dark, windowless dungeons with all the equipment I could wish for. Perfect.
“What you want, sugar?” says the maitre d’. “We got blondes, brunettes, old, young – what are you into?”
“Brunette. Long hair. I don’t care about the age.”
She looks at me thoughtfully and shows me into a room at the end. A brown-haired woman of about Elena’s age is sitting reading a book. Her hair is in a long braid down her back; she could be a librarian except for the fact she’s wearing nothing but a leather thong. I feel myself start to get hard. I don’t know if it’s her or staring at the set of canes on the wall. Oh, yeah.
The woman looks at me expectantly and nods.
“Ok, guys,” says the maitre d’. “Usual house rules: safewords are ‘yellow’ and ‘red’. Those are absolute: everything else is up to you guys.”
She closes the door behind her and I can feel the tension start to mount. I stare at the woman and her self-possession begins to fail. Before my eyes she turns into a sub and drops her eyes to the floor. It’s such a fucking turn on.
Quickly she gets on the floor. Good. I don’t like to repeat myself. I walk round her, measuring her up, assessing her. She keeps her eyes on the floor. I’m not going to touch her until she’s secured.
“Walk to the wall. Now face me. Arms above your head.”
She follows my orders, raising her hands above her. Slowly, I pace towards her. Her eyes follow my every move, wide and expectant. I grip her wrists and chain them in the leather cuffs provided. I can see her leaning in as if she’s going to kiss me.
“Don’t fucking move!” I hiss at her and abruptly she stops, a frisson of fear going through her. Don’t make me pissed, lady!
Once her hands are secured I relax slightly. I need music. I stroll over to the CD player and flick through the available CDs. What a load of shit. But I find a disc with Chopin’s Nocturnes – that will have to do. I hear her gasp of surprise as the music starts – probably not what she was expecting. Get used to it, lady, I never do what’s expected.
Then I walk back, slowly. I trail my fingers down from her throat to the top of her pubic bone, slowly. I kneel down in front of her, and peel down her leather thong, slowly. Her breath catches in her throat and I look up at her and smile, slowly.
“Oh, god!” she whispers.
“Hush,” I admonish softly. “Open your legs for me.”
She splays her legs wide apart and I run my fingers up the inside of each thigh until she’s quivering under my touch. Then I shackle each ankle and stand up.
I pull off my T-shirt and undo the top button of my jeans, watching me, watching her, watching me. I run my tongue along my teeth and I see the need in her eyes. Oh no, we’ve got a lot of playing to do yet, baby.
I run my eyes over the instruments in the room. I ignore the floggers and paddles: too tame for how I’m feeling tonight. Her eyes linger on the riding crops and I think she wants me to choose one of those but she’s smart enough not to speak. I want the whip; I want to hear the hiss it makes as it slices through the air and the crack it makes just before it bites into her. I want her light, golden tan glowing under my expert touch.
“How hard do you like it?” I say, teasing her.
“One?” I whisk the whip through the air so it lightly flicks her left nipple. She groans in appreciation. It takes a lot of time and skill to handle a whip – precision and control; it’s one of the reasons it’s my implement of choice. I raise my hand again.
“Two?” I flick her right nipple, harder this time, and she writhes with pleasure.
“Three?” The tip of the whip flicks up at the top of her thighs. She moans loudly.
“Hush,” I whisper. “Four?” This time I let the whip bite into her left breast. Her eyes flicker open and her mouth sags.
“Five?” I flick the whip up between her legs so it snaps at her buttocks. She’s so turned on, my own excitement is more than apparent. Not yet, baby.
“Six?” This time the whip really bites into her, twice, three times. Her body trembles.
“Seven?” Her lovely skin is showing the marks of my handwork and I hit harder and harder, my breathing becoming ragged and I know my eyes must be blazing at her.
“Yellow!” she whispers in a hoarse voice.
I’m faintly disappointed; I was really only just getting into my stride. Still, more than one way to skin a cat.
I drop the whip and undo the zip on my jeans. Her eyes bulge slightly as she sees what’s coming next. I kick my jeans off and walk over to her and kneel down, gripping her thighs firmly. I push my nose into her pubic hair: she smells good, sort of woodsy, like freshly hewn cedar.
She gasps as I use my tongue to explore her and her trembling becomes more pronounced.
Oh no, not yet. Not nearly yet.
I pull away and she comes back from the brink. I look up at her and smile slowly.
“Oh, please!” she says quietly.
“Hush,” I say again and return to my new, soft playroom.
Again and again I bring her back from the brink until tears are falling down her face and I know she can’t take much more.
“You can come now, baby,” I say and flick her clitoris with my tongue.
She comes and comes and comes, her whole body, a riot of tremors, shuddering through her. Her body sags and quickly I release her ankles, rubbing them gently with one hand, while I support her weight with the other.
The matire d’ has thoughtfully left a box of condoms on the whipping bench. I reach over and slide one on. I’ve had plenty of practice doing this one handed. You’d be amazed the things I can do with one hand.
“My turn, baby,” I whisper to her. “Wrap your legs around me.”
I can tell she’s exhausted, but I’m not finished with her yet. I slam into her, hard, fast. She calls out and the way I’m feeling I want this to be quick and brutal. I hammer into her again and again and I feel her legs quivering as she climaxes once more. I pour myself into her with a final plunge.
She manages to put her trembling legs on the floor but she can hardly stand. I release her wrists and she slumps down. I pick her up and lay her on the bed. She can barely open her eyes. I watch her for a moment, my head cocked to one side, then pick up my discarded jeans and T-shirt and pull on my socks and boots.
I’m about to leave when I hear her soft voice.
“What’s your name?”
I frown and shake my head.
“But I’d like to ask for you again,” she says, a smile in her voice.
I don’t reply.
“I’m going to call you… Bronze,” she says. “Thank you, Bronze. You’re very dark; I like that in a man.”
Oh, you have no idea.
“See you again, I hope,” she whispers, her eyes closing.
I’m surprised to see the maitre d’ is waiting outside. Has she been there the whole time? I suppose that’s a sensible precaution as she doesn’t know me from Adam.
“Wait here a moment,” she says.
She peers into the room and some unspoken communication passes between her and the woman who looks like a librarian.
“Well, you’ve got a very satisfied customer there,” says the matire d’, hiding a smile. “Here, this is for you.”
She hands me an envelope. I frown but open it. A thousand dollars in $100 dollar bills. What?! I look up at the maitre d’, stunned.
“Your fee,” she says, raising one eyebrow.
This is so fucking funny I can’t help laughing out loud. The maitre d’ doesn’t understand my reaction. She looks at me like I’m some wild animal who happened to wander into her club.
I stuff the envelope in my jacket and wander off into the night.
And to think I used to think of Elliot as a manwhore. The thought makes me smile.