“What about Richard?” David asked.
“Umm, well…” the rule about professionalism and one’s career and all that lovely stuff is too keep it factual and less about feelings. More about what the concrete things are that bother you. It was so damn hard with Richard because I hate the man, and all my feelings towards him are based on feelings and history and things that aren’t factual and that don’t affect the company.
“I don’t work well with Richard.”
David tilted his head. “How so?”
“He’s a controlling man, and he’s not one to give up, and he’s not even supposed to be here.”
“Could this have anything to do with the fact that he’s your partner’s father?”
I looked down. “Yeah.” It’s too personal to admit, but it was too obvious for me to deny.
“We’ve had history, the three of us, and I’m not comfortable working with him with his superiority complex and control over me.”
David leaned in and sighed. He looked like he was about to give me the third degree of how Richard is so fantabulous. “I understand.”
David nodded. “Not necessarily as personally as you, but I understand the control. He does think he owns this place even though his contract is only temporary.”
“Look, I can’t help with the personal aspect of your issues with him, but I can assure you this: he’s temporary. I need you to hold on to that thought as much as you can because I’d rather you than him.”
I smiled widely and blinked for the first time. “Really?”
David nodded. “Dedication like yours comes rarely. And you’ve improved since I first met you. You’ve done well and you can go further. I would like to know what you achieve in the future and I can see you here achieving great things for this company.”
Holy shit. Stay calm, stay calm. “Wow,” I said with the right amount of appreciation, “thank you.”
“Well,” I crossed one leg over the other, “how long will he be staying with us?”
“Until mid-next year.”
I gulped. “Oh.”
“And if you can’t make it till then, then you’re not the strong person I thought you were.”
I didn’t know if that was an insult, inappropriate or just a ploy to keep me at bay, but it worked.
When I hopped out of David’s office and popped into the conference room to get ready for a meeting, I bumped into Richard who was the only other person as punctual as I am, it seemed.
“Well, well, well,” Richard started, “if it isn’t St. Love to steal my son’s heart.”
I scrunched my nose. “What?”
“Don’t ‘what’ me you crazy witch.”
Wow, where did this come from? And doesn’t he mean ‘crazy bitch’ or am I just off topic?
“I say again…what?”
He moved closer to me. “You can tell that boyfriend of yours, my son, that he can keep the $75-million. Do you honestly think I need it? No, I don’t. But if he wants me out of his life that much, then I’m gone. It’s done. You got what you asked for.”
“We both wanted it,” I retaliated. Not knowing entirely what he was talking about.
“Yeah, right,” he rolled his eyes, walking away just as people started entering the conference room.
“You’re seeing him?” I asked Chloe.
“Yeah, he’s a great guy, Anna.”
“But it’s Mark. He was supposed to set you up with a date so you can get laid not start dating him.”
Chloe laughed. “What’s so wrong about that? I get the best of both worlds.”
“I guess,” I mumbled, scrunching my nose.
“Oh come on. You’re the one that—”
“I didn’t do anything. I wasn’t playing St. Love.” I rolled my eyes at Richard’s choice of words lingering in my mind. It was quiet for a bit. “Wait…do you love him?”
Chloe sighed. “I can see us going there.”
“But…” I shook my head.
“What? Does he have some weird thing you’re not telling me?”
It wasn’t anything like that at all. It was more the fact that Mark told me he wasn’t a relationship kind of guy. So I didn’t know if they were actually dating—like for real dating—or if Chloe was on a different page to Mark.
“No, no, nothing like that at all.”
“Then what is it?”
“I just don’t want you to get hurt, that’s all.”
“You’re too sweet, Anna.”
“Well, I just love you.”
“Well, I just, ‘just love you’, too,” she giggled. I smiled. “When are you going to move back to California?”
I laughed. “What!?”
“You have to come back. We’re all here. Me, Janet, Jodie.”
I groaned. “My life is here now.”
I shifted uncomfortably. “No, not just him.”
“Oh please, you’d go wherever he’d go.”
“That’s not true.”
“Hey, it’s not a bad thing,” she quickly said, her voice hesitant.
“I’m not like that.”
“Do you find offense in moving for a man?”
I didn’t want to answer the question because I didn’t want to undermine the women that do move for a man. But I thought I was more than that. I thought I had more than a man here. Granted, Daniel is a very hot, sexy, amazing man, but when we broke up, I still stayed in New York, and that meant something, doesn’t it? Or was I just staying for as long as until someone was asking me to move back to California?
“It was good catching up with you, Chloe. I’m glad you’re happy.”
“I am.” And I could hear her smile.
After I hung up with her, I called my mother. Not exactly wanting to hear anything about Jim. I just thought to catch up with her too, and let her know that I was happy for her so she doesn’t worry about what I think.
“Pleasant surprise. Everything okay?”
I rolled my eyes. “Why do you always have to think the worst?”
“Just checking,” her voice rose timidly.
I huffed out a loud exhale. “I just called to let you know that I’m okay with whatever you do and whatever makes you happy.” My words came out rigid and half-genuine. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way, but it did.
“Is this about Jim?”
I ground my teeth together. “Yeah…” I stretched out the admission. “Whatever makes you happy,” I repeated.
“Well, I’m relieved to know. What changed your mind?”
I shrugged and half-smiled. “Because I’m happy with Daniel.” She chuckled, and I quickly interjected with, “But I think you should tell dad.”
“What?” she breathed out shakily.
“Dad. He deserves the right to know. He loved you a lot and I do know you care for him too. It’d be nice if it came from you and you guys just talked things over.”
“By the way, I can’t seem to reach him, do you know if he changed his number or something?”
“Look, he has to know, mom. It’s courteous.”
I heard a rustling sound and then a faraway distant voice. “Tell her.” It was Jim. Are they living together already?
“Is that Jim?”
“No,” my mom’s voice was just as distant as his. “She…..you and I……phone….I can’t.”
“Yes, yes, I’m here,” she came back.
“What’s going on?”
“N—nothing. Honey, I have to go, I’ll call you back okay—?”
Before I could answer, she hung up.
“Don’t you think that whole conversation was—?”
Daniel and I were setting down our plates for Thanksgiving dinner. We decided we were going to have a small meal before hitting the other dinners that some of our friends were throwing. We enjoyed their company, but we also needed to make room for lots and lots and LOTS of delicious food.
“What do you think is going on?”
“Well,” Daniel shrugged, “they’re living together right?”
I rolled my eyes. “So I’ve found out.”
“Or at least spending a lot of time with each other. And sleeping with each other.”
“Can we not talk about my mom sleeping with someone,” I grumbled.
“She’s a woman with needs you know,” Daniel smiled the more he saw I was uncomfortable. But it wasn’t just about my mother having sex, it was the fact that, in a strange way, I still consider her married to my father.
I pressed my palms up against my ears. “Yeah—yeah—yeah—I know!”
He laughed. “Well, what I’m trying to say is, I think they’re moving up.”
“Moving up what?” I furrowed my brows.
“Well first comes love, then comes marriage, but I don’t think they’re going to have a baby in a baby carriage.”
I dropped my fork onto a plate. “No!”
Daniel nodded. “The natural progression of mammals. Too bad we’re not animals—” Daniel wrapped his hands around my waist from behind me— “we’d just have sex and eat all day long.”
He started kissing my neck, knowing that it would distract me. “That’s the life,” I breathed.
“Mmm,” he moaned. I felt him hard against me.
“Shh, shh, shh. Bend over the table for me.”
I did as he said and he hiked up my dress, pulled my underwear down, and pushed my legs apart. I felt his lips low at my thigh, travelling upwards, sending pulsating tingles at each touch. How did we get from a conversation about domestics to here?
“Ask for it baby,” Daniel growled.
“Oh, I want it, Daniel! But I’m not so sure we’re going to have enough time to eat.”
Daniel laughed lowly. “Speak for yourself.”
He lunged his lips forward, running his tongue in just the right places, narrow and flat, and used his fingers to rub me. I moaned and tried holding still, but kept shuddering when flicks of his tongue hit me in one spot. When he groaned hungrily, I couldn’t find my breath. He would suck me and tug me from the centre, slowly but surely, and then he would go back to flicking his tongue up and down, in firm measures, until I came.
“Oh my God,” I breathed, leaning all of my weight on my elbows and placing my head on the table.
Daniel chuckled, and again it was lowly, this time more proud. “Come on, we’re going to be late.”
I spun around and hung onto him. “Not so fast.”
Daniel tilted his head. Then his eyes dropped in realisation and he stared at me unbuckling his belt. He smiled. “Oh yeah.”
I laughed and kissed his ear. “Can you get the lube?”
“What for? You’re already soaking wet.” I flinched when he ran his finger down to stroke me, and then brought the wet fingertip to his lips.
“Just get it for me.”
He ran half-naked into our bedroom, holding himself so he didn’t flop too harshly, and came back out with lube. I snatched it out of his hands eagerly and rubbed him with it.
“Oh,” he closed his eyes, “that’s why.”
“Mm-mmm,” I shook my head.
He opened his eyes. “I’m still confused.”
I turned around and propped my right leg up on the table. I squeezed out some gel and then dipped my lower back to pop my ass out, bending it so he could watch me rubbing it in and around my ass.
Daniel’s eyes widened. “Seriously? Right now?”
I nodded and bit my lip. “You want it, don’t you baby?” I’d like to think I spoke sweeter than a porn star, but the way I heard it may have not been the way I said it. Either way, it seemed to get Daniel going.
“Fuck yes!” he looked at me like it was an obvious answer to a stupid question.
I laughed. “Be gentle with me.”
Daniel kissed me on the side my neck. “Don’t worry. I got you.” Daniel placed himself in between me, and with concentration set deep in his eyes, he held himself until the tip of him entered me. And he pulled out. “Is that okay?”
I breathed out and nodded. “Yeah.”
He repeated the gesture again, this time going a little deeper. “Okay still, baby?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
“Okay, I’m going to go in deeper now.”
I was appreciating he was talking me through it. He groaned loudly when he pushed in, and the pressure of him fill me up and I moaned. “Oh shit!” I yelped then sucked in a breath through my clenched teeth.
I read that there are nerve endings that can make it pleasurable for women too. I didn’t feel it at first, with the pressure of him fitting his large penis inside of me, but once he settled and I got the hang of him moving in and out slowly, I was feeling it.
“Oh, I’m gonna come!”
“Already!?” It wasn’t short, but it wasn’t longer, or as long, than usual.
“Fuck you’re so tight!”
I straightened up and had him grab onto my breast and slide his hand around my waist and down my stomach, to where I was still wet.
“Come inside me,” I whispered to him. Knowing it would set him over the edge.
“Argh!!” he growled, thrusting with each palpable wave of his orgasm.
“Ohhhhh wow….” He slid out and I jumped at the pleasant feeling.
“Oh whoa,” he placed a hand on my back, “you okay?”
I laughed at how concerned he was. It was so sweet. “I’m fine. Come on, let’s get cleaned up.”
After we did got cleaned up, I let Daniel know, in the few minutes we had left to eat a bit, what happened with David and I (completely forgetting to let him know about the weird interaction I had with Richard; but when I remembered I decided to save it for later) before we were off to dinner at a roof-top restaurant Paul booked out.
I sat down next to Paul sheepishly. He remained staring at me with that Drag attitude attached to him. “I’m really, really, really, really, sorry for the way I acted. I love you and you were right. I should put more effort into this because believe it or not, I do love you.”
Paul broke into a contagious smile. “Go on.”
“That’s it.” We both laughed.
“Apology accepted,” he replied, “and I love you, too.” Paul grabbed a glass and started tapping to get everyone’s attention. “Can I just say that I’m extremely thankful for the friends that are family and my family who are my life who are all in my life. I thank you all for all coming tonight, I hope your year ends wonderfully, with passion, love, and lots of hot sex—” at this people laughed, some gushed, Daniel and I stole each other’s cheeky glances— “and just that little bit more. Love you all, cheers!”