Chapter One - He
He sat at the bar nursing the first drink of the day. The ice made a sound as it melted and slightly compacted in the glass. The bartender had given him a coaster but he often set his glass down on the bar, next to the coaster, his mind on other things.
It had not been planned at all. They had worked together at the other company and they were both pleasantly surprised the morning he walked in to start his new job. It was refreshing to have a familiar face and a friendly voice the first moment of a new job. She took him under her wing, as she was an old hand in this new office. She had been working here for five weeks now.
He was happy that she was to be his assistant. It was tough walking into a management position of a new company and not have a friendly spirit that you could confide in, rely on to nullify the office politics and make you more comfortable in the new and imposing surroundings. He relied on her to help her win over those who resented the fact that he was hired from the outside. There were some that desired his failure and, while not actually sabotaging his efforts, did not assist him as much as they could have. He had seen the whispered conversations and the jealous glances in his direction. She had convinced many that he was a capable manager and that he was loyal to his co-workers. Most of the team resolved to work with him and give him a chance, and it was because of her confidence in him.
They had first started working together about eight years ago. He had just finished his work on his MBA. She had hired on at the company after getting her degree. They had discussed the reasons why she refused to pursue her MBA, but all he received were half-mumbled excuses and sometimes an embarrassed silence. He had finally learned that the money was tight since her marriage and that, although she wanted to move up in her career, the motivation was just not there to pursue her MBA
They had been put together from the first, at their old company. He was the confident, good-looking young man with the fire in his belly and she was the pretty young woman that worked well with him and seemed to be able to sense his wishes. She reveled in his successes and he shared his promotions with her and took her with him when the promotions to new departments or divisions came. He made sure that her efforts were rewarded financially as well, the salary increases and bonuses came to her regularly.
Their first project had been a resounding success and had changed the direction of the company. He was put in charge of the new product line and she became his marketing director. As the product line took off, they began to travel to customers and suppliers. Many times their travels took them to distant cities. They always conducted themselves as business professionals and there was never a hint that there was anything even remotely sexual in their dealings with each other. Other than the occasional hug between two good friends, no one had cause to suspect them.
On the fourth business trip that they took together, they both had one more drink than they should have. They had celebrated the huge sale to a new customer by having an elaborate and somewhat expensive dinner. They talked about the impact that this would have on their careers and the new possibilities that this sale had opened for them. He was ecstatic and she was happy that she had been able to help bring him to this point in his career. They talked for a long time after dinner like the good friends that they were.
After the dinner they moved to the bar to talk some more. They were both too keyed up to end the evening and neither of them wanted the exuberance to end. They talked about their future with the company and the directions that they should try to take the product line. He bounced a few ideas for a new product off of her and asked for her input. She was pleased that he had the confidence in her to share his dreams. The talk about their careers slowly became a bit boring and the conversation drifted to more personal things.
He found out that her marriage was not as good as she had led everyone to believe. There were no real problems with the marriage, only dreams that were never fulfilled, wishes that were ignored, chances for closeness that slipped away and a lack of the blending of two souls that made the desire for a child a driving force in their marriage. He found out that she and her husband had slowly grown apart until they had become like two roommates instead of partners in life. She confided that her husband seemed to resent her successes and would withdraw from her a little more with each new accomplishment.
When the tears came to her eyes, he waited until she volunteered to speak. He put his hand over hers and said the right words to her. She smiled and told him that since she had opened up to him, that it was his turn.
He told her about his marriage to his college sweetheart. She had worked to allow him to pursue his MBA. Her career was successful, but not as successful as his. She had devoted as much time to her career as he had to his and the hours apart had begun to take their toll on the marriage. She became obsessed with her career and was determined to break the glass ceiling that so many career women found in the corporate environment. He attended many of the obligatory business functions that she felt were required to advance her career. He always felt like an outsider at those functions, as she moved about the room making contact with the persons that demanded her time. He told her that his marriage was much like hers, two people living together hoping that someday a lightning bolt would hit them and make them a happy couple.
After they left the bar and went to their rooms, they stood outside to talk some more. They had reached a new plateau in their relationship, but they were afraid to pursue it. They both knew that if they had, there would be no turning back. She reached up to him and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. He grabbed her and pulled him to her and held her close to him. After several minutes they knew that they either had to separate or see if the new feelings that they were having were real. In the end, she moved away from him, not sure of what she was experiencing inside of her heart, and she went to her room alone.
The next day they talked as if the night before had never happened. Their conversation was just slightly more animated and he often took the chance to touch her hand or place his hand on her back as they left the room and any number of ways that a man has to show his feelings for a woman, while trying not to show the world that he cares for her. There was never another occasion where they gave into their feelings for each other, not until a year later.
They went to a trade show that was to last five days, to show off the latest offerings of the company. The new products were state-of-the-art and they both had played a major part in the development of the products. He was now the vice-president of product development and she held his old position as division manager. Their product line was well received and, at the end of the first day, they had many new leads to be followed up. The show closed for the day and he suggested that they celebrate their latest success by going to the best restaurant in town for dinner. They left to go to their respective rooms and clean up and dress for dinner.
He was waiting in the hotel lobby when she got out of the elevator. His heart jumped when he saw her. She had on a form-fitting black dress that came to a point about two inches above her knees. The pearls around her neck accented the dress perfectly. Every one of the men in the hotel lobby turned to watch as she walked up to him and took his arm. They walked out of the lobby and to the rented car.
The dinner was all that they had hoped it would be. They talked incessantly and laughed often. He admitted that he knew little about wine and let her pick the wine that best went with their meal. He thanked her for her contributions to the new products and she told him that she was only able to be of help because he was so good at motivating her. They talked about their goals. The wine mellowed them and they began to talk about how each of them enjoyed working with the other.
They moved to the bar after the dinner and he ordered a drink for each of them. They continued to talk and the conversation was different from the conversation at dinner. They talked about life, their thoughts on politics, their plans for the future and anything else that would keep them at the bar talking. Neither of them wanted to go to the loneliness of their room.
The ice in their drinks melted and the drinks started to warm. The customers at the bar had thinned out and there were only two other couples in the bar. He put his hand over hers and she looked into his eyes. Neither of them spoke but their unspoken words were heard. He took her hand and they left the bar and headed toward the elevators. He put his arm around her waist and held her to him. Her eyes looked deeply into his and she saw the depth of his feelings for her. They both knew where this was heading and they walked toward the inevitable willingly.
He led her to his room and held the door for her to enter. She walked in and turned to him as he approached her. She walked into his arms and held his head as he kissed her with a passion that she had not experienced in a long time. After they broke for air he reached behind her and pulled down the zipper of her dress. She moved away a little and let the dress fall to a pile at her feet. She stepped out of the dress and kicked it away from them. She wasn't wearing a bra and his hands gently caressed her breasts. She took his hands and held him to her as if she was afraid that he would remove them. Their lips met again and his tongue met hers and began to duel with her tongue. Their passion increased and he dropped his hands and pulled her to his body as if he was afraid that she would run away.
She moved away and took his hand and led him to the bed. She slipped her high-heeled shoes off but left her stockings on. She got on the bed and watched as he got out of his clothes. She marveled at his magnificent body. He was all that she had dreamed he would be.
He got onto the bed with her and slipped her panties off. He lay next to her and took her into his arms. He told her that he loved her. She had known for a long time that he loved her. A woman knows such things. She loved him too and she told him so. He rose over her and began to shower every part of her body with kisses. When he kissed her breasts she held his head and let the pleasant sensations fuel her lust. She found that it was becoming impossible to control her body. Her body kept moving to him to gain greater access to him and to allow him greater access to her body.
His kissed moved to her mound and his tongue traced her slit and caressed her gently while avoiding her clit. In frustration she grabbed his head and held him to her and his tongue began to caress her most sensitive spot, driving her to a point from which she never wanted to return. She felt her passion inside of her begin to culminate in the waves of pleasure that had been denied to her for so long. She held his head to her sex as wave after wave of pleasure racked her body. She almost passed out from the intense unfamiliar feelings.
He pulled away and took his place between her legs. He held himself over her, supporting himself on his arms, and told her that he loved her again. Tears came to her eyes and she grabbed his head and kissed him with more passion than he had ever experienced. He placed his manhood at her entrance and she took hold of him and guided him into her being. He entered her slowly until he had his full length inside of her. He felt a small orgasm shake her body and he began the rhythm of love. She rose to meet his every thrust and kept up with him even when the pace of their lovemaking increased. She felt him tense and she knew that their love for each other had reached its peak. He began to empty himself into her and her orgasm was triggered by his.
They lay together until he began to soften. He pulled out of her and lay down next to her and gathered her into his arms. They didn't speak as their silence told them more than any words could have. After a while, she pulled away, kissed him and went into the bathroom. When she came back, she took her place in his arms and snuggled as close to him as she could. They fell asleep in each other's arms and slept as neither of them had for a long time.
The next day was spent at their company booth at the trade show. On the few times that they were alone he told her that he loved her and she smiled and told him that she loved him also. Every evening, after the show had closed, they retreated to his room and had dinner brought to them. They spent the nights together making love and basking in the glow of their newly expressed love. Nothing was said about what their love would bring when they returned home. As lovers do, they were sure that their love was all that mattered.
He held her hand on the flight back to the city where they lived. She asked him to give her time to sort out her feelings and asked that he not pressure her for a while. They were met at the airport by their spouses and they left to the lives that they had lived a week before.
They left together on three business trips in the next several months. They reserved two rooms each time, but always slept in one room during the time they were away from home. He laughed at her for messing up her bed every morning so that the hotel staff would not know they were sleeping together. The trip home was becoming more strained each time. Neither wanted to be the one to turn away and leave first.
None of their co-workers noticed that there was something between them. Their happiness was attributed to an improvement in their home situation. When this latest trip came up he had called her into his office and told her that they had to make a decision about where their love would take them. Being away from her was tearing him up and would eventually affect his work. She agreed to meet him after work and they could leave after dinner and make the three-hour drive to meet with the customer. The business could be completed in two days but they told the company and their spouses that it would take at least three days.
That was the reason that he was here waiting for her. When he saw her enter the bar, he broke out into a big grin. His heart leaped in his chest at the sight of her beauty. After this trip their love for each other would either be out in the open or they would have to let it die.
She walked into the bar and searched for him. When she saw his face a smile came to her lips. She missed every minute away from him. A quick glance around the bar assured her that there were no familiar faces here. She walked to him and caressed his cheek and leaned to him and gently kissed his lips. She smiled and pulled a tissue from her purse and wiped the lipstick from his lips. She sat next to him and when he asked if she would like a drink she shook her head. She asked if they could leave right away and stop for dinner somewhere on the road as she had had a late lunch.
He paid for his drink and they left the bar together. She left her car on the street and they pulled away from the bar in his larger car. She moved closer to him and put her head on his shoulder. This was where she wanted to be, with him.
She became infatuated with him shortly after he started working at the company that had hired her fresh out of college. She saw, right away, that he was different from other men. He was not intimidated by a woman with brains. He made sure that she was rewarded for her accomplishments and received adequate compensation for her efforts. He took her with him as he rose up the corporate ladder. He never took credit for her ideas or her successes. He always made sure that opportunities were available to her so that no one could deny her worth to the company. She was well respected in the company and the upper-level management knew that they worked well together and that it would be foolish to separate them.
Their closeness and compatibility soon became something else that neither of them would admit. When she felt that it was becoming something that she couldn't handle, she moved to another company. She had thanked him for all that he had done for her and he had jokingly told her that his career would be over as soon as she was out the door. When he asked where she was going she declined to answer him. She wanted to give herself a chance to sort out things.
The new job was not what she had expected and she was miserable. She hated getting out of bed in the morning. Finally she decided that she could not take the job any more and she decided to give her two-week notice that day. She discussed it with her husband and his only concern was that she quickly find another job so that they wouldn't get behind on the bills.
As she walked to her office from the parking lot, she thought that she noticed something familiar about the easy, confident walk of the man in front of her. She followed a short distance behind him and, as he waited for the elevator, she walked up next to him. They looked at each other in amazement. They both asked what the other was doing there at the same time. They laughed when he explained that the old company was not the same after she left and that he had decided to move on. When she told him that she worked here now he said that it was fate that they be together. For a fleeting moment she wondered if his words had more than one meaning.
She took him by the arm and marched him to his new boss and introduced him. She told the boss what a prize the company was getting and told him about the many accomplishments of the new employee. They were surprised to find out that he had been hired to take over the department where she worked.
At lunch that afternoon, he told her that after she left the personality of the company seemed to change and he found it hard to get up in the morning to go to work. A headhunter had called a few days after she was gone and offered him a position with the new company. He accepted and gave his two-week notice. His old company made him two counter-offers, but he had decided to leave so he turned the offers down.
They resumed where they had left off in the old company. It soon became apparent to management that they had stumbled on an awesome pair. They worked perfectly together and worked like they were meant to be a team. They seemed to be able to read each other's minds and complimented each other's strengths. The promotions started coming rapidly and he made sure that the company knew that their accomplishments were, in a large part, because of her efforts.
They started to go on business trips together and they kept their relationship on a professional level. Until the night that they celebrated the big sale to the new customer. She would always remember that night. It had been the beginning of their present relationship, although neither of them knew that at the time. The dinner had gone as all of their lunches, meetings, and business tips had gone. They had enjoyed each other's company and had been content with that. After they moved to the bar, something had happened. She couldn't put here finger on what it was that changed them that night. She had never intended to talk to him about her marriage. She had always separated her personal and professional life. When she opened up to him, he listened to her and she found that he was very easy to talk to. When she asked about his life and he told her about his marriage, she was not shocked. She had always detected that little bit of sadness hidden from the public in the back of his eyes. She hadn't known why it was there, but she knew that he was not the happy person that he portrayed to the world.
When they walked back to their rooms and he had pulled her into his arms she went willingly. She allowed him to hold her and put her head on his chest and luxuriated in the feeling of closeness that they both felt. She did not try to pull away and he did not attempt to release her. She wanted to remain in his arms forever. She started to panic when she saw that he was doing what she wanted him to do, hold on to her. She knew that she was not ready to make a decision about their relationship right then and she pulled away and went to her room.
She did not sleep well that night. It was a long time before she fell asleep. She imagined that she could feel his arms around her as she laid in her bed thinking. When she did fall asleep, she dreamed of him making love to her and taking her to a place that was beautiful and where they could be alone with each other.
The night of the trade show, she knew that their relationship would be taken to the next level. She hadn't thought about sleeping with him and when it happened she wasn't surprised. They entered into this new phase willingly. He was a gentle and considerate lover. He seemed to be able to sense her needs even before she did and he made sure that her needs were satisfied before his were.
When he entered her, she felt that she had finally become a complete woman. It seemed so beautiful and natural for him to be inside of her. When they made love, it felt like this was the first time that she had ever made love with anyone. All of the other times were just sex. Making love with him was something that worldly beings seldom experienced.