She turned off the street into her driveway and pressed the button on her garage door opener. The door slid up to reveal that her husband's car was already in the garage. She wondered how long he had been home. Must be nice to have a decent nine to five job; no late hours, no travel, just in at nine and out by five. She realized that it was unfair of her to feel so bitter that Howard had it so easy. He had what he wanted, was happy with it and it wasn't his fault that she had a strong desire to climb the corporate ladder. Her goal was to become XYZ's first female vice president and if it took long hours, late nights and out of town business trips so be it. She would do whatever she had to do to reach her goal.
She hadn't ever intended that her drive to succeed would poison her marriage, but it had and she didn't understand why. It was never any secret to Howard that she intended to succeed in business. When he had proposed she had said yes, but she had also said that they would have to wait until she finished her MBA program. She had made no bones about it to him - she was not going to be a stay at home housewife and she had made doubly sure that he understood that children were not an option. She had no intension of being held back by the clutching hands of babies. He knew what her goals were before either one of them said "I do."
And yet not three years into the marriage he started in on her about having children while they were still young enough to enjoy them. When she reminded him that she had said "no babies" he had smiled and said:
"That was then. I knew that you would change as you got older. It isn't natural for a woman not to want to be a mother."
"Well, you gambled and you lost Howard. I am not going to have babies."
He had just smiled and ignored what she said and at least once a month he brought the subject up again. He was constantly saying things like, "You aren't getting any younger sweetie; you want to go to your kid's high school graduation looking like their grandmother?" or "Your biological clock is ticking sweetie; we need to get started."
She finally lost it and yelled at him that if he brought the subject up again she would move out of the house. "I told you before we got married that there would never be any children and there won't be. I do not want children, I never have wanted children and I am never going to have children. Period!!! End of discussion!!!"
How bad had it gotten? She remembered the night they had watched Desperate Housewives. It was the episode where Carlos doctored Gabby's birth control pills and she had glanced over at Howard and had seen the expression on his face when he saw what Carlos did. They very next day she had made an appointment to be fitted for a diaphragm and she hadn't told Howard. She had also gotten a second set of birth control pills. The set at home in the medicine cabinet were decoys. She took a pill from the compact every day and dropped it in her pocket and saved it. When the compact was empty she took it to work with her and refilled it and the put it back in the cabinet and started over. Her real set, the ones she took religiously, were in her desk drawer at work.
With the diaphragm and the real pills she felt safe from Howard, but she still took it one step farther. She never made love with Howard during her fertile period. Howard wasn't stupid. He knew her cycle as well as she did and he knew her headache excuses and don't feel good excuses were just to keep him away from her and to keep him from getting her pregnant. That, and her absolute refusal to even talk about having babies had cast a pall over their marriage and eventually their sex life tapered off to almost nothing.
She was sorry it was that way, but she did not feel guilty about it. He knew before he said "I do" what to expect. She had spelled it out for him months and months before the wedding and he had agreed to it. Their marriage had reached the point where the only reason they were still together was that neither of them had the time or energy to waste on seeing a divorce attorney.
She pulled into the garage and parked next to Howard's car, closed the garage door and went into the house.
She walked into the kitchen and saw Howard sitting at the kitchen table going through the day's mail. He looked up at her as she came into the room:
"Hi hon, how did your day go?"
"Oh, my day was the same old, same old... you know... sign on, read my e-mail. Coffee break. Get called to the executive conference room, lift my skirt, drop my panties, bend over the table and get taken by the executives, one after the other. Salad for lunch, keep the contractors happy with blow jobs at their desks. Coffee break. Spank some bad employees. Heavy traffic on the ride home. Just another day in the salt mines of corporate America."
"Well, it's nice to know you still have a sense of humor after a long hard day."
"If you only knew" she thought as she carried her briefcase into the downstairs bedroom she had converted into a home office. She hadn't been joking. That was pretty much how her day had gone. She hadn't sucked off any contractors or spanked any bad employees, but Matt, the president of XYZ and Phil, his executive vice president had bent her over the conference table and taken her from behind and a little later they had taken her on the table, Matt in her mouth and Phil in her pussy.
She thought back to how it had all started. She had been a member of a team that had been assembled to work on the buy-out of one of XYZ's competitors. A lot of time and effort (and money) had gone into the project, but although it looked like it was going to be successful they kept hitting one stumbling block - Harlan Vickers! Harlan owned eighteen percent of the shares of Vickers Industries. Normally not enough to be able to block the sale, but there was nothing normal about Harlan's eighteen percent.
When Hiram Vickers (founder of the company) had died he left his fifty-four percent of the stock to his three children, but the terms of his will were quite specific. The block of stock had to be voted as a block. It required that the stock be voted unanimously. That way no two of the children could gang up on the third one and make that third one do something they really didn't want to do. Harlan's two sisters were all for the sale and wanted it to go through. Harlan didn't. So even though XYZ had shareholders who controlled seventy-seven percent of the stock behind the sale, the sale was stalled because Harlan was balking.
XYZ's legal department believed that Harlan's sisters could challenge Hiram's will in court and that if they did they stood a good chance of overturning the stock ownership provisions, but that court fight could take years and might not be successful in the end.
She was having lunch with Phil Weber, XYZ's executive vice president, and lunch was almost over when Phil said:
"We may have a breakthrough on the Vickers deal."
"What kind of a breakthrough?"
"I had dinner wit Harlan last night and naturally most of the talk was about the sale. It turns out that Harlan is not all that averse to the sale. He is being stubborn because he has something against his sisters. They want the sale so to screw over them he won't sell. During our talk it came out that he has quite the crush on you."
"I don't think I'm going to like where this conversation is going Phil."
"What's the matter Elaine? Didn't you mean it when you said you were going to climb to the top at XYZ and would do whatever it took?"
"Yes I meant it Phil, but there are limits."
"Well let me tell you something Elaine. There are no limits in this business if you want to get to the top. I'm not proud of some of the things I had to do to get where I am and I'm even less proud of some of the things I've had to do as VP, but I wanted to be where I am and so I did them. If you want to move up in this company you will have to do some things that you don't want to do. You might not have to do those things if you worked at another company, but you don't work at another company. We are asking you to take one for the team."
"We? Who is "we?"
"Matt is the one who suggested that I talk to you."
"Let me get this straight. Our president and CEO asked you to ask me to whore myself out for the company?"
"He didn't quite put it that way."
"My God Phil. I'm a married woman. You are asking me to cheat on my husband for a job?"
"Not just any job Elaine. If you want to get where I am you might have to do some things you might not necessarily want to do. What should I tell Matt?"
"You can tell him that I want to speak with him personally about this."
"I don't know if he will agree to that."
"Well then Phil, my answer is no. I might change my mind after talking with Matt, but without a face to face with him my answer is no."
At ten the next morning she got a call from Matt's secretary asking her to meet with Matt in his office at ten-fifteen. Matt cut right to it.
"Phil tells me that you are, how should I put it... reluctant?... to go along with getting Harlan Vickers on board with the sale?"
"Reluctant is putting it mildly. Company whore is not part of my job description."
"That term is a little harsh. I prefer to say "deal closer."
"It doesn't matter what you call it, the bottom line is that you are asking me to cheat on my husband just to help the company close a deal."
"If you don't tell him I certainly won't. But, since you brought up the bottom line I'll give it to you. Bottom line is that you not doing it will not affect the job you now have. Your refusal will not have any impact on your performance reviews and you can look forward to receiving normal raises and benefits, but, and I emphasize the but, you probably will not rise much farther in the company. You can probably expect, based on your current performance, to be promoted to regional manager one of these days and maybe even to division manager, but it is unlikely that you will go any higher. The higher positions are ones we want occupied by those who have XYZ's best interests in mind and who are willing to do what needs to be done to further XYZ's goals."
"Basically then, what you are doing is attempting to blackmail me. You are saying "cheat on your husband, jeopardize your marriage or your career is over."
"Not at all. What I said is that we promote those who have XYZ's best interests at heart. It isn't as if you won't get anything out of helping us in the matter of Mr. Vickers. There will be a rather substantial bonus and your next performance review will be positively glowing."
"How about you write it yourself and then Phil will sign it."
"If I decide to do it how would I handle it?"
"I would leave that up to you, but I would strongly suggest that you don't do anything until he has agreed in writing to sell."
She spent two days thinking about it and then she reached for a phone and called Harlan. She met him for lunch and when he asked her to what did he owe the pleasure of her company she said:
"It is simple Harlan. We want you to agree to the sale and you want me."
"Do we need to waste time on lunch?"
She took an envelope out of her purse, took a piece of paper out of it and slid it across the table to Harlan.
"Sign it and then find us a bed."
Surprisingly enough she had enjoyed playing with Harlan and she had continued to see him for almost six months until he moved to California.
It was five months later before Phil approached her again. There was a big wheel from Titan Manufacturing coming to town and since Titan was one of XYZ's biggest customers they tended to see to it that the visitor had a good time.
"Can you help us out on this one Elaine?"
"Why me? Set him up with a call girl."
"No way! He is too valuable to us to risk getting him busted if we use the wrong girl and she is being watched by the vice squad. No Elaine, we can't use a pro for this."
"So who have you used before now? Get her to do it."
"No can do. Lois in Accounting is who he usually sees, but she is seven months pregnant."
"Some guys are turned on by pregnant women."
"But he may not be one of them and we don't want to take a chance on sending her over to him and him not being happy about it. Come on Elaine, you know it won't hurt you. Look at how things turned out with Harlan. Matt considers you his 'go-to-girl' in difficult situations and that can't be anything but good for you as far as the company is concerned."
"Damn it Phil, I do not want to be the company whore!"
"It isn't that way Elaine. Matt will not ask you to do this with just anyone. It will have to be someone who is extremely important to us. You have to remember that we are asking you to do something for the good of the company and when you do something for the good of the company it will translate into something good for you."
"It just isn't fair Phil. You didn't have to do what you want me to do to get where you are."
"Don't you kid yourself Elaine. I have done just what we are asking you to do. Companies do have female executives that need to be entertained and I've had to do that entertaining more than a couple of times. I did it for the good of the company and the company has repaid me for my loyalty many times over and they will do it for you also."
She thought back to her time with Harlan. She had gotten a ten thousand dollar bonus when the sale had been completed and true to his word Matt had given her a blank form when it was time for her yearly merit review and told her to fill it out. He was surprised when she gave it back to him and he read it. She had been completely honest in all categories, even in the section which said, "Areas in which improvement is needed." In the block that said "Strengths" she had printed in big block letters, "Willing to what is required to further company goals." He smiled when he read that, signed it and recommended a ten percent raise. Well, she had said she was willing to do what was required.
"What do I do? Go to his hotel room and knock on his door?"
"No, he has more class than that. He will make dinner reservations and you will meet him at the restaurant. After dinner he will take you to a play or something. Lois says he is partial to the opera and the symphony. After, he may take you out for drinks and some dancing and then, of course, you will end up at his hotel room. You can tell your husband that you are on a three day business trip."
"He may only stay two, but schedule three to be on the safe side. Also, I'm setting up a lunch for you with Lois. She can fill you in on his likes and dislikes."
The lunch with Lois did not start out well and it was several minutes before she figured out that Lois was not happy that she was taking something that Lois considered hers. She tried to defuse the situation by saying that she had no intention of making it a permanent arrangement.
"You can have him back as soon as you have your baby. The only reason they have asked me to do this is because they don't know how he would react to a pregnant woman."
"Is that what they told you? Well its bullshit, just plain bullshit. They are afraid that he will think the baby is his and they are afraid of how he will react."
"Oh my. Is the baby his?"
"I don't know, it could be. It is either his or my husband's since they are the only two men I've been with."
"Does your husband know about what you are doing for the company?"
"Oh God no. He would leave me in a heartbeat if he ever found out."
"Then why do you do it?"
"It is complicated."
"Tell me. I'm very much interested since the company now has me doing it."