Leigh was excited about starting her new job. She had applied for a position in a warehouse and was pleased when she had been called and told that if she wanted the job, it was hers. After reporting to her immediate supervisor she waited for the rest of her department to show up for their morning meeting. As people started to trickle in, she was not overly shocked that she was one of the few women present. Out of the twenty people in her department only three, including herself were women. She had never seen so many young and hunky men in one place. Especially after her last place of employment. They had only one man in the whole building. What a switch this was going to be. After being introduced around the department, she started her first shift in her new place of employment.
As she was walking out at the end of her shift, she left in high spirits. She was tired but it was a very rewarding tiredness. As she walked out to the parking lot, she saw her current boyfriend impatiently waiting for her. When she got into the car, she saw his nose wrinkle with distaste. Looking down at herself she noticed how dusty and dirty she had gotten during the course of her shift.
"Sorry, Douglas. I'm a bit of a mess. I'll take a shower as soon as we get home." She assured him.
"You look like you have been rooting with the pigs, Leigh."
"I know. But I'll wash up just fine." She replied as they pulled out of the parking lot.
Time flew by quickly for Leigh and she settled into her new job like a duck to water. She was for once happy to go to work. But as her joy in her new job increased, at home her relationship with Douglas was getting worse. He had become more and more condescending about everything she did. From her clothes to her job, nothing was left untouched. It seemed that there was no pleasing him as of late. But as far as anyone at work could tell, she was always happy and she was eventually being asked to go out with the rest of the department after work for drinks. She was hesitant to accept without Douglas's permission. So she made her excuses and went home to listen to Douglas complain that the pot roast that she had put in the crock pot was overdone and rubbery. Sighing she wondered what the rest of the guys from work were doing. Next time they asked she was going to go with. And screw what Douglas thought. She was free, white and over twenty-one.
It wasn't long before she was asked again. And this time she accepted. She called Douglas and told him that he didn't have to pick her up and she would be home later. Then she hung up before he could give her the third degree about what she was doing. One of her co-workers, Jason offered to let her ride with him. Shyly she accepted his offer. She knew that if her girlfriend, Gloria, had ever met him, she would rate him as total stud muffin. Even though Leigh was five-ten, he towered over her by at least six inches. And he was a well-built man in his prime. From his chocolate colored hair and bronzed skin to his deep blue eyes, he just screamed testosterone. And if she had been single she would have more than jump at the chance to see him outside of work. But that was just wishful thinking on her part. He was a fun guy to work with and quickly becoming a good friend. It was a definite switch from having girlfriends. When they arrived at the local hang out, she relaxed and enjoyed herself. She had a few cold ones with the guys and then called herself a cab to take her home, even though Jason protested and said that he was more than willing to take her home. After reassuring him that it was for the best she left.
Jason and the rest of the department were surprised when Leigh called in the next few days. She had been a very dependable employee up til then. Finally Jason asked his boss if everything was okay.
"She'll be back in a few days, Jason. She has a doctor excuse. She needs a couple of days on her pain med. She said that she tripped over the curb outside her house and landed on her hand. She sprained her wrist really bad." Randy, his supervisor replied. Jason didn't say much but he hoped she would be back soon. Everyone missed her sunny disposition.
When Leigh finally returned to work, she was happy to see everyone and she thanked them for the card and the flowers that they had sent to her. But it was almost noticeable to everyone that she was more subdued than she had been before she had fallen. For the next few weeks most of the department became more concerned about her. They talked amongst themselves and were baffled about Leigh's mood change. Where had their happy, outgoing co-worker gone to? They missed their Ms. Sunshine, as they called her. Then it finally came to a head the day that Leigh came into work with a bruise on the side of her face. She had tried to cover it with makeup.
Leigh had hoped that no one would notice the bruise on her face. She had broken up with Douglas and he hadn't taken it well. And he had left a reminder of his displeasure on her cheek. And she promptly called the police and had him escorted out of her apartment. He was spending the night in jail as a result. She was no man's punching bag. With any luck none of the guys would notice it. They had all become close as family and she didn't want to explain what a jerk her ex had been. Unfortunately luck was not with her. The first one she saw in her department was Jason. He took one look at her and his brow furrowed and he lifted her chin to get a better look at her face.
"That bastard!" he growled before walking away. Leigh stood there shaken. It was the first time that Jason had ever touched her. Her face tingled where he had touched it. Christ, she thought, now is not the time for my sex drive to kick in. I have one hell of a mess to take care of with Douglas. She worked through her shift and was surprised when none of the other guys said anything about her bruise. It was almost quitting time when she was paged over the p.a. system. Walking into her supervisor's office, she was surprised to see a handful of the guys, standing inside of the office. After entering, her supervisor told Jason to shut the door.
"Leigh. I know this is a touchy subject in today's age, but you are part of our family now. Is your boyfriend beating on you?" Randy asked.
"You mean my ex? Not any more." She laughed bitterly. "I kicked him to the curb last night via the local police. I'm no man's punching bag."
"That's damn straight." Jason said. The rest of the guys echoed him.
"Do you have a restraining order against him?"
"No. But I think he'll stay away from now on."
"Does he still have stuff in your apartment?" Randy asked.
"A few things."
"Well, that settles it. When he gets out of jail, I'll have a couple of the guys come over and stay with you." Jason, Mike and Craig immediately volunteered their services.
"Thanks guys." Leigh said.
It took a few weeks for Leigh to return to her normal sunny disposition. She noticed that Jason seemed to be watching her rather intently when he didn't think she was watching. It seemed like he was waiting for something. And if she only knew how right she was. Finally one night after work, while he was walking her out to her car, he asked her out.
"Will you go with me, Ms Sunshine?" Looking up at him, she stared. "Don't act so shocked, Leigh." Jason said softly. "I know you feel the same undercurrents that I do. I've just been waiting for you to get over him."
"Jason. I can't." She replied with regret.
"Why?" He asked as he leaned against the fender of her car.
"We work together."
"That won't work." Jason said with a smile. "Try again."
"What?" She said with surprise.
"Try again, Leigh. Let's see what other excuses you can find to turn me down."
"I'm not ready to date again." She replied hotly.
"Really?" Jason said before leaning down enough to capture her mouth with a gentle kiss. After he slowly kissed her senseless, he lifted his head. Her breathing was just as ragged as his. "You know where to find me, when you're ready, Leigh. I'll be waiting." He finished. Brushing a quick kiss over her forehead, he walked over to his truck.
Over the next few weeks, Leigh tried to stand firm in the face of Jason's gentle pursuit. He never got overly aggressive with her. She assumed that was due to the fact that he didn't want to act like her ex. He still walked her out every night to her car and asked her out. And tonight was no different.
"Jason." She said as she shook her head. "You never give up."
"Eventually you will run out of excuses, Leigh."
"Tell me why you keep asking me. Other than the fact you don't like the word no."
"Because I want you, Leigh. I don't expect you to sleep with me on the first date. But I am going to be honest with you. I go to sleep wanting you. I wake up wanting you. I come to work wanting you. I'm going crazy with desire. My body isn't going to know any peace until I've loved you within an inch of your life."
Leigh gasped in surprise and unexpected pleasure. Before she could say anything he leaned in and gave her another one of his slow, passionate kisses.
"Just something for you to think on, Leigh. You'll say yes one of these times." He said after he lifted his head. "And I'll make it so damn good that you'll scream with pleasure."
"That confident in your abilities?"
"No that confident in you." He said. "Just remember what I said, Ms Sunshine. Anytime you want me all you have to do is say the word and I am yours."
.... There is more of this story ...