Don is one of my favorite co-workers. A light skinned African American, he's not a 'token' anything, but is rapidly rising in our organization and it's generally recognized that he stands a very good chance of becoming the head of our department when Larry retires. There are several white men that might have a shot at the job, but Don hasn't made the enemies they have, plus his talent is so obvious, he works well with other people and he isn't a screamer, slave driver or credit taker like the other three candidates for Larry's job.
I've been on pitch trips with Don and I have a great respect for the guy. He's always unflappable, which is a very good thing to have in our business. He has a feel for the clients needs, wants, and desires for what they want to have happen with their products.
He also knows when to take a pass at projects, sensing when there is no way that the client will ever be happy with anything we do. While this turning down projects talent isn't usually something our company encourages, his past recommendations about projects we should have turned down but didn't and lived to regret makes his recommendations as to what clients we should take on highly regarded. After all, if we have unhappy clients, they don't give us good word of mouth, so it's better to take passes on some projects than to have to try and live up to impossible demands or expectations. Those problem projects eat up time, money and burn out people, and Don's ability to spot them makes him a candidate not only for head of department, but possibly the CEO's job when he retires in five years.
Don isn't just a great guy to work for, he's also a great looking guy. Think young Harry Belefonte, a coffee skinned guy not quite as handsome as young Harry, but he had a smile or a grin for everyone, or the deferential friendly nod, he could pick up on how to treat someone in nanoseconds of meeting them, I'd seen him do that on trips and wondered how he did it. I actually asked him about it one night in a 'let's get bombed and forget this day ever existed' hazy stupor. He thought about it for a while and said his uncle, who had raised him, always treated people like that and it was just how he grew up. You treated people with respect, and that the world was filled with a lot of interesting people and most of the time, they would be nice to know, if they felt comfortable with you. So he just tried to make them feel as comfortable as they could. He said he called it his politician's trick, as his uncle had been involved in politics and ran his own business. "People's people." He said summed it up.
My parents saw Harry Belefonte in his prime. The raw talent that came out in the second act, well, that wasn't Don's style. He built a few task teams and nobody ever said a bad word about how he ran projects. Yeah, bitching and moaning about the hours, but basically he took care of his people and backed them and defended them and got them what they needed.
I was a late thirties woman who had been fast tracked into budgets and project programs objectives. I had been through two marriages, couldn't have kids, was pulling down a low six figure income, didn't have time for a social life, and my last three sexual experiences had been one night stands with amiable strangers that I had meet in bars and the one before that was a purchasing agent at one of our clients so that was a road trip fuck, too. Lately I was wondering why I was doing this anymore? I was living in a condo and had more stuff packed away in storage than I lived with and most of my orgasms were battery powered.
Don and I were in Los Angeles and he'd mentioned that he was looking forward to seeing his uncle before we left. There was a lot of down time on this trip as a last minute emergency had taken two of the three key people needed to okay this thing were going to be gone for a week and the 'get to know the players on the field' part was going to be a bit awkward; nobody knowing if we were going to get the contact or not. But everything had changed while we were in the air there, and with the hotel reservations, etc, why not take the time and go see his uncle, instead of sitting around stewing?
I asked if I could come along and meet him. Don's stories had made him seem like he would be an interesting guy.
He looked at me and kind of frowned. "Well, that would certainly be interesting." He took a sip of his drink and laughed. "He's of the 'woman is only good for two things', sexist pig generation. I don't know if you'd like him."
Then he gave me this odd look. Kind of embarrassed, but I could understand that.
"Hey, Kimosabe, I have a few assholes in my own family I wouldn't introduce any of my real friends to. That's cool. It's L.A. out there and I am sure I can shop therapy my way through Rodeo Drive on my way to recovery."
"Well, despite having sometimes obvious motives about what he's looking for in a woman, I should also say that he can be an absolutely charming bastard and it could make it a bit odd if you and he were to get together." He worked a piece of meat out of his molar with his tongue and I looked at him. He finally got it out as I waited, curious about how I had made an assumption about this guy I'd never meet.
"Anyway, it could get awkward."
"Oh, come on now, Don. If he's your uncle, I'm sure that he would take no for an answer. Besides, he's how old?"
"Mid forties. He was the youngest in his family, my father was the oldest."
"Hmm..." I said.
"Yes, well, there is also something else you should know before you get your motor humming." He sighed. "Well, before he went legit, the business my uncle was in was what we'd call 'adult entertainment' these days."
"Really? Are you trying to tell me your dear old uncle did skin flicks?" I paused. "And this is supposed to discourage me how?"
"He was a producer. Although he did a few when he was just starting out."
"Anyone I might have heard of?" I asked curiously.
"Ever hear of the Ebony Piston?"
"YOUR UNCLE'S THE- ouch!"
"Jesus, keep it down!"
"Sorry." I said as I rubbed my wrist.
"You heard of my uncle?" He asked me, plainly startled by my reaction.
"Ned, my older brother had a stash of porn I blackmailed him into letting me watch. He had two of his films."
"I would have never have guessed in a million years you were a fan of skin flicks."
"Sheesh. I must have played those flicks over and over again. That scene where he fucked all six of those women." I shivered. "Man, I think I just now came just thinking about those flicks!"
"Man, I'm kind of astonished. You're the first woman that I think's ever admitted she watched porn before in her life."
"Well, now that we're got over your being worried about your nasty old sexist uncle offending my lady like sensibilities, you think he'd get the wrong idea if I showed up wearing just a garter belt and carrying a big 'fuck me' sign?" He cracked up. "Seriously, if you don't mind my saying so, he's got one obviously racial stereotyped characteristic that I want to check out for myself." He gave me a kind of astonished look. "After all, it's got to be one of the seven wonders of the world, as far as I'm concerned. You think, being as I'm a friend of yours and all, and a big big fan of his, that he'd show me his if I asked nicely?"
Plainly Don was kind of thrown off a bit by my ribald curiosity but getting over it fast. "I think that when Ray's got the Piston up, he's not interested in being a tourist attraction, but more into getting down to business, you know?"
"You're serious about this, aren't you?" He said in mild amazement.
"Bet your ass I am. You think he would do me?"
"He's a man and you got a pulse, so yeah, I guess you might get lucky." Don said dryly. "You sure you can handle something like that?"
"Don, you've been nothing but a gent with me, but I have this thing for... shall we say 'gifted' men?" His eyes laughed at me while a slow grin grew on his face. "Let's just say your uncle kind of spoiled me for other guys. Watching those tapes of my brother's, well, what can I say? I imprinted Big is Better way back when I was an impressionable young virgin. And I don't think that Jay ever forgave me for saying 'is that all of it?' the first time I ever saw a for-real cock." He winced in sympathy for that poor high school freshman date so long ago.
He shook his head.
"What?" I asked.
"You weigh what, hundred and ten? Tops?"
"Yeah. So I'm a 'wee bit of a thing', I haven't meet a cock didn't fit. You set this thing up for me, I'll owe you big time. Be a pal and keep me from maxing out my credit cards at the same time. Pretty please?"
He mock frowned at me, but I knew his heart wasn't in it.
"And what's in it for me, little girl?" He came back at me with the Irish accent I'd used on 'wee bit of a thing'.
"Oh, I've got more than one fantasy going here today." I picked up my coffee cup and smiled warmly at him. "Remember that two guy scene in 'Barbie Cued?"
"Deal." He said instantly.
Well, as far as the stereotypical 'lonely old corporate hag gets laid by a big black cock' goes, about all that was stereotypical about Ray was his voice. He had one of those deep base Afro American rumbles that just resonates through certain chicks (like me) and a gentleness about him that more than offset his two hundred and thirty pound body. In one of the movies he was in, he'd played a bouncer at a club, and he could have still pulled off that role today.
.... There is more of this story ...