Ronni Dunlap swung her purse over her shoulder and stepped gingerly over the mud puddle at the curb. Typical of the bus driver, she thought, he always stopped short of the curb, making everybody stretch to get off. It was either that, or you had to step down into the oily water, and then back up on the curb, which didn't do your shoes any good.
The summer weather of the last few weeks was definitely a memory. She pulled her jacket a little tighter and hurried down the street, her irritation with the bus driver replaced by a general irritation with everything around her. Jackhammers assaulted her ears, people brushed past her with barely any acknowledgement, raindrops swirled around the corner, not quite hard enough that you had to use an umbrella, but enough to make you damp. She escaped into the quiet of the building's lobby with a sense of relief.
The air in here was warm. The smell of coffee, tea and fresh cinnamon rolls from the lobby deli wafted over her, replacing the harsh oil stinks prevalent just a few feet away. She took a happy sniff. If she ever gave up her office job she'd want to work here, surrounded by all of the warm smells. She got her usual tea, yoghurt and bagel for breakfast, and headed for the gates to the elevators.
The guards behind the desk smiled at her after she flashed her badge. "Morning Ms. Dunlap," one of them said with a smile.
"Morning, Richard," she replied, just as she always did. The day was definitely brightening up.
She got to her receptionist's desk, stowed her purse and jacket, replaced her 'sensible' shoes—Reeboks she'd bought on sale at Sears—with a pair of strappy mules she'd found on sale at Macy's, and donned her headset. She logged in, and saw there were already 10 voice mails.
The company officially opened for business at 8:30. By 8:15 she had the e-mails answered and voicemail cleared out. She pulled a mirror out of her drawer and checked her make-up. The trouble with a blonde complexion was that her eyebrows didn't really show. She did a quick touch up with the blusher so people could see the apples of her cheeks. She pulled the rubber band off of her hair and tied everything back in a ponytail. She looked ... perky. That was probably all right for a blonde receptionist, though she wanted more.
She electronically unlocked the door at 8:30, and pasted on a smile, ready for the day. She didn't have to wait long. Barely 30 seconds later the phones began to light up.
"Hubbard and Associates, this is Ronni. How may I direct your call?"
"Ms. Hubbard, please. I'm Gerald Sherman, she's expecting my call."
"Thank you, Mr. Sherman. One moment please." She pressed the appropriate button. "Ms. Hubbard. I have a Mr. Gerald Sherman on Line 1."
"Thank you, dear. Put him through."
Ronni pushed the button. The door squeaked, and she looked up with her professional smile. "May I help you?"
"Yes ma'am," the man said. "I'm here to see Brent Towcroft."
"Will you have a seat, please? I'll let him know you're here." She sighed to herself. Another day was off to a start.
Calls, e-mails, visitors, even a vendor for the IT staff. She greeted them all with a smile and the idea that she was really glad to see them. Her break couldn't come fast enough, and when 10:00 rolled around she happily gave way to Kirsten, her back-up.
"Busy morning," Kirsten said, scanning the desk with a practiced eye. "I bet you're glad to get out of here for a few minutes."
"I've barely had time to drink my tea," Ronni replied. She gestured at her bagel. "Goodness knows if I'll have time for that."
"Maybe it'll slack off some," Kirsten said. "Okay, I've got it." She slipped on the headphone and slid into Ronni's seat. "See you in half an hour."
Ronni picked up her bagel and used her keycard to go through to the main offices, or 'cubicle heaven' as some of the people called it. After the door clicked shut she took off her skirt and panties, hanging them on a hook by the door, then wound her way through the maze to the break room.
Frank, the manager of Accounts Payable, was right behind her. She liked Frank; he had a cute tush, nice shoulders, and an agile tongue.
"Just going on break?" she asked him.
He nodded. "Things were running late today."
When he glanced at the room next door and arched an eyebrow, she smiled in agreement. She began unbuttoning her blouse before she even got in there. One of the four cots was in use. She hung up her blouse, accepted Frank's help with her bra, and settled back with a sigh. They had half an hour, which should be plenty of time.
Frank's tongue went right to her breasts, kissing and teasing them, before trailing a wet, sinuous path down to her bush. She'd been thinning it out; she still didn't quite have the nerve to shave it all off because her husband might say something. Frank teased the curls, and then flicked lightly across the hood of her clit.
"Yes," she hissed at the intimate touch. While he teased her she helped him with his polo shirt, finally running her fingers over his shoulders. Until a few months before, the men had gone shirtless, but wore pants. Now they dressed like the women: a shirt or top, and bare from the waist down. Guys were a bit harrier, but it saved time at lunch and during breaks.
She wanted more than just a good licking, and she began to urge Frank. The trouble was, he was good with his tongue, and when he used it to probe her hole she shuddered and clutched her breasts. He curled it, somehow, and managed to swipe up her slit and engulf her clit, sending a wave of heat through her.
Frank began to kiss back up her body, and she sighed happily when she tasted herself on his lips. She could feel his hardness against her thigh, and slid her hand down between them. It felt solid, firm, and full of promise. She spread her legs a little farther open and guided him to her entrance.
Frank didn't need any more encouraging. The tip of his cock was big and blunt, and as he pushed, Ronni closed her eyes. She'd always thought of herself as small down there, and it amazed her that she could take a cock as big as Frank's. He stretched her open, and slid against the sensitive skin of her passage with a fiery caress.
He kissed her repeatedly as he worked his cock into her. She was caught up in the whole feel of him sliding into her. It always felt like the guy was going to split her open. She could feel his length sliding and sliding, pushing deeper into her. Intellectually she knew it was only a few inches, but it felt like his cock was two feet long and trying to reach her throat from the other side.
When she finally felt his balls against her bottom, she released her death grip on his shoulders. It was the same every time: her body was filled to the bursting point; he couldn't possibly get any more inside her; and then he began moving. It was like a fiery wave of pure sensation swept through her. She gasped her pleasure, and then began moving against him, trying to take even more, and take it deeper.
He thrust ... she moved ... her whole body was a roaring bonfire that started in her middle and spread all through her. Every thrust, every touch, fed the fire. His chest hair scratched at her nipples, sending little jolts of pleasure down to her middle. She was swept up in it, the scent of Frank's sweat filling her senses, the electric feel of his skin against hers, and the fiery spear filling her middle, pushing her higher and higher.
When she came, when he pushed her over the top and she lost control, everything vanished in wave after wave of pure feeling. She could feel him speed up, and then, as her passions swept over her once more, she felt the feathery touch of his come splashing deep inside her.
They came down slowly, trading kisses and little thrusts. All of the morning's tensions were gone, washed away by the flood of pleasure. She drifted out to sea, folded into his arms, her body molded to his.
Eventually they had to part. His cock, which had looked impressive, and felt even larger, looked red and withered. She gave it friendly kiss, gave Frank another kiss, and got up. Her skin was still on fire, and she hated dressing. It wasn't like the Corporate Retreat they'd gone on two months before; then she hadn't had to wear a stitch of clothing for nearly four days.
Frank helped her with her clothes, his hands lingering on her breasts as he 'adjusted' them to fit in her cups. Finally, though, she had to take a quick potty stop, heat her bagel, and race back to her desk.
She was pulling on her panties when one of the women who worked in the area walked past. "How can you bear to wear them? I know I can't."
"When I wear a skirt I don't feel properly dressed without panties," Ronni said.
Another woman, Francine, nodded. "I know what you mean. I've got a little girl of 3, and I have to wear panties around the house so she will." She chuckled. "It's sort of a 'do what I say, not what I do' thing."
Ronni pulled on her skirt. "Don't think I wouldn't rather be back here," she said. "You guys look a lot more comfortable than I feel."
Both women looked down self-consciously. Like every employee who wasn't in the public eye, they didn't wear anything below the waist. It was something that had started a few months before, along with sex during lunch and their breaks. Nobody was sure just how or why things were this way, but nobody wanted to give it up, either.
Ronni gave them a wave, and returned to her desk. Kirsten gave her a grateful smile—she was on her way to her break—and slid out of the chair. Ronni hit the mute button for a moment, and gave Kirsten the unofficial mantra of the employees of Hubbard & Associates: "Forward ... to the next break!"
By the time the day ended—and lunch had been a delight with a long session on the cot with a guy from Sales, and it was only matched by her afternoon break—she was beat. It wasn't the having sex with three different guys during the day, she looked at that as a bonus, it was the never-ending whining of the callers. Most of them, she thought, would have a better attitude of they got laid every day.
When she got home she carefully reached in with her finger and hooked out her diaphragm. Her husband was in an amorous mood—though sometimes she thought it was a reflection of her mood—and he left her drifting happily in his arms. If only he wasn't sterile. She'd hid that doctor's report from him. She knew he wasn't exactly sterile. The doctor had told her that he did have a few active wigglers, just not as many as most men. Theoretically he could get her pregnant, it just wasn't very likely. And she did want a baby, she just wanted it to be his.
It wasn't all his fault, though. Part of the problem, the doctor told her, was that her womb wasn't too accepting of any man's sperm. It was the fault of the birth control she'd borrowed from her older cousin back when she was 15. It had stopped her from getting pregnant at the time, but it had a near-permanent effect on her. The doctor said there was a 1 in 10 chance that any fertilized ovum could successfully implant. Slim odds, but she was willing to take the chance.
She had a friend who'd gotten pregnant by having sex for five days before her ovulation date, and five days after. She smiled sleepily. She figured they were bound to get lucky sooner or later.
The rest of the week was more of the same: whining callers and impatient visitors, broken only by her breaks and lunch, and the arms of her husband at night.
After another period, she and a friend from Hubbard went out for a drink after work. "The question," Marci said, "is what are you willing to do to have a baby."
"What do you mean?" The glass of wine had tasted good, and a second one had soon followed.
"Does it have to be your husband's?"
"I want it to be. It's ... you know, your in love, and..."
"Let's do the math." Marci was in Accounting, and was always trying to reduce things to 'the math'. "The doctor said you'll actually ovulate about one time in ten. And maybe 1% of his sperm are actually good. So the odds of one of his active sperm meeting up with an egg when you do ovulate is a tenth of one percent. Pretty slim odds."
"But a guy puts out several million little wigglers when he comes. That's still a lot of them, and it only takes one."
"True. But how long have the two of you been trying for a baby?"
"Three years. We make love on the days before and after I ovulate."
"Yeah, but if what I've read in the literature is any guide, and I'm not a doctor, your odds of success still aren't very high. My husband and I tried for two years to have a baby before I finally conceived."
"I thought you miscarried or something."
Marci nodded. "A couple of times. Your body has to learn how to be pregnant, at least that's what I figure. But now we've got three kids." She chuckled. "I went from being Sterile Carol to Fertile Myrtle rather rapidly."
"So ... what are you saying I should do?"
"You use birth control at work, don't you."
"Yeah, a diaphragm."
"How much do you want a baby?"
The wine was making her thinking a little fuzzy, but that wiggled through. "You mean, don't use anything at work?"
"You'll improve your odds."
"But it won't be his!"
"The good news is that you won't know whose it is, so you can convince yourself that it's his."
She slumped in the booth, staring at her glass. She'd looked at the sex at work as just a fun break, she hadn't considered at all that the men might be useful for something else.
"Have you two considered en vitro fertilization?"
"You mean like in a dish or something in a lab?" She nodded. "We can't afford it. The doctor said it's about $35,000, and that's assuming everything works."
"The other thing is artificial insemination from a sperm donor," Marci said. "But why do that when you have all of the men at work?"
"You almost make sense," Ronni said, "and that's the scary part."
After two more months, and two more periods—at least her periods were no longer irregular—Marci's idea was making more and more sense. She talked to her doctor about the whole subject. If she took something to increase her fertility, and the doctor told her that in her case there was no guarantee that it actually would, she also increased the odds of having a multiple birth. She decided that wasn't so bad; they'd wanted more than one kid, and this would take care of that in one pregnancy.
She'd asked him about sperm donors.
"That's always a possibility," he said. "That would have to be by en vitro, of course. Have you checked with your insurance carrier to see if they allow it?"
"They'll cover 50% of it," she said. "That still adds up to a steep chunk of change."
"Lab procedures are never cheap." He consulted his notes. "Other than that, Mrs. Dunlap, you and your husband can keep trying. You may get lucky. That's about it."
His tone said volumes: mostly that she shouldn't expect to have a baby, at least by her husband. But she wanted children, and she didn't want to adopt. She wanted something that was hers, that she'd felt grow inside her, that she'd pushed out into the world, and that she could nurture and teach.
Put that way, there was only one thing to do. Of course there was one other thing to try. "What about fertility drugs?" she asked. "I might as well maximize what I can."
"That we can do," the doctor said. "You realize that you'll have to keep your weight up. I know the skinny look is in, but your weight does affect your health, especially your cycle. I've had girls come in who were as skinny as a rail, and..."
He went on and on, but at the end he prescribed some drugs that would increase her chances of catching.
She waited on tenterhooks for the next few weeks. When she had her period, she decided it was time for Step Two. They had another Corporate Retreat coming up, this time at a ski resort, and when she packed, she left her diaphragm in its case in her bathroom.
"I never saw the point of a corporate retreat where it's cold and snowy outside," Kirsten said as the bus ground its way up the last road and slid to a stop. "Half the fun of going to the lake was that we could do it in the middle of nature." She shivered inside her heavy wool sweater. "If we tried it outside at this place, all they'd find would be a pair of icicles."
"The brochure says each of the buildings is connected by a tunnel," Ronni said. "That's because the storms up here can get so fierce."
"Yeah, I read that."
The driver opened the door and they filed out. They stamped their feet and breathed heavy plumes of moisture as he dug their luggage out. Then they filed into the main building.
Sandy, who used to be in HR but was now Mrs. Hubbard's Admin, was waiting for them in the main room. She was standing on the steps of the stairs that led to the second floor, a piece of paper in her hands.
"Everyone draw a number," she said, gesturing at the bowl on the counter next to her. "Then find who has the same number. That'll be your roommate."
"Can we change roommates?" someone called.
"Within reason. I'd strongly suggest it if we have two guys rooming together. No sense in wasting things."
"Especially not those things," a woman called amid general laughter.
Ronni drew a number, and was pleased to find she was paired with Brent Towcroft. He liked oral sex, and all of the other women said he was pretty good at it. He proved it when they got to their room, pushing her onto the bed, and eating her until she went out of her mind. Afterwards, of course, she'd taken care of him. As his arms tightened around her, as his mouth opened, as his head leaned back, she wondered if he was the one. He was tall and dark, just like her husband, and his butt was rock hard when she grabbed it.
Too much thinking, she told herself. Don't think, just enjoy. That was her last coherent thought for a couple of minutes as the demands of her body took over.
"It's a shame we brought all of these clothes," she said as they unpacked.
"Well, it's possible some of us might actually go skiing," he replied. He smiled at her. "Okay, I admit it's a small chance." He glanced at the triple-paned sliding glass doors that led to the hot tub shared between four rooms. "Let's check out the Jacuzzi."
Marci and Jay from IT were in the hot tub. Marci was bouncing up and down on Jay's lap, her breasts splashing into the water each time. Ronni and Brent slipped into the tub—it was cold on the deck—and watched as Marci and Jay both came.
Afterwards Marci slid over next to Ronni. "Some fun, eh?"
"It's cold out here."