In a sleep rough voice, Alex answered her ringing telephone, "Yes?"
"Alex Reardon, please?" the female caller asked.
Not caring to offend the caller, Alex did not clear her throat, although the temptation to do so was great. "Yes, may I help you?"
"I am calling to confirm today's 10:30 appointment with Mr. Aeolus P. Cerigo."
"Yes, I can confirm that time," Alex said, prepared to answer further questions, hoping her rough voice did not make her sound ill.
"Thank you." The caller responded and ended the call. Alex blinked her eyes upon hearing a click, and then the dial tone, somewhat surprised at the short and impersonal phone call.
Alex groaned as she sat up and put both hands on her cheeks idly brushing the mass of hair out of her eyes, finally able to clear her throat. "Damn," she croaked, and walked across the room to close the window. When she stayed up late, she slept on her back with her mouth open and woke up with a raspy voice and a dry throat.
After a shower, extra time spent French braiding the sides and back of her hair, and a light application of makeup, she was moving from her dresser drawers to the open door of her closet, mumbling to herself. "Suit, make that a dark suit, white blouse, no cleavage, plain underwear, dark stockings, and low heels." Finally closing the latch on her wristwatch, the last thing she looked for was a piece of jewelry to wear on the lapel of her suit. She wanted something plain, sedate, but definitely not frivolous, "Oh yes, the antique silver filigree bow. Now where are those silver earrings?"
Standing in front of the full-length mirror, she took a deep breath and a critical look at herself. Although she was slender, at less than 120 pounds, the double-breasted suit hid some of her figure, which was the intent. It was impossible to hide that she was a female, but the cut of the coat, which she had tailored to fit, disguised her generous breasts without allowing the front of the coat to gap. It was well worth the expense. The slight flare of the skirt, rather than being pencil thin, hung straight, without being skintight and fully covered her knees. If she did not stoop, her 5 foot 9 inch height would not intimidate any man, unless he was very short, and there was no solution for that problem.
Alex considered wearing the dark framed glasses, to appear more business like, but she didn't put them on. Instead, just in case she changed her mind, she put them in her briefbag. She used glasses for a small amount of magnification when doing close work, not vision correction. In her opinion, she looked as much like a businessperson as was possible, for someone her age. Short of drawing artificial lines to her face, she couldn't hide that she was just barely twenty-two years old. It was, after all, her first job application. She had no work experience, absolutely none, not even flipping burgers in high school, or even a research assistant in college.
Catching the door before it closed, Alex went back into her apartment, and picked up her large artist's portfolio case, too. She submitted the drawings the letter asked for, but Aeolus P. Cerigo may want to see more of her work. She could show him all of the sketches done before she selected the four to send with the application.
Although Alex had suffered through the typical job application process, most of which she managed to do by mail and telephone, she hoped this personal interview was the final step. She arrived a few minutes early and although the middle-aged woman sitting at the desk seemed a little unsure Alex was in the right office, she did look at the list of names on a printed sheet at the corner of her desk and acknowledged that Alex did have a 10:30 appointment.
Alex sat quietly through four other applicants going in and out the door on the other side of the room. One after another, each applicant followed the middle-aged woman who opened the inner office door, announced the applicant, closed the door behind the applicant, and then returned to her desk. During the interim, the woman sat, typing on a computer keyboard, while listening to a dictation machine. Without exception, each of the four applicants to precede Alex remained in the inner office for less than fifteen minutes. Alex sat, as patiently as possible, growing slightly more nervous as the minute hand on the clock crept slowly upward.
A few minutes before 11:00, the woman stood and asked, "Alex Reardon?" Alex followed as the woman turned and walked to the inner office door, opened the door, stepped inside, and announced "Alex Reardon."
Across the room, a man was sitting behind a desk, with several large sheets of vellum spread on the surface of the desk. From behind one drawing, which he was holding up to eye level, in a heavy accent he announced, "This job you will have, if you match this signature. This drawing, I like. Others, they are childish trash."
"That is my drawing," Alex acknowledged. She could see through the vellum. It was her drawing of a staircase inside a historical building downtown.
The hands holding the sheet of vellum slammed the paper on the desk as the man rose to his feet, "A girl? You are a girl?" His eyes flashed at Alex, his anger obvious. Had she been standing any nearer, Alex felt certain the flames of his anger would have singed her.
Alex swallowed, lifted her chin, and announced, "Actually, I am a female. I am a little old to be called a girl."
Growling, the man advanced around the desk, "This position, it is not for the female." His accent made each word hard and crisp, leaving no doubt to his preference. He did not want a female as his artist. His slightly lopsided mouth smirked at her. She suspected it was an effort to intimidate her.
"That, Mister Cerigo, is discrimination." Alex reminded him. Her knees were wobbling. She was sure of her information, but the man's size and anger was startling.
Alex had expected to meet a man much older than the one she saw standing before her. Aeolus P. Cerigo had a local, national, and international reputation, for the work he did in designing private residences for the famous and infamous. He was at least 6 foot 4 inches tall, or more. Dark haired and dark eyed, the suit he wore made him look like he had football pads on the shoulders, if not on the thighs, hips, and across the chest. The man was intimidating. He knew it, and he was using it-at that very moment-against her.
Tempted to take a step back, because the man was towering over her, Alex stood where she was.
This was the best job she could ever hope to have and if she had to challenge this man, she would do so. Before applying for the position, Alex had studied Cerigo's work, spent hours in the library looking through reference books and out of date magazines, at descriptions and photos of some of his creations. His style, use of materials, design, and follow through on his projects, was legendary. To work with a man like him would be a dream come true. Alex was not going to allow a little fear to keep her from giving every ounce of effort needed to convince him she could do what he wanted.
However, in none of her research did she learn anything about the man, personally. From her research about his experience and the volume of his work, Alex had expected to meet an older man. Instead, the man before her appeared to be in his late thirties or early forties. There was no feathering of executive gray at his temples. The straight lines of his square jaw showed no fleshiness. Aeolus P. Cerigo was in his prime, aggressive, and beyond intimidating.
"What is this name, Alex? Is this the feminine of Alexandria, Alexia, Alexis?" He spit each name out, disdain in every syllable, as he waved one large hand in the air.
"No. My name is Alex Maria Reardon. Alex is not a shortened form of any other name."
"Who would do this to the girl? The father, he would do this, expecting the son?"
"I'm not sure that is any of your concern, but I will answer. I do not have a father."
Grinning, instead of laughing out loud, the man looked her up and down. "This is not possible. The woman does not have the child without a man."
Gritting her teeth at the sexual innuendo, Alex stared at him, "He was killed before I was born." She was not going to give him any more information.
"You," Cerigo commanded, pointing to a chair in front of his desk. "Sit."
Alex took two small steps forward and stopped because the man stood in her path to the chair he wanted her to occupy. "Excuse me?" Alex looked up at his dark eyes, indicating she wanted him to step aside. She was not going to give him the satisfaction of walking around him and the chair to do as he asked.
His about face would have satisfied any drill sergeant. Although he returned to the other side of his desk, Cerigo did not sit down. Instead, he lifted the 24x36 drawing and turned it, sliding it across the desk. "This? This is your work? You sign this, again. Now. I watch."
Alex slid to the edge of her seat and held out her hand. As if it was not a part of her body, she dared her hand to tremble. "May I have a pencil, please?"
Rather then place the pencil in her hand, the man slapped it on top of the drawing. Alex picked up the mechanical pencil, tested the lead on the lower right corner of the paper, where several other test marks appeared and easily signed her name, directly below the signature she had applied before she submitted the drawing. Rather than return the pencil to the man, she put it down and slid back in her seat. She crossed her ankles, moved her feet to the side of her chair, and folded her hands loosely in her lap.
Finally resuming his seat, Cerigo pulled the drawing toward him and turned it around, placing it on top of several others. Taking his time, he glanced through the stack of drawings on the top of his desk. The corners of his mouth occasionally turned down with disgust, or disappointment. He took his time going through the stack. After all, it was his time.
Using the knuckle of his forefinger, he tapped the top drawing, "You have more? Like this, there are others?"
Alex nodded and picked up the large artist case she had placed by her chair, put it on her lap, and began to pull the zipper along one edge.
"Here," Cerigo commanded, slapping the top of his desk. Startled, Alex lifted the large, flat leather case to the top of his desk and caught her breath when he took it from her hands. He pulled the case toward him and quickly completed pulling the zipper around all three sides of the case. With a practiced flip of his wrist, he turned the top over and proceeded to go through every drawing in the case, one at a time, lifting them, and examining each one.
Some of the drawings Cerigo looked at were rough, incomplete sketches, black and white, and a few were color. He examined some of the landscapes, laying one or both hands on a drawing as if to block out one portion of the drawing to see what remained. There were others, unique structural details of houses around the city, which Alex had completed for the job application and decided, for one reason or another, not to submit. Cerigo examined one other drawing she did of the staircase, taking a moment to look at the top step, where a newel post and a portion of the upstairs floor was included. He nodded as if he agreed the one she had submitted was a better drawing.
As she sat watching, the man examined her work. Alex thought to her self that the man's name, Cerigo, fit his personality. He was "Sir Ego." Bringing her attention back to the man, Alex's face paled when he picked up the next drawing. She could see through the opaque paper. It was her drawing of the discus thrower. It was not the drawing of the male model that disturbed her. She knew it was good, showing muscle definition, the male model's serious expression, as were the good anatomical size relevancies between the length of his leg, the size and tilt of the head, and the width and angle of the shoulders. Her concern was the eight different drawings surrounding the model, of his penis, scrotum, and pubic hair.
The drawing was for a private class, with the model hired for three hours. At one point during those three hours, the male model had an erection. Alex roughly sketched the man's erection as it progressed. Before she left the studio, she completed the small drawings, adding more definition and shading. In two of the small depictions, she used colored pencils to show the faint tracing of blood vessels. One drawing showed in fine detail the rough texture and ruddy color of the scrotum. Another depicted the lighter shade of the head of his penis as it began to emerge through the foreskin.
Alex did not recall that she had left the drawing in her case. Her hands trembled, hoping the other life series drawings were in the old thicker folio at her apartment. When Cerigo slid the discus thrower aside, she knew she should have looked through the case before she decided to bring it. The man's swiftly indrawn breath was proof he had found her self-portrait.
Cerigo looked up from the drawing, stared at her hair, and compared it to the drawing. Similarly, he looked at the neck, face, and hands and then back at her. Alex was sure he would like to ask her to stand and turn around, just as one of her fellow students had asked. It had taken her own full-length mirror and one she borrowed from the girl in the next apartment, to get all the views and the correct angle she wanted as she worked on the drawing.
Holding the drawing in his hands, Cerigo leaned back in his chair. Alex could see the top edge of the paper slightly wavering, as if his hands were trembling. Unconsciously, he licked his lips, took a deep breath, and slowly exhaled.
"This is you, no?" he asked, his accent heavier than before. Then he answered his own question, "This is you." Nodding his head, he announced, "Yes," as he agreed with himself.
"I apologize," Alex said, fighting a deep blush that worked its way up her neck and across her cheeks. "I did not recall I left those in my case. They are part of a series. There are several others, children, an older man and woman, and a baby." What else could she say?
As if it was a fragile piece of china, he placed the drawing back on his desk. He put his elbows on the arms of his chair and tented his hands together, lightly tapping his forefingers against his wide, full, lower lip as he looked at her. He looked down at the two drawings on his desk, and then back at her face.
Sitting forward in his chair, he tapped the drawing of the man. "This man, you know this man? He is your lover?"
Alex shook her head. "No, he was a paid model."
Shaking himself, as if he was coming out of a daze, he slid her drawing of the staircase from under the case and placed it on top of the discus thrower and her self-portrait. "This is what I seek, this stairway, I know it. This is the Beaufort House, yes?"
Alex nodded as he lifted the drawing of the staircase and looked at the two nude drawings, which lay side by side beneath it. She was tempted to fold her case, take it from him, and walk out the door.
Gently, using the flat of his hand, he patted the drawing of the staircase and one of the landscapes he had set aside. "For me, you can do similar work?"
"If you are asking about architectural details and landscapes, then yes, that is what I can do for you." She did not know why she needed to be so specific. Perhaps it was because of his reaction to the two nudes, or she just wanted to get back at him for his dismissal of her, as being a girl.
Cerigo reached to a button on his telephone and tapped it two times. The woman from the exterior office appeared and took notes as Alex's new employer issued instructions.
"Stupid," Alex grumbled as she followed the driver, who was carrying her luggage, down the stairs. "Five o'clock in the morning is too damn early to fly anywhere," she mumbled and heard the driver snicker. The 3:30 alarm awakened her from a sound sleep, in the middle of a dream, where Cerigo had looked through her portfolio, examining every sketch she had made for her self-portrait. He was walking around the pedestal where she sat on the very edge of a high stool, her back bent in pose, one foot outstretched, and the other on a rung between two legs of the stool. He was examining her to see that her drawings were true to what he was seeing and touching. His warm hand was much more erotic than the drawings detailed. The alarm sounded when his hand was slowly sliding up the inside of her thigh. She awoke wet, throbbing, and breathing hard, her thighs tingling from dreaming about the man's hand as it moved across her skin. She knew it was his hand. The heavy gold ring with the large coin, showing a Roman or Greek god's profile, held securely in a custom shaped bezel, disappeared between her legs as he cupped her sex. It was the ring he was wearing while she was in his office.
She was further agitated when the driver left her at a private airport lounge, where Cerigo sat, comfortably working on a laptop computer. He did not speak, but he did nod at her when Alex sat in a nearby club chair. A steward appeared with a tray, offering her a cup of coffee, served in a delicate china cup, with a matching saucer. There was no disposable Styrofoam in such a rarefied atmosphere.
People, who travel by private jet, do so with one or two pilots, usually a lounge, and maybe even flight attendants plus, more luxury than most people will ever know. Everything was new and strange to Alex. Her employer did nothing to help explain what was happening. He was in his own world, shut off from what was going on around him, his face a solid, solemn mass, without expression, or comment. Occasionally consulting a paper or photo taken from a large briefcase beside him, he seemed to be using some industry specific software to add design details to a room or several rooms. Only when he turned slightly, to go through the briefcase, could Alex see the computer screen. However, the image was so small she couldn't determine any detail.
There were two additional passengers for the flight. Marklin Anders, who introduced himself saying he was Mister Cerigo's Executive Assistant and added that there were other duties he performed for Mister Cerigo. He suggested that if she had any special requests while on the tip, he would help and she could call him for answers to her questions. The other passenger was Byron Pleasant, a small quiet man who seemed to spend most of his time checking and making settings on his various cameras and lenses.
The previous day, Alex had spent several hours with the middle-aged woman, completing her employment documents and receiving instructions on clothing to pack for a three-day site examination. The woman, who introduced herself as Miss Compton, shepherded Alex to an office, asked for a list of supplies she would need, and arranged for delivery to Alex's apartment, of some of the paper, pencils, and a few other items Alex would need for the trip. Mister Cerigo did not intend to delay the planned trip, just to allow his combination artist and sometimes draftsman to acclimate herself to her new job.
A laptop, provided by the company, was in her personal briefbag. It would take her hours and some serious concentration to become familiar with some of the software. She had less than an hour with the technician to get the laptop customized for her own use. She gave the technician a list of the software she frequently used and had found the laptop on the seat of the car that picked her up less than an hour earlier.
As Alex placed her coffee cup on the small table beside her chair, a young woman stepped out of a glass-enclosed office and suggested Alex visit the ladies room, as they would need to be on the airplane in about ten minutes. When Alex returned from the restroom, a young man was carrying her briefbag and larger portfolio case to the airplane. A second young man followed, carrying her boss's obviously heavy briefcase and computer case. Cerigo, himself, was wandering around the long semi-circular waiting room, occasionally stopping to look out the large windows at the airplane and landing strip. It was the last opportunity they would have to walk, or stretch their legs, before they were aboard the airplane.
Alex was not aware that Cerigo stopped at a tinted window, watching her in the reflection, almost as if he was looking in a mirror. She stood near the door, watching the final steps taken by the various airport personnel, before take off. She had her arms crossed tightly at her waist, with her elbows cupped in her palms. Nor was she aware of the number of times he looked up from his work to examine her, from head to toe.
He was not immune to the charms of a woman. They pursued him if only for his size, a challenge to some women to see if the old adage of what was behind a man's zipper was relative to the size of his hands and feet. Or he was pursued as a man, available to pampered women who were not satisfied by what they found at home, or elsewhere on the estates where they lived. He had his flings, accepting them for what they were, temporary, exciting, and often enhanced because of the clandestine atmosphere in which they took place.
However, none of those sexual encounters affected him as violently as Alex Reardon did. She had already crawled under his skin. She managed to do that by walking into his office and contradicting him when he called her a girl. He had an almost instant arousal, hard and throbbing. At the veiled threat about his discrimination, his arousal grew. When he saw her drawings of the progress of the man's arousal, his own went beyond the final drawing. He questioned her, looking at the drawing of the man's obvious erection as it partially emerged from the uncircumcised foreskin. He could not withhold his question asking if she had experienced sexual pleasure from such a man.
Cerigo barely managed to avoid a groan, when he saw the self-portrait. It showed three quarters of her slightly bent back, with a glimpse of the side of her breast and erect nipple. Her chin was nearly touching her shoulder, with that arm raised and curled over her head, resting at the nape of her neck, grasping a large handful of her hair. A few soft curls, with their hint of warm auburn color, hung down her neck and beside her backbone. The arm hid most of her face. He knew instantly, it was a self-portrait.
As he watched her while she waited to board the airplane, her soft shirt seemed molded to her, not suggestively, but the rise of her breast was obvious. A small gap between two of the buttons down the front, showed a flesh colored bra, the lace across the top dipped deeply between her full breasts. Yesterday, her dark stockings had not hidden her slender legs and the low heels gave definition to the calves of her legs. Today, her jeans accentuated the length of her legs and cupped her buttocks as he wished his hands were doing.
Rather than yesterday's French braids holding her hair in order, today the heavy mass of hair was gathered on top of her head, probably held by a barrette or a elastic band, but hidden by a baseball cap. The bill of the cap was a shade above her eyes, putting them in shadow. Dark haired and dark of brow, he knew her eyes were a dark blue, fringed by long thick lashes, he looked.
He had not wanted a woman for this job. The number of times he must travel, and the length of the trips, made traveling with a female difficult. It was easier if the trip was within the United States, but international travel was not easy for a single woman. Accommodations required extra attention. Regardless of her skill, clients were often dismissive of a woman and were less likely to listen to a high-pitched feminine voice.
Her size may command attention. She was not a tiny petite female. She had broad shoulders, an erect stance, and a graceful walk, without any suggestion of being artificially seductive. She may be assertive enough to overcome some of the problems other women have. Yet, it was her voice, deep and sultry that sent chills down his spine, which would be her best asset. People would pay attention to what she said.
Cerigo stood still, his body turned slightly away from Alex. His body tingled and his growing erection hung down against his leg. An air conditioning vent above him was doing nothing to cool him down. He slipped his hands into his pockets, hunched his shoulders, and took a deep breath. The erection would subside, but by spending the whole day in her presence, it would be back. Before nightfall, he would be agitated beyond the point of endurance. He knew himself and his tolerance for the company of an alluring woman, even one who may not know of his interest.
After a day of feeling as if she had spent her time with an angry man, Alex was unpacking her suitcase, looking for something more comfortable to wear. She had already removed her boots and socks. In fact, she had untied the boots in the car, while going back to the hotel. Her feet were tired of wearing the heavy boots, tromping through brush, and climbing over rocks. Her jeans were dirty from various falls, or simply landing on her knees when the ground underneath the heavy leaf coverage was uneven. Despite the cap and several combs she used to keep her hair up, it was falling down around her face from a number of times when twigs caught at her hair and low limbs scraped the cap from her head.
As she straightened from bending over her suitcase, pressing against the small of her back, she saw Aeolus Cerigo standing less than ten feet from the end of her bed. The connecting doors between their two rooms were wide open. Without a word, he took a few steps forward and opened the top button on her shirt.
"Mister Cerigo," Alex said tilting her head back to look into his face, and then closing her eyes, unable to bear the intensity she saw in his eyes. She did not lift her hands to stop him, she was unsure if she could turn him down, no matter what he wanted. Every time he touched her to help her up, looked at her when he offered her a bottle of water to drink from, or turned back to hold her arm when she stepped over a fallen tree limb, had been an agony. She knew he saw the change in her expression when he touched her, or said a few words to her.
"Paulous," he commanded. "Like this," he jerked his head toward the connecting doors between their rooms, "To you, I am Paul," he announced, his voice vibrating with intensity. He put his finger under the collar of her shirt, lifted the point, and slid his finger down across the slope of her breast. "You will take this off. I will look at you."
As if her brain had no control over her hands, Alex reached up and watched his face as she blindly continued down the front of her shirt, slowly opening each button. She watched Paul's hands as they slipped inside her shirt and spread it across her shoulders, sliding the shirt off her. She did nothing to stop the shirt from sliding down her arms and falling away. As if he had more practice than she did, he bent the front hook of her bra, separating the two sides, which do not fall away. Instead, the cups of the bra remained molded to each individual breast. He slipped the fingers of one hand inside the cup of the bra to slide across the top slope of her breast. Doing the same to the other breast, he finally pulled the bra away from her, allowing both breasts to fall free as he pulled the cups of the bra away from her, the soft full tissues moved slightly as they fell free. He pushed the straps off her shoulders allowing the bra to slide down her arms.
Paul reached down and opened the button on her jeans. "You will take this off. I will see all of you."
Beyond caring that she was very wet and he would smell her arousal when she removed her jeans, Alex lowered the zipper at the front of her jeans. Almost in slow motion, Paul went down to his knees sitting back on his haunches. He lowered her jeans to the floor, holding them as Alex put her hands on his shoulders to balance herself, when she lifted each leg. With his hands going up the back of her legs, Paul rose to his knees until he rested his forehead against her stomach. He took one deep breath, molded his hands around the cheeks of her bottom, and then took another deep breath. His hot breath, filtered through the fabric of her panties, sent a shudder through her body.
Tentatively Alex moved her hands to rest on Paul's head, threading her fingers through his dark hair, massaging his scalp. "Paul," Alex said his name for the first time, her voice shaking. All day, she had been "Miss Reardon" and the few times she found it necessary to speak to him, she addressed him as "Mister Cerigo."
With a strong sweep of his arm, Paul pushed her suitcase off the side of the bed as his other arm slid behind her knees, while his mouth pressed against her, toppling her onto the bed. Before she could take a breath, he buried his mouth in the crotch of her wet panties. His mouth was open to suck cloth and both lips of her labia into his hot, moist mouth. When Alex squirmed to get away from him, it was a half hearted effort, bringing a full mouth chuckle from him as he held her hips, preventing her from getting away from his mouth. He put his fingers into the waist of her panties and pulled them to her knees. His mouth returned to her, burying his face into her, moaning, and sending vibrations to her very core.
Then he was above her, his mouth on hers, his tongue pushing between her lips. Supporting his weight on his elbows, he moved his hands to hold her head so she could not get away from him. She tasted herself on his lips and tongue. He kissed her, licked her lips, moved his mouth below her chin, and then he drug his wet tongue to the soft spot under the corner of her jaw. His mouth was hot, mesmerizing, and Alex did nothing to stop him.
If someone watched, they would think this woman was being attacked, because of the frenzy of his movements. Yet if they observed closely, they would see she was moving her head to the side, to give him access to the softness of her neck. They would recognize the arch of her back when she pressed her breasts against him and her own hands held his shoulders in a tight grip. They might see one of her feet lifted to complete the removal of her panties, sliding them farther down her legs, and finally pushing them off her feet. In doing so, she separated her thighs, allowing him full access to the dark nest between her thighs. An observer might see him unzip his pants and moments later, after two slow sweeps of the head of his cock through her wetness, with a near violent thrust, he embedded himself in her heat.
He was huge, he stretched her, and his entry was almost painful, delicious pain. She felt him deep inside her, pushing against her cervix. Never, had she been so completely filled. She slowly exhaled and shuddered, and tried to relax her body, adjusting to accommodate him, ripples going up and down her belly.
"Do not move," he growled in her ear. He paused, acknowledging what he was experiencing as he mentally pictured her self-portrait, showing her body to mid-thigh, her hips slightly turned to show more of her lower body. It was that part of the drawing that had driven him to near insanity since yesterday morning. Unlike many young women her age, she did not shave her pubic hair. However, the dark reddish hair visible in the drawing showed what he had discovered a moment ago. The hair, closely trimmed, revealed a fleshy mound, full puffy outer labia, and a bare hint of the inner labia. She had drawn the moisture on her skin, moisture he had just tasted. He knew with a mere glance that her drawing showed herself when she was aroused, just as she had drawn the male model genitalia in the various stages of arousal.
She did not listen to his command. Instead, she placed her feet on the edge of the bed and lifted her hips, taking him deeper inside herself, releasing a deep groan as if she had found something for which she was searching. He had but to partially withdraw and thrust once more to drive her over the edge. He felt her thighs tremble and her inner muscles contract, while her teeth gripped the soft flesh above his collarbone, through his shirt. One more thrust, and he was unable to withhold his own throbbing and thrusting climax. He grunted, lengthening and expanding inside her, his jerks against her uneven as he felt cum throbbing along his cock, in an almost endless stream, bathing her inner surfaces as she exploded around him a second time. The second orgasm was violent, her hips pounded the bed beneath her, she screamed and arched her back nearly lifting his body as she thrashed and shook with the intensity of her climax.
He wanted to fall on top of her, to rest against her, to feel her shape beneath him, but he knew doing so would crush her, or leave her unable to breathe. Instead, he rolled slightly to the side, and tried to pull her into his arms. Wildly pushing his arms away, she shoved his leg off her thighs and stumbled across the room, slamming the bathroom door behind her.
Standing under the hottest water she could tolerate, Alex rubbed shampoo into her hair and rinsed it. As she swirled the bar of soap in her hands, her tears fell. Memories of another man, attentive to her sexual needs, treated her with tenderness and care. Without knocking, her mother walked into her apartment, discovered Alex and the man, mindless with their passion. Startled apart, Alex sat up, stunned by the older woman's shouted accusations that Alex was no better than the man was. She had yielded, abandoned reason, and rutted like a wild animal.
Once again, Alex had allowed her animal nature to overcome her reason. Yesterday, she was in his office, when Aeolus Paulous Cerigo commanded, "You," followed by, "Sit." She should have turned around and left his office. It was already too late. She yielded to the man. She did what he told her to do. Tonight, she removed her shirt because he told her to do so. She unzipped her jeans because he told her to do so. She lifted her hips to receive him and expressed her joy in doing so.
Alex walked out of the bathroom, still rubbing the water from her hair. Except for the lamp beside her bed, the room's lights were off. Her suitcase was on the dresser beside the television. The bed was neat and turned down. The connecting door between Paul's room, and her own, was closed. He had not locked the door, a faint line of light showed at the edge of the door, but the door was closed as if to give her some privacy. Only Paul could have returned her room to order and she wondered why he went to the trouble.
She pulled a long t-shirt over her head, crawled between the sheets, and turned off the lamp. She could do nothing about what had already happened, beyond taking one deep breath, and shaking her head. If she were not so tired, she would comb her hair. Or, she would open the laptop computer and begin to customize it for herself. Or, she could open her sketchbook and work on filling in some of the details from their look around the future site for which Paul will design a house, and over which he, or one of his assistants, would supervise the construction. However, she did none of those things. After a very early start to a day of physical exertion, hours and hours of sexual tension, a heavy dinner with a silent man who barely spoke to her, and the hot bath, she was beyond exhaustion. Within minutes, she was asleep.
Somewhere, the deep rumble of men's voices seeped under the pillow covering her head. The smell of coffee permeated the air above her head as Alex stretched under the covers. Pushing against the mattress, she sat up quickly. She realized this was not her apartment. She was in a hotel. On the nightstand beside her bed was a cup of coffee and a plate wrapped in a cloth napkin, which held two large fresh rolls with a length of delicious smelling sausage peeking out of each end. The connecting doors were fully open.
After a sip of the coffee, a quick trip to the bathroom and grabbing her briefbag, Alex was sitting cross-legged on the bed, the computer coming to life as she munched on the first of the sausage rolls. She paid little attention to the men's voices in the next room. She knew Paul was meeting with his male secretary and right hand man, Marklin Anders. The man slept during the entire flight yesterday. Marklin later said he took Dramamine to offset his problems with flying. He was responsible for the comfortable hotel rooms, the rental car they used to travel to the site, and the remaining details of the three intense days of the trip. As a general rule, Marklin was not visible. He was in the background, doing what needed to be done, taking notes of conversations, and making the arrangements Paul did not have time to tend to. Almost as if he had a special sense, he appeared when Paul looked for him, and would take his instructions in a few words, before turning to do as Paul asked.
Throughout the previous day, Alex had heard the buzz of Paul's cell phone. If he was occupied, he did not bother to answer, but at a convenient time, without a word, he would listen to whatever message Marklin left. If it was convenient, he answered with one word, "Yes?" listened and most often said a second, "Yes" or a plain "No," and did not wait for another word from the caller.
When Alex and Paul returned from tramping around, looking at several sites, and searching for the best site on which to build the house, she sat for a few minutes with Marklin. While Paul talked to the future homeowners, Alex asked Marklin if Mister Cerigo's brevity of words on the cell phone bothered him.
Marklin chuckled, "No. Paul believes the telephone is for his convenience, not the caller's. If he wants to answer he will, otherwise he will listen to a message. But he expects the message to be few words and simple questions." Marklin reached into his hip pocket and pulled out a small stack of 3x5 cards. "These are my assignments," he showed her one, on which was written, Wed 5/9 - 3 days — Boggs River — Haroldson 5307 — Marklin, Byron & Artist (?-Alex Reardon).
"Oh lord," Alex exclaimed. "He even writes in shorthand."
Marklin looked at her and smiled, "Yes, but there is no question to what he needed done, is there? There are often a large number of people affected by his plans, rather like dropping a pebble in a pool of water. And you must remember that he is not at the center of the ripples."
When the computer was fully loaded, Alex attached the hotel's telephone line to download her email, which should include several attachments she had sent to herself. She gave little attention to the men's voices coming from Paul's room, other than occasionally hearing his raised voice, sounding frustrated and short tempered and Marklin's voice sounding even and low in volume as if he was calming his boss.