Sleeping With the Competition
Caution: This Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Pregnancy,
Desc: Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Not a James Bond 007 spy story, but it contains something Pussy Galore didn't have—female Viagra. Can our spy be as smooth as 007? Read it and find out...
On a hot Tuesday afternoon in June, Susan Bacardo, dressed in business attire, sat in the Houston, Texas, airport boarding area awaiting the call to board her flight to Chicago. She'd arrived at the airport early, because she wanted to get away from her stressful job and her sexually harassing boss. Besides, her laptop contained a PowerPoint presentation she wanted to review before delivering it the next morning at a three-day pharmaceutical conference.
Susan's employer, Shtup Pharma, manufactured and marketed numerous prescription drugs. She was a project manager for Shtup, leading a team of researchers who were attempting to create a female Viagra drug. During their research, they had collected considerable detailed data relating to female sexual arousal and dysfunction caused by chemicals, drugs, and hormones. Along with their one modest success, they had encountered scores of failures in their search for an arousal drug. They'd hit so many dead ends that they became experts in female sexual unresponsiveness. The subject of Susan's presentation at the conference was, "Chemicals, Drugs, and Hormones which Reduce the Female Sexual Response."
While Susan was reviewing her slides, a tall handsome man in a suit approached the counter in the boarding area and spoke with the female agent. He identified himself as Brian Miller. He said he and Susan Bacardo worked at the same company and mentioned they were traveling together. Would the agent be so kind as to assign him a seat next to hers?
Trying always to please the airline's customers, the agent checked the seating assignments. She reported there was an available seat, and assigned it to Brian.
At the same time, Susan happened to look up and noticed the man talking to the agent behind the counter. He seemed to be looking directly at her. He smiled at Susan, then turned and said something to the agent. The agent nodded her head toward Susan, then looked down and typed on her computer terminal. The man didn't look familiar to Susan, but since she traveled often, she met many people. Perhaps he was someone she'd met on a previous trip. Susan shrugged and went back to working on her laptop.
What Susan didn't know was that she'd been targeted by her employer's primary competitor, Bugger Pharmaceutical Corporation, in the form of Brian Miller (the pseudonym he used for his spying task). The knowledge she carried in her head about the female Viagra project was worth a fortune to competitors who were also working on a similar drug. It was Brian's task to pick her brain and tap into that fortune. After all, the first company to market a female Viagra could reap millions, if not billions, of dollars in profits.
When aircraft boarding was called, Susan stood in line behind a jam of other passengers who just couldn't wait to board the plane, even though everyone had an assigned seat. She never understood the herd mentality of passengers and passed it off as just being another quirk of human nature.
As she handed the agent her boarding pass, she passed the handsome man, also waiting to board, and he smiled at her again. Did she know him? While she and the other passengers shuffled down the stifling boarding ramp, Susan tried to remember if she had met him somewhere.
Brian thought Susan was more attractive than the photo he carried in her dossier—and a little taller than she'd been described. He knew a lot about Susan—he'd studied her dossier for almost four weeks learning detailed information about her. He discovered she grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had graduated from Northwestern University. He also read reports about her job description, her pay, information about her boss, her immediate chain of command, her marital status (she was single), and many more informational tidbits that had been gleaned by other undercover agents from Bugger.
He'd learned Susan's responsibilities included managing a project research team, the project budget, and the female Viagra schedule. Most of the information about Shtup's female Viagra project passed across her desk, so she was the most likely target at Shtup.
With him, Brian carried a list of Shtup managers and phone numbers; he probably knew more about Shtup than many who worked there. For this trip, he was going undercover, impersonating a Shtup employee.
Brian was a biochemist who had worked on Bugger's female Viagra project for about three years, so his knowledge of the subject would be helpful in his spying mission. His research team had been unsuccessful, but another of Bugger's teams working on a cardiac medicine stumbled onto a female arousal drug by accident. At that point, Brian's value on the female Viagra project was reduced.
When Tony Wilson, Brian's manager, obtained a sketchy report that Shtup had a breakthrough on their female Viagra project, and was ahead of Bugger's project, he decided to determine if it was true, and if so, to sidetrack it somehow.
While Tony and Brian were meeting to discuss where Brian might be reassigned within the Bugger research organization, by coincidence, Tony discovered Brian had grown up in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Northwestern University. Through their spies, he also knew Susan Bacardo had also graduated from there.
Tony began hatching a plan. Brian was tall and handsome, he had worked on their female Viagra project, and he was familiar with the technology involved. Moreover, word had it, that he was smooth with women. Perhaps Brian and Susan had enough in common that Brian could exploit Susan's weaknesses.
Tony said, "Brian, I have a 'special project' for you. If you're willing to carry it out, it might be worth a nice bonus, or even a promotion. It's going to be top secret, and only a handful of people will be in on it. Okay?"
Although it didn't take long for Brian to make a decision, he didn't realize what he was getting into. His main thought was about earning a healthy bonus.
The following day, Brian discovered the 'special project' Tony Wilson had given him was to gather as much information about Shtup's female Viagra project as possible, namely to target Susan Bacardo.
A week or so into Brian's grooming, Tony gave him some counterfeit identification cards, and told him that one of Bugger's undercover agents had entered his name into Shtup's personnel records, and had even given him a social security number from a real Brian Miller, so that if anyone checked, they'd find he worked there. His status was listed as 'leave of absence' on Shtup's records, so he wouldn't show up on the records they normally reviewed.
At the end of Brian's four weeks of grooming, Tony handed him a fat envelope containing $2,500 in twenty and fifty dollar bills, and said, "Cash can't be traced." Then he winked at Brian and said, "Put the money to good use in Chicago."
The last thing Tony said to him before he left for Houston was, "Gain her confidence and milk her for every bit of information you can. I don't care what you have to do, but don't come back without the information we want."
So that's how Brian Miller happened to be on the same plane, with an assigned seat next to Susan Bacardo, destined for Chicago.
When Susan reached her window seat in business class, she sat down. She removed her uncomfortable mid-heeled black pumps, wiggled her toes, slipped her laptop under the seat, and looked out the window idly watching the men loading luggage in the cargo bay.
She felt the seat next to her jar slightly and turned to see the same handsome man who had smiled at her in the boarding area. He was now sitting next to her. He smiled at her yet again.
"Hello Susan. How are you?"
"Do I know him?" she wondered.
Susan responded, "I'm fine—and you are?"
"Brian Miller. I'm a biochemist from our Boston office," he lied. "I had a meeting in Houston earlier today, and now I'm headed to the pharmaceutical conference."
"How do you know me?"
"You're the project manager for the Feminoral project (Feminoral was Shtup's code name for their female Viagra drug), and I saw your photo in the company newsletter," he lied again.
"But my photo wasn't published in it for Feminoral. Since it's a confidential project, we don't discuss it much."
Oops! Brian's mind raced as he frantically tried thinking how to get out of his blunder. Within two minutes of meeting his target, he'd already made a major screw-up.
"Maybe you saw my photo when I was the project manager for our diabetic drug," Susan said.
"Uhh ... Yeah, that must have been where I saw it."
Whew, so close to being caught! Brian felt a wave of relief flow through him.
"Get yourself together, Brian," he thought to himself. Being a rookie industrial spy wasn't going to be easy.
Recovering from his slip-up, he reached inside his suit jacket's breast pocket and handed his business card to her. It looked legitimate; printed on it was: Brian Miller, Biochemist. It had Shtup's logo and the correct office phone number on it. She happened to notice he wasn't wearing a wedding ring.
"I hope you don't mind me joining you, since we're both going to the same conference."
She knew a number of biochemists at Shtup, but didn't know Brian. Shtup was a large company and a lot of people worked there. Since he said he was from the Boston office, she let it go.
"Have you been with the company long?"
"Just a little over a year," he replied.
Susan had been extremely busy with the Feminoral project during the past year. A number of employees came and went. She figured Brian was probably one she hadn't met yet.
When everyone had boarded and settled down, the stewardesses began their passenger briefing. Susan could almost lip sync their briefing, she'd heard it so often.
After the plane took off, Susan was able to turn on her laptop and continued reviewing her slides.
"Do you have a lot of work to do?" Brian asked.
"Some. I have to give a presentation at the conference tomorrow, and I want to make sure I have it down pat." Susan's pleasant, lilting female voice fell softly on his ear.
"I'm glad I don't have to give a presentation. How long have you worked in Houston?" he asked. Brian didn't really need to ask Susan anything about her job.
"A little over six years."
The pilot came on the public address system, welcomed the passengers, and thanked them for flying his airline. "It's going to be a little longer flight than we'd planned, because we have to go around a line of thunderstorms across Arkansas," he said.
After the plane leveled off, a stewardess came by asked if they'd like a drink. Susan asked for a Coca-Cola and Brian ordered a beer. Their drinks came, and Susan consumed the entire can of Coke while she reviewed her slides.
Susan had been so absorbed reviewing her slides that she hadn't noticed how full her bladder was until the Coke hit it. All of a sudden, she had to pee. Not wanting to wet herself, Susan stood up and hastily placed her laptop on her seat. She quickly excused herself and slipped past Brian, hurrying to use the lavatory. Brian waited until she was inside, then opened her laptop and inserted his thumb drive into it. He typed several commands on the keys and removed the thumb drive, placing Susan's laptop back in the same position where he found it.
"What an opportunity," Brian thought to himself. "Easy as stealing candy from a baby."
The software he just installed on Susan's computer gave him the ability to control it when it was connected to the Internet.
Susan returned from the lavatory, unaware of Brian's actions. Brian studied her coming down the aisle—her blue eyes were far more expressive than her photograph showed, and her angelic smile caused a dimple to appear on her cheek. Her eyes caught his, and for an instant, there was some kind of magic male-female recognition which takes place between lovers. But he knew they weren't lovers—he had to erase that notion from his mind.
"Excuse me," she asked, scooting past Brian's knees, slipping into her seat.
Brian's nose caught the odor of Susan's perfume—he hadn't noticed it before. She must have applied it while she was in the lavatory. It was a compelling, alluring scent—whatever was in it attracted Brian to it like a male dog to a bitch in heat.
After she settled in her seat, Brian decided to engage Susan in light conversation, getting to know her better. His boss's instructions to "gain her confidence and milk her for every bit of information you can," still echoed in his head.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Chicago again," he said.
"Do you get to Chicago often?"
He shook his head, "No, not as often as I'd like. I grew up just north of there."
"Really? How far north?"
"I grew up in Evanston. Are you familiar with Chicago?"
"That's interesting," she said. "I graduated from Northwestern University."
He acted surprised. "Wow, so did I. We could have been neighbors. My parents lived on Central Street, just off Sherman Avenue, not far from the university. My father was a professor there."
"It's a small world, isn't it?
"Yes, it sure is."
"What year did you graduate?"
Susan decided he must be about 30 years old, since she graduated in 2004.
They continued chatting and sharing their experiences about living near Chicago. Both discovered their preferred baseball teams remained their childhood favorites: Milwaukee Brewers for Susan, Chicago Cubs for Brian.
Susan was a charming conversationalist, and a witty woman, which didn't show up in the reports Brian had read about her. He kept thinking that gathering her secrets was just business, but she was so engaging, he felt bad about being assigned to spy on her.
Susan was telling Brian about some of the escapades that had occurred in Kemper, her residence hall at Northwestern, when their plane began to descend. Time had passed quickly and Susan hadn't completed reviewing the conference presentation on her laptop.
Their plane landed, and before reaching the terminal, most passengers stood up, even though the pilot asked everyone to remain seated until the plane stopped. They deplaned with the crowd of other passengers and made their way to baggage claim.
"Are you staying at the Palmer House Hilton, too?" he asked. Of course he knew where she was staying.
"I've reserved a rental car. I put it on the company credit card," he fibbed.
"How'd you get a company credit card?" she asked. "I've worked at Shtup for six years and I still haven't been able to get one."
Uh-oh. Brian had stepped on it again. His mind raced again—what to tell Susan?
"I sweet-talked the girl in the travel section," he lied. "She said if I had my manager's okay, she'd give it to me."
Susan gave him an icy look and was about to ask how his manager was able to circumvent company rules when Brian quickly changed the subject.
"Oh, I see my suitcase on the baggage carousel," he remarked, leaving Susan's side to retrieve it.
When Susan found her rolling suitcase, they followed the signs to the automated tram, which took them to the rental car lot. Their discussion about the company credit card had been forgotten. It was late afternoon when they left the O'Hare airport.
Driving toward downtown, Brian said, "I'm hungry for a deep-dish Chicago pizza, how about you?"
"Uno's was always my favorite. I usually ordered pepperoni and sausage."
"That's interesting—mine too."
Susan's dossier didn't have any information about Susan's favorite pizza restaurant or her pizza choices. It surprised him that they shared similar pizza tastes. "Want to join me for a pizza at Pizzeria Uno tonight?"
"I'd love to, but I have to get back to the hotel early and go over my presentation for tomorrow."
"No problem. We'll be back there before nine—guaranteed."
After arriving at the hotel, they checked in. Susan's room was on the tenth floor and Brian's was on the twelfth. On the elevator to their rooms, they agreed to meet in the lobby at 6 PM after they'd freshened up.
They met in the lobby as planned. Susan had changed into a sleeveless summer blouse and a casual, fullish skirt that reached a couple inches above her knees and Brian was wearing jeans with a striped rugby shirt.
Brian asked, "Want to take the car, or are you up for walking?"
"How far is it?"
"I think about ten blocks."
She lifted her shoe from under her skirt, so Brian could see it, "These are comfortable walking shoes, and after a pizza at Uno's, I'll need to walk off a lot of calories."
"Let's walk then."
They headed north on State Street walking toward the Chicago River. As they passed a large office building, a wind gust whipped around the corner, picking up the hem of Susan's skirt above her waist. Brian caught a brief glimpse of Susan's lacy pink bikini panties.
Embarrassed, she pushed her skirt down, and said, "I forgot how strong the lake breeze can be."
"It is the Windy City, after all," Brian chuckled, as he watched Susan using both hands, trying to keep the wind from blowing her skirt up again.
They continued on, talking and enjoying each other's company. As they crossed the Chicago River, Brian pointed to several seagulls that were gently soaring on the lake breeze, not flapping a wing.
"It's amazing how they do that," he observed, and Susan agreed.
Finally they reached Pizzeria Uno. For a Tuesday evening, it wasn't as full as it would have been on the weekend. The waitress quickly found them a small table and they ordered a sausage and pepperoni deep dish pizza and soft drinks. Over their drinks, they talked about the conference, while waiting for their pizza to arrive.
Between bites of pizza, their conversation wandered among a number of subjects—sports, politics, weather, Chicago, or whatever else struck their minds. Brian wanted to first gain her confidence, so he followed her lead during their conversation. They both seemed to enjoy whatever they had been talking about. Susan finally looked at her watch and indicated she needed to return to the hotel. Brian paid for their meal and they headed back.
The summer sun was low on the horizon, nearly ready to set. A patch of puffy clouds hovered over the city, streaked with shades of pink, gold, and lavender. The last golden rays of the setting sun reflected off the glass at the tops of the tallest buildings—the shorter ones, lost deep in the canyons of downtown, were now totally in shadow. It was the kind of scene they put on postcards.
As they sauntered along, Brian slipped his hand into Susan's, "Nice to be downtown on a balmy summer evening."
Susan responded, "Beautiful, isn't it?"
Had this been a movie, orchestra music would have swelled with a romantic score, but this was the dog-eat-dog world of spying, where the winner gets all the marbles, and the loser—well, loses. Brian played back the words of his boss, " ... don't come back without the information we want."
Their stomachs full of pizza, they were no longer in a hurry. They strolled toward the hotel, stopping near the bridge over the Chicago River, where Susan threw some pieces of her pizza crust to the seagulls, that whirled, dived, and squawked among themselves, fighting for a tiny piece of crust.
They strolled on, reaching the hotel lobby at 8:45 PM. Brian said, "I told you we'd be back by nine."
On the elevator, they decided to meet in the lobby at 8 AM the following morning and have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Just before the elevator reached the tenth floor, Brian commented, "I really enjoyed our evening."
With a sparkle in her eyes, Susan smiled up at him. As the door opened, she stood on her tiptoes, gave Brian a kiss on the cheek, then disappeared down the hall as the elevator doors closed.
Surprised, Brian put his hand up to his cheek where Susan kissed him, and smiled. He hadn't expected to have had that kind of effect on her.
Brian and Susan met in the lobby on Wednesday morning, then headed to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. He opened the door for her and followed her through. When the waiter showed them to their table, Brian helped seat her at the table.
Brian's manners weren't lost on Susan, who'd grown up in a world of sexual equality. It felt good to be treated as a lady.
While looking over the menu, Brian asked, "Nervous about your presentation today?"
"No, not really. I've done similar presentations before."
"I didn't ask what it was about."
Susan's face reddened, and she leaned forward across the table. In a low voice, barely above a whisper, so other diners wouldn't hear, she said, "Chemicals, drugs, and hormones which reduce the female sexual response."
Brian, seeing Susan blush, said, "Oh, I didn't intend to embarrass you."
"It comes with the territory, I think. When you work on a female Viagra project, there are a lot embarrassing things."
"Do you mind if I attend your presentation?"
Susan was quiet for a few seconds, "We're grownups. You can attend if you want."
They ordered their breakfasts and when they came, they began eating. A couple times Brian caught Susan staring at him with bedroom eyes. He wanted to tell her that he really enjoyed the kiss she'd given him the night before, but couldn't seem to work it into their conversation.
After they finished, Brian asked the valet for the rental car. When it arrived, he opened the car door for her. Then they headed to the conference.
Once they were in the car, they could talk more freely. "Brian, why are you attending the conference?"
Brian had his cover story all worked out. He claimed that he was trying to gather secret information about Bugger—the same company he worked for. "I've heard rumors that Bugger is ahead of us with their female Viagra drug," he lied again. "I'm going to try to learn as much about their progress as I can. Anything we learn will give us a competitive advantage over those bastards."
Susan nodded. "I didn't think they were ahead of us."
"Well, that's why I'm here. I want to find out for sure."
Brian had mentioned the names of several managers in Susan's chain of command, so she was lulled into a false sense of security.
"Let me know what you find out," Susan said. "We've been working our tails off, and I think we're getting close."
"Maybe six to nine months. I think we'll be done with Phase I testing by then."
That was an interesting tidbit that Brian had hoped to hear. Brian knew Bugger had already completed animal testing and Phase I human studies were already underway. From rumors, he understood Bugger's results were going well. In fact, Brian had heard women who'd tried Vaginitrol (Bugger's code name for their female Viagra drug) couldn't get enough of it, and he, being a research insider, had managed to get his hands on about a dozen Vaginitrol tablets.
They arrived at McCormick Place, the location of the conference. An hour before her presentation, Susan checked in with the conference coordinator. She confirmed the slides she'd sent ahead were already on the audio-visual system. She told the coordinator the same presentation was on her laptop, as a backup.
At 11 AM, Susan began her presentation. She noticed Brian was in the first row. The lecture hall was about three-quarters full, and there were about as many men as women in the audience.
Susan introduced herself as a researcher for Shtup. She told the audience that she was providing the results of recent research that Shtup had done. She said there would be a question and answer period at the end of her presentation.
First, Susan provided an overview of the categories of drugs which reduce the female sexual response. Her slide showed: anti-hypertensives, antidepressants, illicit and abused drugs, anticoagulants, anticancer drugs, some sedatives, neuroleptics, some birth control pills, and a number of hormones produced within the female body.
Then she returned to each category and described specific drugs in that category and their effects on female sexual response. She pointed out how various chemicals affected the brain which depressed the female sexual desire. Susan described how nicotine and marijuana from smoking reduced the female sexual response, along with alcohol, cocaine, and many other illegal drugs. She then covered a number of prescription drugs and various hormones they'd tested at Shtup which reduced the female sexual response.
After Susan finished her presentation, she fielded several questions during the question and answer session. The hour scheduled for her presentation came to an end and people attending the following presentation began drifting in, so Susan thanked everyone for attending and removed her laptop and a water bottle from the podium.
Brian gave her a thumbs-up, "Great job, Susan."
She wiped her brow, "I'm glad that's over. I'm going to visit the Shtup exhibit. Want to come along?"
"No, I really want to scout out Bugger. I want to see if I can get some inside information about their female Viagra project."
The real reason Brian didn't want to go with Susan was that he feared his true identity might be discovered by Shtups' employees.
"Okay then, would you like to meet on the main floor by the entrance at two?"
"Sure, I'll meet you there."
Around 2 PM, they met again. Brian and Susan wandered through some of the conference exhibits and exhibition booths, stopping here and there to chat with pharmaceutical vendors' representatives. It seemed to Brian that most of the booths were staffed by marketing representatives who were more than happy to hand them brochures and literature describing their products.
Several times he and Susan were asked if they were doctors. Apparently the pharmaceutical vendors wanted to get doctors' names and addresses so they could market their new pharmaceutical products to them.
After an hour, Brian asked Susan, "Have you spent enough time at the conference for today?"
"I think so. I've been on my feet nearly all day. I'd like to sit down for a little while."
"Tell you what, why don't we go back to the hotel?"
Hand in hand, they walked to the rental car. Brian opened the door for her again. He wanted to stroke her ego, so he said, "I think your presentation was very good."
"Thank you. We've found so many things that reduce the female sexual response, it wasn't difficult to create a slide show—the tough part has been finding chemicals that enhance it."
"Has your team investigated how to increase the dopamine levels?"
"They've worked on that, and also looked at how to reduce prolactin."
Between them they discussed the merits of oxytosin, nitrous oxide, pituitary hormones, estrogen, testosterone, and other chemical compounds which affect the female sexual response. Brian was trying to identify any chemicals or hormones that might give a hint of what Susan's team might be working on.
Brian and Susan continued their discussion until they reached the hotel. Brian handed the keys to the valet, and they entered the lobby. On the way to the elevator, Brian said, "I have a surprise for you."
"You do? What is it?"
"I can't tell you now, but meet me in the lobby at quarter-till-five. Oh, and wear your walking shoes. Then remembering how the wind gust had lifted her hem, he added, "but don't wear a full skirt." Brian checked his watch, "It's three-thirty now, so you'll have over an hour to rest your feet before we meet again."
They rode the elevator to their respective floors. Susan went to her room, freshened up, and checked her e-mail. Brian went to his room and set his alarm clock for just short of an hour, plopped across his bed, and took a quick nap.
At 4:45 PM, Brian and Susan met again in the lobby. "Can you tell me what the surprise is?" she asked.
"I'll show you, but you'll have to come with me."
As they walked hand in hand, east toward Lake Michigan, Susan wondered what kind of surprise Brian had for her. After about ten minutes they came to a small sign that said, "Chicago Segway Tours."
"Have you ever ridden a Segway?" Brian asked.
Susan shook her head, "No."
"I booked a Segway tour for us this evening."
"I'm not sure I can ride one of those things."
"It's easy and they train you—it only takes a few minutes."
After Brian signed in and took care of the paperwork, Brian and Susan were given helmets and a description about how a Segway works. There were about ten people there. An employee gave them a Segway demonstration, and then they had a chance to try one on their own.
It didn't take Susan long to get the hang of the little, two-wheeled, electrically-powered, personal transporter. About 6 PM, they were escorted by their tour guide southward through Grant Park.
Susan laughed, "This is more fun than I expected," as she steered her Segway along the sidewalk with the other riders.
The tour guide stopped periodically and described what they were seeing on their tour. Of course Brian and Susan were familiar with downtown Chicago, but they'd never had an opportunity to see it in such an exciting way.
They passed a number of Chicago lake front landmarks like Buckingham Fountain and Adler Planetarium. From there, they looked back at the Chicago skyline, framed in billowy white clouds.
Susan commented to Brian, "It's beautiful—I wish I'd brought a camera."
A lady tourist overheard her and took a photo of Brian and Susan together, with Brian's arm around Susan, Susan looking lovingly into Brian's face, the Chicago skyline in the background. The lady obtained Susan's e-mail address and promised she'd e-mail the digital photo to Susan.
The group continued on their Segway tour, returning to their origination spot about sunset.
"Thank you for a great surprise," beamed Susan.
"That's not all," he said. "Want to go to the House of Blues? They serve meals until 10 PM at the Back Porch Stage."
"I'd love it."
After their Segway tour, they headed to the House of Blues and listened to live entertainment while they dined. They also discovered they had similar tastes in music.
He was melting her heart—she'd known him little more than twenty-four hours, but Brian was her dream come true. She had always dreamed of being swept off her feet by a tall, handsome stranger. That's the way it always was in the romance novels she'd read as a teenager. Fairy tale romances had captured her imagination ever since she was a little girl. In her mind, they were made for each other.
Brian was torn between spying on Susan and having a relationship with her. He wasn't as smitten with her, as she with him, but she promised to be an interesting companion—perhaps a fling—until the end of the conference. He still had a job to do.
They returned to the hotel around 10 PM. They'd been on their feet most of the day, and were both exhausted.
On the elevator, the enclosed space in the elevator contained the scent of Susan's perfume, and its aroma captivated him. As the elevator traveled upward, Brian grabbed her around the waist, pulled her to him, and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. Taken by surprise, she wilted in his strong arms. They reached her floor and the elevator doors opened, so Brian let her go.
"Good night Susan—and sleep well," were the last words she heard before the elevator doors closed.
What a day! Susan walked on a cloud as she approached her room. She had never been around a man who was as romantic, as considerate, or as gentlemanly as Brian.
Brian, on the other hand, on his way to his room, thought that a romantic kiss might help gain Susan's confidence. "Do whatever it takes," his boss had said.
Thursday morning was a carbon copy of Wednesday—they met and ate breakfast, then headed to the conference.
Brian said he wanted to attend two conference sessions, and Susan said the same, so they agreed to meet at lunch and went their separate ways.
Brian was sitting at the meeting place where he'd arranged to meet with Susan, when he decided he'd check his e-mail on his laptop. He had only one e-mail which he quickly answered.
Just as he logged off his e-mail account, he felt a warm hand on his shoulder—it was Susan standing behind him. Caught off-guard, he realized the background on his laptop had Bugger's logo prominently displayed in the upper right corner of the screen; Susan couldn't have missed it, could she? Before he had a chance to close the screen, Susan asked, "Why do you have Bugger's logo on your laptop?"
"Oh shit—I've been caught red-handed," he thought to himself. His stomach tied itself in a knot. Brian's mind shifted into overdrive to come up with a plausible answer.
"Well..." He tried collecting his thoughts—grasping at straws, he said, "Since I've been trying to spy on Bugger's employees by acting like one of them, they'd expect me to be using their apps, wouldn't they?"
"I suppose so," agreed Susan.
Brian wasn't sure his explanation was very convincing, but it was the best he could come up with on short notice. Yet another close call. He figured he'd been lucky too many times—how many more fuckups before Susan figured him out?
He again quickly changed the subject and asked if Susan was interested in visiting any afternoon conference sessions. She wasn't, and after the latest scare, neither was he. "How about we skip the afternoon sessions?" he asked.
"Most of them looked boring. I don't think I'd miss any of them," Susan answered.
Brian hoped she didn't notice the cold sweat on his brow, caused by his latest screw-up. Spying just wasn't a business he was comfortable with.
"Since we're taking the afternoon off, where would you like to go?" asked Brian. "There's the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Art Institute, or the Shedd Aquarium. Which will it be?"
Susan thought about it for a little, then asked, "What would you choose as your first choice?"
The ball was back in his court. "The Aquarium, I suppose."
"Good choice—mine too."
"Okay, the Aquarium it is," said Brian.
So the couple spent the afternoon at the Shedd watching dolphins, narwhal whales, and just about every species of fish they could imagine. While they walked, Brian kept the conversation steered toward Shtup's business, hoping he'd be able to gain some useful information from Susan.
While they were walking between exhibits, Susan commented, "It sure has been nice to get away from the office stress and the conflicts for a few days."
"Oh ... What kind of stress?" asked Brian.
"Mainly the pressure to get Feminoral to market. Top management doesn't understand you can't rush research. We've been working sixty hour weeks for months, but they still don't think we've been working hard enough.
They gave us a generous budget for the project, but then, even though we had plenty of money available, they canceled or postponed the orders for equipment we needed. They said the reason we couldn't spend the money was so our quarterly income results would look good to the Wall Street analysts. How's that for dumb? While we're trying to make money for them, they're covering their asses with Wall Street."
"That doesn't make sense," Brian agreed. Now he was getting some useful information to take home from his trip.
Susan continued, "From the other end, there's all the petty bickering among my team members. You'd think I was a referee for some of their silly little battles. For grownups, they act like a bunch of second graders."
"Why don't you tell me how you really feel?" Brian quipped.
"Well, then there's my boss. He's a perfect ass. I just can't stand his sexual harassment. I've given thought to just turning in my resignation and flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant."
They arrived at the next exhibit and marveled at the numbers and colors of the fish on display. Their conversation headed off in a new direction.
"What's your favorite Chicago restaurant?" Brian asked.
"Oh, I don't know—there are so many to choose from. If you narrow it down to a few, like Italian, Mexican, or seafood, maybe I could pick one out of that bunch."
"Okay, how about seafood?"
"You'll probably think this is funny, but I always liked Bob Chinn's Crab House," Susan said.
"Really?" Brian asked, surprised.
"There are probably better seafood restaurants in the Chicago area, but when I went to Northwestern, I didn't have a lot of money. My girl friends and I liked to go there because the food was good, and not overly expensive. Besides, where can you go for ambiance like that, with inverted peach baskets as shades on the light fixtures?"
"You won't believe this, but Bob Chinn's was one of my favorite seafood restaurants growing up. How about we go there this evening for dinner?" Brian asked.
"Oh, I'm sorry, but I can't. I already have plans to meet my college roommate, Jennifer, for a 'girls night out' at seven this evening."
They spent another hour or so at the aquarium until they both decided they must have walked three or four miles that day. Brian suggested they return to the hotel.
After they arrived at the hotel, Susan freshened up and was checking the e-mail on her laptop at 6:30 PM in her hotel room when she heard the muffled ring tone of her cell phone. The phone rang four times before she was able to retrieve it from her purse.
When she checked the incoming call on her phone, she saw it was Jennifer. "Hi Jen."
"Sue, I know I'm early, but we'll be able to spend more time together. I'm double parked down here in front of your hotel. Can you come down now?"
"Sure ... Sure, I'll be right down."
Susan stood up from her desk and dropped her cell phone into her purse. In her haste to meet Jennifer downstairs, she stubbed her toe on the corner of the desk when she turned around.
"Damn." It didn't hurt her, but it distracted her. She closed her laptop, slipped on her shoes, grabbed her purse, and headed downstairs.
Unfortunately for Susan, she hadn't logged off, or disconnected the Ethernet cable from her laptop. It was still connected to the Internet.
Two floors above Susan's room, Brian decided to get something to eat for dinner. He really wasn't hungry, but he knew if he didn't eat something, he'd wake up ravenous in the middle of the night. There was a fast food restaurant not far away, so he headed there.
While sauntering to the restaurant, he thought about the past two days—he hadn't gathered as much information from Susan about her company as he'd planned.
"Maybe tomorrow," he thought. "I really want to go home with a stash of stolen information."
He arrived at the restaurant and ordered a Number 1 meal. It didn't matter what he ordered—to him, they were all about the same, and his mind was elsewhere.
Brian picked at his food, eating slowly. He may as well have been chewing on bits of cardboard, because his attention wasn't on his meal—it drifted to Susan. He'd dated a number of women, but there was something special about her. He wished her personality had been less captivating, because it would then have been easier to complete his job.
He daydreamed about her bubbly laugh, her easy smile, the dimple on her cheek, her sparkling blue eyes, her tender touch, the scent of her perfume, and her soft kiss...
"Pull yourself together," he thought, finishing his meal.
He wandered aimlessly back toward the hotel with his eyes on the pavement and his hands stuffed in his pockets. The two previous evenings were so much more entertaining when he was with Susan. Now he felt like a lost soul among millions in the big city. He kicked an empty soft drink can, which someone had discarded on the sidewalk, watching it roll and tumble off the curb.
Awhile later, back in his hotel room, with nothing to do besides watching some mindless cable TV programs, Brian decided to check his e-mail. After reading and answering his e-mail, he thought he'd check if Susan's computer was on-line.
There it was! The information on her computer was now his. Brian scrutinized the folders on Susan's laptop, searching for information about Feminoral. He found a project plan, a number of weekly status reports to management, a document showing the testing schedule, and some preliminary reports on the effects of Feminoral. He'd scored, and he'd scored big. His boss would be happy to see all that information.
Then he decided to read Susan's e-mail. With some password cracking software, he was quickly able to extract Susan's e-mail password.
When Brian scanned through her e-mails, he found a treasure trove of information he'd be able to take back to his manager.
Near the bottom of the e-mail list, he saw an e-mail from Susan to Jennifer, and Jennifer's response. He opened it and was surprised at what it said:
From: "Susan B" To: "Jenny M" Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:29 AM Subject: I've found him!
Remember when I told you about my dream man when we were in college? You won't believe this, but I met the most wonderful guy on the plane to Chicago on Tuesday. He's a real gentleman—plus, he's a hunk—the answer to my dreams. He works at the same company as me.
We went to Uno's for dinner Tuesday night and he held my hand on the way back to the hotel. Last night he took me on a Segway tour of Chicago and then we went to the House of Blues. We have so much in common. He kissed me—I think I'm in love!!!
Wish me luck! See you this evening at seven.
Re: I've found him! Sent By: "Jenny M" On: Jun 06/24/10 9:33 AM
To: "Susan B" Reply to: "Jenny M"
Congratulations! I knew you'd find 'him' eventually. You'll have to tell me all the juicy details when we get together this evening.
Brian leaned back in his chair, then re-read the e-mails again. He fought back the thought that he was the "Big Bad Wolf" and that Susan was "Little Red Riding Hood." She seemed so innocent and naive.
He went to bed with a nagging thought. He'd fallen for Susan, too. But they really didn't work for the same company. What if she found out he worked for a competitor? He really didn't want to think about it.
Meanwhile Susan and Jennifer went out on the town Thursday evening. When they'd attended Northwestern, they enjoyed bar hopping on Rush and Clark Streets. Jennifer suggested they relive old times when Susan came to Chicago.
Susan and Jennifer visited several bars on Thursday evening and had a meal, but somehow it wasn't the same as they remembered it. They'd matured—the dating scene was different now. They decided to leave the bars; the leering men made them feel like they were prime steaks in a butcher's display case.
Jennifer invited Susan to her downtown apartment. When they arrived, Jennifer opened a bottle of wine. After Jennifer had poured them both a glass of wine and they'd settled on the sofa, Jennifer said, "Tell me all about 'him'—and don't leave anything out."
"His name is Brian. He's about six feet tall—light brown hair—blue eyes—and handsome—I think he looks like he could be David Beckham's brother. Did I tell you that in my e-mail?"
"No, I didn't see that," Jennifer said. "You just met him on the plane on Tuesday?"
"Yes, isn't it amazing? It's just like a fairy tale. My prince charming arrived and swept me off my feet," swooned Susan.
Before Jennifer could say anything, Susan breathlessly rattled on, "He's a real gentleman—he treats me like a princess. Oh, and he's a biochemist for Shtup, but he works in our Boston office. What's amazing is that we both have so many things in common. We like the same kind of food, the same kinds of music, literature ... It's almost like we were made for each other. His kisses buckle my knees."
"All you've done is kissed?" Jennifer asked.
"Are you sure he isn't gay?"
"Jennifer! I'm sure he isn't gay."
Susan was caught off guard by Jennifer's question. She rolled a quick mental video of Brian since she'd met him, and couldn't recall anything indicating Brian was gay.
Jennifer responded, "I'm not saying gay is bad. I was just wondering."
"Well, it is, if I expect a long-term relationship. I've always hoped to find a man who knocks my socks off. Girl to girl, I almost had an orgasm when he kissed me last night—just like in a romance novel."
"Yeah, I remember you had a whole collection of those on your bookshelf at college. Maybe he will knock your panties off, too," Jennifer jested.
Susan smiled—Jennifer's comment sent an image into Susan's head—the mental picture of Brian removing her panties sent a pleasant tingle between her legs. Susan wondered if Jennifer was joking with her.
"Would you like a refill on your wine?" Jennifer asked.
"Sure, this is great wine. Make sure I don't drink too much, okay?"
Jennifer refilled their wine glasses, then said, "By the way, tell me about your job. Last I heard, you were doing great."
Susan began her story, "After I graduated from Northwestern I received several good job offers. Since mom is diabetic, I picked Shtup—they were working on a diabetic drug, and I felt a calling. After about a year I became a team leader, and everything was going great.
"When my project manager left the firm, they asked if I'd replace him. It was a great promotion, and I loved my job. Unfortunately, after another year passed, they discovered the diabetes drug had too many side effects, so they canceled the project. Most of the people on our project were shifted to others.
"I suppose they liked the way I managed the diabetes drug project, because the next thing I knew, I was assigned as project manager for their female Viagra project."
"That's interesting," piped up Jennifer. "Does it work?"
"Not as well as we'd like. I'll fill you in a minute ... I wasn't excited about the project—after all, it's rather embarrassing telling people what I'm working on. Anyway, the first day I met my new boss, I knew I wouldn't like him. He's about 45 years old—short, bald, and obese—he reminds me of a fat Danny DeVito.
"He's always making lewd comments or telling dirty stories involving female genitals, then claims we shouldn't be embarrassed, because we work with female Viagra, after all.
"The code name for our female Viagra drug is Feminoral. He tells all the women that 'Femin' stands for 'feminine' and the 'oral' indicates it can produce a female orgasm with just the touch of a male tongue. I just can't stand his filthy mouth."
Jennifer shook her head in dismay, "Oh my, I can understand how you'd be upset."
Susan continued, "When our female Viagra drug was about ready for Phase I testing—that's when we tested it on about twenty volunteers—he gave a sample of our drug to all the women on my team, a survey form, and a Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator. He wanted them to masturbate using the Magic Wand both with and without our drug. Then he wanted them to describe their orgasms—you know, to see how much better it was with the drug. What's even worse is that he offered to video some of the women using the Magic Wand for what he called 'research.'
"Now, I'm not a prude or anything, and I've jilled now and then, but I'll be damned if I'm going to give him all the details or let him video me just to satisfy his prurient interests."
"How awful," interjected Jennifer.
Susan picked up where she left off, "I did give the drug a try, but it didn't do much for me. I'd say that maybe it was thirty percent better. Most of the other members of my team said about the same thing.
"Then there's the pressure to get the drug to market. Everyone from the CEO on down has been on our back. Every time I turn around, they want another status report or an update on how much better the latest version is.
"I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to quit. I don't have to put up with that crap."
Susan had tears in her eyes. She hadn't intended to spill her guts to Jennifer. This was their first get together since they graduated, and she wanted it to be a happy reunion.
Jennifer put her arm around Susan's shoulder and comforted her, "There, there ... I'm sorry to hear that Sue."
After she'd settled down, Susan asked how Jen liked her job as a cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Jen responded that she enjoyed it, liked having a downtown apartment, but still hadn't found a man that she considered a 'keeper.'
"Speaking of 'keepers'," Jennifer said. "You know our biological clocks are ticking. We probably have only six or eight years—ten at most. I've doubled down looking for a man."
Susan responded, "If Brian doesn't turn out to be my 'man, ' I'm considering marrying anything with a penis—with the exception of my boss, that is."
They both laughed uneasily at Susan's lame joke and refilled their wine glasses.
Finally, when eleven o'clock arrived, Susan asked if Jennifer could take her back to the Palmer House, "I have to meet Brian at eight in the morning, and I want to look my best."
"Please keep me informed how your love life is going," Jennifer said. "And when you come back to Chicago, let me know, and we can get together again."
They hugged each other and shed a few tears, then Jennifer drove Susan back to her hotel.