or "Loving Felicity"
Falicity Wayne was aware of the fact but was determined to not let it bother her this year, certainly not as much as it had the previous year. Alone at Christmas, the theme that was kind of bouncing around her psyche right then, wasn't going to be allowed it to have the last word this year.
She remembered clearly how bad, how low and gray last Christmas was. She said to herself that 'it almost drove me to drink', and she chuckled at the dark, dark humor of that statement, for she was not a drinker, at all. She'd forsworn drinking since that terrible night when Jake, assuring her that he was fine and had not had too much to drink, ran them off the road and hit the trees on the way home from a party. He was killed and she was left with no feeling in her legs, or from the waist down.
She'd been told by doctors, during the rehabilitation process, that she'd not walk again but Falicity was that stubborn and motivated. She was, of course, now walking with the aid of her friendly canes. It was a hard and slow process, and she was constantly unsteady on her feet these days, but one that worked for her.
She'd also been advised by the board of the company that she shared with Jake to hire a permanent manager but was stubborn there also. Against that advice, and their almost pleas, she decided to head the company herself and they had had, as a result the best two year run in their history, but she knew that some of that credit belonged to the team that she'd assembled for management.
Felicity Wayne was, at the age of 36, a lovely woman, with short auburn hair and, despite her struggle with her canes to walk, very, very fetching.
But last Christmas had been dreadful. She let it rule her almost, spoil her outlook, make her almost crazy and she wasn't going to allow that to happen this year. No, not at all.
She buzzed her secretary/assisstant, Teresa.
"Hey, boss," Teresa said, coming into Felicity's office.
"I'd like to give you this, honey," Felicity said, handing Teresa an envelope and a gift.
"Oh, you're the best of the best!" Teresa said, saying an elaborate 'thank you'. "What do you need now?"
"For you to go home and get on with your holiday!" Felicity said, "I have only a few more things to do here and Ryan will help me get it sorted."
"Can do, boss," Teresa said, giving her seated boss a hug and a kiss before leaving.
When Teresa had left, there was a knock at the door that led to her other assistant, Ryan Wolter's office.
He entered with a grin. "How's the Dragon Lady? Getting ready for the Christmas holiday?"
"No," she said sharply and then immediately apologized.
He sat and said: "Okay, tell!"
She sighed and went into the story about how dreadful and dark gray her mood had been last year at Christmas.
"And I don't think that I'm up for that kind of problem again this year at all! Just not!" She went on.
He moved behind her, as she sat and, on an instinct, began to rub her shoulders.
"Ohhhhhhh!"' she said, "Does that ever feel good!"
"Had some experience as a masseur, during grad school," he explained.
"And a good one!" she said.
"And 'no'," he all but barked at her and laughed after the bark, "I'm not trying to seduce the boss for Christmas."
"Little good it would do you with me barely able to move," she said, thanking him, as he finished the shoulder and back rub.
"Yeah," he quipped, "But you can't run from me!" He was grinning at her, when he finished.
"Right but I could beat you with one of my trusty canes!" she said.
But if the truth were told Ryan Wolters had in fact been in love with the boss from an early period in his employment there. He never rated his chances with her very highly. He, at 27, thought himself too young and too out of her league for any romance.
"Work to do?" he asked then, changing the subject, once he'd rewarded her latest statement with a grin.
"Work to do but I'll be fine; don't you have someone to go home to for your Christmas holiday?" she asked.
"No, not really," he said, "Alone here in the city except for Jonah and the Whale."
"Who?" she asked.
"My two tabbies!" he said.
"Oh, I love their names!" she said.
Then she moved and began to struggle across the room.
"Oh, these damn legs get so stiff!" she said.
In the past, he'd seen Teresa give her legs a rub, especially toward the end of the day to help her be able to move about. In fact, off in a side room, near where her bathroom suite was, there was a massage table to allow Teresa to do that.
"Okay, Christmas treat coming up!" he said, going to her and picking her up in his arms.
"Ohhhhh!" she said, surprised, as he carried her to the back room and the massage table.
"Here's something that I want to try!" he said and began to massage her legs, just above the knees and move downward from there.
"Oh, nice!" she said, sighing and laying her head back.
"Don't you go looking up my skirt!" she said with mock severity.
"You're the boss, the Dragon Lady," he said, "I wouldn't dare!"
She looked up at him from her prone position and said: "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"
She giggled then and he made an elaborate show of tucking the edges of her skirt under her thighs.
"Better!" he asked, grinning.
"I guess!" she said.
"Oh," she went on, after a thought, "Ryan, you do raise my spirits!"
The thought went through Ryan's mind: "If only!" But he pushed that thought out of his mind and away as quickly as possible. It was in that forbidden area where he refused to allow those thoughts to linger or invade his consciousness.
He tried to be very careful. He loved his job, was excited by the business and the way that their manufacturing capacity and outreach had grown over the past year and a half that he'd been working for Felicity. He was especially interested in analyzing and improving their manufacturing capacity, and had done a good job at that.
He kicked himself regularly, once he realized that he was in fact falling in love with her, giving himself messages about how inappropriate it was and how stupid. He made himself walk a thin but well defined line.
As a matter of fact, this was the very first time that there had ever been any kind of association, physical association between them.
"Oh, that felt nice!" she said, pushing herself up by her elbows.
"Here, let me!" he said and gathered her into his arms again, holding her in that position a moment or two longer than was necessary.
He set her down and gave her, her canes, trying not to blush too much but realizing that he was losing that battle. She looked at him and smiled, though she said nothing at first.
"Wonderful!" she finally said, "Thank you for that."
She gave him a smile and said: "Do you mind terribly if we go ahead and get these reports finished up? I know it's a pain but it'll get us in such good shape for the end of the month and the end of the year."
"No," he said, "Boss lady, that's why I came in here, not to haul you around like your body servant!"
"Sorry!" he said.
"Don't you say that!" she went on, smiling at him. "But let's get to these and we'll see where we are!"
"She walked slowly back to her desk and sat, with Ryan sitting on the other side of the desk, and handing her the reports.
They worked at it steadily for another 45 minutes and were then pretty much finished.
"Done!" she said with some satisfaction, and he joined her in an appreciative smile.
"I guess!" he said.
"And we've done so well!" she went on.
"We have!" he agreed.
She reached in her desk then and brought out an envelope, handing it to him: "Happy Holidays, Ryan, and thank you!" she said.
"No, thank you!" he said, getting up to leave.
"I'm going to take my usual shower and change, before it's home and dinner." she said.
"I have a few things to get done in my office," he replied.
He went to his office and found a check for $5,000 for a Christmas gift/bonus, and was pleased. It was while he was there in his office was in his office that he heard a noise, a kind of thud, like someone collapsing. He ran to her office and found Felicity on the floor outside the shower in her back room. She was wearing only a pair of yellow panties. She was crying.
"Ohhhhh," he sighed and picked her up.
"I'm sorry!" she said. "Big boss that can't even stay on her own two feet!"
He set her down on the cot that they'd used before and asked her if anything hurt very badly.
"Only my pride!" she said. "At the end of the day I like to shower and change and freshen up before going home or out to dinner," she explained. "It's just that my legs at times collapse, is all. And here I am showing off my undies and everything else!"
He grinned at her and said: "Thought that was my Christmas gift!"
"I'll beat you!" she warned and smiled at him.
He thought for a few seconds and then continued: "Okay," he said, "Shower it is. I don't want anyone saying that I'm not up to my job."
She grinned and gave him a smile: "Your job?"
"Right now to take care of you!" he said.
"Oh, yes, take care of me!" she said kind of wistfully.
"Come on, shower!" he then said, after a minute.
"Shower!" she said but gave out a little sigh, as he picked her up in his arms and walked her into the shower, sitting her down on the seat at the end of the large shower stall.
.... There is more of this story ...