Authors: Penny Wylder
A Dirty Office Novella
opyright © 2016 Penny Wylder
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, organizations, or locales, is completely coincidental.
hese shoes were the wrong choice for this party. Not even an hour in, and it feels like I'm stepping on nails. Big ones. But, given everything, the party isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Let's be honest, who
wants to go to work parties—especially for a company they haven't even started to work for? But I didn't have anything better to do tonight. If we're honest I rarely have anything to do that's social. Sigh.
But the music here is actually from this decade and Saxon Hotels, Inc. didn't skimp on the alcohol. It could be worse. I look across the room for Molly—the girl from HR who let me know I was hired and invited me tonight. She greeted me and then promptly abandoned me, which is why I am currently making my permanent residence the shadowy corner by the drinks table. But, like I said, it could be worse.
A blonde girl wearing a pink dress approaches the table of drinks. The dress hugs curves on her that are frankly just unfair. As if she can sense me thinking about her she's suddenly looking at me, and then she's gliding over. "You're Alyssa, right? Molly told me we had a new hire, and you're the only person I don't recognize."
"Yeah, that's me." I smile, "I figured I'd skip the awkward first day and go straight to getting drunk with my coworkers."
"Solid choice." She says, "We do enjoy getting drunk. Though this is nothing compared to our New Year's Party. People usually don't make it through that one unscathed." She scans the room, "You see that guy over there? That's Mark. He's the typical bender guy—you know every office has one. Last New Year's he got so drunk he bought everything in the vending machine and woke up the next day shirtless and covered in cheetos."
I choke on my drink, "Wow."
She gives me a small conspiratorial smile and scans the room again. "Over there in the blue? That's Chelsea. A couple of years ago she ended up in the mail room with more than one of the interns." She gives me a look that leaves no doubt about her opinion on Chelsea.
I force a laugh, and pray I never get on Jennifer's bad side. I'm glad I'm finally feeling my Cosmo start to relax my body. "You seem to know everyone's dirt."
"Oh, I know everything." She smiles smoothly, "I'm Jennifer, by the way."
I shake her hand. "Nice to meet you. You already know my name."
"I do, but I don't know what desk you'll be at tomorrow."
"Executive Secretary for Charles Saxon." I take a sip of my drink.
It doesn't seem like a happy or friendly 'wow.' "Is there something wrong with him?" I haven't met him, but his name is on the door, so I figure he can't be that bad.
"No, no." She says a little too quickly. "Have you met him yet?"
"Not yet. He was out of the office for meetings today. Molly said that he signed off on my resume. So I guess tomorrow will either be really great or really terrible—no in between."
She presses her lips together. "Can I tell you something, just to make it easier for you?"
"Sure. I mean, you've already proved that you know everything." I wink, knowing she's already decided to tell me.
She doesn't laugh. "Listen...it's just that Charles has a certain...reputation with women."
"What do you mean?"
She reaches out and puts her hand on my shoulder, I can tell she wants to look concerned. "I mean that you're very pretty, and he's
charming. He's also incredibly hot. So just be careful."
I laugh, "Don't worry. I've known more than my share of men like that. It takes more than charm to get under my skirt. I'll set some boundaries as soon as I meet him."
She nods. "Good."
"There you are!" Molly appears from out of nowhere, slinging her arm around my shoulder, clearly having already had more drinks than I have. "I'm so happy that you came, did I tell you that? And I see that you met Jenn. She's my eyes and ears. Whatever you need, she'll help you."
"She will indeed." I say, smiling. I take another sip of my drink only to find it empty. "Be right back, I'm getting a refill."
Molly switches her chatter to Jennifer as I step away and make myself another drink. Definitely not bad. If everyone is this friendly and relaxed I think I'm going to like working here, even if I have to keep the boss at arms length. I'm sure he won't be the worst I've had to deal with, and he’s probably too old to do anything much anyway. I glance up to find to find a gift from the gods staring at me. Gorgeous, delicious, eye candy. And the alcohol must be really hitting me now if I say things like eye candy.
Dark hair, dressed in a button down that is designed to look casual but probably costs my first paycheck. Broad shoulders, tall. Total dreamboat. I let myself look, staring at his arms, the fabric of his shirt is clinging to them and his chest in a way that tells me I'm going to like what's underneath it. His face is an odd mixture of angles that come together in just the right way to make him fit for one of those way-too-sexy perfume ads. Damn.
Get it together, Alyssa. You're not going home with someone from the first office party. You're barley hired yet. But my imagination always gets a little wild when I'm tipsy, and speaking of tipsy, I can just imagine him tipping me back and kissing me. Moving from my lips down to my—holy shit he looked at me. I'm too far away to see what color his eyes are, but they're dark, and they are for
looking right at me. That little mental fantasy takes on a new element as I imagine his approach across the room towards me. That's a pretty thought.
Of course it's interrupted by Jennifer.
"I told you he was incredibly hot."
I look over at her. "
"The one and only."
"I thought he was old!" I genuinely thought I had a job working for a man in his mid-fifties. Charles Saxon is in his mid-thirties.
"Nope...just sinfully delicious."
I laugh, "Well, sometimes it's the money that makes you attractive."
"Not this time—Who cares about money with that body?" Jennifer clinks her glass against mine.
"No, not this time. Well, shit." I say. Jennifer laughs. "I warned you."
Charles Saxon. Charles Sexon would be a better name. I mentally pour a bucket of water on myself. "You were right. Tight boundaries it is."
She raises her glass to me, "Well, you can start right now, because he's heading this way." Then she's gone so quickly I've completely lost her in the crowd.
I turn around to find Charles approaching me. "Hello," he says in a voice as rich as chocolate, "My name is—"
"Charles Saxon." I finish for him. "So I've been told."
He chuckles, "Well, I'm glad we had an opportunity to meet. I'm very much looking forward to working with you."
"I am too, Mr. Saxon. However, given the circumstances, I think it's best that we set some ground rules."
I take a final sip of my drink and place it on the table. "I'm familiar with men of your type—rich, powerful, and egotistical. I know that you may be used to women falling at your feet, especially women that work for you, but I want you to know that I expect our relationship to be entirely professional. Your reputation proceeds you in that department, so I thought it would be better to get any awkwardness out of the way now."
The look on his face is at once terrifying and gratifying. I think I may have gone too far, but there's no going back now. He clears his throat. "Well then." He says, and the richness of his voice vibrates through me. "Is there anything else I should know?" He raises an eyebrow, and I feel all the blood in my body rush to my face.
Oh god, what did I just do? "No. No I don't think so. If you'll excuse me, Mr. Saxon, I must be going. I'll see you in the morning."
I walk away before he can say anything else to me, and I leave as fast as I can without it looking like I'm running away. Because boundaries are one thing, but that...that was something else all together.
ell wasn't that interesting...
I watch the brunette walk away from me and not look back once. I wrestle down the impulse to laugh. That's one thing I've never had in a secretary—someone who's shut me down before I've even spoken. And I can't blame her too much, if Mark hadn't pointed her out as the new hire I might have ended up doing what she accused me of. The black dress she was wearing clung to her body in ways that made me want to imagine what was underneath it, and I'd always had a thing for brunettes. Especially with hair like that, long enough for me to run my hands through it and get tangled in it.
The fantasy spins out from there too quickly—I imagine catching her outside before she leaves, tangling my hands in that hair and holding her still while I kiss her. After that I'd peel back that dress and find out what's underneath it. I shake my head. Get a grip, Charles. She's pretty, but she's your secretary. You've never crossed that line, don't start now.
I pour myself a scotch. I don't particularly want to be at this party. It's been a long day dealing with the contractors in Santa Fe, and what I really need is peace and sleep. But apparently it helps morale to see the boss at these kind of things Even if I did get shut down by the new girl.
I can't say it wasn't worth it. I could pretend that I didn't watch every last inch of her walk away, but that would be a lie.
That, and the way she turned the tables...yeah, definitely worth it.
I slip one hand into my pocket to adjust myself. It's good for the people to see the boss at the party. Not so good to see the boss have a boner at the party.
"Mr. Saxon, it's so good to see you!" A chirpy voice comes from my right. I groan inwardly. "Hello, Jennifer."
I dare to look, and see that the pink dress she's wearing is cut so low she's practically spilling out of it. "I just wanted to say that I'm so impressed with all the new locations you're willing to take chances on." Her voice is practically a purr, "I actually have a location I'd like to speak with you about, if you're interested."
I plaster on as good a smile as I can, "You know I'm always willing to hear new ideas."
"It's one of the things I really love about
." She pauses for way too long. "...and your company."
, I think.
Jennifer steps closer to me; her breasts are practically brushing my arm now. "Is there a time when I can come by your office with the proposal?"
"You can make an appointment with my new secretary. I think her name was—"
"Alyssa. We met." Her voice goes flat.
I knock back the rest of the scotch, and take a step away. "Yes, Alyssa. I'm sure she'll be up to speed with my calendar in a few days."