A Job with Benefits Ch. 01

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I couldn’t believe my luck when I was received notice that I would be sent to New Orleans to set up the network and workstations for a newly renovated hotel that was set to open in a month… I would be housed there for three weeks, as their guest, and would get the chance to finally work on a project by myself! Until now, I had always been part of a team and, truthfully, I never really played well with others. I’ve always been an independent, loner type. I like working at my own pace, making my own decisions and not having to negotiate with anyone. This sounded like the perfect job for a self-starter like me, and I expected to gain a lot of experience from it.

What I did NOT expect, however, was that the Hotel Merveilleux was nowhere near being fully renovated. Thanks to a couple of investors bailing out unexpectedly, they were way behind schedule and I had unwittingly walked into a building that had nothing more than running water and electricity. The elevator was non-functioning… there was no air conditioning… seven of the nine floors had no flooring or wall coverings. It was going to be a long, exhausting three-week stint.

I showed up for my first day in the best mood I could muster, dressed to the nines and ready to prove that they had hired a professional. For some reason, I thought wearing three-inch spindly heels and a skirt suit on my first day would be a brilliant way to make a great impression… it never dawned on me that I would have to traipse down block after block of sidewalk to the hotel, then a hell of a lot of walking up and down stifling hot staircases, over and over again. By the end of the day, I was drenched in sweat, my legs felt like achy noodles and my feet were so swollen I honestly thought they would split the seams of my shoes. By the time I found my hotel room (on the ninth floor… and of course the elevator isn’t working yet… fantastic), I was numb from exhaustion and pain, and it took my last crumb of energy to drop my luggage onto the floor and survey the room.

At this point in the day, they could have housed me in a janitor’s closet with a leaky faucet and I would have happily accepted. As it were, the room was simple but comfortable. It was a two-room suite, of sorts… a small sitting area with a blue-gray overstuffed couch and chair hovering around a flat screen TV on the wall. Through the doorway on the left, I could make out the bedroom area, and I guessed there was a bathroom back there as well. They hadn’t bothered to decorate yet, but given the general tackiness of hotel décor, it was probably just as well. The walls were a pleasing warm peachy tone with a nondescript metallic gold inlaid design, and the floors were freshly carpeted in light shaggy cream. I was hesitant to be the first to ruin their new carpet, so instead I plopped down on the floor and gently peeled off my shoes.

It was such a relief to finally get off my feet that I didn’t even bother to close the door behind me… I found myself leaning against the wall, rubbing my sore calves and feeling like a limp rag doll. I could feel my eyelids growing heavy and weary and was considering taking a nap right there on the floor when I heard footsteps approaching the open door. Before I could open my eyes and manage to lift myself off the floor, I heard a man’s voice with a light but distinct southern Louisiana accent.

“You must be our new IT person!”

I looked up to see a devilish, crooked grin and a pair of heavy-lidded green-gray eyes gazing down at me. He was dressed in sharply pressed gray dress slacks, a matching gray buttoned vest and a long sleeved white shirt, gaping open at the collar, wide enough for a little bit of dark chest hair to peek out. Even from my awkward angle, I could tell he was a little shorter than me, and his body was well-proportioned… my eyes were drawn to his firm shoulders, and then to his dark brown hair slicked neatly back. He had this effortless, boyish charm that always gets under my skin, and as soon as I realized this, I knew he was going to be nothing but trouble for me. I didn’t even know who he was, and yet the dawning realization of my downfall washed over me. And I’ve always had a thing for short guys. This is the last thing I need right now…

After staring up at him like an idiot for an indeterminable amount of time, I finally noticed that he had a gift basket in his hands. I stumbled to my feet, and before I could respond he stepped over the threshold and extended a hand to me. “I’m Jackson, the lead concierge. I’d like to welcome you to the Hotel Merveilleux.” He grasped my right hand tenderly, still gazing at me… I probably looked like a walking disaster, barefoot and sweaty. “Um.. thanks… sorry about how I look…”, I mumbled as I found myself staring at the gift basket. It was a cheesy arrangement of wrapped candy, a local magazine, some pens and other gimmicky stuff. I spied a bottle of wine in there and figured right now was the perfect time to try it. Jackson saw me looking at the basket and gingerly set it sarıyer escort down on the nearest table as if it were an unstable grenade. It was obvious that he was embarrassed by the quality of it. “There’s no need to apologize. As you’ve already noticed, we’re nowhere near fully functioning yet. We did manage to finally get the air conditioning running this morning, but it will take a few days for the upper floors to cool off…”, his voice trailed off in embarrassment as he shrugged his shoulders.

He might have said some other things about the hotel, but frankly, I wasn’t paying much attention. It was taking all of my willpower to not gaze at his face and that open collar… I realized that he was also feeling the effect of the heat and was sweating like crazy. Stop this shit right now… this is your first day on the job… you don’t need to be drooling over the hotel staff! I silently chided myself as I tore open the gift basket and unscrewed the lid off the cheap wine. There was a couple of plastic glasses in there as well, and I poured myself a liberal amount as he chattered away about the current restoration efforts. I was still feeling woozy and exhausted from the long day, and leaned against the couch as he talked. At some point during an awkward pause, I heard my voice pipe up.

“So… um… what exactly does a concierge do?”

His back was turned to me, and I could see his fingers were now fidgeting with the torn wrapping on the gift basket. He acted as though he didn’t hear me at first, but after a few seconds he turned around and stared right through me with those heavy-lidded greenish gray eyes and that crooked smile again.

“A concierge makes sure his guests are always happy.”

Maybe it was the wine… maybe it was the heat or the exhaustion… but there was something about the way he said that. It settled deep within me and seriously impure thoughts began flashing through my brain. I could feel a flush of embarrassment creeping up my neck and across my face and before I could catch myself I took another gulp of wine and heard myself ask, “So you’ll do anything to make me happy?”. Oh, goddamnit you idiot, he’s going to take that the wrong way!!

Jackson didn’t seem to notice… he gave off this air of class and professionalism that would lead him to brush off comments like that At least, that’s what I wanted to believe. He smiled sweetly and sauntered slowly towards me, until he was just a couple of feet from me. I could smell a faint whiff of his cologne… rich, spicy, engaging. It was all I could do to keep from leaning closer to him, but stopped short when I realized his eyes were still locked on me. I guess I was kind of nervous and embarrassed at this point because I felt myself avoiding his gaze, instead staring at his hands as he adjusted his cufflinks.

“It depends on the guest… admittedly, some guests get better treatment than others.”, he said in a low, soft voice. He paused, and after a few seconds I looked up to see that he wasn’t staring at me anymore. Now he was sizing me up, maybe trying to figure out if I’m a generous tipper… it wouldn’t be worth his time to treat someone like a VIP if they wouldn’t tip like one, would it? Before I could ask him what he was looking at, he spoke up again. “Since you’ll be working for us and staying here for the next three weeks, I can guarantee you will be well taken care of.”. His voice trailed off to a near whisper as he leaned in a little closer to make eye contact with me, still toying with his cufflinks. It was then that I realized I was holding my breath. I always did that when I was nervous or tense, and I had to deliberately force myself to relax and breathe as I felt the flush in my face and neck turn feverish. There was something about his smile, the smell of him, and his husky voice… I could feel the moist, dewy heat building up between my legs and defensively crossed my legs as if to hide it from his knowing eyes.

“Um… well… thanks for the basket.”, I mumbled thickly as I scooted away. “I need to take a shower now… long day…”. I wanted to smack myself repeatedly as I stumbled awkwardly away. I knew I looked and sounded like an idiot, but he didn’t seem to notice.

“Yes, absolutely… you need your rest. Here’s my card in case you need anything… I can be reached at any time.”. He fished in the front pocket of his vest and pulled out a small ivory-colored card.

I struggled to say something halfway intelligent, but all I could manage was, “I wouldn’t bother you at night… really, I can’t think of anything I would need…”

His eyes met mine yet again, and a slow smile played across his face. “You never know what you might need, or when you might need it.”. He winked at me playfully, and before I could come up with a witty response, he had left my room and was halfway down the hallway. Oh, that was smooth… real smooth… you are tired and overheated and getting tipsy… stop talking and go to esenyurt escort bed, you dork!! said to myself as I flopped on the bed in defeat. Another day, another damn distraction.

The days flew by in a flurry of frantic scrambling, heavy lifting and mass confusion. Over time things slowly pulled together, and I had largely forgotten about Jackson and the card he gave me. Within a week, the cool air had finally reached the upper floors and it was downright tolerable at night, even if the restaurants within walking distance were abysmal. I wasn’t too bothered by this, though… what I was really craving was some time to recuperate. With all of the lifting and moving of boxes and computers, my shoulders and back were throbbing and tense… it was all I could do to limp wearily out of bed in the morning.

One afternoon I finished the day’s work a bit early and decided that soaking in a hot, sudsy bath sounded sublime. After kicking off my shoes and changing into a bath robe, I realized that I had no clean towels, so I called the front desk, only to hear a familiar voice on the other line that made my stomach lurch and my palms sweat.

“I’m so sorry we haven’t brought you any fresh towels yet — I’ll bring some up to you right now!”. I wanted desperately to tell him not to bother… don’t come up here… I’ll get them myself! Really! But my reptile brain refused to function and in only a couple of minutes, I hear a knock at the door. Hesitantly, I open the door and Jackson is standing there, a stack of fresh white towels in hand. I noticed his eyes widen a bit as he looked me over, and only then did I realize I was wearing the robe. I was decently covered, but there was something about the glint in his eye as he was staring at me that made me feel uncomfortable, as if I were naked!

My head was swimming with hot, giddy rushes of lust and it was all I could do to avoid making eye contact with him, and we stood in front of each other for what felt like an hour. It wasn’t until he cleared his throat that I realized he was holding the towels out to me, and even after I took them he stayed at the door, still watching me. “Are you enjoying your stay so far?”, he ventured. Without waiting for an answer, he stepped into the room and surveyed it, spying the empty wine bottle on the table. “I see you’re out of wine… I’ll need to bring you some more.”

I desperately wanted to say something to him, but being so close to him left me flustered and bashful. He had this playful, subtly teasing aura about him… he was the kind of man that could show a woman a hell of a good time and then crush her heart into a hundred pieces. I knew guys like him, and I knew them well enough to avoid them too. Even still, every time I looked at him I could feel every nerve in my body vibrating, and my legs would shake so badly I could barely stand. In an effort to cut through the awkward silence, I blurted out the first thing I came to mind.

“Are there any good massage parlors around here?” Does that make me sound like a pervert or something? “Just because I’m really sore from moving all that equipment around downstairs and…”. When his twinkling eyes met mine, I could feel my throat seize up, and he shot me a quick smile. “There’s a couple around here… but you know, I’m a massage therapist.” I must have looked quite surprised, because he held up his hands in a gesture of humble defense. “I’m certified and everything! Really!”. I heard myself giggle nervously, as if I weren’t even in my own body.

“You’re a concierge and a massage therapist?”

“Well, I don’t plan on working here forever… and besides,”, Jackson murmured as he slowly walked towards me, “It’s definitely a service that makes people happy., and that’s what I’m here for.”. I nearly choked on air when he said that. The lascivious tone of his voice implied a much deeper, darker meaning than his words let on. He was standing so close to me know that our feet were nearly touching, and yet I couldn’t stop staring at him… nowhere in particular, as if my eyes couldn’t decide what they wanted to gawk at first. He was wearing much the same thing he wore a week ago, with his shirt unbuttoned a little at the top. There was something about that one little concession to his otherwise professional dress that I found exhilarating. I was so caught up in the moment that I realized I was leaning against the back of the couch and had no means of gracefully slipping away. Jackson rested his left hand lightly on the back of the couch, just inches from my hip, and braced himself on it as he leaned in slightly closer to me, gazing intently into my eyes.

“So how about it?”

I was utterly speechless, but as if I were being controlled by an unseen force, I nodded my head. I am really going to regret doing this!!

His right hand gently stroked my arm, tugging playfully at the sleeve of my bathrobe as he turned around and headed for the bedroom. “Wait… we’re… going to do it in there?”. Jackson’s back was avrupa yakası escort turned to me, and he chuckled softly under his breath as he led the way. “Did you have a better idea?”, he asked. I didn’t, but still my mind was reeling over how far this could be taken. His nonchalant confidence was unnerving… every step I took, every word I said felt clumsy and inappropriate when he was around. He probably means nothing by this… he’s just trying to earn some extra tips, I told myself, but the heated flush that was creeping back into my chest and neck refuted all of that.

He turned on one of the lamps to counteract the drizzly, leaden view of the rainy day outside and dimmed it to a soft glow, then turned to me. I glanced at myself in the mirror mounted on the closet door, my arms crossed prudishly over my chest, and suddenly wished I wouldn’t have worn something so matronly and frumpy. He stared at me blankly, then that crooked, cocky smile of his brightened his boyish face. “You’re not going to wear that the whole time, are you> Take it off and lie on the bed.”, he sternly instructed, sitting on the edge of the bed and leaning back against the headboard. He was patiently waiting, and I was mortified! How was I going to tell him I had nothing on underneath? I finally found my voice.

“I’m going to just… slip under the covers if that’s okay…”

“Why?”. His smile grew even bigger, his eyebrows raised in bemusement.

“Well… I’m naked underneath this.”

Jackson said nothing at first, but looked away and at the ceiling, covering his mouth in feigned shock. You smart-ass… “Oh my… I would never have imagined that.”. He covered his eyes dramatically and turned further away. “I’ll grant you this one little favor, just so you can preserve your modesty.”.

Feeling even more awkward and flustered than ever before, I ripped off my robe and slipped under the sheets, lying on my stomach, with my head at the end of the bed and my face hidden under the crooks of my arms. It was bad enough that I was willing to go through this… I really didn’t need to be mocked, even in jest. I tried to relax and regulate my breathing, but warm, soft fingertips kneading into my shoulders broke my concentration. He was pressing deeply into my shoulder blades, caressing my muscles and stroking the indentation where my bra straps dug onto my shoulders. It was such a tender, intimate act of acceptance to do that, and in all the years I had gotten massages from people, I couldn’t recall anyone ever doing that. Amidst the heady, hazy reverie of sensuality, I could suddenly feel his hot breath tickling the hairs on the back of my neck. I must have squirmed slightly because he paused and asked, “How does that feel?”. There was no way I could bring myself to tell him that he was arousing me to a fever pitch and that it was all I could do to lie still and passive under his touch. I couldn’t dare tell him that I was so hot for him that I wanted to pounce on him and rip off his clothes right then and there, and he was just getting started. So, I played it cool the best that I could.

“It feels wonderful… “

Without another word, Jackson continued working down my back, smooth firm strokes intermingled with soft, feathery ones… every so often I would hear him breathe a bit deeper, and I imagined the air passing his soft lips, that wet pliant tongue just behind them, and the thought of what he could probably do with it drove me wild. I silently pressed my wrist against my mouth in a vain effort to keep my cool. I could feel him straddling my hips, and after several minutes I could sense him leaning back on his heels and he rubbed my lower back, his fingers working closer and closer to the base of my spine. The sheet wasn’t doing much to conceal my modesty at this point.

Just when I found myself letting go of my reticence, I felt him lean in close to me and heard his soft voice whisper n my right ear.

“Remember when I told you that some guests get better treatment than others?”. My ears were hot and tingling in response to his sweet words, and instinctively I turned my head slightly towards him. “Well…”, he whispered hoarsely, “I consider you one of our most important guests. I don’t offer this to just anyone, you know…”. A warm, tenacious hand slid underneath the sheet between us and gingerly stroked the crevice between my buttocks, and I heard myself breathe sharply inward in surprise as his tongue tickled me behind my ear. “I wanna take you, right here on the bed… I can do things to you that’ll make you feel so damn good…”, I heard him say the words, but his body spoke even louder.

Lifting himself onto his hands and knees, he grabbed my wrist and tuned me over to face him. His eager tongue lapped at my neck, working its way to my jawline and then my mouth, holding my face still between his hands as he clumsily plundered my mouth and nipped at my lips. He was slowly lowering his body onto mine, and in my cloudy lustful haze I was dimly aware of the fact that the sheet was completely pushed aside. The coarse, itchy fabric of his vest and slacks rubbed deliciously against my bare skin as his feral instincts took overs and he ground wildly against me. I could sense that whatever experience he may have had was overshadowed by his unbridled enthusiasm, and the awareness of this fact excited me even more!

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