Company Meeting

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Adam was bored. No, bored was not quite strong enough. Frustrated and irritated were better words. Whose idea was it, anyway, to have these periodic company meetings on Friday afternoons? They were inane, pointless, and way too damned long. He had better things to do, as did most everyone here, he guessed.

“Jesus,” he muttered. “This place is run by freakin’ morons.” What else could explain such a long, drawn-out meeting with this kind of fanfare, all designed to provide a look at the company’s current financial standing, and highlight “new initiatives” from the CEO? It was just the usual pep talk shit that not only seemed silly if one really stopped to listen to it, but seemed to be verbatim from the last meeting. Not one damn thing was said that couldn’t have been covered in a succinct, one page memo. But, then again, perhaps the powers that be assumed the worker bees couldn’t read, and would appreciate the “gods coming down from the mountain to share wisdom with the mortals.” What the fuck ever.

Adam looked around the room for faces he might recognize. There weren’t that many. The company had been growing so quickly that, even after four years in this hell-hole, he still only knew a handful of people outside his own department. However, this was not a bad thing. He was out of the loop and out of the line of fire. It might not be the path to corporate success, but it suited him just fine. They paid him well to be creative, and as long as the paychecks kept coming, he wasn’t overly concerned about the rest.

But the afternoon wasn’t totally wasted. A tall woman had arrived late, and she was leaning against the wall to his left. She was half-turned away from him, watching the parade of speakers on the stage. The first thing he noticed about her, besides her tardiness, was her hair. He couldn’t see her face well enough to make a judgment, but if her hair was any indication, she was a very attractive lady indeed.

Her hair cascaded over her shoulders and down her back, coming to rest at the point where her spine curved inward to form her waist. Thanks to the dim lighting in the auditorium, he wasn’t entirely sure what to call the color. Light chestnut? Dark auburn? It was hard to tell. He could, however, detect a slight wave to it, and could tell it was thick. It was hair, he decided, that begged for a man’s fingers to dally in it.

Looking at her, though, he wasn’t sure how she would feel about a man running his fingers through her hair. He thought he could detect an air of independence and control about her, as though nothing in her world happened without careful planning on her part. Adam turned the thought over in his mind. Was she a schemer? She had better be if she were going to do well in this conservative organization, where men ruled and women obeyed. A few women did well here. These women were of two distinct groups – women who spread their legs for the right men, and those clever enough to play the good old boys to their advantage. The latter group certainly had their work cut out for them, but a few had succeeded. The trick, apparently, was to flatter the powers that be into thinking they were calling the shots, while the woman played them like puppets on a string.

Which was she? Her choice of attire didn’t offer a clue. In fact, it belied the air of control Adam sensed. She seemed out of place in either category. She wore a long black skirt that covered her legs to her ankles, allowing simple black flats to peek out. Her top was a loose satin blouse in a shimmery gold that reflected highlights in her hair. It had long sleeves, and she wore it untucked; it draped nicely around her round hips. Adam was pretty sure the first two buttons were open, having glimpsed fair flesh and a flash of metal when she first walked in – a simple gold chain, perhaps, with a pendant that rested in the valley between her breasts?

She definitely stood out in the sea of women wearing conservative business suits in gray, navy, and black. He couldn’t recall a time when he’d seen any woman here wear a skirt below the knees, and pantsuits were rare unless there was ice or snow. Come to think of it, he mused, he also couldn’t recall seeing any women who wore their hair like hers, long and loose. Most had short, manicured styles with no movement, or wore their hair up, clipped or somehow fastened to their heads, as though they wanted to look as unfeminine as possible in this male-dominated business.

She stood with her heels together, toes slightly turned out, resting her left shoulder against the blue wall. Her ass was round and full beneath the skirt, which, although filled out nicely by her ass, was not stretched tight. Damn, but she stirred the fire in his loins something fierce, and he wished he could get a better look at her face. She was almost enough to make him forget all about the interminable meeting and narrow theater-style seat that held him prisoner.

He let his mind begin to wander, and he smiled as he recalled the image of a petite young woman in the elevator this morning, an intern, he assumed. He could canlı bahis have sworn the knot of hair had a pair of chopsticks stuck through it, which raised all sorts of interesting questions. And she must be an intern to wear her hair like that. It was an obvious attempt to stand out in the sea of conservatism, and yet made it painfully obvious that she didn’t fit in and, therefore, wouldn’t be around long. On the other hand, what better diversion than a sexy, short-timing intern? He drifted into an erotic daydream about what it might be like to corner her in the supply closet and pull the chopsticks out of her hair as she stood before him, naked and vulnerable.

Clapping startled Adam out of his reverie, and his hands joined in of their own accord. Better to participate than to stand out, he thought. His eyes wandered back to the woman, but she was gone. Damn, he swore silently. She was the most interesting thing in the room. Hell, she had been the only interesting thing in the room.

* * *

Adam accepted a glass of beer from the bartender and turned to survey the crowd gathered in the atrium. The happy hour following the meeting was the reward for sitting through the speeches and presentations all afternoon. The intent, he supposed, was for ambitious individuals to discuss what they had just heard, loud enough to be overheard by their superiors, who would hopefully think they gave a damn about it all. Nothing worked so well in the game of name recognition than to appear impressed and eager to implement all the new ideas dreamed up by the CEO. Adam had been in the corporate world long enough to understand the questions critical to success: who you know, whose ass are you kissing, and who’s taking the credit for implementing the occasional “new idea” that actually worked.

He mingled for awhile, making small talk with people whose names he knew he wouldn’t remember on Monday, anxiously counting the minutes until he could slip out without feeling guilty. He going home to an empty flat, but that didn’t bother him. It had been a long week, and right now the only things on his mind were the six-pack in his frig, catching the fifth game of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on ESPN, and sleeping as late as he possibly could tomorrow.

“Adam!” It was Jenny, his boss, also known as the Director of Development. She was buxom, with full lips and smoky eyes, and very outgoing, but lacked talent in anything business-related. Her breasts seemed to be the only thing about her that had developed. He was pretty sure she was sleeping with her boss – it was only logical reason she still had her job. Jenny was one of the people he definitely could have done without this evening. He just wanted to get out of here. He turned his head, pretending to look for someone.

He felt her hand on his elbow, and he sighed.

“Adam! I’m so glad I caught you! There’s someone you need to meet!” He plastered on a gracious smile and turned to Jenny and the person standing beside her.

“Yes?” Adam said.

“This is Sarah,” Jenny said, and the woman next to her offered a limp hand for him to take. Adam cringed inwardly. He detested women who couldn’t shake hands properly. It was a sign of no backbone, he had determined long ago. “Sarah, this is Adam, the one I was telling you about.”

“Sarah, pleased to meet you.” Adam smiled at the young woman next to Jenny. Good god, he thought, as he caught a glimpse of the chopsticks in her hair. It’s the girl from the elevator. Is she old enough to work here?

“Sarah,” Jenny explained, “just started this week. She’s working in Operations to help define more efficient processes.”

“Sounds challenging,” he said, thinking it sounded incredibly boring and equally useless. For a brief moment, his erotic daydream flashed before his eyes, the naked intern with her hair free of chopsticks, and his horny returned. He wondered what the prospects might be for a naked intern in his bed tonight. The brief temptation passed as his conscience reminded him of the complications of sleeping with interns, which almost always concluded with the “why won’t you marry me?” conversation.

“Sarah, it’s been wonderful meeting you. I hate to cut this short, but I have another commitment, and if I don’t leave now I’ll be late. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again.”

Hope replaced disappointment in her eyes, and he made a mental note to steer clear of this one in the future. Adam said goodbye to Jenny and Sarah, then walked quickly to the exit, pulling out his keys as he walked. The night was warm and the light breeze felt good on his face. When he reached the car, he paused, letting out a huge sigh, thankful the day was finally over. Running his fingers through his thick, dark hair, he leaned against the side of his Beamer, mentally debating about going home or hitting a bar. That little Sarah had roused his hormones, and now he was feeling a bit randy. He could catch the game and pick up a little diversion, or he could go home and jack off and still watch the game. Decisions, kaçak iddaa decisions….

His mental debate was interrupted by a sultry voice.

“Not your scene either, I see.”

He looked over his shoulder to see the woman from the meeting. He was pleased to see that her face was as attractive as he had imagined it might be.

“Not really,” he said.

“Want to grab a beer somewhere?” Her voice was casual, but her eyes betrayed her. Adam felt himself grow hard.

“I was just about to ask you the same thing.”

* * *

Adam followed her in his car. She had suggested a bar in midtown, about 25 minutes away, and although he had never been there, he sensed she was very familiar with it. It was also only five minutes from his flat, which certainly made it convenient.

While he drove, he turned over in his mind the sequence of events that had led to this. He wasn’t sure if she had been waiting for him in the parking lot, or if it was a chance encounter. And if the latter was true – well, no, regardless – what made her ask him if he wanted to grab a beer with her?

Well, he wondered, which was she, a leg spreader or a schemer? Had she simply decided that his prick was a necessary rung on her ladder of success, or did she have something deeper and more Machiavellian in mind? He wasn’t all that sure, but he was certain about one thing. Either way, hers was a pond in which he did not ordinarily fish.

Adam’s primary dalliances had been with an entirely different breed of women – unsophisticated, vulnerable girls like Sarah with the chopsticks in her hair. These were the ones he preferred to hunt, as they were easy prey. They were eager to please, eager to be entertained, and above all, eager to be married. They wanted good-looking, financially secure men who were good prospects for husbands, or at least had the money and sexual appetite to show them a good time. Girls like these could care less how possessive and aggressive a man might be. They were unconcerned with his selfishness, readily overlooking the fact that he demanded everything and gave little – if anything – emotional in return. If he had looks, charm, money, and an expensive car, a man could treat her like dirt and she’d always come back for more.

And Adam understood that perfectly well, for it was the game he played all the time. He enjoyed a pretty girl who warmed his bed and demanded little or nothing in return. But this woman with the long hair – for he had yet to discover her name – didn’t fit that profile. No, this woman had class written all over her, and classy women dated men in two categories: Rich and Intellectual. But Adam didn’t place himself in either one, so he wasn’t quite sure why she had invited him out like this. He was a player, and he was good at it. Women with class avoided players in much the same way they avoided Kmart. Unless, of course, she’d heard through the office grapevine that he never left a woman unsatisfied. Adam grinned at the thought, and his ego swelled. Perhaps he was exactly what she needed. Perhaps her Rich or Intellectual significant other wasn’t doing the job well enough. Or, perhaps, she was in between significant others, and just needed quick, satisfying sex.

“Yes,” he said softly to himself. “Yes, I believe that’s it,” as he turned up the stereo, confident he could help her out.

* * *

She was waiting for him on the sidewalk in front of the bar. Although it was still early, the place was packed. Most of the clientele appeared to be local residents, a mix of students and a few yuppie-type guys, not unlike him, on the make for easy prey.

She nodded to the bartender who waved her over to the bar, gesturing toward 2 stools near the end in the back as he picked up a bottle of red wine and uncorked it.

“What’ll it be?” The bartender asked, pouring the wine.

“Bud Light, bottle,” he said. “You?” His question was directed toward the woman who sat next to him. But before she even opened her mouth, the bartender placed the glass of wine in front of her, then popped the cap off a brown bottle and set the beer down in front of him.

“You runnin’ a tab tonight, sweets?” The bartender asked her.

She looked at Adam as though to gage his reaction to the bartender’s obvious familiarity with her. He tossed a ten on the bar. “I’ve got it, thanks,” he said, not taking his eyes off this woman for fear he might miss something. Women like her didn’t normally frequent a place like this. He sensed she was full of surprises, and the night was still young.

She swirled the wine in her glass and inhaled deeply as the wine’s perfume reached her upturned nose. She raised her glass to the bartender, who nodded from the other end, before taking a long drink. As she swallowed, she closed her eyes and a blissful, dreamy look crossed her face.

I wonder what it would take to get her to have that look in bed, he wondered.

She set her glass down and smiled at him. Her eyes, he noted, were a deep brown, flecked with gold, and her eyelashes were kaçak bahis incredibly long. He felt the familiar stirring in his groin. Damn, he thought. This was going to be one hell of a long night. Maybe he should have had Sarah the intern while he had a chance. He quickly grabbed his beer and tossed half of it down before allowing himself to meet her eyes again.

“So,” he said, unsure of what to say to her.

“So,” she said, with faint amusement evident in her voice. She could tell he was uncomfortable, and she was enjoying it.

“I’m Adam,” he said, feeling silly.

“I know,” she said. “I also know you work in Development, and you’ve been with the company since 1998. Before that, you worked for Nuance Communications, and you graduated from Baylor with Masters in Management in 1994, and your undergrad degree was in Graphic Design.”

Who was this woman, he wondered, and how in the fuck did she know so much about him?

“You’ve done your homework,” he said, downing the remainder of his beer.

“I always do,” she replied.

“But I don’t know anything about you,” he said, flashing her a seductive smile.

“What would you like to know?” she responded.

“Well, your name, for one, and maybe where you work, that sort of thing.”

“I’m Beth, and you know where I work, and I just started there this week.”

“Well, Beth, it’s nice to officially meet you. Where were you before you joined our little company?”

“A small firm on the coast. It’s not important, really.”

“Alright then….” Adam was at a loss for words. She clearly wanted to remain a mystery, which fit with his “she wants to get laid” theory, but it annoyed him nonetheless. She seemed to know everything about him, and he wasn’t sure how, but yet she refused to tell him anything.

“So tell me–” He was ready to press harder for more information, but the first words were hardly out of his mouth when she changed the subject.

“So Adam, what did you think of the big meeting this afternoon?”

He laughed, trying to cover the fact that she had caught him off-guard. “It was the biggest waste of time,” he said, and she laughed and nodded her agreement.

“Are they always like that?” she asked.

“Yeah, pretty much. You didn’t miss much.”

“So you noticed I was late, then.”

“There wasn’t much else to do in there except watch people.” He gazed intently at her, hoping for something, a faint blush, anything that indicated she knew he’d been studying her.

She met his eyes and paused a moment, slowly licking her lips. God, she looked so hot, he thought. He wanted nothing more than to close the distance between them and suck on those full, peach-hued lips of hers.

“Do you always make it a habit to watch people?”

“Only when they’re beautiful.”

She looked at him as though she wasn’t entirely sure if he was serious or just feeding her a line, and he wasn’t entirely sure what the answer was.

* * *

“How about a game of pool?” Adam suggested. He was tired of sitting, and the thought of her bent over the pool table was a pleasant alternative.

“Sure,” she seemed surprised at his suggestion. “You play?”

“A little.” He had played quite a bit in college, and knew he was talented with a cue. This would be an easy win. “Loser buys the next round?”

“You feeling flush tonight?” Her directness surprised him.

Adam raised an eyebrow. “So the little lady thinks she can win?”

“The little lady knows she can win.”

He followed her to the table, dropped in two quarters, and set up the rack.

Twenty minutes later, she had cleared the table, leaving him wondering what had gone wrong. Somewhere along the line, she had learned to play a damn good game of pool. And he didn’t like losing a game he knew he could win. On the other hand, he’d been awfully distracted by her leaning over the table, her breasts spilling out of her shirt as she set up her shots. Her hair, he discovered, was lighter and more red than he thought at first, and it reminded him somewhat of the coat of the Irish Setter he’d had as a child. Adam set up the rack again, determined not to let himself get distracted this time.

* * *

At her suggestion, they abandoned their drinks and moved toward the exit. He was feeling light-headed from the few beers he had, coupled with the fact that he hadn’t eaten since lunch. Beth, on the other hand, seemed unaffected by the three glasses of wine she’d had, and he found himself envying her – if not for the obvious control over her environment, at least for her ability to hold her liquor. He was also nursing his battered ego, having been beaten two out of three games, and he was pretty sure she’d thrown that last one, just to make him feel better. Well, he’d help her remember who the real winner was, later, when he had her alone. She’d be begging him for her release, and he’d choose when to allow it. Ah, sweet victory would be his again….

They held hands as they walked down the sidewalk, and Adam found himself trying to recall which of them had taken the other’s hand. Suddenly, it seemed very important that he know. As he was about to open his mouth to ask, he found himself kissing her under a streetlight, his hands wrapping themselves in her long hair, his question forgotten.

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