Try as I might, I couldn't ignored the painful tugging in my lower pelvis, pulling me away from the couch and towards the bathroom where I turned on the shower. I discarded my beautiful work clothes – the ones I had worn in hopes that Devon might notice – and stepped into the steady stream of warmth that greeted me. As I lathered my body in my favorite lavender soap, I began to slide my fingers further down my torso to my aching lips, moving between the slippery folds with ease. A smile crossed my face as I smoothed my fingers over my own taut skin, enjoying the warmth of my bud poking beneath the folds of my beautiful rose petals.

The ardent loving of my hand was more than welcome, a delicious treat before I had to work for the remainder of the evening. I imagined Devon standing in front of me with droplets of water decorating his broad chest and toned arms. The long fingers slipped under mine, taking control of my pleasure in an instant. The blood in my veins surged, rushing to the site of arousal as soon as I had Devon within my mind's eye. Fingers were twitching in a passionate frenzy to inspire my climax, his thumb heavily pressed into my engorged clit and eliciting short moans. I became breathtakingly aware of the water rushing down my soapy body and the bubbles that tickled my nipples. Leaning into the tile of the wall, I released a loud moan and pictured Devon's hand moving faster against my skin, causing my hips to buck forward and my body to shake.

My climax consumed me as my moans echoed through the bathroom, the water refreshing me back to reality as I released my vulva. I was disappointed to see the tub empty as I had hoped my fantasy might have been real. Was it really so childish of me to want him this way? I just wanted him to caress my skin and make me feel less alone. Surely he had plenty of affection to offer and I was so willing to accept it. If only he would notice me. If only I could tell him.

Chapter Two

I used to feel awkward walking into work in the morning and greeting Mr. Bloom knowing that I had been fantasizing about him the previous night. The occurrence was so common now that it felt like a daily habit, something like eating and driving. While distracted by my thoughts, I hadn't noticed the dry cleaning hanging up on the coat rack next to my desk. Maura, who worked at the desk just a few feet away from me, nudged me after I sat down and stood over me the way she did any time she had a fresh piece of gossip. I wasn't the type to repeat it, but it was titillating to listen to the strange things she heard. There was one hefty rumor floating around that the janitor had gotten our recent temp pregnant and she had to go have an abortion paid for by the company to avoid a horrible scandal. It sounded so superfluous, but I had to confirm that it wasn't true and went back through some charges on the company card. Nothing strange showed up and the rumor dispelled itself the following week.

Maura was standing so close that I could nearly identify the toothpaste she used that morning, right down to the brand. Her teeth were sparkling behind her glossed lips and I could spot her tongue ring hiding in her mouth while her lips moved.

“I see someone has a new ballgown waiting for her,” she said while motioning with her eyes towards the rack behind me.

I turned to see

the dry cleaning bag and the shining fabric beneath it, nearly swooning at the sight of the expensive material. For whom was that dress? It must have been something Devon had personally delivered, perhaps from a date or for a future one. I studied the gold letters on the clear plastic, noting it was a dry cleaning store from the more affluent side of town.

“Where did that come from?” I whispered while turning back to Maura. “I haven't seen a date listed on Mr. Bloom's schedule and no one has called about a dress.”

“Maybe it's for you,” Maura said playfully.

I pushed her arm gently and blushed.

“There's no way that's for me. I wouldn't even look good in such a thing,” I said quickly. “Would I?”

Maura smiled wide.

“You would look absolutely charming in that sort of dress. Maybe the boss is about to come on to you,” she said while raising her eyebrows.

Before I could respond, Devon walked into the main office area and Maura scurried back to her desk while I composed myself. I pretended that I didn't notice the dress and started unloading files from my satchel, opening my laptop to start getting some work done. Devon approached my desk and gently laid a ticket on top of a vanilla folder and then waited for me to look up.

“Good morning, sir. What is this?” I asked innocently.

He motioned towards the ticket, pointing out the embossed lettering on the cream colored paper. It was beautifully designed with curly letters taking up most of the space, describing the admittance of Devon Bloom plus one guest of his choice. There was no listed address and the sentence at the bottom read, “Where dreaming is a delight.” I studied this with curiosity, wondering what they were referring to and then looked back up to see Devon's eyes glittering down at me. The smile on his face was intensely mischievous, his lips curling upwards as if hiding a diabolical plan. I shivered.

“This is your project, Miss Andrea. I'm in need of a date for tonight's gala event across town. I've already procured a dress in your size in hopes that you might agree. It would be terribly embarrassing to go alone,” Devon explained as my eyes grew wide. “Could you finish all your work by 2:00 PM?”

I was trying hard to keep my lower lip from quivering, my nervous system overreacting and shooting electrical signals throughout my body. With a controlled smile, I agreed.

“But why are we getting ready so early? The event isn't until 6:00 PM,” I pointed out.

Devon leaned over my desk to whisper his response, explaining that he had booked a hot massage, manicure, pedicure, and hair appointment for me to look my best. I couldn't keep from flushing as I had never had someone so eager to have me at their side while looking absolutely extravagant. Suddenly, all of my fantasies came flooding back to my mind and I thought about last night's encounter. He had been planning this the whole time and I had no idea! Had he meant to kiss me last night? The look in his eye warned me of his intention, his soft lips wanting to engulf my tongue with pleasure.

I found myself leaning forward and had to stop, noticing that the two of us being so close was picking up stares and whispers from the entire office staff. The phone rang and brought me back to reality, allowing me to excuse myself from the terribly awkward situation at hand.

“I can't thank you enough, sir,” I said before answering the phone.

“Please, call me Devon,” he said before slipping into his office.

The person on the other end of the line was repeatedly greeting me while I remained silent, totally honed in on the buttocks of the man walking away from me and towards his desk. I was leaning again. Maura cleared her throat and motioned with her eyes toward the ticket that was still on the desk. I wanted to tell her about it, but I also wanted it to be a secret. I knew what kind of talk went around the water cooler and Maura was certainly the center of that. While Maura rose to come look, I hid the ticket in the desk drawer and held up my hand as I finally answered the person screaming through the speaker of the phone.

Defeated temporarily, Maura sat back down at her desk and tapped her pen on the pile of folders under her hand. I knew she would try to get a peek at it later, perhaps even snap a little picture to show everybody else in the office. I could feel them all glaring at the back of my head, perhaps jealous that the most handsome man of the company had given me something deliciously expensive while inviting me out. I turned to look at the dress that glimmered in the morning light. In another five hours, I would be in the capable hands of the most elegant man in the city, getting prim and proper to be his arm candy.

While I wasn't typically fond of being an object, I found this invitation to be incredibly flattering. Clearly, Devon found me attractive enough to be his date, but did this attraction push past our professional relationship? Would we become friends? Every cell of my body was screaming in hopes that it would, that perhaps I wouldn't spend tonight alone. My hope drove me to work twice as hard as any other day and I ended up finishing all of my work forty-five minutes early. I followed Devon confidently to the elevator as the entire office trailed behind us, pretending like they weren't watching. As the doors closed, I winked at Maura who smiled in response and waved.

“I will drop you off at the spa and pick you up in time for you to slip in to your dress and get a bite to eat. What do you typically like to eat?” asked Devon as we rode the elevator down.

I stared at him blankly. Eat? We were eating dinner, too? This was turning into a real date instead of a project and I could feel the butterflies in my stomach desperately trying to get out.

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