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  • Writer's pictureJill Marie Denton

His Three Friends | Apr 18, 2020

Part Four

Rex would be at work until six at least. His schedule was entirely dependent on the board of directors and their whims, so late nights and early mornings were protocol. Though he never shied away from the work, he also never led anyone to believe he wasn’t working for money. Playtime was just as important, and it showed in every move he made, including his choice of vehicle.

I pulled into the parking garage of the towering office building at ten minutes before six. Rex’s signature ride was always parked on the top level, in the corner spot reserved for the CEO. His car was backed in, just as I’d expected. The black bullet, shined and spotless, was his favorite toy. The Jaguar XK, with its custom interior and diamond-lacquered paint job, had cost him nearly a hundred thousand. The fact that he drove it on the public streets, among the spastic commuters that crowded the local highways, still blew me away.

But Rex was the showy sort. He’d never squirrel his most expensive possessions away.

I hopped out and found the elevator to the ground floor. A few workers traded places with me outside the lift, on their way home with their lunch boxes and briefcases in hand. But I was on my way inside to see the CEO on some very important, and very personal business.

The idea that started this whole business came to him his sophomore year of college. After many sleepless nights and pitch meetings, the corporate networking site went live the following year. Nowadays, entire online systems were based around his business model and dedicated server rooms from coast to coast channeled his brainchild to millions across the globe. In this office building alone, over four hundred people made a handsome living supporting and monitoring the system he’d dreamed up one drunken night.

And this mogul, the one I’d known since high school, the one who called this tiny town his home, was the target of my final conquest.

The front desk on the ground floor was manned by two very large women, both dressed in plain gray security uniforms. After handing over every piece of identification demanded, I was escorted into a metal detector. It chimed instantly as red lights flashed over my head.

“Please step out,” the brunette guard asked while the other lingered behind.

I sighed and held out both arms so they could sweep my frame with the handheld wand. It beeped as it neared my ribcage.

“It’s a back brace,” I grumbled. “I had surgery a few weeks ago and need the support. Do you want to see the doctor’s note?”

The guard handed over the wand and patted down my middle. When her hands grazed over the firm boning, she stood up straight and waved me through.

I nodded and smiled tightly, playing the part of the put-upon guest. I retrieved my bag and escaped to the top floor’s private elevator. Thank goodness security guards couldn’t tell the difference between a back brace and a silk brocade corset.

When the elevator doors parted, a secretary’s desk came into view, centered on a square of navy-blue carpet. The station was unmanned and the giant tv screen over it was black. Silence hung in the air as I stepped closer, inspecting the impressive atrium as I smoothed the fabric of my trench coat.

Through the gleaming floor-to-ceiling sheets of glass around me, contemporary office spaces lit with brilliant white light waited for laborers to return. The company’s trademark cobalt symbol, a sphere with an arrow shot through it, was emblazoned on the resting coffee mugs, wall hangings, stress balls and area rugs in each space. On the secretary’s station sat an impressive multi-line telephone, triple-monitored computer system and state-of-the-art headset perched on a faceless mannequin’s head.

“Welcome to RA Systems. Taking in the scenery?” I heard Rex utter over my shoulder.

“It’s pretty amazing,” I admitted, turning to face him as he approached. “I guess I’d lost track of your success. I’m really impressed.”

“You should be,” he grinned mockingly. “If you weren’t, I’d have to fire my interior designer and start over.”

“Heartless prick.”

He laughed, the bright peal bouncing off the glass surrounding us. “I’ve been called much worse. It’s good to see you, though.”

“Yeah, you too.”

And it was. Rex never disappointed appearance-wise. His icy eyes squinted, subtle dimples indenting his cheeks as he unleashed his perfect smile. Standing before me in a narrow-fitting, charcoal suit complete with a cobalt pocket square and matching necktie, he was as close to a sportswear model as you’d find in our town. The heavy white gold watch, the perfectly shined shoes, the hundred-dollar hairstyle; it all spoke of an accomplished, rich and cultured mogul who used his station and influence to its full advantage. And I knew he spent hours a day on the physique tucked inside that high-priced wool. There wouldn’t be a stray hair or blemish on his body, either. He’d referred me to his high-priced esthetician years before. I tucked my bottom lip into my teeth at the thought, skimming down his frame as he crossed his arms. “

I won’t lie, I appreciate the distraction from the monotony, but what brings you by? And unannounced, to boot.”

“Yeah, sorry, I guess I didn’t give much thought to your schedule.”

Lies. I gave it, and you, more thought than I’ll ever admit.

His fingers grasped and fiddled with the lapel of his suit jacket before spinning the onyx cufflinks adorning his wrists. “Eh, you know you’re welcome anytime. I just wish I’d had a chance to pretty myself up a bit.”

“You’re ridiculous,” I replied with a brow lifted. “Any prettier and the world would weep.”

“Ah, you always know just what to say to get on my good side.” His laugh was amused with a tinge of pomposity. “Come on, I’ve got a full bar set up in the office and I bet you could use a drink.”

I narrowed my eyes at his back as he led me down a nearby hall. He hadn’t said I was depressed directly, but the insinuation still riled me up.

He led me down the narrow alley lined with brilliant inset lighting. At the end, closed twin oak doors waited beyond a blue rectangular carpet with the company’s symbol on it. He nudged the right door open and gestured me inside.

I did as asked, approaching a little too close to put as little space between us as possible in the doorway. Tossing my head back to ensure my perfumed hair brushed his nose, I felt his frame go rigid as I slipped past.

Beyond the double doors was an imposing, eloquently appointed and charmless office space. Papers were sorted into narrow manila folders in a clean stack on a standard, bookless bookshelf. A flat screen on the west wall silently displayed a twenty-four-hour news broadcast and its scrolling stock prices. Heavy grey curtains hung alongside broad glass windows that showed the dusk settling over the horizon. The only entertaining thing in the office was a Newton’s Cradle, ticking away on the corner of his broad gleamingly white desk where a laptop was propped open. A massive brown leather office chair, plush and polished, sat behind.

Seriously, Rex? Who had a white marble desk?

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as he closed the door behind me.

In the far corner above a clear plastic traction mat, a shiny new functional trainer machine and full set of kettlebells waited alongside a shelf of workout equipment, water cooler and freestanding towel rack. I wandered toward it instinctively, imagining him sneaking in lat pulldowns and squats between executive meetings.

“Nice, huh? My newest investment. It just got too crazy trying to fit the gym in before heading here in the morning. I have a trainer on call now.”

Turning back with a taunting brow, I ran my hand over the conditioning rope hanging down one side. “It certainly makes a statement here in this pretty office.”

His gaze narrowed as I circled the machine, his arms folding over his broad chest again. “Pretty? Damn, I was going for sophisticated stud. That designer’s on the chopping block.”

“All because of my opinion? Seems a bit irrational, Rex. This is your space, your dream come true. Why worry about what I think so much?”

“You’re the most stylish person I know,” he admitted with a shrug as I closed the distance between us. “I know that trench you’ve got on’s from a mid-range shop, and the heels? Pebbled leather, Italian made. You always had eye for this stuff, so if this place feels pretty, I’m way off my mark.”

“Mm,” I murmured in acknowledgment, watching his attention shift to my ruby-painted mouth. “I see. Well, if you’re up for appraising, how’d I do on my latest shopping excursion?”

I spun once slowly, tossing back my hair to capture his full attention. He was such an easy mark, it was almost unfair to try at all.

He took his chin in his hand, playing the part of the fashion critic I dropped in his lap. “Hmm, well I guess that depends.”

“On?” I rested my palms on my hips.

“What’s paired with the coat and heels. They’re only accessories, after all. But I don’t think you’re here for a fashion consult. What can I do for you?”

“Well, since you asked,” I edged even closer, my gaze fixed on his. “I do need a favor. A small one.”

“My pleasure. Let me grab my checkbook.”

“No, it’s not that,” I replied, taking his wrist and holding him in place before he could stride off. “I’m not here for money. In fact, I never have and never will ask you for a dime.”

“All the more reason to be generous.” He glanced down at our nestled hands. I hadn’t released his wrist and didn’t want to.

“Your generosity is appreciated, but not necessary. At least not that kind. I’m here for something else. And it couldn’t wait until after work.”

I rubbed his pulse point with my thumb, tipping my head up with softened eyes. He towered over me, his chin even with my forehead as he took in my expression. The teasing, the byplay, any conversation between us stopped instantly as his lips parted.

I poured every bit of longing, every bit of silent demand I could muster into my gaze. When my lips parted and I exhaled gently against his throat, his eyes tripped down to my mouth again. Turning his hand over and stroking his palm, I edged closer until clothing touched.

“You’re,” he breathed, his eyes closing on a long blink. “You’re here for me.”

“Clearly,” I admitted in a whisper. “Are you here for me?”

He was silent for a few seconds, his eyes taking in my face, my upturned eyes and sultry expression. I could almost feel his heart pounding under the overpriced Oxford clinging to his chest.

“Rex,” I murmured, turning the name into a sigh. “A few minutes of your time. That’s all.”

He clearly understood. His expression tightened, his eyes clamping shut as he pulled his hand away to wring them. “Come on, really? You can’t be serious. Of all people…”

I took his wrist again, moving his damp palm to my hip. “Oh, I’m serious, I assure you. A few minutes. That’s all.”

An internal debate continued behind his eyes as I watched him glower. He didn’t move his hand or shake me off, but he kept a few carefully inches between our chests.

“There are rules for this kinda stuff. I can’t. I shouldn’t,” he amended with a self-deprecating headshake. “Sam’s gone, yeah, but still.”

The pieces were falling into place perfectly. I knew Rex would be the easiest target. No pity for me, no unnecessary or misplaced sympathy. Just reality. That was his world.

“You’re right.” I confirmed, tossing my hair back over my shoulder to recapture his gaze. “And I’m here. I’m in a bad way. And I want a few minutes with someone who knows me, who knows what they’re doing. You do.”

“You’re asking me to break a serious rule here. A fucking massive one, in fact. Widow or not, you’re my buddy’s property. Off limits.”

Ugh, I can’t get away from that damn word, can I?

“I’m no one’s property anymore,” I argued in a muted tone. “I’m alone. I’m still breathing, still here, still in need. And I need help. Give it to me.”

His eyes clamped shut again as the battle of scruples continued. His palms moved to his forehead as he took a step back. “Jesus. Why me? Come on.”

I sighed in disappointment. He was a tougher sell than I’d thought. But my first trump card was yet unsaid and my second one was squeezing me relentlessly under my trench coat. I wasn’t nearly done with him or with twisting his sense of moral obligation.

“Rex,” I breathed. “It has to be you.”

He lowered his hands, regarding me miserably. “Why?”

I stepped into him again. “Because you get it. You’ll give me what I need, and you won’t ask for anything else. I can’t give you or anyone anything else. And you know it. You’re so… perfect, so damn sexy, I can’t help it. I’ve been dreaming about this. It just has to be you.”

Playing into his vanity might’ve been a touch sleazy but I wasn’t losing this chess match. And from the look on his face, the contemplation behind his bluebell irises, I gathered that he was at least entertaining the idea.

He exhaled and took my hips in his palms, bringing his face closer to mine. “Just tonight. Just sex.”

“Just this,” I confirmed. “Just this once. I won’t ask again.”

He took a deep breath, lowering his gaze to my lips again. “You’ve got a deal.”

Silence lingered around us in the spacious office as he edged dangerously close to my mouth. I sighed gently, biting my bottom lip as he eyed me with fiery passion. The tension was building and I was on board.

His fingers undid the buttons of my jacket, sweeping the placket apart before sending it to the floor in a heap. When his gaze dipped to take in my outfit, the silk brocade over-bust corset, the garters, the lace-topped stockings, he moaned appreciatively in close to my ear. He was hardening against my lap as he pressed against me.

“Damn you to hell,” he admonished with an appreciative smirk, his hands at my corseted waist. “This is… awesome. So sexy. You’ve outdone yourself.”

I could only snicker as I took his bottom lip between my thumb and forefinger. He licked at it as our eyes locked. Rex had quite a reputation. No one doubted his ability to play the long game and to use every trick in the book to win. I knew enough from Jada’s recollections and from his prior conquests’ tales to suitably match wits with this sex fiend.

Or at least I thought I did. That is, until he ripped off his fancy tie and fastened my wrists together with it.

{Part 4.5 Coming Apr 25, 2020) <3 JMD

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