Work and Play Pt. 02

Panties

Note: Welcome back! This chapter is long, and while it is encouraged that you read the beginning to get backstory, the action starts on page 2. Thank you for reading!

———-

If you don’t think I fucked myself with that dildo that night after Grayson left, I don’t know what to tell you.

If you don’t think I upgraded that fantasy and came twice that night, you’re wrong. I stuck that thing to the smooth wood of my bedframe and went to work. Feeling the latex plunge in and out of me caused this animalistic high that got my heart racing a little too fast.

I make a formal decision to ditch the dildo. I cleaned it up and put it back in the package, tucked under the bathroom sink, only to be used for desperate measures. Maybe I’ll actually get rid of it when I get my head on straight.

I feel a little bad about not returning a call from Grayson on Saturday, but my mind hasn’t been centered on work in over 48 hours, and if I want to be president of this company, I need to use my “people skills” and maybe grab the vice chairman a cup of coffee and introduce myself. And that’s all the butt kissing I’m doing.

Shannon taps on my door with a small package in hand. “Hey, kiddo. No coffee today?”

“I’m more than awake, actually,” I smile. “What’d you bring me?”

“I don’t know… it has your name on it and I found it the gift basket we never put away. Looks like a gift to me.” Shannon raises her eyebrow suspiciously. “You might just have a secret admirer.”

I frown. Grayson, most likely. I hold out my hands to receive my present. Shannon looks excited. I open the small, printed box to find a small bag of hazelnut roast.

“Someone knows you well,” Shannon smiles.

“Was it you?” I ask, just to make sure.

“Oh, no way. I don’t like you enough,” she clicks. “Is that all? Expensive coffee?”

“Expensive?” I question.

“Oh, yeah. Jamaican Blue Mountain? It’s like $50 a pound. Some lady really has got the hots for you, my dear.” Shannon sits on my desk. “So, we’re going to meet this vice chairman today around 2:00 or something. I was thinking we should take a lunch and then never come back. I don’t feel like meeting some cocky bigshot who thinks just because he can decide who is CEO of this company, he has some kind of power.”

“Agreed,” I say, still annoyed that Grayson spent $50 on coffee for me. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s do that.”

Shannon raises an eyebrow in question again. “You alright? I thought you had no time for relationships.”

“I don’t,” I reply quickly. But damn sure I’m drinking this coffee in the next ten minutes.

“Well, I have to go write someone up,” Shannon sighs. “New kid. Using the company computers for porn. God, I wish they’d all be like you.”

“And what am I?” I ask smugly.

“You’re like, 35 in a 24 year old body. It’s great. Gotta go.”

As soon as Shannon leaves, my face shifts to a frown. Middle-aged mom, I’m telling you.

I’ll be nice and thank Grayson for the coffee, but he doesn’t get any special attention. I just hope he doesn’t get annoying.

At 10:45, I head to our fancied-up break room upstairs to make myself a cup of this lovely coffee. I like this time, because nobody ever uses the break room until it’s almost lunch time, or about 4:00. Not to mention half of my chunky comrades don’t feel like taking the elevator two floors up for some coffee.

I’m about to reach for the good creamer (the creamer I hide from my coworkers) at the top of the cabinet closest to the door when the door swings open and in storms a tirade of shoulders and hair and suit, knocking me on my ass.

“What the fuck?” I snap, palming the ground gently for the glasses that were knocked off my face.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I hear from behind with the sink running.

“Again, what the fuck?” I snap, finally locating my thick plastic frames. I stand up, brushing dirt off my pants. I swerve around to see the idiot, but he’s infatuated with whatever he’s dealing with at the sink. “Um, hello?”

“I’m bleeding, goddammit,” he snaps at me. “Fuck off.”

“So you had to knock me over? There are bathrooms for a reason, you know,” I argue, trudging over to the sink and catching glimpse of a nasty cut on the guy’s thumb. I could never really handle blood, and find myself backing up immediately. “What on earth? This is an office job, you know.”

“Look,” he says sternly, “I don’t need your shit right now.” I think I recognize him from somewhere. Maybe he works in accounting. I think so. He’s a big guy, probably around 6’3″ or taller, even. He’s got football shoulders and a very athletic chest from what I can see. I know the face from somewhere. I don’t forget faces often. “Grab me a paper towel.”

I don’t argue, but I roll my eyes, snatching two paper towels from the roll and shoving them his way he grabs them, but they drop into the sink. “Christ, you’re naturally clumsy, then.”

“And you’re naturally bitter, I take it?” he says through gritted teeth. One big forearm shoves me out of the way and he Escort Bayan grabs more paper towels for himself. I don’t want to stay for a second more, but I do anyway, remembering that my coffee is still filtering. He seems to have it all under control within the next twenty seconds, so I ignore him, and focus on my drink.

“Thanks for the help, Nancy,” he grumbles after putting a makeshift bandage on his thumb.

“Nice hands, Feet. I’m not the one who almost got himself killed at work,” I snap at him. He’s out the door before I finish the last of my sentence. Why did he call me Nancy?

———-

“Tell me why I’m not a doctor,” I sigh to Shannon while we eat noodles at a vegetarian place.

“Because blood is gross,” she replies.

“Damn right. There was this freak who cut his finger open while I was trying to get coffee today. Had the nerve to snap at me multiple times while I tried to give him paper towels. And he knocked me over in the process.”

“I don’t believe you,” Shannon says with a chuckle. “I don’t believe you were nice.”

I scoff, “Really? Wow. Okay, I see how it is.”

“I know you in pressure situations. You’re not nice.”

“So, I wasn’t the nicest,” I chuckle. “Still, it was gross and weird. I think he works in accounting. It’s gonna be awkward if I see him again.”

We eat in relative silence. I can tell there’s something on her mind. “Spit it out, Shanaynay.”

“I want to know who gave you the coffee.”

“I don’t. I’m not interested,” I yawn.

“Not even a little bit? Zeke, it’s gotta be someone who pays enough attention to you to know you love coffee.” I shrug, dismissing it. Grayson hasn’t come near me all day. I don’t blame him. I’m kind of an asshole.

We decide to meet our new head boss anyway, finishing up lunch and heading back to the building. It’s about 1:30, so I switch on my favorite movie soundtrack, waiting until we’re called to the conference room.

*****

Shannon and I sit together, close to the back of the room. I feel the slump of after lunch hit as soon as I sit down.

Just as I’m about to complain to Shannon about how we have to be at this stupid meeting, the guy who bumped into me earlier walks into the room, standing at the front. He’s cleaned up, put a suit on. There’s a bandage on his thumb, and he looks a lot less like a boxer with his sleeves not rolled up.

I stop short, my jaw dropped. Freak who bumped into me today, the one I was quite rude to, is the vice chairman of OTech. I was a complete asshole to the one guy who might have a hand in deciding my future.

“Hello,” comes the deep voice when everyone is finally seated. “My name is Gabriel Ortega, your vice chairman. Senior chairman, my uncle, was unable to make it out for the deciding process, so I volunteered in his place. I’m pleased to be here, meeting the real machine of OrtegaTech, located right here in Colorado. The people in this building have done more for OrtegaTech, helping one man’s dream become a reality by spreading the good works throughout the Western United States. For that, you should applaud yourselves.”

The audience breaks out in applause, but I’m still in shock. Shocked that I was pretty nasty to Maurice Ortega’s nephew and vice chairman, and shocked that he didn’t do a thing about it.

He is all shoulders, now that I look at him. He has very athletic legs and a strong body, like an Adonis statue of some kind. His hair, dark and sleek, would probably hang close to his bright silvery eyes if he didn’t have it gently tucked behind his ears.

He must be half-Hispanic, because his skin is a light tawny color, his lips are very russet-colored and full. His softer features don’t make him look younger at all; on the contrary. He’s intimidatingly smooth and tall like a well-fed Nebraskan man.

Shannon nudges me. “Seen a ghost lately?”

“That’s the guy I was an ass to,” I reply. Shannon chuckles. “Damn it.”

“Well, you’d better make it right as quickly as possible,” Shannon says, giving my leg a squeeze. I know that’s right.

I can’t focus on anything Gabriel says until the last part.

“In celebration of a new era of OrtegaTech and of the wonderful people here, there will be a St. Patrick’s day formal come next weekend. I do hope I can get to know all of you, and you may get to know me as well.” Gabriel smiles with a nod, and dismisses the meeting. I can’t believe I have to do this.

*****

I knock on the door three times before Gabriel’s secretary opens it. “Hello.”

“I’m here to see Mr. Ortega,” I say, trying not to sound too dreadful of my upcoming apology.

“He’s on the phone right now,” the woman says. “I can take a message.”

“It’s a—” I begin before a low voice interrupts.

“Let them in, Jiao,” Gabriel calls. The pretty Chinese woman smiles and steps out of the way. Gabriel’s face shifts into a slight frown at the sight of me. “Jiao, go ahead and… go ahead downstairs and introduce yourself. I’ll be a minute,” he says, dismissing her. Bayan escort She leaves, closing the door behind her. He’s sitting in his desk, leaned back and stance wide. “Hm.”

Before he gets the chance to make a smart-aleck remark, I begin my rehearsed apology. “I wanted to apologize for today’s earlier events,” I say quickly. “I do not react well in high-pressure circumstances and today was no exception. I hope you do forgive me.”

Gabriel sits motionless, a hand under his chin and a finger on his lips. For a good five seconds, he says nothing, practically glaring up at me from his position.

“Is that an apology, or an excuse?” he asks calmly. He’s right. That apology was bullshit.

“I am sorry. I did not intend to make a bad situation worse. I should not have been so difficult and impervious,” I reply, quick on my feet. Those grey eyes are practically boring into me. “I did not want to start on a bad note, sir.”

“What’s your name?” he asks, folding his arms and leaning back even further.

“Ezekiel Hartigan.”

“Strong name. Ezekiel is of Biblical origin,” Gabriel says matter-of-factly.

I scoff. I can’t help it; he hit one of my pet peeves. “Is that supposed to impress me? Your name is Biblical too. Everyone knows that.”

Gabriel smiles. God, what is he doing? “I want you to be real with me, Ezekiel. All the formality isn’t your style. You like telling people what to do and telling people they’re wrong, do you not? Real apologies can’t fit in with your personality.”

“Don’t presume to know me,” I reply sternly and articulately, arms folded.

“How old are you, Zeke?”

“How old are you?”

Gabriel chuckles again, flashing bright white teeth at me before nodding acceptingly. “Thirty-two.”

“A little young for a vice chairman, I believe,” I say.

“And let me guess,” Gabriel sighs. He stands up, pacing toward me slowly with his hands behind his back. “You went to a fancy college, did pretty well.”

I pause, choosing my words wisely. “Harvard. Valedictorian.” I say quietly, keeping my voice smooth and calm.

“And how old are you, Ezekiel?” Gabriel asks again. He’s only about a foot and a half away from me, looking down without any sympathy in his eyes.

“Twenty-four,” I say.

Gabriel nods in some kind of understanding. “You’re arrogant and bitter for your age, Zeke. I’d tone it down. If you wanted to come here and genuinely apologize, you’d just do it. No rehearsed speech, no stretch of your colloquial vocabulary… and you wouldn’t have waited until you found out I was vice chairman beforehand. Don’t embarrass yourself. And no, I don’t accept your apology. Dismissed, Nancy.” Without another word, I storm out of the room.

Who the hell does he think he is? We’re in a goddamn professional workplace, I’m not gonna pretend that everyone here is my friend. And if that fucker calls me Nancy again…

*****

I don’t have a decent dinner once I get home.

After I confronted Gabriel, I couldn’t focus for shit. The rest of the day was spent lazily making generic phone calls instead of doing any independent work. The man didn’t have to say anything profound and he made me feel worthless. I’m not cocky. I’m difficult, probably overtly honest and sometimes short with people, but arrogant? I don’t even like arrogant people, why would I want to be one?

If saying that I graduated valedictorian from Harvard makes me cocky, then I guess saying the sky is blue does the same thing; both are facts.

I fork down a box-brand macaroni and cheese dinner with a protein shake on the side while I look over social media trends. Surprisingly, OTech hasn’t used much social media. I’m going to present this idea when they start interviewing for a CEO.

My phone buzzes with a text from Grayson.

GRAYSON: Heard you were a “meanie” to the man upstairs xD. Don’t sweat it, Shannon says he’s a joke.

I frown. I completely avoided Grayson all day.

ZEKE: Yeah. I apologized and he blew it off. Kind of a dick. Hey, I wanted to say thanks for the coffee, never got the chance, sorry.

GRAYSON: 🙂 that’s alright. Hope you like it anyway. But you’re fired :O

ZEKE: ha, I’m suing. Gtg. Working on something big.

Coincidentally, after I ditch Grayson’s company, I am at a complete block. I don’t know where to start with this thing.

Then I get a thought. I had a blog my second year of college. I ran it anonymously, mostly debating political issues and mocking the campus professors. I thought I was important. OTech needs a blog or some shit.

After about five attempts, I log into my old blog to find it overrun by idiots. There’s numerous ads on the side, mostly for easy-money sites and porn. I should be disappointed in myself that I’m more disturbed by the easy-money sites.

And I don’t watch porn. Never really have. I don’t look it up on my own time. If I happen to stumble upon something interesting, that’s all it is. I guess I always saw porn as desperate and pathetic…

Maybe Escort I am cocky and annoying. Anyone else would have no problem with it. I just take everything too personally. It could be those good ol’ family values fucking with my brain.

I didn’t even know what ‘gay’ was in my household. I didn’t know it existed beyond rumors. All I knew was that every time one of my seven (yeah, seven) siblings turned 18, they sat down with Lillian and Matthew (my parents), and had to write down everything they knew about sex.

When I turned 18, when it was my turn, I cried. I knew nothing about girls. I didn’t want girls touching me, I didn’t want to touch them, and I hadn’t kissed anyone. I had no desire to. My religious parents had no idea what was wrong with me. I thought it’d be a good thing that I had no clue about it (for the sake of purity and virginity), but it made me feel puny and stupid.

I told my best friend about the horror of it—a college freshman, his name was Raul; my parents hated him ’cause he was Mexican—and he laughed at me. I, not knowing what in god’s name was so funny, pouted away until Raul told me he thought I was gay.

I demanded an explanation. He gave me one. I agreed.

Then he fucked me.

It hurt, as expected, but a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Between Raul asking me questions about the way I felt and him touching my body in ways I never imagined, I don’t know if I would’ve wanted any other experience. Raul sucked me off and fingered me until I was sure I liked it. He gently put his cock in my mouth… after five minutes, it felt natural. I’m sure the sex for him was probably boring and slow, but I didn’t care.

After that, I used his computer to look up the technical side of things. I felt like I missed out on something. I was certain none of my other siblings, five older and two younger, were gay. It was like I had something to myself in a way. Instantly, I began to think differently, looking at my religious household in an altered light.

And here we are today.

I’m still hesitant to type in anything… what on earth do I even want to watch? Do I even want to watch anything? You can find just about anything in the porn world, I’m guessing. I don’t have any fetishes, and I don’t want to see guys who look like me getting fucked… I simply search ‘gay porn’ in an incognito window. 5 million something results come up. If I could just get over that all-entitled hump and just click a damn video.

__________

Grayson bought me more expensive coffee. It sits on the corner of my desk with a little note: “Don’t have to thank me ~ G.”

I have other things on my mind. Nobody has to know I spent two and a half hours a night for three days watching two, sometimes three or four men fucking each other in all kinds of different positions. Nobody has to know I spent the majority of that time stroking my dick furiously, wishing I was the one being violated and spanked and fucked up against desks and beds and whatever else I watched.

One thing’s for sure: that’s not going to happen anytime soon. If I can’t even let Grayson, whom I know very well, barely lay his hands on me, I’m not going to let some stranger do whatever he wants.

Plus, I wasted time those nights. If I’m going to be CEO, I need something big. I need to show that I’m dedicating myself to this company even though I haven’t been here very long. This blog is going to be huge.

Shannon knocks on my door. I look up to see her with a folder in hand. “Peer and supervisor evaluations,” she says annoyance in her voice. “Handwritten because Grayson wants it to be personal.”

I roll my eyes. Typical Grayson. “Is it just people in our department?” I ask. Shannon nods. “Including Grayson?”

“Yep. Hey, you got more coffee,” Shannon smiles. I quickly snatch the note from it and look at it suddenly, as if I didn’t know it was there beforehand. “This is kind of exciting, Zeke,” she teases.

“I think this person should lay off,” I huff. Shannon lays the folder on my desk. “Although coffee is coffee. When are we supposed to have these evaluations in to HR?” I ask.

“By St. Patrick’s Day, I think. Speaking of… are you going to that party?”

“Anything to help me be CEO,” I sigh. “And I could stand to meet a few people in this building. I only know you, Grayson, and the ad crew. Oh, and Sandy from the janitorial staff.”

“I know Sandy. Good woman. Anyway, I invited Grayson to lunch with us—”

“Why?” I interrupt.

Shannon looks taken aback. “Because… we haven’t been to lunch with him in a month or so? And he said he has something important to tell us. Olive Garden. See you at 12.”

I nod. I haven’t said anything to Grayson in days. I mean, he’s almost thirty; I’m sure I’m not breaking his teenager-y heart here. But I simply can’t get my mind to focus on one thing at the moment. It’s best to hold off on that right now. I’ll stick to beating myself off and playing fantasies in my head before I go to sleep.

__________

I use the new vanilla roast for my solitude coffee break, and head upstairs discreetly to the empty break room. It’s nice and warm in here with the heater working at full force, and it smells like toffee. Such a contrast to the dry, bitter Colorado wind and snow outside.