Countinued From, The Boss And I
“Zainab?” The sound of my name brought my head up with a jerk. I looked up – into cold brown eyes, staring down at me.
She looked at me and I looked at her, and it was crystal clear that neither of us knew what the hell to say.
“We got the account,” she said finally.
I managed a smile that I’m sure was downright ghastly from the other side. “That’s wonderful. Congratulations.”
She nodded slowly. “I’m…going home for the day – I think I need a little vacation.” She looked around uncomfortably – it was the first time I can ever remember having seen her looking awkward. “Finish up the paperwork for the week while I’m gone…I’ll see you on Monday.”
I tried my best not to let my chin hit the desk. I wasn’t fired? “Of course,” I finally stammered. “Have a good vacation.”
I wasn’t deluding myself – she wasn’t inviting me to keep doing anything, she was just a decent enough person not to fire me for trying to help, no matter how inappropriate what I had done had been. By the time she came back on Monday, I had beaten myself up enough over the whole thing to be committed to acting as though it had never happened, and Cleo seemed to want to pretend the same. That was fine with me. I never wanted to feel that awful sinking feeling again – that feeling that you’ve just totally screwed up your life.
Nevertheless, life went more or less back to normal after that. Our interactions were polite and professional, and we slowly lost the awkwardness around each other, moving back to where we could smile and make small talk without feeling like fools.
Eventually, I convinced myself that Cleo had practically forgotten all about it. I, of course, had not. She now featured prominently in my fantasies, no matter how hard I tried to change that. I had never really been attracted to an older woman before, though Cleo hardly looked forty. I’m sure the danger of the whole occurrence helped with the eroticism of it for me, but I just couldn’t help myself. Every night, I writhed on my own fingers, tasting and smelling and feeling Cleo against my lips, again and again.
“Zainab?” Her voice sounded urgent.
I rose from my desk, hurrying into Cleo’s office.
She looked up, muting her phone. “Did we ever hear back from that appraiser guy? I need his figures.”