If By Chance
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As I drove west, I felt as if I were the only motorist on the road. In reality, there were cars all around me, braking and changing lanes, their owners trying to reach their destinations. In my mind, though, I was alone. The sky was gray and the autumn wind was whipping leaves around that had fallen, carrying them along the sidewalk, as if they were taking them to some predestined location.
Yet, all of that wasn't there. At 2PM on Wednesday afternoon, all I could see was the glow of the building that I was trying to reach. It seemed to stand out amongst the surrounding buildings, and even though I was only about a quarter mile away, it felt like a hundred. I swallowed hard as I approached a stoplight, one of three that separated me from the end of my journey. A crowd of people, most of them dressed in suits, ties, coats or professional skirts passed by the front of my car in the crosswalk, and every one of them seemed to be on their cell phones.
My mind drifted as I watched them walk passed, wondering what kind of stress the day had brought to them. I used to feel pressure, mainly job related, but it paled in comparison to the kind of pressure I was under now. I smiled as I recalled an early memory of my time as Controller with the company, when I thought things were out of my control. It was ironic, really, especially given my job title. I was so worried about being ineffective, and it was hard to get a handle on people and procedure at first. I had to work hard to rein everyone in, and they all resisted.
One of the first things I did was to enact an office dress code. It wasn't a very popular decision, especially with the girls in Human Resources, but I didn't budge. It was my way of wielding a little power to show who was in charge. One employee in particular, a female clerk named Shannon, tried to push back by showing up to work in an outrageous pair of super short shorts and a revealing workout top. I very calmly asked Robin to send her home to change and went about my day. The next day, I had her sign a very tersely worded written final warning, and the incident never repeated itself.
Once people realized that I wasn't going to tolerate insubordination, they fell in line with the vision I had for our office and all was well. I ran a tight ship, but I was nowhere near the tyrant people thought I was going to be. I later learned from a former employee of mine, whom I was still friendly with, that there was talk of a mutiny in the form of a series of calls to corporate, but it fizzled out when I didn't turn out to be the asshole everyone took me for at first.
That kind of respect didn't come easily, but it did eventually come. Not always because of the hard line stance I took, either. My first summer there, I set aside a day with Robin, Peter and a few of the mid-level managers in the office where we locked our office doors and spent the day outside, cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and dishing out ice cream for our employees and any family that they wanted to have meet them for the cookout. Later that year, we had our first Christmas party off site, and we spent a pretty penny on a ballroom, an open bar and catered food at the Marriott. We even offered hotel rooms to those who wanted to stay the night, and deducted the cost in thirty-dollar increments from their checks.
From then on, I made sure that those happenings were an annual occurrence for our employees, and Peter and Robin made sure that they all knew I was the one to thank. That wasn't exactly why I arranged for them to happen, but it was nice to get the kind of gratitude I did from the folks in the office. It seemed like all of the bitterness I dealt with before went away after that, and it had been smooth sailing from there.
Sure, there was a little turbulence in the waters from time to time, but it was nothing compared to what I was facing as I drove into the covered parking area. I took a ticket from the meter and the mechanical arm rose, allowing me to enter. When I parked, I turned my car off and took a deep breath, the effect of so many good memories flooding my mind taking its toll on me.
When I walked into the office, it was somehow warm and yet, cool at the same time. A clean, almost minty smell about it, mixed with the smell of new leather. The receptionist regarded me warmly as I approached her station, knowing that I was a little more than twenty minutes early.
"I have a three thirty appointment with Donald Fasola," I said, returning her smile.
"Dennis Mead?" she said, looking down into her scheduler before glancing back at me with another smile, and I nodded affirmatively.
"Please have a seat and I'll let Mr. Fasola know you're here," she said, motioning with her hand for me to take a seat in the empty waiting area. All of the chairs and couches were upholstered in black leather, and the floor was tiled in marble. While I waited, I opened my briefcase and went over all of my documentation, the reality of what I was about to do still so stunning to me. I couldn't believe I was taking things this far, but I knew I had the moral and legal obligation to do the right thing. If not for myself, for everyone who was in the dark about what was going on. For everyone who punched the clock at that company. For everyone who invested money in our stock. For those people whose kids ate and went to college with the money their mothers or fathers made working for that company. For myself. For Gerald.
The sexual innuendo wasn't lost on me. I guess I couldn't blame her for trying, though. She was just trying to make as much money as she could, but I would be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a little uncomfortable to have such a young girl acting salaciously as she ran her hands up and down my legs. She was new, no doubt. I'd never seen her before, and my guess was that because of her age, her parents wouldn't let her work there. She couldn't have been more than eighteen, if that.
I should have just asked for my regular girl. But the chances of her being there on a Thursday night weren't great, I knew. I hadn't seen her when I walked in with Gerald, and the new girl made a beeline for the two of us, beckoning another girl to follow her to the counter, where we told her what we wanted. She grinned eagerly and led us to the other end of the shop, where we each took a seat in a recliner and let the girls undress our feet, first removing our shoes, then our socks. Finally, they rolled our pant legs up and filled the footbaths up with warm water and some kind of soap before guiding our feet into our respective whirlpools, where they commenced with our pedicures.
I'm sure that the seductive way she was staring up at me, with an almost animalistic hunger in her eyes, would have been effective on any heterosexual male. She had a very pretty face, long, braided hair and a sexy hourglass figure. Her slanted eyes set the rest of her facial features off in such a way that I couldn't help but smile down at her, but I admit that most of that was pity. She was fighting a losing battle, and to my left, Gerald's girl was in the same boat.
I decided to stop the bleeding by reaching over and taking Gerald's hand in mine, batting my eyes at him and saying, "I love you sweetie," out loud. He gave me a goofy grin and a giggle, then he lifted my fingers to his lips and kissed the tip of each one. I looked back down at my attendant, who got the picture right away, and smiled knowingly. She went back to work on me, this time without all of the extra looks and risqué slips of her hand running too far up my leg.
"Let's get out of town," I said.
"This weekend?" Gerald asked, and I nodded. "What do you want to do?"
"Let's drive to DC.," I suggested. "It's easy to get reservations this time of year."
"What are we going to do up there?" he asked, and I just shrugged.
"We'll figure it out when we get there," I said. "I just want to spend some time with you this weekend."
"I want to spend some time with you too, babe," he said with a huge grin on his face. "Are we taking your car or mine?"
"Mine sweetie," I said, wishing I could stretch my body far enough over to give him a peck on the lips.
When our pedicures were over, the girls gave us manicures that seemed to take just a long as the pedicures. They both did an excellent job, and while I can't speak for Gerald, I felt like a million bucks when I was all done. I paid for both of us, then I tipped each girl twenty dollars before we walked out of the shop, hand in hand.
Gerald was all over me when we got in the car, running his hands up my shirt and across my chest before he attacked my mouth with his. I cautiously looked around for passerby's as I indulged in his sweet kiss, then I let myself go and ran my fingers through his hair before we broke our kiss and drove home. The bulge in the crotch of his slacks told me what he wanted, and I knew what I wanted too, so I drove as quickly but carefully as I could towards home.
While Gerald drew a hot bath for us, I filled my stove with pellets and lit a fire to keep us warm. The house, while certainly not freezing, was chilly. Once I was certain that the fire wasn't going to go out, I made my way upstairs and into my room, where I stripped down to nothing before joining my boyfriend in the bathroom, where our hot bath awaited.
As usual, Gerald waited for me to settle against the back of the large tub, then he climbed in and slid down, completely immersing himself in the water, then he came back up and rested himself up against my chest. I wrapped my arms around his frame and held him close to me, listening to his breathing as I brought my chin down on his right shoulder and felt him nuzzle his forehead into my neck.
Beneath the surface of the water, my libido was stirring, causing my manhood to swell into the valley of his love. I shifted it so that there was no danger of penetrating his body and causing him any discomfort. He sighed when I did that, then he whispered into my ear, "I love you Dennis."
My heart melted.
"I love you too, boo," I said gently, taking the time to gaze into his brown eyes before pressing my lips up against his caramel colored cheek, then to his waiting lips. As our tongues danced, my hands ran across his torso, desperate to feel every inch of my angel. My fingers grazed across both of his nipples at the same time, and I gently stimulated them with a light massage as our kiss continued.
"Let me wash you," I said when our lips separated, and he smiled up at me meekly. I used a large body sponge and Camay to wash his body from head to toe, from front to back. I paid special attention to his manhood, wanting him to enjoy every second of his bath. He lowered himself into the water again, letting the suds rise from his body, then he resurfaced and took the sponge from me, anxious to repay the favor.
From the tub, we skipped the bedroom altogether. Instead, we walked nude down the stairs, where we settled on a blanket in front of the wood pellet stove. Once again, I sat down first and Gerald sat between my legs so I could wrap my arms around him and hold his naked body close to mine. We sat quietly, the crackling of the pellets in the stove the only sound in the room as our hands explored each other's bodies.
My lips found the back of Gerald's neck, and I planted sweet kisses on his vertebrae while his palms ran back and forth on the inside of each of my thighs. His stimuli was rousing my sex, and I knew he was doing it on purpose. I let my fingers travel along each side of his body, finding his rib cage and tracing along its ridges as he whimpered softly and craned his neck so that he could kiss my cheek, just below my earlobe.
As the moments became minutes and the minutes became hours, we found ourselves in a new position. Gerald's body was now facing mine, and as our heads rested on each other's shoulders, our hands continued to roam over the area of our bodies. I felt his left hand grazing over my buns as his right hand lingered underneath my navel. I felt his fingers brush through my pubic bush, then he wrapped his hand around my throbbing manhood.
In reply, I blew into his ear and brought my molesting hand down into the valley of his love, where I found his treasure with my newly manicured fingers, using each one separately to prepare him for the night we had in store. He reacted by tightening his grip on my stiffness and looking hungrily into my eyes until our lips met and our tongues dueled once more. In the process, I carefully laid him on his back on the blanket. His left hand traveled up my back and to the back of my neck, where he grabbed on as I swept him away with the kiss I was feeding him and the digits that continued to probe the walls of his sex.
"Make love to me," he begged me when our tongues stopped dancing, a hint of desperation in his voice. "I'm ready now."
I smiled and planted one last kiss on his lips before I pulled my fingers from deep within him and offered him my hand to help him up. He grinned and gripped my wrist with both hands before he slowly made it to his feet. He lustily consumed my fingers as we made our way up the stairs, where we gave in to our desires and fulfilled each other's needs.
His body fit me like a glove, and as his warm tightness engulfed my manhood, I found it hard to keep myself from getting emotional. His bright eyes were gazing up at me in wonder as I fed his love, exerting myself to insure his total satisfaction before I allowed myself to finish. I wanted him to spend himself not just once, but over and over again. As lofty as my goals were, though, my sex had a limit, and after satisfying Gerald twice, I gave in to the heat and intensity of the grip that his tightness had on me.
When I pulled out, I slowly slid the sleeve of protection I had donned, off and tossed it in the garbage can by our bed. My angel smiled lovingly at me as his legs fell to the bed, and I found it impossible to resist the urge to cover his body from head to toe with French kisses, paying extra attention to his manhood and to the love he had just surrendered to me. When I was finished, I rested beside him and took him into my arms as he yawned sleepily.
"I love you, boo," I said softly, kissing the top of his head.
Taking Donald Fasola's advice was easier said than done. The thing was, he was right. I had an obligation to continue to proceed against the corporation, even if it meant I'd lose my job.
"If anything, you'll be awarded a large sum of money as a whistleblower," he said, a hint of sadness in his voice that I knew came from his first hand knowledge of what I was going through. "You can't be prosecuted for anything as long as you initiate this, Dennis. You're doing the right thing."
"That doesn't make this any easier," I said, and he nodded with a reflective smile.
"It's not going to be easy, Dennis," he told me. "It's probably going to be the most important thing you ever do, though. Trust me, the positives will far outweigh the negatives."
"What can I expect?" I asked pensively, but I already knew the answer. I'd be fired as soon as I proceeded, but at this point, I figured, what choice did I have?
"I've already contacted the Department of Justice," he said. "For the time being, just go to work and act like nothing's wrong. If you're confronted by anyone about this matter, you walk away and call me. If you're fired, I'll file a wrongful termination suit on your behalf."
"Don't you mean, when I'm fired?" I asked, and he just nodded with a solemn expression.
"You're preserving your career and your freedom, Dennis," he said with a reflective sigh. "I can't tell you how many people have come to me when it was too late. It's not too late for you."
With that, he laid several legal documents out in front of me, and after reading them each carefully, I signed my name on them and became an official whistleblower.
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