My New Boss

Vera’s intrigued by her new boss, Freddie. As they get closer, professional lines start to blur.

Chapter 6: Longing and Limitations

Ever since the afternoon of the office party, my head had been spinning. Did I really hook up with Freddie in his office? The memory itself had a dream-like quality, all fuzzy around the edges. Except my hips tingled in the places his hands had been when I thought about it—his phantom grip still holding me tight. And when I looked down at my wrists, light marks outlined where his belt had been. The dull ache was a surprisingly pleasant reminder of how good it felt to surrender to his will. I'd been exposed, vulnerable, yet with Freddie, it all felt so natural. His skin on mine felt so right, so necessary. What have I gotten myself into?

Just then, my phone buzzed. A text from Maddie.

"Where did you go? I didn't see you after the party."

I peered nervously at the message. Had anyone seen me and Freddie leave? We were standing quite close. And you know how they love to talk…

I typed out a quick response, "I wasn't feeling the best. Dipped out early. Tequila + bad singing = nausea."

"Boo, you missed a good night."

A wave of relief washed over me. Maybe no one had noticed. Between the dim lights, karaoke, and bottomless margaritas, who would've zoomed in on me and Freddie. Plus, it wasn't a crime to leave a party at the same time as the boss. I'm just overthinking, worrying for nothing. What I really need to do is calm down and breathe. We're all consenting adults and I didn't break any rules. Breathe Vera, breathe.

My phone buzzed again. Probably just Drew with a play by play of happy hour—

I froze, my heart skipping a beat. So much for calming down. A text from an unknown number blinked across the screen.

"Hello, Vera. It's Freddie. Got your number from the staff directory, hope you don't mind. Do you have time to talk?"

I was conflicted. My body was electric—without thinking, a smile spread across my face. I could feel a warmth radiating up my neck. Yet, I knew getting more involved than I already was spelled complications. I'd thought I'd have the weekend to work out my feelings, to figure out what to say to him Monday morning. But there he was, looking for me, less than 24 hours later. He must've enjoyed himself too… And I was back to being excited again. My fingers moved without hesitation, typing out a quick reply.

"Yes. I have time to talk."

What am I doing? Seconds after I replied, he called. Deep breaths, girl. You got this. I answered on the second ring.

"Hey, Freddie." My voice sounded calmer than I felt.

"Hello, Vera. I hope you are doing well." I twisted my watch around my wrist.

He continued on, "I wanted to check in with you about what happened yesterday. See if you're alright." I clocked a slight change in his usual smooth timbre—a bit unsure? Was he nervous? I felt a surge of confidence.

"Last night was really..." I searched for the right word, "lovely."

He chuckled at my word choice and I could imagine the sly smile spreading across his face. Heat crept into my cheeks and I was glad he couldn't see me at that moment. I was not going to let him know how much of a hold he already had on me.

"Good. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself."

I could feel Freddie's lips curl as he said 'enjoyed'. Was he thinking about me the way I thought about him? The way I moaned, splayed across his desk. Freddie's voice interrupted my fantasy.

"I actually was hoping to see you again… soon. I'd like to show you more. That is, if you'd like to."

Something about his formality snapped me back to reality. This man is still your boss. Proceed with caution.

I cooly replied. "I think I'd like to know more."

"Good. Then, are you free tonight?"

Two hours later, I was in the back of a car taking me across the city. I'd said, 'Yes Freddie' automatically—proceed with caution my ass.

As we drove, the familiar bright lights faded. Sidewalks and street lamps turned into lush greenery. The trees were tall, creating a canopy of leaves that blanketed the usual city noise. I'd never been to this neighborhood before. Just like that, the reality of the situation slid back in. But before I could even consider a plan b, the driver stopped and I was outside a block of high-rise apartments.

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