Fire and Ice Pt. 03

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Babes

I normally like the holidays, Christmas especially. The lights, the cold weather, the complete spirit of it all. When I was a kid, my mother and I would decorate the entire house in old gaudy Christmas decorations from when my grandmother was alive. My mother was a pack-rat. We’d put garlands and tinsel everywhere. Holly would live in all the decorative dishes until well into the new year and it would all be centered around an old plastic tree that had seen better days. Half the limbs were missing their branches, which my mother would cover with mismatch lights and ornaments, and the trunk was cemented in a large paint bucket since the base had been lost so long ago. Obviously, I didn’t grow up in a wealthy household, but we were far from poor and my mother liked to say we were rich in pride.

All of that aside, I am not feeling cheery now as I sit amid our company Christmas party. Sylvia out did herself this year, the food is catered as usual but this time from an Ethiopian place that just opened near the waterfront in Cameron, and its delicious. There’s an open bar but luckily no one is taking too much advantage of that, I myself have only had the glass of champagne Sylvia handed me to begin the night and a beer. Why the bah hum bug mood then, you ask. Well forgive my poor attempt at sarcasm but it might have a tiny bit to do with the vision in red, that does not clash with her hair at all and that’s not sarcasm, standing near the front of the room talking to Amanda from payroll her arm casually linked with his. Who is he, you ask. Let’s rewind a bit.

Earlier in the evening.

“Jesus,” Clare groaned quietly, her hand tangling in my hair as my fingers twisted inside of her, “Just like that. Don’t stop.”

We were in the single restroom, right outside the conference room where the Christmas party was to be held half an hour from now. We hadn’t done this, or spoken really in a month. I was still sore at her from our last meeting and I think by some twist of it Clare was teaching me a lesson as well. Regardless, Sylvia had roped both of us into helping with the final touches for setup and then sent us away to get changed. Clare had been none too subtly eyeing me during setup and as we walked out, me toward my desk and her toward her office I assumed, she grabbed my elbow.

“Come on.”

Shaking my head, I pulled my elbow back and turned, “No, thanks.”

“Alex,” she reached for me again, this time entwining her fingers with mine and I let her. I let her step closer to me and push my hair behind my ear. I let her run her fingers along my cheek and lean in to whisper in my ear, “Come on.”

“Mm,” Clare moaned as her back met the back of the restroom door, “I think you missed me.”

I growled as my mouth trailed her neck and shoulder, “Shut up.”

“Make me.”

I didn’t need to be told twice and quickly kissed her hungrily while backing her toward the counter. She yelped slightly as I lifted her onto it and bit her lip at the same time before thrusting my tongue back into her mouth. I wasted no time slipping my hand beneath her skirt and into her panties, chuckling as Clare’s head banged back against the mirror as two of my fingers entered her. She was wet, soaked.

“I hate casino oyna that I want you,” Clare whispered, her eyes closed tightly as her hips rose and fell to meet my fingers.

“Yeah,” I panted against her neck while pushing harder into her, “The feeling is fucking mutual.”

“Jesus,” Clare groaned quietly, her hand tangling in my hair as my fingers twisted inside of her, “Just like that. Don’t stop.”

“What are we doing?” My timing was always perfect when it came to these kinds of things, sarcasm again.

“Fucking,” Clare panted against my ear, “In a filthy restroom, at work.”

“You know what I mean,” I grunted pushing my hip behind my hand and relishing in Clare’s gasp.

“Just, fuck,” Clare dropped her head against my shoulder, “Make me cum baby, please.”

“Answer me.”

Clare was annoyed now, “Why do you have to ask so many fucking questions?” I stumbled as she pushed me away from her and watched as she hopped off the counter fixing her panties and clothing with more dignity than I could have ever mustered. Turning, she turned on the faucet and splashed water on her face before fixing her hair in the mirror. She met my eyes in the mirror briefly before looking away sighing.

“Clare.”

“Just don’t, Alex.”

Throwing my hands up in frustration, I stormed over to the door, “This is fucking ridiculous,” I snapped before storming out.

Still Earlier

“Alex!” I turn to look as Sylvia calls my name and the small smile on my face instantly drops. After my run in, as I’m choosing to call it, with Clare I took a little longer getting ready and am consequently late to the start of the party. She thrusts a glass of champagne in my hand and smiles piteously, “Thought you would want this,” she adds quickly just out of ear shot of the two-people accompanying her.

“Thank you,” I smile politely and flick my eyes to Clare. Jesus, she’s gorgeous. The dress she changed into clinging to her in all the right places and somehow elongating her frame with its shimmery details. She has her hair pulled back at the top, simple yet elegantly stunning on her, and the dark plum of her lipstick begs to be mussed.

“Seems Clare has been holding out on us,” Sylvia speaks teasingly when the silence stretches between us. I smile questioningly as I sip my champagne, “This is Richard, her husband.”

Naturally, I choke. Coughing, I wave Sylvia’s hand away as she pats my back, “Thank you. I’m okay.” I look over at Clare and pretend not to notice that she won’t meet my eyes, “Alexandra Weston,” I manage finally turning to her husband and extending my hand. Husband? What the fuck? I can’t stop my eyes from falling away from him to Clare once more and drink the rest of my glass.

“I’ll grab you another,” Sylvia says taking my glass from me. Sylvia and I have known each other since I was in college, her the first year of opening her business. She knows me, knows when I’m feeling a certain way and need space and time to think. She’s also aware of when I’ve gotten myself in a fucking situation.

“A beer,” I state catching her arm, “Please.”

“Sure.”

I watch as Sylvia walks away and turn back to the other two people standing there. Everyone smiles awkwardly slot oyna and for some reason I don’t think Richard is a dumb fellow. He must be able to tell that something is up between me and his wife. He must feel the tension in the air.

“Honey?” the sound of Clare’s voice breaks me from my reverie. She’s looking at Richard, who nods and smiles politely at me before making an excuse and walking away. Clare turns back to me and lifts a placating hand, “Alex -.”

“What the fuck!” I whisper hotly pulling her further away from the partying crowd for a semblance of privacy, “Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?”

“Don’t be so fucking dramatic!” Clare whispers back just as hotly, “Especially about things you know nothing about!”

“I don’t think there is much mystery surrounding marriage Clare.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and rolled her eyes. Judge me if you choose, but I found her irresistibly sexy in that moment. It was the indifference, I think. The no fucks given attitude. I wasn’t very discreet in my approval apparently.

“Hypocrite,” Clare smirked.

Shaking my head, I moved past her, “I’m done.”

“Alex,” I turned back as she called my name and she smirked, “My office, one hour.”

Present

I’d been sitting here for forty-five minutes. Yes, I’d been watching the time. A hypocrite. That was what Clare called me and she had been right. For all my morals and all my convictions, I knew in five minutes I would walk over to the bar and grab a shot of something. Then five minutes after that I would make my way out of the conference room and down the elevator to Clare’s office, and hopefully be fucking her five minutes after that. I hadn’t been able to stop watching her. Discreetly of course, although I knew she could feel my eyes on her since she’d turned in my direction more than once. Sylvia had given me a look when she’d returned with my beer and I’d practically begged her not to ask. Being the woman she was and patient in her wisdom, she’d patted my shoulder and told me where to find her if I needed her. I hadn’t needed her but what I did need was a drink.

“Can I get a shot of whatever is strongest?” I requested walking up to the bar. The bartender smiled and grabbed a bottle from beneath the counter. It looked like whiskey as he poured it generously into the glass and slid it across to me, “Thanks.” I replied wasting no time lifting it to my lips and throwing it back.

“Another?” He asked with a raised eyebrow.

I shook my head, “No,” handing him a five from my clutch, I smiled, “Thanks.”

He nodded, “Yes ma’am.”

I scanned the conference room as I made my way across to the door. Sylvia caught my eyes and gave me a questioning look that I pretended not to notice. Clare was still standing beside her husband. I’m such an asshole, I thought as she looked up and met my gaze. I watched as she touched his arm and whispered something in his ear. Seconds later, his gaze found mine and he nodded at her, his expression unreadable. What was that about? I wondered.

I didn’t have time to find out because minutes after I made it to Clare’s office, so did she and there was no more room for talking. The hallway was empty as everyone was upstairs, canlı casino siteleri and her lips were on mine before she’d open the door. I found myself wedged between her and the office door seconds before she managed to push it open, her hands in my hair, her tongue in my mouth. I turned her as soon as we were over the threshold and slammed it closed with my foot while backing her toward her desk. Once her thighs met the wooden structure, Clare moaned as she found herself being lifted atop something for the second time that day. Bunching her dress around her waist, she wrapped her legs around my hips and held me to her while our lips continued to move hungrily against one another.

“Are you still mad?” Clare finally whispered when air became necessary and we pulled apart.

“Furious,” I managed dropping to my knees and reaching beneath her dress for her panties. Guiding them down her legs, I smirked as her breathing picked up and her fingers tightened against the edge of the desk.

“What,” she cleared her throat, “What are you going to do about it?”

I looked up at her, her pupils blown wide with lust, her neck and chest flushed, her hair slightly mussed. My god she was beautiful. I swallowed hard and looked away cursing under my breath. Of course. Of course, I was falling for this woman. This woman who had done nothing but lead me on, had pushed me away on more than one occasion, who had lied to me by omission. Of fucking course, I was falling for her. Story of my damn life. Always the one I couldn’t have. Always the one I didn’t need. Always someone else’s.

I felt it coming but was powerless to stop it. Sitting back on my heels, I covered my face with my hands and tried to slow my breathing before the panic attack hit me full force. I’d learned long ago, if I focused on my breathing I could curb it. I could manage it when it eventually wracked through me. Breathe. I just needed to breathe. Blood rushed into my ears and suddenly everything was white noise. I could hear Clare’s heels clack as she placed her feet back on the floor and the shifting of fabric, but it sounded far off.

“Alex?” Clare’s voice too sounded as though it were coming from a distance as she kneeled beside me. I could feel her fingers pushing my hair from my forehead, “Alex, what’s wrong?”

I shook my head as she pried my hands away. I knew my face was red, I’d started to cry if the coolness of my cheeks was anything to go by, “I’m sorry…” I trailed off with another head shake and a deep breath.

“Hey,” Clare cupped both sides of my face and kissed me so sweetly, I felt warmth travel through my entire body. Leaning her forehead against mine, she whispered, “Talk to me baby.”

The pet name which normally sounded so condescending, even during sex, now sounded concerned. It was infused with worry and I couldn’t wrap my head around the shift. Pulling back, I stared into her eyes and found a willingness to listen, a desire to understand staring back at me. Didn’t she get it? Didn’t she realize the toll all the games, the evasiveness, the lies had taken on me. Didn’t she know she had succeeded in breaking me?

“I need to go,” I whispered standing to my feet and fleeing the room. I heard her call my name. I heard the few steps she took after me into the hallway. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t turn around. I needed to get as far away from Clare Jennings as possible because she was married and I, I was fucking in love with her.

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