Hanging Threads

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This is my first romance story, at least the first I purposely planned to be romantic. It has a slow build up, so if you were expecting for a quick romp in the hay please go somewhere else (maybe next time I will write one of those). This story ended up being longer that I expected it to be, it was so hard to write that I don’t want to touch another one of these again (if it’s well-received I may think about it thought). My thanks go to gentoxic for embellishing my work and Kim (you know who you are) for tinkering with my grammar, I am deeply grateful for your help . All characters are over 18. Any resemblance to actual persons is entirely coincidental.

*****

Hanging Threads

Prologue

The sound of my high heels echoed through the deserted and quiet hallway. The clacking noise tightened a knot that strangled my stomach and made my heart beat faster. My hands started to sweat, I needed to remain calm, to keep a level head. I slowed my pace and stopped in front of the dark wooden door, ‘Human Resources’ was engraved on its shiny bronze plaque. Just staring at it projected a gloomy aura around the hallway’s end.

I took a deep breath as I slowly grabbed the brass knob and eased the door open. The hinges squeaked loudly, announcing my presence. Inside was a lonely wood desk located to the door’s left, it was covered in cardboard folders and picture frames. A woman in her early forties, impeccably dressed, raised her head from the pile of work and acknowledged me. I checked on her name-holder and it read ‘Trisha Carrera, Secretary’. She gave me a polite ‘hello’ as I got closer.

“Ms. Leeds, right?” she questioned me, staring into my eyes with curt politeness.

I uneasily assented.

“Mr. Smith is waiting for you.”

To say I was nervous was an understatement. A couple of my co-workers had been called during the week and they were no longer working with us. At twenty fourth years, I lacked experience, but kept a strong work ethic. Well, mostly, if I have been called, it could mean I was discovered in one of my occasional flings.

I walked inside Mr. Smith’s office to find a big man in his fifties; he was seated on a very fancy gyratory chair behind a massive oak desk. There were not many things on his desk, except for his metal name-holder and a lonely picture of his family: him at a younger age, his wife and his young daughter.

“How long had you been with us Ms. Leeds?” Mr. Smith asked without looking at me. His eyes were on a folder with my name over his desk.

“About seven months Sir,” I answered trying to remain calm. This sounded bad.

“Six months and twenty three days to be precise, and that is counting weekends and holidays,” he lifted his eyes, his horn rimmed glasses hiding grey eyes that complemented his grey hair.

He laid his eyes on my body first, then my brown eyes. Yes, I have that effect on men.

“I have a personal question Ms. Leeds,” he held his gaze with mine, “I see you keep your married surname, and given your turbulent past, I was wondering why?”

It’s none of your business! I thought to myself but said nothing.

“Don’t look at me like that!” He must have seen my annoyed look, “It’s not like it was a secret anyway, your divorce info appeared in the social section,” he picked a newspaper clipping pinned to the folder and shook it for emphasis.

“I’d like to keep my personal life for myself Mr. Smith. Thank you,” I answered uneasily, my recent hostility receding. Keep calm, keep calm…

He gave me a twisted smile, if only for a second or two. He closed the folder and rested one hand over it.

“Well Ms. Leeds it’s not like I care, it was just out of curiosity. Let’s return to the real reason you are here,” he looked at his black Swatch watch. “I did receive an e-mail with a video attached, showing you Ms. Leeds with Mr. Snow, doing… let’s say… extracurricular activities in the storeroom. And let me remind you that this company has a strict policy against sexual relationships during work time.”

Oh my! Oh my!

“As you know, Mr. Snow doesn’t work with us anymore, and his colleague, whom I believe was the one behind this video, is not with us either. We need to make an example Ms. Leeds, and I am afraid we need to let you go.”

Shit! Richard Snow if I ever see you again you are dead!

I felt how my vision started to fade.

“Can I sit Mr. Smith? I feel weak all of a sudden.”

“How rude of me Ms. Leeds, of course,” he motioned me to one of his guest chairs with one large hand.

I slumped in one of the chairs, all decorum lost. I let my head fall into my hands as I covered my face.

This was the only job that I could find that gave a good pay with my résumé. I was in my last year of college when my now ex-husband made me his wife. He was a wealthy senior, CEO of an important company. I didn’t have to work; he provided everything: expensive jewelry, designer dresses, and exclusive parties. I stupidly left my Economics casino şirketleri Degree to be with him and his world of glamour.

He was not that good in bed, being sixty five, and with a heart condition, most of the sex was short and lame. I was very active during my college years, sexually, I mean, and had my share of boyfriends and suitors. When I married all that changed no more college parties, no more girl’s night outs, and obviously no more men. It took me a while to understand why he wanted me as his wife. At first I thought it was for my looks, as every man I dated wanted to have sex with me; that was until I found myself giving him his medication, checking the time he was to take his next pill, receiving angry remarks if I messed up with his dosage or forgetting the time. That’s when I realized I was supposed to be the nurse ‘he could fuck’.

These arrangements worked well for me at the beginning, but the sudden change in my habits was making a dent on me. Of course I could handle it, I don’t know, for ten more years, but at the time I was immature and my body wanted a release my vibrators couldn’t provide. So, I did it with one of his younger assistants until Christopher found out.

“Are you feeling better Ms. Leeds?” Mr. Smith was questioning me, a hint of worry in his voice. Maybe he was thinking I would pass out on his guest’s chair.

“I think so Mr. Smith. When do you want me out of the building?” I said trying not to sound too affected or let my voice crack over the huge turmoil of emotions raging throughout my body.

“But we are not over yet,” Mr. Smith removed his glasses and commented, “Would you like to continue in a different line of work?”

I was awed, or should I say stupefied. Was I without a job or not? Hearing no reply from me he continued.

“I have seen your work Ms. Leeds. You are on time always, not a single complain from our clients or your workmates, always follow the dress code with high standards. Your only problem seems to be between your legs, and we are afraid we couldn’t let you get close to our male staff anymore.”

“I’m not sure what you are telling me Mr. Smith. Am I still working for this company or not?” I ignored his disrespectful words. I was more preoccupied about not losing my job.

“No. I am afraid you are no longer working with us.” This phrase was followed by a terrible feeling of dismay. “Nonetheless, I am going to provide you a job offer you could hardly dismiss,” he leaned toward me over his desk, his thick arms for support, his fingers entwined.

“Can you see this picture?” he made a gesture with his head to the lonely picture in his desk.

I was still lost after hearing my dreaded dismissal; I guess my eyes had a faraway look, because Mr. Smith continued without waiting for my answer.

“My daughter is 22 and studying the same career you took before you…, well…, departed for much more lucrative horizons. My daughter is not doing very well this term and she needs a tutor. I will do anything to make my daughter happy, Ms. Leeds and that includes hiring some aide for her. I’m offering you this: the same pay you were receiving here, and the opportunity to finish your Economics Degree at my expense. This contract will end when my daughter graduates. After that you are free to do as you wish with your new title and a nice bonus. If you can’t make my daughter pass, I will remove my support and you are on your own.” He waited with his fingers still entwined, his gold wedding band gleaming in the artificial white light.

At the mention of same pay and finishing my degree, I was back to the land of the living. This was weird, he was giving me too much for just a tutoring job.

“Excuse me if I’m skeptic Mr. Smith, but isn’t that too much for a tutoring job?”

“Yes. I expect an aide for my daughter Ms. Leeds, not only a tutor. You will have to fulfill any requirement she has.”

“That sounds like I will be her personal servant,” that didn’t sound too bad, it would be like being her maid.

“An aide is more than a servant Ms. Leeds, has more responsibilities, but yes, you will do servant duties too.”

“You spoil her.”

“Yes. That I do. And you will have a second chance thanks to my bad parenting.”

I thought about my now last job, and the money I would need to finish my dream career. It will take me more than two years to save enough to pay it on my own. I looked at the picture on his desk, a girl of maybe twelve was looking at the camera, her smile was radiant, even with her steel bracers. Her hair was dark and styled in beautiful curls that fell over her shoulders. But the most striking features were her grey eyes. She seemed like a sweet girl.

“When do I start Mr. Smith? I mean Boss.” I had already made my mind.

A small smile curved his lips. He opened one of his drawers, took a yellow envelope and gave it to me.

“Inside is everything you need to know, directions and her most recent picture. You will start two days from now. I casino firmaları will pay for your apartment maintenance, so you will need to sign some papers for me. You will live with my daughter, that means your life accommodations and food are already provided for. Your enrolment is one phone call away. Trisha has your wage settlement, when you go outside, talk to her.”

I was standing up to leave when my boss made me stop.

“There is another thing Ms. Leeds, I expect you to look your best. Believe me, that is a necessity around my daughter. And please don’t bring any man to the house. Your Sunday is free, unless otherwise notified, if that happens your next free day is Monday. Have a nice day Ms. Leeds,” he stretched his big hand towards me.

“Wow. Mr. Smith… I mean Boss, I will not disappoint you,” I replied as I reached over to bridge the gap towards a new section of my life. Even as his large hand enveloped my smaller one, I shook his hand with more force that I intended.

Chapter 1: The Vision

The taxi left me in a nice neighborhood just outside college grounds in front of a building. The building was of new design, with curves and angles in weird places. I could see two doors from my actual position. With a deep breath, I walked straight to the first one. My heels clicked against the brick floor; my right arm dragged my wheeled travel bag, while my left held my phone. At the door I could read, ‘Art Gallery & Museum’ and the hours it would be open. Just below it said in hand writing: “Temporary Closed. Back at 3:00 p.m.”, I checked my watch, 2:51 p.m.

I checked the direction I was given and confirmed this was the place.

I decided to try the second door. I straightened my white summer dress, arranged my sun hat, and redirected my steps there.

It was a glass door like the one at the gallery. I put my cell phone inside my handbag and tried the door. It didn’t budge.

I did a second take on the door and found it had a keycard lock. I rummaged in my purse, remembering that inside the envelope Mr. Smith gave me, was a keycard that might work on the door. At two inches of distance the door buzzed, I pushed and it opened.

Inside was a small corridor, lit with two rectangular fluorescent lights stuck to the ceiling. A wooden door was at the end of the corridor, an elevator to my left and to its side was a set of double doors, which I supposed, were the stairs from the sign on the doors.

I verified the floor number, got inside the elevator and pushed the button to the third floor. As I waited I checked myself in the mirrored interior; moved a misplaced strand of my light brown hair and beamed at myself a radiant smile. No, this wouldn’t do. I removed my sunglasses and tried again. Now this was a winner’s smile.

The elevator wasn’t moving.

This was weird. I saw there was a scanner nearby and passed the keycard on the scanner. Then, with a start, the elevator started to move.

When the doors opened I found myself facing a big studio apartment.

Inside, the apartment seemed to be one large room. Upon further inspection, I noticed that it was deserted and quiet. With my new boss probably away at school, I decided to explore a bit. In one corner was a small kitchen with an electric stove, and a medium fridge; a transparent table with its four plastic see through chairs; a very cozy living room with a white sofa and matching loveseat, a flat screen TV rested on top of a glass furniture; the bathroom was on a corner and it was the only part of the apartment enclosed, and out of sight; close to the bathroom was a white dresser, with its matching chair, in an early twenty century style.

Beside the dresser stood a large King Sized bed which was completely disheveled. Some clothes scattered on and all around the floor. Was that a thong?

If I remembered my duties I had to keep this apartment clean and tidy. It would take me hours to do that.

It seemed that I bit off more that I could chew. Too late though. I was already knee deep into this. It was a good thing that I brought flats for house labor.

A piece of paper was neatly folded over and sat on the transparent table. I reached out and read ‘Tara Leeds’ on the outside. I opened it and found it was an apology note. She couldn’t receive me and it seemed she will be back at seven. I averted my eyes to the wall clock, it read 3:04 p.m. The note then continues on to tell me that I should unpack my things and put them in the space she made for me in the closet.

There was a space in the wall besides the bed, it seemed the closet was there. I found the sliding doors, disguised as part of the wall motif, and opened it.

I looked at the many drawers and clothes hanging. I slid one of the drawers open only to find her bras. Nope. Not here. I tried different drawers until I found my space. This girl had good taste. I found her panties, garter belt, and pantyhose; she even had silk stockings. Her shorts and skirts were out-fashion, but were of güvenilir casino excellent quality. She had very few t-shirts, but plenty of knit sweaters. After finding the spot that my new boss had left me, I quickly unpacked.

When I finished unpacking, I decided to start cleaning.

*****

It took me almost three hours to end my work.

Tired and sore in the back and arms, I sat on the loveseat waiting for my ‘other’ new boss when exactly at seven, the elevator doors opened and, as weirdly as it sounds, a vintage beauty entered the room.

The woman was dressed in a vibrant red coatdress, neat white gloves, closed two inches heel shoes, and she was wearing a small red hat, what’s the name…? Pillbox hat I think, like the one Jackie Kennedy used. Her long dark hair was styled in gorgeous round curls, and she adorned her neck and earlobes with a set of pearl necklace and earrings. She looked like a movie star from the 50’s or early 60’s. When her eyes landed on me they lit up in recognition.

“You must be Tara Leeds,” she walked to me stretching her hand, palm down, like a High Society Lady. I was still dumbfounded, but her closeness made me react. I stood and took her hand, “Bethany Smith,” she added with her head cocked to one side.

She was almost three inches taller than my 5’7″; her stature imposing on me. I can say she exuded so much strength and confidence in herself wearing that elegant attire that I was having problems to talk back.

“I have that effect on women,” she mumbled when I didn’t answer. Where have I heard that sentence before?

I had to say something fast. I didn’t want to look like an idiot.

“You have a really beautiful set of clothes,” I found myself saying. I kicked myself mentally. (Go ahead Tara, make a fool of yourself.)

“Oh! You have a tongue!” she made fun of me.

“Well yes! It’s not every time that you get to see a fashion advertisement of 1957,” I began to wonder if the sweet girl of that family picture was a figment of my imagination.

She leaned her head to the right and closed her eyes, at the same time she put a gloved hand on her forehead, almost covering one eye.

“Sorry. I forgot I was wearing this,” she seemed mortified, “I will change and then we can talk.”

She made a gesture toward her bed, but realized that it was clean. This prompted her to scan the whole apartment and found herself facing me with wide open eyes.

“You cleaned all these?” She was amazed.

“It’s part of my job right?”

“You did it without me telling you to. That’s efficiency. Now I know why my father sent you with me,” she walked to the bed and proceeded to remove her gloves, hat and shoes. When she started with her dress I politely turned around.

“You are respectful, that’s good,” I heard the sound of clothes falling. Then I heard the sound of the closet sliding door, followed by the noise of fabric against skin.

“You can turn around,” her voice was husky and seductive.

I did and found she was wearing a short black nightgown. It was transparent, and I could see her underwear bellow, lacy bra and panties. She sat on her bed and crossed her legs.

She made a visual check on me. I felt uncomfortable.

“That summer dress is beautiful, and you know how to enhance your image. That loose strand of hair is a nice addition. Did my father tell you that you must look fashionable around me?”

“He told me I should look my best,” I was still standing in the living room. I felt at discomfort. Was I in a trial?

“What else did my father tell you?” She leaned forward crossing her arms above her knee.

“You are twenty two years old, and is studying a Degree in Economics; that you are failing your course, and that you need tutoring,” I went on, “Also, I was to become your aide, and it seems, also your maid.”

“It’s that all?”

“That I had to follow all your instructions.”

She was quiet for a while, her mind pondering if she should tell me something or not.

“My father didn’t tell you an important thing. I will not judge you if you decide to turn around and go home,” she was avoiding my gaze, a sign of nervousness.

“What did he miss?” I was starting to worry as well.

“I am a lesbian Tara. Do you think you can handle it? I mean, you will be living in the same roof with someone that finds you beautiful and desirable.”

“I need to sit,” that feeling of weakness was back.

“Go on,” she motioned to the couch.

I slumped on the couch, my hands back into my face. Damned Smith! He tricked me! I would have to do everything she tells me! I thought it better after a little while and in no way I will run away from this deal. It’s my last chance to straighten my life.

“I suppose you aren’t going to ask me to have sex with you,” I questioned two minutes later, breaking through the awkward silence, slicing through the tension that was so thick I felt I was suffocating.

“Of course not you silly! I tried to do that with my last tutor before and it blew up in my face.”

I looked at her with my eyes wide open, shocked, mouth open.

“Geez! Chill out! I was joking.” Was she? Her gaze averted, purposely avoiding my eyes.

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