Copyright 2020 Ramona Gray
“What are you doing this weekend?” Jemma said as we grabbed our morning coffee from the kitchen.
“I have church on Sunday.”
“You want to go shopping with me on Saturday?” Jemma poured a healthy dollop of cream into her coffee. “I’m going to the mall to do some birthday shopping for my mom and we could even, I don’t know, check out a few clothing stores.”
Her gaze slid over my ill-fitting outfit again and my cheeks flushed. I took the creamer from her. “Uh, thanks for the offer, Jemma but I don’t think -”
“Come on, Naomi,” Jemma said. “I hate shopping alone.”
I poured cream into my coffee and stirred it as I considered what to say. Jemma had started working for the company only a month ago and despite our different lifestyles, I really liked her. I didn’t have many friends – hell, I didn’t have any friends thanks to my father’s controlling attitude – and the urge to pretend to be normal, to go out on a Saturday shopping with a friend was hard to resist. I usually spent Saturdays with my parents or participating in a church related activity.
“Can I, um, get back to you about it?” I said.
“Sure,” Jemma said. “Just let me know by Friday. Okay?”
“Yeah, okay. Thanks,” I said.
We both froze when we heard the deep voice behind us. “Good morning, ladies.”
I gave Mason Shaw, the CFO of the company, a nervous smile but Jemma’s face lit up.
In a low seductive voice that I knew I would never be able to imitate, she said, “Hello, Mr. Shaw. How was your weekend?”
“Excellent, Jemma, thank you. How was yours?”
“Wonderful,” she purred.
I stared at the floor and blinked in surprise when Mason said, “And yours, Naomi?”
He knew my first name. Mason Shaw knew my first name.
“Naomi?” he prompted.
I swallowed and forced myself to raise my gaze, meeting his hazel eyes with difficulty. “It was good, thank you.”
A little shiver ran down my spine. Mason was giving me a look that I had never seen before from him. Hell, until this moment, I don’t think he had ever even looked at me. Now, there was something like appreciation in his gaze as it dropped briefly to my breasts well-hidden beneath my baggy shirt before rising to my face again.
“Glad to hear it,” he said before smiling and opening the fridge. He grabbed a juice and left the kitchen as Jemma eyed his ass with unabashed delight.
When he was gone, she breathed, “Holy shit. Did you see the way he looked at you?”
I flushed. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Jemma rolled her eyes. “Bullshit, Naomi. You’re twenty-three years old – you know when a man wants you.”
“Mason Shaw doesn’t want me. You – you’re being ridiculous, Jemma.”
She frowned at me. “No, I’m not. Just, be careful, okay? Sleeping with the boss can be very dangerous.”
“I’m not going to sleep with him!” My voice was too loud, and I cringed before lowering it. “I’m not going to sleep with Mason Shaw.”
“Probably a wise move,” Jemma said. “I know technically he’s not your boss, but you know that he and Dane are super close. Sleeping with Mason would be like sleeping with your boss.”
She suddenly fanned her face. “Jesus, what I wouldn’t give to be the meat in a Mason/Dane sandwich.”
I stared wide-eyed at her. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“Oh, please,” she said. “You can’t tell me you haven’t heard the rumours.”
“I – they’re just rumours,” I said.
“Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. But personally, I choose to believe that those two fucking hot studs are exactly what the rumours say they are. I’ve heard that they won’t even sleep with a woman unless she agrees to fuck them both. Hell, Missy from accounting says that she was at a bar last year and she watched the two of them hit on a woman together. She says they had the woman eating out of their hands in less than five minutes and the three of them left together.”
She sighed happily. “Could you even imagine what it would be like to be fucked by the both of them?”
When I didn’t reply, she elbowed me in the side and grinned. “I can imagine it. In fact, I’ve imagined it many times.”
“I have to go,” I mumbled. “Mr. Wilson asked me to come in early to work on the Stanton file.”
I hurried out of the kitchen before Jemma could reply. My cheeks were flushed, and my pelvis and breasts were suddenly throbbing.
Get a hold of yourself, I scolded myself fiercely. Even if Mason Shaw had suddenly lost his mind and wanted me, Dane Wilson certainly did not. My boss was sinfully gorgeous with his dark hair and dark eyes, but he was also cold and aloof, and I was pretty sure he thought I was a complete waste of space. I was lucky he’d even hired me. I had absolutely zero experience and I’d lied horrendously in the interview. I’d spent the first two weeks of my new job, sweating bullets and secretly trying to learn the computer system before my lies were discovered. Even now, three months later, I was terrified that my deception would be discovered even though I had a pretty good handle on my day-to-day tasks.
I needed this job. It paid well and it was my only hope for breaking free of my father’s control. Speaking of which, my heart lifted when I saw the plain white envelope sitting on my desk. It was my paycheque. Payroll was a bit surprised when I requested to be paid by cheque instead of direct deposit, but it was a necessity. My father demanded that I hand my earnings over to him, insistent that as a woman I didn’t possess the qualities needed to properly manage my money. I couldn’t very well refuse, considering that I was given permission to get a job based solely on my admission that I wanted to do so in order to both help the family and save for my future wedding.
But I lied about my starting wage and every payday I used my lunch hour to go to the bank and cash my cheque. I kept back nearly two hundred dollars from each pay, hiding it in a box tucked under a loose floorboard in my room. In another six months or so I’d have enough money for a deposit on an apartment. I would be free of my father, free of the religious cult he had immersed us in, and I’d never have to suffer the humiliation of being nothing more than a man’s possession.
I tucked my paycheque into my purse and turned on my computer. Mr. Wilson’s office door was closed but I had no doubt he was in there. He always arrived before everyone else and I knew he would be waiting impatiently for the Stanton file. I took a deep breath, pushed away the image of Mason Shaw staring at my breasts, and waited patiently for my computer to boot up.