Context: another sample from another project., possible sequel to the story sampled last week. A simple text message, an unusual birthday gift.
“7:00 tonight. Wear the dress.”
I received the text message from Ellis almost in time for our office manager Callia to arrive at my desk with a box and the largest bouquet of roses I had ever seen. I recalled all the times I would watch her walk past with various bouquets meant for others on anniversaries or Valentine’s day and would feel a mild combination of jealousy and longing.
“Happy birthday, by the way.” She said, offering the items.
“Thanks, Callia.” I smiled, ever in awe of her encyclopedic knowledge of the office and everyone in it.
Later that evening…
Teetering on heels, I walked through the lobby of a hotel that probably charged at least twice as much per night than I paid in rent for a month. I never wore heels, but the dress sort of required it. I was also extremely self-conscious about how cold the HVAC was running. With its low back, slim straps, and skintight silhouette that only flared out below the knees, the idea of wearing a bra or panties was laughable. So, despite the long, blood-red dress and long black leather opera gloves, I felt naked.
What was Ellis playing at? He knew that I was never one for public humiliation games, I even told him as much when he suggested I wear a remote-control vibrator at work that he could control through an app. I offered that I would only agree to such an arrangement for a day if he agreed to a week with his cock locked in a cage. We ended at a stalemate.
Ellis had sent me the address, but was I supposed to meet him in the lobby or call up to a room? It really wouldn’t surprise me if he kept a posh penthouse somewhere like this. As if reading my mind, my phone buzzed inside my clutch.
“Bar.” Was all the text said.
Peering in the dark, I looked around, but couldn’t find Ellis. So, I did what any sensible person would do and sat at the bar.
“One sazerac, please.” I said to the bartender, who looked like he had wandered straight out of a Gilded Age novel with his perfectly pomaded hair, immaculate white button-down and crisp black waistcoat and slacks. Even an elegant gold chain for a pocket watch dangled from his waistcoat pocket.
“Would you like to open a tab, Miss?” He asked after the most graceful execution of mixing in a Boston shaker and pouring into a highball glass that I’d ever seen.
I took a sip and was floored by the most perfect sazerac I had ever tasted. The burn of the rye, the slight herbal sweetness from just a hint of absinthe and the sparest top note of bitters, likely house made, almost brought tears to my eyes. Even the curl of orange peel was flawless with not a spot of pith on it. It took me a moment to recall that this angelic gentleman had asked me a question.
“Just put it on my tab, Charles.” a voice interrupted before I could answer.
“Very well, Sir.”
I knew it wasn’t Ellis before I turned around. The voice was deep, but had a different timbre to it, didn’t have the slight drawl Ellis hid from the public, but lapsed into whenever he visited his mother’s family farm.
“Thank you, but I’m perfectly capable of buying my own drinks.” I said.
“I never said you were incapable of buying yourself a drink.” The man sat down uncomfortably close next to me at the bar, his leg grazing against mine as he sat. “I just wanted to buy a beautiful girl a drink.”
“I’m actually waiting for someone.” I turned to look at him, more than ready to tell him to fuck off if he couldn’t take a hint.
Tall, clean-shaven, square-jawed, broad-shouldered, thick dark hair and bright, yet serious eyes. He could pass for Ellis’s brother if his eyes had a bit more green in them.
“Really?” He asked, leaning in close despite the noise level being low enough for us to talk well outside of personal space. “I was under the impression you were waiting for me. My mistake.”
Before I could retort, my phone buzzed again.
“Let him buy you a drink.”
“Stay with him.”
“What the hell?” I looked around, wondering what sort of game Ellis was playing at, if he was in one of the booths along the side walls watching this unfold.
“If you’re already otherwise engaged, I’ll excuse myself.” He said, looking around the room as if to say that I was merely one of multiple targets he had that evening.
“No, wait.” I unconsciously grabbed his forearm to stop him.
He looked down at me, amused. “So, you’re available after all? Lucky me.”