He slammed the office door and turned to her. “I see why they hired you.”
“Really?” Chon went over to his desk, looked at his desk phone and all the paperwork overwhelming the top.
Dorian quickly closed down the screen of his computer and gave her a full look of mistrust.
Now that they were alone, she could fully assess him.
Dorian Zane was a force to be reckoned with honey amber skin encasing a firm natural muscular body; Broad shoulders, thick arms, and powerful hands rested on his hips, which moved down to firm long legs and a lean waist.
“Are you done?” he questioned.
She smiled not at all embarrassed by her visual assessment. “For now.” Taking out her electronic note, she introduced herself properly. “I’m Chon Tolbert. I’m here to make your life a little easier, Mr. Zane, whether you want me to or not.”
He slowly sat down in his chair behind the desk, never breaking eye contact. The dark blue shirt was perfect for him with a matching blue silk tie and a Rolex.
She figured the tie was a gift and the watch was inherited because it was an older version.
He was a man with simple taste, but a need for detail. Dorian’s attention to detail seemed to consume his life as she noticed the perfect lines around his office; The pictures, even the straight pencils laid on his desk. Each piece of paper in every file sitting around straight.
This man had some inner problems from something in his past that almost frightened her. His need for order almost burst, and that was only to hide something so wrong she didn’t know if anyone could make it right.
“Can we get an understanding now?” He asked. “I really don’t like nosey ass people, and my work is important to me.”
“The only way this relationship will work is with honesty and trust. I’ve worked with creative people before you. I understand your work is important, but I could care less about what you’re creating. Organizing the technical mess you’re making while you’re creating is what I do. You will have my complete trust as long as you are honest with me.”
He seemed to relax just a little. Opening a drawer on his right, he handed Chon a pre-printed paper.
“These are pass codes to your computer, sync codes for the VPN to my computer at the office, at home and my phone, including the contact information. I’ve also included other information that’s pertinent to being any assistance to me.”
Oddly, he had also included his date of birth, along with his sister and mother’s. His home address listed a Detroit townhouse location, not too far from Downtown Detroit and even his car phone was listed, along with the passcodes to unlock them and start the vehicle.
“I see your sister’s birthday is coming up, along with your mother’s a week later.”
“They are?” he asked surprised.
“It’s on your info sheet,” she pointed out.
“The last person I trusted wrote that up,” Dorian said nonchalantly.
“What would you like me to get them?” she inquired.
“It doesn’t matter. My mother is still pissed I missed their birthdays for the past five years.”
She almost said something snarky but bit her lip. Wow, he had the time for family, but selfishly never bothered with them.
“If you want any recent calendar appointments, you’ll have to consult the girl who does it for most of the general mechanical engineers. I don’t have a personal life, but I do expect you to respect my creative times. I tend to migrate toward being alone rather than consorting with anyone.”
“The less I speak with you, the better. You get one chance with me, Ms. Tolbert. Don’t end up like the others.” He picked up his phone and dialed someone while turning his back to her.
His dismissal was just like him, and she wasn’t insulted. Chon expected this type of treatment.
She left out the office and went over to her cubicle. The wall of the cubicle closest to Dorian’s office had been adjusted to cover her from the rest of the office, but also to block her from his view if he came out of his office.
From the carpet, it looked as if the panel had moved or removed.
Most likely from the many others mentioned.
After Chon had logged in, she verified she needed an updated version of the scheduling software along with specific applications to assist her. Most administrative assistants didn’t know how to work the software properly and did everything by hand, yet with an ornery man like Dorian Zane, Chon had a feeling technology would be her best friend and she was good with that.
Locking up her computer while it updated, she went to the employee kitchen to find her a cup of coffee. She saw there was a dollar charge for the coffee fund and had no problem putting some money in the jar on the counter.
She’d taken the sheet with Dorian’s information so that she could peruse it over. On the sheet, someone had written Dorian Zane liked Black tea scalding in the morning, green tea with honey and lemon in the afternoon and the evening an occasional Earl Gray with a teaspoon of honey upon request.
Chon found none of these teas in the kitchen and wondered did Mr. Zane have a petty cash budget.
His needs were particular, and she wasn’t going to spend her hard earned money to make him happy.
Tracy came into the employee kitchen as if making an announcement.
Chon turned away as if she had not noticed Tracy’s entrance, hoping the woman would just leave.
“You’re the new girl, right?” Tracy asked as if she had just forgotten about her already.
“Only part time,” Chon said lightly, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
“There is a five dollar a week coffee fund,” Tracy pointed out.
“I’ll make sure I pay,” Chon said, really wanting to get away from this woman.
“So you and Austin were together?”
Chon shrugged. “Is that what he said?”
“He said it was a physical relationship,” Tracy said this accusingly.
To keep her emotions to herself, Chon sipped her coffee before answering. “Honestly, you should discuss this with Austin, not me.”
“I know what you two did together. I just want to know how was it?”
Chon shrugged again. “Compared to what? Austin was my first, and I haven’t had one since.”
“What are you? Forty?” Tracy cackled. “Was he that good you just don’t want another man?”
“You should talk to Austin,” Chon said stiffly.
Tracy frowned, but then looked proudly. “We’re remaining celibate until the wedding. I’m not that type of girl.”
“Good for you. Excuse me.” Chon was trying very hard to fake politeness before walking out of the employee cafeteria.
Chon found the coffee fund person immediately and made sure they knew she paid for her cup before returning to her desk. Once she went through to verify all the updates, she started the sync between his phone and hers.
She installed applications to his computer and modernized his phone as well.
Looking through the directory, her stomach sank as she found out Tracy was the mechanical general assistant for all the other engineers on the floor.
Now Chon would have to speak to the woman again.
The only person that grated on her nerves Chon ever put up with was Grandmother Wei. Even her brother was finding it difficult to just speak to Chon any which way.
This Tracy broad was grating on her last nerves, and there was just something about her Chon just didn’t like.
Since she was waiting for applications to update, Chon decided to stroll over to Tracy’s desk and find the information she needed.
“Hi,” Chon said politely as possible, walking up to Tracy.
Another woman was there with Tracy, and they were in a deep discussion about something that had nothing to do with office business, whispering hastily.
Chon was sure Tracy deliberately kept her waiting more than a moment before ending her discussion with the other woman before turning her full attention to Chon.
“How may I help you?” Tracy asked as if she really was swamped, yet there was nothing on her desk that looked pending.
“I need a list of all past appointments from the time Mr. Zane originally was assigned this account. If I could just have a list of contacts-“
Tracy cut her off. “Why?”
“I’m trying to do my job,” Chon said quietly, pulling her hair behind her ear. “I also need to see any expenses on his current account and the budget, please. Thank you.”
Before Tracy could say more, Chon walked away to return to her cubicle.
In an hour, Tracy had sent her the budget and just as Chon assumed Dorian Zane made sure he had a personal expense account.
Most independent creatives wrote personal expenses in their contract, but either forgot to mention it or just forgot about it.
With the amount he had requested, Chon would be able to accommodate his unique, yet healthy taste.
After shooting an email off to the budget department for a requisition, she worked on aligning his calendar to what was required.
Three hours later, she was almost alone when his dark head came over the cubicle. He looked shocked she was almost hard to find.
“You’re leaving for good?” he questioned with an almost relieved look on his face.
“As much as you’d like that I have to disappoint. My schedule for you is four hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless you need something special. You can text me anything you require. I’ve updated your phone with contacts, so you’ll stop writing down all over your papers on your desk and added the voice recognition.”
“How?” he asked suspiciously.
“Your phone supports the voice recognition software application for the scheduling software, Mr. Zane.” She outstretched her hand in the direction of his cell phone. “May I have your phone?”
He warily handed her the unlocked phone.
She quickly pushed the application needed and then pressed a button. “In ten seconds, say your name and all the vowels, please.”
He did as he was instructed with his eyes never leaving hers.
Chon pushed another button. “Hit the volume button three times and just request a contact. Your phone will give you that person or place.”
“Your schedule will give you two reminders. I see you’ve been late for the last months’ appointment. I put the GPS software on your location to sync with mine. It works with the calendar and gives me a ping when you’ve reached the destination of any public meeting along with the time. And just in case you think someone can get my phone, it’s triple security with a pin, eye, and fingerprint.” She activated her phone to show him.
He looked a little relieved and oddly watched as she gathered her bags to get ready to go.
“That’s it?” he asked warily.
“I’m not here to interrupt your creative process, Mr. Zane,” she said staunchly. “I’m just doing my job to make your life easier.” She handed him an invoice.
“What’s this for?”
“I’m sending a bouquet of flowers to your mom and sister along with a box of mom and sister along with a box of Gaston Delight desserts to your mother. I spoke to her, and she’s a fan of sweet things.”
His eyes twinkled and Dorian Zane almost looked mildly impressed. “What did she say when you spoke to her?”
Chon quoted the woman. “She said her son is an ass and doesn’t give a fuck about his family.”
“That sounds just like my mother,” he said stoically and then walked away.
Feeling relieved she wouldn’t have to put up with him for a couple of days, Chon finished gathering her items and went to Debra’s office.
“How was your first day?” Debra questioned very concerned and looking worried.
“Interesting and amazed I’m still smiling,” Chon answered honestly. “He’s going to be one of my toughest clients, I have a feeling, but I love a challenge.”
“You look like you’re going to do fine,” Debra said shocked. “Everyone usually runs out of here crying the first day.”
“Well, I think he sees I don’t wither like the rest or he’s planning something else to get under my skin,” Chon said with a chuckle, but in truth, she had a feeling she didn’t elude Dorian Zane’s evilness unscathed on purpose. “Tracy is the general administrative assistant on the floor for all the mechanical engineers; I’m sure she has worked with Mr. Zane before. Why didn’t she go up for the position?”
Debra said, “She did, but our mechanical engineers on special projects do have a right to refuse work by someone and he put her on the top the list.”
That seemed strange for him to be so picky if Tracy did her job correctly.
“By the way, how many others have there been?” Chon inquired.
The human resource director rolled her eyes with frustration. “After he went through our internal pool, our external vendors refuse to answer our call; then we’ve just been having consultants who walk in and walk right back out. I’m committed to keeping you at whatever cost, Ms. Tolbert. You lasted one day without crying.”
This pleased Chon because if she could get through this assignment, she could have more than enough to invest in her own business.
Debra continued, “He’s always been a difficult man to work for, and Tracy barely could keep up with his work load demands. Most clients specifically ask for him and he tries to undertake all their request by himself. Dorian over works himself as if he’s driving to kill himself or work until he can’t think anymore when he finally does sleep.”
“So he’s trying to kill himself, you think?” Hence why his voicemail was so overloaded and why part of her time this morning was spent fielding his time out to very interested parties. “I might spend a little time tomorrow going through his voicemails some more and handling some personal business for him.”
“Please bill any extra hours to us. Dorian’s a commodity, and if we can find a way to keep him, the company is willing to do what is necessary. Dorian Zane leads the designs for solar power use in the business classification. Most of all his work has approval by the government and conservative groups. We can’t afford to lose him or this project.”
Chon was confident in her abilities to do her job with Dorian Zane. “Thanks, Debra.” She handed the completed employee packet to the human resources director. “I’ll see you around in a couple of days.”
Going down to the parking lot, she barely watched where she was going, but headed in the direction of where she had parked her car.
It was a midsize Ford Contour early two thousand that had been very dependable since she had bought it four years ago from this old woman who couldn’t drive anymore. Of course, the bright blue fender didn’t match the white exterior of the rest of the car, but she decided not to conform to painting the car. The mismatch colors just gave her car character.
“Chon,” Austin called out quietly, startling her.
The only sad part about her car having character is that it made it very easy to find her.
Putting away her phone, she smiled cordially at him.
Once he had her full attention, he moved to her and hugged her. This time for an awkwardly long time.
“You’ve always smelled so good to me,” he noted.
She tried to hide her attraction that was still strong for him. “Thanks, Austin,” she said, but really needed to put everything into perspective. Austin was her ex-boyfriend and he was engaged to someone else. “Tracy seems like a nice person.”
He moved away, but only slightly still holding her hand. “She’s decent,” he said with a nonchalant shrugged. “But she’s not you, Chon.”
Why did her legs feel weak at just the sound of her name from him? Maybe because she rarely heard her name said correctly. Usually, people pronounced it “Shawn” as if she had an A in her name. Austin had been around long enough to know she loved when her name was said just right.
He cupped her face. “You know I can’t forget our special times together, Chon.”
Special times she couldn’t even tell her brother. Austin had sworn her to secrecy, and she had never said a word to anyone about their trysts even though most times it was benefiting him and not her.
She gave into every time. Austin just knew how to pay the right kind of attention to her.
“I’d like to thank you again for this opportunity, Austin. This job is perfect for what I need,” she said, trying to change the conversation back to something safe.
“Well, Grandmother Wei’s organizational skills she taught you shouldn’t go to waste in some hair business.”
He sounded like her brother, but she didn’t say anything about that.
“Well, I still appreciate it.”
He edged closer to her. “You can show your appreciation by having dinner with me, tonight.”
In her weakened state for him, she knew dinner would lead to something else, but damn this was Austin, her first love.
“I guess I can have dinner with you tonight, but will Tracy be joining us?”
“She has to work late.” He kissed her cheek. “Our usual at eight?”
Austin drew her in his arms and kissed her fully on the lips. She let him, searching for the hotness she used to feel.
When he released her, she waited until he looked away slightly to wipe the film of slob from around her lips he always left. He didn’t kiss like she had seen in the movies. Austin liked really wet kisses, but she felt she could just accept this and maybe like it more after a while.
“I also wanted to warn you about your new boss,” he said.
She opened the door to her car and put down her purse and bag on the passenger side. “What about him? That he’s an ass?”
“No, Chon seriously. You head Debra praising me like that. I’m good at my job, and I could’ve done this project, but Dorian Zane is part of some secret kinky guy club. You be careful.” He caressed her cheek. “I don’t want him corrupting you. You’re such a good girl. You still keeping to yourself?” he questioned as if he owned her.
Trying to remember the good times was becoming harder and harder, but just the feeling of being possessed by a man made her feel so good about herself. Blushing, she admitted, “You know I am.”
He smiled pleased. “That’s my Chon. Haven’t been touched since, huh? Saving your cute self up all for me, right?”
She modestly nodded, blushing more. Five years, she had not been with a man since Austin cut her off cold turkey. She allowed him to kiss her briefly one last time before he walked away.
Sitting in the car and starting it up, she frowned and said out loud, “Kinky boy’s club?”
The only boy’s club she could imagine was the “No Girls Allowed” club from the Little Rascals and then there was the Brad Pitt fight club. What would Dorian Zane do in a kinky men club?
All Rights Reserved. 2016 (c) Sylvia Hubbard