In twenty-four hours, Dorian Zane had not rung her phone, sent a personal email or even text her. Chon was suffering as every second passed, waiting for him or HR to call and dismiss her.
Her nails were almost gone bitten down in worry, and any snacks in her house were little to none.
According to her phone, he’d checked in every appointment and had completed all the tasks she needed him to do for her to finish up his presentation for his early Friday digital conference meeting.
He even uploaded the samples she needed to make the Powerpoint slides. Why was he on his best behavior?
She sent the slides to him for approval and even prepared the board to send to the in-house printing staff as soon as possible after formatting them on her day off before heading to the meeting with Andi.
The only person who called her phone was Austin, but she ignored every text, phone call and email he sent requesting to come over to talk to her.
She didn’t trust herself to be alone with Austin, and after what he said about her to Tracy – referring to Chon as a tramp – Chon didn’t want to hear what he was going to manipulate her next time. Austin’s words had been her weakness, since the beginning.
Never having the pleasure of kinds words made it difficult for Chon to understand what it meant for someone to just say them to her. Austin’s kindness from the beginning had all been a facade for just one thing, what was between her legs and her organizational skills.
Eventually, as was his habit to get what he wanted, Austin would most likely stop by unannounced when he couldn’t get in touch with her, and she prayed she could just hide in her home and stay away from him when she wasn’t at work.
Chon wanted to be angry with him enough to be sure she wouldn’t take him back, but Austin was her first. Maybe she was a glutton for punishment, maybe she was just pathetic, but Chon knew despite everything he had done, there was still a possibility she could become weak for him and allow him to use her all over again.
“You look preoccupied,” Andi said as they finished lunch at Red Olives in the City of Southfield, a small suburb outside of Detroit.
“I’m sorry. I have so much on my mind,” Chon apologized. “But I swear giving me this chance to take on your client list and business is an honor, Andi.”
“Oh please, you’re doing me a favor. I was worried when I made the decision to leave the city with my new husband and child of my clients being left with no one to help them. I saw your work and knew you’d be best for them. I love your style, and your quality is second to none.”
That was a huge compliment coming from Andi, who had built a very successful business in wig making and was giving her business away to Chon with only a twenty-five thousand dollar investment.
“What’s on your mind, if I may ask?” Andi inquired.
They were about the same age. Andi was a successful African American entrepreneur that had been through a struggle early in life trying to raise a son on her own and also build a business.
“My ex and my current client,” Chon confessed.
“The same man or is this some weird love triangle?”
Chon chuckled. “I hate to disappoint you, especially with all the freakiness going on in today’s media, but it’s two different men and no triangle. I’m not kinky at all.”
Andi smiled. “I don’t know if that’s any better. So what’s going on with the ex?”
“I’m still hung up on him. He was my first, but he’s going to be married, and he’s still sending me signals like he wants to be with me,” Chon shamefully admitted. “I got drunk with him recently, and I can’t remember what the hell happened…” Her mind drifted for a moment to what Austin had said to Tracy. “I can’t understand what happened.”
“And the client?”
“He’s a pain in the ass,” Chon said sourly. “I’m organizing his work life, and I think his goal is to disorganize my sanity.”
“Wow! Now I see why you’re a little frazzled, but let’s go back to the ex and please stop me if I’m too nosey. What made him an ex?”
Chon was almost ashamed to admit what had happened out loud with Austin. “He broke it off shortly after going to the Prom with me after he took my virginity. “He’s my brother’s best friend, so he’s in and out of my life a lot.”
“Wait?! One time? That was it before he broke it off?”
“Well, I thought, well. I was young,” Chon said flushing.
“I understand, but he’s never officially been like a boyfriend. Long walks, flowers, not even a damn dinner date.”
“Secret dinners. We try to go places we know we don’t get recognized. My ex-boyfriend, who’s also my brother’s best friend said, it wouldn’t be good if my brother found out about us. There hasn’t been anything official between us. He said it wouldn’t happen again after prom, but then every once in a while… well…”
Andi nodded fully understanding. “He’s a fucker. Let me guess over the years; he’s come back only when he wants something.”
Biting on her index finger, Chon responded, “Pretty much and I know I’m stupid to allow him to keep coming back into my life, but he was my first.”
Andi leaned forward. “You just need to understand your worth, Chon, but while you’re doing that you need to know what’s out there.” She reached into her purse and pulled out a business card. “This is a friend who helps women like us out. Busy, hardworking women, like us.”
“Like us?” Chon question.
“Yes. I no longer need this card because I’m newly married, but back in the day, I realized from others like us, single successful women need a release without all the strings attached.”
The idea of hiring some man to put his hands on her was almost degrading. Why would she even think of allowing a man to give her release she had paid? Getting her rocks off with another man seemed as if maybe that would help her to keep away from Austin.
Chon still took the card not wanting to insult Andi by not taking it. It was all entirely white with writing on the front in gold lettering – Derrick McGhee. It was just a name and number and nothing else.
“What do I do?” Chon questioned.
“Go out on a date, maybe a dinner at Gaston’s Restaurant, have fun and then just let yourself go. Sometimes a touch of a man, a real man, can change everything in life for a woman” A wicked smile passed over Andi’s full lips.
The realization hit her, and she hissed, “Are you setting me up with a male prostitute? An actual male prostitute?”
Andi chuckled with a wink. “You’re not paying for sex. You’re paying for a nice relaxing night.” Leaning close, Andi said, “That’s what’s wrong with women today. We have to understand, sex is not all about just the end, but the journey.”
Chon blushed at her inexperience, but still took the card, yet she knew she would never have the guts to use it. She would never take a chance on having sex with just anyone.
She would be stuck forever with the thought that Austin would probably be her only and last partner in sex she would ever experience. She was almost three decades, and no other guys had ever interested her.
Although she did push out the thought, she had never given a guy a chance to interest her, and the thought Austin was going to be her last one made her a little depressed.
She had other priorities, other problems and other stressors going on in her life.
Like Dorian Zane.
She didn’t’ want to start thinking about that asshole.
To get her mind off of herself, Chon diverted the conversation back to the business at hand working over the timeline with Andi and then signing the promissory statements, which would ensure Andi would not sell the business before February first of the following year if she didn’t receive the final payment from Chon.
When Chon went back to her car, she slipped the card into the front pocket of her purse with every intention of throwing the card away.
A date, have fun and then what? Really? Relax? With another man?
If Andi ever asked for the card to be returned, Chon could just pretend she made a mistake and lost it.
Just Chon pulled up to her home; she noticed an undercover police car leaving. She was able to spot the vehicle from the red and blue lights installed in the back window and the municipal plates.
Were they at her home? Or in the neighborhood? She wondered entering into the house; Chon checked Dorian Zane’s voicemail and email. He had cleaned out the majority of urgent requests, so her workload was very manageable. He had approved the slides, and she was able to get the job over to the printers before they closed. There were some assigned tasks from him, which she really could have waited until she returned to work, but she decided to just get those out of the way as well.
Chon felt with the way the next day was going to go; she needed her hands as free as possible.
Knowing Dorian was aware of what he knew and what he saw, she just wanted to call him and ask what he was going to do.
She had a feeling Dorian would just be an ass and enjoy her suffering.
After doing her weekly evaluation of her job assessment, along with her hours to HR, Chon worked a little on her business plan and reworked her budget. If she took on additional hair clients and completed this organization project by the assigned time, she would have the money for Andi. Of course, it would mean working herself to sleepless nights, not having a life and being so busy, she didn’t even know where she would fit in sleep.
To keep herself busy and not think about anything, while she fixed dinner, Chon worked on a client’s wig before getting ready for bed.
Having a routine helped a lot. She didn’t feel out of sorts, and she wasn’t inclined to stuff herself so much out of misery and to purge all of it from guilt.
Staying away from Austin was the key to her sanity.
Getting a gigolo to “relieve” herself as Andi had suggested was insane.
The idea, though, seemed almost sweet. Sex with Austin hadn’t been all that fulfilling, and maybe she was missing something because she heard how beautiful all other women had spoken about sex with men.
She wasn’t brave enough to just hire a man to touch her.
The idea made her stomach queasy.
Stop thinking about this! She ordered herself.
She just had to get through this assignment with Dorian Zane with what was left of her brain cells, raise the money she needed to get her own business and just keep to herself… forever.
Maybe when this was all over, she’d get herself a cat.
All rights reserved. 2016(c)Sylva Hubbard
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