Christine rubbed her tired eyes, not caring if she was smudging her mascara. She had screwed up her boss’s schedule – again – and she was working late to try and sort out the tangles. It wasn’t her fault; at thirty two, this was the first job she had ever had, and she was bound to make mistakes. Unfortunately, it was taking its toll on her already low spirits.
Her husband had left her almost eight months ago for a younger, prettier model who hadn’t seen so much wear and tear. She and Adrian had gotten married straight out of high school, and it wasn’t really surprising that fourteen years on he had wanted a bit of variety. She didn’t think he realized how hard it had been on her – how hard it still was. She had never dated, let alone slept with another man, and her emotions and confidence were both in shreds. The last thing she had wanted was to take this job as an assistant for a big shot executive, but it had been necessary to make ends meet. Blinking back tears of self-pity, Christine put the finishing touches to next week’s schedule just as the door of the office opened.
She almost did a double take. Maybe she had fallen asleep? In front of her was an incredibly handsome young man, definitely nobody who worked in the office, probably in his mid-twenties. He looked vaguely familiar though; he was dressed in a casual business suit, the jacket slung over his shoulders and the tie a little crooked. He looked as if he had been running, but he was barely breathing hard. His dark brown hair was slightly tousled, and his deep blue eyes were agitated.
“Hi – do you know if Mr Calver is still in the office?” he asked. Christine felt a thrill go through her at his voice, dry and pleasant with a deep masculine twang and an accent which hinted at a private education.
“I’m sorry, Mr Tyler has already left for the evening. He had a dinner appointment with his – oh!” Christine really did do a double take this time as she recognized the young man before her as none other than her boss’s son – who was most certainly not at dinner. “Oh no! Did I mess up the schedule again?” she said aloud in horror.
“No – I screwed up,” the young man admitted. “I’m Tyler Calver. I was supposed to meet my dad to go to dinner, but I was absolutely drowning with work and I couldn’t make it. I wondered if he’d still be waiting, but obviously not.” Without any more invitation, Tyler sat down on her desk with a thunk; Christine felt her heart thudding. She didn’t know what to say.
“Say,” Tyler said, scrutinizing her keenly. “Are you hungry?” Christine felt her heart leap.
“N-no,” she stammered, terrified at the thought of how much trouble she could get in for going to dinner with the boss’s son. She floundered for a solution. “I – we have some takeout menus,” she offered. She smiled a little. “On the company’s dollar, so technically your father would still be paying.”
“Perfect,” Tyler smiled, reaching a hand out for the sheaf of menus she handed to him. “Thai, Italian, Chinese – hmm.” He perused one menu with interest and scooted round so that he was leaning over Christine, just inches from touching her, to show her the menu. She didn’t hear what he said – her heart was beating too loudly. She felt dizzy at the mere presence of this man, so close to her she could feel his warmth and smell his clean, spicy scent. It had been so long since she had been touched – she was astonished and mortified that this closeness could have such an effect on her.
“Are you ok?” Tyler asked.
“Y-yes. Sorry, what did you say?” Christine recovered herself a little.
“I asked if this place was any good – I love tapas.”
“Yeah, it’s great,” Christine said. “The shrimp is delicious.”
“Tapas it is then,” Tyler smiled.
Christine twiddled her fingers while he was ordering, panicking a bit. When he had leaned over her like that – even when he had been sitting away from her – she had felt an attraction. If it took so little contact with a good looking man to turn her on, it had certainly been far too long since she had been with a man. But this situation – she didn’t know whether to make an excuse and leave or to stay in the company of Tyler Calver.
He decided it for her, sitting back casually on her desk and surveying her appraisingly.
“So you work for my dad?” he asked curiously. “What made you think you’d messed up?”
“I, well, I’m new at this job,” she admitted. “Before this my husband, well, that is my ex-husband, was the one with the job so I didn’t need one.”
As Tyler listened sympathetically she found herself talking not only about her worries with her job, but also about her divorce, how hard it had been on her, how she felt like she had been rejected. As the food came, Tyler began to open up too.
“I get it,” he agreed. “I’ve always been compared to my dad. As the firstborn son, everyone expects me to follow in his footsteps and be a huge success. But I’ve never been too interested in business and I find myself screwing up all the time,” he smiled ruefully. “My younger brother is the one with the flair. It’s not that I’m jealous but I feel like I can’t get up from under their shadows and be myself.”
“Me too,” Christine said emphatically. “It feels like I can’t move on from my marriage. It’s been so long and he was-” she broke off, blushing, before she revealed anything too personal.
Sensing her embarrassment, Tyler nudged a container of lightly sautéed shrimp towards her. “Your favorite,” he teased. “I ordered enough for two.”
The food was delicious, and they chatted easily about their lives and worries. Christine found herself not only attracted to Tyler but also liking his warm, relaxed and deprecating personality. As they cleared the remains of their shared meal, he looked at her speculatively.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” he said carefully, “how long has it been?”
“What?” Christine asked, although she knew what he was getting at.
“Since you had sex,” Tyler said unblushingly. “I mean, it’s the best way to move on from a relationship. Try something new, prove to yourself you’re still an attractive woman – which you sure are,” he added.
Christine blushed. “Since – since my marriage ended eight months ago – or a little longer actually,” she confesses. Tyler’s eyes widened slightly.
“How are you still alive?” he joked. “I think I couldn’t survive eight weeks!”
Christine wondered if the room had heated up of if it was just her cheeks. The conversation had turned incredibly intimate, and she was sure that Tyler was sitting closer to her than before.
“He – he is the only person I’ve ever been with,” Christine whispered.
“Oh,” Tyler said softly, leaning even closer. There were barely inches between their lips now. Christine thought her heart was going to burst.
Without any more words, Tyler captured her lips hungrily with his own.
At first Christine was startled, the feeling of Tyler’s hot, slightly chapped lips over hers strange and foreign. Then heat flooded through her body like hot liquor, and she found herself kissing back, harder, pushing back against him as his lips fought for dominance, pouring months of pent up lust and frustration into the kiss. He grabbed her by the back of the neck and pulled her roughly upwards so that she was standing against the desk, where he was still sitting. Still kissing her, alternately moving his mouth frantically against hers and using his teeth to nip and bite her plump, red lips, he slid into a standing position, pulling her flush against him.