Behind The Curtain

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“You wanted to see me, Shelby?” Annette Delany asked as she knocked on the opened door of the office and stuck her head inside. “Sally’s not at her desk and …”

“Come on in and have a seat, Annette.” he replied with a quick wave of his hand as he continued his phone conversation. “I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”

The 22 year old brunette stepped into the large office and sat down in one of the two chairs in front of Shelby’s large oak desk. Carefully she adjusted the conservative blue and white business suit she wore. She really would’ve preferred to have waited in the outer office while her boss finished up his business call but with his secretary at lunch she had no choice but to announce herself.

Shelby Thomas was 44 and quite a good looking man. He had brown hair and beard, which coupled with the glasses he wore always made Annette, think of one of her college professors. Still trim unlike most men his age, he was just beginning to fall victim to the effects of a lack of exercise. It was the price of success – too many hours spent behind the desk.

The young woman really didn’t know him too well. Aside from her original interview and office gatherings, she had few personal dealings with him other than staff meetings in her short time at the firm.

Not wanting to stare, Annette instead looked out the window, fixing her gaze on a ferry boat in the distant harbor. The view from Shelby’s office was certainly much better than hers, not that she ever thought of her cubicle as an office. One of the perks of success she reminded herself. After all, this was her first job since graduating college and she really hadn’t expected to start at the top. At least not in the first ten months at Moore and Stanley she reminded herself.

“…and I look forward to seeing you next week.” she heard Shelby say to his associate on the phone as he brought his conversation to a close.

Shelby took a few moments after he hung up the phone to jot down a few notes on a pad before looking up and giving Annette his full attention.

“I guess you’re wondering what was so important that it couldn’t wait until after lunch.” he said as he dropped his pen back into the holder on the edge of his desk.

Truthfully, Annette had a really bad feeling when Sally had called her an hour ago and said that Shelby wanted to see her at noon. One of her best friends had just been fired from her job a month before and her boss had done it during the lunch hour as to have as few people around while she cleaned out her desk as possible. She didn’t think Shelby was that kind of boss but didn’t many of these middle management types go to the same schools.

She’d wracked her brain to come up with any major error she had made and came up empty. In fact, she thought she was doing a really great job, a lot better than her predecessor had – and his performance had earned him a promotion.

“I’ve been going over your handling of the Peterson Foods account.” Shelby said without any preamble as he removed a large folder from his file cabinet. “In fact, Gustav Czerny, the general manager of Peterson called me this morning to comment on it as well.”

“Oh shit.” thought Annette, “They’re not happy with the changes I made. I knew I should’ve played it safe and just follow Carson’s previous recommendations.”

“Needless to say, Mr. Czerny was quite surprised at what he considered such a radical change in the way we handle his account.”

“I’m going to be fired!” the brunette said to herself she squeezed her hands together below Shelby’s line of sight.

“He also remarked that if he’d ever come across such malfeasance in his own organization, he’d have been inclined to immediately fire the individual responsible. After taking a more detailed look at these accounts, I had to tell him that I agreed.”

“Malfeasance?” Annette mentally repeated to herself, how could they even accuse her of such a thing. “All she did was correct what she had thought were sloppy errors and poor practices.”

“Needless to say, Jim Carson no longer works for this company.” she heard Shelby say.

“What?..” Annette said, confused.”

“And if it wasn’t for the bad publicity that would come out of it and the fact that I think it was more incompetence than malfeasance since he doesn’t seemed to have profited from the errors, I might’ve even considered criminal charges against him.”

“You fired Carson?” Annette repeated.

“I had to.” he replied. “This company can’t afford to lose clients because of shoddy work. The only reason we haven’t lost the Peterson account is that Czerny is willing to overlook Carson’s poor management if we guarantee a better handling of their affairs in the future. That plus a certain financial adjustment that I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time to read up on later. “

Shelby paused a few moments while he dropped the file back into his cabinet. Then with a much wider smile on his face he stated again.

“I know you haven’t been with us very long, Annette.” canlı bahis şirketleri he began. “but if you continue to deliver work like this I see a real future for you with our company. The most immediate aspect of my appreciation for your work will be seen in your check next week. It’s a small increase but one which I’m sure will be repeated on a much larger scale before long.”

“Thank you.” Annette said both in relief and appreciation.

“I wish it could’ve been more.” he said. “But as it is all I really did was move up the raise you would’ve been getting by a few months. At you’re level there are limits to what I can do in regards to salary.”

“It’s more than enough.” Annette said. “It’s enough to know that someone notices the work you put in.”

“But as far as other areas, I do have a bit more leeway.” Shelby noted. “I want you to take the rest of the day off.”

“You really don’t have to…” Annette started to say.

“…In fact.” Shelby cut her off. “I don’t expect to see you in this office again until Monday morning.”

“But it’s only Wednesday…” Annette noted.

“I’m well aware of that.” he responded. “And Monday is Monday, … I’m well aware that you’ve acquired the habit of coming in on weekends to catch up on some work. That’s commendable but not this weekend. “

Annette didn’t know what to say, except thank you one again.

“Now get out of here.” Shelby said in a mock gruff voice. “Some of us have work to do!”

Annette rose to her feet and started for the door. She was half way there when Shelby said in a much quieter tone.

“Enjoy the weekend.” he said as he looked up from his desk and admired the feminine form that even her austere attire couldn’t conceal.

“If I was only twenty years younger and not her boss.” he thought before he caught himself. – “Hell, forget the twenty years.” he concluded as he decided to allow himself this small indulgence. “If only I wasn’t her boss.”

Back at her cubicle, Annette took a half hour to finish up what she had been working on. It wasn’t that important, but it would’ve been on her mind all weekend if she hadn’t. By the time she shut down the computer on her desk, most of the other associates were returning from lunch.

Annette looked up from her desk to see a tall olive skinned blonde standing over her. Yvonne’s hair color was a recent change, prior to that she’d been a brunette just like Annette. She had to give her friend credit – she wouldn’t have had the nerve.

Yvonne was two years older than Annette and had been at the firm that much longer. She also had been hired right out of college. That was were the comparison had ended. Whereas Annette was always trying to blend in and let her work speak for her, her friend was always trying to be a center of attention. Like right now, she wore a blue skirt that most people would’ve considered too short for an office. A pristine white blouse that strained against an impressive bosom topped it.

“So what did old man Shelby want.” Yvonne asked.

“You really shouldn’t call him that.” Annette said. “He’s really not that old.”

“If he’s over 30, he’s old!” Yvonne replied. “So what happened?”

Annette quickly told the story.

“So they fired Jim Carson, huh.” the blonde noted. “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer prick.”

“That’s not very nice.” Annette said, trying to show some sympathy for the man.

“But true.” she said. “I went out with him for drinks one Friday night after work with some of the other associates. We wound up being the last two at the bar and he started giving me all that crap about how his wife didn’t understand him. All the while he was staring down my blouse to get a good look at my tits. Not that they don’t deserve a good look. Then he got all pissed off when I wouldn’t give him a blow job to help ease all his pain.”

“I guess he was a prick then.” Annette agreed.

“I think if it wasn’t for the fact that he was afraid of your boyfriend here,” Yvonne said as she rested her hand on the small photograph on Annette’s desk. “he’d have been trying to get into your panties too.”

“There was very little chance of that.” Annette smiled. “In fact none at all.”

“Oh I know that.” Yvonne laughed. “I know you have better taste than that.”

Annette smiled a grin that held a secret that Yvonne never would’ve guessed.

“Speaking of good taste.” Yvonne went on as she picked up the photograph. “I don’t know how you do it?”

“Do what?” Annette said as she picked up the last of her stuff to leave. “Stay celibate while lover-boy here is off playing soldier.” she replied.

The first picture in the double frame was indeed a soldier – specifically a U.S. Marine. Close-cropped black hair framed a ruggedly handsome and deeply tanned face. The dress uniform he wore concealed an equally rugged and handsome body. The other photo had been taken a few months ago at the office Christmas party when he had been home on leave and came to the celebration with Annette canlı kaçak iddaa – much to the envy of half the offices female population.

“Well, I do keep busy.” Annette quipped. “And Danny does write every week.”

“Girl, a letter isn’t going to keep you warm at night.” Yvonne said as she replaced the photos. “I would think you were at least burning out the batteries when you read them.”

“That, I’m not going to comment on.” Annette laughed.

“I know if he was my guy, I’d have taken him to bed and fucked him till he couldn’t walk. That’d be the end of that soldier crap.”

“He’s a Marine, not a soldier.” Annette corrected. “They’re a little particular about that point.”

“Whatever…” Yvonne said. “The point is that he’s half way around the world in Korea. You don’t really think that he’s suffering from a terminal case of blue balls do you. Or that he’s faithfully jerking off every night into a tissue while thinking of you. My brother was in Korea while in the Air Force, there are plenty of “mama-sans” to take care of a lonely soldier .. OK Marine.. far way from home.”

“We have an understanding. I told you that.” Annette concluded as she noticed that more people were back at their desks and she no longer wanted to continue this conversation.

“If you’d take my advice.” Yvonne said, having to get in the last word. “You’d go out and have some fun over your days off. Go find yourself someone nice and more importantly … available. It wouldn’t hurt you to get laid more than once or twice a year.”

As she watched Yvonne head back to her own desk, her ass swaying much to the delight of her male co-workers, Annette’s face again filled with that ‘I’ve got a secret smile.’

“I wonder what you would think?” she thought as her eyes followed Yvonne down the aisle. “If you knew that if I woke up with a warm body next to me tomorrow morning, I rather it be yours than Danny’s.”

Annette let the thought of Yvonne’s naked body pressed next to hers rest in her mind for a few more moments, enjoying the imagery. She knew that the tall blonde was somewhat of a sexual adventurer – if all of the stories she had shared where to be believed. Maybe someday the younger woman would have to nerve to see how much of an adventurer she really was.

With that she grabbed her purse and was gone as well.

An hour later after a not so quick subway ride , Annette was home at the Soho apartment she shared with a roommate. It was only three in the afternoon and Michelle wouldn’t be home until six. Then she would be gone by seven, off to her part time night job. If nothing else, Annette would have the apartment to herself tonight. But to do what?

One of the reasons Annette had been spending so many hours at work lately was that she had broken up with her last steady lover four months ago. Not that it had been much of a relationship, but still it had been something. In fact, the relationship had set a new record for longevity – three months.

In the end it had come down to one big incompatibility. Vanessa was out of the closet, living her life openly as a lesbian. Annette, on the other hand, still lived a life of secrets – hiding behind a false identity as it were. She had told Vanessa that it was because of her job that she couldn’t come out.

It was one thing, she repeatedly had said, to be an open lesbian when you worked in the entertainment industry as Vanessa did. It was another when you worked for an old-fashion, establishment banking firm; and you had only been there less than a year. Maybe when she was more established things would change. She didn’t want to have to start looking for a new job in a small tight knit community carrying the label that she was ‘that dyke bitch that Moore and Stanley fired’. Oh they couldn’t fire her for that of course, not in this age of political awareness. But they could make you miserable enough that you eventually gave them a reason to fire you.

To all of this line of reasoning, Vanessa had simply replied that it was so much bullshit. All Annette lacked was the guts to stand up and be counted for what she was. Deep down, Annette had to admit to herself that Vanessa had been at least partly right.

So for what ever reasons she used to justify it, Annette had created a false identity to carry around like so much excess baggage. Right down to a conveniently absent boyfriend who took care of any questions as to why she didn’t date any of the guys she met.

Technically, Danny Ryan was both a boy and a friend – one of the best friends she’d ever had. He just wasn’t the boyfriend most people took him for. Their friendship went back to grammar school and was based on a lot firmer foundation than sex. Not that sex didn’t enter into in, at least on one occasion.

Like thousands of other girls, Annette had lost her virginity on prom night, which had been held a week after her 18th birthday. Like so many of her contemporaries, she had found it a somewhat disappointing experience. Taking the adage that you canlı kaçak bahis can’t make a judgment based on only one taste, she’d gone to bed with another young man later that summer with equally discouraging results.

Finally, she concluded that perhaps it was the emotional aspect that was missing. With that in mind she’d taken her best friend in all the world to her bed. It had, she was quite willing to admit, clearly been the most physically satisfying of the three encounters, resulting in her first orgasm during sex. Yet as physically fun as it had been, it had also been as hollow as all the previous attempts.

Two months later, after a few beers in her for courage, Annette had given in to a yearning that she had kept secret since her mid teens. The next morning when she’d woken up in the bed of another woman, she’d found what she’d been searching for. Strangely enough, the song on the clock radio that woke her up that morning had been ‘Looking for love in all the wrong places’. Quite appropriate she later thought.

Despite a few affairs she had during her remaining years in college, Annette never found the courage to ‘stand up and be counted’ as Vanessa always called it. In fact, except for the other women involved, the only person she told was Danny. It was a testament to their friendship that he’d told her that no matter what, he’d always be her friend. The idea that she could use him as an absentee boyfriend had been his.

So here she was, a four day weekend in front of her and absolutely nothing to do. Perhaps she should take Yvonne’s advice and go out and find someone. Maybe not the someone that Yvonne intended but someone nevertheless. The more she thought about it, the more it seemed a good idea.

“Maybe I do just need to get laid.” she said out loud, laughing that she was starting to sound like Yvonne.

Annette spent a few hours running errands in the neighborhood before again returning to the apartment to make dinner for Michelle and herself. Sure enough, just as the clock was striking six, Michelle came prancing through the door.

“Honey, I’m home!” she announced as she dropped her knapsack onto the couch.

Her announcement was a little joke that both she and Annette shared. Though both were lesbians, they didn’t have a sexual relationships. It just worked out better for both of them to have a roommate that they didn’t have any secrets from. Annette had a ‘straight’ roommate back in college, one of her best friends as a matter of fact and it caused all sort of problems. She’d lost track of all the times Karen Robinson had tried to fix her up. It had also precluded her bringing home any of her dates. One thing both she and Michelle had in common was that they both were at a point in their lives that they weren’t looking for a long term relationship anyway. Both were too young to settle down and it was a big world out there. They once discussed sharing each other’s bed for a night, just to see what it might be like. But after a little heavy petting on the couch, they decided that each of them would rather have the other as a friend. If they were lovers it would only complicate their extracurricular activities.

“Welcome home, Dear.” Annette said as she walked out of the small kitchen, dinner in hand. “And how was your day?”

“Oh, just about the same.” Michelle said as she took a sniff of the pleasing aroma of the dishes Annette was carrying. “Hmm, that smells wonderful. Some special occasion?”

Annette quickly gave an abbreviated version of her own day as they sat down at the table in the common room. Michelle said she was happy for her friend.

“So what are you planning to do with your sudden vacation?” Michelle asked as she finished off the last of her meal.

“Well the idea of hopping on a plane and shooting off to Los Angeles suggested itself. But then reality set in and put a kibosh on that idea. I guess maybe I’ll just go out tonight.” Annette said as she sipped at her drink. “See what happens.”

“Great.” Michelle beamed. “Where are you planning to go?”

“I thought maybe I’d go up to Scarlett’s Rose.” Annette answered.

“It’s too bad I have to work. I haven’t been there in weeks. I’d love to go with you.” Michelle said as she pulled off her blouse to put on the uniform she wore at the local restaurant where she worked nights.

“You could always call in sick.” Annette suggested as she look a longing look at Michelle’s bra-enclosed mounds. There were times she regretted their decision not to be lovers.

“I’d love to, but if you want to see my half of next month’s rent, I really need this job.” the long haired blond said as she buttoned her blouse.

“Maybe next time then.” Annette said as she carried the now empty and dirty dishes into the small kitchen.

“Well I’d better run.” Michelle said as she picked up her knapsack.

“You be careful.” Annette said as she came back into the room. “May sure you take a cab home, no more walking home in the middle of the night. If you need it, I’ll pay for it.”

“Yes mother.” Michelle chuckled. “I’ve saved up my allowance and I will be careful.”

Annette just gave her a disapproving look. Despite being almost a year younger than Michelle, Annette did sometimes feel like her mother.

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