Seven Days With Her Boss

By: Penny Wylder

Narrowed eyes warn me I’ve misstepped. “Your memory is awful. Has it always been this way?” Somewhere between chiding and droll at first, Kodiche’s tone soon turns icy. “Do you not remember yesterday, Miss Robbins? How you ruined everything? You risked my company and the livelihood of your fellow employees. Every client our company loses hurts everyone.” The disappointment from yesterday is back, visible in his eyes and the slight hunch to his shoulders. I hate seeing it there.

“I still don’t get why I should kneel.” My whisper is so soft I can hardly hear it over the crackle of the wood in the fireplace.

He hears me, though. One moment he’s seated, the next he’s right in front of me. The musky scent of him, some combination of cologne and just him makes my heart race. I’m affected elsewhere, too. When Kodiche bends so that his lips are at my ear, the sudden wetness between my thighs is surprising. It’s not like I’m a virgin, but I’ve never had the time for dates.

My whole body throbs in time with his bone-rattling low whisper. “You have to kneel because you don’t know your place.” The heat of his breath fans out over my cheek. “But, Vivian,” he promises, “in seven days of my training, you’ll know it well.”

What I know already is that in seven days I’m going to need several new pairs of panties if just being in the same room is enough to get me horny like this. There isn’t much I can do but play along, not if I want to keep my job. And it’s not like kneeling costs me much more of my dignity. Watching everyone file out of our office yesterday was worse.

I kneel on the rug, my fingers curling into the plush carpet’s strands. A sound from above me could almost be—No, it couldn’t have been a groan. Looking up at him, the way he’s breathing fast and staring at me is almost unmistakable. Is he as turned on as I am? Maybe he is, judging by the bulge I can see pushing at his pants. It’s my reaction that’s more concerning. I didn’t know that submitting myself to a man was a turn on for me.

“This is how it’s going to work, Vivian.” He’s circling me, almost stalking me. He’s gone from bear to lion in the rolling way he walks. “I am going to put you through a very unique work retreat . . .” He pauses and waits for me to meet his eyes.

“This training session will last seven days. You will do everything I say. You will listen and obey.” I can almost picture a riding crop or stick in his hands, snapping down with each statement. That’s what the leading guy did in that naughty film my friends dragged me to years ago. Just thinking of it brings a blush to my cheeks.

“This is the only way you can make me believe that you will change your sloppy, unprofessional ways at work, Vivian. If you can do every last thing I ask, no matter what it is, I’ll let you keep your job. Fail . . .” He trails off with a wicked grin. “Fail and I will make it clear to everyone in town and any future job references that you are worthless to hire. It’s your fault I lost a huge client, and you’ll never find decent work in this city ever again if you can’t prove yourself for these seven days.”

I’m stunned. He’s blackmailing me? This is way more serious—way more dark—than anything I had ever expected or even thought possible. My head spins with the uncertainty of it all. Can I do this? Can I agree to do anything . . . everything . . . he’ll ask of me? Is that worth a job? I could move away, start over somewhere else, couldn’t I? That’d be safer.

It's also impossible. I'd never be able to move my dad out of the hospital and elsewhere, especially with no money.

The room spins with me, and even though I can see that everything is holding still, I feel as if I’ve been plunged under water and being twirled by the back of my neck. Each nerve twitches along my arms and legs, fighting an invisible battle with my brain as I try to find my balance. The panic attack comes on suddenly, knocking me for a loop. If I can just focus on something, anything. I try to count backwards, to find five things that I can see, four I can hear . . .

“Vivian?” I know he’s calling me, but it’s as if the fuzzy water between us is drowning me, pulling me down even harder as punishment for listening to him and not letting the panic attack win. I can almost hear the words, but the waves in my ears—the static—is louder and crashes over me. Sudden vertigo tips me over, and I’m glad I was kneeling. The fall will hurt less.

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