By the time I get home, my feet hurt and my stomach is full. Ethan took me to a few amazing art galleries and museums. I was in awe of everything, barely listening to Ethan as he talked about the artists. When we got hungry, Ethan took me to a small quiet restaurant and when I tried to pay for my own food, he nearly slapped my hand away from the bill.
The whole time he never brought up the scene in the park again. I know he probably thinks that I need therapy for something to correct my freakish anxieties associated with people, but he never comes out and says it. I’d like to walk into a room full of people and be able to say that I’m not afraid of them judging and staring, but I’m not there yet.
Flopping down on the couch with my laptop, I check some social media. While surfing the web, the thought of that stupid club enters my mind for the millionth time. Damn it. Why am I so interested in a club that I can’t even go to? I set my laptop down and go to my room, retrieving the card from under my pillow. Back on the couch, I try to google it, but nothing comes up. Not even a facebook post or tweet. Nothing.
“Fuck!” I huff out after 30 minutes of searching.
Leaning my head back against the couch, I give up. I’m about to close my laptop when I hear a notification come in. Opening my email, I get an automatic work itinerary for the week that Ethan puts together every Friday. I scan over it and stop on the fourth item on the list.
May 12, 2014 2:45pm Lunch with Kate Ashford. Clear all meetings at this time.
Holy shit. Under the email is a list of contact information for the place they will have lunch and Kate’s number. When the idea comes to mind, I realize quickly that I could so get fired for what I’m about to do. Picking up my phone, I dial Kate’s number. After two rings she answers.
“Hi, Kate. It’s Thea, Ethan’s friend.”
Her voice immediately picks up “Thea, hi. You are the last person I thought I’d be getting a call from”
“Um, yeah. Ethan doesn’t know I’m calling so can we keep this between us?” Shit, I’m definitely getting fired.
“Of course. Ethan doesn’t need to know anything. It’ll be our little secret.” Is she flirting with me?
“Thanks. Um, about this club.”
“I knew you were interested. I think Ethan just wants to keep you to himself.” Kate giggles and I force one out just to make it seem like I care about what she thinks.
“Yeah, can you tell me about it?”
“Oh, no. I can’t. It’s really private and the only way you can get in is if you are formally invited and put on a list.”
“Oh, well I understand. I just wanted to know a bit about it because I want to attend, but since it’s private and all...” I leave the sentence hanging, hoping to reel her in and surprisingly it works.
“Since Ethan won’t extend an invite, I can totally put you under my name. I’d love to have you there. Some of the people there are so stuffy. I have a feeling that you are super fun. Since I have your number, I can text you the details once I get you in. After three visits on a probationary period, you become a member. So you won’t need my name anymore after that.”
“Cool. So what’s the name of this club anyway?”
"Sinful Desires. Trust me, you’re going to love it. All you need is a black dress and a mask, but I can get you both and send them by messenger. All you need to do is show up” So that explains the masks I keep finding. Interesting. At least now that Ethan isn’t some Batman wannabe.
“Thanks so much, Kate. I hope I don’t get into trouble with Ethan” I wasn’t lying about that either.
Ethan will be pissed that I went behind his back and talked to Kate about this. He made it clear that he didn’t want me at this club and I accepted it at the time, but now I’m just too curious about it. I need to see what Ethan has been up to.
“I doubt he will even notice you there, but I definitely will.” The seductive tone in her voice almost makes me back out, but I can’t. I’m in too deep now.
“Good.” Oh crap. “I mean it’s good that Ethan won’t notice me. I didn’t mean...” Kate cuts me off with her angelic laugh.
“It’s okay, Thea. I understand. Just know that I will notice. I’ll text you the details tonight. Memorize them and then delete the text.”
“Okay” Jeez, is this the fucking CIA or something?
“See you next weekend” She chimes before hanging up.
Oh boy. What have I gotten myself into?
After my conversation with Kate and receiving the super-secret text with the location and information on the club, I become so anxious about next weekend that I want to avoid Ethan at all costs. The last thing I need is for him to catch me in a lie or something of that nature.
The worse the lie, the more obvious I become. I don’t talk to Ethan for the rest of the weekend and to occupy myself, I jump into typing and writing. Apparently, with the rise of drama in my life, my writer’s block has faded away. Short scenes and story ideas come flooding to mind. One particular sex scene keeps bringing Ethan to mind. It’s the short scene that he read over my shoulder in the office. I had no intentions of Ethan being the male character, but his face and body have been the lead.
Sexual tension is normal among people who work together. Ethan is my boss and he is extremely handsome and funny so it’s okay for me to find him alluring and sexy as long as the fantasies stay on paper and in my laptop. I will never use his name just in case some freak accident occurs and he finds my work.
On that Monday as we are riding to work, Ethan makes small talk while doing his usual morning email replies. I play in my own phone, though it only consists of playing a few games and messaging my Aunt back home. I don’t know how she would react to me lying and sneaking around just to get into a club, but I don’t plan on her finding out. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. After stopping for coffee, we get to the office and upon entering the lobby on Ethan’s floor, I nearly lose my breath at the person standing there, looking at us.
“Ethan, Thea, good morning”
Ethan smiles “Kate, what brings you here to the office? We are supposed to have lunch later this week”
Kate continues to smile and her eyes flicker to mine for a brief second as I stand there close to freaking out.
“I just stopped by to chat. I was in the area on business and thought I’d come by. How are you doing, Thea?” Ethan turns to look at me and I swallow the panic, plastering a smile on my face.
“I’m fine.” Keep it short and simple.
“That’s good. You look nice today. I like that dress” What the fuck is she trying to do?
Taunt me into a confession. Kate is playing games with me and I don’t like it at all. She knows that I’ve gone behind Ethan back to get into that club and now she is trying to get under my skin.
“Thank you. Just something out of the closet” I smile, feeling a little more relaxed now that I know what she is doing. I will not let her have the advantage over the situation. Stay strong, Thea.
“Hmm, seems like the kind of dress one would wear to a club.” Kate smirks at me, her eyes digging into mine, looking for any sign of weakness. I snort a bit and shrug
“Well, I don’t get out much so I have to put it to good use. I think I should get to work now. There are calls that need to be answered. Have a good day, Kate”
“You too, Thea. Maybe I’ll see you around again. We can hang out sometime” She says as I walk away.
I shoot her a kind look over my shoulder before getting the hell out of that situation. When I get to my little office, I flop down in the chair and brush my hair back.
“That bitch” I huff as I turn on my computer, sliding my bag into the desk drawer. I should have know that it was too good to be true. Kate was too quick to extend an invite and caught me in a blind spot. Never again. I need to get my wit up.
A few moments later, Ethan enters the office and shoots me a look
“Everything okay?” Yes, why wouldn’t it be? What did she tell you? Oh, God, stop overreacting, it’s just a question.
“Everything is fine. I left two messages on your desk. I didn’t want to disturb you while you were talking to...Kate?” I pretend as if I don’t remember her name even though her number is programed into my phone.
“Yeah, Kate. She seems to like you. Maybe you two will be friends.” He shoots me a smile before heading into his office.
Okay, so i’m not caught. Phew. On cue, my phone vibrates on my desk. Picking it up, I frown as I read it.
K: Good job in there. I thought you were going to freak seeing me.
Is this nutcase serious?
Me: I was! Why were you toying with me?
K: Toying? I thought I was flirting. I really did only come to see Ethan, but it’s nice to see you react well under pressure. I picked out your dress for Friday. It will be delivered when you get off of work that evening. Wouldn’t want Ethan finding out too soon. See you then, Sweets.
I put down my phone and roll my eyes. This woman is fucking nuts, but she is right. If I can’t even react to something as simple as seeing her in public then I have no business stepping into that club. I just have to keep it cool and act normal. Peeking over my shoulder, I see Ethan typing something up. As if feeling my eyes on him, he looks up and catches me. I tell myself to look away, but I hold his gaze for a few seconds before turning back around. Sighing, I start typing up some things that need to be printed out for Ethan’s meeting at noon to take my mind off of my off morning.
As I’m working, I play a few scenes in my head of how I think the club will be. None of them sound remotely possible. All of the ideas make the place out to be some brothel. I’ve been watching too much HBO. Maybe it’s just some club where you meet people to take home. That sounds more logical. However, with a name like Sinful Desires, it can’t be that simple. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Friday to see what it’s like. The way Kate acts about it, it must be something worth wild. Shaking the thought from my head, my desk phone rings and I answer before transferring the call to Ethan. A few seconds later, Ethan calls me into his office.
“Yes” I says as I step in front of his desk. He doesn’t look up immediately, but when he does, he smiles.
“Want to do something fun?” Okay, I’ve had sex scenes start off with this question.
Are they coming true now? If so then, hell yes I want to do something fun. On your desk, on the floor, wherever.
“Uh, it depends on what your definition of fun” I squint at him and he chuckles. “I promise, you’ll find it quite entertaining. I need you to go to this address” He types it into his phone and seconds later I get his text of the address “Then I want you to pick up some photo samples for next month’s magazine issue”
“And this is what you consider fun? I’m confused” I thought you were going to strip me bare and take me on this very expensive carpet. Damn, I was completely wrong.
Ethan smirks at me “Trust me, Thea. Be back in an hour. I can handle things here. If you’re not back in an hour, I’m sending reinforcements”
“Okay. Well, I’ll be back later” I smile and turn on my heels, walking out of his office, still confused and disappointed that his definition of fun didn’t quite match mine. Grabbing my bag and shutting off my computer, I shoot Ethan a quick look, but he doesn’t look this time.