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This story is going to be submitted in parts, it has a long build up before it gets to anything… graphic. But I wanted to focus on the character development and substance of the story itself.
I’m a nightmare for waffling and I apologise if at any point it does tend to go on a bit but seeing as this is the first proper lot of writing I’ve done since leaving school around ten years ago I’d welcome any constructive feedback.
Be patient and enjoy it for what it is!
Thanks and enjoy!
January 2014 – Callie
I’m sat hunched over at my large mahogany desk in my office, my eyes are pouring over yet another manuscript. Generally I’d give my assistant some to read and make notes on to lighten my workload but seeing as my PA Clare has decided to up and leave to start her own business. I don’t see the point in getting her involved, she’d leave and any questions I might have would mean contacting her, and I’m far too proud for that.
At my young age of twenty seven I’ve built a successful career in the publishing world. Joining an up and coming London publishing company as an assistant to the then chief fiction editor, I spent the first three years out of university learning from him. Keith was an incredible mentor and someone I still look up to. He retired just under three years ago and named me as his replacement, a lot of people vehemently opposed to it. But since taking over, I’ve more than proved that I’m capable of doing this job and doing it well.
I work long hours and more often than not find myself sat up in my study at home pouring over yet another manuscript until the small hours of the morning. I don’t do relationships, my work load does not allow time for it. Even if it did, I still wouldn’t allow myself to get attached to another human. Not again. Not after last time. So instead I’ve stuck to what I know and keep things casual, dating someone for a few weeks before they begin to form attachments and then I cut them loose before moving onto the next new thing. It’s never difficult for me to find the next best thing, I’ve often been told how attractive I am. I have pleasing features, I’m not ashamed to admit it. My hair is a dark auburn colour, to the point that it’s almost a light brown colour, but when the light hits it you can see the red colour reflect. My eyes are a deep blue, I’m average height with a slim figure. I’ve always been happy with my appearance, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
“Your eleven thirty’s arrive Ms. Jenkins.” The intercom on my desk sounds, pulling my focus away from the pile of papers on my desk in front of me. Checking my clock I can see they’re ten minutes early. I don’t know anything about this person, just their name, Alexa Osbourne. Someone from HR did the initial telephone interview with her but I’ve resigned to doing the face to face myself. I want to make sure the chemistry is right, this is the person that essentially, is going to be working closely to me. Organising my work schedule and on occasion personal appointments.
“Thanks Clare, could you fetch me some tea and then send her in please?” She’s early, she can wait until I’m ready to see her. Being one of the top dogs here has done nothing but feed my already inflated ego, when I walk into a room people go quiet and wait for what it is I have to say. It’s an incredible feeling.
Clare eventually returns with my drink and sets it on the desk, smiling up at her I nod and take a small sip. “That’s great. Do you want to send the next victim, I mean candidate in please?” She flashes me a knowing smile and nods silently as she leaves the room. I hear her close the door as my eyes fall back down onto the pages in front of me. Groaning loudly, I lean my head in my hands and rub soothing circles against my temple. A few moments later I hear a tentative knock on the door, in an attempt to at least look more gathered than I feel I take a calming breath, and pick up the manuscript on the desk, leaning back in my chair I cross my legs and stare at the page. “Come in.” My voice carries a tone of authority as I call out, I don’t have to wait long until I hear the door open and close again.
I don’t look up as the person enters, I like to make them squirm a little before I get down to business so to speak. “Take a seat please Ms. Osbourne, I’ll be with you in just a second.” My eyes still focus on the paper in front of me as I speak.
“Callie?” That voice sends chills down my spine, all of a sudden I’m no longer a calm and collected twenty seven year old. I’m a love sick teenager. I look up and feel my jaw hit my desk. Lexie is standing in the doorway, I haven’t seen this woman in eight years and she’s still as breath taking as she was the day she left me. The only person I was stupid enough to drop my guard and let get close to me for her to rip my fucking heart out. She still has the most devastatingly gorgeous tortoise shell coloured eyes, her hair a lavish chestnut brown hangs below her shoulders, as it always bahis firmaları has done. But now it’s streaked with dark blonde. She looks grown up, and beautiful and I feel like someone’s stabbing my in the gut and twisting the knife.
“I’m surprised you remember me.” My tone is clipped when I respond and for a moment I see a flash of hurt in her eyes and her eyebrows creased into a thin line above her eyes. Even now I can’t stand to see that look in her face and I shake my head to try and clear the fog gathering there “apologies, please take a seat Alexa.” My tone is softer, but with a cool formal tone that I can doesn’t go un noticed. I watch as she shuffles towards one of the chairs at the other side of my desk and I fling the manuscript back down, it lands with a dull thud and I see her flinch slightly.
I regard her carefully for a moment, her eyes are settled on her lap and she twiddles her fingers nervously, I see she still has that nervous habit and I smile slightly to myself. There’s a heavy weight on my chest as I begin finding the words to begin “so, tell me why you think you’ll be a good candidate for this role?” Her eyes fly back up to my face and she looks awe shocked for a moment, her gaze meets mine and I can feel a lump form in my throat. I could get lost in these eyes. Shaking my head I break her gaze and take the mug holding my tea in my hands and take a sip. Ignoring the knot’s that are furling in my stomach I wait patiently for her answer.
“You don’t have to do this.” Her voice is little more than a whisper, my eyes fall on her face and I purse my lips.
“You came here with the intention of being interviewed for a vacancy, did you not?”
“Yes, but…” I hold my hand up to cut her off and sit forward in my seat.
“No buts, I’ve spent a long time in the professional world. I’m quite capable of treating this in a professional manner and ignoring all the personal bullshit. So once again Ms. Osbourne, I leave the ball in your court. Stay or go. It makes no difference to me.”
Her mouth falls open slightly and she fidgets uncomfortably in her seat slightly before looking up, her mouth tightens into a thin, unattractive line and I glare at her. That’s it, keep fucking looking at me like I’m the one that ripped your fucking heart out. I can play this game all day. I need to focus on the rage and the hurt, because without that, there’d be nothing stopping me from pulling her bottom lip out from between her teeth and biting it myself.
“If you insist, Ms. Jenkins.” She begins reeling off all the reasons why she think she should be hired, but if I’m being honest, I wasn’t listening. I was too busy watching her lips move, she still has the same hold over me that she did when we were eighteen. But instead of feeling nothing but warmth and affection in me, I have a nauseating twisting in my stomach. My bloods running cold through my body and there’s an awful stabbing pain in my chest that I’m finding increasingly difficult to ignore.
I’ve spent the last eight years trying to move on and forget this woman, forget everything that happened between us and honestly it’s pretty much reduced me to an empty shell of a person. Who’s incapable of feeling or caring for anyone but myself, and even then there are some days when I look in the mirror and feel overwhelmed with an overbearing sense of self-loathing.
It takes a second for me to realise that she’s stopped talking and is looking at me expectantly, I clear my throat and drum my fingers impatiently on my desk “that’s sounds acceptable, primarily this a Monday to Friday working week. Working hours would be nine through to five.”
“That’s perfect.” I smile dryly at her and lean forward over my desk, I can see the small smile that’s crept across her lips disappear in an instance when she sees the expression on my face.
“It would be, but you’ll be working for me and I work long hours. My assistant is expected to work the same hours as I do. Coming in at nine is fine, I usually arrive any time between eight thirty and ten depending on my work load and morning meetings. But there are some days when I can be at the office till late. If I don’t require you to stay I inform you, but you will always need to be on call incase that changes. How do you feel about that?”
“Does the overtime pay?”
I quirk an eyebrow at her and shrug my shoulders nonchalantly “that’s none of my concern. Payroll take care of that, so you’ll need to ask them.” I regard her for a moment before speaking again “you changed your surname. Why?” Part of me is screaming that it’s none of my business, part of me is hoping she tells me she isn’t married. Another part of me is saying that everything about this woman will always be my concern because no matter how long it’s been since I last saw her, and what happened all those years ago. I’ll always be in love with her. Of course that though was quickly quashed just as she began to answer.
“It’s my mum’s. I don’t speak to dad anymore… not after, kaçak iddaa well, not after what happened. About year after you went back to University things got bad and me and mum left. I took her maiden name.” She looks down at her hands again and I suddenly feel guilty for asking, she has a sad expression on her face and I feel my heart pull.
I sigh loudly and stand from my desk and walk over to the window, I can feel her eyes follow me as I stand with my hands behind my back facing away from her “I’m an idiot for doing this but… I’ll see you on Monday. Nine o’clock.”
“You’re offering me the job?” She sounds incredulous and I turn to look at her and nod once silently.
“Apparently so, you’re more than qualified and I know you’ll work hard and complain minimally. Go see Clare she’ll point you in the direction of HR to take care of all your paperwork.”
“Callie… Thank you so much.” I shoot her a look and shrug my shoulders before walking past her and standing next to the door.
“Here it’ll be Ms. Jenkins. I expect you to regard me with respect.” My voice is cold as I look at her and she stands and walks over to the door, standing close to me she looks up and looks at my face carefully.
“You’re so… different to how I remember. But you look the same.” Her voice is barely above a whisper and I swallow hard. Looking away I shake my head.
“I’ve spent the last eight years rebuilding what you broke. Of course I’m different. If that’s all Alexa, I’ll see you Monday.” I reach for the door handle at the same time she does and her fingers brush the back of my hand, I snatch it away quickly and take a step back. Ignoring the tingles that are still present under my skin where she touched me. I stare at her and our eyes meet, I can feel the atmosphere around us charge. I recognise that familiar pull I’ve always felt draw me towards her, I want to succumb to it. Throw caution to the wind and feel her body pressed up against mine, but I can’t. So instead I do what I do best, turn away and walk back to my desk where I can throw myself back into my job. I keep my gaze focused on the papers on my desk and clench my jaw, waiting for her to get the hint and go.
“See you Monday… Ms. Jenkins.” And without another word she leaves me alone with my thoughts. Hearing the door close behind her I look up and slap my hand down hard on the desk, what the fuck have I done? I’m such a masochist, how am I going to cope having to see her every day?
Sitting back in my chair I let my mind travel back to the day I first met Lexie, back then in the summer of 2006 she was known as Lexie Bates. The night we met I was playing a gig at a bar in the town I grew up, I used to be in a band with some of the guys from college, we’d met up again and were playing a few gigs over the summer whilst I was home from university. Those were some of the best nights, well known fact, bitches love musicians. Especially when they play lead guitar and sing in a popular local band. We weren’t big, but we had a small local fan base that would follow us from club to club to catch our sets. We mainly focused on acoustic covers, we had a good sound that was owed partially to the chemistry we had between us.
This particular evening was just like any other, I’d built a good rapport with the crowd, cracking jokes and fending off any tossers that tried to heckle us. I was just about to start the next song when I saw her, leaning against the bar at the back of the room. It’s so cliché, but, even though she was surrounded by a group of her friends our eyes met and I felt my blood begin to sing.
“This is the last song before we take a little break…” I murmur into the microphone, my auburn hair stuck to my forehead due to the sweat that had gathered there from the heat coming from the lights and the amount of people in the cramped confines of the room we were playing “it’s probably one of my favourites. So if you don’t like it… tough” I begin to countdown the guys and we start our cover of ‘when doves cry’ all the while I keep glancing up and noticing her watching me with a small smile on her lips.
Finishing the song I swing my guitar off of my shoulder and fist bump the guys behind me before making my way through the crowd to the bar, I don’t know why I was so nervous. Picking girls up in bars was something I’d perfected down to a fine art, but something about this beautiful stranger made me want to get it right. Ordering a beer I lean against the grubby counter and look around for her and I’m rewarded when I see her walking towards the beer garden alone with a cigarette packet in her hand. This was clearly the opportunity to get her alone so without wasting time I followed her out quickly, drink in my hand I pause at the door to speak to some people I know, I remember glancing over my shoulder and seeing her watching me cautiously.
“Excuse me guys, there’s someone I came out to speak to.” Turning on my heel I make my way over to her and gesture to the packet in her hand kaçak bahis “could I nick one of them?” I flash her one of my best smiles as she wordlessly holds her packet up to me and I help myself, resting it in the corner of my mouth I pat my pockets down and groan. “No lighter…”
I can see her roll her eyes but she smiles at me as she lights her lighter, I lean forward and hold the end of the cigarette in the flame and pull back and watch her for a second as I take a long drag “I’m Callie by the way, in case you’re interested.”
She smirks at me and shrugs her shoulders “I know who you are, your reputation proceeds you.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well you see that girl… there?” she points out to a blonde girl leaning against the bar and I shrug.
“What of her?”
“Apparently, you took her to bed. Promised to call, never did. She happens to be a friend, she caught me looking at you and spent the next five minutes warning me away.” I take a step forward and catch her eyes, locking them with mine I hold her gaze as I look down at her. Dropping my voice as I speak I grin at her.
“And did it work?”
“We’ll see.” She quirks an eyebrow and I can’t help but chew my lip. She wants me to chase her, and I’m happy to do that. I’ve spent a lot of nights with a lot of different girls, but there’s something about her that I can’t help but feel is drawing me in ever closer.
“Interesting. Look I’ve got to head back to stage soon, do I get to know your name? Or is it all part of the mysterious beauty act?”
She rolls her eyes at me and shakes her head “smooth. I’m Lexie.” I hold my hand out and she takes it. My entire body radiates through that one simple touch, it’s almost as though there’s an electric current pulsing through me, starting at my palm and flying through my nerves. I can hear my breath catch in my throat and I look up and smile fondly at her. She returns my smile with one that takes my breath away, my heart races and I can’t believe what’s happening.
“I need to head back, but I’d like to carry on this conversation. Can I see you sometime?” I still have my hand in hers and I let my thumb run across the back of hers.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea…”
Cutting her off, my words come out quickly “listen, I know what you’ve been told. And I’m not going to deny that I’m a terrible human being. But give me a chance to prove I’m actually worth getting to know. I don’t know what it is…” I let go of her hand and push some of her hair out of her face and tuck it behind her ear, I can feel her shiver at my caress and I smile “but there’s something about you that I want to get to know too. One date, that’s all I’m asking. If you hate it. I won’t bother you again. What do you say?”
“What do you have in mind?” She sounds cautious but I can tell I’ve piqued her interest so I smile and shrug my shoulders.
“Well I’m not one to do a half arsed job at anything so I’d pull out all the stops to impress you, or at least try to. How about dinner? Somewhere nice where we can actually have a proper conversation, I’ll pay. We’ll talk about ourselves, our interests, our pet peeves and bad habits. I’ll poke fun at you and no doubt you’ll do the same to me. I’ll watch you, the way you smile, the way your lips move when you talk. Or the facial expressions you make when you talk about something you care about. Then maybe a walk on the beach, we can sit. Talk some more. And then when it’s time to take you home I’ll walk you to the door and we’ll dance around the goodbye bit awkwardly before one of finally leans in for the kill. And we’ll leave it short but sweet. Typically I’d play it cool and wait a few days to text you but… the way I think it’ll go, it’ll be the minute I get back to my house.” I wait for her response but she’s looking at me thoughtfully, a dark blush spreading across her cheeks.
“Give me your phone.” Her tones bossy but I can’t help but smile as I hand her my mobile “that’s my number. Drop call me when you get chance. You can pick me up at seven.”
“Are you always this bossy?” I flash her a cheeky grin and she returns it with one of her own.
“You have no idea.”
“I’d better be getting back, I’ll talk to you later Lexie” I hesitate for a moment before leaning forward and brushing my lips gently across her cheek. Turning on my heel I walk back to the stage quickly, my heart pounding in my chest as I go and re run the conversation in my head at break neck speed. I couldn’t explain the hold she had on me, all I knew in that moment was that I couldn’t wait to see her again.
I’m drawn out of my painful trip down memory lane when there’s a quiet knock on my office door, clearing my throat I call out for them to come in. Sarah one of the girls from media sales steps into my office looking at me tentatively “are you Ok Cal? You look pale.” I look up at her and smile weakly.
I’ve always found that what I lack in the ability to want to form any emotional attachment to the women I fuck, I’ve always craved platonic friendships. Sarah is probably one of the closest friends I have at work, I chew my lip and gesture for her to take a seat. “Not really, but it is what it is. What can I do you for?”