As Kasen Montgomery stared into the wide eyes of his assistant, he thought, without her glasses, I can see the flecks of hazel in her maple colored eyes. Sucking in his breath, Kasen shook his head and reminded himself where he was and why he was there. His administrative assistant, Marise was here and he didn’t know why. His hair in a bun, glasses perched on her nose, proper and shy assistant was shaking her stuff up and down on a stage. His Marise could not possibly be stripping. He could not stand by and let his secretary moonlight like this, could he? Kasen couldn’t stop the thoughts as they crashed into his mind. The moment their eyes met, despite her disguise, he knew it was Marise. His Marise could not possibly be stripping. Kasen had to shake himself. She was not ‘his’. Yet, he could not stand the thought of his secretary moonlighting like this. What if his clients find out? Of course, he did not think any of the marketing executives and the advertising agents he worked with would come to this dump. So why was he here?
If it were a laughing matter, Kasen would have chuckled as he watched Marise’s eyes transition from wide shock to thin angry slits. He watched as she backed up, doggy style, off the stage. Why would she back up off the stage? Probably not to give you a full view of her curvy backside you pervert. His inner conscience was warring with his baser self. A small part of him wanted to look, to remember every curve of her lush body to warm him when he was alone in his bed at night. The other part of him wanted to punch any guy that looked at her square in the nose.
A garbled voice battled through the clanking glasses and the bass music.
“Give it up for Destiny everyone. That was Destiny, the newbie, y’all go ahead and clap now.”
Kasen growled deep in his throat when the last of her flaming red wig disappeared behind the heavy black curtain on the side of the stage and stormed to the bar like a man possessed. Slamming down several Franklins from his billfold, he stared down the bartender until the cocoa colored man turned to him. The blonde hair of the bartender stood out against his black leather vest. His skinny fingers slid over Kasen’s as he fingered the money.
“What can I do for you, handsome?”
“I want the VIP emptied out in five minutes. I want Destiny to come and give me a private dance.”
The bartender whistled low and fingered the hundreds again, his eyes never lever Kasen’s.
“It will cost you more than three hundred bucks, high roller.” Kasen swore that the bartender licked his lips at him. Kasen quickly flicked open his wallet, and pulled out the rest of the bills he had. He plopped the crisp bills on the table and stared the bartender.
“You know, Destiny is new here, but we have some more, er, experienced dancers that can give you way more,” the flirty bartender said, sweeping his arm in an ark to draw Kasen’s attention. Kasen had already seen what the bartender had in mind. In the short time that he had been there, he’d seen two women lead three men into the alley. He had also seen numerous hand jobs and a few blowjobs.
“No, I want Destiny, now.” Kasen turned his back and walked to the entrance of the VIP lounge. As he waited for the half-dressed women to scamper out of the room, he looked at the floor. Didn’t I just vow this morning to stop thinking about her? She was married and off-limits.
Unfortunately, Kasen knew in his heart he could not stop thinking about Marise. It was easier to forget about breathing. Kasen didn’t realize he was pacing until he ran into a petite dancer. She looked like a porcelain doll with her dark eyes and jet black hair. She gave him an inviting smile and looked him up and down as if he was the main course at dinner. Nothing like my Marise. Marise is at least 5’10”. Damn, I am doing it again. He knew she wasn’t his, every woman he was around could not measure up to Marise.
His current girlfriend called him just that morning to cancel their lunch and to tell him that he had an unhealthy attachment to work and to his secretary. As Claire ranted and raved on how it was silly and inappropriate to call his secretary before and after lunch to let them know he was running late, Kasen remembered why he started calling Marise before and after lunch.
One of his meetings had run over, and when Kasen finally waltzed into the office three hours after he should have been back, Marise looked up in him with a look of relief. She stood up and wiped her tears from her eyes.
“I am so glad you made it back!”
“Why? Did something happen?” He couldn’t help but to smirk at her emotional state.
“Yes, a bridge collapsed, I didn’t know if you were on it or not. It was close to the place where your meeting was scheduled.” Kasen had dropped his briefcase at her concern for him. Since then, he had been hooked on making sure she knew he was careful.
Kasen shook himself out of the pleasant memory. Good riddance to Claire, I was getting tired of her. I am not an unhealthy sexual deviant and I am not infatuated with my secretary. So what if I like a little spanking or being in control? He groaned and kept pacing, ignoring the obvious invite from the woman he’d collided with. If he kept thinking about Marise and spanking, his docile manhood would awaken. The hovering women would close in like vultures. He knew he had acted stupid and waved a stack of crisp bills at the bartender. He knew he was already the prey from walking into to cloudy club in a tailored suit. He would have to burn the suit; he would never be able to get the smell of cigarettes out of it. Kasen paced in front of the heavy red curtain, waiting for the last person to leave. Frustrated, he ran his hand through his sandy blonde hair again. He knew he looked like a wreck. His short hair was probably tousled and out of place, and he had unhitched his turquoise tie after he saw Marise’s first provocative dance on the stage. Get a grip. You know she is too docile for your quirks man. And, she is married! Screaming at himself mentally, Kasen wondered again, Why am I here? I am no masochist. Again, his sane self answered, you are just concerned for her. Why did he feel there was a yeah right, hidden in that somewhere? He knew that she was not the one for him. Something within her was sad and he did not like it. It was the only reason he followed her to this place. For the past year, her face would be bright and happy while she worked. Her almond-shaped eyes would light up with laughter, although she never laughed aloud. But, when the clock struck five, that spark was gone and she looked depressed. Kasen felt her eyes were a window into her heart. While Kasen wanted to comfort her, and be merely a concerned employer, he did not want to put himself in an already difficult position. Kasen could not help his curiosity. Curiosity always killed the cat.
He had felt a surge of adrenaline and the need to protect her overwhelmed him. Today he’d decided he would know why her bright aura would blackout at the appointed hour. After she shut down and gave him a brief nod goodnight, he watched her intently as she got in the elevator. He counted to ten and then raced down the stairs of the building and was at the ground floor before she was off the elevator. He followed her, not to the garage as he thought, but down the side of the building to a small coffee shop. He waited outside in the alley until she emerged again. He waited for fifteen minutes and what came out of the coffee shop was not his efficient, ebony haired secretary, but a red-haired, scantily clad woman wearing red sneakers, and an onyx skirt that barely came to her knees. He would not think it was Marise and would have continued to wait if he had not noticed her calves. They were well defined and he would know them from anywhere. He’d spent many debriefing meetings trying to avoid them as if they were diseased. He failed, he became mesmerized by them when she would walk away. Lucky for him, she never turned around to find him fixated on her legs. He knew she had a pin sized mole on the back of her knee. That mole told her the woman in the red wig was indeed Marise. He followed her at a distance and watched her walk six blocks from his office space to some dive with a red neon light. The word Harem flashed in front of him like a red flag. Rushing back to the office to close up, he wondered if he didn’t pay her as well enough. As he lurked in the shadows, waiting for Marise to come on the stage, he pondered why he should even interfere.
Now, as he waited for his moment with her, he knew he had just interfered in a big way. As the last person came out of the VIP lounge, a burly man in a flannel jacket, Kasen stiffened his spine. The brute snarled at Kasen and through clinched gold teeth, Kasen heard him grunt “Rich bastards think they own the place.” Kasen shrugged and smirked. One side of him wanted to explain to offended man why he was buying out the room; his possessive side wanted to know if Marise had sat on his lap before. Kasen did nothing but shove his hands in his pocket. The itch was too bad to punch the drunk bastard’s lights out. No, he would not let Marise suffer like this, he vowed. He had to get Marise and leave.