In the Dark

“Well, that’s the last file, closed up and put away for the night, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you before I head home?” She spoke with an air of professionalism, tinged with familiarity.

“No, Lora, that’ll be all. See you in the morning. The Smiths tend to be early, so I’ll need you here a bit before the usual time, just to make sure the conference room is ready. This is a big case…we don’t want to blow it.”

She smiled at him, nodded, and assured him everything would be taken care of as expected. He had nothing to worry about. She gathered her things and headed down the long corridor to the elevator.

“Hey, Lora, wait up!” From behind her, a young woman appeared, breathless and a little disheveled, her hair in frayed wisps around her face, framing her reddened cheeks.

Lora turned toward her, “What’s wrong, Georgia? You look a mess.”

“Well, I just…I seem to have misplaced the Smith file…the one you gave to me to take down to the conference room earlier. I can’t for the life of me recall where I might have left it….”

“Oh, shit, Georgia! That’s a classified file; what the hell did you do? We’ve got to find it. Where have you been since I handed it to you? Let’s back track…”

“I’ve been all over, Lora. You know Mr. Jensen; he has me running all over the place all day. I think he does it just to prove he can. So much of what I’m asked to do seems senseless.”

“Never mind that. We’ve got to find that file. Where did you go first?”

“The break room, to grab Mr. Jensen a cup of coffee.”

“Well, then let’s go there.” She adjusted the heavy leather bag on her shoulder and motioned for Georgia to walk ahead of her quickly, shooing her forward as if she were a bothersome child. As Mr. Jensen’s head office supervisor and personal assistant, she knew this would come down on her head if she didn’t find that file.

The two women walked purposefully back down the hall, passing Mr. Jensen’s office door, and turned the corner toward the break room. From inside, Lora could hear the loud banter of some of the employees, “Lora? That bitch? Who the hell does she think she…”

As they walked into the room, Lora bold and defiant, having little time to deal with petty office drama, met the eyes of a young man in an expensive suit. She scowled openly, “Good evening, gentlemen…” she nodded to both of them and bumped into the good looking one in the Armani with the spotless, too-trendy shoes.

“Carl…hope things are going well with Mr. Giovanni.” She smiled sourly, and rolled her eyes. She’d wanted that job at one point, but Carl had turned out to have better ass-kissing skills, and just played dirtier…which was obviously what Mr. Giovanni had wanted. So much for professionalism. It wasn’t what all lawyers were looking for.

Mr. Jensen, however, appreciated all she had to offer and used her skills (and looks) to his advantage. Having her in the room beside him made him feel in control, and he very much needed that. She was an expert at making him look like a hungry lion in the board room. Nothing was ever out of place.

Which is why she had to find that file.

Carl and his friend took their coffee cups and left the break room with exaggerated apologies about being in the way and hopes that she found what she was looking for. On their way down the hall, Lora could hear them laughing…”I bet she’s fucking him. that’s the only reason Jensen could ever have hired a frigid hag like her.”

“Wow, Carl doesn’t have much love for you, does he?” Georgia inquired.

“No…no he doesn’t.”

“Does it bother you that he talks that way about you?”

“No, he’s just jealous. It’s what little boys do when they know they’ve been outdone by a girl. It goes all the way back to college. There’s a long history of competition and well…let’s be honest – I usually won. But, who cares…we’re here to find a file. A very important file. And Carl can go fuck himself.”

Georgia left it at that and began to dig through piles of papers and boxes of files. Lora looked behind things, under things, in the wastebasket. And there, under several manila envelopes and file folders, was a red file labeled SMITH. Lora grabbed it and began thumbing through it to be sure nothing was missing or damaged.

“You found it! Oh, God…I’m so glad you found it – he’d have had my head.”

“No…he’d have had mine. I would have had yours.”

“And rightfully so….I will never lose another thing as long as I work here.”

“Oh, shit…quit lying and take this directly to the conference room. Lock up, and I will see you here at seven tomorrow morning. Everything has to be perfect. These are big potential clients.

Lora grabbed her bag and slung it back over her shoulder, making her way back down the corridor and back to the elevator.

She let out a sigh of exhaustion and relief as she pressed the down arrow and watched the numbers light up above the door, letting out a an annoying little chime with each one. The doors opened, she rubbed her hand over her eyes, and stepped on, turning to face the number panel as the doors closed. She selected the lobby, and glanced behind her to make eye contact with the other passenger, when suddenly the lights flickered and went out with a groan.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me!”

The other passenger, a tall younger man from what she could tell of the few seconds she had seen him, reached across her and felt around on the panel for a panic button or an emergency call.

“Must be the storm,” he said.

“Yeah, well…I don’t have time for storms. I have to be back here at 7 for a meeting, and the only thing standing between me and a nice big glass of wine and a hot bath are these fucking metal doors.”

“Sounds like you had a lovely evening planned…a lot more relaxing than mine.”

“Who the hell are you? Maybe I should be more concerned about being stuck in a dark elevator with a psychopath.”

“Name’s Alex. Working for Carter & Row, across town. How ’bout you?”

“Ummm…Sandra…legal assistant for Mr. Perry.”

Why she’d done it, she didn’t know, but giving him her real name seemed like a dumb idea, so she’d just thrown out the first thing that came to her.

“Perry? Hmmm…I’m not familiar with him.”

“Different firm. I was just here dropping off some paperwork.”

“Ohh….well – this shouldn’t take long. Once the fire department gets the signal, we should be outta here in no time.”

The thing was, the signal never went out. He hadn’t even pressed the button.

“So, Sandra, what should be talk about while we’re stuck here in the dark?”

Lora, digging in her purse for her cell phone – which was dead…as assured by Murphy’s Law, had little patience for small talk in the best of circumstances. This was
hell for her. Stuck alone in a 6 X 6 space with a talkative stranger. What kind of shit could she make up to talk about? The dead silence would have been more uncomfortable, so she began to fill it with lies. And for whatever reason, they seemed to flow easily and smoothly from her mouth.

Sandra was 26 and had just moved to San Francisco from Portland. She was going to Law School at Stanford, travelling the long commute several times a week, and living with family in Palo Alto, since she couldn’t afford to live on her own.

They talked about the sky-high cost of real-estate and the cut-throat world of Law and Order.

“You know…this seems like a bad movie. A man and a woman stuck on a dark elevator, chatting and getting to know one another. Seems like the most natural thing to come next in the script is for them to engage in a torrid sex scene, and then leave the elevator, never to cross paths again.” He laughed. But his comment made her shiver. Who was this creep and what the fuck was he up to?

“Bit cliché, don’t you think?” she responded, adding in her own nervous laugh.

“‘Spose we could change it up however we wanted.” His words hung in the air for what seemed an eternity while Lora breathed silently and tried to keep her heart from beating too loudly.

The rational part of her brain said, ‘find a way to turn your purse into a weapon in case this guy tries anything stupid.’ But her unintentionally celibate body begged her to just say, “Fuck it…he works across town…you’ll never see him again….And you’ve got those hopeful little condoms sitting at the bottom of your bag just screaming to be used…finally…”

She took a deep breath in and exhaled, “I’m not much for suspense. I like it when I know how a movie is going to end. It’s comforting.”

“Really? So you’re good with the cliché?”

“Ummm…well…are you?” she bit her lip, stunned by her own behavior and sudden poor decision-making skills.

She heard him shuffling around a bit and felt the elevator move as he shifted his weight towards her.

“Don’t be scared. Really…I’m just a normal guy in a really abnormal circumstance. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“This seems so dangerous and stupid,” she said.

“Well, it might be stupid. I’ll grant you that. But, there’s no danger. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to.”

“Are we really going to do this?”

“Why not?”

“Well, there a million reasons…none of which sound better to me than just doing something completely hair-brained – something I’d never actually do in real-life. But with the lights out, somehow…this seems surreal…like a dream.”

“If it were a dream…what would you do?”

“I’d probably be braver and more forward than I am in real life. Like this…”

She reached out into the darkness and found his body, patting her hands upward to find his face. Pulling him down toward her face, she kissed him, her pulse pounding in her chest, so heavily she was sure he could hear it. She hadn’t had sex in over a year, and everything in her was crying out for release with this stranger. For some reason…the fact that she had no idea who he was, couldn’t see him, wouldn’t ever see him again, made it possible for her to relent to her own fears.

Lora’s mind was swirling. She wasn’t even sure if her body would remember what to do, especially being guided by her brain, which was muddled by anxiety. She wondered what spirit had invaded her, moving her limbs for her, guiding her lips and her tongue. But whatever it was, it knew what it was doing.

And so did he.

She gave herself up to it. It was a little late to pull out of it now. What would they talk about? How would they manage to be cooped up in this space drenched in sexual tension. No…it was best to just go with the flow, something at which Lora was not at all good.

He put his hands in her hair, and cradled the base of her skull, pulling her into him so he could reach her ears, her neck. The intensity built, and they began reaching for each others clothes, undoing buttons, fumbling with zippers and hooks. Literally blind, they explored each other in a way that few lovers do. Having no sense of what the other looked like, their minds were free to simply luxuriate in the other senses.

Lora could have determined his physical features in her mind, but she preferred the dark…the not knowing. He didn’t have to be anyone. There was no fantasy man to conjure up in her brain…because – hell – this was more of a fantasy than she’d have come up with in her own dreams.

Alex untucked her blouse from her skirt and unhooked her bra. Slipping his hand underneath the edge of it, he held one of her breasts, squeezing it gently, running a finger over the nipple a few times, as if to test its sensitivity. She squirmed a bit under his touch, her skin hot.

“Where’s that condom, Lora? I think it’s time to find it.”

“Oh, yes….yes…let me find it.” Nothing like breaking the mood for safety in a situation that, in any other circumstance, would be anything but. In fact, though she’d turned her mind off to it, Lora knew what she was doing was crazy.

She dug around in her purse, found the confounded thing and pulled it out. Honestly, she wasn’t sure if it was even still good; it’d been in there for some time.

“Here it is…a bit embarrassing, though…I think it glows in the dark.” She giggled nervously under her breath, somehow a bit self-conscious now, wondering why she cared what this stranger thought of her condom choice. In all actuality, it had been from a gift of naughty bits and pieces a friend had given her for her birthday, in jest.

“That’s very serendipitous,”  he laughed. She caught the humor of it, as well, and was relieved by his response.

“Let’s find out if it works.” He ripped open the package, and they were met by a moderate green glow.

“Well, at least neither one of us will have trouble finding my cock.”

“I suppose that’s helpful,” Lora laughed. “May I do the honors?”

“Absolutely.” He handed her the glowing ring and she kicked off her heels, lowering slowly to her knees. Once in place, she reached up his thigh to find his cock and found herself licking her lips, remembering this position, realizing what was in front of her face, feeling the heat of it. She took him in her loose fist, leaned forward, and breathed out, the heat of her mouth covering him like an invisible fog. He let out a sigh, and she could tell he had reached out to the bars to stabilize himself.

Lora scooted forward just a bit for comfort, placing one hand around his erection, and rolled the condom down to the base of his cock. The glow was too weak to light up anything else, but the disembodied appendage looked a bit ridiculous bobbing in the air by itself. They both looked at it and laughed, until Alex reached out to her, pulling her towards him.

“Let me lay out my jacket…I wouldn’t want your lovely ass to have to touch the elevator floor. And I wouldn’t want your knees scraped up or bruised.  Let me take the brunt of injury.”

“How chivalrous of you,” Lora laughed, but found the offer rather sweet, and welcomed.

He shuffled around a bit, laying down his jacket, finding hers and adding it to the equation, while Lora just stood back smiling to herself as she watched the glow of his cock bouncing around in the dark.

At this point, she also began to wonder when help would show up. Would they hear them coming? Would they get caught, literally, with their pants down?

From his knees, he reached up to her, pulling her towards him, reaching his hands up her skirt, rolling down her nylons and helping her step out of them. Setting them aside, he kissed from her knee up her right thigh, and then pulled her panties off and over her feet, adding them to the pile of clothes, careful to put them all in one place for quick retrieval.

He kissed back up her left thigh, then let his hot breath spill over her swollen clit, causing her to cry out slightly.

He helped her find a suitable place on the jackets, unbuttoning her blouse, pushing her bra up and over her tits, placing his hand on one, and the other in his mouth, his tongue caressing her nipple to the point she though it might burst. Her little whimpers and sighs encouraged him, and he bit her just enough make her squirm, a sharp intake of breath a beautiful sign of her surprise.

He kissed her then, his hot mouth taking hers captive with authority, his tongue exploring hers deeply, with intention. Lora could tell he was near to entering her, and it was all she could do not to arch her back and push up on her feet to meet him. Her body was crying out for him to…

“What was that?”

They both stopped, holding their breath.

“Fuck. I think there’s someone out there.” The disappointment in Alex’s voice was audible.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me?  Could their timing be any more impeccable?” Lora was so furious she nearly began to cry on the spot. So fucking close to doing the most impulsive and exciting thing she had ever done in her life, and now the fucking fire department shows up.

They both began to fumble quickly around for their clothes. Lora crammed her things into her bag, buttoned up her blouse and threw on her jacket. She fiddled with her hair, hoping the French twist wasn’t too damaged and that her makeup wasn’t so completely smudged that everyone outside that door would instantly know what they’d been up to.

She heard the zip of Alex’s pants. He’d never actually taken them off. Both of them had wisely and instinctively left as much clothing in tact as possible in case of a situation just like this.

“This is just bloody perfect, ain’t it?” Alex said into the dark.

“Yeah…perfect. A perfect disappointment,” Lora replied.

“You know, we could go back and do this the normal way. Hot dogs at the cart down the street? A Slushee at 7-11? And then head to the nearest 1-hour motel to do the dirty in bug-infested sheets.”

“Disgusting!” But she laughed at his crass humor.

“Or better yet…a nice dinner and then head back to my place for a good vintage and a good fuck overlooking the city – I have a pretty damned decent view, though I don’t like to brag.”

“Oh, really? Something tells me you do.” She found herself laughing again, oddly comfortable in this stranger’s company.

Both of them smoothed and pressed themselves into the most normal state possible, and as the doors were pried open by the intruding crowbar, Lora found herself growing nervous about seeing his face. There was a part of her that just wanted to walk away, and never look back. But there was a bigger part that wanted to turn to him, look into his eyes, and own her spontaneity…her impetuousness. She thought to herself, ‘What if this is good for me?’

The light flooded in, blinding her before she could begin to over-think her rhetorical question.

“Are you two okay?” The gruff voice invaded the small space and busted all thoughts of their intimate moment to hell.

“Yes, we’re fine…Good thing you guys showed up before anything inappropriate happened in here. Boredom can really get to people you know?” Alex laughed out loud, and the rescue workers laughed back.

As Lora’s eyes adjusted, she was forced to return to her choices. Quickly, now that she was back in the real world, she made the sensible one…to turn from him and walk forward.

“Hey, Alex, she called back…it was lovely meeting you.”

He started to laugh…hard.

She stopped.  Without looking back, she called out – “What’s so fucking funny?”

“You might want these…Lora…”

With the recognition that he’d just used her real name, she whipped around to look Carl right in the eyes.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me.” It was the third time she’d said it tonight. But seeing Carl, holding up her black lace panties in his hand, framed by the open elevator doors, surrounded by rescue workers, red and white lights swirling from the door behind her and windows beside her, she could only hang her head and laugh.

“Guess you aren’t as frigid as I thought you were.”

She turned to walk away, her insides burning with anger, fear, and humiliation.  But, she stopped. No, tonight she’d found something in herself that she hadn’t known existed. She wasn’t going to run from it. Both of them had lied. For whatever reason. And he hadn’t been an ass in that elevator. Quite the contrary.

“No. I’m not. And I’m starving after that ordeal. Chinese take-out sound alright?”

He ran up beside her, swinging her panties around his index finger.

“Sounds scrumptious.”

Lora rolled her eyes.

“I cannot believe I am doing this.”

“Really, I had no idea it was you, Lora. I’m just as surprised as you…maybe more so – who knew you were such a vixen?”

“Yeah, who knew? And who knew you weren’t a dick?”

“Well, I am, actually. But, at least I’m a glowing dick, right?”

As they walked down the city sidewalk, Lora tried to control her instinct to just flag down and cab and drive off to another city, far, far away and forget this had ever happened. But, she’d just about fucked some guy who was a complete stranger to her…and she was a little curious to find out just how wrong she had been about him.

“Another cliché ..the office rivals falling for each other? Or we could just have hate-sex if you’d prefer.” His dimples showed when he smiled, and it aggravated her how they made her thighs sweat.

“Let’s just take this one step at a time, Carl. And give me my fucking panties.”

She reached out to swipe them, but he held them above her head, swinging them like a lasso on his finger, laughing and looking down at her as she stood on her toes, wrestling with him to pull his arm down.

He was strong, and juvenile, and smelled incredible. Lora closed her eyes and stopped fighting. Carl put his arms around her and kissed her hard.

“I might be good for you, Lora. I might be just what you need.”

“You are full of yourself, aren’t you?”

“Yeah…and I’d like you to be full of me, too.”


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