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Babes

Ball and Chain

Judging from my day job, nobody would likely have ever guessed the sorts of ‘activities’ I willingly engaged in within the bounds of my free time. Every morning I entered my office donning a pressed suit, perfectly arranged tie, with not a hair out of place (as per my employer’s preferences).

At precisely 05:45 I was crawling out of bed to drag myself into the shower, and by 06:00 I was out for my morning run. By 06:30, it was a second shower, the whole morning spiel – and then a very reluctantly prepared meal before I had to dress for the day.

Yeah. I know what you’re thinking. I sound like one perfectly boring, perfectly average twenty-something with more or less zero edge. Well, it came with the job. When you were working for Elliott Grimme of Grimme Enterprises (you know the one – the tall, drop-dead-gorgeous SOB with a penchant for all things class), there was little way to avoid it. Every employee, including myself, was expected to be of utmost quality, both in our work ethic and apparently, our sense of style. Something about ‘impressions are everything’, or some shit. I’d honestly stopped listening halfway through the initial presentation because I’d heard this all before

Be innovative.

Be exceptional.

Be. . .

And blondie lost me. The angry flock of birds crowing beyond the floor-to-ceiling panes to her rear were far more entertaining. I couldn’t tell you how many songs I’d recalled to memory during the entire ordeal just to keep myself awake, either. Plain and simple – I hated meetings. I hated discussing them, I hated scheduling them, and I most certainly hated attending them. This one was no different.

As you’ve probably guessed, this wasn’t my first day. No, this was more like my third-and-a-quarter-century-of-suffering day. I’d already been through sixty thousand hours of about the most painfully un-stimulating job training sessions since probably ever.

Whomever was responsible for the travesty that was their HR management was going to receive a strongly worded letter from yours truly. Luckily, I’d recently familiarised myself with the proper format required of the company for all official correspondence. I’d send them a lovely little “fuck you very much” with a cover letter addressed “to the sadistic tyrant of HR”.

It was obvious that none of them necessarily enjoyed doing what they did, but company policy was company policy, I supposed. Even if it was an exceptionally unimpressive one.

Now with all the bitching I more or less had been doing, my lack of intrinsic motivation must have been all too evident, but my responsibilities were not something I took as lightly. I was responsible for acting as the secretary beneath the chief secretary. She was a woman of about what I guessed to be thirty-six – detached – and had a serious obsession with doves. Since the first day we had become acquainted, I had steadily taken notice of this fact, be it a brooch, a barrette, or the graphic that had been brushed onto her favourite mug.

Whatever, everyone had something, I supposed. Who was I to judge? In comparison, I was the last person to be passing judgment on the interests of others.

When I’d greeted my small office – a branch that stemmed from the office of the chief secretary – I was only mildly disappointed by the simplistic state of it. At the very least it was a clean, organised space, albeit intensely minimalist. Then again, it was perfect. It would be easy to keep the place clean, and so long as I kept everything well organised, the lack of ample storage space could be overcome.

I seated myself quickly, whipped out my Mac, and powered it up with a long sigh. Apparently, my first assignment was to re-organised the financial reports to be later delivered to my employer at a rendezvous that evening. I had about three hours until that deadline after wasting more or less an entire day in a chair that had become intimate with the planes of my body in ways I didn’t care to recollect.

All I knew was that an appointment with a very skilled masseuse would be in order once this was all over. I’d even skipped lunch – not having been able to find it in myself to consume any of the brunch selection that’d been offered – and now the decision was coming back to haunt me.

Damn this. It was a mess – the entire thing – from top to bottom. Whomever had put together this report was sorely lacking, and it was almost too evident. It probably wasn’t their fault, and I chalked it up to stress, but there was no way I was re-organising anything remotely related to the rubbish I’d been struggling to make sense of for at least a half hour.

At that point, I had two options; the first was to BS a report and let the original author take a lashing. The second was amassing all of the necessary information and composing a new one. Needless to say, I went with the second option – even if my stomach was eating itself into nonexistence.

I slaved over xslot it for the next two hours, not including the time it took to request the necessary documentation and pick it up from the archives. I ended up finishing with ten minutes to spare, thankfully, and tucked it into a neat little dossier for the chief secretary before stalking my way into her office. Perfect. Now she wouldn’t have to worry about-

She was gone.

I checked in the adjoining lobby for our departmental floor, the employee lounge, and even asked a couple of the other secretaries if they had seen her.

Not being one to panic, I sucked in a deep breath and considered my options. Where had I not checked – the ladies’ restroom excluded?

Still musing when the gentle clearing of a throat caught my attention, I’d slowly turned to peer down at the secretary stationed nearest our office. She was pretty, with large hazel eyes and chestnut coloured curls. They were gathered up into a chignon, as per company standard, but a few errant locks tickled at her cheeks.

“Mr. Mordecai, she’s in the office with Mr. Grimme.” She explained, holding up a finger whilst she murmured into the receiver. “. . . yes, of course. I’ll send him right in. Mr. Grimme would like to see you now.”

I blanked. Mr. Grimme?

She must have realised I’d spaced, because in the next moment she’d been clearing her throat again, nodding in the direction of the big boss’ quarters.

Mr. Grimme would like to see me now?

I hadn’t been expecting to come face to face with the man, at least not anytime soon. I was the secretary’s secretary, and by default that didn’t give me very much standing within the bureaucracy here. Why he could possibly want to see me was beyond a mystery. Unless. . . had she mentioned the report? Maybe I was about to have my arse handed to me – well done with a side of unemployment for screwing things up within my first week. Was the report really that late? No, I wasn’t panicking at all.

Every step I took weighed heavier and heavier on my heart. Was my tie straight, were my glasses sitting properly? Had I crushed my suit? I found myself checking these things over carefully, even going so far as to take down and re-do my hair for good measure. At that point, there was little else that I could do to look more presentable, so I sucked a deep breath in through my nose and very hesitantly pushed one of the french doors open.

What met my eyes was almost unbelievable – too remarkable to really exist. His office was spacious – sprawling, even with a very modern yet artistically sleek atmosphere. I envied it. I envied the beautiful floors, the leather seating arrangement I was sure felt like butter to the touch, and most of all the city-scape beyond the floor-to-ceiling panes of his office. Already twinkling with the arrival of the evening hours, it was dazzling.

Worst of all, though, was the magnificent creature seated behind an impressive, neatly organised mahogany desk. He was clad in a suit that must have been expertly tailored, his hair carefully arranged in a manner that suggested that not only was he as charming as he appeared – that he was conscious of the ever-present need to look professional. His steel blue eyes were piercing, vibrant – lips perfectly sculpted.

Everything from the set of his brows to the line of his nose and the angle of his jaw could render one speechless.

They had let this become a businessman? This had to be cheating. Who wouldn’t say yes to anything he demanded? He probably could’ve had anything he wanted, right then and there, with just the snap of his fingers.

I swallowed hard. I wasn’t ready. This was too soon. Was it too late to run?

“Come in, Mr. Mordecai.” He insisted.

Yes. I mentally hissed. Aloud I said, “Yes, of course, sir.” I shut the door behind me the moment I’d been able to recall how legs operated, still hugging the dossier containing my report to my chest.

“Mrs. Stone has informed me that you were charged with the task of revising the final draft of the financial report. Correct?”

I nodded, catching myself a moment too late. “Yes.” I wasn’t sure why, but for a moment, I felt intensely self-conscious.

“May I see it, Mr. Mordecai?”

“Ah- yes, of course.” I glanced to the chief secretary, striding forward to offer the documents as requested. I could’ve sworn I’d caught a smirk hiding away in the corners of his perfect lips and my tie suddenly felt too tight.

“Mrs. Stone, if you’ll excuse us.” He said politely, offering her a smile I was sure might’ve put anyone less frigid in a coma. Her name must have been Stone for a reason, though, because she’d simply risen with an ever polite “yes, Mr. Grimme” before departing the room.

It had yet to register with me until the door had shut that she had left me alone with this man.

“Please – have a seat, Mr. Mordecai.”

Mr. Mordecai. . .ugh. I sounded like my father. “Yes, xslot Giriş thank you. Ezra is fine.” My attempt at politeness was delivered with not nearly as much confidence as I’d been hoping. Instead of standing there like an idiot, though, I at least had the sense to sink into one of the delicious leather chairs before his desk. Sheer bliss.

Crossing one long leg over the other, he’d begun to flip through the report, brow furrowed in concentration as he examined my work. This was it – he was going to fire me. I was going to get the boot and I had barely settled in.

“Mr. Mordecai, did you write this report?”

Oh, hell. “Yes, sir, I did.”

More silence, more apprehension. Was this his game? If he was going to fire me, he might as well have broken the news to me already.

“It’s quite detailed. What do your present duties entail, Mr. Mordecai?”

“Really, just Ezra is fine. I’m responsible for the tasks assigned to me by Ms. Stone.” He laced his fingers, expectantly, so I cleared my throat and began again. “I’m expected to handle tasks that vary from report composition to scheduling, proposal review, basic clerical tasks, and correspondence.”

If he was impressed by any of that, he never showed it. I could have sworn I’d seen amusement dancing in his steel blue gaze. It had raked over my features once before, but now they seemed to be studying me again. I vaguely wondered what he must have first thought when I had entered the room.

I only stood at 174 centimetres with sable tresses that reached my mid-back and turquoises eyes that I hid mostly behind dark thickly-framed spectacles. Today, my hair was done up, just as it would have been expected to be for a secretary. He must have been thrown for a loop seeing my chignon. I had yet to see anyone else here with hair length exceeding more than a few inches. I was an anomaly.

“You pulled together this report just now?”

“Yes.”

“In under three hours?”

“Yes.”

“This is based upon months of documentation.”

“Correct.”

He straightened up in his chair, then rose in one fluid motion to stride about the desk. Watching him travel was something magical. Every step was deliberate, demanding of attention. No wonder he was so successful. That was the sort of confidence that could conquer nations.

“How long have you worked for Grimme Enterprises, Mr. Mordecai?”

“Three days.” I murmured this just as he had settled onto the edge of his desk. From a closer vantage, he was almost intoxicating. I had to do my best not to lean back into the leather, as far away from him as possible.

“It’s my present belief that you don’t belong there, Mr. Mordecai.”

Here we go. I thought. He’s going to light my ass up and fan the flames with the report I just handed him.

“I understand, sir.” I didn’t, but I would accept it.

“Good. Then, first thing starting tomorrow, you’ll be transferred to accounting.”

If I’d had any coffee, this would have been the perfect time to spit it out in surprise. “Accounting?”

Tilting his head, Mr. Grimme regarded me as though he’d just discovered the newest object of his amusement. “As I stated. Problem?”

Was he laughing at me? Why? “None whatsoever.”

“As it should be. Now go – I’m sure you’ll find your new office without difficulty.”

Excuse the fuck out of me. Wait, had I just been promoted? For what? Without really knowing what more to say, I rose with a polite nod and marched myself back out of his office. I could feel his eyes bore holes into my back the entire time and slapped a hand over the hairs that’d risen at the nape of my neck.

I was in way over my head, I could feel it, and come the following Tuesday – exactly a week from my appointment – I had already been regretting my lack of decision to refuse the promotion. Accounting was absolute hell, and just about all of my energy had been spent keeping things together. It felt as though I was doing a one-man-show and no amount of coffee seemed to make any difference to my state of exhaustion. Luckily, however, my lunch break had just rolled around, leaving me free to depart the office for the next hour – or so I thought. Before I had even fully shrugged into my pea coat, a pair of expensive Italian leather loafers had sauntered into view. I followed the trail up a pair of dark grey Armani suit pants, a matching waistcoat, and white pinstriped shirt until my eyes had settled on the face of a certain Elliott Grimme.

Elliott sodding Grimme. This was all his fault, completely.

“Mr. Mordecai.” he greeted, tone casual.

I held back a scowl. How dare he be friendly?

“How are things coming along?”

Terribly. “I have it all under control.” I lied. “Nothing that can’t be done.”

“Of course not. After all, I’m sure you’re quite capable.” He mused, turning his gaze back onto me. The intensity of it was something I hadn’t been expecting. I’d lifted xslot Güncel Giriş my own from the endless stacks of documentation to regard him proper and found that his eyes had been intently trained on me. I wasn’t sure what it was about them, but immediately my anger had melted away, replaced instead by an acute awareness of his scrutiny. I could feel as they appraised every inch of my face, and I was painfully aware of when they had moved on to have a look at the rest of me. It didn’t take long for me to begin to fidget, but almost as abruptly as he had appeared, he had been stating that he would take his leave. It left me confused and just a little disappointed. No matter how nervous he made me when he was present, the moment he was gone, I felt a hint of that familiar dismay arise.

Thankfully, it wasn’t like I had only Elliott Grimme and my newfound bane of existence to focus on. It was friday, so I would have the weekend to myself, and I had been looking forward to that since hearing that my schedule would be better balanced. I knew precisely what I was going to spend it doing, too – and where. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed after a week like this one, and I was lucky enough to have maintained my member status for all of these years.

Bathory Estate was just a two hour’s drive out of Seattle, Washington, where I’d spent the better part of four years after moving from Los Angeles, California. It was a magnificent, sprawling estate – one of the most resplendent I had ever had the pleasure of visiting.

The moment I’d parked and retrieved my overnight bag from the passenger’s seat of my little black mazda, I was climbing out to peer up at the estate’s main house. The manor was beyond words, and I lost my breath to awe alone, gaping up at gothic arches – the impeccably detailed masonry. Such a profoundly severe degree of beauty was the only reminder I needed of why I’d found this place to be so addicting. Once you drove in past the looming, spired wrought-iron gates, you had entered an entirely different world.

Here, I was Ezraeil – addressed most typically by my full name, and only by the pet name of Ezra by my companion submissives.

I’d climbed the stairs in slow procession, greeted by the familiar face of a man named Allaen. He was tall – taller than I ever guessed a human being could manage to be – and his luscious waves were heavily threaded with silver. His facial features, however, were especially young for his age. I hadn’t actually seen him look any older in recent years, but nothing really surprised me. As far as we were all concerned, Allaen would live forever.

He was the head butler of Bathory Estate, and my escort up the stone steps that would land us at the pair of immaculate french doors awaiting us. He’d taken my bag, ushered me in, and almost immediately had begun leading me off to my room. My memory did the interior of the manor injustice. As compared to the images my mind had managed to cling to for all of this time, it was entirely magical. “So lovely to see you again.” He offered, bowing an arm for me to thread my own through, striding alongside me with a relatively serene expression.

“I nearly thought you’d forgotten us.” added Allaen.

“Nonsense. It’s just work that’s kept me away – mostly.” It was true to an extent, but it had been that much among other things.

“Well, it does soothe my heart a bit to hear that from you.” He explained as we traversed polished marble floors. Every one of our steps echoed across the warm expanse.

“I wouldn’t have stayed away for so long if I didn’t think I had a handle on things. Trust me, my return is much needed, though.”

“Well, that is why we remain here.”

Why that made me laugh, I wasn’t sure, but it was the first real laugh to bubble up out of me in a long time. “I don’t know what it is about you, Allaen, but I really don’t think this place would ever be the same without you.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” He informed me with an amused glance from the corner of his eyes.

We had climbed the stairs, arm in arm, until we’d reached the main hall and had taken a second set of stairs toward the rear of the manner to the Eastern wing where all of the submissives dorm’d.

The moment we’d reached my room, Allaen had unlocked the door and I’d immediately bee-lined for the bed, tossing myself in a sprawl onto the perfectly laid black satin. Near instantly, I’d regretted making a mess of the perfectly made bedclothes, but it felt so particularly delicious beneath my exhausted form that I couldn’t bring myself to get up again.

Allaen set my bag down near a pretty chaise lounge, shut the door behind himself, and at last had allowed me to revel. This was what I’d been dying for all week – to at last re-assume the identity that freed me from the complications of the real world.

That’s right. I, Ezraeil Mordecai was a submissive. And I was home at last.

***

This had to be a dream. There was no way in this life or the next that I was actually seeing this right now. I was almost positive that at some point during my short nap, someone had dosed me, because drugs were the only explanation for what I was witnessing before me.

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