“Yes, thank you for coming,” Ethan said nodding to his secretary. “We’ll be in touch.”
Selene followed Ms. Miller out the door and awaited instruction. There were two other women in the lobby; Ms. Miller quickly dismissed them.
“Now,” she said turning to Selene, “this won’t do.” She was alluding to her clothing. “Do you have anything more appropriate for your dinner date?”
“ ‘Uh,’ is not an answer. I know a place. They’ll take care of you.” She scribbled an address on a piece of paper and handed it to Selene. “Listen to their advice and remember you want to impress Mr. Cole.”
Selene assumed she was referring to Ethan. Ms. Miller came across hard, but Selene detected a protectiveness about her. It was as if she was looking out for Ethan. The way he had blanched in her presence made Selene smile.
“Are you listening? You look like you’re day dreaming.”
“No, of course not. I mean- yes I‘m listening, no I‘m not daydreaming.”
“Good, I’m scheduling your dinner for tonight at eight. Will that be enough time?”
“Uh…” she could sense Ms. Miller’s disapproval, “I’ll make it work.”
The boutique was lit like a museum. Dresses lined the store, lit from above like works of art on display. Selene was feeling the soft fabric of a ball gown when a sales girl approached her from behind.
“May I help you?”
“I was told I could find a dress here- the store was recommended by Ms. Miller.”
“Yes of course you must be Selene. The staff is at yours and Mr. Cole’s disposal. Now, what sort of dress are you looking for?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s the occasion?”
“A dinner date. I want something simple and pretty.”
“For a date with Mr. Cole?” The salesgirl stared at her incredulously. “No, honey, simple won’t cut it. I know the perfect dress.”
After pressing a glass of champagne into her hand and ushering her off to a dressing room, the sales girl went to hunt down the dress.
Selene stood alone staring at her reflection in a mirror. She set the champagne down and placed her hands on her face. She imagined her face covered in wrinkles, her hair thin and gray. She pulled her skin back tight; it made her eyes look pointed like a cat. The clock’s ticking away, she thought.
The door was thrown open by the sales girl, startling Selene. She handed her the dress and closed the door. Selene squeezed herself into the dress it was tight and red with a plunging v-neck.
When she stepped out of the dressing room the sales girls gasped.
“I told you. Is that the one or what?”
One of the other sales girls nodded her head in agreement.
Selene dreaded the question but she asked anyway, “How much is it?”
The girls looked up in surprise. “How much?” one asked. “It’s taken care of by Mr. Cole.
We‘re to see that you have whatever you want. Now about the shoes…”
When she arrived at the restaurant Ethan was waiting at the bar. One look at Selene and he nearly choked on his drink. Her dress hugged her curves and propped up her breasts in a way that took ten years off her age.
“Selene, you look stunning.”
He took her hand and brought it to his lips. His beard tickled her skin sending a fresh wave of shivers through her body.
He held her hand and stood, then led her to the table. It had been a long time since a man had held her hand. The small gesture left her weak in the knees.
For a moment she let herself hope that their relationship might grow to become more than just professional.
Ethan pulled out her chair and she sat down. He ordered a bottle of wine, then silently watched her. Selene suddenly became nervous about the arrangement, it was all too good to be true.
“What exactly would my responsibilities be?” she asked.
“You will be required to undergo a medical examination. I’ll also need a full family history- their health: mental and physical. Then, if everything checks out, we conceive a baby.”
He paused and smiled.
The whole situation was a bit surreal, but she couldn’t help smiling with him. The thought of having his child filled her with a warmth she didn’t know was missing.
“You will of course be the child’s mother,” he continued. “You will have full rights.
There is an apartment attached to my home where you may live. You will also receive an upfront fee as well as a monthly stipend. I will provide for the child’s expenses. I would like to be a father to this child. I didn’t have a father. I want him or her to have what I didn’t.”
“How is it you couldn’t find a girl on your own? I mean, you’re perfect.” Ethan laughed.
Selene could feel her face grow hot. “Well not perfect I mean- well you know what I mean.”
“I am far from perfect,” he said it morosely. In a tone that seemed to suggest he wanted to change the subject he added, “And of course there’s the money. I’m thirty-three years old.
The trust fund says I must have a child before my thirty-fifth birthday.”
“How would we- um you know?”
“Conceive the child? Well I’d hoped the old fashion way,” he smiled ruefully at her.
“Unless that makes you uncomfortable, we could use in vitro fertilization.”
“No, I like the old fashioned way.”
“Oh do you?” he said teasingly.
Selene rolled her eyes and took a long sip of wine. “Does this mean I have the job?”
“If you want it.”
She paused. This was one of those moments when life turned on a dime. “When do we start?”
“Well, there’s paper work we both need to sign, then we can begin.” There was tone of wonder in his voice. Selene realized this was a turning point for him as well.
He took her hand and stroked it gently with his thumb. “This is going to work. I don’t know how, but I have good instincts. I can feel it- we’ll be good together.”
Selene felt warmth spread throughout her body. His strong, sure voice, his soft touch it kindled a fire in her she thought had been long extinguished.
She fidgeted in her seat. When she moved, her foot brushed Ethan’s leg. Instead of pulling away she let it linger.
His gaze never left hers as she moved her foot up and down his leg.
She slipped out of her high heels and worked her foot up the cuff of his pants. She could feel the hair coating the hard muscles of his legs. She wanted to feel more of him, but was restricted by his pants.
She removed her foot from inside the cuffs.
Stretching across the table, she placed her foot between his legs. It was the only time Ethan’s gaze faltered. He licked his lips and looked down at his wine.
Selene could tell by the look on his face he was aroused.
She moved her foot along his thigh slowly, until she came to his crotch. Her toes gently explored his bulge. Just as she was working her way up to his cock the waiter brought there appetizers.
His sudden appearance made both Ethan and Selene jump. It startled her so badly she banged her knee on the table, sending Ethan in to fits of laughter. The waiter looked bewildered.
“We’ll take our food to go please,” Ethan said to him.
The car ride back to Ethan’s home was long. The ride was silent. Selene stared at his face silhouetted in the dark: his strong jaw and high cheek bones, he was handsomer than she had first realized.
Her eyes weren’t drawn away until they pulled up to his house. He lived in the country on a sprawling estate. It was hard for Selene to imagine he was having financial difficulties, his home reminded her of a hotel.
He led her inside and offered her a drink. Selene declined and said, “Show me your room.”
The house was like a labyrinth. They walked up the stairs and down a series of hallways before coming to Ethan’s bedroom. The room was large, but sparsely decorated.
Ethan walked over to a large canopy bed and sat on the edge. He removed his shoes, socks and coat.
Selene approached him slowly, she didn’t know whether she should make the first move or wait for him to.
He stood and met her in front of the bed. He brushed her hair out of her face to better see her, then ran his hands over her shoulders and down her side. Watching her expression, he stopped at her hips and asked, “Is this okay?”
Selene laughed and stepped towards him. She pressed her body firmly against his, then took his hands and moved them over her ass. His hands gripped her firmly. Selene slowly grinded against him. She could feel his cock grow hard.
Ethan bent down and kissed her once. He pulled away. An emotion crossed his face, but Selene couldn’t read it.
“I wanted-” he began and stopped.