Cassandra walked around the elegantly decorated bedroom inside the posh hotel. It was furnished with some of the most expensive furniture. Stylish bureau with matching mirror…oak desk set aside and a chair that looked like it had been picked up at a pricy dealership.
Of course in the middle of the room was the king sized bed, its spread turned down and what felt like silk sheets beneath her fingertips. She wore a black Vera Wang dress which hugged her figure as intended and sheer stockings that led to black heeled shoes.
Underneath she wore lingerie from the most exclusive catalog of Victoria's Secret in matching black of course. All accentuated by a diamond necklace that could have financed her entire grad school education but instead of hocking it, she wore it.
Perfect for the occasion…the party she had just left. Earlier that day she'd been at the day spa where Sophia sent her to get an aromatherapy massage and of course, a full manicure and pedicure.
Whatever it took to be ready for this night…the grand event inside the ballroom of the city's most posh hotel…which had attracted a most exclusive crowd.
She mingled around the party while suited waiters served champagne to guests who stood in throngs talking to each other. Sophia told her to walk the room and if any man wanted to talk to her she would stop and give him her full attention. Quite a few distinguished men had walked up to her, men who had made their mark in the world in one way or another.
Groundbreaking surgeons, record breaking athletes, famous entertainers and politicians. Men who ran companies at the top of the corporate food chain…the upper crest of society. They milled around the ballroom conducting power meetings in the guise of a social event.
But that's not all they did. In another room, there was a table where a dozen cards were displayed, highly decorative cards in the most elaborate script. They held photos of beautiful young woman with a brief description. Underneath, was another card where the men submitted bids in what was a silent auction…Cassandra should know, she was one of the women on display.
She thought about slipping away and going into that room to check her card but opted not to do it. It was difficult enough to not remember why she was here.
"You will be here to make every man want you," Sophia had said, "to make enough of them desperate enough to bid…and for one man, lucky enough to win."
Sophia had looked across from her desk at her while she sat there feeling more nervous by the moment. Eying the door looking for a reason, any reason to leave and not look back…but reality hit.
"What will I get if a man…wins?"
Sophia's smile widened.
"You'll get 30% the total winning bid per auction."
Her eyes had widened. Damn, the casual way that those words had rolled off of Sophia's tongue. But Cassandra didn't see that kind of money every day…money she so desperately needed. She already knew what the ball park figure would be…if she did well. But she'd hesitated.
"I…I'm not experienced in well…men…"
"Then you may get even more…if you sell it as an asset."
Then Cassandra understood what would happen next.
She remembered that conversation even before she had accepted the offer. After all, she made barely above minimum wage at her current job clerking for one of the city's most powerful partners at a legal firm.
Cruz Callantine…who had hired her just out of law school and put her to work as a paralegal while she studied for the State Bar. She currently specialized in contract law, and he loaded up her desk in her cubicle with work.
He kept her busy during the day but she knew if she were going to keep her apartment and pay off her student loans, she had to get a second job which meant…moonlighting. She didn't tell Cruz that was what she did because she barely saw the guy and she figured if she needed a second job to pay her bills, it wasn't his business as long as it didn't interfere with the work she did for his firm.
Still, this wasn't the normal type of moonlighting job…to work a job where she'd be auctioned off to the man who placed the highest bid. Then she would be escorted up to a hotel room where the high bidder would show up and claim his prize for the night.
She talked to a variety of men who wanted to know more about her before placing their bids for the night. Most were friendly and asked questions related to her education and work, not what she'd expected at all.
After refreshing her champagne, she walked to a corner of the ballroom. The alcohol had warmed her throat and had given her some courage. But as long as she didn't think what she was doing…she could almost enjoy herself in such posh surroundings.
Sophia walked up to her dressed in an elegant gown and a diamond pendent around her neck.
"You are enjoying yourself?"
"It's really nice…the men…"
"They've been casting bids in the other room," Sophia said, "I shouldn't say this but you're doing very well…attracting quite a bit of attention for someone so new."
Cassandra's skin flushed.
"I…I…wow…so what'll happen…?"
"Like I told you, you'll be taken upstairs into one of our nice rooms and the man who cast the highest bid will be waiting for his prize. Now the men have all been screened…so no crazies or sociopaths nothing like that. They are all repeat customers, the cream of our crop receive these invites."
Cassandra tried to calm herself. Her palms had started getting clammy and her heartbeat quickened.
"You'll be fine," Sophia said, "and you'll have money to pay off that debt."
Cassandra nodded and smiled because she really needed that weight off of her shoulders.
"I'll see you afterward…"
She watched as Sophia left. She went to mill in the room, listening to the music playing from a band in the corner.
Then she looked across the room and saw him. Cruz, standing there talking with another gentleman by the bar. To say he devastated in his Armani would be an understatement. For a man who spent his days in courtrooms or conference rooms, his rugged physique could flatter any outfit but his spirit couldn't be contained by finery. Dark black hair and tanned skin, muscles carved out of his yen for mountain climbing and deep sea diving. He'd led expeditions into the crags of mountains and explored the coral reefs and skeletons of ancient ships.
But he knew how to command attention on the job; he could get out of a cross-country flight one moment and within an hour be arguing a brief in front of a judge. Rumors buzzed about what he did on his travels when he wasn't on the clock. Late nights spent in the fanciest clubs with a woman or two on his arm and later in his bed.
Not that Cassandra paid much attention to what he did unless he gave her a project to do. She could go days without seeing him and then suddenly, she'd be called in his office to get an assignment, complete with deadline.
Though there were times, idle moments in a busy schedule when she imagined what it'd be like if she weren't there just to work. She imagined what it'd be like to fuck him. She reined herself in when she got too far into her fantasies. If she didn't she wouldn't get anything done.
To envision what she'd do to him if she didn't have to be a good employee. What'd it be like if she were in his office on her knees, suckling on the crown of his erection before he slid it inside her mouth. Better yet, he'd be the one with his mouth between her thighs worshipping her nether parts with his lips. Her panties grew damp before she knew it.
"Cassandra…what a nice surprise…"
Damn, her boss had seen her and was walking towards her. Oh how was she going to explain this to him? After all, he had to know what kind of party this was and what she would be doing here.
He smiled at her and to say he had a nice smile would be underselling it. It wouldn't be true either because often he smiled at those he was about to pull the rug out from under in the board room or in court. She learned to be wary of that smile…even as it made her insides go on slow burn when it was for her.
"I'd ask you what you're doing here but I know why."
She felt nervous suddenly. Oh god, what was he going to do now, would he fire her? It was one thing to moonlight, that he might understand but as a…she couldn't even say it to herself.
"Mr. Callantine…I can explain…I…"
"Call me Cruz…I think under the circumstances it's warranted."
That confused her and the way he appraised her now…that threw her off. She felt flustered.
"I….Mr…Cruz…it's just that…"
He put a hand up.
"No need to explain…we live in a tough economy and I know what I pay you…it can't be enough for paying off those student loans…a woman like yourself has to do what she needs to do to support herself."
His voice seemed calm, reassuring and almost soothing but underneath it…she sensed something else. The skin prickled on the back of her neck.
"Yes…it's been difficult and I needed to find another job and…"
"You ran into one of Sophia's ads," he said, "I've known her since I became a partner…she's one of my clients."
He smiled again.
"Yes…I come to Sophia's parties to relax away from the grind of the firm," he said, "For these parties, her lists of guests are very select."
"Yeah she told me that," Cassandra said, "She told me that she vets them very well."
"Yes as she does the women," he said, "She must have been quite impressed with you but I can see why…you're very beautiful in that dress."
She felt her skin flush under his eyes.
His gaze deepened.
"I imagine you look much more beautiful out of it," he said, "I've often wondered about that."
His words jolted her and she just stared at him.
He looked unfazed by her expression.
"Oh yes…in fact I chose you to bid on," he said, "No other women but there's no need because I've never lost a silent auction yet."
Her throat felt dry suddenly.
"Never…and I'm very selective in the women I do bid on," he said, "but you're so exquisite…and I know I'll be seeing you later."
Damn he seemed so smooth in his confidence but that shouldn't surprise her. That's what had defined him as one of the best lawyers in the city among other things. But no, he couldn't be serious about choosing her. She worked for him for goodness sake and to have him waiting for her in the bedroom…would be so wrong…so unethical and immoral.
She had to talk him out of it so she cleared her throat thinking quickly.
"Cruz…I don't think this is right for us to…"
Damn those words weren't coming easily.
"You know for you to….bid…on me," she said, "For you and me to…you know…"
"You mean for me to fuck you…Cassandra what is it that bothers you? The fact that I'm going to fuck you in a while or that I'm bidding on an auction to do that?"
She thought about that…what kind of question was he asking?
"Both…really…I work for you…"
"Yes you do…it's just that tonight your assignment will be different," he said, "Safe to say you won't be doing any legal research for me?"
Oh the smoothness, the silkiness of his tongue the way he spun his words. She wondered if that was what he was like when he…she imagined what it'd be like if he were on his knees holding onto her waist with his hands and tonguing her pussy. Sliding his tongue inside the folds to where he'd have her at his mercy…if his tongue went there…she'd do anything.
"Cassandra…I see you're thinking about what it's going to be like already…won't have to be imaging much longer."
The mirth in his voice put her on edge. To say that she'd just made a huge mistake by being here wouldn't do the situation justice.
"Sophia's very strict about her guests not touching the women," he said, "because otherwise, my hands would be all over you…I'd love nothing more than to slide that dress up your thighs and put my hands on your ass…."
Her jaw dropped.
"Cruz…I don't think…"
He reached out to stroke her face and her skin tingled as his fingers glided over it. Her breathing quickened.
"You're not going to do much thinking tonight."
She didn't imagine so the way he looked at her right now.
"Someone might bid against you…"
"Oh they have and I can see why…but at the end of the auction, my name will be on top."
Way too overconfident, she thought and she put her hands on her hips.
"Cruz…what if I say no," She said, "I mean you're my boss…this isn't right."
He pursed his lips.
"Sophia won't be too happy about that," he said, "and this isn't about what's right, it's about what I want and what you're going to want."
She sighed, thinking this was not going to turn out well for her.
"Cruz…I need my job…"
"I'm not going to fire you Cassandra," he said, "Neither of us are at work right now…well one of us isn't but we're not at the office."
True, she thought but still how could she face him at work if she'd fucked him in some hotel room the night before? What if others at the office got wind of what they'd done?
"I'm very discreet," he said, "It goes with the job and no one's ever going to know what goes on upstairs between us."
She didn't feel too sure about that. Why did he have to choose her? She wasn't even the prettiest woman in the room.
"I'll see you later….upstairs…"
And like that he walked away from her with those confident strides that told everyone he owned the room. Her knees went week because even though this party had taken a shocking turn she couldn't deny that just watching him made a part of her ache.
The part of her that he'd pay to possess…?
She sat in the lounge with the other women awaiting the results of the auction. None of them had a clue that would be waiting for them upstairs, well maybe not the rest of them. She knew that Cruz was going to cast the winning bid and that he'd be waiting for her upstairs. She knew what he was going to do to her; she'd leave that room only after she'd fucked her boss. What lay ahead for her unnerved her…it could be the end of her budding career but yet…her panties had grown damp since she'd encountered him and he told her how it would go as if she were on the other side of one of his legal cases.
"I hope I don't get a creep," one blonde woman said.
"Me too…though that champion boxer…what a hunk and he looked at me most the night…"
Truthfully Cassandra hadn't noticed very much after her encounter with Cruz. Neither that it nor anyone else mattered, what he wanted he usually got after all.
She couldn't believe he wanted her…well not her but her body and that she'd be giving it to him. The body she'd only shared with Charles when she'd been in college. Her studies and part-time jobs had taken up most of her time so her relationships were somewhat limited. Charles after all had lasted nearly six months and as far as bed time, he hadn't been much to write about…pretty dull actually. But if she could handle him…counting the moments until he rutted against her that last time…she could do the same to get through a night with Cruz.
Though somehow she didn't think it'd go quite like that. But Charles had told her during a fight, one of the last ones that she didn't seem to like sex. God, most of the time she'd been too burned out and exhausted trying to be the best in her class…anything less seemed like failure. Better to be a failure at screwing a guy than in life.
Whatever…she had to find a way to get through this night and what would happen. She knew it'd be her last auction. Maybe she could get a night job that didn't involve lying on her back.
Sophia walked into the room and everyone looked up at her expectantly.
"The silent auction has ended and the winning bids have been recorded," she said, "I will be giving you all your hotel keys as I've done for your…dates and one of my assistants will be taking you up to your rooms."
Cassandra tried to slow her breathing, to take it easy. She knew what she was getting into when she took Sophia's offer and if it was Cruz waiting…she'd find a way to handle it and him.
She got up and saw a man dressed like a bellboy waiting for her and she followed him to the elevator. They went up in silence and got out on a deserted floor. She followed him to the room and used her key to unlock it and go inside.
"When you're finished, just page me and I'll take you back downstairs."
He handed her what looked like a pager before leaving her alone. Only she wasn't alone, she looked around her the hotel room…and the king sized bed. She walked over to caress it, marveling in the luxuriousness of her surroundings.
Oh god, she certainly recognized that voice and turned around and coming out of the adjoining door was Cruz still in his Armani suit.
He looked at her in that appraising way of his…which sent tremors all the way to her feet. Pleasurable ones…the kind that could make her do crazy things if she weren't careful.
"I had to put down a high bid at the end," he said, "but I'm glad I did…god you're gorgeous and tonight…you're mine."
She swallowed noisily.
"Cruz…I don't belong to anyone…"
"Oh yes you do…it's in the rules I can do whatever I want with you," he said, "And I've waited long enough…"
She just looked at him puzzled.
"Waited…what do you mean?"
He unbuttoned his jacket to slide it off of his muscular shoulders, leaving him in his dress shirt.
"Ever since you've walked into my office for that interview, I've known I was going to fuck you…"
She heard the certainty in his voice and it nearly stopped her heart.
"I know but it had to be so I told Sophia…"
Oh god, what was he going to tell her? That he'd gone to Sophia to approach her to be in an auction so he could…she felt a chill go through her. But it wasn't fear or at least not only fear. Because to be wanted, almost hunted by a man like him…it did funny things to her…like made her breasts feel so damn sensitive and her pussy…well her panties still kept that secret for her.
"You told her to put me in an auction and then you'd corner the bids."
He didn't seem surprised that she'd figured it out.
"Yes…and now what I wanted is finally here."
"But you always get what you want don't you?"
"Of course…and now I'm going to have you…in my bed tonight…but first things first…"
She trembled beneath his gaze. Cruz was what she thought only existed among animals, a predator and she'd been his prey.
Now he had her in his sights.
He looked directly at her.
"I want you to take your dress off for me."
She felt irritated at him. She didn't much like bossy men.
"Why should I do that?"
"Because if you don't…I'll do it for you…"
She looked at him looking at her and knew he meant it.