This story is an inverted companion to Bimbo Eyes. The version here is revised slightly from that on MCStories. com based on comments from an insightful reader.
-- Downing Street
Lucy Lecutek sat behind her polished wooden desk, staring out the window. The day was rainy. She was perplexed. What to make of this new fellow, Eugene, whom she had hired to manage the office? There was something strange about him.
Maybe the strange thing about him was the lack of anything strange about him. He was a very ordinary fellow, in both looks and comportment. Quiet and deferential. Spoke in monotones.
He was pleasant enough though, or at least inoffensive, and possessed the right qualifications. He had experience working in clinical settings from a long stint at a research outfit called the Downing Institute for the Mind. He seemed to have settled in quickly at Lucy’s more modest practice.
Eugene’s blandness was one reason Lucy had hired him. She needed someone who wouldn’t upset her sometimes delicate female clients. She had hesitated about hiring an assistant at all – she preferred to run the office herself – and even more about hiring a man. But the growth of her practice made assistance inevitable. And Eugene couldn’t upset anybody. He was the kind of person who could leave the room without anyone noticing, even when he was the only other person in the room.
Yet today he had said something, out of the blue, that did surprise her. He told her not to wear trousers. It was an entirely off-hand remark, delivered in his trademark soft voice, while he was setting out her appointments for the day. “You should wear skirts,” he said, without preamble.
She looked at him. “What was that?” They were in her inner office. She was at her computer, he was tapping on a tablet.
He looked up briefly. “Skirts,” he said, as if the matter were obvious. “You specialize in counselling women, some of whom have difficulties around men, yet you present with an overtly masculine presence. Inappropriate. Not to mention unflattering. Skirts would be better.” He returned to his tablet.
The assertion was so unexpected it took Lucy a few seconds to process it. She said, “Now wait one minute, what do you mean by – ”
“Your ten o’clock should be here directly. Mrs. Arlington.” He left the room.
Lucy stared after him. Had her office assistant, Eugene of all people, just instructed her on what to wear? He hadn’t even changed his tone of voice. He could have been talking about scheduling.
She looked down at herself. She was in the simple office attire she favoured, a white blouse and black slacks, a black jacket over top. Low black pumps. Did this make her look ‘masculine’? Lucy Lecutek had been called many things at various times: shapely, eye-catching, comely, and once – by a fellow who earned a slap for it – sizzling, but certainly never masculine. Was it possible that she was presenting the wrong image to her clients?
There was something about the way Eugene said it. The flat monotone, the lack of energy as he spoke, somehow made his words seem heavier, as if what he said was so obvious that no emphasis was necessary. There was no way to read his emotions.
He had a round, flaccid face that gave him a perpetually hang-dog look. Pale blue eyes. He was younger than Lucy by a few years, but his blank face made his age hard to guess. He told his new boss to wear skirts, right to her face, without any change in inflection. His employment was probationary. She should have sacked him right then and there.
Eugene very nearly lost his position a second time, only a few days later. He was working at his desk in the reception area as Lucy passed by on her way to lunch. The morning had been busy. She noticed him looking down at she walked past, right down at her ankles, as if there was something stuck to her shoe.
She said, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing at all,” Eugene replied, still studying her calves.
Lucy was vexed. She was wearing her standard white blouse and black jacket, with a wool skirt in place of trousers. She indicated her long skirt with a sweep of both hands. “This is called a skirt. Women wear them sometimes. Even me. You should be pleased.” Why was she even indulging this conversation?
He only shrugged. “Hardly matters when it’s all black.”
She was taken aback. “What now? This is a perfectly ordinary business suit.”
Now he did look up. Lucy confronted that forgettable face with the watery blue eyes. “Ms Lecutek, you work with clients who are looking for rainbows, yet here you are looming like a storm cloud.” He shook his head. “You need colour. Lots of colour. And less black.”
Once again he made these impertinent comments as if they were ideas for new office carpets. His tone of voice was unchanged, his face expressionless. The absence of inflection somehow made it harder to take umbrage.
Lucy said nothing for a long beat. She opened her mouth to rebuke him, but nothing came out. What exactly was she supposed to say? “I’ll be back by one,” she declared. She stormed out of the office.
Later, sitting in her favourite coffee shop, eating lunch and watching the rain, she reflected on the conversation. Eugene’s comments were out of line. He had no business commenting on her clothing, even if he was thinking of the clients. She was the clinical psychologist here, not him. What did Eugene know about how a counsellor should dress? She should have sacked him immediately. Competent assistants were not so hard to find.
She sipped her latte. Why hadn’t she dismissed him? There was something about the way he said things that caught her off guard. One expected a certain angle to a statement like that, some sense of deference, or at least an “excuse me, but”, something to indicate that the speaker realized he was speaking out of turn, or that he felt strongly about the subject, or something. Eugene told her to stop wearing black the same way he would comment that he disliked tofu. An idle opinion, nothing more.
She had found herself searching his face, looking for some physical indicator of the tone missing from his voice. She found nothing but those featureless features and those pale, pale blue eyes. The blandness of his eyes was itself unsettling. She should have sacked him, she decided.
And yet . . . she looked down at herself. Was she really a metaphorical storm cloud, dark and broody and full of menace? She fingered her long, black skirt. She had been wearing skirts the past couple of days, perhaps as a tacit acknowledgement of appearing too masculine in slacks. Wasn’t that enough?
Outside, the rain was letting up. Maybe there would be a rainbow? Everybody loved rainbows. She finished her lunch.
The following morning, getting ready for work, Lucy surveyed her closet. She was half-listening to the morning news on the radio. There is an awful lot of black in there, she conceded. And grey. And beige. And . . . my god but it was all so drab. She flipped through hangers, looking at her choices. Storm clouds. Somehow they all made her think of storm clouds. Damn Eugene for planting that idea in her head.
A red skirt made her stop sliding hangers. There was something with a bit of colour. Rainbow instead of rain. The skirt was long enough to be respectable, but slim-fitting and flattering. She could wear that to work and no one would mind.
She pushed the thought aside. She wasn’t really about to wear a tight red skirt to work, especially not because her weird assistant told her too. Enough nonsense. It was time to get dressed.
She put on a grey skirt-suit with a white blouse. She piled up her brown hair for work. She caught her reflection in the mirror over her dresser.
There was something wrong with her clothes. She looked dowdy. Not exactly a storm cloud, but a grey sky promising drizzle. She needed colour. No she didn’t. She dressed this way every day. She wasn’t going to be persuaded otherwise by rude comments from an employee.
She fiddled with her jacket. Did it have to be grey? The skirt too. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She was running late. She needed to get breakfast.
Suddenly she was moving. She lifted her jacket, unzipped the skirt and yanked it down her legs. She grabbed the red skirt out of her closet and slid it on. She had bought it for a celebration; it was more festive than formal. Still, it looked good. She found herself smiling in satisfaction as she looked in the mirror.
The face smiling back at her was looking flushed. That was unexpected. She could feel her nipples pressing against the cups of her brassiere, like kittens mewing to be petted. This was an odd time to be getting turned on. She flexed her hips back and forth. The skirt was designed to advertise that flex. More mews from the kittens.
To distract herself, Lucy looked around for her shoes. Her ordinary work shoes were black, and too dull for this skirt. Impulsively, she stepped into a pair of medium-heeled, red slings instead. Smiling again, she headed to the kitchen for coffee.
Lucy’s satisfaction with her skirt choice did not last. She was right that no one appeared to notice, at least in any negative way. The skirt did emphasize the shape of her bottom and the sway of her hips as she walked. It ended barely above the knee. Lucy felt she was making a real accommodation here. And, perhaps, appearing a little more in sync with her female clients.
Yet Eugene dismissed her red skirt out of hand. “It’s a beginning,” was all he said.
Once again Lucy found herself on her back foot. “What – what does that mean?” she demanded. “You were on about black and storm clouds and no colour. Well, here’s colour, as bright as a poppy, so what – ”
“Ms. Lecutek,” he said, – he refused to call her Lucy, even when they were alone – “a single flower blooming in a wasteland is not a garden, it’s a survivor. The issue here is attitude. I sit among your clients all day. I see their dress, their style, their femininity. Some of them are troubled. Wouldn’t they relate better to a counsellor whose own style is upbeat, cheerful, approachable? Do you want to seem like an understanding friend or a judgmental prude?”
It was a long speech by Eugene’s standards. It took a moment for Lucy to digest what he said. It did make sense, in a way. Women related better to women like themselves. Was she coming across as distant and analytical? Eugene presented this argument with his typical deadpan delivery, as if he were reading the instructions for something highly technical, like a programmable thermostat. The flat delivery and his unanimated face somehow made his words seem indisputable; they offered no chink for her to pry into.
“Well, uhm, of course I need to relate,” she offered, eventually, “but – ”
“You’ll never get there without making an effort to look like a woman,” Eugene interrupted. “Make pretty colours the foundation of your wardrobe. Try lipstick. Those studs in your ears are not jewellery.”
Lucy gaped at him. This was beyond the pale. She decided to terminate his employment right then and there. As she was deciding what to say, Eugene somehow left the room without her noticing.
I’ll try this once, Lucy decided, early the next morning. Once only. Then we’ll see. She was standing in her bedroom again, studying herself in the mirror, again. She was dressed for work. She was following Eugene’s advice to present a more user-friendly image. Black and grey were on hiatus. She was wearing a twilight-blue jacket and skirt over a silvery camisole that hinted at the lacy bra underneath it. The tight skirt stopped a couple of inches above the knee, with a short gore up one leg. She wore suntan pantyhose and her red slings. The outfit was stylish, not to say sexy, but still within bounds, or at least she told herself.
She found the suit in the back of her closet, a hold-over from her younger days. She had gained a pound or two in the interval, which only made her fill out the skirt more fetchingly. Big gold disks glistered in her ears, matching the gold pendant hanging between her breasts.
The woman in the mirror looked sharp, she had to admit. She would turn heads on the street. Sometimes her clients came in with boyfriends or husbands. Lucy found herself imagining their reaction when they saw her new persona.
Her kittens were mewling again. She gave one a little tweak through the silk camisole. That proved a mistake. A bolt of sexual heat lanced through her, making her gasp. When she recovered, she couldn’t resist doing it again, and then again, and each time it felt even better. When she started massaging both breasts at once the effect was doubly effective. She moaned out loud.
She stopped herself then, with an effort. Why was she getting turned on by her own reflection? There were few men in Lucy’s life at that moment. Her work tended to outpace them. She briefly, but seriously, considered missing her first appointment to spend some time taming her needful pussy. Again she stopped herself. She was already late for work. She had lost a bit of time getting her mascara right.
Lucy taught a course in clinical psychology at the local university two nights a week. At least half the class were men. They perked up at once when Lucy pranced into the room, looking bright and leggy in her short blue skirt and red heels. Lucy thrived in the attention. She smiled at the class. She found excuses to bend over, pulling the skirt tight across her asscheeks. She did her best to present an upbeat, approachable attitude.
She succeeded on both counts, especially the second. A crowd of students surrounded her after class, asking questions about the lecture, making conversation, hanging about. Usually they left without a word. More than half the crowd were guys, some with genuine questions, most simply lingering for a better look.
After class, Lucy climbed into her Toyota Prius and drove home. She tossed her purse and notes on a hall table. She hurried to her bedroom, where she threw off her clothes, sprawled on her king-size bed and used her fingers above and below to tease and please herself to a back-arching orgasm.
The intensity of her climax surprised her almost as much as the imagery that propelled it. On those rare occasions when she indulged herself, Lucy’s fantasies tended to be gauzy and vaguely romantic. One vision of a gentle lover drifted seamlessly into the next. Now, informed by her performance in the lecture hall, she imagined being firmly taken by a series of lustful men she had inflamed with her hot body. Desire replaced romance; hard throbbing organs displaced passionate kisses. When Lucy had caught her breath and cooled down for a few minutes, she went around again.
Something is very wrong here, Lucy decided, sometime later. She was still lying on her bed, mostly nude, idly fingering herself with one hand. A lecture on depressive mental states should not lead to a masturbational frenzy, no matter how keenly the male side of the class ogled her. She had no business being this horny. She had no business teasing the class like that. Nor enjoying it so much.
Eugene insisted that a more cheerful wardrobe would improve her client relationships. He didn’t mention anything about becoming an overheated tramp. What was going on?
Eugene provided no insights into Lucy’s emotional state. When she arrived at work the next morning in an aquamarine dress and classy sandals he made no comment. “Mrs. Delucios cancelled again,” he said, when she was settled behind her desk. “I filled her spot from the open list.”
“She keeps doing that,” Lucy murmured. “I wonder if she’s avoiding me. She’s having some trouble facing her issues.”
“Or facing her counsellor. Maybe she remembers you as intimidating.”
“Eugene, don’t start on that again. I’m making an effort to meet my clients in their wheelhouse. I haven’t worn black all week. Does this outfit look intimidating to you?”
Somehow he was still unimpressed. “It’s not appearance, it’s attitude. Your attitude says: I’m wearing this dress to show you how stylish I am, not to put you at ease. I know how to dress in proper cuts and coordinated colours, but I’m not interested in having fun. Or showing you how to have fun. I’m terribly proper and serious.”
Lucy gaped at him. “What? You’re making no sense. This isn’t about having fun. My clients do have serious issues.”
“You don’t want them to be happy?”
“Of course I do, but we can – ”
“Then why don’t you show them a happy attitude?”
He shrugged. “High heels. Short skirts. Party colours. Lighten up a little.”
She stared at him in shock. “Eugene this has gone far enough! I am a professional and I am going to dress like one. My clients look up to me for a mature and measured comportment, not a glittering party girl. Furthermore I can make my own decisions about office decorum, so from now you may keep all your clothing suggestions to yourself.” Her scowl was a dagger, aimed at his heart.
Yet her assistant only shrugged again. “You could at least try letting your hair down.”
“Didn’t I just say – ”
“Ms. Lecutek, I keep saying it’s about putting your clients at ease. You know the expression, ‘let your hair down’? It means relax and trust and talk about things you normally keep private. That’s what your clients need. Yet you confront them with your hair literally up in a bun so tight it’s obvious you have nothing to share. So why should they?”
Again he presented this absurd argument with the same placid certainty as the six a.m. farm report. Nothing about it seemed assertive. His rag-doll face was as inscrutable as ever. Lucy found herself peering into his eyes, looking for some sign of life. It was like looking down into the ocean.
She collected herself. “I think I can manage my own grooming too.”
If the rebuke affronted Eugene, he showed no sign of it. “Your ten o’clock has arrived,” he said, leaving the room.
Again, Lucy found herself reflecting on Eugene’s words as she went about her day. Dammit, why hadn’t she dismissed him right then and there? It was those eyes of his: those empty, blank eyes that kept drawing her in, teasing her into trying to find something worthwhile in their fathomless depths.
She caught her reflection in an office window. Did it really matter how she wore her hair? Hair up was sexless, professional. Hair down was – what? Friendly? Relaxed? Feminine? Weren’t these features that would help her relate to her generally young clientele? The bun on her head did look rather school-marmish. Wasn’t it something of a sin to hide away her beautiful locks? She shook her head. She had work to do.
Definitely something peculiar happening here, Lucy decided, late the next week. Eugene was messing with her brain. She was sitting in her usual counselling chair, across from an identical chair where a pretty young wife was elaborating her marital problems. Her husband, it seemed, wanted sex at much more frequent intervals than she did. It seemed to Lucy that hubby’s desires were perfectly normal and he wasn’t the problem here, but she didn’t say that out loud. Anyway she was only half-listening. She had other matters on her mind.
The other matter was her own behaviour. She looked down at herself. She was wearing a short, lace dress of sunset red that clung eagerly to her figure. A trendy red corset-thing around her waist further emphasized her taut stomach, while drawing attention to the pert breasts spilling out above it. Rich brown hair tumbled down over her shoulders.
She had her knees crossed, hiking her hem up shapely thighs. She watched the light glint off her tall gold heels. Her tights were sheer and shiny.
She was at once pleased and perplexed by her clothing choice. Why was she dressed like this? It verged on the unprofessional.
Ordinarily, she would have at least coupled such a short skirt with opaque hose to tone down the leg show. Wearing black was becoming a challenge. Putting aside black trousers was natural enough because she had pretty much stopped wearing pants. But the proscription against black clothing had spread like an internet meme to quickly encompass black skirts, black sweaters, black underwear, black anything. Grey was disappearing too, while tan and beige were fighting a desperate rear-guard action. Nowadays, if it wasn’t on the rainbow, she didn’t want it. Her underwear was lemon yellow.
The wardrobe make-over began innocently. Lucy had decided that Eugene’s supposition that she needed more colour, while clearly preposterous, was perhaps worthy of a fuller test. She didn’t want to intimidate her clients, after all. A couple of new outfits were all she needed. That required a visit to the shops.
Lucy’s first choice was a little sexier than standard office attire. She hadn’t expected that trying on a stretch-fit, puce miniskirt would feel so yummy. Or that the feeling would get even better when she coupled it with a flattering purple sweater. While she paid for those, she wondered if the happy buzz she was feeling came from knowing she was laying the foundation for a potentially better counselling approach. The thrill she got from her second purchase, a classy, moss-green dress as snug as it was brief, convinced her, perhaps unwisely, to try one more.
Lucy had gotten a little carried away. She found herself exploring glamorous, upscale boutiques that she had never noticed before. Every new outfit she tried on, every burst of sunny colour that further expunged her old blacks and greys, brought a new round of delight. At some point she realized that laying a new foundation for counselling required new foundations. That arousal-fogged reasoning led to a line of lingerie stores and, among other items, the matching yellow lace Lucy was wearing beneath her office outfit.
Eventually, Lucy had stumbled back to her condo, the backseat of her little Toyota piled high with bags of snazzy new clothing. On the way home the weird thought occurred to her that she should replace her staid grey car with something sporty and red. She managed, barely, to get all her gaudy packages out of the car and onto the floor of her bedroom before she had to fling off the clothes she was wearing (starting with the cool silver ankle boots), dash into the shower, and pleasure herself to not one but two sparkling, groaning orgasms.
I’m showing my clients a happy attitude, Lucy reminded herself, as she wandered into work the following Monday. I’m being upbeat and relatable. I’m wearing a hot-pink suit with red designer pumps and no blouse. I think I may be losing my mind.
She was late again. Choosing the right outfit took time. Doing her hair and face took time. Relieving sexual tension in the shower took time.
A rebuke from the young wife brought her back to the present. “Are you listening to me?” the wife complained.
Lucy started. She had been distracted again. “Of course, of course. Please go on.”
“I need to make Travis understand that I have moods, and sometimes sex just isn’t on the table.” She made a helpless gesture with both hands.
Lucy worked to keep her continence even. She heard complaints like this too often. Impulsively, she said, “Well if you don’t want sex on the table, why not try the chesterfield?”
The woman gaped. “What did you say!”
“I’m sorry. I only meant that your husband has needs too.”
Outbursts like that one were becoming a problem. Lucy had met her client’s husband, briefly, when he accompanied her to one of her sessions. He was a hunk. He probably had a nice hard cock. If his inhibited wife didn’t want him to bend her over the dinner table, Lucy would be happy to take her place. Wearing heels. Outrageous thoughts like that were becoming a problem too.