Chelsea didn’t think about Davis much any more. When he did cross her mind, she made a conscious effort to think about something else. Sarah had been right, it turned out; he did a little too much thinking with his own cock.
As she had no intention of going anywhere near it, that made for a problem in their friendship, and she’d finally accepted that it wasn’t one that could be fixed from her end. Not that this wasn’t annoying, but there were better things she could be doing than try to change that.
She’d hoped that the ultimatum would work as a wake-up call, but if it had, he’d rolled over and gone back to bed. That had hurt, at first, but a few weeks later and her attention was firmly on other things.
All the same, her emotions were a little complex when her phone began to ring and the screen suggested it was Davis calling. It was surprising enough, in its way; like most people of their age, they didn’t tend to use phones to place calls. Voice messages weren’t uncommon, or maybe a call through one of the apps. But an actual honest-to-God call placed through the phone line? Something about it seemed wrong.
“This had better be good,” she said as she lifted the phone to her ear. But she didn’t hear Davis on the other side; she just heard a strange almost musical arrangement of sounds. Chelsea frowned, wondering what was going on. Butt dial? Maybe, but the sound was so clear. No - it seemed much more likely he’d called deliberately. But if so - why the music?
She’d admit, though (if she had to) that it was catchy; she started out waiting for him to break into the tune and explain what the hell he was playing at, kind of assuming that this was some kind of power play on his part. But time kept going by and Davis wasn’t talking.
“What’s going on?” she asked. Or, at least, that was what she tried to ask. Her words seemed to slur somehow, stumbling against the unchanging tempo of the music. She was speaking as if in slow motion.
The same way she was thinking.
Davis’ voice was suddenly in her ear, over the call. “Masturbate and think of me,” he said, and then the call was over.
Chelsea’s thoughts were still sluggish. Her fingers opened lifelessly and her phone tumbled from her hand to bounce off the rest of her armchair, where it clattered, forgotten, to the floor.
Slowly, she shifted in the chair. Her left leg unfolded, drawing her foot out from under her to settle on the floor. She scooted forward, leaning back in the chair, her thighs widely spread. Chelsea’s feet came together as she continued to brace herself, knees as wide apart as the armchair would allow. Her eyes, unfocused, stared at nothing. In her mind’s eye, she saw Davis. Her fingers coaxed her belt buckle open as she considered her old, lost friend.
He wasn’t her type, and yet as she fumbled at her panties, a sudden, embarrassing wave of heat filling her body, she found herself thinking of him. Not her boyfriend, not her celebrity list, not one of her exes or her cherished crushes. Beneath the level of her consciousness her mind was scrambling to find something she could latch onto for her fantasies.
It wasn’t his body - not her type. It wasn’t his height - she had an inch on him, and shorter men didn’t usually catch her eye. (Plus they were often so grumpily fussy about women who were taller. She didn’t think Davis would behave that way, but the experiences were there, and they warned her against it.
And while he was a likeable guy, nothing about him had ever made Chelsea ponder fucking him. Yet somehow, with an air of inevitability, he dominated her thoughts as her fingers edged along her slit, feeling herself grow wetter with every stroke. She found herself parting, her fingers finding their way inside. Everything started to feel right - everything but the fact Davis was still uppermost, somehow, in her thoughts.
The wetter and more excited she got, the harder it was to push aside visions of Davis. There was nothing of him that should inspire this kind of lust, but the more she fingered herself, the more reasonable it seemed. She tried to picture her boyfriend instead but the dream-image kept sliding back toward speculation, imagining what it might be like to give Davis the fuck she sometimes thought he wanted.
She couldn’t really imagine him doing his best by her, and so the fantasy slid further and further from something consensual. Instead this was now something rough, something disdainful; still not something Chelsea would ever want in real life, but fun, occasionally, in the safety and certainty of her own mind.
Davis was having the best Sunday of his life. Having hung up the phone, he spent a long time picturing Chelsea masturbating to thoughts of him. What would she focus on? He imagined her laying back on her bed covers, feet braced against the mattress, back arched, tits jumping from her effort, picturing her body on his cock.
He assumed she’d be gasping and moaning, and he liked to think there’d be words spilling out between each moan, a confession of the attraction she’d always felt for him, that they were friends as she tried to decide whether or not to give herself to him in the end. His lips curved into a broad grin; he could see it so clearly he was sure he was right.
He’d learned from Marina, and he was going to take things slow with Chelsea. By the time he actually brought her to him, he’d be able to play any way he wanted. In the meantime, Marina was… well, she was going to need some correction.
He was still trying to figure out the best way. A lot of it depended on the limitations of the tools available to him; he’d actually been a little worried that the call to Chelsea wouldn’t have worked. You could never be quite sure of the playback quality someone else’s phone might give, and when you were layering in subliminal prompts as firmly as he was, it really mattered.
Of course, if he was going to be sensible about it, he’d consider the phone call an experiment. You didn’t need the kind of audio fidelity he obsessed over to transmit subliminals. So maybe there were other ways he could transmit what he needed properly?
Davis grinned slowly to himself. Yes, he decided. That was the next test, definitely.
He’d set things in motion on Monday.
Neil had come home while Chelsea’s fingers were still inside her. She’d had to bite down on the cry of frustration, hurriedly fasten her pants back in place. She’d wiped her fingers quickly on the back of the cushion, promising herself she’d wash it soon, and she’d greeted her boyfriend with a smile and a kiss before finding an excuse to duck away and clean herself up.
Not that she was keeping it a secret - just that, well, it was embarrassing, on top of the frustration of not finishing. And that made it something she didn’t want to discuss with her boyfriend.
Instead she texted Sarah.
The unthinkable has happened.
what do u mean?
You know I was planning to relax this afternoon while Neil was at work?
no, but go on
Well, I got to relaxing alright. But I was thinking about someone new.
ooh! was it the new pt at the gym?
give me a clue?
ew ew ew girl your judgement is usually so good!
Tell me about it!
was he any good
Not even in my dreams.
Chelsea sighed and set her phone aside. Trying to process it through gossip hadn’t helped; if anything, the frustration was worse.
She’d try it again when she and Sarah were out face to face again. There’d be drinks, and that was sure to help.
She briefly considered the fact Davis still hadn’t reached out. After all, he’d managed to get onto her mind - it’d be strange if her thoughts didn’t turn to their argument. Did it mean anything that he wasn’t talking?
Well. Maybe. But nothing she hadn’t been prepared to accept. With a sigh, she went back downstairs to hang out with her boyfriend - and her day got a lot better from that point on.
There were fifteen people working directly for Marina, and over her time with the company she’d spent plenty of time learning how each of them thought, what she could expect, and above all who would come to her and who she’d have to chase up.
It came as a surprise when Davis knocked on her door. Usually getting status updates out of him was tough; it was something that was definitely going to hold his career back, but as he’d ignored her the first time she raised that possibility, Marina had decided to get a year or two’s good work out from him before she raised it again. He was still young enough that he might not believe her warnings yet.
“Problem?” she asked, and he shook his head. As he settled himself on the other chair in her office, she thought he’s lying. There was nervousness in the way he moved. It might be nothing big - it probably was nothing big - but something was nagging at him.
Marina didn’t much like that just as his boss, but as his occasional lover it stung that he was having difficulty confiding in her. “OK,” she said. “In that case, what’s on your mind?”
Davis didn’t say anything immediately, though. Instead he pulled out his phone and started fiddling with it.
Marina’s breath came out in a huff of frustration. She had to say something. “Davis, if I didn’t like you, this is the sort of bullshit that gets a man a bad reputation in his industry.”
He raised one hand without looking at her. Asking her to be patient. Actually being infuriating.
Marina huffed loudly at around the time his phone started playing more of his music. “Oh, Davis, this is just-”
“Shhh,” he said, his voice low but pitched to carry. Marina was outraged.
Outrage didn’t seem to be stirring properly…
There was something about Davis’ music, Marina decided, that she just didn’t understand. It wasn’t at all appropriate for the game - she wasn’t sure how she’d ever thought it was - because it was the opposite of emotional. It had this strange, detached relaxation at its heart. Marina could feel herself calming, the tension across her shoulders melting away, a lifting sensation bubbling through her head.
She was at peace, even if she wasn’t sure why. Her scalp tingled pleasantly and she found herself watching her colleague and one-time lover with less frustration. Davis, meanwhile, had just set his phone down on her desk and sat back, looking at her. He had that odd expression that was half-concern, half-smirk.
“You want to come visit me tonight,” he said. “You know why.”
As the soundscape continued to unfold, Marina’s lips parted slightly. Eyes beginning to unfocus, she nodded at the area where she knew Davis to be sat. There was only one reason she went to visit Davis. She was feeling frisky. She was turned on, and she was in the mood for something kinky. Something her husband couldn’t fulfil. Her secret lover was the only reasonable option.
“Touch yourself,” Davis said. “Now. Through your panties.”
It was hard to stand, but Marina had to struggle to her feet all the same. She moved like she was thinking; as slowly and with as much effort as if she was going through treacle. She hiked her skirt up until the tip of her panties was exposed. She was already rubbing and stroking through her panties as she sat back down. Her gaze had unfocused so completely that only sound was left to give her an awareness of the world outside her - and that was taken up by the soundscape, and by Davis’ words when the echoed through it.
She was, she realised, suddenly so sensitive. Stroking against the soft cotton of her panties was having just as much effect as if she were naked, in her own bedroom, with not a care in the world. She couldn’t part her pussy lips, but just running her fingertips along them made her writhe in her chair, soft, slow breathing gradually becoming breathy moans, then outright groaning in plea-
“Stay silent,” Davis said, and suddenly, her breathing just as heavy and intense, no sound escaped her lips. Her body had internalised what Davis wanted.
The time the two of them had become lovers, when she had gambled that Davis would be willing to indulge her growing kinky side, Marina had taken charge, held the authority. The more he called the shots now, the stranger that seemed. But Marina knew that when she walked into his apartment, she’d take charge again. Davis didn’t have the kind of presence necessary to change that.
Still, she was now doing exactly what he wanted, and it was clearly working for her. Perhaps this was worth taking note of.
She was so close…
“Stop,” Davis said. Marina was vaguely aware the soundscape had looped at least once; that eerie calm rode over her arousal without stopping her delight. She wanted to protest as her fingers stilled; she could feel her orgasm, so near, falling away. Within moments the chance of cumming was gone.
“Give me your panties,” Davis told her, and once again, still moving through treacle, she rose, hooked her thumbs into the panties’ waistline, and wriggled them down over her hips until she could step out of them. She straightened up and held them out wordlessly, and Davis accepted them with a smirk.
He turned off the music on his phone. “I appreciate the chat,” he told her.
Marina shrugged coolly and tugged her skirt back down into place, smoothing it out with her hands. “Of course,” she said. She flapped a hand in dismissal and watched him slouch out with a grin.
Well, she told herself. Masturbating in the office was new; masturbating with an audience was pretty rare, even if her husband sometimes liked to see what she could do with a toy or two. How Davis managed to get himself these exclusives was beyond her, but there were no points in his promotion game for putting her off before she came.
She’d have to be a bit more careful about conversations with him in the workplace, that was all.
Chelsea worked not far from Sarah, and if she was working a daytime shift, they’d often met up after dinner for drinks. It was natural, on a day that Chelsea was feeling particularly uncomfortable about a strange phone call the previous day, she’d arrange just such a meeting.
It was always fun to catch up with her friend, but Sarah had pushed for it this time just to dissect the fact Davis had been a fantasy of hers.
“…do understand sometimes you aren’t responsible for who you fantasise about,” Sarah was saying, “but come on. This is - are you feeling guilty?”
“Maybe?” Chelsea offered, sounding bewildered. “I hadn’t noticed, though, if I am. And I’d think I would have?”
Sarah nodded, but her expression wasn’t exactly sympathetic. “I just don’t get it. Like, there are untrustworthy asshole guys who stare at womens’ tits and asses all the time where they’re hot enough I get women going for them anyway. What’s Davis actually got going for him?”
Chelsea tried to give it some thought. “I mean he can be funny.”
“Right, but you said a lot of his jokes were pretty mean-spirited, right? And at you someti-” Sarah broke off and stared at her friend with an expression that was hard to read. “Chelsea, please tell me you haven’t been letting him neg you this whole time.”
Chelsea’s cheeks flushed. “No!” she denied hotly. Then she stopped and thought about it and, after a few more moments to consider, she said more confidently “No. I mean, you’re right - some of his jokes are just harsh - but that’s never been something I’ve liked. It’s more when everyone’s chatting and he just drops exactly the right line and suddenly we’re all laughing. That’s the bit I like.”
Sarah’s expression suggested she didn’t entirely believe that, but she let it go and took another drink. “OK, OK,” she said. “You’re not going to tell him, are you?”
“Oh hell no,” Chelsea said firmly. “If I ever start talking to him again and he knows I’ve thought of him… you know, like that… even once, I’ll never live it down. If We never do, he really doesn’t need to know.” Which won an approving smile from Sarah.
“At least you’ve not taken leave of your senses,” she said. Chelsea wanted to take offence, but she understood why Sarah was checking. It was too weird not to want to check.
“I’m not even reaching out to him in general,” she said. “If he wants friendship with me he’s got to be the one to reach out. I told him so, and it’s for a good reason. I’m not letting him off.” Another nod of approval.
“Alright, good. So - I guess the other issue - are you telling Neil?”
Chelsea blanched. After a moment, choosing her words carefully, she said “There are a lot of things that could happen if I did. But most of those things… aren’t good. And even if we assume a good thing or two happens… I don’t think it’ll all be good. Much more likely there’ll be a lot of bad with it - or nothing at all.”
“You’re not scared he’d think you were cheating on him?”
“Sarah, he’s a man. I’m scared he’d have no idea how to react at all.” She flashed a smile, blunting the impact of her words even though Neil would never hear this. Why was she bothering?
Well, for herself, of course. Because she’d feel better for it.
“I guess you have a point,” Sarah said and shrugged. She got around the particular struggles of dating men by dating a woman instead; she had completely different challenges, and their discussions often revolved around mutual incomprehension of the others’ problem of the day. “You’ve got no idea what brought it on?”
Chelsea shrugged. “I don’t even follow his social media anymore. I’ve had literally nothing to remind me of him.”
The two sat there for a while longer, deep in thought. Sarah took another swig of her drink and finally changed the subject. “So are you up to date on Twenty One v One?” It was the one show both of them watched; a reality show where twenty-two people joined the same house. One of them had a whole bunch of secret advantages; they were called the Meddler. They needed to survive every elimination vote down to the very end, and if they did, they’d win the prize. But the fans had opportunities to win prizes too, if they could identify both the Meddler and the results of their actions on each show.
“Yeah,” Chelsea said quickly, smiling. “I don’t think it’s Nicole any more.”
“I mean, we know the Meddler gets some extra information on everyone else,” Chelsea told her, warming to her topic. “Nicole should never have done anything as dumb as she did with Barty if she’s got that.”
“Unless she’s setting up a smokescreen,” Sarah pointed out.
“Sure, but if she is, why then? Virtually nobody was ever likely to know about it.”
“…Huh.” Sarah nodded. “Maybe that’s… ah, forget it. You can go crazy trying to make your theories fit. So if it’s not Nicole… you know, I still think it might be Jamal.”
Chelsea opened her mouth to dismiss this theory as foolish, but her phone rang just as she did so. She pulled it out, wondering who on earth would still make an actual honest-to-God call placed through the phone line rather than use her WhatsApp or whatever.
She pulled it out of her purse, looked at it, and snorted with laughter. “Speak of the devil,” she said, and turned the phone so Sarah could see.
Davis was calling.
Sarah sighed. “Don’t give him the satisfaction,” she said.
“Hey - he has no idea about yesterday, remember?” Chelsea countered. “As far as he’s concerned, I have the same lack of interest I always have. I can listen to an apology.” She tapped to answer the call and put the phone to her ear, just in case Davis might say anything that would lead to Sarah jumping in and saying something it’d be up to Chelsea to regret.
“This had better be good,” she said, and her eyes met Sarah’s. The two were sharing a private smile; Chelsea quite thought that her body language right then would come through to Davis even over the phone.
Except Davis didn’t answer. She wasn’t even sure he was listening; there was just music - some weird music, digital sounds that didn’t sound much like instruments except for their rhythms - playing.
He’s not answering, she mouthed across to Sarah with a grin. Sarah rolled her eyes. “Did you butt-dial me?” Chelsea asked, a delight in her voice. If he had, she’d find some way of mocking him for it no matter what. Sarah went from rolling her eyes to snickering. It really was too perfect.
He must be working late, she thought. Composing. It was kind of a glimpse into who he was when he was being professional. Or, if she was feeling less generous, who he was when he was being an actual responsible adult.
And it was a nice glimpse. This was really soothing music. It didn’t seem particularly game-suitable, actually. But it was definitely very chill. She was smiling as she listened.
She was probably smiling. She wasn’t entirely sure what her face was doing, or what was going on anywhere outside her head. Or even inside. It wasn’t like it was hard to think - it was just that suddenly she kind of wasn’t that interested in thinking. It wasn’t something she needed to do.
Davis was speaking suddenly. “Play with - shit. I hear drunk people. Are you out?”
Chelsea made sounds of agreement. At least she was pretty sure she did.
“OK. Go home, play with those big juicy tits of yours, and think of me when you do. Enjoy thinking of me.”
He hung up. Chelsea blinked and set the phone down. Sarah’s expression was concerned all of a sudden; it had just completely switched since Chelsea told her Jamal wasn’t the Meddler. “I should go,” she said, and picked up her purse to start getting ready.
“That’s all you’ve got to say to me?” Sarah was asking. “You tune out completely, you go weird, your so-called friend calls you up with what had to be a drama bomb of a call and you barely say anything to him or me?”
Part of Chelsea’s brain insisted that this was important, but Chelsea wasn’t really listening. Her mind was on the best way home. She gave her friend a smile and wave from the bar door and headed off, ordering an Uber as she went.
Marina wasn’t at all sure about taking tonight to go visit Davis, but she needed to. She made sure her kids were home from school, got food on the table, and hurried out before they could ask he where she was going.
Well, her husband would be back before too long anyway, she reassured herself. It wasn’t too bad a thing to do; the kids would just load up the Switch. Wouldn’t be more than an hour, tops.
She drove back off out of the suburbs where she lived and started threading her way through various neighbourhoods until she found herself in a relatively downmarket patch not far out from the student housing boom; Davis hadn’t exactly moved far from his college days, not that he could afford to.
She parked a couple of streets away and pulled her coat tight around her, drawing the collar up, unseasonably warm but (she hoped) with her identity protected. He was supposed to be her little secret, after all, and he couldn’t be her secret if she gave him away like that. She’d stand out in an area like this.
He took her coat when he let her in and he had a broad little smirk as he did. Davis lifted his free hand to her face, brushing his palm against her cheek, and as his fingers slipped into her hair, she felt him shift the way he held his hand. He pushed something into her ear.
Marina frowned at the arrogance of him. An earbud? Yes, it had to be - it was playing his music. “I’m not here for work,” she told him sharply, her tone firm, her glance reproving. Last time, Davis had actually flinched as she asserted herself; had taken a moment to recover his own composure before going along with her dominance. This time, if anything, his smirk grew wider. Marina had the sudden uneasy sense of being on a tightrope above a deep fall; of having to tread lightly, in the dark, or suffer a danger she did not understand.
She faltered, and Davis took the initiative, closing a fist in her hair, tugging firmly, pulling her into a kiss. Startled, she yielded against him; her hand, flat against his chest, opened, the fingers splaying wide, and gradually closed in again as the music settled into her brain, weighing down her thoughts as if a heavy blanket had settled above them. Her eyes unfocused for a moment.
“In the bedroom,” Davis said, “I call the shots.” She made out, dimly, the ‘click’ of something he was working with his other hand, and the music stopped. Marina blinked, her mouth watering, and she stood and waited. What was Davis going to do? What was he going to want?
He took her by the hand and led her over to his computer desk, where he brought her to a stop with a jerk of his arm. The jolt of the sudden, unexpected tug was electric, almost seeming to stop her by shock alone.
She gasped as he grabbed her hip, placed her hand on her back, and pushed her forward. Marina put out her hands and braced herself either side of his keyboard, now bent over almost across his desk. She realised suddenly that she was quivering. How she loved it when Davis called the shots!
Events pushed her even more abruptly into arousal moments later as Davis grabbed at the hem of her skirt and pulled it up to her hips, revealing her bare ass and pussy. Marina bit her lip to silence a moan. Then - as thought caught up - she wondered where her panties had gone.
And then moments later she didn’t have the chance to wonder much more. Davis had his cock inside her just as quickly as he could. Her secret lover was as hungry for her as she was for him and the realisation thrilled through her. How could anything be more perfect?
He was pounding away against her, her body rubbing against the edge of his desk, getting sensation from everywhere. Being treated rough had never appealed and, though she knew this was nothing to some people’s kinks, there was something new in her head, something that welcomed the treatment, that wanted it.
There was just something about Davis, she decided. Mere months ago, if you’d even persuaded her to answer the question, she would have told you she was very vanilla and as a mother to two young children she was perfectly happy to keep it that way, thank you so much. But lately, the more time she spent around Davis, the more of her buttons were being pushed. She was sure she wouldn’t have forgotten to put on her panties. Had she deliberately left them off that morning? Had she been thinking of this rendezvous when she did?
Her silence was already broken, whimpers of pleasure intermittently broken by louder, needier moans, and by Davis’ grunts of concentration and satisfaction behind her. She wondered if Davis was more satisfied because it was her or not - and felt awful for wondering. Davis was her secret, and for all he could frustrate her, she was very fond of him. Imagining that wasn’t mutual was so shameful.
There was another of those muted clicks from behind her and the music started up again - and the monitor in front of her sprung into life. Marina’s eyes widened in shock, but almost as soon as she registered the change the music was all through her again.
Behind her, Davis would be able to pinpoint the moment where the music drew her back down into her trancelike state. Her body continued to move, hips bucking around Davis’ cock, squirming slightly under the impact of the desk against her thighs, but her eyes now were drinking in strange images that resonated with the music, that made her peaceful even as her body continued to ride a rising wave toward orgasm.
“You’re trading influence for sex,” Davis told her. “You’ll do anything to help my career.”
Marina was left with that as the only thing echoing through her empty head for a while, her body needily humping back against the man who called the shots in the bedroom.
“You fantasise about me,” Davis continued. “Not your husband.”
She shivered, but had no idea why. He was just describing what happened, after all.
The click sounded, the music died away, the screen went blank, and Marina was back in the room, properly now, and her attention entirely on the cock inside her and the delightful sensations that being used was giving her. Her gasps had become giggles, a euphoria settling in as Davis continued to fuck her, head spinning.
She had already forgotten hearing the music and seeing the screen, just as she always did. In its place was just a need, a need to be useful, a need for the man fucking her to cum inside her - nothing else could satisfy her.
She cried out when he did, dignity lost along with her authority, a helpless, quivering ball of submissive lust. Her arms lost their strength and she sagged onto the table, mashing her chest against his keyboard. Her knees buckled too. She slid forward off his cock to land kneeling and sweaty, head down and lost.
Davis ruffled her hair and she burned with embarrassed heat that he knew he could treat her so. It shouldn’t excite her, she told herself, but that had no effect; it still did.
“One more thing you need to do for me,” Davis said, and if she’d thought before she could hear his smirk in his voice, she’d obviously never realised how loud the smirk could really get. She raised her head, exhausted, and tried to reclaim her dignity and her focus.
Then Davis dropped her panties on his desk in front of her. From an old, broken mug beside the computer speakers he picked up a Sharpie and dropped it on top. “Recognise these, Marina?”
“Y- yess…” She sensed a trap, and was cautious. But they were definitely her panties, the ones she’d worn that morning, somehow in Davis’ possession. No wonder he’d just pulled her skirt up; he’d known exactly what he’d get.
She just had no idea how.
“Good. Then you can sign them for me,” he said, his voice a low, satisfied growl. He stooped forward and put his lips to her ear. “Blackmail material,” he purred, and somehow it was the hottest thing Marina could think of. Was it a kink for her just because it was something he was doing?
She picked up the pen and uncapped it with trembling fingers. It was an effort of will to keep them steady enough to sign her panties, across the dried stain of her own excitement.
Davis allowed Marina a few minutes’ grace to clean up a little and put herself in order before he saw her to the door. She walked out with her coat pulled tight around her chest and her collar pulled up high. It amused him to see her work so hard to keep her secret, although it did also frustrate him a little; but she was married, and she had kids. Husband was a nice guy, too, by all accounts. It wouldn’t be right to split them up.
He closed the door and heard a hammering on it almost immediately. What on earth had she forgotten?
But when he opened the door, what he came face to face with was Sarah.
And she looked furious.