A lot happened today.
I thought that since I was going to a stuffy office I should wear a bra, but I was still feeling sexy from last night and the weekend so who needs knickers? I felt a right little minx beneath the grey skirt and blouse.
I got to Deborah’s office for 9am and was taken straight up to the top floor and waited outside her private office. Ten minutes later I was sent in.
Her office is huge – about the size of my entire apartment – and has its own bathroom, and a separate room with files and a computer in, and views across the city. Deborah was sitting the other side of her desk and came around to meet me. We shook hands, which felt very formal, and she said in her wonderful silky voice “It’s wonderful to have you here, Kate, and I think you’re really going to enjoy working here”. I really felt like I might, if I got over my nerves.
Deborah was still standing so I stood too, then she went over to the desk and leant back against the edge and crossed her arms. I guess I still couldn’t sit, because I was going to wait to be asked.
“You know,” she said, “You really remind me of someone I met once at a party.” I said “oh?” and then said that we had met at an office party so it must be that. And she said no, it was somebody who was a lot like me, and it was a Christmas party that a friend called Mel hosted, and did I know anyone called Mel? I pretended to think and said I knew at least one Mel, but I was sure I’d remember if we’d met, and Deborah said she definitely wouldn’t forget because it was very memorable.
But, she said, this Alison said she had a boring day job, and I didn’t think I had a boring day job, did I? I said some people might think it was, but I didn’t think it was. She said that was good, because she had a lot for me to do. And I thought we were now going to talk about work, but she pushed herself upright and walked slowly towards me and said “You really do remind me of this ‘Alison’ a lot, except for a couple of things”, and as she was talking she reached out and popped open the top button of my blouse. And then she did the next button, and I was thinking: am I here to be some kind of sexual plaything for her? And if I am, and I’m getting paid for it, do I mind?
“Yes,” she said, opening another button, “This Alison was really memorable, and I think maybe even someone had called her ‘Kate’ at the time, which must have been a mistake.” I remember that: Mel’s partner, Jason, had called me by name when I’d pretended my name was Alison for the whole evening. Oh, and that was because I was naked and wearing a mask at Mel’s party.
“I remember telling her,” Deborah continued, and she pulled my blouse out of my skirt and unbuttoned the bottom, “That she shouldn’t live life wondering what might happen but should just do things rather than regret not doing them.” She took a step back and looked me up and down as I stood there with my blouse unbuttoned, but at least I was wearing a (white) bra for a change. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
“You look a bit more like her now,” she said, and then stepped towards me again, “But still not quite,” and she unzipped the side of my skirt and as I was thinking “but I’m not wearing any…” she had already dropped it to the ground, and there was a smirk on her face as she saw I wasn’t wearing any knickers.
“She had nice legs like you,” Deborah said, gripping my left wrist, lifting it towards her and unbuttoning the cuff. Then she did the same with the right.
“In fact,” she said as she gripped the top of my blouse and pushed it off my shoulders, “Did I mention that I think she was wearing nothing at all?”
I heard my blouse drop to the floor behind me. Deborah took a step back and then walked around me in a small circle, looking me up and down. I felt immensely self-conscious as she disappeared behind my back, and then I felt her hands on my bra strap. She slipped her fingers beneath the straps and pushed it down my arms and I let it drop to the floor, and yet again I found myself standing naked in a completely strange situation.
Deborah continued her walk around me and returned to lean against her desk, looking my naked body up and down.
“It’s uncanny,” she said, “But now I remember it, she was wearing a mask, a very tiny mask, but other than that I’d swear she looked just like you.”
I didn’t say anything. What could I say? She knew it was me, but I couldn’t just admit it.
“It’s funny, isn’t it?” she said, “How someone can spend an entire evening naked and think that just a little mask will make them unrecognisable.”
“It is,” I agreed.
“But you know what I said to this girl Kate, I mean Alison?”
“I’m sure you do,” Deborah said, and my god she is so sexy, even at twenty years older than me, “But I asked her if she did everything naked, because she was at the party naked, and she said that it would be a lot more fun if she could work naked.”
I gave a nervous laugh, and then she said.
“Anyway, let’s get down to work.”
And, unbelievably, we did. Wearing nothing but my work shoes she led me through to the back office, started up a computer and explained that everything was on here, but it wasn’t linked to a network so I’d have to do it in this room, and that usually I’d have to be searched on the way out of the building, but if I left my clothes outside then that wouldn’t be necessary. So I guess she expected me to work like this every day… it really made my heart race to think about it. What if her secretary came in? What if anyone came in? Did Deborah even care.
But then she got serious and she said there were a few problems we had to resolve first. I suddenly became nervous wondering what she meant.
“Firstly, someone in your position needs to be a lot more careful.” She took our her phone and held the screen out to me. It was the pictures of me, naked and in chains on Mel’s floor, exposing every party of myself, and with my name beneath it now.
I started to say something but Deborah raised a hand. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ve put my people on it. The photos are gone.”
“But how…” I asked, and she just smiled and said “I have some influential friends.” It made me nervous for a second and it struck me that, as softly spoken as she was, I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of her.
I dropped my head and said “I’m glad”, because she’s right: that could have been a real problem.
“And there’s something else,” she said. I couldn’t think what it could be. “That blog of yours.”
“What blog?” I asked stupidly. She shook her head.
“You know what blog. And it needs to stop. Because even if you don’t use your real name, like Alison at the party you’re only hiding behind a small mask.”
I was about to protest, but she had a point.
“And I do not want to read about my company on your blog. If my people can find it then so can those who want to undermine me.”
I didn’t dare ask how they’d found it. I haven’t used a single real name either. I thought I’d been careful enough.
“Do you want me to delete it?” I asked.
Deborah smiled and said: “I don’t think you need to do that, but if you’re going to be working here then after today you must promise not to continue it.”
I nodded. Of course I would.
But now I’m here writing what’s going to be the last post I feel quite sad about it. It’s been two years exactly too, and quite a journey.
“Well, then,” Deborah said, “With that out of the way I’ll leave you to start work.” After so much strangeness lately being naked in front of Deborah’s computer didn’t seem to be the worst of it. “And if you want anything you can buzz through to my assistant and she’ll have it brought to the outer office. It’s probably best to keep the door closed if you do, to avoid any questions.”
I smiled because I definitely did want to avoid any more questions.
She was about to leave when she turned to me and said.
“Oh, I know I’m confusing you with Alison again, but do you know a woman called Elise?” I didn’t say anything but I’d almost forgotten that she knew Deborah. “Well you’ll be seeing some more of her soon. I’ve just hired her as my new office manager. She asked me if I knew of any friends with jobs going and if she’s been running a pub for the past couple of years she’ll find this place easy. I wonder if she’ll confuse you with Alison too?”
Well, I’m sad that I won’t be writing any more, but Elise is moving in soon, and it sounds like she won’t be going back to France, and I’m going to be working naked three or four days a week in Deborah’s office, so this cloud has a lot of silver linings.
Thanks for reading.