Unbound: The Pentagon Group, Book 2, page 26
Matt walked with purpose toward us, and I swallowed the drool which collected in my mouth upon seeing him. I stepped back from Nick. Judging Matt’s face, he was not pleased with the closeness of my and Nick’s bodies. The last time Matt saw a man stand so close to me, he took me home and fucked me, branding me as his. However, Matt and I were no longer together. Nick was just an old acquaintance, and there was nothing between us.
“Matt? Hi.” I said in a quiet voice when he stood beside me, looking directly at Nick. I ran my arm over my hair, bringing it forward over my shoulder; my usual nervous tick. I was still in shock when Matt looked between me and Nick expecting an introduction. I woke up from my spell in time to introduce the two.
“Dr. Mathias Keene, this is my friend Nick. Nick and I worked at Parisi together. Nick is now the Director of Operations for Parisi. Nick Salter, Dr. Mathias Keene is one of the founders of Pentagon.” The two men shook hands. Nick gave Matt a smile, but Matt’s face was impassive as he nodded, clearly disinterested in making friends with a potential rival.
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Keene. You have an impressive company here.”
“Well, I no longer own the company. Perla owns my percentage of the company now.” He said sharply. I smiled weakly at Nick, and looked down, clearing my throat.
“Nickel, it was wonderful seeing you again. Sorry for missing your presentation. I’ll connect with you about the construction. I’m scheduled for a site visit next week.” I offered and gave him a professional smile.
“Yeah?” A twinkle in his eye showed his surprise and delight in seeing me again. “I’ll personally give you a tour. Bring your boots.” He grinned, leaning in for a hug. My return hug was not as strong as I patted him on the back. “Nice meeting you Dr.” He nodded at Matt and walked toward the elevators. I was a little dispirited as I watched him walk away.
I turned to Matt. His eyes were narrowed and his jaw flexed. “Nickel? You have a pet name for him?” He asked.
“That’s his given name. Long story. He goes by Nick personally and professionally.”
“But you call him Nickel? It seemed a little intimate.” He gazed at me, calculating my reaction. I was impassive in my look. True to my nature, I changed the topic of conversation.
“What can I do for you, Matt?” I asked, hoping to get rid of him as soon as possible. He had the ability to melt my insides with lust, but boil my blood in anger. I’ve yet to recover from the intense orgasms he gave me weeks ago. Every time my body shivered at the memory, I reminded myself of his betrayal to quell my hunger for him.
“I’m having lunch with Kent.” He informed. “You can join us.”
“No. Thank you. Enjoy your lunch.” I turned on my heels. He grabbed at my elbow.
“Matt . . .” I shook my head, “I have a lot to do. Excuse me.” I pulled away and rubbed my elbow to remove the lingering feel of his touch.
“I hear you spend sunup to sundown in this place. How is this job supposed to make your life easier and more leisurely?” He asked seriously, reminding me of the reason I gave the Pentagon group for keeping the shares Matt gave me in contemplation of our marriage.
“I came into the project much too late to take breaks. Once I get a few things squared away, I’ll be easing back . . . Are you spying on me?” I asked annoyed, crossing my arms for effect which had the unintended effect of pushing my already large breasts together and out. I saw his vision dip to look at my pronounced cleavage, and he bit his bottom lip in response.
“No. I get updates. I’m making sure you’re being treated well. I don’t want a particular video and article released.” Matt casually informed. My insides roiled at the memory of my threatening to release the edited sex video, if I weren’t treated appropriately by the other shareholders. I composed myself and started walking toward my office. Matt followed. “Pentagon is still my company. You may hold the shares, but you still have to answer to me.
“What?” My heart started beating fast.
“Do you remember the part in the legal transfers which requires you to meet with me at least once a week to discuss how the business is faring?” He reminded me of the clause in which I was still tied to him, even if we weren’t in a romantic relationship. I figured nothing in this world was given for free and without binding a person to another; gaining twenty percent shared ownership of a billion dollar corporation was no exception.
I exhaled loudly, refraining from grunting my disapproval. I checked my wristwatch and saw it was nearing noon. I hadn’t eaten a filling breakfast. Gill planned to grab me a salad to eat at my desk. “I can’t have lunch with you on such short notice. I can schedule you in for some time this week.”
“Great.” He grinned, showing me his beautiful, straight teeth. His face was different without the graying beard. His sister Stella was right, his dimples were better displayed without the facial hair, but it didn’t bring me any comfort. The notion that he may have changed his appearance to appeal to other women made me sick, and I pivoted to turn away.
“Follow me.” I said as I walked off.
“Always.” I rolled my eyes as I led the way to my beautiful office, which I still marveled about having a large quiet office with a spectacular view of the city.
“Matt?” My assistant, Andrea, called out from behind her desk. “Nice to see you again.” She said as she leered over his body. I was surprised Andrea knew him and was so familiar as to call him by his first name. I was more concerned by the way she eyed his visage, like a hungry lioness ready to pounce on her prey.
“Andrea? Hello.” He replied tersely. I tried to judge his reaction to her. She was closer to Matt’s physical type. Andrea was a very pretty brunette. She was much taller than me, equally well-endowed, but an athletic body; much like his ex-wife Sonia Carrion Keene. She had classic, chiseled Italian facial features. I didn’t envy Andrea until that very moment.
“Andrea, Dr. Keene needs to schedule lunch with me for some time this week. Can you please check the schedule and let us know what I have available which coincides with his busy schedule.” Andrea nodded, clicking around on her laptop.
Andrea gave Matt two options, and looked at Matt admiringly as he proceeded to accept Friday at noon.
“Is there a location I should put down?” She asked.
“I’ll pick her up.” Matt answered. Andrea confirmed by entering into my calendar. He nodded politely. I turned on my heel. With his hand set low on my back, we stepped into my office. Normally, I would’ve resisted his touch, but I needed him to send a message to Andrea that he was mine. He closed the door behind me, and my skin heated. I stewed in jealousy over Andrea’s attention to him. I felt the effects of having him near; my body prickled; like being near static electricity, raising the fine hairs on a body. I shook the notion of jealousy because I was the one who ended our relationship. Matt was free to move on with his life, and I had no cause to question or feel jealousy over another woman’s interest in him.
I walked to my office chair to take a seat behind my austere desk. I pulled up a file in my computer to prep for my next meeting.
“You haven’t decorated.” When I looked up, I found Matt looking around the office, taking in the stark cream colored walls.
“This is only my second week here and I have other things to worry about.”
“You could hire someone to decorate.”
“Not my thing. It’s not a necessity. There’s enough work to keep my eyes glued to the desk.” I responded, daring not to look at him.
When the quiet overwhelmed the room, I looked up and asked, “Don’t you have lunch with Kent you’ll be late for?” Walking toward the door to open it for him, he side stepped and stopped in front of my body. He was so close I could feel his breath on my mouth.
“Hi.” He extended his hands to hold my waist, and leaned in for a kiss.
I recoiled. “Matt, what are you doing?” I whispered, looking at his full lips.
“I can’t help but want to kiss you Perla. I’
“I thought the time we’ve been apart would help you get used to the fact we’re done.” I gently pulled out of his hold and turned away.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re not done. I told you I won’t get over you.”
“How do you expect this to work? I have a lot of resentment. The only thing I want is my independence.”
“And to date others? Nickel, perhaps?” He responded curtly.
“There’s nothing between us. He worked for my family . . . my former family, thanks to Pentagon.”
“It didn’t look like that to me.” Matt chided.
“Was he looking at me a certain way Matt? Are you going to fuck me here and claim me because you’re threatened by Nick Salter?” I accused with raised voice.
“I just might.” He said gruffly, moving toward me. I turned and walked a safe distance away. “I’m kidding.” He offered after my reaction. I looked at him, seeking sincerity, but I wasn’t sure I found it.
“It’s hard being near you and not be able to touch you the same way I did months ago. I can’t shut off my feelings, babe.” Matt revealed gently. I felt a sharp stab to my heart at his words. He ran his fingers through his shorter hair, and rubbed at his smoothed chin.
Matt sat down at one of the plush leather chairs in front of my desk. I felt uncomfortable in the silence. “How’ve you been?” He asked.
“Well.” I shrugged as I sat behind my desk. “Things are rolling along at Pentagon. I’m meeting a lot of people, working through a lot of issues and plans. It’s an efficiently run corporation. There were a few issues I worked through with Kent and Zipper. The board accepted my new business proposal for Pentagram, and I’m working to institute my changes into the final design plan. It’s been really great, albeit for all of three days.” I said honestly. He nodded intermittently as I spoke.
“How’s your assistant working out?” He asked, motioning his head toward the area where Andrea was located.
“Andrea? She’s efficient. We haven’t cultivated a relationship, yet, but we’re working well together. Why?”
“Did you interview her?”
“No. I was assigned two assistants and Andrea is one of them.” I responded.
“Do you know who assigned Andrea to you?”
“No.” I shrugged getting annoyed at his interest in Andrea. I’d already felt insecure by their little interaction. “I just gave Zipper a list of my needs, and I was given two assistants. Andrea is my executive assistant and I have Gill who is my personal assistant. “Is there a problem?” I raised an eyebrow, hoping he would get to the point instead of asking me twenty questions.
“I think you should ask to hire your own executive assistant.”
“Why? Does it have something to do with the way she called you by your first name and looked at you like a filet?” My jealousy seeped out through the crack he opened.
He remained serious. “I want to be honest with you. No more secrets.” He paused. My heart beat wildly waiting for his response which I knew would come. “I had sex with her. It was a while ago, but I did. I don’t want her working with you. It’s a major conflict of interest.” I felt like heaving the small contents in my stomach. I’d been working with a woman who slept with the man I was in love with.
“You slept with her?” I knew he had a history. His sexual prowess was evidence of his experience, but to be confronted with someone he slept with was soul crushing. I refrained from bursting into tears and having my breath become jagged. I was jealous. I knew there was something to her familiarity. I was not going to let the revelation break me.
“I fucked her . . .” I felt a wave of nausea course high in my sternum. “I didn’t sleep with her. It happened once, and meant nothing to me. It was a mistake I made when I was single. It happened a long time ago before she started working at Pentagon. Soon after, she got a job as an administrative assistant here. I’ve been able to avoid her. I didn’t know she would be working for you.” He said. I had so many questions, but I knew I couldn’t handle more of the truth. I braced myself to receive more answers than I could process.
“Do your friends know you had sex with her?” I asked because I didn’t find it so interesting or odd.
“Yeah, they all do.” He replied. I was sure having Andrea placed as my assistant was Brady’s way of sending me a message, or in an effort to hurt or spy on me.
“After she was employed, she made every effort to get close to me. I didn’t allow it, and eventually she backed off. I got married, and I hadn’t seen her since before my engagement. I was surprised to see her today.” He revealed.
I planned on discussing a replacement with human resources immediately. I pulled out my phone and texted Gill to schedule a meeting with the head of HR at two in the afternoon; no exceptions.
“I’m sorry.” He sincerely offered.
“We all have a past, Matt. I’d rather your past didn’t interfere with my life, but it has interfered. I just have to fix how it impacts me.” I shook my head, fading the image of Matt in an intimate embrace with Andrea from my thoughts.
“I will make the change. Thank you for being honest with me.” I looked him in the eyes to show my sincerity.
My phone buzzed, Gill confirmed by text a meeting with the Director of HR herself. I would demand the hiring of my own assistant. I would give Andrea until the end of the week. I wouldn’t allow Andrea to be fired, and would ensure she was reassigned. It wasn’t her fault she was used in the chess game Brady was playing with everyone’s lives.
“Now, if you don’t mind, I have work and you have a lunch date. I’ll see you Friday.” I said aloofly. I stood and walked around the desk toward the door. He grabbed my wrist, pulling me close to him. He tugged me down and with his free hand he pulled me to his lap. My heart leapt in my chest. The blood rushed to my head and I felt a little woozy. Once I was on his lap, he pulled me close. I put the fingertips of my free hand on his chest, pushing him away. Matt would not be deterred. With one arm, he held me close to his chest, crushing my heaving breasts.
“Matt, please let me go.” I sighed, hoping he would accept it in every sense of the phrase.
“I don’t think I can.” He inhaled my scent. “I went away to get over you. I thought I could, but being with you now, I can’t stay away. I miss you. I need you back, baby.” He uttered with hooded eyes trained at my lips.
“I’m not good for you. We’re not good for each other. What do I need to do to keep you away?” I asked desperately.
“Not one thing will keep me away.” He whispered scanning down to my breasts. The tip of his tongue licked over his top lip imperceptibly.
Matt leaned in and lightly traced the outline of my lips with the tip of his tongue. He puckered his lips and gave me a deep kiss. I crossed my legs, containing the moisture pooling in my folds. My clit tingled. He pulled my lower lip with his teeth and wrapped his lips around it, sucking and pulling seductively. I moaned quietly. He released my wrist and caressed my bare legs, squeezing my calves. His fingers slowly stroked in and out the crook of my bent knee, relaxing me into his touch and body. He had ways of defrosting the iciest parts of me.
My palms slipped over Matt’s chest, reveling in the feel of his strong chest. His hand squeezed the flesh above my knee. The long fingers I favored slipped under my dress, daintily touching as he moved his hand up my thigh. When his fingers brushed against my mound, I shivered and parted my legs, inviting him to finger me. Over my thin panties, his fingers lightly drummed one by one over my cleft in repeated, slow succession. His middle finger stroked over the elastic edging of my panties, pulling it over with the tip of his finger. He scratched at the nerve filled skin, seeking entry into my folds. I quivered in anticipation. Entranced by the kissing and fondling, we didn’t hear knocking on the door. A loud rap on the door stopped us.
I pulled away, our breathing irregular, “Yes?” I managed, composing myself. I pulled his hand out from under my dress, lo
“Perla, Kent is here. He’s looking for Dr. Keene.” Andrea called out. I grabbed a tissue and handed it to him, so he could wipe the lip gloss from his mouth.
“I’ll be out in a moment.” Matt informed. He squirmed in his seat, readjusting his cock which was probably uncomfortably confined within his trousers.
I went to my desk and grabbed my purse, seeking my lip gloss and compact mirror. Once I found it, I reapplied the subtle color. Embarrassed by my lack of restraint, I remained with my back to him.
“How long are you going to keep denying us?” Matt asked. I turned around and saw his frustrated face.
“Until you realize what we feel is really a lie. I’ll email you a restaurant where we can meet on Friday. Good bye, Matt.” I watched him turn around, open the door, and close it gently behind him. With him, went another cracked piece of my heart.
At the end of the day, I entered the elevator to walk the few blocks home. My feet ached, and I remembered I slipped my flats into my briefcase. I took one heel off, and slipped on a flat. As I proceeded to do the same with the other, the elevator halted on the eighteenth floor. A blonde woman entered the elevator and looked at the panel. She stood back when she realized the lobby level had already been pressed. I proceeded to put on my other flat.
“Best time of the day is when the heels come off.” She said looking at me.
“Definitely, sometimes, I can’t believe I can walk around in them all day.” I held my heels in my hand.
“I’m Faith Grogin.” She offered her hand. I switched the heels to my left hand.
“Hi, I’m Perla Mercurio.” She smiled.
“Nice to meet you. I’ve seen you walking to work. Do you walk in the morning? I think we live in the same building.”
“Yeah, I remember seeing you this weekend. I think we shared an elevator.” I recalled. She smiled. “So you work here?” I asked.