Carpe Diem Ch. 01
Welcome to my new series about lust and love in the workplace. I want to thank lil_kitty — a talented Lit writer in her own right — for her feedback and editing. Check out her stories — you’ll be glad you did!
“We need to revise the slides one more time,” Amanda said as she stood at her desk, perusing her screen.
She was calling out to a co-worker who was typing furiously at a nearby desk.
“Josh has some changes he wants to make,” Amanda continued. “Mainly text.”
“Surprise, surprise,” her co-worker, Marie, said sardonically.
“Guess drinks will have to wait,” Amanda shrugged.
This wasn’t the first time their plans had been scuttled by a fire drill from one of the execs. It seemed to come with the territory.
“I’ll work on the copy and text it to you,” Amanda said, sitting in her chair and getting to work.
Amanda Butterfield was a Sr. Product Manager at an e-commerce startup in San Francisco’s South of Market district. In her late 20s, with auburn hair and intelligent green eyes, she had a penchant for wearing stylish vintage clothing that showed off her incredible body.
She was considered the hottest woman in a company known for hiring hot women.
She was working with Marie, a visual designer in Marketing and one of her best friends at the company. They were tasked with creating the slide presentation for a big launch meeting in Zürich the following week. It was Friday at 5pm and comments from the execs were still coming in.
Amanda had only just been hired six months before and already she was responsible for pulling together one of the most important presentations of the year. She was a rising star.
“OK, I just sent you some changes,” she called out to Marie. “Let me know if I need to tweak it.”
Amanda had an MBA from Stanford and had joined the startup from a big e-commerce company. She was not yet thirty and already she was leading one of their most important initiatives.
Just then, Josh stuck his head out of his office.
“Let me know when I can review the changes,” he called out to Amanda and Marie.
“We’re making ’em now,” Amanda answered. “I’ll ping you.”
He disappeared back into his office.
As the Head of Product, Josh Hamilton was Amanda’s boss’ boss. Tall, with dark curly hair and an athletic build, Josh was movie star handsome and one of the original founders of the company. In his mid-30’s, he was widely considered to be next in line for CEO, if and when the role became available.
A lot of the women in the office had the hots for Josh. So did some of the men. He was suave, and confident, even a bit cocky, but there was also a sensitivity about him that drew people to him. He was a driven, exacting leader, but always fair and respectful.
The office was high-tech modern, with an open floor plan. Rows of desks with monitors occupied the middle section, and a bank of offices behind glass walls faced the street.
“Amanda,” Josh’s voice was calling. “Can I talk to you a minute?”
Josh’s head was sticking out of his office again.
“Um, sure,” she said, wondering what he wanted now.
She glanced over at Marie, who raised her eyebrows in response, and then headed over to Josh’s office.
Opening the glass door, she found Josh behind his desk. On the left wall, glass separated them from the main office. On the right, windows looked out over the street.
Amanda stood in front of his desk, a tailored suit hugging her body.
“Have a seat,” Josh said.
She sat in one of two chairs and crossed her legs.
“Change of plans,” Josh said. “I need some support in Zürich. Chip can’t make it. Some family thing. I want you to come. Can you?”
Amanda looked at him puzzled. The event in Zürich was a big deal — the company was launching their e-commerce service in Europe. The two VPs were supposed to run the show — Josh, the head of Product, and Chip, the head of Marketing.
“Yes, you. To Zürich. For the launch.”
“What about Marty?”
Marty was Amanda’s boss, who reported to Josh. He was the logical, next-in-line person to go.
“He’s not as close to it as you are. Besides, if I need to make changes to the deck, you can help me do it.”
“Of course, I’d be happy to help in any way I can,” she began. “I guess I can reschedule my meetings for next week…”
“Great,” Josh said, pre-empting her. “Is your passport up to date?”
“My passport? Yes, it should be fine.”
“It’s just a quick trip. Leave Sunday evening. Come back Thursday night. Book your flight, the hotel. I’ll send you the details. I’m staying at the B2 Boutique. You better book it right away — it fills up.”
“OK, sure,” she said. “I’ll book it right now.”
She stood up, nodded, and headed for the door.
“Oh, and Amanda,” he called after her. “Dress is business casual during the day, there’ll be some fine dining at night, so … you know … pack accordingly.”
“Right,” she said, registering this. “Got it.”
She closed his office door and heaved istanbul escort a sigh. This would be her first international trip for the company.
“What’d dreamboat want?” Marie asked her as she returned to her desk.
“He wants me to go with him to Zürich,” Amanda answered as she slumped into her chair.
“What?” Marie replied. “That’s awesome!”
Amanda was already thinking about all the things she had to do to get ready for the trip.
Amanda had joined the company six months earlier after working at a corporate job in the Valley for a couple of years. She had done well there but wanted to try her hand as a bigger fish in a smaller pond. So, she jumped ship and joined an e-commerce startup in The City.
The company was trying to disrupt the resale market — creating a platform for customers to buy and sell lightly used clothes. The startup was pre-IPO and Amanda was poised to do well if she could prove herself and make herself invaluable.
And that’s exactly what she did.
In her first six months, she had led the team that expanded the company’s reach in the US from 22 to 48 states. Now, after another round of VC funding, they were expanding to Europe. This was the impetus for the deck she’d prepared, and for the trip to Zürich she was about to take.
The next morning Amanda stood in her bedroom looking in the mirror. She was trying on clothes, figuring out what to pack for her trip.
She had been able to get on the same redeye flight as Josh, in the seat right next to him. They would be flying first class — one of the benefits of traveling with a VP.
She wasn’t as lucky with the hotel. She couldn’t get a room for the whole time, so she reserved two different rooms in the same hotel and planned to switch mid-stay. She figured moving from room to room in the same hotel as the meetings were happening was easier than staying at a completely different hotel.
After trying on a bunch of different outfits, she picked out some skirt and blouse combos, a vintage silk jacket, and a fancy satin dress with a plunging neckline straight from the fifties. It was lower cut than she would normally wear but she figured if not in Europe, then where? She also packed her very best bras and panties that she’d bought from Virtual Fittings, an e-commerce startup she liked.
Arriving at SFO on Sunday evening, she pulled her roller and carried her garment bag to the first-class lounge. Josh was already there, looking handsome in khaki slacks and a pullover. It was strange to see him in a different context — she’d only seen him in their high-tech office and usually from afar. Even in his casual clothes, he was shockingly good looking, his dark hair swept back with a casual insouciance.
“There you are,” he said with a smile.
“How’s our flight,” she said, settling in next to him. “On time?”
“Yeah, so far,” he said. “You want something to eat? They’ve got a good spread.”
Sure enough, there was a smorgasbord of fruit, cheese, meats, pasta, and more. The advantages of flying first class.
“I think I’ll just get some juice,” she said, noticing some glass pitchers. “Want one?”
“All set, thanks,” he said.
While she was getting her orange juice, she decided to take a photo of the scene and send a message to Marie.
hangin in the 1st class lounge — gotta luv it
A moment later, Marie texted back.
nice — I see J is lookin fine
Marie was always going on about Josh. She thought he was hot as hell. Amanda, who was drawn to smart, confident men, wasn’t immune either.
When she rejoined Josh, he had pulled out his laptop from his bag.
“Why don’t we use this time to go over the preso one more time,” he said. “Then we can get it out of the way and we can relax on the plane.”
That sounded good to Amanda. She was hoping to get a little sleep on the flight. She heard first class seats were great for that.
She pulled out her laptop and sat next to him. They went through the slides one by one and he gave her instructions. “Punch this up.” “This is too long.” “Simplify this.” She was able to react quickly and fix all the issues he raised. In about thirty minutes, they were done.
“That didn’t take long,” he said. “Nice work.”
“Thanks,” she answered. “You give good feedback.”
“And you take it well,” he smiled. “Not everyone does.”
She smiled back. Things were off to a good start.
When they heard their flight announced, Josh and Amanda made their way to the gate, down the jetway, and into the first-class cabin. The seats were clustered in groups of two.
“Do you want the window or the aisle?” Josh asked while placing his bag in the overhead.
“I’m good with either,” Amanda said.
“Have you seen the Alps from the air?”
“I have not.”
“Then you should take the window,” he said. “It’s unforgettable.”
She liked the way he considered her feelings.
No sooner had they stowed their bags and avcılar escort settled in, but the flight attendant was serving them champagne.
“They keep you well lubricated,” he said. “Here’s to a good trip,” he said, raising his glass.
“Cheers,” she said, clinking her glass against his.
Before long, they were taking off and on their way to Zürich.
They fell into an easy conversation. He asked her questions about her life, how she got into high-tech, her impressions of the work they were doing. She gave thoughtful answers which prompted more questions. He found her insightful and refreshingly honest.
He let her know that he was impressed by her contributions to the company so far. He mentioned the good job she’d done on the US expansion and told her she could really grow her skills by expanding her scope internationally.
“That kind of experience could be great for you personally,” he said. “Adding international scope, along with what you’ve already done domestically — you could write your own ticket. Either here or elsewhere.”
“What advice would you give someone like me?” she asked.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. Look for chances to grow. To gain new experience. To learn. When I was starting out as a product manager, I was too hesitant to take risks. I played it safe cause I didn’t want to make a mistake. Then, someone told me, ‘if you’re not making any mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks.'”
“That’s really good advice,” she nodded.
“Just be fearless,” he added. “Stay open to new experiences. Make ‘yes’ your default.”
“Make ‘yes’ your default” she said, half to herself. “I like that.”
“It’s like that Latin saying: Carpe Diem. You gotta seize the day.”
This kind of career advice was invaluable to Amanda. To hear that risk-taking was okay, even encouraged, was good to know. For Josh to give his candid advice on how to get ahead, even if it meant going to another company, was beyond generous.
The more she talked to him, the more surprised she was by his personality. He seemed to care about her as a person. This wasn’t the hard-charging Josh Hamilton she had heard about at work. This Josh was soft-spoken, thoughtful, charming. He had a way of talking to you, and listening to you, that made you feel like you were the center of the universe.
Of course, Amanda always had in the back of her mind that this was her boss she was talking to. Not just her boss–her boss’ boss. This was Mr. Big. The VP of Product.
She knew she was building a relationship and better not mess it up.
For his part, Josh was enjoying the chance to get to know this new Product Manager a bit better. Not only was Amanda a rising star in the company, and someone they were counting on to help manage this expansion, she was also the hottest woman in the company. The guys on the exec team all talked about her. “The classy one with the killer body,” was how one VP described her.
Josh could only agree with that statement.
When Chip, the Head of Marketing, informed him that he couldn’t make the trip, Josh asked who should go in his stead. Chip mentioned Amanda, almost offhandedly, and Josh seized on the idea. She basically wrote the presentation after all. And it would be good for her to develop relationships with the team in Europe. Chip agreed and now Josh was looking forward to spending the next five days with her.
The flight attendant appeared with their dinner. And more wine. They enjoyed a nice sauvignon blanc with their salmon. By the time the attendant took their trays away, they were both feeling pretty good.
“The key is to drink just enough so you can sleep, but not so much that you worsen your jet lag,” he explained.
“Is that right?” she teased. “And this is based on empirical evidence?”
“Years of research,” he smiled. “I’m constantly testing my hypothesis.”
The lights in the cabin began to dim and the attendants started closing the window shades.
“Well, while you keep on testing,” Amanda smiled, “I’m going to change into some clothes for sleeping.”
She stood up to squeeze by him. He pushed the button to return his seat to an upright position.
“Thank you, kind sir,” she smiled.
She squeezed by him, her legs and ass looking fine in her yoga pants.
She turned and opened the overhead bin.
“Can I help with your bag?” he asked.
“No, I got it. I put my sleeping stuff on top.”
She was facing him, reaching up to unzip her bag. Her long legs, her narrow waist, her flat stomach, and her full breasts all looked amazing.
She closed the bin holding some folded clothes in her arms.
“Be right back,” she smiled.
She went to the bathroom by the cockpit. Josh took the opportunity to flag the flight attendant and ask for a wine refill. For both of them.
When Amanda returned, she was dressed in flannel pajama bottoms and a long-sleeved cotton shirt with a scooped neck. In her arms, she was carrying the blouse, pants, and shoes she had on before.
Hidden şirinevler escort in her blouse, out of sight, were her bra and panties. She couldn’t sleep on planes wearing constricting underwear.
She opened the overhead bin again and unzipped her bag, laying her clothes carefully on top. Her raised arms lifted her shirt, revealing the tawny skin of her toned tummy. Her full breasts now unencumbered by her bra, were pressing against the thin fabric of her pullover.
Josh couldn’t help but check her out. It must have been cool in the bathroom because her nipples were standing up. And her breasts looked amazing.
She closed the bin and she started to squeeze back to her seat. He reached to raise his seat again to give her room.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got it,” she smiled. “The advantage of long legs.”
She placed her hands on his seatback to brace herself and, facing him, stepped over him with one leg.
With Josh’s computer bag on the floor, she had to move slowly, carefully, causing her luscious body to hover over him.
As she navigated her way, finding the right spots to place her foot and hands, the scooped neck of her shirt fell open and he beheld two perfect breasts — full and pendulous, with delicate upturned nipples.
Josh couldn’t help but look.
Then, as she shifted her weight to lift her other leg over him, her hand slipped and she was suddenly pressed against him.
She let out a little shriek and laughed.
He instinctively grabbed her to steady her, wrapping his big hands around her torso. Her breasts were pressed against his upper chest.
He held her torso firmly and gently lifted her up to help her onto her seat. As he did so, her breasts slid from his chest to his face. Feeling her firm breasts, and her erect nipples, slide over his mouth and cheeks, made his heart pound.
He gently placed her on her seat and then slowly extracted his hands from her body. In doing so, he couldn’t help sliding his hand across her breasts.
He didn’t cop a feel, nor did he try to take advantage of her situation by holding her a few seconds longer than he needed to. No, he was truly trying to help her. But, in the process, he had a close encounter with her breasts. First, with his face, and again with his hand.
And what breasts they were! Firm and luscious.
It might have been the wine talking but Josh was convinced they were the nicest breasts he had ever felt in his life.
“Easy,” he said. “You all right?”
She let out another laugh.
“I’m fine,” she said. “Just call me Grace.”
“I got us a little more wine,” he said. “But maybe you’ve had enough?”
“No, no, I’m good,” she said, taking the glass. “We mustn’t ignore the research.”
“That’s true,” he smiled. “By my calculations, this should be the perfect amount.”
She reclined her seat and he watched her body slowly flatten out, taking in her lovely curves, her full breasts, and those perky nipples that were caressing his face just moments before.
“Do you want a blanket?” he asked.
“That would be great,” she said.
He signaled to an attendant.
“Can we have a blanket please?”
The attendant handed him one and he ripped open the plastic and shook it open. He gently covered her with it.
“How’s that?” he asked.
“Perfect,” she said. “We can share.”
She lifted the blanket so it covered his lower half.
“Thanks,” he said.
She took a big sip of the wine, rested her head on the headrest, and let out a contented sigh. She turned her head to face him, resting her cheek against the headrest. He did the same, facing her.
“It was so much fun talking to you,” she said sweetly. “I’m having such a good time.”
“Me too,” he said simply. “You’re a good traveling companion.”
She smiled and placed her glass on the cup holder. She turned on her side, facing him.
“I think I’m going to sleep well.”
She reached over and gave his forearm a squeeze, then slid it up his arm to his bicep and cupped it. It felt big and hard in her hand.
“Good night,” she murmured, closing her eyes.
“Sweet dreams,” he said, softly.
He turned off the overhead light and closed his eyes to sleep.
When Josh woke up, the cabin was dark and the drone of the jet’s engines created a steady hum. It was the middle of the night and most of the passengers in first class were asleep. A flight attendant was sitting in a jump seat flipping through a magazine.
He looked over at Amanda. She was laying on her back with one arm cocked behind her head, using her hand as a pillow. The blanket had half fallen off of her and onto the floor. Her cotton shirt had ridden up, exposing the tawny skin of her abdomen.
Josh smiled. She was as beautiful asleep as she was awake.
He reached over and gently grasped the edge of the blanket and lifted it over her. Carefully, so as not wake her, he covered her with the soft woolen fabric.
She stirred, shifting onto her side facing Josh. She reached to pull the blanket over her and grasped Josh’s hand in the process.
She pulled his hand to her chest.
Josh wanted to pull his hand away but she held on to it. Not knowing quite what to do, he just relaxed his hand and let it rest atop her breasts. He figured she’d let go at some point and he’d have his hand back.