Elodie & Adam: the office
Elodie had never thought of herself as a violent person in any way shape or form. She’d given up kick boxing after one class when she absentmindedly apologised to the bag. Yet all the same, she was currently having an extremely vivid fantasy of putting her opposing counsel Adam Phillipson through a window.
‘My client —‘ Adam began, his cut-glass public school accent dripping with condescension. Elodie often thought he looked like a man drawn by Disney. All square jaw, thick wavy hair and broad chest. His suit was flawlessly tailored, the jacket almost moulded around powerful shoulders and arms as he sat back in his chair at the head of the conference room table. He was the embodiment of a song Elodie vaguely recalled from her youth, something about being fit and knowing it.
‘Your client seems to imagine they can get out of shouldering any risk whatsoever in this deal,’ Elodie cut in coolly. ‘And your position is a non starter. This is to be a partnership and we are negotiating on that basis. If that is unacceptable then I shall report to my client that an arrangement could not be met. If not, please feel free to join me in a constructive conversation.’
Elodie heard a snigger a whirled around, ready to eviscerate that patronising —
But it wasn’t Adam. The young paralegal taking notes in the corner blushed furiously as he tried to swallow his nervous giggle. Elodie shot him an apologetic glance. The rest of the room sat in rapt silence, waiting for Adam’s response.
If Elodie had played the wrong hand, then the deal was off and so was her shot at making partner this year. She stood at the far end of the huge, mahogany conference table hoping against hope that nobody else could hear her heart thudding. If she’d blown it, so be it, she tried to persuade herself. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Adam’s face was expressionless, his blank stare famous for making the most hardened opposing counsel quake in their boots. Elodie forced herself to meet his gaze evenly. With one hand resting on the table, she dug a nail into the other palm in the hope of distracting herself with pain.
‘Well, I —‘ he began finally. He cleared his throat, then smiled — if Elodie didn’t know better, she would imagine there was a flicker of apology in his eyes. He raised his hands as though in surrender.
‘Perhaps, we might begin again.’
It was gone 10pm by the time both parties were satisfied. Elodie closed the door of her coveted corner office and immediately kicked her heels off. She hated acting like a cliché of a professional woman relaxing even while alone, but she hated keeping heels on for a second longer than necessary even more. At least she wasn’t pulling a silk shirt out of her waistband and pouring herself a large glass of red.
Though come to think of it, she could murder a glass of red, she thought with a snigger. Many years earlier, a senior partner had advised her to wear a black trouser suit to her first big negotiation so that the clients would take her seriously. Elodie had immediately gone out and bought three pink skirt suits. She was fully aware that her team of paralegals called her Legally Brunette behind her back, and she absolutely took it as a compliment.
She padded over to her floor-to-ceiling glass walls and drank in the view. London was laid before her like a twinkling tapestry. Deep in the financial district she was surrounded by glistening glass skyscrapers, but if she craned her neck she could just spot the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the London Eye turned slowly in the distance.
Her city. Elodie had left the grimy suburb of Paris where she grew up and come to London with barely a penny to her name to finish law school at Kings College. Over a decade of eighty-hour weeks later, she was within reach of a partnership. She could taste it. Not that the eighty-hour weeks would end, but that wasn’t the point for Elodie.
These days, the fashion was to work to live and to dream of retiring to a van on a deserted island by thirty-five. Elodie couldn’t think of anything more boring. She lived to work. She thrived on the law, was never happier than when she triumphed over a conference room full of men who had underestimated her.
As she had today. After the little hiccup when Adam bloody Phillipson thought he could open the meeting with an insulting, time-wasting offer, his team had got on board with impressive speed. Indeed she was was confident, she smiled with satisfaction, that they had conceded a lot more than they planned to. She might have gone a little easier on them had Adam not laid the gauntlet down. When would men ever learn?
‘You embarrassed me.’
Adam Phillipson leaned against her office door. He had opened his top button, loosened his tie. Elodie noticed a hint of chestnut chest hair at his collar, and was surprised to note a small bolt of lust. This man fancies himself enough for everyone, she reminded herself. She certainly wouldn’t be joining the legions of women who fell at his feet.
Even if a distinct part of her pointedly disagreed. She may be overdue a session with her pink plastic friend, she thought with a small grin. That took care of this evening’s plans, then.
‘You embarrassed yourself and you very nearly risked the deal.’ Elodie leaned against the cool glass, trying not to notice the intensity of his gaze. She didn’t like this man. Arrogance rolled off him in waves.
‘I was thinking this morning about the first time we went up against each another.’ His choice of words was deliberate. Heat shivered through Elodie. She started to suspect that her vibrator might be getting the night off. His eyes never leaving hers, he closed her office door.
Oh, her vibrator was definitely getting the night off.
‘I won that one too.’
Irritation flashed in his eyes. ‘Debatable.’
‘No, it’s not.’
‘Exactly how much time do you spend thinking up ways to irritate me?’
‘Absolutely none. I don’t think about you at all.’
With breathtaking suddenness he had crossed the office was near enough for her to breathe in his scent. Spicy cologne mixed with something musky and indefinably male. Elodie turned slowly to face him, looking up at him with deliberate challenge in her eyes.
‘You will never dominate me in the boardroom, Adam,’ she whispered.
‘Then you leave me no choice.’
Quick as a flash he lifted her onto her desk. Elodie smelled orange beeswax as she leaned back on her elbows against the polished wood. Adam gently nudged her knees apart with his hip and Elodie enjoyed his sharp intake of breath as her skirt rode up and he spotted the cream lace of her holdups.
Moving so slowly it felt as though time stood still, Adam reached beneath her skirt. His fingers barely brushed skin as he gently drew her her satin underwear over her stockings. Elodie’s heart started to race. She arched her back with a gasp as he put the sliver of satin in his pocket with a brash grin. He hadn’t even touched her and yet the promise, how exposed she was despite being fully dressed filled her with a pulsating need.
It took every ounce of self control she possessed not to reach for him and the impressive bulge in his trousers. Elodie lay still, enjoying how he loomed over her, his eyes drinking her in with a ravenous hunger. He reached out, and with infinitesimal gentleness ran an index finger along the throbbing, slick, centre of her.
Elodie was shocked by the guttural, strangled scream that emanated from her. It sounded animalistic. She felt animalistic.
Her office door wasn’t locked. The department would be quiet this late, but Magic Circle law firms never slept. It wouldn’t be empty.
Anyone could open the door at any moment, and see Elodie splayed before Adam, her every cell utterly under his command. Adam whipped his tie off with a sharp crack. Was he undressing?
He leaned over her and wrapped his tie into a comfortable, yet pleasingly firm, gag. ‘Shhh,’ he murmured in her ear, the warmth of his breath sending tingles through her. Unable to speak, Elodie could only command — beg — him with her eyes.
He chuckled softly, sat in her large leather chair with an air of getting down to work and swivelled it close. He held her hips steady with domineering resolve, a slight frown playing on his brows as he considered the job ahead. Elodie squirmed against his grasp, ready to scream with frustration, when he suddenly swooped forward and licked.
Hot bolts shot through Elodie as he licked again and again, drawing a dizzying pattern with his tongue. His earlier control gone, he devoured hungrily, sucking and nipping and kissing as sweet pressure grew and Elodie clutched the edge of the desk for dear life. One arm pinned her still as he slid a finger inside her, crooking expertly to stroke her g-spot as he kissed and licked and rubbed until Ellie shattered into a million shivering, shuddering pieces.
Adam leaned back in her desk chair with a satisfied grin as Elodie pulled herself together, aftershocks shimmering through her.
‘Well,’ she smiled as she pulled her skirt back down over her hips. ‘Looks like I won twice today.’