It’s official. I’m in love. I never thought I’d find myself in this position. I fell asleep in the arms of the man I love, and am now waking up as he tries to get up early enough that my roommates don’t hear him.
“Hey,” I whisper, sleepily.
“Good morning Beautiful.” His voice pours over me like soft velvet. I smile and stretch. “You weren’t going to sneak out, were you?”
“I was. I didn’t think you’d want me to be found here. I’ll be quiet.”
“Come back to bed,” I stretch again, inviting.
Giving in, he returns to the bed, rolling me over and kissing my neck in a way that makes me moan and giggle at the same time. It is another hour before we both have to get up and go to work.
My roommates would just have to get used to seeing him in the house. I could hear them moving around the apartment already. Or maybe we could just forget about getting up. That was a better idea.
“Maybe we should just stay in bed all day. They won’t even know I’m here.” Clearly my lover was thinking along the same lines as me.
I laugh and shake my head in denial. “No, my boss is a tyrant. I have to go to work.”
My lover tickles me, and growls in my ear, “I am your boss.”
“Oh that’s right! Well, in that case…”
I run my hand up the inside of his thigh. For an older man, he has proven to me that he has a lot of stamina. I know that I will be missing work that day and the boss will be just fine with it.
8 months before…
After Roni and I got our makeovers, the other girls decided that they should have them, too. Kendra didn’t change all that much of her look, I thought. Her bangs were shorter and she was wearing her long hair in a sort of sloppy bun with a large bow, but she really didn’t even get it cut. As for Kimber, I liked that she took her hair out of the ponytails. She still looked cute and young, but a lot of people find that attractive.
Not long after we moved into our place and we were all working, Kendra and I were sitting on the sofa talking about how great it is to be living on our own in our own apartment.
“We should throw a party or something,” she surprised me by saying. She was notoriously shy, so I couldn’t believe she wanted to invite people over.
Of course Kimber was enthusiastic about the party when we were talking about it over breakfast. “I can perform!” she bounced excitedly in her chair. “Who should we invite?”
We ended up inviting some of my relatives, including Homa and Paulo, who graduated not long after I did. We hadn’t seen him since he attended the dance at St. Katherine’s. At least he was a familiar face for Roni and Kendra. However, I was surprised when Paulo and Kendra started talking together. He is a musician and more Kimber’s type.
There were other guests present as well. My cousin Sophia, whom I hadn’t seen since we were kids. She was my uncle Aaron’s oldest daughter, and we were about the same age. Also, one of our other guests was Enrique Pike. I invited him because Roni begged me to. He was our handyman.
Roni met Enrique when she broke our shower. She’d tried to fix it herself, but just made a bigger mess. I’m not exactly sure what she sees in him. He’s sort of stern, I think, and doesn’t seem too friendly. But she wanted him to come to the party, so I asked. I was frankly surprised when he showed up. Maybe he really does like her. Lord knows he’s at our place often enough. None of us are handy and someone is always breaking something.
The one person I wanted to come to the party but couldn’t was Keenan. I called and invited him, but he had to work. Police hours are pretty tough. I was disappointed, but he did promise to come to the city to see us when he had time off.
So a few weeks later, Keenan came up to Elmira and met me outside the pub by our apartment. I had just gotten off of work, having worked late to help sort ballots. Kendra and Kimber were going to meet us there.
Keenan and I decided not to hang out on the street while we waited. Instead we went into the bar and sat down on one of the lounges.
“Tell me all about being a cop,” I said. “The girls will be disappointed that you aren’t in uniform, but maybe next time.”
“Wearing a uniform in a pub isn’t such a good idea,” Keenan said.
“It was a joke, Kee. You take things too seriously.” I smiled at him.
“Oh, sorry. You really want to know what it’s like being a cop?”
“Yeah. I just can’t imagine you busting someone. Have you ever captured a criminal?”
Keenan proceeded to let me know what it is like being a basic patrolman. It wasn’t that thrilling. I guess what we see on TV isn’t at all what it’s really like.
“But I’m not a detective or anything. I am still pretty much a rookie. I’m sure I’ll get to bust someone eventually.” Keenan could tell that I was disappointed in his description of his job. We switched topics to my work, which he didn’t find that exciting either. We were both happy when the girls showed up.
We had a pretty good time hanging out and playing shuffleboard. Keenan and I were on the same team. We pretty much stank, but it was fun anyway, especially since each time we scratched we had to do a shot. By the end of the night we were all pretty hammered. I’m not sure who won.
Since Keenan had to go back to Twinbrook early the next morning, he had opted to stay in a hotel instead of with us. We left the bar drunk, but well before it closed since we all had to work. I slung my arm around Keenan as we stumbled our way outside.
“Good thing you aren’t driving back,” I said and laughed. “It would be bad to get a DUI as a rookie.”
“No driving and drinking or drinking and driving!” (I tend to ramble and state the obvious when I’m drunk.)
“Whoops, don’t fall Lila.” Keenan steadied me as we pushed through the doors of the pub. The other two girls were giggling behind us.
Once outside, the night air sobered me a little. I turned to give Keenan a big hug.
“I’ll miss you.”
“Me, too.” Keenan gave me a huge squeeze until I squeaked.
“Hey!” I slapped him playfully on the shoulder. “You be good.”
“Always. See you Lil.”
Keenan said goodbye to Kendra and Kimber, too, after walking us to our subway entrance and making sure we got on. I waved as he turned to call himself a cab.
We’d been living in the apartment for several months when Kendra and I both got a promotion. Our new job were hired as interns for the up-coming campaign for local representative. One of the best things about working with my roommate and best friend was that we could go to the Bistro at lunch or after work and gossip about our new boss. Normally we wouldn’t gossip about our boss at all, but Mr. Churchill is a good looking, single man.
“He’s like 45 and he’s never been married,” Kendra told me over a bite of her favorite key lime pie.
“He’s not gay, is he?” I asked.
“No. He is sort of a serial monogamist. He dates a lot, but never actually commits. I heard he was engaged once, but that it fell through.”
“I hate it when guys have commitment issues.” Kendra nodded, her mouth full of pie.
When she swallowed she said, “Yeah, but maybe he’s just looking for the right girl. I wouldn’t mind finding out it was me!”
“Kendra!” I laughed. “He’s our boss!” We both giggled, but in the end we agreed that his hotness overruled the fact that he was our boss.
Mr. Churchill wasn’t an easy boss to work for. He was a workaholic and expected his people to work whenever he did. Most of the time I didn’t mind getting a call from him asking me to go in. Kendra hated working extra time, but I wanted to get ahead. I knew that if I could prove to Mr. Churchill that I was a good worker, he might be willing to take me with him when he got into office.
“Sure Mr. Churchill, I’ll come into the office right now…I know it’s Saturday, but I’m not doing anything…No, I don’t have a date or anything. I can be right in.”
I’m not sure exactly how working extra shifts with everyone else ended with me accepting a dinner invitation, but I was boxing up pamphlets one night as everyone was leaving, and I found myself alone with Mr. — Franklin. He insisted that I call him by his first name.
“You work so hard, Lila, I’d like to take you to dinner. To reward your efforts on my behalf.”
That first time, all we did was go to the food truck on the corner and order hotdogs and greasy fries, but at the end of the evening, I found myself agreeing to a real date with him.
“I don’t normally date employees,” he assured me, “but I’d like to take you somewhere nicer than this. It won’t be a romantic date…just dinner. More upscale.”
Although I was unsure that it was a good idea, I agreed to the date. He was incredibly good looking after all (he reminded me of Harrison Ford), and I did want him to be impressed with me.
I was sort of surprised when he kept his word about the romance part of the evening. We spent most of the time talking about the campaign and the other offices that Franklin had held in his time.
“You’ve got a wonderful political mind, Lila. You’re on the right path to hold office yourself someday.”
“That’s what I’m planning,” I told him. “I want to follow your example.”
“You flatter me.” Franklin blushed a little. I liked that he was humble. “The best advice I can give you is to follow your heart and always uphold your convictions. Don’t let people sway you.”
At the end of the evening, Franklin took me home in his Toyota Prius. I was surprised that he had such a normal car, but he told me that he drove it to do his part for the environment. I hadn’t even known he believed in going green. My estimation of my boss just kept getting higher.
At the door to the lobby, Franklin told me good night.
“I had a wonderful time,” I said. Franklin smiled. For a minute, I thought he might hug me or try to kiss me, but he was a perfect gentleman.
“Goodnight Lila,” he said and turned to go. I headed inside, but looked back just once. I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It may not have been a romantic dinner, but by the end of it, I wished it had been.
Mr. Churchill, Franklin, was older than me, but he was a pretty hip guy for his age. He liked to appeal to a younger audience, so a lot of his campaign parties were at cool places like the local dance club.
I think I knew that we’d crossed a line in our relationship the night when he asked me to dance with him while everyone else was eating and drinking near the bar. He should have been mingling and talking to people, but he was dancing with me.
On one of our dates, he took me to the exclusive Prosper Piano Room. We were the only one’s present. He’d rented out the whole place just so we could listen to music without being interrupted by people who wanted to meet him or talk to him about his position on some issue or another.
I was moved by the date. It was romantic and fun, and I had a good time, but I was concerned.
“Franklin,” I hesitated. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. “I appreciate this…” I indicated the pianist who was playing a romantic song. “But, this can’t be good for your campaign. I mean, I’m one of your employees. We probably shouldn’t be doing this.”
“I did this for you, Lila. I know it isn’t smart, but I wanted to.” Franklin reached out to cup my face. “I really like being with you.”
“I like being with you, too, but…”
“The campaign. I know it’s a concern. But you remember how I told you that you have to follow your heart and uphold your convictions?” I nodded. “Well, this is what my heart is telling me.”
He kissed me. We spent the rest of the night holding hands, kissing, and dancing slowly to the beautiful piano music. I was still worried about the repercussions of our relationship, but I pushed those worries aside.
When he took me home that night, I gave Franklin the goodnight kiss I wished he had given me on our first dinner date. And then I invited him to come up with me.
“No,” he pulled away from me. “It wouldn’t be right to go up now,” he said.
I pouted, but I understood why he had to leave. Our relationship was too new to add sex into it. He was my boss, older than me, and in the public eye. We needed to take things slowly. Besides, he would be my first, and he knew it.
After that night, it really was no secret that we were dating. The press followed us occasionally, but mostly they didn’t seem to care. I found this odd, but Franklin told me that him dating was old news for them.
“If I were to get married, that’d be news.”
“But I work for you.”
“So?” Franklin always shrugged off our working relationship.
Franklin may not have been bothered by my status as an employee, but my friends were. Kendra stopped eating lunch with me at work. She thought I was making a bad decision and that Franklin was just using me. Kimber cornered me in the kitchen after one of our dates.
“Lila, I’m really worried about you. How serious can this be? You haven’t even brought him up here to meet us. And you’re still working for him.”
“He won’t come up, Kim.”
“Is he trying to hide from us?”
“No, no. It’s nothing like that. He is being gentlemanly. He’s old fashioned. He doesn’t believe in casual sex.”
“Oh.” Kimber looked sort of confused. “I suppose that is sort of gentlemanly.”
Roni wouldn’t talk to me about Franklin. She felt that a man so clearly commitment phobic wasn’t worth my time. She called Keenan to see if he would make me see reason.
“Is it such a crime?” I asked Keenan when he grilled me about Franklin over drinks at the pub. “I mean, are we doing anything wrong? Illegal?”
“No, but he’s your boss! And he’s older than you by what? 15 years?” It was more like 20, but really, what difference did it make?
To avoid getting into a huge argument about it, I challenged Kee to a foosball match. Neither of us are good at it, but he takes the competition seriously. At the end of the night, he made me promise to be careful. “Just don’t get hurt, Lil. I don’t want him to hurt you.”
“He isn’t hurting me. I think he’s in love with me, and I might be in love with him.”
The expression on Keenan’s face told me that he wasn’t sure whether to believe me, but he didn’t give me any more grief about it.
A few weeks after Keenan visited, I finally got Franklin to come up to the apartment with me. I am not ashamed to admit that I may have made a somewhat risqué suggestion in his ear. I knew that I was done waiting. I was ready for the next stage of our relationship.
It was really late and the other girls were all asleep when we came up, so I led Franklin right into my bedroom. I figured that he would try to be gentlemanly, so I didn’t give him the chance. I jumped him, pushing him down on the bed.
I sort of attacked him. But who cares. I got the result I wanted.