A/N: So, let me be real with you. This is how this story came to be. Two weeks ago, I had a convo. with a friend...by the end, I was dared to write a smutty story about a secretary and her boss. So I said, "Well, what's the backstory?" "No backstory,"he said, "Just lots of sex." But, I wailed that I coudln't do that. The characters needed some reason to be screwing like rabbits. So, he said for every scene that sex was not directly involved in sexual innuendos, dirty language, and otherwise naughty behavior needed to be. I have until August 30th to finish this story...because if I lose the bet...no, let's not go there.

On another side note, Getting Back Annie is now being professionally edited. If you are a Ben fan, contact me for an ARC, because there is ALOT of sex involved with him in the rewrite. To the Curiously Entwined fans, I'm working on it! I'm just trying to deal with the damn plot line pot holes that I have right now. I promise you, it'll be worth it, though. Carrying on...


Albert Einstein said that only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile, and I say that man was a genius for a reason. Because it's those 'others' that have made the journey all worthwhile. My friend since childhood, Evalyn, showed me the power of unconditional love. Her daughter, Kendall, taught me what a purpose filled life felt like. And her husband, Rich, taught me about sacrifice. My other friend, Andrea, taught me about the importance of knowing your self-worth. My former boss, Trent, taught me about what determination can accomplish.

But, my boss, Mr. Townsend…Well, I'm still not sure what he's taught me, but I will say that if you have to work behind a desk all day long, managing someone else's life for them, it doesn't hurt if the man is so sexy, you wonder daily if your panties will suddenly burst into flames. He could teach me anything he'd like.

Mr. Townsend…. I twirl my hair, biting my lower lip…That man.

"Tori, stop day dreaming about sleeping with your boss again!" I glance up, coming back to reality. "Waiter, can I have another glass of wine!" Andrea shouts to the passing man while waving her hand.

He turns in her direction. "Red or white, mam?"

"Pink," she replies.

He nods before turning in my direction. "And for you, mam?" I glance over the menu and the prices.

I shake my head. "Just water."

"Oh, come on. Get something. I told you that I was treating," Andrea says.

"The house red then, please," I reply. The waiter nods before walking away.

"For the record, I was not day dreaming about my boss again," I say, crossing my legs.

"Ahuh," Andrea begins, though her attention is currently on the twenty-something-year-old waiter who is walking away. "How's Kendall?" she asks after turning her attention back to me.

I smile brightly. "She's good. All A's in school."

"Well, thankfully, she got her mother's brains," she replies in between bites of her cobb salad. "So, how else are you doing?"

"Me? I'm okay," I reply. Andrea hands me her fork, sliding her salad between us. I take a bite.

"Finances still shitty?" she asks, concerned.

I shrug. "We get by paycheck to paycheck. You know how it is."

"How many years have you been there at that office?" she asks.

"Five now," I reply.

"And is Mr. Townsend still hot as sin?" She asks, smirking.

I sigh longingly. "God yes." I bite my lower lip. "What that man does to a suit should be illegal."

"And when's the last time you've gotten laid?" she asks after finishing her bite of salad.

I think for a moment about the answer to that question. Has it really been….

"Five years," I reply.

"That's what I thought." She frowns. "Listen, I'm concerned about your pussy shriveling up and falling off. It's clear that I have to care about it, because you certainly don't." She pulls a bag out of her oversized pocket book. "So, here you go."

I take the bag from her. "What the hell is this?"

"It's a mini- vibrator. It can go right in your purse. So, when Mr. Townsend is looking particularly sexy…"

"That's every day," I inform her.

"Then you can just take care of business discreetly behind your desk."

"Andrea! What the hell am I going to do with this! I can't bring this home! What if Kendall sees it!" I exclaim.

She grabs the bag out of my hand, yanking the packaging apart, and takes out the toy. "Now give me your purse!"

"No!" I reply through giggles.

Andrea leans over, grabbing my pocketbook from the chair. "Trust me. You'll thank me later," she says as she sticks it into my purse.

"I will not thank you later!" I shriek while giggling.

"Mark my words. This vibrator will somehow save you. I guarantee it."

"I'm pretty sure that there is no situation that I'd be in where I'd want a vibrator to save me," I reply giggling.

She waggles her finger at me. "Mark my words. You'll see."

I sigh. "Speaking of saving me….I need a favor. Kendall has a huge project that she needs to bring to school tomorrow. She can't take it on the bus." I glance up at her with puppy dog eyes. "Please?"

Andrea looks alarmed. "What time?"

"Six," I reply meekly.

"Oh, hell no!" she shouts, brushing her caramel hair out of her face, her gold bangle bracelets jingling in the motion. "I don't do six. You know that. I'm usually just going to sleep at six."

I sigh. "I know. It's just this one time, though. I don't know anyone else with a car."

Her lips twitch into a smirk. "Why don't you call Mr. Townsend and see if he could give you a ride in his limo? After you drop off Kendall, you could show him your appreciation." She waggles her brows suggestively.

I roll my eyes dramatically. "Come on, it's for Kendall. You love her as much as I do."

She frowns. "She is an awesome kid. You're going to have your hands full soon, Vikkie, with the boys, because she's turning into a hottie."

I bite my lower lip. "Maybe not…if I teach her how to respect her body and let her know what guys her age are really about." I rub my forehead. "Shit. I've gotta figure something out. Evaline and Rich will probably come back in ghost form and haunt my ass if Kendall starts trampin' it up."

Andrea laughs loudly. "You know they so would!" She continues laughing to the point of tears. Wiping them away, she finally says, "Alright, I'll give you guys a ride tomorrow. I don't want them haunting me either." She finishes the last of her wine. "I think I need another one now."

I glance at my watch. "I've got to get going."

"Already?" Andrea asks, frowning.

"Babe, it's eight o'clock. Mrs. Hutchins is seventy-five- years-old. She's probably already fallen asleep on Kendall. Plus, you've got work tonight," I reply.

Andrea frowns. "Alright. Let me drive you back."

The wind whips through my hair as we cruise down the New York Turnpike in Andrea's convertible.

She pulls up to my apartment building, glancing at me concerned. "All kidding aside, how are you doing financially?"

"We're okay. We could always be better, but we could worse, too," I reply.

"I know, but you told me that your rent just went up, and I know Kendall's birthday is coming up."

I rub my forehead, frowning. "I know. Like I said, hopefully I can charm him into a higher raise."

Andrea turns the car off. "What about dipping into what Evalyn left?"

I shook my head. "No. They left that money for Kendall's college education. She's not like us, Andrea, she's really smart."

Andrea looks offended. "And what does that mean? I'm smart."

"You know what I mean, Dre. We're street smart and have a lot of common sense. Kendall is book smart. If she wanted to, she could be an astrophysicist."

"What do they even do?" she asks.

"Think NASA," I explain.

She smirks at me. "You know. You could have gone to college. Evalyn told me about your grades in high school. Said you were a brain."

I smile. "That was another life time ago."

"In that case, there's another option," she says hesitantly, "A lot of CEO's would love a beautiful woman to have a discreet relationship with...and will pay big money for your company."

I blink in shock. "That's your answer!"

"Oh, come on, Tori! One night a week for a few hours. You'd be having great sex with a wealthy guy! Your pussy and wallet need this!"

"And how am I supposed to look Kendall in the eyes afterwards? I'm trying to set an example for her, not be a prostitute!"

"She doesn't have to know what you do one night a week!" she shouts.

"I'm just going to pretend that we didn't have this conversation, Dre." I open the car door to step out.

She grabs my arm. "I'm sorry. I'm worried about you and not just financially. You haven't even been on a date, Tori, since they died."

"I don't want strange men around Kendall. She needs stability," I reply.

Andrea shook her head. "You need a life, too."

Sighing, I lean over, kissing her cheek. "I love you. See you soon."

"Come on in, dear," Mrs. Hutchins says, "Kendall is just finishing up her project."

I step through the door frame to find Kendall hunched over her clay molding of Zeus. Hearing me enter the room, she glances up smiling. "Hi, Aunt Vikkie."

"It looks great, Kendall," I say.

She gushes. "Thanks."

I glance at Mrs. Hutchins standing next to me, who is smiling as well. "Thank you for helping her with this. I would have never been able to."

"It's no problem, dear."
I smile at Kendall. "Thank God your next door neighbor was an art teacher, huh?" She smiles, nodding. "Okay. Let's get this into the apartment with the other pieces. Thankfully, after tomorrow, we'll be able to eat at the table again."

Kendall frowns. "I like eating on the couch." She picks up Zeus and starts slowly walking towards the door.

"What do I owe you?" I ask Mrs. Hutchins.

She waves me off. "You know I love Kendall's company."

"Not even money for food?" I ask.

The elderly lady waves me off again. "Enjoy getting them all to school tomorrow," she says with a knowing smile.

I turn and run to open the door. Sliding the key into the lock, our apartment door opens and Kendall walks in with her sculpture.

"Bye, Mrs. Hutchins. Thank you," I say in the hallway between the doors.

She winks at me, smiling before closing the door.

Kendall places the dry art work down with the other four pieces of Kendall's Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The other three she had brought to school the week prior. I stick my hand up, and we high five.

"Where's Andrea?" She asks.

"She had to go to work, honey, sorry. She'll hang out with us soon, though. You hungry?"

"Naa. Had meatloaf tonight. I'll go shower now," she says before skipping off to the bathroom.

I change into gym shorts and a tank top before pulling the ancient tread mill down from the wall in our living room. I put MTV on our television before I start to run my daily five miles. Thirty minutes later, Kendall comes in, dressed in her pajamas. The nightgown is a little short now from her last growth spurt. I have to put that on my list of things to remember- new nightgowns.

She plops onto the sofa as Justin Bieber's new video plays. "Do you want to visit Granny next weekend?" I ask her.

Kendall shakes her head, twirling her long blonde hair around her finger. "Granny can't even remember who I am anymore. And then when she starts screaming and freaking out that scares me." She bit her lower lip nervously. "Does that make me a bad person?"

I shake my head as I continue to run. "It's not wrong to want to hold on to the good memories that you have of Granny. If you change your mind at any time, let me know, and I'll take you."

"Thanks, Aunt Vikkie." She sighs longingly. "Beth's mom got her tickets to see him next month." I realize she was referring to Justin Bieber. I feel a deep pang of guilt. I know Kendall wants to go to the concert, and I looked into the cost of tickets. The cheapest I could find was eighty dollars in the nose bleed section. I just don't have the extra money this month, and my credit card is maxed out buying groceries.

"I'm sorry, honey. Maybe if I-"

She cuts me off. "It's okay. I understand. Maybe for my birthday we could order the concert on cable?"

I feel a deeper pang of guilt. Kendall never asks for anything, never gets upset or angry at the shitty hand she has been dealt. Evalyn and Rich did such an amazing job with Kendall that even I can't screw her up too badly.

I smile widely. "Sure. We'll order the concert." Nothing like illegal cable courtesy of a buddy down at the cable company who owes you a few favors.

"Yes!" she exclaims loudly before dancing wildly.

I frown watching how high her night gown rises with her movements. I'll be buying those new nightgowns asap.

"Kendall, you're going to do great," I say while pouring my coffee. Blueberry waffles pop up from the broken toaster, and I hold the plate up, catching them in mid-air. "Are you listening to me?"

I turn to find Kendall sitting at the table, tapping out some tune with her fingers, listening to a song in her ear phones. She glances up at me, yanking off one of the chords. "Sorry. Did you say something?"

Smiling, I bring over the waffles, setting them down in front of her. "You're going to do great on your History project. It's definitely A worthy."

She beams brightly. "Thanks." When she smiles like that it makes me feel warm inside. Kendall is blessed with her mother's smile.

Honk Honk.

"Shoot, we gotta go!" Kendall grabs her backpack off the seat, shoving a waffle into her mouth.

"Relax!" I tell her, "We have time. I'll start loading the pieces into the car. You eat your waffle."

I pick up a diorama, carrying it carefully out to the parking lot.

Andrea pulls up her sunglasses, resting them on her head from the driver's seat. "What's that?"

I glance down at what I am carrying. "The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Kendall did all Seven Wonders of the World," I explain before trying to carefully place it in the backseat.

"You mean there's more of those?" I ran back into the house nodding, while Andrea steps out of the car to help me. She glances at the kitchen table. "No wonder you needed a car." When Kendall does projects, she goes all out. Just like her mother. "What's that?" Andrea asks, pointing to the clay molding of Zeus. "Mr. Townsend?"

I laugh so hard I cry as Andrea throws her arm around my shoulder laughing with me. "It's an uncanny resemblance."

"What is?" Kendall asks, coming out of her bedroom.

"Nothing. Aunt Dre was just being nutty," I reply.

She beams brightly. "Hi, Aunt Dre." She throws her arms around her neck, hugging her tightly.

Andrea hugs her back. "Hey, girlie." Kendall pulls back, still smiling. "Listen, honey, we need to have a conversation about the word 'moderation'." Kendall frowns. "Because all of this..." Andrea points to the table. "You went overboard again, hon."

Kendall sighs. "I know. I just couldn't help it. Only doing one Wonder of the World didn't seem like enough."

"Alright, let's all take one piece and then we'll have them all loaded up," I say.

"Wait! I need a cup of coffee," Andrea says.

"Help yourself," I tell her.

"How's the club?" Kendall asks as Andrea walks over to counter. She knows that I used to work there and that Aunt Dre still does, but she doesn't know the name of the club, and we told her it was a dancing club. She's curious about it, though, and why we won't let her go there.

Andrea meets my gaze, and I give her a pointed look. "Oh, you know. Same old same old. People dancing and ordering…bottles of water."
Kendall rolls her eyes. The older she gets, the more she realizes that she's being lied to. Andrea gulps down the coffee.

"Come on, let's go. We still have to help her get all of this out of the car," I say to Andrea. She tosses the coffee cup into the sink, and we each pick up a piece and walk to the car. After placing mine down, I run back to lock up the apartment. Jumping into the passenger seat, I slide my seatbelt on. "Let's go."

I stare at the long row of cars in front of me. "You have got to be kidding me! They have to pave the road today?"

Andrea honks her horn loudly in frustration. "Take my phone out and see if there's an alternate route we can take."

I yank her phone out, pulling up the navigation app. Entering the information, I shake my head. "This is it."

"Oh Em Gee. I'm going to be late for my presentation! So late!" Kendall shrieks from the backseat as she starts hyperventilating.

I unbuckle my seat belt, turning around. "Relax, honey, take a deep breath." Kendall is shaking her hands wildly as she breathes in and out deeply. "We'll get you there on time."

I turn back around, refastening my seat belt as Andrea and I exchange glances. "Now who do I have to fuck around here to get this line moving?" she mutters under her breath.

I swallow a laugh as Kendall starts hyperventilating again.

Thirty minute later, and a frantic Kendall, we carry her projects into her history classroom. Her teacher stands up as we walk in, rushing over to help us. He takes the project from me as I run back out to the car to carry back the last one.

As I walk back into the classroom, I see the teacher gawking at Andrea while Kendall is trying to speak to him. I step on his foot with my stiletto heel walking by. He hisses in pain, grabbing his foot.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" I apologize. Andrea and I trade knowing smiles. No one ignores our girl.

Placing the last piece of the project down, I smile at Kendall.

"Bye," she waves shyly as everyone in the classroom stare at us.

"I'll see you later. Good luck," I say as Andrea winks at her.

I grab my friend by the arm. "Come on," I whisper, "We've got to haul ass."

As we make it to the door, I hear some girl say to Kendall, "Nice shoes. So last year."

I turn around to see the exchange. Kendall's face drops before she lifts her chin. "Well, I like them."

"Not like you have a choice." The girl places her hand on her hip, pursing her lips. "Must be hard with a dead mommy and daddy."

Pure fury takes over me. "Are you going to allow this to continue?" I shout at her teacher.

"Jessica," he shouts, "You've just earned yourself detention after school. We have a strict anti-bullying policy."

The girl rolls her eyes. It takes all I have in me not to bitch slap her as I remind myself numerous times that she's only a thirteen-year-old girl.

I walk over to Jessica, pointing at her. "Your mother and I are going to have a talk when I get home from work this afternoon."

She rolls her eyes at me. "Whatever."

"Don't worry about her," Andrea says to Kendall, "She's the girl that'll wind up pregnant at sixteen to a guy who knocks her around."

Kendall shrugs. "I'm okay. Sticks and stones..."

I surge with pride. She is such a better person than I was at her age, than I am today.

"I'll see you later, honey." I wink as we turn and walk out.

"You gotta hurry!" I shout, fastening my seat belt.

"It's not like you've never been late before!" Andrea shouts as she turns the car on.

"No, I've never been late!" I shout.

Andrea stares at me, gaping. "Never? Not once?"

"Would you be late to work if he was your boss?" I ask.

She shifts the car into gear and pulls out of the parking spot. "Fair point." As we turn down the roads that lead to the highway she says, "Listen, here's what you tell him. 'Mr. Townsend, I apologize for being late, but I lost track of time thinking about your sexy naked ass while masturbating.' I guarantee if you say that to him, not only will he not be upset, but it will definitely help you out with your pay raise."

I roll my eyes at her. "Or it'll get me fired."

"I bet every dollar in my bank account that he won't be upset with you if you say that," she replies, "Come on, Tori, live a little."
"You're going to get me fired from my job," I chastise.

"Every dollar in my bank account," she replies, "Unless...you think you can come up with a better excuse."

As we pull up to my office building, I lean over kissing her. "You're a menace. I love you."

Stepping out of the car, I try to think of something clever as an excuse.

I glance at the computer screen again. She's twenty minutes late. I tap my foot against the floor. My secretary, Miss Victoria Wright, has never been late. Not once. Did something happen to her? Is she hurt? I tap my foot again harder. I'll call her cell phone. The train could be running late. I'll give it twenty more minutes before I call her. She could be hurt, though. Better make it ten.

"Hello, Mr. Townsend. I apologize for being late."

I look up to find Victoria's face flushed, breathing hard. "And may I ask why you're late?"

Her eyes lock on mine as her tongue darts across her upper lip. "If you must know, sir, I was masturbating this morning while thinking of you and lost track of time."

I spit my coffee out across my desk, wondering if I am imagining her saying that. Her perfectly plucked brow raises at me as she smirks. Two can play at this game.

"In that case, what was I wearing?" I ask.

"Your grey suit, sir." She flashes me a brilliant smile.

I place the coffee cup down, folding my hands together in my lap to hide my now throbbing erection. "I think you're bluffing." I hope she's telling the truth.

With a huge smile on her lips, she pulls a small palm sized vibrator out of her leather purse. She holds it up, her brow arched. Well done, you naughty girl.

I clear my throat, afraid it might come out sounding like a prepubescent boy. "Next time you wish to masturbate in the morning, make sure that you're at work on time, Miss Wright."

"Of course, sir, won't happen again." She winks at me before turning and walking out, her ass seeming to sashay a little more than usual.

I take a deep, cleansing breath before staring back at my computer screen. The only thing I could see, however, was Victoria: naked, breasts heaving, splayed across my desk, begging for me to take her.

I frown, realizing that it's going to be a long blue ball filled day.

Ninety-four. Ninety-five. Ninety-six. My arms reach my knees, and I lay back down, wiping the sweat from my brow. Ninety-seven, ninety- eight. I feel the pull in my abdominal muscles. Ninety-nine, One hundred. Does she even notice my work out? Does Victoria even know that I work out two hours a day to impress her?

I stand up in my home gym, grabbing a bottle of water from my mini fridge. The phone rings.

"Answer call," I command to the phone on the wall.

"Hey, asshole," the voice on the other end answers.

"What do you want? I have to get ready for work," I reply curtly to my step-brother.

"I have to change the date I come by with those contracts. Something is up with Ben," he replies.

"Fine. Just call my office and leave a message with the new time. Victoria will take care of it."

"Speaking of Victoria, how is your delicious secretary doing? Still havin' wet dreams about her?"

"Still in love with your ex-wife?" I asked back.

"I worry about you," Ben says, "When's the last time you had your cock played with?"

"Yes, losing my business over a sexual harassment lawsuit seems like the way to go," I reply.

"You seem pissier than usual. What's bothering you?" he asks, concerned.

"Victoria," I sigh, "She seems more distant than usual at work. And her eyes…something's worrying her. Whenever I ask her if everything's alright, she just plasters on a fake smile and says, 'Everything is fine, Mr. Townsend.'"

"So, she doesn't want to share her life with you. Can you blame her? You never let her in," my brother says.

"I asked her several times when she first started working for me if she wanted to go on my boat with me. She declined every time without giving me a reason. After the fourth 'no,' I stopped asking. She's never invited me out anywhere."

"Didn't you say that you thought she had a kid?" he asks.

"Well, according to her tax forms, she has a dependent. But, that could mean any number of things," I reply, "I'm pretty sure she's single, though. No delivery of flowers on any major holiday, no man showing up to take her to lunch. Also, she never chats with anyone on-line. On her lunch break, she looks at designer websites, but never buys."

"How do you know?" he asks.

"I bugged her keyboard," I reply. It's company property and perfectly legal.

He sighs. "Then start slow with a nice gift. You already know what she likes. Buy whatever she clicks on the most. But, let me spell the situation out for you. If you're not fucking her, someone else will be. Figure out if you can deal with that. I'll talk to you later."

The line goes dead, and I ran my hands through my hair repeatedly, feeling uneasy. I glance at the time on the wall, and make my way for the shower. I like to be in before Victoria. Seeing her walk into my office and greet me always makes my day. Maybe buying her a present isn't a horrible idea. Her raise is coming up; I could say that it is in appreciation of all her hard work. I step into the shower, frowning. Who has your heart, Victoria?

It had been a long day at work- a lot of scheduling, faxing, and coordinating. My back hurt from hunching over the fax machine all day. Rubbing my shoulder, I walk inside my apartment to find Andrea lying out on my couch. "What are you doing here?" I ask in surprise.

"You always keep your key under your mat," she says.

"I know, but what are you doing here?" I ask. She glances up, her eyes glazed over, and I can tell she has been drinking.

"They let me go," she says sadly.

"Why? You're the best bartender there!" I shout in anger.

She shrugs sadly. "I'm thirty- four now, Tori, you know the game."

"When is your lease up?" I ask.

"Next month actually. Why? What are you thinking?

"Move in here with us," I say, "Put your furniture in storage."

Andrea looks shocked. "Are you serious?"

I nod. "Just no guys here. I don't want strangers around Kendall. And I'm going to need you to watch her a few nights a week. I'm going to take your advice and look for someone who wants some company. That's why I need you to watch Kendall."

She blinks, shocked. "What do you want for rent?"

I shook my head. "Just watch Kendall when I need you to, and get yourself back on your feet. I'll take care of everything else."

Tears stream down her face as she stands up, hugging me. "I love you. Do you know that?"

I hug her back tightly. "Sisters for life, Dre."

She pulls back, wiping her eyes. "Are you sure about this? Sleeping with some rich guy?"

"Yeah. That girl the other day…what she said to Kendall, it's really eating at me. She deserves better. She deserves better than what we had growing up."

Andrea smiles. "As far as Kendall is concerned, she may not have it financially better than us, but she does have it better than what we had. She has people around her who would die for her. Kendall knows how much we love her."

"Of course I do," I hear a voice say at the door.

I smile, wiping away a tear, seeing Kendall standing in the doorway. "Hey, honey! Welcome home."

"What's wrong?" she asks, glancing back and forth. "And why are you here, Aunt Dre?"

"Nothing's wrong," Andrea replies smoothly, "But, next month, I'm going to move in with you girls."

Kendall's eyes widen. "Really?" She shrieks loudly in excitement, "Awesome!"

I smile widely, happy that she is so happy. "Let's get some take out to celebrate," I say.

Kendall beams. "This is going to be awesome!"

I fidget nervously, checking the clock. Five more minutes until she comes in. I check the clock again. Four more minutes. Pull yourself together .

"Hello, Mr. Townsend."

I glance up to see her smiling, looking as sexy as always, before she turns to walk away just like our normal routine. "Miss Wright, please come inside."

She walks into the room, and although she's smiling, I can tell she's nervous. "Yes, Mr. Townsend? What can I do for you?"

"Miss Wright, I know your pay raise review is coming up, and…you've now been working for me five years. This is in appreciation for all that you do." I pick up the gift box, sitting on the desk, holding it out for her.

She blinks in shock. Swallowing, she takes the box from me. "Thank you, Mr. Townsend."

"I hope you enjoy it," I say, trying to hide my nervousness.

She smiles politely. "I always love the scarves you give me. I'm sure I'll love this one, too."

Damn. When she says it like that…

I shake my head. "It's not a scarf."

Surprise flickers through her eyes as she opens the gift wrapped box. Opening it, her eyes widen. I try to hold back my excitement at seeing her eyes light up.

"Mr. Townsend. Thank you," she breathes out. Victoria takes the perfume out of the box, her fingers caressing the bottle.

"A few times during your lunch break, I saw this perfume bottle up on your computer screen. So, I figured that meant you'd like it. You do like it, right, Miss Wright?"

She nods. "Yes. Thank you, Mr. Townsend."

"Good," I say, "I'm glad. And I will make a mental note not to buy you any more scarves."

She bites back a laugh, humor in her eyes. "Thank you, Mr. Townsend."

Miss Wright leans in a fraction of an inch, and I find myself leaning in, thinking she will kiss me. But, suddenly she seems to think better of it and leans back. Victoria turns, walking out of the room, and when she thinks she is out of view, opens the bottle, smelling it. She smiles brightly as her eyes roll back and I forget where I am. She is utterly captivating, and all she has done is sniff a bottle of perfume. No more scarves. What the hell was I thinking always getting her that for her Christmas present? She accepted the gift well. Perhaps five years has changed things. I glance at the computer screen smiling, feeling jittery in the pit of my stomach. What holiday could I get her a present for next?