Darius was caught between a rock and a hard place. He needed to decide what to do but none of the options was right for him and each decision had negative implications for him. If he said no to Emma there was the possibility of losing his job but if he yielded to Emma’s advances he would get another promotion just like he had done during the pandemic. The thing is he didn’t want to be Emma’s plaything anymore. But he knew that what he wanted was not going to come on a silver platter. It would require some thinking and maybe even disappointing the boss lady. He was willing to do what it took to clear his consciousness and feel safe in his workspace.
“So, what is it going to be? Darius.” Emma was upfront. She went straight to the point even when the matter at hand was sexual favours.
“I am comfortable with my position right now, Ma’am”. Darius responded.
“But you know that it is not an option.” Emma reminded him.
During the pandemic, when most companies were downsizing, Emma had cut Darius a deal. One night in her bed was all Darius had to bring to the table to continue in his role as the finance guy. On that day, he hadn’t given it a second thought. He took the deal the moment Emma mentioned it to him. That had remained their little secret all the while, with Darius sometimes going back to service her to keep himself in this position.
This last year though, Darius had started being cold towards her. He rarely answered her calls or messages or even showed warmth when they met in a corridor in the company. He remained very cold even when there would be meetings where he was expected to show up with vigour as usual.
He would come, and give out his presentation with little to no jokes, and that wasn’t the Darius that everyone knew. Which was not even Emma’s concern. Right now, there was something that she wanted, and Darius had no option of declining. Declining meant things would go wrong for him.
“I don’t want to do this anymore and that is the option I choose to go with.” Darius insisted.
“But it’s not an option on the table.” Her voice was starting to rise.
“What if you give me time, I think about it then I will get back to you?” Darius asked.
“What’s there to think about? Isn’t everything clear?” She spoke sternly.
“Everything is crystal clear, ma’am.” Darius had gone back to calling Emma respectfully. Something that did not sit well with her.
“Stop calling me ma’am.” She said, annoyed.
They had been sitting in the board room for more than thirty minutes, 30 minutes of discomfort for Darius. He dreaded the thought of this unplanned meeting not ending soon. It was obvious that Emma would not let him leave without the answer she wanted. She needed to know if Darius would give in to what she wanted or not. She needed to know it there and then and she had made it clear to him.
At this point, Emma was angry, and she was not hiding it. Every statement she made was laced with anger. She made the whole issue appear so urgent like there was an emergency.
Darius remembered how things had gone down the first time she did this to him. She was gentle and sweet. She had been humble because she understood that he needed gentleness and tenderness when she made that indecent proposal. It was inappropriate and indecent but because she held all the good cards, she seemed to know that the least she could do was be gentle with this young man.
Things are so different this time around. She is commanding, rude, and very demeaning. She had made it clear that Darius was like a little creature in her hand and if he wasn’t going to comply, she would simply squeeze her hands and he’d suffocate there and die. At this point, Darius knew that he had only one choice as per Emma’s script. If he chose another script where he was willing to lose whatever Emma used as bait, then maybe there was a way he could turn things around.
“What if I see options from my end?” He asked.
“I told you there aren’t options here.” She rudely responded.
“That’s what you want me to think,” Darius said.
This statement caught Emma off guard. Darius could see her confidence and rude demeanour melt away slowly. She looked at him inquisitively. Then she confidently leaned over and said with a sneer, “Are you willing to lose your job over a small small favour.” She said, hoping he’d back down.
“Before we start threatening each other, what if we looked at this whole issue holistically?” Darius asked her.
“Not the moral compass again Darius, that won’t work.” She dismissed him before he could even say a word.
Darius had earlier tried to convince Emma that whatever she was proposing was not necessary. That was not right even before God, a thought that had infuriated her so much. How dare he mention God in such a setting? Perhaps Emma wondered why he was resisting yet it had been so easy the first time. Hadn’t she stuck to her end of the bargain? She thought that this would be the perspective he would see but she was wrong.
“What if you spell out what is it you want from me? We can agree. A night, a weekend at the coast, or several days in an Airbnb of your choice. You get what you want, and I get what I want. Which is to keep my job. I do not even what the promotion is. I just can’t keep doing this. It is not right.”
Emma smiled. She reclined her chair and swung from side to side.
“Now you are talking, Darius. I like this new attitude.” She said as she smiled at him.
“We do not need to fight. We can have a win-win situation here.” Darius said.
What Emma did not know though, was that Darius’s phone had been recording. After answering her summons he had come into the room with his phone already set to record. He did not need to fight her, but he needed evidence so that he could have options.
“However, I wonder why the sudden change of mind?” She was curious. It failed to make sense to her that someone who had been very rigid a few minutes ago was now very compliant.
Darius took a few seconds to think things through. He needed a very convincing lie to keep Emma talking.
“I figured out that it was easy the first time around. It should not be hard right now. But as I said this will be the last time.” He lied with a straight face.
“Nice. It is good that we are on the same page.” She looked him over like he was a Bull she was going to buy. Exactly what she needed. A stud to fulfil her twisted desires.
“So, what’s it going to be?” He asked impatiently.
She took her time to swing from side to side while smiling. This irritated Darius so much that he could not maintain eye contact. He looked at the stationary on her desk as he waited for her to respond to his question.
“A weekend at the coast would do.” She said with a giggle.
“And I’d get the promotion?” He asked.
Emma looked satisfied. “Yes. You know I always stick to my end of the bargain.”
“Okay, nice. Then we have a deal. When is that going to be?” He enquired.
He needed to record all the details to make it detailed enough to prevent her from denying the whole conversation happened.
“This weekend. I have missed you, having you in my bed at my command. You have been avoiding me, but I always say good things come to those who wait” Emma winked as she licked her lips.
“Well. I guess we are done here.” He said with a sarcastic finality in his tone.
“Yeah, lover boy. We are.” Emma seemed satisfied that she had cornered him.
Darius sat there wondering how Emma could be that naive. How could she have failed to see what was going on? Was she blinded by her desires? Maybe she thought that maybe Darius was the naive young man she had manipulated years before. He pressed the save button and then sent the note to his trusted friend.
Darius stood up to leave. He meant to confront her on another day but decided to do it right now. “How about you listen to a masterpiece of mine over here,” Darius said sarcastically.
“Okay, lover boy.” Emma, who had gotten what she wanted was very satisfied.
As he played the recording, you could see the fear on Emma’s face. The laid-back Emma was now bent forward, frightened. Asking Darius over and over how he could do such a thing to her.
“Every bit of our conversation is here, and a copy is in my friend’s mail. See the speed of technology.” Darius was now the one running the show.
“Darius, no one can hear this recording please.” She pleaded.
“Only you can decide that.” He made it clear the ball was in her court.
“What do you want?”
“My rightful promotion and for you to never come closer to me. I will keep this as long as I work in this organization.” He demanded.
“How will I know that you won’t release it thereafter?” She asked.
“There’s only one way to know.” He said.
“You’ll have your promotion. Please keep this between us. I can lose everything.” Suddenly, Emma was begging.
“Okay, you have my word.” He said. He walked out more confidently than he had walked in. She would not bother him again.
Here are more short stories you may want to read.
He Hadn’t Planned To Become A Criminal But When The Opportunity To Make Some Good Money Came His Way He Took It
An Admirer From Her Campus Days Became The Stumbling Block She Did Not Expect At Her New Job
He Convinced Her To Jointly Save Money For Their Wedding But She Did Not The Betrayal Coming
I Thought He Was The Perfect Man For Me Until I Found Out He Had Installed Hidden Cameras In My House
Caught Between Snitching On His Friends And Going To Jail, Remi Chose The Third Option
Their New Colleague Was Such A Great Person That They Did Not See The Betrayal That Was Coming
She Had A Shameful Secret About What She Did For Work – If Her Mother Found Out She Would Be Disowned
She Would Do Anything To Rescue Her Child Who Had Been Kidnapped