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My Other Man 6 - The continuing story
This first week at Rahde Industries just flew by and by any measure of standards I did pretty well. Tom certainly was pleased with my work and I was becoming on a first name basis with the other Board Members. The other employees referred to me as Ms Drake, and by the way, the receptionist was most respectful of me.
Since I started, I learned that Tom was into real estate development. He did both commercial industrial parks and residential communities. Once in a while he'd get into a high end custom home that would be classified as an estate. So the purchase of CSW, where Mike was into marketing, was a natural fit.
I hired eight framers and three concrete men for a shopping mall Tom was developing. It was going to be very nice with a trout stream going down the center of the mall. The personnel files from CSW arrived today and my department was assigned the task of blending those files with the existing files of Rahde Industries. I couldn't help myself when I saw Mike's file, I had to look at it. Everything looked good, he even had several commendations for a job well done. That was until I saw the life insurance papers. The beneficiary wasn't me!! A Mary Pearl of San Leandro was the listed beneficiary. He only had one sister and that wasn't her, all of his cousins were men, and his parents were deceased. Who was this mystery woman?
I had an idea and it had to be done anyways. I took out a memo form and addressed it to all CSW employees and it was from the Human Resources Director. I wrote saying all CSW employees need to come into the Rahde Corporate offices and fill out the new insurance forms. I instructed my secretary to send out the memo and have the insurance packages ready.
I then wrote a second memo which went into Mike's folder. It said promote Mike to West Coast Marketing Manager. His monthly salary was starting at $4,500 plus a sales commission of 2% and an expense account with a company credit card. I then typed in Tom's name and a line for his signature.
Tom checked the folder and signed my memo. ?Looks good to me.?
?Are you doing ok? He'll be home tonight,? Tom said as he touched my arm sending a warm shutter through my body.
?I'm nervous and scared,? I replied.
?That's a normal feeling,? he assured me.
?You're probably right,? I agreed.
?Tomorrow I'm going over to CSW for an employee's meeting. Before the meeting I'll talk to Mike telling him of his promotion and duties. Think you can last a week with him??
I nodded in the affirmative.
?Good. I'll be sending him out on his first trip a week from Monday. I already have his plane ticket and it leaves at 7:00 am. He'll fly to Portland, then on to Seattle, and his final stop will be in Boise, Idaho. He's to spend a week in each city making contacts and sales. Of course, you have no knowledge of his itinerary or of his trip.?
?I understand, good point.?
After work I made a quick trip to Tom's house for some of my clothes for work. I had an idea of leaving for work but going to Tom's place to change then go to work. But I discarded that idea because it was too awkward. I would have to go to his place to change back then rush back to my apartment, it just wouldn't work. The best solution was to go shopping for four or five outfits strictly for work and they would remain in the apartment. Tom agreed.
Tom took my lips in a soft, moist kiss. ?Remember, you can't meet him at the airport as he neglected to give you his arrival information. You only know it because I told you.?
I wrapped my arms around his neck as I looked into his blue eyes, ?that's true. I didn't think about that.?
He gave me a quick kiss. ?You'd better get going. You'll need to have diner at least started when he walks through the door. And give your apartment the lived in look, you know, mess it up just a little and have the TV going.?
I shook my head. ?You thought of everything.?
I gave him a passionate kiss, and as I kissed him, I let my knee brush against his crotch. His bulge was growing. ?Bye hun, see you at work in the morning.? I quickly walked to my car and I was on my back to my apartment. I checked my watch and I still had an hour and half before his plane would land and probably be another half hour after that before Mike walked through the front door.
I entered my dark apartment with my arms full of three work outfits. I put away my clothes, messed up my side of the bed to make it look like I had slept there. I put today's paper spread out on the coffee table and turned on the TV. I changed my clothes to my jeans and a blouse Mike would approve. The note I had written was still on the refrig and I threw that away.
Mike loves spaghetti so that was going to be diner with a green salad. I put some hamburger in the fry pan with a few spices and waited for the meat to brown. Where was Anna, I didn't feel like cooking. I put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Now I'm ready for Mike, I told myself. I still had an hour left before his arrival so I picked the hone and called Lori.
?Hello,? Lori said.
?It's me,? I said. ?I have so much to tell you and I only have an hour before Mike is due home.?
?Give me all of the dirty details,? she said with a chuckle in her voice. ?I guess you like him.?
?I must thank you for setting him up for me. He's wonderful. I don't know where to begin. He got me an executive position with his company. I'm the Human Relations Director.?
?You're kidding,? she said.
?He has a large RV with all of the bells and whistles. We, he took me to Lake Shasta for the weekend,? I told her.
?I love that lake, it's so romantic. That's where Jake proposed to me,? she said. ?So you did it with him??
I giggled like a school girl. ?Please keep this to yourself. Oh my god, yes. It was like being on a honeymoon. We had passionate sex every day, including the first day you had to go to work.?
?You screwed him here?? she asked.
?Right on the sofa.?
?Is he big?? Lori inquired.
I smiled. ?Oh yes. He's very big.?
?I heard he has a mansion.?
?It's an estate. I spent the last week with him there,? I said and heard a car door close. I looked out the sliding glass door and saw the taxi.
?Anytime you need a cover give me a call,? she said.
?Thanks girlfriend, I gotta go. Mike's home.?
?Good luck, bye.? Lori said and I heard the phone click indicating she hung up.
I went to the stove and stirred the sauce as the door opened and Mike walked in.
?I'm home sugar. Something smells good.?
I turned, went to him and gave him a hug. ?It's good to have you home, hope you had a good conference and trip.?
Mike took off his coat and placed it on a dining room chair. He sat in his favorite over stuffed chair and crossed his legs. ?I learned a lot and met some very important business people. But I'm worried that I might lose my job.?
?Your kidding,? I said. ?I thought you were doing so good.?
?I am,? he replied. ?At the conference, rumors were rampant that a large corporation had bought us out lock, stock, and barrel. When that happens there are usually layoffs. Any ways, there is a mandatory all employee's meeting tomorrow morning at ten. I'm concerned, very concerned.?
?I think you'll be just fine,? I said. ?You're the best marketing/salesman they have. They need you no matter who's sits in the owner's chair.?
?I suppose you're right. My worrying won't change anything,? Mike said as he changed the TV to the evening news.
I smiled. ?I have some good news.?
?I could use some. What do you have??
?I'll skip the details. I landed a job in the Personnel Office of Rahde Industries.?
?Rahde Industries! How did you manage that? They are one of the big boys in the construction and development game.? Mike said as he ran his fingers through his hair. ?Wow!?
?Lori had a big part in my landing the job. She knew a guy from where she worked and he had something to do with Rahde Industries and he knew they were looking for office staff as they were going to expand. She's happy at the casino so she gave him my name. The next day I went in for an interview and got the job.?
?That's great!? he replied then added. ?You're going to need some new clothes.?
?I know, I borrowed some money from Lori and I got three outfits. I'll repay her a little each payday. I should have a couple more business suits but that can wait until another time,? I said.
?You should have used the Christmas money,? he suggested.
?I thought about that but wasn't sure how you'd take it. Remember last year??
?Yes, I was an ass. I'm still sorry for acting that way,? he said.
?How much are you making?' he asked.
?I'm on salary, starting at $5,000 a month plus a full benefit package.?
?Wow! That's great, we'll be ok if I happen to get laid off,? he said.
Diner went well, so to speak. My culinary skills is nothing compared Anna's, guess I had become spoiled. When Mike and I went to bed, I was willing to do my wifely duties and bring him to climax. Yes, I really did try but he didn't want me to touch him. He rolled over and went to sleep. As I thought back to before he had left for the conference, he was beginning to act this way, so it wasn't out of character.
As I drifted off to sleep I thought how it was with Tom. I missed him so much. I have a week to go before I was in his arms. Oh, I'll be with him at work but that's like a little kid looking into a candy store but doesn't have any money to buy some candy. I don't know when it happened, but sleep finally did come.
I was abruptly waken by the electric buzzer on my clock radio. Mike was already up and it didn't matter if he looked around. There was nothing in our apartment to link me with Tom. I jumped up and took a quick shower and got dressed. Mike was sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of cereal and reading the morning paper. He commented that I looked like a professional woman. I told myself if he only knew this was one of the outfits Tom had got for me.
I poured myself a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. How I missed Anna's breakfast. Perhaps I could grab something at the company's cafeteria, I recalled seeing a pretty good breakfast menu with good prices.
I sat down across from Mike at my usual space, took a sip of coffee. ?How you doing??
?Nervous and anxious,? he said.
?Just be yourself and you'll do just fine,? I said.
He checked the time, ?I've got to go, don't want to be late today.? He came over and kissed my cheek instead of on my lips.
I waited a few minutes and then I left for Rahde Industries. The drive to work was uneventful. When I arrived I noticed Tom's limo parked in front and I went to my assigned parking space. I used my key and unlocked the employee's entrance. I certainly was early. The walk through the cubicles indicated the office staff hadn't arrived yet, but I could hear male voices which told me the construction crews hadn't left for their various construction sites.
Tom was sitting at his desk and when he saw me he hurried to my office. He came right to me and held me in his arms. His lips passionately pressed against mine and I instantly responded with an equal amount of passion.
?God. I've missed you,? he whispered in my ear. ?I hoped you'd come in early.?
I wrapped my arms around his neck and looked into his blue eyes, ?I came in early thinking the office people wouldn't be here yet.? I kissed him again. ?Let's go to the cafeteria, my cooking is not Anna's.?
?My treat,? he said as he ordered us both bacon and eggs with toast and coffee.
As I went to a table where we could be alone, I felt several hundred eyes of the construction men on me, watching every step I took. Then when Tom joined me all eyes went straight ahead.
?How's Mike?? he asked then took a sip of coffee.
?He told me the rumor mill was working over time. They knew CSW had been purchased but not by who. Mike was afraid that he'd be laid off which often happens when one company buys another. I tried not to give him any ideas.?
?Did you tell him about working here??
?Yes, but only as a staff member, and he was good with that. I told him that Lori knew someone who knew that Rahde Industries was expanding and needed help. I told him that she was happy working at the casino and gave that person my name, The next thing I knew I was being interviewed and hired.?
?Nicely done,? he said when over the loud speaker I heard, ?Mr. Rahde, your breakfasts are ready.?
My breakfast seemed extra good, but I think that was due to the fact I was eating with Tom.
?In a couple of hours I'll be leaving for CSW, if this was a normal situation you, as the Human Relations Director, would come with me. You'd give a speel on benefits of Rahde Industries, and over see the employees filling out an application. That will happen next time.?
Later that same morning, Tom Rahde arrived at CSW and was greeted by Larry Stone, the President.
?How do you want to work this?? Larry asked.
?There are three individuals I wish to speak with privately, starting with Mike Drake. Then I'll address the employees, is there a private office I can use??
?You can use my office,? Larry said. ?I'll have Mike paged.?
Tom laid out Mike's personnel folder on the desk when there was a knock on the door.
?Enter,? Tom Said.
A well dressed middle aged man entered the office. He guessed that he was at least ten years older than Elizabeth. ?Mike, close the door and have a seat.?
Mike sat down in front of the large desk. ?I'm Tom Rahde, I'm CEO & President of Rahde Industries and the Rahde Company. My grandfather started the company, my father ran it for two decades, and I inherited everything. Upon a strong recommendation and my own research, I, we, purchased CSW lock, stock, and barrel.?
?I heard rumors to the effect that CSW had been bought out but not by who,? Mike said.
?I want you to know, and I'll tell the other employees at meeting, there will be no layoffs.?
?Thank you, that's good to know,? Mike said.
?I didn't say there wouldn't be any personnel changes, and this is why I'm talking to you privately. I've read your jacket and you're good, really good. So I am offering you a promotion to West Coast Marketing Manager. There is a hefty pay increase, you'll have an expense account, and a company credit card.?
?Oh my god, thank you.?
Tom folded his hands together and had them resting on Mike's file. ?Now you'll have to travel a lot and often. Is that fine with you??
?Y-yes, Mike stammered. ?When's my first trip? What am I supposed to do??
?Good. You'll leave next Monday and you'll fly to Portland, then drive to Seattle, Spokane, and Boise. You are representing both CSW and Rahde Industries. You'll be selling CSW products to the various lumber yards just as you have been doing locally. In addition, you are our eyes for new developments both residential and commercial. When they get started, you'll be our regional supervisor over looking those projects. Later you'll do the same in Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and California.?
?Wow,? he said.
Tom took out some forms from the folder in front of him. ?Fill our these forms, they are your basic employee and tax forms plus a loyalty agreement.?
Mike took the forms and briefly looked through them. ?What kind of compensation may I expect.?
Tom smiled. ?I was thinking a salary of seventy five thousand annually, 2% commission, and the expense account.?
?Thank you, that is very generous.? Mike said.
Tom took an envelop from his inner suit pocket and handed it to Mike. ?This is your plane tickets and a letter of authorization for a car rental.?
?Thank you sir,? Mike said.
?Your credit card will be ready before this Friday,? Tom said then added, ?Get those forms to me before I leave so I can get them to our Personnel Department.?
Tom preceded to interview the other two CSW employees repeating the same offer. The both accepted their positions.
The talk he gave to the employees was brief and assured them no one would be laid off. Mike and the other two gave Tom their completed forms.
When he returned to his office, he gave Elizabeth the personnel folders. ?Mike leaves for his business trip next Monday. He'll be gone at least three weeks, maybe longer. I hope you'll want to come home with me after work??
?I can't wait.? I said.
?Tomorrow, the Lady Mint is going into dry dock for renovations and a fresh coat of paint. She should be ready in two weeks and we can take her out on the Sacramento River and do some stripped bass fishing.?
?I'd like that, thanks.? I said. Already I was dancing with the clouds waiting for next Monday to get here.
To be continued ? Elizabeth D.