This story is by Joya Williams and was part of our 2018 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“You want me to sleep with your husband?” Simona Dawson asked her boss Davinia Lawrence.
“That’s right,” the woman replied.
Simona was stunned, “I don’t understand.”
“What’s to understand? Have sex. Make love. Whatever.”
“But I’m a married woman!” Simona protested.
“And you’re attracted to my husband,” Davinia said calmly.
“I most certainly am not!” I most certainly am.
“I’ve seen the way you look at him,” Her boss continued.
“I don’t look at your husband” Yes I do.
The other woman smirked.
Simona tried to remain calm. “Why?”
“I need to catch him in a compromising position.”
“Insurance. Our marriage is practically over, but we’re still business partners. If things should get ugly, I have to make sure my needs are taken care of.”
“But why me?”
“Because I’ve seen the way he looks at you too.”
As she traveled home on the bus that evening, she contemplated her boss’ proposal.
“I’ll pay you $50,000 when the um…deed is done”
Simona didn’t know whether to be insulted or flattered that her skills in the bedroom were worth so much. The problem was that she really was attracted to her boss’ husband and the guilt weighed heavily on her.
She stood up to leave, “I’m sorry Davinia but I can’t do it. I’m not going to cheat on my husband.”
Her boss wouldn’t let it go so easily, “I think you’ll find this is a win-win situation for both of us. I know how much you need the money…and this job.”
Simona left her boss’ office, the threat clearly understood.
That was two days ago. Now as Simona sat in her kitchen, she wondered what she was going to do. She faced the threat of unemployment and being blacklisted. Davinia wielded a lot of power in social and professional circles and could be very vindictive. Finding another job would not be easy.
Her husband Daniel walked into the room and threw an envelope on the kitchen table.
“What’s this?” She asked.
“We’re behind on the mortgage. Again.” He replied as he started making coffee.
“But I gave you the money for that.”
Daniel paused for a moment. “I used it to pay some other bills that were overdue,” He didn’t look at her.
“Oh,” she said.
“Would you have preferred that I ignore the red letters displayed across the top of the envelopes?”
“Of course not. It’s just…”
“Just what Sim?”
“I’m so tired of struggling.” She said trying not to cry. “It’s not just the mortgage, it’s everything else too.” She thought of the dilapidated roof that needed to be replaced before winter and the money they owed their contractor for renovations already completed on their house. “Why does everything have to be so hard?”
Daniel put the coffee pot down and came over to her. Pulling her up from the stool, he wrapped his arms around her and gave her a big bear hug.
“Don’t worry, once I find a job, we’ll get back on track.” Simona wasn’t so sure. After being laid off nine months ago, Daniel still couldn’t find work. The money from his pitiful severance package was already spent. They were barely getting by on one salary and the bills were piling up.
“Just don’t give up on me babe,” he said. Simona him with all her heart. She knew there was no way she would ever cheat on him.
But what if it meant that all of their problems disappeared? The treacherous thought sprung unbidden to her mind.
“Never,” she said.
That Friday, Simona stood in Baxter Lawrence’s office.
“I’m sorry, it sounds like you want me to steal from your wife?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Baxter sat back in the luxurious chair behind his desk.
“Are you crazy? I could go to jail. Or even worse Davinia would kill me!” she finished off in a vicious whisper.
“Davinia will never find out it was you. Just find the files on her new clients and give them to me,” Baxter said calmly.
‘Why don’t you do it?” she shot back.
“I’m the first person she would suspect. She doesn’t trust me. It has to be someone she would never expect,” he explained. The office was nearly empty. They were both working late and she was sure Davinia had arranged it that way by giving Simona a last minute urgent project.
“But why me?”
“Because you have access to the information I need and she trusts you,” he said.
“I trust you,” he added as he walked towards her. He was a very attractive man.
He was so close, she could smell his cologne. Flustered and very aware that they were alone in his office with the door closed, she wondered what she would do if he kissed her right now. The image of them locked in a heated embrace came to her suddenly and she held her breath. She could literally hear bells ringing.
“Simona?” Baxter called softly.
“Yes?” she whispered.
“Your phone’s ringing,” he replied.
Simona jumped back with a start. “Oh!” She searched for the phone in her purse. It was Daniel calling, probably wanting to see what time she’d be home. Embarrassed by where her thoughts had led her, she pressed ‘ignore’ and pulled herself together.
“If I get caught, Davinia will fire me and my reputation will be ruined. I can’t afford to be unemployed right now. My husband and I are dealing with some…financial roadblocks,” she gathered her purse and jacket, determined to leave before she found herself in a bad situation.
“I’ll protect you from the wrath of Davinia and I’ll make sure you’re well compensated. How much do you need to solve your financial problems?” he said with ease.
“I need a lot,” Simona said.
“I have a lot,” he replied with a smile.
It was Saturday afternoon and Simona studied her reflection in the full-length mirror.
We need this money. I have to do this. If Daniel finds out, he’ll never forgive me.
Simona could feel a bead of sweat between her breasts. It was now or never. Her tight, black outfit seemed fitting. Daniel had gone to the hardware store, so she had just enough time to get ready and get out of there before he came home. If he knew what she was about to do, he would try to stop her. Picking up her cell phone she made the call.
“Hi, it’s Simona,” she said. “I’ll do it.”
Twenty minutes later she stood in Davinia’s office. The realization that she was about to steal confidential documents from her employer made her feel sick. Hands shaking, she reached for Davinia’s laptop and typed in the password she’d seen entered so many times before. She promptly opened the documents folder and eyed all the files until she found one called ‘2018 Potentials’. Relieved she reached for the jump drive in her jacket pocket and inserted it. Another folder caught her eye. It was labeled simply ‘BL’. Did that stand for Baxter Lawrence? Curious, Simona clicked on it. There were bank statements and letters to Davinia’s lawyer. She opened a letter with yesterday’s date and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Baxter was broke! Apparently, he had been spending the firm’s money carelessly and Davinia had cut him off financially. Now she wanted to be rid of him before he took the company down. But she was concerned about how a divorce would affect the company and their assets.
Simona’s mind raced. If Davinia could blackmail Baxter, he would be too humiliated to fight for half of the company. He would take a settlement and go quietly. But Baxter wanted Davinia’s new clients, so he’d have the leverage to start his own firm. Then it hit her…
How was he going to pay her if he had no money?
He lied to her. She felt so stupid.
A noise in the hallway startled her and she desperately looked for a place to hide. Only the security guard was here on the weekend. She thought it might be Baxter. Her hopes were quickly dashed when Davinia and the security guard walked in.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Davinia asked.
“I…uh…” Simona was at a loss. Her eyes inadvertently darted to the jump drive that was still in the laptop. Following her gaze, Davinia moved quickly to grab it and took in the rest of the scene. It didn’t take long for her to figure out what was happening and Simona watched as her expression changed from suspicion to absolute fury. Instinctively, she moved towards the door but Davinia grabbed her wrist and squeezed so hard Simona was sure it would crack.
“It seems you and I never finished our discussion,” Davinia said only loud enough for her to hear. “If you don’t want to end up in jail, I think you’d better buy some new lingerie because now you owe me.”
Simona bowed her head in defeat.