Promises, Promises
Author:Janice Baker

chapter 3

Izzy



As we walked back to the townhouse, my mind wandered to my new boss, Z. I knew I shouldn’t have romantic thoughts about him, nor any man right now for that matter, but I couldn’t help it. The connection we seemed to have from just looking at each other was incredibly intense. Just thinking about him made my heart beat faster. Gorgeous was the word that came to mind. Wait, maybe it was handsome, hot, amazing. It was hard to pick one word to describe him. Tall with broad shoulders and muscular arms made me believe he definitely worked out a lot to keep in shape. His t-shirt was tight enough not to be obnoxious, but definitely hinted to his well-defined abs. His hair color seemed to be the same sandy blonde color as mine, maybe a bit darker, but I’m sure his wasn’t highlighted by a hairdresser every three weeks to be the perfect shade. His strong jaw line and masculine cheek bones seemed to be carved by the best sculptor. And then his eyes, piercing grey blue that seemed to look into my soul, but at the same time were so caring and warm.

I sighed and tried to remind myself that I don’t need to be consumed by another man right now. HE still consumed my thoughts, but there was something about Z that was so different, almost completely opposite of HIM. The caring attraction that he seemed to exude from our quick introduction seemed so sincere. Or was that my imagination? I just felt an electric current between us, especially when we shook hands. But then again, it could be my mind running wild; too much has happened in the past 24 hours and I’m sure I’m just not thinking straight.

Hoping he might be a jerk who slept around so I could stop thinking about him, I asked Melanie, “So, Z seems pretty nice. Do you think he’ll be a good boss like Ron was?” I mentioned Ron, my former manager from Smith’s because he slept with any girl that walked, well, except his staff. He made sure to treat us all with respect. I was hoping Melanie got my hint of what I was implying.

She frowned and shook her head. “Sort of. I see the way he treats his staff. He’s great with them and very courteous, like Ron was, but he’s nothing like the dog Ron was. Z seems to try to find steady girls and treats them well. Too bad he just winds up with girls who either cheat on him or are just plain crazy. He’s living with this girl Sheila right now.” My heart sank at hearing he was living with his girlfriend, but I tried not to show any reaction as I continued to listen. “But she’s such a bitch! I can’t stand her! And lately she’s been playing way too many head games with him. I really think she’s cheating on him or something.”

“What makes you think that?” I was curious – not that it mattered because I really need to get my head straight before thinking about any guy at all.

“I don’t know. Remember how Frank’s girlfriend used to call him, making excuses about where she was and stuff? Then she would accuse him of cheating all the time, when really she was screwing that creepy stalker-type guy at Smith’s?” She asked, laughing. We had given him that name because he would sit at the back of the bar and stare at all the girls dancing, but wouldn’t make a move until they were drunk and ready to leave.

“Gross. Yes, I totally remember that whole deal. Poor Frank. He was so sweet too. So you think Z’s girlfriend is doing that to him?”

“Yeah, I just get that impression. Flynn thinks so too, but Z seems oblivious. They’re always fighting though and she never hangs out with us, which is fine with me. Like I said, she’s annoying!” Melanie said, scrunching her nose.

“That’s not good.” I really felt bad for Z.

She nodded in agreement. “Yeah, he’s like a brother type to me. We have a lot of fun. You’ll see how it is with all of us. It’s just like Brad and Mack. We hang out, drink, play cards and pool, but we’re all just good friends.”

I nodded, thinking about Brad and Mack. Mack was a friend of Brad’s from college, but Brad I’ve known since my first foster home. We somehow were able to stay together and even made sure we went to college together. There were many times he backed me up and saved me, especially when I used to hustle pool. Although, he had reason to do that since I would always split my winnings with him.

I’ve missed Brad so much, especially lately. We used to be so close until he married Missy. She was constantly jealous of our relationship. It was around the same time that Melanie started dating Allen. “How are they? Have you heard from them lately?” She answered that she hears from them every once in a while, but now that they’re married and working, she doesn’t talk to them that much.

“I’ll have to give them a call and let ‘em know you’re back in town,” Melanie exclaimed excitedly.

I shook my head, looking down at the pavement as we walked. “I’m sure Missy and Donna don’t really want us calling them. Maybe we shouldn’t bother.” I still felt sad about the last time I had spoken with Brad. Missy yelled at him to choose between her and me, he had given me a sorry look and chased after her, obviously choosing Missy.

“Well, maybe just the guys will come to town for a night of fun. I’m sure they can get away for one night of walking down memory lane,” Melanie said in a hopeful manner.

“I doubt it. We should probably just leave it alone. I don’t think I want to face Brad again after our last exchange.” I’d rather just leave that door closed.

Melanie rubbed my back and gave me a sad nod, knowing how I had broken down after that had happened. She took a deep breath. “Are you nervous about tonight?” Melanie asked changing the subject.

“A little. But I’ve kept up on all my bartender skills.” I left out about the parties and that I had to serve drinks in certain outfits to appease HIM for different fantasy scenes. Some of those were pretty fun, but I was trying not to think about anything having to do with HIM. She gave me a quick nod not thinking anything of it.

After getting home, I washed my new clothes and put them away. I took a shower and sat at the kitchen island to eat a quick dinner before heading over to Allure. As I was eating my salad, Clark came down the stairs wearing a red shirt with the logo for Allure on it. I couldn’t help but graze over his incredible chest. The red shirt was obviously part of Allure’s standard uniform, but he definitely picked one a bit tighter that would emphasize his broad shoulders; it was snug enough to show every chest and ab muscle he had. It reminded me of Z, but Clark’s shirt was much tighter.

He smiled smugly noticing my gaze, “You like this, don’t ya babe?” He asked, gesturing to his chest.

I had a couple of witty things come to mind but stopped. Why did I stop? Just like in front of Z and his slutty name comment. I wanted to tease back with him. I used to have really fun comments that would get a quick laugh in a guy’s eyes…but since HIM, I squashed it. Why? Easy. Punishment for speaking out, and not usually the good kind. At first HE seemed to like my quick wit and comebacks. But after the punishments increased the past several months, I began to think HE might not be as into them as I had thought.

Instead, I just smirked at Clark, rolled my eyes and shook my head. Safer. Although what did I have to lose now? HE isn’t around. I still refrained.

“Wow, look at you! Loving the uniform on you babe!” He exclaimed with excited eyes (a bit too excited as his eyes lingered on my chest). “Are you going in early? I need to get over there and discuss some things with Z. I’ll walk with you.”

I didn’t think I really had a choice. I didn’t see any harm in walking there with him, just as long as he kept his hands to himself. “Yeah, I’m supposed to be there around six.” I told him as I put my dishes in the dishwasher.

We headed out to Allure, which was only a couple blocks away. Clark was nice and a bit chatty. He was funny too. He joked about the girls that try to get in and some of the douchebags (as he called them) that would flash cash trying to get in. He had some fun stories; we were at Allure before I knew it.

We were laughing about one of Clark’s stories as we walked in and turned the corner to the bar area. Z sat at the bar chatting with a gorgeous blonde woman wearing the same uniform I was, who stood behind the bar. Z looked amazing wearing the standard red t-shirt under a black dress jacket with dark jeans. As soon as he looked up and saw Clark, his beautiful eyes turned to a glare. I wasn’t sure what that was about, but thought maybe it was what Clark needed to discuss with him.

Z then glanced at me and his eyes turned much softer as he gave me a once over with his eyes and smiled sweetly. “Wow, the uniform looks fantastic on you.” I blushed and thanked him. He introduced me to the gorgeous blonde bartender, “This is Sandy. Sandy - Izzy.”

She smiled sweetly at me and held out her hand, “Any friend of Mel’s is a friend of mine. We’re gonna have some fun!”

Z seemed glad at the pleasantries and said, “I’ll let Sandy get you familiar with the place and behind the bar.” He turned to Clark and in a very unpleasant voice commanded, “You, come with me.” They walked off and I went behind the bar with Sandy.

She showed me around the back of the bar and how to handle the register which was really easy since it was all computerized, unlike what I used at Smith’s.

Then she took me on a tour. Allure was basically an old converted warehouse with high exposed ceilings. Starting from the front entrance, the long bar was located to the right, the remainder of the area was a dance floor with scattered high bar tables. To the back were several steps leading up to the VIP area and behind the VIP area were three pool tables. It was a very open concept and seemed to allow lots of dancing and mingling.

Sandy explained that Allure gets a varied crowd, but most are upscale yuppie types, who are great tippers and she mentioned that the design of the uniform also helps! “Mark, our other bartender, should be in shortly,” Sandy told me. My stomach started to churn just hearing that name.

Fortunately, Mark came in and was nothing like the Mark I knew. Thank God, because I would have seriously had to spend the night in the bathroom dry heaving if he were. THIS Mark was blonde and had a sweet smile. Not devilish. I realized how panicked I had become just from hearing Mark’s name. I gathered all my strength and pushed any thoughts of HIM or Mark away. I was going to enjoy my new life and any thoughts of THEM needed to stop.

Z came out just as I was getting a rundown of beers on tap and going over the drink menu. Clark walked out shortly after, looking pretty angry and grabbed his bar stool to start setting up at the door. Z called out to me asking if I’d follow him to the office. I excused myself from Sandy and Mark then followed Z.

I stood in his office facing him and felt that same instant attraction I felt earlier when we first met. My body felt like it was on fire and my heart started to race. I felt flushed just standing there. He didn’t say anything at first, but his eyes grazed my body from head to toe, as if he were drinking every inch of me in. Then his eyes met mine and he had this look that bore into me and just made me want to melt in his arms. He seemed to try to compose himself, by clearing his throat and said, “I have your paperwork here. I contacted a friend and got a new ID for you, so your Ex won’t be able to trace you here.”

Still feeling flushed from being in his presence, I nervously said, “Thank you, I really appreciate you doing this for me.” I had a hard time not looking at him too much, as I was trying to compose my fast breathing.

He seemed like he was trying to figure out what to say next as he pulled his brows together and a slight frown upon his lips. “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I really don’t want any trouble starting here. So I kind of need to know if your Ex,” he seemed to spit that word out, “will be violent or cause any other trouble.”

I took a deep breath understanding his concern, but unsure of what to say. “I really don’t think HE would be violent, but I did leave without speaking to HIM first.” He came around his desk, leaned on it and then crossed his arms across his chest. My breath hitched as I gazed at his arm muscles that seemed to bulge out of his suit coat. The sincerity and caring in his eyes made my heart melt and my pulse quicken.

“If you see him come in, I need to know immediately – is that a deal?” he asked as his eyes continued to gaze into mine. I bit my lip as I nodded. “Was he violent with you?”

Thinking of my ‘bad’ punishments, I glanced away and swallowed. “It was more head games than anything else.” I wasn’t sure how to explain our sexual relationship, seeing there were times I couldn’t understand it myself.

He took a small step towards me and gently cupped my chin, bringing my gaze back to him. My heart raced and felt like it might leap out of my chest. “If you ever need anything, even a shoulder, I’m here. Always.” The caring sincerity in his voice showed me that he really meant it.

He slowly took his hand away from my chin. I swallowed and quietly said, “Thank you,” feeling breathless from his concerned touch.

I started to back out, knowing I needed to leave, so I could try to calm my fast beating heart. “I better get back out there. It sounds like it’s getting busy.”

His eyes stared deep into mine and then he shook his head and gave me a sweet smile. “Good luck out there.”

“Thanks.” Was all I could manage to say, a bit too breathy, before turning to leave. I tried the door handle, but for some reason it wouldn’t turn. As I continued to struggle with the handle, I felt him coming closer to me. The heat coming from his body as he came closer sent a strong wave of excitement through my body. When a strong hand softly covered mine to help me turn the handle, my heart almost leapt out of my chest from his touch. I glanced quickly to see him smile. I smiled back feeling very silly for having trouble just opening a door.

“Like I said, if you ever need anything,” he chuckled, “let me know.”

The night seemed to fly by. Mark and Sandy were fun and quick witted. Their easy going banter made it so much fun to work there. I managed to help out with all the beer orders and stay out of their way. All the waitresses were fun and carefree. I was thrilled that there was no catty weirdness among the staff. The patrons were great too. It was fun to watch the yuppies try to hook up just like the college crowd I used to watch. I didn’t have too many obnoxious guys. Just a couple that lingered too long on my chest area — not that I could blame them since the “uniform” gave a pretty good peak at my chest.

Flynn and Melanie stopped by for some drinks. They seemed to have fun dancing with each other and played some pool. I was still trying to figure out their relationship. It seemed like they were into each other, but they were more friendly with a little playful flirting. Z came out and sat at the bar with them joking around. He seemed to be watching me to make sure I didn’t over pour my beers or waste any. He had a serious eye on me most of the time, which made me feel self-conscience. I tried to fluff it off that maybe he was trying to decide if I fit in with the rest of the staff.

Before I knew it, the night was over and we were closing up. We were all joking around while washing the glasses and putting them away and wiping up. Flynn and Melanie hung out with us as we cleaned, both a bit tipsy, Flynn more so than Melanie. He seemed to keep eyeing and touching her a little more than a friend would; more than Brad or Mack ever would have, that’s for sure. With everything all cleaned up, it was time to leave.

Z smiled at me and asked, “So, how did you like your first night here?”

“I loved it!” I exclaimed, smiling brightly and really did mean it.

“Good. I’m glad to hear that. We’ll see you on Tuesday then?” He asked as his hand gently touched my arm. His touch sent fire through my body and I tried hard not to blush, failing miserably, I’m sure.

I swallowed hard and choked out “Absolutely,” smiling as hard as I could. His eyes didn’t leave mine and I tried to regain my composure.

Clark came out of the back area with what looked like lipstick on his neck. He swung his arm around my shoulders and I looked at him, breaking my eye contact with Z.

Clark nodded at me, giving me a sexy smile. “Ready to get out of here and go home?” Z glared at him and seemed like he wanted to slug him.

Melanie scoffed at him. “Get your paws off her you dog. You have lipstick all over yourself!”

He laughed and shook his head not bothering to wipe it off, but he did take his arm off me. “Alright jerks, let’s get going!”

“What no one agreed to come home with you?” Flynn asked laughing.

He shrugged with a smile. “She didn’t need to come home with me, I gave it to her good in the bathroom.” Then he seemed to realize his boss was right there and turned to Z with a shrug, “It was on my break.”

And with that, we called it a night.

Although I was really tired from working, I tossed and turned in my bed. I kept thinking about HIM. I thought about how we met and how sweet HE was to me in the beginning. His strong, domineering personality drew me to HIM. The way HE was able to command attention with just HIS presence in a room was incredibly attractive. HE did the same with me. HE was so strong and took possession of my mind and body so quickly, but I loved it. I felt I needed it. HIS strength turned me on. Even how HE controlled little things I did, seemed exciting and addictive. Maybe it was more that HE cared so much about everything that I did and I never had that.

Does HE miss me? I was with him for so long, I couldn’t help but miss HIM. I missed the smirks he would give me if I spoke out of turn. I never knew if those cute smirks were because HE liked what I said or because HE was thinking of a punishment for me.

The good punishments were fun and exciting. Our incredible sexual nights were filled with the most intense pleasure that were beyond my wildest dreams. Some were romantic and sweet. Others were filled with the most animalistic, primal force. HE would spank me in the most sexually intimate way and want to please me in every way possible. If it was a really good punishment, HE would make me come endlessly throughout the night, on command of course. I could never come without HIM telling me to. Just thinking of those made my heart beat faster. I loved those nights. I tried to think of when they seemed to stop.

Had HE gotten bored with me? Is that why the bad punishments started? It seemed like they increased during the past several months. Why couldn’t it stay the same as in the beginning? HE seemed so caring back then; I missed that so much.

Then I started thinking of the bad punishments, the nights HE claimed HE was teaching me “life lessons.” Those were the bad nights, which I only experienced a couple of those during the first year. Some nights they felt like an eternity. Tears started to fall as I remembered those nights. Kneeling naked in the middle of his bed, blindfolded, HE would make me wait…and wait. Always wondering if it was a good punishment or a bad one, although I think deep down, I knew. And then HE would come in and use my body any way HE wanted – for HIS pleasure only. Always taking me to the brink, but never letting me climax.

The worst were in the chains. That’s what I called them anyway. He would shackle my hands and feet, standing as if making an X, and then spank, paddle and whip me as HE pleased. HE knew I feared those nights the worst. The threats were always there. HE had started doing those just recently and I couldn’t understand why. I had tried over and over again to comply with HIS wishes.

I had a safe word of course, “Como.” I decided I wanted that name as my safe word because it reminded me of the wonderful times we had at HIS vacation villa in Lake Como. I had it in my mind that using a word reminding me of such a good time would bring me instant relief if I needed it. I had never used it, although there were many times I had wanted to.

And then, there was that last night. I’ll never forget the look on HIS face when HE removed my blindfold allowing me to see what I had done.

I let the tears fall thinking of that night. I started crying, but then heard Flynn yell from down stairs, “The fucking bitch!! I KNEW it Z! I told you she was a cheating whore!” I sat up wiping my eyes and tried to hear more. He said a couple of things more to him that I couldn’t make out and then the front door slammed closed.

I guess Melanie was right about Z’s girlfriend.