TemptationBy: K. M. Golland
Fastening the last bobby pin into my hair, I looked in the mirror. Black pinstripe skirt-suit with a pale pink blouse and black peep-toe heels, your feet are going to hate you tonight Alexis, surely you realise this. My blonde hair was neatly twirled into a bun and I had just a touch of make-up on. I had recently lost 20kg from a mad affair with my local gym and now fit into a size 12 which I was more than happy with. Today was the day I start my first full time job since having my two children and I was so nervous.
Argh, this will do. I really didn’t know how to look the corporate part anymore, I was used to shrugging on a pair of jeggings and t-shirt or gym pants and a tank. The last 9 years of my life were spent getting the kids ready for school and kinder, therefore make-up was the last thing on my mind, if anything my ritual was a quick glance in the mirror on the way out, checking I had no food stuck to my face or teeth.
“Ok Ratbags, are you ready we need to leave or Mummy will be late for her first day at work.” Both my adorable children were waiting by the garage door, Charlotte was 6 and in her first year of Primary School.
“Sweetheart your shoes are on the wrong feet, Nate can you please help her fix them?” Nate rolled his eyes, bent down and fixed his little sister’s shoes.
“Mum I really don’t want to go to before-school care, it’s for babies.”
“Nate, it’s not for babies and you don’t have a choice, please don’t make this difficult, I’m really excited about my new job, anyway it will give u a chance to sit quietly and draw your pictures.” Nate dropped his head and turned for the car, my 9 year old son was very much a mummy’s boy and was not happy about my decision to go back to work.
“What time will you be home?”
“I’m not sure Sweetheart, hopefully before dinner, Dad will pick you both up at the gate after school and the slow cooker is on, so it’s all sorted.” With that I kissed his golden head and gently pushed him towards the car where his sister was already seated and buckled in.
The drop-off was much easier than I had expected, Charlotte was more than happy to play with the other kids before school, she really was a social butterfly, but Nate, well he had the best talent in making me feel guilty, he’ll come around I know he will.
Turning onto the Tullamarine Freeway I felt somewhat free, OMG Alexis, you are really doing this. I knew this day would eventually come, but being a stay at home mum for the past 9 years was what I had grown accustomed to, driving into the city at 7:30 in the morning however, was definitely something I wasn’t used to. The traffic was horrendous, stop start, stop start, how did my husband do this day in and day out? I’d never really had to deal with bumper to bumper traffic, I was a Secretary to a suburban Solicitor not too far from home before deciding to stop work and have children at the age of 25. This new job however was completely out of my comfort zone, not only was I taking on a complete career change, I was doing it in the biggest Entertainment Complex in Victoria. My new role was to be one of the Concierge Attendants at City Towers, which is a luxury 5 star Hotel with 43 floors, 481 rooms, 30 Villas and the Penthouse Residence. I’d always loved City Towers and had the privilege to have stayed in a suite with my fiancé, now husband Rick, a year after we got engaged.
As I pulled into the City Complex staff car park I was running short on time, I hated being in a rush, you’d think that after 9 years of raising my babies I’d be used to it, nonetheless I wasn’t and of all the days I could be late, today was not going to be one of them. I found the closest car spot and bee-lined straight for the entry knowing where I had to be at 9am. Despite my crazy busy lifestyle, with sports pick-ups and drop-offs, running errands, shopping etc, I was brilliant at organisation and multi-tasking so had already visited the complex 3 times in the past fortnight to become familiar with where I was going to be starting my new career. I had made up some time by taking a few short cuts, this allowed me to pop into Gloria Jeans for my favourite drink, hot white chocolate with a marshmallow. The young attendant was bright and bubbly and obviously enjoyed her job, as she handed me my drink I noticed her cheeks flush and her entire demeanour change.
“Thank you.” I said slightly confused by this sudden change of personality. I spun around and began to head for the Hotel Foyer when I slammed straight into the person in line behind me spilling my entire white chocolate down the front of me and him.
“Oh Shit, Shit, Geezus that is HOT, oh I am so sorry.” Looking up, I expected to see an extremely livid gentleman, after all I had stupidly and clumsily doused him in my milky drink. Staring down at me however, could only be described as the most delectable specimen of a man I had ever seen and he was smirking at me, yes ‘smirking’ not livid or furious as I had expected but smirking.
“I am so sorry, I didn’t even stop to think that someone was behind me, I’ll get you a towel, hang on a second.”
“Never mind that Alexis, it’s fine.”
“Mr Clark, I’ll get you a wet cloth.” The bubbly attendant glared at me like she was about to pounce over the counter and scratch my eyes out.
“No Stacey, that’s quite alright, Alexis and I will have to change.” With that, this sexy beast of a man, gently, yet with complete command and control grabbed me by the arm and directed me out of the café. After what seemed like only seconds, I snapped out of my stunned state, stopped in my tracks and gently shrugged out of his grasp.
“I’m sorry, who are you and how do you know my name?” He looked somewhat amused and placed his hand on the small of my back which sent currents right up and down my spine.
“Ms Summers, your name is on your ID tag pinned to that soaking blouse of yours and I am Bryce Clark, your employer.” Oh Shit, Crap, Balls. What have I done? What I had done is spill my drink over my boss before I had even started my first shift. Great start to the rest of your life Alexis, you Idiot.
“I don’t know about you Ms Summers but I don’t like to wear hot chocolate to work.”
“No, I don’t blame you.” Crap my mind started to race, I don’t have any spare clothes, and I certainly don’t have a spare pair of trousers or shirt for Bryce, I mean Mr Clark.
“Come with me,” and he applied pressure to my back, ushering me forward.
Before I knew it we were in front of Versace.
“After you, Ms Summers.” He directed me into the glamorous store and I was dazed by the gorgeous dresses, suits, shoes and handbags that were on display around us, I had never been into such a prestigious shop and felt very uncomfortable. Bryce approached the lady behind the counter, she had an aura of sophistication and was a naturally beautiful brunette with flawless skin.
“Clarissa, Ms Summers and I had a bit of an accident with a hot chocolate, I’ll need a suit and Alexis will need something suitable for the Hotel’s Front Office.”
“Right away Sir, follow me.” Clarissa led Bryce and I into the change rooms, they were very extravagant, a large circular room with the change areas circling the outside. It was also elegantly decorated, with rich brown carpet and seats covered in a deep blue and gold fabric.
“If you’d like to go in here Ms Summers I will be back in just a minute with a beautiful day dress, which should be just what you need and Mr Clark if you’d like to go in there, I will be back with your replacement.” Clarissa gracefully left the room.
“Mr Clark, I really don’t think I need a new dress, I mean really my blouse isn’t too bad, I can just wear my Blazer over the top.” He was at my curtain holding a lovely black wrap dress which looked very smart, the material was silky and definitely something I would wear if I could afford it
“Alexis, please put on the dress, you are not wearing a blouse soaked in hot chocolate around my Hotel.” He handed me the dress and raised his eyebrows in a seductive glare that twisted my stomach, I took the dress and gave him a sheepish grin.
“Of course not, thank you.” He closed the curtain and at that point it hit me. OMG what was I doing here in Versace holding a…..Shit a $2,000.00 dress? and to top it off my boss was so Fucking Hot. I fanned my face with my hand and nearly stumbled into the wall, he is the most glorious looking man I have ever seen with his clean cut, dark blonde hair, chiselled cheek bones and jaw line and the most alluring blue eyes imaginable. I could have sworn he was flirting with me? Surely not, why would he be flirting with me? Alexis Summers, 35 year old mother of two and married, yes happily married to Rick Summers, my childhood sweetheart. I shook my head, no I’m imagining it and with that I stripped off my damp blouse and skirt, put on the dress and stood there looking in the mirror. I didn’t always recognise myself, it wasn’t that long ago I was a size 16 and very plump in all the wrong places. I had always struggled with my weight and after giving birth twice had stacked on a horrible 20kg. I found out recently that I had Fructose Malabsorption, I was finally put on a diet that didn’t make me horribly ill and with a lot of exercise I had reached a weight and body shape I was happy with. This dress suited me, I could honestly say I loved it, except I couldn’t get the zipper up.