The Wrong Type of Seduction

29 Val’s Friday Afternoon


29: Val’s Friday Afternoon

Val and Tina were sitting in the conference room putting together decorations for the gala quietly. Tina was usually a talker, so it was unusual for the woman not to say anything. But that didn’t stop the woman from glancing up at Val every so often.

Val wasn’t interested in making friends, so she kept on working, pretending not to notice the woman. Unfortunately, Tina didn’t stay silent long.

“Okay, Val, I’m dying to know. Are you and Matt… I mean I don’t want to pry-“

“Yes you do.” Val corrected continuing.

“Okay, I do, but I… I respect you so I wanted to know if you knew about… About Alyssa Swan.”

“The singer?” Val asked frowning but not looking up. “What about her?”

“Well, it looks like she and Matt are kind of a thing. They even have a ship name, Matlyssa. I think it’s cute. Sorry.”

Val paused her work. She had killed most of her jealous emotions while she was with Domenic, so she wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Except, when did Matt have time for Alyssa when he spent all his time calling or sexing Val when he wasn’t working his ass off. Was he really working all those times that he said? Would he lie to her? At least Domenic never lied about his affairs — he made them know to her like a badge of honor. 

Oh no…if he’s sleeping around and I’ve been sleeping with him without a condom… Val swallowed her fears and smiled up at Tina pretending like she wasn’t worried. “Really? I didn’t know. Matt and I aren’t dating so why wouldn’t he see other women?” Because of her own rules, she had no right to feel the…pain. She had put space between them. “Well I’m happy for them.”

“Well… its only rumors. And Alyssa is the only one who said anything. Matt never confirmed or denied. His people are quiet, too. And there have been no Matt and Alyssa sightings…”

So it was just rumors. Or Matt’s trying to hide it. There was so much about him she still didn’t know and yet she couldn’t, wouldn’t pry. Did he start dating her because Val wasn’t willing to be more? She hated whatever she was feeling. Those emotions should have been dead…long dead. So why?

They continued to work together quietly as questions and worry swirled in Val. She kept trying to banish it and squelch her unnecessary fears, but it didn’t seem to work. Jealousy kept bubbling up like a thick evil miasma.

“So, Tina…” Val decided to find something else to occupy her mind. “Tell me about yourself. Why do you work here?”

Tina looked at Val with wide eyes. Of course the woman was shocked, Val had been working there for weeks and yet didn’t converse with many of the employees or volunteers though Val knew most of their backgrounds.

“I… I work several different jobs actually.” Tina laughed nervously. “This one pays the most. On the weekend I work at a shop near my house in Brooklyn. They sell hair products, wigs, accessories, stuff like that. Well its actually connected to a salon but I help with the store part. And after I leave here I work at a telemarketing place. That’s not fun, but it pays.”

“Why so many jobs?” Val asked.

Tina shrugged. “I need money. Not cheap to live here. And I need to support me and my daughter.” She shrugged again and slouched. “I guess everyone here has a story,” Tina said looking around the walls. She was talking about the foundation.

Val understood. There had been abuse. “Who’s taking care of your daughter while you work so much?”

“My dad. He’s super. But he’s getting older so.” She sighed. “It’s scary how much I rely on him.”

“You are pretty good with customer service. Always friendly and bubbly. I bet you could get a better paying job.”

She shook her head. “I’m fat, and my clothes…” she looked down at the plain dress she wore. It wasn’t ugly, but it didn’t flatter the woman.

“You have a little weight on you, but you’re not fat. And you’re very attractive. Sit up.” Val told the woman sitting her work to the side.

Tina looked at Val slack jawed.

“Sit up straight and lift your chin. Like this.” Val sat as she normally did. “A woman is only as worthy as she feels. Practice straightening your posture. Lift your head high, because that is your goal. You want to look up and forward, not back and down. You see nothing with your head down,” she said remembering what her mother taught her. “In order to soar with the greats, you have to think you are worthy, act as if you are worthy. Tell me Tina, are you worthy?”

Tina seemed to be holding her breath as she sucked in her stomach and sat up awkwardly.

“Tina, breathe and answer me. Are you worthy?”

Tina blew out a breath and readjusted herself. She sat with her back straight and her chin up. “Yes?”

“Say it.”

“I am…worthy,” Tina said it uncertainly.

“Now say it as if you were a queen and I am your subject. Look at me as if I serve you.”

Tina looked at Val and with an amused expression she said, “I am worthy.”

Val grinned back and said, “Yes, you are. Now do that every morning and every night in the mirror. Daily. Walk with your head up. Be proud of yourself, because you have a daughter you love and a father who supports you. You are strong and able to work several jobs that many don’t. Be proud Tina, because you survived and thrived.”

Val was about to pick her work back up when thick arms circled her. Val gasped.

Tina let go and stood up. “Excuse me.” The woman sounded stuffy as she left abruptly.

Was she crying?

Val sat there looking at the door still shocked. Had what she said really effected the woman so deeply? Val frowned going back to her work. She had to remind herself yet again that not everyone was as fortunate as herself. Even when Val was at her lowest, she always had her mother’s memories to build her back up. Her mother’s teachings had been more valuable than Val would admit. The woman had been kind of a shrew, but she had been a mother and she had cared. If her mother had been alive during Val’s marriage, the woman would have had her back.

When Tina returned, her face was flushed, eyes red and puffy, but she was smiling. “If that Matt guy isn’t serious about you, I’d definitely dump him.” Tina nodded her head emphatically. “I bet you could find a nice actor or something to snag. Let me know if I can help.” She grinned her sunshiny smile and Val chuckled.

“Of course.” Val smiled even as that dread began churning in her again.

Close to the end of the day, Val was packing up when Tina came into her office. “Want to stop and get something to eat?” The woman asked looking hopeful.

Val opened her mouth to decline when a tall figure came up behind Tina looking down at the woman with a frown.

“I still have a date to collect. She wiggled out of our last one,” Matt said making Tina spin around.

“Matt!” Tina grinned up at him then scrunched up her face. “Are you serious about Val?” She asked putting her hands on her hips.

“Very.” Matt answered shocked by the woman’s intensity.

“If you are then you better set that Alyssa Swan straight. You two even have a ship name!” She threw up her hand and wagged her finger in his face. “No hurting Val. She’s special.”

Matt nodded. “Yes, ma’am. I agree. And I’ll tell you like I’ve told everyone else, Alyssa Swan got it in her head by herself. I never-“

“Matt, its fine.” Val spoke up feeling relief. “Tina, you should go. I’ll handle him.”

Tina nodded then she grinned. “Once in the morning and once at night right?” Tina waved goodbye before leaving.

“I swear, Val, I’m not seeing that…” Matt stopped himself from saying whatever was about to come out. “I flirted with her, but that’s all. And that was weeks ago. I haven’t talked to her since. If you want I can publicly-“

“Whoa, whoa, Matt. Its fine. That was just Tina and her tabloids.”

Matt looked slightly relieved but only slightly. “Look, I know we aren’t officially dating or anything, but if I was seeing someone else, I’d tell you. Especially since I haven’t been safe…” He blushed. Oh, he was so damn cute.

“And if you were seeing someone-“

“I’d definitely wrap it up. And I get tested regularly.”

“Good. Speaking of safe…” She went back to cleaning. “…you don’t have to worry, I’m on birth control.”

“Doesn’t matter. If you had our child, I’d be cool with it.”

Val’s head shot up. “What?”

He grinned wiggling his eyebrows. “I’d have an excuse to keep you.”

She shook her head not believing the conversation. “You’re ridiculous.” She went from jealous to bewildered in less than a minute.

“Come on Val, let’s go make babies.” Matt came around the desk, and Val circled it.

“Oh, no you don’t mister. Not in here.” She grabbed her things and ran out of the office. He followed laughing. He caught her in the stairwell before she descended and spun her up against the wall, large hands pinned her wrists above her head.

His lips came down and covered hers before she could protest. His heat and demanding kiss melted her fight away and if not for his hands restraining her, she’d start fondling him. She tried not to breath him into her.

“One baby,” Matt said against her, then licked along the seam of her lips.

“We haven’t even had our first date yet,” she said dreamily.

“Who’s fault is that?” He asked before kissing her again. He teased her, biting, nibbling, then pulling back just as it was getting good. Every time she was about to open her mouth in a whimper of need, his tongue cut her off and he was claiming her mouth again.

A door above them opened and closed.

Matt pulled away letting her go and she nearly wept in objection, her panties damp from the promise of him.

They walked down the steps and out into the city to catch a cab.

“So where would you like to eat?” He asked.

“Who said I was going on a date with you tonight?” She asked looking up the street for a cab.

“But…” He mock whined. “I even have the night off.”

She looked back at him with a fake stern expression. “Did you let me know in advance?”

He shook his head pouting as he hoovered over her.

Her hand fisted on her hip. “So you just planned to ambush me again.”

He nodded adorably.

“Awe, I’m so sorry, I already have plans.” She reached up and patted his cheek before she walked off. “Since we couldn’t see that play together the other day, I got tickets for tonight. So-“

“Tickets? Did you say… as in plural?” He perked up following her.

“Yes. Box seats.”

“Who’s the other for?”

She shrugged. “I haven’t decided yet- Hey!” She snapped when he snatched her purse and began going through it. “Matt, you’re not supposed to go into a woman’s purse without her permission!” Plus, there were things in there she definitely didn’t want him messing with. Fear spiked inside her.

He took out the tickets and grinned devilishly. “You want your tickets, meet me in front of the theater at…” He looked at the time on the slips. “Twenty minutes to eight.” Then he tossed her purse in the air toward her and ran.

She caught it and huffed in part exasperation, part relief that he didn’t find anything else. “I can’t believe… You thief!” Then she grinned, excited even as she dreaded the “date.”


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