Peep Show: Extract

41VsCZY0zjL_SS500_I met Christian way back in the dark ages, when I was a baby of twenty two. I’d just burst out of Uni with a 2:1 in art history tight in my fist, and no clue what I wanted to do with it, or with my life.

Well I had some vague idea about earning huge amounts of money so I could afford to live in a sumptuous Beckingham-Palace style mansion staffed by a hoard of naked male models (or failing that, maybe doing something in marketing), but the bottom line was some kind of quick cash, to start making a dent in my debts. So I followed the well warn groove from the graduation ceremony to the nearest temping agency and signed up for anything that paid.

And the agency actually came up trumps. Well, it was second time lucky because the first thing they sent me on was a job as PA to the Chief Exec of a printing company, who didn’t seem to like me very much. He got rid of me after a week because we ‘didn’t gel’. I got the distinct impression that the whole gelling problem was mostly due to me not being some big titted blonde who enjoyed giggling at his pathetic jokes. Bitter? Moi?

But, actually, it worked out pretty well for me, because the second job the agency fixed me up with was as an Admin Assistant in the weirdly monikered Paranoid PR.

Ah – Paranoid, the fact that there were always at least five shiny aluminium scooters parked up in reception summed up their company ethos better than any of their cleverly worded ‘visions’.

I liked it a lot at Paranoid. And they liked me. I mostly worked behind reception and, unlike the bastard printers, the super unconventional Paranoid liked having ‘a kooky looking dreamer’ on their front desk – or, at least, that’s what one of the eerily-young company directors told me one lunchtime in the pub.

And that was where Christian worked. In fact, he still does work there. He might be neglecting his day job horribly for the C&D Promotions moonlight-a-thon, but Paranoid is still his mortgage paying bread and butter. I think he’s something ending in manager now, but back then he was a plain old executive. Except he wasn’t – plain, that is.

I didn’t really get to know Christian when I started at Paranoid. I didn’t really get to know any of the proper PR types. I was languishing in receptionist no man’s land, even though my job title was admin assistant, and Christian and his account exec counterparts would just screech into reception in the morning and scoop up their post and whiz off to the open plan office out back, where they did their high powered thing. Occasionally I’d have a thrilling exchange with one of them along the lines of, ‘Gen, is the boardroom free at 3?’, or ‘Gen, can you order more pink Post-its, there’s only yellow’. That sort of thing, but really, to them, I was just another bit of esoteric looking office furniture.

But it isn’t like I minded, not really. Receptionist at Paranoid is still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I had two huge windows where I could watch the world slink by, a huge stack of glossies I could flick through and nothing particularly taxing to do. Perfect.

Now, for some reason, I, as receptionist, was entrusted with the huge responsibility of holding the stockroom key. Whenever any of the back room bunnies wanted to burrow into the basement and rifle around in the warren of dangerously stacked cardboard boxes of promotional T-shirts and logoed biros, then they had to come and see me and sign out the key. Why this level of security was required for a stockroom full of freebies and tat was quite beyond me. But what did I know? I was just the Admin Assistant. Well, the Admin Assistant and the key holder.

And that really was the key to it all.

So there I am one otherwise dull and completely unnotable day, when Christian comes up asks me for the key. Now, at this point, Christian and I are close enough colleagues to say hello in the lift of a morning, but nothing special. But that’s all about to change.

Christian has been gone for about half an hour and I’m flicking idly through GQ, when all of his team trot through reception, clearly off on a team lunch outing, a regular enough feature – about half Paranoid’s business happened in pubs and bars. Anyway, as the corporate promotions department file past, I hear a short blonde girl say, ‘Where’s Christian?’ and her taller companion replies, ‘Dunno.’

I’m about to tell them, he’s in the stockroom, when I stop and instead of letting on I just sit tight and watch them all file out the door. I button it because a bell has suddenly started ringing in my head. And I like the tune it’s playing an awful lot.

See, the previous evening I had been at the pub with a crowd of my old Uni mates. And one of the boys, a friend of a friend, completely sloshing with about six pints inside him, had started talking to me about some of the rather naughty things he likes to get up to at work, viz secretly masturbating when he should be data inputting.

It was not a pleasant conversation in very many ways. Drunken boy was slurry and droney, with faintly pukey breath and kept putting his hand on my knee (although this could have been to stop himself tipping off his chair). But despite these horrors I stayed and listened, because I was horribly fascinated by his chosen topic of conversation. Drunken boy might have been making furtive masturbating sound a little unsavoury, but I was certain this raw info could be pure gold after my subconscious had spun it right.

‘It’s great,’ he burbled, ‘jacking on the clock. That’s the beauty. You come like a steam train and you’re being paid for it.’

‘And you do this?’

‘Everyone does it, well dunno about girls, but every bloke double-you-ay-double-yous.”

I frown at this last incomprehensible outburst.

‘Wanks at work.’

And that conversation must still be floating around the back of my brain, because as I’m standing behind reception, wondering about the AWOL Christian, the penny drops.

My lovely little pretty boy wiggles off to the basement about twice a week, usually for about forty five minutes at a time. Now, forty five minutes isn’t long, not really, but it’s a long time to spend in the basement as frequently as that. The basement, after all, is a nasty place – dark and dingy, with a slightly odd musty smells, most people try and avoid it. And the really big news, the hold-the-front-page headline grabber, the thing that makes me really excited when I think it, is the fact that almost certainly no one at Paranoid knows quite how long Christian regularly spends in the basement but me.

Oh, on reception I hold all the best secrets, and that also includes the one about the existence of the spare basement key. (In case of emergencies.)

Not knowing I hold my entire future in my hands, I cry lunch, grab the boss’s PA to mind reception and head for the lift, clutching the key to my magical kingdom. And trying not to mouth-breathe like some kind of psycho loon.

On my very first day at Paranoid I’d noticed Christian on my whistle-stop orientation tour of the offices, when I quickly ranked all my colleagues to be in terms of their easy-on-the-eye-ness. Christian had come first, second and third. And ever since I first spied him, Christian had been a pretty regular feature in my night time fantasies. He was even a pretty crucial factor in shaping them, because although this was years before Mr Fox, or even my first pair of binoculars, way back then I still loved to fantasise about sneaking, stalking and spying on Christian in all kinds of situations, but most particularly, catching him stroking his own hard cock.

In one favourite fantasy I’m a stalker. I follow Christian home one night and watch his house, cloaked silent and invisible in the soft black night. When Christian goes to bed I climb a tree in his front garden, and safely nestled in the arms of its branches, I find I can see through open curtains into Christian’s coolly Spartan bedroom.

I squirm in the tree as he shucks off his clothes and settles onto the bed, conveniently eschewing the camouflage of the duvet, and stretching his smooth naked body like a cat, relaxed, but not quite ready to sleep just yet. A sly hand glides over his soft skin to his twitching cock and he takes it in a slick, warm fist…

As I wait for the lift in the tastefully decorated lobby, my heart turns over. Is my fantasy about to come true in the nasty basement?

Paranoid PR is based on one floor of a smallish tower block and the block’s basement level is divided up into storerooms for the various tenants. It’s a five floor ride away. It seems to take about twenty million years.

When the lift doors finally swoosh open to reveal scuffed up grey lino and the subtle change in air quality marks out the place as underground.

As I follow the twisty corridor lit by swinging bare bulbs, my heart is banging behind my throat. I nearly turn around and go back twice, almost-but-not-quite convincing myself that what I’m doing is every kind of stupid. But when I reach the scuffed up door marked Paranoid PR it’s locked. And suddenly I know I’m doing the right thing, because why would Christian lock himself in if all he’s doing is a quick stock check?

Without even pausing to savour the moment, I stealthily unlock the door and ease it open, careful not to make a peep.

He’s on the floor in the middle of the untidy room, lying back against a pile of shrink wrapped t shirts, shiny and slidey in their individual plastic bags. His jacket’s off, folded and hanging over a filing cabinet. He’s in rolled up shirt sleeves and half-mast pin-striped trousers. His eyes are squeezed tight closed. There’s a little flush in his cheeks and he’s stroking himself slowly, completely given over to pleasure.

I steady myself on a rack of metal shelving. I’m only about ten feet away from Christian’s auto-erotic tableau, but I feel pretty confident that I’m not going set any frantic alarm bells ringing anytime soon. He’s on another planet, which is good, because I’m rapidly heading into orbit myself.

Blast off.

My mouth is dry. My knees are weak. My knickers are significantly less clean than they were a minute ago. I’m suddenly a panting catalogue of arousal clichés. Christian stroking himself, oblivious and obvious is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. If it were a painting I would hang it on the wall (although I might take it down if people came round).

I like to think I fell in love with Christian right there. In fact, I often tell him so. It’s not really true; I fell in love with spying, though.

Spying and taking risks.

Christian’s hand starts to move faster, gliding easily over his shining, lube-slicked cock. His cock is very, very beautiful, olivey brown like his skin, with just a shading of deep pink at the tip. It matches his flushed cheeks exactly.

As the rhythm builds and builds I see him lean back, working his way deeper and deeper into the pile of bagged t shirts, drowning in them. And I drown with him, lost in what I’m seeing, not even noticing the dinginess of the basement storeroom all around us, the sharpness of the metal upright I am holding too tightly, or even the noisiness of my own breathing – which is getting heavier and heavier.

Which might be why, just before he comes, he opens his eyes, big and wide. He looks right at me and then disappears again as his orgasm over takes him.

Oh. God.

I want to stay, watch his come down, bask in the after glow, even witness the clean up. But I can’t. He’s seen me. And I scarper, knowing that Christian, in his half undressed state can’t exactly follow. Before he’s even finished coming, I’m through the doors and halfway down the dirty corridor. As I’m waiting for the lift, all nervous foot tapping and under breath muttering (‘Come on, come on.’), I hear the door open and his voice calling, ‘Imogen?’ But before he can reach me the grey metal doors slide open and I’m away.

Course, I can run but I can’t hide, short of resigning on the spot, I can’t actually avoid Christian indefinitely. But at least my reception desk offers me a little wall of protection from the mutual embarrassment to come.

As Christian walks in, I force myself to be suddenly engrossed in an email about the codes for the burglar alarm. But instead of just walking past and avoiding my eye, he stops, and leans on the desk.

I try and pretend I haven’t noticed. Then he coughs politely, and I have to look up – he’s holding up basement key. As I take it from him a couple of his fingertips graze my hand. I meet his eyes and he smiles this big, knowing, meaningful smile.

Oh.

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One Response “Peep Show: Extract” →
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