Davina let out a frustrated scream as she walked behind the hot dog stand, heading toward her car. Passers-by either jumped or looked at her strangely, but all moved away from her. She didn’t seem to notice. Too inside her head; thinking about how long she’ll have before she’s next paged into work, where she parked her car, if her cat would eat her if she died at home or if she was more likely to die at work, if she needed groceries, when she last ate and more importantly about her dinner tonight.
Davina had agreed to go to her parents’ house tonight for a family dinner. Great home cooking to look forward to but was it worth the constant nagging of not settling down. If only she could pretend to have someone to get them off her back. Better yet, maybe it'd be easier if she just told them she was seeing someone; make someone up. No, it would never work. Her father would know, he could always see through her.
This time she let out more of a frustrated growl than a scream. Not noticing the person in front of her who stopped and asked if she was okay.
In usual Davina fashion, she didn't stop walking until there was a physical hand on her shoulder. With quick reflexes, Davina whirled around in a half kick, moving on instinct and her anger to catch the wrist of her assailant, only to stop with a questioning look. "Giles?"
The man laughed, surprisingly calm for the hold he was in; almost laying on the footpath had Davina's hand and shin not been holding him off it. She pulled him up just as quickly before letting go and stepping back. Now at least her mind was on something new. The work project was already stressful as it was without the home situation but Giles was one of those individuals that made you want to spill your secrets, not out of pity. Only in the way that he dressed like a lost puppy, sandy curly hair, eyes that always rested half-lidded, and something thrown on that resembled work casual but would lean closer toward pyjamas if one looked too closely.
Only then did she notice the slight stain on his shirt.
"Oh-My-God, I'm so sorry," she blurted out, glancing over to the cup of takeaway coffee he had in hand. The lid had been knocked off, knocked to the ground somewhere, but the paper container was still half full. Again, Giles somehow didn't look as concerned as she expected.
He simply shrugged it off, deciding to button up the oversized cardigan with his now free and unrestrained hand to cover the spill. "It's nothing, only a squirt of coffee aroma. More importantly, why were you screaming up a storm just now? I didn't think my presentation was that boring."
Davina let out a nervous chuckle, half stressed by the fact that she really wasn't ready for a proper conversation. What would have been better than pretending to be sociable was just finding her car and not dealing with work after work. This sort of delay just meant that the cats would have to wait longer for a proper feed and then they'd be cranky and whiny, and then it was going to be unavoidable that she doesn't show up to the dinner with no visible scratch on her.
"You know, Marian, Brooke, and I were going to meet at the Rise & Shine Bistro to polish their pitches. You certainly look like you need the distraction... er, in good regards," he explained as he tossed his coffee into a nearby bin. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind, you may even be able to help them improve."
"And you didn't invite me," Davina half-screeched, then quickly laughed it off when she realised how that sounded; pathetic. She was their sort of boss at the moment, at least for now, and probably shouldn't be seen fraternising with them outside of work.
"We did," Giles attempted to put her mind at rest, at least, that's what she thought he was doing. "You were just really preoccupied earlier. It wouldn't take long and something tells me that you need a break more than any of us."
"A late afternoon meet-up? Really? I bet the others would be really pleased to see the boss there."
"I would-" Giles cleared his throat and adjusted his stance. "-They could use the help with their presentations if you wouldn't mind."
"I- I don't think so."
"You owe me for the shirt anyway," he added casually, waving for Davina to follow.
"Yeah... yeah. Sure, just lemme..." She pulled out her phone in an effort to look busy while taking a breather. Anyone behind her would just see aimlessly swiping all over the various apps.
The problem was that she couldn't hang out, not technically. She had things to do and places to be. More importantly, Marian was going to be there. The one who was everything Davina wasn't; she was effortlessly flawless, the light in any room, and seemed to take the attention even in someone else's pitch. And worst of all, she was the nicest, most kind person who walked the Earth. With the three of them there, it was probably going to be more attention than Davina ever got in the normal office setting. On the other hand, grumpy cats and a lonely afternoon. She couldn't really say no and tell them Sorry, I want to go home and hermit. Then there was tonight; nothing would be more satisfying than showing up to the family dinner with a partner by her side, something shove in all their faces that she did, indeed, have her life together.
"Davina...?", Giles said, waiting for her response.
"...Yeah," Davina managed to find her way back to the conversation through her clouded mind. "A quick drink, I suppose it wouldn't hurt, right?"
"No, it would," Giles agreed while Davina took a step in the direction she had been going and so Giles had to place his hands on her shoulders to turn her the other way. A chill went up her spine as he did. It wasn't a scary sensation, it was just an odd feeling to have someone touching her in that way.
His hands remained on her shoulders as they walked, directing her with where to go, and suddenly it occurred to Davina how odd it would look if any of her bosses saw this. She almost barked at him, "Do you mind?"
"Sorry." He quickly removed them and they walked for a quiet minute. "It's only over there."
"Is that so?", she answered curtly, not looking to where he pointed. "You don't think I've been there before?"
"I didn't think you would have-"
"Okay, you have," Giles conceded. "You're not that bad, you know?"
Marian flashed the waitress a smile while Brook sighed in disappointment. Marian only took the sigh innocently and asked, "What?"
"This is a casual afternoon work meeting, not a nightclub," was the hissed response. "We need to work on our presentations."
It wouldn't have even been the first time. Of course, Marian only shrugged as a rejoinder, lounging back in her seat. Shifting uncomfortably, Brook glanced at the last text sent from Giles; something about arriving soon, but the 'sent 15 minutes ago' didn't look promising.
"Maybe he got waylaid," Marian said, reading the text over Brook's shoulder before Brook put it on the table. "Suppose he met someone and won't be coming."
"You're cruel," she huffed, folding her arms over her closed laptop and burying her head in them.
The waitress returned with their drinks just as the Bistro's doors opened. Not just Giles walked in but also an unlikely appearance from Davina. Mid conversation apparently too, because it took a few tries for Marian to flag them down.
"Told you," Marian teased Brook, talking about the conversation they were just having before he had arrived.
"Forget the project we have going for a few seconds," Giles proposed eagerly, moving on from the conversation though still curious what Marian could be talking about. "We need to help Davina get her life together before tonight."
"You do?", Davina questioned with surprise in her voice.
"We do?!", Marian encouraged, curious what it was about.
"We do," Giles affirmed. "I don't know the full story but I caught her putting on a street play entitled 'Frustration'. The opening scream was intense."
Brook chuckled, looking up from her arms, but Davina's shock was overshadowed by Marian playfully scolding Giles, "Now, now, we all have days like those. It's called adulting."
"You do?", Davina asked, seeming generally surprised. "You scream in the street?"
Marian smiled at her. "I prefer the park, but the street works too." She watched her boss laugh after she said this; a natural, unforced laugh. It was nice. She noticed that Brook smiled too, although her eye-line was back on her laptop as she rested her chin on her arms that lay on top of it.
"Can I get you a drink?"
"Uh, sure, just one can't hurt," Davina replied.
"I wouldn't mind one either," Giles chimed in, raising his hand to get the attention of the wait-staff.
Marian held her hand over her the top of her bust mockingly, fingers splayed, "Please forgive me, I'm so sorry, I didn't realise that you were incapable of order for yourself."
Giles laughed at this. Marian looked across at Davina who was laughing too, before saying, "As opposed to me then?"
"No, not at all," Marian told her. "I would only offer to buy your drink, whereas Giles here, he can totally buy his own."
Marian watched her cheeks go from tan to pale rose, Davina was touched by the compliment. Though Marian knew it was wrong to hit on her boss, she couldn't help it, she was impossibly hard to resist outside of the office. In the office, she seemed more untouchable, as if being the boss was a whole different species of human that would never be seen fraternising with the underlings, let alone date them. Whereas here, she was of the same species; almost normal, more like the queen of the normal folk. "So, what's causing the frustration, D?"
"D?", she queried.
"Would you prefer to be formal, D?", Giles cut in after getting the attention of a waitress.
"I know Marian wouldn't prefer it," Brook laughed and Marian gave her a look to shut up. She didn't though. "Unless you're into that." And with that suggestion, Davina's rosy cheeks went a darker shade.
A perfect opportunity for Marian. "The colour suits you."
"What colour is that?", Davina asked. But Marian didn't respond verbally, she only slowly tapped the top of her cheek with her index finger.
It was a few minutes later, after Marian had bought Davina a drink and Giles had bought his own, when it was Marian who actually looked shocked. Davina abruptly asked, in an attempt to take back some control of the situation. "Tell me then, how long has Marian here had feelings for me?"
Brook roared with laughter while Giles quietly chuckled and said, "How long is a piece of string?"
"More like, how long have you been our boss?", Brook added, still laughing.
Davina had a flirtatious smirk on her face, proud that she had much to catch Marian by surprise. "Is it the whole being your boss thing, because to me it's only because you're perfect. I could never live up to that." Davina watched three sets of eyes widen and stare back at her. She couldn't believe her own confidence.
A moment's silence. Then Marian replied doubtfully, "Me, perfect? No, I can't even get my presentation right by Monday."
"I can't exactly help with that, it wouldn't be fair for the other two at this table, but perhaps I can be of assistance in another aspect of your life. If you return the favour."
"Is this... really happened?", Brook cut in, pointing her first two fingers between the pair.
Marian only smiled in agreement. "I believe it is, Brook, I believe it is."
"Finally!", Giles exclaimed the words that Davina was thinking. Things could be looking up for her, and perhaps she would no longer dread going to another family dinner at her parents' house.
Work is stressful and never seems to live you satisfied, you don't see friends because you're overworked, your family always ask why you're not settled, and home is just... there. Do you ever feel this way? Is adulting tough? Yeah, well, Davina feels much the same way.
Tiny little risqué whispers of romance stories from the imaginations of a few. From rumbled marriages and unhealthy flings, to a misunderstood neighboured relationship to insecure friends with benefits. Every romance in life is different, and every sexuality is different. Venture into these stories to appreciate the diversity of a relationship.
These stories started from prompts on the Shanniiwrites forums, where myself and a few others spend a week or two adding to each story. Each whisper (story) will be different, but they will have one thing in common, they will all involve overly romantic and/or partially sexual content.