In the Realm of Dreams – Chapter Three: The First Meeting

Nola woke up with an audible gasp. Her heart racing against her chest painfully as she clutched a hand over her breast.

She sucked in deep breaths, willing herself to calm down. For some reason, it felt like a heavy load had just lifted itself from her chest. As she shifted around in her bed, she could feel a wet sensation pool in her panties.

She closed her eyes and groaned. The urge to touch herself was strong but a part of her knew that it wouldn’t be right. It was fucked up and she knew it, but the dream she just had was so vivid it almost felt real. To touch herself without his explicit permission would be betrayal.

She closed her eyes as she thought of him. Her master. It felt wrong, yet so right. Growing up, she never had the attention of the boys in her small village. Not that she hadn’t tried, but for some reason, they all seemed to look past her whenever she would reach out for companionship or mere friendship. She tried to connect with girls her age as well but to no avail. It was as if there was an invisible curse that compelled everyone to flee from her the minute, she wanted to grow closer to them. As she grew up, Nola would either spend time alone or with her grandmother.

She bit her lower lip as a few tears escaped her vision. She had no parents, no siblings, and the only person who cared for her was her maternal grandmother. When she died, a part of Nola died with her as well.

As soon as she finished her high school studies, she packed her things and left for the big city, doing odd jobs, attending a local college, and taking out loans to make something of herself. All her savings from what her grandmother left her was her starting capital.

Before she knew it, her life became a blur of responsibilities, escaping loneliness, but coming home to confront it every night.

Her heart ached and she no longer had the will to keep her tears at bay. Her master . . . her imaginary master cared for her, didn’t he? He listened to her, made her feel cherished, and he said he would care for her whenever she needed him. The fact that she sought solace in a figment of her imagination was pathetic to say the least, but the pain of being alone for too long was too palpable to ignore.

If only he was real, she sighed and climbed out of bed. If he was real, she would do whatever it takes to make him satisfied. She, for sure, would never let him go.

Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of him. The pang of loneliness subsiding somewhat. With zero plans for the day, she decided to take up on one of her master’s conditions and go for a run. It was a beautiful day and a perfect opportunity to start a healthy lifestyle, so why not?

A few hours had passed and Nola felt completely invigorated. After taking a shower and dressing up, she decided to kill some time and do some work at the local café.

After ordering a hot cappuccino, she set up her laptop on her stand and began updating her online portfolio. A frown formed on her lips when she noticed there was zero responses from the other job applications she sent out.

Don’t give up, she thought to herself and went to the job listing website. Something is bound to open up soon and when it does, you will certainly get it!

She zoned out into her work, her cappuccino lay forgotten as she read up on the news and performed other tasks that would make her resumé stand out.

Scusi,” a man drawled out in Italian as he pulled a chair across from Nola. Nola, her eyes still focused on her screen, didn’t notice the man raised an eyebrow at her ignoring him before he sat down on the seat.

She stopped typing and looked away from her screen. Her eyes widened when she saw an exceptionally gorgeous man before her.

He was tall, very tall, and even while he was seated, she could tell that he had a towering presence. He wore a simple grey shirt, black jeans, and black combat boots. His hair, which was also black, was long and tied into a low ponytail, and he had a pair of black studs on both earlobes. His eyes, dark as the moonless sky, had a hint of gold in them and Nola sucked in a nervous breath at the sight of him.

“I . . . master?” she asked breathlessly.

“I apologize for taking up your seat, but I must speak to you, Ms. Andrews,” the man said, amusement shone in his eyes. Whether he heard her call him that embarrassing title or not, he simply didn’t acknowledge it. “I recognize you from the photo of your application to my company. Are you aware which one?” he asked.

Nola swallowed nervously. Her heart pounding against her chest. Her momentary embarrassment quickly turned to horror when she realized that applying to several jobs at once led her with little to no clue.

“No, I’m sorry but I don’t,” she said honestly.

“That’s fine, so it’s safe to assume you’ve applied to different companies then?” he asked. His voice was light, friendly, and genuine, which slightly calmed Nola.

“Yes, I have,” she admitted, giving him a nervous smile.

“And have you had any luck with their responses?”

She shook her head. “No. I haven’t had any responses yet.”

He smiled at this. “Then perhaps it’s my lucky day.” He looked at her cup of coffee that has gone cold. “Let me buy you another coffee and we’ll start the interview right now. Would that be alright?”

Nola blinked. An impromptu interview? Right here and now? Was she dreaming?

“Yes, but I don’t have my resumé . . .” she trailed off, embarrassed that she should’ve been prepared. “I can pull it up on my laptop screen though. Would that be sufficient?”

The man flashed her a pearly smile. “Yes, that would be very sufficient. Excuse me while I order another coffee for you, and call me Mr. Fen.” He got up and grabbed her cold cup of coffee before heading to the counter to order another one.

Nola’s cheeks burned. Mr. Fen, the name rang a bell and she immediately looked at her email’s sent folder. She typed “Fen” in the search box on top of the screen which immediately led her to the email she sent.

Azure Fen, owner and developer of several online apps and productivity tools. His list includes a story app, several games in both iOS and Google Play store, and a productivity tool. He was thirty years old and judging from his profile in LinkedIn, he started coding in his teens and made apps during his spare time in college.

“Wow,” she whispered to herself.

“Impressed?” Mr. Fen’s velvety voice interrupted her quick research and Nola nearly shut her laptop. Fortunately, she didn’t risk the chance of breaking her already ancient second-hand gadget. It was the only thing that could help her find a job these days.

“Yes,” she admitted and watched him place a fresh brewed cup of cappuccino on her table before he sauntered over to his seat. She noticed he didn’t order anything for himself. “Wouldn’t you want a cup for yourself?” she asked, concerned.

“No, this will be quick,” he said. “I appreciate your concern.” He gave her a smile and folded his hands on the table. “Now prop up your resumé on the screen. We’ll begin the interview.”

“Yes, sir.”

The questions started and the conversation flowed perfectly. Nola, who had finished her coffee, stayed seated. Her attention focused on Mr. Fen as he explained to her the job position she applied for, the responsibilities, and the benefits she’ll receive assuming she’ll get hired.

“You will be working closely with the marketing team,” he instructed. “Your job is to write up app instructions, content for our website in line with the set guidelines, write scripts and concepts for video tutorials, and possibly create business proposals for potential clients we are looking to get. The job requires at least some experience, but seeing your work samples made me reconsider . . .” He gave her an encouraging smile. “Nevertheless, you’re not in the clear just yet. Considering the nature of the job and its expectations, I expect complete and utter commitment from you starting from training up until you decide to leave. Is that understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Nola answered, touched that he was willing to even give her a chance.

“Good, I think this will be a great starting salary.” He pulled a pen from his jeans pocket and written it on the back of the receipt. He folded it before sliding it over to her.

She took the paper, unfolded it before her, and her eyes widened.

“I . . .” She was speechless. She had never seen such an amount of money like that before in her life.

“Is that not enough?”

“N-no! It’s . . . more than I deserve,” she admitted. “I don’t have experience. I still have to be in training, and the benefits are so good. Are you sure you would want to risk this much for a first-timer like me?” She looked at him in awe.

“Miss Andrews, I know you have seen my LinkedIn profile. I had someone write a brief biography of me there. As you can see, I have yet to graduate and I am already thirty years old. I think you can see that I’m all about taking risks when it comes to handling my business. As you can see, it paid off,” he said coolly.

“I-I apologize! I didn’t mean to insult you or anything. I just . . .” Nola stammered, worried that she may have blown her chances of actually getting a job. “Please, forgive me. I’m just . . . touched,” she admitted and bowed her head, embarrassed beyond belief.

“Look at me.”

His voice was commanding. Dominant. It was easy for her to snap her head up and lock her gaze on him. As she did, Mr. Fen looked at her with a serious expression, his dark eyes menacing and threatening without meaning to.

Fear gripped Nola’s heart, yet with that fear came another sensation entirely.

Desire.

“You will think things over first. When you are ready to oversee the contract, contact me here.” He slipped a neat business card across the table from her. “Since it was a spontaneous interview, I will give you a week or so to decide. If I do not get a call from you, I assume you are not interested. Is that understood?”

“Yes.” She breathed out.

“Yes, sir,” he corrected her.

“Yes, sir.”

He smiled.

– written by an upcoming erotic romance author

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