This week for Tuesday Tales’ prompt ‘money’ I’m playing with Anando and Virginia from the Out of the Box series. This discussion will take place in the upcoming Beyond The Edge… although I think I’ll need to expand the ‘working out her frustrations’ part… :P
Most days, Virginia enjoyed going to work. There was nothing thrilling about long sheets of numbers, rows and columns matching just so, with a few phone calls and emails going out when they happened not to match the way they were supposed to, but she didn’t need thrills at work; she had enough of those at home.
That day, though, she went home with frustration rolling off her with every short breath she took. Her new supervisor had been in place for three and a half weeks, and already she despised the man, his too soft voice and his knowing smiles. More than once, she had caught him staring at her neck, at the scars Anando had left there.
Whenever Anando reopened his marks and drank from her, Virginia wore a scarf the next day to hide the redness. She wasn’t ashamed of anything, but she didn’t care for her friends’ anxious questions about how much she let Anando take from her. Her supervisor didn’t ask questions, but his gaze sharpened when she wore a scarf. The way he licked his lips, sometimes, was also unnerving.
She wished she could have made a formal complaint to HR, but he’d never actually said anything to her that was less than professional, and the looks could have been all in her imagination.
Except they weren’t.
Anando knew her well enough to see right away that something was off—and to know how to work off her frustration in the most satisfying manner.
Afterwards, when she lay in his arms, her skin slick with sweat and shared pleasure, he brushed the hair out of her face and looked into her eyes as he said very seriously, “You could quit, you know.”
A few seconds passed before the words started to make sense, and even then Virginia had to shake her head.
“Quit? Of course I can’t quit. He’s an asshole but that’s no reason for me to quit.”
“Then what’s the reason for you not to quit?” he insisted.
She was stumped for a second, and let out a weak chuckle. “A reason not to quit?” she repeated. “How about, I need a job?”
His expression didn’t change, the same small smile playing on his lips. “What for?”
She blinked twice, confused as to what he was getting at.
“Most people work for money,” he said when she didn’t reply. “If that’s your reason, then I’ll say it again. You could quit. I have more than enough for both of us. I can put your name on my accounts, or transfer money into yours if you prefer.”
The offer was so unexpected – so outlandish – that Virginia pulled away from him, sitting up and drawing a pillow in front of her to hide her body. It had been a long time since she’d felt the need to hide from him. She wasn’t sure why she felt like it now.
“Why?” she asked, unable to suppress a frown. “It’s your money. You’re going to live for a long time. You’re going to need…”
Her voice trailed off when he started laughing, the sound low, deep, and so familiar it sent a shiver down Virginia’s spine.
“Unless you decide to buy a new house every week, our money is going to last a long, long time.” He leaned forward and cupped her face in his hand, stroking her cheek gently with his thumb. “And yes, I said our money. And I mean it. So when are you quitting?”
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