Erotic Holiday Countdown – Day 16

Title: When She Least Expected It Parts 2 & 3: Saturday Afternoon – Arrival & The Cocktail Party

Author: Dane Hargreaves – Visit him at Twitter
This story is © by Dane Hargreaves and used with permission.

Note:  This story includes BDSM elements. It will be posted in 10 parts over 8 days.

If you have not read part 1, you can do that here.

Saturday Afternoon – Arrival

Candice arrived early in the afternoon at the Christmas Party her publishing company was hosting at a swank country hotel. She had missed the morning meet and greet due to other work commitments. She had assistants now, but sometimes business needed her direct involvement. It was one of the prices of being President and CEO.
She allowed the bellman to take her overnight bag and evening gown while she checked in using the fast lane. Glancing at her watch Candice realized that she only had 45 minutes to touch up her makeup, do her hair and get into her evening gown before the cocktail party started. Actually, only about 35 minutes because she was going to do a bit of a welcome speech for the gathering of editors, support staff and guest authors. She practically ran to the elevators with the bellman struggling to keep up.

She let the bellman go ahead of her to open the door to her corner room and hang her dress bag. After tipping the bellman, she quickly stripped to her undergarments and headed for the bathroom. But, she spotted a bottle of gin, a can of tonic water, and a bucket of ice on a little round table under the window. Assistants can be really useful. Grinning, Candice walked over and made herself a stiff drink to have while getting prepared for the night. She didn’t drink very often any more, but it had been a very hectic week, and a busy Saturday morning – yes she still worked most weekends, and she felt she deserved one.
She took a long drink of the cool gin and tonic, savouring the delight of the bubbles dancing across her tongue. Oddly sexual, she thought. That random thought made her stop and burst out laughing. When was the last time she had even thought about sex? It must have been at least a month! Candice put it out of her mind so that she could focus on getting ready. She strolled over to the enormous bathroom and checked it out. She saw the standard makeup mirror over a nice vanity. The shower caught her attention; glass walls, rough tiles and a bench.
Candice had her makeup touched up in a few minutes. It was quick because she did not use anything more than mascara, eye liner and lipstick. Her hair was a different matter. She took another big gulp of her drink, and held it in her mouth for a bit, again enjoying the sensation of the little bubbles bursting on her tongue. It seemed a shame to swallow it so fast, so she slowly, ever so slowly, swished the cool liquid around her mouth and through her teeth. She found it quite intoxicating, literally as well as figuratively. Candice tilted her head up slightly and swallowed it down. Glancing in the mirror, she noticed that she was a little flushed. It had clearly been too long since she had had sex.
In a panic, Candice remembered her hair. She grabbed her brush and attacked it with a purpose, stroking it and stroking it until it was soft and glistening. Pinning it back in a loose braid, she looked into the mirror and then at her watch. Fifteen minutes to go. She had to get a move on….but first another sip of her drink. She had to focus, to fight against getting lost again in the sensation of that elixir.
Running to the closet, she grabbed her evergreen, silky evening gown. Pulling it out of the garment bag, she threw it over her head and pulled it down over her body. Stepping back into the bathroom, she stood again in front of the mirror and smoothed it down. It was a beautiful dress, elegant in design with flowing folds and a back sash. It showed just enough of her ample cleavage to entice the viewer. Turning around, she could see her bare upper back. Candice loved this dress. She slipped on her classic black high heels and pronounced herself ready. She smiled when she noticed that there was still a slight flush to her face. It looked like a perfect makeup artist had gone to work!
Glancing around the room, she found her little cocktail purse and turned to leave. Candice hesitated, then slowly turned back and looked at the inch or so of ice and G&T left in the glass by the sink. Smiling, she went back into the bathroom and grabbed the glass, letting the beautiful sensation consume her one last time.
She noticed the small bag that contained her rolled up travel flats. She thought, “Well, I may as well bring those in case I get forced into a dance or two”. Then she strolled out the door.

The Cocktail Party
When Candice stepped off the elevator at the ground floor, she was immediately greeted by her assistant, Paula.
“Merry Christmas Ms. Lowell. I trust things are going well?”
Candice replied, “Yes”, and they turned and started strolling across the hotel foyer. They had a few minutes to talk during the walk to the small atrium room where the party was being held.
Candice asked, “So, how many authors made it?”
“The last count was 35, so with staff and spouses we are looking at about 110 people. And you aren’t going to believe it, but, Damon Foster made it.”
Candice stopped in her tracks. “Damon Foster? Really?” He was the hottest author on the planet in sex fiction, after E. L. James and her incredible “50 Shades” success (which had made Candice use her Hitachi a lot; she turned red just thinking about it), and it was a huge coup for the company when they had landed him as a client. His book sales had directly affected her company’s bottom line. However, his fights with the censors and lawyers in the company were legendary. Interestingly, his fights were always conducted from a distance, so few people had actually met him. Candice thought that only her head lawyer had met him face to face.
Candice didn’t need to spell out her next question. Every woman in the company had been wondering for weeks what this mysterious erotic writer looked like. She just gave her assistant an inquisitive look. Paula grinned widely, but didn’t verbally answer. She didn’t need to.
They continued their walk to the Christmas Party.
When Candice and her assistant entered the room, a lot of people smiled and came over to greet her. She grabbed a glass of champagne from the passing waiter and made pleasant small talk with her staff and clients. After about 15 minutes, it was time for her to get up on the little stage where the musicians would later play, and make her speech. On her way to the stage, it occurred to her that she hadn’t met Damon. “Oh well, she thought, it’s going to be a long night.” Unknown to her at the time, but that was quite a prophecy.
Candice was very adept at making off the cuff speeches, and was on fire tonight. Perhaps it was the drink in her room combined with the glass of champagne, but she was relaxed, witty and full of confidence as she delivered her Christmas greetings.
After her speech, the guests were told to please be seated at large round tables set for eight, with each seat assigned using table numbers and little place cards. However, because Candice never brought a date her table was always set for seven, allowing for a little more room. As always, her Chief Operating Officer and his wife, her Editor in Chief Margaret and her husband, and a guest author and his/her date completed the rest of the table. Candice always seemed to be the last to sit down due to the time it took to get from the stage to her table. Although it was one of the closest to the stage, she had to pause and say her Christmas Greetings to people along the way. When she finally arrived at her table, all of the gentlemen stood up for her, with the two guests very kindly introducing themselves to her. Well, Candice had in fact noticed that it was two men, but didn’t think about that oddity at all. Her gaze was focussed on just the one.

Hope you enjoyed When She Least Expected It Parts 2 & 3: Saturday Afternoon – Arrival & The Cocktail Party.

This was the Day 16 story for the 2012 Erotic Holiday Countdown.

Now read the Day 17 Entry.  When She Least Expected It Part 4: The Dinner by Dane Hargreaves

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