New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

May 25, 2009

Great Expectations: Apparel Perceptions

Cherise and I climbed into the limo at exactly 10 AM. Mom and dad saw us off and judging by the looks on their faces they still weren’t buying my explanations. Other than saying it was a perk of my position I hadn’t give much of one anyway, but even I have to admit it was fairly lame. If Mr. Candle expects people to buy my cover position he’ll have to keep some things in mind in the future such as administrative assistants don’t get the company limo at their disposal for something as simple as a shopping trip into the city. Cherise did a good job of playing along as we left but we weren’t even off the block before she turned on me.

“Start spilling girl.” She demanded.

“What?” I asked.

Feigning ignorance can often help to minimize spillage.

“What?” She mimicked. “Well for starters, since when do you even interview at a place like QI?”

I sighed.

“Oh I don’t know maybe since I’ve spent a year being turned down for every other available position in the state.” I replied.

Cherise laughed.

“So what you are really saying is you went for the interview because your dad started following through on his threat to whoop your butt for not having a job.” She said.

“I said no such thing. It was just time I stopped limiting my options for childish reasons.” I replied.

“Right. I’m not saying it’s bad thing but I never thought I’d see a day with you working at a place like QI not to mention actually working at QI.”

“Things change Cheri.”

“Yeah that they do.”

“So, administrative assistant eh?”

“Better than unemployed.”

Cherise looked around the limo with a silly grin on her face, nodding.

“I’ll say.” She said.

“It’s not like I’m going to be sitting outside some low level manager’s office dreaming of the day I might get a chance to work for his boss.”

“Maybe, but it’s not like you are going to be happy sitting outside anybody’s office. Hell you and I both know you’re probably smarter than anyone else working for that godforsaken company.”

“Time will tell. I don’t think it’s all that bad though.”

“Ally, they’re sending you away for a week to learn how to be a good secretary. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

“Okay, okay. It sucks but it’s my life. Are you happy now?”

“Yeah. Look on the bright side, our lives can suck together. I’m so sick of answering phones and being promised just one more month and they’ll move me up and then a month later the story starts all over again. Well, if I had someplace else to go I’d be there, but with the economy spiraling down like it has been I’m just thankful to have a job at the end of the day. So, yeah I know why you did it and I know what you are really thinking about the job, but I’m proud of you for sucking it up.”

I couldn’t help smiling at her even if she did have it all wrong.

“Thanks, Cheri.” I said.

“What else are friends for?” She asked.

“Smilin’, cyrin’, and lyin’.” I replied.

We both relaxed a bit after that. Cherise found the champagne and poured us each a half glass. No point in getting too plastered to figure out what looked naughty and what looked nice when we got to the store. I was about halfway through the glass when I realized there wasn’t going to be any naughty or nice clothing, just boring corporate attire to get fitted and pick disturbingly uniform colors. I refilled all the way to the top.

The company outfitter was a quaint store located upstairs from a wedding boutique and next door to a busy Cuban restaurant. The smell of caramelized bananas wafted through the air as Cherise and I climbed the steps. I decided we’d be stopping for lunch before we left.

A small bell on the door gave a little jingle when we walked inside the shop. Looking around, there were a few racks of professional wear, mostly for women but a small section to the left side at the front was dedicated to men. Fitting rooms were toward the back of the racks on the right side with louvered doors painted in a high gloss white. A curved counter extended from the right wall to the back of the shopping area and ending against a mirrored wall. From the looks of it there was a large area behind the counter and extending back behind the mirrored wall as well. I guessed it was probably a tailoring area and perhaps additional inventory storage.

A young woman, certainly no older than 18, stood on the customer side of the counter talking quietly into her cell phone. She gave us a quick glance when we entered and then returned her full attention to her call. Behind the counter an older woman walked up and smiled at us. She motioned for us to walk up. Cherise had already caught sight of something she liked and was off to investigate so I stepped up alone.

“Good morning. You must be Miss Beaumont.” The older woman said.

“Good morning. Yes, I am.” I replied.

Cherise caught my eye with a bemused look at my sudden notoriety. I’m getting used to everyone knowing me before I get there, but the constant formality is taking a bit more time. Previously the only time anyone has called me Miss Beaumont was at school and it almost always indicated I was in deep trouble or something like it. I’ll get used to it in time and until then, I’ll just tense up a little now and then.

The woman behind the counter snapped her fingers in front of the one on the phone and gave her a quick, stern look. The phone was instantly closed and handed over without argument and then the young woman turned and smiled at me as if nothing had occurred.

“Shall we start by fitting you for a jacket and skirt?” She asked.

“Lead the way.” I replied.

She led me to one of the fitting rooms and then returned to me a moment later with a charcoal gray skirt and jacket accompanying a white blouse. I took the garments inside with me and quickly changed into them. The skirt was a little large at the waist and the jacket was a little tight in the bust line. I was nonetheless impressed at how well the young woman had sized me up with nothing more than a look. I stepped back out into the main store and appraised myself in the mirror at the back.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go with slacks?” Cherise asked.

In the mirror I could see the two shop women glance at each other with amusement. I tried not to laugh at my friend and I guess it was a legitimate question. Given the choice between a skirt or slacks, I’d probably have gone with the skirt anyway, it’s just more my style, but the company dress code didn’t give the choice. Cherise was probably teasing although her serious expression didn’t give it away.

“What’s wrong with my legs?” I asked.

“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cherise asked.

“Not if you want a ride home.” I replied.

Cherise ran her fingers over her mouth as if closing a zipper. I nodded at her with a short laugh.

“Smart girl.” I said.

The young woman went to work marking the skirt and jacket for adjustments and humming to herself while I stood like a doll on the small platform directly in front of the mirrored wall. Cherise busied herself looking through a catalog she found on the counter and quietly chatting with the woman behind it. She was probably bored out of her mind with the limited selection of things to look at, but there would be plenty of time for fun shopping when the business stuff was done.

“Did you want to take one or two outfits with you today?” The young woman asked.

“I think two would be best if it’s not any trouble.” I replied.

“It won’t be any trouble. We can have the clothes altered for you in about an hour.” She replied.

“Perfect. I noticed the restaurant downstairs, we can go and have lunch while its being done.” I said.

She smiled and nodded.

“Are there any options from the gray?” I asked.

“Oh, yes. You can get black or navy as well.” She replied.

“I’d prefer one of each of those and skip the gray if it’s possible.”

“Certainly Miss. Did you not want any gray at all?”

“How about just one gray and two black and two navy for the total order?”

“That would be fine although I think your company order was for seven outfits.”

“Oh, I see. Well then make it three black and three navy.”

“You should get two of the gray. It looks good on you.” Cherise said.

“Really?” I asked.

I studied myself in the mirror. The gray didn’t look bad with my dark hair or light complexion but it felt drab. On the other hand I definitely looked professional and confident, two things very important to my reputation. Maybe a softly colored blouse would make it feel warmer to me, I thought as I turned to examine myself from different views in the mirror.

“Really. Besides, black always makes you look too pale. You should stick to the navy and gray.” Cherise said.

It was quite obvious the two women agreed, although neither was saying anything. I considered it for a moment and then surrendered to it. I brought Cherise along for her advice so it would be pretty dumb to ignore it.

“Alright,” I said. “Let’s make it three gray, three navy, and one black.”

“Certainly Miss. What colors did you want to take with you?”

“A gray and a navy.” I decided.

“Very good. If you want to change back into your things, I’ll get the alterations started and then you can pick out some blouses from the racks over there.”

I looked at the racks she indicated and nodded. Taking a deep breath, I stepped down from the raised platform and returned to the dressing room. It didn’t take me long to get back into my weekend wear and then Cherise and I were sorting through the blouses. There were a small variety of colors, mostly pastels except for a deep red and a medium blue, both of which I immediately settled on. I went with the jeweled necklines instead of the v-necks and straight collars on Cherise’s suggestion. I tried on a couple and had to admit they did look better, especially beneath the blazers.

It was a rather smooth and quick process when all was said and done. Cherise and I had lunch on the patio at the Cuban restaurant and by the time we were finished eating, my two suits were ready to go. We hit the mall afterward and Cherise left with a dozen bags from a dozen stores while I somehow managed to restrain myself and get nothing. Mom and dad should be impressed, I know I am.

On the way back, Cherise turned the conversation back to my new job again to ask the one question that was probably on her mind since I told her I was going to be working for QI. I had hoped she wouldn’t bring it up, but I knew it would come sooner or later.

“So is it true?” She asked.

“What?” I replied.

I knew what she meant but playing dumb meant I didn’t have to answer straight away.

“You know what.” She stated. “Do they really spank their employees?”

“Yes.” I said.


“And what?”

“You can’t just say yes and leave it at that.”

“I just did.”

Cherise shook her head at me. I knew what she wanted, but I wasn’t ready to share that experience quite yet. Truthfully I was still wrapping my head around the whole experience and the fact I had willingly agreed to submit myself to it. I think if I told her, she’d make it impossible for me to continue with the pretense it wouldn’t happen again and I wasn’t ready to accept the future inevitably quite yet.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley, I suppose that there must be quiet chapters. :)
    Warm hugs,