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 22, 2009

Great Expectations: Living The Lie

Dinner was ready by the time I arrived home and if my guess is right, mom had held it a few minutes waiting for me. I quickly washed up and seated myself at the table. On the drive home I calmed myself down and decided it would be most believable if I weren’t appearing too overjoyed with my new job. After all, a measly salary as a glorified secretary wasn’t going to impress anyone.

“Well? How did your interview go?” Mom asked.

I stared at my plate for a moment before answering. I suddenly felt less than hungry at the prospect of telling my parents a disappointing lie. For a single moment I considered telling them the whole story, unbelievable as it might sound, and then I realized that the lie was easier to believe.

“I took the job.” I announced.

“But it’s not what you want.” Dad said.

Mom’s bright smile at the news was quickly masked when Dad spoke. Clearly, they had different opinions on the subject.

“No, but it’s a place to start right?” I said.

“Yes, I suppose it is. Maybe it will even grow on you after a few weeks.” Dad said.

“It might. It’s not what I was hoping for but with the economic times like they are and my rather limited use degree I don’t have a lot of options. It pretty much comes down to take what I can get or do nothing at all and I think we all would agree, nothing is not acceptable.” I said.

“That’s a very mature attitude Allison. I’m proud of you.” Mom said.

Dad gave her a look that even I could read as not good, but mom shrugged it off and kept eating.

“So, I’ll be going away next week for a training class and when I get back I’ll be starting.” I said.

“We send you to college for five years and they think you need a training class before you can start working?” Dad asked.

It may have been a rhetorical question but dad’s incredulous expression made me feel like I had to say something.

“I didn’t go to college to become an administrative assistant so it might be a good thing otherwise I might not know what to do.” I said.

“Administrative assistant?” Mom said. “Do you even need a college degree to be a secretary?”

“It’s not like that mom. I’ll be working with one of the vice-presidents on some very important projects. I’ll even get to travel on a company expense account.” I said.

“If it’s such a great position, how much are they paying you?” Mom demanded.

I picked at the food on my plate no longer interested in it in the slightest.

“That’s not any of our business nor our concern.” Dad said.

There was an angry, stern sound to his voice which I knew all too well. Only a few times have I heard it directed at mom, but even with her, dad has limits. For myself, I felt the sting of mom’s words like a lash across my soul. I stood up from the table unable to continue the pretense of eating.

“I know it’s a pathetic job, but at least allow me the luxury of pretending it’s something important and worth doing. I failed you. I get it mom, but you know what? I failed myself too.” I said.

I threw my napkin down on the table and stormed up the stairs fighting back tears that leaked out anyway. My bedroom door slammed shut and I flung myself down on my bed thoroughly ashamed. For the moment I believed it all myself and that was worse than anything. Maybe Mr. Candle was offering me something great but the paycheck and title are all I really have to offer and those things don’t come with respect, even self-respect. I was angry but not at mom or dad because at the end of the day I only have the face in the mirror to blame for anything.

Not surprisingly, there was a soft knock on my door a few minutes later. I grabbed a tissue to wipe away the tears on my cheeks, but mom didn’t wait. She opened the door and closed it behind, coming to sit down on my bed next to me. Her arm wrapped around my shoulders and she hugged me to her. I feigned a smile.

“You know your grandmother was a secretary for 34 years.” Mom said.

I pulled away from her for a moment to look her in the eye.

“I didn’t know that.” I said.

“It’s true. It was a horrible job and she hated it, but she kept going there day after day because she had me and my two sisters depending on her and just like you, she always pushed herself to do the right thing no matter how hard it was. That said, she was determined that none of us would ever have to work in that same kind of job. What you just told us about this job, made me think of her and maybe I overreacted, but you need to understand, I swore to her I’d never be anybody’s secretary and in my heart that promise extended to you as well. If you think you have to do this, I can understand that because you’ve got a lot of her in you and she always did what she thought was right no matter what anyone else thought. But, I can’t helping feeling by pushing you down this road I’ve broken my promise to her and that’s why I said what I did before. I’m sorry.”

She reached out and ran her fingers through my hair. There were tears in her eyes and suddenly I felt a hundred times worse. We cried together and hugged together and I decided right then that whatever happens at Quondam, the title affixed to my name would have to change or I would have to leave. Maybe not right away, but for my mom it couldn’t be soon enough.

“I’m sorry mom.” I said.

“Me too. I know you are trying and I shouldn’t be putting pressure on you when you haven’t had a real choice.”

“It’s okay. I understand and I swear, I’ll either move up the ladder or move on to something better. It won’t be forever.” I said.

“You are many things Allison, but you are not a failure. Not now, not ever.”

I might have hugged mom tighter or maybe said something I don’t say anywhere near enough, except dad picked that moment to knock on my door. Mom and I looked at it with equal annoyance and then she gave me an ironic smile and shrug.

“Yes?” I called.

The door swung open to reveal dad, as though that was a surprise, standing there holding the phone.

“It’s a Cathy from Quondam Innovations for you.” Dad said.

There was no doubt he was talking to me although I felt a little confused considering the late hour. I quickly grabbed a tissue and dabbed away the remainder of my tears. Dad handed me the phone and then he and mom left, giving me a little privacy even though they were undoubtedly as curious about the call as I was.

“Hello.” I said.

“Miss Beaumont, I’m sorry to call so late, but it took me some time to make all the arrangements Mr. Candle requested.” Cathy said.

“It’s alright. Is everything set?” I replied.

“Yes. I have your flight all set for Sunday at 6:30 AM and the company limo will pick you up at 5. You will be back on Saturday morning at 10 AM and again the company limo will take you home.”

“That sounds good. Was there anything else?”

“Also, I scheduled an appointment for you at the company outfitters. You’ll need to get outfits for 5 to 7 days. They’ll have all the information on acceptable styles and colors and the bill will be sent directly here, you’ll just need to sign the order. Oh and make sure you leave with at least one outfit because you’ll need that for next Monday when you come into the office. The rest can be sent here next week and you can take them home when you get back.”

“That all sounds great, Cathy. Where is this place located?” I asked.

“I’ll have the limo at your disposal for tomorrow and they have the address. Your appointment is at 11 AM. I hope that is alright.”

“Yes, of course that is fine. Is it alright if I have a guest in the limo with me?”

“Of course Miss. The limo is completely at your disposal until 6 tomorrow.”

“Great. Thank you Cathy.”

“You’re welcome Miss. Have a pleasant weekend.”

I hung up the phone decided to call my best friend Cherise and see if she wanted to joyride in the limo with me. I knew she wouldn’t mind the shopping either, even if it was boring corporate attire.

“Shopping? Tomorrow in a limo? No shit?” Cherise rattled off into the phone.

“No shit.” I confirmed.

“Count me in.”

“Be here by 10 or I’ll leave you forever.”


“You betcha.”

We hung up and I went to bed with dreams of luxurious shopping on a company credit card. Too bad reality won’t be as good but I can have my fantasies at least until dawn. I still felt bad about Mom as I closed my eyes and I was determined to make things right by her. It will probably take some cajoling but if Mr. Candle wants me as bad as he says he does then he can come through for me on something as insignificant as a title.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley, the scene with her parents is brilliant, thank you.
    Warm hugs,