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By Christopher Rose

Nate and Portia had not worked together forever, but enough to have gotten to know each other well and they were fast enough friends to talk freely and sometimes even collusively.  They shared a lot of laughter, somewhat intimate glances and just a general comradery.  It could not have been more than that because both were in serious relationships and neither was inclined to stray.  While it seems true that there is more than one person for each of us on this planet, everyone also knows not everything can happen in one lifetime.  There was, without question, an unspoken attraction between the two, and each would have occasional thoughts about what it might be like to undress the other and do sinful but exquisite things, pressing skin to skin, breathing deeply in the scent of their actions and passion.  Nate was tall, broad, and Portia liked his soulful eyes and generous smile, along with his slightly tousled dark hair.  Portia was also fairly tall, had a svelte line to her body Nate liked to watch without her knowing (he thought).  She always had a twinkle in her blue eyes that was what really endeared her to him, and he liked the way she would toss her own dark hair, gently gently as she walked.   Portia did not watch Nate in the same way, but was happy to see him when she did.  She was comfortable when he was in the building, knew that it was an important part of the day’s aura.  And it was as innocent as that for a while.

But one day the tides shifted in an inexplicable way and that comfort gave way to a different friction neither was prepared for.  On a random Wednesday Portia went to get coffee and Nate was a distance behind her on his way to do the same thing.  He did the usual – watched her sway her way into the kitchen.  Portia was unaware of him today, her mind on the next project as she hummed a little and then reached up to grab some cups.  What Nate did next was not par for the course, and even surprised himself a little, but as noted, something essential had shifted.  As he reached the same counter, he placed his hand on the small of her back as he said good morning, lightly but lingering longer than anyone should, and as he pulled his hand away he made sure to brush more of her back.

Portia was startled, and then more so as she felt herself react with an inner, nether desire prompted by the combination of Nate’s voice and his hand on her back.  He had never touched her like this before, and now she found it unnerving, shaking her usual casual stance with him.  She stumbled over her words.

“Oh…..Hi….uh….Morning” She said as she turned to face his nearness.  She thought she smiled.

Nate grinned and was in good spirits, better spirits.  He stared down at her.  “You look good today.”  He said.  He wasn’t sure where he was going with any of this, but he carried on.  “The black top” He said, pointedly looking at her cleavage, “is particularly flattering”.

Portia thanked him slowly, having to think as she was doing so.  This was not the Nate she knew, and it was a Nate she did not know how to handle.  She backed up a few steps in the hopes of gaining some composure and slowing her heartbeat and the growing uneasy desire between her legs.  She looked at him, noticed an edge and confidence that seemed more well-honed.  She could not define how, but his smile looked a shade of wicked and the gleam in his eye was more intense.   She liked what she saw, was having no success slowing her heartbeat, felt tongue-tied.

“You…you seem in a strange kind of mood” she said lightly and with an inquisitive face.

“I feel in a strange kind of mood Portia.”  He said this slowly, still smiling, and then again running his eyes over her body.  He took the few steps to cover the distance she had retreated so that he was only a foot away from her.  Portia watched in paralyzed silence as he lifted his arm and reached out to the side of her neck, landing his index finger gently on her flushing skin, letting it trail down along her blouse’s neckline so that if she had not stopped him he probably would have traced a path as far as he could.  She shuddered visibly and she hoped he did not recognize it as the desire that it was.  She stepped back.

“Nate!”  she said quietly but emphatically.   “What are you doing?  You do realize we are in the kitchen.  In a company that is not empty”.

Nate laughed, looking exceptionally happy.  “So it would be OK if no one were here?”

This annoyed her.  She had been framed into saying that.  “What is UP with you?”  She asked.  She walked past him, not letting anything else transpire.  “I’m going back to my desk”.  She said as she did so.

While Portia tried to work and forget about what had happened between them, Nate was back at his own side of the building thinking about Portia, how he had touched her, how he had enjoyed the power it gave him.  He decided he had done exactly what he did because something inside him had buckled to what he had been pretending wasn’t there.  He wanted her, and some part of him had that day decided he would do something about it.  What made it perfect, and now pursuable, was that it was clear she wanted him right back.  Her skin had been smooth, warm, pulsing even, and he had felt her excitement even while she had been taken aback by his behavior.  He was satisfied with the day so far, felt a wonderful awareness of things he knew he would make happen, and so he very easily got back to the work he needed to complete.  And Portia sat at her desk wondering how to avoid Nate even as the skin on her neck burned and she thought of his hands and how it would have felt if she hadn’t stopped him.

*

Nate and Portia worked in separate departments, so their paths did not often cross, but they each made a point to stop by the other’s office once in a while.  Portia did not know how to visit Nate after the other day’s scramble, but she also knew that not visiting would somehow be a sign of weakness – yet she was afraid he would take an actual visit as an invitation to continue.  If she were any decent woman she would wait around for an apology and then maybe visit.  But that’s not how things went.

Portia got a call from the shipping department telling her she had a package.  When she entered the enclosed area she didn’t see Rory, the clerk who had called her down.  She called out his name, but on not hearing a reply she started to look around for her delivery.   It was quiet in this area, a little creepy, but also seemed like it might be a comfortable place to get things done quietly in peace.  She couldn’t see anything marked for her as she poked around.  It was unfamiliar territory for her.  She rounded the corner to go farther into the stock room and came face to face with Nate.

She was startled, let out a tiny scream.   He had been lurking around the corner this whole time?    “Nate.”  She said.  “What are you doing here?”  She asked.

He smiled.  “Hi Portia.”  “Probably same thing you are.”  He said as he approached her.  He looked taller than she was used to.  He was wearing a purple shirt, neatly tucked into dark blue jeans.   His hair looked a little more out of control, or was it just because he was so close?  Portia felt her heart beat increase.  “About the other day…” he began, a curious but thoughtful look on his face.  She stole a look at the department’s door but it was closed so they were alone.  He caught her glance.  “Don’t worry about that.”  He said.  “Rory won’t be back for a while”.  He said this with a smile.  “About the other day” He began again.

“Never mind”.  Portia said, feeling the need to back up.  “Doesn’t matter.  Off day…” silly words escaping her.  Despite her wish to stand her ground she felt herself step back.  She would have only so many steps as she knew the wall was behind her.  “Anyway, I have this package….” She made an attempt to look around, but Nate was blocking too much of her view.  She would have to walk around him.

“I think Rory said it was over there”.  Nate responded, vaguely indicating with his head somewhere behind him as she was walking by.  She could not really pass without brushing him, but was relieved he did not block her.  As she began to breathe a sigh of relief she felt him grab her hand and spin her around.  In the same movement he pulled her to him.  So clever, quick and utterly self-assured.  “Portia.” Was all he said before he put his hand behind her head and gently but firmly pulled her mouth to his.  She was taken by surprise, though should not have been given the circumstances and his recent behavior.  She thought about fighting him, but found she didn’t want to.  She let his mouth claim hers, felt his strength press against her, eagerly answered his tongue with hers.  She was breathing heavily, and she heard herself let out a gentle moan, and then felt Nate’s desire increase.  He took his hand from behind her head and put it on her breast, sliding it inside her blouse and then under the top of her bra, reaching, holding and letting out a deep sigh of satisfaction.  This woke Portia from what could only be deemed sexual hypnosis.  So badly, badly did she want his hands to continue, but what had started in the back of her mind began to flare strongly more frontward.   She felt herself pulling back from his kiss, hating and respecting herself at the same time.

“Nate we’re…”.  She said, still breathing heavily.  “We can’t do this”.

Nate looked lost for a moment, something like understanding moving across his eyes.  She noticed he was fully erect and felt something between sadness and unadulterated desire.  He saw her notice and he didn’t smile but instead had some kind of challenge or danger in his eyes.   He said nothing.  He turned around and walked out the door while Portia stood motionless, silent, empty, and then possibly crying.

They did not speak for a few days, each recovering from a wealth of thoughts.  Illegal kisses, accepted but illicit touches, and the real truth that they had both wanted to go beyond their own defined boundaries.  They probably would have gone another week or so without talking but the company announced the adventure for them, the team-building event.  Paint ball.

Company outings are often fun and this next one promised to be entertaining.  The CEO had even sprung for renting the property so that there would be no other parties playing at the same time.  This time Nate visited Portia.

“Hey Portia” He said casually.  He did not advance or act in a suggestive fashion so Portia immediately relaxed.

But she still had the vivid feel of his hands on her skin from the previous week.  “Hi Nate.  What you doing over here?”  She asked.

“Paintball.  You playing?”

She had forgotten about the company outing.   “I’ve played before” Portia said.  “So exciting and your adrenaline is going at a hard to handle pace, frightening but exhilarating.”  She was trying her hardest not to look at his body, the stolid tallness, how close he had been just days before.

“Me too”.  Nate replied.  “It’ll be fun.  Wonder how we get to be on the same team.”

“I’d rather shoot you” Portia said, raising her eye-brows playfully but also looking at him seriously.

“Either way.”

Portia thought about Nate a little more than she was accustomed to, was dismayed by the increased frequency, found herself even occasionally touching herself to thoughts of his straying hands, brash advances.  She was rattled.

The day before the event Nate told Portia to dress properly.  “You’re lucky it’s fall so you get to wear a jacket.  Those paint balls won’t feel great when they hit you.”

Portia smiled widely, hiding the fact she was very conscious of his presence, the way his shirt aligned perfectly on his shoulders, his lazy smile.   “You watch yourself too Barrett.”  She said, using his formal name.  “I think I’ve rigged it so that we ARE on opposite teams.”  She had in fact done so a few days earlier, determining it would be more fun that way, and certainly safer.

Something nervous twitched in Nate’s stomach as he thought about the game ahead.  Portia would be his enemy.  He could not easily dismiss it as the feel of excitement or the thought of hunting an animal.  There was just more to it than that.  The not so innocent events that had transpired between them made him feel ready for something more, something other level, and he knew she was aware.   Without being sure why he was doing it, he left work early and drove to the paint ball location.  No games were in place at the time so he asked one of the workers to show him the courses.  He was given permission to roam on his own, and he did, also noting what sort of properties abutted the premises.  Since it was early enough in the month that the trees still held their leaves, he had to spend the better part of an hour to get a real idea of the various courses, their borders and where the barracks were located.  He was pretty impressed.  Most of the battlefields created were well constructed with varying themes – from bullet riddled stucco homes to miniature turrets.  The place must have been at least 15 acres.

The day of the event everyone arrived on time, and were instructed how to put the gear on, which included a jacket and protective head covering.  They were told how to use the rifles and given 5000 “bullets” each, did some practice shooting at the targets.

Portia looked over at Nate while she was putting on her gear and smiled with a good degree of mischief and forgetting their earlier encounters as any possible hazard.  She felt exhilarated and ready for the day.  Nate returned the smile but said nothing.

“You scared?” Portia taunted.

“Oh, I’m not scared, Portia, but maybe you should be”.  And he smiled a smile that could have been interpreted as long and sweet, but to the designated few would be interpreted as dicey and determined.  It made Portia hesitate internally, and she got a desirous flutter in her belly.  What is going on, she thought.  She returned his smile, but she knew it came off as shy instead of confident and sexy, as was her intent.  She put on her head gear and looked at him again.  He was still smiling at her.  She just shook her head and walked to the next area where they would be given instructions on how to play war.

Portia listened, but it was straightforward.  They would have several hours to play over about five different landscapes/war zones.  They were lucky to have been blessed with beautiful weather, almost too beautiful.  She thought about Nate and his strange but beguiling attitude and looked around for him, but didn’t see him.  They were about to begin so that was a little weird too.   Maybe he was taking this game more seriously than she would have thought, and was plotting something wretched for her, and then there was that strange smile he had and the warning he had given her with a sexy sort of sinister. She felt her heart rate increase as she looked around again.

They called start for the first game and Portia went with her teammates, for a moment forgetting the anxiety she felt about not being able to find Nate.  Each team headed to their respective side of the war zone and positioned themselves properly after having been given five minutes to amongst themselves decide who would be aggressors, and who would hang back and defend the flag.  This time Portia was a defender, along with Jennifer and Jacob.  They each had to face in a different direction while hiding behind something in order to have clear visibility of any approaching enemy in case their offense wasn’t good enough to stop that sort of action.  It was a lot of ground to cover, so Portia assumed they may have to do battle, but she was ready.  She had heard gun fire a few times but had seen no one raise arms up (universal sign for “I’ve been shot so please don’t shoot me again while I leave the field”).

Nate had brought binoculars, possibly illegal for the purposes of the game, but he was playing a different game anyway.  He watched from a distance as the first battle progressed, more or less focused.   Portia was guarding their post along with Jen & Jacob, not very exciting.  He used this time to determine where he needed to be for the next match in which Portia would be on the offense.  He made his way to that area, trying to figure out the least visible location.    He remained at the outskirts with his binoculars, keeping tabs on the activity.  Seemed like it was drawing to a close, and Portia’s team was dropping the enemy pretty well.   It would be time for the second game shortly, so he waited but not without feeling his heart rate go up a bump and not without a smile of a weird happiness crossing his face.  Play time.

Portia should have been happier their team had won the first match, but she was still distracted as she headed to the post of their second game.  When she had asked Sasha, a team-mate of Nate’s, about his whereabouts she had just shrugged.

“What do you care?”  She asked.  “It actually makes the odds more favorable for you since we’re now seven and seven instead of eight over seven….”

“Don’t”.  She lied.  “Just curious”.

Since she was on offense this time and she wanted to win to have the momentum of winning on their side, she strategized on her own while she listened to her team’s over-all plan for retrieving the flag.  When the whistle went off she sprinted to the left and then went fairly far, but not far enough that anyone from the approaching team would see her.  She promptly laid on her stomach, breathing heavily, and slowly easing her way back to almost the border of the fighting area.  She would let the team pass and then fire from behind.  Not entirely sportsman-like, but certainly war-like.  She smiled with pride at her resourcefulness, though she knew the strategy would only work once.

She stayed put looking in obvious directions, getting tired of holding the gun and generally getting bored.  She thought she heard something, but knew that wasn’t realistic.  No one had seen what she had done, and hopefully she had not done it for nothing.  She realized there was no way to guarantee which way the enemy would approach.  She sighed in frustration but didn’t move.

“Put down your gun” She heard one second before she felt what she knew was the butt of a gun against her back.  She was frozen.

“Put down your gun and take off your head gear” Nate repeated, and not too gently pushed the butt a little harder against her back.  “And stand up please”.

“OK, OK.”  She said.  “Skipping games is cheating I think”.  She added, and so is kissing you she thought.   Nate said nothing and it was frustrating she could not see him.

Once she was standing he said “Thank you.  Now walk in front of me and head to the next battlefield”.

“What?  I don’t even know where that is” She started to turn around.

“To your right please and go quickly.”  There was most definitely command in his voice.  “We’re taking a detour back to my fort.  I don’t want any of your team to see us.”

Portia said nothing, and walked, not entirely sure of where she was going, but since Nate wasn’t complaining she must have been going in the right direction.

“Where were you the first game?” She asked casually.

“Planning this game” He said.

She shuddered with a mixture of pleasure and dread.  “Oh”. Was all she said.  She was out of her element.

Portia did not hear any other sounds other than their footsteps and some birds.  After about five solid minutes of walking she realized he may have lied to her.  She stopped short and spun around.

“You said….” She stopped and drew in her breath.  Nate was not wearing the traditional head garb, but had wrapped a bandana around his face in the fashion of a cowboy thief.  She would have laughed if this were any other situation, but it clearly was not.  In fact, Nate looked dangerous but she could tell by the look in his eyes he was smiling.   He was most definitely handsome.

“Yes?”  He asked.

She stammered.  “That, that….we’d be going back to your fort”.

“We are.  Not much farther, so turn around and keep walking”.

She did as she was told, feeling a little scared and very over-powered.  She could have run at any point of course, but she didn’t want to.  Whatever game he was playing, she was not about to back down, and he’d catch her anyway.  They were getting farther and farther from the second arena, she knew that much.

“Up there.”  He said.  “See that red shed?”

“Yes.”

“That’s us.”  He said.  Barracks, sweet barracks.”  He smiled to himself, appreciating his own humor.

Portia said nothing, and kept walking.  When they had arrived shed-side, Nate took her hand and led her around the other side.  It was a fairly pretty area, at least for now while the colored leaves still remained.  She turned and her eyes met Nate’s.  She was rattled.  She could see something in his eyes, and even during the walk here she understood what this was really about.  She started to feel a little weak, a little more the shrinking violet than the brave, sassy woman he was accustomed to.

“Portia” he said.

“Yes Nate.”  She heard her own voice quaver, but she was not ashamed.

He approached her, his rifle extended in front of him, lowered to his hips.  He walked until the barrel of the gun was against Portia’s hip, and he heard her breathe in sharply.  He looked into her eyes as he let the barrel of the gun travel down her leg slowly, and then slowly back up the other leg, all the while not letting go of her gaze.

For her part, Portia was undone.   She knew she was quivering at his touch, even if it was only the gun.  She should stop this, shouldn’t she?   She couldn’t, didn’t want to.  She felt the gun leave her leg and ever so gently go between her legs.  She heard herself moan.  Before moving the gun upwards, Nate pressed the gun harder against the point that made Portia moan a little louder, breathe a little harder.  He dragged the gun upwards, making sure to catch her garment and drag it up as far as it would go before letting go.

“Take off your clothes” Nate said, his voice deep and a little ragged.  He had lowered the gun and was leaning on it slightly.

“Nate, I….”  But the look in his eyes stopped her.  He was not a killer warrior, but a hungry soldier who wanted what he had conquered.

She did as she was told, all the while trying to keep her eyes on his, but his eyes could not obey.  Nate had to enjoy every second of this, of his Portia disrobing.  She had removed her jacket and blouse, showing to him now more than he had yet seen of her body.  She wore a dark gray bra of some diaphanous material and he looked at her nipples, ached to touch them, suck them, but he would be patient.  She reached behind her back and undid the clasp, letting the brazier fall gently to the ground.

Portia heard Nate draw in his breath this time as he looked at her breasts.

“Do you like what you see, Nate”?  She asked, now feeling a bit more confident.

Something in his gaze hardened.  She sensed she should not have used his name, and she immediately understood, and shook her head.  “Now take your jeans off” he said, unwilling to be distracted by stray banter.  Their eyes held as she unbuttoned and then unzipped her pants.  She eased out of her shoes, then took off her jeans.  She stood before him in her underwear only, arms at her side, looking at him, waiting.

Nate was virtually paralyzed, his penis throbbing inside his own jeans so constant a throb it only served to add to his unnerved state.  He was in pain.  “I want you to come here and get on your knees.”

Portia did as she was told.  She could see how excited he was and she wanted to free him, suck him like she knew he wanted.  She got on her knees but knew she had to wait for instruction.

Nate was breathing rapidly.  “Undo my belt and unzip me.”

Portia complied, looking up into his eyes as she did so.  She risked a move and leaned forward to breath warm air in and out of her mouth through the material of his briefs, his hardened cock responding, and Nate’s own moan escaping him.  “You don’t have to tell me what to do next” she said.  His hand came down and rested gently on her hair as she reached up and carefully took his cock out through the hole of his briefs.  When she put her mouth around the head of his penis, he felt electricity throughout his body, an intense rush of pleasure rush through all parts of him.  She began to mouth him expertly, licking circles, sucking gently in turn, and then more vigorously, changing her pattern to suit his reactions.  He would not be able to take much more of this, and he had other things to do.  Gently he pushed back on her forehead.

“That’s enough” he said hoarsely.  “Lie down on your back.”  He watched as she lay back, her body perfect, perfect to him, and he wanted her more than he’d really ever wanted anything he realized.  He did not know if it was because he was a soldier and she the captured enemy, but he was pretty sure he would kill anyone who tried to stop this from happening.  He got down on his knees, pulling his clothes down before he did so that they were awkwardly around his ankles – but not awkward enough to thwart his intentions.

He looked into Portia’s eyes as he got on top of her, as he put a finger between her legs and watched her cry out.  He began to massage her, deftly aware of the spot that would bring her to climax, rubbing her gently but firmly until she looked like a wild animal and was pleading with him.  Despite his own hunger, he couldn’t stop, needed to see her tiny death, and he knew he was close.

“Nate.”  She said only in a harsh breath because she could do no more.   “Nate…..”  And her back arched with the violence of her spasms, and she made a sound she had never made.  Not panic, not hunger, but Nate knew he had done what he wanted and if it was possible he felt himself get harder.

But he wanted to kiss her.  A kerchief around his face was the preventative he had planned around.  He took out another from his back pocket.  When Portia saw it, she looked at him questioningly, but as he tied it around her eyes, she again understood him.   He took off his own kerchief and swooped down to her mouth, his hands still roaming her body, feeling the undulating curves, the eagerness with which she pushed her body up against his as she welcomed his tongue in her mouth.  The perfect rhythm of their mouths made the kiss divine, and all other sensations heightened.  He wanted to spend more time on this body, but his own needs trumped everything else.  He got on top of her and very gently said “Be ready Portia”.  He spread her legs and moved himself into her softness easily at first, tentatively out and more forcefully in.  Portia cried out at first, overwhelmed with the power she felt on top of her and now inside her.  She had never imagined it could be this way, and she felt herself shaking with pleasure as he fucked her.

She was still reeling from her own orgasm, from all the sensations of being outside, of hearing him breathe, of seeing this side of him.  “Please, harder” She heard herself say.  She heard him groan and then comply.   Nate was in his own other world, a warrior but now lost inside Portia, whose name he dare not say or break this spell.  He watched her expression, her covered eyes, the way her mouth was open in unadulterated need.  He felt whole, and he shook completely, cried out as well, as he came inside her, leaves rustling, sweat on her breasts.

They lay side by side for a time, Nate with his hand on Portia’s stomach, Portia with her hand on his.  They said nothing but breathed in the air, felt the sun where it was able to peak through the trees, heard nature and the distant battles that didn’t matter.

Portia had taken off her blinder and looked over at Nate.  Their eyes immediately held, and there was now much more between those eyes than there had been a day before, even an hour before.   They held this gaze for a few moments and Portia smiled warmly at him and felt at ease with the returned smile, genuine and kind.  Portia rose then to lazily put her clothes back on, calmly wondering exactly how they would re-enter this match.

She said “I think I’ll get back to my team soon”.  But when she looked at Nate his eyes were closed.  She realized he might not even go back to the game.  She took a walk around, walking into the shed, but there was not much.  Remnants of another life, likely another century.  She looked at a broken down wheel barrow, stared at it and then wondered why she was staring.  She understood she was in a post sex sort of state, delaying herself from re-entering reality, albeit a game.    She left the shed, looked back but did not see Nate so started on the path that would hopefully get her back to her team or at least the parking lot from which she could leave and hence recover.  She smiled absently and looked up at the tree leaves, noticing the beauty in which they were surrounded.  It was quiet until she heard a gun being cocked and she stopped short, a little scared, spun around.  Nate was staring at her seriously, and she had grown to like those eyes- the look of just those eyes above the bandana, but he looked like he was still her enemy.  She felt desire and a welcome weakness as she watched him approach.

“I’m not done with you yet” he said.   Portia tried to determine whether or not Nate was smiling, but realized it didn’t matter.   He had won this particular war, had taken her at gun-point and did what he had wanted, but she did not feel defeated.  Was in fact a willing prisoner.