The Neighborhood: Part 15 [FF][Exh][ENF][Fdom][Oral][MC][SciFi]

The Neighborhood: Part 15 [FF][Exh][ENF][Fdom][Oral][MC][SciFi]

A brief recap: Colin Turner was a middling sad-sack with failing marriage, who stumbled into a dream job based on some research he wrote years ago. He took a job with Fenris, a company with its own little enclave in Wolfsburg, CA, and its own peculiar work ethics. Fortunately, he had the sly and sexy Janelle, his hiring advisor, to act as his guide as he acclimated. He moved into a large house in the neighborhood with his wife Alison, and becomes involved in a company project involving wristbands that can alter behavior, within limits, based on keywords of phrases. Over time, Colin learned to enjoy his newfound freedom, his expanding desires, and to leverage the behavioral technology he has near-unfettered access to live out his fantasies. His sister-in-law, Stella, recently moved in, and Colin decided to take advantage of her programming skills, among other things. Colin had a hands-on experience with the bleed-over effect from the mesh-ware update on his afternoon commute, shortly before finding himself facing a weekend invitation from a recently retired Senior Executive.


Chapter 32: All Alone in a Big House

Colin and Alison left relatively early on Saturday morning. They had been gone for a few hours, and the house felt big, empty, and too quiet. Stella should have been grateful. She’d heard them having sex twice the previous day. Once, when she was still be the pool, her sister sounding like cat in heat as she came in the master bedroom the overlooked the pool, and later that evening, after dinner. Alison had made pasta, which was great, as usual, but the two of them had really gotten into the wine, dinking a whole bottle together. Alison was playing footsie with Colin, and not too subtly with Stella sitting right there. Her sister led her husband upstairs with an erection tenting his shorts, and left Stella to clean up the kitchen. She had not idea if they were even trying to be subtle, but they definitely weren’t successful. And even with the sound of running water and clanking pots and pans, Stella still heard her sister begging to be called a ‘come slut’. The words made her blush even in memory. The worst part was, she found herself thinking of Colin—naked—thinking of herself doing things with him, sucking his cock. Her imagination—even though she had seen him naked accidently—seemed so vivid. It was like she had memories of putting her lips on him.

Stella wandered around the house, trying to put such lascivious thoughts out of her mind, and sipped at her beer—her third beer—and she was feeling it, but also feeling bored. She explored the house a bit, checking out the basement rooms she’d turned down without even looking at them. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to shift down to the lower bedrooms. She wouldn’t always hear them fucking, at least. The basement rooms were well-appointed, obviously more private than her current situation, and there was even a little kitchenette. But, moving down there would be too much like moving in. She had the potential job offer from Fenris, and Colin seemed intent on her taking it, but then—the conversation was not clear in her memory—he told her to never mind? It was unclear. Maybe she had drunk one too many beers.

“A swim would wake me up.” She said. The pool was heated but not warm. At the very least it would give her something to do. She went all the way upstairs to her room and into her closet for her bathing suit. As she was reaching for it, she saw the bag from the store she’d gotten it from with her sister. There was another bikini in there, one her sister had gotten for her—maybe as joke—she’d discovered it after they got home. It was definitely her size, not Alison’s, but she hadn’t given it much thought since the day they’d gone shopping. She took the bag out of the closet and laid the items on the bed. It was a tiny bikini, similar to what her sister had been wearing the day before. “Why not?” She shrugged, taking another swig of her beer. “It’s not as if anyone is here.” She stripped down. Stella had fairly obvious tan lines, though she was still pale. She was at least seeing more daylight since she’d been staying with Colin and Alison. It was a world of difference from her old job, but she still hadn’t gotten around to seeing an aesthetician. She ran her fingers through her bush and checked the edges. She was bathing-suit safe—grooming wise—but barely.

She pulled on the bikini bottoms, dark blue, and tightened them at her waist. Stella checked out her ass in the mirror, and while she was showing a bit more than she was used to, it wasn’t scandalous on its own. The bikini top, on the other hand, was smaller than anything she’d ever worn and just barely covered her breasts—and her breasts weren’t that big to begin with. Stella grabbed her tits, and adjusted the fabric. If she had been even half as endowed as her sister, the tiny triangles of cloth would have barely covered her nipples. Her nipples were hard, and, she squinted at the mirror, she realized she could kind of see them. The fabric of the bathing suit had seemed a little unusual, more breathable, and it took her moment to recognize why. She opened the blinds in her room, letting in a bit more light. The suit was lined, but with a very thin mesh, and the fabric above that was stretchy and semi-sheer. Stelle looked down at her crotch and could clearly make out the outline of her bush and shape of her vulva. She turned and saw the shadow of her ass crack through the suit bottoms as well.

“Damn it, sis, really?” She muttered. She had tights that were less revealing. Did Alison expect her to wear this around the pool? For Colin to see her in it? “Does she really want that?” She asked aloud, but shook her head. She didn’t know much about her sister’s sex life—other than she was loud in bed, apparently. They were just far enough apart in years that by the time Stella was doing anything in high school, Alison was away at college. The closest they’d come to having a real conversation about sex was when Alison accidentally walked in on her masturbating when Stella had just graduated from high school, and all that conversation had come down to was for Stella to, A, remember to lock the door, and B, look into buying a vibrator. But since Stella had been living with her sister and her husband, she’d seen the way Colin and Alison were together. Colin was openly sexual toward his and wife, caressing her, teasing her, groping her, as if Stella wasn’t in the room. In turn, Alison did not seem shy about her body, that was for sure, and was often naked or nearly so for a good portion of the day when Colin wasn’t around. Stella wondered if her sister was a bit more, well, kinky than she realized. Colin was if Alison wasn’t, Stella definitely got that vibe. She moved to pull off the bathing suit but stopped short. “I guess I could at least try it out.” She left her room and felt surprisingly nervous. There was no one in the house but her, but still, she felt exposed.

She grabbed a big towel from the linen closet and went downstairs to the kitchen to grab another beer before heading out the pool. She popped off the bottle cap and the bottle foamed up quickly. “Damn it all!” She said as the beer spilled over her hand and started dripping on the floor. She bent over, moving to clean it up, when the door rang. “What now? Honestly, everything at once!” The bell rang again and she hastily set the still-foaming bottle on the counter, wiped her hand off, and dashed to front door. She opened the door and froze, realizing she was in her skimpy bathing suit. The woman standing there, behind a big pair of sunglasses, just smirked.

“This is a pleasant welcome.” The woman said, stepping past Stella into the house.

“Hey! Where do you think—?”

“You’re Stella, I assume, unless Colin has even more half-naked women staying at his house?”

“I am Stella, but who are you?” Stella moved to stop the woman from going deeper in the house.

“I’m Janelle. I’m here for you, actually.” She replied, holding up a manila envelope full of papers. “Love the bikini, by the way. Dark blue suits your skin tone. You’re all alone this weekend, I’m guessing?”

“Seriously, Miss, um, Janelle—.”

“Just Janelle. I work with Fenris, technically supporting Colin’s transition to the company, but then, he wants you at the company, so here I am…and here we are.” She smiled. “These are your hiring papers. I could have emailed, but I wanted to meet the woman Colin is so anxious to get in his clutches.” She looked Stella up and down. “You don’t look like a coder—dress like one, even—but then, that’s not really my hiring area.

“I don’t normally, um, wear, uh…” Stella half covered herself, “I was just trying a new bathing suit, and—.”

“Stop, Stella. You’re so red right now, I’m getting a contact blush.” Janelle laughed. “All alone in this big house, I’m surprised you aren’t naked. That’s what I’d be doing.”

“I, really, I, um…”

“Relax. Why don’t you get me one of those beers?” Janelle nodded toward the counter. “Preferably one that won’t explode?” She laughed. Stella went into the kitchen and took out another beer, and that one did not explode. She crouched down again, using some paper towels to clean up the spilled beer, and grabbed both bottles to head back to the living room.

“What are you doing?” Stella stopped short. Janelle had just pulled off her sundress and was standing next to the dining room table barefoot in just her bra and panties.

“Are we not going to have a chat by the pool?” Janelle asked.

“You brought a swimsuit with you?” Stella asked, confused.

“Oh, you’re adorable!” Janelle laughed, and in a quick movement, took off her bra.

“You can’t just—get naked!” She whispered the last word. Janelle laughed again, slipping off her panties.

“Oops.” She threw out her arms, showing off her naked body. She was gorgeous, like, model gorgeous, and Stella felt a twinge of jealousy at the long-limbed and lightly tanned woman. “I think I just got naked.” She stepped forward and took a beer from Stella. “Come on, cutie, let’s got have a little chat.” She tapped Stella’s nose and moved toward the pool area. Stella watched the naked woman go outside as if she owned the place and Stella was the guest. She started to say something but stopped herself, instead going outside to see the woman stretch out on one of the lounge chairs. “Ah, but I do love this pool!” Janelle sighed, taking a sip of her beer. “So, you want to tell me why Colin is so hot to have you in his office? I mean, other than those sweet little tits of yours—and that ass—but I digress.”

“He, um, I haven’t officially, um, accepted the job, and I—.”

“First of all, come sit next to me so I don’t have to crane my neck to see you, not that I mind too much with how see-thru that bikini is out in the sun.” Stella glanced down and saw Janelle wasn’t exaggerating. What she’d though was just a hint of her nipples was now clearly visible. She moved her arms in front of her breasts and stepped quickly to the other lounge chair. “And second, you did accept the job. Colin told me before he left this morning.”

“I—what?”

“He said he talked to you about it the other night, that he’d convinced you to be more free? To get away from that job of yours in Oregon, was it?” Stella froze. “You accepted the job, remember?”

“I,” she searched her memory. Maybe she had said yes? It seemed like a reasonable thing, a good job, a place to live…and it would make Colin happy. “Um, I guess I did? But the other job is in Washington.” Stella said, correcting her. Janelle shrugged, but Stella was suddenly remembering she really wanted to work for Fenris, that she wanted to be happy, too. Janelle sat up, her lightly tan breasts swaying with the movement. She tapped her bottle against Stella’s beer.

“Cheers, then, and welcome to company. Wanna celebrate with a swim? I promise I won’t tell anyone if you take off the suit.” Janelle got up and walked over to the pool and down the steps into the water. Stella saw the woman had only a bit of trimmed hair above her pussy, and she looked down at herself. She could see her own full triangle of pubic hair through her swimsuit, the top curls peeking out from the low waistband. Had it been like that the whole time? Maybe it had come loose when she was cleaning up the spilled beer. She tugged at the waistband a bit, but that only seemed to make it looser. She heard Janelle laughing and looked up to see the woman watching her. “Come on, be daring! Take it off! Just go without a bathing suit.” The words formed in her mind to protest, but she stood up and pulled her bikini over her head. “Yes!” Janelle clapped playfully. “It’s not as if I wasn’t getting a free show already.” Stella hesitated a moment, but then pulled down her bikini bottoms. A breeze caught her bare skin and teased at the curls of her dark bush. As she stepped out of her bathing suit, she realized she was wet between her legs. She blushed at her arousal, but Janelle took it as her being ashamed of being naked. “You look amazing!” She said, and sounded genuine. “Though those tan lines tell me you never do this.”

“I don’t.” Stella said, stepping down the stairs into the shallow end so that water was just above her knees. “I haven’t, ever.” In the back of her head, she was wondering why she was naked in the pool with a relative stranger, but the forefront of her thoughts were focused on how amazing it felt.

“That is a shame. Your body is fantastic. Colin said you and I could be sisters—even more so than me and Alison.” She waded close to Stella so they were both knee-deep in the water. Stella was caught up watching the water drop steadily from Janelle’s hard nipples. “Do you think we look alike?”

“I, um, maybe?” Stella muttered.

“It’s the hair, I think. Alison’s is a slightly lighter shade. I mean, it’s not the boobs, right?” Janelle grabbed her own breasts. Stella found herself distracted by the woman’s nudity. “Has Colin seen you naked?”

“What? What do you mean!”

“It’s just a question, Stella. He’s been part of your family for years, right? These things happen, he accidentally sees you, you see him? Or maybe not so accidental?” Janelle laughed.

“I don’t think he’s ever seen me naked.” She thought for a moment. “Topless…but he kind of dared me to do—.”

“So, he can’t really compare you and your sister, beyond your tits.”

“I guess not.” Stella said.

“Then I may have to rub his nose in it.” Janelle stepped closer. “I got to see you first.” She leaned in and kissed Stella. While Stella didn’t exactly freeze, she didn’t know what to do. Janelle grabbed her ass, pulling her closer, and Stella wasn’t quite sure if she yelped or gasped as the woman’s hand slid down the flat of her belly through her bush, finding her warm and wet.

“I don’t, um…oh, I’m not sure if…” Stella was speaking into Janelle’s lips, and Janelle wasn’t helping with her fingers working magic, her tongue darting out every time Stella tried to form a sentence.

“Shh…Colin wants you to be more free.” Stella’s knees wobbled in pleasure. “Why disappoint him?” Janelle backed her to the edge of the pool, easing her up no the ledge and spreading her legs.

“I’ve never done—oh, oh god!” Janelle’s tongue was still interrupting her, but now tracing her labia. Any thought of protest was pushed away by the intense pleasure welling between her legs.

“Fuck, but I love this hair!” Janelle laughed, running her hand through Stella’s bush. “I had a girlfriend in college…whatever shampoo she used, that scent makes me wet to this day. Oh, look at those curls.” Janelle’s fingers teased at her bush.

“I didn’t…mmm…I didn’t think that—.”

“You didn’t think anyone would be going down on you while you were visiting family?” Janelle leaned in and focused on Stella’s clit, the young woman’s thighs clamping against Janelle as her pleasure welled. “Your loss, I think.” It didn’t take long to get where Janelle wanted her to go. Stella started with low, long moans but worked her way into sharp cries as she started coming. She wasn’t nearly as loud as her sister, but not restrained by any measure. Stella’s taught body was rolling with pleasure, until finally she collapsed back on the patio, looking down to see Janelle smirking. Stella could see her own wetness around the woman’s mouth. “You know what I love after great oral sex? Paperwork.” Janelle walked out of the pool and grabbed a towel, dabbing at her bare skin, but otherwise remaining naked.

“What?” Stella sat up. She felt dizzy from the orgasm.

“You need to sign your welcome papers, to make it all official—you joining Fenris.” Janelle said, just to clarify.

“Are you serious?” Stella stood up. “I’m still…I don’t know…I mean, it’s so sudden.” Janelle looked at her expectantly. “You’re serious?” Stella paused. “You are serious. I think I said yes, but…” To be honest, Stella wasn’t quite sure what she agreed to. She still felt a little confused on the order of events, and she was still—still!—distractedly horny. She shouldn’t have been, though. She had just come…and…and…

“You’re just getting cold feet.” Stella said, taking out a pen from the packet she brought along. “I really only came over here for the paperwork, but then you basically jumped my bones, so…I was willing to see it out, but I really do need all this signed. We don’t really work with each other, so what we did?” She slid her tongue between the V of her fingers with a devilish grin. “No worries. But this?” She tapped the table. “This is an issue of trust, right? You need to be more open.” Stella blinked slowly and moved toward the paperwork. It was what she wanted…working for Fenris would make her happy. Colin would be happy, too. The beautiful woman standing naked before wouldn’t lie about such things. She trusted Janelle. And Stella had basically thrown herself at the woman. It was only fair that she signed for the job. She filled out the paperwork, dripping a little pool water on the documents, but it didn’t mess up the ink. “Excellent. Great stuff.” Janelle said, whisking the paperwork away.

“I’m glad I could help.” Stella said.

“This is all to keep Colin happy, right? So, you just made me and him quite happy.” A twinge of excitement ran through Stella at those words, and she felt a throbbing between her legs. Janelle leaned in and whispered in her ear. “Why don’t we go up to your room and I can show you how to make me really happy?” Stella blushed as the woman nuzzled against her neck, hand trailing over her breasts. She wanted to make her happy.

“Let’s go.” Stella said, and they went up to Stella’s room.


Chapter 33: Country Roads

The drive to ‘the country’ on Saturday morning took longer than expected. Some of the roads weren’t even paved, and Colin had to take it slow through more than a few narrow areas. The house—mansion was a more proper term in Colin’s opinion—loomed over the long driveway leading up from the gates. Colin pressed the buzzer, and the gates opened without anyone answering through intercom. He drove up to a roundabout, where a—maid, maybe?—was waiting at the bottom of the stairs leading to the main door. The woman, a petite brunette in a dark skirt and white blouse—both well-tailored—offered to take their bags, but as little as they’d packed, Colin insisted he carry the bags into the foyer, and the maid led them to a large living room around the corner. The maid announced them, and Clark got up from his reading chair, setting aside some financial magazine and crossed the room to the couple.

“Thank you, Vera.” He said to the woman. “Take their things to whatever guest room you set up.” He came over and extended his hand. “Colin, how are you.” Colin shook his hand and Clark greeted Alison with a polite peck on the cheek. “Have a seat, please. What can I get you to drink? Wine, a mixer? Just say the word.”

“Hendrick’s and tonic, cucumber.” Alison said. Clark tilted his head, a little smile reaching the corner of his mouth.

“A G&T sounds fine, whatever you have.” Colin said.

“Not a problem, either way.” Clark said and walked over to an intercom, ordering the drinks from a female voice on the other end. “The house is wonderful.” He said, waving to the room, but you literally need servants in order to get anything done in a timely manner.” He shrugged. “Believe me, though, I’m hardly complaining. Ah, there you are, Tabs.” Tabitha, the blonde woman Colin remembered from the party, walked in. She was wearing a breezy white dress tied at her neck, her large breasts emphasized by the plunging neckline. It was obvious she wasn’t wearing a bra even before she crossed the room to greet the couple.

“Did you offer them drinks, yet?” Clark nodded to his wife’s question, and just then was interrupted by the arrival of another servant, this one a blonde, pushing a bar cart. She handed off the Hendrick’s with cucumber to Alison, a standard gin and tonic with lime to Colin, and began stirring a carafe of martinis for her employers. Drinks in hand, they chatted idly for a few minutes before Clark spoke.

“Tabs, why don’t you show Alison the grounds. I need to talk business with Colin, here, and well, I know how that annoys you.”

“What annoys me, dear,” she said, leaning and giving Clark a kiss on the cheek, while also giving Colin a full view of her cleavage, “is how often you talk business even now that you’re supposedly retired, but a walk outside would be nice, I think? It’s lovely for mid-morning. Warm. Usually we see a bit of fog.” She said the last bit to Alison, and the two left out of some double doors to the far end of the room. Clark waved Colin to the leather club chair across from where he’d originally been sitting, and they both took their drinks and sat.

“I assumed there was more to this than a friendly visit.” Colin said, taking the initiative.

“Well, it’s my hope the visit is friendly, regardless of what we discuss here and now, but yes, not just a visit. Your quarterly review is coming up, in just three weeks, I believe, and yet, possibly less than two weeks from now, you and your team are supposed to be transferred to the American Development Division.”

“I don’t understand.” Colin said, honestly taken aback. “We’ve been part of the Euro Division since before I even took on the project. The wristbands were originally meant as a payment system, and the Europeans love that kind of stuff…no numbers, no signatures, that sort of thing. Why the shift?”

“That project isn’t dead, still money to be made in a payment system like that, but the technology has moved on, hasn’t it? Obviously, people are impressed by what you are accomplishing and see promise in the American market. The details are interesting.”

“We have been making progress.” Colin held up a hand. “Pardon me for being so forthright, but I’m a little unclear if this supposed to be good or bad news, not to mention the fact that part of me feels like you’re fishing. Do you know what it is we’re accomplishing?” Clark smiled at the question.

“Colin, do you want me to rattle off the technical details, your foray into meshing the I/O structure to improve inference wave uptake?” Colin blinked. Clark had obviously read the internal papers from his team. “Do you prefer the term mind control or leveraged suggestibility?” He asked.

“I don’t, um, we don’t really like the term mind control.” Colin stammered.

“I’m high enough on the food chain, was high enough, I should say, to read up on any project that interested me. Yours interested me, Colin. The Auditors? That was me. I may not have quite the budgetary power I used to have, but I’m hardly powerless. I was checking up on you, seeing if you were just fucking around with your new toys or if you were pushing forward. I think you are pushing. Am I correct in my assessment, Colin?”

“Yes sir, I mean, Clark. The work is interesting. There are side benefits, obviously, but I’ve been running some loose tests to see how the technology can applied in both more direct and more subtle ways. It’s—.”

“It’s irrelevant. It’s irrelevant because there are forces maneuvering to get the project shut down—pivoted—whatever you want to call it. Particularly the parts I no doubt think you find, well, interesting. This pivot, to be clear, includes you being pulled off the project, likely shunted to some random office inside Fenris, or worse, fired.” Colin froze. The idea of going back to what he had before—what he was before—he couldn’t handle it.

“Colin, had I chosen to stay…to push to stay, that is, I was a year, at best from being moved to the main building. A VP slot. That’s good and bad on its face. My pay would, well, let’s not be obnoxious and discuss numbers…but executive travel, conferences, a bigger house—.”

“Than this?” Colin interrupted, and Clark laughed.

“I’m sure you were quite impressed by your own home. They are nice, but Wolfsburg is big, much bigger than what most people realize, and yes, while people joke and call this the country, vice presidents, top level executives have estates, so of them not even technically in the bounds of Wolfsburg. But we’re getting off track. I’m sure you’ve heard rumors about my departure.

“Actually, I haven’t heard anything—though I have been busy.”

“I suppose.” Clark seemed annoyed that he hadn’t been the subject of more gossip. “I’m one of the last executives who didn’t come in under the radical honesty policy. It seems silly, but people see me as a dinosaur as a result. If I was in the main building, no one would blink. Some of the senior executives are in their seventies, and I just turned fifty.” Colin was kind of surprised, taking the man as being in his forties, at most. “Rejuvenation therapy, Colin. It won’t turn you into a twenty-year-old, and you can’t use it if you’re planning on having children, but it does work. Another Fenris product in development.” He smirked. “But let’s cut the bullshit, eh? We can chit chat the rest of the weekend. I was pushed out.”

“Really? Gretchen—a friend of mine, rather—she told me there isn’t much cut-throat stuff beyond my level.”

“Generally true. Your friend is giving you solid advice. That’s part of the problem. Most of us don’t chase each other’s jobs or successes. We build our own. Some relatively recent hires—meaning a few years ago—have not necessarily assimilated to Fenris corporate culture as we’d hoped.” He picked up a folder from the side table and leaned over, handing to Colin. Colin flipped open the dossier to see a personnel file. A glossy picture of a serious, but attractive, redhead looked back at him.

“Her name is Hanna Harrowman. Honestly, if this were a story, it would be clear she was villain by the name alone.” He laughed. “She’ll be your new boss in a few days—the transfer of your team to ADD hasn’t finished yet—but it’s already in motion. She’ll want to size you up. The goal is no doubt to determine if you’ll play ball or if she’ll have to bench you.”

“Why are you giving me this?” Colin asked, browsing through the files. It had a lot of personal details about his supposed new boss, including a psychological report—signed by Janelle. His eyes widened at the name. “Does Janelle know about—?”

“Janelle is the one who identified you as a possible solution to the Harrowman problem. Janelle likes you, and I trust Janelle. She’s not just an onboarding liaison, you know. If anything, I’d liken her more to private security than anything. That woman is walking lie detector and investigator rolled into one embarrassingly sexy package. If I had one or two more like her as an ally, I’d have nothing to worry about, but you’ll do for now, Colin—I hope.”

“I’m still a little unclear exactly what you expect me to do about Ms. Harrowman, a woman who, for all intents, is now going to be my direct supervisor.”

“You’re going to help me make her go away, find another job, or, at the very least, turn her into a non-threat.”

“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this. I mean, she’s a woman, and we’re trying to pull her down, and—.”

“No, Colin. Very noble of you, very twenty-first century of you, but you’re reading this all wrong. I don’t give a shit that she’s a woman. I give a shit because of the threat she presents. I’ve killed plenty of careers in my time, Colin, and thus far, they’ve all been men, but they’ve all also represented threats to company and its ideals.”

“Okay.” Colin said. He wasn’t exactly sure if Clark was bullshitting him, but he seemed earnest enough.

“There’s C-Suite, VPs, Senior Executives, Executives, and Junior Executives—where you are. Contrary to what some people think, there are female senior executives, and four female VPs. At my level, the female senior executives make up forty percent. That beats industry standard, in case you’re wondering. Yes, I am absolutely pissed Harrowman put the brakes on my career. I would have liked to have been *offered a VP slot, even if I would have debated taking it. It’s the accomplishment, for me, what else do I really need?” He gestured at his large house. “Hanna is not a Fenris person…she’s a Hanna Harrowman person first, everything else, second. Are you familiar with game theory, Colin?”

“Um, a little.”

“The corporate world is like a weird prisoner’s dilemma. If we all work toward our goals—not ratting each other out—everyone wins, including the company. If we start ratting each other out, then some people win, some lose—promotions, budget, whatever—but the company isn’t seeing as many successes across the board. There don’t have to be failures or shortcomings for some people to succeed.”

“You can’t honestly expect me to believe Fenris is a pure meritocracy.” Colin gave a sharp laugh, and sipped his cocktail.

“From the junior executive level upward, that’s what you should be striving for.” Clark leaned forward. “Harrowman has crushed half a dozen decent projects. Ended more than a few promising careers—and I am not including mine—just so you know. Fenris isn’t a normal company, never has been. That should have been obvious to you from day one.” Colin couldn’t disagree. “We have big goals, world changing plans. It’s not a cult, but I’ll tell you straight up, Colin…I’m a fucking believer. We’re going to remake the world into a better place…even if some of the methods are unorthodox.”

“So, what do you want from me? I—I don’t think I need to be convinced.”

“I tell you what, Colin, why don’t I get us a couple more cocktails, you listen to my plan, and then you jump on board. I am confident I don’t need to convince you.”

“You’re right, I don’t need convincing, and another gin and tonic would be fine.” As Colin said it, he realized it was true. He wanted to be a part of Fenris, and whatever Clark was really getting at—he wanted to be a part of it.

“Excellent. Let’s talk about the wristbands—and what you should expect over the next week or two.”


End Part 15

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