(Note: this story has been slightly re-edited to fix a few problems with time and place….More chapters will follow in time)
Phillip W was my boss, but only briefly. And then he was my boss again.
I was 23, fresh out of a degree in Architecture, and working an entry-level position at a major firm here in Los Angeles. It was truly thrilling to be immediately involved in big projects, even in a minor way: an entertainment complex, a public park, hush-hush sci fi sets at the studios. The firm had a dozen senior architects on two floors of a downtown skyscraper, along with a whole slew of us underlings. Officially, my title was Draftsman Level 2, which was, I hoped, a cut above Level 1.
I was living at the time in a Downtown loft with my artist girlfriend, Lori. It wasn’t serious, and it was getting old. She was getting more and more demanding, but we did make love once a week, and we got drunk at hip bars. Even though our place was filled with her huge gloomy paintings of industrial wastelands, I thought life was pretty good.
Phillip W was one of three partners at the firm, and the most famous. Late fifties, I supposed, fit, over six feet, apparently natural black hair with graying temples, as handsome as Gregory Peck when he was in his fifties. He’d designed world-renowned concert halls and museums, along with actual rides at Disneyland.
For the first couple of months, he and I didn’t have much interaction, even though he was theoretically my direct boss. Sometimes I’d venture a question at a staff meeting. Or he’d bring something by my desk to get corrected.
“How are you getting on, Jameson?” he’d ask with what appeared to be genuine concern. “Don’t let yourself get lost in here. Make sure you get real work.”
“It’s going great, Mr. W, and I’m getting plenty of meaty work,” I’d say enthusiastically, the way Level 2 Draftsmen are supposed to talk, especially around the great. Afterwards, I’d think: Meaty? Seriously? Did I really say that?
After perhaps eight months, I started getting invited to higher-level project meetings in his office, which was more like a design studio than an executive suite. Five or six of us would crowd around his big styrofoam structural models and his six computer monitors. Now and then he’d surprise everyone by asking my opinion, and after a few times hesitating, I’d actually give it:
“Well,” I’d say. “It might just be a little too Seventies Isozaki, if you know what I mean.”
When I spoke up like that, he’d raise his eyebrows in an amused way. I couldn’t tell if this meant he was surprised at my intelligence, surprised at my ignorance, or surprised that I was willing to talk so boldly among my betters. Whichever it was, he never humiliated me in front of the others.
Then this amazing thing happened. He was facing a tight deadline, he needed the support of a dedicated draftsman for three solid days, and I pulled the assignment. From eight in the morning to eight at night it was mostly just him and me in his office, hunkered down over the computers. He’d do hand-drawn sketches and I’d turn around roughs on the computer, working like lightening. He put loud jazz on his stereo. He mixed us drinks. As we worked, we chatted. I told him I wasn’t normally a big jazz fan, and he explained jazz to me. He told me about working at the Disney parks, where he had designed a couple famous places I had loved as a child. I told him about my poor little rich kid upbringing; how even working at a job was a kind of rebellion for me. I told him I was raised to only like classical music, and still couldn’t shake it. He told me about his childhood on a horse farm in Wisconsin, where he learned to hate country music. The staff brought us sandwiches, coffee, designer vodka.
Those were, I think, the three best days of my life. Until, of course, later on.
At 8:30 pm on the third day, he finally hit send on the drawings to the client. He sat back. He smiled. He said, “Jameson this has been a blast. I’m really sorry that I have to transfer you to Carey’s group up on the 27th floor, starting tomorrow.”
“What?” I said, shaken out of my high. “You’re transferring me out of your group?”
“Yep. Already done in fact. I sent the email a half hour ago. It’s already official.”
“Look…I…I thought it was working out well…These last three days you never complained…I had hoped I was doing good work for you, Sir.”
“Great work,” he said. “Not perfect, but great. Level 3 work from a level 2 draftsman, at least,” he added, laughing. “Not quite level 4.”
I was breathing hard now, trying to control myself. “So, um, what’s the issue, then, Mr. W?”
“I have to protect myself, Jameson. I had to transfer you to another department before I asked you out. As I mentioned, it was official a half hour ago.”
“Asked me out?”
“On a date. I’d like you to have dinner with me tomorrow night. I’m thinking Mangrove, one of my favorites. If tomorrow is no good, we can move it, but I think we should celebrate istanbul travesti hitting that deadline.”
I just stared at him, open mouthed. “A…date?”
“Yes, a date. I find you charming, fun, and very attractive. I’d like to explore that in another context, if you’re game.”
For a time I just stared. “I’m, uh, flattered of course, Mr. W. But I’m afraid I’m not gay. In fact, I live with my girlfriend.”
“You already told me that. You also told me it wasn’t at all serious, and you were thinking it would probably end soon. That was over the two vodka martinis we had last night, when we were putting the finishing touches on the atrium designs.”
“Yeah, but, that’s different than…”
“You might not be precisely gay, Jameson, but I’m absolutely certain you are bisexual, and I’m pretty sure you are attracted to me. I have a lifetime of experience in this realm, and I am rarely wrong.”
No one had ever hinted to me that Phillip W was gay. The whole conversation was right out of the blue. And his confidence floored me. I might, at that moment, have given him a firm no. But somehow, I didn’t. The last three days had been truly amazing and I had genuinely enjoyed his company. To just say, “Okay, I’m out of here to the 27th floor and we’ll never meet again” just seemed impossible.
To my amazement, I heard myself say, “Look, um, can I think about this a little? It’s kind of a shock, and I’m totally exhausted right now.” I needed, at the very least, to buy time. I mean…The Phillip W!
“You can think about it until exactly noon tomorrow,” he said, with a smile. “Then, for the sake of my safety, we will have to move forward or drop the subject forever.” He looked at his watch, and noted the time in a small leather notebook. “But I really hope you’ll say yes, Jameson. I think you’re really a sweet, special boy, and I’d like to have the chance to wine and dine you to see where it leads.” He looked me straight in the eye as he said this last part. He seemed to speak with total honesty. Even the “sweet boy” part.
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
Then he was packing up and locking up, and he shook my hand in a professional way. “Well done, in any case, on the drafting.”
“Sure, thanks Mr. W. Really an honor working with you.” I said this in my bright underling way. He looked at me and laughed, both of us knowing I was playacting. Then I stumbled down to the front entrance to head home.
Lori was out of town. If she hadn’t been out of town, would any of the rest of it have happened? As it was, on my own, I paced up and down the loft. I looked at her ugly paintings. I thought about the beautiful drawings Mr. W and I had produced. I let myself think about his offer. In the morning, I almost called in sick. Then I didn’t. When I showed up at 8 a.m., I found that all my stuff had already been moved to a cubicle on the 27th floor. At 11:45 a.m., I called down to Mr. W ‘s office.
“How are you this morning, Jameson?” he asked. “I hope you slept. I’m sure my offer was quite a shock.”
“It was a shock, Mr. W.”
“I hope you will say yes, Jameson. I can promise you a lovely evening. I’ve already made the reservation for seven.”
I was going to tell him no, but when it came to it—here was this famous and powerful man who I truly admired and even liked. I didn’t want the high of the last three days to be over. Again, I heard myself speaking:
“Look, the chance to have dinner with you, under any circumstances, is really an honor. But it would have to be just dinner, nothing more. It’s not like…it’s not like it would go on to…’another context’ as you put it. If that doesn’t work for you, I totally understand. Just dinner, nothing more. I’d really appreciate it.”
“I am thrilled that you are accepting my invitation, Jameson! And of course, no pressure on anything more.”
“Well…okay then. Thank you, I do accept. Just dinner sounds terrific. Um…what’s the dress code at this restaurant? Is it, like high end?”
“Oh, dear Jameson. I’m very glad you asked. I’d like you to wear that light blue oxford shirt you have, open at the neck. The blue brings out your eyes wonderfully. Do iron it, though. And those pleated khaki slacks you have, with your brown oxfords. They show off your figure perfectly. No jacket needed.”
At this point I suppose I should mention that I’m about 5’9″ and pretty lean. I have reddish blond hair and very blue eyes — classic Irish ancestry. I often wore light blue.
I pulled the phone away from my ear and stared at it, stunned, but just said: “No jacket. Got it.”
“Where shall I pick you up?” he asked.
I had him pick me up a couple blocks from my place, just to be careful. He arrived in a black BMW, not fancy but impressive. When I got to the curb, he leapt out and opened the door for me the way a gentleman used to do for a lady—and the analogy was not lost on me.
Somehow the name of the restaurant hadn’t really registered with me, but now it was immediately istanbul travestileri obvious that Mangrove catered to a gay crowd. The exceptionally handsome maitre d’ smiled at us:
“What a lovely young man you’ve brought with you tonight, Mr. W” he exclaimed, before showing us to an ideally-situated table with a view of the restaurant’s private garden. It was a gorgeous place, with hanging lanterns everywhere. Mr. W pulled out my chair, sat, and ordered the wine. Then we fell into easy conversation. He complimented my taste, my work, and my eyes. I have to admit, I was flattered.
“Your turn,” he said at last. “Ask me anything.”
“Well, I guess I have to ask…what sort of relationships do you, um, usually have with men? I mean, like long term?”
“I would say that I have very traditional relationships, but in a tradition well before our time.”
“I’m not sure what that might mean,” I smiled.
“Well, think back to stories you might have read from an earlier age about men and women. In those days, men revered women, and put them on a pedestal. They respected women’s beauty and wit and grace. But the men were nevertheless completely in charge, and the women treated them with deference and obedience. It was quite a different way of organizing relationships, but it worked for thousands of years.”
He was looking at me straight in the eye, as if this were a perfectly normal thing to say.
I stumbled on my words. “Yes, I suppose, um, I do have some idea of that kind of, um, time in history.”
“That’s the sort of relationship I’m looking for, Jameson, with a beautiful young man like yourself. I would truly treasure a person like you—your looks, your wit, your youth, your charm. I would spoil you and dote on you. I would buy you superb clothing and take you to wonderful dinners and even give you a generous allowance—completely outside of work of course. But I would be looking to be 100% in charge at all times, both in public and in private. My word would be your law.”
“Wow…that’s, um, serious.”
“Yes, it would be quite serious. But I think life is too short for half-measures. Traditional relationships are actually tremendously freeing for the boy or girl, if they accept the arrangement, of course. Imagine how liberating it would be to give over complete authority to another? This is what I desire, and I believe it is the kind of relationship you most deeply desire as well.”
“Why would you say that?”
“Jameson, like I said, I’ve been at this a long, long time. There are a hundred clues. The way you enjoyed me putting my hand on your back and guiding you to the table. The way you enjoyed the flattery of the maitre d’. The way you slip in the “Sir” every now and then. The way you agreed to this dinner even while you knew my intentions. Even the fact that you are still listening to me right now, and haven’t walked out.”
As he spoke I felt strange waves of a kind of vertigo flow through my body, like when an elevator drops a little too fast.
“This has got to be the strangest conversation I ever had in my life.” I managed to say.
“Actually, it’s very straightforward, Jameson. I am a very straightforward man. Let’s try a little experiment, okay?”
“Here in the restaurant?”
He laughed. “It’s very discreet.” He took out a little jewelry box and handed it to me.
“I don’t think I should accept presents from you, Mr. W”
“For heaven’s sake, call me Phillip! In fact, call me Phil.”
“Okay, um, Phil. But still.”
Why am I still sitting here, I asked myself again. Why haven’t I left?
“Just take a look. I want to know your very first reaction, without thinking.”
I opened the box. Inside was a beautiful, solid-gold bracelet in the form of a double, old-fashioned, heavy-link chain.
“Well, it’s very heavy, so I guess it really is gold.”
“I can see you like it, though you are reluctant to say so. Go ahead, put it on your wrist, Jameson.”
I looked at him, then clicked it onto my left wrist.
“Does that feel good, Jameson?”
“I’m not sure what you are getting at,” I said uncomfortably. “It is very handsome.” Incredibly, I had felt my cock begin to harden when I clicked on the bracelet. How was that possible? And did he somehow know? Had I seen this bracelet before, in a dream? In some porno I’d viewed? It seemed so familiar.
“I am pretty certain you understood the symbolism of the bracelet, and what it might mean to accept it from me and put it on your wrist. I’m also pretty certain you responded physically. Am I correct?”
I looked at him, eyes wide.
“I thought as much,” he smiled. “Don’t fret about it, Jameson. It’s perfectly natural. I know you better than you know yourself. I’m sure you’ve long fantasized about a relationship like this, and I must say, you look especially charming when you blush. Let’s order. If you like fish, we’ll both have the halibut—it’s quite famous here.”
“I do like fish, but I haven’t really had a chance travesti istanbul to look at the menu yet.”
He raised his eyebrows in amusement. “I’m sure you’ll catch on, Jameson. Relax. Let me order for you. I’m getting us both champagne as well.”
“Um, okay.” I said, feeling the bracelet heavy on my wrist. Another little surge went to my penis. What was happening?
We chatted about the project we’d just completed, about trends in architecture, and again the conversation was smooth and delightful. The halibut was indeed excellent. More and more I felt myself relaxing, enjoying his company, not wanting the evening to end—did I even want him to make his move?
And then it was time to go.
Again, Phil opened the door for me, as a man would for a date. And then, of course, I braced myself for the next question, which of course, did come.
“Join me at my place for a nightcap?” asked Phil.
“That sounds a little dangerous,” I said.
“Surely you are curious to see my place in South Park? The view is pretty remarkable.”
“Of course I am, Mr. W.”
“Listen, dear boy, I will never do anything you do not wish me to do. Never ever. If you want to just come in for a cup of tea, see the view, and head home, that’s just fine. I’ll even call a car to take you home if you wish. Though I do hope you try the excellent scotch I always keep on hand.”
How could I resist? To see Phillip W’s legendary custom-built penthouse overlooking all of Downtown and the whole city out toward the sea? And after that promise?
“Okay, I’ll take you at your word.”
“You can always take me at my word, Jameson.”
And so we were in the underground garage, then in the private elevator, and suddenly in his spectacular, stainless-steel beamed penthouse with Downtown bright like Oz, and all of L.A. stretched out like a glittering magic carpet at our feet. Never during the whole journey did he try to touch me. The penthouse had many spectacular touches, but nothing could match the window in the living room, which must have been 30 feet wide and 10 feet high, cleverly framed with a huge ornate gold frame, as for an old master painting—a typical Phil W postmodern touch, making a crazy bold statement in the midst of the otherwise minimalist space.
I stood at the window spellbound, and Phil came to stand next to me. I was very aware of his presence, and I kept wondering if he was finally going to put a hand out and make his move…at this point the suspense was killing me, and the whole crazy conversation about relationships was spinning in my head. But he did not. At last he broke away and went to get the very expensive scotch he had promised. We sat in hypermodern white leather side-by-side easy chairs staring out the window and sipping our scotches, with me getting more and more buzzed, and chattering on and on about my girlfriend, my college days, you name it. It felt so easy to talk to him. Finally, I said,
“I really thought you were going to try to seduce me, after all that…talk. But you’re being very gentlemanly.”
“You mean I’m not succeeding in seducing you?”
“I’m having a great time, Phil, but I’m not feeling seduced.”
“Then I really am doing something wrong,” he laughed. “Why don’t you do something for me, Jameson.”
“What’s that, Phil,” I said, trying to keep it light.
He turned from the window to look me in the eye. “Why don’t you stand up in front of that window and take off your clothing so I can see you in the nude.”
A moment passed.
“Are you serious?”
“Completely serious, my boy. I’ve been dying to see you in the nude since you started in the office. This seems like a good opportunity to follow through. And I’m certain you want to strip for me.”
“I’m really not going to have sex with you, Phil.”
“Of course not, Jameson. At least not tonight. I have a true appreciation for the beauty of the male form, Jameson, and I suspect you have a fine male form. I would just like to have a look at it.”
He turned and looked me in the eye, then. “What do you say? Easy to say no and run out if you wish. Though you should wait till I call a car, as it’s not easy to just hail a taxi in this area, and you shouldn’t wait on the street for an Uber at this hour. But why don’t you just strip naked for me, Jameson. I know you’d like to. No doubt you’ve stripped in front of a window many times in your life, wishing someone like me were there to appreciate the view. Someone to tell you to remove your shirt. Your pants. Turn around and show your ass.”
As he spoke I felt my cock stir. And then, without really thinking, I stood up in front of him with the window to my back, and I began removing my clothing as he watched. An intense sexual tension filled the air as I removed my shirt, bent down to take off my shoes and socks. Then stood up to remove my trousers and at last my briefs. My cock was fully erect as I stood naked, hands at my sides. The only thing I wore was the heavy gold chain bracelet Phil had given me at the restaurant. I was breathing hard.
“Breathtaking, my boy. And I really appreciate the erection. Though I am going to have to teach you to shave for me. Why don’t you just turn around so I can see your ass now.”