“It appears you don’t believe me when I tell you how hot my PA is,” said Candaules, Managing Director of Lydia plc. He held a tumbler of his favourite 1982 Port Ellen whisky up at eye level, savouring the golden amber colour. “Hot. Fucking hot,” he corrected himself.
“So you are shagging her,” smirked his Finance Director, Gyges. “I knew there was something going off between you!”
“Well Jesus,” grinned Candaules. “Tell me that you wouldn’t if you had the chance.” He was excited, tired but excited. Today they had closed a huge deal to purchase the largest competitor of one of the companies within the group. Their plan was to merge the two companies together to form one super company. He was already dreaming of cutting costs, laying people off, and getting his hands on their order book. It was the sort of deal that he lived for and frankly, he was in the mood for boasting.
“Is she good?” enquired Gyges.
“Better than good. She might be the hottest piece of ass that I have ever fucked. I think she would do anything, if asked. You should see her in action!” His old friend smiled.
“Maybe I should,” he laughed, skim reading through a memo in a purple folder.
“No, seriously,” Candaules said, the smile changing to an eager, earnest expression. “You really should see her in action. I can make it happen.” And now there was no bravado; he was serious.
“No, hey, come on,” his friend soothed. “You two are – I don’t know – some sort of item, and I’m happy for you. Whatever you have is between you.” Candaules snorted.
“‘An item’! We’re not a fucking item. She’s just a convenient pussy. She’s good, she’s better than good, but she’s just a PA. She’s just a resource.”
“No, seriously. It’ll be fun. Go back to your office, I’ll Skype you in a minute. Answer the call, turn your camera off, and mute yourself.” He threw back the rest of his drink. Gyges could see from the look on Candaules’ face that there could be no arguing, so he did as bidden. Candaules gave him a minute, and the called him as he said he would. When he was confident that there was no outwards sign that a video call was in progress, Candaules tapped the intercom.
“Hey,” he growled. “I’m having a drink to celebrate. Want one?” She knew better than to refuse what was really a command. In seconds she was at his open office door.
She was tall, all legs and brunette hair which tonight was piled atop her head in a precise arrangement. She had pale skin, the type that people mean when they describe it as porcelain, which was accentuated by large brown eyes behind dark rimmed glasses, and matte red lips. If you were to describe her as stunning you would be insulting her. She was a goddess, an aspect of the divine.
She crossed the room in what seemed like slow motion as he watched. She took two tumblers and poured a decent measure in each, walking over to the desk and handing him one.
“Congratulations, boss,” she purred, contralto. Their glasses tapped together and for a moment the sound of ice chinking together was the only sound in the room. She looked into his eyes over the rim of the glass. “What’s next?” He smiled, slight and devious, and so laden with innuendo and meaning that it carried an 18 certificate.
Taking her glass he led her around the desk, guiding her into the plush, Italian leather seat behind his desk. She looked down at him and, misinterpreting the signals, licking her lips as she reached up for his belt. He caught her hand gently at the wrist.
“If you don’t mind, I would like to…” – he paused to sip his whisky – “… watch.”
Slowly, gracefully, and seemingly without effort, she inched up her skirt until the flesh at the top of her hold-ups peaked into view. She teased down the silky black lingerie, making a point to draw out the act of sliding them down to her ankles so that he could take a long, lustful look into her cleavage. Stepping out of them, she leant back in the chair and rested one patent leather shoe with the red sole on the edge of the desk either side of him.
The camera on his laptop missed nothing.
* * *
Thirty minutes later, she was back at her own desk as he was cleaning up in the en suite bathroom. The clock showed that it was just after 10pm. She wanted to leave, but needed to finish off a couple of tasks first. Collecting three documents in a purple binder with the company’s pink and white logo, she checked her hair and lipstick in a compact mirror and left her office.
She saw Gyges at the end of the corridor and shouted him; not hearing, he let himself into the bathroom at the end of the corridor. Not to worry, she thought, I’ll just leave the binder on his desk and catch up with him in the morning, Entering his office, she rounded his desk in order to leave the folder by his keyboard.
She saw what was on his screen and froze. It was Candaules, sat at his desk. The desk that she herself has been sat behind just moments later. In an instant, she knew what had transpired. Quietly, calmly, she took the folder and went back to her office.
When Candaules stuck his head in fifteen minutes later, she had papers all over her desk.
“I thought you’d gone,” he said.
“I just want to catch up. I’m a little behind on my filing.”
“But it’s a beautiful little behind,” he drawled, lasciviously. “Don’t stay too late!” She gave a noncommittal smile by way of response.
“Don’t worry, I’ll only be ten minutes,” she lied. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
She worked tirelessly for hours, switching between her computer, the photocopier, and the filing cabinet where she dutifully read and then precisely filed records of every contract that the Managing Director and Finance Director had ever signed.
She was the first one in the office in the morning. She made a short but impassioned phone call, drank coffee, fiddled with her computer, and waited. For thirty-seven long minutes she waited, standing by the window, waiting for one particular car to enter the car park. As he walked past her office, she shouted a greeting. Gyges looked round, smiled, entered her office. She extended a hand to the empty seat. It was unusual, but he sat down anyway.
“Good morning-” he said. It came out as a question. She ignored it.
“I’ve prepared these papers for you,” she said, firmly, almost forcefully, but with customary impeccable politeness. She handed him the purple binder of papers that she had spent most of the night compiling.
“Ah, thank you…” he said, taking the binder but not fully understanding. “Did I ask for…” his voice trailed off. He opened the binder and scanned through the first few sheets. They related to bonus payments, his and Candaules’. They were all papers that he had signed.
“And this, “ she said, handing him another. “And this… and this.”
He scanned the printouts of the the three bank statements that she handed him. It took him several minutes to go through the whole folder and compare against the bank statements. At first the panic tasted bright, vital, but soon it was replaced by a sick feeling, deeper in his stomach. He fought back the rising urge to vomit.
“What do you want,” he said, calmly. Instead of speaking, she leant over and lifted the lid of his laptop, positioning it so that the camera pointed directly at his chair. In an instant, he knew what had transpired. He repeated the question, his voice faltering until he wasn’t sure if he’d even spoken out loud.
“Those papers show embezzlement on a grand scale. Breathtaking, almost.”
“He has made millions in illegal bonuses.”
“But he was the one-”
“And you were the one who signed them off.” She left it there, content to let him wait until he spoke.
“He prepared them though. He’s the MD. He was the one who-”
“But you authorised the payments.”
“And you made rather decent bonuses yourself. More than your contract stipulates. It’s page 24 of the binder, if you’re interested.” He knew when he was beaten; sighed deeply. Far from being the hottest piece of ass on the top floor, he could see that she was shrewd, perceptive, ruthless, and far more intelligent than Candaules had ever given her credit for. She must have been aware of the scheme for some time.
“Yes. What do you want?”
“You’re going to ask him to come to your office. I’ll Skype you in a minute. Answer the call, turn your camera off, and mute yourself. When he comes in, you’ll show him these documents and ask him about them. You’ll make him admit to them.”
“What will you do?”
“I won’t be the only one watching.”
“If he won’t-”
“I’ll still send the binder to to the CEO, but I’ll be saying that my suspicions are about you, not Candaules.”
“The old man won’t go for it.”
“I think we both know how persuasive I can be,” she asserted. “And I’m sure I can convince Mr Meles to give me a fair hearing,” she said, leaning back and crossing her legs. Her skirt was just a little shorter and tighter than normal, the stockings an expensive fine weave fishnet rather than the usual opaque black. She would have the old man’s attention for as long as she wanted it, of that Gyges was in little doubt.
“I’ll do it,” he said simply. He rose, quietly. “What do you want out of it?”
“A little bonus, perhaps?” she said quietly. “As you can see, I have been very diligent when it comes to keeping on top of my filing.”
“But that won’t be in your contract either-” she glared at him quietly over the top of her glasses. “Okay. Okay.”
“Thank you,” she said obsequiously, pushing her glasses up her nose. “Will there be anything else, Sir?” Without a word, he turned on his heel, padding across the lush carpet and closing the door quietly behind him.
Turning to her laptop she tapped the spacebar twice to wake the display. As the picture flashed up an image of an old man appeared, his face fixed in a quiet, dignified fury. He cleared his throat.
“You were right. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
“Yes, Sir,” she beamed.
“It would appear that a young lady of your talents is capable of much greater things. I shall make that happen, today.”
“Thank you, Mr Meles,” she beamed. “Will there be anything else, Sir?”
The story of Candaules and Gyges, for which the fetish of Candaulism is named, is an interesting one but I always thought that Candaules’ wife was treated very badly by it. Nowhere in history is her name recorded, and she only has a choice of two men, both who have wronged her. In retelling the story here, I thought it would be fun to give her some measure of revenge.