CW: Office sex, sexual harassment, power dynamics
“So,” the man said, leaning one elbow against the desk. “You’re Hart, Dryver’s secretary?”
The man looming above him couldn’t have been slicker if he tried, with his sleazy smile, gelled hair, and pressed shirt. Even though the firm didn’t do Casual Fridays, he was missing a blazer and tie, but the watch on his right hand glinted silver—a Rolex that required a waitlist and four figures. The name badge on his lanyard said “Eveline Batlet,” along with his job title: Financial Analyst.
He was also smiling at Hart like he wanted to eat him.
Hart paused in the middle of typing. He was supposed to be writing an email about one of Dryver’s meetings, which needed to be rescheduled to Monday, but this man, Eveline Batlet, had perched himself on the edge of his desk.
“Can I help you with something, Eveline?” he gritted out. The email was semi-urgent, and even if it wasn’t, he didn’t like being interrupted.
He got a laugh in response. “Well, first of all, don’t call me that. Call me Evil.” After a pause, Evil added in a strained voice, “Please.”
“Thanks. Don’t you hate when parents give their kids embarrassing names? Like, it’s not even the right gender,” he complained, swiping pens to the side to make space for himself.
Evil wasn’t doing a good job of making himself sympathetic right now, so Hart could only shrug in response. His eyes went to a pen that was rolling under his desk, and he ducked down to get it. He was sort of a neat freak about his workspace in front of Dryver’s office.
With an awkward sort of shimmy, Hart twisted in his seat, bent over, and managed to catch the pen before it went too far under.
When he got up again, Evil was staring intently at him.
All of a sudden, Hart felt like he was about to become his next meal in every conceivable way. He leaned back, pushing his chair farther away from Evil. “Just say what you want from me already,” he snapped, voice wavering on a high note at the end.
Evil chuckled and scratched his cheek. “Oh well, I guess I should. How do I say this diplomatically… I have paperwork that needs filing. Do you want to come up to my office?”
Utter disbelief. Hart could only feel utter disbelief at the way Evil looked at him and those shameless words coming out of his mouth. No matter how hard he tried to play coy about it, both of them knew he didn’t want Hart in his office to do paperwork.
“No, not really,” Hart said coldly.
But Evil didn’t let up. “Are you sure?” he pressed, leaning forward. His expression turned intense. “I’ve heard a lot about you. You’re really my type.”
Yes, he must’ve been Evil’s type if the black stud on his ear was anything to go by. In a conservative environment like theirs, that was as much as he could get away with. Hart himself skirted the line enough to be the subject of speculation, a touch too well-groomed with blond hair down to his shoulders. Sometimes he got told he smelled nice by people who leaned too close to his neck.
He once caught his coworkers wondering if he was gay or European. Well, one side of his family was British and the other was Scandinavian, and he also happened to be attracted to men.
“Please? We can have a good time. I’ll show you my tricks if you show me yours.”
Just because they were each other’s types didn’t mean anything. Hart glared up at Evil and the growing smile on his face. “I don’t have any tricks,” he said.
“That’s not what they say.” Now Evil was shuffling closer so he could catch him eye-to-eye. Up close, his irises looked more burgundy-red than brown, but maybe that was a trick of the light. “They say you’ll sleep with anything that moves, and you make it good.”
“What? Who says that?”
“There’s a rumour going around the water cooler.”
A rumour going around the water cooler, what a slap in the face. Hart couldn’t believe that the workplace was talking about his... sexual proclivities and willingness to engage in certain deeds. No wonder he was getting strange stares recently that lingered on areas indecent enough to file an HR complaint.
Now he couldn’t look any of his coworkers in the eye because any of them could be talking about him or, even worse, thinking about him. Thinking inappropriate, unprofessional, and horrifically erotic thoughts of taking him to bed!
Apparently Evil, who lived up to his name, wanted to see for himself whether Hart would spread his legs or not. He’d gone so far as to take the elevator three floors down to General Affairs during his lunch break just to waltz in and treat Hart like he was cheap.
He was a good little secretary with higher standards than that!
Hart was disgusted. Disgusted in his coworkers for gossiping about him, disgusted in Evil for his intentions, and disgusted in himself for inviting those eyes. For even considering him.
Because of course Evil was in Finance, that was the job Hart wanted.
Watching the revolving door of employees come and go, Hart learned to read people well. Interns and new hires, associates and managers, executives and the C-suite; he saw the entire lineup of Bay Street’s corporate power from his desk. He could tell who wouldn’t last long, who’d be the first to go, and who was blind to the storm coming. The ones he hated the most were disgustingly incompetent, complacent, and therefore useless.
What he liked was ambition. Ambition was attractive to him, representing an ideal he desperately craved. Or maybe it wasn’t ambition he liked but the fruits of ambition, of living well.
At the same time, he would never reach great heights. Hart came into work early and left late, even though there was no benefit to doing so. Sometimes he covered for his coworkers, an equally pointless endeavour if anyone even noticed. He was smart but his intelligence wasn’t applied where he wanted. He was a secretary, and secretaries didn’t get promoted to corporate.
In his own mind, Hart was quietly ruthless, but Evil was ruthless on the outside too. He took what he wanted and walked free, and people like that got far in life.
Hart looked him up and down, took in his Tom Ford shirt and pressed slacks, polished loafers, silver watch, black stud. Evil was easy on the eyes and looked like he could succeed. He looked hungry for it.
Would that be so bad, sleeping with your future boss?
“What’s in it for me?” Hart asked.
Evil’s smile widened. “Advancement opportunities.”
Advancement opportunities. Hart never got advancement opportunities in this company.
Hart Lovelace was many things. A business school dropout, a secretary with delusions of grandeur, and always cursing his circumstances. Like a dog at a bone, he gnawed on his dreams and received only the nauseous feeling of a snake eating its own tail.
In his two years at Batco Corp., the only thing he accomplished was moving from being the secretary of a lower manager to a middle manager. He wasn’t getting any further. Dryver was content to stay in General Affairs so Hart was stuck there too.
So what if he was good at his job? Because he was good at his job, people wanted him right where he was. The corporate world was like that: you used people or got used. To be someone worth knowing meant having the right look, saying the right things, and rubbing shoulders with the right people.
Evil, he bet, had an MBA.
“Where did you graduate from?” Hart asked while Evil was getting up to close Dryver’s office door. Dryver was out for lunch, and what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.
“I did my MBA at U of T,” Evil said with no small amount of pride. The lock clicked shut. “Why, are you impressed?”
University of Toronto was the same school Hart failed, so no, he wasn’t impressed. He wanted to throttle Evil’s neck.
At the time, his shrink attributed the failure to circumstances beyond his control in a piss-poor attempt to be sympathetic about his brain chemistry. Hart didn’t believe him one bit and thought his breakdown was more about the pile of job rejections and his shitty roommate who landed a consulting job as early as August.
Evil reminded him of the shitty roommate. Hart frowned and kept frowning until Evil rounded on him, pressing him back against the chair until his frown probably looked more like a pout. Evil seemed to like standing over him.
“Are you so impressed that you can’t speak? That’s cute, Hart. You’re cute,” he sighed. “Where did you go to school?”
“Also U of T,” Hart said between gritted teeth. “I did business.”
Evil actually looked surprised. “How come you’re not doing business now?”
“Whatever you say, Hart.” The smug voice was back, speaking right into his ear. “It’s okay. You might’ve failed to get into business but you didn’t do too badly for yourself. Here you are in an office with the rest of us…”
He drew a hand down his chest, all the way to his thigh.
“Seducing people like me.”
Evil’s hand was warm against his leg, and his breath was warm against his cheek. Hart’s first instinct was to recoil... and his second instinct was to rile him up. The proximity between them was making him breathless.
He took a breath, squeezing the armrest until his knuckles turned white. “Is it working?”
Then he was getting fucked with his legs around Evil’s waist, choked sounds coming out of him with every thrust.
His pants were dangling off one foot, shirt halfway up his chest and hair fanned around him on the desk. With each creak of the wood, papers scattered to the ground without a care. Hart arched up, wound his arms around Evil, and held on for dear life.
He had forgotten how loud he could be, but Evil didn’t seem to mind, and neither of them were thinking about anyone else hearing. Anyone seeing him would believe the rumours were true without a second thought, and he’d be too fucked to deny it.
“Yeah? You like that?” Evil hissed into his ear.
And Hart moaned because he really liked that.
Evil gritted his teeth and bucked forward, giving it to him hard and rough. Writhing below him, Hart clawed at his back and gasped broken, shaky breaths that matched the rise and fall of his chest. The light from the ceiling, which shone from behind Evil, was fluorescent white.
“Evil,” he gasped brokenly. “Evil, oh fuck, you’re…”
He didn’t know what he was about to say. Hart’s orgasm overtook him in a crashing wave of blinding light and mania.
Ahead of him, he saw a vision of a pure white future.
Shining in his eyes, a tower broke through the clouds, sunlight reflecting off the glass in a wave of heat and sickening brightness. He stood above a city where people lived like ants and counted each insignificant speck, smiling because he wasn’t one of them. Evil was there too, arms around his waist to hold him, giving him everything he wanted and more. He could taste gold in his mouth and silver on his tongue, and everything they had, they shared together.
The man called Evil Batlet belonged to him.
When he came to, Evil was still rolling his hips into him, and Hart wound his fingers in his hair. Looking at the man above him, his face splotchy red and excited, Hart was filled with the overwhelming urge to possess him. He wanted Evil, wanted to fuck him, to own him, to see him rise and fall and break.
“Go on,” he mumbled quietly. “Finish in me.”
He was tired of where he was. He deserved better and was desperate enough to do anything for more.
The next time he saw Evil, they were at the printer station. The printer, which never worked when you needed it to, was limping towards the finish line with the last of Hart’s pages.
Evil ambled over and put a hand on his lower back, leaning in as he spoke. “What are you printing?”
“Oh, this?” Hart said lightly and looked him dead in the eye. “My sexual harassment claim.”
The hand on his back suddenly disappeared.
“You can’t do that,” Evil said quickly, and Hart relished the way his face turned an unflattering shade of grey. “I mean, it wasn’t sexual harassment. It was consensual.”
The silence that stretched between them was wonderful, what with the dying throes of the printer and Evil’s inner freakout.
“That’s not what I wrote,” he said with vicious glee when all forty-five pages of his claim were done. “I wrote that he took advantage of the horrible, inappropriate rumours floating around the office to leverage his position against me. I said he tried to harass and coerce me into sleeping with him until I finally broke down and did it, and by the way? It was an awful fuck.”
Evil flushed. “How can you say I’m an awful fuck when you were moaning and begging for it?”
Even now, he had a dirty mouth. Hart wanted to wash it out with soap, then stick something else in there. “Can’t you phrase your words more delicately?” he muttered. Before Evil could protest again, he raised a hand. “Don’t interrupt me. Don't try to stop me either, I'm going to HR about this. The email's already been sent, and the meeting's on my calendar. Someone’s going to lose their job for this, and good luck finding somewhere else in this day and age when people can’t keep their mouths shut. Who’s going to hire you now? Who the fuck is stupid enough to do that? No one, that’s who, so just watch me.”
He twisted the knife and kept twisting with each word until he ran out of air. When he finished, Hart took a deep breath, triumphant in Evil’s silence.
Evil looked scared. No, more than that—powerless. He stood unsteadily on his feet, hands balled into fists, nails digging into his palms. Both of them had nice hands that had never seen a day’s hard labour in their lives. “Come on, Hart. Please. You can’t do this to me,” he said, pleading.
Pathetic, hungry, vicious bastard. Leaning back, Hart tilted his head and let his hair fall out of the way to expose the line of his throat, drawing Evil’s gaze. Forcing him to look at the mark on his neck.
At the hickey Evil didn't give him.
"No, I didn't," Hart said, lips curled smugly.
Evil's eyes widened. Realization dawned on him and grabbed the printouts, scanning through the words. “My name’s not here.” He looked up in shock. “Dryver?”
Hart twirled his hair, shrugging. The hickey kept making Evil stare. “You weren’t the only one who approached me. Dryver did too, and he’s my boss.” At least Evil kept his mouth to himself.
“After you left the office. He finished his lunch break and came back.”
“Okay. I understand that, obviously. Did he or did you—no, I won’t ask.” Evil paused and wet his lips. “So you’re getting rid of him? Is this what you’re doing?”
“I’m filing a complaint,” Hart said, letting condescension drip into his voice like he couldn’t believe he had to explain.
Evil stared at the writing, which contained enough details that Dryver couldn’t talk himself out of it, if he was any good at talking at all. There was an awestruck expression on his face, like he was seeing Hart for the first time. Like Hart had exceeded expectations he didn’t know existed. “Why Dryver and not me?”
That was the question, wasn’t it. Stepping forward, Hart reached a hand between them and gripped Evil’s lanyard like a leash. His fingers were hot where they closed around the rope, and when he tugged, he made sure Evil stumbled. “Because I wasn’t getting anywhere with him,” he said. “You can think I’m easy if it makes you feel better, though, as long as you know I’m a very hard worker. More than you are.”
“Yeah, I bet. Your stunt’s really something,” Evil whispered. With a lurch, he stumbled towards Hart, caging him in against the printer with arms on both sides. Neither of them spared any thought for the papers that dropped to the floor. “If you haven’t cemented your reputation as the office slut, you have now.” His pupils were blown wide, breath hot on his face, voice cracking like lightning. “Did you like doing it with him? Liked having him all over you? Was it only him and me, or was there anyone else, any other guys? Me, I go both ways,” he said, wild and vicious.
Hart smiled, his gaze heavy-lidded with suggestion. Let the details remain in Evil’s imagination, where they'd twist into a more sordid scene than anything reality could offer. “Does it matter? Remember, Evil, I can still ruin you. I just chose not to.”
“I could ruin your life too, if I tried hard enough,” Evil sneered. He gripped Hart's wrist hard enough to hurt, and Hart gained immense satisfaction from the way his fingers tightened around him. “So, what do you want out of this?”
What did he want, indeed. Evil’s concession didn’t go unnoticed, an opportunity if there ever was one. From the very beginning, he only saw Hart as a fun time, a drone low enough on the pecking order to easily push around. Except now he couldn't. Soon, Evil would discover that he could be very, very intense and that wasn’t even all he was.
The opportunity he craved was presenting itself on a silver platter, and Hart only had to sell his body to get it.
With his hand around Evil’s lanyard, Hart pulled him forward like he was a dog. Like Evil was an unruly mutt, a mongrel that needed to be put down eventually, but not yet. The pretty secretary and the big bad wolf—Hart would’ve clawed his eyes out if he hadn’t decided to see this to the bitter end.
He wanted Evil’s job. He wanted it so badly that he could see himself in Evil’s place.
“Didn’t you offer me advancement opportunities? You should put that mouth of yours to good use and get me into Finance.”
Evil barked out a laugh. “Whose secretary do you wanna be?”
“Whoever I can get.”
“Maybe you’ll be mine someday,” he said, leering down at him. “Except we’d never get any work done.”
Hart tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. “You can have me," he said quietly. "If you do a good enough job, I’ll be yours. I’m sure we understand each other better than we think.”
“Probably.” Evil closed his eyes and leaned in, softly exhaling a breath.
Hart stood on his tiptoes to reach him. “Make use of me, Evil, and I’ll make you into someone. Take me places, okay?”