“You really should look into this–it’s a great opportunity,” Jack said emphatically on the other end of the line. “Systems International is a real up-and-coming company. Even if you don’t take the job, at least go and interview. You’ll get a free trip to Europe out of it. Think about it.”
“OK, I will. Thanks for calling.” I terminated the call, standing and staring at the screen with some disbelief–much to the annoyance of those trying to get past me on the sidewalk. Why had Jack Freeman called me? I barely knew him. Oh we ran into each other at conferences, and we had had a beer or two, but it wasn’t like we kept in regular contact otherwise. Now he was calling me on a Wednesday afternoon to offer me a job interview in some country I hadn’t even heard of. What was that name again? Rolennia? I’d never heard of it.
I took a seat in coffee shop just to get off the sidewalk and searched the net on my phone to see what I could find out about the place. Turns out Rolennia was once a Barony in the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Later it was absorbed behind the Iron Curtain, and it only recently had emerged as an independent state. It was nestled somewhere among the Hungaries, Czechs and Bulgarias of the world, I couldn’t exactly tell because the lettering was too small when viewed on my phone, but it didn’t matter since I had only a vague idea where any of those places were anyway.
So why would anyone want to take a job in Rolennia? True, I was looking for a new opportunity, and had made that known through my contact network. I was in a classic Midlife Crisis situation, with a divorce was about to go final and feeling stifled in my job. With both kids away at college, I was free to go anywhere and pursue anything. That sounds great until you’re actually in that situation, which is when you realize that it’s really scary that there aren’t ANY parameters to help you decide what you should do with your life. The thought of trying my hand at living overseas had intrigued me, but I was thinking in terms of Paris or Tokyo, not some backwater burg like Rolennia.
Just as I was closing the browser and getting ready to put my phone away, something caught my eye. I re-opened the browser to make sure I had read it right. There was a list at the bottom of the wiki entry of famous people from Rolennia, of which there were a whole seven. Three were historical figures I had never heard of, one was a politician I had never heard of—and three were porn stars that I definitelyhad heard of. Most notably, one of them was Sophie Sunshine. It was all but impossible to surf for porn without running across her. She was one of the best-known, most popular porn stars in the business. I knew that the states of the old Eastern bloc were a prime provider of talent for the sex industry; apparently Rolennia was no exception. I wondered how common it was to find girls as stunning as Sophie Sunshine in Rolennia. Hmmm. Maybe I should at least listen to their pitch.
I put my phone away and thought no more of it for the next day and a half. That Thursday was particularly stressful, and a call from my divorce lawyer explaining new wrinkles in the settlement didn’t help. When I woke up on Friday morning, I saw that I had missed three calls from an unknown caller. What stood out to me was that there seemed to be an awful lot of digits in the callback number. I remembered my conversation with Jack, and realized this might be Rolennia calling. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to it or not.
I had just stepped out of the shower and was half-done drying myself when my phone vibrated on the countertop. I picked it up and saw the same number again. I thought for a second, and then took the call. Why not listen to what he had to say? I could always say no. I expected I would, frankly, but by taking his call now I wouldn’t risk him calling me while I was at work. “Hello?” I said.
I expected to hear a voice with an accent. I didn’t expect it would be a Bronx accent. “Mr. Summers? This is Tom Thurman of Systems International. I hope I didn’t wake you?”
“No, I was already up.”
“Good. Listen, international calls from Rolennia are expensive so I’m going to keep this brief. You come highly recommended by Jack Freeman. We have an opening that might interest you, and I understand that you might be at a place in your life where you are looking for a new adventure. SI certainly offers that, and a lot more. But rather than take my word for it, we want to you fly you Rolennia and see for yourself. Maybe you have heard of us and maybe you haven’t, but once you see the facilities I think you’ll be very interested. I know, not that long ago I was where you are today, getting a strange call from a strange country. Now I’m here, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Good for him… so what? I thought.
“We would like to fly you out on a Thursday, have you interview on Friday, see a little bit of the country on Saturday, and then fly back Sunday—all at our expense of course. If you don’t like what you hear, you still get a free vacation out of it. What do you say?”
That is exactly what I was thinking—a free vacation. Other than jet lag, what gaziantep escort did I have to lose? “Well…” I started to say
Two weeks later, I landed in Yevczich, the capital city of Rolennia. Only city, from what I’d been reading. I was exhausted–I hadn’t thought about the fact that by flying out on Thursday, it would be Friday in Europe when I arrived, especially after a three-hour layover in Frankfurt. Fortunately I had slept a little on the plane.
The airport was a tiny, Spartan concrete corridor with only six gates. When I stepped out of the secure area, a man with a long red beard dressed in a livery uniform was standing there, holding up a sign with my name on it. I found that interesting; I really think there are two kinds of men in the world, those that love redheads and those that don’t, and I was without question one of the former. Since I was sure he wouldn’t have dyed his beard that color, that mean that there were redheads indigenous to this area, something I wouldn’t have expected but was pleased to know.
My driver led me to an ancient but well-maintained limousine to drive me the headquarters of Systems International. At first, every building we passed was a drab, concrete, often windowless block built during the Communist period. But then we reached a bridge over a small river and entered the old town, which was cute and quaint as any Austrian ski town. There were half-timbered houses and commercial buildings with the domed roofs popular in prewar Hapsburg architecture. I was pleasantly surprised at the charm–and its generally good condition. “Your old city is very nice,” I said with surprise.
“Yes,” the driver said haltingly, “Yevczich small. War… pass us by. No bombing.” That made sense–Rolennia hadn’t been important or big enough for a big battle, so it had been mostly spared.
The sudden widening of the road signaled the transition to the newer part of Yevczich. Nestled into the foothills of the mountains that dominated the eastern skyline of the city were a handful of new, glass-and-steel office buildings. They weren’t exactly what I would call skyscrapers, but they were easily the tallest and most modern buildings in the valley.
My limo pulled up to the biggest building on the hill. There was a parking lot nestled between it and another, slightly smaller building, the last building before the beginning of the mountains. Tom Thurman came out of the glass doors to greet me personally. “You must be Martin Summers. Nice to meet you, and welcome to Rolennia!”
“Thank you,” I said. He gestured me toward the building and I started walking.
“Do you like our building? Just finished three years ago. Completely modern… wireless throughout… anything you would have back in America we have here…” he opened the door for me as he explained. I stopped short when I entered. Standing in a row by the entryway, like three backup singers in a band, were three of most beautiful young women I had seen in a long time. All three of them were dressed in short-skirted business suits with matching pumps, worn with white blouses and hosiery. The first girl had brown hair with blonde highlights and wore a purple suit. The second had long blonde hair like a California girl and similar complexion; her suit was red. And the third had long, wavy red hair and a royal blue suit. My eyes swept over the vision of their combined loveliness, but naturally lingered on the stunning redhead on the right. Wow, was she beautiful! “Oh, yes… if you would come to work with us, we would of course provide you with a personal secretary. These are three of the girls that might be available for the job; there are others as well. This is Kara…” the brunette nodded her head in acknowledgement, “Sasha, and Simma.” The blonde and redhead followed suit. “Thank you ladies,” Tom dismissed.
“Nice to meet you,” the muttered almost in unison as they turned on their heels and disappeared down a hall. I watched their young, shapely legs retreating with appreciation.
Tom noticed where I was looking. “Nice huh? We have some pret-ty hot girls that work for this company, I’ll say that right now. Which one did you like the best?”
“Huh?” I asked. Coming from an excessively gender-sensitive office, it had already sounded strange to my ears to hear him call them girls. Now he wanted me to come out and say which one I found most attractive?
Tom laughed. “This is Rolennia, Martin. There is no such thing as sexual harassment here. Here a guy can really be a guy! Come on, you know one of them caught your eye more than the others… which one was is? Sasha, for instance, is my kind of girl.”
Since he had imparted his preference, it felt safer to admit my own. “She was pretty, but I’m partial to redheads,” I answered cautiously.
“Ah, there you go,” he encouraged slyly. “Simma Dubrovnik. She is one sharp looker, huh?” I just nodded, feeling this conversation with a potential employer to be very, very odd.
Tom started the interview with a tour of the building. I must say, I don’t know what I was expecting but this facility could easily have been in Dallas, or Chicago, or anywhere. Rolennia as a whole might not have a strong economy, but Systems International didn’t seem to be short of cash. After an hour-long tour, we settled in Tom’s office and he told me the details. I noticed as I passed that his secretary Jelena bore more than a passing resemblance to Sasha. He closed the door and told me more about the job, and the expectations seemed quite in line with my experience and expertise. But I was waiting to hear about the money. In order for me to move halfway around the world, I would need quite a financial incentive. “So what is the salary?” I finally had a chance to ask.
“150,000” he said flatly.
“Euro?” I asked excitedly. I didn’t know the exact exchange rate, but that was more than double what I was making.
“No, florint,” he said, trying to downplay it. “Rolennia’s economy isn’t strong enough to be part of the EU just yet.”
“Oh,” I said cautiously, “and what is a florint worth in US dollars?”
“About 50 cents,” he admitted. What? That was maybe the same as I was getting now–why would I move to the middle of nowhere for no pay raise at all? Why did they waste my time flying me out here? I suddenly became very angry.
“Now I know that might not sound like much,” he admitted defensively, “but you need to put it in perspective. Taxes here are one-fourth what you would pay in the states.”
“Yeah?” I agreed, not caring.
“And working for Systems International isn’t so much about the money as about the benefits package.”
“And what benefits are those?” I asked, unimpressed.
He gestured to the window behind him. “See that building behind me? That’s the executive residence. All SI executives live there, in condos that start at 2400 square feet, all at company expense. And it is full service living–food and drink delivered at nominal expense–I mean like five bucks for a liter of vodka. If you’re like most people, you’re probably spending 90% of your salary on food and shelter now. Here most of that is included as an employee benefit–your salary is practically a bonus.”
“OK,” I agreed. That certainly was a benefit worth something, but what good was it to me if I couldn’t cash it in? Not only that, but it seemed like it might make me a slave to the company. I didn’t want the company knowing if I watched Internet porn. Or if I brought a girl home… although that possibility seemed to be pretty much just wishful thinking.
“And there is one more benefit you won’t get in the States… it’s the best benefit the company offers, but I don’t think I can explain it very well. You’ll have to experience it for yourself. Let me take you to your room; you will be staying in the executive residence, in the very room that will be yours if you are to join us. Fully furnished of course. And your bags have already been delivered. Take the afternoon to relax, get over your jet lag. I will be back at 6:00 to pick you up, and we will have dinner with the company president, Milan Jumarek. OK?”
I nodded grumpily and let him walk me across the parking lot. What the hell was I supposed to trapped in an apartment all afternoon? It didn’t matter, right now I was feeling deceived and just wanted to get away from Mr. Tom Thurman. He walked me across the parking lot, took me up to the fourth floor, and handed me a swipe card to room 403. “I will see you at six. In the meantime… be sure toenjoy your afternoon.
I had no idea what his inflection on the word “enjoy” was supposed to mean, but I was in no mood to ask. I swiped the key card gruffly and barged into the room. I took one step through the door… and then froze, stunned by an unexpected sight. The room was pretty much what I expected based on the offices across the way–leather couch, sparse modern Scandinavian furniture, big-screen TV. What I wasn’t expecting was to find Simma Dubrovnik lounging on the couch, legs crossed, bouncing her high-heeled foot absently, sipping a glass of champagne. I stared at her as if there was a flying saucer in my room. And there was something else that was different about her. It took me a second to pinpoint; while she was wearing the same royal blue suit as before, it seemed she was no longer wearing a blouse under her jacket. All I could say for certain was that there was an impressive amount of tantalizing cleavage on display.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Thurman must have shown me to the wrong room…” I sputtered.
With relaxed confidence, Simma put her glass down on the coffee table and stood up. “Is no wrong room, Mr. Summers. Is your apartment–if you take job. Would you like I show you round?”
“Ah. Are you are my concierge, Simma?”
“Oh no, Mr. Summers. I am to be secretary for you. I am honor that you haf choose me.” I thought about Tom pressing me on which of the three “backup singers” I had preferred; I didn’t know that I was picking my potential future secretary out of a lineup. I mean, it was great that I might get a hot redhead, but was she any good in the office? Didn’t that matter to anyone? I wondered what other secrets there might be to this place as Simma continued “I am here to provide to youany assistance you desire.”
There it was again; there was something funny about her inflection of the word “any,” like Tom’s use of the word “enjoy.” Everyone seemed to be hinting at something, only I had no idea what it was. “No thank you, I can look around by myself.”
“But of course,” she shrugged evenly. “I get you somesing else? You like drink maybe? A bath, to relax after long flight? Even better, maybe you like nice blowjob?”
What? Did I hear her say what I thought I heard her say? Simma just stood there, a servant at the ready, as if it was absolutely normal that she had apparently just offered to suck my dick. At least I thought that is what she said. Maybe I misunderstood her accent. “Excuse me?” I asked.
Simma gave a hint of a smile and stepped over towards me, gliding expertly across the room in her impossibly sexy heels. “Velcome to Rolennia, Mr. Summers. Maybe Mr. Thurman tell you System International haf very good benefit? I am one of those benefit, Mr. Summers. In Rolennia secretary is 24 hour job. I provide any service you desire, day or night. And not just in office. You want I clean apartment after work? I clean. You want I clean naked? I take off clothes. You want have sex? Just tell Simma how you like. When finish you can send me away, I have room downstair. Or if you want I stay night, I can do too.”
Simma now stood patiently, three feet away and facing me. Her hands were clasped gently behind her back, which caused her blazer to try to pull open; the single closed button strained to hold it closed. Even more cleavage was now on display, and the bare strip of skin I could now see at her belly confirmed she was wearing no blouse. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing–or seeing.
“What is this, some kind of test?” I snapped. I couldn’t believe that the secretary’s body was part of the company’s benefit package. Things didn’t work that way in America.
“No test, Mr. Summers,” she protested. “Company want you understand what is like work here. Personal secretary isvery important to executive.” As she talked she turned and retreated three steps to the leather chair nearest to her. Even with her back turned I could see she had smoothly unbuttoned the one button, like a stripper might show and not show at the same time. She whirled around towards me like a dancer when she reached the chair holding her jacket open by the lapels. Holy fucking shit. Her breasts stood out in firm defiance of gravity, her belly was flat and toned, her waist narrow and her hips wide. She dropped the lapels and pulled up her skirt, revealing that the hose she wore were, in fact, thigh-highs, and she wore no underwear whatsoever. She sat in the chair, tossed one leg over the arm, splayed the other out to the side, and without hesitation began to stroke a clean-shaven pussy with her hands. All I could do was watch as she masturbated, taking pauses to tug gently at her nether lips, exciting them so that they would open more easily. She was trying to show me a wide-open beaver shot… like a porn star. I sprung an erection the likes of which I hadn’t felt for years.
I forced myself to look away from the spectacle, for the sight of her young thighs and eager pussy were drawing me in like a moth to a flame. Much as I would have loved to stuff that little slit, this whole scene just felt WAAAYYYY wrong–like a setup in fact. “Please don’t. I don’t know what the story is, if you’re trying to set me up or they’re holding your family hostage unless you become my sex slave, but I want no part of it.” Of course I was lying. I desperately wanted part of it–I just knew I shouldn’t.
I sensed Simma stand up and restraighten her skirt. I stood there, looking blankly at the lefthand wall. I wasn’t really focusing on anything, which is why I didn’t realize that there was a small bar there until Simma walked past me and behind it. She put a glass up on the counter and then bent over for something behind the bar–an amazing show given that she had not rebuttoned her jacket. She came up again with some ice which she threw into the glass and proceed to pour herself a gin and tonic. I stood there, not sure what to say or do, waiting for her to make the next move. The tension just built as the silence continued.
Simma took a heady sip from the cocktail, then her eyes narrowed and she looked at me seriously. “This is Rolennia, Mr. Summers. Is not land of opportunity like America. Good job is hard find, especially for woman, and is much competition. What do they offer you, Mr. Summers? 125? 150?” I was surprised her guess was so accurate; I just nodded. “Secretary make 75,000 florint. That a LOT of money in Rolennia. You know what average worker make?” I shook my head. “1200 florint. For year. You know what I get pay now?” I shook my head again. “1000 florint–plus a small room. Because I am not secretary, I am only in pool of possible secretary. If you pick, I make 75 time more money. I make more in one year than most Rolennian family make in lifetime. I VANT zis job, Mr. Summers. I want more than you want, I think. I do almost anything to get. But I have not control–you choose to take job or no, you choose me secretary or no, all I do is hope. That is way of things in Rolennia.”