Center Stage Ch. 03
Kas 13, 2023 // By:analsex // No Comment
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I walked away from Grey and headed directly towards the bar. I had just taken my first sip of the mountain dew with vodka that I had ordered when Sydney stepped up next to me.
“Hey there, Cameron, are you enjoying the party so far?” She asked with a smile.
She really was beautiful. I am positive that Dale’s heart must melt every time he sees this smile.
“I am, Sydney, I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. I’m glad that Grey brought me along.”
I returned her smile.
“Tell me something, Cameron, do you handle Zack at work the same way you handled Lucas tonight?”
I kept my face as smooth as possible, but I was floored. How the hell did she know that I worked with him? Houston we have a problem!
“I don’t know what you mean, Sydney?” I asked in what I hope was a confused tone.
Sydney smiled at me again and leaned over and whispered in my ear.
“Ariel Grey happens to be my best friend in the whole world. So let’s just say that I am in the know, and leave it at that. I will say this though. You really should handle his highness the same way you handled Lucas tonight. He needs a friend, and I think you just might be strong enough to crack that suit of armor he wears all the time.”
A tug on my pant leg stopped me before I could respond to Sydney. I looked down to see Madison sitting next to me. Madison’s tail was swinging back and forth. She was obviously happy about something. I leaned down and picked her up in my arms. She butted her nose against my check. I could see something black hanging out of the corner of her mouth. I reached up and gently pulled it from her. She immediately began licking my face. I looked down in my hand and saw a black piece of material. I looked at Sydney with a curious expression.
“What’s this, girl?”
“Where the FUCK is that bitch of a dog???”
I looked across the room and could see Lucas ranting and raving to a group of people. He pointed down towards his feet. The laugh that escaped my mouth was loud. Lucas was missing a chunk of his pant leg around his right ankle. I looked at Madison and she seemed to look back at me proudly.
“Did you do that, girl?”
She responded by putting her paw against my cheek and licking me again.
“I really can’t believe she has taken to you like this, Cameron, she is never this friendly. It’s almost like she understands exactly what you are saying.”
I grinned at Sydney.
“You can call me Cam, any friend of Ariel’s is a friend of mine. Let’s see just how smart she is, Sydney.”
I shoved the piece of material in my pocket and reached up and scratched behind Madison’s ears.
She cocked her head and looked me expectantly.
“Do you remember who Grey is?”
A soft, low puppy growl rumbled through her little body.
“You want to go get him?”
She let out a little bark. I set her down and she took off through the crowd.
“You are wicked, Cam, I love it! I still can’t believe how she’s attached herself to you. I also can’t believe how attached Zack is to you either.”
I choked on my drink, but managed not to get it all over myself.
Sydney took me by the arm.
“Let’s step out on the balcony where we can have a little more privacy. Okay?”
I nodded my head and followed her out a set of french doors into the cool summer night. We sat down around a table and I waited for her to begin.
“First let me say that I’ve known the Greys for most of my life. We grew up living next door to each other. You could say that I am an expert on the subject actually. Now I didn’t mean that Zack was attached to you in a romantic sense. I meant that he really does see you as a friend. He just has problems expressing that.”
“No offense, Sydney, I am far from being his friend. If this is how he treats his friends, then I would really hate to see how he treats his enemies. He’s a cold hearted son of a bitch and hasn’t shown me any reason to think otherwise.”
Sydney nodded her head.
“No offense taken, Cam, I understand what you mean. I just wish you could have known Zack before he turned into a jerk. He was one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet.”
“Then what happened?”
“Lucas happened. It was about six years ago. Zack was just coming to terms with his sexuality. Somehow he ended up meeting Lucas, and everything changed after that. Lucas took control over him. He ended up getting Zack to out himself to everyone. A lot of people didn’t understand, and quite a few actually shut Zack out completely. It would have happened eventually, but Lucas used the situation to take over Zack’s life. He got Zack to think that he was the only person that cared about him. That he was the only one Zack could trust. After a few weeks Zack shut all of us out of his life. It wasn’t until a few months later that Zack caught Lucas cheating on him that he realized what had happened. Well that and the fact that Ariel ripped him about four new assholes.”
We gaziantep escort both laughed. Ariel can be a very formidable woman.
“It took some time, but we slowly saw the old Zack coming back. He tried dating some more, but he seemed to get burned all the time. It was around that time that he gave up dating and men. Center Stage was born. It was his baby. He put every ounce of effort he had into making it successful. CSP is a huge success now, but it came at a cost. Zack stopped trusting people. He stopped letting people into his life. Now he only really deals with Dale and I. Of course there is Ariel as well, but he still isn’t the same person anymore. He doesn’t allow anyone to see what’s inside of him. That is why it was important for you to be here tonight. He knew you were strong enough to keep Lucas at bay, and that would give him the chance to relax and maybe just be himself for a bit. Acting like a bastard asshole all day long can really take it out of you.”
I sat back with a thoughtful expression on my face. I do admit that hearing all of this does explain Grey’s attitude, but it still doesn’t excuse it. Everyone gets dealt a shitty hand in life from time to time. That doesn’t mean he has to act like that towards people.
“I understand what you are saying, Sydney, but what do you want me to do about it?”
“All I ask is that you don’t shut him out. I am not asking you to kiss his ass. Actually I am asking you to do the opposite. Keep challenging him. Don’t let him get his way all the time. I understand that he is your boss, but I know from experience that assistants have more control than a normal secretary would. In fact I’ll let you in on a little secret, Cam.”
“You are the first personal assistant Zack has ever had.”
I looked at her with confusion. Is she fucking kidding?
“Sorry, Sydney, you’re wrong. I’m just one person in a long list of people that have worked for him.”
“You’re right there, Cam, but those other people you are referring to were not his assistants. Before you came along there were only secretaries. After he interviewed you he changed the position to personal assistant. My guess is that he saw a lot in you, and this way it gives him the opportunity to interact with you more. He wouldn’t interact this much with just a secretary.”
Okay. Now I was really fucking confused.
“Why would he do that? My understanding is that he treats me worse than anyone.”
“My guess would be that he has really started to see you as a friend, and he is scared. Like I said before, guys have burned him in the past. Even though there is no romantic interest there is still a possibility that you two could end up close friends. Well you could if Zack would stop being such a fucking prick. I really hope you can stick this out, Cam, I also hope that Zack decides to let you see the real him at some point.”
I smiled at Sydney.
“I’ll try the best that I can, Sydney, but it’s really going to be up to him. He is going to have to take the first step if wants friends. It’s going to take some time before anyone will believe it though. He’s been a bastard for so long…”
I was interrupted by the sound of the balcony door opening. Grey was standing there and looking back and forth between the two of us. He looked concerned.
“Um…Cam…Do you have anything to do with this?” Grey asked.
He stepped out on the balcony and turned sideways. That is when I saw her and I couldn’t help my laughter. Madison was attached to the pant leg of his jeans. He must have dragged her all the way out here. She was growling and tugging on his pants as soon as he stopped moving.
“Who is the smartest girl in the world?”
At the sound of my voice she let go of Grey’s pants and came bounding over to me. She hopped up into my lap and once again my face got covered in puppy kisses. I was petting her and murmuring into her ear.
“Well boys I need to find Dale. We need to make sure that Lucas isn’t causing too much trouble. I’ll be back.” Sydney said with a smile as she stood up and headed back into the loft.
She closed the door behind her. Grey stood there for a few moments looking uncomfortable. He must have decided to try and relax because he finally sat down in the chair Sydney had just vacated. Madison’s head turned to see where he was going. As he sat down by me she started to growl.
“I have no fucking clue why that dog doesn’t like me. She seems to be taken with you though. It seems you have that effect on animals as well as people.”
I could hear the traces of sarcasm in his voice.
His head snapped up and our eyes locked.
“What would you know about jealousy? Isn’t your life perfect enough? And what is with the ‘sir’ shit? We aren’t at work. I do have a name.”
“You might not be at work, but allow me to remind you that I am here as a part of work…”
For the first time I saw some emotion crack through his mask. Anger.
“Are you going to keep throwing that in my face? Why don’t you just leave then, Cameron? You certainly aren’t being held here at gun point.”
“You are so good at that aren’t you?” I asked.
I seemed to be on a roll tonight. I received a look at a second emotion on his face. Confusion.
“What in hell are you talking about?”
“You know damn well what I mean. You are getting pretty good at pushing people away from you. You really should write a book or something on the subject. I am sure it will be a best seller.”
“I’m sorry. I forgot I was talking to the all-knowing Cameron. You think you know everything, don’t you?”
“I don’t think that I know everything. I’m observant, and even a blind person would be able to see the stone walls you’ve erected around yourself. If you would stop acting like such an asshole all the time people might actually want to be around you for more than five seconds.”
“What you really mean is that people wouldn’t hate me? Why don’t you just say it instead of beating around the bush?”
“I can’t speak for other people, Mr. Grey, I can only speak for myself.”
It was like I threw a lit match into a barrel of gasoline. He exploded with a fury.
“I told you I have a fucking name, Cameron, it is Zachary. I am so fucking tired of all this ‘sir’ and ‘Mr. Grey’ bullshit. Why are you so afraid of using my first name? What’s the fucking problem?”
I stood up cradling Madison in my arms. I’m sure the look on my face could have frozen the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the summer.
“Afraid? Fear has nothing to do with it…”
His deep bass voice interrupted me. Its sound echoed off of the building.
“Then what is the problem? You don’t call me by my first name because…”
“I hate you.” I interrupted back.
His mouth moved but not a solitary sound came out. Ariel and Sydney wanted me to get behind his walls to help him. I knew there was no way of getting around his walls. So I took a different course of action. I gave him the blunt, honest truth, and exploded right through his walls. I walked towards the balcony door. I turned back to look at him and what I saw rocked me to the core of my being. Sadness. It wasn’t even that he just looked sad. He looked completely crushed. I couldn’t let that affect me though. He needed to realize the type of person he has become. If there was any chance for him to return to the boy Ariel told me about then I had to be strong. My voice carried out over the balcony like a soft summer breeze.
“You asked me before what I knew about jealousy. So let me share with you what I know about it. I’m jealous of you.”
His head snapped up and his eyes locked on to me.
“You have everything I’ve ever dreamed about. You have a successful company with amazing employees. You are doing something that you love. Let’s not forget that you could have any person in the world you wanted. All it would take is one of those smiles you gave Dale before. The problem is you don’t realize any of that. You’ve thrown everything away because you’re mad at the world. You are one of the luckiest people I know, but you don’t seem to understand any of that. You treat people like shit and you never show any concern or compassion to anyone. Even with everything you have, you could have so much more if you just let people in.”
His voice was so low I was barely able to hear him.
“So you hate me because you’re jealous of me.”
“No. I hate you because I can’t walk away. As much as you piss me off and hurt me, I know that somewhere buried deep inside of you is a good person. That is why I put up with your bullshit. I keep hoping that eventually this evil Hitler routine will wear off and the light that’s inside you will finally shine through. Everyday you seem to bury yourself deeper and deeper and it makes me feel like a fool for believing in you.”
“Well, Cameron, that was quite a monologue you gave there, but you really don’t expect me to believe it do you? This definitely out shines your performance with Lucas earlier. I really should pay you double time for this.”
As he looked back up at me I could see the mask had slid back into place. I knew this was a bad idea. I should have kept my big fucking mouth shut when I had the chance. I thought that this might of worked, but I was obviously mistaken. I don’t know why he does this. This is why I hate him. Wait. That’s not right. I need to be honest with myself. I hate him because I let him get to me like this. I couldn’t help the tears that filled my eyes. I took a deep breath. There is only one thing I could do now.
“This is exactly why I hate you. People put themselves out there and open up to you, but you don’t care. You rip them apart and then piss all over them. Don’t worry about paying me for anything sir. You don’t pay someone that doesn’t work for you. Consider this my resignation. I quit.”
I set Madison down and turned to open the balcony door. She pawed at my leg and I could hear her crying to be picked up again. I stopped at the sound of Grey’s voice.
“You can’t quit. I won’t let you.”
I looked over my shoulder and laughed. I had to look pretty foolish though because a few tears escaped from my eyes.
“You don’t own me, Mr. Grey, I refuse to let you push me around anymore. I deserve better than this. I would wish you all the best, but you already have it. You’re just too god damn stupid to see that. Goodbye, sir.”
I quickly wiped my face before stepping back into the loft. I scanned the room quickly and found a quick, easy escape path. I moved quickly across the room, but not fast enough to draw any unwanted attention. Just as I reached the door though a condescending voice laughed over my shoulder. I turned around and standing before me was Lucas. The way my luck was running tonight I should have expected it.
“Did you and your man have a little fight buddy?” He asked with a sneer.
I couldn’t even control my anger at this point. I didn’t even bother to respond. I turned slightly to my side and my right leg flashed out next to me. My foot caught him dead in the stomach and I could hear the air rush out of his lungs. I swung open the door to the loft and took off down the steps. I quickly hailed a taxi and was on my way home. What a fucked up night this was.
* * *
It wasn’t until much later in the evening when I was relaxing in a steamy hot bath that the ramifications of tonight’s events hit me. Did I actually quit tonight? It took me a few moments to decide. Yes. I would follow through with my impromptu resignation. I wasn’t worried about losing any money. As I said before my paychecks were fucking awesome. I barely had any free time to spend any of it though. This meant that I had a really nice balance in my checkbook at the moment. I could take a few months and decide on a plan of action. I was upset about not working at CPS though, and it had nothing to do with the pay. I really loved my job there. Sure I had to put up with ‘him’, but even that proved to be interesting from time to time.
After about thirty minutes of soaking in the tub I rinsed off and threw on some comfortable clothes. It was only about 11 p.m. I was still wired after everything that happened tonight and I knew I wouldn’t be finding sleep anytime soon. I had just settled down and started to watch some movies on TV. I opened a Zima and lit up a smoke. Just as I was getting into an awesome Julia Roberts film the buzzer rang out through the apartment. I sighed as I stood up and went over to the console.
“Good evening, sir. There is a Miss Grey here to see you. Should I send her up?”
“Yes, George, thank you.”
“Your welcome, sir, have a good night.”
“You too, George.”
I unlocked the front door and sat back down on the couch. I heard a knock at the door a few minutes later.
Ariel breezed into the apartment carrying a small box. She kicked the door closed with her foot. She gave my place a quick once over.
“Very nice, Cam, you have great taste.”
“You’ve seen the apartment before, Ariel, so cut the crap.” I said with a grin. “What do I owe the honor of this visit, my lady?”
Ariel plopped down next to me on the couch. She set the box down in front of her. A huge smile lit up her face.
“I don’t know what the fuck you did tonight, Cam, but it was bloody brilliant!”
My head snapped to the side to look at her. What the hell is she talking about?
“What do you mean, Ariel? I ended up telling him off, cussing him out, and I fucking quit my job.”
She surprised me again by giggling. Why does this seem so funny to her?
“I know all about it, Cam, I just came from Dale and Sydney’s place. They called me as soon as the party ended. It seemed that someone was on their balcony most of the night and was pretty upset. He wouldn’t talk to anyone so they called me. I rushed right over there. Do you know what I found, Cam?”
“I’m not really good at guessing games, Ariel, just tell me already.”
I smiled at her so she would know I wasn’t angry with her.
“I found a very depressed and upset Zack. He even started crying, Cam.”
Ok now she had my attention. Why would the man without a heart be crying?
“Crying about what?”
“He wouldn’t tell me exactly what you said to him, Cam, but whatever you said really threw him for a loop. Zack told me that he knew things were getting bad, but he didn’t realize how bad it was until you laid into him tonight. In one night you’ve been able to do what Sydney, Dale, and I have been trying to do for years.”
“What would that be?”
“He was actually himself for once, Cam, he let his guards down and talked to all of us. Zack didn’t try to control any of his emotions. He completely let go and just went on and on for about an hour. He cut himself off to the point that he didn’t think he could get things back. He felt that no one cared because no one said anything to him. He always ignored the three of us because we’ve been on his case forever. You were different though. You barely knew him, but you had his number. You called him on so many things tonight. I think we may have gotten Zack back for good, and that’s all thanks to you, Cam!”
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