The office of the architectural firm is posh and modern, so much so that Cade feels underdressed even in a freshly dry-cleaned suit and tie. The secretary smiles at him, white teeth between red lips, and says, “He’s ready for you.” She stands and gestures down a hallway to her right. “Right this way.”
Cade can’t stifle a gasp as the secretary leads him through a heavy, frost-glass door into a corner office. There are windows, but the mid-morning sunlight is blocked by black drapes that reach the floor. The overhead lights are sickeningly white, drawing unease in Cade’s stomach.
But the gasp comes more from the man—no, the demon—sitting behind the desk, his presence roiling with bureaucratic intimidation. Black horns curl against a head of white hair, his eyes two abyssal spheres in their sockets. His dull maroon skin is dulled beneath the bright lights, but stands out against the beige of his ergonomic office chair.
Cade hadn’t expected his interview would be conducted by a demon. Demons hardly work outside of Hyral, but it’s not completely unheard of. And despite this demon’s youthful appearance, he’d obviously risen the ranks with little issue.
The secretary directs Cade to sit on a black leather sofa aligned with the desk, then shuts the office door behind her.
Cade speaks first, bowing his head slightly. “Thank you for taking the time to interview me, sir.”
“Call me Lex,” the demon says with a smile. He rises from his chair and rounds his desk, sit-leaning on the front edge. Cade takes in the demon’s revealed outfit—gray tailored suit that re-sculpts his body; recently shined shoes, because of course the head of the city’s most prominent architecture firm can afford a regular shoe-shine. Gold accessories sparkle at his cuffs, his tie, and his breast pocket.
“I’m impressed with your resume,” Lex says. “I don’t find it prudent to rehash details we both already know, so why don’t you tell me what’s between the lines?” He tilts his head, the fluorescent light catching his horns like a noon glare off a pool of ink.
Cade had come prepared for all the standard interview questions, but this one threw him off-kilter. Was he supposed to start with his strengths? His flaws? What he did for fun?
After a few seconds of pinging thoughts, his brain clicks into place and he speaks. “At previous positions I worked with external and internal clients. I found I preferred working with internal clients the most; supporting those within the company. I’m not bothered to work late when necessary, or weekends if the job demands it.”
“I believe in a healthy work-life balance,” Lex says smoothly. “But during office hours, I require my assistant to be fully dedicated.”
“I throw myself into my work, sir,” Cade says. “I care to see tasks through correctly, even if it takes a little longer. I know my performance reflects upon myself as well as my superiors, and the company.” He swallows, waiting for Lex’s response.
“Mind if we test that?” Lex asks.
Cade realizes how much his posture has slouched when he sits up straighter. “Not at all, sir.”
Lex taps a long, clawed finger on his elbow, cheek bulging as if nudged by his tongue.
Cade flinches. “I—I’m sorry?”
The demon raises a brow as the corner of his mouth ticks up. “You heard me.” Then he tosses his head. “The door’s there, if you’re not up to it.”
Fight or flight time. Cade swallows a lump, weighing his pros and cons, but all he can think is that he really, really needs this fucking job.
His hands tremble as he stands and reaches for his throat, tugging his tie right and left until it loosens. He lays it on the leather sofa next to him, then removes his suit jacket. He folds it with care, even though it’s just a lucky thrift store find, and lays it on the back of the sofa.
He raises his eyes to his demon spectator as he unbuttons his shirt, trying to keep the fear from his face. He wants to look confident without arrogance; competent without ignorance. He can’t know how many others interviewed for this position, only revel in the fact that he’s in this room now, with the heavy, lustful eyes of a demon watching him.
With his shirt unbuttoned, Cade drops it from his shoulders, laying it next to the suit jacket. His undershirt follows, then his binder. He drops his eyes before the last one, but curiosity brings them back up. Nothing indicating displeasure crosses the demon’s face.
Cade realizes he’d hesitated, because Lex crosses his arms and says. “Are you finished?”
“No, sir,” Cade says automatically, reaching for the fly of his suit pants. He unclasps, then pushes them to his ankles along with his briefs. He pauses again when he realizes he hadn’t even thought to take his shoes off.
“That’s enough,” Lex says. “Take a seat.”
Cade’s cheeks heat up as he teeters back, legs spreading automatically when he lands. There’s slick built up between his legs and without thinking, he scoots his ass to the edge of the couch, legs opening wider as he half-reclines.
Lex doesn’t move, but a smile curls his lips when he orders, “Play with yourself.”
Cade inhales sharply, blushing. He’d never masturbated with an audience. His cock throbs at the impending exposure, both in the present and the future.
He reaches for his nipples, rolling his fingers over them lightly. He doesn’t usually do this when he jerks off, but knowing there’s an expectation that he’s putting on a show, that he needs to impress—the thought makes him moan softly, and he pinches his nipples tighter.
He leaves one hand on his chest as the other slides between his legs. He knows he’s wet, but he finds evidence of his arousal clinging to the pubic hair along his cunt. He slides a finger between the folds, dragging the moisture up to his cock.
“That’s it,” Lex says. “How does it feel?”
“It’s good, sir,” Cade says, teasing himself to draw it out. He’s never been this turned on with any partner, never had eyes boring into him, hungry and clinical, while he chases his own pleasure. His shoes are still on, for fuck’s sake, his cunt drooling shamelessly on the leather beneath his ass. With his fingers split around his cock, stroking with wet, slurping noises, he could get off easily—another shock. Interviews are supposed to be about someone finding out about you, not discovering new things about yourself.
Cade’s head falls back against the couch, coolness seeping through his hair. “Sir, may I—is it okay if…” He trails off, stilling his fingers until he hears an answer to his half question.
“I’m so glad you asked,” Lex purrs. “Knowing the performance is on you, but seeking approval for the finished product, is always best practice.”
“Ah—thank you, sir.” Cade squeezes his eyes shut as he paces himself. He’s so close, but he senses that coming without permission means he might as well have walked out before he took his clothes off.
“And so well-mannered,” Lex continues. “Go ahead. You’ve earned it.”
Cade’s fingers speed up, tensing around his cock as he bucks helplessly into his own hand. He squeezes a nipple hard as he comes, teeth baring down on his bottom lip as a quick burst of breaths flares his nostrils. He usually curses like a sailor when he comes, but he keeps it relegated to a terse, whispered, “Fuck.”
Lex hears him, of course, and chuckles as he returns to his seat. “You’re free to get dressed.”
Cade’s never left a job interview without having a decent idea of how it went, but he goes numb as he drags his clothes back on. He starts to stuff his tie in his pocket, not even wanting to deal with it, but Lex taps the edge of his desk.
“Let me get that for you.”
“Oh.” Cade squeezes the tie in hand and approaches the desk. He wraps the tie around the back of his neck, holds his breath as Lex reaches up and knots it for him.
“Discretion is key,” he says softly. “Wouldn’t want anyone asking questions, would we?”
“No, sir,” Cade says. “Thank you.”
Lex smiles as he drops his hands and sits back in his chair. Cade catches a glimpse of what he thinks is an erection through Lex’s pants, but his eyes snap up when Lex says, “Speak to my secretary on the way out. She’ll schedule your second interview.”
Cade’s cheeks go numb with the rest of him. “Second interview, sir?”
“Standard protocol,” Lex says. “Before I extend you an official offer, there are more aspects of your performance I’d like to evaluate.”
A thrill seeps down Cade’s spine before it rests between his legs. He’s ready to drop to his knees right there if it gets him the job, but he just nods. “Of course,” he says, licking his lips. “Whatever it takes, sir.”
Lex leans back in his chair, his clawed hands curling around the ends of his armrests. “That’s what I like to hear.”