What do you do in the modern office when there’s a power cut? You can chat with your colleagues, bemoaning the fact that you can’t make a cup of tea or get a fizzy drink out of the dispenser. You can tidy your desk. You can sit and listen to the sound of computer systems people crying into unresponsive keyboards about the fact that the company was too mean to pay for a backup generator. You can even catch up on sorting piles of paper into alphabetical or numerical order, as appropriate, though it’s one of life’s truisms that power cuts happen just when such tasks have already been done. After a couple of hours, if you’re lucky and there’s no sign of the power coming back on, you might even be offered the chance to go home early.
If you’re Mr Jones, Financial Director, you’re so important that your work can’t stop for a power cut. So, every half hour or so, you go out into the open-plan main office, where most people whose desks aren’t near a window have opted for chatting, but are starting to think hopefully about going home early. You stare round disapprovingly through the dim backup lighting, and then you march up to your secretary to find out the latest news.
“Jane, has anyone spoken to the electricity board?”
“Jane, does anyone know how long we are to be inconvenienced in this way?”
“Jane, it’s been another hour. What does the electricity board say now?”
Jane can answer the first couple of questions: yes and no, basically. What she actually says is, “Mike’s rung the electricity board, but they have no idea when the power will come back on. They say it’s affecting half the city centre.”
The third question, about two hours into the power cut, has roughly the same answer. Jane is feeling a bit tetchy by this time: several people have taken the chance to go home. Jane hasn’t been offered the opportunity and it seems improbable that she will. Mr Jones isn’t interested in the problems of the electricity board or half the city centre. His problem is his own work, which is, of course, far more important.
“Jane, those letters must go out today. The one to Mr Finch is particularly urgent. What are we going to do about it?”
This presents a challenge and carefully shifts Mr Jones’ problem on to someone else. Mr Jones has, as usual, dictated the letters into his little dictaphone, which can be powered by batteries as well as electricity, but there’s no battery for Jane’s computer. She’s an excellent secretary, but even she is stumped at this point.
“I’m very sorry,” she says, trying to appease him, “but I really don’t see what we can do. Unless of course you’d like to draft the letter by hand.”
This is very unlikely: Mr Jones not only has appalling handwriting, but he’s a great stickler for appearances. Handwritten letters, regardless of the urgency of the communication and the difficulty of the situation, are not a suitable solution.
“Well,” says Mr Jones, at his most pompous, “I do realize it’s not your fault, Jane, but regardless, those letters are urgent and they must go out.”
There’s a pause. Then Gillian, a somewhat lowly member of Mr Jones’ staff, clears her throat nervously and says, “There’s an old typewriter in the storeroom.”
Mr Jones looks at Gillian as though trying to remember who she is. Then, unexpectedly, he beams at her. “Well done, Gillian. That seems an excellent solution to the problem. Jane, perhaps you can ask Mike to go and fetch the typewriter.”
Mike is despatched to the storeroom. Unfortunately, the door to the storeroom seems to be locked. But it’s never locked. Mike returns empty-handed. There is some consternation. And he isn’t the only one who tries to get in during the power cut…
What do you do in the modern office when there’s a power cut? Well, what I did was go to the storeroom. With Alex. We were lucky: we got there first, though we never imagined that so many people would be wandering the corridors in the gloom of the emergency lighting. We never thought for a moment that quite so many other people would want to get into the storeroom. After all, it’s not used very often: it’s just a little windowless room almost opposite the kitchen on the fourth floor, lined with metal shelves crammed with ancient files and superceded office equipment. In the middle of the floor are four filing cabinets in a row and, across the back of two of them, stands a rickety table covered in dusty folders, unfiled papers and other junk.
Alex and I had been lovers for only a few weeks and were still at the having-sex-whenever-possible stage. We hadn’t done it at the office before: we are kept pretty busy and anyway we’d decided it wasn’t a good idea for anyone to know about us; but that day the rules seemed different. For one thing, it was too dark for me to do any work where I sat in the middle of the office. For another, so many people had gone home early or taken late lunches that no-one really knew where anyone was, or who was there and who wasn’t.
When the power had been off for about ninety minutes, Alex wandered across to my workgroup. Jean had gone home, and Stevie was on holiday, so only Marion and I were there. Marion, the group leader, who’s a good sort but a great moaner, was rearranging her desk for about the fourth time and complaining about how hard it would be to catch up on the work she’d not been able to do. I was sympathizing automatically in the few gaps between moans, but really I was quite content staring into space, my mind drifting through interesting new combinations involving Alex and me and my bed.
“I’m just nipping up to the fourth floor filing room,” Alex said conversationally. “Does anyone need me to bring anything back?” He looked straight at me.
“That’s kind of you, Alex,” Marion said, “but it’s too dark over here for us to get on with anything. These wide buildings are such a nuisance in a power cut unless you sit near a window, like you do.”
Alex strolled away toward the stairs. A moment later, Marion went over to speak to Jane, and I took advantage of her absence to slip out after Alex. He was waiting for me on the stairs.
“I can hardly control myself with you there on the other side of the office, looking so horny,” he said. “This power cut will drag on and on. They always do. What do you say to taking advantage of the confusion? There’s emergency lighting in the filing room so people will be in and out, but there’s a little storeroom on the fourth floor too. There’s no lighting in there: no-one will want to go in.”
I said, “Marion says I can go home if I want to. Can’t you come now?”
“No chance,” Alex said. “Group leaders’ meeting with Mr Jones at four o’clock sharp. Jonesey sent Gillian out to get some candles in case the power’s still off, so the meeting will definitely go ahead.”
He looked around to make sure we were alone, then ran a finger down my cheek. “Go on, babe. Don’t make me wait till tonight.”
“Hold on a minute then,” I said and went back into the office and over to my desk. I picked up my bag. “I think I will go early, Marion, if that’s still all right.”
She nodded. “Well, you can’t really get anything done, so you might as well go. Lucky thing. I’m stuck here for the duration. See you tomorrow.”
I joined Alex on the stairs and followed him up to the fourth floor, through a door confusing marked “Floor E.” We went down the main corridor, turned left into another corridor, went past a kitchen doorway and came to a halt outside a door marked “406.” Alex looked round exaggeratedly to make sure no-one was there to see us, then we went into the dark storeroom and closed the door.
Alex began to kiss me. He’s a great kisser, really horny. As he kissed me, he manoeuvred me over to the filing cabinets in the darkness and began to undo my blouse. We were just settling into our stride when someone tried to get in. (I realized later, from listening to Jane, that this was Mike on his first attempt to get the typewriter.) I was leaning against the side of the end filing cabinet, my eyes closed. Alex had undone my blouse and my bra, and was on his knees on front of me, stroking my breasts and licking my nipples with enthusiasm.
When the doorknob turned, I opened my eyes wide into clammy blackness and froze.
Alex whispered, “Shh. It’s OK. It’s locked, baby. Take no notice. No-one can get in.”
He ran his hands over my breasts and down my belly and pulled my blouse out of my waistband. He reached round for the fastening of my wraparound skirt, unclipped it and let it fall on to the carpet tiles.
Outside, Mike was rattling the doorknob. I heard him say, “Oh, shit,” and then there was silence.
Alex smoothed my knickers over my hips and down my legs. I lifted each foot in turn and stepped out. He pushed my legs apart and began to lick my pussy. I sighed, aware of the need to keep quiet, but unable to remain silent.
As Alex’s tongue flicked in and out of me, the doorknob rattled again. I jumped and bumped my pubic bone against Alex’s nose.
I heard someone say, “Oh, this is stupid.” Mike again.
Alex had stopped licking. He stood up. “I think,” he said very softly into my ear, “you’re getting lonely on your own. It’s making you jumpy. What you need is some solidarity up there.” He turned me round. I leaned on the filing cabinet. I heard him pull his zip down and the soft swish as he pushed his trousers down. Then his cock was nudging at me, trying to find the crevice between my buttocks. The tip slid over my arsehole and slipped, with a soft squelch, into my wet pussy. Alex moved, pushing deeper inside me. He put his hands on my shoulders and began to thrust. I leaned my head back and kissed him as he fucked me.
After a while, someone else came to the door and turned the doorknob a few times. A shrill female voice said, “It’s stuck. Perhaps someone’s locked it,” and another voice answered, “Can’t be. It’s never locked. Let me try.”
The doorknob turned again, then there was the sound of knuckles against the wood. “Is anyone in there?” said the first voice.
Alex pressed his lips against my shoulder to stop himself laughing aloud. I’d put my hand over my mouth for the same reason. He was deep inside me, holding me close, his pelvis pressed hard against my buttocks, his arm over my shoulder and across my breastbone. I could feel him shuddering against me, inside me, impending orgasm mingled with uncontrollable giggles.
“Well, someone had better find the key,” the shrill voice said. “I need that file. Mr Gummage wants it. It’s so inconsiderate.”
Then a male voice: Mr Gummage himself. “Joyce, here you are. I’ve been looking for you. What seems to be the problem?”
Alex began to thrust harder, driving me against the filing cabinet. My hips made a muffled tinny sound with each thrust. He was beyond laughter now, moving in a regular rhythm. I don’t think he could even hear the commotion outside any more.
The female voices began to excuse themselves. The shrill one, Joyce: “Oh, Mr Gummage, I’m so sorry. I just slipped away from my desk for a moment to get the Finlayson file you asked for, but the door seems to be stuck.” The other one, who sounded like Carol from the third floor, less shrill, but louder: “I stopped to help Joyce. I think someone’s locked the door. I can’t imagine why anyone would have locked it.”
“How on earth were you going to find the files, Joyce?” said Mr Gummage. “You wouldn’t be able to see by the emergency lighting out here and there’s no emergency light in the storeroom.”
“I brought my torch, Mr Gummage. I always keep a torch in my desk. For emergencies. But, anyway, the door’s locked. There’s no key, Mr Gummage. You remember, the health and safety officer was asking about it last month and we couldn’t find it. Should I contact a locksmith?”
The tip of Alex’s cock nudged my cervix. He cupped my breasts in his hands. I was sweating, a combination of hot sex and stuffy storeroom. What Alex was doing felt great and, briefly wondering whether Mr Gummage would bother calling a locksmith, I let the sounds fade away.
Alex thrust harder. The sound of my hips colliding with the metal filing cabinet suddenly seemed to fill the room. I became alert to sounds outside again. Mr Gummage had gone away, but I could hear the voices of Joyce and Carol, if it was Carol, in the corridor, discussing who could have locked the door. Alex, oblivious, was still thrusting. I tapped him gently on the cheek.
“Too loud,” I whispered.
He stopped. “Hang on.”
After a moment, he began to propel me slowly round the filing cabinet, his cock still hard inside me. We moved carefully until my hands touched the table. I shuffled slowly forward until my thighs touched the edge of it and I leaned over it, propping my elbows on a pile of files.
Quietly, Alex said, “OK?” and in answer I lifted myself up against him firmly. His hands gripped my hips as he began again.
Behind Alex’s smothered panting and my own breathing, I could hear the voices in the corridor. Mike was complaining, “Mr Jones says he’s got to have that typewriter,” and then another female voice asked what everyone was doing. Joyce started explaining about the door being stuck, “But it’s been locked really. There’s someone in there. I know there’s someone in there. What can they be doing? They’ve no right.”
Alex leaned forward, pressing me down into the files. The table shifted a little. I twisted my head to kiss him. He was close again now. His tongue was hard in my mouth, his cock hard in my pussy. I could feel his heart beating against my shoulder blade. I forgot Joyce and Carol and Mike. I forgot to be worried about the sound of breathing and the tiny squelching noise as Alex’s cock moved inside me. I shifted my legs wider apart and raised my buttocks a little more as he moved faster, pushing me against the table.
Then he came; and as he came, as he thrust again and again, lost in his orgasm, something went ping loudly right by my ear.
“What was that?” Joyce said loudly, right outside the door. “Did you hear that? It sounded like a typewriter. It sounded like the carriage return on a typewriter. I used to be a typist. I’d know that sound anywhere. It was a typewriter.”
The doorknob rattled again. “Who’s in there? I know you’re in there. What are you doing?”
Alex relaxed against me, kissed my neck.
“What the fuck was that noise?” he breathed into my ear.
I moved my hands over the table. Underneath a pile of files, I felt something metal. I ran my fingers carefully over it, finding a lengthy spacebar, feeling deep keys.
I whispered back, “It is a typewriter.”
Alex slipped his cock out of my pussy and straightened up. We began to pull on our clothes. Joyce was still at the door. As I buttoned my blouse, I heard her say, “Oh, Mr Gummage, there’s definitely someone in there. We heard a typewriter, didn’t we, Carol? Mr Gummage, shall I get hold of a locksmith?”
“I think I heard something,” Carol said, “but I wasn’t close to the door like Joyce.”
“It was a typewriter,” Joyce said obstinately. “It was pinging.”
“Are you telling me someone’s typing in there?” said Mr Gummage. “In the dark?”
“No,” Joyce said, “not actually typing. I didn’t hear the keys, just a ping. It was a carriage return, Mr Gummage. I used to be a typist. I know that sound. It was definitely a typewriter.”
Then the voices in the corridor began all to exclaim at once: “Oh, the lights.” “The power’s come back on.” “Thank goodness: I’m dying for a cup of tea.”
“Now what?” I whispered to Alex. We were still in the dark, of course.
“What if they wait too?”
We listened in the darkness.
“That’s better,” Mr Gummage was saying. “We can all get back to work. I think everyone had better go back to their own offices.”
Joyce said, “But, Mr Gummage, the Finlayson file. The storeroom’s still locked.”
“Never mind,” Mr Gummage said. “We’ll sort it out. Go on, everyone. Back to your offices.”
I listened to them moving off. Mike was saying, “Won’t need the typewriter now anyway” and Joyce was still protesting about the Finlayson file and the pinging noise.
Eventually there was silence. We waited several more minutes, listening, then Alex moved to the door, quietly slipped the lock and gently turned the knob. He pulled the door inwards and peered out into the bright corridor.
“All clear. Come on.”
We closed the door after us. As we passed the doorway to the kitchen, Mr Gummage came out holding a steaming mug.
“Not often we see you on the fourth floor, Alex.”
“I came up for a case file for Mr Jones,” Alex said quickly, brandishing a yellow folder. “This is Sarah, our new accounts clerk. I brought her up to show her where the storeroom is.”
“No trouble with the door then?”
“None at all,” said Alex, managing to sound quite convincingly surprised.
“How strange,” said Mr Gummage. “Everyone seemed to think the storeroom was locked only a short time ago.”
“Perhaps the door was stuck,” Alex said. “It was a little stiff when I tried it.”
“Joyce was convinced there was someone in there, doing something with a typewriter. Said she heard it go ping.” Mr Gummage shrugged. “One of life’s mysteries. At least the power cut is over. Always a problem killing time when there’s a power cut on, isn’t it? Just as well we don’t get many.”
Alex said, “Yes, isn’t it?” and we began to walk down the corridor.
“Um, Sarah,” said Mr Gummage from behind us. We stopped and turned round. “Your skirt appears to be caught up.”
I pulled the corner of the wraparound out of my knickers, blushing.
Mr Gummage passed us, went across the corridor and into his office. “Always difficult in the dark,” he said.
I dragged Alex into the kitchen and whispered, “Do you think he realized?”
“His office is right next to the storeroom, so it’s possible. I never thought of that.”
“Hell. What will he do?”
“Well,” Alex said, “with luck, nothing. The word is that when he was a junior accountant here, he was once found in the ladies’ loo with one of the secretaries. He’s decent enough anyway. Come on: we’d better go. I’ve got that meeting and you’d better disappear before someone realizes you’re still here and wonders why.”
We came out of the kitchen and started back along the corridor. As we passed Mr Gummage’s door, he looked up, grinned and said, “Ping indeed!”
Copyright © 2004 by Kit. All rights reserved.
Kit is British and, as well as writing fiction, writes songs, plays guitar and practises Tarot. Other publications include “Perfect,” in Erotic Tales, ed. Justus Roux (2003), “Changing Roles, Changing Rules,” in Best S/M Erotica 2, ed. M. Christian (2004) and “MMF,” in Binary: The Best of Both Worlds – Bisexual Erotica, ed. M. Christian and Sage Vivant (due out 2005).
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