It was dark in the main office, everyone having gone home over two hours ago.
Andy sat alone in his office, poring over the figures on his screen. He'd been staring at them so long that they'd started to lose all meaning, if there was even meaning to decipher from them in the first place.
He shifted in his seat, reached down to scratch absently at his left butt cheek before he caught himself and pulled his hand away. The still healing tattoo had been driving him mad all day, no matter how much lotion he rubbed on it, it wouldn't stop itching and resisting had been a sheer test of will for Andy. Erin had slapped his hand away more than once when she'd caught him.
It had been two days since the office trip to the tattoo parlour and Andy was still buzzing from it, not just from the fact that they had reached their near impossible goal of doubling their sales, but also for the sense of acceptance and approval he'd received from his colleagues. As they'd surrounded him lying in that chair, their whoops and cheers hadn't sounded mocking like he'd been afraid they would. They'd sounded supportive, their smiles had been real and Andy had genuinely felt like he belonged, like they truly liked him.
Andy smiled at the memory as his hand reached down to touch that part of his flank again, but this time with tenderness. Nard dog, art work by Pam. He couldn't think of a better thing to be marked with for the rest of his life.
A quiet cough came from across the way and Andy focused once again on his computer screen, reminded of why he was here.
Robert California sat just on the other side of the wall in the conference room. Andy was painfully aware of this, had been keeping a mental account of all of Robert's moves. At 6:35 Robert had wandered into the rec room to make himself a cup of coffee. At 7:02 he'd gone to the toilet. At 7:15 he'd circled around the main office, hands clasped casually behind his back. He'd stopped at Jim's desk and Andy had frozen, Robert's figure in his peripheral as he'd stared intently at his computer screen, fingers hovering over the keys. When Robert had returned to the conference room, Andy had slumped in defeat.
Andy was determined not to leave the office before Robert. He was equally determined for Robert to notice this, perhaps congratulate him on his diligence.
Robert had not acknowledged Andy once.
Andy was big enough to admit that it was getting to him big time.
True, the office had managed to pull off something remarkable in the past week (even if for questionable motivation), but it just didn't feel enough to Andy. He needed Robert to tell him he'd done good.
Andy stood up from his desk, wondered out into the main office and knocked lightly on the conference room door. The shutters were down and Andy just didn't feel comfortable inviting himself in.
"Enter," Robert commanded.
Andy obeyed. The lights were dimmed and long shadows played over the drab white walls. Robert sat dead centre at the conference table, the glow of his computer screen reflecting off his reading glasses.
"What can I do for you, Andy?" Robert asked in a patient tone, head tilting. The way Robert addressed him made Andy feel like a nagging child, which only heightened his already increased anxiety around Robert.
"I just wondered if you needed some coffee?" he asked, feeling foolish even as he spoke. Andy wished he didn't feel such a burning need for Robert's approval.
Robert held up his mug, took a sip. "I'm fine," he said.
"Cool." Andy nodded. "Cool, cool, cool. Coolio." He needed to stop talking. It was imperative that he stopped talking right now.
Robert, who had returned to his work glanced again at Andy. "Is there something else?"
"I was just thinking how great it is, us both being here, working hard after hours. A couple of stalwart leaders rallying the troops."
"If you want to leave you can, you don't have to wait for my permission to go home."
"Oh I wasn't. I wasn't waiting for- I know I can leave whenever I want, I am my own boss. As well as the boss for everyone here, I mean-." Andy took a breath, willed himself to stop. Just calm down. Stop babbling. "I just had a few things I needed to wrap up," he finished. "I'll be going soon. Will you? Be going? Soon?"
Robert didn't answer. He breathed in deep, then exhaled through his nostrils, long and slow, he reminded Andy of a dragon. Or a lion. Or any other kind of apex predator. And Andy, he was the rabbit, the skittish gazelle.
"Explain something to me, Andy," Robert began and Andy sprang to attention. "Word around the office is that you are now the proud owner of some body art. Is that correct?"
"Oh the tattoo." Andy laughed. "I. Yes, unfortunately. That happened."
"As Miss Kapoor tells it, you got this tattoo solely as incentive for the team to reach their sales goal."
"That would. That would be correct. I know, it sounds crazy, right?" Andy grinned.
Robert stared at him for just a beat too long and Andy's grin dropped. He resisted the urge to shrink into himself under that intense gaze.
"That is interesting," Robert said finally.
"Is it?" Andy really wasn't sure. "I mean it's nothing. Really, it's stupid, I don't even know what I was thinking-"
"Will you show me?"
Andy swallowed. "The ah. The tattoo?"
Robert nodded. Andy hesitated, feeling so very aware of where they were. The conference room, the same room he and his colleagues sat in every day, the same place he was expected to manage them, to lead them. And now here was Robert; the sole occupier of that giant table and here was Andy just... standing there.
"You seem self conscious," Robert noted. "Do I make you uncomfortable?"
"No." Andy laughed, tried to shrug off that unsettled feeling as nonchalantly as possible as he unbuckled his belt. "No way, I'm Andy Bernard, I don't get self-conscious." Andy turned around and carefully lowered his pants to reveal the dog tattooed on his left buttock. Greeted with the cool air the tattoo's itchiness increased maddeningly.
Andy waited for Robert's reaction, but the other man remained silent. Seconds ticked by and Andy started to feel nervous, he turned to try and see Robert's expression but Robert was no longer sitting at the desk. Somehow, silently, Robert had moved and he was now standing directly behind Andy, so close that Andy jumped, unconsciously flinched away.
"Stay still," Robert's deep voice rumbled. "Let me see it up close."
Andy turned back around, keenly aware of just how exposed he was like this, his bare ass basically just hanging out in front of his boss.
"It's stupid, I know. But you should've seen the other designs they had for me. Honestly I got off lightly."
"Is this something you do often, Andy? Offering your body up as favours?"
"I- what? No. That's not. That wasn't-" A hand resting on his flank cut Andy off, he jumped and much to his humiliation emitted a surprised squeak. He hadn't been expecting Robert to touch him. God no.
"That wasn't what happened?" Robert was closer now and when he spoke it was a growl in Andy's ear. Andy could feel the warmth of Robert's chest against his back and a chill went down his spine, he couldn't tell if it was panic or exhilaration. "It seems to me that was exactly how it went down. You needed your team to increase productivity so you offered your body to them, is that the only way you can think to get someone to do something for you?"
"It was a mistake," Andy stuttered. "It started as a joke and then got out of hand."
"How did it feel? Having everyone watch you, humiliating yourself, knowing they were the reason you were there." Robert's hand was still on his flank, the heat of his palm felt like it was burning Andy's skin.
"It wasn't like that. They didn't- they didn't expect me to do anything. I chose to go through with it myself, to show them-" Robert stepped closer, pressed flush against Andy and Andy gasped, every inch of his skin tingling. "I wanted to show them I was good for it."
"A man of your word," Robert concluded, Andy could feel Robert's warm breath against the nape of his neck. Robert's hand was still pressed between the two of them against Andy's ass cheek and it felt like he was kneading him. "I wonder, what other lengths are you willing to go to prove that?
"I- I don't know. What do you want me to do?" Andy was frozen, he was a mess, he had no idea what Robert was doing or what he was going to do. He wasn't even sure what he wanted Robert to do.
Robert's hand lifted from his flank, he stepped back and suddenly there was cold air between them.
"I want you to go home, Andy," Robert said. His voice was calm and indifferent. Andy turned, eyes wide and feeling more than a little blindsided. Robert was already sitting down in front of his computer, eyes on the screen like he hadn't just been pressed right up against Andy with his hand on his ass.
"Or return to your office and finish your work, it doesn't particularly affect me either way, but if you wouldn't mind..." Robert looked at Andy from over his glasses. "It's imperative I finish this before tomorrow."
Andy blinked. He fumbled to pull his pants up and fasten his belt, his fingers shaking. He was rock hard, entirely outside of his own volition and he kept himself angled slightly away from Robert to try and hide it.
"What just happened here?" he asked, his voice sounding steadier than he felt.
"What do you mean? I asked to see your new tattoo and you showed me."
"But you-" Andy swallowed heavily. "I think we should talk about- whatever that was."
"There's nothing to talk about." Robert waved to the door, it was clear Andy was dismissed. "Goodnight, Andy."
Andy stayed rooted to the spot for long painful seconds. His mouth was hanging slightly open and he knew he looked gormless, but he was struggling to wrap his mind around what had just transpired.
Dazed and confused, Andy slowly made his way out of the conference room. He hesitated at the doorway, looked back at Robert. Robert was ignoring him, like he was little more than a troublesome fly Robert had chosen not to notice anymore.
Andy shut the door quietly, He grabbed his things, hit standby on his computer and hightailed it out of there.
Later, safely in the confines of his home, Andy struggled to make sense of what had happened. Had something happened? He was beginning to doubt himself. He could still feel the heat of Robert's body against his back, that deep voice you could never tell was trying to seduce you or kill you, rumbling in his ear.
It happened. He knew it had happened.
But even still... even still.
Andy toyed with his cell phone, slumped on his couch with the TV serving as background noise. Andy had no idea what was playing, he wasn't paying attention. Normally with a situation like this, his go-to guy would be Darryl. But he couldn't go to Darryl with this, it was just too weird. Kind of sordid.
Andy didn't even know how he felt about it and that troubled him. He was unhinged and unnerved, but by god he had never been so hard as he had been in that office. Had he enjoyed it? He honestly couldn't say.
He tossed his phone aside with a groan, tried to focus on whatever was on the tv, spending the rest of the evening in that troubled daze.
That night, when he went to bed, he jerked off thinking about Robert's hand on his ass, imagined him reaching round and gripping his cock. When he came it was equal parts explosive and deeply unsettling.