The Card Game

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The Card Game

Oh, wow. Just wow. The timing would be perfect. The planets and stars couldn’t have lined up any better. It was just a perfect coincidence if ever there was one.

I saw her name on the tentative list of panelists in the draft of a program sent to me in an email a few hours before. Then I received a phone call from the from the event coordinator who’d sent it.

At the beginning of the call, I was offered brief introductions and backgrounds, both of which were entirely unnecessary since I knew, professionally, both the woman at the other end of the line as well as the conference that she was pitching.

“We’d love for you to present the opening and closing keynotes. Would you be interested?”

“Absolutely. I’d be honored. But I do have a few things I’ll need, if I may be so bold.”

“What do you have in mind? I’m sure we can work something out.”

I spent ten minutes explaining my special requests to the woman on the phone.

“That shouldn’t be a problem at all. The schedule is still fairly fluid at this point. We’ll have it all ironed out by the middle of next month.”

“Have all the panelists been notified?”

“Of course, but we haven’t received commitments from a handful of them, so their scheduled slots haven’t been finalized yet.”

“Ah. Understood. Give me a call if anything needs to change. It’s not a show-stopper for me if you can’t make it work. I’ll be there either way, of course, and I really appreciate you trying to make it stick.”

“I understand completely. I’ll stay in touch via email as we get everything sorted out. But all you need to worry about right now is how you’re going to fill your opening and closing addresses. We’ve got top-notch media specialists on the team, so feel free to reach out to them whenever you need. They already know to expect your digital media and playbook at some point.”

“Thanks, Ms. Samuels. I’m very much looking forward to it.”

“You bet! Maybe we can actually meet face-to-face this time,” she chuckled.

“I really hope so, too. Talk to you soon,” I responded.

I hung up the phone and my wheels started turning.

I needed a plan. A woman that . . . well, I’ll just say I’d “appreciated” her appearance from afar for a very long time, was slated to be a panelist at the conference to which I’d just been invited. There was no way in hell I was going to pass up an opportunity to be in her very professional, and hopefully, very personal presence.

I needed a plan.

I sat at my desk for about thirty minutes, mindlessly sifting through unimportant emails when a plan started tickling neurons in my brain.

The idea of a slow tease, a game of sorts, popped into my mind.

I wouldn’t ordinarily attend an entire week at a conference for which I was scheduled to give only the opening and closing keynotes. That’s typical for anyone in my position, and not abnormal for a number of the panelists that would be speaking at the “2019 International Business Leadership Conference.”

Usually, I’ll fly in the Sunday evening before opening day, then fly back out that afternoon then return and do the same thing the following Thursday then fly back home again on Friday. A total of fourteen hours in the air across four flights and maybe twenty-four hours on the ground during those six days would be interleaved with ordinary workdays for Tuesday through Thursday back at the office.

But, in that particular case, I couldn’t afford to squander the intervening days and hours. I had to ensure I was as close to that gorgeous woman as I could be for as long as possible.

The game continued to develop itself in my mind over the next month. When I received a “proof” of the conference agenda, which indicated the object of my desire would be in town the last half of the week, I decided I’d stay for the entire thing.

On the Thursday afternoon before the conference opening, I surreptitiously packed extra clothes and sent them ahead via FedEx to my hotel. My wife knew my ordinary routine of double out-and-backs, and I didn’t want to risk explaining to her why I was packing for so many days. I did the FedEx bit while she was occupied buying groceries.

I packed a more-typical two day’s-worth of clothing and necessities into an overnight carry-on, kissed my wife as I got into my SUV at the house, and headed to the airport for my flight to San Jose, California.

It was too late in the evening of my arrival for me to do much of anything to further my plan. While checking in to the hotel, I was given a parcel containing a few things I’d requested eryaman escort from Ms. Samuels. My FedEx box had already been sent to my room. The parcel contained additional program materials for me to review before my keynote address the following morning. The remainder consisted of two packs of pastel index cards. One pack contained green, the other pack held red.

I used one of the computers in the Business Center of the hotel to print out numerous notes I’d stored on a cheap USB memory stick. I knew there was a slight risk of being seen or observed, but it didn’t matter because I had no other option unless I decided to go to some other location or retail outlet to do my work.

The first note read:

Hello. I know this might seem a little strange. I know you, and you know me. We’ve known each other for quite a long time. You do not need to know who I am right now. I will tell you right now that I think you are one of the most interesting and beautiful women to ever grace the face of the Earth. I’ve had my eye on you for a long, long time. I will also tell you that you have nothing to fear from me.

I am attending the conference, of course. Call me a secret admirer if you like, because I do admire you.

Along with this note, I’ve placed two cards. One green, one red. If you are curious, and wish to continue this little game, place the green card under your name tent on the table before you leave the room. Otherwise, place the red card there. If you display the red card, I give you my word that I’ll cease all similar communications immediately; the game will end.

It is important that you place the card where I can see it from a moderate distance. Discard the other. It will be replaced if you’ve decided to follow your curiosity.

At this point, there is no option for you to communicate with me other than this binary yes/no arrangement.

I look forward to seeing your signal. Because I respect you more than anyone else in this world, I look forward to seeing EITHER signal. Though I will be saddened if it’s a red card, I will respect and honor your decision.

On Monday morning, I was in my designated place, ready to take the stage for my sixty-minute opening remarks.

I walked out to the brightly-lit stage as I was introduced.

“Good morning, everyone!” I said with as much energy as I knew, from much public-speaking experience, would be required to immediately engage my audience, but not so much as to come across as an out-of-touch grand-stander.

The enormous venue sounded with simultaneous responses.

“Wow! Look at all the thousands of smiling faces out there!”

Camera operators using wireless equipment dotted the aisles. Video of the attending crowd appeared over my head for all to see.

“The three thousand or so of you and your peers are leading the world’s businesses, and I’m thrilled and truly honored to be here with each and every one of you.

“I’m sure that most of you have no idea who I am. Some of you know of me, and a few dozen of you here this morning have worked with me over the last few decades. It’s amazing how, even in the world of business, our connectedness makes our world so much smaller.”

I spent roughly ninety seconds introducing myself and my background.

“I want to play a little game with all of you if you’ll bear with me. I’d bet we could do a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of thing and demonstrate how every one of us are connected. In fact, I’d almost be willing to bet our connections could be established in three or four degrees.

“Let’s see a show of hands. Who knows who this person is?”

An image appeared over my head on the huge screen.

“It’s dark out there, but I think I see at least a hundred hands. That is Ellen Sargasso, the founder and CEO of Sargasso Industrial. She’ll be presenting later this week from this very stage.

“Can y’all turn up the house lights real quick?” I said, looking into the distance toward the control station.

“A little more? There. Perfect, thanks.

“Everyone who’s holding up their hands can put them down . . . that is, unless you’ve actually spoken with or worked with Mrs. Sargasso in-person.

“Alright. The rest of you still holding up a hand, I want you to stand up. Yep, just stand up for a minute so I can scan the crowd and . . . Excellent!

“There’s Drew Crayton,” I gestured with my extended arm, “the new CIO of Envest Matrix Resources. I personally know both Ellen and Andrew quite well. I previously worked for Ellen a number of years ago, and Drew worked for me during an enormous undertaking a couple of years ago. Right, Drew?”

“Sorry to put you on the spot, but hey. You abandoned my ship, so fair game.”

There was a shimmer of laughter.

“Can we get Mr. Crayton’s photo up on the screen?”

It took the phenomenally outstanding A/V Media crew mere moments to find his bio on the EMR website. His photo from that page was enlarged to forty feet across on escort ankara the screen.

“So, there’s Drew. Oh, sorry! Everyone can sit back down and lower their hands. I’m sure your arms are numb now.”

That drew some more laughter.

“Alright. Who knows this guy but does not know either myself or Mrs. Sargasso?”

Dozens more hands were raised.

“See how that works? I am connected to each of those folks that just raised their hands through one person. Drew. And those same folks are connected to Mrs. Sargasso through two. Gotta love the business world. We’re all a lot closer than we think we are.

I spent the next twenty-five minutes delivering my opening keynote, tying up the meaning behind the demonstration in how strong professional networks can become and how they can add value to leadership positions. My final twenty minutes were spent outlining the agenda for the week including the break-out sessions and focus meetings. I then introduced the four-dozen panelists who would lead them.

Not all of the panelists were in attendance at the opening keynote, particularly the woman of my desire.

At the end of the day, I milled about with the crowds at the various booths and open bars set up by the conference sponsors on the main show floor. I found several friends and a few co-workers there and had a good time that evening.

Before I went to bed, I folded the opening “letter” along with one green and one red index card, and placed the items in a hotel envelope. I placed it on the desk as a reminder to myself of what needed to be done in the morning.

I FaceTimed my wife at home for about a half-hour.

There was nothing for me to do on Tuesday, so I worked from my hotel room most of the day.

On Wednesday, I awakened about ten minutes before my alarm went off. I seldom oversleep, but I always set my alarm as a backup, just in case. I showered, shaved, and dressed before room service delivered breakfast.

I knew that I needed to be out of my door and at the Teal conference room in order to deliver “the envelope” before the panelists arrived for their session.

I found my “target’s” name tent right where it was expected: in the center of seven seats. I placed the envelope inside her folder. Just seeing her name in bold print on both the folder and the tent gave me a thrill, and heightened my expectations.

I returned to my room and watched the clock while I worked remotely. I waited until the appointed time, which was about five minutes before that particular panel discussion was to end. I navigated a longer path to the room, and watched people as they began to filter out the doors. As soon as I saw her walking the other direction, I ducked into the room just quickly enough to scan the name tents.

My heart skipped a beat when I saw it. I saw a green card under her tent. I was perplexed by an omen, though. It appeared as though the corner of the red card had been torn off. The green card had a dime-sized bit of the red card sitting atop it.

I took that as a message. ‘Yeah, I’m curious. But be careful.’

I prepared another envelope. Into it I put replacement cards and the note which read:

There is a particular business suit that you first started wearing about four, maybe five years ago. I am hoping you still have it and that you brought it with you. It is a charcoal color with gray pinstripes. It looks fantastic on you.

If you have it and brought it with you, please fold the green card and stand it up like a name-tent. If you don’t have it, tear the green card in half. Again, if you wish to stop this interaction, display the red card.’

I waited until lunch was being served in the cavernous dining hall to revisit the conference room. I secreted the envelope in her folder.

An hour later, it was break-time again, so I went to check the results. I was only a touch saddened to see the card was torn in half, but, at least, it was the green card, not the red, nor any hint of the red card atop the green. I wasn’t particularly surprised by the torn card, and I already had a plan.

I finally met Becca Samuels face-to-face when lunch service had been completed. After a half-hour of entertaining banter and chit-chat, I gave her an envelope and asked her to have it delivered directly to my “prey” during the combined group-focus in the Sunset room that afternoon. That venue seated close to six-hundred attendees, and the woman of my desire was one of the five panelists on the dais.

I stayed in the shadows as I entered the Sunset room. I stood in a dark corner listening to the various panelists answer questions. My heart quickened each time my favored was asked a question and quickened even more hearing her beautiful voice deliver splendidly perfect answers. That woman was smart. No, she wasn’t just smart, she was brilliant. Her acumen, tact, and diplomatic skill was unmatched by anyone I knew. I loved her. I adored her from hundreds of feet away.

I sincan escort watched as a conference center staff-member (so designated with bold print on the jacket she wore) delivered her the envelope I’d given Ms. Samuels.

I watched her open it while the person sitting next to her answered a complex question. I watched her remove the note and read it. I watched her eyes go wide when she withdrew a credit card from the envelope then quickly replace it.

The note I’d written read:

That’s too bad. But it’s okay. You can make it up to me.

Also enclosed, please find a Visa gift card. It is pre-loaded with $1000.00. This discussion ends at 4:00pm. Macy’s doesn’t close until 10:00pm. I would love it if you would go shopping on my dime and buy something as becoming as that suit I asked about. And I would appreciate it very much if you would wear it tomorrow. You can use the remaining balance to buy whatever you choose. Buy more of that lovely perfume you wear. Buy something for your spouse. I don’t mind. Buy something nice for your child. It doesn’t matter to me as long as I get to see what I want. It’s a small, small offering to the woman I seek from afar.

I saw her gaze shift to the crowd. She was scanning her surroundings. I knew she’d read the next few sentences.

I’m sitting in the room. I’m watching you.

If you agree, simply take the green card from the envelope and put it on the table in front of you. As before, if you want to stop, do the same for the red one instead. I’m close enough to you that I’ll see either decision.

I so completely hope that you only remove the green card, my secret love.

I counted exactly twelve seconds before I saw her remove the green card and place it on the table. Her agreement aroused me.

I didn’t call my wife that night.

When I saw the woman I wanted at the next morning’s event, my jaw dropped. She had outdone herself. She looked so completely and totally professional, just as she always did. But any male with functioning testicles would have at least looked at her beauty appreciatively.

The woman was phenomenally gorgeous. A tiny frame, a little more than five feet tall, wearing a beautiful dark blue pin-striped suit that fit her perfect figure to a tee. It was difficult to look at that woman and believe she was the mother of an eighteen-month-old baby.

She was athletic, obviously. Her firm little butt was perfectly shaped and was highlighted by the snug fit of her pants. Its shape was contoured by the topographic lines of the pinstripes. The subtle curves of her breasts, small but perfect, were mostly hidden by her silk blouse and matching suit coat.

A slender waist and perfect hips topped subtly muscular thighs. The woman was quite the perfect specimen in very beautiful, sexy wrapping.

I stealthily approached her from behind as she walked down the corridor after the event, chatting amiably with several of her fellow panelists. I very discretely took several photos of her pretty little bottom by palming my cellphone. When I returned to my room and examined them closely (for research, of course), I could see just the faintest lines of her panties telegraphing through the fabric.

Damn! I wanted so very much to bury my face in groove of her bottom and feel her heat and smell her little body.

I knew my next ask would be very, very risky. For one, none of my prewritten notes were adequate to the task, so I had to go to the business center (which, during the middle of the day, was predictably busy) to write and print a new one without anyone being wise to my lechery.

The next note I delivered, along with replacement cards, to her folder during the lunch hour. I was discovered by a participant that returned from lunch much earlier than I’d expected. Luckily, it was no one I knew, but of course, he’d likely be someone who knew who I was from the opening keynote. He seemed uninterested in my actions. I played it off as if I was doing something completely ordinary.

Had he read the note, though, unfortunate things might have happened. What he would have read if he happened to be a nosy snoop was:

I have to have you. You look so perfect in that beautiful suit. Thank you for accepting my gift and giving me the gift of seeing you in it. You have the most phenomenal form of any woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.

With your permission, of course, I’d like to engage another one of my senses. I’ve seen your beauty with my eyes. I’m very, very anxious (and very desirous) to enjoy your scent. Yes, I followed you in the hallway earlier this morning and could smell the very alluring fragrance of your perfume in the air you passed through. That is how keen my senses are when I am near you. They become heightened.

But I want more. I need more. I don’t want more of the scent you apply from a bottle. I crave the scent of your body.

I want something that’s very close to you. I have seen your schedule and know that you’re dining with several associates later this evening. I will be nearby. I would love to see you go to the ladies’ room after dinner and know that, when you come out, you’re no longer wearing those tiny panties under those sexy snug slacks.

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