Price Of Love

Entry by: Corone

17th February 2017
Price of Love

Abby was nowhere near drunk enough for this, but most of the other women in the room were making up for her. She had been regretting her choice of shoes for some hours, even though she had been sitting down for most of the night. Still, they did look good as long as she didn’t have to stand, or walk, in them, and they did work really well with her new green dress. So, all in all, it wasn’t too bad a trade off.

“Oh my god Abby! Its starting!” Margaret Blackwood said, far too loudly, as she filled up Abby’s champagne glass unbidden. A buzz had begun to slide around the entirety of the large ballroom, slipping between the white round tables now covered in streamers and wine stains. But it was perhaps closer to call it a wave of drunken hysteria. The meal had been lovely and the conversation both intriguing and entertaining. But the wine had done its work in the end, a prelude to the main entertainment.

Most of the people here were women, their personal or married wealth clearly displayed both subtly and overtly in Chanel, Givenchy and Dior. A few men were in attendance, and were getting equally hysterical. The ‘girl’s night out’ feeling had provoked giggling and schoolgirl behaviour in more than one adult woman tonight.

A hush failed to descend as Sarah Taylor, the company CEO came onto the stage. She looked amazing, her long evening dress the perfect mixture of wealth and good taste. She looked so good, Abby felt a desire to think something bitchy, but Sarah was actually a pretty good boss. Plenty of the upper management didn’t bother with the annual company dinner, but Sarah was one to party with the staff, not leave her minions to their rude entertainments. Waving for some sort of peace amidst a few drunken cat calls from the audience, Sarah took up the microphone on the stage.

“Well ladies, here we are.” A high pitched cheer sounded in response. “Gentlemen, you may decide this is a good time to take a cigarette break. But it’s all for charity, so don’t think for a minute you can’t get your wallets out too!”

At this a few of the older men who remained, quietly slid away to the main bar. Most had left their wives and partners a little while ago, as evidenced by the waft of cigar smoke every time the door opened. But there were plenty that stayed, Taylor and Swift Associates was a progressive company after all. Once the room had settled, Sarah grinned at her captive audience again.

“Well, you all know why we’re here. Remember ladies, this is all for charity and the company will match every bid! So don’t spend too much of my money if you all want a Christmas bonus this year!” Polite laughter rippled around the room, Sarah was the boss after all. “So, without further ado, take up your bidding paddles and let’s bring out the first of tonight’s gentlemen!”

As this music worthy of a male strip show begun to pump around the room and a parade of young men dressed stylishly in dinner jackets marched across the stage to whoops from the audience. Abby had to admit, there were plenty of very good looking men working in the company these days. That all of them were for sale tonight, if only for a date, was rather exciting, and a few relationships had been known to come out of this annual event.

The men took turns to step forward and the auction began. Sarah called out figures and introduced each man as if they weren’t standing right next to her. Betting was fierce and furious, even among some of the older and married women it seemed. But Abby only sipped her champagne and occasionally put a hand on Margaret’s arm to remind her not to go too crazy.

But then David stepped forward, and Abby had picked up her betting paddle and thrust it into the air before she knew what she was doing. He was just magnificent, no other word for it. She’d not seen him in a dinner jacket very often but he filled it out very well. But it wasn’t just his physique; there was a spark in his eyes that got to her every time. He seemed to be enjoying the attention too, but not in an arrogant way. As several women cast bids, Abby knew she could not let this one get away.

Her desire to win became even more urgent when Siobhan Martins broke the £500 barrier. Abby was not going to stand for that, not from that blonde designer doll at any rate. She added another fifty, and Siobhan did the same. They carried on like this up to a thousand pounds as the other women dropped off. By now, Abby was glaring at Siobhan who was grinning like a cat every time she upped the bet. At one thousand two hundred she had the audacity to raise a glass to Abby.

“Two thousand pounds!” yelled Abby, standing up with such enthusiasm her heel slipped and she twisted her ankle. But undaunted as she gripped the table for support, she glared towards Siobhan, who smiled and nodded but put her bidding paddle down on the table in surrender.

“Gone!” yelled a slightly bewildered Sarah. “Two thousand pounds for David Harrington from accounts. Off you go David, she owns you now.”
David was looking rather confused as he left the stage to take his place next to Abby. He did look good in eveningwear though. Two thousand pounds good? I’d like to think so, thought Abby. It was a lot of money, but not so much she couldn’t afford it.

David came over and put an arm around her. He kissed her and she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back.

“Two thousand?” he said. Abby nodded sheepishly. “I thought partners were meant to clear major expenses with each other before spending that sort of money.”

“The price of love?” replied Abby with a smile, and she kissed her husband again knowing he was worth every penny.