I have to try to catch up here. I'm still over a week out of date.

Tuesday (last week) the big reorg was announced. There were a few relatively minor changes, but the big ones began with the promotion of Terry from caretaker "supermanager" to VP engineering.

Terry announced the appointment of Darrell, the new IT manager. He starts next week, but was with us at the retreat last weekend. More about that another day. But he showed his face at the meeting.

'Course, my team were muttering to me about how that should have been my job. I told them to wait. And sure enough, Terry told the world... well, the company... that I was the new software group manager. That caused a stir in both the IT and the software group.

After the meeting, I called a meeting of the software engineers. I was surprised how nervous I was. But it went okay, I guess. They're good people, if highly argumentative. I'd pretty much gotten used to being able to give the IT team their instructions, and even Karen and Kelly usually comply.

The problem with software is that it isn't only that they're an intelligent, opinionated bunch. It's that I really don't know enough about what they're doing. I have to be careful that they don't snow me with technical excuses. I had to challenge a couple of them, but I found that if I did, I'd get enough argument from other engineers that I could figure out what was going on. I got good support from Mary, who seems very happy to be working for me, and the three leads have been great. They are very professional.

Here's the problem. All the engineers are working long, long hours right now. But even so, we're behind schedule. When Terry moved out of direct involvement with the software group, he expected the leads to take over. Well, it seems they tried, but they haven't had the authority to say no, and Andy, the product manager - and Brian's boss - has pushed them into commitments they can't meet. I've spent this past week gathering data and figuring options, and keeping the same hours that the development team. I'm almost ready to confront Andy. And I have to do it, because he isn't going to get what he expects, but I've really had to be sure I get my facts in order, because if I don't, it will look like I'm just trying to get in the way.

'Course, keeping these hours hasn't exactly helped Brian and me figure out where we're going, and even though it would have been nice to have relaxed in the spa in the late evening, that's something I haven't been able to bring myself to do, because that's where...

It's strange how this affects me. Most of the time I'm just fine, then something triggers my imagination, and I get this sinking, depressed feeling. Two or three times I've taken my ring off, intending to break our engagement. Not that I've wanted to end our relationship. Just that marriage seems like a strange thing to be considering. But so far I haven't done it, because if I can't see how to back out without destroying our relationship.

I spent a lot of time this past weekend thinking about exactly that, and I'm not going to upset the status quo. If I make any changes, it will be when I finally know exactly what I'm doing. Reaching that decision was what allowed me to start updating my journal again.


The air is heavy tonight as I sit outside with my notebook. We've been without rain for so long, now, temperatures into triple digits, and finally we're seeing signs of a possible change in the weather. This afternoon there was just enough rain to make the roads look wet, but not even enough to affect traffic - and wet roads after long, hot dry spells here are dangerous. So I guess it barely qualified as wet.

And on the radio they said thirty percent chance of thundershowers. So I'm hoping... but all we have is the hot, heavy, damp air. Some irregular wind, which might imply a storm system forming. There's a cicada nearby. Several cicadas and crickets in the night air, but one so close that when it starts its long squeeeee sound all of the others are muted.

It smells like rain's on the way. I just don't see any sign of it.

While I'm on the subject of being outdoors at my house, my Cannas are doing well, in spite of the watering restrictions. They're not flowering as much as they would if I could water more often, but they're big and healthy. A couple of them are almost my height, and still flowering. Next year, they'll really be good.

Well, I added another story. On Camera is another "concept" story, another attempt to add a little non-standard framework around a story of seduction. Though it deals with infidelity and a girl being very peeved with her boyfriend, please don't read anything about Brian and me into it. The story was mostly complete when the revelations came about.

Well, that's strange. Rain storms here usually begin with a son-et-lumiêre show, brilliant lightning and crashing thunder. This crept up on me; I didn't even realize it was raining until I looked up... I'm protected from the downpour here, but the sound grew so gently that I didn't realize I was hearing more than traffic noise. And it kept increasing until now it's as heavy as most storms, but still without the thunder. Now I have to wait for it to pass before I return to the house, or I'll get soaked.

I guess I'm pretty much caught up, with the long hours this past week, I haven't had time to get into much trouble. So the only thing that remains is the management retreat.

And there isn't all that much to tell about that. Most everyone was very polite and treated me very well. I got a couple of strange looks, the idea of a young woman manager is hard for some of the "old guard" to deal with, but Terry helped me through some of the awkward moments where I showed my ignorance. There weren't too many of those, but I had tried to make a point of not hiding in a corner, so I did make a couple of gaffes.

I learned about about the directions we're going to be very excited. Things are changing. I've always pictured the senior management as very hidebound, and perhaps they are, but they're listening to new input. This seems to be the reason that Terry became a VP and Ken has more responsibility. Ken may not like me, but after hearing his ideas, I have a lot more respect for his insight than I had. The new vision seems largely to be Ken's - I guess I was just a corollary he hadn't anticipated.

But then... this is going to take some effort from software. More people, more organizing. More marketing-driven. Less of just a product support role. And I'm going to be in the middle of that, which means that whether he likes me or not, I'm going to have to work with Ken to implement his ideas.And I'd like to get his insight into my group, too, he seems to have a great grasp of managerial skills.

The one sour note from the weekend was Darrell, the new IT manager. He hasn't officially started, yet, but he had accepted his offer, and Terry invited him to the retreat.

I thought at first that he wanted to get my thoughts on his new group, and so I talked with him very openly. But it seems he wanted more than that. And it's partly my fault, because it was one of those times when I was experimenting with not being engaged... I'd left the ring in my hotel room.

Well, Darrell should have the sense not to come on to a co-worker, especially after such a short time, but he was quite insistent. When I put the ring back on - largely to stop him pestering me, but also because, like I said yesterday, I'm not ready to make the change - he changed, his remarks becoming cutting. Not quite enough to challenge directly, each one was carefully below being deliberately offensive, taken out of context, but all together, they set my teeth on edge.

I don't know how Susie, Larry and the Kays will take to him. I hope he manages better than he flirts.

Brian came out a few minutes ago with an umbrella, and walked me back into the house. See, he's worth keeping around for some things. In many ways, very worth keeping... and speaking of which...

Goodnight :-)


Friday was my showdown with Andy, Brian's boss and the architect of the software group's current problems. I should say then-current, because it was a stressful day, but a successful one.

I tried to keep the confrontation low-key, emailing Andy with a lost of concerns and asking to set up a meeting. He responded by summoning a host of VPs, including Ken, to a late-morning meeting. He didn't add Terry to the invitees; I did.

I have to admit, I had a little "inside information", gleaned from Brian, which is that there are some serious snags in the production program. And Andy should have realized that I knew what was going on. If we'd met as I'd suggested, we could have worked out an effective compromise. Instead, Andy wanted to blame the program slippage on software, and I guess he figured I was too new to know what was going on, or not willing to make waves.

Well, I had our old schedules and estimates, and we're close to being on track with those, even though Andy took it upon himself to rearrange our priorities, and I could document where the requirements had changed. The killer was, though, that I'd also worked up another schedule with the leads which would give Andy's group test software - pre-alpha quality, ugly user interface, but perfectly adequate for hardware validation - and give it to him earlier than the original schedule, with alpha and beta dovetailing in to Andy's official schedule.

Ken picked up on that and asked if that didn't mean he could hold Andy's group to their initial commitments. Of course, at that point, Andy had to admit to delays. Ken raised his eyebrow at me while Andy was offering a new schedule, and when the meeting was over he thanked me - and only me - for a very constructive meeting.

I hope I haven't made an enemy of Andy. He's a nice guy, Brian likes working for him, and he didn't deserve to be put down in the meeting. But he shouldn't have offloaded his problems and then his blame on my people.

So I called a quick meeting of the software group, outlined the new schedule, and told them if I found anyone working this holiday weekend I'd fire them...

Which I wouldn't, of course, not least because I had no plans to work this weekend, and so wouldn't have seen anyone violating my orders :-)

Sunday, Brian and I had our serious talk about his - God, what euphemism is the lest distressing, "abortive affair?" "goings on?" - his whatever with Clarice. Yes, it has been a busy few days :-)

We were in the hot tub, late evening. It was warm and muggy, but the spa was relaxing.

"So," I said, conversationally, "if you found yourself in the same situation, would you go through with it?"

"What situation?"


"Oh." He must have known it would be coming, sooner or later, but he didn't know how to respond. Eventually, he selected, "We wouldn't let it get that far."

I bit back a comment about having heard that before, they'd each said they had no designs on the other, but it would have been counter-productive to bring that up.

"For the sake of argument," I said. "What if. You and Clarice. You want each other. You're in the right place at the right time. What happens?"

"We wouldn't. We really wouldn't, I prom..."

"No promises," I interrupted, "I'm looking for your feelings and your reasons, not what you think I want to hear. Why not?"

"Why not?" He didn't seem to understand the question.

"Yeah, why not? Why wouldn't you?"

"Well, because of... us," he said. "It would destroy us."

"Would it?"

"Of course it would! It would hurt us. It would have to. How could you forgive me for doing..."

I interrupted again. "How can I forgive you... for doing exactly what you tried to do, what you wanted to do a couple of weeks ago? If you don't think I could forgive, how can you believe that I could forgive you that? How do you know what I can and can't forgive, or what I even think needs to be forgiven?"

"I don't understand..."

"What I'm having trouble forgiving is that you tried to hide something you felt guilty about."

"I didn't," he interrupted. "I knew I'd have to tell you, I just kept putting it off..."

"Endless procrastination sounds like hiding to me," I argued, "and that bothers me more than anything you and Clarice could get up to. Almost anything," I amended, thinking about how adventurous Clarice might become...

"It does?"

"I think so," I said. "I don't have this fully worked out, yet, and it's an emotional thing, so I don't know if I ever will, completely, but it seems to me that I've had a very... varied... life, and it seems that I'd be a hypocrite if I insisted you be exclusive. I guess I expected you to be, but I don't think that was entirely fair.

"I had a guy in your position, at least once," I continued. "He was - supposedly - strictly monogamous, and was very happy with her. Still is, as far as I know. We both wanted some excitement. If I don't see what we did being a problem for them, why should what you do be a problem for us?"

"You sound like you're trying to convince yourself."

"Maybe I am," I conceded, "but maybe it's because I think I should be convinced. Listen, Brian, I trust you. That may sound strange, but this was Clarice, this was not some floozy from a singles' bar. And the thing is, this is the alternative that would concern me: that you get to a point where you really, really want to, but you hold back because of us, because of me, really, and you blame me for your lack of freedom."

"Helen, I wouldn't blame you," he cried.

I shrugged. "Possibly not, but like I said, I trust you, and if it gets to that point... I trust your choice. But if it's Clarice, call me first, I might lend a helping hand."

He frowned at me.

"Never mind," I said. "Bad joke. And Clarice has put herself off-limits now anyway."

"She has?" He sounded a little relieved.

"Well, the way I see it is this. She told Rob about Jeff. She didn't tell him about you." He tried to interrupt, but I overrode him. "I know, nothing happened, I've heard that so often that you'd think I'd believe it. But you're both experienced and imaginative enough that by the time nothing happened that needed a condom, I'm sure plenty of fun stuff did happen." Brian looked shamefaced. I was right, and it gave me a sick thrill even though I'd determined not to let this affect me. "And that's the point. She hasn't told him because she might have used up her last chance. She won't run that risk again."

Brian nodded. "I think you're right. When she ran out on me, I didn't think it was because of me, or you, or even because she didn't want to. She looked sick."

I sighed. "You're a guy. You'd probably do it even if it did make you sick. You just can't say no." His expression was pained. I continued before he could object. "I know, I know, that's an unfair stereotype. But not completely inaccurate." I reached down under the water and found what I was seeking. "Look at this. We're arguing here, and you're as hard as a baseball bat."

I rubbed said bat appreciatively. Brian grinned. "And tell me you're not aroused," he said.

"That's different," I argued. "I'm turned on because I want to be."

I climbed onto his lap, facing him, and kissed him while his hands squeezed my breasts, giving me more of what I wanted. I wouldn't let him enter me, though. I made him sit on the narrow ledge just below the surface, his shaft emerging from the water. In that position I could reach him with my mouth while my body mainly floated, the lack of effort allowing me to concentrate on what I was doing.

It started to rain slowly as I slowly sucked and teased his shaft. I looked up. "Should I stop?"

"No way," he gasped.

I would have finished him off and gotten inside before the rain grew heavy, but I was enjoying making him ache for me, and by the time the rain started to come down hard he was groaning in frustration, and giggling from the cool rain. Not cold, it must still have been mid-eighties, and the rain didn't make much difference, but rainwater was sheeting down my face and dripping onto his cock.

After chlorine, the rain brought a slightly bitter, fresh taste, then as I rubbed the underside of his shaft with the rough back of my tongue, that was replaced with a hot, salty flavor as his cock started in on a series of powerful jolts.

After he was through, we grabbed our towels and ran giggling inside. Our towels weren't much use, but we dried each other enough to keep from dripping too badly while we found replacements.


Four days I've had that entry ready, and still haven't uploaded it. I ran out of time and energy Monday night, and planned to finish it Tuedsay, but I'll go into the reasons why I didn't in a little while. And since I hadn't finished Sunday's events, I did want to do that. I should have uploaded it anyway, but then there were other problems...

So it's Sunday, and I decide we're gonna do something I've been wanting to try...

The idea came to me while we were still in the spa, and was part of the reason I did what I did. (Part was, of course, that I wanted to, and Brian was sure happy with the idea :-) But I didn't want him on a hair trigger when he got excited.

The downside was, of course, that I'd have to wait for a time, but Brian's talented fingers make waiting just fine, too. And there's nothing that gets him hard more quickly than working me into a frenzy with his tongue.

He wanted inside me, but I pushed him away. "Brian," I said, "do you recall asking me about the references to Cosmo in my journal?"

He had to think for a moment before nodding agreement.

"I think it's time we found out if it's as good as they claim," I said.

"If what's as good?"

I dug the issue out of my nightstand and let him read it, while I worked to ensure he stayed hard. I don't think I needed bother, the article was obviously having that effect without my help.

The April Cosmo has a great article on enjoying different positions. It didn't teach me much until the last one, which is the reason my correspondent had emailed me to check it out. A front cover headline, a teaser for something that generally doesn't live up to its promise, but in this case, it seemed that it might. They call it the "Butterfly Position".

And it isn't easy. The article has a drawing which makes it look very straightforward, but I can tell you it isn't. You have to get everything just right.

It works like this. He stands beside the bed. You lie on it, on your back, lifting your legs up to his chest. The bed must be just slightly lower than his cock, so that when he moves close, he only lifts a little to bring your pussy to the right position.

We found that if I "walked" up his stomach and chest while he held my ass, we could get close. I warn you, if he's very hard, it's painful to him press his cock down far enough to enter.

But not impossible.

But even from the first, the position feels different. With his cock pressing upwards against your clit, especially if you're over-sensitized from a half-hour's erotic play, you get excited even when you're just trying to wriggle forward onto him.

And it isn't just your clit. His cock pressed up against me along its whole length. The article offered the hope of a G-spot orgasm, but I didn't know if that was hype.

Moving is all wrong, because the only thing you can really do and have control is push yourself away from him, which isn't what you want... but if you let him take charge, you can concentrate on the feeling in your sex. His hands on your hips can move you any direction, towards and away, up and down to explore different places with the pressure of his cock.

When we figured all that out, I was already thrilling to the feel of his hardness and pressure. What he couldn't do was work on my breasts, so I kneaded them myself, pinching and stretching my hardening nipples.

It wasn't all hype. I felt the stirrings, the early discomfort and sudden need as he pushed against my G-spot. Now, I'm not a complete stranger to G-spot orgasms, but the number I've experienced from intercourse rather than finger play I could count on the fingers of... well, I wouldn't need to add any toes. And most of them with Brian. But in neither method have I felt so much clitoral stimulation at the same time as I did now.

It was wild. Once I was beyond the discomfort stage I just couldn't hold back. It was like I imagine stepping off a bungee platform would be. Except without the slowing down phase... more like wearing roller skates and hooking a passing express train with your bungee. My skin tingled so much it was hard to bear, like having the sole of my foot tickled, but all over. I know I was yelling... "Oh, God... Brian... God you feel good..." At least I think that was the kind of thing I was crying out, by that point I wasn't much in control of what I was doing.

And then I came.

What a rush.

I recall my back was arching and Brian was having trouble stopping me wriggling away.

When the pressure in my head began to clear slightly, I realized Brian was still pushing away. I guess we hadn't waited long enough, and he wasn't quite able to join me... so I put a hand between my legs and pressed myself against him, tightening around his cock. The feeling drove me back into almost-hallucinatory pleasure, but he cried out as I felt waves of heat spurt deep within me, and Brian gasped as he joined me in absolute shared ecstasy.

When he let me down, my thighs were quivering with strain, and I just lay where I was. Brian lay beside me, sideways on the bed.

"But," I said, "if you ever do that with Clarice, I'll not only leave you, I'll kill you."


Now to the source of this week's woes, and the reason I've been so bad at uploading my journal.

Tuesday of course was busy, after a long weekend and beginning a short week. Tuesday was also Darrell's first day as IT manager. Which shouldn't have been significant to me, except it rapidly became significant to the whole company.

Wednesday we were without email. Apparently - I pieced this together later - Darrell insisted on running a virus checker on the mail server. We have incoming mail scanning, which I set up, and we have run virus checkers - with great care, and by hand only - on the server occasionally, but we relied on security, both physical and OS, to prevent viruses infecting the server. Which is fine; you need to run a virus for it to infect a system, and we didn't run anything but the system services.

Darrell decided that wasn't good enough, and when the virus checker thought there was a problem in the mail spool file, he told it to repair the file...

It took two days to dig ourselves out of that hole. We were without mail until Friday, and internet connections were spotty on the way, as the IT people had to keep rebooting machines while they tried to make repairs. I heard a few more than heated arguments. And I'm in the office today, Saturday, and right now the net is down again.


It seems ironic to have battled so hard to get the engineers a reasonable work schedule for last (holiday) weekend, then have most of them working this weekend because of the problems resulting from the network outages, but they don't seem upset. On the contrary, as Mary pointed out, if we hadn't gotten our scheduling reworked, this delay would have killed us.

So I've been at the office for the past two days. Not that there's much for me to do; I can't help them to code, but being there for when problems arise has been useful. And I have been able to help with some IT problems, since Larry and Susie have been working all weekend. I think they're ready for next week, though Susie looks wiped out.

Brian hasn't been caught up in the extra effort. The project he's on isn't the one which Andy's having trouble with. So he's been clearing around, cooking, and warming the spa up for my return home :-)