The Business Trip, Chapter Six

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 3, 2024

Chapter 3
The Business Trip, Chapter Three

Chapter Three


At work, Elizabeth would expect her assistant to appear within seconds when calling her in such a harsh and pissed off manner. Usually such a shrill tone was reserved for when something went wrong with a client’s order, regardless of how major the issue or whose fault it was, or if there was any kind of complication that messed with the status quo Elizabeth had come to expect. Since June was such a diligent worker and quick study, it hadn’t taken long for her boss to get accustomed to having an underling who was not only at her beck and call, but who provided a rather personalized service in terms of being able to anticipate Elizabeth’s needs and solve just about anything in a timely manner.

This time around, however, Elizabeth couldn’t even wait the twenty seconds or however long it would take the girl to come running. She stormed out of her room, only to find an empty suite. Right. Because June was getting settled in her own room. Elizabeth immediately crossed the shared common area and burst into June’s bedroom, not bothering to knock or call through the door first. 

June was standing there in the same skirt she had worn on the plane, but only had a bra on above the waist. It was rather simple and plain, yet still showed off plenty of natural cleavage. Far more than Elizabeth had, even in her best push-up bra. “Elizabeth!” June exclaimed. She didn’t cover up, as it wasn’t that big of a deal for another female to see half undressed, but she absolutely got on the petite woman’s case about walking in on her, “Boundaries. Next time, knock. Well? Are you going to apologize?”

Already somewhat flustered from the fact that her suitcase was full of a young girl’s clothes, probably belonging to a tween or possibly younger, Elizabeth was not exactly in the best headspace to deal with such confrontation. Especially from the girl that was normally so polite and submissive. “You can’t-”

“I told you to apologize, Miss,” June cut her off. Placing a hand on her hip as she intentionally included the smallest dose of ‘respect’ along with her demand, she said, “This is my bedroom, and I didn’t give you permission to come in. Now, do the mature thing and apologize.”


“Right now, Miss.”

The slightly older girl’s tactics were confusingly effective. She was technically addressing Elizabeth properly with the abbreviated title. At the same time, she was also speaking in a way that was uniquely stern compared to what Elizabeth was used to. Between that and the impressive bra-clad chest that put hers to shame, this was not a situation Elizabeth was prepared to handle. So she averted her gaze and muttered, “Sorry.”

“That’s better,” June said, “Now, is this a work emergency?”

At that, Elizabeth flushed. In her haste to bitch June out for the latest complication that was starting to become a pattern due to the ripples from what was a simple alarm issue–at least, that was the impression Elizabeth was still under–she hadn’t considered how a more calm approach might have been more appropriate. Of course, Elizabeth’s default was rarely ‘calm.’ Still, June’s clarifying question was enough to make her hesitate. “No. Well, yes,” she replied. It wasn’t a professional fire they had to put out, but Elizabeth did need her nice clothes for the conference. That made it an emergency of sorts, considering how they had to head downstairs relatively soon. “It’s-”

“Sounds like it can wait a minute or two,” June said, cutting her off again, “And probably wasn’t worth barging into my room like that. Why don’t you go wait in your room for me, Elizabeth? Or the common room, whatever. I’ll join you once I’m dressed.”

Elizabeth frowned. “It’s ‘Miss Elizabeth,’” she reminded her. How many times had she been called ‘Elizabeth’ since the last time she brought that up? Her mind had been preoccupied with the silk pajamas everyone at the airport had seen her in, the lost personal items, and the latest mix-up with her suitcase. 

June repeated her response from the gate area. “I told you, we’ll worry about all that once we’re settled in for the conference. You’re not even dressed, Elizabeth.”

“That’s because-”

“Enough, Miss. Please get out of my room. I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”

If they were at the office, Elizabeth would have reamed her assistant out for speaking with her in such a curt way. At the moment, however, there were just too many variables working against her. It would also be much easier to speak with June when June was actually dressed, as that’s the only way Elizabeth was used to interacting with the girl. 

Elizabeth begrudgingly turned and left the room. She wasn’t used to the one being dismissed, so she failed to think of anything to say on the way out. Waiting around in the common area felt stupid when the problem lay with her suitcase, so she returned to her room instead. Leaving the door wide open, so June could come right in, Elizabeth sat down on the edge of the bed and huffed in annoyance. Not only was the renewed sight of the open suitcase a pain, but she also didn’t have her phone. Normally she could busy herself with personal apps or professional busywork that could be done on mobile. Elizabeth hadn’t brought a laptop, either, as most of the weekend’s business was going to be face to face. Per Elizabeth’s instructions, June had packed up all their presentation resources, which meant literally everything useful was in the other girl’s room. At the time, it had made sense, as Elizabeth had wanted to travel light for the sake of personal convenience. Now that her purse was missing, however, she felt a lot more helpless in terms of dealing with this latest problem. If she had her phone and credit card on hand, she’d probably be halfway out the door and rushing to the closest designer store. All Elizabeth really needed was one outfit for the evening; she could figure the rest out tomorrow.

Then again, she probably wouldn’t be leaving the hotel in her PJs for such a mission. Maybe there was something tolerable in the suitcase? That is, if the clothes even fit. Her mental plan still worked with June’s company card, but just about anything was better than walking around in her current ensemble. Elizabeth scooted over a couple feet and hesitantly started looking through the folded clothes.

There was a painful amount of pinks and purples in terms of both shorts and shirts, as well as a few unattractive oranges. The few white tees looked good at first glance, until Elizabeth unfolded one of them and saw the pink letters spelling BARBIE on the front. Maybe her pajamas were better. She’d draw a few looks, sure, though at least she wouldn’t be dressed like a little girl. 

“Elizabeth.” June’s voice cut through the quiet room as she stepped through the doorway. The young woman was wearing the same skirt as before, with a fresh blouse that looked more sharp and form-fitting than the usual conservative tops she wore at the office. “You’re still not dressed. You do know we need to be in the ballroom in thirty minutes, yes? We should also review the itinerary before heading out.”

“You packed the wrong suitcase!!” Elizabeth snapped. Her assistant was acting like everything was normal. Mostly. June was providing the kinds of reminders she gave on a daily basis, albeit with a subtle amount of judgment and impatience in her voice compared to normal. It irritated the hell out of Elizabeth, as she would have been dressed forever ago if June had just put the correct luggage in the car. “How could you screw that up?! Mine was literally in your guest room.” She gestured to the immature clothes to her left, “These aren’t mine.”

“Huh. Those are my niece’s clothes,” June said. She sounded far more calm by contrast, “She accidentally left her suitcase when my sister visited. I guess it does look kind of like yours. Where did you put yours before bed, again?”

Elizabeth hesitated. “I, umm . . . ” After all the wine she had consumed the previous night, her bedtime ritual had been a little hazy. Obviously she remembered brushing her teeth and getting into bed, but her suitcase? That wasn’t something she normally thought about at night, which meant it wasn’t something she could recall as clearly. Especially when June was cleverly sowing the seeds of doubt. 

“Well, we should probably focus on the matter at hand,” June said, “You need to wear something, don’t you? I don’t mean any offense by this, but you and Maggie are around the same size. I mean, her clothes might be a little snug on you . . . Still, it’s better than nothing for the time being, right?” 

Was June being serious? Granted, Elizabeth’s idea had been vaguely similar when she started looking through the options. Except she had mostly settled on the conclusion that her pajamas were better in the short term. “I’m fine how I am,” Elizabeth asserted, “We just need to find the nearest store, and-”

“Elizabeth, there’s no time for that,” June said.

“Then we can make time!” Elizabeth insisted. Tonight wasn’t that important compared to the rest of the conference, and it surely wouldn’t be the end of the world if they arrived fashionably late to network. Better than being punctual but dressed noticeably worse than everyone else present. It would be a terrible first impression, considering that Elizabeth was scheduled to pitch to any number of the people that she would be meeting tonight. How was she supposed to be taken seriously in either situation when she wasn’t in her usual business woman battle armor?

June just sighed. “Are you at least willing to try, Elizabeth? Here, I’ll give you a minute. Put on the best option you can find in Maggie’s suitcase, and come out when you’re dressed.”

“What? Why?” Elizabeth asked. That was quite literally time they could be spending on a walk to the elevators and beyond. 

“Now, Miss. It’s important. We only have one company card, since you lost yours, and mine has a lower limit.” June went on to explain that because it was now officially the weekend due to it being late afternoon on a Friday, they wouldn’t be able to call the office and adjust anything where June’s credit card was involved. And until the airline found Elizabeth’s missing purse, they couldn’t risk maxing things out when June would be solely responsible for paying for business lunches and dinners, drinks, travel expenses for their return trip, and anything else that came up. 

Elizabeth tried to counter with the point that June could always just use a personal card if it came to that, but her assistant waved that idea off right away. For starters, their company preferred using its own card unless absolutely necessary, as it was both simpler in terms of red tape and avoided people abusing the system for the sake of getting some extra points for themselves. And if June did end up using her own credit card, there was a good chance she and Elizabeth would have to explain why that was the case when there should have been more than enough on Elizabeth’s alone for the whole weekend. 

If Elizabeth was in a better headspace, maybe she would have realized that ‘I lost my card’ or ‘I left my card at home’ was a simple and reasonable explanation. The latter would have been perfectly acceptable, and wouldn’t look that bad in the grand scheme of things. However, she ended up falling victim to the embarrassing images that flashed through her head thanks to the way June framed things. The higher ups learning about how she spent all day in her PJs, left her phone and wallet on the plane, brought the wrong suitcase along, etc. etc. 

And, though speaking rather sternly and directly, June still made it sound like she was on Elizabeth’s side as she countered each of her boss’s points. “Maybe I can manage to find you some clothes that won’t disrupt our budget. But in the meantime, we need to work with what we have. So are you going to keep complaining about it and wasting time, or are you going to try on some of my niece’s clothes?”

June didn’t stand around waiting for an answer; she simply turned and left the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Elizabeth was left feeling a bit flustered, and failed to recognize the trick that was being used on her. It sounded like she just had two options, one of which would only make her look bad. Plus she and June could agree on one thing–time was a limiting factor. If Elizabeth kept arguing, the clock was going to be ticking all the while. Without her phone, she wasn’t exactly sure when they were supposed to be downstairs, though she knew from her previous conversation with June that it was less than thirty minutes if they wanted to arrive at the proper start time.

Going through the suitcase a lot less meticulously than before, Elizabeth eventually found a plain white tank top that would serve as a cami if she wore it underneath a nice outfit. And, for the time being, was a preferable top compared to the more childish and girly colors that she had perused. June had been wrong about the clothes not fitting perfectly; upon trying on the tank top, Elizabeth blushed as she realized that it was exactly the right size. She knew she was small, of course. Still, being able to effortlessly wear something that was clearly meant for a child was a lot to handle. 

Thanks to how rushed she had been in the morning, Elizabeth wasn’t wearing a bra, and all of her personal undergarments were apparently back at June’s apartment. The good news was, her assistant’s niece was old enough to need bras, as evidenced by the small collection of underwear packed in the suitcase before her. The bad news was, the bras and panties were painfully cheap and plain compared to the expensive ones Elizabeth normally wore. 

A white tank top meant she didn’t really have a choice. It was either underwear she’d never be caught dead wearing, or a shirt that was outwardly immature. At least the former would be hidden. 

Unfortunately, the borrowed bra didn’t fit nearly as well as the tank top. Elizabeth frowned in discomfort at the tightness on her chest, as well as how her already small mounds were flattened to almost nothing. She was about to abandon the undergarment when June knocked on the door. “Elizabeth? Almost done?”

“Just a minute!” Elizabeth snapped. Begrudgingly putting the white top back on, and rounding the outfit out with a pair of jean shorts that were easily the most mature option she could see, she gave herself a once-over in the mirror. It was not a good look. From the neck down, she looked more like a tween than an adult. And with the way her hair was still braided, along with the simple make-up job she had sped through that morning, her appearance was not nearly as mature as she normally went out of her way to achieve. 

It was too late to try on something else, plus Elizabeth was almost certain what she was wearing was the best combination that she could have managed under the circumstances. Besides, it wasn’t about looking good; it was about showing June that this was completely unacceptable for a business trip. So, although she really didn’t want to, Elizabeth strutted over to the door and swung it open. “See? This isn’t going to work.”

June gave her a quick once-over, then agreed. “Hmm, probably not. You are supposed to be the face of the company this weekend. But now we know that you have something to wear whenever we’re not busy with the conference.”

“When are we not busy with the conference??”

“Whenever we’re back in the suite, or shopping, or traveling. I told you, Elizabeth. We don’t have enough credit to replace everything you need. From here on out, you can wear Maggie’s clothes when it’s just the two of us. No underwear shopping, either. You’ll be fine in hers for a couple days.”

Elizabeth had so much she wanted to say. That June needed to use the proper title when addressing her. That underwear shopping was indeed necessary, as a push-up bra that accentuated her not so impressive curves was far preferable to the borrowed one that did the exact opposite. However, a shopping trip, no matter how quick, was already going to make them a little late. Elizabeth needed to focus on the big picture so they didn’t get bogged down in a conversation that would only stall them more. “I can’t wear this tonight,” Elizabeth said. She could suck it up and wear it down the street, as she had to admit it was less out of place than a young woman walking down the sidewalk in pajamas, but she would never in a million years step into the hotel’s ballroom looking like a middle schooler on summer vacation.

“About that . . . ” June trailed off.

Elizabeth scowled. She placed a hand on her hip, and glanced up at her assistant. “What? Spit it out.”

“I’ve been thinking,” June said, “Maybe it makes more sense for you to just stay up here tonight. Hear me out. We can say your flight was delayed, and that you’ll get in later this evening. I can network and lay the groundwork for our big pitch, and you can seal the deal tomorrow.”

“And what am I supposed to do up here?” Elizabeth scoffed.

“Order room service?” June suggested. She knew her boss well enough to nudge her in the right direction. “Instead of wasting your time brown-nosing potential clients, you can have the whole night to prepare for our meetings. Trust me, Elizabeth. It will be better if we divide and conquer.”

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End Chapter 3

The Business Trip, Chapter Six

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 3, 2024


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