Testing The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

CHAPTER ONE


Evelyn let her head fall into her hands and sighed. “I hate New York City.”

“So I take it your transfer request didn’t get approved?” asked Gail from the desk across from Evelyn’s in their shared office.

Evelyn looked through her fingers at the older agent who sat across from her. “This wouldn’t happen if I were worse at my job.”

“You’d also probably be dead if you were worse at your job,” pointed out Gail. “Try to look at the sunny side.”

Evelyn sneered at the idea of trying to find any sunny side. She wanted out of the closet that the agency thought was an apartment and back to where she could actually do some good. Not just babysitting the billionaires.

“I know at least five agents who would kill to be working with the Devereaux brothers,” said Gail. “Only female agents, by the way.”

“Well, they’re all stupid. The only good one is taken.” Michael Devereaux seemed as if he was already halfway to the altar with his girlfriend, Lori Briggs. Normally Evelyn was more than happy for couples, but she really wished Michal had picked a better time to find his one true love.

“If the good one’s taken, you can always go for the bad one.” Gail winked.

If possible, Evelyn’s expression became even more sour. “No. Just... No.” Luke Devereaux was a whole new sort of hell for Evelyn. Where his brother was reasonable and logical, Luke was an anomaly.

He was impulsive, controlling and, worst of all, entitled. “If they want to take my place, all they have to do is ask. The doctor gave me the all clear to get off desk work three weeks ago and I’m still stuck here.”

Gail shrugged, obviously unsympathetic to Evelyn’s situation. “If Hotchins wants you lead on this case, take it as a compliment.”

“He only wants me lead because I’m the one who brought it to him. And that was from a tip. Not like I broke the case on my own.” If her old friend, Jace Lance, who she’d known from her military days, hadn’t called and asked her to run some prints for him, she never would’ve been pulled into the investigation of the massive white-collar criminal ring known as the Thirteen Stars.

“If you find the faces behind the Thirteen Stars, your career will be made.”

“If,” said Evelyn. So far every lead she’d had led nowhere. Joslyn had blackmailed Brian Longineu, who was a known higher level employee of the Thirteen Stars. Unfortunately she’d blackmailed him with evidence that didn’t exist.

They’d sent a hit man after Emma Devereaux to get the nonexistent evidence, and since the hit man had been in custody, he hadn’t said a word about his employers. And every name Lori Briggs had given Evelyn hadn’t given her anything she could use. Except for Ken Kemmerling, who would rather take a nose dive off a skyscraper than get arrested.

And ever since Ken had come within inches of murdering Lori, Michael was adamant that she not be used in the investigation anymore and took her out of town on lavish vacations every opportunity he got. Once again, Evelyn would be more than happy for them in any other circumstance, but damn it, Michael had been her biggest ally.

“Maybe you need to think about it from a different angle,” said Gail.

Evelyn rolled her eyes. She didn’t need another speech about looking on the bright side. She liked Gail. She really did. The woman was smart and had been in the agency since a time when she was one of the few women there. Gail had managed to keep up on her caseload through two marriages and three kids, all boys. But Gail lived and breathed the white-collar division. She’d been there for a decade before Evelyn arrived and she’d be there a hell of a lot longer, judging from the number of college tuitions she had to pay for.

“What angle?” asked Evelyn. Just because she didn’t want to hear Gail’s opinion didn’t mean she wouldn’t.

“Well, your assets haven’t been performing the way you’d hoped and you’ve been cleared to work in the field. Maybe it’s time for some micromanagement.”

“Micro? You mean getting in the field? That’s just what I need. More time with Luke Devereaux. He’s half the reason I want off this job in the first place.”

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