Seven Days With Her Boss

By: Penny Wylder

Mr. Lamant is vibrating with barely restrained rage. His eyes, so dark brown they’re almost black, flash with anger when they meet mine. “My office, now.”

I leave the papers on my desk and run after him.

The way he’s leaning back against his desk makes him take up even more room. His legs are spread, showing the muscles stretching the fabric on his thighs, and someone not so desperate for this job would be interested in him as more than a boss. “You just lost me an extremely important client.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Lamant. I've already started printing new copies. I can contact the client—”

“No,” he interrupts. “They didn’t want to wait for the presentation, and why the hell should they?” His tongue is like a razor, slicing me with every word. “They’re busy multi-millionaires who came to me because they know that I’m the best. They don’t have time for fuck ups. And you know what? Neither do I.”

My heart punches my ribs until I go numb.

He says, “I needed you to do one little thing . . . and you couldn't. You didn't.” He closes his eyes and sighs before going around the desk. He dwarfs the monstrosity when he sits down behind it.

I know he’s getting ready to fire me. I can’t let that happen. “Don’t fire me. Please don’t. I need this job.” Blinking back sudden tears, I waver closer to his desk. There’s so much riding on me keeping this position. I need the money, and little else in this city would pay anywhere near what I make here.

His laugh is almost a snort. “You have a poor way of showing how much you need this job. Anyone else in your shoes would have fought tooth and nail to perform without a single mistake.” I watch as he picks up a pencil and uses the eraser end to press buttons on his calculator. “Not looking at potential earnings loss, Vivian, you cost me over five hundred in lost wages and in travel expenses we paid for the client to come here. I can’t get those back. Someone else, probably anyone else, would work a lot harder to be worthy of being an employee here.”

The retort “I’m doing my best!” is on the tip of my tongue, but I don’t say it. I know better. I may have been doing the best I could today, but it’s not the sort of excellence he’s accustomed to from me and not what his father hired me to do, what he’s kept me on to do.

In an ideal situation, one where job security isn’t such a big deal, I would tell him what's wrong... why I'm so frazzled and making mistakes. But Kodiche could get any number of people to replace me. He wouldn't care that I need the money to help pay for medical bills. Everything I make eats up all but a fraction of my check each month. If I lose this job, I'm not the only one that suffers.

I fight down my pride. I hate begging, but if that’s what it will take to keep my job, I'll do it. “Please, Kodiche,” I start, hoping that using his first name will soften him.

Something, maybe the tone of my voice, breaks the icy wall between us. His glare, the one that had been full of restrained rage, is now thoughtful, measuring. His male associates would call him powerful, but the women in the office would go further; they'd gush about how sexy he is whenever there was a chance.

Between his dark eyes, chiseled jaw and broad shoulders that threaten to break his suits open, the man's a real treat to ogle in secret. When I first started working as his firm’s secretary, he consumed my dirty thoughts. He was already starting to take over for his father then, and I was trained on many of the tasks at the same time he was. They were just harmless fantasies; my boss has never been anything but professional and cold towards me.

“I need this job,” I repeat. “I’ll do anything to keep it. Please.” My fingers are white from pressure as I push down on his desk, leaning over it. “Please, Kodiche.”

His gaze turns curious. “You should really think about that before you make this offer, Vivian,” he whispers. There’s a warning rumble of a threat to his voice, and I don’t know what it means, but if there’s a chance to keep my job, I have to take it.

“I'm serious. I’ll do anything.”

His smirk is playful when it comes, and his lips shape the words carefully as he replies, “People better than you have begged much more elegantly.”

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