Kim Smith, author
A zany secretary seeks sexy videos of her that have been stolen by a killer.
Shannon Wallace is having a bad hair week. She's been ditched by her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and implicated in his murder. When her private collection of videos turns up missing at the crime scene, it is all out war to get them before the cops do.
But the killer has them, and he's watched them. Now she's at the top of his most wanted list!
I fingered the papers in the outbox on the desk outside Rick’s office as I eavesdropped on his phone conversation. He rapped on his desk with his Mont Blanc pen, and his voice came to my ears, gruff, hurried. “Yeah, we could do that. Sure, no problem. It’s 678 Lucy Lane, number seven. Yeah, it’s over on the backside of the complex. ‘Bye.”
I winced as he growled my name and considered the situation. One: he was annoyed. Two: he’d called me into his office. Not a good combination, but something that came with the territory as his administrative secretary for the last six months. I resisted the urge to shove a finger into my mouth and tear off a nail.
I braced myself. If I had deleted any columns in his Excel spreadsheet again, he would have me for lunch.
He sat back in his executive chair when I entered. “Thanks for being so prompt. You’re always there, right when you’re called, aren’t you?”
“Yeah you do. Which makes this stuff I am about to throw at you even harder.” He closed his eyes for a moment.
He opened them and pinioned me with his baby blues. “You’re fired. You can pick up your check from Payroll.”
“Fired? For what? A spreadsheet?”
The ecru colored carpet blurred as I tried to focus on something.
“A spreadsheet? What are you talking about?” he asked, dropping his pen loudly on the desk pad. “This is not about a spreadsheet. At least I don’t think it is, yet.”
I gazed at the faux Ming vase on his credenza and failed at controlling the rage racing through me. “How the hell can I be fired? What did I do? And,” I waved around his plushly furnished office making noises that came out in short stuttering sounds, a bit like gargling. “Why are you firing me?” I finally managed.
He averted his eyes. “Call it downsizing.”
“Do you mean. . .?” I stopped, mind trying to grasp. What
was he really saying? “What about us?”
I hated to even mention our relationship at this point because bringing that up would be like a backhanded way of begging.
He shifted in the leather chair, positioned himself with one arm behind his head. The other hand twirled the pen between his fingers. He could have been giving dictation for all his appearance.
“You’re a nice girl, Shannon, a little naďve, but nice. We’ve had some fun, but it’s probably lasted too long. Things like this happen in business environments where a couple work as closely as we have. Here today, gone tomorrow. There’s no ‘us’. Not anymore. Let’s not fool ourselves. If you think about it, you’ll agree it’s best to keep it that way. Better if you just go out with style. Stoic, and proud.”
Proud of what? My blood pressure skyrocketed.
Whispered stories in the filing room returned to haunt me. Rick’s reputation marked him as a major player. I scoffed at it. I would change all that. Yeah, right. My fault for thinking he cared more about me than making money for the company. I stared at the insincere smile plastered across his tanned face.
Stoic, was it?
My Aunt Nancy always said a woman should never have to use her “power of persuasion” for her good, or for her ruin. Too late now, my ruination loomed, imminent.
I walked to his solid pine double pedestal desk and leaned over. My thin cotton tank top showed plenty of cleavage. I crooked my finger to get him to move closer. He did, eyes darting from my chest to my face. I let him get an eyeful, and once I had his attention, I slapped him as hard as I could.
“Stoic that, you jerk. You’ll never make president of this company. You haven’t got the balls for it. I hope your trip up the corporate ladder gives you a heart attack and kills you!”
His face changed from bitch-slapped red to purple. I did the most prudent thing possible. I turned on my heel, collected my check from Payroll, and went to get wobbly-ass drunk.