[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance: Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
My biggest mistake was faking my way into my job. It wasn’t even my job, but my twin’s. Unfortunately, Chad broke his leg and begged me to fill in for him. Now I’m up to my eyeballs in craziness. Not only am I clueless about being someone’s personal assistant, I’m knee-deep in trouble. Mr. Maximus Russo is smoking-hot and I can’t seem to resist him, no matter how much of a prick he is.
The guy’s world is nothing but drama. I’m allergic to drama. Then I find out he’s some badass wolf shifter who’s not only a high-powered lawyer, but a crime boss, too. Trust me, I tried to run, to get away from his insane world, but Max isn’t letting me go. He’s an alpha’s alpha, and I’m so screwed.
Deals gone bad. Territorial wars. Bullets flying. A deep, smooth voice. Hot, passionate nights that leave me breathless. Killer looks that are my undoing. What’s a guy to do?
NOTE: This story is an expansion of "Fake It 'til You're Fired" from Lynn Hagen's Erotic Short Stories, Volume 2. Some names were changed and the story has been extensively revised and expanded to a full novella.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
After I’d cleaned my wound—thankful no glass had been in it and the cut wasn’t deep enough to need stitches—and I nearly fainted at how glamorous my room was, I wandered through the downstairs.
I had some gauze wrapped around my hand, which was a lot better than that bulky shirt. My hand still stung, though.
The kitchen was a dream. Everything was shiny and state-of-the-art. The fridge was fully stocked, so I helped myself to a sandwich and a bottle of wine.
To hell with it. I deserved to have a drink, or ten, after the craziness I’d been through. I deserved a huge raise, though I didn’t even qualify for the job and had lied my way through the door.
After I’d eaten and taken the bottle of red wine to the balcony—holy crud, the view was amazing—I thought about calling my twin. Chad would flip over everything that had happened to me.
Or call me a liar.
I pulled out my phone and then remember the warning. Max had said that I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. But I was bursting to tell Chad. This whole situation was too bizarre to keep to myself.
Then I thought of how savage Max had looked and decided to keep my mouth shut. I opened the wine instead and poured myself a big old glass as I stared out at the city.
I’d never known the city of Ridgeview was so breathtaking. The most I’d seen from my windows was an alley on one side and the bustling street with a liquor store on the corner from the other. Buses on the street, homeless beggars, and once I’d even seen a guy get stabbed. The block had been swarming with cops afterward.
No, I hadn’t given a statement. In my neighborhood, you kept your mouth shut, or you ended up the next stab victim.
I’d never known it could be so windy this high up, either. My hair tossed around as I sucked down my first glass of wine like it was a cup of Kool-Aid and then started on my second. Soon I was comfortably numb, the pain in my hand a distant memory.
I was also laughing at the absurdity of this whole situation. A wolf! How crazy was that? And clearly Max had enemies. Tonight had proven that. Where the hell had Gary gone once he’d woken up? Did I care? Not as long as the driver stayed the hell away from me.
The wind became too much, so I moved my party-of-one indoors. Wine bottle in one hand, my glass in the other, I walked around checking things out and wondered how much Max had paid for the statue of the naked cherub. Its little dinky and balls were hanging out as it hugged a baby lamb.
I snickered and stared the cherub in the eyes. It looked back at me with a stone gaze.
Was that art or porn? Was that really a baby or a short version of an effeminate guy? I had no freaking idea and felt like a pervert for staring so hard. Yes, I tapped my finger on the stone dinky. It was too tempting not to.
Wow. The wine was going straight to my head. I was a bit dizzy, and the room slightly tilted. I stumbled to the couch and dropped down, cursing when some of the red wine splashed onto the white cushions.
Shit. That was gonna leave a stain.
I just stared at the spots, as if I could mentally make them disappear.
I looked over my shoulder and saw Max coming down the steps. He’d changed into casual jeans and a thin sweater that hugged his body like the material was worshipping his muscles. He was a walking sex god.
I wanted to drool over him, but I hurriedly scooted my butt over to sit on the stains. He scared me enough already. I didn’t need him taking my head off for ruining his couch.
“Did you tend to your hand?”
I lifted my injured hand to show him the gauze, but all that was showing was the half empty bottle of wine I had my fingers curled around. “All done.”
“You should get some sleep. We have to be at the office early.”
“We’re still going to work?” I blinked several times, still amazed at just how good-looking the guy was. A man who could have been on the cover of any modeling magazine. I was drooling.
I just knew it.
“Tonight’s fiasco isn’t going to stop me,” he said with arrogance. “If anything, I’m even more determined now.”
Determined to do what? Get shot at again? I was completely lost in the conversation, but my head was fuzzy and I was lightheaded. I wasn’t even sure I could get off the ruined couch and stumble to the guest room. My ears were filled with buzzing, and I had to keep telling myself not to flirt with Max, not to throw myself at him, but the wine was trying to win the battle, because, goddamn, Max was eye candy and I had a sweet tooth.
I was a lightweight, never able to hold my alcohol. More times than I cared to remember I’d woken up on the floor, and not always in my apartment. Even wine coolers did me in if I drank more than two.
“Bed,” Max said.
I gave him a shitty attempt at a salute, hitting myself in the eye with my wineglass. I cursed and dropped the glass, slapping a hand over my eye as I listened to the glass shatter on the floor.
This was not my friggin’ night.
I tried to set the bottle on the coffee table, my eye watering and burning, and felt when the bottle left my hand and tipped over. It hit my foot, and the wine splashed on my pant leg as Max snarled out a curse.
I was so fucked. So drunk. So dizzy. So nauseous.
Derek the klutz at his finest.
I stood too fast, the room spinning out of control, and passed out before I was able to sit back down.
“Come in,” I called out. The door was closed, but I knew it was Derek. He had a certain knock, almost light, with three taps, then two. He acted as if we had some kind of code going on.
“Penny said to bring these to you.” Derek had a manila envelope crushed against his chest. He looked over his shoulder before turning back to face me. “How do you feel?”
“About the same as when you asked me thirty minutes ago.” I held out my hand, and Derek brought me the envelope. I saw the timid way he came toward me, a contrast to how he’d acted in my penthouse. At home, Derek was a spitfire that made me take my meds and stay in bed until I’d recuperated.
In the office, he was back to being a timid mouse afraid to come near the big, bad wolf. I didn’t want him frightened of me. That hadn’t been my intention. In fact, I’d gone out of my way to make sure I didn’t snap at him or give him an evil glare.
Yet he shuffled across the floor as though I’d bite him at any second. And I really wanted to bite him. Just not the way he thought. I was still aching to fuck him. I hadn’t gotten that out of my system. Every day that he kept his distance only made me hornier.
But I kept that in check. I needed to lure him to me with honey, not my bullshit attitude.
“Close my door.” I took the file and noticed how quickly he snatched his hand away. He was still trying too damn hard to keep his distance from me.
“Did I do something wrong?” He appeared baffled, crossing his arms over his chest as he stared at me.
“Just close my office door, Derek.” I set the file on my desk, uninterested in what he’d brought me. I had my sights set on him for days, and I wanted to test the waters again.
He did as I asked but stood by the door like he’d bolt at any second. I got up from my chair and slowly approached him. One, I didn’t want to scare him. Two, my back still hurt like a bitch. Every step made it throb, and I couldn’t wait until it was fully healed.
“Did you need me to take notes?” He watched me suspiciously, my movements, my expression, while his body shook slightly.
“No, no notes.” I brushed my hand over his cheek, and damn, his eyes fluttered closed as he exhaled. Talk about the perfect, most beautiful reaction to my touch. “Just you.”
I captured his lips, drawing them to mine. He stiffened. I slid my arm around him and pulled him close, nearly crushing his body to mine. After a few heartbeats, Derek relaxed against me. I teased his lips with my tongue, probing at them, until Derek opened for me and I took the kiss deeper.
Fuck. What was it about this human that drove me crazy? I’d never craved anyone like this before. His touch, his voice, his lips, and his body. I caught a growl in the back of my throat, afraid the sound would scare Derek away.
He slid his hands up my chest, and I let my suit jacket fall from my shoulders and float to the floor. He unbuttoned my vest and parted the fabric then started working on the buttons of my dress shirt.
His fingers slipped a few times as we continued to kiss, as he continued to set my blood on fire. I was starting to envision him living at my penthouse full time, of having Derek become a permanent fixture in my life, and that didn’t frighten me half as much as I thought it would.
I didn’t like where he currently lived. The neighborhood was a cesspool of degenerates who wouldn’t think twice about hurting him. I’d never had anyone to protect before, and a warm, odd, fuzzy feeling entered my gut.
We started to move backward as I slipped my vest and shirt off, tossing them aside. Derek gave a soft laugh against my lips as we headed for my couch, and I couldn’t help but return the smile.
Our kiss stopped long enough for me to yank his dress shirt off. I had to touch bare skin, had to tweak his hard nipples, had to tease him so he knew what was to come. Derek’s breath sucked in quickly before it was replaced by a long, delicious moan.
That got me going like nothing else could, the way I’d drawn those emotions out of him like pulling honey from a hive. Sweet, warm, and exactly what I wanted.
His eyes became heavy-lidded as I turned us and shoved him down. He bounced on the cushion, threw his head back and laughed, then sat forward and unfastened my slacks. I’d thought about his lips curled around my cock, had thought about it obsessively since the first time we’d had sex in my office.
If I was honest, thought about it since I’d first laid eye on him when he’d walked into my office without knocking.
“But isn’t this against your office policy?” he asked.
That policy had flown out the window when I’d decided to keep Derek as my personal assistant. No fucking way could I have kept my hands to myself. It would’ve been like trying not to touch the warmth of the sun or refusing to suck in my next breath. I was a starving beast and damn if I didn’t want Derek desperately.
He had to have put some kind of spell over me, because I’d never obsessed over anyone. Ever. That feeling as if you’re falling and there was nothing to grab onto? The ground coming at you at a high rate of speed? Those feelings were stuck in my chest, that free-falling emotion that Derek had me going through. Exhilarating and scary, and now I’d become an adrenaline junkie who couldn’t get enough of that feeling.
My legs shook and the muscles tightened when Derek’s lips touched my cock. Sweet Lord, pure fucking pleasure wrapped in a tight ball of ecstasy. The tip of his pink tongue darted out, lazily drawing in the pre-cum dotted over the slit. I wanted to growl. To tell him to hurry things along, that I couldn’t wait for this slow action to finish.
His wet, parted lips were wreaking havoc with my wired body. I’d never fought this hard not to pound into anyone, not to grab his hair and fuck his mouth until the desperate fucking feeling was gone.
Gah, fuck! I had to touch, to slide my fingers through his golden strands, to grip them and strangle them as I punched my hips forward, hissing as his mouth opened wider and he took my cock deeper into the tight depths of his throat. Those muscles squeezed my dick, tearing a growl from my throat.