His Secretary:Undone

By: Melanie Marchande

Chapter One

I'm going to throw an ashtray at his head.

Okay, okay. Back up. Let me explain.

My boss is insufferable. I mean, grade-A, self-obsessed, Lamborghini-driving, top one percent of the one percent, completely out of touch asshole. His butler has a butler. He's rich enough to buy several politicians, and believes strongly in the value of hard work, a concept with which he's only passingly acquainted. His days are full of glad-handing and pouring drinks and turning on that oh-so-dazzling, oh-so-fake smile that everybody falls for. Except me.

Oh yeah, and did I mention he looks like an underwear model?

So, that's my life. I sit at this depressingly tiny desk outside Adrian Risinger's office, sorting his mail, making his phone calls, organizing his calendar. On the good days, he mostly ignores me. But most of the time, I get called into his Fortress of Solitude for a good tongue-lashing at least four or five times a day, during which he manages to work in several barbs about nearly every aspect of my life.

It took years before I realized I was allowed to dish it back. When I get in a particularly good one, he favors me with a smile - razor-sharp, completely unlike the one he uses to charm his business associates. It's a predator's smile. It's a smile that haunts my dreams.

I hate it.

There are two reasons I don't leave. First of all, in this economy, I can't afford to be picky. Nobody can. Secondly, I actually feel bad. That's how sick I am. I feel guilty that this affluenza piece of shit might have a hard time replacing me. Nobody else can put up with him; before me, he had a string of administrative assistants about a mile long, not one of them lasting longer than a few weeks. It's sick, but I feel like I can't leave him in a lurch.

I guess I've been here long enough to develop Stockholm syndrome. Who knew?

So that's my work life. And everything else? It's not much better. My parents are as cold and sarcastic as my boss, which probably goes a long way in explaining my current predicament. But however you psychoanalyze me, the point is that I can't exactly turn to them for loving kindness. My friends all drifted away after college, or stopped returning my calls when all I could do was bitterly complain about a situation I half-created myself. Not merely content with making my job hell, Mr. Risinger has managed to ruin my personal life, too.

There was just one thing in my life that really made me happy. One thing that he couldn't reach.

Or so I thought.

The whole thing started because I was browsing Amazon while drunk. I was looking for advice books on dealing with a difficult boss, because my situation with Mr. Risinger could totally be summed up in a trite self-help book, right? Give me a break, I was desperate.

Anyway, so I'm clicking around, and I see this book that catches my eye. It's obviously not at all what I'm looking for - the cover has a close-up of a man buttoning his cufflinks, and somehow, with the whiskey swirling in my belly, it's the sexiest thing I've ever seen in my life.

The title says:


So, I one-click it. Why the fuck not?

It's a romance novel. And, I quickly realize, as I page through it - not one of those chaste ones about mail-order brides, or even a classic bodice-ripper. This is beyond steamy. This is practically porn.

This is the best thing I've ever read.

Before I know it, I've got my hand halfway down my panties and I don't even remember the last time I touched myself. But something about the plight of this girl and her sexy, sexy billionaire boss is just irresistible. Five pages in, and I'm gasping and panting in my armchair, my whole body buzzing with pleasure that I haven't felt in God knows how long.

That night, I sleep like a baby for the first time in years.

The next night, I finish the book - and I finish, too. Several times. It's spectacular, but I'm a little bit sad it's over. Then, I discover that the author - Natalie McBride is her name - has a whole series out. His Secretary: Bound. His Secretary: Bared. His Secretary: Released. I devour them all in the space of a week, and it's the best week of my life.

If Mr. Risinger notices, he doesn't say anything. It's his busy season anyway, so he's certainly not going to take the time to notice if his assistant has a little extra spring in her step. Even if he didn't know the reason why, he'd certainly find a reason to criticize. So, it's better this way.

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