By: Elijana Kindel

Elise swallowed hard and summoned forth an irritation she no longer felt. It did little to erase the heat her errant thoughts had caused. Blasted man. Thinking about him as a man instead of a boss never failed to elicit a response which both excited and mortified her. Having an infatuation for Luc was one thing, but being attracted to a man who was engaged to another woman was completely unacceptable and downright annoying.

She plopped the laptop onto her thighs and settled her fingers over the keyboard. “The next time you ask for something, I’ll draw a danged map.”

Luc sighed and dropped into his seat. “Do that.” He swiveled his chair and returned to pounding numbers on his keyboard.

Her fingers flew over the minuscule laptop and she stifled an exclamation each time her fingernail hit the wrong key then snagged in a groove. The wretched thing was out to rip her nails. She wouldn’t be having this problem if Luc would let her use a computer which was normal sized. But noooo, she drawled sarcastically in her mind, Luc was afraid she might summon up another electrical storm and blow up another computer. That and every twenty minutes he made her save the file to a flash drive and hand it to him. Glancing at her watch, it was almost time for another annoying, ‘Save it, Elise.’

She didn’t need Raven to take out Luc. She’d do it herself. Working her like a… lowly minion of hell. Maybe he didn’t have a personal life, but she did. She had a stack of books at home waiting to be read along with countless shows recorded on the DVR that were probably no longer on the air.

He was so smug and arrogant and… demanding. Elise get me this. Give me that. Make a copy of this. Did you call for that? She conveniently left out the fact that he’d remembered her birthday with flowers and he’d taken her out to lunch several times to thank her for helping him.

Her nail snagged in the keyboard and ripped. “Damnation,” she uttered with feeling.

Elise was more upset with herself for ignoring his good deeds—such as, walking her out to her car every night they worked late, listening to her comments on his project, complimenting her on her efficiency and accuracy when typing up his notes, bringing her breakfast on those early mornings before a day full of meetings, and, probably the best of all, noticing when she bought a new dress, or earrings, or trimmed her hair. As much as she would like to make him into the evil boss she wanted him to be, he wasn’t. He was, she sighed to herself, the best darn boss she’d ever had.

Luc snickered. “Damnation?”

“Yes. As in eternal damnation and hellfire.”

“Another Lucifer reference?”

Elise barely managed to refrain from groaning. “No. I am not going to give you the satisfaction of another Lucifer reference.”

“Too bad. Some of them weren’t half bad. What was it you called me? Hell’s overlord who wields his lucky pen like it’s… what was that last part?”

Her good opinion of him disappeared and her irritation returned full force. “I don’t remember,” she lied.

Elise remembered the incident clearly. The blasted man had overheard every word of a private gripe session after a particular grueling day during the first month of their master-minion work relationship. He’d snuck up behind her in the break room and listened to her hushed mutterings when he was supposed to have been in his car and on his way back to his lair.

Luc repeated the phrase, trailing off at the part she wished he’d forget. He knew exactly what she’d said. He just wanted to hear her say it again. Well, she wasn’t about to repeat the words. Suffering another bout of Gaia’s wrath would be easier than to recall those mortifying words she’d hissed in a fit of real temper.

He tapped his pen—his lucky pen which had put the fear of termination into every employee at Andersen Corporation since its arrival—against the desk. He knew it annoyed her. Just as Elise knew her habit of chewing on pen caps irritated the daylights out of him. Oh, but how she longed to get her teeth on his pen and gnaw it to death.

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