Craving My BossBy: Tasha Fawkes
Tory is right. My novel’s nameless hero is none other than Daniel Stone, the company CEO. Our boss. My boss. The descriptors I’ve employed in every hot passage so far point directly to my muse. It’d probably be a good idea to update some detail—any detail—to make it less obvious, but somehow, I can’t bring myself to render the changes. I want the hero to be Daniel Stone. And I want that bound, shuddering, gasping little sub begging for release beneath him to be me.
Somehow, I thought putting words to my most intimate fantasies would get them out of my system. No way that sort of relationship is possible—not with Stewart, and definitely not with Daniel, the multi-millionaire who barely remembers my name, but it’s only gotten worse since I started writing, and now I find I can’t stop. I’m hopelessly addicted to the plight of my raven-haired heroine, and I’m way too invested in the forms her punishments take.
Maybe it’s the close call with Tory that makes me more sympathetic than usual to queries from prospective authors today. I tab open my inbox and start replying to e-mails, avoiding my usual stock pleasantries and copy-pasted form rejections and focusing a little more on encouragement than usual. You might try querying at The Lifted Kilt Literary Agency, I advise one aspiring historical romance writer. Here is the contact info for one of their newer agents who is in the market for writers like you to represent! Feel free to use me as a reference. While our own preferences at this time lean more toward the contemporary, you’ll have an easier go of querying in the future once you’ve locked in an agent. Best of luck!
I glanced up from my latest dispatch. Elektra Ahladiotis, the firm’s senior editor, leans in the doorway. Elektra is a petite older woman in her fifties, although she doesn’t look it with that jet-black hair of hers and beautiful skin. She speaks with just a hint of her native Greece, which lends her voice a scintillating quality as exotic as her looks. She’s Daniel’s right-hand woman, and a formidable force of nature that I feel lucky to work directly beside most days.
“How is my assistant today?”
I’m not only Elektra’s assistant, but the editorial assistant to every other editor at Pen and Quill; still, what resources Elektra decides to command, Elektra gets. That includes me.
“Good.” I hit the Send tab on my latest e-mail and lean back in my chair, trying to school my expression to something carefully neutral even though my heart thuds erratically in my chest. Any unexpected appearance by Elektra usually makes my mind and pulse race with worry about having missed some minor editing detail, but today is worse than usual. Has Tory mentioned my pet project to her? Maybe I should’ve reiterated that she was to tell nobody. Maybe I should’ve made her sign a contract in blood. Maybe I should just start looking for another job since my career at Pen and Quill is as good as over.
“I just wanted to check in with you about the Christmas party this coming Saturday,” Elektra says. “As I recall, you were put in charge of food. I haven’t heard anything about it recently, so I assume it’s taken care of.”
She peers over her spectacles at me with those flinty dark eyes of hers, and it’s all I can do to not breathe an audible sigh of relief. All thoughts of living in my car with only my manuscript to keep me warm evaporate. “I’ve got it locked in,” I confirm. “Daniel’s… Mister Stone’s favorite restaurant has agreed to cater.”
I nod. Elektra’s sharp gaze warms approvingly. “Your attention to detail has once more been noted, Ashley. Not many of Mister Stone’s employees make it their business to know his preferences. He is sure to be pleased.”
I nod again, more to hide the heat flooding my cheeks than anything. Of course, I made it my business to know Daniel’s preferences. Calling Maurelli’s was one of the first things I did when I learned he would be attending the party, and it hadn’t been an easy gig to secure. There’s a cunning quality to Elektra’s look now that makes me think this latest evidence of my devotion is sure to trickle back to him.
“You’ve done well, Ashley. I’ll leave you to it.” Elektra raps her knuckle on my desk in parting and glides back down the hall. Once I’m sure she’s gone, I do a gleeful spin in my chair. I have no delusions about Daniel’s availability, especially to someone like me, but I can’t deny how goddamn good it feels to succeed on even this minor front. And who knows? I might even get an acknowledgement Saturday from the big man himself.