By: Lexi Blake



Carly sat back and took a deep breath. It was over. Almost. One last thing and then she could go home and figure out exactly what to do with the rest of her life.

She could sell the car. It was the only viable asset she had. The house would go back to the bank. That hurt. She’d turned that little townhouse into something beautiful. She would be lucky to find an apartment building that would rent to her. Very likely she would end up working retail or at some fast food restaurant. Everything she’d worked for was one big steaming pile of crap.

That’s what happened when a girl fell for a slick con artist.

She’d lost her husband. She was about to lose her job, the domino that would send all the others falling—house, status, car. No more nice shoes for Carly. She would be lucky to have the money to buy secondhand, much less the Manolos and Prada she’d worn for the last few years because her boss insisted she look the part of Patricia Cain’s right arm. She’d learned fast that Patricia Cain’s right arm wore some expensive shit. But then so did her left arm, ankle, knee, and every other part of her.

She was about to lose a job millions of women would kill for.

Thank God.

She tidied up her desk and prepared for the confrontation. Ever since that moment when the police had hauled Roger off in handcuffs, she’d known this was coming. Carly glanced down the hallway. She wished it could have happened while they were in St. Augustine, where she wouldn’t have to find a way back home, but Los Angeles was as good a place as any to make her final stand.

The door to the office opened and Emily’s eyes flared as she took in the sight of Carly at her desk. “Fred from accounting said you were here. I didn’t believe him. What are you doing?”

She was being brave for once. “I’m waiting to speak with Patricia.”

“Because you’re going to murder her?” Emily let the door slam behind her. “Oh God, you’re going to do it, aren’t you? Everyone’s always said one day her assistant would strangle her. I knew you would be the one to do it. You’re not an evil sheep like the rest of them.”

“I’m not going to murder her.” Though she’d often thought about it.

Emily shot her a sympathetic look. “She had your husband arrested. No one would blame you.”

“The police would. Also the DA. Probably a jury of my peers, too. Roger embezzled a million dollars from Cain Corp. He deserves to go to jail.” She believed every single accusation leveled at her soon-to-be ex-husband. She would throw in a couple more. Cheating. Lying. Gambling. Running up her credit cards, which she soon would have no way to pay for. And she’d bought it all for two years. She’d been the one to get him the job here where he’d managed to embezzle all that lovely money he’d spent on God knew what.

Now it was time to pay the piper. Or the righteous bitch, in this case. Patricia Cain would never pipe. Far below her dignity.

Emily worked on the magazine side of the business as a copyeditor. She was a nice girl, one Carly always had lunch with when they were in LA. “Seriously, you should walk out. She’s going to be so mean to you.”

And that was different how? “I’m going to give her my letter of resignation and leave with some dignity.”

She had the cheapest ticket she could find online sitting in her purse waiting for her getaway. She left LAX for Jacksonville at eight tonight. She would find the cheapest wine she could and drown her sorrows.

And celebrate a little because she never had to see Patricia Cain’s cosmetically enhanced face again. She never had to deal with another of that woman’s issues. She was getting out right as the Queen of Domestic Bliss was planning her own wedding to a disgusting billionaire whose greatest talent seemed to be his ability to leer at women half his age and younger without a single ounce of shame.

Freedom. This was the one good thing Roger had done for her. She was going to be free.

What she’d never worked up the nerve to do was finally out of her hands. She’d worked for Patricia Cain for three hellish years, all the while telling herself it was only a matter of time before she was rewarded for all the ridiculously late nights and degrading tasks. She would do her time, make her connections, and then move on in the world. Everyone knew Patricia never kept an assistant for more than five years, and then she moved them out into the vast network of TV and publishing and home goods businesses that paid her considerable rent. A shiny new assistant would be brought in and the old one put out to happier pastures.

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