The following is a (rough) first draft from my new work-in-progress – THE WOLF IN ARMANI
This extract is liable to change before publication.
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THE WOLF IN ARMANI
Would I lie to You?
“Fucking stupid woman.”
Looking away from the laptop’s screen and up to my closed office door for the tenth time in five minutes, I growled through gritted teeth, violently pushed my wheeled chair back, and stood. Tugging my shirt cuffs down over my wrists — in part an involuntary habit, but to a greater extent, helping to conceal the riotous splashes of colour painting my arms, I walked around from behind my polished walnut desk, and strode to the door.
Turning the handle like I was wringing my secretary’s neck, I yanked it open, stuck my head out and bellowed, “COFFEE! Miss Brennan, where’s my bloody coffee?”
Raising my arms, I wrapped my hands about the frame, bracing my weight as I leaned forward, looking down the short hallway and out onto the glossy floor of the luxury car dealership of which I was Owner slash Manager.
“Miss Brennan!” I yelled, my knuckles whitening as my fingers tightened on the metal sleeves which ran vertically up and down each side of the doorcase stopping just below the lintel.
There was a crash, a mumbled curse and then a flurry of activity as my secretary emerged from the storeroom situated towards the back of the office space, her arms held to her chest and loaded up with bundles of glossy advertising material and what looked to be a couple of reams of Copypaper. Upon seeing me, she skidded to a halt, her sensible heeled shoes squeaking like vicious rats on the polished Italian floor tiles.
Her mouth opened and closed as if she was stuttering in ancient Egyptian, while behind thick, old fashioned cat’s eye style glasses, watery blue eyes widened. She blinked, frozen to the spot like some form of human-topiary.
I swallowed down the surge of saliva which flooded my mouth, my fingers gripping the doorframe until I was sure there’d be dints left behind in the metal covering. The skin on my nape, and along my arms prickled as a powerful surge of excitement sparked through my body — heated my blood — when I recognised the emotion brimming in those ugly eyes…fear.
I discreetly scented the air, and just like the calculating predator I took pride and even revelled in being, I rejoiced in the promise of a hunt.
A chase. A kill.
Not this one though. She was safe. But like a dog rolling in shit, I mentally rolled in the delicious waves of unease wafting from her, even as I simultaneously recoiled from the thought of laying my hands, or any other body part on her.
It had been awhile in-between outings and I was growing antsy.
The fact I was reacting at all to her palpable emotion — despite her particularly un-pretty exterior — was proof perfect of the storm brewing within me. The darkness embedded and hidden just below my heavily tatted surface clawed, writhed and gnawed. It needed an outlet that went beyond the skills of the over-priced, bored-faced, skinny whores I usually threw money at to service my particular desires, and keep the monster in check.
I came out of my head to see her plain face drain of colour as she noticed me standing there watching her, my hands braced on each side of the doorframe, a scowl set on my face.
She blinked again, her eyes widening like a possums behind the telescope-like magnification of her glasses. A high wheeze escaped her as she scurried over to her desk, placed just to the right and down ten feet away from my doorway, bent, huffed and opened her arms, depositing her load noisily onto an already overcrowded workspace.
“Please clean your desktop Miss Brennan. How do you think that fucking shit looks to potential clients and visiting company heads?” I grunted.
She flushed and sagged as if her bones had melted.
My mind ran away with pyro images of sizzling flesh, charred smoking bones.
My dick twitched in my pants at the thought.
I’d never done that.
The idea was…intriguing if nothing else, but I knew I’d never act on it. Too fucking risky. I wasn’t gonna be anyone’s gaol bitch. Besides, disposal didn’t get me off. It was the game of cat and mouse, and the subsequent sex that got my motor revving; got my cock steely hard and throbbing to the point of pain.
A rustle of paper broke my wandering chains of thought, and remembering why I’d come to the doorway in the first place, I focused on the silly bitch at my side. “Oh and by the way Miss Brennan. Coffee? As in mine. Does that request ring a bell?” I raised a brow in question. She remained silent, her heels clicking as she shifted from foot to foot. Dumb slut. If she wasn’t — usually — so proficient with her job, I’d sack her on the spot and personally kick her arse out of the building. Fuck me.
I tilted my head and tried again, “Where is it? Are the beans coming in by Brazilian carrier pigeons or something? You need to grind them by hand? Jesus Christ.”
Another high wheeze. Eye bulge.
Is she asthmatic? Choking on her own stupidity?
For fuck’s sake.
She cleared her throat, her attention diverting between me and her desk, thin hands busily shuffling and moving papers around. Her ministrations made no difference whatsoever, it still looked like a dust-devil had whipped and spun across its surface.
“I’m so sorry Mr Morgan. I hadn’t forgotten, it’s just that the copier ran out of paper, and then one of the salesmen buzzed to ask me to see if we had any more copies of the specs and pamphlets for the new Lotus due in. I just got —”
Releasing the grip on the doorframe, I straightened, and sighed, realising losing my shit over a cup of coffee was ridiculous at best, insane at worst. I didn’t need rumours about my state of mental-health circulating through my workplace. Didn’t matter a solid fuck if I was the boss, mouths would still flap, just with more caution and stealth.
I sent her an easy smile. A disarming smile. “Okay. Fair enough. I apologise for my quick temper.” She blushed and smiled. Her eyes softening behind the thick lenses with my easy words and charming tilt of my lips before she bent to the disaster on her desk.
“How ‘bouts, I go and sort them out?” I asked, walking out and standing over her as she continued with her shuffling. She stopped at my presence, straightened and stepped back, pushing her glasses up her nose.
I shoved my hands into my pant pockets, my fingers playing with the lighter I had in the right one. “Who was it needing the pamphlets? Rodger? Tony? Stuart? You’re my secretary, they need to know that pulling you away from your duties to fetch shit for them isn’t in your job criteria. Fuck me, they’ve got legs. The lazy turds can get that shit themselves.”
She looked blankly at me for a second before her mouth dropped. Panic at causing trouble flashed across her features. She was so easy to read. “Oh, no. No, it’s alright Mr Morgan, honestly I didn’t mind fetching it. I was going to the storeroom anyways.” She swallowed with an audible gulp. “Copypaper you kno….” Her voice trailed off at the sour look I knew I was presenting her with as she defended the lazy bastards who ran the front of the showroom. “I’ll make that coffee straight away sir.” Turning away she made for the break room before stopping and twisting about on the spot. “Oh, I nearly forgot.” Returning to her desk, she rummaged around in the pigsty before straightening and handing me an envelope sized slip of paper, Morgan’s Luxury Vehicles printed on the top.
Raising a brow, I took it, glancing down at her neat script looping across the white paper, my eyes scanning the words.
“Your wife rang earlier,” she said in explanation, a timid smile curving her lips, her manner now calmer, at ease, now that I hadn’t stormed off, all guns blazing and torn my sales staff new ones.
Her directive was unnecessary, I’d already ascertained my wife’s name in the writing. When I glanced up from my hand, my secretary was once again walking in the direction of the tea-room. “She wants you to call her asap,” she finished cheerily before rounding the doorway and vanishing from sight.
Fucking great. My lips thinned and scrunching the note up in my fist, I stormed back into the office, the door slamming behind me.
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*** The Wolf in Armani extract, Copyright Jennifer Crowfoot 2016 ***