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Publication date: September 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Paranormal, Romance
It’s the Devil’s little girl versus Daniel Webster…
Devlin’s keen legal mind had always kept her two steps ahead of opposing counsel. It didn’t hurt that she’d learned from the best dealmaker in the history of…well…existence. When your dad’s the Devil, expectations are high! She’d worked her tail off to become the best lawyer in town, and she wasn’t about to blow it all now.
When a business deal threw Daniel Webster in her path, Devlin had to wonder who she’d pissed off in another life! He was the most insufferable opposing counsel she’d ever had the misfortune of bargaining with. There was no way she was going to let Daniel the Douchenozzle derail her deal…no matter how annoyingly sharp or distractingly attractive he may be!
Can they find a way to see eye-to-eye in negotiations, or will they wind up eviscerating each other in the boardroom?
WHEN LIFE GIVES you lemons, squirt them in your enemy’s eye. Devlin was fuming, this was not what she expected when she’d asked to see company records. Daniel had clearly put a lot of thought into today’s campaign of torture. How had she ever been so delusional as to think there was a less offensive side to him? Daniel had buried her in boxes of paperwork, and to top it off, the contents were all jumbled. Devlin had spent the last two hours trying in vain to match statements and invoices, vendor agreements and payment terms, and various banking and legal documents. Thank Lilith Adrian had stopped by with a massive cup of coffee. They had turned out to be Devlin’s secret savior!
It had been eerily quiet working in the broom closet, but that was what you got when you were stashed away under the stairs. Devlin had actually started to get into a rhythm as she shifted from box to box when her concentration was broken by the sound of a squeaking wheel. She poked her head out of her hidey-hole and saw someone she’d never met before, wheeling a dolly stacked with more boxes of files toward her. Devlin felt her irritation morph into a low-grade, simmering rage. She gave the unfortunate delivery person a tense smile as they slid the
boxes off the dolly. Her aura must have been pretty dark. She’d never seen someone back away from her that quickly in her life. Drawing on very deep reserves of self-control, Devlin lifted the lid off of the top box in the new stack…
Mother F… She ground her teeth to keep the shriek of anger in. The overhead lights in her cramped office flickered madly for a moment as she jammed the top back on the box and took a seat on the tiny stool she’d been given. Devlin rested her elbows on her knees and dropped her head into her hands. Daniel has his whole life to be an asshole. Why couldn’t he have taken today off!?!
Devlin raised her head at the sound of a new email notification. She reached out and slid her laptop across the tiny desk to read it. The message was from Daniel. He apologized for not meeting her when she arrived (yeah right) and was looking forward to their meeting at eleven (about as much as a root canal). He wanted to put in a lunch order so it would arrive shortly after their meeting concluded (food was good), so could she please let him know what she’d like (ok, that was actually thoughtful…weird). Hoping for the best, Devlin fired back a simple reply.
Thank you for ordering lunch. I’m not too picky when it comes to food, so please go ahead with anything you know is good at whichever restaurant you order from. The only thing I don’t like is fish. Thank you!
As she hit Send, Devlin caught the time on the corner of her laptop screen. Sifting through mountains of bullshit had definitely killed most of the morning. It was already almost eleven o’clock, and she had to hustle upstairs for their meeting. Why Daniel had chosen to email her about their lunch order instead of just asking her during their meeting was a mystery, but, hey, if it wasn’t another box of files—or hidden coffee—she wasn’t about to question it. Devlin shut her laptop, adjusted her hair and outfit, put on her most calm, professional expression, and strode out into the lobby and up the stairs to the second floor.
Thankfully Adrian had pointed out Daniel’s temporary office on their Black Ops mission that morning, so Devlin knew exactly where she was headed. His door was closed when she arrived, and she could hear the muted sounds of a conversation. Devlin took a seat in a chair just outside the door to wait…and wait…and wait…
An hour. Devlin was back to simmering rage. She had emailed him, texted him, and knocked on the door. Daniel hadn’t so much as acknowledged her presence the entire time she’d waited. This day felt like one of her dad’s torture scenarios, and to make things worse, the screen on her phone had been glitching on and off. She was about to get up and bang on his door again when it flew open, and there he was…with his coat on.
“Oh, sorry! I totally forgot about our meeting!” Daniel exclaimed, leaning hard into a melodramatic performance of apology.
“Where are you…” Devlin tried to interject, to no avail.
“I have to step out. Put something in the books for another day and enjoy your lunch!” Daniel shouted as he barreled past her and down the stairs.
Devlin stood rooted to the spot in shock. What the actual fuck just happened? There was nothing left for her to do other than return to her storage closet. Devlin walked back down the stairs on auto-pilot.
Devlin snapped out of her stupor at the sound of Max’s voice. “Max, yes, what’s up?”
“Mr. Webster wanted to make sure you got your lunch.” Max held out a plastic bag that clearly held containers of food.
“Thank you, Max.” Devlin reached out and took the bag. Eating her feelings seemed like a good plan.
Devlin collapsed onto her shitty, tiny stool and dropped the bag onto her desk. She attacked the knot tying the plastic handles together like a ravenous beast. When the bag opened, Devlin felt like crying. The smell of fish wafted from the takeout container, filling her tiny faux office and making her stomach turn. Devlin was done. She had no more fucks to give, and her reserves of cheek turning had run empty. She opened her laptop and fired off an email to Daniel.
Daniel, I have spent years dealing with difficult people in boardrooms and being underestimated as a legal professional. The treatment I have received at your hands makes every other experience pale in comparison. I have never felt so disrespected, targeted, and demeaned in a business or personal setting in my life. I will endeavor to conclude business between our companies posthaste in order to minimize and, if possible, eliminate any future interactions. I hope you’re proud of yourself. Sincerely, Devlin Laflamme
Devlin slid her laptop back into its bag, put on her coat, and walked out. Dealing with Daniel was like trying to play chess with a pigeon. He just flew around, shitting all over the board and acting like he’d won.
Mandy Lee is a romance author based in Toronto. She has always enjoyed mythology/the supernatural, and her stories typically straddle paranormal and contemporary worlds. Snarky humour is guaranteed! Mandy is a caffeine addict, sci-fi lover, cat mama, travel enthusiast, and unapologetic weirdo!