The Perfect Dom - Shannon West

Chapter One


If I died and went straight to hell, it would take me at least a week to know I wasn’t at work anymore. That’s how much I hated my job since Mr. Young came to work there. In fact, I loathed it. Despised it on a deeply cellular level. Yet not only did I need the income, but I felt as if I had to work twice as hard as the other people in my office to be able to keep the damned thing, because certain people in management—namely the aforementioned Mr. Young—didn’t like me too much.

My direct boss was the senior literary agent in our firm, a sweet man named Mr. Haywood, one of the founders. The company represented writers and their written works to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers, and film studios. They also assisted in sales and deals negotiations. As for me, “assistant” was a glorified title, which actually meant typist, file clerk, receptionist and all-around gofer. There were three of us so-called assistants who worked directly for the top agents, and we shared their work among us, along with a big office outside theirs.

There was Tori, a curvaceous blonde bombshell whose boss was Mr. Harrington. Myra, a dour individual nearing retirement age, who, God love her, reminded me a lot of Mitch McConnell, jowls and all. She was with Mr. Young. Smiling was not in either one of their job descriptions, so it didn't get done. It made them the perfect match.

My boss, Mr. Haywood, was surprisingly laid back and low maintenance. He didn’t give me any grief and was very easy to work for. The other two, however, could be a different story. To wit, Mr. Young, the coldest, most unfeeling man currently alive on the planet. His tongue was like a razor, and it grew keener with constant use.

On the morning of my most recent encounter with the man, Myra was out with stomach flu and I had messed up on a phone call for her boss from a woman named Cherry. I had also neglected to get Cherry’s full name, and to put the “cherry” on top, I had taken him the number I had written down on a sticky note, which Myra had told me he loathed. I felt nervous about taking it in to him, because Mr. Young was new to the firm, so I didn’t know him very well at all yet. My boss didn’t make me use the little message pads, so I didn’t have one handy, though, I suppose, knowing how Mr. Young was, I should have transcribed the message onto one. To tell the truth, I couldn’t be bothered. I had my own work to handle after all.

I approached his door with trepidation that morning, knocking softly until he looked up. He wasn't the type to be chatty or be overly friendly with the staff, so I didn’t know much about him yet other than his name—L. Young. He glanced up as I came in, and I was reminded of just how good looking he was, proving the devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape with pointy horns. He might come as everything you ever wished for in a man but have never been able to find.

Tall and lean, but with muscles I liked to imagine I could see rippling under his expensive, Italian cut suits, he had dark hair and eyes so pale blue the poets would have had to come up with new words to describe them. Not me, though. I knew serial-killer eyes when I saw them. He was, in a word, gorgeous.

When I’d tapped on the door of his office, he’d glanced up at me like he couldn’t quite remember who I was. Finally, he’d beckoned me in impatiently as I hovered by the door. I went toward his desk holding out the sticky note. He took it from me by the tips of two fingers as gingerly as if it had been a piece of hazardous waste.

“Is this supposed to be a phone message?”

I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. “Yes, sir?”

“Was that a question? Aren't you sure?”

“Oh yes. Uh-huh. It is. A message.”

He looked down at it and back up at me. “Cherry? What does this mean? Cherry who?”

“Oh, I uh... sorry, she didn't give me her full name.”

“You mean you didn't get it.”

“Um, well. Yes, that would be correct. I asked who was calling and she just said, “Cherry. So…”

“So, this could be a client or perhaps a pie-maker