Authors: Aaliyah Andrews
More from Aaliyah Andrews
In Need Of An Alpha
Mr. Lyndon buzzed me. Work was fine when he wasn’t around, which was most of the time with his busy schedule. Why did he have to come back just as I was settling in?
Gathering my notebook of papers, I clasped it close to my chest and hurried down the long line of cubicles to Lyndon’s room. Before I reached it, I looked to Evan’s office. Heads bowed to their screens, the rest of the workers typed away mechanically.
My heart quickened its already rapid pace when I turned to look. Whenever he left his door open, he drew looks from all the girls in the office. I was no different from them. I always looked.
I faced Lyndon’s massive wood door. It was too late for Evan to show up.
“Mr. Lyndon?” I asked meekly. I rapped on the thick wood a couple times.
A grumble reached me from beyond.
I took that as a sign to enter.
Lyndon, slumped over his leather seat like a slug, eyed me with a sick, curious smile as I shut the door. Fear prickled at my skin, crawling up my spine. Thinking about Evan then meeting Lyndon brought me from hot to cold in an instant.
“Amber,” he muttered.
I was astonished he remembered my name.
His office was spectacular. Huge, furnished in fine wood, with a wide view of the New York City skyline, but he didn’t ever have it open. Black curtains shut out all the light from the room. The only light came from a lamp in the corner and a desk lamp, casting an eerie glow on Lyndon.
Greasy hair, yellow teeth, Mr. Lyndon smirked at me and puffed another drag of his cigarette. He put it out on the ashtray on his desk and adjusted his suspenders. It was against policy to smoke in the office, but he didn’t care. Visiting his office meant I was sure to walk out smelling like smoke.
He could do whatever he wanted. He was a billionaire, owner of the I.G.T. Company, which created several popular media outlets, including some of the most important newspapers in the world. They had their hands in everything.
I cringed just looking at him. My friends were all into the billionaire romances like Fifty Shades, devouring them like crazy, but I couldn’t get into them. Was it any wonder when I had a billionaire boss that looked like that? There was quite a difference between fantasy and reality.
More like Fifty Shades of Gross….
I couldn’t even smile from my so witty sense of humor. Okay, it wasn’t that great, but it still helped lighten the mood.
If it was Evan behind that desk, I could get behind the craze. I wouldn’t mind staying at work late.
“Yes, Mr. Lyndon?” I asked him. I feared the worst.
He groaned and pushed up in his chair. He didn’t get that far. “You slut it up a little bit. That’s good.” He slid back down.
Slut it up? Did I actually hear that? I attempted to remain poised. I knew what was on the line, my job, which I’d worked so hard for. Rage built up in me. Lyndon was very good at creating rage.
Maybe it was a bad idea to listen to him in the first place when he advised me not to be so conservative in my dress. I stood in front of him now with a short black skirt and a black blouse.
I showed a little more skin, but I would hardly call it “slutting it up.” It took every ounce of willpower not to smack him.
“Turn around for me,” he said, waving his pale fingers.
Oh, hell no. Did he want to check me out?
Of course he did. I couldn’t be that naive, but it was better to ask him to clarify first.
“Turn around. I want to see.”
Anger rose to the surface. I couldn’t contain it. My nostrils flared and my lips quivered.
“What do you think? I want to see that pretty mocha behind of yours.”
Mocha. I hated that word. I was black. Not mocha. I wasn’t a damn flavor of coffee, especially not to Mr. Lyndon. I shouldn’t remind him of anything delicious.
“No,” I said. I had enough. I needed to fight back at some point.
My anger withdrew when Mr. Lyndon snapped back. He threw his hands upon his desk with surprising agility for his age. His eyes bulged, and I could swear I saw them actually flash a different color, from brown to crimson.
“No? Are you sure you want to tell me no?”
He retracted. He wiped his hand through his hair and flung himself back into the seat.
“Get the fuck out of my room.”
“Go,” he shouted again.
I was tempted to hand him my resignation, but I knew I would at least need to type something up. I needed to remain poised—at least, that’s what I told myself. I needed the job.
As I turned to leave, he yelled one last thing at me, “You better learn to comply with me. You were hired for a reason. If I can’t get you to do what I want, I’ll get someone else.”
I slammed the door shut.
Taking a deep breath, I looked around at the room, but I was wearing rage goggles. It all looked a blur, everyone’s faces unrecognizable. The anger was quickly turning to something else. Sadness? Yes, sadness. No... I couldn’t let that happen.
Two months in, and I didn’t need to be the personal assistant who couldn’t hack it. I would not break down and cry.
It was time to retreat. I placed my useless folder down on my desk then took a fast walk to the elevators. They were down a hallway from the cubicles, past the conferences rooms and bathrooms, but not too far. I thought I could make it before I burst into tears.
How could this be happening to me? I worked so hard. I got all the way to this good position, a job that would really pay me well, what I deserved, and I ran into the cliché, sexist boss. What was worse, I couldn’t do anything about it. He was above HR.
In a whirlwind of emotions, I focused again once I saw the elevator buttons in my face. I pushed on the down button and waited. It lit up, but it didn’t give me any indication that an elevator would be arriving.
The building was big, so it was definitely possible that I would be waiting for a while.
I stomped like the elevator would listen.
Damn. Hurry up.
Don’t make a girl cry in the elevator lobby. Not at work. Can’t. Break. Down. At. Work.
The number lit up. Some semblance of joy flew through me. It promptly left as the elevator stopped again.
I waited patiently. As I waited, I kept going over the things he said to me, but what was worse was not knowing what would happen. That’s what really bothered me. Screw Lyndon, I didn’t care what he thought about me, but I needed that job desperately.
The elevator doors opened.
I stepped forward.
An arm shot out and blocked my path. I took a step back and peered up at Evan.
I wanted to tell him, “Hey, I’ve been waiting for that,” but I couldn’t speak. I hoped my jaw wasn’t hanging open. Evan had that power over me.
He was my rougher version of Superman. Like if Clark Kent had a job as a lumberjack instead of a reporter. Even though he had a scruffy beard, it was always groomed immaculately, just like his hair, shining and virile, slicked back to draw me into those blue eyes.
His features were gorgeous, like he came straight out of GQ, but he had a square, powerful jaw, wide shoulders, a nice ass, and amazing biceps. I liked to think of him as one of the manly male celebrities posing on the cover of Men’s Fitness rather than a girly boy on the cover of some fashion magazine.
I’d take him in anything, though. Or without. I could take him naked. Yes, please.
My mind went straight away into fantasizing mode. While it was nice to be distracted, it didn’t remove the overwhelming fear, anger, or sadness stirring inside me.
“Are you all right?”
How did he know? Did he follow me? I didn’t see him standing beside me the whole time. Maybe I missed him.
“I know what happened.”
My eyes lingered over him longer than usual. I studied him. Something didn’t add up. Spellbound to his eyes, I noticed the golden ring flash around that sexy blue ocean. I never quite saw it as clearly as I saw it then.
That’s when I realized....Evan must be a shifter. He always seemed to pick up on things better than everyone else. I’d never met a shifter before, but I’d heard about them.
They usually tried to blend in. They didn’t like to talk about shifting to humans. It was a private matter. They ran in private groups. I always wanted to know more, but I wasn’t privileged enough for that type of fun.
“Yes, I’m a shifter.”
“Wow,” I said. It was an underwhelming reply. What I wanted to scream was, “How is it possible for you to get hotter every time I see you?”
I remembered the first and last office get-together I was invited to. We went to this sports bar down the corner from our office. It was packed, but through the crowd, I could spot Evan. He was unmistakable. His long-sleeved white shirt was loosened, showing more of his chest, just the right amount of hair for my tastes.
I parted the crowd to get to him, but then I noticed a flock of girls surrounding him. He locked eyes with me, but they pulled him away. Of course, why would I think he was single? No man like Evan is single.
That night was the first night I spoke to him. Eventually he came over and spoke to me, asked me who I was, and said that he’d seen me around, but before we could get anywhere, the other girls pulled him away by pretending they needed him to take a picture.
As he fiddled with the options on their phone, the girls gave me their best stink eye. Not long after, I left.
I hated office politics. I hated office bitches. I would stay out of it. Unfortunately, I ran into the office sexist, and he was my boss.
“It’s going to be all right,” he said.
Captured by Evan’s blue eyes cast in a ring of molten gold, I hadn’t noticed the elevator was gone. I darted below his massive arm and pressed the button again.
“I’m skeptical. Convince me.”
He leaned closer. At any other time, I might’ve wanted him to press his lips on mine and convince me that way, but not now. Now was not the time. I didn’t want to think about being sexy. What I needed was a long shower and maybe then I could start to let him in.
Right now, I needed to run. Run, before I showed Evan that I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t need to break in front of this man. I didn’t want to be weak, ruin my chances.
“I need to go.”
He shook his head.
“He might be an asshole, but he did get you to wear that.” His eyes darted down to my skirt, glancing over my long legs and my curves. I took a strong whiff of his scent—musky and manly, like a man all day at strenuous work in the woods.
I wished I could bottle it up as I ran.
“Please, I’m not in the mood right now to be ogled.”
Didn’t he know what happened? He had super hearing, right? I didn’t really know how shifters worked.
“Sorry, compared to what I really wanted to say, that was quite tame.” He wanted to say more, but the elevator doors opened and I took the chance.
He blocked me with that chest of his.
My hand almost touched him. If it did, I might’ve never been able to run. I might’ve just broken down and cried against that comforting chest.
“You’re going to give me problems too?”
He didn’t like the implication. Evan grunted and pulled his arm away from the wall. He turned to his side and let me pass him by.
“Wait,” he said, stopping the doors as they attempted to shut.
That man had some wingspan. He held both doors open, revealing to me more of his packed muscle underneath that suit.
“I have plans. He won’t be the head alpha for long.”
“He won’t be the boss, either. The head alpha is the boss of the company.”