King's

By: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

The KING Trilogy Book One



Dedicated to my Street Team: For giving me something to laugh about or drool over every day. You kinky f***ing ladies rock!

Ale, Ally, Amy, Ann, Annette, Ashlee, Ashley H., Ashley L., Bethany, Blythe, Bridget, Cathy S., Cathy S. L., Ces, Christina, Courtney, Dalitza, Dy, Farah, Hannah, Helen, Hida, Ingrid, Ixtzel, Janna, Jean, Jennifer B., Jennifer D, Jessa (our leader!), Jodian (~ ~ ~farmerunicorns), Kassie B., Kim K., Kim M., Kim M. (again), Kirsty, Leah, Lindsay, Mai Ling, Mary, Marybell, Michaela, Nadine, Nikki, Reagan, Shana-kay, Shasta, Sofia, Sonya, Terri, Tina, Vicki (woof!), Vickie, and…deep breath, can’t believe I made it to the end of the list…Wanda!





CHAPTER ONE




San Francisco. Present Day. 5:57 P.M.

I squirmed in my tight gray pencil-skirt from behind the antique desk and forced myself to look away.

Three minutes to go.

But I didn’t need a clock to tell me that. I knew it. My stomach knew it. And the sweat trickling down the small of my back beneath my fitted white blouse knew it.

Focus on something else, Mia.

I glanced at the drizzle of rain collecting outside on the office window, but I couldn’t see past the film of dirt. Even if I could, I wouldn’t see clouds or the long-overdue rain. I would only see him. Or, really, the mental ghost of his tailored black suit, jet black hair, and pale gray eyes powering through me from the darkened doorway, cautioning me not to speak. That was how he greeted me each evening before he walked directly to his private office and shut the door, leaving behind a subtle trail of delicious cologne. There would be no other exchange between us. His cologne. My nose. Oh yes, I almost forgot. The phone calls.

At exactly 6:02 p.m., he would call my desk, a mere five feet from his door, and say in that deep, mesmerizing voice that sent prickly chills to my bones, “That will be all, Miss Turner.”

Those five feet felt like a thousand miles of scorching desert. One I dared not cross. Because while some people might be fooled by the exquisite lines of his handsome face or by his European arrogance that reeked of old money, I was not. I saw right through that rapturous smile. He was a cruel, sadistic son of a bitch. That was the only explanation as to why he kept me waiting like this, day after agonizing day, forcing me to swallow back my bile while the clock ticked away, all sense of hope dying with every breath I took.

I glanced at the clock once again.

One minute to go.

I continued reminding myself that I had to be strong this time—no getting tongue-tied or woozy—and demand what was mine. We had a deal. I wanted his help, he wanted…well, me. As his assistant. Only I just sat there like his personal museum piece. 6:00 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. Six days a week. On the sixth floor.

The devil likes sixes, I thought, so why wouldn’t this guy?

What my new employer didn’t like, however, were questions. “Just do, Miss Turner. Just do,” he’d say.

“But do what?” I would ask.

Then he’d laugh, causing deep creases to form on both sides of his wickedly beautiful mouth. “As you are told, Miss Turner. As you are told,” he’d say while his hypnotic, cold gaze said something else: I own you now. Don’t you ever fucking forget it.

Maybe he was right. Maybe he did own me. I didn’t know anymore. I just knew that I’d given up regretting the choice I’d made on that horrible, dark and rainy night when I’d come to him, crawling on hands and knees, praying he’d be the miracle I needed. But from the first moment he saw me, he was like a shark that tasted blood. Only, it was my desperation and weakness that had him salivating. And the things he did to me over this very desk I now sat at…Oh Lord, I can’t bear to think about it. I should have turned around and run when I had the chance. Instead, I told myself that whatever it took, whatever the price, it was worth it. If he were the goddamned devil himself, it didn’t matter. Just as long as he helped me.

But that was three long weeks ago, and my decision to make a deal with this evil man had bought me nothing but more time to think. Mostly about my fears. Fears I now knew inside and out. Fears that pecked away at the flesh of my soul like hell’s vultures while I sat in a giant empty loft that no one ever visited, with a phone that never rang. Except when he called.

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