Protect Me (Rivers Edge Book 4)(99)

By: Lacey Black

An uneasy feeling settles in my stomach. I feel like the piece of steak that the zookeeper chucks into the lion’s den. I’m not nervous or scared of being called into the boss’s office. I’m more worried that, eventually, I’m not going to be able to hold back my hostility towards this woman. I fear I’m not going to be able to bite my tongue and just let the words fly. Words that I won’t be able to take back. Words that will probably cost me my job.

I’m just settling in for a self-help, blood pressure calming pep talk when I hear the hard clickety clank of her heels on the tile floor. I stand up as straight as possible as if someone shoved a rod up my ass, shoulders square and hands firmly held behind my back. I plaster on my best hard as steel, cool as ice demeanor and wait for Carmen to open her office door.

When she finally swings her door open, she doesn’t notice me right away. Her dark eyes are casted downward, and she has a sad, distant look on her face, which leaves her vulnerable and exposed. She looks almost human.

I don’t say anything. I don’t move. Hell, I don’t even breathe. I’m taken aback by the sheer beauty of this woman. The delicate lines of her face. The softness in her brown eyes. The breathtaking way she lets her hard shell soften just a little when she thinks no one is watching. The way my traitorous body responds to her presence.

Carmen looks up at that moment and notices me for the first time. The hurt is evident in her eyes for only a few nanoseconds before her bitch exterior is slammed back into place like the slamming of the prison cell door. She stands up straight and the softness in her face evaporates into thin air. Cruella is back and she’s gunning for me.

How did I get so lucky?

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