All About the D(3)

By: Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam

My attention is diverted to Angela as she runs her hands over her slender hips and sighs dramatically, tossing her glossy hair over her shoulder. With irritation, I realize she’s eyeing the mess on my desk. Why is she always up in my business?

The skyline keeps loading in my peripheral vision, and it takes every bit of control I have to not fidget when Malcolm Waller walks in behind her, but fortunately, there are no dicks in sight.

Angela taps one perfectly manicured talon on a stack of my files. “Mac wants to know if Penny has dropped another one of your calls.”

I can’t tell if my eye twitches because she’s calling our boss Mac, something no one does—not even his wife—or because she’s angling to get our secretary Penny fired.

Malcolm lets out a weary breath and runs his hand through his white hair. “I hate to say this, but if I hear one more complaint, I’m letting her go.”

Inside, I shake my fist at both of them. Penny is a single mom with three kids, and while she does drop or misdirect our calls on occasion, she’s also the sweetest person I know. She puts up with everyone’s shit and never complains about her endless workload.

Folding my hands on my desk, I tilt my head like I’m thinking. “Honestly, I can’t recall the last time she did that.” This morning. “But she did a fantastic job photocopying that enormous presentation you gave last week, Angela.”

I refrain from giving her a dirty look, but only barely. How quickly we forget when someone saves your ass because you put it off until the last minute.

She rolls her eyes and grabs Malcolm’s forearm. “Let’s go ask Nathan. I’m certain he has something to say on the subject.”

Does she have to practically purr when she says his name? God, I hope she hasn’t slept with Nate. He’s been my work crush since he joined the firm last year, and Angela always acts like she could have a spontaneous orgasm when he’s around.

As she walks out the door, Malcolm motions toward me. “You’re going to bring us a great case this week, right, kiddo?”

Still with the kiddo. I paste a smile on my face and nod, hating that he saw me running around in diapers when I was a toddler.

My mother, while lacking every maternal instinct known to humanity, did me one favor prior to divorcing my father and moving to the East Coast. Before they split and my dad went back to his blue-collar roots, my mother dragged him along to every society function in greater Portland, where he met people like my boss.

So even though I’ve worked my ass off to get good grades and graduated at the top of my class in college and law school, I’m not naïve enough to think that’s what got me this job, a fact that has me even more eager to prove my worth beyond my family’s modest connections.

Malcolm makes that face, the one that says, Tell me what I want to hear.

“Yes, sir. In fact, I’m working on something big—” I do a double-take at my computer screen that has finally loaded. I swallow. “Something huge, actually.”

A nervous laugh escapes me and my cheeks burn. Dear baby Jesus in the manger. Blogger guy is packing some serious heat.

Dragging my gaze from the computer screen, I return my attention to my boss, nodding enthusiastically and praying he stays on the other side of my cluttered desk.

Malcolm rubs his chin and offers me a patronizing wink. “Good to hear it, kiddo. Bring me something meaty.”

I almost snort. Size isn’t a problem.

It takes me a full minute of staring at Josh-the-naughty-blogger’s crotch for me to come to my senses.

Penny’s about to get fired. Stop staring at porn and move your ass.

I minimize the browser—thankfully, it works this time—jog down the hall and sneak into Nathan’s doorway. He’s at his desk, looking gorgeous as always with that tousled blond hair that falls just over his right eye when he laughs.

He’s still every bit the all-American football star he was before an injury sidelined him, complete with broad shoulders, a charismatic presence, and that beautiful boyish grin.

When he spots me creeping in the hall, I put my finger over my lips. He nods slightly, hiding a smile, the one that makes me wish I hadn’t been friend-zoned.

Malcolm and Angela stand in front of his huge mahogany desk with their backs to me as she whines, “Please tell Mac about the call Penny sent to Miss Frumpy last week.”

Who is Miss Frumpy? There are only three female attorneys at this firm, and one is on maternity leave.

I peer down at my brown pumps, brown slacks and boxy tan blazer.

Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m Miss Frumpy.

Dread and humiliation drain the blood from my face, and I wipe my damp palms on my pants.

So maybe I’ve gone overboard on neutral colors, but I don’t think I look bad. Although… I suppose I don’t need to button my blouse so high. But just because I don’t put my chest on display doesn’t mean I’m frumpy. Does it?

Nate clears his throat, and that’s when my mortification spreads like a wildfire on the dry plains. While Malcolm and Angela are busy complaining about Penny, Nathan offers me a sympathetic smile.

Yes, this will really help him fall in love with me. Loser, thy name is Evie.

Also By Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam

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