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Whitney, the so-called tyrant boss of E Magazine, is in trouble. Her best friend Clarice is getting married and has asked her to be one of her bridesmaids, which requires wearing beautiful feminine gowns. That's fine by her, but how is she to keep up her persona of the militant boss when Darcy, her submissive personal assistant, will be tagging along too? What makes everything worse is the more she knows Darcy outside of work, the more she realizes that distinct black and white guise of hers is starting to become a blurry grey line.
Darcy is also in trouble. After tasting the forbidden fruit, the hatred he feels for his boss has now somehow turned to heated desire. Now he can't stop thinking about her. But Darcy knows one thing for sure. When it comes to matters of the heart, Whitney may be the dictator in their office, but only he will come out on top in the bedroom.
This story of a tyrant boss and her submissive personal assistant is about to get interesting when mistaken identity and convoluted circumstances take place. In the end, they are left with the question: Who's the master and who's the submissive in this relationship?
This novella is the prequel to the full length novel Madam Witch.
Six months later...
Darcy opened his eyes slowly, his mind a little hazy as he searched for the source of the sound.
There it goes again, he thought. Bastard annoying ringtone.
He rubbed his eyes to fend off the sleep. As reality finally sank in, his eyes landed on the screen of his cell. The light was flashing, indicating a text message waited in his inbox. He groggily flicked through the menu and lazily gazed over the message. His body still slouched in its sleeping position until he reached the end of the message.
On the second floor. The WITCH is heading your way.
"Holy shiittt!" Darcy swore and leapt out of his chair, almost toppling over backward in his sheer moment of panic, his heart racing a million miles a minute.
He combed his fingers through his hair, taming it as much as possible to remove evidence of the sleep-tousled strands. When it refused to obey, he swore again, hoping for the witch to believe the electric hairstyle he sported today was just the result of the massive amounts of hair gel he used this morning. He ran his hands over his shirt and pants to smooth out any wrinkles created while he was napping.
"Ah, dammit," he swore again.
Darcy closed his eyes and took one deep breath, then two, hoping to calm his nerves.
Once he was convinced his heartbeat had returned to its normal pace, he strode toward the door in a manly, composed fashion, chest puffed out and back straight. But there was no denying his legs were shaking like he was on jelly land, and by the time he'd reached the door to open it, he almost collapsed from fright when it miraculously opened by itself to reveal Whitney Madigan--to him, the witch, to his colleagues, his boss, and to the outside world, the editor-in-chief of E Magazine.
"Hello, Darcy," she enunciated his name slowly, her eyes scanning up and down his body, possibly looking for any faults, per usual.
This action only served to remind him of the first time she laid eyes on him during that interview six months back. That whole experience was still traumatizing to this day. And back then, he thought he could play the dominant role, taming her with his whip and handcuffs. But now look who was playing the submissive role.
"Ma-ma'am?" Shit! He whimpered.
Darcy kicked himself mentally, a firm reminder that he shouldn't be a weakling in front of this woman. Show some power, Darcy.
"Has the meeting finished?" he asked with more strength in his voice.
No reply. Instead, the witch asked, "Did you get all your work done?"
"Yes, ma'am," he answered immediately. "Almost there."
Darcy even faked a smile to go along with his answer, hoping to please her in some way. But clearly, the witch had no human emotion. There wasn't even a single twitch of her facial muscles.
She must've had Botox, he thought.
There was no smile. Her lips were grim and her eyes glared at him. Straight into his. And Jesus, did it made his heart thump like there was no tomorrow. And if he didn't blink a few times to stop his thundering heartbeat, he wouldn't know where his soul would escape to.
"I'm so sorry about that." He tried to redirect their sour situation.
He clamped his hands together, his head bent forward. The posture looked like he was begging for her forgiveness.
Damn submission again. I am a Dominant! He cursed himself when he realized he was in this position and straightened his back once more.
"You do know if this happens all too often, something will need to be done," she threatened before handing him a clear file with more documents for him to go through.
Jesus Christ, when will I be able to complete all this work? It's an ongoing concern here.
"Yes, ma'am," he answered anyway, eyeing her with pure hatred. And when she walked farther into his office, he could only scream out his objection in his mind.
You evil witch! If we were in the eighteenth century, I'd burn you on a stake already. Blast you to hell, you evil--
"I'm so sorry I couldn't attend the meeting." Darcy ran right in front of her, blocking her passage, as she was about to go to his desk. "If... if only Peter hadn't taken leave so suddenly, I would have been able to."
"Mmm," was all she uttered, then looked up as if searching for something, until finally her eyes landed on his desk.
Darcy cringed. All the important documents were scattered about on the table, probably a result of being pushed around by his big head during sleep.
He moved a lot when he slept; that was what his mother had always told him.
"If you move around like this, who's going to sleep with you?" she would often say. "And how are you going to produce any children if no one wants to sleep with you?"
Yeah right, like I have time to think about that right now. Once again, he'd hit a sexual dry spell, not because there was no woman around. It was because of this witch. Stress, frustration, and tiredness. She bestowed all three gifts upon him, wrapped in a sarcastic bow of instructions.
"Is that all you need?" he asked, hoping she would get the hint and leave him in peace before his heart did another stressful spin around the racetrack.
"No, Darcy. Follow me. I need to talk to you."
Shit, now I'm in trouble for sure.
Darcy followed her into her office, which was adjacent to his own, except his was like a little storeroom compared to her gigantic immaculate suite.
The witch went to sit on her throne, then turned to face him coldly, gesturing for him to step forward until he stood right in front of her desk.
Darcy did as he was told without even thinking.
"Your tie is wrinkled. Did you iron it this morning?" she asked coldly, her voice as frozen as dry ice, her usual tone with him.
"I did." He subconsciously went to smooth his tie.
"Then why is it wrinkled?" she asked sharply, her eyes boring into his own.
Darcy knew he was in serious trouble. He'd been working for the witch for a full six months now, and he knew when she started using this tone, he was in deep.
Dear God, why does she have to be this cold? And scary?
Darcy eyed his boss. There she sat on her throne, her hands one on top of the other, staring at him like she was about to cast an evil spell upon him. Her black hair, which she usually tied up in a bun, was just like that again today. She was so pale, as if she were lacking in iron or something.
God, she's ugly, he couldn't help thinking. Those coke-bottle lenses were like magnify glasses that made her eyes look like a goldfish's underwater, like they were about to burst off her skull. And she had her usual black suit on again today, a two-piece that reached just past her knees.
What woman these days wears that length skirt anyway? Not that he was an expert in skirts, but he dated so many women in the past to know what was in fashion and what was not. The witch looked like she was out of fashion by decades.
How could they make her the editor-in-chief of E Magazine when she dresses like that?
"Dar-cy," she said again, her pronunciation of his name grating in his ears. He knew she must have done it on purpose. He hated the way she pronounced his name. It was like she was his mother, reprimanding him for doing something wrong. "Were you listening to me?" she asked again, breaking into his line of thoughts.
"Yes. I'm listening." His voice shook a bit. Why must I feel like this? Stand up, Darcy. Be a man. Shouldn't a man dominate the work place, like in the bedroom?
"Why is it wrinkled?" she asked again.
"I..." Bugger! What was he supposed to tell the witch? That he was sleeping on the job because he was so damn tired because of the amount of work she unloaded on him. Because, shit, Peter decided to take a week off, leaving him to do all his work.
Shit! The amount of work she pressed him to finish was, yes, a little overboard, but it was also his own damn fault for succumbing to the pressure of his friend Hunter.
Last night, Hunter had called to announce that his partner had accepted his marriage proposal. So what did two highly intelligent men do? They went drinking--until they were flat-out drunk. And it was only Wednesday, for crying out loud. By the time he got home, he was pooping with his eyes closed.
"I...?" The witch probed, her eyes questioning, waiting for him to elaborate. Or maybe to drop dead on the spot due to stress. If that happened, he'd sue her for inducing stress on her staff.
"I was... was..." His eyes scanned the floor, looking for a way out of his early grave. And then they miraculously landed on a piece of paper lying underneath her desk. Not knowing what excuse to give her, he immediately said the first thing that came into his mind. "I was busy looking for some documents on the floor, so I must have accidentally wrinkled it then. There's still a piece left under the desk. I'll just grab it."
He crawled underneath the table and picked up the document that lay near her feet. God, now I feel so low, but please let the witch believe my lie.
"You came into my office without my permission to organize my things?" she asked with a cruel sting.
"Y-yes." He got back up. What the hell have I done? What kind of excuse was that? Why did I come up with such a lame excuse?
Darcy knew the witch hated anyone invading her private space. She'd told him countless times. So why did he think of saying such a thing?
"Darcy, I have..."
And here she goes with the warning.
"I don't appreciate anyone coming into my room when I'm not present. If this happens again--"
Blab, blab, blab... Darcy blocked out her voice and thought instead of his latest date that he'd scored while out drinking with Hunter late last night. I wonder if Isabella wants to go straight to third base tonight.
"Did you pick everything up?"
"Huh?" Has she finished with the warning already?
"Darcy, were you even listening to me?"
"Yes, ma'am, I'm listening." Darcy straightened himself and cracked his neck. He should never sleep in that sloughy position since it would always be his neck that suffered.
"Good. Now that I've made myself clear, we can get back to work."
Phew! Darcy heaved a sigh of relief, happy that he wasn't punished. He feigned a smile and turned to leave when--
"Now take off your tie."
What? Darcy stopped in his tracks and twisted on his heel to face the witch.
You have got to be kidding me. You nasty witch, you want me to strip off my tie? Not a chance. And it's definitely not part of office policy to strip for your boss. I won't--
"Take off your tie, Darcy," she stated again, glaring deathly venom at him.
"W-why?" he stuttered, fear creeping into him.
What's gotten into her? Wait! That must be it. She's a cougar, preying on young, handsome men like me. And since I'm so irresistible, she wants a piece of me like all the other women back in university. Yes, that's it. The cougar.
"Because it's wrinkled," she said simply, shoving his hypothesis out the window. "I can't have you parading around my workplace wearing a wrinkled tie, now can I?"
And you can parade around in that ugly dress? Not that he could say that out loud.
The witch stood from her chair and walked toward a set of drawers situated at the back of the office. Then stopping in front of them, she pulled something out from the top drawer. All Darcy could do was stare at her back. She then turned and walked toward him with a red polka dot tie in her hand.
She keeps ties in her office. Shit! So I'm not her only victim, then. She must be preying on other men, too. So the rumors are true after all.
At first, when Darcy started working here, there were numerous rumors about his madam being a cougar, preying on young men in her previous workplace because she was so old she couldn't find herself a boyfriend.
He supposed no one in his right mind would want to be her boyfriend anyway. Tyrant. Strict. Cold. Vicious. You name it--all the traits a girl shouldn't have, she possessed. In other words, she turned men off.
"Darcy, take off the tie." She cocked her head to one side when he refused to budge.
"Yes, yes, of course." There he went again. He just couldn't stand up for himself, could he? What a loser.
Grabbing the knot of his tie, Darcy loosened it. Once removed, he scrunched it up and shoved it in his pocket.
The witch stood right in front of him, her head only reaching his chin. Despite the height difference, Darcy still felt intimidated by this woman.
Without touching him, the witch glared up at him, her eyes frosty. "Wear this," she ordered, then dropped the tie into his open palm.
Darcy stood speechless, looking at the polka dot tie in his hand. He'd bet on his next paycheck that if he were to walk out of this office wearing that tie, he would surely be the laughing stock of the whole company.
The witch stood in the same position, right in front of him, as if waiting for him to do something with the tie. He just blinked.
"Wear the tie."
"Oh, like right now?"
"Can I wait until I reach my office?"
The evil witch. Torturing me every day with the workload isn't enough. Now I must be the laughing stock of the whole company, too. I hate you.
Darcy wanted to lash out at her, but instead, he found himself tying the tie around his neck, like an obedient little boy or a total submissive.
"All done," he even exclaimed once he finished.
The witch had the decency to step back and inspect his goddamn work.
"Good." She nodded, smiling slyly, then turned and perched herself back on her throne, typing furiously on her laptop, her long fingernails like cat claws drumming on the keyboard. "You can leave now, Darcy," she instructed, her eyes were still glued to the screen. "And be a good boy and close the door on your way."
Bang on my ego. The witch sure knows how to use the minimum words for a maximum effect to traumatize me.
Darcy wanted to spout a comeback, a retort, anything to show she couldn't bully him, but all that came out of his mouth was, "Yes, ma'am," before he gnashed his teeth together and closed the door quietly behind him.