Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Book Excerpt: See You in Hell by Demelza Carlton
Mel carefully blew on her coffee as she returned to the lunchroom turned training room.
Luce reclined against the tiny bar in the corner, resting his arms on it so his hips were pushed into
Mel recognised his stance as one meant to draw attention to the bulge in his pants. The implied
message was clear: the pants could be unzipped for the right girl or boy, if someone played their
cards right. Mel had far more experience with such a stance than Luce probably realised – for she
remembered a time in Russia when it had merely meant the man was rich enough to own a spare
pair of socks to stuff in his pants against the frostbiting cold. Ah, Napoleon had been stubborn and
arrogant, too, she recalled, but he'd been good for intelligent conversation. He'd also owned an
ample supply of socks.
No one seemed game to speak to the CEO, so Mel took pity on him. Resting her elbow on the end
of the bar, she asked, "Do you get bored, delivering the same orientation presentation every
"Of course not," came the easy answer. "Every time I tell new staff about the achievements of the
HELL Corporation, I see their pride in being part of my company, knowing the next team of new
staff will be hearing about the achievements that they personally helped happen."
Mel laughed heartily. "That sounds like a rehearsed response if ever I heard one. Do you ever
answer a question honestly?"
"Of course," Luce replied. Mel barely knew the man, yet she knew he was lying.
She pressed her lips together and gave a little smile in response, before turning her attention to her
instant coffee. Attention it didn't deserve, but the muddy brew was an improvement to listening to
the demon's rehearsed rhetoric.
Luce seemed to realise that he'd hit a wrong note. "It's Mel, right?"
"Yes," she acquiesced gracefully. "From the Helpful Angels Agency." A careful sip of coffee kept
her eyes from meeting his as the cup hid her smile. She waited for the implied warning to sink in:
far from being one of his demons, she played most emphatically for the other team.
"Ah. Ah, yes. I remember now. You're the new girl who's working under Lili, right?"
"I'm in the office beside her and I report to her, yes," Mel corrected. "I'm looking forward to seeing
precisely which projects she has in mind for me. I understand the company's interests are quite
diverse, so I expect the work to be different to anything I've done before, if nothing else."
"So what were you doing before deciding to be my angel?"
Mel gave him her serene smile, knowing Hell would freeze over before she'd ever be his angel. He
evidently didn't know that yet, so she replied, "Other temporary assignments, as required. I go
where I'm needed, that's all." She took a larger mouthful of her cooling coffee, trying not to grimace
at the taste.
"I'm sure I'll need you for something. Lili does a lot of work for me. She may even delegate some of
her more delicate tasks to you, if you're lucky. We could be working very closely together on some
of my pet projects." Luce grinned. "You'll want to make sure you wear a skirt." He stared at her
pants-clad legs hungrily.
Mel wondered what he'd say if she admitted the closest he'd get to her was precisely where he was
now – just out of arm's reach. She chose to say nothing. Instead, she smiled and nodded, then
excused herself so she could wash the sludge out of the bottom of her coffee mug. She wanted to
wash her whole body – the sleazy CEO made her skin crawl – but she hardly had time before the
next orientation session resumed.
She slipped back into the training room, relieved to see that Luce had left. Somehow, she suspectedshe'd be seeing him again soon, though she hoped the opposite. Slimy snake of a CEO…