There's no Heaven . like Hell.
Faced with losing Pandora Productions as well as her best friend Rebecca to the smarmy Paul, savvy film executive Debbie makes a pact with the demon Shaker, agreeing to bind herself to him as his human master in return for killing Paul and securing Pandora’s future. Yet even as Pandora gains accolades and renown, Debbie’s strong resolve begins to crumble under the weight of her actions. And the pleasure she finds in Shaker’s arms is becoming more than sex.
Is Debbie doomed to lose her heart as well as her soul to a demon who has only been waiting for the chance to claim both?
“You create the scenes and conditions for movies. I don’t see why the deal can’t go through, Debbie.”
“That’s Ms. Deal,” Debbie corrected scathingly, glaring at the Titan Pictures representative. “I handle all the production decisions at Pandora. My team and I initiate, co-ordinate, supervise and control everything from fund-raising to hiring key personnel to arranging for distributors.” Her tone turned icy to drive the point home. “In other words, I have ultimate creative control, something your contract neglects to mention.”
“Let me be to the point, since you’re being so frank,” the executive said, his tone now hostile. “Titan wants Pandora, with you or without you. Make it easy, and you stand to get most of the perks that Rebecca detailed out. Fight us, and you’ll not only be out of a job, Ms. Deal, but you’ll also be blacklisted.”
“Get out,” Debbie growled. “Now.”
The executive gave her a shake of his head coupled with a sorrowful look, then sauntered out of her office. Debbie gritted her teeth, her hands clenched into fists in her lap.
Her secretary Amanda came in. “Your 10 o’clock is here. Do you want me to have him wait for a while?”
God, it had taken all her will not to bean that bastard with her office plant. “No, Amanda,” Debbie said with a sigh. “Show him in.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, Debbie, what’s the word?” Amanda asked. “We all heard about the proposed announcement at the New Year’s party, but then Paul disappeared and Rebecca—”
“I don’t want to sell to Titan,” Debbie admitted. “I’m not going through with it. They aren’t pleased, which is why that prick keeps coming back here each week.”
“Why not?” Amanda asked. “Not that I want to look for a new job, but you could make out like a bandit.”
“Because money isn’t everything,” Debbie said staunchly. “I love what I do, Amanda. I am not giving that up.”
Amanda nodded and smiled, yet it was in her blank gaze that she didn’t understand. “I’ll show in Mr. Triss.”
Debbie looked through her papers, then brought out Mr. Triss’s resume. The man may have had a girly-sounding name, but there was nothing girly about his accomplishments. If he’d done even half of what he claimed, he’d be an asset she could make good use of. The only thing odd on his resume was that he had no first name listed at all, not even an initial.
The door opened, and a lithe man stepped inside, his suit of grey wool looking so new he might have bought it right before the interview.
“Please sit down, Mr. Triss,” Debbie said, indicating the empty chair opposite her desk.
The man smiled, and sat down easily, leaning back and staring at her. Debbie stared back at him, unnerved but also intrigued at his blatant confidence.
“Do you want me to start the interview?” Mr. Triss said finally. “I’m happy to expound on my qualifications.”
“Tell me your first name, Mr. Triss.”
The man smiled uncomfortably. “I’d prefer to go just by my last name, if that’s okay.”
“That’s fine,” Debbie replied. “But I want to know it to satisfy my curiosity.”
“Rack,” the man said, shifting uncomfortably. “But I must stipulate that you not call me that if I’m hired.”
God, he was odd. Debbie was already sure she wasn’t going to hire him, but the last thing she wanted was to antagonize a potential maniac. “Agreed. Please tell me a little about yourself, Mr. Triss.”
For the next half hour, Debbie asked various questions and Rack answered them. His attitude was polite, and his replies precise and knowledgeable. When she gave him the usual “we’ll call you” speech, he just gave her a wink, and smiled. She breathed a sigh of relief, then told Amanda to show in the next candidate.
At the close of the day, Debbie rubbed her eyes and looked over the interviewees. Mr. Triss—aka Rack—was the clear choice for her new acquisitions manager. Yet there was something unnerving about him, reminding her of someone who’d wronged her years ago. And that was besides all that weirdness about him not giving her his first name. She’d go with the second name on the list, a woman named Sheila Bernard. Maybe she hadn’t had all the experience that Mr. Triss had, but her behavior had raised no red flags.
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Tara Fox Hall's writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children's stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children's stories to date are free reads on www.childrens-stories.net.
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