Book 1, Chapter 34

At that very moment, Doom was walking the company’s halls. He’d barely paid Rachel any attention when she came by with a pot of coffee earlier: he had a policy of ignoring underlings as beneath him, since they were. Then he’d taken a sip. After the second, he’d gotten to his feet and – without realizing it – started looking for her. In his somewhat dazed state, he practically broadcast his thoughts.

Hot coffee, they went. Hot damn! How come no one ever thought of that before? And that girl…he hadn’t been paying attention, but now that he thought about it, she was hot too. Hot. And a junior programmer. And obviously in awe of him: she’d gone out of her way to bring him his first cup of coffee. Like a supplicant. And he could appreciate that in a woman. He should really take her under his wing.

Although, the company does frown on dalliances within a department. Hmm. How hard would it be to get her transferred to something else? Not very. She was just a junior programmer. He was the lead developer. The lead developer. The company ran on his talent, and it’s executives would bend in pretzels to appease him if he complained of…say…a personality conflict.

Later, when they were an item, his initial “aversion” to her would just be one of those cute stories couples tell at parties. Perfect.

Then he turned the corner and saw Ean, prone on the floor with Rachel leaning over him. For a brief second Doom’s fingers tightened around the styrofoam cup in outrage that the coffee-boy was trying to fool around with his girl on the floor of the damn break room.

Outrage – and a barely buried, long-standing fury that was hotter than the coffee or the girl.

Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

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