Rachel Van Dyken
My Grumpy Alpha
She won’t stop talking. I know it’s her job as my court appointed therapist, but if I have to stare at her red lips move one more time I might get in even more trouble.
“So, Eli. Can you explain to me exactly what happened that day?” she says in a breathy whisper that she probably thinks is seductive. “I’m having trouble picturing…” she runs her eyes up and down my body. “...the incident.”
I try not to roll my eyes. Yet another therapist that wants to sleep with me. Why are women so predictable?
“I got angry. My marketing department was incompetent, so I fired them all. Simple enough for you?”
“Is that all?” she asks.
“I may have also…pushed some furniture around.”
“You threw a desk out of the window, Eli.”
I shrug. “I may have gotten a little angry.”
“The desk weighed over three hundred pounds.”
“I like to keep in shape.”
“I can see that.” She leans in, biting on her bottom lip. “And when would you say the anger originally started for you? The fighting, the overactive aggressiveness in the workplace?” Her short dark hair’s pulled back against her skull so tight you’d think she’d have a migraine. She’s smiling at me like she wants to eat me alive.
I can feel the anger pulsing through me again, and I clench my teeth to try to reign in it.
Brings out the best in people.
I keep quiet. If I open my mouth to speak I might just end up biting her head off.
“Silence isn’t good, Eli,” she says. “You have to work with me here. We have thirty days to get you better.” She sighs when I don’t reply. She leans forward, giving me a clear view of her cleavage. “If you don’t like talking, maybe we can find other ways to bring you some…relief.”
Alright. That’s enough.
“Well, doctor…where to begin?” I lean closer, locking gazes with her. “Maybe my anger and aggression comes from the fact that I was abandoned as a child. Left for dead. Despite my fame, fortune, and all around unimaginable success, I’ve had quite the traumatic past. Despite my loving adoptive family, one doesn’t really get over such intense feelings of betrayal.”
She opens her mouth to speak, but I cut her off.
“No doubt you’re about to spew some freudian nonsense from one of the textbooks you’ve memorised. Or maybe you’d like to suggest that there may be a chemical imbalance in my amygdala. But I can assure you, doctor, that my brain works perfectly fine, and that none of the drugs you prescribe me will work. Not that I’m implying that the degree you have displayed so proudly on your wall and have spent years of your life trying to attain that tiny piece of paper is useless, but you’ll quickly find that none of the things you’ve learned in a classroom will apply to me.” I glance at the clock. “It looks like we’ve got about a minute left in this session. Will you be able to actually say something intelligent for once, or are you going to keep gaping at me like a dead fish?”
She just stares at me, eyes wide, mouth hanging open. I sigh and stand up, placing my finger underneath her chin. I close it for her before something can fly in and choke her to death.
“It was a pleasure seeing you,” I lie. I glare down at her. “Same time tomorrow?” I don’t wait for a reply. I’m out the door and down the hallway before her brain catches up to her mouth. I won’t be surprised if I get another resignation letter from her.
That would be number three.
You can hear a pin drop as I walk towards the elevator. I can feel the envious gazes of the other men, the subtle, lusty looks that the women give me when they think I’m not looking. I can even hear the nasty things they whisper to each other from down the hall. I’ve got better hearing than most.
Everyone wants a piece of Eli.
One person even takes a damn photo of me with their cellphone as the elevator doors close.
I can’t blame them. People are attracted to power. They’re attracted to authority. They’re attracted to wealth. And god knows I’ve got all three dripping off of me in spades.
I adjust the cufflinks on my suit as the elevator doors open, the lobby quieting down to a hush as I step out. I ignore them, striding purposefully towards the exit. The sooner I get out of this damn building the better. I nod to the doorman as he opens the door for me, and I sigh as the fresh air hits me. Well, as fresh as downtown Seattle air can be.
My phone starts to ring. I sigh and grab it. “Gabe, I swear—”
I pause and wipe my free hand down my face. “Start over.”
“Your new secretary quit, and we need to hire a new one and while I know you like to have full control over this, I may have already found someone and given her the training manual.”
“We don’t have a training manual.”
“I know that, but I was trying to buy time!”
“Buy time for what? I was in my stupid therapy session for an hour. You’re telling me that in that hour Kris quit and you already found and hired a random girl off the street?”
“Yup.” He popped the p in yup. He does that on purpose when he wants to piss me off. “Aren’t I great?”
“If you weren’t my brother I’d fucking kill you.”
“Your brother and your Vice President. I’m irreplaceable baby!”
“Don’t tempt me.”
He laughs, but I can hear something change in his tone. “I think you’re gonna like this one, Eli.”
I’m immediately suspicious. “Gabe…”
“She’s gorgeous. And smart. And she’s willing to work incredibly hard if we give her a chance.”
“I don’t like where this is going…” I can feel a pit open in my stomach. All the anger I’d managed to suppress in my horrible therapy session comes rushing back to the surface.
“Get here quick, Eli.” Gabe sounds excited. It’s never good when he’s excited.
“Just fire her already,” I say. “Save me the trouble.”
He ignores me, and he says the last thing I wanna hear. The worst case scenario. My nightmare made reality.
“I think she’s the one you’re looking for.”
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