The chariot is all about motion, and yet it is often shown as stationary.
It implies war, a struggle, and an eventual, hard-won victory, either over enemies,
obstacles, nature, the beasts inside you, or to just get what you want
Deylen Troika is the new Alpha of the Centruroides clan of scorpion shifters and the owner of a toxicology lab to appear legitimate amongst mortals. Forced to hire a new employee for his lab, Deylen has to go outside of his clan to find someone with the qualifications. He can't help but notice his new employee Seneca McLane is stunningly beautiful. If only her personality wasn't so abrasive. If only she wasn’t mortal…
Deylen uncovers a secret Seneca harbors, bringing them closer together, more than he would have imagined. It also puts his own secret in danger of being discovered.
When a rival clan challenges Deylen for the city, Seneca is caught up in to a world she knows nothing about. Can Deylen keep his clan affairs separate and protect her innocence or will she become an unwitting pawn in the fight for supremacy amongst the arachnid shifters?
At the lab, Seneca kept herself busy. Deylen wasn’t in today so she felt less restricted. She thought he was damn cute. She liked the way his hair always seemed a little bit out of place, like he just woke up. It was brown, but she noticed that when the sun hit it just right, blond highlights shone through. In Seneca’s opinion, Deylen’s most striking feature was his pale blue eyes. They were so light, they almost looked colorless. It gave him an almost ethereal look. She wouldn’t admit it to him though. Her own eye color was just as unusual, but she liked his better.
Seneca was used to people taking her for granted and she hated it. She was pretty and she knew it. Because she had a pretty face and a body to match, people often did not take her seriously. It wasn’t her fault that she pulled a winning ticket in the genetic lottery.
Genetics was Seneca’s true passion. She wanted so desperately to go to medical school. She had dreams of winning a Nobel Prize in medicine for curing a disease using gene therapy. Seneca truly believed that gene therapy was the future of medicine. So many strides were already being made in the field. To get in now would be on the cutting edge of the new medical technologies. She’d feel like a pioneer in the field.
Medical school cost money however and that was something Seneca lacked. She was able to get grants to go to a community college and earn an associate’s degree, which qualified her for the position here at the lab. It was only a first step in her mind. She needed to find a way to make a lot of money fast. So did everyone else who came to this city on a hope and a wish.
She put the specimens away for the moment then went out to the break room. Mia was sitting at a table, drinking a Diet Coke. “Can I ask you something?”
Mia looked over. “Sure.”
“Deylen isn’t much of a talker is he?”
“What do you mean?”
Mia looked around. They were the only two in the room. “Sit.” She pointed to the chair across the table. Seneca sat. “Deylen is a good boss and a good man. I’ve known him a long time. Six months ago, his parents were murdered. It changed him. It changed him a lot. He lost his innocence, you might say.”
“Oh that’s horrible! Did the police catch who did it?”
“I feel bad now. I think he and I really got off on the wrong foot. I am just trying so hard to do the right thing but no matter what I do I seem to piss him off. He’s probably going to fire me soon.”
“No. He knows you are trying and you are doing a lot of work that helps him.”
“What else can you tell me about him?”
“Not much. He really keeps to himself. One thing I can say though is that his friends are like family to him. He would do almost anything for them. He has a very loyal group. It’s hard for them to accept outsiders.”
“Outsiders like me.”
Mia nodded. “I’m sorry but it is true. The last technician he had in here died in an accident.”
“The poor guy is surrounded by tragedy.” Seneca felt really bad about how snippy she’d been with him.
“The last thing he wants is pity. Deylen is a strong man. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders but he bears it willingly and very well to tell the truth.”
“What else about him? What does he like to do other than run a laboratory? Why does he have his own lab anyway?”
“He likes to be the boss. He doesn’t want to work for someone else and be just another flunky.”
“Flunky, that’s me.”
Mia laughed. “Me too, I guess. As for what his interests are, I don’t really know. I don’t get to see him much outside the office.”
“Is he married? Does he have a girlfriend?”
“No and no. I know that much about him.”
“Does he have a boyfriend then?”
Mia laughed harder. “Oh no. That’s not his style. Why do you ask? Are you interested in him?”
“Well it’s hard not to notice that he’s cute.” Seneca didn’t mention that she saw Deylen bend over yesterday to pick up an ink pen he dropped and she got a good view of his ass. Even in chinos, she could tell it was firm and round. What she wouldn’t give to squeeze those cheeks! “I don’t think he’s my type though. Too quiet and reserved.”
“If you’d known him over six months ago, you wouldn’t believe it is the same man.”
“Maybe in time he will come back around. It must be hard for him; can a person really change their whole nature like that? I think his gregarious self is probably just in hiding. He’ll come out of his shell eventually.” Seneca tried to think positively. She didn’t know Deylen well yet. Maybe she was completely off the mark with her comments. She only hoped that he was in a funk and would emerge from it someday.
She wondered why she even cared about what Deylen was like outside of work. Was Mia’s question valid? Was she interested? She wasn’t lying when she said she thought he was cute. Cute didn’t begin to cover it. The guy was gorgeous. Why he shuttered himself away in a lab day after day instead of modeling for fitness magazines was beyond her. He had the body, from what she could tell. She hadn’t seen him naked yet but when he came to work in the morning, before he covered up in his shapeless lab coat, she could see the outline of his muscular frame beneath his shirt.
Seneca knew that office romances were bad news. Getting involved with the boss was even worse. What if they did get something going and it didn’t work out? She’d have to quit. He couldn’t fire her. That would be sexual harassment. She couldn’t stand to work with him still though. She’d be out of a job and even further away from the prospect of medical school. No, she’d have to try to keep her hormones in check when she was around Deylen Troika. He was a drop-dead sexy man, true, but had too many strings attached.
Seneca went back to work. The day seemed dull without her handsome boss around to natter with. Even when they were arguing about some miscommunication, it was still fulfilling. He was intellectually stimulating as well as visually enticing.
She also wondered if Mia was throwing her off track because she was interested in Deylen herself. Now that was a possibility. The two never really had any interaction that was not professional from what Seneca observed. Mia did say that she didn’t see Deylen much outside the office too. Maybe I am just paranoid. Why the hell do I care anyway?
She didn’t need to hesitate on the answer. Something about Deylen Troika piqued her interest. Whether it was a sheer carnal desire to jump his bones or something else, she wasn’t sure.
©2008 – Desirée Lee