He was my childhood bully.
And my new boss.
The Seasons of Callan Reed, an all-new angst-filled office romance from S.M. Soto is available now!
After the death of her husband, Daisy Casillas is lost, desperately trying to repair the wreckage that has now become her life. In need of a job and money to stay afloat, her best friend suggests a position no one in New York is willing to take.
Callan Reed’s executive assistant.
The man is a tyrant.
And as fate would have it, her former childhood best friend.
Daisy promised herself she’d never speak to the man again after the destruction of their friendship years ago, but she’s desperate. Desperate enough to withstand his cold glares, to follow his impossible tasks to a T, and endure his ridiculous demands.
The hate and animosity they have for each other is real. The barbs they shoot at each other in the office are effective and all too spiteful. But Daisy is willing to risk it all, even if it means another shattered heart.
What ensues between them is a chain of events that unravels the secrets in Daisy’s already imperfect life. While struggling to rebuild everything that has crashed around her, Daisy finds herself falling into old habits with Callan. Only this time, she hopes her heart will survive the wreckage.
If there’s nothing left of the organ, there’s no heart left to break, right?
Squaring my shoulders, I pass offices and stray workers in the hall as I head toward his office. Following Claire’s instructions, I knock three times, waiting for a response before attempting to enter. My body jolts at the sound of his deep voice. It takes me a few seconds to recover before I find the courage to push inside his office. He’s sitting behind his desk again, looking down at paperwork. I didn’t have a chance to admire the view behind him the last time I was here, but I am now. His desk is huge, seated in front of his floor-to-ceiling windows with an immaculate view of New York behind him. His broad form hovers between skyscrapers and the bright sunlight streaming through the glass. I fidget by the door, unsure if I should sit or wait for him to give me instructions of some sort.
Like I’ve tapped into a live wire, electricity sparks in my veins at the sound of his voice. I glance at the time on my phone, and my brows furrow in confusion. “I’m six minutes early.”
His lips thin, and slowly, he glances up from the paperwork before him and glares. His stare is a cold shot to the heart. The look is meant to hurt. “Six minutes? You think six minutes is early? An hour early is on time. Anything after that is unacceptable.”
I’m still standing there, gaping at him and this new information. That makes no sense whatsoever. Six minutes early is late, and an hour early is on time? What kind of fucked-up dimension did I just walk into? If that’s the case, why not just have my start time be a whole hour early?
“Sit down, Mrs. Fletcher,” he snaps, already irritated with me judging by the tone of his voice.
I cringe at the way he says my name. It’s as if saying Fletcher physically disgusts him. I lower myself into the seat across from him and clear my throat.
“You can just call me Daisy, Callan,” I murmur, trying to keep things light between us.
His pen drops to his paper, and his gaze shoots up to mine, full of barely restrained fury. I jolt back in my seat at the ire there. It sucks all the air out of the room, making it hard to breathe. “I’ll call you whatever the hell I want to call you, Mrs. Fletcher. And it’s sir or Mr. Reed.”
I open my mouth to respond, but no words come.
Who is this man?
“While I have you here, let’s get a few things straight. We are not friends. This is a job—one you aren’t even qualified for, I might add. The only reason you’re sitting across from me is because my sister begged me to give you this position. This is a one-week trial, and believe me when I say if you can’t keep up, then you’re out.”
My chest tightens with frustration. My teeth sink into the inside of my cheek, and I bite down until I taste the metallic tang of blood on my tongue. Anything to keep from lashing out at him. I won’t give him the satisfaction of seeing my aggravation. I blink back the tears burning behind my eyes. This happens quite often. When I get so enraged, it turns into tears of frustration.
He notices this. Of course, he does. Because as much as he’d like to pretend he doesn’t know me or remember me, Callan Reed has grown up with me by his side for years. He knows all my tics, knows exactly what buttons to push, and he clearly knows when I’m going to cry.
Callan scoffs, a menacing glint in his eyes. “Are you going to cry so soon, Mrs. Fletcher? Such a goddamn disappointment. You might as well leave now. There’s no way you’re going to last an entire week here.”
We stare at each other. My chest heaves as it works to accommodate the sudden bout of anger swarming through my veins. He thinks I’m weak. He thinks I’m still that little girl from all those years ago, but he’s wrong. I’ve been through hell this past year, and I’m not going to let Callan Reed be the one that brings me down. Not after I’ve endured so much.
Sniffing past the pressure in my nose, I slip my purse in front of me and grip it, using it as a shield of sorts.
“I am not going to cry, sir,” I grit. “And I can guarantee you, I’ll make it past the first week.” Callan rolls his eyes, and it only fuels my red haze of anger. I lean forward, so he can get my drift. “You know what? You’re right, Mr. Reed. We’re not friends. We’re nothing. You don’t know me anymore, and I don’t know you. You can’t beat me down any harder than life already has.”
Callan smirks. It’s not a friendly one; it’s one that has dread swirling through my gut and pain gripping my heart. “We’ll see about that.”
“Do your worst,” I challenge.
A stare off ensues, both of us drilling holes into each other with the intensity of our gaze. He’s the first to break, and I take some victory in that. It doesn’t last long.
About S.M. Soto
S.M. Soto was born and raised in Northern, California where she currently resides with her son. Her love for reading began when she was a young girl, and has only continued to grow into adulthood. S.M. lives for reading books in the romance genre and writing novels with relatable characters. She refers to herself as a bit of a romance junkie. S.M. loves to connect with readers and eat copious of donuts that will surely lead to her demise.
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