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Britney King LLC

The Secretary: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

The Secretary: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

Regular price $7.99 USD
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A mind-bending thriller about a young woman whose life takes a wicked turn when she lands her dream job.

About The Book

The job comes with a lot of perks. A mysterious new boss is one of them. His deep pockets don’t hurt.

In her first week, Gillian finds a note on her desk with two boxes and a question: Will you have dinner with me?

Check yes or no. 

It was easily the best night of her whole young life.

The second note arrived looking very much the same, only different.

Do you have what it takes to be in my world?

Gillian has been asked to handle a lot of tasks in her work.

But covering up a murder might be the strangest one yet.

Check yes or no. 


She can check yes and face prison time. Hypothetically.

No, and she finds out why the job was vacant in the first place.

Tautly paced, The Secretary is an unnerving and electrifying psychological thriller about illusion, passion, and the dangerous places ambition can take you. Full of enough tension and twists to make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat, it keeps you guessing until the very last page.

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Prologue

NOW

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re my replacement. It might surprise you to hear that I know you. Not in the literal sense, but in the sense that we’re probably somewhat alike. I’m sure you have bright eyes—and big dreams to match. And I’m guessing you’re pretty, but who knows? They’re picky about some things, others not so much.

If you take anything from what I’m about to tell you, let it be this: no matter how they spin it, this is not a mistake. What’s the saying? A mistake made more than once is a decision.

You’ve probably already noticed the whispers. They’ve trained you. Discretion is important. They’re very private people, after all. You won’t question it. You’re too worried about fitting in. You’ve heard the rumors.

Like you, I didn’t question it either. I believed what I was told. I was shallow back then. Naive and pretty. A fool. In other words: perfect for the job.

It’s not like I could have known. I don’t think any of us did.

But you will.

Five days, nine hours, and what feels like an untenable number of seconds. That’s how long I’ve been in this room. You probably haven’t realized that time can be measured in fractions of seconds, but the moment he invites you into his bed, I assure you, you’ll understand.

You’ve yet to realize his heart’s not like yours.

By then, it’s too late.

Not to worry. He has people for that.

Ask me how I know.

One minute I was safe in my bed, the next I wasn’t. A lot of thoughts passed during the time they yanked me from the warmth of the familiar and shoved me to the very edge of the unknown. Strange thoughts, terrifying thoughts, slow-motion thoughts. Mostly, I thought of you.

My other big mistake? I underestimated how evil human beings can be, how terribly they can actually treat one another.

Once upon a time, long past the moment I realized our hearts were different, but before I realized it was too late, I spent hours binging on true crime stories from the safety of that bed. I believed that if I understood the minds of criminals, I could beat them. I told myself it was entertainment, water cooler fodder for the office, but the truth was, I assumed that if I knew enough, I could escape the fate of all those hapless victims. Possibly, I even thought I could win.

I probably don’t have to tell you I was wrong.

If you even believe me.

It doesn’t matter. I’ll be dead either way. And maybe I can’t save you, but you can always save the next girl. It’s a nice thought, in a sea of endless terrible ones: somewhere this has to stop.

Here’s what I wish I’d known: There was always going to be a replacement. Whether or not I did what they wanted me to, you were always a given.

Comply, you move up. For a little while.

Refuse, and it’s game over.

You wouldn’t believe the stories.

I didn’t.

Now, I’m living them.

I drop my pen as the heavy thud of footsteps reverberates off the concrete walls that line the long corridor. Quickly, I scramble for the pen, tucking it and the notepad under my thin mattress. My room is at the end of the corridor, which is a punishment in its own right.

My shoulders tense as a single pair of black boots moves closer.

One helper is always worse than two.

They’re not really helpers, of course. Nothing is called by its rightful name, not in this industry.

In my gut, I know he’s coming for me. That’s the thing about this place—your senses hit differently.

My eyes dart toward the clock that hangs high above the door. I don’t believe for a minute the time is correct, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and I am thankful to have it. The slow tick reminds me of the old grandfather clock at Nana’s house. It’s not meant to be comforting, and it’s a sheer act of defiance that I refuse to let drive me mad. Sometimes that’s all you have.

They are going to kill me. But not before I endure enough suffering to suit them.

The lock releases, and as the helper calls my number, I rise to my feet. I’m tempted to make him come in after me, but last time that didn’t turn out so well, so I cooperate.

That, and this guy, he’s a friend. Not in the genuine sense, only in that he’s agreed to get this to you. As he holds the door open, I think about the tradeoff. He’s far from a catch, although, I’ve seen worse.

There’s a price for everything, you’ll learn, and everyone has one.

He didn’t have to agree to my bribe. He could have taken what he wants by force, but I suppose even that loses its appeal after a while.

He leads me to a room where he motions toward a chair. I sit without hesitation. I’m eager to get this over with, but that doesn’t stop my knees from shaking.

As I consider my follow-up bribe, and how good the first will have to turn out for him to accept, I study him carefully.

All I need is a knife.

It’s a big ask, and I don’t have a lot of time. He must sense my thoughts because he leaves without meeting my eye. Still, I can hear his throaty breath just outside the door.

Eventually, a higher-ranked helper comes in. He looks me over, starting with the black eye before moving onto the jagged cut on my right cheek. It’s deep enough to scar. I can see this in his reflection.

He shakes his head. “This will have to be fixed.”

It takes everything in me not to recoil as he holds my face firmly in his hand. “That is, provided you want it fixed.”

I know what he’s asking, and I have to dig deep for a response. I’m very, very tired. “I want to make it right.”

“Some things cannot be made right. You know this?”

“Yes,” I say simply.

In his left hand is a pair of clippers. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to take your hair.”

He says it like they haven’t already taken everything else.

“What’s the point of a pretty face,” I ask, “if you have no hair?”

You won’t understand the point I’m trying to make, not yet, but he does. He grips my chin tighter, forcing me to look into his eyes. As he speaks, his spittle coats my face. “I don’t think you want to find out.”

He is wrong. Maybe it’s divine timing or a sign from God, I can’t say. I only know what flashes through my mind feels like it was always meant to be. It feels like it was a part of the plan all along. An image first, followed by words.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

For the first time in nearly six days, I smile. I’ve just realized what I am going to have to do to save my life. Who needs a knife?

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