Deal with the Devil
Marie knows she deserves the promotion she applied for, but thanks to her coworker who is also the boss' girlfriend, she knows she'll never get it. Sitting alone at a bar the night before she learns who will actually land the job, she meets a mysterious stranger who promises that all her dreams will be fulfilled... if they make a deal.
Word Count: 21,852
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, 2014
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Marie Hapner sat alone at the bar, trying to relax as she had another drink after yet another hellish day at the office. Today had been especially bad and tomorrow, she would find out if she'd receive the promotion she wanted. Apparently, the final decision was between herself and another co-worker named Kim.
Under any normal circumstances Marie knew she would get the promotion before Kim. But these were not normal circumstances. Kim had a little something extra on her side, an ace in the hole so to speak. Kim was the office slut and was sleeping with the boss, Ken. Even though the affair was "secret", everyone in the office knew about it. No matter how much more qualified Marie was, she knew Kim would get the job she so desperately wanted.
It was so unfair. Kim wasn't even attractive with her cheap clothes and bleached blonde hair. She simply opened her legs for the boss. Marie had busted her ass for this promotion and all Kim had to do was lie on her back.
To say that she was pissed was an understatement. She was furious.
Marie finished her second Cosmopolitan and waved her empty glass at the bartender. He nodded as he started making another drink, his movements a little too lethargic for her liking.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a man enter the bar. She didn't bother to take a good look at him; she was too focused on the bartender and her next drink.
The man walked across the room and sat down on the stool directly next to hers, even though the other bar stools were empty. Marie let out a disgusted sigh and rolled her eyes as she took her fresh drink from the bartender.
Why did this jerk have to sit right next to her? All she wanted was to be left alone. If he tried to talk to her, she would get up and leave. She wasn't in the mood to get hit on.
Marie looked down into her glass and swirled the liquid. She wasn't going to get that damned job even though she deserved it. She had spent extra hours in the office and sacrificed more than a few Saturdays. She would have done anything for the promotion. Hell, she probably would have slept with the boss if it meant a guaranteed ticket out of her three-walled prison cell of a cubicle and into a plush office.
The real bitch of it was that Kim wanted the promotion only because she knew she could get it. She didn't even need the job, or the money. Screwing the boss came with perks. Kim never did any work, and the old bastard constantly brought her expensive gifts. Even though they weren't supposed to be dating because of office policy, Kim made sure to flaunt her lavish presents from the boss-man.
"Sometimes wanting something isn't enough," the man sitting next to Marie leaned over and said. He waved to the bartender and ordered himself a light beer.
Marie placed her drink back on the bar and reached for her bag to leave. She wasn't in the mood for small talk.
"You might be the most qualified for that position," he said, his tone matter-of fact. "But you aren't fucking the boss now, are you?" He raised the bottle the bartender placed in front of him and took a long drink.
Marie's hand stopped mid-air as she furrowed her brow. She swiveled her chair toward the man beside her.
When she finally got a good look at him, her stomach dropped. The man was the most incredible creature she'd ever encountered.
His straight hair brushed his shoulders, blue-black and silky smooth, begging to be touched. He had the most perfect face and complexion. His eyes were a shade of green she'd never seen in her life. Breathtaking.
He wore a baby blue, button-down shirt with a white crew neck t-shirt peeking from underneath, covered by a denim jacket. Faded blue jeans and boat shoes with no socks completed his outfit. Marie found it difficult to stop staring at him.
"What did you say?" she managed to ask him as she shook her head in confusion. Maybe she had misunderstood him, or more likely, the Cosmopolitans had gone straight to her head. Or maybe this guy next to her was psychic.
"Maybe I am," he said to her with a smirk that made her pulse quicken. He took another casual sip of his beer before setting the bottle back on the bar.
"Maybe you're what?"
"Psychic," he replied, his smirk disappearing, causing his face to take on a decidedly sinister appearance. The hair on the back of her neck and arms bristled. Even though he was drop-dead gorgeous there was something about this man, something she couldn't put her finger on. "How badly do you want that promotion tomorrow?" the man asked her.
Marie found her emotions in turmoil. He attracted and frightened her at the same time. This man was so intense and beautiful, part of her wanted to reach out and touch him. On the other hand, he was speaking of things he couldn't know, shouldn't know, scaring her at the same time he was arousing her.
"How do you know about the promotion?" she asked.
"Just answer the question," he said, his eyes meeting hers and delving deep inside her, touching her soul. "What would you do for that promotion?"
"Anything," Marie snapped before looking away. The way he was staring at her made her so uneasy she couldn't maintain eye contact. She didn't understand why she answered the stranger, or why she felt compelled to tell him the truth.
"What if I said I could guarantee you the promotion if we were to work out a little deal?"
"What do you mean work out a deal?" Marie was familiar with the saying curiosity often lead to trouble, but at that moment she didn't care one iota. Somehow this man knew about the promotion. If he said he knew how she could actually get it, it might be worth her time to listen. "Don't worry about the how. That, you leave to me. Just tell me, how badly do you want it? Would your really do anything for it?"
"Well…I mean," she stammered, trying to find a reply for him. She wasn't ready to kill for the job, but if she could do something to tilt the scales in her favor, so be it. Marie knew she couldn't get the promotion on her own. But how far was she willing to go to get it? She wasn't quite sure.
"Maybe this will help you to decide," the man said as he reached over and wrapped his hand firmly around Marie's wrist. His fingers curled around her, his touch warm against her cool skin. She looked at him, startled that he would touch her. She didn't even know his name and yet, he took liberties, touching her without permission.
She had just opened her mouth to protest when quick images flashed through her mind, one after the other. She saw the office she wanted with her name on a silver-engraved plate on the door. She saw herself behind her new desk, her secretary sitting outside the door, screening her calls. Marie saw herself in a red sports car, living in a new apartment filled with modern furniture in a better part of the city.
Suddenly, the heat of the man's hand left her and the visions stopped. But not before she'd seen everything she'd been dreaming of for a long time.
"What the hell was that?" She rubbed her wrist where he had held her, the skin there still warm from his touch. The vision seemed so real but she knew it wasn't, it couldn't be. "Who are you?"
"Let's just say that I'm the one who has the means to get you what you want. I showed you what you could have if you get that promotion tomorrow."
He continued, his eyes boring into hers. "This is how it works. We make a deal. You give me what I want and I give you what you want. I don't see why we couldn't tip the scales in your favor for once."
"Okay, let's say you get me my promotion, what do you want from me in return?" She couldn't think of anything she had that this man would want. She didn't own anything of value or a huge saving account.
"Stand up," he whispered and turned on his stool to face her.
"Just stand up, please," he repeated.
Shrugging her shoulders, she rose from her barstool. His gaze slowly traveled down her throat to stop and linger at her full breasts. His eyes seemed to penetrate her clothing, and she flushed as he inadvertently licked his lips.
Marie felt her nipples harden, straining against her shirt’s thin, pink material. She visualized his mouth on her breasts, sucking her nipples and grazing them with his teeth.
His eyes continued down her body and paused at the juncture between her legs. She felt a throb of heat reverberate through her and her cheeks grew warm. She couldn't believe he was so blatantly studying her body and she was allowing it. She also couldn't believe her own reactions to his slow perusal.
"You're a very beautiful woman," he told Marie, nodding his head as if agreeing to something only he could hear. "You and I will have many nights of unbelievable pleasure together."
Marie swallowed hard. He wanted her body. The idea left her somewhat breathless.
"Come sit back down and we'll discuss the details of our agreement," he said, patting the stool beside her.
Her legs shook as she sat without a word. She lifted her glass and drained the last of her Cosmopolitan. She wished she had a few more lined up in front of her. She waved at the bartender to get his attention, but without success.
"It's better if you don't drink anymore. I want to make sure you have a clear head, and understand our agreement. So there's no confusion later." The stranger's tone was all business. "This is how it will work. I'll make sure you get the promotion and when I desire to be with you, you'll make yourself available to me. Whenever, wherever. Now don't worry, I won't need to see you all the time. Twice per month should suffice. I don't want a relationship with you. I want that to be clear from the beginning. All I want is your body and nothing more. I promise I'll never do anything to hurt you, but whenever we're together, you must agree to do whatever I want. Even if I ask you to do something you've never done before. You agree to let me have you any way I desire."
He might have explaining a normal business transaction instead of the two of them making love for all the emotion in his voice. His proposition to her made her head spin. Someone with his looks wouldn't give her a second glance under normal circumstances. Yet, here was this beautiful man, telling her he wanted to make love with her, to do things to her and with her.
His words excited her. Her core burned, wet and hot with merely the thought of being with him. Marie's mind raced with images of all the things he could ask of her.
"So, we have sex a couple times a month and I get the promotion?" Marie asked, trying to keep the trembling in her voice under control. She couldn't believe she was considering his offer. But really, how could she lose in this agreement? She would get the promotion she wanted, making her life better than it was now, and she'd get hot sex with an unbelievably attractive man twice a month with no strings attached. "And you'll never hurt me?"
"On that you have my word. No pain with me ever, only pleasure. If I hurt you in any way, our contract will become void and you will never have to see me again. You get to keep your promotion, no matter what." Then he smiled the most amazing, heart-stopping smile, leaning closer to her as if telling a secret for her alone. "And you're right, it will be the hottest sex you'll ever have."
As he said the words 'hottest sex', Marie swore she could see flames of desire for her burn in the man's green eyes. She couldn't remember being so aroused in her life and something told her he was well aware of it. He enjoyed the power he had over her. Marie thought about how he would be while making love and she shuddered in anticipation.
The man leaned closer and touched her cheek with his fingertips. It felt as if he branded her as his, marking her as his own for everyone to see. As his fingers touched her, her whole body tingled, crying out for more. If he wanted to take her right there on the bar she wouldn't protest. She imagined him in front of her, fucking her while she sat on the bar with her skirt hiked up around her thighs.
"You should be warned though, before you agree to this," he told her, bringing her back to reality. "You will never know such pleasure as what I will make you feel. After we are together, you will never want another man the way you will want me. You can make love with other men if you choose, but they'll never make you feel the way I do. Your body will crave my touch simply at the sight of me."
Marie knew he was telling the truth because even as he spoke, she felt herself spinning out of control. He had her aroused in such a short amount of time. All she wanted was to seal the deal so he could take her body, and make her dark imaginings reality.
It wasn't like her to desperately want a man she just met. A simple touch on her cheek and his warm breath on her skin made her come undone. If she let herself make love with him, she knew there'd be no going back. She swallowed hard, her throat dry even though she had finished her drink minutes before.
"So are you ready to sign the contract?" he asked, breaking the spell woven around them.
"The contract?" She hadn't realized he had meant for her to sign an actual contract. He was taking this deal thing seriously. "You have an actual contract…with you…now?"
He pulled a white piece of paper from his inside jacket pocket, unfolding it to lie flat on the bar. Marie leaned over to look at the paper and saw what looked to be an official contract in front of her.
"Here, we both sign this at the bottom and it will all be settled. You get your promotion and I get…." his voice trailed off as he looked at her up and down. "I don't have a pen," Marie said, stalling for time, trying to think. She watched the man reach into his inner pocket again, and this time, he pulled out a dark red and silver pen. Of course if he carried a contract with him he'd have a pen. He pulled the cap off the pen revealing a silver, very sharp-looking point. He took the point of the pen and pressed it into his index finger, drawing blood. Marie's stomach lurched as he took the pen and wrote his name at the bottom of the contract in his own blood. His signature was bright red on the white paper.
He pushed the paper over so it was now in front of Marie.
She leaned down to read the red signature on the paper. Nathan Hades. Finally, her mysterious man had a name.
"Nathan Hades," Marie read out loud. "Your last name is Hades? Like the god of the underworld?"
She had taken a mythology class in college and remembered the name. She started to feel as if she were putting together the pieces of a puzzle, but when she looked at the picture so far she didn't like what she saw. She already knew there was something different about Nate, but now she was thinking extremely different. As in not human different.
"People call me lots of different names but you can call me Nate," he told her. "No need for us to be formal," he explained.
"Are you the devil?" she asked in a low whisper even though there was no one else near enough to hear their conversation. Her question scared her but she had to look at what she knew about him so far. He had read her mind, and when he had touched her earlier, he made her see visions of the possible future. Now he offered her something she wanted, something that she knew was out of her reach. He wanted to make a contract with her and have her seal it with her own blood. Even though it sounded crazy, something deep inside her told her she was about to make a deal with the devil.
"Like I told you before, I've been called many names," he said shrugging his shoulders and answering the question in a round about sort of way. He finished his beer and put the empty bottle on the bar.
Marie looked Nate over again. He didn't have any horns sticking out of his head or cloven feet; she saw no tail peeking out from the back of his shirt. He wasn't what you'd picture if you thought of the devil. In fact if one thought of the most handsome men ever created, Nate would be at the top of the list. "Handsome as the devil" suddenly made sense to her.
"So if I agree to this, does it mean that I'll be damned to hell or lose my soul?" Marie asked, trying to come to terms with the fact that she was actually talking to the devil himself. Not only that, she was giving serious consideration to signing the paper in front of her. "Oh, no Marie, I'm not after your soul, or looking to damn you for eternity. I simply heard your thoughts, felt your anger and frustration, and came closer to learn more. Actually, you drew me to you. No, I don't want your soul, just your body." He finished with a slow, wicked grin.
"How long will this contract be valid?" Marie asked him, finally finding her voice. When he stared at her it was disconcerting and she'd temporarily forget what they were talking about. She snapped back to reality again. "If I agree to it, that is?" She wanted him to think she was still trying to decide, when deep down inside she already knew what she would do.
"Until I say it's over," he stated. "Only I have the ability to terminate the contract after it's signed. Once you sign it there's no going back, no changing your mind. So you really want to make sure you're comfortable with your decision and won't try to go back on it."
Marie didn't think he would be open to any contract negotiations by the tone in his voice. She did, however, tell herself that Nate might grow tired of her and eventually let her free from the contract.
Really, how long could someone as beautiful as him want to be with someone as plain and average as her? He told her she was beautiful but she knew deep down he couldn't have meant it. If Nate were the devil, the great deceiver, he would say anything to get her to agree to what he wanted. He could have anyone he wanted in the world.
No, he wasn't going to want her for long. Eventually he would get bored with her and let her go. Thus, there was no reason not to sign the contract.
"Well, now it's your turn to sign if you want that promotion. My signature is dry," Nate told her looking down at the paper. His bright red signature had dried a dark crimson.
She slowly nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah, okay, I'll do it," she told him. "But do I have to sign in my blood?" Her voice trembled a little as she asked. She hated seeing blood, especially her own.
"Yes, the signature needs to be in your blood. Give me your hand and I'll help you," Nate instructed her. Marie hissed when she felt the sharp point break her skin. She tried to pull her hand back but was unable to because of the grip Nate held on her. He wasn't going to let her go so easily. He had said there was no changing her mind and he had meant it. Marie felt a little lightheaded.
Nate handed Marie the pen and she took it with her uninjured hand. Of course he had known to draw the blood from her left hand since she was right-handed. Nate placed an arm around her, steadying her.
She turned to the bar where the paper laid waiting for her signature. She exhaled slowly as she wrote her name on the contract below Nate's. After she had finished writing her name Nate reached over and took the pen from her, replacing the cap and returning it to his jacket pocket. “Do you feel okay?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just don't do well seeing blood." Marie noticed he still had an arm around her waist.
"Well that was pretty easy, wouldn't you say?" Nate asked her with a little smile. "Would you like to celebrate with a drink? I think I'm going to." He motioned to the bartender that he wanted another beer and the bartender nodded, acknowledging him.
Marie shook a little, overwhelmed with what she had just done. Even though the thought of a drink sounded wonderful, she really only wanted to go home. She needed to go to bed and think about what she had just done.
She had made a deal with the devil and signed a contract with him in blood.
"No, thanks, I think I'm going to go…" she said, not sure how Nate would react to her desire to leave. Would he try to make her stay? She held her breath, awaiting his reaction.
"Oh, okay, well you'll be hearing from me soon." Nate removed his arm from around her waist then picked up the contract from the bar. He held it up to blow on the new signature next to his. Satisfied her name was now dry he folded the paper and slid it into his jacket pocket. His nonchalant demeanor told her that he had done this all before.
Marie took her bag and put it over her shoulder, not exactly sure what she should say to Nate. She nodded. "Okay, bye," she mumbled and started walking towards the exit. She had almost reached the door when Nate called out to her once again.
Marie turned to look at him, her body tense. "Yeah?"
"Congratulations on your promotion," he told her with a smile, "You deserve it."