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“You still breathing?” Her tart question came over the instant message with a soft ring.

“Yeah, just wondering what the connection was between the ménage and the margarita,” he typed in, damning himself a thousand different ways. He was insane to have demanded her as his personal assistant. He had lost his ever lovin’ mind.

“No connection.” He paused at her answer, frowning. Jaded always had a reason for damned near everything she said. Unless she was unhappy. Unless she was lonely. He had learned that over the past year. Had made it his business to learn everything he could about her.

“You okay, Jaded?” He really shouldn’t care, but he did.

“Oh yes, I’m fine.” Her words rang hollow, even through the impersonal communication box. “Maybe I’ll go shopping tomorrow. I hear there’s a sale on shoes…”

“Uh oh. Poor cows, sacrificing their lives to support your addiction.” He shook his head, yet still he worried. She wasn’t acting normal.

“Cows, alligators, whatever.” Nope, that wasn’t his Jaded.

“Hey babe, you can talk to me, you know.” He needed her to.

There was a long silence.

“She’s my friend.” The words finally came through with a sense of sadness. “I can’t believe she has such horrid taste in men.”

“Yeah?” He didn’t even pretend to understand that one.

“I love her like a sister.” She had to be talking about Terrie.

He waited to see what else she said.

“I can’t believe she actually fucked Lucifer! Was she insane? Has she lost her mind? The man is an outcast. He has no style. No class, and I doubt he has a cock over five inches long. He probably only needs a finger or two to jack off with.”

He sat back slowly in his chair. His cock, all five inches and several more, pulsed in outrage. His eyes narrowed.

“The man scowls. He sneers. Stomps around like a bull in a china shop. He is such a bore. Geez. I need a new job.”

His fists clenched, his teeth ground together as he saw red. The viperous little witch. A bull in a china shop? Five-inch cock? Five-inch cock?? Ohh, he would show her a hell of a lot fucking more than five inches. Damn her. The woman had a bite that would do a rabid dog proud.

“If you quit, just think of all the shoes that would cry.” It was lame. Real lame, but he’d be damned if he could type his outrage to her over the Internet. She would probably save the fucking message to show all her chat room buddies. He sneered. Oh, was she in for a surprise.

“Well, this is true. But I’m definitely looking.”

He stilled. Looking, was she? He’d see about that one.

“Well, good luck darlin’. Now I’m off. Hot date tonight.”

Nothing came back for long moments.

“All right. Goodnight.”

“Night, darlin’. Cheer up, maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll at least have more than five inches.” He growled.

“As though that can help him.” He could almost hear the haughty vibration of the words. “Where oh where have all the alphas gone? Your mothers must have breast-fed you overly long.”

“Or yours fed you venom and spice rather than sweet milk,” he typed back furiously. And he meant it.

“LOL. Good one, Wicked. Have fun for me while you’re out. Talk to you later.”

He clicked the box away. He shut down the program, damn near shaking with rage and arousal. He came to his feet, pushing his fingers ruthlessly through his hair as he clenched his teeth against his anger. Damn her. Lucifer, was he? Five inches, was he? He snarled as he stomped through the house, jerking the leather jacket from the staircase post as he headed for the door.

Miss Jaded Tally was in for one hell of a surprise.

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