Excerpt for Lessons by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.


Elle Gates


Elle Gates

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2019 ElleBooks

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for you personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. The characters are all over the age of 18. The cover model is over the age of 18.


"Get out," I said, sitting at my desk, the tips of my fingers pressing against one another. Yeah, that always made me look like some sort of super villain or something, but I didn't care.

No, that's not quite true. I didn't care because I enjoyed it. I loved sitting there in my expensive suit, looking across the way at the man in front of me. He stared, his fists were at his sides. His hands shook.

"You can't do this. If you try, there will be consequences," he said, clenching his teeth through the barely contained rage.

Because I could, I threw my head back and laughed. Professionalism only went so far compared to the glee of victory. This was a game, I knew. And I had won. I loved this feeling.

Really, that's the thing people like Ray just didn't understand. He figured that business was all about making the world a better place. He liked to sift through this nonsensical ideology because he wanted to believe that business and people and the allocation of resources are something more than a game.

But really, we're all just players. I make choices. He made choices. I made the right ones, and he made the wrong ones. Simple really.

"I can do this," I said simply, talking down to him like he was some idiot student who needed to learn a lesson. "I can do this because I have secured warrants and promises from every one of your shareholders. You know that vaunted loyalty you like to talk about? Yeah, it doesn't mean anything, Ray. Just give up. Leave."

"Please, I'm asking one more time. If you do this, a lot of really good people lose their jobs."

"Yup," I said simply, shrugging my shoulders back like we were talking about some silly video we had found online.

He lifted up his shoulders, he straightened his back, and he tried one more time. "Please, Lyle. I know you have a reputation for being ruthless, but this is your chance. You don't actually have to make the world a worse place. Please, give me another couple months. I can get the firm turned around. I can save those jobs and make you a lot of money along the way."

"I'm going to be honest with you, Ray. I have done the math. You might be right. But I've decided that I want to take the payout now. This way, I can go after some other loser just like you and get what I want."

"How can you live with yourself?" He asked those words like he didn't really expect an answer.

Too bad. I intended to give him one anyway. "Oh, let me see," I said, smugly touching one finger to the corner of my mouth like I really had to think about this. "Well, I get to go home to a gorgeous wife and incredible house. I get to enjoy myself and vacation whenever I want. I eat amazing food, I wear the best clothing, and people respect me. Do they respect you, Ray?"

He swallowed. He had an answer, only he didn't want to say it because he already knew the truth. Poor, pitiful Ray.

Since he seemed to be tongue-tied, I answered my own question. "No, they don't. They might give you cute little fake, plastic trophies when things are going well and you can donate money or whatever. But really, they don't respect you. Respect is all about fear. It's about jealousy. If you don't have those things or you can't inspire them in the right people, then you aren't actually respected."

He opened his mouth, filling his lungs. He wanted to say something, but I snapped my fingers and pointed to the door.

Slumping forward, he turned around and trudged back out into the cold, air-conditioned hallway.

Good riddance.

To be completely honest, I pretty much dismissed Ray from my mind the moment he left my office. He was one more person, a detail to be considered. But now that I was done with him, I didn't need to worry. Or so I thought.

Behind me, the sun started to set. Just as I finished my last email, I got up and stretched my arms and legs. I looked out at the city, savoring my position. In all those little cars on the streets, people worried about paying for their cars, their houses, their phones. Not me.

I had all the money I could want.

For me, chasing opportunity meant winning the game. And nothing else could be more fun than that.

Well, I considered my wife. I was looking forward to going home, to spending some quality time with Paula. Like most trophy wives, she knew exactly what she was supposed to do. While I was gone, she could buy whatever she wanted. But when I came home, she belonged to me.

My cock started to harden as I thought of collaring and enslaving her. Oh yes, we had this little game where she would be the harem girl, and I would be her king. She would have to do whatever I wanted. A grin came to the corners of my mouth.

Paula was probably smart enough to do whatever she wanted. But really, she seemed happy enough as a trophy wife. The arrangement worked for us. Occasionally, she whined about having kids or whatever, but I didn't care about any of that.

Kids sounded boring.

Done for the day and eager to go home to have sex with my wife, I locked my office door and headed toward the elevators. I rode one down. Since it was Friday, most of the other employees have already evacuated.

Even when I got down to the parking garage, the place was pretty much empty. I smirked, shaking my head. Whatever. My employees did a good job, so they could have some time to themselves. As long as we kept winning, I could be patient with their foibles.

Up ahead, I spotted my car, a bright red Lamborghini.

I glanced down for just a moment to pull my keys from my pocket. And when I looked up again, there was a girl in black tights and a matching dress. She had blonde hair with a dark headband ringing the top of her head. And I was back in my office…

"You're Lyle." It wasn't a question.

I looked her up and down, wondering if maybe I wanted to have sex with her. She was cute, and she definitely had potential, but something about her attire or her stance made me realize this wasn't some college girl eager to "earn" an internship.

"Yes," I replied easily. "Who are you?" I straightened my back as I glared at her, doing my best to intimidate this young woman.

Except it didn't work.

With confident ease, she strode forward, right at me. She walked past the chairs, up to my desk, right in front of me.

"Who are you?"

"You just said my name," I replied, raising an eyebrow with the disdainful amusement. "So you know exactly who I am and what I can do. Unless you want to get arrested, young lady, I suggest you get the hell out of here right now." What was it about this girl? Why did I feel this rush of nervous energy along my skin?

"The name is not who you are," she replied, leaning forward. The young woman touched her knuckles to my desk. She leaned forward, and suddenly, I wasn't thinking about her cleavage or her tight little body. Instead, I lost myself to the discs of her irises.

That bright, vibrant, icy shade of blue should have been impossible. The color swirled, seeming to shift. My vision focused, tunneling. There was only the sight of her eyes. There was only that color of blue.

Then sparks.

Distantly, I could hear her speaking. "Name is nothing but a symbol, a set of sounds, an association between who you are and how the world sees you. What I want to know is who you really are. What kind of man are you, Lyle?"

"A successful man," I replied. I didn't think about it. The words just tumbled from my lips, automatic.

At this point, I should have moved. I should have jumped up from my seat. I should have grabbed her and pinned her to the floor as I yanked my phone out and called the police. She was trespassing, right? And yet, I couldn't do anything like that. As my heart pounded, my body had frozen in place.

"What kind of success?"

"There's only one."

"What one?"

"Money," I said. But that wasn't exactly correct, so I changed my answer. "Power."

She smirked. Although my focus remained locked entirely on her eyes, I still detected that shift in her stance. Or maybe I could see the curl of her lips with my peripheral vision, not that it registered. There was just that blue, that bright blue, that shimmering, electric blue.

"Power?" Now it was her turn to aim for disdain.

"Yes," I said, almost fervent. I may have turned that word into something close to religious. "Power. It's all about power. You want to influence people. You need to get control."

Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-12 show above.)