Read You're Mine, Maggie Online

Authors: Beth Yarnall

You're Mine, Maggie

BOOK: You're Mine, Maggie
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Super Agent, my husband, Mr. Y., for buying in to and supporting every single one of my crazy Lucy and Ethel schemes…including the one where I thought I could write a book.

And to my editor, Jennifer Miller, for falling in love with Maggie’s crazy and Clive’s dry wit every bit as much as I have. I hope we have many more misadventures together.

Chapter One


“Remind me again why I can’t help her do a face plant into the tester unit?”

“Now, Maggie, you know Stratford’s Department Store is a harassment-free workplace,” Daryl Jenks, the cosmetics department manager, reminded me as he smoothed back the wispy hairs of his comb-over. He was in blue today because it was Monday—blue slacks, shirt, and sweater vest. If I ever forgot what day of the week it was, all I had to do was check to see what color Daryl was wearing.

We were watching the newest beauty consultant for Estelle Landers Cosmetics, Shasta Devereaux—don’t even get me started on what a stupid name that was—use the counter tester unit as her own private vanity. She alternated between squealing into her cell phone at one of her inane friends about some party they’d attended last night and dipping her fingers into the powders and creams and smearing them on her face.

“You can’t tell me that out of all the applicants she was the most qualified. She can’t complete a sentence that doesn’t have a thousand
s in it and doesn’t end in a question. And look at her—” I gestured toward Shasta, who was now spraying herself head to toe with a perfume tester, “—she looks like she just rolled out of bed after an all-night party. Not exactly Estelle Landers beauty consultant material.”

Daryl reached up and hesitantly patted me on the shoulder. “I’m sure you can teach her.” He did a sliding step toward his office. “I’m counting on you to bring her around.” I gave him a death glare, and he clutched his clipboard tighter, slinking closer to safety. “If anyone can do it, you can.” He was in his doorway now.

“I’m not even going to disinfect that tester unit before I shove it sideways up your-”

“Harassment-free workplace!”
He closed the door before I could fully deploy my threat. The rat bastard.

As counter manager I was Shasta’s immediate supervisor, so it was up to me to bring frat girl up to Estelle Landers standards. I had half an hour before the store opened to wipe some of that black crap off her eyes and get her looking more like a human and less like a zombie. If I could get her face out of her phone.

I’d sat in on all of the interviews for a new beauty consultant…all except Shasta’s. I narrowed my eyes at Daryl’s closed door. He was so going to pay for doing this to me.

“She looks like you about seven years ago. Except you had a better rack,” Xavier, my friend and Shy Kitty Cosmetics beauty consultant, said, his gaze dropping to my chest. He leaned across the counter as if he needed a closer look. “Still do.”

“Gee, thanks. I’ll hug that to me late tonight while I’m trying to sleep off the drunk caused by Lindsay Lohan over there. What the hell was Daryl thinking hiring her?”

He shrugged. “Better you than me,

“If Skankarella makes me late for my date tonight, I’m going to have Clive put Daryl on the No Fly List.” Clive as in Clive Poole, Special Agent for the FBI. AKA Super Agent, my boyfriend and all-around hot-assed badass.

Xavier glanced over at Shasta who had her ear buds in and was grooving to something that made her bend over and grind her ass against the life-sized cardboard cutout of Estelle Landers herself. “Twenty bucks says she goes to lunch and doesn’t come back, and then shows up late tomorrow like nothing happened.”

“If only I was that lucky. The problem is we start our gift with purchase tomorrow. We really need the help. If Shasta—” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes every time I said her name, “—doesn’t get her shit together, I’m putting Daryl in an Estelle Landers uniform and making him work the counter in her place.” His pear-shaped body would look ri-di-culous in the navy pinstriped A-line dress all E.L. beauty consultants had to wear.

Xavier chuckled, his amazing mouth forming the smile that got women to open their wallets, making him the highest seller in the department. “I’d pay money to see that.”

“See what?” Lance sidled up next to Xavier’s counter and leaned an elbow on the backrest of a barstool like he was posing for an ad of the men’s fragrance, Gent, which he represented at the perfume bar. He was always butting in between Xavier and me. I couldn’t tell if his interest was in Xav or me. Either way, he was barking up the wrong tree. Xavier didn’t do guys and I didn’t do poser, loser assholes.

“Daryl in an Estelle Landers uniform,” Xav answered, giving me a wink.

“Ha! Too right.” Honestly, Lance’s British accent was faker than Shasta’s job qualifications. “Wouldn’t that be a sight?”

Tabitha, counter manager for Enchanté Cosmetics and my best friend, joined our group. “Who’s the Maggie lookalike? And why is she trying to eat a makeup sponge?”

“Oh, jeez. I gotta go. If she chokes, Daryl’s going to make me take that management training class again. Fill her in, will you, Xav?”

Their laughter followed me as I made my way toward the twit who did look a depressingly lot like me. I snatched the bitten sponge out of her fingers and held my hand out, palm up.

“Spit it out before you choke and I have to decide whether or not to give you the Heimlich before I’ve had my coffee. The odds wouldn’t be in your favor.”

She gave me a funny look, then spat out the chewed bits of sponge along with a big wad of saliva. Gross. I grabbed a tissue and wiped my hand, then pumped out a bunch of hand sanitizer. Who knew what diseases this girl carried? She was like a two-year-old.

“I thought it was like, you know, candy?” Her voice was as high as she was. If her pupils were any wider, her eyes would be as black as her hair.

I sighed. It was amazing this girl had made it this far in life with natural selection breathing down so hard on her. “There’s nothing edible here.” She kicked her head to the side, her eyebrows pinching together. “Nothing here is food,” I clarified. “No eating. No using the makeup and perfume testers. They’re for the customers. No talking on the phone. No ear buds.” I pointed to the cardboard cutout of Estelle Landers. “No grinding, twerking or otherwise molesting the founder of Estelle Landers Cosmetics.”

She nodded slowly, absorbing the rules I’d laid down. God, she really did remind me of myself at eighteen. If I could go back in time, I’d punch myself in the face and make sure know-it-all me didn’t hook up with the tattooed idiot I thought was gonna change my world.

He had. And I had the rap sheet and tats to prove it.

“But I can, like, text?”

“When you’re on break or lunch.”

“So, like, when’s my break?”

“Ten thirty.”

“That’s like two hours from now?” she whined. Everything was a fucking question with her.

“Try to hold up. In the meantime—” I handed her a wad of tissues, “—find your eyes under all that kohl liner. It’s called the smoky eye, not the charred-beyond-all-human-recognition eye. Also put your hair up, back, shave it off or whatever, but you’re going to have to make it comply with Estelle Landers standards. That means it needs to be out of your face. You got the dress code booklet, right? It’s all in there. Make it happen in the next twenty minutes and be ready to work when the store opens.”

She gave me a long-suffering sigh/eye-roll combo that had me clenching my hands into fists. Great. This girl was going to seriously mess with my ability to stay on probation.

Chapter Two


Where were my drugs? No, seriously.
Where were they?
I rifled through my purse again, looking for the antique pill case my grandma had given me, and the precious aspirin inside. Gone. I’d been misplacing a lot of things lately. Tabitha teased that it was love making me forget, but I was pretty sure it was Shasta siphoning off what was left of my sanity. I gave up and sat back in my seat with a sigh.

“Something wrong?” Super Agent asked, putting the movie on pause.

He was dressed casually, which meant that his dress shirt was unbuttoned at the collar and his sleeves were rolled up. We were at my place, sitting close together on the couch, but not as close as I wanted to be.

I was trying this new thing: self-control. It was all part of the realization I’d had when Super Agent and I had first met that I might have a teeny-tiny impulse-control issue. It had all started with me being framed for a murder I didn’t commit and ended with me on probation. It turns out there’s no law on the books for kicking your dead, cheating, Arizona state senator ex-boyfriend in the nuts, but there is one for disturbing a crime scene. If I hadn’t caught Chuck Puckett’s murderer for the FBI, I’d be sitting in jail right now facing an additional weapons charge instead of sitting on my couch on probation.

Super Agent and I had kinda, sorta already ripped each other’s clothes off within days of meeting each other. Well, within days of
. He’d been following me for a year as part of a case the FBI had been putting together against Chuck Puckett. So while Super Agent knew everything, and I mean
, about me, I was learning about him the old-fashioned way. One chaste date at a time.

My little impulse-control thing combined with a very slight anger-management issue meant that I had a lot of work to do. So this was me turning over a new leaf, becoming a better person, working on me, yada yada yada. And it wasn’t humbling, noble or life affirming.

It was fucking frustrating as hell.

“I have a headache and can’t find my pill case,” I answered, releasing the tangled mass that was my hair from its ponytail and running my hands through it. Thanks to my Spanish/Armenian/Greek heritage I had thick, dark hair that hung down to my waist.

Super Agent loved my hair. Which was ironic seeing as how he didn’t have any. He was bald, black and so beautiful I couldn’t look at him straight on without wanting to throw out all of my so-called self-improvement.

He watched my hair sift through my fingers like some men would watch a porn flick. “Want me to rub your head?”

“Oh, that would be heaven.”

He put a pillow in his lap and patted it. “Lie down.”

I did as he asked. He lifted my hair so that it draped out behind me. His fingers were magic. I groaned and he shifted me in his lap. After a few moments I noticed he hadn’t turned the movie back on.

“Don’t you want to see what happens?”

“I’m pretty sure they’re going to have a fight because he did something stupid, then he’ll make some big gesture to win her back. The end.”

“Next time you can pick the movie.”

“Deal. What’s got you so stressed?”

I filled him in on my charming new employee. I got to the part about Shasta rubbing her ass on poor old lady Landers, and he burst out laughing.

“You’re kidding.”

“I wish I was.”

The doorbell rang.

“You expecting someone?” Super Agent asked.

“Probably Miguel wanting to borrow something.” I rolled off the couch and went to the door. “Like money or my car…again.”

Nope. Not my brother.

A deliveryman held a huge vase of red roses. “Maggie Mae Castro?”

“Oh,” I sighed. If my self-control was weak before, it now lay on its back with X’s for eyes. Super Agent was gonna get so lucky.

Super Agent pressed against my back. “What’s this?”

“Sign here.” The delivery dude handed me a clipboard, which I scribbled on and passed back. He gave me the flowers, which weighed a ton. “Have a nice night.”

“Thank you.” I hefted the roses over to my dining room table and set them down. I leaned down and inhaled their scent. “Mmm.” I
roses. I looked up to see Super Agent on my porch, hands on hips.

He came back inside and slammed the door. “Who are those from?” His tone had an edge I didn’t like.

“What the hell do you mean who are they from?”

“I’d like to know who’s sending
girlfriend flowers.” He actually thumped his chest on the word

BOOK: You're Mine, Maggie
7.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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