The laws of love, lust, and lies

office/work place
colleagues to lovers

(Miss CEO spin off story)

Dominic Pemberton is a brilliant, famous, and quite an arrogant lawyer, who not only holds the title of one of the best lawyers in the country, but also of a hopeless womanizer, he boasts of having a perfect life, with his perfect girlfriend and exemplary career, but all of that is about to change when Alice Coleman, a beautiful redhead who has a very dark secret, enters his life.

Alice will fight to find justice and revenge, while Dominic will try not to let himself be affected by his new assistant, who has come to turn his perfect world upside down.

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ALICE   The sun warms my face and makes my hair look like a bright flame , the other kids tease me for it , but I like it , and my mommy says it's different , “Different is not the same as bad, sometimes being different is better than being like everyone else,” she says whenever I come home crying because some of the kids in the park made fun of me , or pulled my hair too hard when Poppy wasn't looking.   Poppy spends a lot of time with me , more than mom , but Poppy isn't like mom , she is not my sister either , she doesn't even look like me , her colors are different , and she says it's because she is seasoned and I came into the world still raw; I don't understand her when she talks to me like that , but it must be funny because she laughs a lot when she says it.   My mother always asks me at night , when she is tucking me in and telling a story , if Poppy was a good girl , if she treated me well , if she gave me good food or if she played with me , I always answer her yes , because the last time I told her that I had fallen and Poppy didn't notice it because she was talking on the phone , she yelled at Poppy and made her cry , I don't like to see her cry , I prefer when she laughs so hard that the other moms in the park look at her with envy because they can’t laugh like her.   Today , Poppy is talking to a very tall boy who dresses funny , she smiles and touches her hair , from time to time she looks to where I am or tells me to be careful , but for a long time she has not looked over here , and I don't think she has realized that I am lying on top of the castle , enjoying the fact that today there are not so many children in the park , that makes me happy because that way , I can use the games for as long as I want.   I hear a doggy barking and immediately I raise my head to find where the noise is coming from , and I see a tall man , standing next to a big tree that is just outside the park , he is with a big dog , and when he sees that I am looking at them , he smiles at me and the doggy flaps its tail; so , I get off the castle and go to where the dog is.   When I am close enough , the doggy approaches me and I stay very still , because it scares me a little , I have never had a dog , or a cat , or any other pets because Mommy says they are a lot of work , but the dog is cute , it is black and brown , and has big eyes and its ears are up , I want to pet it , but I am afraid that it will bite me with its big fangs.   " She won't do anything to you , darling , she is very friendly , come over to her and pet her, " the man tells me.   " She? " I ask.   " Yes , her name is Lola, " he tells me.   Lola approaches me and I run my fingers over her face , her head , and her body , while she flaps her tail very happily , then she licks my face and I laugh because it tickles me.   " She is so cute, " I say , stroking Lola's ears.   " Yes , and she also has some very cute puppies, " he replies.   " Puppies? Really? " I ask excitedly , I have always wanted a puppy.   " Yes , they are here in my car , do you want to see them? " he asks me , and I nod , but before I go with him , I look towards where Poppy is , but she keeps laughing with the tall boy , maybe if I go quickly to see the puppies and come back, she won't notice.   " Come , my car is very close , maybe if you like one , I can give it to you, " the man tells me as he walks beside me.   " Are you going to give me one? " I ask him , and he nods with a smile.   When we get to a big red car , the man opens the back door and I get in to look for the puppies , but I don't see anything , I look for them under the seats and then I look at the trunk , but there is nothing , I am going to turn to ask the man where they are , but I only see a big hand that has a handkerchief , and then the hand rests on my nose with force , I try to move , I move a lot because I can't breathe well , and I start to see little white dots , until I feel like I can't breathe at all.   I don't like this , I don't want any puppies anymore , I want my mommy , I try to stand up and run , but my legs don't move , and someone is holding me very tight , until everything turns very black , and I can't see the trees or the blue sky anymore.   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -   I wake up startled , my forehead is beaded with sweat and I feel like I can't breathe , my hands shake so hard when I try to stretch them to turn on the lamp next to my bed , when I finally manage to do it , I stand up carefully , because my legs feel like jelly , I go to the bathroom and drink some water , I also wipe the sweat with a small towel , then I go back to my bed and try to calm myself so I can go back to sleep , but it is difficult.   Whenever I have that stupid dream the same thing happens to me , it feels so real that I wake up like I am really going out of breath , it's a horrible feeling , but fortunately , that dream has already stopped coming to me to torment me every night , and over the years , it has become more and more distant , sometimes the dream changes , but ultimately , it ends the same way , with my body feeling as if it were real.   I usually dream about it when I am very anxious , nervous , or stressed , and right now , it is all three at the same time , because tomorrow I have a very important job interview , and the pressure means that I cannot even have a good night's sleep.   I look at the chair next to my small desk and see the blue dress that my brother got me in a second-hand store , it wouldn't have been my first choice , but I didn't have time to go find something myself because I was too busy taking my end-of-term exams , so I had to settle for what he bought for me; Next to the dress , on the desk , is a folder with all the relevant information that I will need for the interview.   I have applied for this job several times during the last year , because for some reason , from time to time the same vacancy opens again , so it was usual for me to be checking the website of the most important law firm in the state , to find out when the vacancy was going to be open again and to apply , but I had never been called for an interview until now , so I have been a nervous wreck.   Three days ago , a woman who sounded older , called me on the phone to inform me about the interview , and give me indications of the date , time , and place , but it was not until she told me that the interview was going to be carried out by Mr. Pemberton himself , that my brother got involved in all the preparation and has been bothering me with this every second of the day; He helped me to find the necessary information , the clothes , he also downloaded many videos from the internet where they gave advice for job interviews.   You could say that he is more nervous than I am , and I do not blame him , because with what he earns in his work , he barely has enough to pay for our food , basic needs , and my university , which , fortunately , is not very expensive , because I was able to get a scholarship that covers most of the tuition costs , so , if I could get a job as well paid as this one , it would help us a lot.   I hear footsteps in the hall , and I try to get to bed quickly , but I can't do it in time , as my brother opens the door and frowns at me when he notices I am awake.   " You should be sleeping Ali , tomorrow is the big day , and you must be well - rested, " he tells me reproachfully.   " You say it like I am going to get married or something, " I reply laughing , but he seems very serious.   " This is very important , and you can't ruin it , now go back to sleep, " he tells me before turning off the light and closing the door.   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -   " Well , here it is , remember everything we talked about , you have to be calm and answer confidently, " my brother George tells me.   " I know , you have told me a thousand times already, don't worry , I will get it, " I tell him smiling , and he gives me a tense smile before I get out of the car.   As soon as I get to the floor where the interview will take place , I feel even more nervous than before , but I try to take a deep breath before heading to a small reception where an Asian woman , in her forties or so , is sitting , and I inform her that I am here for the interview with Mr. Dominic Pemberton.   She smiles at me and after giving me a few more indications , she guides me to a small waiting room where more people are gathered; There are about six people , and after I sit down , three more arrive , we are ten in total , two men and eight women , of which absolutely all are really well - groomed , with very high heels , short skirts and heavy makeup , they are very pretty , but none seem to have seen the videos that I saw where they recommended to come dressed professionally , since all of them seem to have dressed for a party and not for a job interview.   I feel slightly intimidated when I realize that maybe the one who is badly dressed is me , and I look down unconsciously to examine my outfit , I look like a lady in her forties and not a young woman of twenty-two , my makeup is quite soft , and my Red hair , which has always been my great pride , is loose on my back , while they seem to have gone to a beauty salon to get gorgeous hairstyles.   My nerves are increasing as time passes and the people who are in the room are entering one by one , two girls have left furious , another left crying , and the rest have left with pale faces , as if they were still in shock , even one of the boys who entered , came out with a blushed face as if he was ashamed of something; and the first thing I notice , is how everyone has entered with a confident attitude and has almost run out of the office afterwards.   When only the other boy and I are left , we both look at each other with discomfort , but we don't say anything , and when we see the last girl leave with tears in her eyes , we both look at each other with a little fear , but we can't say anything , because he is called next and I am left alone in the waiting room , fidgeting in my seat , while I wait for my turn , and although I should be even more fearful , now I feel more secure , since it is evident that the rest of the people did not do well , and since I am the last one , I will have the opportunity to leave a good impression compared to the rest , and thus maybe my chances of being hired will be much greater.   But my confidence is shattered when I see the boy walk out of the office with a cocky smile on his face , and an arrogant demeanor , so there can only be two options: that he really did it right , or that he is pretending to make me nervous and that I do worse than him , in order to increase his chances of being hired; so I don't let his attitude get to me , and as soon as I hear my name being called , I get up from my chair confidently , and walk into the office trying to control my nerves.   I close the door behind me , and when I turn to see who will interview me , I find myself face to face with the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life , and my confidence drops to the ground.

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