Janet marched to the door of Carterhaugh Inc. and swiped the entrance portal with the pad of her thumb. Naturally, it didn’t work, so someone had already changed the master code.
However, they didn’t know about the hack she had hidden in the program years ago. Janet keyed in SERPENT, and a series of doors whispered open to allow her entrance.
Her quick, angry footsteps echoed in the hallway. Janet was spoiling for a fight. She was rewarded by a dark figure holding a long object resembling a sword although, when she approached, she saw it was a laser pointer.
“Castlehaugh is mine,” she announced. “Get out, and take your cronies with you.”
“Fae Enterprises took over 51% last night…” the shade began.
“Yes, under hostile conditions. I already filed papers to remove the lines of text you added after the contracts were signed.”
He tilted up his chin. The light revealed a severe jaw and long, black hair. “I serve Fae in all respects,” he said. “Take your generous payout and leave.”
|Tam Lin by Jill Karla Schwarz|
To be honest, it wasn’t bad advice. No one went up against Fae and survived the encounter. The rumor was Fae was in bed with Hellbore, the controlling interest behind the new, lightning-quick Aethernets.
“I’ve opposed company dogs before,” she smiled. “We have recordings of your company’s process.” Janet’s invention, installed secretly in the long meeting chamber, monitored blood pressure, heart rates, and breathing patterns of Fae’s CEO and COO. She also had bargained with the lawyers so those recordings could be used in court.
“You’ll never win against Fae…” The man’s gaze flickered.
Janet prepared for her final attack. “The Halloween Ball this weekend is still on,” she said. “I’ll pick you up. White car.”
A rumble erupted from his chest, the purr of a deadly lion. “You plan to offer me your maidenhead, perhaps?”
She grinned at the old-fashioned word and his lapse of judgment. “Long gone, I’m afraid.”
“White car,” he repeated, and she knew she had him.
“You never told me your name,” Janet said.
“I think you already know who I am.”
She couldn’t hold back her laughter. “I do. Until Saturday night, Mr. Lin.”