Read Hurricane Watch - DK2 Online

Authors: Melissa Good

Tags: #Lesbian, #Romance

Hurricane Watch - DK2 (3 page)

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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”Ah.” He watched as the doors opened, and one woman left. ”You live in the area?”

”Kendall,” Kerry answered amiably.

”Hey, me too.” Steven smiled. ”Seems like most of the building does; either that, or up in Miramar.” He glanced up as the mailman and the other woman left. ”Guess we’re headed to the same place,” he noted, seeing the fifteen button the only one left lit.

”Guess we are.” Kerry eyed him. ”Where in Kendall did you end up?”

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He told her, crossing his arms. ”It’s a nice little complex, got a clubhouse, and all that.”

”That’s not too far from where I am. I like the area. We go rollerblading down to that little bakery on the corner near the mall all the time,” she commented.

”Hey, I blade all the time.” Steven smiled. ”Maybe we’ll bump into each other sometime down there. I like that little place.” The door opened and he gestured. ”Ladies first.”

Kerry followed Maria out, seeing the stiff set of the secretary’s back and biting off a tiny smile. Steven accompanied them down the hall and into Dar’s outer office, where the executive’s distinctive, vibrant voice could be heard growling through the thick wood paneling. ”Aie, what now,” Maria sighed.

Steven chuckled. “Dar never needed a reason to be rude, crude and obnoxious.” He brushed by them and walked into Dar’s office, closing the door behind him.

Kerry and Maria exchanged glances, then Kerry picked up the paper bag. ”I’ll drop this off.” She paused with a hand on the doorknob, then opened the inner office door, and stepped inside.

”Mike, I don’t give a goddamn what they’re telling you, it’s bullshit.” Dar punctuated her words by slamming her pencil on the desk. ”I’m not going to accept sixty days to pull a lousy circuit, so they better come up with something else.”

”Look, Dar, we’ve been going around and around with them for two months. They won’t budge,” the man's voice answered, sounding tired. ”They’ve got unions to deal with up there, and facilities that are older than my damn mother.”

Dar looked up as the door opened, and her nostrils flared a bit as Steven walked brazenly into her office. ”Hang on a minute.” She hit the hold button. ”People knock before they come into this office.”

Steven clucked, and dropped into a chair. ”Get your panties out of a wad, Dar.”

”What do you want? I’m in the middle of something,” She snapped back.Steven leaned back, glancing up as the outer door opened, and Kerry slipped in. ”Thought people knocked first?” he asked mockingly, smiling at Dar.

”She doesn’t have to knock. She works here,” Dar replied. ”You’ve got ten seconds. Talk, or get out.”

Kerry paced quietly across the carpet and deposited the bag on Dar’s desk. ”Lunch,” she murmured, then headed for the inner door.

”Thanks.” Dar spared her a brief glance. ”Hold on a second; I have some contracts to turn over to you.” Then she focused back on her unwelcome guest. ”What is it?”

”I want a task force.” He leaned forward abruptly. ”I want two people from your staff so I can figure out what the hell you’re trying to 12

Melissa Good

accomplish around here, and see if I can straighten it out.” He pointed.

”I want Kerry, and whoever else you have assigned over to me for a period of two months, starting tomorrow.”

Silence fell. Dar folded her hands over her desk, and blinked at him. ”That’s what you want?” She inquired mildly.

”That’s what I want.” He smiled.

One long, powerful finger pointed at the door. ”What I want is you out of my office,” the executive stated flatly. ”I don’t have the time, or the people to dedicate to you for your wild goose chase. If you want to bring in temps to play with files, talk to Mariana.”

”Afraid of what I’ll find, Dar?” He crossed his legs, and smiled at her, as he glanced sideways at the quietly waiting Kerry. ”You can’t hide it forever.”

Dar merely stared at him.

”Fine.” He stood up and brushed his pants off. ”I’ll just make it a formal request up the line. I’ll get what I want, and everyone will know it. Sorry, Dar, I was trying to spare you that for old time’s sake.” He winked at Kerry then left, the door closing behind him with a bang.

A silence settled, then Kerry cleared her throat. ”You know what I want?”

Dar raised an eyebrow at her.

Kerry walked over and settled on the corner of Dar’s desk. ”I want a shower.” She pointed ”Right in that corner, so every time I have to talk to that sneaky little piece of pig manure I can go and wash myself off.” She made a face and gagged. ”He makes me feel so slimy!” She shuddered. ”Ugh, Dar! Gag! Gross! Yuck!”

That got a weary chuckle from Dar, who shook her head and sighed. ”He’s a piece of work, that’s for sure.” She punched the phone button. ”Mike you still there?”

”Yeah,” a muffled voice answered. ”Just eating my lunch.”

”All right, gimme the name of someone up in their chain, and I’ll see what I can do to shove things along a little.” Dar propped her head up on one hand. ”Sixty days, my dog could pull a circuit in less than sixty days.”

”Probably do a neater job of it,” the voice agreed. ”I’ll email you with some names. Thanks Dar.”

”Yeah, yeah.” Dar sighed, as she disconnected, and turned to face Kerry. ”Hey.”

Kerry cocked her head and smiled. ”Hey.” She indicated the bag.

”Tuna on raisin...better eat the French fries before they soak through the bag.”Dar’s expression gentled and she captured Kerry’s hand, squeezing it. ”Thanks. How’d the meeting go? You must have made an impression, or he wouldn’t be asking for you.”

Kerry rolled her sea green eyes. ”I think he’s just bound and determined to screw you over. He went from being condescending and
Hurricane Watch

13

antagonistic, to hitting on me.” She made a face. ”He wants to do lunch tomorrow.” She watched Dar’s right eyebrow lift. ”Here, just in the cafeteria,” she amended with a gentle twinkle. The eyebrow remained where it was. ”Oo, do I sense some territoriality raising its head?”

”Hmph,” Dar snorted softly. ”No, that’s not… You can go to lunch with whoever you want to, Kerry. I’m not—”

A hand cupped her cheek unexpectedly. ”I’m flattered,” Kerry whispered.

Dar fell silent, then chuckled a little. ”Yeah, well, I’ve been known to be territorial before,” she admitted wryly. ”But be careful, all right?

He’s very sharp.”

Kerry leaned closer. ”Not as sharp as you are,” she murmured softly. ”Even though he thinks he is,” she informed her boss. ”What is his problem with you, anyway?”

Dar sighed. ”We went to school together and we were pretty good friends, even though we didn’t have much in common. We were both in the martial arts together, and hung out with some of the same crowd.

The trouble started when I beat him in the nationals that year.”

”Ah.” Kerry lifted a hand. ”I get it. Let me guess, he was god’s gift to karate?”

”No,” Dar replied, surprisingly. ”He wasn’t really that good, maybe that was the problem. He never made it past the preliminary rounds, and I was the one that kicked him into the loser’s bracket, purely by chance.” She exhaled, remembering. ”He felt I should have helped him get further because he was trying to impress this girl on the opposing team that he’d been after for years. It was why he got involved in the stuff to begin with.”

”That doesn’t make sense. Why would you have taken a dive for him?” Kerry inquired. ”I can’t see you doing that in any case.”

Pale blue eyes winked at her from under long, dark lashes. ”It was complicated. He thought I owed him the favor, but at any rate, I didn’t, and he lost. He dropped out of the karate program after that.” She paused, ordering her thoughts. ”He was majoring in systems design, and through a chance routine I was running, I discovered he’d stolen his entire senior design matrix from someone else.”

”Uh oh.” Kerry winced.

”Yeah, well, me being a moral and upright bastard in the old days, I had to go running to the department head with it. Steven was tossed out of school.” Dar sighed. ”Our last meeting wasn't very pleasant. He told me he’d get back at me someday, and now, here he is trying.”

”Jesus, he should get a life. What was that, ten years ago? What a waste of time.” Kerry folded her arms across her chest. ”He gives me the creeps.”

”Mm,” Dar agreed. ”Well, we have to deal with him. If he keeps pushing you, you can tell him you’re not interested, or that you’re involved with someone.”

14

Melissa Good

”Both of which are completely true,” Kerry agreed.” Your sandwich is getting cold.” She gave her boss a not so subtle nudge.

Dar smiled, and opened the bag, tugging out the sandwich and munching on a fry. ”Mm…bet Maria made a face at you for this.” She bit into the gooey sandwich happily. ”She usually brings me chicken salad on pita.”

“You like pita?”

“No.” Dar wiped her lips with the napkin from the bag. “But if I’m hungry enough I’ll eat pretty much anything and she knows it.”

“Hmm.”

“Don’t get any ideas.”

Kerry watched her indulgently for a minute, then stood up. ”Yes, she did give me a hard time, but not nearly as bad a look as when old Stevie snake was flirting with me.” She touched Dar’s shoulder. ”I think she has a protective streak, too.”

”Mm hmm,” Dar nodded, with her mouth full. ”She thinks you’re a manifestation of the Blessed Virgin for getting me to eat trail mix instead of malted milk balls.”

Kerry snorted softly. ”That didn’t take much effort at all. C’mon, anyone could have done it.”

Dar studied her sandwich for a moment, before taking a bite of it.

”No one else ever tried,” she remarked casually as she chewed the mouthful, enjoying the gentle tang of the raisins in the bread. ”Even my mother gave up on me.”

”Well.” Kerry reached over and gently pushed an errant, dark lock out of Dar’s eyes. ”I’m pretty stubborn.” She smiled. ”Not to mention a little on the possessive side myself,” she confessed. ”Was your mother into greens?”

”Vegetarian,” Dar replied, wiping her mouth. ”She tried, but my father told me even as a baby I used to chuck up the strained peas, and go after his hamburger. Must have driven her nuts.” She finished off her fries and neatly disposed of the bag. ”Thank you. Now I have just enough time to review this damn status report before the executive committee meeting, and I’m stuck with a new client briefing at four. I won’t get out of here before seven.”

Kerry nodded. ”I’m meeting a few folks over at the gym for a climbing session at six. Will you be over for our class?”

”Oh yeah,” Dar responded positively. ”I’ll be ready for that. It’s been a long, aggravating day, and it’s only lunchtime.”

”Yikes.” Kerry’s hands had found their way across her boss’s neck, feeling the tension in her shoulders. She stood up and went behind the chair, reaching over and giving her a gentle massage, enjoying the warm feel of Dar’s skin under the cool silk of her blouse. ”You’re all wound up, huh?”

”Mm.” Dar closed her eyes and dropped her head forward, submitting

to

her

companion’s

touch

gratefully.

”Yeah.

Hurricane Watch

15

Ow…oh…damn, that feels good.” She finally leaned back, as Kerry finished, and looked up at her. ”Thanks.”

Kerry smiled back. ”You’re welcome. I’d better get going. Did you actually have stuff to give me, or was that just a reason for me not to leave?”

A soft chuckle. ”I’m not that bad. Here,” Dar handed her the three folders. ”Three new ones, and in case I didn’t say it before, the two you structured last week were very well done.” She patted Kerry on the leg.

”I got a note from Eleanor regarding the New England Power meeting.

She was very impressed with how you handled it.”

Kerry positively beamed. A big, sunny grin covered her face, and her eyes sparkled, as she drank in the words. ”Wow, thanks.”

Compliments from Dar, business ones anyway, were coveted treats all the more so because they were usually unexpected. Her reaction made Dar smile, which made her feel even better. “Boss, you rock.”

Dar’s phone buzzed. ”Dar?” Maria sounded resigned.

”Yes?” The executive answered, leaning on an elbow.

”Personnel, line numero uno.”

”I bet I know what this is.” Dar sighed. ”Thanks.” She hit the button. ”Dar Roberts.”

”You are such the troublemaker, you know that?” Mariana’s voice sounded halfway between irritation and wry amusement. ”Are you trying to set some record for complaints against one employee?”

Dar lifted her hands and let them fall on the desk. ”What did I do?”

she asked. “Now?”

”Oh, let's see…” A rustle of paper. ”Being rude, obstructionist, uncooperative, detrimental to the progress of business…”

”She really wasn’t, Mari.” Kerry spoke over her boss’s shoulder. ”I was here. She was really polite, as a matter of fact.”

Mariana sighed. ”What did he want?”

”Me.” Kerry replied. ”He wanted me, and another staff member assigned to him personally for two months, while he, as he put it,

‘straightened us out.’”

A soft curse in a fluid language followed. ”And you told him no, I take it?”

”I told him I didn’t have the time or the staff to go on wild goose chases and that if he wanted dog’s bodies to hunt stuff down, to go see you,” Dar replied. ”I’m not assigning one of the cleaning staff much less Kerry to that horse’s ass.”

”Mm. I see.” The Personnel VP sighed. ”Well, he kicked a copy of this up to Alastair, along with a bunch of statistics. It looks pretty nasty, Dar. I’ll forward you a copy.”

Dar drummed her fingers on her desk. ”Did he copy José?”

A moment’s silence. ”Um, now that you mention it, no,” Mariana replied.

Dar smiled. ”Okay. Thanks. I’ll handle Alastair if he decides to get 16

Melissa Good

involved.” She pulled a folder over to her. ”Meet you in the conference room?”

”You got it,” Mariana agreed, and hung up.

”He sounds like he really means to make a case out of this, Dar,”

Kerry stated quietly, her brow creasing in concern. ”Would it be easier if we just went along with it? I mean, it’s not like he’s going to actually find anything if he investigates our area.”

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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