Read Hurricane Watch - DK2 Online

Authors: Melissa Good

Tags: #Lesbian, #Romance

Hurricane Watch - DK2 (4 page)

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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The pale blue eyes thoughtfully roamed the room, settling on Kerry’s face with quiet intentness. ”Yes, it would be easier,” she stated flatly. ”But I’m not gonna do it.” The ferocity in her voice surprised Kerry. ”He wants a fight? He’ll get one.”

Chapter
Two

DAR GLANCED AT her watch as she entered her office. It was a few minutes to seven and she lifted her cell phone, dialing a number without looking. Three rings, then four, then a breathless voice answered. ”Hey.”

”Oh.” Kerry paused to breathe. ”Hey, what’s up?”

”Where are you?” Dar inquired, hearing the panting.

”Halfway up the climbing wall, holding on by one hand,” Kerry replied. ”So as much as I love talking to you, could you kinda—”

”Sorry,” Dar apologized. ”I just got back from the briefing. I’ll be over in about ten minutes.”

”Right. I’ll let everyone know,” Kerry responded. ”Ooof…oh...wait, okay,” She sighed. ”That’s better. I was sort of upside down, and trying to hold myself up, my arm was giving out.”

Dar chuckled softly. ”Okay, well, get both hands back on those holds, okay? I’ll see you in a bit,” She cleared her throat audibly. ”Take care.””Okay, see ya.” Kerry hung up, and managed to clip her cell phone to the back of her workout shorts. ”Glad I got the lightweight model,”

she commented to the rough wall before her eyes. ”Well, time to go down.”

She worked her way slowly across the wall, moving from handhold to handhold, and finally let go of the last one, landing lightly on the floor. She straightened up slowly, then leaned against the wall and caught her breath. Her shoulders and thighs ached,

”Whoo.” She shook her arms out and flexed her hands, then paced back out of the climbing room and paused, searching the crowded gym.

”Ah.” She spotted Ken standing next to his small office, and she headed in his direction.

He looked up as she approached, and a smile creased his friendly face. ”Hey there.”

”Hey Ken,” Kerry wiped her brow with the towel she had tucked in her waistband. ”Dar’s on her way over. She had a late meeting.”

Ken rubbed his neck. ”I’m still sore from last night,” he complained wryly. ”Maybe we can just have coffee tonight, huh?”

Kerry laughed gently. ”I think she’s really enjoying your sessions, but I’m sure she’d take it easy on you if you asked her.” She looked up 18

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as Colleen approached, already in her workout gear. ”Hey, Col, it’ll be a few minutes. Dar’s on her way over.”

The redhead grinned. ”Good. I thought I was going to be late. I had two tellers come up short today, and we spent an extra hour trying to figure out what happened.” She tugged on Kerry’s shorts. ”Let’s get a drink while we’re waiting.”

”Okay. I’ve got to put my stuff on,,” Kerry agreed. ”You want anything, Ken?”

”No.” The gym manager shook his head. ”You two go on. I’ve got to give a few tours.” He indicated a small group of uncertain looking women. ”New members.”

Kerry nodded then followed Colleen towards the juice bar. ”Order me a strawberry banana, would you? I’m going to go change.” She angled her steps towards the locker room, waving at three sweating women who passed by. ”Hey guys.”

”Hi Kerry,” the closest one, a programming specialist who worked in Mark’s department, answered. ”The boss around?”

”On her way,” Kerry smiled, as she continued into the tile lined locker room, which echoed with the sounds of the showers, and the clank of locks against the metal doors.

Kerry went to her assigned space and unlocked it, pulling out her light cotton pants and top, and the white belt that went with them. She stripped off her shorts and the t-shirt she wore when climbing, along with the knee protectors that kept her kneecaps from being smashed against the rough concrete.

Idly she glanced to the right, and caught sight of herself in the mirror, and paused to evaluate the reflection. Turned sideways as she was, she could see the smooth curve of her thigh muscles. They had become a good deal more pronounced. She slid a hand up along her waistline, where she was just beginning to see a little definition.

She’d put on twenty five pounds since she’d hooked up with Dar, more than half of it muscle. Her entire body shape had changed beyond anything she’d expected, hiding her bones and giving her face a rounder and, to her surprise, younger appearance.

”Hmm.” She raised an eyebrow at the sight, watching the rounded shoulder muscles shift as she moved her arm. It had taken her a while to get used to it. She’d been so accustomed to thinking about herself in a certain way, that this sudden change had made her a little uncomfortable at first.

Okay, she sighed, as she slipped into the cotton pants. A lot uncomfortable, as her mind fought against a lifetime of being subjected to her mother’s views on what a woman should, or should not look like.

Women were not supposed to look like wrestlers. Slim...yes.

Poised...yes. Buff? No.

A lot of people here at the gym fit into her mother’s views, keeping strictly to the light aerobics, and the sweat rooms producing bodies like
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19

whippets, all slim bone and taut skin, avoiding the weight rooms and machines like the plague.

Dar had gone a long way towards providing her with an example of a different way of thinking. The taller woman regarded strength training as an important part of her fitness regimen. She was completely unapologetic over the amount of smooth muscles that covered her body.

Dar explained to Kerry, a touch sheepishly, that she preferred it that way, since the muscles burned up a lot of the excess she tended to indulge in.

That made a lot of sense to Kerry, and she decided if she was going to share a life with Dar, she’d better make an effort to ensure sharing Dar’s eating habits wasn’t going to be totally self-destructive.

It had come as something of a surprise to her, however, that she liked the activities, and was becoming reasonably competent at them.

She’d never really enjoyed sports in her younger years.

Comfortable with the thought that the hour of climbing she’d just enjoyed would also make the pound of strawberries and crock of thick, dark chocolate waiting at home equally and guiltlessly enjoyable, she finished fastening her gear and met her eyes again in the mirror. “Ready to kick some booty?”

As if on cue, her stomach started growling, and she rolled her eyes.

She locked her locker and headed for the door as she tied her belt.

”Took you long enough.” Colleen gently pushed Kerry’s drink over to her. ”So, how’s the week been?” she asked. “ Since I never see you anymore to ask you down in Kendall.”

Kerry looked mildly abashed. “Yeah, that only visit on the weekends thing didn’t last long, did it?”

Colleen chuckled. “Did you really think it would?” she asked.

“C’mon, Ker.”

Kerry sucked her drink down. “I was trying to give Dar space,” she said. “Turned out she wanted me around as much as I wanted to be there.”

“Could have told you that before,” Colleen tsked. “So anyway, how’s work?”

Kerry sighed. ”Personally, great. Professionally, great, except that new guy I told you about. He’s been driving us crazy this week.” She took a long gulp of the frothy fruit drink, enjoying the tangy sweet taste. ”He’s got it out for Dar.”

Colleen sipped her own drink, and fiddled with a napkin. ”Well, you be careful, there, m’dear. Don’t get caught in the crossfire,” she warned. ”Dar’s fully capable of taking care of herself.”

”I’m already in the middle of it.” Kerry sighed. ”It’s a mess, but we’ll handle it.” Her eyes went to the door just in time to see it open and a familiar form ease inside. Dar was still in her business suit, but had her gym bag hitched over one shoulder. She pushed it back as her eyes swept the interior of the gym.

20

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Kerry counted. It took less than five seconds. It was a game they played sometimes, to see how fast they could find each other. On the count of one thousand four, the blue eyes zeroed in on hers, and Dar’s lips twitched into a grin. She made her way over to where they were seated, gracefully sidestepping a pair of power walkers who were strutting their way across the machine area.

”Hey.” Kerry offered her a sip of her drink. ”How’d it go?” She felt safe in this moderate display of affection, since the crowd was busy and most of the people there who knew them weren’t gossipmongers.

A shrug. ”Same as always.” Dar accepted the glass, and took a swallow of the fruit smoothie. ”Hello, Colleen.”

The redhead smiled. ”Hi Dar. Any chance of going over those punches today?”

”Sure,” Dar replied, handing Kerry back her cup. ”I’m going to go change. Meet you guys over by the mats.” She headed into the locker room, crossing to her locker right next to Kerry’s, and unlocking it. She put her bag inside, and changed quickly, glad to get out of her skirt, hose and pumps, and into a comfortable pair of cotton pants and soft boots.

She hung up her work clothes, and shrugged into the mid length shirt, pulling the long, black belt from her bag and glancing at it before she wrapped it twice around her waist and tied it off.

Putting this on had felt very strange, she remembered. She usually worked out with the trainer on the island in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt, but when she actually started teaching class, Ken said it would make the students feel less awkward with their own new garb if she wore hers as well.

So she’d rooted around in the three trunks tucked into the condo’s closet that represented her personal possessions, and dug the old thing out. She was a little surprised it still fit. She’d had her doubts about wearing it, but then Kerry had told her she liked it. She’d told Dar she thought she looked really cute in it, and since then Dar hadn’t minded wearing it.

”A little egotistical?” she asked herself wryly. ”Oh. Just a little.”

She locked the locker and headed out towards the class area, chuckling a bit under her breath.

They were all waiting, a group of ten including Kerry and Colleen.

Dar took them through a series of warm up routines, using the time to stretch out her own muscles. She then went over several concepts she’d taught the week before, and linked that into the day’s lesson. As always, Kerry watched her with that little look of utter concentration, her brow furrowed, the tip of her tongue poking out a bit, as she repeated the exercise, uncertain at first, then with more confidence.

”Nice,” Dar complimented her. ”Okay, now you and Colleen go at each other.” The rest of the class watched as the blonde and the redhead squared off, and Kerry edged forward, getting the hold on Colleen’s
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21

arm, and correctly dumping her on her butt. ”Right.”

”Ugh.” Colleen squinted up at her friend. ”I’ll be needing a pillow on my butt, much more of this.”

Kerry grinned, and offered her a hand up.

Dar hadn’t expected to enjoy teaching. She’d volunteered on the spur of the moment, and afterward had almost regretted it, but as the weeks went on she’d found herself looking forward to her little class.

”Okay, good.” She nodded as two of the men squared off against each other, and demonstrated. ”Right, a little higher on the kick. You have to get it just above the knee.” She got in closer, and tapped the man on the thigh. ”That’s it.”

The class finished, and she leaned against the wall, watching as Ken ambled over, an apologetic look on his face. ”Evening, Ken,” She greeted the shorter man. ”How’s the neck?”

”Hurts like heck,” he admitted. ”I think I’m going to have to give it a miss tonight.”

Dar chewed her lip. ”Sorry about that,” she told him sincerely. “I didn’t expect that kick to connect that hard.”

”Don’t worry about it,” he chuckled deprecatingly, then he glanced up at her. ”Say, Dar, you ever give any thought to going back into competition?”

The question surprised her. ”No, I...” She paused. ”No... c’mon Ken, it’s been ten years. I’m way past that.”

Ken shook his head. ”I have to disagree. I mean, I don’t know if you’re interested, but I was at a match this past weekend, and I have to tell you, honestly, Dar, you’d have walked away with the trophy.” He put his hands in his pockets and shrugged. ”I know it was just a little local thing, but if you wanted to, you could go back into it. You’ve still got the moves. It would just take a little work.”

Dar’s first instinct was to say no, absolutely not. She didn’t have time for that. Her life was too complicated as it was, and there was no way she’d have time to do it right, to get into the kind of shape she knew she’d have to in order to really compete.

But... A seductive tendril she’d thought long buried surfaced, reminding her of just how much she’d enjoyed competing, how much she’d enjoyed winning.
Maybe seeing Steven shook that loose and
brought it to the surface,
she mused. Her eyes flicked over Ken’s waiting face. ”Something to think about,” she replied quietly. ”I don’t know. I really hadn’t considered it before.”

He grinned. ”Well, you think about it.” He patted her arm. ”We’ll talk about it in a couple of days.”

Dar walked slowly across the busy gym, her eyes thoughtful.

KERRY RELAXED INTO the soft leather seat and sighed. ”God, I’m starving. I am so glad I stuck that bowl of chicken satay in the 22

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refrigerator before we left this morning.”

”Mm...that sounds good,” Dar agreed as she gazed out at the road.

Kerry glanced at her, studying Dar’s profile. ”You’re quiet tonight,” she said after a moment of silence. ”Everything okay or are you still stewing about Mr. Slimeball?”

Pale blue eyes left the road and gazed at her for a moment. ”He’s not worth stewing over,” she stated, knowing it for a lie. ”I managed to put a corncob up José’s tailpipe. I gave him a copy of that email.” She chuckled softly. ”I haven’t seen him change to that shade of red in a while. I usually cause that.”

Kerry stretched out and leaned on the armrest. ”What does he hope to accomplish, Dar? Fabricini, I mean.”

”Bottom line?” Dar turned into the ferry terminal and drove onto the boat, which had just docked. She put the car into park and rolled the windows down, then turned the engine off. The cool January air blew in ripe with the salt tang of the sea and she settled back, propping one knee up against the steering wheel. ”He wants José’s job, and my head,”

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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