Read Hurricane Watch - DK2 Online

Authors: Melissa Good

Tags: #Lesbian, #Romance

Hurricane Watch - DK2 (7 page)

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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”Besides not killing Steven?” Dar played with a pencil. ”Yeah. I do.” She glanced up at Mariana. “Not giving him a real hook to hang me with.”

”You two have such a cute little chemistry when you’re around each other,” Mari told her wryly. ”That’s going to be tough to hide out there in the wilderness with nothing to do but talk to each other and roast marshmallows.” She stood up. ”Thanks for trying, my friend. It was a good fight, and you’d have had him if we hadn’t already coughed up the bucks.”

”Yeah.” Dar leaned back, exhaling. ”I should have just offered him my bonus back to cover it,” she told her friend wryly. ”It would be worth the money.”

Mari chuckled as she turned to leave. ”It’s just two days, Dar. We’ll be back in Miami on Sunday afternoon. I’m sure we’ll survive.”

Dar regarded her back as she left, then she threw her pencil down on the desk, leaning forward and studying the packet in consternation.

A light tap on the inside door, however, put a wry smile on her face.

”C’mon in.”

Kerry poked her head in, then entered. ”Hey.”

”Hey.” Dar leaned back in her chair and folded her hands across her stomach.

”Are we in trouble?” Kerry inquired curiously.

”We may be.” Dar pushed the packet over to her. ”Cancel your plans for the weekend.”

“You mean our plans?” Kerry approached the desk. “Did we have any? Other than hanging with Chino?”

“We do now.” Dar steepled her fingers and waited for Kerry to read the bad news.

Kerry took the packet and sat down in one of Dar’s visitor chairs, studying it with interest. ”Oh, I’ve heard of these.” She glanced up with a smile. ”This sounds interesting. It’s upstate from here, isn’t it?”

”Mm hmm,” Dar acknowledged.

A shrug. ”Sounds like it might even be fun, Dar. I mean, there are cabins, it’s not like you’re out foraging for hickory nuts or something.”

Dar chuckled. ”If it were just you and me, or just you, me, Duks and Mariana, and even throw Mark in there, I’d agree with you, but we’re going to have Steven, José, Eleanor, and a couple other people 34

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with us.”

”So?” Kerry peered at the agenda. ”Oh, that’s cool. They have obstacle courses, and you have to help each other through them.” She looked up. ”Who knows? Maybe it’ll help, Dar.”

The dark haired woman gazed at her. ”So, you don’t mind spending an entire weekend pretending not to know me?” she inquired mildly. ”Other than as your boss?”

Kerry blinked. ”Oh.” She bit her lip. “Jesus, I didn’t even think of that.”“Living in cabins with these people?” Dar added. “Making believe we don’t really like each other?”

”Right. Hmm. You couldn’t get us out of this?” Kerry winced. “I have enough trouble doing that for the eight hours we’re here for work.”

”I tried.” Dar lifted her hands and let them fall. ”Alastair had already paid for the damn thing. We’re kind of stuck.”

They looked at each other. ”Ew,” Kerry finally sighed. “How are we going to do this?” She stood up and put the packet back down on Dar’s desk, then circled around and perched on the edge of the wood next to where Dar was sitting. “We avoid the problem by avoiding each other during the day.”

”Unfortunately true.” The executive's lips twitched. “Even Mari says we click when we’re together.”

Kerry raked her fingers through her pale hair. “Maybe we can act it out,” she said. “What’s the most obvious stuff?”

Dar looked at her. “Well, for a start, I have to say you’re the first assistant I’ve ever had who’s made a habit of camping on my desk.” She tweaked the edge of Kerry’s skirt. ”Most of them wouldn’t get within ten feet of me.”

Kerry's eyebrows lifted. ”Their loss,” she replied in a sultry tone which brought a genuine smile to her boss’s face. Reflexively she reached out and touched Dar’s cheek, letting her thumb trace the smile, then she uttered a soft sigh. ”Two days, huh? This is going to be a bitch on wheels, Dar.”

The smile widened slightly and Dar curled a hand around Kerry’s knee and gave it a gentle squeeze. ”We’ll survive.” She glanced at her watch. ”Let’s go to the damn meeting. I want to see Stevie baby’s face when he sees what his email kicked off. What did he want from you, by the way?”

”Oh.” Kerry stood, and backed out of Dar’s way so she could stand up. ”He wanted me to sell you out for the possibility of getting your job.”Dar paused in the middle of standing, then she slowly straightened and ran a hand through her hair. ”Funny,” she commented briefly.

”That’s the deal Elana took.”

Kerry snorted. ”I knew she was an idiot when I saw her. Trade you
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35

for this job? Give me a break.” She bumped Dar lightly. ”Not for any job on earth...or anything else on earth for that matter, or anything on Mars, Jupiter, the moon...”

Her words were abruptly cut off by a pair of warm lips and a fierce hug. ”Mm,” Kerry murmured, when they parted. ”I’m not sure, but I think that might clue them in to our relationship, Dar.” She leaned back in and ran her hands over the cool fabric of her lover’s shirt and kissed her again.

”Yes it would, but thank you.” Dar caressed her cheek, and pressed her lips against Kerry’s forehead before she released her. ”C’mon, we’re going to be late.”

THEY COULD HEAR the yelling halfway down the corridor. ”Oh, this sounds pleasant.” Dar muttered, glancing at her companion. Kerry pursed her lips in agreement and pulled the door to the conference room open, motioning Dar to precede her.

The loud voices ceased as her six-foot-plus frame cleared the door, and all eyes turned her way. Dar was aware of Kerry entering behind her, but she kept her attention on the group around the table and paused, putting her hands on her hips.

The silence went on for a long moment, then Dar lifted one elegant eyebrow. ”Is there a problem?” she snapped, putting aggravation into her voice. ”Or are you people just yelling at each other out of boredom?”

José stood up, or to be more accurate, stood further up, since he was already kneeling on one knee on his chair. He waved a familiar looking packet at her. ”Have you seen this shit?” He slapped it on the table. ”What is this crap?”

Dar’s eyes went to Mariana, who was leaning with her fingertips on the table. ”I take it you’ve filled everyone in?” She waited for the Personnel VP to nod.

”She certainly did.” Eleanor tapped her pen on the table. ”Good grief, Dar, surely they can’t expect us to just pick up and go. We all have lives!” A sweet smile at the Operations VP. ”At least most of us do, at any rate.”

”Yeah, I’m not going along with this.” Steven stated suddenly. ”It’s senseless.”

Dar sauntered around to the head of the table, which they’d left conspicuously empty, and leaned on the back of the chair there. ”It’s paid for. We’re going.” she stated bluntly ”It wasn’t my idea, but Alastair’s insistent, and that’s all there is to it.”

A chorus of voices thundered at her. Dar put up with it for a moment, then she straightened and sucked in a breath. ”Shut the hell up!” she thundered, making the glasses on the sideboard rattle.

Kerry’s eyes widened and she slumped down in her chair a little in 36

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pure reaction as a conspicuous silence dropped over the room.

Dar let that go on a minute, then she pointed at Steven. ”Next time, be careful what you ask for.” She pitched her voice low, and her eyes swept over Eleanor and José. ”You people had to start this, now Houston answered, and, by god, you’re going to go to this stupid thing and not say another word about it, or I’m gonna take the charge for the course out of your damn paychecks!”

Each word had gotten louder and more penetrating, until the last word barked out, making the glasses rattle again. ”Understood?”

Silence.

”I’ll, um, bring a deck of cards.” Mark offered, hesitantly.

Steven snorted, and leaned back. ”I’m not going,” he stated, staring insolently at Dar.

”Jes, you are.” José turned on him. ”If I gotta do this, you gotta do this.” The Sales VP gave the room a disgusted look. ”Lemme go call my wife.”

Mariana passed a packet out to each person. ”There are instructions in here on what to bring and what not to bring. No electronics, no cell phones, that kind of thing. Four changes of comfortable clothing, sundries, and any prescription drugs you need. ”

”Does that include tranquilizers?” Eleanor muttered, glancing at the glowering Dar. ”I’ll bring some extra.”

“I’ll bring the rifle for them.” Dar responded. “How fast can you run?”Duks had been fiddling with the packet, reviewing it. He glanced at his assistant, a young, heavyset woman with short blonde hair and thick glasses. ”Sandy, you all right with this?”

She pushed her glasses up her nose. ”Yes, I’ll get mother to watch my cats. It’ll be different, at least.” She glanced sideways at Kerry.

”Have you been on one of these before?”

”No.” Kerry had been keeping an eye on her boss, who still had distinct, angry waves pouring from her. ”I never have, but I’m sure it’ll be a learning experience, if nothing else.” She glanced at Steven, whose face had settled into a grim mask, and whose eyes were fastened on Dar.Duks rubbed his jaw as his glance followed Kerry’s. ”Oh, yeah.” He nodded solemnly. ”We are going to learn something. Of that, I’m sure.”

Chapter
Four

KERRY GLANCED BETWEEN two different shirts, then finally chose one and stuffed it in her overnight bag, which hadn’t gotten much use since she’d moved in with Dar. Her lover had taken Chino in the cart and was scooting off across the island to the small Italian shop in the center to pick up two orders of pasta for dinner.

She finished packing her bag, zipping it up and trotting down the stairs, stopping to review the chewed boot that Chino had gotten to after the clever little puppy had escaped from her utility room dwelling.

”Ooo, you’re a lucky little girl, Chino. This is an old one.” she chuckled, turning it over and running a finger over the shredded heel.

The puppy had pulled it out of Dar’s closet, after turning over the wastepaper basket and managing to knock the phone off the hook.

A visit by the puppy sitter had returned her to her room, but now they had to figure out how she got out in the first place.

The back door opened as she passed through the kitchen, and Dar walked in, carrying the puppy under one arm, and a large, nice smelling bag under the other.

”Mm, that smells good.” Kerry smiled, taking the bag from her. ”I can just imagine what we’re going to get at the retreat. What do you think, beanie weenies?”

Dar sighed, and put Chino down. The puppy immediately went to her bowl and started to lap water. ”Probably. From what the packet said, it’s very ‘rustic’, which usually means burgers and dogs. Guess it could be worse.”

”Oh yeah. They could have picked one that only served raw vegetables. They have those you know. It combines a health food seminar with a corporate twist.” Kerry teased. “Just your cup of tea.”

A low snort. ”I’d have flown to Houston and beaten Alastair with a bag of celery until he screamed if he’d done that to me and he knows it.”

Dar muttered. ”It’s going to be bad enough as it is.” She tugged the two containers out of the bag and pulled out a long, fragrant loaf of garlic bread stuffed with cheese. ”You all packed?”

”Mm hmm.” Kerry retrieved some silverware and a pair of napkins and tugged Dar towards the living room. ”C’mon, Dar. It’s not going to be that bad. I bet everyone gets so involved in either what we’re doing or in how uncomfortable they are that they’ll forget how much we all 38

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don’t like each other.” She opened her container of pasta and breathed in the rich scent. ”Mm...”

“I’m not nearly as worried about that as I am about us.” Dar said.

“I’m not that great an actor.”

Kerry set the container down and rested her elbows on her knees.

“Maybe I could be sick tomorrow. Give it a skip. Or you could.” She suggested. “If we’re both not there, it won’t be a problem. Will it?”

”Maybe.” Dar sighed, prodding with a fork at her own dinner, a large pile of angel hair bolognaise. She split the garlic bread in half and gave Kerry her portion. ”Here. That might work, but damn it, the whole thing is just ridiculous and if either of us duck out someone’s gonna say something anyway.”

“Well.” Kerry accepted the fresh bread and tore off a chunk, dipping it in the Alfredo sauce and taking a bite. ”I mean, we are all adults, after all, and professionals, for goodness sake. Surely we can get along for two days.”

“Meh.” Dar chewed a bit of her pasta. “I’m not sure I want to get along with everyone.”

“Dar.”

“Anyway, they send reports on us back to the office. Maybe that’ll put a lid on things.” Dar added. “Like a bunch of kids at camp.”

“I never liked camp.” Kerry remarked. “You mean Alastair gets to hear what we’ve been up to?”

“Yep.” Dar gave Kerry a wry look, as the blonde woman flipped through the channels and settled on the History Channel. ”That should kick start some cooperation. No one wants Alastair to know they acted like a cranky little baby.”

Kerry licked her fingers. ”Do you think he’s really concerned about our office?” she asked. ”You don’t think he’s buying into Steven’s accusations, do you?”

Dar shrugged, as she plowed through a mouthful of her dinner.

”Hard to say.” she answered, after she swallowed. ”How’s your pasta?”

Kerry leaned over and kissed her gently. ”Taste for yourself.” She teased, then offered Dar a forkful.

”Uh uh.” Dar evaded the fork and went for the source, running her tongue over Kerry’s lips before she returned the kiss, putting her almost finished container down on the coffee table and freeing up her hands to stroke Kerry’s face, then travel down her shoulders. ”Oh yeah, I like that.”

”Me too.” Kerry put her own dish down, and turned her attention fully to her companion’s body, which her hands were itching to feel. She loved the silky texture of Dar’s skin, and her fingers slid beneath the cotton t-shirt eagerly as they spent a leisurely few minutes exploring each other.

She nuzzled Dar’s neck and tucked a playful touch under the waistband of her jeans, feeling the muscles contract giving her easy passage. ”Wanna give ‘In Search of Ancient Mysteries’ a miss?” she
Hurricane Watch

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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