Read Hurricane Watch - DK2 Online

Authors: Melissa Good

Tags: #Lesbian, #Romance

Hurricane Watch - DK2 (9 page)

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
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”She’s just down the hall in Ops, but what’s the problem?” Kerry inquired curiously. ”What did we ask for?”

”It’s the fractional T1 we use for the insurance division’s data transfer. We got a request to turn their link off and reroute network traffic from your office to the London conference center,” John replied.

”They’re gonna go bonkershits if we do that, so… ”

Kerry's brow creased. ”We asked for that? Wait, no, I mean, I know we’ve got a problem with the overseas links, but we found a way around that. Who made the request?”

Ruffle of papers. ”Someone named Fab…Fabarini or something,”

he muttered. ”I didn’t get the spelling. One of my guys took the call and he gave it to me to check out.” A pause. ”You want me to go ahead?”

Kerry drummed her fingers on her desk. ”No,” she replied evenly.

”In fact, don’t do anything from this office unless you get it from Dar, Mark, or me.”

A long pause. ”Uh, okay,” John replied, obviously confused. ”I mean, usually I wouldn’t question stuff like that. I mean you guys ask for shuffling all the time, but this seemed a little drastic, you know?”

That stupid piece of
… ”Yes, I know, but, as a favor to me, just clear everything through Operations here first, okay?”

Hurricane Watch

45

”Sure.” John agreed amiably. ”Better for me that way so I don’t get my ass nailed from Insurance and Banking when they find out their pipe got taken down.” He rattled a few keys. ”Thanks, Kerry.”

”No problem,” Kerry responded, and hung up. She stewed for a moment, then she stood, about to head out the door to find Dar. The phone rang before she could move, though, and she punched the button again. ”Kerry Stuart.”

”This is José.” The VP's voice sounded flustered. ”We’re having a meeting here. Come down. I can’t find Dar.”

Green eyes regarded the phone. ”Sure,” Kerry replied. ”Be right there.” She circled her desk and strode out of her office, heading for the large conference room at the end of the hall. She opened the door, seeing a group of six or seven people inside, and walked on in.

”We were heading right for disaster!” Steven Fabricini was insisting, thumping a fist on the table. ”Can you imagine the egg on our face?” He turned and saw Kerry approaching. ”And you people didn’t do a goddamned thing about it! This is disgraceful!” He threw his hands up. ”If I hadn’t been here, I can only imagine what would have happened!” A pause. ”Nice of you to show up, waltzing in here at nine o’clock.”

Kerry paused and regarded him, then walked around to an empty chair and sat down, folding her hands on the table. ”Mind starting at the beginning? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

José threw a pencil on the table. ”We have a big goddamn conference with the overseas office in London and the lines are down.”

Kerry nodded slowly. ”The intercontinental trunks, yes. We were notified,” She replied calmly, savoring what she knew was coming. ”I was paged this morning.”

”And you did nothing,” Steven fumed. ”Well, I took care of it. I have the network office tying in some extra lines for us, so we’ll be okay.”

Kerry cocked her head. ”No you don’t,”

She replied calmly.

”Netops cleared it through us, and I told them not to do it.”

”What?” José sat up. ”Are you crazy woman?”

”That’s it! I knew it. You are trying to sabotage us,” Fabricini accused, leaning on his hands.

Kerry exhaled. ”Those extra circuits belong to a live account, which you were going to take down without any prior notification, so yes, I told them not to do it.” She stood and put her hands on her hips. ”And it’s not needed, because we already have an alternate link up.”

Silence. ”What?” José asked again, looking at Steven. ”You said there was nothing.” He looked back at Kerry. ”No one was in your office. We called three times!”

Kerry shrugged. ”No one paged me,” she replied simply. ”Or called my cell phone, or left me voice mail, or contacted Maria. Seems to me someone didn’t try very hard to find out if we were doing something.”

46

Melissa Good

She brushed a fleck of dust off her sleeve, then she walked over to the presentation computer, and signed into it, hitting the key which would switch the output to the overhead screen. She waited, then accessed their intranet, and started a conferencing session. A list of remote offices popped up, the London one conspicuously in the center.

”There you go.” She glanced up. ”Is there anything else I can do? I’ve got a pretty big inbox to clear before we leave this afternoon.”

Steven wasn’t finished. ”Okay, so who did you steal lines from?” he asked, sarcastically.

Kerry smiled at him, with no humor in her face. ”No one. We bought sat time and used an uplink,” she replied briefly. ”And it’s been done since before dawn, so I guess you can say I’ve been working for three hours longer than you have.” She gave them all a look, then walked around the table and headed for the door.

”You should have let us know,” José interrupted her. ”You can’t blame us for thinking we were high and dry, Ms Stuart. I have a department and company to protect here.”

Kerry turned at the door, and regarded him. ”You’re right,” she told him, sincerely. ”We should have paged you, but we were hoping to get the alternate route up before anyone even realized there was a problem.” she admitted ”I apologize for that. I’ll make sure you get notified the next time.”

José fiddled with his tie. ”Exactly, exactly, yes. Good.” He nodded, then waved at his secretary. ”Get this conference hooked up, will you?”

Kerry slipped out the door, glancing back in as she closed it and seeing the hostile eyes watching her. She sighed and let the lock click behind her, leaning against the wall as she willed her body to stop shaking.

She hated face-to-face conflict like that. All at once, her stomach rebelled, and she got to the ladies room just in time to lose her breakfast, her body violently reacting to the sudden, unexpected stress.

She leaned against the wall afterward, closing her eyes and hoping her stomach would settle. ”Okay, Kerry, just relax. You’ve been in more tense situations than that. What’s up with you?” she asked herself silently. And it was true, she had, with her father, with Dar— So why did this bastard get to her like this?

She sighed, and trudged to the sink, washing her mouth out and splashing water over her face, which felt overheated. She was just drying her face off with a paper towel when footsteps approached, and she glanced up as the door swung open and a familiar dark head poked in. ”Oh, hi,” she greeted Dar. ”I was just coming to look for you.”

Dar slipped inside and let the door close. ”I was just coming to look for you.” She gazed at Kerry. ”You okay?”

Embarrassed, Kerry nodded. ”Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” She decided Dar didn’t need any more stress of her own. ”I was just making sure the conference went off. I logged on and confirmed the London servers
Hurricane Watch

47

were accessible from the big presentation room.”

The blue eyes studied her in puzzled concern for a moment. ”Good, good, I’m glad you did that.” Dar glanced behind her then came closer, very gently touching Kerry’s cheek. ”You look really pale. You sure you’re okay?”

Kerry also glanced around, conscious of how public a place they were in. ”Yeah, I’m sure. Something disagreed with me, maybe that meat pastalito I had.” She put a hand over her stomach. ”But I’m fine now.”

Dar stepped back, giving her a relieved nod. ”Oh, yeah, they were kinda greasy this morning,” she commented. ”Well, if that crisis is done, I’ve got another one for us to work on.”

Kerry exhaled. ”Lead on,” she responded. ”What’s up now?” She followed Dar outside and down the hall hearing the faint sounds of the presentation going on in the conference room.

”We took over a manufacturing plant’s IS and we’ve got two mainframes down,” Dar responded.

”And?” Kerry inquired. ”That doesn’t sound too tough.”

”It’s in Hong Kong,” Dar replied dryly, ”which now has a technology restriction and we can’t get parts in to fix them.”

”Oh.” The blonde chewed her lip. ”That sucks.”

”Mm. ”

”Smuggle the chips inside fortune cookies?”

Dar chuckled wryly as they headed down the corridor.

”DAR?” MARIA’S VOICE broke into her concentration, as she poured over circuiting diagrams. Dar glanced up with a start, aware suddenly of the time.

”Yes?” She asked, checking her watch. Shit.

”Mariana just called. The bus is here.” The secretary said. ”She asks are you ready?”

Dar sat back, regarding the pile on her desk with a look of mild disgust. ”No, but that’s not going to stop this thing from happening, is it?” she muttered in response ”I’ve got a six inch stack of paper I need to go over and three reports that are due.”

She sighed and rubbed her temples. ”Tell her I’ll change and be down in the lobby in ten minutes. You might want to call Kerry, and see if she’s headed down.”

”Not quite,” a soft voice answered from the inner door.

Dar glanced up to see Kerry’s head poking into her office ”Never mind on that last, Maria. She’s right here. ”

”Okay. I will wrap things up here, Dar. Try to have a good weekend, okay?” Even Maria sounded doubtful. ”Good luck.”

”Thanks,” Dar sighed. ”You have a good weekend too, Maria.” She glanced at Kerry. ”You ready?”

48

Melissa Good

Kerry entered, already changed into jeans and a sweatshirt. ”As I ever will be.” She gave Dar a wry look. ”I finished up everything I could Dar, but there’s still a lot of stuff pending, cleanup from this morning, and what not.”

”I know,” Dar sighed, and stood up, stretching her six foot plus frame out and rolling her neck around to loosen it. ”What a day. All right, let me go get out of this monkey suit and we’ll head down.” She stepped around the desk and held her arms out. ”One for the road?”

Dar got no argument from Kerry. She slid into Dar’s embrace, feeling the cool silk under her fingers that warmed as she closed her arms around Dar’s body. ”Mmm…” She sensed the pressure of lips against her head, and she let herself absorb the sweet feeling, wishing she could just stay like this and not have to get on that damned bus.

After a long moment, they parted reluctantly, and Dar let her fingers brush across Kerry’s cheek. ”I resent having to spend an entire weekend pretending not to be desperately in love with you,” she stated seriously. ”I think I resent that more than having to go in the first place.”

Kerry blushed a little. ”I just hope I don’t slip up and forget you’re just my boss,” she admitted. ”You’d better stay far away from me at night.” She gave Dar a pat. ”Go change. I’ll get my bag.”

Dar sighed, watching her leave before she went over to the small closet in her office and opened it. Inside were her bag and a hanger ready for her suit to fit on. She kicked off her shoes into the closet and flexed her toes against the carpet as she shrugged out of her jacket and set it to one side. “Damn it,” she muttered. “I should have just called Alastair and said forget it. This is nuts.”

She slipped off her skirt and hose and traded them for a pair of worn jeans from her bag, buttoning them and glancing at her reflection in the door’s full length mirror as she unfolded a cotton polo shirt to put on. “Hmph,” she grunted as she shook the shirt out. ”Starting to look like you can kick some ass again, Roberts. Been a while.” She pulled the polo over her head and tucked it into the waistband of the jeans, adding a leather belt and buckling it.

She heard Kerry returning as she brought her bag over to the couch and sat down to put her hiking boots on. A moment later, the door opened and her lover appeared, carrying her own bag and running her fingers through her pale hair. “Hey.”

”Dar, it’s cold out,” Kerry scolded. ”You need a sweater or something. You’re going to catch a chill.” She dug through her boss’s bag, and retrieved a soft, fleece sweatshirt. ”Put this on.”

”Yes, mother,” Dar chuckled, but did as she was told, slipping the fabric over her head and adjusting the waistband. ”Better?”

Kerry reviewed the rich, crimson color against Dar’s tanned skin and dark hair, and smiled. ”Oh, I like that. You look really good in
Hurricane Watch

49

red.” She shouldered her bag and exhaled. ”Okay, let’s go.”

They went down the hall to the elevator and got in, riding it down in silence and exchanging one, last look before the door opened.

The rest of the group was there waiting, and Dar and Kerry collected several annoyed looks as they joined them. ”Sorry,” Dar addressed the woman sent to collect them. ”Just tying up loose ends.”

The woman, a perky blonde with an infectious smile, nodded.

”Well, that’s great, glad you could join us. ” She checked her clipboard.

”You would be Roberts and Stuart, right?”

Dar nodded. ”Yep.”

”Excellent. Well, okay. My name’s Skippy, and I’ll be your guide during the seminar.” She checked her list. ”What we’re going to do is get on board the bus and get started. The camp is about three and a half hours north of here. On the way we’ll have you fill out some questionnaires, and pass out a little snack in case anyone gets hungry, okay?”

”A snack?” José objected. ”Hey, come on now, most of us didn’t get lunch.” He glanced around, twitching his jacket closed. ”It’s almost six o'clock.” Several other people nodded with him.

”All right.” Skippy didn’t miss a beat. ”We also have some full dinners on board, so let’s get going, and I’ll explain more about the program when we’re on the way.” She checked them over as they boarded the huge, chartered bus. ”Now, no one has anything nasty, like a computer, or anything like that, right?” she reminded them. ”We’re trying to get your minds into a different space this weekend.”

”I wonder how many people have asked her if she has any peanut butter.” Duks commented in a low murmur, causing Dar to chuckle. ”I cannot believe I am doing this, my friend, or that you are, for that matter.”

Dar shrugged. ”What choice did we have? Hope everyone lives through it,” she replied laconically as she watched Kerry board, then stepped up after her, glad to leave the thick, diesel smell behind. The bus was plush, with two rows of seats going back on either side, spaced far enough apart to provide a decent amount of leg space.

BOOK: Hurricane Watch - DK2
5.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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