Beck and Call(7)

By: Abby Gordon





Abby Gordon



declaring his undying love was just that—a dream.

A dream she knew wouldn’t come true. The tears flowed down her cheeks for several minutes.

The grandmother clock on the wall chimed softly and she inhaled, her body shaking. Sniffling, she wiped her cheeks.

This wouldn’t do at all. She’d never been much for pity parties and wasn’t about to have one now.

She’d worked too damn hard to prove herself to too many people.

Okay, then, what was the plan? She’d learned a lot working for Keith. One of the first rules he’d taught her was that before any course of action, it was important to work out the steps for success, figuring out the worst, mid, and best case scenarios.

Serena gazed at the miniature she’d bought with the first bonus Keith had given her. The irony of staring at the painting struck her and she smiled. She would talk to Claire and Debbie tomorrow and try to break out of her self-imposed shell. They could help her get back into circulation. Worst case, she’d have aching feet from dancing and a few nights with less sleep than she liked. Mid case, she’d have great times with her friends. Best case, she’d meet the man of her dreams. One thing was for certain—she certainly wasn’t going to meet the love of her life sitting in a rocking chair every evening!

Returning from an office visit, Keith paused in the hall to hear the hushed whispers of women.

Straining to listen and feeling slightly foolish, he stayed where he was. He could pick out Serena’s voice, but didn’t recognize the second.

“…with everything that’s happened, it’s been so long,” Serena was saying. “I must admit, I feel rather embarrassed asking you for help, but I really don’t know how to do stuff like that anymore.” There was a heavy sigh. “I was never very good at it to begin with.”

16



Beck And Call



“It’s like riding a bicycle. You’ll get back in the swing of it with no problem. Now, a bunch of us are going to this crazy hot club tonight.”

“Tonight?” Serena’s voice seemed stunned. “It’s Thursday.”

The other woman laughed.

“So? You want to get out more, right? Let’s get to it. Why wait?”

“Debbie,”

Serena’s

voice

seemed

nearly

strangled. “I was thinking we’d build up to it, not jump into the deep end.”

Keith stepped back and swore under his breath.

This was an unexpected development. He’d never considered that she would start hitting night clubs.

He’d have to act fast to nip this in the bud.

“C’mon, Rena,” cajoled Debbie. “It’ll be a blast!”

“I don’t know,” hedged Serena.

“Um, what would you wear?” Keith didn’t hear Serena’s response, but evidently Debbie didn’t like it. “Oh, no! That won’t do at all. We’ll have to leave early today and go shopping. There’s a boutique just a few blocks away that has the cutest things!”

“No,” Serena spoke up. “Keith said he might have a conference call tonight.”

“With whom?” Debbie demanded. “Everyone else with a life will be out enjoying themselves.” Reminding himself to reward Serena for her effort to backtrack, Keith decided to back up her comment before Debbie had a chance to say anything else. Striding forward, he went through the door at full speed.

“Ladies,” he nodded. “Serena, I need to refresh my memory about that CEO in Tokyo. Do you have his information handy?”

“Mr. Lee?” she replied, meeting his gaze with obvious relief. “I’ll pull up the notes and print them out right away.”

“Thank you,” he smiled.

17



Abby Gordon



Serena opened her mouth to thank Keith, but closed it quickly. If she thanked him, she’d have to explain the entire conversation and also the reason she was going to go to a club in the first place.

Debbie hadn’t thought to ask why. Keith would.

She looked at Debbie with what she hoped was an apologetic expression.

“Better get back to work.”

Debbie was disgruntled and didn’t have the tact to hide it.

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