Beck and Call(8)

By: Abby Gordon



“Rena, just because he doesn’t have a life doesn’t mean you can’t.”

“Deb, he makes sacrifices so you have a job,” she replied stiffly. “Try showing a little respect, all right?”

“Sheesh, lighten up, okay? I just want you to live a little.” Serena nodded and Debbie shook her head.

“Hey, I know things have been rough for you lately.

You’re still getting over your grandpa’s death. And Claire told me Todd the jerk has been calling you.

Now there’s a total loser!”

“Todd’s not that bad,” Serena said, feeling slightly defensive. She’d gone out with him for two years and admitted they were incompatible, but he was not a total loser! “He just has different priorities in life.” She met Debbie’s cynical expression and laughed. “Okay, so he’s Peter Pan in a hunky outfit.

That doesn’t make him a total loser.”

“Yeah, right,” Debbie scoffed. “Anyway, this might actually be a bigger step than you’re ready for.

I mean, some of the clubs can be intense. Tell you what.” She put an arm around Serena’s shoulders.

“Why don’t I check around and see if I can’t fix you up?”

“You mean, a blind date or something?”

“Yeah. That way you know a bit about the guy before you met him and…oh, I know what we can do.” Debbie bounced on her toes. “I’ll have a party 18



Beck And Call



with lots of single guys, that way you can meet a bunch all at once.”

“What reason will you give for having a party?

You’re not going to tell everyone that I’m…” Debbie rolled her eyes.

“I don’t need a reason except that I feel like having a party. It’ll take a couple weeks to coordinate schedules and get everything set up.” She grinned. “I’ll have Claire ask Paul for the names of some of his single friends. Lawyers, investment bankers,” Debbie winked at her. “In the meantime, we’ll start getting you back into circulation. I’ll get with Claire and work on that.”

She hugged Serena and skipped out of the office.

“Oh, Lord,” Serena breathed, sitting heavily in her chair. “I think I’ve unleashed a monster.”

“Serena?”

“Just a moment!” she called back, typing quickly to pull up the file of their combined notes on Tokyo.

In his office, Keith felt like he’d been given a brief reprieve from a looming deadline and future possible hurdles. Of course, that depended on what Debbie and Claire came up with.

“Going to have to speed up the timeline,” he muttered, scowling at his monitor.

“Not a good walk-through?” Serena asked, pausing at the door.

“A mixed bag,” he replied. “You and Debbie planning a shopping trip?”

“What did you hear?” she asked nervously.

“Just something about a boutique with the cutest things,” he told her, reaching for the folder in her hands. “Is there a problem working this conference call for me this evening?”

“Not at all,” she smiled.

“Good. See if Mr. Lee is available.”

“Certainly.”

Keith watched her leave and mentally reworked 19



Abby Gordon



his plan. He couldn’t give her the next book now. He needed her to focus on the call. But first thing in the morning would work perfectly. He smiled. Oh, yes, that would be perfect. She’d already shown a tendency to read a bit as soon as she got the book.

He couldn’t wait to see how she squirmed after getting another one.

Serena unlocked her apartment door and bolted it behind her. She glanced at her watch and groaned.

Nine-thirty. No treadmill, but she’d never get to sleep if she didn’t do some yoga to relieve the tension in her muscles. Hanging her suit up, it occurred to her that there were other ways of getting to sleep.

She could read a couple of those stories and do what she’d done the night before.

Yoga first, then she’d read. Oh, yeah, she nodded, pulling on her loose pants. That was definitely a plan. She’d read, masturbate, get a good night’s sleep and go in tomorrow ready to take on the world.

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