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Authors: Abby Gordon

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BOOK: Beck And Call
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going to need his help dealing with the PR aspect of

everything.” Turning her around, Serena gave her a

little push out the door. “Go on. Tell Jason to come


Only after she was sure the other woman was

headed down the hall did Serena turn around. Her eyes

went to Paul. They were slightly censorious.

“You did a number on her,” she told him, returning

to the chairs. “I don’t blame her for acting like that.”

“You know about that? From whom?”

“First Debbie, then Claire,” came her calm reply. “I

don’t think either has an accurate outlook on the


“Why is that?” he asked as she sat down.

“Claire got so upset, she’s not even sure what she

heard and saw, much less what she told Debbie.” She

gave him an understanding look. “Give her some time

to calm down before you try to straighten anything out.

Or at least let her focus on Debbie for a while.”

Keith suddenly remembered he wasn’t supposed to

understand what was going on. At least not to Serena.

“Do I want to know what’s going on?” he asked. “Or

is this like my breaking the phone?”

“Only insofar as the less said the better,” Serena








explanations on either at the moment. Or any future

moments. She leaned back in the chair, something

Keith could remember her doing only a few times. “This

is not going down as one of my favorite Mondays.”

“Not a good shopping trip?” Keith wondered.

“Yes and no. Yes, we found more appropriate

clothing and no, I don’t know if she’ll actually wear any

of it.”

“Who went shopping?” Paul frowned.

“Serena and Debbie,” Keith answered. “And I agree

with Serena. This is not making my top ten list of good


Jason appeared and Serena left, closing the door

behind her. Almost gratefully, she sat at her desk.

What a day! And it wasn’t even one in the afternoon.

By five, she was shaking with exhaustion. Detective

Sanders called and asked if there was anyway she could

confirm the identities of the officers. The detectives met

her at her apartment, where she found her planner for

the previous year and retrieved the business card of the

officer she’d spoken with. The date and time were

marked on the back. While Sanders took it to the

station, Erickson and two officers from Internal Affairs

had gone over everything with her.

Keith did a press conference at two and steadied the

stock price of the company. With all the rumors about

the dismissals, the price of MC stock had plummeted.

Keith’s determination to root out everyone involved in

the sexual harassment had impressed people. Already,

several women’s organizations were issuing statements

of support and three politicians representing the area

had called.

Debbie had called several times during the

afternoon to keep Serena and Claire abreast of the

latest news. She’d been giddy after Keith spoke to the

press, then despondent and panicky when Duncan,

Mark, Hester, and two other men had their say an hour

later. Between her own thoughts, Debbie’s apologies,

and Keith’s anger, self-flagellation, she decided, had

become the newest fad. Hopefully, she thought, as the

door closed behind the men, it would be short lived.

Penny Davidson had called, berating Serena for

chasing after an engaged man and trying to browbeat

her into retracting the statement she’d made to the

police. Losing her patience from the stress, Serena told

the younger woman in a flat voice everything—that she

was involved with a man and had absolutely no interest

in Mark, nor had she ever considered a relationship

outside the office with him. When Penny hung up on

her, Serena sighed and reached for the little bottle in

her middle drawer and shook out two small tablets.

All she wanted, she told herself, shutting down her

computer, was a nice long yoga stretch, a hot bath, and

sleep. Well, not quite, she admitted with a smile. What

she really wanted was Master to hold her and make the

rest of the world go away. She checked the special

phone and there was a message from him saying work

was going to keep him at the office late and he didn’t

know if they’d be able to get together. The last

remaining bit of energy in her slipped away.

“Have you bought a car since Friday?” Keith asked.

“Uh, no,” she replied, blushing. “I was busy all


He nodded and locked his office door.

“Then I’ll take you home.”

“Keith, you don’t have…”

“I know,” he nodded. “But we’re both tired. And

since you seem to keep things from me, I need to make

sure you get home safely.”

“You’re angry that I didn’t tell you,” she whispered.

“Hell, yes!” he nodded. Visibly, he fought for control

of his emotions. “Serena, one of my Vice Presidents hurt

you and you didn’t feel confident in telling me. I’m

thoroughly pissed about that. I’m glad you brought

Debbie to me, but I am still pissed that you didn’t tell

me when this happened!” Sparks practically shot out of

his blue eyes.

She opened her mouth and he held up a hand. She

closed her mouth. “I realize intimidation can make

people do things they normally wouldn’t. You thought

you were protecting Claire and others, even as you

insisted Debbie talk to me to protect her and other

women. I understand that, but I’m not convinced you

would take the same steps to keep yourself safe. So, I

will give you a ride home. Understood?”

“All right. I promise that next time something

happens, I’ll tell you in excruciating detail,” she

relented, giving him a small smile. “And I’ll let you

drive me home.”

“Now you’re being sensible,” he nodded.

“But only because I’m exhausted and I really liked

your car.”

“Gee, you do such wonderful things to a man’s ego,”

he drawled.

“I’ll let your women inflate your ego,” she teased.

“Who was it this weekend? Or should I say, what color

hair did she have?”

“Actually,” he replied quietly as they reached the

elevator. “I spent a memorable weekend with a blonde.

Very different from the Jekylls and Hydes.”

Serena froze and felt her heart stop. She shouldn’t

be feeling this, she told herself. She knew, had known

five years ago, he was only interested in women who

were tall, supermodel thin, gorgeous, ultra-wealthy,

and sophisticated. And she didn’t meet a single one of

those qualifications. She had known there was no

chance of Keith ever looking at her as anything besides

an efficient assistant. So why did she suddenly feel as if

her heart had dropped out his office’s thirtieth floor


The elevator doors opened, but Keith didn’t move.

Glancing up at him, Serena saw him staring at her


“Really?” she answered. “I’m happy for you both.”

Keith stared at her. The doors started to close and

Serena quickly pushed the button to keep them open.

“You coming?” she frowned, confused at his


Slowly, he stepped into the car and pushed the

button for the garage level.

If he didn’t know better, he would have sworn she’d

been hurt when he mentioned he’d been with a woman

all weekend.
Get your ego in check. That doesn’t mean

she’s in love with you.
Besides, she was with a man all

weekend and…she was with me, but is upset that

with a woman. She is jealous of herself! He nearly

grinned, until he realized she was jealous while she’d

been with…him. The ironic circles hurt his head after

everything that had happened that day.

He groaned.

“Headache?” she murmured as the elevator slowly

started moving down. “I don’t blame you. I had to take

two aspirin around four.”

“Did they help?”

“Didn’t even put a dent in it,” she sighed, leaning

back against the back wall. She closed her eyes, trying

not to think of what had happened the last time she’d

been in an elevator with a man. Too late. Her pussy

clenched, ready for another go. “I don’t know whether to

do my workout, eat, or go straight to bed and sleep until


“Tough weekend?”

“No,” she smiled. “It was a wonderful weekend. I just

didn’t sleep much.”

“Ah,” he nodded, as if remembering. “The man who

sent the rose.”

“Yes,” she replied simply.

“Maybe you should call him to get your mind off


“He already called and left a message that he was

working late,” she sighed. “I knew it would be tough for

us to get together during the week, though.”

“What’s he do?”

Serena shook her head.

“I’d rather keep that part of my life private,” she

told him. “Especially considering what I had to tell you


“You should have told me when it happened,” he

said sharply. “Serena, think about what happened

because you didn’t.”

Pain and shame filled her eyes as she nodded with

each word.

“I know,” she whispered. “I have to live with that.”

Keith studied her. From her pallor and trembling

lips, she appeared stricken with guilt. If she knew who

he was, he would punish her. Not too much, as he could

tell that her conscience was giving her mental lashings

that surpassed anything he could do. He sighed. She

didn’t know who he was, though, so he couldn’t do

anything. He considered that angle. When he’d called

her, barely remembering to use the voice disrupter, he

didn’t think she would want him around her. Not after

what Mark had done. Now, seeing how disappointed she

was and how the entire day had affected her, he

reconsidered. Maybe a night of submission was just

what she needed. And he would tell her the truth.

The elevator beeped at the basement and he

quickly guided her to his car.

Keith gripped her elbow tightly, unable to believe

what he’d done. He had brought her to the basement! If

she took a good look around, she would realize it was

the same basement she’d been in over the weekend.

Then she might wonder just who lived in the building

and start putting pieces together before he was ready.

Fortunately, she was too upset to notice much of

anything. He could only hope she hadn’t been paying

much attention when the driver had picked her up and

dropped her off to notice the building’s exterior.

“Why don’t you do all three?” he suggested, pulling

out of his spot.

“What?” she frowned, glancing at him. “What


“Workout, eat, and then get some sleep.”

“I don’t know,” she sighed. “I…I just want to be with


“Must be quite a guy,” Keith couldn’t resist saying.

“I’ll have to meet him some time.”

There was a short bark of laughter.

“I don’t know,” she murmured. “He was the one who

convinced me to get Debbie to tell you what was

happening in Programming. Considering all the

trouble that caused today, you might not want to meet


“Serena, do you really think I would rather be

ignorant of what is going on in my own company?” he

demanded. “I mean, come on! What kind of man do you

think I am?”

He couldn’t believe it. Did she really think he would

prefer to not know about the harassment and

intellectual theft? Toward the end of the day, it had

become clear that the theft was as extensive as the


“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I didn’t mean that. I

just meant…” she sighed and shook her head. “I’m

sorry. It’s just, most CEOs don’t think of the rank and

file in their companies. They’re flying over the forests

while the majority of the people are trying to make

their way through thorns and thick brush.”

“Interesting way of putting things,” he observed.

“I’m a country girl at heart,” she shrugged. “And I

was always trying to keep up with my brothers and

cousins. They have legs at least a foot longer than mine

and….” She smiled. “I’m babbling. Sorry. I didn’t think

you would tolerate harassment or anything. It’s just

that it’s never really been on your radar screen.”

“Let’s make a deal,” he suggested, pulling up in

BOOK: Beck And Call
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