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Authors: C. C. Koen

Unlikely Allies

BOOK: Unlikely Allies
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Unlikely Allies

Copyright © 2015 C.C. KOEN

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this novel with another person, please purchase an additional copy. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the written permission of the author is illegal and punishable by law. Thank you for respecting the work of all authors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark ownership of all trademarks, service marks, and word marks mentioned in this book.

Contains mature content and language. Not recommended for readers under the age of eighteen due to sexual situations and subject matter.

 

 

Publisher: C.C. Koen

www.cckoen.com

 

Editing

Laurie Boris

 

Formatting

Christine Borgford,
Perfectly Publishable

 

Cover Design

www.SelfPubBookCovers.com/Shardel

 

SPECIFIC GRAPHICS CREATED AND PROVIDED BY AUTHOR

Duck image: Teguh Mujiono © 123RF.com

Box image: provinc © 123RF.com

Tea cup image: Ratchanee Chanhom © 123RF.com

Flower image: Ganna Didora © 123RF.com (purple image)

Flower image: chantall © 123RF.com (black image)

 

 

Unlikely Allies

Dedications

Mama’s Rule #1

Mama’s Rule #2

Mama’s Rule #3

Mama’s Rule #4

Mama’s Rule #5

Mama’s Rule #6

Mama’s Rule #7

Mama’s Rule #8

Mama’s Rule #9

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Mama’s Rule #11

Mama’s Rule #12

Mama’s Rule #13

Mama’s Rule #14

Mama’s Rule #15

Mama’s Rule #16

Mama’s Rule #17

Mama’s Rule #18

Mama’s Rule #19

Mama’s Rule #20

Mama’s Rule #21

Mama’s Rule #22

Mama’s Rule #23

Mama’s Rule #24

Mama’s Rule #25

Mama’s Rule #26

Mama’s Rule #27

Mama’s Rule #28

Bonus Material

Dear Readers

Other Books by C.C. Koen

About the Author

To anyone who has been touched by the love of a child.

A child is an uncut diamond shaped by the hands of others.

~ Adapted from: Austin O’Malley ~

 

To my baby, you will always and forever be my greatest accomplishment.

My soul’s first embrace, cradled you with tender loving care.

My heart entwined to yours, enlivened from beat one.

My love transcends eternity, a guiding star enlightening the darkness.

May your soul nurture.

May your heart treasure.

May your love inspire.

R
ICK STROLLED INTO THE OFFICE
and collapsed into the leather chair behind his desk. Piles of manila folders spread across the top, reminding him of all the work he still had to do tonight. He reached for a file, and a movement to the right of his shoulder caught his eye. A pudgy white mouse was propped on the computer keyboard a few feet away. He stared in disbelief as the rodent licked its furry arm and scrubbed its face. Where did it come from?

“Herbert, Herbert. Where are ya?”

The urgent request drew his attention to the hallway and then to his watch. Seven o’clock, no one should be here at this hour. On a Friday night, his employees always left at five.

“Herbert. Come here.”

The muffled traffic noise of New York City twenty floors below didn’t mask the demanding voice that got louder and closer to his doorway.

Before he could get up to investigate, a little girl with candy apple red hair shuffled into his office, peeking to the right and the left. “Herbert, ya in here?” she demanded, ducking down on her knees and searching under the sofa to the right of the entry.

Careful not to startle her, he stayed behind his desk and gently cleared his throat.

The little pixie’s head popped up, and she rose from her knees, plopping a thumb in her mouth. She took a step toward his desk and then another and another, her brow pinching tighter with each move. Lips clasped around her finger, her words came out garbled. “Woo see Heverp?”

Surprised by the unexpected visitor, it took him a few seconds to recall her question and a couple more to figure out what she asked. When he did, his gaze darted to an empty computer keyboard.
Crap.

Bent over and searching under the desk, he saw no sign of the runaway mouse. When he scooted his chair back to stand, he felt a poke on his shoulder. He turned and came face to face with dozens of freckles sprinkled across the bridge of the little girl’s nose and cheeks and an overwhelming bubblegum-flavored aroma. Her huge, light green eyes stared at him.

“Woo okay?” She pulled her moist thumb out of her mouth and set it on his chin, resting her palm on his cheek.

When was the last time anyone asked him that?

“Ya look funny.” She leaned forward, her knees resting against his shin, and patted him on the shoulder with her other hand. “Itta be okay.” She soothed like a wise old woman, her upper gums glistening and revealing several missing teeth.

A scratch and tug along the hem of his pant leg drew his attention to the floor.

“Herbert, no,” she scolded, scooping the mouse into her arms and petting the furball’s back. The rodent returned the affection, rubbing its pointy nose along her cheek.

His employees brought their children to the annual company picnic, but he never thought twice about them. This child, though, intrigued him. What was she doing here? Where were her parents? About to ask her, all of a sudden a furry stomach was shoved into his nose.

“Ya can hold him.”

He clasped the mouse’s bottom and guided it downward, suspending the animal between them.

“He don’t bite,” she stated with utmost sincerity.

“Who are you?” he prompted as the impatient creature squirmed in his palm.

“Cecily Bryna Tyson,” she announced as if she were the queen of England being presented to her constituents, back straightened and chin held high.

“Well . . .” He pressed his lips together, resisting a smirk, and offered a formal greeting in return. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Richard Maxwell Stone.”

“What ya doin’?” Cecily scanned the room again, her eyes coming to rest on his computer, the Gateway Enterprises logo scrolling across the screen. “Ya got games on here?” She tucked Herbert into the front pocket of her sunflower-patterned dress and buttoned the flap enclosure. Shuffling around Rick, she wandered over to the large monitor behind him. Herbert’s pink nose and arms poked out. She shoved the mouse’s clutching paws back in. “Stay.”

“Uh, is he going to get out?”

Cecily sighed. “Prob’ly. He don’t like it in there.” She punched several buttons on the keyboard. The monitor came to life, displaying an ocean desktop scene. She glanced at him. “Can I play?”

“Cece, Cece, where are you?”

They both turned toward the door.

An adult version of the pint-sized girl appeared in the doorway. This variation, though, had hair on the cherry side of auburn with twists of milk chocolate streaming through the strands. A messy ponytail slung high on top of her head, and thick, curly waves fell over her shoulder, instead of bright, reddish-orange pigtails like Cece’s.

“Cece, come here.” The woman’s stern tone communicated there better not be any arguments. Cece marched across the room. “My daughter shouldn’t have run off. I’m sorry if she disturbed you.”

A company logo and name written in gold script in a circular pattern above her left breast caught his attention: Westlake Security Services. His best friend, Matt, owned the firm adjacent to his office. She’d have to pass his suite to get there, yet he’d never seen her before. He inspected her uniform, a gray polo shirt and black slacks. An outfit he’d seen many times before, but it never looked that good on anyone else. The fabric, tucked in at her waist, had a cut that hugged her handful-sized breasts, and slim pants accentuated her curvy hips.

BOOK: Unlikely Allies
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