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"Look here, damn it, I donâ€™t need any fucking geoâ€”freak coming in here and telling me what I can and canâ€™t do!" Kenric Annson shouted into the phone. "Iâ€™m here doing my goddamn job. Itâ€™s not like itâ€™s a picnic out here where you can walk up the street to Starbucks for a venti mocha. Thereâ€™s wars going on around here, and sending some pencil pusher down isnâ€™t going to do a damn thing, except complicate things. My men and I are busy enough without the added job of babysitting."
The response he received only infuriated him further. After cursing a streak at the dial tone in his ear he slammed the phone down.
"You okay, Boss?"
The question came from Shade, one of the workers on this crew. Actually, Shade was his next in command. Kenric only knew him as Shade and that was fine. He trusted him with his lifeâ€”hell, Shade could call himself Tinkerbell if he wanted to. Shade was a huge, muscular man with braided hair, which he kept confined to a ponytail most of the time. A goatee and dark brown skin completed the package. The man looked downright lethal standing there with his personal arsenal strapped to him. Everyone respected him.
"Hell, no." He popped his neck and sat on the edge of his desk, arms crossed.
"That was Frank."
Shade groaned and rolled his eyes as he snipped the end off a cigar. Frank Grimmel was technically the boss down here. Frank was only here since his brother owned the company. However, as far as Kenric and the others were concerned, he was a waste of sperm. It was part of the reason everyone called Kenric â€˜Bossâ€™, to add another dig into Frankâ€™s authority. "Whatâ€™d the dumbass want?"
"Heâ€™s sending us a civilian."
"What!" Shade looked over the top of his mirrored sunglasses and stared while he lit his cigar, the smoke curling up and around his face like a snake.
"Yes, something about this doctor being able to help us find the natural gas pockets faster, and dig for them safer."
A snort of derision. "Does he not get this isnâ€™t your America? That, while weâ€™re digging, we have men standing guard? Hell, even when weâ€™re not." Shade shook his head. "I mean, even Frank has two men guard him the rare occasions heâ€™s here."
Kenric shrugged and got up to lean against the wall near the window. He stared outside at the steppe, only to turn fully and brace a hand against the pane of glass, warmed from the summer sun.
"I have a bad feeling about this," he muttered. "A fuckinâ€™ rock doc."
Shade cleared his throat. "Boss."
"Yeah?" He continued to stare out over the brush and scrub.
"We have company."
He spun around and found himself staring at a woman. A gorgeous woman. Whose skin, the colour of melted caramel, covered an amazing body. One reminiscent of an old pinâ€”up girl, nothing but swells, dips, and curves.
Her black hair was drawn back from haughty facial features by a tight bun. On her face was a cool look of dismissal. Her navy-blue skirt suit brought some other things to mind and he felt his body respond. Almost violently. Her dark brown eyes were framed by thick, sooty lashes. She had full lips that shone with a clear lip gloss.
In one hand she held a black briefcase. Heâ€™d never seen anyone so determined to dress severely and look so damn hot. He allowed himself one more leisurely perusal of her fuckâ€”me heels, long legs, then up over nice breasts and an amazingâ€”even with the hint of the superbiaâ€”face.
Hellfire and damnation. I would love to see her in a bikini. Or nothing at all. He spied Shade staring at her too, and for some reason it pissed him off. From deep within, a rush of anger coursed through him at the thought of Shade even touching this woman. Why is she looking at him?