Caroline Thompson went to Nevada to have a much needed two-day holiday far away from work and family. She was planning on enjoying herself - gambling a little and having a lot of sex. Instead, she found herself tied to a bed and erotically teased by a disgruntled wanna-be employee.
Justin Stormcloud has been driven to the breaking point. It's time to teach Ms. Thompson a lesson she won't quickly forget...
And payback is a bitch.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Payback by Elizabeth Lapthorne
Early Friday Morning. Thompson and Co. Vice-President's Office
Victoria Thompson looked down at her office phone as it rang. Still thinking about the important documents and reports she had been in the middle of reading, she absentmindedly patted her perfectly coiffed shoulder length blond hair. Looking back from the phone to the papers on her desk, she skimmed her eyes down the rest of the report as she picked up the phone and answered it.
The husky masculine voice on the other end instantly grabbed her attention.
"Good morning Ms. Thompson. You wanted to talk to me?"
Feeling a most uncommon bout of annoyance rise inside her at the sarcasm dripping from the man's voice, she tried not to snap at the man.
"Stormcloud. Why the hell haven't you pulled out your application? Applications close after this weekend, and the final interview selections will be looked over and decided on Monday."
Taking a deep breath she reigned in her anger. Getting angry won't help you , she reminded herself. Attempting to soften her voice a little, she continued.
"The short-list of people to be interviewed will be selected by myself and a few others mid-Monday. I thought you said the $10,000 I offered to pay you late next Monday was enough. You know you won't see a cent of it if you don't withdraw your application. What's taking you so long?"
Victoria flinched at the amused chuckle that came from the other end of the phone line. She had never encountered a man as inflexible as this one. It made her more curious about him, like a moth being drawn to the flame of a fire.
Some elemental part of her enjoyed playing the game and screwing him over. She lived for the power rushes she received when she beat a man at his own game. With Stormcloud she found it so difficult to win anything against him, she had to try harder than ever before to win these battles. And when the efforts paid off, all the hard work was forgotten in the afterglow of success in this male-dominated world.
Every man she had met so far in this business could be either bought or bullied by her iron-balls approach. Neither tactic had worked with Stormcloud and she had nearly run out of options.
Her eyes strayed to a folder sitting on the edge of her desk with the single word "Stormcloud" across its front in thick black ink.
After reading his resume and application, there had been mention of a few jobs that had her internal antennae twitching. She relied regularly on her business sense, so she had decided to dig a little more into his background, and had contacted the private investigators firm her company often used.
Once her fears and suspicions had been confirmed by the investigators having more concrete facts about his shady past, she had them dig further for any information that could be used against him. The contents of this file were her last resort.
Never had she needed to resort to blackmail but she refused to be outmaneuvered by this man. She couldn't bear the thought of having a man with his background coming into her business. Not only could it prove disastrous for her father's company if word leaked out that they were hiring men connected to the underworld, but it could also blow up in their faces if Stormcloud decided to use his past and connections for some nefarious means of his own-like extortion.
"Oh it was enough alright, honey. Enough to make me even more determined to get a job in your sweet little company. There's no longer enough money in the world to make me withdraw that application. I'm perfect for the job and you know it. Is that all? May I be excused?"
The sarcasm dripping from his last sentence was almost enough to make her change her mind about the blackmail. This might not be a man she was interested in having in the company she basically ran in conjunction with her father, but neither was this a man she wanted as an enemy.
No, she affirmed to herself, we don't need his kind here. I'm doing the right thing . Taking a deep breath, she ploughed ahead with what she had decided earlier in the week to do in such an event as this.
"Actually, no, that isn't all. I have one last offer for you, which you might want to think very seriously about considering. I have sitting in front of me some interesting photographs."
Victoria leaned over her desk and grabbed the Stormcloud folder. Opening it, she began once more flipping through the dozen or so glossy photos. They had been taken a few months ago by a private investigator with a telephoto lens.
It had been excruciatingly dear to buy these from the mercenary investigator. He had appeared to suddenly grow a set of morals. He insisted that as he had taken them for another client, copies of the negatives he had illegally kept were not for sale. She had ever so sweetly pointed out that as they belonged to that client, he shouldn't have the negatives in his possession.
With a little artful bantering, a price had been made and agreed upon by both parties. It was still an astronomical price, but a reasonable deal on both sides.
Remembering how the private investigator had crumbled under her will of iron and tough attitude once again made her anger flare at Stormcloud. Why couldn't he bloody well be as easy to bully as the damn investigator?
Tapping her perfectly manicured nails on her desk she glanced back at the photos sitting in front of her. It was a gamble, hoping these photos would work. But gambling was the last of her options.
If her ploy worked, it would certainly be well worth the obscene amount of money it had cost her to purchase these particular photos from that nasty little man. Nearly any price was worth it to get this man out of her hair and as far away from her precious company as possible.
Tuning back into her phone conversation, she continued with her blackmail scheme.
"These very interesting photos are of you and the daughter of a rather prominent Senator. In some...er...rather interesting positions."
The heavy silence on the other end of the line told her more than mere words could express how this might be the right tactic to use. A thrill of victory shivered down her spine. The high and power rush that would come from this success would be brilliant. Feeling confident and cocky all over again, she injected a note of gloating into her voice. This had to work.
"Do tell Stormcloud; is that pain or pleasure reflected on her face?"
Victoria felt a surge of excitement run through her body at the sound of a hastily indrawn breath at the other end of the line. Her blood heated and she resisted the impulse to lean back into her chair and fan herself.
She loved having men by the balls like this, particularly an adversary as worthy as Stormcloud.
"You know this is election year. I'm sure the press, not to mention the tabloids, would just love to get their hands of proof such as this of a Senator's daughter's kinky desires. Once they get solid evidence that she likes this style of play, who knows what other pictures and videos will come out of the woodwork?"
Victoria paused for a breath, thrilled at the heavy silence on the other end of the line. These were the moments she lived for, honing in for the kill and then feasting on the dead carcass of her fallen opponent. She loved nothing better than beating men at their own games and winning.
As Stormcloud had been nothing but trouble from the moment she had intercepted his r?sum? and application, this particular success was even sweeter than the others she usually won.
Assuring herself the door was firmly closed and locked, she moved back to her desk, leaned back in her plush office chair and gently tweaked one nipple through the silky material of her blouse. She felt the answering thrill and wetness pool in her panties. She could taste her success it was so close.
Ever since the first time she had won a battle in her father's business she had felt this sexual thrill. The power and the corresponding adrenaline rush that came with it always turned her on in the biggest way. This particular success, however seemed even more sweet.
She knew her heightened reaction to this success was because most of the men she came across in business were weaker than this man. Testing her skills against him was worth the effort and annoyance she had been put through during the last two weeks.
She could feel victory within her grasp. The shock and anger emanating from the other end of the line was proof that she had finally found the right track with this man.
Pressing her point home, she sat up straight and continued.
"I'm certain that her designer clothes chain would just boom after the knowledge that their prim and proper President has such interesting tastes."
"Tell me a secret," she purred, glorying in his defeat with every word she uttered. "Do you do this often? Or is it just for well-connected little rich girls?"
Gloating now at the heavy displeasure radiating through the phone, she could practically feel Stormcloud's desire to wring her neck. She pushed back the momentary twinge of guilt at having to resort to blackmail. It simply felt too good to get the best of a worthy opponent.
She licked her lips and smiled triumphantly. She finally had Stormcloud exactly where she wanted him-backing down and leaving her company alone.
She could tell by his silence and heavy breathing that he was angry; but he finally recognized his defeat.
Pig-headed and stubborn he may be, she thought gloatingly, but stupid he isn't . Neither was he one of those wimpy men, who blustered and tried to bargain. She had to admit that he took his punishment like a man.
Victory has never tasted quite so sweet.
"You'd damned well do it, wouldn't you, bitch? You'd ruin the career of one of the few honest politicians we have left, as well as destroy an innocent woman's business and life, simply to stop me getting into your lily-white company?"
"From where I'm sitting Stormcloud my dear, she doesn't look too innocent to me."
"Damn you," he cursed.
Justin took a deep breath as he tried to control his towering rage. He couldn't believe he had put off getting the damn negatives from that annoying private investigator for so long. Had it really been six months? Justin shook his head. It made no difference now that bitch had copies and he had to do something about it.
Shelly was the friend of one of his childhood buddy's. She had wanted to test some light sexual bondage, to see if she was really interested in it or whether she had merely a passing curiosity with it. He had agreed to help her out one night.
Being the only daughter of a powerful Senator, she had wanted to test her fantasies discreetly and privately. She hadn't even wanted to go to an expensive, private Bondage club, as the underground gossip would ruin herself and her father just as surely as announcing it in the Society columns.
He had spent only the one night with her and they hadn't even had sex! He merely had introduced her to some of the pleasures bondage could bring certain women. Unfortunately for him, Shelly's Country Club boyfriend had caught wind of the scheme and had insisted on having photographic evidence to make her halt her dabbling.
Justin had assumed he felt threatened by Shelly's natural curiosity as the idiot boyfriend had blackmailed and bullied her into now suppressing her enthusiasm and curiosity. Justin felt sorry for her and had decided to steal the negatives to pass on one day to Shelly.
He had hoped that Shelly would see what a jerk her boyfriend was and would come to her senses and ditch him. He firmly believed every woman had a right to her own fantasies and while they mightn't all make him hot, that was his problem, not the woman's. He felt that if Shelly held the negatives and managed to steal the copies her boyfriend undoubtedly held, then she would be free to do as she wished.
There hadn't seemed a rush to get them at the time, as Shelly seemed happy to stay vanilla with her boyfriend and stop exploring her sexuality. Now, however, that he knew the private investigator was weak enough to sell copies to whoever had the right price, he would have to do something quickly. He made a mental note to make a personal visit to the investigator so easily bought.
Shaking his head at the levels this woman would stoop to, he sighed and tried to concentrate on the options left open to him.
Victoria laughed in true glee at Justin's defeated sigh. It had worked! She had finally beaten Justin Stormcloud! Maybe she should try this sort of thing more regularly with her most difficult opposition...
"Now if you'll excuse me, Stormcloud dear. I'm going away to Nevada this weekend and I have a ton of paperwork to complete. I will expect you to call the relevant people and withdraw your application before the day is over. It was nice to do business with you. Adieu ."
Hanging up the phone with a clang, she felt a face-splitting grin come to her face. She was flushed and her breaths came rapidly. That had been fantastic! Nothing felt as good as getting one up on a strong foe.
Walking to the water cooler on the other side of her office, she got herself a glass of water and resisted the impulse to light up a cigarette or head to her en suite and have a nice hot shower and masturbate.
She had quit smoking three months ago, but still felt the urge to indulge in a smoke after a success as wonderful and powerful as this one. Neither did she have the time to relax and indulge herself in a long shower. Tonight , she promised herself, there will be plenty of time for that in Nevada.
Finishing the drink, she took a deep, calming breath and went back to her desk to complete her work.
* * * * *
Around noon, in a neat apartment in the middle of town.
"Bingo!" Justin Stormcloud double-clicked on the plane reservation. First Class ticket to Nevada, booked under the name of Ms. Victoria Thompson.
It had been relatively easy to hack in through the back entrance of the Airport's flight files. As no 'sensitive' data was recorded there, the security was lax as hell.
Seeing as Victoria had been so nice to let drop that she was heading to Nevada for the weekend, he had started searching the plane reservations immediately as a plan of revenge percolated in the back of his mind.
A number of options simmered there gently as he worked out the logistics of following Ms. Thompson's paper and electronic trail. He knew once he had all the facts of her weekend away, a plan would start to truly form. He thought to himself, Nothing like catching the enemy unaware and off his home turf to even the scales a bit more.
Hmmm ...he mused. There was a note attached to her reservation that she was to be met and picked up by a limo at the gate. Contemplating the first-class airfare as well as the limo pick up he drummed his fingers on the mouse pad.
Thinking for a few minutes while turning over different possibilities in his mind, he stared at the computer screen in front of him.
She obviously wasn't meeting a lover or any other candle-side rendezvous. He was now, more than ever convinced that Victoria Thompson had ice water in her veins.
Even though Justin had never met her face-to-face, he could tell by her callous attitude towards him that she was an Ice Princess. It wouldn't matter if she were as gorgeous as a Playboy Bunny-men wanted a little caring and warmth in their lovers.
Deciding to play a hunch--they were rarely wrong--he searched the online white pages for a particular Nevada Hotel phone number. Picking up his phone and punching the number in, he put on his best posh accent. When the receptionist greeted him, he cleared his throat and played his hunch.
"Oh yes. I'm Anthony Schnooder, from Accounting in Thompson and Co. I'm calling to confirm a booking for Ms. Victoria Thompson please."
Waiting a minute while hearing the sounds of a keyboard clacking, he found himself grinning at how it was a simple, logical progression to track her down to the Hilton. Ms. Thompson was obviously a woman accustomed to only the best and there were but a few classy hotels in Nevada, which she would stay whilst on a business trip.
"Yes sir, her room is ready for her check-in sometime tonight. Everything is in order."
"Excellent. What room number was it again please? Just for our records you understand."
"Suite number 439. Is that all, sir?"
"Yes, thank you very much for your help."
"Of course sir, have a nice day."
"Thank you, you too."
439 ...he wrote down, along with the address of the hotel. He certainly would have a nice day-planning his payback. Now that he had her reservation details he could begin to plan in earnest.
He'd pay Little Miss Bitch a visit in her snobby Hotel Room and teach her some lessons in etiquette. He'd also teach her not to mess with him ever again.
She had such a problem with a little friendly bondage hey? Justin chuckled to himself. Wouldn't it be lovely to show her personally how much fun a little slap and tickle could be?
Looking about his apartment and thinking of some of his toys, he started planning his revenge and packing his soft carryall.
He had been taught by his mother to never judge without first trying. Obviously Ms Thompson's mother had not been so enlightened.
He felt his plan become firmer as he thought things through. As he packed his erotic toys, and some bondage paraphernalia, his plan became clearer in his mind.
He could show Ms Thompson just how fun a little power play between men and women could lead to the satisfaction of both parties. She seemed to be a woman who got off on power--maybe she just needed to be shown that power can be wielded in many different ways.
As he packed assorted adult toys into his carry all, he came across his Polaroid camera. Absolutely brilliant, he thought as a new angle to his plan struck him.
The bitch had a thing for photos and blackmail, huh? What could be more perfect-after an afternoon or night of bondage and teaching her a lesson in humility and submission-than to take damning photos of her, bound and submissive to any man's whims, and holding these photos over her head?
He knew he'd burn them at the first opportunity, but Victoria would never believe he would burn them. She would only judge him on how she would act in the same scenario, and she wouldn't ever give up such a powerful hold on anyone. She would forever be worried and panicked that the photos would come out at any time.
Oh yeah...this was going to be a blast, he thought as he added his Polaroid to the carry all. Payback was going to be sweet and lots of fun. By the end of the night he'd know firsthand how uptight Ms. Victoria Thompson really was, and how much it would take to make her unwind and enjoy his erotic ministrations. Even the most uptight bitch could be taught the pleasures of bondage and erotic torture.
This is going to be a helluva lot of fun.
* * * * *
Mid-afternoon. Thompson and Co Vice-President's Office
Damn fool men! Victoria fumed.
She'd have to cancel her trip to Nevada. The meeting had been rescheduled and she, of course, was the last person informed.
Her first reaction had been to initiate a conference call to ensure that her side of the important deal would still go ahead without any glitches.
Wrangling each man to conform with her plans without the face-to-face contact had been more difficult than simply charming and manipulating them in person would have been, but now that everything was under control the other issues of this last minute cancellation could be looked at.
The hotel reservations and plane fares she had pre-booked had already been paid for and would not be refundable at this late hour.
Tapping her perfectly painted nails on the desk, Victoria wondered how a large chunk of the company's petty cash money could be retrieved.
Between the first-class plane fares, the limo hire, the large suite and full-time room service she had ordered, a substantial chunk of her budget was now being tossed down the toilet.
Even if she decided to cancel all her bookings, with the late hour and cancellation fees, very little would come back to her cash fund. Victoria fumed silently and pondered the best course of action from here.
Damnation . She couldn't afford to take the time off without the meetings. She had only agreed to go because her father was busier than she currently was and someone had to attend the Nevada conference.
Standing up and walking over to the window, she gazed out at the late afternoon sunlight. She saw her reflection in the mirror and absently smoothed down the crisp jacket of her suit.
She'd have to remember to go to the gym now that she was staying home this weekend. Turning this way and that, she admired her perfect size 6 form encased in a navy blue suit skirt and jacket.
Patting down her short blond hair, even though not a hair was out of place, she went back to thinking about ways to save the money she had already spent on the fares and reservations for the weekend.
Inspiration struck like lightning. She crossed back to her phone and dialed an internal number.
"Hey sis, you got plans for the weekend?"
Caroline Thompson looked around the mess on her desk that she had been mentally dragged from and swallowed a curse. Victoria only ever called her 'sis' when she wanted something. Sharing the same father didn't seem to make the blood relationship between them anything other than a monumental pain in the ass.
Being Victoria's half-sister was hard enough by just having to live up to her sister's image and standards. Being nagged, yet again, by her half-sister about her lack of a social life was not on her large list of things to do this afternoon.
With waist-length, unruly red curly hair and a voluptuous form, all she ever had to do with her dates to get rid of them was to bring them to her father's house and introduce them to her half-sister.
Men seemed to fall into two categories for her: business types who were only interested in wives to advance their careers, and jerks only out for a good time and a quick fuck.
The former always started calculating and schmoozing seconds after being introduced to Victoria who would have made the perfect business wife if she didn't basically run her own company. Caroline would be quickly left behind, being instantly forgotten. The latter were prone to cheat, steal and lie if they managed to stick around for more that one night of, usually forgettable, sex.
Little wonder she hadn't accepted a date in months!
Sighing audibly over the phone, she decided to try and be polite to her half-sister's question.
"Give me a break, Vicki. I have a million applications to look over tonight and over this weekend. I have to interview and choose a Head of the new Technological Security Section within the following week. You do remember that, don't you?"
Sighing in annoyance at how her half-sister only ever thought of herself and her own little world, Caroline continued reminding her half-sister of how busy she was.
"I can't do all the security stuff myself as well as keep up-to-date on all this new technology coming out. I need to appoint a partner to keep up-to-date with all the technological rubbish that seemingly gets updated daily so I'm free to keep everything else under control. Interviews will be decided on Monday and this is all on top of my normal duties. What the hell do you think I'll be doing this weekend?"
Caroline felt a tiny twinge of guilt at her misleading words. Squashing it firmly, she reminded herself it wasn't a lie as such; she couldn't keep up with all the technological advances anymore. The fact she meant the position to be much, much more was none of her sister's business.
"Don't call me Vicki. You know how it annoys me. Be reasonable Caroline. You know Daddy and I will be vetting all your applications and helping you pick the 6 or 8 interviewees. You don't need to start helping us with that until Monday. Then you have all week to interview them and decide whom you'll employ. Daddy and I will help you."
Caroline tried not to gnash her teeth in frustration.
" Victoria darling, I am a grown woman and have been working here only a few years less than you. I am perfectly capable of picking my own interviewees, conducting the interviews by myself, and yes, picking the person I will hire. They will be my partner, and I will be the one who will have to get along with them. You and Dad really have nothing much to do with it."
"Oh be sensible for just a minute here. My weekend meeting in Nevada has been cancelled and everything's already paid for. I can't take the time off; I have the Wilson deal in the final stages and about to close. I've managed to salvage as much as possible in Nevada by phone--but I simply can't afford to let this Wilson deal drop. I can go later to finalize everything, but I can't do it with these reservations. If this Nevada meeting hadn't been so important I would never have been taking the time off to do it right now. I can't bear the thought of all that money being wasted."
As Victoria took a pause for dramatic effect, Caroline rolled her eyes. Now her half-sister was making sense. The only desire her sister felt stronger than crushing men's balls and eating their pride for breakfast, was saving money and making the best profit humanly possible. Looking out her window and sighing in private defeat, she listened to her half-sister continue her arguments.
"Can't you take the applications with you or something? You have a ton of time off stocked up; and how badly can one little weekend hurt? I read in the paper that there's a mini heat-wave happening down there at the moment too, and you know how much you love the heat. You could go out and party all weekend, seeing as you won't be spending any money on food, accommodation or travel! You'll be relaxed for the stresses of interviewing and choosing the applicant you want. If you truly want to stay inside all weekend, you'll have all the time and privacy your anti-social little heart could possibly want. "
Caroline looked around her messy desk. Notepads, applications and r?sum?s littered the surface. The piles were spread everywhere, with a large wastepaper basket half-full on one side of her desk, and a messy pile of applications she intended to re-look at in more detail on the other side.
Victoria could charm the devil himself when she was in the mood to. But Caroline had to admit she did have a point. A virtually free holiday was tempting she couldn't even remember the last time she got away for some personal pampering. She could even get laid! Taking a closer look around her desk and cramped office, she started weighing and calculating the possibilities.
With some quick work, she could have the bulk of the work done in an hour or two, she decided. The rest of the applications would come in over the weekend and in Monday's mail. With some fast working, and even faster packing, she could finish looking through the applications she currently held and still be up-to-date if she took most of the weekend off.
The tantalizing prospect of spending the weekend interstate appealed to her. She would be able to forget who she was and her current slump in life. Go clubbing and live for a few days. However, the chance to bait and annoy Victoria was too good to give up.
"Well..." she hedged, knowing it would push her sister in to doing something rash. Wondering what consolation prize she would be offered, she decided to milk Victoria's desperation for all it was worth. The opportunities to get something extra out of Victoria when she was making a deal came along so rarely she simply couldn't help herself.
Victoria started tapping her foot impatiently. Damn Caroline! Why doesn't she just take the holiday and have a rest!
Keeping Caroline out of the office over the weekend would serve a double purpose, Victoria decided. She could handle Stormcloud's withdrawal of application hopefully before her half-sister could read it and decide to interview him. Caroline's desk was always a total mess, she would never miss one resume and application.
Victoria knew Caroline wasn't exactly stupid; she'd wonder what was going on if a perfectly capable Security expert suddenly withdrew his application. The odds of convincing Stormcloud to lie and say he already had another job, simply to make her life easier were slim to none.
Deciding to sweeten the deal at no personal cost she tried to inject her best cajoling tone into her voice.
"Come on Caroline, give me a break. You really deserve this holiday and I'll make a deal with you. You go on this holiday. Rest up and have a ball, and when it comes to the interviews, Daddy and I won't butt our heads in. You can decide whom you want to employ. Daddy will want to call their references, but as long as they check out, you can have carte blanche. Is that okay?"
Victoria gloated at her supposed gallantry. Stormcloud would withdraw his application, and anyone else would be fine. She personally didn't give a damn who Caroline chose to work with, as long as they were an asset to the company. Letting Caroline think she had total control was easy now that she had got rid of the only true problem application that had so far come through the Human Resources department.
Caroline looked at the phone as if it were a snake about to bite her. What the hell was going on with Victoria? She never gave an inch of control where she possibly could. She ran their father's company with an iron fist, and never let anyone have a smidgen more control than possible. With the possible exception of their father, Victoria was the pants and life-blood of this company. Something was most certainly wrong with her half-sister.
Shrugging and deciding to make the best of a good deal - it really wasn't any of her business or concern after all - she gave in.
"Okay Victoria. I'll finish up here and go home to pack. Give me a sec to find a pen, what are the details?"
Scrambling around her cluttered desk for the pen and paper she knew were around somewhere, she grinned at the annoyed snort she heard Victoria emit at the obvious rustling of papers.
"Don't you ever clear that desk of yours? How you ever get any work done or can find anything is beyond me." Victoria resumed tapping her foot. Caroline was the sloppiest businesswoman she had ever met - yet she still seemed to meet deadlines and submit well-constructed work. Victoria would never understand her half-sister.
"Okay Victoria, shoot," Caroline found the pen and began to jot the details on her pad.
"The plane leaves in a few hours. On the other end, the limo will pick you up at the airport and take you to the Hilton Gardens. Room service and everything is already charged and paid for, so you won't need to show any ID. Sign it with your initial and surname; they won't realize the difference with your illegible scrawl. As long as you don't seriously over-extend yourself everything should be easily covered. I was budgeting on feeding two, for when I wined and dined the other representative. They'll never know it's you not me. All you have to do is entertain yourself for a little over forty-eight hours. Okay?"
"Yeah, okay. Can you or your secretary organize changing the names on the ticket? I can pick it up when I get to the airport. I'll want to wrap up as much work as I possibly can before going to pack."
"Of course, I'm sure Rose can organize that. Don't hang around here too long though; you'll need a while to get the taxi out to the airport in the traffic."
"Of course, Victoria. I'll see you on Monday. Have a good weekend."
Hanging up, Caroline went back to sorting through the r?sum?s and applications. She always seemed to get everything done despite the panic-she was certain she could glance through and do the first round of cuts before leaving for home to pack. Once she had a more manageable size of r?sum?s and applications she could look in more depth into the paperwork.
Shuffling papers and chewing on the end of her pen, Caroline went back to work.
* * * * *
Victoria hung up the phone and sat back down at her desk. Sighing with relief at having saved a potentially bad money-loss situation, she made a note to deduct two days from Caroline's leave and pay. That done, she reached for the top folder from her inbox. Smiling at having handled both her sister and Stormcloud with such efficiency in the same day, she went happily back to work.
Now for the Wilson deal ...
Victoria started sifting through more reports. All thoughts of her sister and Stormcloud no longer held her immediate attention...