Friday, February 27, 2009

Executive Decisions-- Hidden Agenda by Marteeka Karland

Executive Decisions: Hidden Agenda
by Marteeka Karland

cover art by Sahara Kelly
ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-161-9
Genre(s): Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Theme(s): Ménage, Werewolves
Series: Executive Decisions
Length: Novella


Werewolves Storm and Jason Knight have worked as escorts for Executive Decisions for years. Sometimes they work together, sometimes separately, but both have an unbreakable “no sex” clause. Not that they’re averse to sex -- unless it’s with each other -- they just want to save themselves for one woman. And not just any woman.
A chauffeur for Executive Decisions, Aurora’s tired of seeing all these wealthy women going out with men they’d never even met. It just doesn’t seem fair that she works for a company specializing in getting women dates when she can’t get one for herself.
Now, she’s stuck chauffeuring the sexy werewolf pair to their latest retreat with some two-bit tart. Life is so unfair!
Imagine her surprise when she’s stranded in a blizzard in the rugged Alaskan wilderness with none other than Storm and Jason Knight. It’s cold outside, but in their tiny cabin things are about to heat up…


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“May I speak to Storm or Jason Knight?” Aurora’s heart pounded. It always did when she had to call the sexy werewolf brothers. She knew very well she was talking to Storm Knight. She just needed the few extra seconds to compose herself. He had the sexiest voice. The man would have no problem literally talking her out of her panties.
“Aurora Snow.” Storm chuckled softly. “Why do you always pretend you don’t know who you’re talking to?”
She had to clear her throat to keep from squeaking. She’d talked with one or both of these men on a weekly basis for the last six years, and they still got to her. “Just trying to be polite. Your plane will be ready in half an hour. I’ll pick you up in ten minutes.”
“We’re eagerly awaiting your gracious transportation, gorgeous.” She could almost see him winking at her. Both pack brothers were exceedingly playful, but this went beyond friendly banter. It was close to torture for Aurora. Her name might sound exotic, but she was anything but.
“Don’t be late.” And she ended the call before he could say anything else.
Men! Can’t live with ’em, can’t cart them off to the pound.
She grinned at the image of Storm and Jason Knight whimpering behind bars in a doggy prison. It would serve them right, though she’d never be able to do it. They’d just look at her with those… well, those puppy dog eyes, and she’d melt. Just like always.
She snapped her cell phone shut and continued on to their mansion. Executive Decisions had made them quite wealthy. Aurora wasn’t a pauper, but with her grandmother’s medical bills and both their living expenses it took every bit of her considerable salary just to keep going. She didn’t mind, though. She loved her work, and she enjoyed the banter between her and Storm and Jason. Frustrating though it might be.
True to her word, she pulled in front of the men’s house exactly ten minutes later. Twenty minutes later, she was dialing their number again with no results. Another ten minutes and several horn honks later, she was ringing the doorbell and pounding on the great oak door. The one time Darius sent them on a commercial flight instead of on one of the company’s jets and they were already a half an hour late.
But they were always late. Why hadn’t Darius sent them on a company jet? In the six years they’d worked for him, he’d never sent these two on a commercial flight for precisely this reason.
She looked at her watch. This was bad. Really bad. Darius had made it clear she had to get them Alaska-bound tonight. That gave them only one day to prepare because this date had requested they make all the preparations instead of her arriving first per the norm. He’d said she was a very special client and absolutely could not be disappointed.
Now they’d missed their flight, and she’d have to arrange for another one. These two puppies were going to be the death of her.
“Storm! Jason!” she shouted as she banged again. Her hand was beginning to hurt from the repeated strikes, and all thought about these two being sexy as sin fled from her mind. If they ever did come to the door, she’d likely pluck out their eyelashes one at a time.
“What’s with all the shouting?” Jason’s voice was right by her ear.
She spun around so fast, he couldn’t get out of her way in time, and she slammed her face right into his chest. In another situation, she might have been grateful, even leaned against him to play with the light dusting of springy, dark chest hair a little, but two things prevented that. One, she was supremely annoyed with the pair. Two, she mashed her nose so hard she saw stars.
She stumbled back a couple of steps, her hand automatically going to her injured nose, but Storm’s strong, sure hands steadied her. “If da two of you don quit neekin up on me, one a dees days I’m gonna fro bofe a ya in da pound.”
Jason snickered. He took her wrist gently and pulled it away from her face to examine her injury. “We’re sorry. But we weren’t sneaking. Honest.”
“You were just making so much noise you didn’t hear us.” Storm had his turn to inspect her face once Jason was finished. “You OK?”
“No, I’m not OK! Do you realize you’ve probably missed your flight? You may have enough money to retire and live the rest of your days in comfort, but I’ve got bills to meet. I need this job. Darius said this client wasn’t to be disappointed, and somehow I don’t think arriving late is going to impress her.”
“Ah, Aurora. Everything will be fine.” Jason took her elbow and steered her toward the limo. “If we get in trouble, we’ll take the blame.”
“Guys, it’s not that simple.” Trying to make a convincing argument for why they should grow up and at least be on time for once in their lives while trying to check departing flights from Lexington, Kentucky, to somewhere with a connecting flight to Anchorage, Alaska, was hard to do. Still, she was grateful for the snazzy phone that connected to the Internet at the touch of a button.
She’d just found what she was looking for when her phone beeped and went blank. She ducked behind the wheel and slammed the door, resisting the urge to scream by sheer force of will. She pressed the power button and the thing came back on, but with the persistent beep of a phone desperately in need of a charge.
Aurora immediately reached for her purse, an impending sense of doom washing over her. This couldn’t be happening. Not now.
No car charger.
She banged her head on the steering wheel. This just wasn’t her day. She lowered the glass separating her from the two werewolves and said, “I need a cell. Give me one of yours.”
Both of them stared at her with completely blank looks.
“A phone! I need a fricking phone!”
“She sounds a mite testy today, don’t you think, Storm?”
“Totally. Maybe she needs some werewolf mojo.” Jason’s grin was positively wicked, and Aurora was certain her face turned four shades of red. She ground her teeth.
“Listen. I’ve got to find you a flight out of either Lexington or Louisville tonight. Even if it’s a charter. Either way, I can’t do it without a phone, and mine’s dead.”
Storm clicked his tongue in a tsking manner. “Now, now. One should never come to work unprepared. Isn’t that what you’re always telling us?”
The pound was looking more like a perfectly acceptable option all the time. “Give. Me. A. Phone.” She fixed them with her most warning stare. If they didn’t stop playing around, she was definitely going to kill them both.
“You know, I think she’s serious.” Jason dug into his back pocket and fished out a tiny cell. Aurora snatched it from him and immediately raised the privacy glass so she didn’t have to listen to their chuckles.
One of these days…

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