By: Sienna Mynx

Daniel sighed. “He's a redneck Texan oil man who lives by the code of the stars and bars. He might not even look twice at a black woman.”

“Oh? So now it’s going to fail because I’m black?”

“It’s not a race thing for me,” Daniel mumbled.

“You sure? You don’t treat Carmen and Meg like this. And they have both taken big risks for you before.”

Daniel looked back at her with what she read as distrust. What had she done to piss him off?

“He's a man. They've been looking at us ‘black women’ since we got off the ship.”

“Very funny.”

“None of this funny Daniel. That’s the point. I have to do what makes us both uncomfortable for the greater good.”

“Listen to me damn it.” Daniel said through clenched teeth. “I have information that says he may be connected to some dangerous people. That drilling in Alaska is tied all the way back to the Kremlin. I don't feel comfortable with this.” Daniel sat back. His eyes stretched, and his features were slack. “And you shouldn't either.”

Kassidy could tell by the frozen look of disbelief on his face that their target had arrived. She did a half head turn to glance back over her shoulder with her eyes only. Tarek Marshall walked into the restaurant with two other men. They were all dressed in black long coats and wore black leather gloves. They must have just arrived from outside because they had expensive cashmere scarfs tucked in the collars of their buttoned down coats. And Tarek took the lead. He had a different stride. The kind that forced the other two men to remain a step behind.

“That's him and his brothers, isn't it?” Kassidy asked. She tried to mask her excitement. It was hard.

“The convention is about to close. Every day this week after their meetings he comes here alone. Today he’s with them. Another reason to call it off.”

“Why?” she asked.

“They’re his brothers. He doesn’t need a reason why.”

“Don’t you think it’s weird that he doesn’t meet with anyone? I know for a fact half the idiots here in this hotel want five minutes alone with him. They stalk him like he’s a celebrity.”

“He’s no fucking rock star. He owns those corporate groupies you’ve been brushing shoulders with. You don’t get to sit at his table unless he invites you. He drinks alone. Big deal. It’s how it’s done.”

“It might mean something. That’s all I’m saying,” she countered. “I remember, I, uh, think that he wasn’t always so stiff and formal.”

Daniel frowned. The slip of tongue was definitely not missed. She tingled all over with excitement. And Daniel was a bloodhound. He sniffed out a story from any person, place or thing. He could tell she was giddy.

“At this point Kassidy it only means you won’t get close to him tonight or any other night. So we do this my way.”

“Not so fast. I haven’t made my move. At least let me try before thinking I’m doomed to fail.”

“We need to talk. I have come into some information that—”

“Be quiet and watch.”

Kassidy shrugged off her blazer and adjusted the plump rise of her breasts to the front of her dress. She eased out of the booth. Daniel looked as if he would stop her so she moved away from the table quickly. There was a bar toward the front lounge area to the restaurant. No one sat there. The bartender polished his glasses and took drink orders from the wait staff. She trained her sights on him and with her drink in hand started toward him.


“Tarek, I, ah we, didn’t. I was only agreeing with Dale to see father. What we did, we did for father, and the family. Dale is right. You can’t keep us from him. He’s our father.”

“Stop your whining,” Dale mumbled and ate his salad. “Henry isn’t your puppet. We are all his sons. And you won’t fucking keep me from him.”

“Dale. Don’t.” Henry warned.

Dale smirked.

Henry sighed.

The plates of food were set before them. Dale sat back with a Cheshire cat smile. “Mom says dad is improving. The stroke hasn’t erased his mind. You may have father’s proxy but that will mean nothing when dad gets out of that hospital you stuck him in. Henry has been very helpful in telling me what you’ve been up too lately, brother.”

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