Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Teaser Tuesday - Gemini

Blurb - Springhill publishing is a place where drama is created and sold for profit. When events surrounding the staff of Springhill start rivaling the dramatic pros of their authors it’s anyone’s guess what is going to happen next and who will be the latest victim.

Tess walked through the bullpen, hearing her name called repeatedly. "Tess!"
"Tess!" Aidan yelled from his office for the fourth time. He was sitting in front of his computer, obviously frustrated.

"Tess!"

"Aidan, I heard you the first four times." Tess entered the office, rolling her eyes at his whining incapability. She knew he was having problems with his computer again. He only got that whiny when it was something technical.

"What took you so long?"

"I was picking up the rough edit of Grey Garden from Melanie," Tess replied, beginning to work on his computer.


"Great, give it to me."

"Hold on a minute." 

Aidan stopped, she could feel his heat at her back. "I already tried that...It doesn't work." Aidan objected, as she continued her process. "Tess, I did..."
"Aidan do you want me to fix it or would you rather sit here and be frustrated for the next two hours making it worse?"

"Continue."

She silently turned back to the screen and continued working. Aidan occupied himself by picking up some crumpled paper off his desk and playing three points with the garbage can. He stopped, and the room fell into the sound of Tess clicking Aidan's mouse.

"About last night..." he said.

"Drop it," Tess replied. She finished on the computer and stood glancing up at Aidan. "Max wants to meet with you and Alan about Grey Gardens after the conference with Basler in the Schuster room." 

"How does it look?"

"Rough," Tess replied, giving a gentle smile. She handed him the rough draft and began organizing his desk as he paced, starting the read of the document. Do you want me to print the book synopsis and marketing data for your meeting with Basler?"

"Yeah, I might as well give him the facts as they are..." His voice trailed off, and he gave her an odd look.

"What?"

"Do you..." Aidan stepped closer to her, staring intently at her cheek. "Tess where did you get the bruise on your cheek? Did I?"

"No of course not and nowhere," Tess swiftly replied, walking past him out into the corridor.

"You don't get a bruise from nowhere. Tell me what happened. Did it happen last night? Of course, it happened last night--"

"Stop," Tess replied, doing something on her computer.

"Stop?"

"Aidan, it's none of your business." She stood, walking over to the printer.
"The hell it isn't."

"Aidan if it were something worth mentioning I would have mentioned it," Tess replied, walking back into his office and loading his backpack, purposely avoiding his eyes.

"No, that is unacceptable. I refuse to buy that."

"I wasn't asking you to buy it. I expect you to live with it."

"No."

"Aidan I'm not asking you I'm telling you. You are my boss, not a part of my life. I don't have to tell you every intimate detail of my so-called life out of this office. So leave it alone." Tess dropped the filled backpack on the desk and left the room.


* * * *

Max Clay, the senior editor of Springhill new fiction, stood outside the Galfore Café checking his watch. He saw Aidan approaching, breathing a sigh of relief. "Cutting it close."

"Yeah, I know. Sorry." They entered the café, motioning to the hostess.

“Sorry about your brother. Are you okay?”

“Tess and I had a fight."

"About you not going back to Oklahoma for Daniel’s funeral. Which is a mistake by the way.”

“Yes. Wait, no. What?" 

“Do you really want to go there?” Max asked, folding his napkin in his lap as he took a seat at the table. 

“No.” Aidan sat down, settling his backpack under the table. 

“What happened with Tess?” Max folded his hands on the table looking at him expectantly.

"Several things. Too many to mention, actually, but I noticed something. Tess kinda got upset."

"What, did she screw up? I can’t even remember a time Tess ever made a mistake. You’d better double check. Her track record is much better than yours."
"Thanks, Max. No, it wasn't anything work-related."

"Then, what was it?"

Aidan stopped and turned to Max. "I noticed a pretty bad bruise on her cheek."
"What kind of bruise?"

"Like someone..." Aidan glanced around the restaurant looking fir their client.
"Boyfriend?"

"I don't think so, she's too smart for that. Besides she hasn't seen anyone since that..."

"Ben."

"Yeah...that Ben guy..."

"That you know of."

"Meaning?"

"Face it, Aidan, Tess has a life outside of work. You aren't there twenty-four hours a day to know everything. Nor should you be."

"You make me sound like I am a control freak."

"You are.”

"Anyway, I asked her about it, and she flipped."

"She did?"

"Yeah, she practically tore my head off on how it was none of my concern and how I’m her boss and have do not any business in her personal life."

"That's doesn't sound at all like Tess. Did anything else happen? Anything to prompt her irritation?"

"Nope, not that I know of," Aidan said, his eyes darting away as the heat of the previous nights kiss knocked him breathless once again.

"If she reacted so strongly to your observation, obviously whatever happened to is very private to her. I'd wait it out, she'll talk to you when she’s ready."
"And if she doesn't?"

"If it is not negatively impacting her performance, it is none of your business. Aidan, whether you like it or not, You’re going to have to realize outside of work, you’re not a part of Tess's life."



* * * *

That's all you get!  Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek of Gemini!




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