Thank you for joining me for a sneak peek of Her Master Diver, the next book in the popular Masters Men series.
She leaned against the desk and smiled down at the professor. How he got a PhD in anything she couldn’t imagine. He was dense as a petrified rock. The comparison was fitting since he was an archaeologist, or at least that’s what his credentials said. She thought the female doctoral student he’d inherited after her advisor died had more on the ball than the man in front of her did. Still, he was the one who could get her what she wanted.
“This is perfect, darling,” she said, trailing a blood-red fingernail down the side of his face.
“I thought we were going to dive for the Santissima Concepcion,” he said as he licked his lips.
She noticed how, his eyes never made it to her face. He might be questioning her, but his arguments would be minimal. The man was such an easy mark it was almost criminal to take advantage. Then again, she was a criminal, so it didn’t really matter.
“We are, but this way we don’t have to worry about all the red tape. If you can talk the dean into getting us on the dive for La Trinité, we can piggy back and not worry about the rest,” she said moving behind him. She leaned closer, stroking her hands down his flabby chest. At least, this way she didn’t have to watch him salivate while she worked her magic. She had to stop herself from recoiling when he reached behind the chair and slid his hand up her thigh.
“You’re job is to get us on that boat and to make sure Collins is on it as well. She could come in handy. The rest, you leave to me,” she said, thinking about the other things she’d already done to make this acquisition happen. Killing the first man she had tried to talk into a partnership jumped to the forefront of her mind. That had been very satisfying. The self-righteous prick had it coming. The way he looked down at her ambitions had been infuriating. She refocused on the job at hand.
“I’m not,” he paused as she dipped her hand lower. “Not sure how I can do that. The dean is, um, uh, difficult.”
The man was so easy, she thought listening to his labored breathing. She nipped his ear before whispering in it.
“Tell him you want to do it to honor Gaston. He’d love that, wouldn’t he?” She increased the pressure and speed of her hand.
Blaze wanted to scream when she glanced at the display on her cell phone. He had to be kidding. Hadn’t he gotten in enough digs today? She hadn’t even unpacked. Hell, she’d barely gotten in the door. Taking a deep breath, she pushed accept and greeted the caller with saccharine sweetness.
“Lazaro, what can I do for you?”
“I don’t care how you wheedled your way onto my project, but you’d better be prepared. This is important. I won’t have some newbie screwing it up.”
So much for the sweet approach, she thought.
“Excuse me? I didn’t screw anything up on the project and you know it. You were there.”
“Don’t play dumb, Collins, it doesn’t suit you. I mean the excursion planned to dive for La Trinité. I’ve been working on this for years. We finally have all the backing and approval we need. I will not have all that work wasted by someone playing archaeologist.”
Blaze stared at the phone. What?
“First, I’m not playing at being an archaeologist, I am one. I may not have my PhD yet, but I take my work very seriously. Second, I don’t know anything about this project.” She left the, but I’d like to, part out.
“Are you trying to tell me you just happened to get a job with L.A.M.P and it had nothing to do with my project?” Lazaro bellowed through the phone. “Get real. Your purpose for taking a sabbatical and being here is to get your advisor a spot on my project and we both know it.”
If the man didn’t stop yelling at her, she was going to wring his neck the next time she saw him.
“No, my advisor died. I got a job here because I needed one and there was an opening for someone with my skills.”
“If he died, how did he worm his way onto my boat for the dive?”
“You heard me. Dr. Schemer, his assistant, and you are now part of the project.”
“I’m diving for La Trinité?” The question came out as a whisper. Really? Her dream dive was actually going to happen? Excitement bubbled up from her toes all the way to her head.
“As if you didn’t know.”
His sarcastic tone extinguished her earlier delight.
“I didn’t know. I left school. I didn’t take a sabbatical, partly because of Schemer.
Working with him was impossible after Dr. Gaston who had such a passion for our research and work. I haven’t talked to Schemer since I left Texas and didn’t know he knew I worked here. Why he would want me on the dive, when we didn’t get along, I have no idea. Maybe he thought it would help to know someone who worked here. Whatever the reason, it won’t make me turn down the opportunity to dive for the ship I’ve been dreaming about for ages. Not on your life.”
“Make sure you know why you’re there. I abhor treasure hunters and I won’t have one on my boat.”
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