tagRomanceLong Overdue Time Away Ch. 06

Long Overdue Time Away Ch. 06

byWindman1©

"Well, that was fun! Interesting but fun. What a group of guys. I can see why they are such good friends."

Karen was riding with me in my pick up after we left the barbecue at Chris's house. Dressed in her white shorts t shirt and flip flops, she was as beautiful as she always is. Her toe nails painted orange to match her fingernails with that French thing they do with the white on the tip. Well lets just say this woman could give you a foot fetish if you didn't have one.

"I'm glad that Nancy was able to make. It was nice to have a familiar face when meeting a bunch of people I hadn't met. And it looked like her and Ron were hitting it off. Spending time with all of them today went along way in getting more comfortable with what you used to do. They talk about it like...like its no big deal. I didn't expect to hear details. I expected all this hush, hush stuff."

"Notice places were left out most of the time. Sometimes we were in places not so secret. But as a general rule we don't talk about where, or the objective of a mission. Really a lot of it was no big deal." I told her.

"Chris talked like they thought of you as one of them, you know, an operator like they were. I guess I should have known if you were on ops with them and knowing you, you would have gotten your hands dirty. Chris told a story about you being on over watch, isn't that like sniper stuff?"

"Well, you know, I grew up in a rural area on a horse ranch. It was second nature knowing how to shoot. It was just part of growing up. As a kid we used to shoot prairie dogs in the pastures and many of those shots are from a long way off. I guess I got good at it." I was telling Karen this as we were driving to Karens suite at the hotel in San Diego.

"They were saying you were more than good at it, but that you were among the best they had. I think it was Ron that said 'Jim doesn't miss... ever!'"

"Well thats not true. Keep in mind Ron can't figure out what you see in me, so he thinks he has to do a sales job" I laughed. We were holding hands as we talked and I drove. It felt good, comfortable. If there was a lag in the conversation it didn't need to be filled. We simply enjoyed being together.

It was late when we arrived at the hotel. It was comical now to watch the Vallet when I pulled my truck up to them. I could always see them looking in the passengers seat to see if Karen was with me. I guess they wanted to know how nervous they should be when the owner of the hotel arrived, and it was harder for them to know when she was with me with my tinted windows. Karens limo was easy for them they always saw it coming. It was evident we were keeping them on their toes.

Karen and I went to bed as soon as we got to her suite. It was late and we had arranged a meeting with Chad regarding Sanches's for the next morning here in the hotel. It was decided we would move ahead with a full scale up grade and renovation.

Going to bed together was getting to be familiar and something I looked forward to when we were together. Even when like tonight, when we didn't make love. Just having her little body close to me was something I was growing to love. Before falling asleep I told Karen "I love you" she reciprocated with the same words. Every time I said it I could see it soften her. She likes hearing it. And its easy to see she likes saying it.

I woke up alone. I wasn't sure how long Karen had been up. I didn't wake up when she got out of bed. There was the familiar smell of breakfast and I herd voices coming from the other room. That was the drawback to staying here. Karens life moved faster than mine. It wasn't unusual for employees to be in the house when I got up. Al was usually either here early or Karen talked to him on the phone to get an itinerary for the day.

I could hear Monique rolling the empty cart on the Travertine tile after bringing breakfast.

"It smells good in here." I remarked walking out to the deck where Karen was perched on her usual patio chair holding her usual cup of coffee. "Are you ready to eat?"

"I could eat something." Karen looked up from her laptop.

"Don't get up, I'll bring it to you." Monique was just bringing in a carafe of orange juice when I started to fill plates with a home made hash and fruit. My "Good morning." Was returned as usual but now more than not it was with eye contact.

"I think Monique is warming up to me." I mentioned setting Karens plate in front of her.

Karen looked and smiled "Oh, you have created a lot of hubbub with the kitchen ladies. The rumors are I that the man in my life is "muey guapo" or as Monique says 'Tre`s beau'. They are quite excited about the sudden romanticism around here." They aren't used to seeing a man with me. They love the fact that you are as good looking as you are."

"It seems your entire staff needs a vision plan added to their health benefits." I joked.

"Chad will be meeting with us in the conference room at 9:00. He has some county guidelines and permit conditions. We are also going to want to set up a meeting with Eddie within the next couple of days. To keep him up to date on what's happening." Karen sipped her coffee. "Will your schedule allow for us to spend a few days up there?"

"I think I can swing a long weekend. Let's see... its Tuesday. I think I can do what I need to with the accounts I need to see this afternoon and tomorrow. I won't need to be back here until next Tuesday.

How does that work?"

"It's not as long as I was hoping for, but hopefully we can take care of what we need to with Eddie in an hour or so leaving us with plenty of us time.

I'll have the plane take us Wednesday night and bring us back Tuesday morning?" Karen was drafting an email to the corporate travel center as she was talking.

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see you make travel arrangements with your own plane." I said between bites. Karen was smiling as I said it.

"There are a few benefits to being in a relationship with me I hope."

"The least of which is a corporate jet." I wiggled my eyebrows at her as I said it.

"Miss Karen, will your meeting require lunch?" Monique was in the doorway blushing from overhearing my remark.

"No, I don't anticipate the meeting will go that long Monique, Maybe just have the kitchen bring coffee and cold drinks for just a few of us. If we go long we'll make reservations locally. Thank you."

Chad and his assistant, who looked like an intern still in college were in the conference room getting settled in when we arrived. Chad in a shirt and tie and his assistant in a woman's business suit. I got sideways glances from both of them. I suppose because I was dressed in a pair of nice jeans and a short sleeved button up casual shirt and a ball cap. The brewing industry is like that, I worked with guys who wore shorts or Carhartt overalls. Even the owners of most of the nations top Craft breweries are mostly very casual. I had my lap top with a PowerPoint presentation on it that outlined my proposal for Sanches's. I reached over to the middle of the table to get the remote for the drop down screen and proceeded to lower it as I accessed the presentation file on my lap top. I handed out to each of them including Karen a proposal that out lined the improvements to change the existing brewery/ tap room into a tap room restaurant. With the brewery moving into an unused building on the property that used to be a warehouse but had not been used in several years. The bay doors on the warehouse would get changed to glass, offering a view of the brewing equipment. The increased parking would be directly adjacent to the doors. Visitors would get a nice view of it when they parked.

"As you see the space vacated by the brewery will accommodate the kitchen as well as increased seating. Ultimately we need seating for 300. And..."

"I don't think you can do this with with the existing environmental impact study. I don't think the county will let this happen. Intern girl said, no doubt eager to impress Karen with her input.

"I checked with the county, and it will only require a simple addendum to the study we already have. The previous salmon cannery that was in the same building had much more flow into the sewer system than we will produce. Even with a future expansion we are in good shape. Really the county is excited for this to happen. It means bringing people to the area and with it increased revenue". I went on to tell them what I learned from the meeting with county officials. And the relationship that was being made with them. Chad seemed annoyed I was ahead of him on this.

"Any way, looking ahead.." I went on to explain capacity in the tap room and restaurant was critical to financing future growth and distribution for the brewery with out diluting the original investment.

Included in the presentation were two, three, five and ten year goals, with detailed plans on how to get there.

Chad at one point with the input of intern girl found it necessary to challenge the numbers in my proposal regarding how we would hit our bench marks. I walked through the line items with them and it didn't take long for him to regret having done so. It became obvious to Karen I had done this before and really Chad was getting a different view of what was under my ball cap. He was clearly out of his league with the scope of the project. This was right in my wheel house. I had successfully finished projects like this with other breweries and those successes were included in the PowerPoint.

Before the end of the meeting Karen let Chad know that he would not be needed on this project and that the rest of the meeting would be with just her and I. She wanted to go over the possibility of making this a joint venture. That caught me off guard, but I was pleased. A joint venture would mean much more involvement for me, and also a much larger reward. As far as Chad was concerned, my own staff that answered to me would work better for me.

Karen and I spent the rest of the day at the beach starting with lunch and then walking and talking along the surf line as we did. Time passed quickly and as the sun was setting I think it became apparent that something was going on with me. I had been preoccupied since our meeting and she knew me well enough to notice it. She didn't say anything but I could tell she knew I had something on my mind.

*******************

Al pulled the limo up to the loading zone at the airport and got out to open Karens door. I got out as he did. He would prefer that I waited for him to open it but I am a practical guy that knows how to and likes to open his own doors. I helped put our luggage on a luggage cart and we proceeded toward the hanger that housed the corporate jet. Al and Karen were ahead of me as I was lagging behind checking my emails. There was some unusual hustle and bustle for a private hanger. I figured that one of the other planes that shared the hanger had a charter and didn't worry that some of the crowd had got between Karen and I.

"STAY BACK! I GOT YOUR LADY!" I immediately looked to see Karen with a terrified look on her face backed up against a mad man who had his arm around her neck and a gun pointed to her head. Al was maybe fifteen feet away and the man would alternately point the gun at him then Karen, all the while shouting demands. There was panic surrounding them as people scurried to be someplace else. I needed a plan and quick.

"That's right! Yes, I'm at the airport now. Come on Tony I'm going to be there as fast as humanly possible..." I was almost yelling in my phone as I held it up to my ear. I needed to get this guy's attention and detour his eyes if I could. I acted as if I was oblivious to the situation and in my own world on the phone. As I passed behind Al who had his hand up signaling to the gunman that he wasnt a threat. Al knew what I was doing, he was trained for this kind of thing. As I passed by Al, I flipped the folder out of his other hand he was carrying sending the papers in it sprawling onto the floor. The gun man couldn't see through my sun glasses that I was intently watching for his eyes to divert to the papers.

"Got him" I said under my breath, his eyes looked at the papers sliding across the floor. I lifted the back of Al's jacket and pulled his Glock 19 out of it's concealed holster. Karens terrified eyes were locked onto me as I leveled the pistol at the gunman who was just figuring out what I was doing and it was a race to see who was going to shoot who as he was swinging his pistol my direction. Time went to a crawl and my mind was calculating who would get his shot off first, where was Karens head? Was her head going to move in front of his? This wasn't a trained guy, I could see it in his eyes. I was able to get him into reaction mode. He was no longer in control of this situation, I was.

In one motion I dropped my phone as I squeezed the trigger I could read Karens lips "don't miss" as she closed her eyes and went limp. Then in an instant, as if time had to make up ground there were two almost simultaneous shots. Ending with one hitting the ceiling and the gunman folding at the knees with back of his head exploding. And a follow up double tap to his chest before he hit the ground. I turned in a quick circle putting the gun in Al's hand and then picked Karen up off the floor, I pulled her away from the gunman and the pool of blood that was beginning to surround him. I wish I could get the image out of my mind of her completely panicked look. But I will be haunted by it I think forever. I took her into my arms as Al made sure the room was clear of any other threat.

The police were there it seemed like in minutes, guns drawn and shouting. Al had already dropped the magazine out of his weapon and cleared the chamber and had it on the floor well before the police got to him. They had both of us in hand cuffs and sitting on a bench until they interviewed enough people with close enough to the same story to verify our involvement. Karens testimony weighed heavily into them taking the cuffs off and then interviewing the two of us. They initially told me I was in violation of the law, I didn't have conceal carry permit, and shot a man with a gun that wasn't licensed to me. It seemed they didn't want to concede to the fact that I wasn't the one carrying the gun and wasn't the owner of it. I only took advantage of there being one available. When Karen intervened asking if we needed an attorney they decided to back down. They let Karen and I take our flight to Oregon and told us we just needed to be available for questions. It was obvious they figured out who she was and then it seemed they couldn't do enough for her. Me? That was another story.

It took the whole two and a half hour flight for Karen to stop shaking. And to be able to settle down enough to even talk about what had happened. The drive from the airport to Port Orford was quiet. She needed to hold onto me for the forty minute drive to her house. We stayed up late. We were both too wound up to sleep. It still didn't make sense what had happened. The police told us they would call and let us know if an apparent motive surfaced.

************************

Karen was still sleeping sound when I got up. I didn't want to wake her up. The trauma of last nights events kept her from sleeping much of the night. And I knew she needed the rest.

The fog hadn't lifted from the harbor yet and the quiet grey was peaceful and seemed to absorb sound. I got out the stainless steel coffee pot and filled it and put it on the gas stove. I smiled as I did. This thing brought back good memories and I felt like I could use a few of those right now. Karen came in wearing what was getting to be her standard up here. Bare feet, a long sleeve T shirt that hung just below her butt and underwear that the edges of her cheeks peaked out of. I poured both of us some coffee and we sat next to the picture window on the couch and looked out into the grey. She had tears in her eyes "I love you and cant imagine what last night would have turned out like with out you."

"Al is a capable man. He would have handled it. But I'm glad I was there."

Karens phone rang. She answered it "no, it's fine, its not too early. Yes we... ok, a suicide note? Your sure. Well thank you for calling. No, we are ok. Thank you." She looked relieved. "That was San Diego PD. They found a suicide note at the gun mans house. It looks like he was a disgruntled employee looking to get revenge. The note said he wanted to kill as many important people as he could."

"He told you that? You don't say that to people" I was shaking my head.

"It's ok, sometimes people talk with out thinking. Are you ok?"

"Listen, last night I shot a man who was intent on killing my...someone who is very special to me. I'm fine, but I worry about you."I didn't think she would catch my slip but she did, and she cocked her head a little sideways. And I could see a question coming. I got there before she did.

Setting my coffee down I went down to my knees in front of her."This isn't how I planned this. I wanted to do this at Sanches's. Where I fell in love with you."

Karen was smiling and she was tearing up "You had only known me for a couple of hours, how could you have fallen in love?" This was just like her, to give me a hard time when I was ready to ask her the most important question of my life.

"I fell in love when I saw you at the marina, it was in Sanches's I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Now if your done giving me a hard time...I do want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" With that I jumped up and said "don't move...and don't answer yet." Karen was smiling and shaking her head entertained by the fact this wasnt near as smoothe as she knew I wanted. I ran over to my computer case and pulled a small velvet covered box out and ran back, got back down on my knees and opened it reveling a diamond engagement ring. She was smiling through her tears. And put her hands on the sides of my face and kissed me deep on the lips, more than once.

Then wrapping her arms around my neck she said "Of course I will. And thank you for not making me wait a long time for this. I knew very early we would marry." She wiped her tears.

"Oh, you did, huh?" I started to question her when she cut me off saying,

"You don't think a woman like me is used to getting what she wants?" She laughed and then said "This is the truth of it, you are the kindest gentlest man I have ever met. You constantly put me ahead of your self. You could have been killed last night pulling that shit with the phone to take that mans attention off of me. What were you thinking?"

"I was thinking I would move heaven and earth to keep that man from hurting you"

Karens phone was ringing again "Hi Melinda...no I haven't seen the news. Yes that was us. It was, yes it scared me to death. Hold on let me check. She put the phone against her stomach to muffle the sound and asked me, Melinda and Steve want to meet us at Sanches's tonight. Are you ok with that? I really want to be around people tonight, if its ok with you can we hold off on an engagement dinner?"

"Of course. Let's do a celebration dinner after this whole shooter thing settles down." I really didn't want our engagement to be over shadowed by the problem we had at the airport last night. So an official announcement in a few weeks would be better.

"Yes we would love to see you guys. Ok seven then, I cant wait to see you. I have big news I cant wait to tell you...no not on the phone...yes it's a big deal. No not the thing at the airport, bigger than that. Ok five then. Bye. She cant wait till seven so it's five."

After hanging up her phone Karen moved over onto my lap and kissed me and said "I'm going to be your wife!" I kissed her back and it was like the floodgates opened, she kissed me as deep as she ever had I had my hands on her sides and she pulled off her T shirt and panties and couldn't get my clothes off fast enough. She moved to straddle me barely letting our lips part. Putting her hand between her legs she grabbed my cock and slid it in her moist warm vagina and slowly ground her hips against me. I opened my eyes briefly and tears were streaming down her cheeks.

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