Anders's Angel:Heroes for Hire, Book 16(9)

By: Dale Mayer

She nodded. “And yet, it’s kind of nice. It’s a forced holiday. And maybe something I need to do more often.”

“I don’t think there’s any maybe about it,” he said. “You work too hard.”

“True, but it is what it is. It makes me happy, gives me something to do.”

“You could work on that relationship thing a little more.”

She shook her head. “Yeah, that’s not happening.”

“Not all men are like your ex-fiancé.”

“No,” she said cheerfully. “That’s a good thing. But most of them are either like my ex-fiancé or Carlo.”

“Your father is an interesting case.” He never knew what event had caused her to call her father “Carlo.” And she had never brought it up in all the years they had worked together.

She snorted. “Is that the word you would use?”

He chuckled. “If I didn’t know you better …”

“The thing is, you do know me,” she admitted. “And quite well actually. How long have we worked together?”

“Eight years I think,” he said. “It’s been a pretty exciting eight years too.”

“Well, don’t make it sound like it’s our last day,” she said with a smile. “We have lots more years ahead of us yet.”

He gave her a cheeky grin. “Something about being caught in this kind of weather makes you question that though.”

“No, nothing to question at all. We’ve been here before. We’ll be back again.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I was thinking about changing to less field work and more office work, now that Katrina has the twins. I stayed home for a few months on paternity leave, and, I’m not ashamed to admit, it was hard leaving them this time.”

“I understand,” she said. “Anything that takes you away from family, particularly the twins, I imagine is very difficult.”

“Especially when it’s likely to be our only children. Every day I miss spending with them are days I miss forever. That time can’t be recaptured.”

She settled in her chair and studied his face. “It’s that bad?”

He nodded. “It was that bad. I didn’t tell you earlier, but Katrina isn’t likely to have any more children. The doctor highly recommended she doesn’t try.”

“In that case, then you should probably stay home. What are you looking at? Just for a couple years or …” She left her words hanging.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I would hate to think I won’t do any more research trips, but …”

“At least a permanent reprieve until the children are school age?”

“That would certainly be easier on Katrina, yes.”

“We’re only here for a couple more days, so maybe you can put your plans into action then.”

“Maybe. I don’t know.” He shrugged. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about.”

“In that case, you need to do it,” she urged. “The ice has been moving for centuries. Whether you’re home or with us for the next year or two, I don’t think it’ll make a damn bit of difference to the ice.”

He laughed. “I agree on that point. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be involved.”

“A chair position is coming up. Why don’t you apply for that? Might be enough so your expertise won’t go to waste. We could all benefit from it.”

“I know,” he said. “I was wondering if you’d give me a reference.”

She looked at him in surprise. “Of course I will. I can’t imagine anybody better suited for the position.”

“Don’t know that it comes with pay though.”

“It does actually and hopefully enough. I don’t know though. But I’ll do anything I can to help.”

“Help with what?” A man spoke up from behind them. “What do we need to help with?”

She chuckled. “Trust you to pick up on things that have nothing to do with you.”

Steve’s voice perked up. “Well, I can hardly not hear the conversation now, can I?”