Unfortunately, Harper couldn’t ogle the beautiful cars because more armed guards came forward. Should she hide? Harper had always thought she was a strong, dignified person but right now, with all those machine guns pointed towards her, she knew that dignity could easily be suppressed in deference to defense. Unfortunately, she was too slow and one of the guards opened the door. With a sigh, Harper tentatively stepped out and looked around. The garage was spacious and cool. Blessedly cool!
“Who the hell are you?”
Harper jumped at the sound of another deep, angry voice. Another giant stepped aggressively forward and Harper stepped back, wondering what she’d gotten herself into!
The second giant had beautiful, hazel eyes, even if they were glaring at her.
Fists braced against hips, he demanded, “Who are you? We were expecting a Dr. Harper Ross.”
Harper blinked. Then her temper flared. “I am Dr. Harper Ross,” she snapped, then remembered her manners and extended her hand. “And you are?” she asked with forced politeness.
For the second time today, her greeting was ignored. “You are the doctor?”
Harper gritted her teeth and tried valiantly to stifle her impatience. “Yes. I’m Doctor Harper Ross,” she repeated, struggling to remain polite. “I’m here to…”
“Oh, this is going to be great!” the second giant chuckled, then turned on his heel and led the way to the elevator.
Harper glared at his back, wondering what would happen if she ‘accidently’ smacked him with her heavy tote bag. Would he crush her? Would he fight back? It might be worth it, she thought.
“Are you coming?” the giant demanded, waiting beside the now-open doors to the elevator.
“Absolutely!” she snapped. “I wouldn’t want to miss being the entertainment for the night!”
The man’s eyes widened at her sharp reply. A moment later, he threw back his head, laughing uproariously.
They were whisked up several floors, but this elevator didn’t indicate the floors they were traveling through. So she could only guess at where they were going. It might have been ten floors or two, she didn’t know and was too irritated to ask.
“This way,” the giant said, his humor banked for the moment, and the elevator doors swished opened. Once again, he stood to the side, allowing her to exit first. Strange that he used manners sometimes. When it was convenient for him? Or was there something else going on here? A cultural thing?
Oh, for an internet connection so she could research these questions, Harper thought as she was led down a long hallway. They passed several large offices and more open areas where several people worked, but she had no sense of what was going on. Everyone worked with a sense of urgency, but she and her guides walked through it all towards…whatever was ahead of them. Since no one was willing to tell her anything, and she was too exhausted and exasperated to ask, she just took it all in, trying to absorb as much as she could.
“Rashid, is Amit free?”
Harper noticed the smallish man when he looked up from the computer. Actually, this Rashid-fellow, might not be small. He might be normal sized, but compared to the two giants with her, Harper acknowledged that her frame of reference might be off.
The smaller man stood and nodded obsequiously “He just got out of a meeting. He’s eager to greet Doctor Ross. Has she landed yet?”
The giant reverted back to bad manners and jerked his thumb towards Harper. “She’s here.”
The smaller man looked at Harper blankly for a long moment, then his eyes widened with surprise. “But…,” he looked at the giant, then at Harper, then at the giant again. “This can’t be Doctor Ross!”
Harper inhaled slowly, trying to calm her temper. But before she could, the heavy wooden doors to her right opened and yet another giant confronted her.
“Amit, she’s arrived,” Giant Number Two announced.
Giant Number Three, who was even more intimidating than Numbers One and Two, nodded curtly. “Great. Let me know when she gets here.”
Then he disappeared, only the sound of Number Two’s soft laughter lingered in the air. Oh, and there was also a strange and completely unappreciated sensation of tingling, she thought.
“I need some sleep,” she whispered to herself, rubbing her forehead in a pointless effort to ease the raging headache.
“Go on in,” Number Two ordered her curtly. Turning to the small man, he said, “I want to hear all about how this meeting goes.” Then he was gone.
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