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Created by Diane Brown, Buena Beach is an online soap opera, giving up all the juicy details of some of the hottest guys and gals of Buena Beach, a small town in Southern California. Check back everyday for a new episode here on HelloBeautiful.com.

The Voice

It’s 6:45 by the time Danny shuts down his computer for the day thanks to a recent habit he’s developed where he closes his door, turns up his I-pod speaker, and loses track of time. It started initially as a way to get back on track after his brief leave of absence, but has now become his modus operandi. Twice now he’s been asked to leave by the maintenance team, eager to end their day at 8:30 on the dot. His wife Annette is not pleased in the least bit by his late nights, but he insists that the time he spends barricaded in his office distresses him. And, he added as a plus in his defense, his extended day gives her more time to get dinner ready.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about – I always have dinner ready on time.”

Danny gives her the ol’ “What you talkin’ about, Willis?” face, recalling the times when he’s been left sitting on the couch haphazardly flipping through the channels while his stomach begged him for something to eat. His timing tonight, he figured, would be perfect since she’d promised him spinach lasagna complete with a Caesar’s salad and garlic sticks, a dish that usually took her a good 2-3 hours to finish. Just as he stands to grab his coat, already almost tasting that lasagna, his desk phone rings.

“Now, who could this be?” he asks aloud, leaning back to check the Caller ID screen.

Uh, oh. His stomach’s gonna have to wait a little bit longer for that lasagna. “Hello,” he says, picking up before the third ring.

“Hey. What’s up?”

He plops back down in his chair. “Not much. Just closing up shop.”

“Yah. I just drove by and saw your car in the lot. You going for a raise or what?”

“Well now, I know better than that,” he says, smiling.

Typically, Danny’s one to just cut to the chase, especially over the phone. But he has no problem on this particular call, willing to catch up on events big and small that have occurred over the past few days. And eventually, the conversation turns to his home life.

“So how’s Annette?”

“Annette is great. Really good. On this new health kick, but she still let’s me have the good stuff every once in awhile.”

“As she should. But I don’t blame her – we gotta take care of our men so you all don’t go dying on us before retirement.”

That was certainly true. At least weekly, Danny did the math on just how much longer he had before he and Annette could trade in their time cards for passports and hit the runway.

“So, of course I’ve been wanting to ask you about Veronica. How are things?”

“Very well, actually. Been waiting for something to happen – ”

“Danny!”

“-but it hasn’t, I’m pleased to say.” Danny loosens his tie, indeed comfortable with the conversation. “I think it was a good idea.”

“Yah? That’s great.”

Danny sighs before reminding her about the Department’s all-staff meeting next week, to which she responds that of course she remembers the meeting – it was her meeting. “Well, I realize you remember the meeting. I’m just wanting to know if you’ve thought about the…possible implications.”

“You mean the fact that I’m going to come face to face with the daughter I haven’t seen in two and a half decades? Yes, Danny. The implications have come to my mind.”

Danny sighs, hoping he isn’t being insensitive. He just doesn’t want her to become emotionally overwhelmed or have an episode or anything; although the more he thinks about it, she’s more hard-ass than 99% of people he knows. Lucky for him, she doesn’t use the fact that she’s his boss to bully him around. Others, yes; but never Danny.

“Well, whatever you say – I’m sure you’ll have everything under control.”

“Of course I will – I’ll be my usual bitchy, bad-ass self.”

Danny chuckles. “Good. And I won’t ruin your rep by letting everyone know the truth; that you’re an ol’ softy.”

“Only to you, Danny. Only to you.”

Danny glances out the window, noticing how dark it is outside. “Well, alright. I’ll see you tomorrow before the Commission meeting. I better get home before either Annette or my stomach kills me.”

“Alright. Take care.”

He hangs up the phone and sighs once again, grinning as he picks up his belongings and heads out.

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