Hello lovely readers- I’m away on my holidays at the moment, so I thought I’d leave you with something nice to read while I’m away- fancy a trip to Tunisia?
Digging Deep Blurb-
Dr Beth Andrew’s first foreign excavation as a site leader, which she co-run’s with the American archaeologist Dr Harrison Harris, gets off to a shaky start due to the jealous interference of Harrison’s ex, and an overzealous student… Love and lust really can cloud even the cleverest person’s judgement!
Influenced by my own adventures as an archaeologist in Africa, Digging Deep is the second of my Carid stories for Xcite.
Hidden away in the garden at the rear of the house they were staying in, taking advantage of a few moments’ peace between the end of the morning’s digging and lunch, Harrison rested his back against the shaded trunk of a large-leafed palm tree. He’d told himself he was there so he could update his notes without being disturbed, but he knew he was really just avoiding Beth.
He screwed his eyes up against the ideas that seemed to circle on continuous loop through his head. She is a decade younger than me, lives in another continent, and is a colleague. So don’t even think about it! Determined not to contradict this train of thought with reminders of how badly he wanted to find out how far Beth’s freckles travelled across her body, what the spring of her russet ringlets would feel like in his fingers, or speculate about how she seemed to make him laugh even when the most ordinary words came out of her mouth in her cute English accent, Harrison had decided to keep as much distance between himself and Beth as possible. It would help if she wasn’t so damn good at her job.
He sighed hard. Work relationships were never a good idea – especially when they were only destined to work together for three months of the year! His year with Linda, Beth’s predecessor, had proved that. Anyway, such indiscretions were unprofessional, and Harrison had always prided himself on his professionalism.
As he urged himself to stop contemplating why Beth, in her multiple layers of clothing, felt more attractive to him than any of the semi-clad females who worked around the site, Harrison suddenly sensed that he wasn’t alone. Lifting his head from his notes, he saw Candida lounging against the wall on the opposite side of the dust-soiled garden.
His heart sank. Of all his students, she was the last person he felt like talking to. For a second, Harrison assumed she’d been looking for him, but swallowed a muted murmur of relief when she faced the other way, and tapped urgently against the touch screen of her phone.
Intent on staying focused on the report he was writing, Harrison sat silently against the side of the house, hoping that his student wouldn’t spot him. Bending his head to his work, Harrison snapped it up again as Candida’s grating voice echoed around the small, square garden.
‘Of course I’m not ignoring your calls.’
Raising his eyebrows, he immediately felt sorry for whoever was at the other end of the phone. Candida might well have been a sight for sore eyes with her rounded chest, flat stomach, and tanned legs that seemed to go on forever, but her voice was enough to scour the varnish off wood, and her “I’m beautiful and therefore you will love me” attitude was proof, if any was needed, that Candida Harker was Daddy’s little princess through and through. Not for the first time, Harrison cursed that the “daddy” in question was the owner of Harker International, the company providing most of the sponsorship for the dig, and so her presence on the team was secured each time Colorado University came to the site.
Harrison’s attempts to ignore the rest of her conversation were abruptly halted as Candida pronounced down the phone, ‘Well, you were right. She should have an eye kept on her. Who’d have thought it of someone so mousy and dull? I mean, she is so white and spotty she could be mistaken for the ghost of a leopard!’
There was a break from Candida’s high-decibel yakking, as whoever was on the other end of the call spoke, before she responded, ‘Well, yes, it seems she does have some sort of MILF quality. I tell you, no American guy would humiliate himself like that with anyone who wasn’t at least of goddess status. Which she most certainly is not! And not because he was in her debt!’
Trying not to care which of the English students Candida was ripping apart, and hoping like hell that everyone else was out of earshot of her diatribe, Harrison frowned as his student went on.
‘Supervisory skills? How the hell should I know? I’m on Harrison’s team, thank God. And will not be swapping under any circumstances.’
Harrison’s head jerked back up, his ears straining for information. Beth? She was bad-mouthing Beth. Why? He didn’t dare even rustle his papers, although he was sure Candida was so involved in her call that an entire herd of elephants could go by and she wouldn’t notice.
‘Yes, I know, but I don’t want …’
There was an odd hint of panic in his student’s voice now, and Harrison began to wish that the person on the other end of the phone was as loud as Candida, so he could hear whatever it was they were saying.
‘OK – well, I wasn’t going to tell you this …’
Like hell. Harrison recognised when Candida was building up to spill some slanderous scandal.
‘I don’t think it is her ability as an archaeologist that is in question. It is her relationship with her students. With one student in particular.’
A vision of Beth’s flushed face as she sat on Ryan’s lap, after the snake had frightened her, flashed through Harrison’s brain.
Candida was nodding in satisfaction, her previously concerned countenance replaced with one of smug relief. ‘Yes. Yes, that’s right.’
Harrison closed his eyes. Who the hell was on the end of that line? He gripped his papers, physically having to stop himself from getting up and ripping the cell phone from Candida’s hand so he could challenge the unseen recipient.
‘Well, OK, but it isn’t pretty.’ Candida paused as if for dramatic effect, as Harrison impatiently waited to hear what her coup de grâce against his colleague was going to be. A feeling of foreboding crept ever faster up his spine as he heard her say, ‘One of her students is fucking her in return for her silence.’
Harrison felt as though he’d swallowed an orange whole as a triumphant Candida went on. ‘Yes! Every day! Just so she won’t tell anyone he broke the mosaic he was excavating. Apparently, yesterday lunchtime Beth made Ryan beg! Can you credit it! She actually made him beg! And all that time the bitch was naked and getting a good time up on the open roof. Fuck! I mean, what would she have made him do if he’d smashed the whole thing, and not just crumbled the edge a bit?’
With the use of Beth’s name, the last vestige of hope that Harrison had been mistaken about what he’d heard evaporated. It isn’t true, he told himself. It can’t be – can it? But what is Candida up to? His appetite for lunch disappeared as, with morbid fascination, he continued to listen …
If you’d like to find out what happens next, then Digging Deep is available as a Cariad e-novella or paperback from –