Things to Do in Denver

By: Tymber Dalton
Chapter One

June 1

Well, that’s not happening.

Tony Daniels leaned against the concrete block wall of the data center, taking advantage of the small bit of shade available on that side of the building. Currently open on his personal cell phone was the e-mail thread for the Suncoast Society Fourth of July private party invite, which had been sent out yesterday. Someone else had just RSVP’d as coming to the party.

Ross was also looped into that e-mail account, a Gmail account they’d created to only handle the private party invites. That way, he could respond to the RSVPs and related questions, since Tony was currently stuck in Denver, and probably would be for the foreseeable future.

Tony marked the message as unread so Ross would see it and respond next time he logged in.


Max, Sean, and Cali had once again volunteered to host a private holiday party. Which he felt kind of guilty about, since he was one of the main private party organizers for the Suncoast Society munch group.

It’d been a while since he and Shayla had hosted one. But like hell would he ask Shay to take one on if he wasn’t even sure he was going to be home for it.

Right now, it was looking like he wouldn’t even be home to attend the party, much less be around to host one of the damn things.

He was going to be lucky if he made it home in time for their wedding anniversary.


He hated Denver, but Asher Insurance was constructing a new campus because they’d outgrown their existing facility. Meaning he had to help oversee this part of the new data center’s equipment installation and configuration. They’d rapidly outgrown the off-site colocation server site he’d been in charge of putting together just a couple of years ago.

The new campus would be a full secondary facility to the main one down in Florida, complete with an expanded call center three times the capacity and staffing they had now, as well as an on-site data center. As opposed to the small call center and administrative offices they’d had in Denver up until now. That site couldn’t house a full data center, either.

Hence the colo.

Which was ironic, because that first colo build-out had happened right when he and Shay were early in their relationship, at the expiration of their initial “contract” for him to train her as his submissive as research for a series of articles she’d been writing.

The two weeks he’d spent out of town then had nearly fucked them as a couple. All because he’d been too stupid to outright tell her he wanted more with her, and she’d been too scared of admitting to him that she wanted more, too, out of fear he’d think she was “clingy.”

For this trip, he brought one of his guys, Jim Coughy, out there with him. But, honestly? Now he was truly regretting picking Jim for this job. Tony would have been better off grabbing nearly anyone else with a pulse and training them on the spot.

Not to mention, he and this dude were going to have a serious meeting with an HR rep when they returned to Florida about his behavior, attitude, and work habits.

And a drug test, because he suspected the guy was taking full advantage of Colorado’s marijuana laws and buying himself a ton of edibles. That was despite Asher Insurance having a zero-tolerance drug policy.

Except, right now, Tony needed a warm body with a valid NDA on file in HR’s hot little hands, someone reasonably familiar with their systems. It wasn’t simply a matter of moving equipment into place, bolting frames together, and racking boxes. It was the wiring, the hook-up, the UPS, the datacom end of it—the whole system infrastructure.

And, once they got the new data center up and running, they had to take the old system down out of the colo and relocate those racks to the new building as well, and get them all back online.

Yes, he’d have to hire a dedicated IT team for this site, but HR was fucking around and hadn’t posted the job listings yet.

Which pissed him off.

They couldn’t seem to get it through their damn heads it wasn’t like hiring a one-off DBA here and there, or hiring in people for a call center. You needed to interview people, check their references, and make sure they weren’t bullshitting you on their skills before turning them loose with confidential customer data a couple of thousand miles away from where you were actually located. Fortunately, until this data center was up and running with a full crew, it would literally be used only as a secondary, like the colo was currently being used. He could monitor it from Florida and call in third-party vendors to come in from the colo facility if there was a hardware issue to address—at a premium price, sure, but the company would have to pay it.

Because he’d already flat-out told them he wasn’t moving to Denver.

Been there, done that, wasn’t doing it again. Although that hadn’t been a permanent move, just a short stint supervising the upgrades at a smaller insurance company Asher had bought and which needed serious IT overhauls to bring them into compliance with federal laws.

Especially not now that he was married to Shay, and they had a life together in Florida.

Worse, he’d budgeted for a trained and compliance-certified IT vendor to come in with a team and help him do this, which would have cut down the total project time to maybe three weeks, max, including padding in time for fuckups.

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