I hope you enjoy this week’s scene from Boot Camp and that you enjoy catching up with a valued member of CIG…
As always, please excuse the typos,
Ursula Frei sat in her office overlooking the main drag of the CIG base. The glaring sunlight poured through the window onto her pale white face, catching her white blonde eyelashes and eyebrows. It etched shadows under her sculpted cheekbones and perfectly sized nose. Her rims of her icy blue eyes were bordered with a deeper color around constricted pupils as she studied whatever was on her monitor.
She had every presence of a senior officer and every movement seemed calculated yet effortless as she typed. She was some hot woman even with the spiky hair, Ewan Fitzpatrick thought, and not for the first time, but man, was she difficult.
“You wish to have a picture?” Frei snapped without bothering to look at him.
“Yes, ma’am,” he mumbled then shook his head. “I mean, no, ma’am.”
Frei flicked those penetrating eyes to him. “I thought you’d prefer Renee’s picture.”
“Can’t deny that, ma’am.” He shrugged. He sure wanted Renee’s picture and marriage but she kept on turning him down. He didn’t get it. She was single and she might have dated a girl or two but so had he, they could work with it. They could.
“What do you want, Ewan?” Frei said, her eyes flashing with a hint of amusement.
“Marriage?” He gave her his best smile. “But she’s not interested.”
“No.” Frei rolled her eyes. “You are sweating on my office floor.”
Ewan let out a breath. “’Cause you don’t have a window open and the air-con has been out for most of the morning.”
“Lorelei fell into the control sensor.” Frei leaned back in her chair and glared at him. “She does not mix well with electricity.” She focused on him in a way that made him stand to attention straighter. “You’re still sweating on my office floor.”
“Fitzpatrick, I will make you take Lorelei through firearms training.” Frei sat bolt straight, like she could leap from the window and run the assault course without hesitation.
He sighed again. “It’s Renee.”
“Fitzpatrick, she’s attracted to women; get over it.” Frei narrowed her eyes and her brow dipped enough she had a frown line.
“She wants to come back to base. She’s concerned that Lorelei will need her help to get through boot camp.” He might have thought Frei was difficult but Renee was too and more feisty about it. “She isn’t buying the dummy assignment.”
Frei got up from her chair and strode to her window. “She is not to come back here. He’s been sighted nearby. I want her on that assignment.”
“I told her that.” He threw his arms up. “You know as well as me, she doesn’t follow orders she doesn’t agree with… anymore.” He stared at the window but he wasn’t really seeing any of the buildings beyond it just the image of Renee attached to a bed with oxygen strapped to her.
“Because she should be in charge.” Frei put her hands on her hips. “We need to keep her away from him.”
“I get that, ma’am, but she doesn’t know we’re doing it to protect her from Bucher.” He took a big breath. “Maybe we should tell her the truth?”
Frei simply turned to glare and he hunched.
“You wish to be in charge, Fitzpatrick?” She turned and gave her the full hot mean woman stance she pulled so much.
“No, ma’am.” He took another big breath. “But Renee needs to know and she’s worried about Lorelei.”
He didn’t get why. Lorelei looked like she could handle herself even though she was so quiet. Seemed nice but he didn’t get why she was in boot camp. She wasn’t exactly CIG material.
“Lorelei will quit and go home to her family,” Frei said without a hint of emotion. “Renee is on an assignment, where I have sent her. I expect her to follow orders.”
Yeah, like Renee was going to do that. She had changed too much since Bucher hurt her. Before, she followed orders; now, she refuses to leave POIs like Lorelei and took on guys like Sam Casey when she was debilitated and should be retired.
“Do not give me that look.” Frei turned back to the window. “Tell her to focus on her assignment.”
“And what do you want me to say about Lorelei?” he asked. He knew Renee would demand an update. Before, she’d always been good at leaving POIs behind when she’d completed an assignment; Now, she drifted off during briefings and annoyed him for updates from the tutors on base.
“Nothing.” Frei waved her hand.
“Renee isn’t going to accept that, ma’am.” Ewan hoped his gentle tone would help. He didn’t want to be in the middle. He didn’t get why Frei wouldn’t just talk to Renee herself.
“She will have to accept that,” Frei said, tone without emotion but she hitched her shoulders and clenched her fist. “She is not to be anywhere near Bucher.”
“Isn’t she safer on base though?” he asked, hunching.
“Safer?” Frei turned and the glint in her eyes matched the slight upturn of her pale lips. “He has already caused incidents in the local area because he knows Renee was nearby. I have had to send a team to help the police force.” She clenched her fist. “You know full well that if Renee knows he has targeted people, she will run to the rescue.”
“Won’t she anyway?” He kept his stance perfect but the sweat soaked through his shirt. “Ma’am, you’re here and she will charge in if she thinks anybody will target you… and she seems to be real fond of Lorelei.”
“If she is too emotionally involved, I will make Lorelei quit.” Frei waved at him, eyes flaring. “Get out of my office.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He saluted and strode out of the office. Renee did seem… interested in Lorelei and Lorelei was attractive and athletic and kind… but she was far younger and a recruit… and she blew the air-con. He was a valued team player, he looked good, he had his own quarters. Where was the competition? He grunted to himself as he waved at Brenda the receptionist. He liked Lorelei but it still wasn’t fair. He wanted to marry Renee.
He pulled out his cellphone and dialed Renee’s number. “Hi—”
“How is she doing?” Renee asked as though she’d been staring at her cell waiting for him to call.
“Who, Frei?” He waved to Doctor Montgomery as he headed into the mess. “She’s grouchy as always.”
“She has to run CIG, you’d be grouchy too.” Renee sounded genuinely delighted to hear about Frei. Maybe she liked Frei too? Ugh. He couldn’t compete with Frei. “I meant Lorelei.”
“She blew the air-con,” he muttered. He was going to head to Dusty’s bar and drink on it. “Frei said if you come back to base to see her, she’ll send Lorelei home.”
“If she does that, I’ll go home too,” Renee said with that fiery tone when her eyes lit up and her mouth parted and she just looked like… just… hot but like amazing hot inside and out.
“You’re not allowed to quit. I need my drinking buddy,” he said and picked up a tray.
“I expect extra drinks for not giving me a good update,” Renee said with a chuckle. “My update is that my POI has got his dentures cleaned.”
Ewan smirked. Frei had tasked him to find an assignment so Renee was babysitting an old guy he used to see at the shelter. “Make sure he doesn’t leave his wallet again.”
Renee sighed. “I picked it up for him, twice, and he wants me to move in.” She tutted. “I’m not even using vials and I’ve only met him a handful of times.”
“He’s got sense.” Ewan swallowed down his grunt. “I need to work Elaine to get my favorite cookie.”
“Keep me updated,” Renee chimed and hung up.
Ewan pocketed his phone and smiled at Elaine the elderly lady behind the counter. At least she appreciated him and she was far less difficult.
“I got your favorite,” she said with a beaming smile.
“Don’t suppose you want to marry me?” he mumbled as he took his cookie.
“Would love to but John might get upset with me,” she said with a wink.
He sighed. Maybe he should ask Lorelei instead; that way, he’d see Renee a lot more. He rubbed the sweat off his neck. Then again, he liked air-con.