Expecting someone else?
Taylor's busy working on a bunch of projects, so she asked me to step in.
I don't really have anything done yet, but I've also started my next project for Adam.
See, I wrote Recruiting Kendra, about how I got sucked into working for OutLook. tl;dr: I was young and dumb.
Apparently a bunch of you have asked, "What happened next?"
I didn't want to tell the story. It's not pretty, and it still hurts.
But the problem with telling tales is you can never tell just one.
So now I need to answer it.
It's going to be called Losing Kendra, because, well, you'll see.
I will have it done for the next collection Adam is doing, but I thought I'd give you a preview.
Leaving OutLook took longer than I expected.
Rose was cleared in a few days.
I was beat to shit, which meant the medics didn’t clear me for a full two weeks. Luckily for them, they allowed I was well enough to not need monitoring after a couple days and permitted me to go back to the barracks.
That’s where I got my first pleasant surprise in days.
Our training cadre was gone. Marie had been passed on to her specialized training, as had the other survivors, which left Rose and me in our improvised couple’s corner. Seeing it twanged my hearstrings. So many of the people who’d rearranged the barracks to give us the illusion of privacy were gone, dead because of a decision I’d made.
I was still dealing with the fallout from my choice, but Rosie had helped immensely. And so had…
“Foster-Briggs. And Emmons. I should have guessed you two would be together.”
Our instructor through the hell that was basic training, gruff old man, and basic pain in my ass.
I played up my injuries. “Whaddya want, Rollie? I’m not supposed to be active for long.”
He snorted. “I’m sure your doctor would be happy to know you’re following their instructions, at least when it suits you.”
I didn’t need to see Rosie to know she flushed. We’d been busier than the medicos would have wanted, granted. But it wasn’t any business of Rollie’s, and he knew it. We’d been down this road before.
“Cut it out, Rollie, and tell me what’s going on.”
“We need this space for the next crew, so you need to get out.” Typical Rollie, blunt.
Rose gasped and my grip on her hand tightened. I kept my temper, though.
“Where are we sleeping?”
He nodded approval. Motherfucker. This was another one of his tests?
“We have a dorm for agents who are on-campus.”
This was news to me, but then we’d been running flat-out for a month and a half in our training for our new positions as couriers. The debacle at our culminating exercise probably screwed up their plans for an orderly transition.
I waited, but as usual Rollie wasn’t volunteering any information.
“Gather your belongings and follow me. Don’t worry about uniforms, just your personal stuff.”
Another non-answer. At least it gave us something to do.
We didn’t talk as we packed our meager things. Neither of us brought much to training, and the opportunities for shopping had been minimal. It didn’t take long to fill my pack, and not much more for Rosie.
“Ready.” If he wasn’t going to give us information, well, two could play at that game.
He turned and headed for the exit.
“Do you know where these rooms are?” I whispered to Rose.
“No. Do you think they’ll let us have a room together?”
That hadn’t occurred to me. Shit.
He grunted but didn’t stop walking along the corridor.
“Do we have a room together?”
“Damn you, Rollie, this is important.” I was irritated and hurting. Although I’d exaggerated my injured state a few minutes earlier, I was nowhere close to healthy. And I wasn’t about to lose Rosie. Not after what happened.
“You think you’re gonna dictate terms to OutLook, Foster-Briggs?”
“Nope. But neither of us have signed the revised contracts yet. If we don’t like what we hear, we walk.”
I didn’t hear his response, but I knew we had him over a barrel. OutLook owed us our training pay, plus the compensation for our trauma. Altogether, we were looking at twenty-one kilos of gold.
It wasn’t enough to retire on, but put together? We’d have breathing space, plus enough to start our lives together, free of OutLook’s shackles.
“That’s right!” Rose didn’t know where I was going with this, but I loved she backed me without question.
“There are couples dorms,” Rollie admitted. I felt it hurt him to say it and took a moment’s pleasure, which was quickly quashed. “For married couples only.”
“Take us there.” There was no doubt in Rose’s voice and we both turned to her.
Rollie reacted first. “You’re not married.”
“We can be soon enough, and why assign us separate rooms just to change it all again?”
“Marry?” My mouth finally caught up to my mind.
Rose took both my hands in hers. “Marry. Marry me, Kendra. There’s nobody I’ve ever been with who compares to you. I don’t care how little time we’ve had together; I want all the time we have coming.”