The young woman shuffled thru the pages on her desk, finding the one
she wanted she tugged it from the others. She stretched, leaning back
in the well-used chair, taking her usual comfort in the familiar creak
of the aged leather. Tonight was the last entry in a fortnight of long
days and late evenings. While she waited for a messenger to bring her a
service record she reread the paper in her hand, the deposition of a
young SEAL named Monk. During the Judge Advocate General (Norfolk
Branch) investigation into the actions employed by Monk's Team, the
young lawyer hadtaken statements from the people who had inhabited Deep
Core concerning the behaviour of the Team Leader, Hiram Coffey. Monk's
had stood out; while others had penned accusations of madness,
pressure-induced psychosis and attempted genocide, Monk had confessed
his betrayal of his commander and written of a man who had gone beyond
the call of reason to fulfill his duty. Monk's words had portrayed a
man who had tried to preserve the safety of all humanity at the cost of
his on; had followed his last given orders. Orders issued by men who
would never know what it was to face the unknown, to be fascinated by
it, to have to destroy it. Men who would never know the undeniable
drive to complete your mission and bring home all that you loved alive.
Men who would never know Coffey.
She ran the pad of her thumb over Monk's words, prose that had brought a ghost alive. She brushed her thumb across her lower lip, tasting te flavour of him there. An errant breeze fanned the sheer fabric that draped her office windows and stole across her skin like a lover's touch. Closing her eyes, she could feel the weight of his breath on her mouth; inhaling deeply she could smell him, as if borne into the room by the zephyr that had crept into her office. She sighed out the breath she'd held as memories of the dreams that invaded her sleep the night before heated her skin. Dreams of a dark haired man with panther like grace and eyes that saw through the lies of the whole world.
Outside her window clouds tumbled into each other and popped with stored elecricity. Rain fell, haphazardly at first and building to a steady rhythm. The air inside her office fed from the charged atmosphere outside until it was heavy, coherent. She could feel him in he small space, feel the heat generated by his presence. He consummed the room, filling it. Tendrils of wind slipped along her bare arms and caressed her cheek. Her skin burned under his touch and she shivered. She refused to open her eyes and find herself alone. A sudden strong gust of wind tore at the curtains and lightening flashed defiantly against the dark clouds layering the sky. The lights of the building flickered timidly and went out, cowed by the strength and beauty of their more powerful relative. In the darkness she could finally see him, tall and intense, the fury of the storm outside comported into flesh. She braced a hand against the edge of her desk as he held out a hand to her.
Mesmerized she rose slowly from her cesk,. Heralded by a harsh blare of light, the generater kicked on and flooded the room with incandescent daylight.
She saw him clearly: feral, dark. Beautiful.
A loud knock on her door startled her and she dropped pen and paper, upsetting a cup of cappacino in the process.
"Come in!" she called, desperately trying to rescue her presentation from the ever growing caffeine-enhanced puddle.
She snagged up the last of the pages that would clear Hiram Coffey as the door clicked shut behind her late-night visitor.
She stashed the papers safely on a table beside her desk while a voice like warm chocolate apologized.
"I know it's late but we got a call over at Little Creek that the Lead Investigator on LT Coffey's board needed his service record back."
She looked up into his chiseled features, tanned from the sun and highlighted by green eyes like warm seawater. He stood in front of her with the same contained urgency that she had sensed earlier.
"I'm James Curran - I just checked in over at SEAL Team Two. Did I cause that?" he indicated the sticky brown goo that was slowly assimilating her desk.
"No," she lied easily.
He took up a box of Kleenix and started mopping up the desktop.
"Any clues to the outcome of the investigation?" he hazarded.
"As Lead Counsel for the Investigation, I'm afraid I can't say until tomorrow at the Hearing." she hedged.
"I understand, " he accepted, his eyes warm with humour.
"But rumour has it that the Lieutenant was only doing his job," she continued smoothly.
He smiled at her, open and friendly.
"I'd like to replace that coffee," he invited.
"I'd like for you to as well," she agreed.
Flashes in my mindís eye. Flashes of lightening and a raging thunderstorm.
A handsome man. A beautiful man. Tall. A thick mustache. Unkempt hair.
His gunbelt discarded on a chair.
Touching. Caressing. Passionate kisses. The feel of his mustache against my skin. Words of love. Being gently laid on my bed. Him moving to lie beside me.
Flashes of lightening and a raging thunderstorm.
ďAnd if you want to sleep, Iíll be quiet like an angel. As quiet as your soul can be.Ē
He holds me close. There is a connection to each other neither of us has ever felt before. Lying dreamily together, safe from the torrents of a harsh life. With me he is his true self. With me he is what he wants to be, not what life has made him. As am I in his arms.
A fresh start is to be made, far from this place. The sun peeks through the clouds. He turns to love me again. Tomorrow weíll start our lives new. Today we will revel in each other.
Flashes in my mindís eye.