Well, these chapters just go to show I’m not infallible.
You maybe thought I was?
Nope. I’m as human as the next woman; I have my court documents to prove it, too! Sorry, wrong book.
Anyways. I can’t really say much without Adam coming down on me for spoilers, which is totally unfair. After all, it isn’t spoilers to me; I lived all this years ago! To me this is just memories.
But I guess maybe not for you.
And if you’re confused by the action – this is Chapter 6 & 7 in BOOK 2 within The Cassidy Chronicles. If you’re looking for the same chapters for Book 1, you’ll have to look in the archives.
Don’t forget to enter to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Triumph’s Ashes! This is an Author’s Proof copy, one of the preliminary copies Adam receives to check for errors and proper typesetting and all that other felgercarb (don’t ask me, I just tell the stories, he has to write them down and do the fiddly bits). The contest runs until August 14, so don’t hesitate, enter today! Click the Rafflecopter button below. And you can also buy your own copy of the book if you’re tired of waiting for chapters by either clicking the BUY ME NOW button or any cover image.
Chapter 6: Plans
“What’s the mission?” asked Cass without preamble.
“Who told you?” If she was surprised at Cass’s knowledge, she didn’t show it.
“Mac let it slip, then I, ah, encouraged her a bit.”
Kendra looked around. “Where is Mac, anyway?”
“I told her to get lost. I think that she’s just a little bit afraid of me.” Cass didn’t seem too apologetic about it.
“Well, the mission ought to be easy enough,” said Kendra, downplaying the importance. “Quick courier run into California. Bring the package, make the drop, and back again. Then we’re out of here.” There was a finality in the last sentence that caught Cass’s attention.
“Oh?” she prompted.
“I told Amanda that I was done,” said Kendra. “One final job, then I’m free of them.”
“Why? I thought you liked this work?”
“I’m good at it,” said Kendra. “I never said I enjoyed it. Well, some bits I like.”
“What about your secret hideaway? Or your car?”
“They’re mine, free and clear. I can complain about their methods, but I can’t complain about the pay. OutLook has always been generous.”
“Kendra. What’s going on, really?” Cass’s tone caught Kendra’s ear; clearly, she wasn’t going to take any non-answers.
“I realized that I couldn’t do this job any longer, not if it were going to take me away from you.”
The embrace Cass wrapped her in was fierce if brief. “Okay, then. How long will this take?”
“According to Amanda, I have to leave for Cali no later than the day after tomorrow. One day to get there, a few days to make contact, another day back. A week, tops.”
“And what am I supposed to do without you?”
“Well, you have Mac to keep you busy.”
“I’m not tired you yet, wench.”
“Not like that! I mean, she’ll get you back in training, maybe help you with your search for Derek – I’ve heard that she’s consistently tops in her classes in data mining, hacking, all sorts of things electronic. Much better than me, I expect.”
Cass looked thoughtful. “If I can get in touch with Lisa again, maybe I can figure out who hijacked my account.”
“See? You’ll keep busy. I’ll be back before you know it.”
“And until then?”
“Well, I have a little bit of background I have to learn – but my time’s pretty much my own for the next day or so.”
“Not anymore. C’mere; let me show you the bedroom…”
Chapter 7: Just A Few Words Before I Go
They ended up having almost thirty-six hours together before Mac, with great trepidation, commed their quarters.
“Sure, Mac, come on down,” said Kendra, looking at the bedroom door. “We’ll be ready for you in a few minutes.”
“Easy for you to say!” called out Cass before closing the door.
Kendra was packed when the signal announced Mac’s arrival.
“Come on in!” she shouted.
“Hi Kendra, looks like you’re ready to go, where’s Cass, is she ready yet because there’s a full afternoon of training that I thought she might want to do and if she doesn’t that’s cool too but we have a great Hapkido instructor you remember Master Cordova don’t you Kendra?”
“He beat the hell out of me for three months until I finally figured it out, so yeah, I remember him.”
“He can be a little rough I guess but you do learn don’t you but in any case with all of your problems I thought that she could use a little self-defense training and then I have time to help her with our computers you know I was first in my training for infiltration and assault on IT systems and a good thing too because that’s what the Director has me doing she doesn’t let me get out in the field very much,” she finished.
“Did I hear you say something about computers?” Cass stepped into the room.
“Yes! I can get you access and show you how -”
“I can navigate around the net pretty well,” she began, then changed her tone when she caught Kendra’s frantic head-shaking. “But I can always use a guide.”
“It’s gonna be fun, I just know it, Director Talbott has told me all about your problem and she told me I can go ahead and hack into HLC’s servers whenever you want me to so what if we do it right after Hapkido and you probably want to get lunch first because Master Cordova won’t let us into his class if we’re even two seconds late, I know that because he did it to me before locked me right out and then chewed me out for missing the lesson, I ask you is that fair I mean I didn’t lock the door he did!”
“What time?” prompted Cass.
“Fourteen, I guess you have plenty of time but I’m just so juiced this is gonna be great have you ever done Hapkido or any martial art before?”
“I used to study capoeira, mostly for the dance aspect of it, but I was pretty good with the esquivas and the ginga. My apelido was Ruiva Alta – still is, I guess, but it’s been a few years since I did anything formally.”
“I never knew you did – what did you say?”
“Capoeira – it’s a Brazilian form of martial art. Lots of legwork and tumbling moves. You’ve seen me do it.”
“Oh, that dancing thing? No wonder I could never keep up!” laughed Kendra.
Cass chuckled as well. “It looks like a dance; that’s what attracted me to it. But it all has a purpose. Don’t know if I want to try to learn a new technique, Mac, so we might pass on the Hapkido.”
“That’s okay, it’ll give us more time to do a little snooping, which is more fun than getting beat up by Master Cordova, did you know that he’s a sixth degree black belt? Pretty rough on the new trainees, I remember being there but now I’m a second degree, I can usually sort of hold my own or at least not get pounded on too bad anymore, maybe it wouldn’t be too much fun for you so we’ll skip if then I guess.”
“That means it’s almost time for me to head out,” added Kendra.
“’Fraid so. Mac?”
“Yes Kendra, what can I – ohhhh.” The penny dropped, and Mac paused at the hallway door. “I’ll just be outside, then.”
The door hadn’t fully closed when Cass wrapped Kendra in her arms. “I don’t want you to go; I don’t trust your Director.”
“Amanda may be a bitch, but she’s always played straight with me. It’s a milk run, for all that it’s high-priority; she could have given it to any one of a dozen agents.”
“So why you? If it was so urgent, why wait for you to get here? You weren’t on a schedule; it could have taken you a week!”
Kendra frowned. “Good point; that hadn’t occurred to me.” The frown deepened before she shook it off. “Nothing I can do about it now. One last mission and I’m done, and we can begin a life together. Deal?”
Firmly, Cass said, “Deal. I’m going to spend most of my time on the computer, see what I can dig out. I want to make sure that your worm wiped out every trace of my research; it wouldn’t do us much good if they still had a copy, would it?”
“Do what you think is best, hon,” replied Kendra. “Maybe you should teach Mac a few moves in your capa – your capo -”
Cass laughed. “Capoeira. Maybe I should. Maybe I should you,” she teased.
“You’ve already taught me a few moves,” began Kendra, but Cass stopped her hands before they went too far.
“Not my type. Go on. I’ll be waiting here for you.”
“Love you, Cass.”
“I love you too, Kendra.”