MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - Chapter 4

MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

by Sleethr

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Sequel to: MAU: More Than Meets the Eye

Jenna discovers that she is a secret agent.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents
are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright  © 2013 by R. Nelson aka Sleethr
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


 

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Chapter Four

{“Hey Jenna, what’s up?} Jenna heard Sadie’s cheerful voice followed by a faint metal on metal sound on the other end of two thousand plus miles.

{“Ummm…”} Jenna stalled, it sounded like Sadie was busy in the kitchen and she wasn’t sure how to break the news that she screwed up.

{“What did he do?”} Sadie asked, catching on far too quickly that something was wrong with her friend.

Jenna found her mood temporarily buoyed by her friend’s suspicions, but the truth brought her back down, forcing her to heavily sigh with resignation. {“Nothing, but I sorta ran into a little trouble tonight and I wanted to see if you could give Agent L a heads up for me.”}

{“Oh, that’s not good.”} Sadie instantly replied before pausing for a brief second. {“What happened?”}

It took Jenna a little over five minutes to give her the details of the pirate attack on the yacht and she had to switch the conversation a few times from a report of her actions, to a distressed sounding recount of what she heard happened due to potential eavesdroppers. A normal friend would’ve been stunned and tried to accuse Jenna of trying to play a joke on her, but not Sadie. Even though repelling pirates on the high seas sounded like the making of a good movie plot and Jenna knew that her friend believed her and was more than willing to drop everything and come to her aid.

{“How long ago did this happen?”} Sadie asked.

Jenna thought back and guesstimated the time based on the stars and the moon. She felt weary and slightly shell shocked. It seemed like it was hours and hours ago, but in reality, only a little over an hour had passed. {“An hour or so. I’ve been helping with the cleanup and I’ve tried to tell them it wasn’t me, but I can tell they don’t believe me and I expect things to change once we meet up with the U.S. Navy ship that has been dispatched to meet us.”}

{“What’s the ETA?”}

Jenna sighed. {“Somewhere between six and eight hours.”}

{“Well, I think you did the right thing; you couldn’t let the pirates kill everyone, but you’re right, your alibi is paper thin.”} Sadie paused for a few seconds before continuing. {“I just grabbed your location and calculated the flight time. If you need me, I can be there in forty-five minutes.”}

Jenna nearly dropped her phone. {“Seriously?! Holy crap dude, that’s cool, but that probably wouldn’t help and I’m guessing a lot of three letter agencies wouldn’t be happy with you either.”} She chuckled before letting out a defeated sigh. {“No, I’m just going to have to face the music and take my lumps.”}

{“Okay, I’ll call Natalie and give her a heads up. Then, I’ll give the Agency a ring. Maybe Agent L will have some ideas.”} Sadie paused. {“Today looks pretty light for meetings. I might try to bug out extra early and fly over to provide you with some air support. I’ll check back with you in two hours and if I don’t hear from you in four hours, I’ll assume you need help and come in hot and heavy.”}

{“Thanks-”} Jenna’s voice caught, forcing her to pause and gather her composure. {“I really appreciate the offer and I don’t know what I’d do without you and Michelle. It’s nice to know you’ve got my back.”}

{“Hey, de nada. I know you’d do the same for me.”}

Jenna felt a lump her throat as her friend proved to her how much of a true friend she really was. She sighed with resignation as she fought back her tears. {“Okay, I need to go now. Mike and the Captain are coming this way and I think it’s ‘that’ time.”}

{“Good luck and remember, I got yer back, bud!”}

Sadie’s willingness to do whatever Jenna needed left her feeling a little more optimistic. With her spirit buoyed, she anxiously turned to face the music. She could tell by the Captain’s expression that they he had a few questions and they probably weren’t what she wanted to have for breakfast. Thinking of breakfast caused her stomach to growl, reminding her that she needed to eat. Her regeneration took a lot of energy and the pound of cold cuts and cheese she snuck from the galley fridge wasn’t enough.

Captain Hayes looked authoritative in his clean and non-blood stained uniform and Mike had also changed out of his blood stained clothes. The two men she had dispatched with her katana, and the pirate leader’s amputated hand had sprayed a lot of blood on the bridge. No one got off the bridge without a few bloodstains on their clothes and the blood was impossible to avoid during the cleanup and removal of the bodies.

Jenna self-consciously glanced down to her own bloodstained top. It had a few small stains to go with the larger stains on her sweat pants. She had elected to remain barefoot because she was sure that whatever shoes she might have worn, would’ve also had some blood stains on them.

After restoring power to the ship and reaching the bridge, she promptly ruined her top when she used her Army first aid training to treat the pirate leader and stop his bleeding. He feebly tried to fight her, but his reaction was almost pitiful due to the large amount of blood he had lost before she got there. He was currently under lock and key with a guard posted and she doubted he would be a problem any time soon. He might still die, but no one seemed to care one way or the other.

The pirate Mike fought put up a good fight, but Mike knew what he was doing and quickly disabled the man. The pirate was not a happy man and he was in a lot of pain because Mike broke his right arm and dislocated his shoulder, but Jenna didn’t think he had much room to complain. He was still alive and that made Jenna wish she had been able to disable the pirates instead of killing them. With six dead pirates to her name, she felt incredibly guilty. Like she should’ve tried harder to not kill those men and if she had only been a better person; she would’ve found a way. Mike was the real hero; she was just a killer and a fake.

Mike and Jenna put the dead pirates and the weapons in their boat. No one wanted them on the yacht. Jenna thought it would’ve been easier and less messy to simply toss them overboard and feed the sharks, but the Captain decided that the authorities would want them for evidence.

Mike surprised her during the cleanup and body removal. He had no problems dealing with the dead bodies and she belatedly realized that she probably should’ve pretended to be more freaked out, but, thanks to her time in Iraq, she had far more experience than the typical American woman. As a result, she only reinforced her cold blooded killer identity and removed what little doubt there was over who killed the pirates.

As the pair approached her, Mike looked relaxed, but she could read his body language pretty well by now. He was on edge and was ready to fight her if she tried something. She didn’t want to fight anyone right now and especially not him, but she understood his reasoning. She wasn’t who he thought she was and he probably felt a little upset with her.

Jenna lied to him and she felt guilty for deceiving Mike and her friends in the film crew, but she didn’t have a choice. How does someone start a truthful conversation around finding an alien machine and not only turning themselves into a super-hero, but a woman too? Mr. Stevens kind of knew a little. Well, he knew that she could heal faster than normal and had some strong bones, but she had been purposefully vague when she confided in him and he hadn’t asked for more details either.

Captain Hayes’ eyes were steely serious as he politely acknowledged her with a respectful nod. “Miss Vasquez. If you would be so kind as to join us in the dining area. We have a few questions for you.”

This was it. ‘Game over man, game over!’ Jenna found her ability to find humour, even dark humour, in the situation very encouraging considering how likely it was that she was going to be fired and maybe even arrested once the Navy got here. “Yes, sir.” She sighed with resignation.

Both men parted, allowing her to pass before they followed her into the dining area. She felt mildly surprised that they didn’t try to detain her, but what would be the point? She was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and no one was that good of a swimmer. She could take the pirate’s boat, but where would she go?

Well, where would Jenna go because once she changed back to Hector, she would be in the clear. It would be pretty simple. She could call Sadie to come get her and then Jenna would disappear forever. No more movie to deal with and Hector could return to his regular life, get married to Natalie and live happily ever after. It was so simple, but for Jenna, it felt like the coward’s way out and neither Jenna or Hector was a coward.

The crew and all of her fellow passengers were waiting in the dining room and everyone still looked a little shell shocked over what had happened. One of the crew and Mr. Steven’s assistant were staring off into space and didn’t react to her presence. Kim smiled and restrained herself with a half-wave, but it looked like she wanted to jump up and hug her. Mr. Stevens calmly nodded while John studied her with an excited gleam in his eyes that told her he was thinking about how he might be able to work this into the script.

She expected Kim to be the one having problems, but it was Kelly who worried her. Jenna expected her to be working the angles to try and spin the attack into something positive for the movie, instead she sat alone and visibly flinched as Jenna’s eyes passed over her. It looked like she was afraid of her and Jenna didn’t know what to do about it. She wanted to go over and reassure the woman she thought of as a friend that everything was okay, but she now didn’t seem like a good time.

On the table was a small pile containing the various and dubious forms of identification the pirates carried on their person as well as the AK-47 she had cut in half. Jenna frowned at the sight of the AK-47. She was hoping no one would notice or even better, simply toss the broken weapon overboard.

Her katana sat next to the AK-47, but it didn’t look the same. The blade was now a flat piece of black metal and the hilt was a slightly larger block of metal without any details. If she didn't know any better, she would’ve thought it was a simple, crude sword shaped object someone in metal shop hacked together to look like a sword.

It was more evidence to be used against her, but it certainly didn’t look like a sword that had sliced a man’s head off. If only she hadn’t dropped the thing or if it had disintegrated like the shurikens, but a disintegrating sword might have been harder to explain. However, she wasn’t sure if the hunk of black metal sitting on the table was any easier to explain. She worried about what would happen if she didn’t reclaim her sword. Would her symbiote reform the katana the next time she activated her costume or would she not have a sword anymore?

This was the closest she had been to her sword since she dropped it and she knew Greg was smart enough to not make his symbiote intelligent, but she felt a powerful urge to hold her sword. The urge wasn’t hers. It came from somewhere else and that worried her a little. Did Greg somehow mess up and was her costume going to go bad on her?

Her eyes remained focused on her sword until Captain Hayes started the ‘interview’. “Now that we have everyone together and the unpleasant tasks are behind us, it’s time to review what we know. We will be rendezvousing with a U.S. Navy Cruiser in approximately six hours and it will be a good idea to have all our ducks in a row.”

He paused and brief, brittle smile crossed his lips before he heavily sighed. “We have two crew members dead and after questioning Mr. St. Vincent and his lackey, Mr. Bowler, I consider it extremely fortunate that we have Mr. Powers and Miss Vasquez on board.”

Captain Hayes nodded in Mike’s and Jenna’s direction. “Yes, very fortunate indeed. I have learned that our assistant engineer’s hospitalization was not an accident and his temporary replacement was not the man he appeared to be.”

He glanced briefly to Jenna, but she forced herself to remain stoic when what she really wanted to do was grab her sword, rip the bandaid off and admit to being the murdering ninja, but Captain Hayes was playing his cards close to his chest. “At a prearranged time and place, Mr. James, or whatever his real name was, murdered our chief engineer and completely disabled my ship. While we were dead in the water, Mr. James’ associates boarded and murdered First Officer Lovets. Their plan was to force everyone overboard without any life vests or life rafts, where it was expected we would drown in the middle of the Pacific, another tragic and unexplained loss at sea.” His lips compressed with barely controlled fury. “Then, the Bastard’s plan was to sell this ship on the black market where it would be renamed, retitled and sold to some unscrupulous buyer on the other side of the world.”

“Oh my god!” Kelly woke from her fugue and began to cry softly, causing Kim to rush to her side and comfort her.

It broke Jenna’s heart to see the woman she had come to think of as a friend so distraught, but there was nothing she could do. Especially, when she was probably one of the reasons, but she wasn’t willing to take all the blame. It was really the pirates who were responsible, but based on Kelly’s reaction to her, she couldn’t help feeling that she blamed her.

Captain Hayes’ revelations didn’t surprise Jenna in the slightest and it didn’t appear to surprise Mike either. After all, he was there on the bridge when their leader boasted about selling the yacht and how else could they have done that if there were witnesses to report the yacht stolen or contest the sale? Mr. Stevens grew pale and he shakily reached out for a glass of water, but it looked like he wanted something stronger and John happily scribbled in his notepad, presumably for the script.

Captain Hayes focused his attention on Jenna. “And this brings us to the identity of our mysterious benefactor.”

Everyone turned to look at Jenna, even Kelly. “Umm, hi?” Jenna gulped and wished she had a bottle of vodka she could shotgun to help with the initial pain.

“I was getting ready for bed when the power failed...” She started from the beginning and with all the questions, it took her a little over twenty minutes for her to tell her account of the action.

The Captain asked her why she decided to go to the engine room and how she figured out how to restore the power.

Kim told her part and explained how she shot the man threatening Jenna. She seemed to be coping with the fact that she killed a man fairly well, but she also didn’t see the results at close range and the shot was pure luck.

Jenna thought she was in the clear until Mike skeptically crossed his arms and turned to face her directly. “Hmm, that’s an interesting story Jenna,” he gestured to the AK-47 cut cleanly in two, “but you haven’t explained where you hid your impossibly sharp katana, shurikens and ninja costume, where those items are hidden now and,” He gestured to the lump of a sword, “how that thing could cut anything, let alone a human. The costume, I’m not worried about, but the sword and the shurikens are a little alarming to me. The shurikens completely disappeared and the sword turned into a,” he gestured to the sword. “lump of metal in my hand. How in the hell did it do that?”

She debated about telling him what she knew about the costume, but she couldn’t because how could she explain a secret alien machine to these people? The Agency would not be happy with that at all. It was far easier to go on letting everyone think she was some sort of ninja thing because ninjas were more believable.

Jenna shrugged and apologetically smiled. “Umm, I’m not sure. Ancient ninja secret?”

Captain Hayes and Mike didn’t look very pleased with her reply, but Kim, Mr. Stevens and Mike were the only people she felt that she might be able to trust with part of the secret. She thought it might be okay to show them the costume and claim it’s some super top secret government project. It would be kind of a stretch, but, in her opinion, it was more believable than little green men from Mars letting her play with their crazy machine. She would’ve also liked to think she could trust Kelly, but based on her current state of mind, she wasn’t sure if that would be wise.

The Captain pinched the bridge of his nose and slowly shook his head as he considered his response. It looked like he wanted to order her to tell or consider making her walk the plank, but whatever he was going to say next was interrupted by the acting First Officer’s call. “Captain Hayes to the bridge, please.”

“Excuse me.” Captain Hayes glared at Jenna for a moment before heading to the bridge.

Without the Captain, Jenna became the center of attention. “Well, care to explain yourself Jenna?” Mike asked. “If that’s your real name…”

“Yes, it’s my real name.” Jenna cringed as she lied to him, but she couldn’t tell them she was really a man named Hector. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t exactly tell you about-”

Jenna’s phone began to ring, drawing everyone’s attention to the unexpected interruption. “Sorry, I probably need to answer this.” She gingerly picked it up and glanced at the calling number. It wasn’t Sadie and it wasn’t a number she recognized. Unsure over who it could be, she walked to the stern to get better satellite reception and some privacy.

Mike looked like he was about to try and stop or follow her, but he sighed and waved her away.

“Hola?” Jenna hesitantly spoke into her phone.

{“Hi Jenna, Agent L here.”}

Jenna was a little surprised that she was calling her so soon. “That was fast and why can’t you use something other than a letter? Agent L just sounds so weird.”

Agent L chuckled. {“You’re a very ‘busy’ woman these days Jenna, but I made a few calls and everything has been handled.”}

“What? How?” Jenna didn’t know what to say or think. How could Agent L, who was thousands of miles away have any impact on what happens when they meet up with the Navy?

{“Congratulations, you are now CIA Special Agent Jennifer Vasquez!”} Agent L was having way too much fun with her.

“Ha, ha...not funny.” Jenna sighed.

{“I’m serious. When you get into trouble, you don’t take half measures, do you?”}

“It wasn’t exactly my fault! I mean, how many yachts get attacked by f’ing pirates?!?!”

{“You’d be surprised. Ten, at least. Interpol has been on the case for three years now and thanks to you, they got their first big break.”}

“Huh?”

{“Yes, a fairly large number of yachts have been thought to be have been lost at sea, but a few have miraculously turned up under a new name and owner a few years later.”}

Jenna felt the yacht’s course change. It seemed to be moving to a northerly heading. “We just changed course.”

{“That would probably be the instructions to head to the Marshall Islands. A team of Interpol and CIA agents will be landing there in about four or five hours. They will take the bodies and the pirates off your hands and after a few hours, send you on your way.”}

“Okaaayy, but I don’t know how to be a CIA agent! What in the hell am I supposed to say and how am I going to explain what I did?”

{“Simple, you don’t. It’s Top Secret, Need to Know and none of them are cleared. You’re there on a different assignment and just happened to get lucky.”}

“I am? What’s this other assignment?”

{“Sorry, that’s classified.”} Agent L giggled as Jenna groaned with frustration.

“That’s not going to work. Well, it might work for the agents, but it will probably get me fired because no one likes having a spook around.”

{“Hmmm, true. Okay, you’re honorably discharged, but like the Army, you’re never really out; they can call you back at any time. How’s that sound?”}

“That might work…” Jenna mulled it over. “Yeah, it’ll probably work, but what about my sword and ninja costume?”

{“Fall back on the ‘it’s classified’ excuse, because it’s true.”}

“Even to the other CIA agents?”

{“Yep, but they’ve been instructed not to ask. Special Agents have a certain amount of leeway. Just think of yourself as Jenna Bond and you’ll be in the right mindset.”}

“What about the AK-47 I cut in half?”

{“You cut an AK-47 in half?!? Wow, that’s a sharp sword. I think we need to bring you down to our labs so our material science geeks can take a look at it, but for now --the CIA doesn’t need to know-- get rid of the evidence.”}

“Okay, is there anything else I should know about my CIA career?”

{“Most of it is redacted, but you spent a few stressful years undercover in Central America and received a commendation for you work. I think you can adlib what you did down there.”}

“Yeah, probably. Okay and thanks for your help.”

{“No problem Jenna and good luck with the movie. I’m looking forward to watching it.”}

“Thanks and if I’m not fired; I’ll see if I can get you some tickets.”

Jenna walked back into the dining area with her head spinning and everyone anxiously watching her. Captain Hayes hadn’t returned yet. She guessed he was plotting the course and talking with the Interpol folks. “Umm, it looks like we are going to the Marshall Islands now and I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you all sooner, but I’m with the CIA.” She heard a few gasps of surprise.

“I knew it!” John slapped the table, causing everyone to jump.

Jenna noticed the look of concern on Mr. Stevens’ face. He was either worried that she was going to quit now or he was planning on firing her. “Well, I was, but I got out last year.” Mr. Stevens relaxed a little, but Mike still looked a little apprehensive. “Anyway, I just got off the phone with my ex-boss and he said that a team of Interpol and CIA agents are going to meet us instead of the Navy. The pirates have hijacked and killed the crews of about ten other yachts before reselling them.”

Jenna glanced around the room. She had everyone’s undivided attention. A few of the crew looked horrified, but Kelly seemed to be coming around. She was smiling and wore her ‘I’m plotting something big’ expression. She fell back to her Army briefing training, stood tall and smiled. “So, despite the cost,” she glanced around the room, “we, did a good thing and I’m glad Mr. Powers was onboard to help bring these dangerous men to justice. I’m sure that Interpol will be very grateful that he was onboard too!”

“Gimme that!” Kelly reached over, grabbed the notepad from John and started to furiously write in it.

Mike stood and motioned for her to stop. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just slow down there Jenna. I only stopped one guy and that was only after you stopped the rest.”

“No, it’s perfect!” Kelly shouted triumphantly. “Working together, the stars of the upcoming Mike Powers movie stopped an international gang of pirates!” She laughed and hugged both of them.

Considering Kelly’s previous state, her hug surprised Jenna and even Mike was left scratching his head. “But, that’s not what happened. Well, not exactly. Everyone,” Mike glanced over at the crew, “knows that it was really Jenna.”

“Yes, they do!” Kelly giggled excitedly. “But, you did help and thanks to both of you, the pirate’s plans failed!” She pointed to the pair and glanced back to Mr. Stevens. “We couldn’t buy the amount of buzz that this story will generate once the major news networks get a hold of it.”

Jenna was a little worried about Kelly’s idea because she was pretty sure that issuing a press release would blow her secret. “You can’t do that.”

The three of them paused and glanced up to her. Jenna had no clue what to say, but one of the crime dramas she saw on TV gave her an idea. “Umm, it’s an active investigation and Interpol might need to keep this quiet until they’ve got all the suspects. You should wait and talk to them. Find out if or when they are going to make an announcement.”

With her ‘official’ pronouncement, Mr. Stevens, Mike and Kelly were drawn into a planning huddle until Captain Hayes returned, confirmed the change in plans and dispersed the crew back to their duties. He also respectfully addressed Jenna as “Agent Vasquez”, causing her a little bit of internal conflict because the lies just kept on growing by the second.

Jenna reached for her sword and the thing almost jumped into her hand. It immediately reformed into a sword and she got a feeling that her symbiote was happy to have its part back. It started to absorb back into her body, but she stopped it before it became noticeable. She hoped.

“Holy shit!” Mike edged away from the table.

“Umm, it’s a smart sword?” Jenna hesitantly explained as she looked down at her hand. She was relieved that the hilt looked normal to her. “It’s a safety feature that the Agency is experimenting with and umm, it’s very classified so you all didn’t see this. These are not the droids you’re looking for.” She tried to laugh, but it came out a little hollow and no one else seemed to find it funny.

She glanced down to the broken AK-47. “Ahh, well, so, yeah, I need to go change and I’ll just take care of this too. It’s Classified.”

No one stopped her when she grabbed the broken AK-47 and tossed it overboard, but Mike did give her a glance that said he was going to ask her about it later. As soon as she was out of sight, she let the sword reabsorb into her body and blew out a huge sigh of relief as she leaned against the passageway.

Feeling at a loss for what to do now that she was mostly off the hook, Jenna returned to her cabin, stripped out of her bloodstained clothes and took a shower. First, it was a few drops of red and then, when her hair became saturated, the water ran red. She fell to her knees and began to cry as everything hit her at once. She had never been shot or killed a fellow human being before and the blood brought back the image of the pirate’s head falling from his neck with a spray of blood. She felt like throwing up, but since her body was still demanding fuel for all the repairs, she had nothing to give.

Jenna idly noted that the water was no longer tinted red, but it didn’t matter. If only the memory of seeing her sword cut through another human being was so easy to clean. She knew her actions were justified, but that provided scant comfort.

“Jenna?” Kim called out and receiving no response, followed the sound of running water. Through the frosted glass shower partition, she spotted her friend sitting on the floor and not moving. She opened to door a crack and poked her head in. “Jenna? Oh my god, are you okay?”

“Not really…” Jenna listlessly glanced up, her eyes swollen with tears.

“Oh, you poor thing.” Kim reached over and turned the water off. “Let’s get you out of there before you turn into a prune.” Ignoring her friend’s naked body, she pulled an unresisting Jenna up and wrapped a towel around her torso.

Jenna let Kim push her out of the bathroom and onto her bed. “Lemme get another towel for your hair. We wouldn’t want it to get all tangled.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s not real. It’s fake, just like me.” Jenna started crying again. “Damn estrogen…” She muttered.

“Shhh, don’t say that. You’re real, but you’re probably suffering from a little PTSD from dealing with the pirates. It happens to the best and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.” Kim smiled encouragingly as she wrapped Jenna’s wet hair up in a towel.

The PTSD diagnosis, Jenna could agree on. She’d had a few buddies who needed to be treated for it and she recognized the symptoms. “Yeah, maybe a little. I’ve never actually killed anyone before. It seemed so easy at the time and I sort of wondered why it didn’t bother me, but then, in the shower, I saw the blood and…” Jenna stared at her hands and couldn’t continue

“Well, I’m here for you!” Kim giggled and gave Jenna another hug before grabbing her hand and sitting beside her. “You did the right thing and saved the lives of a lot of people today. You can be proud of that and in all honesty, I’m kind of glad you’re feeling the way you are because I’d be even more worried if you weren’t.”

“What?” Jenna wasn’t sure why Kim was reassured by her breakdown.

“It’s simple.” Kim looked her in the eyes. “When I saw you in your ninja costume, I was a little scared, but then you saved us and killed all those men. At first, I thought it was great, but then I thought about how I killed that man and how upset it made me feel and I watched you walk around like nothing was wrong. Hell, you even helped with the dead bodies and I thought to myself, ‘How could she be such a cold blooded killer? I thought I knew her.’ “She smiled and gave Jenna’s hands another squeeze. “But now, I know you’re not that and I’m happy to consider you my friend.”

Jenna smiled wanly at Kim before sighing and looking down to her perfectly attractive legs and feet. “You shouldn’t waste your time with me. I’m just a liar and a big fake.”

Kim gasped and pulled on Jenna’s hand, drawing her eyes back up. “You’re wrong and I’m not going anywhere until I know you’re feeling better.”

Jenna felt tears began to fall from her eyes. “Why? I don’t deserve to have a friend like you.”

“Because you’re you.” Kim smiled encouragingly and gave Jenna a hug before she pulled away and sighed. Her voice turned somber. “And, I had a fiancé. We were one of those sickeningly sweet high school sweethearts you hear about in the stories and we loved each other so much. He joined the Army and I was so proud of him, but he came back from Afghanistan a different man. I didn’t know what happened and he wouldn’t talk to me. He kept having nightmares, but wouldn’t see a doctor. We had a lot of fights and I ended up leaving him because I was afraid he was going to hurt me. Worst mistake I ever made.” Her eyes filled with tears. “He killed himself…”

Jenna pulled Kim to her gave her a hug. “Oh, Kim, I’m sorry for being such a jerk and lying to you.”

Kim wiped her eyes and sniffled. “You’re not a jerk and you had to lie. I mean you’re a ninja and a CIA agent. It’s expected.” She giggled.

“I am not a CIA agent or a ninja. That’s a lie too.” Jenna started to feel a little better as she confided with her friend.  She felt guilty for lying to everyone. Mike and the other people she could ignore the minor pangs of guilt, but not Kim. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt like Kim was a real friend, maybe even one of those BFF’s other women rave about having. Besides, Kim had killed a man to save her life and had been willing to keep her secret like a true friend would. Yes, she didn’t need to be saved, but Kim didn’t know that.

Kim laughed and dismissively waved away her statement. “What? You looked like a ninja to me and I heard what the Captain said.”

“Well, I’m not and I wasn’t in the CIA until I got that call, but the funny part is that not even the CIA knows that I was never in the CIA.” Jenna chuckled as she considered the pretzel logic of her statement.

“What do you mean?” Kim canted her head to the side with confusion.

Jenna held up a finger, signaling Kim to wait a minute as she got up, insured the door was locked and turned on their cabin’s stereo system. “Do you believe in aliens?”

~o~O~o~



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