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Monday, April 7, 2014

Steven & Bernie ( or odd couple's outing)

            Steven stretched and accidentally elbowed Christie in the ribs. She sputtered awake with an indignant glare and he laughed and scooped her up into his arms, “I’m so sorry! I’m not used to having someone in bed with me.”

            The agent smiled at him and shrugged, “Me neither, honestly.” he reached onto the hotel nightstand and picked up the crappy plastic clock so that he could squint at the numbers. It was nearly three in the afternoon, and Steven felt only slightly guilty about having slept for so long, since he and Christie had been awake until roughly eight that morning.

            All of his belongings had been carefully packed up, along with the equipment that he was going to have to take with him to Liberty Cross, and his suitcases stood like awkward porters at the foot of the bed, draped as they were with the discarded clothes of both of the sleepers.  

            Steven grunted, “We have to get up…I have to go soon.”

            Christie cuddled closer to him and planted a kiss on his chest, “But this is so nice.”

            “I know…it’s nice to do this again.” He titled her face up towards him and grinned, “So, when I come back from BFE, can I take you on a date?”

            “We already had this conversation and I already said sure.” Christie pulled her face away and sat up.

            “I know…I just wanted to make sure that you hadn’t changed your mind.”

            “I might if you keep asking.” she snatched up her pants from on top of his roller bag and cast about for the underwear that was traditionally worn with them, “Anyway, who knows when you are going to get back.”

            Steven scratched his arm and tried to look nonchalant, “I honestly don’t know. I mean, it is an outbreak of an unknown virus.”

            “If you come back with Ebola or covered in oozing sores, consider our date off.”

            The toxicologist snorted and pulled Christie’s discarded panties out from where they’d been tangled in the blankets, “Looking for these?”

            Christie grabbed them out of his hands, “Pervert.”

            “What? I wasn’t the one that threw them off in a whirlwind of passion.”

            Christie openly laughed, “Oh my god, did you really just say that?”

            Steven stood up and pulled her towards him, his mouth meeting hers as he did so. She let him kiss her for a few moments before she twisted away and snorted at him, “I have to get dressed! I have things to do that I was supposed to have done a long time ago.”

            Steven nodded, “Alright. I’m going to take a quick shower. You’d better still be here when I get back.” he hurried into the bathroom, but despite the fact that he only took five minutes, she was not still there when he emerged.


A company car picked up Steven half an hour before the sun finished setting, and when he piled all of his equipment that he’d gathered from his hotel into the car’s trunk, he was surprised that his mind was focused not at all on what he was going to find at the outbreak site, but rather on the way that Christie’s hair had smelled.

            He sat down on the worn out seats and was surprised to see that Bernie was already situated in the far rear of the SUV where the shadows were longest. He looked even worse that he had in the Director’s office, if physically possible, and when Steven nodded hello Bernie just let his mouth loll open with a halfhearted grunt of acknowledgement.

            Steven scratched the back of his neck as the car sped off and he mused out loud, “I was expecting to be picked up some time ago. Four hours to be exact. “

            The car’s driver didn’t respond, and Bernie looked as if he had slipped into something just short of a coma, so the toxicologist shut his mouth and examined his cuticles intently, trying not to let himself become too unnerved by his present company.

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