#3 in the third series of Mouse stories. Read the others here.
Mouse’s Love Affair…with Pecan Sandies
This is my third mission. I presume it’s my third mission. Everyone is already sitting in the conference room when I arrive. Nick Ryder’s voice drones on. He raises an eyebrow at my tardiness but continues speaking.
I sprawl into the chair next to Linda, the new woman who looks like she may have been a Marine drill sergeant, and Tom. Carefully I pour coffee, add cream and sugar, and then pile my paper plate with pecan sandies. Oh, don’t you just love them? They are like shortbready goodness with pecans. My love for pecans knows no bounds.
I chomp on one and feel the ripple of joy sweep through me. It’s been so long since I’ve had a pecan sandie. Love, love, love!
I’m chewing with my eyes closed when I realize that the room has fallen into silence. Opening my eyes, I glance around and realize everyone is staring at me. I’m darned sure, well, almost darned sure that I wasn’t moaning with each bite. My fingertips move to my lips and I nonchalantly search for wayward crumbs as I glance around. Finally my eyes come to rest on Nick Ryder. Is that steam rising from his ears? No, it’s smoke from the window outside. That’s curious. What’s going on outside?
I stand up a little and look over his shoulder. “The garage is on fire.”
“Honestly Mary Elizabeth, if you weren’t so damned good at your job and if I hadn’t signed you to a contract that seems to be benefitting mostly you—”
“No, really, sir,” I say and then grin. I just called him sir. It must be my mostly dormant respectful streak. “The garage is on fire.”
His eyebrow raises again, but giving me the benefit of the doubt, he looks over his shoulder out the window. “Fucking hell,” he says.
Someone pushes the alarm and everyone hurries from the room, except for me. No one has ever bothered telling me what I’m supposed to do regarding a fire that’s not directly in our building. I continue to munch on the pecan sandies while examining the slideshow Nick had been plodding through. Sighing I wonder why he doesn’t ask me to put together these slideshows. The graphics are abominable.
Huh. I’m going undercover with Joe as his girlfriend. Like who is going to believe that?
An explosion shakes the building. I’m mildly surprised the windows don’t break but then I presume they are special bulletproof ones because that would makes sense, wouldn’t it? I grab another cookie, move to the window and watch the strategic chaos outside. That’s when I notice someone near the treeline, hiding.
I jab speed dial. “Tom, there’s someone hiding beyond the pond near the trees.”
Immediately a group of people pull their guns from their holsters and are spreading out toward the trees. Then I catch a reflection that reminds me of the sun bouncing off of a scoped gun.
Something hits the window in front of me. There’s a slight crack. Then another crack. I dive down, covering my head as the whole window explodes. I guess those windows were only semi-bulletproof, if that’s even a thing. I stay on the ground, with glass shards sparkling around me, thinking: someone just shot at me. Me! The only thing I can think is: what the hell? I’m just little old Georgie aka Mary Elizabeth. Who in this frigging world would want to do me harm?
My cell phone vibrates on the carpet next to me. I don’t even look at the caller id. I’m sure it’s Tom.
“Next time I won’t miss. I owe you, bitch.” The voice has been through a voice changer. There’s no way I can recognize it. But calling me “bitch?” Really? I’ve never really been one of those, except to Tom’s ex-girlfriend’s girlfriend. She did call me that.
“Owe me for what?” I ask, to no one because whoever called has hung up.
Joe runs into the room. “Mouse, are you okay?”
I sit up, shrug, and stare at my cell. “Someone called me a bitch,” I say, holding up the cell as if he could see that interaction.
I shake my head mystified before looking back at him.
“Is there glass in the cookies?” I ask.
He frowns before handing me the plate with the remaining pecan sandies. I start munching again as he plucks glass shards from my hair. What a weird life! At least there are cookies.