To John and Kathy the workstations on the plane were beginning to feel like home. They were back in the plane heading south toward Peru. Once back in the air the galley up front had provided much needed coffee and sandwiches.
Now John was busy working on his story. So far he’d come up with quite a bit based on what he had to work with. He’d stretched that content, adding in stuff based on what he hoped to get. But the journalist was beginning to get the feeling someone else was interested in his story for other reasons completely. After all, why else would he still have a CIA agent with him and be flying around the world in a top secret jet.
John looked at the cubicle wall in front of him and thought about the secret agent on the other side of it. His feelings toward her were the same as they had been before Kathy told him her name. He wanted to find out about her. He wanted to spend time with her. He had always considered her attractive, but the more time he spent with her the more attractive she became.
In some ways her revelation changed nothing. They were still the same two people. They had the same jobs, they had the same objective. But in other, deeper ways it changed everything.
Now they could be closer. He could learn what she liked and didn’t like. He was amazed how events had unfolded. She was still living in her top secret world and it was John who had been forced to make the move. He’d been allowed inside her world and even though it turned his upside down he willingly entered. He was willing to do anything to find out who the true Kathy Bennett really was.
It was those the tantalizing long term possibilities that motivated him to accept those changes. The journalist wanted a lifelong commitment. He wanted someone to spend time with for years to come. He wanted someone to share their lives, their thoughts and their very selves with him.
John grinned as he reined in that line of thought. Kathy had told him her name, that was it. Things were moving so rapidly there hadn’t been time for more. He’d have to wait and see what developed. For now he had to finish this story. If he wanted a future with Kathy he’d need a way to finance it. That was where this story fit in.
Just ahead of him the object of his affection was busy typing up a report about the journalist. It was a standard CIA Contact Report with an extended evaluation section on the end. The amount of time the two had spent together meant she would’ve had to file anyway. His sudden higher security clearance meant she had to file it now and write up what she thought of him.
This report was taking longer since it meant she had to sort through what she really thought about him. Kathy Bennett had spent a lot of time with John Parker. She liked the guy and figured he liked her. He’d been honest with her. He’d been forgiving after discovering she’d used him, lied to him and put him in harm’s way. He respected her and listened to her.
Telling him her name added a whole new side to their relationship. At least she thought so. It had been so busy since then they really hadn’t had much time to interact. He had spent most of the time working on his story and she’d spent most of her time working on her reports.
Kathy was glad she could tell John who she really was. She knew he might just be her rebound relationship, but she needed someone to fill the hole Greg had left in her soul. Or at least anesthetize the gaping wound.
Part of her wanted to hear Greg apologize and mean it. But the other part of her knew that even he did she wouldn’t believe him. All the hurt Kathy felt was still inside of her. She had to keep it down, under control, or it would build up and drive her nuts.
Now she understood why girls had rebound boyfriends. The new guy made them feel appreciated, safe and valued. It gave the feeling they were worth something. At least, that’s how John made her feel.
She knew there might be no future for the two of them. Sure, he was an incredibly caring guy who seemed to enjoying spending time with her and discussing their families. But Greg had seemed like a great guy too. Kathy wished she were home, with her mother and sisters. She needed to talk to someone about all this. Everything was happening too fast. Even Anne Rutgers would’ve been a welcome ear to talk to and maybe a shoulder to cry on.
Kathy was feeling seriously off kilter. For nearly a week she’d been pretty much by herself in a whole new environment. She could’ve handled being deep inside a hostile countryside, but this was different. Her fiancée had betrayed her. And within minutes of learning it she’d run into the next man of her dreams. This was too confusing. She needed to talk to a woman she could trust.
Now she worried about what Greg was telling her parents, his parents, their friends. He could say anything and she wouldn’t be there to refute it. Kathy didn’t even know what excuse The Company had given for her absence. She didn’t really know how long the absence would last.
They’d believe Greg, too. He was a successful doctor. He was an upstanding member of their church. She’d been head over heels for him. What would she be facing when she got back to her life.
Mentally the intelligence agent shook herself. Alright, those were her concerns and they were good ones, every one of them. But right now she had a job to do. As much she wanted to and needed to focus on her personal life her country was calling her back to duty.
In Ohio she had met her Company contact for the Cancun rendezvous. She’d passed over what she’d been given and her assignment had been over. Or so she thought.
A second Company official had been waiting. It was one of her supervisors and they had big news for her. Her name had been mentioned in some very high circles. POTUS—the President Of The United States— himself was now deeply interested in John Parker’s story. The Chief Executive was personally taking charge of the investigation. The entire enterprise was now a Cabinet level operation.
Her new orders were to remain engaged in the journalist’s investigation and follow it wherever it led. The resources of the U.S. Government were at her disposal and was also authorized to cooperate with the enigmatic black suited agents. This eased her mind since the status of her contact with them had been a concern.
POTUS wanted her to find out as much as possible about any predictions or speculations about events in 2012. He especially wanted to know about any threats, no matter how small or unlikely. She was to find out as much as possible about these and report fully as soon as possible.
The evident involvement of extraterrestrials was a complication, but one the Government had dealt with before. It was the reason her security status went up exponentially. She’d also been assigned a new supervisor in The Company, one of those grim faced men who were rarely seen and even less welcomed.
Within The Company there was a unspoken knowledge that the United States Government was in the alien business. Most agents knew the criteria of when to call that number. Then the stern faced super-agents would show up and take charge. And you’d have to fill out reams of paper. Everything else was speculation and urban legend.
Supposedly Roswell had started most of everything. Unless there had been earlier contacts revolving around the Manhattan Project. Or unless there had been recovery of alien technology prior to or during the Second World War. Or unless the Nazis had reverse engineered extraterrestrial technology. Everything related to extraterrestrials was cloaked in shadow. It was a subject agents sought to avoid, since it usually ended up in long interviews and lots of paperwork.
And now she was smack dab in the middle of it all. It took all of Kathy’s substantial mental discipline to force her personal concerns to the back burner and focus on the task at hand. She decided that, whatever the future held, she would just enjoy being with John Parker. He made her feel special and important and for the moment that was enough.